11. Not on account of place even (is there any imperfection) of the Highest; for everywhere (it is described) as having twofold characteristics.
The different states of the individual soul have been discussed, to the end that an insight into their imperfections may give rise to indifference towards all worldly enjoyments. Next now, in order to give rise to the desire of attaining to Brahman, the Sûtras proceed to expound how Brahman's nature is raised above all imperfections and constituted by mere blessed qualities. The following point requires to be considered first. Do those imperfections which cling to the individual soul in consequence of its different states--viz. the waking state, dreams, deep sleep, swoon, departure from the body--affect also the highest Brahman which as its inner Ruler abides within the soul in those different states, or not?--They do affect it, since Brahman abides within the bodies which are in those different states.--But Sûtras such as I, 2, 8 have already declared that the highest Brahman, because not subject to the influence of karman, is free from all imperfections; how then can imperfections cling to it for the reason that it is connected with this or that place?--In the following way. As was shown under III, 2, 6, works give rise to imperfection and suffering in so far as they cause the connexion of the soul with a body. The efficient cause therein is the imperfection inherent in the connexion with a body; for otherwise the works themselves would directly give rise to pain, and what then would be the use of the connexion with a body? Hence, even in the case of a being not subject to karman, its connexion with various unholy bodies will cause imperfection and suffering. And even when such a being voluntarily enters into such bodies in order to rule
them, connexion with imperfections is unavoidable; no less than to be immersed in blood and purulent matter, even if done voluntarily, will make a man unclean. Although therefore Brahman is the sole cause of the world and a treasure-house of all blessed qualities, yet it is affected by the imperfections springing therefrom that, as declared by Scripture, it abides within matter, bodies, and their parts, and thus is connected with them (cp. 'he who abides within earth, within the soul, within the eye, within the seed,' &c., Bri. Up. III, 7, 3).
Of this primâ facie view the Sûtra disposes by saying--'Not even from place, such as earth, soul, &c., is there possible for the highest Self a shadow even of imperfection; since everywhere in Scripture as well as Smriti Brahman is described as having characteristics of a double kind; viz. on the one hand freedom from all imperfections, and on the other possession of all blessed qualities. For Scripture says that the Supreme Person is free from evil, free from old age, free from death, free from grief, free from hunger and thirst; that all his wishes realise themselves, that all its purposes realise themselves' (Kh. Up. VIII, 1, 5)--And Smriti says, 'He comprises within himself all blessed qualities, by a particle of his power the whole mass of beings is supported. In him there are combined energy, strength, might, wisdom, valour, and all other noble qualities. He is the Highest of the high, no pain or other imperfections affect him, the Lord of all, high or low. From all evil he is free, he whose name is Vishnu, the highest abode.' These and other passages teach that Brahman possesses the double characteristics stated above.