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

17. With the exception of world-business (the released possess all lordly power), (the Lord) being the topic (where world-business is referred to), and (the souls) not being near (to such business).

The following doubt here presents itself. Do those who through meditations on the qualified Brahman enter, together with their manas, into a condition of equality with the Lord, possess unlimited lordly power, or power limited to some extent?--The pûrvapakshin maintains that their power must be unlimited, because we meet with texts such as 'He obtains Self-lordship' (Taitt. Samh. I, 6, 2); 'All the gods bring an offering for him' (Taitt. Samh. I, 5, 3); 'For them there is freedom in all worlds' (Kh. Up. VIII, 1, 6)--To this the Sûtra replies, 'Excepting the world-business.' With the exception of the origination and so on of the world all other lordly powers, as e.g. rendering one's self of atomic size, must belong to the released. The world-business, on the other hand, can belong to the everlastingly

p. 416

perfect Lord only.--Why so?--Because there (where the origination and so on of the world are referred to) the Lord forms the general topic, and because the other (souls) do not stand near (to the world-business). The highest Lord only is appointed to do all work referring to the entire world; for the world's origination and so on are taught only where he constitutes the general subject-matter, and moreover he (only) is eternal, and described in scripture (as the creator, &c. of the world) 1. The lordly power of the other souls, on the contrary, scripture shows to have a beginning, because it depends on their searching for and striving to know the Lord. They are therefore remote from all world-business. And just because they have minds, they might be of different minds, and one might have the intention of preserving the world while another might wish to destroy it. Such conflicts can only be avoided by assuming that the wishes of one should conform to those of another, and from this it follows that all other souls (but the Lord) depend on the highest Lord.

Next: IV, 4, 18