Brahma Sutras (Shankaracharya)

by George Thibaut | 1890 | 203,611 words

English translation of the Brahma sutras (aka. Vedanta Sutras) with commentary by Shankaracharya (Shankara Bhashya): One of the three canonical texts of the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy. The Brahma sutra is the exposition of the philosophy of the Upanishads. It is an attempt to systematise the various strands of the Upanishads which form the ...

21. On the supposition of there being no (cause: while yet the effect takes place), there results contradiction of the admitted principle; otherwise simultaneousness (of cause and effect).

It has been shown that on the doctrine of general non-permanency, the former momentary existence, as having already been merged in non-existence, cannot be the cause of the later one.--Perhaps now the Bauddha will say that an effect may arise even when there is no cause.--That, we reply, implies the abandonment of a principle admitted by yourself, viz. that the mind and the mental modifications originate when in conjunction with four kinds of causes[1]. Moreover, if anything could originate without a cause, there would be nothing to prevent that anything might originate at any time.--If, on the other hand, you should say that we may assume the antecedent momentary existence to last until the succeeding one has been produced, we point out that that would imply the simultaneousness of cause and effect, and so run counter to an accepted Bauddha tenet, viz. that all things[2] are momentary merely.

Footnotes and references:


These four causes are the so-called defining cause (adhipatipratyaya), the auxiliary cause (sahakāripratyaya), the immediate cause (samanantarapratyaya), and the substantial cause (ālambanapratyaya).--I extract the explanation from the Brahmavidyābharaṇa: Adhipatir indriyaṃ tad dhi cakṣurādirūpam utpannasya jñānasya rūpādiviṣayatāṃ niyacchati niyāmakaś ca loke'dhipatir ity ucyate. Sahakārī ālokaḥ. Samanantarapratyayaḥ pūrvajñānam, bauddhamate hi kṣaṇikajñanasaṃtatau pūrvajñānam uttarajñāsya kāranaṃ tad eva ca mana ity ucyate. Ālambanaṃ ghaṭādiḥ. Etān hetūn pratīya prāpya cakṣurādijanyam ity ādi.


Saṃskāra iti, tanmate pūrvakṣaṇa eva hetubhūtaḥ saṃskāro vāsaneti ca vyavahriyate kāryaṃ tu tadviṣayatayā karmavyutpattyā saṃskāraḥ, tathā ca kāryakāraṇātmakaṃ sarvaṃ bhāvarūpaṃ kṣaṇikam iti pratijñārthaḥ. Brahmavidyābharaṇa.

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