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

12. If it be objected that it is not so, on account of the difference (taught by the Veda); we reply that it is not so on account of the declaration of (Brahman)

p. 154

being not such, with reference to each (declaration of difference).

Let this be, but nevertheless it cannot be maintained that Brahman is devoid of difference and attributes, and does not possess double attributes either in itself or on account of difference of station.--Why not?--'On account of difference.' The various vidyâs teach different forms of Brahman; it is said to have four feet (Kh. Up. III, 18, 1); to consist of sixteen parts (Pr. Up. VI, 1); to be characterised by dwarfishness (Ka. Up. V, 3); to have the three worlds for its body (Bri. Up. I, 3, 22); to be named Vaisvânara (Kh. Up. V, 11, 2), &c. Hence we must admit that Brahman is qualified by differences also.--But above it has been shown that Brahman cannot possess twofold characteristics!--That also does not contradict our doctrine; for the difference of Brahman's forms is due to its limiting adjuncts. Otherwise all those scriptural passages which refer to those differences would be objectless.

All this reasoning, we say, is without force 'on account of the declaration of its being not such, with reference to each,' i.e. because scripture declares, with reference to all the differences produced by the limiting adjuncts, that there is no difference in Brahman. Cp. such passages as the following: 'This bright immortal person in this earth, and that bright immortal person incorporated in the body; he indeed is the same as that Self (Bri. Up. II, 5, 1). It, therefore, cannot be maintained that the connexion of Brahman with various forms is taught by the Veda.


153:1 The limiting adjunct of the crystal, i.e. the red colour of a thing, e.g. a flower with which the crystal is in contact, is as real as the crystal itself; only the effect is an illusion.--But the limiting adjuncts of Brahman are in themselves illusion.

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