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The Vedanta Sutras of Badarayana, Commentary by Sankara (SBE38), tr. by George Thibaut [1896] at

15. If it be said that between (Brahman and the elements) the intellect and mind (are mentioned; and that therefore their origination and retractation are to be placed) somewhere in the series, on account of there being inferential signs (whereby the order of the creation of the elements is broken); we

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deny that, on account of the non-difference (of the organs and the elements).

In what precedes we have said that the creation and the retractation of the elements take place in direct and reverse order; further that the creation proceeds from the Self, and that the retractation terminates in the Self.--Now Sruti as well as Smriti enlightens us concerning the existence of the mind (manas) together with the senses, and of the intellect (buddhi); compare, for instance, the indicatory marks contained in the passage, Ka. Up. I, 3, 3.4, 'Know the intellect to be the charioteer and the mind the reins; the senses they call the horses,' &c. And as the whole aggregate of beings avowedly springs from Brahman, we must assume that the mind, the intellect and the senses also originate from it and are again merged in it in due order, occupying a definite place among the things created and retracted. Moreover the Âtharvana (Mundaka), in the chapter treating of the creation, mentions the organs between the Self and the elements, 'From him is born breath, mind and all organs of sense, ether, air, light, water and the earth the support of all' (II, 1, 3). And from this there results a break in the previously stated order of the creation and the retractation of the elements.

This we deny, on account of the non-difference (of the organs from the elements). If the organs themselves are of the nature of the elements, their origination and retractation are the same as those of the elements, and we therefore have not to look out in their case for a different order. And that the organs are of the nature of the elements, for that we have inferential marks, in passages such as the following, 'for mind, my child, consists of earth, breath of water, speech of fire' (Kh. Up. VI, 6, 5). That the organs (although in reality belonging to the elements) are sometimes mentioned separately from them, is to be understood in the same way as when the Parivrâgakas (mendicant Brâhmanas) are spoken of separately from the Brâhmanas. And supposing even that the organs are not of the nature of the elements, still the order of the origin of the elements

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would not be interfered with by the organs; for we might assume either that the organs are produced first and the elements last; or else that the elements are produced first and the organs last. In the Âtharvana-upanishad quoted above we have merely a serial enumeration of the organs and the elements, not a statement as to the order of their origination. Similarly in other places also the series of the organs is recorded apart from the series of the elements; so, for instance, in the following passage, 'Pragâpati indeed was all this in the beginning, he reflected on himself; he sent forth mind; there was mind only; mind reflected on itself; it sent forth speech,' &c.--Hence the origination of the organs does not cause a break in the order of the origination of the elements.

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