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

20. But the fashioning of names and forms belongs to him who renders tripartite, on account of the teaching (of scripture).

In the chapter treating of the Being (sat), subsequently to the account of the creation of fire, water, and food (earth), the following statement is made, 'That divinity thought, let me now enter those three beings with this living Self (gîva âtmâ), and let me evolve names and forms 1;--let me make each of these three tripartite' (Kh. Up. VI, Kh 3, 2; 3).--Here the doubt arises whether the agent in that evolution of names and forms is the gîva (the living, i.e. the individual Self or soul) or the highest Lord.--The pûrvapakshin maintains the former alternative, on account of the qualification contained in the words 'with this living Self.' The use of ordinary language does, in such phrases as 'Having entered the army of the enemy by means of a spy I count it,' attribute the counting of the army in which the spy is the real agent to the Self of the king who is the causal agent; which attribution is effected by means of the use of the first person, 'I count.' So here the sacred text attributes the evolving of names and forms--in which the gîva is the real agent--to the Self of the divinity which is the causal agent; the attribution being effected by means

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of the use of the first person, 'let me evolve."--Moreover we see in the case of names such as Dittha, Davittha, &c., and in the case of forms such as jars, dishes and the like that the individual soul only is the evolving agent 1. Hence the evolution of names and forms is the work of the gîva.

To this the Sûtra replies: 'But the fashioning of names and forms belongs to him who renders tripartite.' The particle 'but' discards the pûrvapaksha. Fashioning means evolving. The term 'he who renders tripartite' denotes the highest Lord, his agency being designated as beyond contradiction in the case of the rendering tripartite (of fire, &c.). The entire evolution of names and forms which is seen, e.g. in fire, sun, moon, lightning, or in different plants such as kusa-grass, kâsa-grass, palâsa-trees, or in various living beings such as cattle, deer, men, all this manifold evolution according to species and individuals can surely be the work of the highest Lord only, who fashioned fire, water, and earth.--Why?--On account of the teaching of the sacred text.--For the text says at first 'that divinity,' &c., and then goes on in the first person 'let me evolve;' which implies the statement that the highest Brahman only is the evolving agent.--But we ascertain from the qualification contained in the words 'with this living Self,' that the agent in the evolution is the living Self!--No, we reply. The words 'with this living Self are connected with the words 'having entered,' in proximity to which they stand; not with the clause 'let me evolve.' If they were connected with the former words, we should have to assume that the first person, which refers to the divinity--viz. 'let me evolve'--is used in a metaphorical sense. And with regard to all the manifold names and forms such as mountains, rivers, oceans, &c., no soul, apart from the Lord, possesses the power of evolution; and if any have such power, it is dependent on the highest Lord. Nor is the so-called 'living Self' absolutely different from the highest Lord, as the spy is from the king; as we see from its being qualified

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as the living Self, and as its being the gîva. an individual soul apparently differing from the universal Self) is due to the limiting adjuncts only. Hence the evolution of names and forms which is effected by it is in reality effected by the highest Lord. And that the highest Lord is he who evolves the names and forms is a principle acknowledged by all the Upanishads; as we see from such passages as 'He who is called ether is the evolver of all forms and names' (Kh. Up. VIII, 14). The evolution of names and forms, therefore, is exclusively the work of the highest Lord, who is also the author of the tripartite arrangement.--The meaning of the text is that the evolution of names and forms was preceded by the tripartition, the evolution of each particular name and form being already explained by the account of the origin of fire, water, and earth. The act of tripartition is expressly described by Sruti in the cases of fire, sun, moon, and lightning, 'The red colour of burning fire is the colour of fire, the white colour of fire is the colour of water, the black colour of fire the colour of earth,' &c. In this way there is evolved the distinctive form of fire, and in connexion therewith the distinctive name 'fire,' the name depending on the thing. The same remarks apply to the cases of the sun, the moon, and lightning. The instance (given by the text) of the tripartition of fire implies the statement that the three substances, viz. earth, water, fire, were rendered tripartite in the same manner; as the beginning as well as the concluding clause of the passage equally refers to all three. For the beginning clause says, 'These three beings became each of them tripartite;' and the concluding clause says, 'Whatever they thought looked red they knew was the colour of fire,' &c. &c., up to 'Whatever they thought was altogether unknown they knew was some combination of these three beings.' Having thus described the external tripartition of the three elements the text goes on to describe another tripartition with reference to man, those three beings when they reach man become each of them tripartite.' This tripartition in man the teacher sets forth (in the following Sûtra) according to scripture, with a view to the refutation of some foreseen objection.

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96:1 Literally, with this living Self having entered let me evolve, &c.

97:1 Names being given and vessels being shaped by a class of gîvas, viz. men.

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