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The Vedanta Sutras, commentary by Sankaracharya (SBE34), tr. by George Thibaut [1890] at

12. And on account of (Scripture) separating (the akshara) from that whose nature is different (from Brahman).

Also on account of the reason stated in this Sûtra Brahman only is to be considered as the Imperishable, and the supporting of all things up to ether is to be looked upon as the work of Brahman only, not of anything else. The meaning of the Sûtra is as follows. Whatever things other than Brahman might possibly be thought to be denoted by the term 'akshara,' from the nature of all those things Scripture separates the akshara spoken of as the

p. 171

support of all things up to ether. The scriptural passage alluded to is III, 8, 11, 'That akshara, O Gârgî, is unseen but seeing, unheard but hearing, unperceived but perceiving, unknown but knowing.' Here the designation of being unseen, &c. agrees indeed with the pradhâna also, but not so the designation of seeing, &c., as the pradhâna is non-intelligent.--Nor can the word akshara denote the embodied soul with its limiting conditions, for the passage following on the one quoted declares that there is nothing different from the Self ('there is nothing that sees but it, nothing that hears but it, nothing that perceives but it, nothing that knows but it'); and, moreover, limiting conditions are expressly denied (of the akshara) in the passage, 'It is without eyes, without ears, without speech, without mind,' &c. (III, 8, 8). An embodied soul without limiting conditions does not exist 1.--It is therefore certain beyond doubt that the Imperishable is nothing else but the highest Brahman.


171:1 A remark directed against the possible attempt to explain the passage last quoted as referring to the embodied soul.

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