By U. Ve. , MahAmahOpAdhyaya, Dr. Sriman Srirangam Nallan Chakravarthy Raghunathacharya Swami: Translated into English by Sriman K.S. Rajaji I.A.S.,
We continue with the justification by Sri Sudarsana Bhattar – Sri S’ruthaprakAs’ikAcharya for the Brahman to be the material cause. In the prakrithyadhikaraNa of Sribhashyam Sri S’ruthaprakAsíkAchArya had amply justified that Brahman is the material cause for the entire universe and had given a number of illustrations. The summary of that justification is given below.
Brahman has become the locus or the ASrayam for all the states of gross transformation occurred in the sentient and insentient – the attributes of Brahman. He has become the place for these transformations through his attributes – the sentient and insentient. If that is the case, a doubt may arise regarding the crookedness of the walking stick, a person is having with him. The doubt is whether the crookedness should belong to him. But in the illustration there is a difference. The sentient and the insentient are inseparable from the Brahman and are becoming useful for the evolution of the universe and these are part of the characteristic attributes of Brahman. Hence any metamorphosis of transformations is applicable to the qualified Brahman through these attribute sentient and insentient entities. But the walking stick is not so. It is not a part of the characteristic of the man. Further it has an independent existence apart from the man, whereas the sentient and insentient cannot exist independent of the Brahman as they are part of Him as inseparable attributes to Him. Hence the crookedness etc of the walking stick is not part of the nature and characteristics of the man holding the stick.
An inseparable attribute existing as long as the object to which it is an attribute, exists, and useful for the metamorphosis alone can be called as nature of the object. In other words, a unique form, useful in the process of metamorphosis/ transformation, and is inseparable attribute of the object should be called as nature or characteristic of that object. What is the characteristic of a pot? Is it clay alone? A form of clay that is useful for holding something like water etc. only can be called as the characteristic of a pot. The heat which causes blisters on a human body by touch alone is the characteristic of the fire. The sharpness and wedge shape useful for splitting or cutting the wood are the characteristics of an axe. In the same way, the characteristic nature of Brahman is that which having the subtle sentient, insentient and the time as its inseparable attributes, useful in the process of transformation and evolution of the universe. Hence, there is no objection for the Brahman to be the locus for the gross forms of the sentient and insentient. These gross forms are the result of the changes/ transformation/metamorphosis in the sentient and the insentient – the characteristic attributes of Brahman. Thus since the Brahman is always a qualified entity only, the illustrations given by the S’ruthis and Smrithis to say that He is the material cause, are quite apt. The authentications for the above argument are the following –
“thadyathhA rathhasyAreshu nemirarpithA, nAbhAvarA arpithAh evamevaithA bhUthamathrAh prajnAmAthrA svarpithAh, prajnAmAthrAh prANe arpithAh”.
The meaning of this verse is given below- The rim of a wheel depends on the spokes of the wheel and the spokes are connected to and depend on the hub for the wheel’s activities. Thus the wheel means the hub qualified by the spokes and the rim. But, remember that the hub alone is not the wheel. So, the spokes and the rim are a part of the wheel. When the rim or the spokes are broken it is said that the wheel has broken down. Similarly, the transformation which had taken place in the chit – the sentient and the achit – the insentient, is considered to be in the qualified Brahman only and hence, the Brahman qualified by the gross forms of the chit and achit – the sentient and insentient is known to be the kArya – the effect.
Now Sri S’ruthaprakAs’ikAcharya gives another illustration to prove that Brahman is the material cause for the entire universe. This is from Vishnu PurANa, praising Bhagavan having the universe as his form.
“yathA hi kadaLee nAnyA thvakpathrAnnAthha! dris’yathe|
evam vis’vasya nAnyasthvam thvamchApees’vara! dris’yase||”
The meaning of this verse is “O Lord! The banana in the form of stem is not different than the leaves and the sheaths. The stem associated with the sheath and the leaves, all of them together only is Banana tree. Similarly You are not different from the universe, which is made up of the sentient and insentient. Your characteristic nature is the form qualified by the sentient and insentient. However, the stem of a banana tree is a still has a separate entity, which is the shelter for the sheath and leaves. Likewise, You, being the seat of the unlimited knowledge and eternal bliss, are also a special extra-ordinary entity, different than the sentient and insentient, though they are inseparable parts of you, taking shelter in you. Such an extra-ordinary form of you is visible to the yogis.”
Now, in the two illustrations of the wheel and the banana tree, it can be observed that the qualified or discriminated entity – the hub, as well as the stem of banana tree; and the qualifying entities – the rim& spokes and the sheath& leaves respectively, are all insentient. Hence there is no controlling capability for the qualified entities on the qualifying entities. But in case of Brahman, it is not so. Brahman has the control over the qualifying sentient and insentient, which are taking shelter in Brahman. They are controlled by Him. Because of this inseparable relationship of the controller – controlled or ruler-ruled condition only, the body-soul relationship condition has been determined. We observe that the states of childhood, youth etc. which are for the body, are being connected to the soul in the s’ruthi VAkyas like ashTavarsham brahmaNa mupanayeetha etc. With the same analogy, though the transformations like becoming stout or lean etc. are for the sentient and insentient matter only, their getting connected to the Brahman, the inner soul of these, becomes important. Thus for the kAryAvasthas – the states of stoutness or leanness etc., the qualified Brahman is becoming the place of parking through the sentient and insentient which are inherent qualifiers of Brahman. Hence, the definition bhAvi sthhUlAvasthhAvathah pUrvakAlika sUkshmAvasthhA-yogithvam upAdAnathvam applies in this circumstance.
Courtesy — Srinivasa Ramanuja DAsan
To be continued….