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  Sankara Bhashya
  By Edwin Arnold

  Brahma Sutra
  Sankara Bhashya I
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  Ramanuja SriBhashya


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

22. But the separate (Brahman, i.e. the Brahman separate from the individual souls) (is the creator); (the existence of which separate Brahman we learn) from the declaration of difference.

The word 'but' discards the pûrvapaksha.--We rather declare that that omniscient, omnipotent Brahman, whose essence is eternal pure cognition and freedom, and which is additional to, i. e. different from the embodied Self, is the creative principle of the world. The faults specified above, such as doing what is not beneficial, and the like, do not attach to that Brahman; for as eternal freedom is its characteristic nature, there is nothing either beneficial to be done by it or non-beneficial to be avoided by it. Nor is there any impediment to its knowledge and power; for it is omniscient and omnipotent. The embodied Self, on the other hand, is of a different nature, and to it the mentioned faults adhere. But then we do not declare it to be the creator of the world, on account of 'the declaration of difference.' For scriptural passages (such as, 'Verily, the Self is to be seen, to be heard, to be perceived, to be marked,' Bri. Up. II, 4, 5; 'The Self we must search out, we must try to understand,' Kh. Up. VIII, 7, 1; 'Then he becomes

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united with the True,' Kh. Up. VI, 8, 1; 'This embodied Self mounted by the intelligent Self,' Bri. Up. IV, 3, 35) declare differences founded on the relations of agent, object, and so on, and thereby show Brahman to be different from the individual soul.--And if it be objected that there are other passages declaratory of non-difference (for instance, 'That art thou'), and that difference and non-difference cannot co-exist because contradictory, we reply that the possibility of the co-existence of the two is shown by the parallel instance of the universal ether and the ether limited by a jar.--Moreover, as soon as, in consequence of the declaration of non-difference contained in such passages as 'that art thou.' the consciousness of non-difference arises in us, the transmigratory state of the individual soul and the creative quality of Brahman vanish at once, the whole phenomenon of plurality, which springs from wrong knowledge, being sublated by perfect knowledge, and what becomes then of the creation and the faults of not doing what is beneficial, and the like? For that this entire apparent world, in which good and evil actions are done, &c., is a mere illusion, owing to the non-discrimination of (the Self's) limiting adjuncts, viz. a body, and so on, which spring from name and form the presentations of Nescience, and does in reality not exist at all, we have explained more than once. The illusion is analogous to the mistaken notion we entertain as to the dying, being born, being hurt, &c. of ourselves (our Selfs; while in reality the body only dies, is born, &c.). And with regard to the state in which the appearance of plurality is not yet sublated, it follows from passages declaratory of such difference (as, for instance, 'That we must search for,' &c.) that Brahman is superior to the individual soul; whereby the possibility of faults adhering to it is excluded.

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