असद्व्यपदेशान्नेति चेत्, न, धर्मान्तरेण
वाक्यशेषात् ॥ १७ ॥
asadvyapadeśānneti cet, na, dharmāntareṇa
vākyaśeṣāt || 17 ||
asat-vyapadeśāt—On account of its being described as non-existent; na—not; iti cet—if it be said; na—no; dharmāntareṇa—by another characteristic; vākyaśeṣāt—from the latter part of the text.
17. If it be said that on account of (the effect) being described as non-existent (before creation) (the conclusion of the previous Sutra is) not (true); (we say) not so, (it being described) by another characteristic (as is seen) from the latter part of the text.
“Non-existent indeed this was in the beginning” (Chh. 3. 19. 1). The word “non-existent” does not mean absolute non-existence, but that the world did not exist in a differentiated condition. It was undifferentiated—had not yet developed name and form—in which sense the word “non-existence” is also used in common parlance. It was in a fine condition, and after creation it became gross, developing name and form. This sense is shown by the immediately succeeding portion of the text, “It became existent, it grew.” Hence the conclusion of the last Sutra is all right.