Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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

8. But on account of (scripture teaching) the additional one (i.e. the Lord), (the view) of Bâdarâyana (is valid); as that is seen thus (in scriptural passages).

The word 'but' discards the pûrvapaksha.--The assertion made in Sûtra 2 cannot be maintained 'on account of the text teaching the additional one.' If the Vedânta-texts taught that the transmigrating embodied Self which is an agent and enjoyer is something different from the mere body, the statements as to the fruit of the knowledge of the Self would, for the reasons indicated above, be mere arthavâdas. But what the Vedânta-texts really teach as the object of knowledge is something different from the embodied Self, viz. the non-transmigrating Lord who is free from all attributes of transmigratory existence such as agency and the like and distinguished by freedom from sin and so on, the highest Self. And the knowledge of that Self does not only not promote action but rather cuts all action short, as will be declared in Sûtra 16. Hence the view of the reverend Bâdarâyana which was stated in Sûtra 1 remains valid and cannot be shaken by fallacious reasoning about the subordination of knowledge to action and the like. That the Lord who is superior to the embodied Self is the Self many scriptural texts declare; compare 'He who perceives all and knows all' (Mu. Up. I, 1, 9); 'From terror of it the wind blows, from terror the sun rises' (Taitt. Up. II, 8); 'It is a great terror, a raised thunderbolt' (Ka. Up. II, 6, 2); 'By the command of that imperishable one, O Gârgî' (Bri. Up. III, 8, 9); 'It thought, may I be many, may I grow forth. It sent forth fire' (Kh. Up. VI, 2, 3). There are indeed passages in

p. 291

which the transmigrating Self--hinted at by such terms as 'dear'--is referred to as the object of knowledge, such as 'But for the love of the Self everything is dear. Verily the Self is to be seen' (Bri. Up. II, 4, 5); 'He who breathes in the up-breathing he is thy Self and within all' (Bri. Up. III, 4, i); 'The person that is seen in the eye that is thy Self,' up to 'But I shall explain him further to you' (Kh. Up. VIII, 7 ff). But as there are at the same time complementary passages connected with the passages quoted above--viz. 'There has been breathed forth from this great Being the Rig-veda., Yagur-veda,' &c. (Bri. Up. II, 4, 10); 'He who overcomes hunger and thirst, sorrow, passion, old age and death' (Bri. Up. III, 5, i); 'Having approached the highest light he appears in his own form. That is the highest person' (Kh. Up. VIII, 12, 3)--which aim at giving instruction about the superior Self; it follows that the two sets of passages do not mean to teach an absolute difference of the two Selfs and that thus contradiction is avoided. For the Self of the highest Lord is the real nature of the embodied Self, while the state of being embodied is due to the limiting adjuncts, as appears from scriptural passages such as 'Thou art that;' 'There is no other seer but he.' All which has been demonstrated by us at length in the earlier parts of this commentary in more than one place.

Next: III, 4, 9