TO THE HIGHEST SELF!
1. Ether (does) not
(originate), on account of the absence of scriptural statement.
In the Vedânta-texts
we meet in different places with different statements concerning the origination
of various things. Some of those passages declare that ether originated; some
do not. Some record the origination of air; others do not. Other passages again
make analogous statements concerning the individual soul and the vital airs.--Similarly
we observe that other scriptural texts contradict one another concerning order
of succession and the like.--Now, as we ourselves have inferred the worthlessness
of other philosophical doctrines from their mutual contradictions, a suspicion
might arise that our doctrine is equally worthless, owing to its intrinsic contradictions.
Hence a new discussion is begun in order to clear from all doubt the sense of
all those Vedânta-texts which refer to creation, and thus to remove the
suspicion alluded to.
Here we have to consider
in the first place the question
whether ether has an origin
or not.--The pûrvapakshin maintains that ether does not originate, since
there is no scriptural statement to that effect. For in the chapter which treats
of the origin (of the world) ether is not mentioned at all. In the passage 'In
the beginning there was that only which is, one only, without a second' the
Khândogya at first introduces Brahman as the general subject-matter,
by means of the clause 'that which is,' and thereupon (in the passages 'It thought,'
'It sent forth fire,' &c.) records the origin of three elements, viz. fire,
water, and earth; giving the first place to fire which (ordinarily) occupies
the middle place among the five elements. Now, as scriptural statement is our
(only) authority in the origination of the knowledge of supersensuous things,
and as there is no scriptural statement declaring the origin of ether, ether
must be considered to have no origin.