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

p. 285



1. The purpose of man (is effected) thence (i.e. through the mere knowledge of Brahman), thus Bâdarâyana opines.

The Sûtrakâra at present enters on an inquiry whether the knowledge of the Self which is derived from the Upanishads, is connected with works through him who is entitled to perform the works 1, or is an independent means to accomplish the purpose of man. He begins by stating the final view in the above Sûtra, 'Thence' &c. The teacher Bâdarâyana is of opinion that thence, i.e. through the independent knowledge of Brahman enjoined in the Vedânta-texts, the purpose of man is effected.--Whence is this known?--'From scripture,' which exhibits passages such as the following: 'He who knows the Self overcomes grief' (Kh. Up. III, 4, 1); 'He who knows that highest Brahman becomes even Brahman' (Mu. Up. III, 2, 9); 'He who knows Brahman attains the Highest' (Taitt. Up. II, 1); 'For him who has a teacher there is delay only so long as he is not delivered; then he will be perfect'(Kh. Up. VI. 14, 2); 'He who has searched out and understands the Self which is free from sin, &c. &c., obtains all worlds and all desires'(Kh. Up. VIII, 7, 1); 'The Self is to be seen' &c. up to 'Thus far goes immortality' (Bri. Up. IV, 5, 6-15). These and similar texts declare that mere knowledge effects the purpose of man.--Against this the opponent raises his voice as follows.


285:1 The pûrvapakshin (see next Sûtra) maintains that the knowledge of the Self is subordinate to (sacrificial) action through the mediation of the agent, i.e. in so far as it imparts to the agent a certain qualification.

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