REVERENCE TO THE HIGHEST SELF!
1. The abode of heaven, earth, and so on (is Brahman), on account of the term 'own,' i.e. Self.
We read (Mu. Up. II, 2, 5), 'He in whom the heaven, the earth, and the sky are woven, the mind also with all the vital airs, know him alone as the Self, and leave off other words! He is the bridge of the Immortal.'--Here the doubt arises whether the abode which is intimated by the statement of the heaven and so on being woven in it is the highest Brahmanor something else.
The pûrvapakshin maintains that the abode is something else, on account of the expression, 'It is the bridge of the Immortal.' For, he says, it is known from every-day experience that a bridge presupposes some further bank to which it leads, while it is impossible to assume something further beyond the highest Brahman, which in Scripture is called 'endless, without a further shore' (Bri. Up. II, 4, 12). Now if the abode is supposed to be something different from Brahman, it must be supposed to be either the pradhâna known from Smriti, which, as being the (general) cause, may be called the (general) abode; or the air known from Sruti, of which it is said (Bri. Up. III, 7, 2, 'Air is that thread, O Gautama. By air as by a thread, O Gautama, this world and the other world and all beings are strung together'), that it supports all things; or else the embodied soul which, as being the enjoyer, may be considered as an abode with reference to the objects of its fruition.
Against this view we argue with the sûtrakâra as follows:--'Of the world consisting of heaven, earth, and so on, which in the quoted passage is spoken of as woven (upon something), the highest Brahman must be the abode.'--Why?--On account of the word 'own,' i.e. on account of the word 'Self.' For we meet with the word 'Self' in the passage, 'Know himalone as the Self.' This term 'Self' is
thoroughly appropriate only if we understand the highest Self and not anything else.--(To propound another interpretation of the phrase 'svasabdât' employed in the Sûtra.) Sometimes also Brahman is spoken of in Sruti as the general abode by its own terms (i.e. by terms properly designating Brahman), as, for instance (Kh. Up. VI. 8, 4), 'All these creatures, my dear, have their root in the being, their abode in the being, their rest in the being 1.'--(Or else we have to explain 'svasabdena' as follows), In the passages preceding and following the passage under discussion Brahman is glorified with its own names 2; cp. Mu. Up. II, 1, 10, 'The Person is all this, sacrifice, penance, Brahman, the highest Immortal,' and II, 2, 11, 'That immortal Brahman is before, is behind, Brahman is to the right and left.' Here, on account of mention being made of an abode and that which abides, and on account of the co-ordination expressed in the passage, 'Brahman is all' (Mu. Up. II, 2, 11), a suspicion might arise that Brahman is of a manifold variegated nature, just as in the case of a tree consisting of different parts we distinguish branches, stem, and root. In order to remove this suspicion the text declares (in the passage under discussion), 'Know him alone as the Self.' The sense of which is: The Self is not to be known as manifold, qualified by the universe of effects; you are rather to dissolve by true knowledge the universe ofeffects, which is the mere product of Nescience, and to know that one Self, which is the general abode, as uniform. Just as when somebody says, 'Bring that on which Devadatta sits,' the person addressed brings the chair only (the abode of Devadatta), not Devadatta himself; so the passage, 'Know him alone as the Self,' teaches that the object to be known is the one uniform Self which constitutes the general abode. Similarly another scriptural passage reproves him who believes in the unreal world of effects,
[paragraph continues] 'From death to death goes he who sees any difference here'(Ka. Up. II, 4, 11). The statement of co-ordination made in the clause 'All is Brahman' aims at dissolving (the wrong conception of the reality of) the world, and not in any way at intimating that Brahman is multiform in nature 1; for the uniformity (of Brahman's nature) is expressly stated in other passages such as the following one, 'As a mass of salt has neither inside nor outside, but is altogether a mass of taste, thus indeed has that Self neither inside nor outside, but is altogether a mass of knowledge' (Bri. Up. IV, 5, 13).--For all these reasons the abode of heaven, earth, &c. is the highest Brahman.--Against the objection that on account of the text speaking of a 'bridge,' and a bridge requiring a further bank, we have to understand by the abode of heaven and earth something different from Brahman, we remark that the word 'bridge' is meant to intimate only that that which is called a bridge supports, not that it has a further bank. We need not assume by any means that the bridge meant is like an ordinary bridge made of clay and wood. For as the word setu (bridge) is derived from the root si, which means 'to bind,' the idea of holding together, supporting is rather implied in it than the idea of being connected with something beyond (a further bank).
According to the opinion of another (commentator) the word 'bridge' does not glorify the abode of heaven, earth, &c., but rather the knowledge of the Self which is glorified in the preceding clause, 'Know him alone as the Self,' and the abandonment of speech advised in the clause, 'leave off other words;' to them, as being the means of obtaining immortality, the expression 'the bridge of the immortal' applies 2. On that account we have to set aside the assertion that, on account of the word 'bridge,' something different from Brahman is to be understood by the abode of heaven, earth, and so on.p. 157
2. And on account of its being designated as that to which the Released have to resort.
By the abode of heaven, earth, and so on, we have to understand the highest Brahman for that reason also that we find it denoted as that to which the Released have to resort.--The conception that the body and other things contained in the sphere of the Not-self are our Self, constitutes Nescience; from it there spring desires with regard to whatever promotes the well-being of the body and so on, and aversions with regard to whatever tends to injure it; there further arise fear and confusion when we observe anything threatening to destroy it. All this constitutes an endless series of the most manifold evils with which we all are acquainted. Regarding those on the other hand who have freed themselves from the stains of Nescience desire aversion and so on, it is said that they have to resort to that, viz. the abode of heaven, earth, &c. which forms the topic of discussion. For the text, after having said, 'The fetter of the heart is broken, all doubts are solved, all his works perish when He has been beheld who is the higher and the lower' (Mu. Up. II, 2, 8), later on remarks, 'The wise man freed from name and form goes to the divine Person who is greater than the great' (Mu. Up. III, 2, 8). That Brahman is that which is to be resorted to by the released, is known from other scriptural passages, such as 'When all desires which once entered his heart are undone then does the mortal become immortal, then he obtainsBrahman' (Bri. Up. IV, 4, 7). Of the pradhâna and similar entities, on the other hand, it is not known from any source that they are to be resorted to by the released. Moreover, the text (in the passage, 'Know him alone as the Self and leave off other words') declares that the knowledge of the abode of heaven and earth, &c. is connected with the leaving off of all speech; a condition which, according to another scriptural passage, attaches to (the knowledge of) Brahman; cp. Bri. Up. IV, 4, 21, 'Let a wise Brâhmana, after he has discovered him, practise wisdom. Let him not seek after many words, for that is mere weariness of the tongue.'--For that
reason also the abode of heaven, earth, and so on, is the highest Brahman.
3. Not (i.e. the abode of heaven, earth, &c. cannot be) that which is inferred, (i.e. the pradhâna), on account of the terms not denoting it.
While there has been shown a special reason in favour of Brahman (being the abode), there is no such special reason in favour of anything else. Hence he (the sûtrakâra) says that that which is inferred, i.e. the pradhâna assumed by the Sânkhya-smriti, is not to be accepted as the abode of heaven, earth, &c.--Why?--On account of the terms not denoting it. For the sacred text does not contain any term intimating the non-intelligent pradhâna, on the ground of which we might understand the latter to be the general cause or abode; while such terms as 'he who perceives all and knows all' (Mu. Up. I, 1, 9) intimate an intelligent being opposed to the pradhâna in nature.--For the same reason the air also cannot be accepted as the abode of heaven, earth, and so on.
4. (Nor) also the individual soul (prânabhrit).
Although to the cognitional (individual) Self the qualities of Selfhood and intelligence do belong, still omniscience and similar qualities do not belong to it as its knowledge is limited by its adjuncts; thus the individual soul also cannot be accepted as the abode of heaven, earth, &c., for the same reason, i.e. on account of the terms not denoting it.--Moreover, the attribute of forming the abode of heaven, earth, and so on, cannot properly be given to the individual soulbecause the latter is limited by certain adjuncts and therefore non-pervading (not omnipresent) 1.--The special enunciation (of the individual soul) is caused by what follows 2.--The individual soul is not to be
accepted as the abode of heaven, earth, &c. for the following reason also.
5. On account of the declaration of difference.
The passage 'Know him alone as the Self' moreover implies a declaration of difference, viz. of the difference of the object of knowledge and the knower. Here the individual soul as being that which is desirous of release is the knower, and consequently Brahman, which is denoted by the word 'self' and represented as the object of knowledge, is understood to be the abode of heaven, earth, and so on.--For the following reason also the individual soul cannot be accepted as the abode of heaven, earth, &c.
6. On account of the subject-matter.
The highest Self constitutes the subject-matter (of the entire chapter), as we see from the passage, 'Sir, what is that through which, when it is known, everything else becomes known?' (Mu. Up. I, 1, 3) in which the knowledge of everything is declared to be dependent on the knowledge of one thing. For all this (i.e. the entire world) becomes known if Brahmanthe Self of all is known, not if only the individual soul is known.--Another reason against the individual soul follows.7. And on account of the two conditions of standing and eating (of which the former is characteristic of the highest Lord, the latter of the individual soul).
With reference to that which is the abode of heaven, earth, and so on, the text says, 'Two birds, inseparable friends,' &c. (Mu. Up. III, 1, 1). This passage describes the two states of mere standing, i.e. mere presence, and of eating, theclause, 'One of them eats the sweet fruit,' referring to the eating, i.e. the fruition of the results of works,
and the clause, 'The other one looks on without eating,' describing the condition of mere inactive presence. The two states described, viz. of mere presence on the one hand and of enjoyment on the other hand, show that the Lord and the individual soul are referred to. Now there is room for this statement which represents the Lord as separate from the individual soul, only if the passage about the abode of heaven and earth likewise refers to the Lord; for in that case only there exists a continuity of topic. On any other supposition the second passage would contain a statement about something not connected with the general topic, and would therefore be entirely uncalled for.--But, it may be objected, on your interpretation also the second passage makes an uncalled-for statement, viz. in so far as it represents the individual soul as separate from the Lord.--Not so, we reply. It is nowhere the purpose of Scripture to make statements regarding the individual soul. From ordinary experience the individual soul, which in the different individual bodies is joined to the internal organs and other limiting adjuncts, is known to every one as agent and enjoyer, and we therefore must not assume that it is that which Scripture aims at setting forth. The Lord, on the other hand, about whom ordinary experience tells us nothing, is to be considered as the special topic of all scriptural passages, and we therefore cannot assume that any passage should refer to him merely casually 1.--
[paragraph continues] That the mantra 'two birds,' &c. speaks of the Lord--and the individual soul we have already shown under I, 2, 11.--And if, according to the interpretation given in the Paingi-upanishad (and quoted under I, 2, 11), the verse is understood to refer to the internal organ (sattva) and the individual soul (not to the individual soul and the Lord), even then there is no contradiction (between that interpretation and our present averment that the individual soul is not the abode of heaven and earth).--How so?--Here (i.e. in the present Sûtra and the Sûtras immediately preceding) it is denied that the individual soul which, owing to its imagined connexion with the internal organ and other limiting adjuncts, has a separate existence in separate bodies--its division being analogous to the division of universal space into limitedspaces such as the spaces within jars and the like--is that which is called the abode of heaven and earth. That same soul, on the other hand, which exists in all bodies, if considered apart from the limiting adjuncts, is nothing else but the highest Self. Just as the spaces within jars, if considered apart from their limiting conditions, are merged in universal space, so the individual soul also is incontestably that which is denoted as the abode of heaven and earth, since it (the soul) cannot really be separate from the highest Self. That it is not the abode of heaven and earth, is therefore said of the individual soul in so far only as it imagines itself to be connected with the internal organ and so on. Hence it follows that the highest Self is the abode of heaven, earth, and so on.--The same conclusion has already been arrived at under I, 2, 21; for in the passage concerning the source of all beings (which passage is discussed under the Sûtra quoted) we meet with the clause, 'In which heaven and
earth and the sky are woven.' In the present adhikarana the subject is resumed for the sake of further elucidation.
9. And on account of the agreement of the attributes (mentioned in the text).
The attributes, moreover, which the sacred text ascribes to the bhûman agree well with the highest Self. The passage, 'Where one sees nothing else, hears nothing else, understands nothing else, that is the bhûman,' gives us to understandthat in the bhûman the ordinary activities of seeing and so on are absent; and that this is characteristic of the highest Self, we know from another scriptural passage, viz. 'But when the Self only is all this, how should he see another?' &c. (Bri. Up. IV, 5, 15). What is said about the absence of the activities of seeing and so on in the state of deep sleep (Pra. Up. IV, 2) is said with the intention of declaring the non-attachedness of the Self, not of describing the nature of the prâna; for the highest Self (not the vital air) is the topic of that passage. The bliss also of which Scripture speaks as connected with that state is mentioned only in order to show that bliss constitutes the nature of the Self. For Scripture says (Bri. Up. IV, 3, 32), 'This is his highest bliss. All other creatures live on a small portion of that bliss.'--The passage under discussion also ('The bhûman is bliss. There is no bliss in that which is little (limited). The bhûman only is bliss') by denying the reality of bliss on the part of whatever is perishable shows that Brahman only is bliss as bhûman, i.e. in itsplenitude,--Again, the passage, 'The bhûman is immortality,' shows that the highest cause is meant; for the immortality of all effected things is a merely relative one,
and another scriptural passage says that 'whatever is different from that (Brahman) is perishable' (Bri. Up. III, 4, 2).--Similarly, the qualities of being the True, and of resting in its own greatness, and of being omnipresent, and of being the Self of everything which the text mentions (as belonging to the bhûman) can belong to the highest Self only, not to anything else.--By all this it is proved that the bhûman is the highest Self.