Vedārtha Saṅgrahaḥ 17

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The comprehension of the import of Vedas

Criticism of Bhāskara’s Bhedābheda

Passage 73

In the second view (that of Bhāskara), nothing other than the Brahman and qualifiers (upādhi) is
admitted. As a result, the qualifiers can touch only the Brahman. All the defects associated with the contact of qualifiers affect the Brahman itself. The qualities such as ”being without blemish” stated in the scriptures become invalidated in this system.

Passage 74

The Bhedābhedavādin responds:

Universal space is different from the space limited by a jar since the latter is bound. The defects of the space limited in a jar do not touch universal space which is beyond bounds. Likewise, the defects found in individual souls due to the differences caused by qualifiers do not bind the Brahman.

Our answer:

This is not correct. Space is indivisible since it is without parts. Objects like jar cannot divide space. The indivisible space itself comes into association with jar.
Likewise, the Brahman is indivisible and therefore, it has to come into contact with qualifiers by itself.

Passage 75

It cannot be held that the part associated with the jar is distinct from universal space for another reason.
The jar is not fixed to any location but moves across one universal space. It qualifies different parts of the space as limited space as it moves. There is no constancy of association.
The same must apply for the Brahman too. As the qualifiers &quot;move&quot; through different parts of the Brahman, they condition that part alone. This results in bondage and liberation of parts every moment. The wise consider such a situation laughable.

Passage 76

The Bhedābhedavādin responds:

Space is the same as the sense of hearing. Yet, the latter stands in separation as the sense. Likewise, individuation is possible in the Brahman too.

Our response:

Space is not the sense of hearing. Only that part of space in the ear which is conditioned by a form of air constitutes the sense of hearing. Though there is no constancy of association between a part of space and the ear, the sense of hearing is sustainable. After all, the same space comes into moving objects without any constancy of association between the objects and its parts. In the same manner, we are left to understand that the Brahman also comes into contact with different qualifiers without constancy of association. (This situation recurs the previously explained defect.)

Passage 77

The above assumption that space constitutes the sense of hearing has been admitted only for the sake of argument. In reality, space does not constitute the sense of hearing.
Those versed in Vedas hold that the eleven senses originate from sāttvika ahaṅkāra called vaikārika. Bhagavān Parāśara says, Some say that the senses originate from taijasa. But, in truth, the ten senses and the mind originate from vaikārika. There are three forms of ahaṅkāra: vaikārika, taijasa and bhūtādiḥ which respectively correspond to sāttvika , rājasika and tāmasika. The elements such as space are generated out of bhūtādiḥ. But, the senses, referred in the text by the word ‘deva’, are created out of vaikārika. The senses that are the product of vaikārika are satiated by the elements which are the product of bhūtādiḥ – this is stated in the Mahābhārata.

Passage 78

Even if it is argued that the senses are the product of elements such as space, there is no problem in considering them as modifications of the elements in the same manner as bodies of souls which are also modifications of elements.
However, even admitting this poses problems to your conception of the Brahman. The Brahman is known to be beyond limits, without parts and changeless. Yet, it comes into contact without any rule or law with countless limitations. There is no way to escape this consequence. Those versed in the scripture consider that this philosophy is only for blind believers and do not value it highly.

Passage 79

By allowing the very essence of the Brahman to be modified, this philosophy negates the scriptural teaching that the Brahman is without modification. Likewise, by subjecting the Brahman to qualifying defects, it antagonizes the scripture which says that the Brahman is blemish-less. If it said that only the potency of the Brahman undergoes modification, we ask: what is this potency?

Is it a modification of the Brahman or is it something else non-different from the Brahman?

In either case, modification of the essential character of the Brahman is unavoidable.

The section ‘Criticism of Bhāskara’s Bhedābheda’ is concluded.

adiyen ranganatha ramanuja dasan

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One thought on “Vedārtha Saṅgrahaḥ 17

  1. Pingback: வேதார்த்த ஸங்க்ரஹம் 17 | SrIvaishNava granthams in thamizh

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