The Sūtasamhitā – Part 4
The Sūtasamhitā – The Essence of the Chāndogya Upaniṣad 6th Chapter
The 27th verse is now explained:
A question is raised: The claim of the Vedānta is that the effect is known by knowing the cause. Even if this is admitted, by that knowledge since it is impossible to know the entire lot of effects (of that cause) how is it possible to accomplish the Upaniṣadic claim of ‘By knowing one, everything is known’?
In answer to this question the 27th verse is in place. That Cause (of the world) is One and without a second alone and not different and not even different-cum-non-different. Since nowhere has difference been established, it (difference) can’t even be remotely thought to exist in the cause.
Objection: Is it not that difference, such as ‘a cloth is different from a pot’ is experienced by direct perception?
Reply: Nowhere has difference been established and hence the idea of ‘difference’ is mithyā, unreal.
Reply: The experience/appearance of bheda, difference, is dependent upon the establishment of the knowledge/awareness of the locus of attributes.
भेदे ज्ञाते हि धर्म्यादिविभागस्य च वेदनम् ।
विभेदेनैव धर्म्यादौ विज्ञाते भेदवेदनम् ॥ २८॥
भेदे as different ज्ञाते known हि alone धर्म्यादिविभागस्य च the individual entities वेदनम् knowing विभेदेन एव by different alone धर्म्यादौ individual entities विज्ञाते known भेदवेदनम् knowledge of difference
In other words, if I have to know A is different from B, I will have to be aware of the object A and B as two entities different from each other. And this knowledge is possible only when I am aware of the difference between A and B. This inter/mutual dependence is thus articulated: The idea of ‘difference’ is possible only when the two objects between which the difference is sought to be established is known. But this knowledge itself would arise only if the difference between them is experienced.
Hence the very concept, idea, of ‘difference’, ‘bheda’, that is experienced is itself unreal, mithyā.
Here is an adaptation from a post on the topic of ‘bheda’ which is relevant to this article here:
[beginning of the quote]
In the work ‘svārājyasiddhiḥ’ (one of the five ‘siddhi’ texts in Advaita, such as the advaita siddhi and the naiṣkarmyasiddhi…) in the verses 7 and 8 of the second section called ‘apavāda prakaraṇam’ the topic of ‘bheda’ is dealt with in particular reference to the one that is being discussed in this article..
When it is said that in a pot there is the difference of cloth (‘a pot is different from cloth’), and it is enquired as to ‘by which relation does the difference exist in the pot’, one cannot specify any type of relation in the locus, pot. While there can be no relation at all between the pot and the ‘difference’, and yet when a relation appears to be there, that alone is called ‘mithyā’ as per the definition ‘the appearance of x in a locus that is devoid of x is what is called mithyātva’. In order to demonstrate that there is no relation possible between the locus, pot, and ‘difference’ in that locus, the following verse is presented:
द्रव्ये भेदस्य योगो न भवति निरुपाख्यस्य भावस्वरूपो…..
निस्सम्बन्धेऽपि शुक्तौ रजतमिव मृषा तेन भेदः प्रतीतः ॥ ७ ॥
’Difference’ (D) is of the form of mutual non-existence: ‘a pot is different from a cloth’ means: the pot is not cloth and vice versa. In other words, there is the absence of cloth in a pot and absence of pot in a cloth. Such a D which cannot be spoken of in words as ‘such and such’ but is in an abhāva, absence, mode alone, cannot have any kind of relation with its locus. Without any kind of sambandha, relation, with the locus, the entity D cannot be said to be present in the object. Despite there being no relation when D is ‘experienced’ in the locus/object, the case is no different from the appearing/experiencing of the non-existent silver in the nacre which is devoid of silver in it.
Having said the above to show that D can never exist in the dravya (locus), the next verse is presented to show there is no way D can be an object of any means of knowledge, pramāṇa, whether it is perception/pratyakṣa or any other:
संयोगादेरयोगान्न हि भवति भिदा गोचरश्चेन्द्रियाणां….
प्रत्यक्षा स्वाप्नमायानगरमिव भवेत्साधु सैषा मृषैव ।
For any knowledge to arise, there has to be a pramāṇa operation. Since D, which is a non-entity, as shown in the previous verse, cannot be present in a dravya through any of the relations like samyoga, conjunction, samavāya, inherence, it is impossible for it, D, to be grasped by operation of any pramāṇa.
pratyakṣa, sense-perception, involves the contacting of the sense organ with the object. For a contact to happen, the object has to be present. Since the object, D, in this case, is not there at all in the dravya, when the contact with the dravya takes place, there is no way D is grasped, for there is no candidate called D in the dravya, by any relation whatsoever, as stated above. When there has not been any contact of the perceiving organ with D which is non-existent in the dravya perceived, there is no way D is perceived ‘along with’ the dravya that is perceived through such a contact involving the organ and the dravya (object).
The verse and the commentary go on to explain how each of the other pramāṇa-s like anumāna (inference), upamāna (similarity) and śabda (verbal authority) cannot establish/comprehend D in a dravya. The verses preceding the ones shown here also deal with bheda only to establish that bheda is impossible / non-existent.
[end of the quote]
भेदानिरूपणादेव भेदाभेदो न संगतः ।
अतश्च कारणं नित्यमेकमेवाद्वयं सुराः ॥ २९॥
भेदानिरूपणात् एव Only because bheda cannot be established भेदाभेदो difference-cum-non-difference न is not संगतः admissible अतः च therefore too कारणं cause नित्यम् is eternal एकम् एव one only अद्वयं without-a-second सुराः Oh Gods!
Therefore, as the difference that is perceived is non-existent, its appearance too is not ultimately real. Hence, as the distinction/split-creating difference, bheda, does not touch/contact, the Cause, Brahman is Eternal. Also since the internal (svagata bheda) and same-species (sajātīya bheda), do not exist, Barhman the Cause is Ekam, Eva, Advitīyam [One only without a second].
Since it is established that ‘bheda’, difference, is impossible, the case of ‘the effect being different and also non-different from the cause’ is also ruled out.
An objection is raised: In the world we do see that in the making of the effects such as pot, the material, upādānam (clay), and the instrument(al), nimittam (potter), are both distinctly present. Similarly if we admit the Secondless Cause, Brahman, as instrumental cause, in the absence of the material cause (since Brahman is admitted to be one without a second, the ‘material cause’ cannot exist as a second entity), the effect (called world) cannot come about. And if Brahman is admitted to be the material cause (to overcome the stated defect), then the world-effect will have to be deemed to be without any maker, efficient cause. In reply to this objection the next three verses are presented to establish that in the case of world-creation Brahman is the undifferentiated material-instrumental cause. This is called ‘abhinna nimittopādāna kāraṇam’.
कुलालादेर्मृदादेश्च भेदे दृष्टेऽपि भूतले ।
अचैतन्यान्मृदादेस्तु कुलालादिरपेक्ष्यते ॥ ३०॥
कुलालादेः of the potters, etc. मृदादेः च and clay, etc. भेदे difference दृष्टे अपि even though perceived भूतले in the world अचैतन्यात् since inert मृदादेः clay, etc. तु however कुलालादिः potter, etc. अपेक्ष्यते are required
Since the material clay etc., are inert, there is per force a need for a sentient efficient cause that is distinct from the inert material cause.
अत्र कारणमद्वैतं शुद्धं चैतन्यमेव हि ।
तेन नापेक्षते ह्यन्यत्कारणं चेतनात्मकम् ॥ ३१॥
अत्र here कारणम् cause अद्वैतं secondless शुद्धं pure चैतन्यम् consciousness एव alone हि indeed तेन hence न not अपेक्षते need हि verily अन्यत् distinct कारणं cause चेतनात्मकम् which is sentient
In the case of the world-creation, as distinguished from the cases of creation of pots, etc., since the Cause is itself the Secondless, Pure, Consciousness, is the material cause (for the world), there is no need for any distinct sentient entity as the efficient cause, nimitta kāraṇam.
स्वयं चेतनमप्येतत्कारणं न कुलालवत् ।
अपेक्षते मृदा तुल्यमचिद्रूपं तु कारणम् ॥ ३२॥
स्वयं By itself चेतनम् sentient अपि though एतत् this कारणं Cause न does not कुलालवत् like a potter अपेक्षते expect मृदा like clay तुल्यम् equivalent अचिद्रूपं insentient तु however कारणम् cause
Even though Brahman is Consciousness (sentient) by itself, there is no need for It to depend on an insentient material cause (like a potter needs) that is distinct from Itself. How do we make such a claim? It is on the basis of the Veda that we admit Brahman to be the undifferentiated material-instrumental cause. This is called ‘abhinna nimittopādāna kāraṇam’. In this very Chāndogya Upaniṣad is the statement: ‘tadaikṣata, bahu syām prajāyeyeti.’ [Ref: ] [‘It (Brahman) deliberated thus: ‘Let me become many, let me be excessively born.’] On the basis of this passage, we understand that Brahman is the nimitta kāraṇam (efficient cause) as conveyed by the words ‘It deliberated thus.’ And on the strength of the declaration ‘let me become many, let me be excessively born’ it is clear that Brahman Itself is also the upādāna kāraṇam (material cause). Thus Brahman is Itself both the efficient and the material cause of the world.