तद्धेदं तर्ह्यव्याकृतमासीत्, तन्नामरूपाभ्यामेव व्याक्रियत, असौनामायमिदंरूप इति; तदिदमप्येतर्हि नामरूपाभ्यामेव व्याक्रियते, असौनामायमिदंरूप इति; स एष इह प्रविष्ट आ नखाग्रेभ्यः, यथा क्षुरः क्षुरधानेऽवहितः स्यात्, विश्वम्भरो वा विश्वम्भरकुलाये; तं न पश्यन्ति । अकृत्स्नो हि सः, प्राणन्नेव प्राणो नाम भवति, वदन् वाक्, पश्यंश्चक्षुः, शृण्वन् श्रोत्रम्, मन्वानो मनः; तान्यस्यैतानि कर्मनामान्येव । स योऽत एकैकमुपास्ते न स वेद, अकृत्स्नो ह्येषोऽत एकैकेन भवति; आत्मेत्येवोपासीत, अत्र ह्येते सर्व एकम् भवन्ति । तदेतत्पदनीयमस्य सर्वस्य यदयमात्मा, अनेन ह्येतत्सर्वं वेद । यथा ह वै पदेनानुविन्देदेवम्; कीर्तिं श्लोकं विन्दते य एवं वेद ॥ ७ ॥
taddhedaṃ tarhyavyākṛtamāsīt, tannāmarūpābhyāmeva vyākriyata, asaunāmāyamidaṃrūpa iti; tadidamapyetarhi nāmarūpābhyāmeva vyākriyate, asaunāmāyamidaṃrūpa iti; sa eṣa iha praviṣṭa ā nakhāgrebhyaḥ, yathā kṣuraḥ kṣuradhāne’vahitaḥ syāt, viśvambharo vā viśvambharakulāye; taṃ na paśyanti | akṛtsno hi saḥ, prāṇanneva prāṇo nāma bhavati, vadan vāk, paśyaṃścakṣuḥ, śṛṇvan śrotram, manvāno manaḥ; tānyasyaitāni karmanāmānyeva | sa yo’ta ekaikamupāste na sa veda, akṛtsno hyeṣo’ta ekaikena bhavati; ātmetyevopāsīta, atra hyete sarva ekam bhavanti | tadetatpadanīyamasya sarvasya yadayamātmā, anena hyetatsarvaṃ veda | yathā ha vai padenānuvindedevam; kīrtiṃ ślokaṃ vindate ya evaṃ veda || 7 ||
7. This (universe) was then undifferentiated. It differentiated only into name and form—it was called such and such, and was of such and such form. So to this day it is differentiated only into name and form—it is called such and such, and is of such and such form. This Self has entered into these bodies up to the tip of the nails—as a razor may be put in its case, or as fire, which sustains the world, may be in its source. People do not see It, for (viewed in Its aspects) It is incomplete. When It does the function of living, It is called the vital force; when It speaks, the organ of speech; when It sees, the eye; when It hears, the ear; and when It thinks, the mind. These are merely Its names according to functions. He who meditates upon each of this totality of aspects does not know, for It is incomplete, (being divided) from this totality by possessing a single characteristic. The Self alone is to be meditated upon, for all these are unified in It. Of all these, this Self alone should be realised, for one knows all these through It, just as one may get (an animal) through its footprints. He who knows It as such obtains fame and association (with his relatives).
All Vedic means consisting of meditation and rites, which depend on several factors such as the agent and culminate in identity with Hiraṇyagarbha, a result achieved through effort, are but co-extensive with this manifested, relative universe. Now the Śruti wishes to indicate the causal state of this manifested universe consisting of means and ends, the state which existed before its manifestation, as the existence of a tree in a seed-form is inferred from its effects such as the sprout, in order that the tree of relative existence, which has one’s actions as its seed and ignorance as the field where it grows, may be pulled up together with its roots. For in the uprooting of it lies the perfection of human achievement. As it has been said in the Upaniṣad as well as the Gītā, ‘With its roots above (i.e. the Undifferentiated) and branches below (Hiraṇyagarbha etc.)’ (Ka. VI. i; G. XV. i). And in the Purāṇa also, ‘The eternal tree of Brahman’ (Mbh. XIV. xlvii. 14; Śi. V. i. 10, 76). This was then: ‘Tat’ (that) refers to the seed-form of the universe before its manifestation. Being remote, it is indicated by a pronoun denoting an object not directly perceived, for the universe that was to emanate from the Undifferentiated is related to past time. The particle ‘ha’ denoting tradition is used to make the meaning easily understood. When it is said, ‘It was then like this,’ one easily comprehends the causal state of the universe, although it is not an object of perception, just as when it is said, ‘There was a king named Yudhiṣṭhira.’ ‘This’ refers to the universe differentiated into name and form, consisting of means and ends, as described above. The co-ordination of the two words ‘that’ and ‘this,’ denoting respectively the remote and present states of the universe, indicates an identity of the universe in these two states, meaning that which was this, and this which was that was undifferentiated. From this it is clear that a nonexistent effect is not produced, nor an existent effect lost. It, this sort of universe, having been undifferentiated, differentiated into name and form. The neuter-passive form of the verb indicates that it differentiated of itself, i.e. manifested itself till it could be clearly perceived in terms of name and form, (Since no effect can be produced without a cause) it is implied that this manifestation took place with the help of the usual auxiliaries, viz. the controller, the agent and the operation of the means. It was called such and such. The use of a pronoun not specifying any particular name indicates that it got some name such as Devádatta or Yajñadatta. And was of such and such form: No particular form such as white or black is mentioned. It had some form, say white or black. So to this day it, an undifferentiated thing, is differentiated into name and form—it is called such and such, and is of such and such form.
This Self, which it is the aim of all scriptures to teach, on which differences of agent, action and result have been superimposed by primordial ignorance, which is the cause of the whole universe, of which name and form consist as they pass from the undifferentiated to the differentiated state, like foam, an impurity, appearing from limpid water, and which is distinct from that name and form, being intrinsically eternal, pure, enlightened and free by nature—this Self, while manifesting undifferentiated name and form, which are a part of It, has entered into these bodies from Hiraṇyagarbha down to a clump of grass, which are the support of the results of people’s actions, and are characterised by hunger etc.
Objection: It was stated before that the undifferentiated universe differentiated of itself. How then is it now stated that the Supreme Self, while manifesting that universe, has entered into it?
Reply: There is nothing wrong in it, for really the Supreme Self was meant as being identical with the undifferentiated universe. We have already said that that universe was necessarily manifested with the help of the controller, the agent and the operation (of the means). This is also borne out by the fact that the word ‘undifferentiated’ has been used co-ordinatively with ‘this.’ Just as this differentiated universe has several distinguishing features like the controller and other factors, which serve as its causes, similarly that undifferentiated universe also must not be without a single one of these distinguishing features. The only difference between them is that the one is differentiated and the other is not. Moreover, we see in the world that people use expressions according to their wish, as for instance, ‘The village has come,’ and ‘The village is deserted.’ Sometimes they mean only a habitation, as when they use the latter expression. Sometimes they mean the inhabitants, as when they use the former expression. Sometimes again the word ‘village’ is used in both the senses, as in the sentence, ‘And one must not enter (Praviś) the village.’ Similarly here too, this universe is spoken of as both differentiated and undifferentiated to indicate the identity of the Self and not-Self. Likewise only the (manifested) universe is meant when it is said that this universe is characterised by origin and dissolution. Again, only the Self is meant in such expressions as, ‘(That) great, birthless Self’ (IV. iv.. 22, 24, 25), ‘Not gross, not minute’ (III. viii. 8, adapted), ‘This (self) is That which has been described as “Not this, not this,” etc. (III. ix. 26; IV. ii. 4; IV. iv. 22; IV. v. 15).
Objection: The manifested universe is always completely pervaded by the Supreme Self, its mani-festor. So how is It conceived of as entering into it? Only a limited thing can enter into a space that is not occupied by it, as a man can enter into a village etc. But the ether cannot enter into anything, since it is ever present in it.
Tentative answer: The entrance in question may be the assumption of a different feature, as in the case oi a snake born in a rock. To explain: The Supreme Self did not enter into the universe in Its own form, but, while in it, appeared under a different feature; hence It is metaphorically spoken of as having entered it, like the snake that is born in a rock and is within it, or like the water in a cocoanut.
Objection: Not so, for the Śruti says, ‘After projecting it, the Self entered into it’ (Tai. II. vi. 1). This text says that the Creator, after projecting the effect, entered into it unchanged. When it is said, ‘After eating he goes,’ the acts of eating and going, belonging to earlier and later periods, are separate from each other, but the agent is the same. This is an analogous case. It would not be possible if the Self iemains in the universe and changes at the same time. Nor is an entity that has no parts and is unlimited ever seen to enter into something in the sense of leaving one place and being connected with another.
Tentative answer: Well, then, the Self has parts, for the Śruti speaks of Its entrance.
Objection: No, for there are Śruti texts like the following: ‘The Supreme Being is resplendent, formless’ (Mu. II. i. 2), and ‘Without parts, devoid of activity’ (Śv. VI. 19). Also there are Śruti texts denying all particular namable attributes to the Self.
Tentative answer: The entrance may be like that of a reflection.
Tentative answer: May it not be like the entrance of an attribute in a substance?
Objection: No, for the Self is not supported by anything. An attribute, which is always dependent on and supported by something else (the substance), is metaphorically spoken of as entering it. But Brahman cannot enter like that, for the Śrutis describe It as independent.
Tentative answer: Suppose we say that the Self has entered into the universe in the same sense as a seed enters into a fruit?
Objection: No, for then It would be subject to such attributes as being possessed of parts, growth and decay, birth and death. But the Self has no such attributes, for it is against such Śruti texts as ‘Birthless, undecaying’ (IV. iv. 25, adapted) as well as against reason.
Tentative answer: Well then, let us say some other entity that is relative and limited has entered into the universe.
Reply (by the Advaitin): Not so, for we find in the Śruti that beginning with, ‘That deity (Existence) thought’ (Ch. VI. iii. 2), and ending with, ‘And let me manifest name and form’ (Ibid.), the same deity is spoken of as the agent of entering as well as manifesting the universe. Similarly, ‘After projecting it, the Self entered into it’ (Tai. II. vi. 1), ‘Piercing this dividing line (of the head), It entered through that gate’ (Ai. III. 12), ‘The Wise One, who after projecting all forms names them, and goes on uttering those names’ (Tai, Ā. III..xii. 7), ‘Thou art the boy, and Thou art the girl, Thou art the decrepit man trudging on his staff’ (Śv. IV. 3), ‘He made bodies with two feet’ (II. v. 18), ‘He transformed Himself in accordance with each form’ (II. v. 19; Ka. V. ix. 10)—these Śruti texts show that none other than the Supreme Self entered into the universe.
Objection: Since the objects It has entered into mutually differ, the Supreme Self (being identical with them) must be many.
Reply: No, for there are such Śruti texts as the following: ‘The same Lord resides in various ways’ (Tai. Ā. III. xiv. 1), ‘Although one, It roamed in many ways’ (Ibid. III. xi. 1), ‘Although one, Thou hast penetrated diverse things’ (Ibid. III. xiv. 3), ‘The one Lord is hidden in all beings, all-pervading and the Self of all’ (Śv. VI. 11).
Objection: Leaving aside the question whether the Supreme Self can or cannot consistently enter, since those objects that have been entered into are subject to transmigration, and the Supreme Self is identical with them, It too comes under transmigration.
Reply: No, for the Śrutis speak of It as being beyond hunger etc.
Objection: It cannot be. for we see that It is happy or miserable, and so on.
Reply: Not so, for the Śruti says, ‘It is not affected by human misery, being beyond it’ (Ka. V. 11).
Objection: This is not correct, for it conflicts with perception etc.
Reply: No, perception and the like have for their object only the particular form (the apparent self) that It takes owing to Its being the support of Its limiting adjunct (mind). Such Śruti texts as, ‘One cannot see the seer of sight’ (III. iv. 2), ‘Through what, O Maitreyī, should one know the knower?’ (II. iv. 14; IV. v. 15), Tt is never known, but is the Knower’ (III. viii. 11), show that the consciousness in question is not of the Self, but that such perceptions as that one is happy or miserable, concern only the reflection of the Self in limiting adjuncts like the intellect, for in the perception, T am this,’ the subject is metaphorically spoken of as co-ordinate with the object (body). Besides, any other self is refuted by the statement. ‘There is no other witness but This’ (III. viii. 11). Happiness or misery, being related to parts of the body, are attributes of the object.
Objection: This is wrong, for the Śruti speaks of their being for the satisfaction of the self, in the words, ‘But it is for one’s own sake (that all is loved), (II. iv. 5; IV. v. 6).
Reply: Not so, for in the words, ‘When there is something else, as it were’ (IV iii. 31), it is taken for granted that the happiness, misery, etc. are for the satisfaction of the self while it is in a state of ignorance. They are not attributes of the Self, for they are denied of the enlightened self, as in such passages as, ‘Then what should one see and through what?’ (II. iv. 14; IV. v. 15), ‘There is no difference whatsoever in It’ (IV. iv. 19; Ka. IV. 11), ‘Then what delusion and what grief can there be for one who sees unity?’ (Iś. 7).
Objection: It is wrong, for it clashes with the system of logic.
Reply: No; from the standpoint of reason too the Self cannot be miserable. For misery, being an object of perception, cannot affect the Self, which is not an object of perception.
Objection: The Self may have misery as the ether has the attribute of sound.
Reply: No, for the two cannot be objects of the same consciousness. The consciousness that perceives happiness and deals with objects of perception only, cannot certainly be supposed to cognise the Self, which is ever to be inferred. If It were so cognised, there would be no subject left, since there is only one Self.
Objection: Suppose we say that the same Self is both subject and object, like a lamp?
Reply: No, for It cannot be both simultaneously. Besides the Self pannot be supposed to have parts. This also refutes the (Buddhist) view that the same consciousness is both subject and object. Moreover, we have no reason to infer that happiness and the Self, which are the objects of perception and inference respectively, stand to each other in the relation of attribute and substance; for misery is always an object of perception and abides in the same substance (body) that has form or colour. Even if the misery of the Self is said to be due to Its contact with the mind, it would make the Self a thing which has parts, is changeful and transitory, for no attribute is ever seen to come or go without making some change in the substance connected with it. And a thing which has no parts is never seen to change, nor is an eternal entity seen to possess transitory attributes. The ether is not accepted as eternal by those who believe in the Vedas, and there is no other illustration.
Objection: Although a thing may change, yet, since the notion of its identity abides, it is eternal.
Reply: No, for change in a thing implies that its parts become otherwise.
Objection: Suppose we say that the same Self is eternal.
Reply: Not so, for a thing that has parts is produced by their combination, hence they may divide again.
Objection: It is wrong, for we do not see this in thunder, for instance.
Reply: Not so, for we can easily infer that it must have been preceded by a combination. Therefore the Self cannot be proved to have transitory attributes like misery.
Objection: If the Supreme Self has no misery, and there is no other entity to be miserable, then it is useless for the scriptures to try to remove misery.
Reply: Not so, for they are meant to remove the false notion of misery superimposed by ignorance. And the Self being admitted to imagine Itself as miserable, the scriptures help to remove that error, as in the case of the failure to count the tenth man, although he was there.
Like the reflection of the sun etc. in water, the entrance of the Self means only Its being perceived like a reflection in the differentiated universe. Before the manifestation of the latter the Self is not perceived, but after it is manifested, the Self is perceived within the intellect, like the reflection of the sun etc. in water and the like. Because It is thus perceived as having entered, as it were, into the universe after manifesting it, It is indicated in such terms as the following: ‘This Self has entered into these bodies’ (this text), ‘After projecting it, the Self entered into it’ (Tai. II. vi. i), ‘Ṛiercing this dividing line (of the head), It entered through that gate’ (Ai. III. 12), and ‘That deity (Existence) thought: Well, let me enter into these three gods (Are, water and earth) as this individual self’ etc. (Ch. VI. iii. 2). The all-pervading Self, which is without parts, can never be supposed to enter in the sense of leaving a certain quarter, place or time and being joined to new ones. Nor is there, as we have said, any other seer but the Supreme Self, as is testified by such Śruti texts as, ‘There is no other witness but This, no other hearer but This’ etc. (III. viii. n). The passages delineating the projection of the universe and the entrance of the Self into it as well as its continuance and dissolution, serve only as aids to the realisation of the Self, for this is described in the Śrutis as the highest end of man. Witness such texts as the following: ‘It knew only Itself…. Therefore It became all’ (I. iv. io), ‘The knower of Brahman attains the highest’ (Tai. II. i. i), ‘He who knows that Supreme Brahman becomes Brahman’ (Mu. III. ii. 9), ‘He only knows who has got a teacher’ (Ch. VI. xiv. 2), ‘It takes him only so long (as he does not give up the body),’ etc. (Ch. VI. xiv. 2).. And the Smṛtis, ‘Then knowing Me truly, he enters into Me’ (G. XVIII. 55), ‘That (Self-knowledge) is the chief of all knowledge, for it leads to immortality’ (M. XJI. 85). Besides, since duality has been repudiated, the passages delineating the manifestation etc. of the universe can have the sole aim of helping the realisation of the unity of the Self. Therefore we conclude that the entrance of the Self into the universe is but a metaphorical way of stating that It is perceived in the midst of the latter.
Up to the tip of the nails is the intelligence of the Self perceived. How has the Self entered? This is being explained: As in the world a razor may be put in its case, the barber’s instrument-bag—is perceived as being within it— or as fire, which sustains the world, may be in its source, wood etc.—the predicate is to be repeated with ‘fire’ where it is perceived through friction. As a razor lies in one part of the case, or as fire lies in wood pervading it, so does the Self reside in the body pervading it in a general and particular way. There It is perceived as doing the functions of living as well as sight etc. Therefore people do not see It, realise the Self that has thus entered into the body and does the above functions.
It may be urged that this statement, ‘People do not see It,’ repudiates something for which there was no occasion, for the vision of It is not the topic under consideration. The answer to it is: There is nothing wrong in it, for since the passages delineating the projection etc. of the universe are meant as aids to the realisation of the unity of the Self, the vision of the Self is the subject under consideration. Compare the Śruti, ‘He transformed Himself in accordance with each form; that form of His was for the sake of making Him known’ (II. v. 19). Now the reason is being given why people see It only as doing the functions of the vital force etc. (but not as a whole): For It is incomplete when It does the above functions. Why incomplete? When It does the function of living, It is called the vital force. Because of doing this function only, and none other, the Self is called the vital force, from the derivative meaning of the term, as one is called a cutter or a cook. Therefore, not combining the other aspects doing other functions, It is incomplete. Similarly, when It speaks, the organ of speech (or speaker); when It sees, the eye, or seer; when It hears, the ear, or listener. In the two sentences, ‘When It does the function of living, It is the vital force,’ and ‘When It speaks, the organ of speech,’ the manifestation of its power of action is indicated. While the two sentences, ‘When It sees, the eye’ and ‘When It hears, the ear,’ indicate the manifestation of Its power of knowledge, for this is concerned with name and form. The ear and the eye are the instruments of knowledge, which has name and form as its material, for there is nothing to be known except these two, and the ear and the eye are the instruments to perceive them. And action has name and form as its auxiliaries and inheres in the vital force; the organ of speech is the instrument to manifest this action inherent in the vital force. Likewise the Self is called the hand, the foot and the organs of excretion and generation, which are all suggested by the organ of speech. The whole differentiated universe is this much. It will be said later on, ‘This (universe) indeed consists of three things: name, form and action’ (I. vi. i). And when It thinks, the mind, that which thinks. The word ‘mind’ also means the common instrument of the.different manifestations of the power of knowledge. But here it denotes the Self, the agent who thinks.
These, the vital force etc., are merely Its names according to functions, not describing the Self as It is. Hence they do not express the entity of the Self as a whole. Thus the Self is differentiated by the activities of living etc. into name and form such as the vital force, which are engendered by those different activities, and is manifested at the same time (but not realised as a– whole). He who meditates through his mind upon each of this totality of aspects doing the functions of living etc., qualified as the vital force or the eye, without combining the other aspects doing particular functions—meditates that this is the Self, does not know Brahman. Why? For It, this Self, is incomplete, being divided from this totality of aspects doing the functions of living etc. by possessing a single characteristic, and not including the other characteristics. As long as the man knows the Self as such, as possessed of the natural functions, and thinks that It sees, hears or touches, he does not really know the whole Self.
Through what kind of vision can he know It? This is being explained: The Self alone is to be meditated upon. That which possesses the characteristics such as living that have been mentioned—includes them—is the Self. Combining all the characteristics, It then becomes the whole. It is as the Reality that It includes those characteristics due to the functions of particular limiting adjuncts such as the vital force. As it will be said later on, ‘It thinks, as it were, and shakes, as it were’ (IV. iii. 7). Therefore the Self alone is to be meditated upon. When perceived thus as the Reality, It becomes complete. How is It complete? This is being answered: For all these differences due to the limiting adjuncts such as the vital force, and denoted by names arising from the functions of living etc., as described above, are unified in It, become one with the unconditioned Self, as the different reflections of the sun in water become one in the sun.
‘The Self alone is to be meditated upon’—this is not an original injunction (but a restrictive one), for meditation on the Self is known as a possible alternative. (In fact, neither injunction is necessary on the point, for this meditation is inevitable, in the following way:) The knowledge of the Self has been imparted by such Śruti passages dealing with the subject as, ‘The Brahman that is immediate and direct’ (III. iv. 1-2; III. v. 1), ‘Which is the Self? This (infinite entity) that is identified with the intellect,’ etc. (IV. iii. 7). The very knowledge of the nature of the Self removes the ignorance about It, consisting in identification with the non-Self, and the superimposing of action, its factors, principal and subsidiary, and its results (on the Self). When that is removed, evils such as desire cannot exist, and consequently thinking of the non-Self is also gone. Hence on the principle of the residuum thinking of the Self follows as a matter of course. Therefore meditation on It, from this point of view, has not to be enjoined, for it is already known (from other sources).
On this some say: Apart from the question whether meditation on the Self is known as just a possible alternative or as something that is always known, the present case must be an original injunction, for knowledge and meditation being the same, this (meditation on the Self) is not something already known. The clause, ‘He does not know,’ introduces knowledge, and the sentence, ‘The Self alone is to be meditated upon,’ coming just after that, indicates that the words ‘knowledge’ and ‘meditation’ have the same meaning. Such Śruti texts as, ‘For one knows all these through It’ (this text), and ‘It knew only Itself’ (I. iv. 10), show that knowledge is meditation. And this, not being familiar to people, requires an injunction. Nor is a man induced to act merely by a statement of the nature of a thing. Therefore this must be an original injunction.
Its similarity to the injunctions about rites also corroborates this view. For instance, ‘One should sacrifice,’ ‘One should offer oblations,’ etc., are injunctions about rites, and we do not see any difference between these and the injunctions about meditation on the Self such as, ‘The Self alone is to be meditated upon,’ and ‘The Self, my dear, is to be realised’ ill. iv. 5; IV. v. 6). Besides knowledge is a mental act. Just as mental acts are enjoined by such (ritualistic) texts as, ‘Just before uttering the invocation ending with ‘Vauṣaṭ’ (the invoking priest) should meditate upon the deity to whom the offering is to be made’ (Ai. B. XI. viii.), similarly cognitive acts are enjoined by such texts as, ‘The Self alone is to be meditated upon,’ ‘(The Self) is to be reflected on and meditated upon’ (II. iv. 5; IV. v. 6). And we have said that the words ‘knowledge’ and ‘meditation’ are synonymous. Another reason in support of this view is that the requisite effort (in meditation also) should have its three divisions. That is to say, just as in the effort in connection with the injunction, ‘One should sacrifice,’ we know that in order to satisfy our curiosity about the proposed act, it must have three divisions, viz. ‘What is it?’ ‘Through what means?’ and ‘In what way?’—similarly, in the effort in connection with the injunction, ‘One should meditate,’ in answer to one’s queries regarding what to meditate upon, through what means to meditate, and in what way to meditate, the scriptures themselves support these three divisions by saying that the Self is to be meditated upon, through the mind, and by the practice of renunciation, continence, equanimity, self-control, self-withdrawal, fortitude etc., and so on. And just as the entire section dealing with the new and full moon sacrifices etc. is used as part of the injunction regarding these sacrifices, similarly the section of the Upaniṣads dealing with meditation on the Self must be used only as part of the injunction regarding this meditation. Such passages as ‘Not this, not this’ (II. iii. 6), ‘Not. gross,’ (III. viii. 8), ‘One only without a second’ (Ch. VI. ii. i), ‘Beyond hunger etc.’ (III. v. i, adapted), are to be used as setting forth the particular nature of the Self, the object of meditation. And the result is liberation or the cessation of ignorance.
Others say that meditation generates a new special kind of consciousness regarding the Self, through which the latter is known, and which alone removes ignorance, and not the knowledge due to the Vedic dicta about the Self. And in support of this view they cite such texts as the following: ‘(The aspirant after Brahman) knowing about this alone, should attain intuitive knowledge’ (IV. iv. 21), ‘(The Self) is to be realised—to be heard of, reflected on and meditated upon’ (II. iv. 5; IV. v. 6), ‘That is to be sought, and That one should desire to realise’ (Ch. VIII. vii. 1, 3).
Both views are wrong, for there is no reference to anything else in the passage in question. To be explicit: The sentence, ‘The Self alone is to be meditated upon,’ is not an original injunction. Why? Because except the knowledge that arises from the dictum setting forth the nature of the Self and refuting the non-Self, there is nothing to be done, either mentally or outwardly. An injunction is appropriate only where, over and above the knowledge that arises immediately from hearing a sentence of the nature of an injunction, an activity on the part of a man is easily understood, as in sentences like, ‘One who desires heaven must perform the new and full moon sacrifices.’ The knowledge arising from a sentence enjoining these sacrifices is certainly not the performance of them. This depends on considerations such as whether a person is entitled to perform them. But apart from the knowledge arising from such passages delineating the Self as, ‘Not this, not this,’ there is no scope for human activity as in the case of the new and full moon sacrifices etc., because that knowledge puts a stop to all activity. For a neutral knowledge cannot initiate any activity, since such passages as, ‘One only without a second,’ and ‘Thou art That’ (Ch. VI. vii. 7), merely remove the consciousness of any other entity but the Self or Brahman. And when this is gone, np activity is possible, for they^are contradictory to each other.
Objection: The mere knowledge arising from those passages does not suffice to remove the consciousness of entities other than the Self or Brahman.
Reply: Not so, for such passages as, ‘Thou art 1 That,’ ‘Not this, not this,’ ‘All this is but the Self’ (Ch. VII. xxv. 2), ‘One only without a second,’ ‘This universe is but Brahman and immortal’ (Mu. II. ii. n), ‘There is no other witness but This’ (III. viii. n), and ‘Know that alone to be Brahman’ (Ke. I. 5-9), describe the Reality alone.
Objection: Do they not supply the object for the injunction about realising the Self?
Reply: No, for we have already answered that point by saying that there is no reference to anything else in those passages. That is to say, since sentences such as, ‘Thou art That,’ which only delineate the nature of the Self, immediately lead to Its realisation, there is no further action to be done with regard to the injunction about that realisation.
Objection: A man does not proceed to know the Self immediately on hearing a statement of the nature of the Self, unless there is an injunction to that effect.
Objection: He may not even proceed to hear about the Self. (So an injunction is necessary.)
Reply: Not so, for it would lead to a regressus in infinitum. In other words, just as without an injunction he does not proceed to hear the meaning of a passage about the Self, similarly he would not, in the absence of another injunction, proceed to hear the meaning of a passage enjoining this; so another injunction is necessary. Similarly with that injunction too. Hence there would be a regressus in infinitum.
Objection: Is not the train of remembrance of the knowledge of the Self generated by the passage relating to It something different from the knowledge itself arising from the hearing of It (and hence that is to be prescribed)?
Reply: No, for thé remembrance of the Self comes automatically. That is to say, as soon as the knowledge of the Self arises in consequence of hearing a dictum delineating It,’ it necessarily destroys the false notion about It. It could not arise otherwise. And when this false notion about the Self is gone, memories due to that, which are natural to man and concern the multitude of things other than the Self, cannot last. Moreover, everything else is then known to be an evil. In other words, when the Self is known, things other than It are realised as evils, being full of defects such as transitoriness, painfulness and impurity, while the Self is contrary to them. Therefore the memories of notions about the non-Self die out when the Self is known. As the only alternative left, the train of remembrance of the knowledge that the Self is one, which comes automatically, is not to be prescribed. Besides, the memory of the Self removes the painful defects such as grief, delusion, fear and effort, for these defects spring from the opposite kind of knowledge. Compare the Śruti texts, ‘Then what delusion can there be?’ (Īś. 7), ‘Knowing (the bliss of Brahman) he is not afraid of anything’ (Tai. II. 9), ‘You have attained That which is free from fear, O Janaka’ (IV. ii. 4), ‘The knot of the heart is broken’ (Mu. II. ii. 8), and so on.
Objection: Well then, the control of the mind may be something different. In other words, since the control of mental states is something different from the knowledge of the Self arising from the Vedic texts, and since we know this has been prescribed for practice in another system (Yoga), let this be enjoined.
Reply: No, for it is not known as a means of liberation. In the Upaniṣads nothing is spoken of as a means to the attainment of the highest end of man except the knowledge of the identity of the self and Brahman. Witness hundreds of Śruti texts like the following: ‘It knew only Itself…. Therefore It became all’ (I. iv. 10), ‘The knower of Brahman attains the highest (Tai. II. i. 1), ‘He who knows that Supreme Brahman becomes Brahman’ (Mu. III. ii. 9), ‘He only knows who has got a teacher. It takes him only so long (as he does not give up the body)’ (Ch. VI. xiv. 2),’He who knows it as such indeed becomes the fearless Brahman’ (IV. iv. 25; Nr. Ut. VIII). Besides there is no other means for the control of mental states except the knowledge of the Self and the train of remembrance about it. We have said this as a tentative admission; really we know of no other means of liberation except the knowledge of Brahman.
Moreover, there being no curiosity to know, no effort is necessary. To be explicit: You said, in the effort in connection with injunctions such as, ‘One should sacrifice,’ there is the curiosity to know what the sacrifice is about, what its means are, and how it is to be performed, and it is satisfied by the mention of the goal, the means and the method of the sacrifice; similarly here too, in the injunction about the knowledge of the Self, those things are necessary. But you are wrong, for all curiosity is ended as soon as one knows the meaning of such texts as, ‘One only without a second,’ ‘Thou art That,’ ‘Not this, not this,’ ‘Without interior or exterior’ (II. vi. 19; III. viii. 8), and ‘This self is Brahman’ (II. v. 19). And a man does not proceed to know the meaning of those passages, prompted by an injunction. We have already said that if another injunction is needed for this, it would lead to a regressus in infinitum. Nor is an injunction noticed in such sentences as, ‘Brahman is one only without a second,’ for they finish by simply stating the nature of the Self.
Objection: Do they not lose their authority (as Vedas) by being mere statements of the nature of a thing? In other words, just as passages like, ‘He (the deity Fire) cried. That is why he was called Rudra’ (Tai. S. I. v. i. i), being a mere narration of an event, have no authority, so also the passages delineating the Self have none.
Reply: Not so, for there is a difference (between the two sets of passages). The test of the authority or otherwise of a passage is not whether it states a fact or an action, but its capacity to generate certain and fruitful knowledge. A passage that has this is authoritative, ánd one that lacks it, is not. But we want to ask you: Is or is not certain and fruitful knowledge generated by passages setting forth the nature of the Self, and if so, how can they lose their authority? Do you not see the result of knowledge in the removal of the evils which are the root of transmigration, such as ignorance, grief, delusion and fear? Or do you not hear those hundreds of Upaniṣadic texts such as, ‘Then what delusion and what grief can there be for one who secs unity?’ (Īś. 7), ‘I am but a knower of (Vedic) Mantras, not of the Self, so I am tormented with grief, and you, sir, must take me beyond the reach of it’ (Ch. VII. i. 3). Do passages like, ‘He cried,’ lead to this kind of Certain and fruitful knowledge? If they do not, they may well be without authority. But how can the fact of their having no authority take away the authority of passages leading to certain and fruitful knowledge? And if these are without authority, what trust can one repose in passages dealing with the new and full moon sacrifices, for instance?
Reply: True, but it is nothing against them, for there is reason enough for their authority. And that reason is what we have already stated, and none other. It is not a reason to disprove the authority of passages inculcating the Self that they generate knowledge which has the effect of destroying the seeds of all activity, rather it is their ornament. You said (p. 129), sentences like, ‘(The aspirant after Brahman) knowing about this alone should attain intuitive knowledge,’ convey the necessity of meditation in addition to knowing the meaning of the Vedic dicta. It is true, but they do not constitute an original injunction. Since meditation on the Self is already known as a possible alternative, they can only be restrictive.
Objection: How is that meditation already known as a possible alternative, since, as you said, on the principle of the residuum the train of remembrance of the knowledge of the Self is an inevitable fact?
Reply: It is true, but nevertheless, since the resultant of past actions that led to the formation of the present body must produce definite results, speech, mind and the body are bound to work even after the highest realisation, for actions that have begun to bear fruit are stronger than knowledge; as for instance an arrow that has been let fly continues its course for some time. Hence the operation of knowledge, being weaker than they, (is liable to be interrupted by them and) becomes only a possible alternative. Therefore there is need to regulate the train- of remembrance of the knowledge of the Self by having recourse to means such as renunciation and dispassion; but it is not something that is to be originally enjoined, being, as we said, already known as a possible alternative. Hence we conclude that passages such as, ‘(The aspirant after Brahman) knowing about this alone, should attain intuitive knowledge,’ are only meant to lay down the rule that the train of remembrance— already known (as a possible alternative)—of the knowledge of the Self must be kept up, for they can have no other import.
Objection: This should be a meditation on the non-Self, for the particle ‘iti’ (as) has been used. In passages such as, ‘It should be meditated upon as dear’ (IV. i. 3), the meaning is not that features such as dearness are to be meditated upon, but that the vital force etc. possessing these features should be meditated upon. Similarly here also, from the use of the particle ‘iti’ along with the word ‘Self’ it is understood that something other than the Self (i.e. the Undifferentiated) but having the features of the Self is to be meditated upon. Another reason in support of this view is the difference of the passage in question from another where the Self is presented as the object of meditation. For instance, it will be stated later on, ‘One should meditate only upon the world of the Self’ (I. iv. 15). In that passage the Self alone is meant to be the object of meditation, for there is the accusative inflexion in the word ‘Self.’ Here, however, there is no accusative inflexion, but the particle ‘iti’ is used along with the word ‘Self.’ Hence it is understood that the Self is not the object of meditation here, but something else having the features of the Self.
Reply: No, for at the end of this very passage (this text) the Self alone, we find, is presented as the object of meditation, ‘Of all these, this Self alone should be realised,’ (and elsewhere), ‘This Self which is innermost’ (I. iv. 8), and ‘It knew only Itself’ (I. iv 10).
Objection: The Self is not the object of meditation, for the vision of that which entered is negated. In other words, the Śruti precludes the vision of that very Self whose entrance (into the universe) was described, for the words, ‘People do not see It’ (this text), refer to the Self which is under consideration. Hence the Self is certainly not to be meditated upon.
Reply: Not so, for this is because of the defect of incompleteness. In other words, the preclusion of the vision is only to indicate the defect of incompleteness in the Self, not to forbid It as an object of meditation, for It is qualified by possessing the functions of living etc. If the Self were not meant to be the object of meditation, the mention of Its incompleteness when endowed with single functions such as living, in the passage, ‘For It is incomplete (being divided) from this totality by possessing a single characteristic’ (this text), would be meaningless. Hence the conclusion is that that Self alone which is not possessed of single features is to be meditated upon, for It is complete. The use of the particle ‘iti’ along with the word ‘Self,’ to which you referred, only signifies that the truth of the Self is really beyond the scope of the term and the concept ‘Self.’ Otherwise the Śruti would only say. ‘One should meditate upon the Self.’ But this would imply that the term and the concept ‘Self’ were permissible with regard to the Self. That, however, is repugnant to the Śruti. Witness such passages, as ‘Not this, not this’ (II. iii. 6), Through what, O Maitreyī, should one know the Knower?’ (II. iv. 14; IV. v. 15), ‘It is never known, but is the Knower’ (III. viii. 11), and ‘Whence speech returns baffled together with the mind’ (Tai. II. iv. 1 and ix. 1). As for the passage, ‘One should meditate only upon the world of the Self,’ since it is meant to preclude the possibility of meditation on things other than the Self, it does not convey a different meaning from the one we have been discussing.
Objection: Since they are alike incompletely known, the Self and the non-Self are both to be known. Such being the case, why should care be taken to know the Self alone, as is evident from the passage, ‘The Self alone is to be meditated upon,’ and not the other?
Reply: Of all these, this entity called Self, which we are considering, alone should be realised, and nothing else. The ‘of’ has a partitive force, meaning ‘among all these.’
Objection: Is the rest not to be known at all?
Reply: Not so. Although it is to be known, it does not require a separate knowledge over and above that of the Self. Why? For one knows all these things other than the Self through It, when the Self is known.
Objection: But we cannot know one thing by knowing another. ‘
Reply: We shall answer the point while explaining the passage relating to the drum etc. (II. iv. 7).
Objection: How is the Self the one that should be realised?
Reply: Just as in the world one may get a missing. animal that is wanted back, by searching it through its footprints —‘foot’ here means the ground with the print of hoof-marks left by a cow etc.—similarly when the Self is attained, everything is automatically attained. This is the idea.
Objection: The topic was knowledge—when the Self is known, everything else is known. So why is a different topic, viz. attainment, introduced here?
Reply: Not so, for the Śruti uses the words ‘knowledge’ and ‘attainment’ as synonymous. The non-attainment of the Self is but the ignorance of It. Hence the knowledge of the Self is Its attainment. The attainment of the Self cannot be, as in the case of things other than It, the obtaining of something not _ obtained before, for here there is no difference between the person attaining and the object attained. Where the Self has to attain something other than Itself, the Self is the attainer and the non-Self is the object attained. This, not being already attained, is separated by acts such as producing, and is to be attained by the initiation of a particular action with the help of particular auxiliaries. And that attainment of something new is transitory, being due to desire and action that are themselves the product of a false notion, like the birth of a son etc. in a dream. But this Self is the very opposite of that. By the very fact of Its being the Self, It is not separated by acts such as producing. But although It is always attained, It is separated by ignorance only. Just as when a mother-of-pearl appears through mistake as a piece of silver, the non-apprehension of the former, although it is being perceived all the while, is merely due to the obstruction of the false impression, and its (subsequent) apprehension is but knowledge, for this is what removes the obstruction of false impression, similarly here also’ the non-attainment of the Self is merely due to the obstruction of ignorance. Therefore the attainment of It is simply the removal of that obstruction by knowledge; in no other sense it is consistent. Hence we shall explain how for the realisation of the Self every other means but knowledge is useless. Therefore the Śruti, wishing to express the indubitable identity of meaning of knowledge and attainment, says after introducing knowledge, ‘May get,’ for the root ‘vid’ also means ‘to get.’
Now the result of meditation on the characteristic ia being stated: He who knows It as such, knows how this Self, entering into name and form, became famous through that name and form as the ‘Self,’ and got the association of the vital force etc., obtains fame and association with his dear ones. Or, he-who knows the Self as described above obtains Kirti or the knowledge of unity coveted by seekers of liberation, and Śloka or liberation which results from that knowledge —gets these primary results’ of knowledge.
- Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems