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27. If it be said (that a contradiction will result) with regard to words; we say no, since beings originate from them (as appears) from perception and inference.

Well then let us admit that there is no difficulty as far as sacrifices are concerned, for the reason stated in the preceding Sûtra. But another difficulty presents itself with regard to the words of which the Veda consists. For if Indra and the other gods are corporeal beings, it follows that they are made up of parts and hence non-permanent. This implies either that the Vedic words denoting them--not differing therein from common worldly words such as Devadatta--are totally devoid of meaning during all those periods which precede the origination of the beings called Indra and so on, or follow on their destruction; or else that the Veda itself is non-permanent, non-eternal.--This objection is not valid, the Sûtra points out, for the reason that those beings, viz. Indra and so on, again and again originate from the Vedic words. To explain. Vedic words, such as Indra and so on, do not, like the word Devadatta and the like, denote, on the basis of convention, one particular individual only: they rather denote by their own power particular species of beings, just as the word 'cow' denotes a particular species of animals. When therefore a special individual of the class called Indra has perished, the creator, apprehending from the Vedic word 'Indra' which is present to his mind the class characteristics of the beings denoted by that word, creates another Indra possessing

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those very same characteristics; just as the potter fashions a new jar, on the basis of the word 'jar' which is stirring in his mind.--But how is this known?--'Through perception and inference,' i.e. through Scripture and Smriti. Scripture says, e.g. 'By means of the Veda Pragâpati evolved names and forms, the being and the non-being'; and 'Saying "bhûh" (earth) he created the earth; saying "bhuvah" he created the air,' and so on; which passages teach that the creator at first bethinks himself of the characteristic make of a thing, in connexion with the word denoting it, and thereupon creates an individual thing characterised by that make. Smriti makes similar statements; compare, e.g. 'In the beginning there was sent forth by the creator, divine speech--beginningless and endless--in the form of the Veda, and from it there originated all creatures'; and 'He, in the beginning, separately created from the words of the Veda the names and works and shapes of all things'; and 'The names and forms of beings, and all the multiplicity of works He in the beginning created from the Veda.' This proves that from the corporeality of the gods, and so on, it follows neither that the words of the Veda are unmeaning nor that the Veda itself is non-eternal.

Next: 28. And for this very reason eternity of the Veda