17. With the exception of world-energy; on account of leading subject-matter and of non-proximity.
The doubt here presents itself whether the power of the released soul is a universal power such as belongs to the Supreme Person, extending to the creation, sustentation, and so on, of the worlds; or is limited to the intuition of the Supreme Person.--The Pûrvapakshin maintains the former view. For he says Scripture declares that the soul reaches equality with the Supreme Person: 'Free from stain he reaches the highest equality' (Mu. Up. III, 1, 3); and moreover Scripture ascribes to the released soul the power of realising all its thoughts. And these two conditions are not fulfilled unless the soul possess the special powers of the Lord with regard to the government, &c., of the world.--To this the Sûtra replies, 'with the exception of world-energy.' The released soul, freed from all that hides its true nature, possesses the power of intuitively beholding the pure Brahman, but does not possess the power of ruling and guiding the different forms of motion and rest belonging to animate and inanimate nature.--How is this known?--'From subject-matter.' For it is with special reference to the highest Brahman
only that the text mentions ruling and controlling power over the entire world. 'That from whence these beings are born, that through which they live when born, that into which they enter at death, endeavour to know that; that is Brahman' (Taitt. Up. III, 1, 1). If such universal ruling and controlling power belonged to the released soul as well, it would not be used--as the text actually uses it--for defining Brahman; for all definition rests on special individual attributes. Analogously many other texts speak of universal ruling and controlling power with exclusive reference to the Supreme Person--'Being only this was in the beginning, &c.--it thought, may I be many' (Kh. Up. VI, 2); 'In the beginning this was Brahman, one only--it created the most excellent Kshattra,' &c. (Bri. Up. I, 4, 11); 'In the beginning all this was Self, one only--it thought, let me send forth these worlds' (Ait. Âr. II, 4, 1, 1); 'There was Narayana alone, not Brahmâ, and so on.' 'He who dwelling within the earth,' &c. (Bri. Up. III, 7, 3).--This also follows 'from non-proximity'; for in all those places which speak of world-controlling power the context in no way suggests the idea of the released soul, and hence there is no reason to ascribe such power to the latter.