Adventures in Humility

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Vedanta Sutra 4.4.7

evam apy upanyAsAt
avirodham bAdarAyaNaH

7. Even (though the soul be) thus (pure intelligence), yet on account
of the authority (of the words of Prajapati), there is no contradiction
in the existence of the former (eight qualities also in it).
Thus thinks Badarayana. - 544.


Though the essential nature of the soul be pure intelligence, as proved by Audulomi, yet there is no contradiction, if the eight qualities also exist in it. This is the opinion of the Lord Badarayana. Why? Because of the authority. The statement made by Prajapati is an authority for holding that the former opinion by Jaimini is right; since those qualities also exist in the soul.

The settled conclusion, therefore, is that since the Srutis give unqualified both these statements - the Brihadaranyaka mentioning that the soul is pure intelligence, and the Chandogya that it has the eight qualities - and since both these statements are of equal authority, the nature of the freed soul consists of both these sets of qualities. Badarayana approves the view that the soul is "even a mass of intelligence" - that is, unqualified intelligence only. For though it be unqualified (Nirguna) intelligence only, yet there is no contradiction, when it is said to possess the eight qualities also. The word eva, "only", used in the Brihadaranyaka (prajJAna-ghana eva), "a mass of intelligence only" - does not prevent the soul possessing other attributes also.

For the above passage of Brihadaranyaka purports to exclude all and every kind of irrationality (Jadatva) from the soul and to teach that the self is self-luminous. Though the Jiva be thus self-luminous, pure intelligence, there is no contradiction if it possesses the eight qualities, known from another equally authoritative text. Thus though a solid salt-crystal be a mass of mere taste, and nothing but taste, yet it has a form, hardness, etc., also, and these qualities do not contradict its being a mass of taste.

Therefore, it follows, that in Mukti, the Jiva manifests as pure intelligence, endowed by the Lord with the eight qualities.


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