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  Srimad Bhagavatam

  Rig Veda
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  Sankara Bhashya
  By Edwin Arnold

  Brahma Sutra
  Sankara Bhashya I
  Sankara Bhashya II
  Ramanuja SriBhashya


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  Brahma Sutras

Brahma Sutra Bhashya of Sri Adi Sanakara - Part I
translated by George Thibaut

5. But (there takes place) denotation of the superintending (deities), on account of the difference and the connexion.

The word 'but' discards the doubt raised. We are

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not entitled to base the assumption of the elements and the sense organs being of an intellectual nature on such passages as 'the earth spoke,' &c. because 'there takes place denotation of that which presides.' In the case of actions like speaking, disputing, and so on, which require intelligence, the scriptural passages denote not the mere material elements and organs, but rather the intelligent divinities which preside over earth, &c., on the one hand, and Speech, &c., on the other hand. And why so? 'On account of the difference and the connexion.' The difference is the one previously referred to between the enjoying souls, on the one hand, and the material elements and organs, on the other hand, which is founded on the distinction between intelligent and non-intelligent beings; that difference would not be possible if all beings were intelligent. Moreover, the Kaushîtakins in their account of the dispute of the prânas make express use of the word 'divinities' in order to preclude the idea of the mere material organs being meant, and in order to include the superintending intelligent beings. They say, 'The deities contending with each for who was the best;' and, again, 'All these deities having recognised the pre-eminence in prâna' (Kau. Up. II, l4).--And, secondly, Mantras, Arthavâdas, Itihâsas, Purânas, &c. all declare that intelligent presiding divinities are connected with everything. Moreover, such scriptural passages as 'Agni having become Speech entered into the mouth' (Ait. Âr. II, 4, 2, 4) show that each bodily organ is connected with its own favouring divinity. And in the passages supplementary to the quarrel of the prânas we read in one place how, for the purpose of settling their relative excellence, they went to Pragâpati, and how they settled their quarrel on the ground of presence and absence, each of them, as Pragâpati had advised, departing from the body for some time ('They went to their father Pragâpati and said,' &c.; Kh. Up. V, 1, 7); and in another place it is said that they made an offering to prâna (Bri. Up. VI, 1, 13), &c.; all of them proceedings which are analogous to those of men, &c., and therefore strengthen the hypothesis that the text refers to the superintending

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deities. In the case of such passages as, 'Fire thought,' we must assume that the thought spoken of is that of the highest deity which is connected with its effects as a superintending principle--From all this it follows that this world is different in nature from Brahman, and hence cannot have it for its material cause.

To this objection raised by the pûrvapakshin the next Sûtra replies.

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