28. And for this very reason eternity (of the Veda).
As words such as Indra and Vasishtha, which denote gods and Rishis, denote (not individuals only, but) classes, and as the creation of those beings is preceded by their being suggested to the creative mind through those words; for this reason the eternity of the Veda admits of being reconciled with what scripture says about the mantras and kândas (sections) of the sacred text having 'makers' and about Rishis seeing the hymns; cp. such passages as 'He chooses the makers of mantras'; 'Reverence to the Rishis who are the makers of mantras'; 'That is Agni; this is a hymn of Visvâmitra.' For by means of these very texts Pragâpati presents to his own mind the characteristics and powers of the different Rishis who make the different sections, hymns, and mantras, thereupon creates them endowed with those characteristics and powers, and appoints
them to remember the very same sections, hymns, &c. The Rishis being thus gifted by Pragâpati with the requisite powers, undergo suitable preparatory austerities and finally see the mantras, and so on, proclaimed by the Vasishthas and other Rishis of former ages of the world, perfect in all their sounds and accents, without having learned them from the recitation of a teacher. There is thus no conflict between the eternity of the Veda and the fact that the Rishis are the makers of its sections, hymns, and so on. A further objection is raised. Let it be admitted that after each pralaya of the kind called 'contingent' (naimittika), Pragâpati may proceed to create new Indras, and so on, in the way of remembering on the basis of the Veda the Indras, and so on, of preceding periods. In the case, on the other hand, of a pralaya of the kind called elemental (prâkritika), in which the creator, Pragâpati himself, and words--which are the effects of the elemental ahankâra--pass away, what possibility is there of Pragâpati undertaking a new creation on the basis of Vedic words, and how can we speak of the permanency of a Veda which perishes? He who maintains the eternity of the Veda and the corporeality of gods, and so on, is thus really driven to the hypothesis of the course of mundane existence being without a beginning (i.e. not preceded by a pralaya).--Of this difficulty the next Sûtra disposes.