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

14. (The passage, Kâthaka I, 3, 10, gives information about the person) for the purpose of pious meditation, as there is no use (of the knowledge of the objects being higher than the senses and so on).

We read in the Kâthaka (I, 3, 10), 'Higher than the senses are the objects, higher than the objects there is the mind, &c. &c.; higher than the person there is nothing--this is the goal, the highest road.'--Here the doubt arises whether the purport of the passage is to intimate that each of the things successively enumerated is higher than the preceding one, or only that the person is higher than all of them.

The pûrvapakshin maintains the former alternative, for the reason that the text expressly declares the objects to be higher than the senses, the mind higher than the objects and so on.

The objection that the assumption of the passage intending to represent many things as successively superior to their antecedents would involve a so-called split of the sentence, he meets by the remark that the passage may be viewed as containing a plurality of sentences. Many sentences may represent many things as superior to their antecedents, and hence each clause of the passage must be viewed as containing a separate statement of the superiority of something to other things.

To this we reply as follows.

We must assume that the whole passage aims at intimating only that the person is higher than everything. Any information as to the relative superiority of the preceding members of the series would be devoid of all purpose; for of the knowledge derived from such observation a use is neither to be seen nor declared by scripture. Of the knowledge, on the other hand, of the person being higher than the senses and everything else, raised above all evil, we do see a purpose, viz. the accomplishment of final release. And so scripture also says, 'He who has perceived that is freed

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from the jaws of death' (I, 3, 15). Moreover, the text by declaring that nothing is higher than the person and that he is the highest goal intimates reverence for the person, and thereby shows that the whole series of objects is enumerated only to the end of giving information about the person.--'For the purpose of pious meditation,' i.e. for the purpose of perfect knowledge which has pious meditation for its antecedent. For the passage under consideration does not teach pious meditation by itself.

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