41. The ether is (Brahman), as it is designated as something different, &c. (from name and form).
Scripture says, 'He who is called ether, (âkâsa) is the revealer of all forms and names. That within which these
forms and names are contained is the Brahman, the Immortal, the Self (Kh. Up. VIII, 14, 1).
There arising a doubt whether that which here is called ether is the highest Brahman or the ordinary elemental ether, the pûrvapakshin declares that the latter alternative is to be embraced, firstly, because it is founded on the conventional meaning of the word 'ether;' and, secondly, because the circumstance of revealing names and forms can very well be reconciled with the elemental ether, as that which affords room (for all things). Moreover, the passage contains no clear indicatory mark of Brahman, such as creative power, and the like.
To this we reply, that the word 'ether' can here denote the highest Brahman only, because it is designated as a different thing, &c. For the clause, 'That within which these two are contained is Brahman,' designates the ether as something different from names and forms. But, excepting Brahman, there is nothing whatever different from name and form, since the entire world of effects is evolved exclusively by names and forms. Moreover, the complete revealing of names and forms cannot be accomplished by anything else but Brahman, according to the text which declares Brahman's creative agency, 'Let me enter (into those beings) with this living Self (gîva âtman), and evolve names and forms' (Kh. Up. VI, 3, 2). But--it may be said--from this very passage it is apparent that the living Self also (i.e. the individual soul) possesses revealing power with regard to names and forms.--True, we reply, but what the passage really wishes to intimate, is the non-difference (of the individual soul from the highest Self). And the very statement concerning the revealing of names and forms implies the statement of signs indicatory of Brahman, viz. creative power and the like.--Moreover, the terms 'the Brahman, the Immortal, the Self (VIII, 14) indicate that Brahman is spoken of.