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

50. And (the individual soul is) an appearance (reflection) only.

And that individual soul is to be considered a mere appearance of the highest Self, like the reflection of the sun in the water; it is neither directly that (i.e. the highest Self), nor a different thing. Hence just as, when one reflected image of the sun trembles, another reflected image does not on that account tremble also; so, when one soul is connected with actions and results of actions, another soul is not on that account connected likewise. There is therefore no confusion of actions and results. And as that 'appearance' is the effect of Nescience, it follows that the samsâra which is based on it (the appearance) is also the

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effect of Nescience, so that from the removal of the latter there results the cognition of the soul being in reality nothing but Brahman.

For those, on the other hand, who maintain that there are many Selfs and all of them all-pervading, it follows that there must be a confusion of actions and results.--In what way?--According to the opinion of the Sâṅkhyas there exist many all-pervading Selfs, whose nature is pure intelligence, devoid of qualities and of unsurpassable excellence. For the common purpose of all of them there exists the pradhâna, through which the souls obtain enjoyment and release.--According to the followers of Kanâda there exist many all-pervading Selfs, but they are, like so many jars or stools, mere substances and unintelligent in themselves. With those Selfs there co-operate the internal organs (manas), atomic and also unintelligent. From the conjunction of these two classes of substances, viz. the Selfs and the internal organs, there spring the nine special qualities of the Selfs, viz. desire, &c. 1 These qualities inhere in the individual Selfs separately, without any confusion, and that constitutes the samsâra-state. Final release, on the other hand, consists in the absolute non-origination of those nine qualities.

With regard to these opinions we remark that, as far as the Sâṅkhyas are concerned, their doctrine that all Selfs are of the nature of intelligence, and that there is no difference between them in the point of proximity (to the pradhâna), &c. 2, implies that, if one Self is connected with pleasure and pain, all Selfs will be so connected.--Well but, the Sâṅkhya might reply, a difference (in the connexion of the individual Selfs with pleasure and pain) may result from the circumstance that the activity of the pradhâna aims at the isolation (emancipation) of the Selfs 3. Otherwise

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the activity of the pradhâna would serve no other end but to manifest the pradhâna's power, in consequence whereof no final release would ever take place.--This argumentation, we reply, is not sound. For we have no right to assume a difference which has for its only motive the accomplishment of an end desirable (to us, viz. the emancipation of the Selfs), but we must rather bring forward some proof for that difference. If no such proof can be brought forward, the desired end, i.e. the emancipation of the soul, must be supposed not to take place; while at the same time the absence of any cause of difference establishes the confusion of actions and their results.--Against the Kânâdas we urge that if, on their theory, the internal organ is connected with one soul, it must in the same way be connected with all other souls as well, as there is no difference in the point of proximity, &c. 1 Hence, there being no difference of cause and consequently no difference of effect, it follows that, when one soul is connected with pleasure and pain, all souls are thus connected.--But may not the limitation (of actions and their results) be caused by the unseen principle (adrishta)? By no means, the following Sûtra replies.


69:1 Cognition, pleasure, pain, desire, aversion, endeavour, merit, demerit, and bhâvanâ.

69:2 The &c. implies the non-activity (audâsînya) of the Selfs.

69:3 And therefore proceeds in a special definite direction capable of effecting in the end the emancipation of some particular Self.

70:1 The '&c.' implies substantiality and so on.

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