14. And on account of (Brahman) as described being declared to be the cause with regard to Ether, and so on.
Here the philosopher who holds the Pradhâna to be the general cause comes forward with another objection. The Vedânta-texts, he says, do not teach that creation proceeds from one and the same agent only, and you therefore have no right to hold that Brahman is the sole cause of the world. In one place it is said that our world proceeded from 'Being', 'Being only this was in the beginning' (Kh. Up. VI, 2, 1). In other places the world is said to have sprung from 'Non-being', 'Non-being indeed this was in the beginning' (Taitt. Up. II, 7, i); and 'Non-being only was this in the beginning; it became Being' (Kh. Up. III, 19, 1). As the Vedânta-texts are thus not consequent in their statements regarding the creator, we cannot conclude from them that Brahman is the sole cause of the world. On the other hand, those texts do enable us to conclude that the Pradhâna only is the universal cause. For the text 'Now all this was then undeveloped' (Bri. Up. I, 4, 7) teaches that the world was merged in the undeveloped Pradhâna. and the subsequent
clause, 'That developed itself by form and name,' that from that Undeveloped there resulted the creation of the world. For the Undeveloped is that which is not distinguished by names and forms, and this is none other than the Pradhâna. And as this Pradhâna is at the same time eternal, as far as its essential nature is concerned, and the substrate of all change, there is nothing contradictory in the different accounts of creation calling it sometimes 'Being' and sometimes 'Non-being'; while, on the other hand, these terms cannot, without contradiction, both be applied to Brahman. The causality of the Undeveloped having thus been ascertained, such expressions as 'it thought, may I be many,' must be interpreted as meaning its being about to proceed to creation. The terms 'Self and 'Brahman' also may be applied to the Pradhâna in so far as it is all-pervading(atman from âpnoti), and preeminently great (brihat). We therefore conclude that the only cause of the world about which the Vedânta-texts give information is the Pradhâna.
This view is set aside by the Sûtra. The word and is used in the sense of but. It is possible to ascertain from the Vedânta-texts that the world springs from none other than the highest Brahman, which is all-knowing, lord of all, free from all shadow of imperfection, capable of absolutely realising its purposes, and so on; since scripture declares Brahman as described to be the cause of Ether, and so on. By 'Brahman as described' is meant 'Brahman distinguished by omniscience and other qualities, as described in the Sûtra "that from which the origination, and so on, of the world proceed," and in other places.' That Brahman only is declared by scripture to be the cause of Ether, and so on, i.e. the being which is declared to be the cause in passages such as 'From that Self sprang Ether' (Taitt. Up. II, 1); 'that sent forth fire'(Kh. Up. VI, 2, 3), is none other than Brahman possessing omniscience and similar qualities. For the former of these texts follows on the passage 'The True, intelligence, infinite is Brahman; he reaches all desires together with the intelligent Brahman,' which introduces Brahman as the general subject-matter--that
[paragraph continues] Brahman being then referred to by means of the connecting words 'from that.' In the same way the 'that' (in 'that sent forth fire') refers back to the omniscient Brahman introduced in the clause 'that thought, may I be many.' This view is confirmed by a consideration of all the accounts of creation, and we hence conclude that Brahman is the sole cause of the world.--But the text 'Non-being indeed this was in the beginning' calls the general cause 'something that is not'; how then can you say that we infer from the Vedânta-texts as the general cause of the world a Brahman that is all-knowing, absolutely realises its purposes, and so on?--To this question the next Sûtra replies.