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6. The earth emits smells, both pleasant and unpleasant. Thus the characteristic properties of the five elements are well classified. The five senses (which perceive them) are hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell.
7. The five senses successively function through the external apparatus, the gross organs, the ears, the skin, the eyes, the tongue and the nose. The senses are subtle; their presence is to be inferred from their functions. They often move outwards.
8. But sometimes we hear the sounds made by our in-going and out-going breaths, and we hear buzzing sound when our ears are stopped. We feel an internal sensation of hot and cold when food and water are swallowed.
9. When our eyes are closed, we see inside the absence of light, and in belching we experience taste and odour. Thus the sense organs give rise to experience of things within the physical body.
10. The various actions of man can be classified into five groups; speech, grasping, movement, excretion and enjoyment of sexual intercourse. Action performed in agriculture, commerce, service and so forth may be included into one or other of the groups.
11. The five groups of actions are performed through the five organs of action – the mouth, the hands, the feet, the anus and the genitals.
12. The mind, the ruler of the ten organs of sense and action, is situated within the lotus of the heart. As it depends on the organs of sense and action for its functions in relation to external objects, it is called an internal organ (antahkarana).
13. The mind enquires into the merits and defects of the objects which are perceived by the senses. Sattva, rajas and tamas are its three constituents, for through them the mind undergoes various modifications.
14. Non-attachment, forgiveness, generosity, etc., are products of sattva. Desire, anger, avarice, effort, etc., are produced by rajas.
15. Lethargy, confusion, drowsiness, etc., are produced by tamas. When sattva functions in the mind, merit is acquired; when rajas functions, demerit is produced.
16. When tamas functions, neither merit nor demerit is produced, but life is wasted for nothing. Of the modifications of the mind that of I-consciousness is the agent. In the practical world also we do the same.
17. It is quite evident that the objects in which sound, touch etc., are clearly discernible are products of the five elements. With the help of scriptural texts and reasoning it can be conceived that even for the senses and the mind the subtle elements are the basis.
18. Whatever of this world is perceived by the senses, the organs of action, the mind, reasoning and the scriptural texts, is referred to as ‘this’ (idam) in the Shruti text that follows.
19. “Before all this was created there was Being alone, one only, without a second; there was neither name nor form”, so said Aruni.
20. Differences are of three kinds: The difference of a tree from its leaves, flowers, fruits etc., is the difference within an object. The difference of one tree from another tree is the difference between objects of the same class. The difference of a tree from a stone is the difference between objects of different classes.
21. Similarly doubt may arise that the one and only reality (Sat or Brahman) may also have differences. So all the three kinds of differences have been negated by the Shruti in three words denoting the oneness of Brahman, Its definiteness and rejection of duality respectively.
22. One cannot doubt that Brahman, the one and only reality, has no parts, for Its parts cannot be conceived of. Names and forms cannot be Its parts, for before creation they did not arise.
23. As creation means the appearances of names and forms, they cannot exist before creation. Therefore like the Akasa, Brahman is partless (and there is no difference with It.)
24. The difference between objects of the same class can have no reference to Sat, for nothing else exists. One object differs from another on account of its name and form, whereas Brahman is absolutely without name and form.
25. And about non-existence: we cannot say that it (is something that) exists. So it cannot serve as a pratiyogin. If so, how can there be vijatiya difference ?
26. So it is established that Sat is one only without a second. But there are still some who get confused by texts and say that Asat (nothing) existed before creation.
27. As a man who ha fallen into the sea is bewildered and loses the power of exercising his senses, so they too become afraid and nervous when they hear of the Reality as one only without parts.
28. The teacher Gaudapada speaks of the great fear of some yogins who are devoted to Brahman with form, regarding the objectless super-conscious state.
29. This identification with the ungrasped and ungraspable Reality is difficult to achieve. They are indeed seeing fear in the fearless.
30. The highly respected Bhagavatpada Sankara also refers to the Madhyamikas, experts in dry ratiocination (contradicting the vedic view), as confused regarding the self-existent Brahman who is beyond thought.
31. These Buddhists, merged in darkness, and seeing through the one eye of inference and neglecting the authority of the Vedas, reached only the ‘nothingness’.
32. (We ask the Buddhists): When you said, ‘nothing existed’ did you mean it (nothing) was connected with existence (Sat) or it (nothing) was of the nature of existence ? In either case its nothingness is contradicted.
33. The sun does not have the attribute of darkness; nor is it itself of the nature of darkness. As existence and non-existence are similarly contradictory, (you cannot predicate something about nothing, so) how do you say ‘nothing existed’ ?