by Roma Bose | 1940 | 290,526 words
English translation of the Brahma-sutra 1.4.16, including the commentary of Nimbarka and sub-commentary of Srinivasa known as Vedanta-parijata-saurabha and Vedanta-kaustubha resepctively. Also included are the comparative views of important philosophies, viz., from Shankara, Ramanuja, Shrikantha, Bhaskara and Baladeva.
English of translation of Brahmasutra 1.4.16 by Roma Bose:
“Because of denoting the world.”
Nimbārka’s commentary (Vedānta-pārijāta-saurabha):
It is not to be supposed that in the text: ‘“He verily, O Bālāki, who is the maker of these persons, of whom this is the work”’ (Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 3.9), the object to be known is the person, mentioned in the Tantra (viz. in the Sāṃkhya doctrine) and the enjoyer of the fruits of merit and demerit. None hut the Supreme Soul is here indicated as the object to be known. Why? Because Brahman is the topic, as known from the text: ‘“Let me declare Brahman to you’” (Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 4.1); because the word ‘work’, meaning ‘something that is done’, denotes the world which is an effect; because by the pronoun ‘this’ the world, established by the evidence of perception and the rest, is suggested; and, lastly, because the person, mentioned in the Tantra, is not the topic here.
Śrīnivāsa’s commentary (Vedānta-kaustubha)
The Sāṃkhyas hold that prakṛti is the agent and puruṣa the enjoyer. The impossibility of prakṛti to be the cause has been shown in various ways. Now, although it has been shown in the section regarding Pratardana that the Kauṣītaki-brāhmaṇa texts refer to Brahman, yet by showing that the text ‘“Of whom this is the work”’ (Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 4.19), too, refers to Brahman, the author is now disposing of the objection, viz.: the person (puruṣa), admitted by the Sāṃkhyas, is accepted by the Vedānta, on the ground of its being an enjoyer; and prakṛti, superintended by it, is the cause of the world.
We read of a dialogue between Bālāki and Ajātaśatru in the Kauṣītaki-brāhmaṇa. There, a sage, called Bālāki Gārgya having promised the king Ajātaśatru: ‘“Let me declare Brahman to you”’ (Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 4.1), having then designated various persons as Brahman, thus ‘“He who is the person within the sun”’ (Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 4.3), ‘“The person within the moon’” (Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 4.4) and so on, became silent. Then, Ajātaśatru, who knew Brahman, having condemned him with the words: ‘“In vain, did you tell me’” (Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 4.19), said: ‘“He who, verily, O Bālāki, is the maker of these persons, and of whom this is the work, he, verily, is to be known”’ (Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 4.19). Here a doubt arises, viz. whether puruṣa, established in the Sāṃkhya-tantra, the superintendent of prakṛti and the enjoyer, is taught here as the object to be known, or the Supreme Soul. The prima facie view is as follows: It was puruṣa, unconnected with prakṛti, as established in the Tantra, that was indicated, by the royal sage, as the object to be known, because of the mention of a connection with works in the phrase: ‘“and of whom this is the work’” (Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 4.19); because works, consisting in merit and demerit, are possible on the part of the individual soul alone, entitled to works; because a connection with work is not admitted on the part of the Supreme Soul; and, because the origin of the world is due to the works of the respective enjoyers. Moreover, here in accordance with the text: ‘They two went to a sleeping person’ (Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 4.19), it was the enjoying soul alone which was demonstrated by Ajātaśatru to Bālāki. Likewise, in the passage: ‘Just as a merchant enjoys with his own people, and as his own people enjoy him, so exactly this intelligent self enjoys with these selves, so exactly these selves enjoy it’ (Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 4.20), the characteristic mark of the enjoying soul alone is found. The meaning of the text is as follows: ‘Just as a merchant’, i.e. a lord who is the chief, enjoys ‘with his own people’, i.e. with implements like servants and the rest; and ‘his own people’, i.e. the servants and the rest, ‘enjoy’ the merchant, i.e. depend on him for food and clothing, ‘so exactly this intelligent self ‘enjoys with these’, i.e. with the persons within the sun and the rest. And it cannot be said that since the word ‘work’, mentioned in the concluding text: ‘“Of whom this is the work”’ (Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 4.19) denotes action, the vital-breath, possessing the activity of motion as his substratum, mentioned in the concluding text: ‘In this vital-breath alone, he becomes one’ (Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 4.20), is to be understood; but puruṣa, established in the Tantra and the enjoyer of the fruits of works, is not to be accepted here as the object to be known,—for the term ‘vital-breath’ refers to the bearer of the vital-breath or the individual soul, such a construction, viz. ‘in this vital-breath’, meaning ‘in puruṣa, the bearer of the vital-breath’, being possible. If, in accordance with the explanation ‘In the vital-breath which is present in this, i.e. in the soul’, the two locatives (viz. ‘in this’ and ‘in the vital-breath’) are to refer to different objects, then although the word ‘vital-breath’ will refer to the chief vital-breath, yet as it is naturally an implement of the individual soul, none but the individual soul is the object to be established here. And hence the meaning is: ‘He who is the maker’, i.e. the cause, ‘of these persons’, i.e. of the persons dwelling in the orb of the sun and the rest, and implements of the enjoyment of the individual soul, ‘and of whom this is the work’, i.e. merit and demerit, the cause of its being the cause, is to be known as unconnected with prakṛti. And hence Brahman, introduced as the object to be depicted in the text: ‘“Let me declare Brahman to you”’ (Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 4.1), is none but puruṣa, there being no proof of any God other than it. As the qualities of perceiving and the rest, belonging to the cause, are possible on its part, possessing as it does the quality of consciousness, prakṛti alone, superintended by the puruṣa, the enjoyer, is the cause of the world. (Here ends the prima facie view.)
With regard to it, we reply: Here, the Highest Person alone, the maker of the persons, is the object to be known. Why? For the following reasons: First, the term ‘work’ denotes the world; and the creatorship of the world is not possible on the part of any one other than the Supreme Soul. A ‘work’ is what is done, i.e. the world, consisting of the sentient and the non-sentient. Secondly, the creator-ship of the world is not possible on the part of the sentient individual soul which has entered into the world as an enjoyer, and which is never admitted to be a creator. Thirdly, the creatorship of the world is impossible also on the part of prakṛti, superintended by the individual soul of little knowledge and little power. In ordinary life, what little is done by non-sentient objects, like chariots and the rest superintended by sentient beings, is due to the sentient beings alone. And, there being no purpose in rejecting the primary agent, the primary agent is none but the Supreme Being, celebrated in a mass of scriptural texts. The world, known through perception and the rest, is referred to by the pronoun ‘this’. Work consisting in merit and demerit simply is not denoted by the term ‘work’ here. Since the sixteen persons, indicated as Brahman by Bālāki who had promised: ‘“Let me declare Brahman to you”’ (Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 4,1), were not really Brahman, Ajātaśatru, having condemned him who could not tell him about Brahman, thus: ‘“In vain, verily, did you tell me”’ (Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 4.19), taught the Supreme Soul,—not known by the sage, and the maker of the persons indicated by him,—as the object to be known, with the words: ‘“He who, verily, O Bālāki”’ (Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 4,19). Otherwise, the persons connected with works, i.e. merit or demerit, being already known to Bālāki, the teaching of them as the objects to be known would be meaningless. Hence, the word ‘work’ simply denotes that the universe consisting of the sentient and the non-sentient is an effect; and does not denote mere merit and demerit, or mere action. This being so, the word ‘this’, too, has a purpose, since, referring as it does to the entire world, consisting of the sentient and the non-sentient and known through the evidence of perception and the rest, it serves to preclude the supposition of its being due to a mere person. Thus, the meaning of the text: ‘“He who, verily, O Bālāki, is the maker of these persons”’ (Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 4.19) is as follows: O Bālāki, he who is the maker of the persons within the sun and the rest, designated by you as Brahman, and who is not the maker of the persons only, but of whom this entire universe, consisting of the sentient and the non-sentient, is an effect,—that Supreme Soul, the soul of a11, the Lord of all, is the object to be known. Here, although the persons, being included within the world, are proved to have the Supreme Soul as their cause, their separate mention is to he known for the purpose of rejecting their Brahman-hood, claimed by Bālāki.
Footnotes and references:
Quoted by Śaṅkara, Baladeva, Bhāskara, Śrīkaṇṭha and Baladeva.
Quoted by Śaṅkara, Rāmānuja, Bhāskara and Baladeva.
Vide ‘Indra-prāṇādhikaraṇa’, sūtras 1.1.29-32.
The sage wanted to teach the king about the person within the sun, that within the moon, that within the lightning, that within the cloud and so on, altogether about sixteen persons, but in each case, the king begged to be spared of the teaching, as he was already acquainted with the person in question. Finally, the king himself taught the sage about Brahman. Vide Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 4.
The word ‘Brahmajña’ is not really included in the text.
Correct quotation: ‘Mṛṣā vai khalu mā saṃvādayiṣṭhā’, in which case it would mean ‘in vain, verily, did you make me talk’. Vide Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 4.19, p. 138.
Correct quotation ‘vā’ and not ‘ca’.
I.e. standing in a vyadhikaraṇa relation and not in a samānādhikaraṇa relation, or in a relation of a noun and an adjective referring to the same locus, as the first explanation takes them to be.
I.e. the works (karmas) of the soul lead to the creation of the world the sun and the rest.
For correct quotation see footnote 3, p. 243.
I.e. in the text: ‘He who is the creator of these persons, of whom this is the work’, the phrase ‘of whom this is the work’ implies that the entire universe—including the sun and the rest—is the effect of Brahman. In spite of this the parsons within the sun and the rest are mentioned separately once more as the effects of Brahman, because the king wants to point out particularly that they are not Brahman, as previously alleged.