1. Not Ether; on account of the absence of scriptural statement.
We have demonstrated that the Sânkhya-system and other systems standing outside the Veda are untenable since they rest on fallacious reasoning and are self-contradictory. In order to prove that our own view is altogether free from all objections of this kind, we shall now explain in detail the mode in which this world, with all its sentient and non-sentient beings, is produced by Brahman, whom we hold to be the general creator.
The first doubt here presenting itself is whether Ether be something produced or not.--The Pûrvapakshin maintains that it is not produced, since there is no scriptural statement to that effect. A scriptural statement may be expected with regard to what is possible; but what is impossible--as e.g. the origination of a sky-flower or of Ether--cannot possibly be taught by Scripture. For the origination of Ether, which is not made up of parts and is all pervasive, cannot be imagined in any way. For this very reason, i.e. the impossibility of the thing, the Khandogya, in its account of creation, mentions the origination of fire, water, &c. only (but not of Ether)--'It thought, may I 'be many, may I grow forth,' 'It sent forth fire,' and so on. When therefore the Taittirîya, the Atharvana, and other texts tell us that Ether did originate--'From that Self sprang Ether' (Taitt. Up. II, 1); 'From him is born breath, mind, and all organs of sense, Ether, air, light, water,' &c. (Mu. Up. II, 1, 4)--such statements are contrary to sense, and hence refute themselves.--To this the Sûtra replies.