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  Srimad Bhagavatam

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  Sankara Bhashya
  By Edwin Arnold

  Brahma Sutra
  Sankara Bhashya I
  Sankara Bhashya II
  Ramanuja SriBhashya


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  Brahma Sutras

Brahma Sutra Bhashya of Sri Adi Sanakara - Part I
translated by George Thibaut

21. On account of the other (i.e. the individual soul) being designated (as non-different from Brahman) there would attach (to Brahman) various faults, as, for instance, not doing what is beneficial.

Another objection is raised against the doctrine of an intelligent cause of the world.--If that doctrine is accepted, certain faults, as, for instance, doing what is not beneficial, will attach (to the intelligent cause, i.e. Brahman), 'on account of the other being designated.' For Scripture declares the other, i.e. the embodied soul, to be one with Brahman, as is shown by the passage, 'That is the Self; that art thou, O Svetaketu!' (Kh. Up. VI, 8, 7.)--Or else (if we interpret 'the other' of the Sûtra in a different way) Scripture declares the other, i. e. Brahman, to be the Self of the embodied soul. For the passage, 'Having created that he entered into it,' declares the creator, i. e. the unmodified Brahman, to constitute the Self of the embodied soul, in consequence of his entering into his products. The following passage also, 'Entering (into them) with this living Self I will evolve names and forms' (Kh. Up. VI, 3, 2), in which the highest divinity designates the living (soul) by the word 'Self,' shows that the embodied Self is not different from Brahman. Therefore the creative power of Brahman belongs to the embodied Self also, and the latter, being thus an independent agent, might be expected to produce only what is beneficial to itself, and not things of a contrary nature, such as birth, death, old age, disease, and whatever may be the other meshes of the net of suffering. For we know that no free person will build a prison for himself, and take up his abode in it. Nor would a being, itself absolutely stainless,

p. 344

look on this altogether unclean body as forming part of its Self. It would, moreover, free itself, according to its liking, of the consequences of those of its former actions which result in pain, and would enjoy the consequences of those actions only which are rewarded by pleasure. Further, it would remember that it had created this manifold world; for every person who has produced some clearly appearing effect remembers that he has been the cause of it. And as the magician easily retracts, whenever he likes, the magical illusion which he had emitted, so the embodied soul also would be able to reabsorb this world into itself. The fact is, however, that the embodied soul cannot reabsorb its own body even. As we therefore see that 'what would be beneficial is not done,' the hypothesis of the world having proceeded from an intelligent cause is unacceptable.

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