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The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Sankaracarya - Sacred Books of the East, Volume 1
by George Thibaut
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VEDANTA-SUTRAS

With the Commentary by

SA@NKARACHARYA

Translated by GEORGE THIBAUT

Part I



CONTENTS.

INTRODUCTION

VEDANTA-SUTRAS WITH THE COMMENTARY BY SA@NKARACHARYA.

ADHYAYA I.

Pada I.

Pada II.

Pada III.

Pada IV.

ADHYAYA II.

Pada I.

Pada II.

* * * * *

Transliteration of Oriental Alphabets adopted for the Translations of the Sacred Books of the East.

[Transcriber's Note: This book contains many words with one or two letters in the word printed in italics; those letters are transcribed by enclosing them in slashes, e.g. "karmaka/nd/a" has the letters "nd" in italics. Also, the symbol "@" is used before the letter "n" to indicate a horizontal bar across the top.]



INTRODUCTION.

To the sacred literature of the Brahmans, in the strict sense of the term, i.e. to the Veda, there belongs a certain number of complementary works without whose assistance the student is, according to Hindu notions, unable to do more than commit the sacred texts to memory. In the first place all Vedic texts must, in order to be understood, be read together with running commentaries such as Saya/n/a's commentaries on the Sa/m/hitas and Brahma/n/as, and the Bhashyas ascribed to Sa@nkara on the chief Upanishads. But these commentaries do not by themselves conduce to a full comprehension of the contents of the sacred texts, since they confine themselves to explaining the meaning of each detached passage without investigating its relation to other passages, and the whole of which they form part; considerations of the latter kind are at any rate introduced occasionally only. The task of taking a comprehensive view of the contents of the Vedic writings as a whole, of systematising what they present in an unsystematical form, of showing the mutual co-ordination or subordination of single passages and sections, and of reconciling contradictions—which, according to the view of the orthodox commentators, can be apparent only—is allotted to a separate sastra or body of doctrine which is termed Mima/m/sa, i.e. the investigation or enquiry [Greek: kat ezochaen], viz. the enquiry into the connected meaning of the sacred texts.

Of this Mima/m/sa two branches have to be distinguished, the so-called earlier (purva) Mima/m/sa, and the later (uttara) Mima/m/sa. The former undertakes to systematise the karmaka/nd/a, i.e. that entire portion of the Veda which is concerned with action, pre-eminently sacrificial action, and which comprises the Sa/m/hitas and the Brahma/n/as exclusive of the Ara/n/yaka portions; the latter performs the same service with regard to the so-called j/n/anaka/nd/a, i.e. that part of the Vedic writings which includes the Ara/n/yaka portions of the Brahma/n/as, and a number of detached treatises called Upanishads. Its subject is not action but knowledge, viz. the knowledge of Brahman.

At what period these two /s/astras first assumed a definite form, we are unable to ascertain. Discussions of the nature of those which constitute the subject-matter of the Purva Mima/m/sa must have arisen at a very early period, and the word Mima/m/sa itself together with its derivatives is already employed in the Brahma/n/as to denote the doubts and discussions connected with certain contested points of ritual. The want of a body of definite rules prescribing how to act, i.e. how to perform the various sacrifices in full accordance with the teaching of the Veda, was indeed an urgent one, because it was an altogether practical want, continually pressing itself on the adhvaryus engaged in ritualistic duties. And the task of establishing such rules was moreover a comparatively limited and feasible one; for the members of a certain Vedic sakha or school had to do no more than to digest thoroughly their own brahma/n/a and sa/m/hita, without being under any obligation of reconciling with the teaching of their own books the occasionally conflicting rules implied in the texts of other sakhas. It was assumed that action, as being something which depends on the will and choice of man, admits of alternatives, so that a certain sacrifice may be performed in different ways by members of different Vedic schools, or even by the followers of one and the same sakha.

The Uttara Mima/m/sa-/s/astra may be supposed to have originated considerably later than the Purva Mima/m/sa. In the first place, the texts with which it is concerned doubtless constitute the latest branch of Vedic literature. And in the second place, the subject-matter of those texts did not call for a systematical treatment with equal urgency, as it was in no way connected with practice; the mental attitude of the authors of the Upanishads, who in their lucubrations on Brahman and the soul aim at nothing less than at definiteness and coherence, may have perpetuated itself through many generations without any great inconvenience resulting therefrom.

But in the long run two causes must have acted with ever-increasing force, to give an impulse to the systematic working up of the teaching of the Upanishads also. The followers of the different Vedic sakhas no doubt recognised already at an early period the truth that, while conflicting statements regarding the details of a sacrifice can be got over by the assumption of a vikalpa, i.e. an optional proceeding, it is not so with regard to such topics as the nature of Brahman, the relation to it of the human soul, the origin of the physical universe, and the like. Concerning them, one opinion only can be the true one, and it therefore becomes absolutely incumbent on those, who look on the whole body of the Upanishads as revealed truth, to demonstrate that their teaching forms a consistent whole free from all contradictions. In addition there supervened the external motive that, while the karmaka/nd/a of the Veda concerned only the higher castes of brahmanically constituted society, on which it enjoins certain sacrificial performances connected with certain rewards, the j/n/anaka/nd/a, as propounding a certain theory of the world, towards which any reflecting person inside or outside the pale of the orthodox community could not but take up a definite position, must soon have become the object of criticism on the part of those who held different views on religious and philosophic things, and hence stood in need of systematic defence.

At present there exists a vast literature connected with the two branches of the Mima/m/sa. We have, on the one hand, all those works which constitute the Purva Mima/m/sa-/s/astra—or as it is often, shortly but not accurately, termed, the Mima/m/sa-/s/astra—and, on the other hand, all those works which are commonly comprised under the name Vedanta-/s/astra. At the head of this extensive literature there stand two collections of Sutras (i.e. short aphorisms constituting in their totality a complete body of doctrine upon some subject), whose reputed authors are Jainini and Badaraya/n/a. There can, however, be no doubt that the composition of those two collections of Sutras was preceded by a long series of preparatory literary efforts of which they merely represent the highly condensed outcome. This is rendered probable by the analogy of other /s/astras, as well as by the exhaustive thoroughness with which the Sutras perform their task of systematizing the teaching of the Veda, and is further proved by the frequent references which the Sutras make to the views of earlier teachers. If we consider merely the preserved monuments of Indian literature, the Sutras (of the two Mima/m/sas as well as of other /s/astras) mark the beginning; if we, however, take into account what once existed, although it is at present irretrievably lost, we observe that they occupy a strictly central position, summarising, on the one hand, a series of early literary essays extending over many generations, and forming, on the other hand, the head spring of an ever broadening activity of commentators as well as virtually independent writers, which reaches down to our days, and may yet have some future before itself.

The general scope of the two Mima/m/sa-sutras and their relation to the Veda have been indicated in what precedes. A difference of some importance between the two has, however, to be noted in this connexion. The systematisation of the karmaka/nd/a of the Veda led to the elaboration of two classes of works, viz. the Kalpa-sutras on the one hand, and the Purva Mima/m/sa-sutras on the other hand. The former give nothing but a description as concise as possible of the sacrifices enjoined in the Brahma/n/as; while the latter discuss and establish the general principles which the author of a Kalpa-sutra has to follow, if he wishes to render his rules strictly conformable to the teaching of the Veda. The j/n/anaka/nd/a of the Veda, on the other hand, is systematised in a single work, viz. the Uttara Mima/m/sa or Vedanta-sutras, which combine the two tasks of concisely stating the teaching of the Veda, and of argumentatively establishing the special interpretation of the Veda adopted in the Sutras. This difference may be accounted for by two reasons. In the first place, the contents of the karmaka/nd/a, as being of an entirely practical nature, called for summaries such as the Kalpa-sutras, from which all burdensome discussions of method are excluded; while there was no similar reason for the separation of the two topics in the case of the purely theoretical science of Brahman. And, in the second place, the Vedanta-sutras throughout presuppose the Purva Mima/m/sa-sutras, and may therefore dispense with the discussion of general principles and methods already established in the latter.

The time at which the two Mima/m/sa-sutras were composed we are at present unable to fix with any certainty; a few remarks on the subject will, however, be made later on. Their outward form is that common to all the so-called Sutras which aims at condensing a given body of doctrine in a number of concise aphoristic sentences, and often even mere detached words in lieu of sentences. Besides the Mima/m/sa-sutras this literary form is common to the fundamental works on the other philosophic systems, on the Vedic sacrifices, on domestic ceremonies, on sacred law, on grammar, and on metres. The two Mima/m/sa-sutras occupy, however, an altogether exceptional position in point of style. All Sutras aim at conciseness; that is clearly the reason to which this whole species of literary composition owes its existence. This their aim they reach by the rigid exclusion of all words which can possibly be spared, by the careful avoidance of all unnecessary repetitions, and, as in the case of the grammatical Sutras, by the employment of an arbitrarily coined terminology which substitutes single syllables for entire words or combination of words. At the same time the manifest intention of the Sutra writers is to express themselves with as much clearness as the conciseness affected by them admits of. The aphorisms are indeed often concise to excess, but not otherwise intrinsically obscure, the manifest care of the writers being to retain what is essential in a given phrase, and to sacrifice only what can be supplied, although perhaps not without difficulty, and an irksome strain of memory and reflection. Hence the possibility of understanding without a commentary a very considerable portion at any rate of the ordinary Sutras. Altogether different is the case of the two Mima/m/sa-sutras. There scarcely one single Sutra is intelligible without a commentary. The most essential words are habitually dispensed with; nothing is, for instance, more common than the simple ommission of the subject or predicate of a sentence. And when here and there a Sutra occurs whose words construe without anything having to be supplied, the phraseology is so eminently vague and obscure that without the help derived from a commentary we should be unable to make out to what subject the Sutra refers. When undertaking to translate either of the Mima/m/sa-sutras we therefore depend altogether on commentaries; and hence the question arises which of the numerous commentaries extant is to be accepted as a guide to their right understanding.

The commentary here selected for translation, together with Badaraya/n/a's Sutras (to which we shall henceforth confine our attention to the exclusion of Jaimini's Purva Mima/m/sa-sutras), is the one composed by the celebrated theologian /S/a@nkara or, as he is commonly called, /S/a@nkara/k/arya. There are obvious reasons for this selection. In the first place, the /S/a@nkara-bhashya represents the so-called orthodox side of Brahminical theology which strictly upholds the Brahman or highest Self of the Upanishads as something different from, and in fact immensely superior to, the divine beings such as Vish/n/u or Siva, which, for many centuries, have been the chief objects of popular worship in India. In the second place, the doctrine advocated by /S/a@nkara is, from a purely philosophical point of view and apart from all theological considerations, the most important and interesting one which has arisen on Indian soil; neither those forms of the Vedanta which diverge from the view represented by /S/a@nkara nor any of the non-Vedantic systems can be compared with the so-called orthodox Vedanta in boldness, depth, and subtlety of speculation. In the third place, /S/a@nkara's bhaashya is, as far as we know, the oldest of the extant commentaries, and relative antiquity is at any rate one of the circumstances which have to be taken into account, although, it must be admitted, too much weight may easily be attached to it. The /S/a@nkara-bhashya further is the authority most generally deferred to in India as to the right understanding of the Vedanta-sutras, and ever since /S/a@nkara's time the majority of the best thinkers of India have been men belonging to his school. If in addition to all this we take into consideration the intrinsic merits of /S/a@nkara's work which, as a piece of philosophical argumentation and theological apologetics, undoubtedly occupies a high rank, the preference here given to it will be easily understood.

But to the European—or, generally, modern—translator of the Vedanta-sutras with /S/a@nkara's commentary another question will of course suggest itself at once, viz. whether or not /S/a@nkara's explanations faithfully render the intended meaning of the author of the Sutras. To the Indian Pandit of /S/a@nkara's school this question has become an indifferent one, or, to state the case more accurately, he objects to it being raised, as he looks on /S/a@nkara's authority as standing above doubt and dispute. When pressed to make good his position he will, moreover, most probably not enter into any detailed comparison of /S/a@nkara's comments with the text of Badaraya/n/a's Sutras, but will rather endeavour to show on speculative grounds that /S/a@nkara's philosophical view is the only true one, whence it of course follows that it accurately represents the meaning of Badaraya/n/a, who himself must necessarily be assured to have taught the true doctrine. But on the modern investigator, who neither can consider himself bound by the authority of a name however great, nor is likely to look to any Indian system of thought for the satisfaction of his speculative wants, it is clearly incumbent not to acquiesce from the outset in the interpretations given of the Vedanta-sutras—and the Upanishads—by /S/a@nkara and his school, but to submit them, as far as that can be done, to a critical investigation.

This is a task which would have to be undertaken even if /S/a@nkara's views as to the true meaning of the Sutras and Upanishads had never been called into doubt on Indian soil, although in that case it could perhaps hardly be entered upon with much hope of success; but it becomes much more urgent, and at the same time more feasible, when we meet in India itself with systems claiming to be Vedantic and based on interpretations of the Sutras and Upanishads more or less differing from those of /S/a@nkara. The claims of those systems to be in the possession of the right understanding of the fundamental authorities of the Vedanta must at any rate be examined, even if we should finally be compelled to reject them.

It appears that already at a very early period the Vedanta-sutras had come to be looked upon as an authoritative work, not to be neglected by any who wished to affiliate their own doctrines to the Veda. At present, at any rate, there are very few Hindu sects not interested in showing that their distinctive tenets are countenanced by Badaraya/n/a's teaching. Owing to this the commentaries on the Sutras have in the course of time become very numerous, and it is at present impossible to give a full and accurate enumeration even of those actually existing, much less of those referred to and quoted. Mr. Fitz-Edward Hall, in his Bibliographical Index, mentions fourteen commentaries, copies of which had been inspected by himself. Some among these (as, for instance, Ramanuja's Vedanta-sara, No. XXXV) are indeed not commentaries in the strict sense of the word, but rather systematic expositions of the doctrine supposed to be propounded in the Sutras; but, on the other hand, there are in existence several true commentaries which had not been accessible to Fitz-Edward Hall. It would hardly be practical—and certainly not feasible in this place—to submit all the existing bhashyas to a critical enquiry at once. All we can do here is to single out one or a few of the more important ones, and to compare their interpretations with those given by /S/a@nkara, and with the text of the Sutras themselves.

The bhashya, which in this connexion is the first to press itself upon our attention, is the one composed by the famous Vaish@nava theologian and philosopher Ramanuja, who is supposed to have lived in the twelfth century. The Ramanuja or, as it is often called, the /S/ri-bhashya appears to be the oldest commentary extant next to /S/a@nkara's. It is further to be noted that the sect of the Ramanujas occupies a pre-eminent position among the Vaishnava, sects which themselves, in their totality, may claim to be considered the most important among all Hindu sects. The intrinsic value of the /S/ri-bhashya moreover is—as every student acquainted with it will be ready to acknowledge—a very high one; it strikes one throughout as a very solid performance due to a writer of extensive learning and great power of argumentation, and in its polemic parts, directed chiefly against the school of /S/a@nkara, it not unfrequently deserves to be called brilliant even. And in addition to all this it shows evident traces of being not the mere outcome of Ramanuja's individual views, but of resting on an old and weighty tradition.

This latter point is clearly of the greatest importance. If it could be demonstrated or even rendered probable only that the oldest bhashya which we possess, i.e. the /S/a@nkara-bhashya, represents an uninterrupted and uniform tradition bridging over the interval between Badaraya/n/a, the reputed author of the Sutras, and /S/a@nkara; and if, on the other hand, it could be shown that the more modern bhashyas are not supported by old tradition, but are nothing more than bold attempts of clever sectarians to force an old work of generally recognised authority into the service of their individual tenets; there would certainly be no reason for us to raise the question whether the later bhashyas can help us in making out the true meaning of the Sutras. All we should have to do in that case would be to accept /S/a@nkara's interpretations as they stand, or at the utmost to attempt to make out, if at all possible, by a careful comparison of /S/a@nkara's bhashya with the text of the Sutras, whether the former in all cases faithfully represents the purport of the latter.

In the most recent book of note which at all enters into the question as to how far we have to accept /S/a@nkara as a guide to the right understanding of the Sutras (Mr. A. Gough's Philosophy of the Upanishads) the view is maintained (pp. 239 ff.) that /S/a@nkara is the generally recognised expositor of true Vedanta doctrine, that that doctrine was handed down by an unbroken series of teachers intervening between him and the Sutrakara, and that there existed from the beginning only one Vedanta doctrine, agreeing in all essential points with the doctrine known to us from /S/a@nkara's writings. Mr. Gough undertakes to prove this view, firstly, by a comparison of /S/a@nkara's system with the teaching of the Upanishads themselves; and, secondly, by a comparison of the purport of the Sutras—as far as that can be made out independently of the commentaries—with the interpretations given of them by /S/a@nkara. To both these points we shall revert later on. Meanwhile, I only wish to remark concerning the former point that, even if we could show with certainty that all the Upanishads propound one and the same doctrine, there yet remains the undeniable fact of our being confronted by a considerable number of essentially differing theories, all of which claim to be founded on the Upanishads. And with regard to the latter point I have to say for the present that, as long as we have only /S/a@nkara's bhashya before us, we are naturally inclined to find in the Sutras—which, taken by themselves, are for the greater part unintelligible—the meaning which /S/a@nkara ascribes to them; while a reference to other bhashyas may not impossibly change our views at once.—Meanwhile, we will consider the question as to the unbroken uniformity of Vedantic tradition from another point or view, viz. by enquiring whether or not the Sutras themselves, and the /S/a@nkara-bhashya, furnish any indications of there having existed already at an early time essentially different Vedantic systems or lines of Vedantic speculation.

Beginning with the Sutras, we find that they supply ample evidence to the effect that already at a very early time, viz. the period antecedent to the final composition of the Vedanta-sutras in their present shape, there had arisen among the chief doctors of the Vedanta differences of opinion, bearing not only upon minor points of doctrine, but affecting the most essential parts of the system. In addition to Badaraya/n/a himself, the reputed author of the Sutras, the latter quote opinions ascribed to the following teachers: Atreya, A/s/marathya, Au/d/ulomi, Karsh/n/agini, Ka/s/ak/ri/tsna, Jaimini, Badari. Among the passages where diverging views of those teachers are recorded and contrasted three are of particular importance. Firstly, a passage in the fourth pada of the fourth adhyaya (Sutras 5-7), where the opinions of various teachers concerning the characteristics of the released soul are given, and where the important discrepancy is noted that, according to Au/d/ulomi, its only characteristic is thought (/k/aitanya), while Jaimini maintains that it possesses a number of exalted qualities, and Badaraya/n/a declares himself in favour of a combination of those two views.—The second passage occurs in the third pada of the fourth adhyaya (Sutras 7-14), where Jaimini maintains that the soul of him who possesses the lower knowledge of Brahman goes after death to the highest Brahman, while Badari—whose opinion is endorsed by /S/a@nkara—teaches that it repairs to the lower Brahman only—Finally, the third and most important passage is met with in the fourth pada of the first adhyaya (Sutras 20-22), where the question is discussed why in a certain passage of the Brhadara/n/yaka Brahman is referred to in terms which are strictly applicable to the individual soul only. In connexion therewith the Sutras quote the views of three ancient teachers about the relation in which the individual soul stands to Brahman. According to A/s/marathya (if we accept the interpretation of his view given by /S/a@nkara and /S/a@nkara's commentators) the soul stands to Brahman in the bhedabheda relation, i.e. it is neither absolutely different nor absolutely non-different from it, as sparks are from fire. Audulomi, on the other hand, teaches that the soul is altogether different from Brahman up to the time when obtaining final release it is merged in it, and Ka/s/ak/ri/tsna finally upholds the doctrine that the soul is absolutely non-different from Brahman; which, in, some way or other presents itself as the individual soul.

That the ancient teachers, the ripest outcome of whose speculations and discussions is embodied in the Vedanta-sutras, disagreed among themselves on points of vital importance is sufficiently proved by the three passages quoted. The one quoted last is specially significant as showing that recognised authorities—deemed worthy of being quoted in the Sutras—denied that doctrine on which the whole system of /S/a@nkara hinges, viz. the doctrine of the absolute identity of the individual soul with Brahman.

Turning next to the /S/a@nkara-bhashya itself, we there also meet with indications that the Vedantins were divided among themselves on important points of dogma. These indications are indeed not numerous: /S/a@nkara, does not on the whole impress one as an author particularly anxious to strengthen his own case by appeals to ancient authorities, a peculiarity of his which later writers of hostile tendencies have not failed to remark and criticise. But yet more than once /S/a@nkara also refers to the opinion of 'another,' viz., commentator of the Sutras, and in several places /S/a@nkara's commentators explain that the 'other' meant is the V/ri/ttikara (about whom more will be said shortly). Those references as a rule concern minor points of exegesis, and hence throw little or no light on important differences of dogma; but there are two remarks of /S/a@nkara's at any rate which are of interest in this connexion. The one is made with reference to Sutras 7-14 of the third pada of the fourth adhyaya; 'some,' he says there, 'declare those Sutras, which I look upon as setting forth the siddhanta view, to state merely the purvapaksha;' a difference of opinion which, as we have seen above, affects the important question as to the ultimate fate of those who have not reached the knowledge of the highest Brahman.—And under I, 3, 19 /S/a@nkara, after having explained at length that the individual soul as such cannot claim any reality, but is real only in so far as it is identical with Brahman, adds the following words, 'apare tu vadina/h/ paramarthikam eva jaiva/m/ rupam iti manyante asmadiya/s/ /k/a ke/k/it,' i.e. other theorisers again, and among them some of ours, are of opinion that the individual soul as such is real.' The term 'ours,' here made use of, can denote only the Aupanishadas or Vedantins, and it thus appears that /S/a@nkara himself was willing to class under the same category himself and philosophers who—as in later times the Ramanujas and others—looked upon the individual soul as not due to the fictitious limitations of Maya, but as real in itself; whatever may be the relation in which they considered it to stand to the highest Self.

From what precedes it follows that the Vedantins of the school to which /S/a@nkara himself belonged acknowledged the existence of Vedantic teaching of a type essentially different from their own. We must now proceed to enquire whether the Ramanuja system, which likewise claims to be Vedanta, and to be founded on the Vedanta-sutras, has any title to be considered an ancient system and the heir of a respectable tradition.

It appears that Ramanuja claims—and by Hindu writers is generally admitted—to follow in his bhashya the authority of Bodhayana, who had composed a v/ri/tti on the Sutras. Thus we read in the beginning of the /S/ri-bhashya (Pandit, New Series, VII, p. 163), 'Bhagavad-bodhayanak/ri/ta/m/ vistirna/m/ brahmasutra-v/ri/tti/m/ purva/k/arya/h/ sa/m/kikshipus tanmatanusare/n/a sutrakshara/n/i vyakhyasyante.' Whether the Bodhayana to whom that v/ri/tti is ascribed is to be identified with the author of the Kalpa-sutra, and other works, cannot at present be decided. But that an ancient v/ri/tti on the Sutras connected with Bodhayana's name actually existed, there is not any reason to doubt. Short quotations from it are met with in a few places of the /S/ri-bhashya, and, as we have seen above, /S/a@nkara's commentators state that their author's polemical remarks are directed against the V/ri/ttikara. In addition to Bodhayana, Ramanuja appeals to quite a series of ancient teachers—purva/k/aryas—who carried on the true tradition as to the teaching of the Vedanta and the meaning of the Sutras. In the Vedarthasa@ngraha—a work composed by Ramanuja himself—we meet in one place with the enumeration of the following authorities: Bodhayana, /T/a@nka, Drami/d/a, Guhadeva, Kapardin, Bharu/k/i, and quotations from the writings of some of these are not unfrequent in the Vedarthasa@ngraha, as well as the /S/ri-bhashya. The author most frequently quoted is Drami/d/a, who composed the Drami/d/a-bhashya; he is sometimes referred to as the bhashyakara. Another writer repeatedly quoted as the vakyakara is, I am told, to be identified with the /T/a@nka mentioned above. I refrain from inserting in this place the information concerning the relative age of these writers which may be derived from the oral tradition of the Ramanuja sect. From another source, however, we receive an intimation that Drami/d/a/k/arya or Dravi/d/a/k/arya preceded /S/a@nkara in point of time. In his /t/ika on /S/a@nkara's bhashya to the Chandogya Upanishad III, 10, 4, Anandagiri remarks that the attempt made by his author to reconcile the cosmological views of the Upanishad with the teaching of Sm/ri/ti on the same point is a reproduction of the analogous attempt made by the Dravi/d/a/k/arya.

It thus appears that that special interpretation of the Vedanta-sutras with which the /S/ri-bhashya makes us acquainted is not due to innovating views on the part of Ramanuja, but had authoritative representatives already at a period anterior to that of /S/a@nkara. This latter point, moreover, receives additional confirmation from the relation in which the so-called Ramanuja sect stands to earlier sects. What the exact position of Ramanuja was, and of what nature were the reforms that rendered him so prominent as to give his name to a new sect, is not exactly known at present; at the same time it is generally acknowledged that the Ramanujas are closely connected with the so-called Bhagavatas or Pa/nk/aratras, who are known to have existed already at a very early time. This latter point is proved by evidence of various kinds; for our present purpose it suffices to point to the fact that, according to the interpretation of the most authoritative commentators, the last Sutras of the second pada of the second adhyaya (Vedanta-sutras) refer to a distinctive tenet of the Bhagavatas—which tenet forms part of the Ramanuja system also—viz. that the highest being manifests itself in a fourfold form (vyuha) as Vasudeva, Sa@nkarsha/n/a, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, those four forms being identical with the highest Self, the individual soul, the internal organ (manas), and the principle of egoity (aha@nkara). Whether those Sutras embody an approval of the tenet referred to, as Ramanuja maintains, or are meant to impugn it, as /S/a@nkara thinks; so much is certain that in the opinion of the best commentators the Bhagavatas, the direct forerunners of the Ramanujas, are mentioned in the Sutras themselves, and hence must not only have existed, but even reached a considerable degree of importance at the time when the Sutras were composed. And considering the general agreement of the systems of the earlier Bhagavatas and the later Ramanujas, we have a full right to suppose that the two sects were at one also in their mode of interpreting the Vedanta-sutras.

The preceding considerations suffice, I am inclined to think, to show that it will by no means be wasted labour to enquire how Ramanuja interprets the Sutras, and wherein he differs from /S/a@nkara. This in fact seems clearly to be the first step we have to take, if we wish to make an attempt at least of advancing beyond the interpretations of scholiasts to the meaning of the Sutras themselves. A full and exhaustive comparison of the views of the two commentators would indeed far exceed the limits of the space which can here he devoted to that task, and will, moreover, be made with greater ease and advantage when the complete Sanskrit text of the /S/ri-bhashya has been printed, and thus made available for general reference. But meanwhile it is possible, and—as said before—even urged upon a translator of the Sutras to compare the interpretations, given by the two bhashyakaras, of those Sutras, which, more than others, touch on the essential points of the Vedanta system. This will best be done in connexion with a succinct but full review of the topics discussed in the adhikara/n/as of the Vedanta-sutras, according to /S/a@nkara; a review which—apart from the side-glances at Ramanuja's comments—will be useful as a guide through the Sutras and the /S/a@nkara-bhashya. Before, however, entering on that task, I think it advisable to insert short sketches of the philosophical systems of /S/a@nkara as well as of Ramanuja, which may be referred to when, later on discrepancies between the two commentators will be noted. In these sketches I shall confine myself to the leading features, and not enter into any details. Of /S/a@nkara's system we possess as it is more than one trustworthy exposition; it may suffice to refer to Deussen's System of the Vedanta, in which the details of the entire system, as far as they can be learned from the Sutra-bhashya, are represented fully and faithfully, and to Gough's Philosophy of the Upanishads which, principally in its second chapter, gives a lucid sketch of the /S/a@nkara Vedanta, founded on the Sutra-bhashya, the Upanishad bhashyas, and some later writers belonging to /S/a@nkara's school. With regard to Ramanuja's philosophy our chief source was, hitherto, the Ramanuja chapter in the Sarvadar/s/a/n/asa/m/graha; the short sketch about to be given is founded altogether on the /S/ri-bhashya itself.

What in /S/a@nkara's opinion the Upanishads teach, is shortly as follows.—Whatever is, is in reality one; there truly exists only one universal being called Brahman or Paramatman, the highest Self. This being is of an absolutely homogeneous nature; it is pure 'Being,' or, which comes to the same, pure intelligence or thought (/k/aitanya, j/n/ana). Intelligence or thought is not to be predicated of Brahman as its attribute, but constitutes its substance, Brahman is not a thinking being, but thought itself. It is absolutely destitute of qualities; whatever qualities or attributes are conceivable, can only be denied of it.—But, if nothing exists but one absolutely simple being, whence the appearance of the world by which we see ourselves surrounded, and, in which we ourselves exist as individual beings?—Brahman, the answer runs, is associated with a certain power called Maya or avidya to which the appearance of this entire world is due. This power cannot be called 'being' (sat), for 'being' is only Brahman; nor can it be called 'non-being' (asat) in the strict sense, for it at any rate produces the appearance of this world. It is in fact a principle of illusion; the undefinable cause owing to which there seems to exist a material world comprehending distinct individual existences. Being associated with this principle of illusion, Brahman is enabled to project the appearance of the world, in the same way as a magician is enabled by his incomprehensible magical power to produce illusory appearances of animate and inanimate beings. Maya thus constitutes the upadana, the material cause of the world; or—if we wish to call attention to the circumstance that Maya belongs to Brahman as a /s/akti—we may say that the material cause of the world is Brahman in so far as it is associated with Maya. In this latter quality Brahman is more properly called I/s/vara, the Lord.

Maya, under the guidance of the Lord, modifies itself by a progressive evolution into all the individual existences (bheda), distinguished by special names and forms, of which the world consists; from it there spring in due succession the different material elements and the whole bodily apparatus belonging to sentient Beings. In all those apparently, individual forms of existence the one indivisible Brahman is present, but, owing to the particular adjuncts into which Maya has specialised itself, it appears to be broken up—it is broken up, as it were—into a multiplicity, of intellectual or sentient principles, the so-called jivas (individual or personal souls). What is real in each jiva is only the universal Brahman itself; the whole aggregate of individualising bodily organs and mental functions, which in our ordinary experience separate and distinguish one jiva from another, is the offspring of Maya and as such unreal.

The phenomenal world or world of ordinary experience (vyavahara) thus consists of a number of individual souls engaged in specific cognitions, volitions, and so on, and of the external material objects with which those cognitions and volitions are concerned. Neither the specific cognitions nor their objects are real in the true sense of the word, for both are altogether due to Maya. But at the same time we have to reject the idealistic doctrine of certain Bauddha schools according to which nothing whatever truly exists, but certain trains of cognitional acts or ideas to which no external objects correspond; for external things, although not real in the strict sense of the word, enjoy at any rate as much reality as the specific cognitional acts whose objects they are.

The non-enlightened soul is unable to look through and beyond Maya, which, like a veil, hides from it its true nature. Instead of recognising itself to be Brahman, it blindly identifies itself with its adjuncts (upadhi), the fictitious offspring of Maya, and thus looks for its true Self in the body, the sense organs, and the internal organ (manas), i.e. the organ of specific cognition. The soul, which in reality is pure intelligence, non-active, infinite, thus becomes limited in extent, as it were, limited in knowledge and power, an agent and enjoyer. Through its actions it burdens itself with merit and demerit, the consequences of which it has to bear or enjoy in series of future embodied existences, the Lord—as a retributor and dispenser—allotting to each soul that form of embodiment to which it is entitled by its previous actions. At the end of each of the great world periods called kalpas the Lord retracts the whole world, i.e. the whole material world is dissolved and merged into non-distinct Maya, while the individual souls, free for the time from actual connexion with upadhis, lie in deep slumber as it were. But as the consequences of their former deeds are not yet exhausted, they have again to enter on embodied existence as soon as the Lord sends forth a new material world, and the old round of birth, action, death begins anew to last to all eternity as it has lasted from all eternity.

The means of escaping from this endless sa/ms/ara, the way out of which can never be found by the non-enlightened soul, are furnished by the Veda. The karmaka/nd/a indeed, whose purport it is to enjoin certain actions, cannot lead to final release; for even the most meritorious works necessarily lead to new forms of embodied existence. And in the j/n/anaka/nd/a of the Veda also two different parts have to be distinguished, viz., firstly, those chapters and passages which treat of Brahman in so far as related to the world, and hence characterised by various attributes, i.e. of I/s/vara or the lower Brahman; and, secondly, those texts which set forth the nature of the highest Brahman transcending all qualities, and the fundamental identity of the individual soul with that highest Brahman. Devout meditation on Brahman as suggested by passages of the former kind does not directly lead to final emancipation; the pious worshipper passes on his death into the world of the lower Brahman only, where he continues to exist as a distinct individual soul—although in the enjoyment of great power and knowledge—until at last he reaches the highest knowledge, and, through it, final release.—That student of the Veda, on the other hand, whose soul has been enlightened by the texts embodying the higher knowledge of Brahman, whom passages such as the great saying, 'That art thou,' have taught that there is no difference between his true Self and the highest Self, obtains at the moment of death immediate final release, i.e. he withdraws altogether from the influence of Maya, and asserts himself in his true nature, which is nothing else but the absolute highest Brahman.

Thus /S/a@nkara.—According to Ramanuja, on the other hand, the teaching of the Upanishads has to be summarised as follows.—There exists only one all-embracing being called Brahman or the highest Self of the Lord. This being is not destitute of attributes, but rather endowed with all imaginable auspicious qualities. It is not 'intelligence,'—as /S/a@nkara maintains,—but intelligence is its chief attribute. The Lord is all-pervading, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-merciful; his nature is fundamentally antagonistic to all evil. He contains within himself whatever exists. While, according to /S/a@nkara, the only reality is to be found in the non-qualified homogeneous highest Brahman which can only be defined as pure 'Being' or pure thought, all plurality being a mere illusion; Brahman—according to Ramanuja's view—comprises within itself distinct elements of plurality which all of them lay claim to absolute reality of one and the same kind. Whatever is presented to us by ordinary experience, viz. matter in all its various modifications and the individual souls of different classes and degrees, are essential real constituents of Brahman's nature. Matter and souls (a/k/it and /k/it) constitute, according to Ramanuja's terminology, the body of the Lord; they stand to him in the same relation of entire dependence and subserviency in which the matter forming an animal or vegetable body stands to its soul or animating principle. The Lord pervades and rules all things which exist—material or immaterial—as their antaryamin; the fundamental text for this special Ramanuja tenet—which in the writings of the sect is quoted again and again—is the so-called antaryamin brahma/n/a. (B/ri/. Up. III, 7) which says, that within all elements, all sense organs, and, lastly, within all individual souls, there abides an inward ruler whose body those elements, sense-organs, and individual souls constitute.—Matter and souls as forming the body of the Lord are also called modes of him (prakara). They are to be looked upon as his effects, but they have enjoyed the kind of individual existence which is theirs from all eternity, and will never be entirely resolved into Brahman. They, however, exist in two different, periodically alternating, conditions. At some times they exist in a subtle state in which they do not possess those qualities by which they are ordinarily known, and there is then no distinction of individual name and form. Matter in that state is unevolved (avyakta); the individual souls are not joined to material bodies, and their intelligence is in a state of contraction, non-manifestation (sa@nko/k/a). This is the pralaya state which recurs at the end of each kalpa, and Brahman is then said to be in its causal condition (kara/n/avastha). To that state all those scriptural passages refer which speak of Brahman or the Self as being in the beginning one only, without a second. Brahman then is indeed not absolutely one, for it contains within itself matter and souls in a germinal condition; but as in that condition they are so subtle as not to allow of individual distinctions being made, they are not counted as something second in addition to Brahman.—When the pralaya state comes to an end, creation takes place owing to an act of volition on the Lord's part. Primary unevolved matter then passes over into its other condition; it becomes gross and thus acquires all those sensible attributes, visibility, tangibility, and so on, which are known from ordinary experience. At the same time the souls enter into connexion with material bodies corresponding to the degree of merit or demerit acquired by them in previous forms of existence; their intelligence at the same time undergoes a certain expansion (vika/s/a). The Lord, together with matter in its gross state and the 'expanded' souls, is Brahman in the condition of an effect (karyavastha). Cause and effect are thus at the bottom the same; for the effect is nothing but the cause which has undergone a certain change (pari/n/ama). Hence the cause being known, the effect is known likewise.

Owing to the effects of their former actions the individual souls are implicated in the sa/m/sara, the endless cycle of birth, action, and death, final escape from which is to be obtained only through the study of the j/n/anaka/nd/a of the Veda. Compliance with the injunctions of the karmaka/nd/a does not lead outside the sa/m/sara; but he who, assisted by the grace of the Lord, cognizes—and meditates on—him in the way prescribed by the Upanishads reaches at his death final emancipation, i.e. he passes through the different stages of the path of the gods up to the world of Brahman and there enjoys an everlasting blissful existence from which there is no return into the sphere of transmigration. The characteristics of the released soul are similar to those of Brahman; it participates in all the latter's glorious qualities and powers, excepting only Brahman's power to emit, rule, and retract the entire world.

The chief points in which the two systems sketched above agree on the one hand and diverge on the other may be shortly stated as follows.—Both systems teach advaita, i.e. non-duality or monism. There exist not several fundamentally distinct principles, such as the prak/r/iti and the purushas of the Sa@nkhyas, but there exists only one all-embracing being. While, however, the advaita taught by /S/a@nkara is a rigorous, absolute one, Ramanuja's doctrine has to be characterised as visish/t/a advaita, i.e. qualified non-duality, non-duality with a difference. According to Sankara, whatever is, is Brahman, and Brahman itself is absolutely homogeneous, so that all difference and plurality must be illusory. According to Ramanuja also, whatever is, is Brahman; but Brahman is not of a homogeneous nature, but contains within itself elements of plurality owing to which it truly manifests itself in a diversified world. The world with its variety of material forms of existence and individual souls is not unreal Maya, but a real part of Brahman's nature, the body investing the universal Self. The Brahman of /S/a@nkara is in itself impersonal, a homogeneous mass of objectless thought, transcending all attributes; a personal God it becomes only through its association with the unreal principle of Maya, so that—strictly speaking—/S/a@nkara's personal God, his I/s/vara, is himself something unreal. Ramanuja's Brahman, on the other hand, is essentially a personal God, the all-powerful and all-wise ruler of a real world permeated and animated by his spirit. There is thus no room for the distinction between a param nirgu/n/am and an apara/m/ sagu/n/am brahma, between Brahman and I/s/vara.—/S/a@nkara's individual soul is Brahman in so far as limited by the unreal upadhis due to Maya. The individual soul of Ramanuja, on the other hand, is really individual; it has indeed sprung from Brahman and is never outside Brahman, but nevertheless it enjoys a separate personal existence and will remain a personality for ever—The release from sa/m/sara means, according to /S/a@nkara, the absolute merging of the individual soul in Brahman, due to the dismissal of the erroneous notion that the soul is distinct from Brahman; according to Ramanuja it only means the soul's passing from the troubles of earthly life into a kind of heaven or paradise where it will remain for ever in undisturbed personal bliss.—As Ramanuja does not distinguish a higher and lower Brahman, the distinction of a higher and lower knowledge is likewise not valid for him; the teaching of the Upanishads is not twofold but essentially one, and leads the enlightened devotee to one result only [1].

I now proceed to give a conspectus of the contents of the Vedanta-sutras according to /S/a@nkara in which at the same time all the more important points concerning which Ramanuja disagrees will be noted. We shall here have to enter into details which to many may appear tedious. But it is only on a broad substratum of accurately stated details that we can hope to establish any definite conclusions regarding the comparative value of the different modes of interpretation which have been applied to the Sutras. The line of investigation is an entirely new one, and for the present nothing can be taken for granted or known.—In stating the different heads of discussion (the so-called adhikara/n/as), each of which comprises one or more Sutras, I shall follow the subdivision into adhikara/n/as adopted in the Vyasadhika-ra/n/amala, the text of which is printed in the second volume of the Bibliotheca Indica edition of the Sutras.

FIRST ADHYAYA. PADA I.

The first five adhikara/n/as lay down the fundamental positions with regard to Brahman. Adhik. I (1) [2] treats of what the study of the Vedanta presupposes. Adhik. II (2) defines Brahman as that whence the world originates, and so on. Adhik. III (3) declares that Brahman is the source of the Veda. Adhik. IV (4) proves Brahman to be the uniform topic of all Vedanta-texts. Adhik. V (5-11) is engaged in proving by various arguments that the Brahman, which the Vedanta-texts represent as the cause of the world, is an intelligent principle, and cannot be identified with the non-intelligent pradhana from which the world springs according to the Sa@nkhyas.

With the next adhikara/n/a there begins a series of discussions of essentially similar character, extending up to the end of the first adhyaya. The question is throughout whether certain terms met with in the Upanishads denote Brahman or some other being, in most cases the jiva, the individual soul. /S/a@nkara remarks at the outset that, as the preceding ten Sutras had settled the all-important point that all the Vedanta-texts refer to Brahman, the question now arises why the enquiry should be continued any further, and thereupon proceeds to explain that the acknowledged distinction of a higher Brahman devoid of all qualities and a lower Brahman characterised by qualities necessitates an investigation whether certain Vedic texts of prima facie doubtful import set forth the lower Brahman as the object of devout meditation, or the higher Brahman as the object of true knowledge. But that such an investigation is actually carried on in the remaining portion of the first adhyaya, appears neither from the wording of the Sutras nor even from /S/a@nkara's own treatment of the Vedic texts referred to in the Sutras. In I, 1, 20, for instance, the question is raised whether the golden man within the sphere of the sun, with golden hair and beard and lotus-coloured eyes—of whom the Chandogya Upanishad speaks in 1, 6, 6—is an individual soul abiding within the sun or the highest Lord. /S/a@nkara's answer is that the passage refers to the Lord, who, for the gratification of his worshippers, manifests himself in a bodily shape made of Maya. So that according to /S/a@nkara himself the alternative lies between the sagu/n/a Brahman and some particular individual soul, not between the sagu/n/a Brahman and the nirgu/n/a Brahman.

Adhik. VI (12-19) raises the question whether the anandamaya, mentioned in Taittiriya Upanishad II, 5, is merely a transmigrating individual soul or the highest Self. /S/a@nkara begins by explaining the Sutras on the latter supposition—and the text of the Sutras is certainly in favour of that interpretation—gives, however, finally the preference to a different and exceedingly forced explanation according to which the Sutras teach that the anandamaya is not Brahman, since the Upanishad expressly says that Brahman is the tail or support of the anandamaya[3].—Ramanuja's interpretation of Adhikara/n/a VI, although not agreeing in all particulars with the former explanation of /S/a@nkara, yet is at one with it in the chief point, viz. that the anandamaya is Brahman. It further deserves notice that, while /S/a@nkara looks on Adhik. VI as the first of a series of interpretatory discussions, all of which treat the question whether certain Vedic passages refer to Brahman or not, Ramanuja separates the adhikara/n/a from the subsequent part of the pada and connects it with what had preceded. In Adhik. V it had been shown that Brahman cannot be identified with the pradhana; Adhik. VI shows that it is different from the individual soul, and the proof of the fundamental position of the system is thereby completed[4].—Adhik. VII (20, 21) demonstrates that the golden person seen within the sun and the person seen within the eye, mentioned in Ch. Up. I, 6, are not some individual soul of high eminence, but the supreme Brahman.—Adhik. VIII (22) teaches that by the ether from which, according to Ch. Up. I, 9, all beings originate, not the elemental ether has to be understood but the highest Brahman.—Adhik. IX (23). The pra/n/a also mentioned in Ch. Up. I, ii, 5 denotes the highest Brahman[5]—Adhik. X (24-27) teaches that the light spoken of in Ch. Up. III, 13, 7 is not the ordinary physical light but the highest Brahman[6].—Adhik. XI (28-31) decides that the pra/n/a mentioned in Kau. Up. III, 2 is Brahman.

PADA II.

Adhik. I (1-8) shows that the being which consists of mind, whose body is breath, &c., mentioned in Ch. Up. III, 14, is not the individual soul, but Brahman. The Sutras of this adhikara/n/a emphatically dwell on the difference of the individual soul and the highest Self, whence /S/a@nkara is obliged to add an explanation—in his comment on Sutra 6—to the effect that that difference is to be understood as not real, but as due to the false limiting adjuncts of the highest Self.—The comment of Ramanuja throughout closely follows the words of the Sutras; on Sutra 6 it simply remarks that the difference of the highest Self from the individual soul rests thereon that the former as free from all evil is not subject to the effects of works in the same way as the soul is [7].—Adhik. II (9, 10) decides that he to whom the Brahmans and Kshattriyas are but food (Ka/th/a. Up. I, 2, 25) is the highest Self.—Adhik. III (11, 12) shows that the two entered into the cave (Ka/th/a Up. I, 3, 1) are Brahman and the individual soul[8].—Adhik. IV (13-17) shows that the person within the eye mentioned in Ch. Up. IV, 15, 1 is Brahman.—Adhik. V (18-20) shows that the ruler within (antaraymin) described in B/ri/. Up. III, 7, 3 is Brahman. Sutra 20 clearly enounces the difference of the individual soul and the Lord; hence /S/a@nkara is obliged to remark that that difference is not real.—Adhik. VI (21-23) proves that that which cannot be seen, &c, mentioned in Mu/nd/aka Up. I, 1, 3 is Brahman.—Adhik. VII (24-32) shows that the atman vai/s/vanara of Ch. Up. V, 11, 6 is Brahman.

PADA III.

Adhik. I (1-7) proves that that within which the heaven, the earth, &c. are woven (Mu/nd/. Up. II, 2, 5) is Brahman.—Adhik. II (8, 9) shows that the bhuman referred to in Ch. Up. VII, 23 is Brahman.—Adhik. III (10-12) teaches that the Imperishable in which, according to B/ri/. Up. III, 8, 8, the ether is woven is Brahman.—Adhik. IV (13) decides that the highest person who is to be meditated upon with the syllable Om, according to Pra/s/na Up. V, 5, is not the lower but the higher Brahman.—According to Ramanuja the two alternatives are Brahman and Brahma (jivasamash/t/irupoz/nd/adhipatis /k/aturmukha/h/).—Adhik. V and VI (comprising, according to /S/a@nkara, Sutras l4-2l) discuss the question whether the small ether within the lotus of the heart mentioned in Ch. Up. VIII, 1 is the elemental ether or the individual soul or Brahman; the last alternative being finally adopted. In favour of the second alternative the purvapakshin pleads the two passages Ch. Up. VIII, 3, 4 and VIII, 12, 3, about the serene being (samprasada); for by the latter the individual soul only can be understood, and in the chapter, of which the latter passage forms part, there are ascribed to it the same qualities (viz. freeness from sin, old age, death, &c.) that were predicated in VIII, 1, of the small ether within the heart.—But the reply to this is, that the second passage refers not to the (ordinary) individual soul but to the soul in that state where its true nature has become manifest, i.e. in which it is Brahman; so that the subject of the passage is in reality not the so-called individual soul but Brahman. And in the former of the two passages the soul is mentioned not on its own account, but merely for the purpose of intimating that the highest Self is the cause through which the individual soul manifests itself in its true nature.—What Ramanuja understands by the avirbhava of the soul will appear from the remarks on IV, 4.

The two next Sutras (22, 23) constitute, according to /S/a@nkara, a new adhikara/n/a (VII), proving that he 'after whom everything shines, by whose light all this is lighted' (Ka/th/a Up. II, 5, 15) is not some material luminous body, but Brahman itself.—According to Ramanuja the two Sutras do not start a new topic, but merely furnish some further arguments strengthening the conclusion arrived at in the preceding Sutras.[9]

Adhik. VIII (24, 25) decides that the person of the size of a thumb mentioned in Ka/th/a Up. II, 4, 12 is not the individual soul but Brahman.

The two next adhikara/n/as are of the nature of a digression. The passage about the a@ngush/th/amatra was explained on the ground that the human heart is of the size of a span; the question may then be asked whether also such individuals as belong to other classes than mankind, more particularly the Gods, are capable of the knowledge of Brahman: a question finally answered in the affirmative.—This discussion leads in its turn to several other digressions, among which the most important one refers to the problem in what relation the different species of beings stand to the words denoting them (Sutra 28). In connexion herewith /S/a@nkara treats of the nature of words (/s/abda), opposing the opinion of the Mima/m/saka Upavarsha, according to whom the word is nothing but the aggregate of its constitutive letters, to the view of the grammarians who teach that over and above the aggregate of the letters there exists a super-sensuous entity called 'spho/t/a,' which is the direct cause of the apprehension of the sense of a word (Adhik. IX; Sutras 26-33).

Adhik. X (34-38) explains that /S/udras are altogether disqualified for Brahmavidya.

Sutra 39 constitutes, according to /S/a@nkara, a new adhikara/n/a (XI), proving that the pra/n/a in which everything trembles, according to /K/a/th/a Up. II, 6, 2, is Brahman.—According to Ramanuja the Sutra does not introduce a new topic but merely furnishes an additional reason for the decision arrived at under Sutras 24, 25, viz. that the a@ngus/th/amatra is Brahman. On this supposition, Sutras 24-39 form one adhikara/n/a in which 26-38 constitute a mere digression led up to by the mention made of the heart in 25.—The a@ngus/th/matra is referred to twice in the Ka/th/a Upanishad, once in the passage discussed (II, 4, 12), and once in II, 6, 17 ('the Person not larger than a thumb'). To determine what is meant by the a@ngus/th/matra, Ramanuja says, we are enabled by the passage II, 6, 2, 3, which is intermediate between the two passages concerning the a@ngus/th/matra, and which clearly refers to the highest Brahman, of which alone everything can be said to stand in awe.

The next Sutra (40) gives rise to a similar difference of opinion. According to /S/a@nkara it constitutes by itself a new adhikara/n/a (XII), proving that the 'light' (jyotis) mentioned in Ch. Up. VIII, 12, 3 is the highest Brahman.—According to Ramanuja the Sutra continues the preceding adhikara/n/a, and strengthens the conclusion arrived at by a further argument, referring to Ka/th/a Up. II, 5, 15—a passage intermediate between the two passages about the a@ngush/th/amatra—which speaks of a primary light that cannot mean anything but Brahman. The Sutra has in that case to be translated as follows: '(The a@ngush/th/amatra is Brahman) because (in a passage intervening between the two) a light is seen to be mentioned (which can be Brahman only).'

The three last Sutras of the pada are, according to /S/a@nkara, to be divided into two adhikara/n/as (XIII and XIV), Sutra 41 deciding that the ether which reveals names and forms (Ch. Up. VIII, 14) is not the elemental ether but Brahman; and 42, 43 teaching that the vij/n/anamaya, 'he who consists of knowledge,' of B/ri/. Up. IV, 3, 7 is not the individual soul but Brahman.—According to Ramanuja the three Sutras make up one single adhikara/n/a discussing whether the Chandogya Upanishad passage about the ether refers to Brahman or to the individual soul in the state of release; the latter of these two alternatives being suggested by the circumstance that the released soul is the subject of the passage immediately preceding ('Shaking off all evil as a horse shakes off his hair,' &c.). Sutra 41 decides that 'the ether (is Brahman) because the passage designates the nature of something else,' &c. (i.e. of something other than the individual soul; other because to the soul the revealing of names and forms cannot be ascribed, &c.)—But, an objection is raised, does not more than one scriptural passage show that the released soul and Brahman are identical, and is not therefore the ether which reveals names and forms the soul as well as Brahman?—(The two, Sutra 42 replies, are different) 'because in the states of deep sleep and departing (the highest Self) is designated as different' (from the soul)—which point is proved by the same scriptural passages which /S/a@nkara adduces;—and 'because such terms as Lord and the like' cannot be applied to the individual soul (43). Reference is made to IV, 4, 14, where all jagadvyapara is said to belong to the Lord only, not to the soul even when in the state of release.

PADA IV.

The last pada of the first adhyaya is specially directed against the Sa@nkhyas.

The first adhikara/n/a (1-7) discusses the passage Ka/th/a Up. I, 3, 10; 11, where mention is made of the Great and the Undeveloped—both of them terms used with a special technical sense in the Sa@nkhya-/s/astra, avyakta being a synonym for pradhana.—/S/a@nkara shows by an exhaustive review of the topics of the Ka/th/a Upanishad that the term avyakta has not the special meaning which the Sa@nkhyas attribute to it, but denotes the body, more strictly the subtle body (sukshma /s/arira), but at the same time the gross body also, in so far as it is viewed as an effect of the subtle one.

Adhik. II (8-10) demonstrates, according to /S/a@nkara, that the tricoloured aja spoken of in /S/ve. Up. IV, 5 is not the pradhana of the Sankhyas, but either that power of the Lord from which the world springs, or else the primary causal matter first produced by that power.—What Ramanuja in contradistinction from /S/a@nkara understands by the primary causal matter, follows from the short sketch given above of the two systems.

Adhik. III (11-13) shows that the pa/nk/a pa/nk/ajana/h/ mentioned in B/ri/. Up. IV, 4, 17 are not the twenty-five principles of the Sa@nkhyas.—Adhik. IV (14, 15) proves that Scripture does not contradict itself on the all-important point of Brahman, i.e. a being whose essence is intelligence, being the cause of the world.

Adhik. V (16-18) is, according to /S/a@nkara, meant to prove that 'he who is the maker of those persons, of whom this is the work,' mentioned in Kau. Up. IV, 19, is not either the vital air or the individual soul, but Brahman.—The subject of the adhikara/n/a is essentially the same in Ramanuja's view; greater stress is, however, laid on the adhikara/n/a being polemical against the Sa@nkhyas, who wish to turn the passage into an argument for the pradhana doctrine.

The same partial difference of view is observable with regard to the next adhikara/n/a (VI; Sutras 19-22) which decides that the 'Self to be seen, to be heard,' &c. (B/ri/. Up. II, 4, 5) is the highest Self, not the individual soul. This latter passage also is, according to Ramanuja, made the subject of discussion in order to rebut the Sa@nkhya who is anxious to prove that what is there inculcated as the object of knowledge is not a universal Self but merely the Sa@nkhya purusha.

Adhik. VII (23-27) teaches that Brahman is not only the efficient or operative cause (nimitta) of the world, but its material cause as well. The world springs from Brahman by way of modification (pari/n/ama; Sutra 26).—Ramanuja views this adhikara/n/a as specially directed against the Se/s/vara-sa@nkhyas who indeed admit the existence of a highest Lord, but postulate in addition an independent pradhana on which the Lord acts as an operative cause merely.

Adhik. VIII (28) remarks that the refutation of the Sa@nkhya views is applicable to other theories also, such as the doctrine of the world having originated from atoms.

After this rapid survey of the contents of the first adhyaya and the succinct indication of the most important points in which the views of /S/a@nkara and Ramanuja diverge, we turn to a short consideration of two questions which here naturally present themselves, viz., firstly, which is the principle on which the Vedic passages referred to in the Sutras have been selected and arranged; and, secondly, if, where /S/a@nkara and Ramanuja disagree as to the subdivision of the Sutras into Adhikara/n/as, and the determination of the Vedic passages discussed in the Sutras, there are to be met with any indications enabling us to determine which of the two commentators is right. (The more general question as to how far the Sutras favour either /S/a@nkara's or Ramanuja's general views cannot be considered at present.)

The Hindu commentators here and there attempt to point out the reason why the discussion of a certain Vedic passage is immediately followed by the consideration of a certain other one. Their explanations—which have occasionally been referred to in the notes to the translation—rest on the assumption that the Sutrakara in arranging the texts to be commented upon was guided by technicalities of the Mima/m/sa-system, especially by a regard for the various so-called means of proof which the Mima/m/saka employs for the purpose of determining the proper meaning and position of scriptural passages. But that this was the guiding principle, is rendered altogether improbable by a simple tabular statement of the Vedic passages referred to in the first adhyaya, such as given by Deussen on page 130; for from the latter it appears that the order in which the Sutras exhibit the scriptural passages follows the order in which those passages themselves occur in the Upanishads, and it would certainly be a most strange coincidence if that order enabled us at the same time to exemplify the various prama/n/as of the Mima/m/sa in their due systematic succession.

As Deussen's statement shows, most of the passages discussed are taken from the Chandogya Upanishad, so many indeed that the whole first adhyaya may be said to consist of a discussion of all those Chandogya passages of which it is doubtful whether they are concerned with Brahman or not, passages from the other Upanishads being brought in wherever an opportunity offers. Considering the prominent position assigned to the Upanishad mentioned, I think it likely that the Sutrakara meant to begin the series of doubtful texts with the first doubtful passage from the Chandogya, and that hence the sixth adhikara/n/a which treats of the anandamaya mentioned in the Taittiriya Upanishad has, in agreement with Ramanuja's views, to be separated from the subsequent adhikara/n/as, and to be combined with the preceding ones whose task it is to lay down the fundamental propositions regarding Brahman's nature.—The remaining adhikara/n/as of the first pada follow the order of passages in the Chandogya Upanishad, and therefore call for no remark; with the exception of the last adhikara/n/a, which refers to a Kaushitaki passage, for whose being introduced in this place I am not able to account.—The first adhikara/n/a of the second pada returns to the Chandogya Upanishad. The second one treats of a passage in the Ka/th/a Upanishad where a being is referred to which eats everything. The reason why that passage is introduced in this place seems to be correctly assigned in the /S/ri-bhashya, which remarks that, as in the preceding Sutra it had been argued that the highest Self is not an enjoyer, a doubt arises whether by that being which eats everything the highest Self can be meant[10]—The third adhikara/n/a again, whose topic is the 'two entered into the cave' (Ka/th/a Up. I, 3, 1), appears, as Ramanuja remarks, to come in at this place owing to the preceding adhikara/n/a; for if it could not be proved that one of the two is the highest Self, a doubt would attach to the explanation given above of the 'eater' since the 'two entered into the cave,' and the 'eater' stand under the same prakara/n/a, and must therefore be held to refer to the same matter.—The fourth adhikara/n/a is again occupied with a Chandogya passage.—The fifth adhikara/n/a, whose topic is the Ruler within (antaryamin), manifestly owes its place, as remarked by Ramanuja also, to the fact that the Vedic passage treated had been employed in the preceding adhikara/n/a (I, 2, 14) for the purpose of strengthening the argument [11].—The sixth adhikara/n/a, again, which discusses 'that which is not seen' (adre/s/ya; Mu/nd/. Up. I, 1, 6), is clearly introduced in this place because in the preceding adhikara/n/a it had been said that ad/ri/sh/t/a, &c. denote the highest Self;—The reasons to which the last adhikara/n/a of the second pada and the first and third adhikara/n/as of the third pada owe their places are not apparent (the second adhikara/n/a of the third pada treats of a Chandogya passage). The introduction, on the other hand, of the passage from the Pra/s/na Upanishad treating of the akshara. O/m/kara is clearly due to the circumstance that an akshara, of a different nature, had been discussed in the preceding adhikara/n/a.—The fifth and sixth adhikara/n/as investigate Chandogya passages.—The two next Sutras (22, 23) are, as remarked above, considered by /S/a@nkara to constitute a new adhikara/n/a treating of the 'being after which everything shines' (Mu/nd/. Up. II, 2, 10); while Ramanuja looks on them as continuing the sixth adhikara/n/a. There is one circumstance which renders it at any rate probable that Ramanuja, and not /S/a@nkara, here hits the intention of the author of the Sutras. The general rule in the first three padas is that, wherever a new Vedic passage is meant to be introduced, the subject of the discussion, i.e. that being which in the end is declared to be Brahman is referred to by means of a special word, in most cases a nominative form [12]. From this rule there is in the preceding part of the adhyaya only one real exception, viz. in I, 2, 1, which possibly may be due to the fact that there a new pada begins, and it therefore was considered superfluous to indicate the introduction of a new topic by a special word. The exception supplied by I, 3, 19 is only an apparent one; for, as remarked above, Sutra 19 does not in reality begin a new adhikara/n/a. A few exceptions occurring later on will be noticed in their places.—Now neither Sutra 22 nor Sutra 23 contains any word intimating that a new Vedic passage is being taken into consideration, and hence it appears preferable to look upon them, with Ramanuja, as continuing the topic of the preceding adhikara/n/a.—This conclusion receives an additional confirmation from the position of the next adhikara/n/a, which treats of the being 'a span long' mentioned in Ka/th/a Up. II, 4, 12; for the reason of this latter passage being considered here is almost certainly the reference to the alpa/s/ruti in Sutra 21, and, if so, the a@ngush/th/amatra properly constitutes the subject of the adhikara/n/a immediately following on Adhik. V, VI; which, in its turn, implies that Sutras 22, 23 do not form an independent adhikara/n/a.—The two next adhikara/n/as are digressions, and do not refer to special Vedic passages.—Sutra 39 forms a new adhikara/n/a, according to /S/a@nkara, but not according to Ramanuja, whose opinion seems again to be countenanced by the fact that the Sutra does not exhibit any word indicative of a new topic. The same difference of opinion prevails with regard to Sutra 40, and it appears from the translation of the Sutra given above, according to Ramanuja's view, that 'jyoti/h/' need not be taken as a nominative.—The last two adhikara/n/as finally refer, according to Ramanuja, to one Chandogya passage only, and here also we have to notice that Sutra 42 does not comprise any word intimating that a new passage is about to be discussed.

From all this we seem entitled to draw the following conclusions. The Vedic passages discussed in the three first padas of the Vedanta-sutras comprise all the doubtful—or at any rate all the more important doubtful—passages from the Chandogya Upanishad. These passages are arranged in the order in which the text of the Upanishad exhibits them. Passages from other Upanishads are discussed as opportunities offer, there being always a special reason why a certain Chandogya passage is followed by a certain passage from some other Upanishad. Those reasons can be assigned with sufficient certainty in a number of cases although not in all, and from among those passages whose introduction cannot be satisfactorily accounted for some are eliminated by our following the subdivision of the Sutras into adhikara/n/as adopted by Ramanuja, a subdivision countenanced by the external form of the Sutras.

The fourth pada of the first adhyaya has to be taken by itself. It is directed specially and avowedly against Sa@nkhya-interpretations of Scripture, not only in its earlier part which discusses isolated passages, but also—as is brought out much more clearly in the /S/ri-bhashya than by /S/a@nkara—in its latter part which takes a general survey of the entire scriptural evidence for Brahman being the material as well as the operative cause of the world.

Deussen (p. 221) thinks that the selection made by the Sutrakara of Vedic passages setting forth the nature of Brahman is not in all cases an altogether happy one. But this reproach rests on the assumption that the passages referred to in the first adhyaya were chosen for the purpose of throwing light on what Brahman is, and this assumption can hardly be upheld. The Vedanta-sutras as well as the Purva Mima/m/sa-sutras are throughout Mima/m/sa i.e. critical discussions of such scriptural passages as on a prima facie view admit of different interpretations and therefore necessitate a careful enquiry into their meaning. Here and there we meet with Sutras which do not directly involve a discussion of the sense of some particular Vedic passage, but rather make a mere statement on some important point. But those cases are rare, and it would be altogether contrary to the general spirit of the Sutras to assume that a whole adhyaya should be devoted to the task of showing what Brahman is. The latter point is sufficiently determined in the first five (or six) adhikara/n/as; but after we once know what Brahman is we are at once confronted by a number of Upanishad passages concerning which it is doubtful whether they refer to Brahman or not. With their discussion all the remaining adhikara/n/as of the first adhyaya are occupied. That the Vedanta-sutras view it as a particularly important task to controvert the doctrine of the Sa@nkhyas is patent (and has also been fully pointed out by Deussen, p. 23). The fifth adhikara/n/a already declares itself against the doctrine that the world has sprung from a non-intelligent principle, the pradhana, and the fourth pada of the first adhyaya returns to an express polemic against Sa@nkhya interpretations of certain Vedic statements. It is therefore perhaps not saying too much if we maintain that the entire first adhyaya is due to the wish, on the part of the Sutrakara, to guard his own doctrine against Sa@nkhya attacks. Whatever the attitude of the other so-called orthodox systems may be towards the Veda, the Sa@nkhya system is the only one whose adherents were anxious—and actually attempted—to prove that their views are warranted by scriptural passages. The Sa@nkhya tendency thus would be to show that all those Vedic texts which the Vedantin claims as teaching the existence of Brahman, the intelligent and sole cause of the world, refer either to the pradhana or some product of the pradhana, or else to the purusha in the Sankhya sense, i.e. the individual soul. It consequently became the task of the Vedantin to guard the Upanishads against misinterpretations of the kind, and this he did in the first adhyaya of the Vedanta-sutras, selecting those passages about whose interpretation doubts were, for some reason or other, likely to arise. Some of the passages singled out are certainly obscure, and hence liable to various interpretations; of others it is less apparent why it was thought requisite to discuss them at length. But this is hardly a matter in which we are entitled to find fault with the Sutrakara; for no modern scholar, either European or Hindu, is—or can possibly be—sufficiently at home, on the one hand, in the religious and philosophical views which prevailed at the time when the Sutras may have been composed, and, on the other hand, in the intricacies of the Mima/m/sa, to judge with confidence which Vedic passages may give rise to discussions and which not.

Notes:

[Footnote 1: The only 'sectarian' feature of the Sri-bhashya is, that identifies Brahman with Vish/n/u or Naraya/n/a; but this in no way affects the interpretations put on the Sutras and Upanishads. Naraya/n/a is in fact nothing but another name of Brahman.]

[Footnote 2: The Roman numerals indicate the number of the adhikara/n/a; the figures in parentheses state the Sutras comprised in each adhikara/n/a.]

[Footnote 3: Deussen's supposition (pp. 30, 150) that the passage conveying the second interpretation is an interpolation is liable to two objections. In the first place, the passage is accepted and explained by all commentators; in the second place, /S/a@nkara in the passage immediately preceding Sutra 12 quotes the adhikara/n/a 'anandamayo s bhyasat' as giving rise to a discussion whether the param or the aparam brahman is meant. Now this latter point is not touched upon at all in that part of the bhashya which sets forth the former explanation, but only in the subsequent passage, which refutes the former and advocates the latter interpretation.]

[Footnote 4: Eva/m/ jij/n/anasya brahma/nas/ /ko/tanabhogvabhutaga/d/arupsattvara, istamomayapradhanad vyav/ri/ttir ukta, idani/m/ karmava/s/vat trigu/n/atmakaprik/ri/u sa/m/sangammittanamavidhan intadukhasagaranimajjaoni/s/addha/h/. /k/i pratya gaumano nyan nikhilaheyapratauika/m/ miatimyanandam brahmeti pratipadyate, anandamayo bhyasat.]

[Footnote 5: There is no reason to consider the passage 'atra ke/k/it' in /S/a@nkara's bhashya on Sutra 23 an interpolation as Deussen does (p. 30). It simply contains a criticism passed by /S/a@nkara on other commentators.]

[Footnote 6: To the passages on pp. 150 and 153 of the Sanskrit text, which Deussen thinks to be interpolations, there likewise applies the remark made in the preceding note.]

[Footnote 7: Givaysa iva parasyapi brahma/n/a/h/ /s/arirantarvaititvam abhyupagata/m/ /k/et tadvad eva /s/arirasainbandhaprayuktasukhadukhopabhogapraptir hi /k/en na, hetuvai/s/eshyat, na hi /s/arirantarvartitvam eva sukhadukhopabhogahetu/h/ api tu pu/n/yapaparnpakarmaparavasatva/m/ ta/k/ /K/apahatapapmana/h/ parahatmano na sambhavati.]

[Footnote 8: The second interpretation given on pp. 184-5 of the Sanskrit text (beginning with apara aha) Deussen considers to be an interpolation, caused by the reference to the Paingi upanishad in /S/a@nkara's comment on I, 3, 7 (p. 232). But there is no reason whatsoever for such an assumption. The passage on p. 232 shows that /S/a@nkara considered the explanation of the mantra given in the Paingi-upanishad worth quoting, and is in fact fully intelligible only in case of its having been quoted before by /S/a@nkara himself.—That the 'apara' quotes the B/ri/hadara/n/yaka not according to the Ka/n/va text—to quote from which is /S/a@nkara's habit—but from the Madhyandina text, is due just to the circumstance of his being an 'apara,' i.e. not /S/a@nkara.]

[Footnote 9: Ita/s/ /k/aitad evam. Anuk/ri/tes tasya /k/a. Tasya daharakasasya parabrahma/n/o snukarad ayam apahatapapmatvadigu/n/ako vimuktabandha/h/ pratyagatma na daharaka/s/a/h/ tadanukaras tatsamya/m/ tatha hi pratyagalmanozpi vimuktasya parabrahmanukara/h/ sruyate yada pa/s/ya/h/ pa/s/yate rukmavar/n/a/m/ kartaram i/s/a/m/ purusha/m/ brahmayoni/m/ tada vidvan pu/n/yapape vidhuya nira/ng/ana/h/ parama/m/ samyam upaitity atos'nukarta prajapativakyanirdish/t/a/h/ anukarya/m/ para/m/ brahma na daharaka/s/a/h/. Api /k/a smaryate. Sa/m/sari/n/oszpi muktavasthaya/m/ paramasamyapattilaksha/n/a/h/ parabrahmanukara/h/ smaryate ida/m/ j/n/anam upasritya, &c.—Ke/k/id anuk/ri/tes tasya /k/api smaryate iti /k/a sutradvayam adhikara/n/antara/m/ tam eva bhantam anubhati sarva/m/ tasya bhasa sarvam ida/m/ vibhatity asya/h/ /s/rute/h/ parabrahmaparatvanir/n/ayaya prav/ri/tta/m/ vadanti. Tat tv ad/ris/yatvadigu/n/ako dharmokte/h/ dyubhvadyayatana/m/ sva/s/abdad ity adhi kara/n/advayena tasya prakara/n/asya brahmavishayatvapratipadanat jyoti/sk/ara/n/abhidhanat ity adishu parasya brahma/n/o bharupatvavagates /k/a purvapakshanutthanad ayukta/m/ sutraksharavairupya/k/ /k/a.]

[Footnote 10: Yadi paramatma na bhokta eva/m/ taihi bhokt /i/taya pratiyamano jiva eva syad ity asankyaha atta.]

[Footnote 11: Sthanadivyapade/s/a/k/ /k/a ity atra ya/h/ /k/akshushi tish/th/ann ity adina pratipadyamana/m/ /k/akshushi sthitiniyamanadika/m/ paramatmana eveti siddha/m/ k/ri/tva akshipurushasya paramatmatva/m/ sadhitam idani/m/ tad eva samarthayate antaryau.]

[Footnote 12: Anandamaya/h/ I, 1, 12; anta/h/ I, i, 20; aka/s/a/h/ I, 1, 22; prana/h/ I, 1, 23; jyoti/h/ I, 1, 24; prana/h/ I, 1, 28; atta I, 2, 9; guha/m/ pravish/t/au I, 2, 11; antara I, 2,13; antaryami I, 2, 18; ad/ris/yatvadigu/n/aka/h/ I, 2, 21; vai/s/vanara/h/ I, 2, 24; dyubhvadyayatanam I, 3, 1; bhuma I, 3, 8; aksheram I, 3, 10; sa/h/ I, 3, 13; dahara/h/ I, 3, 14; pramita/h/ I, 3, 24; (jyoti/h/ 40;) aka/s/a/h/ I, 3,41.]

SECOND ADHYAYA.

The first adhyaya has proved that all the Vedanta-texts unanimously teach that there is only one cause of the world, viz. Brahman, whose nature is intelligence, and that there exists no scriptural passage which can be used to establish systems opposed to the Vedanta, more especially the Sa@nkhya system. The task of the two first padas of the second adhyaya is to rebut any objections which may be raised against the Vedanta doctrine on purely speculative grounds, apart from scriptural authority, and to show, again on purely speculative grounds, that none of the systems irreconcilable with the Vedanta can be satisfactorily established.

PADA I.

Adhikara/n/a I refutes the Sa@nkhya objection that the acceptation of the Vedanta system involves the rejection of the Sa@nkhya doctrine which after all constitutes a part of Sm/ri/ti, and as such has claims on consideration.—To accept the Sa@nkhya-sm/ri/ti, the Vedantin replies, would compel us to reject other Sm/ri/tis, such as the Manu-sm/ri/ti, which are opposed to the Sa@nkhya doctrine. The conflicting claims of Sm/ri/tis can be settled only on the ground of the Veda, and there can be no doubt that the Veda does not confirm the Sa@nkhya-sm/ri/ti, but rather those Sm/ri/tis which teach the origination of the world from an intelligent primary cause.

Adhik. II (3) extends the same line of argumentation to the Yoga-sm/ri/ti.

Adhik. III (4-11) shows that Brahman, although of the nature of intelligence, yet may be the cause of the non-intelligent material world, and that it is not contaminated by the qualities of the world when the latter is refunded into Brahman. For ordinary experience teaches us that like does not always spring from like, and that the qualities of effected things when the latter are refunded into their causes—as when golden ornaments, for instance, are melted and thereby become simple gold again—do not continue to exist in those causes.—Here also the argumentation is specially directed against the Sa@nkhyas, who, in order to account for the materiality and the various imperfections of the world, think it necessary to assume a causal substance participating in the same characteristics.

Adhik. IV (12) points out that the line of reasoning followed in the preceding adhikara/n/a is valid also against other theories, such as the atomistic doctrine.

The one Sutra (13) constituting Adhik. V teaches, according to /S/a@nkara, that although the enjoying souls as well as the objects of fruition are in reality nothing but Brahman, and on that account identical, yet the two sets may practically be held apart, just as in ordinary life we hold apart, and distinguish as separate individual things, the waves, ripples, and foam of the sea, although at the bottom waves, ripples, and foam are all of them identical as being neither more nor less than sea-water.—The /S/ri-bhashya gives a totally different interpretation of the Sutra, according to which the latter has nothing whatever to do with the eventual non-distinction of enjoying souls and objects to be enjoyed. Translated according to Ramanuja's view, the Sutra runs as follows: 'If non-distinction (of the Lord and the individual souls) is said to result from the circumstance of (the Lord himself) becoming an enjoyer (a soul), we refute this objection by instances from every-day experience.' That is to say: If it be maintained that from our doctrine previously expounded, according to which this world springs from the Lord and constitutes his body, it follows that the Lord, as an embodied being, is not essentially different from other souls, and subject to fruition as they are; we reply that the Lord's having a body does not involve his being subject to fruition, not any more than in ordinary life a king, although himself an embodied being, is affected by the experiences of pleasure and pain which his servants have to undergo.—The construction which Ramanuja puts on the Sutra is not repugnant either to the words of the Sutra or to the context in which the latter stands, and that it rests on earlier authority appears from a quotation made by Ramanuja from the Drami/d/abhashyakara[13].

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