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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Silent and unaffected Footnote ref 1


a question may arise as to what may be called the nature of the phenomenal world of colour, sound, taste, and smell. But we must also remember that the Upani@sads do not represent so much a conceptional system of philosophy as visions of the seers who are possessed by the spirit of this Brahman. They do not notice even the contradiction between the Brahman as unity and nature in its diversity. When the empirical aspect of diversity attracts their notice, they affirm it and yet declare that it is all Brahman. From Brahman it has come forth and to it will it return. He has himself created it out of himself and then entered into it as its inner controller (_antaryamin_). Here is thus a glaring dualistic trait of the world of matter and Brahman as its controller, though in other places we find it asserted most emphatically that these are but names and forms, and when Brahman is known everything else is known. No attempts at reconciliation are made for the sake of the consistency of conceptual utterance, as S'a@nkara the great professor of Vedanta does by explaining away the dualistic texts. The universe is said to be a reality, but the real in it is Brahman alone. It is on account of Brahman that the fire burns and the wind blows. He is the active principle in the entire universe, and yet the most passive and unmoved. The


world is his body, yet he is the soul within. "He creates all, wills all, smells all, tastes

all, he has pervaded all, silent and unaffected [Footnote ref 1]." He is below, above, in the back, in front, in the south and in the north, he is all this [Footnote ref 2]." These rivers in the east and in the west originating from the ocean, return back into it and become the ocean themselves, though they do not know that they are so. So also all these people coming into being from the Being do not know that they have come from the Being...That which is the subtlest that is the self, that is all this, the truth, that self thou art O S'vetaketu [Footnote ref 3]." "Brahman," as Deussen points out, "was regarded as the cause antecedent in time, and the universe as the effect proceeding from it; the inner dependence of the universe on Brahman and its essential identity with him was represented as a creation of the universe by and out of Brahman." Thus it is said in Mund. I.I. 7:

As a spider ejects and retracts (the threads), As the plants shoot forth on the earth, As the hairs on the head and body of the living man, So from the imperishable all that is here. As the sparks from the well-kindled fire, In nature akin to it, spring forth in their thousands, So, my dear sir, from the imperishable Living beings of many kinds go forth, And again return into him [Footnote ref 4].

Yet this world principle is the dearest to us and the highest teaching of the Upani@sads is "That art thou."

Again the growth of the doctrine that Brahman is the "inner controller" in all the parts and forces of nature and of mankind as the atman thereof, and that all the effects of the universe are the result of his commands which no one can outstep, gave rise to a theistic current of thought in which Brahman is held as standing aloof as God and controlling the world. It is by his ordaining, it is said, that the sun and moon are held together, and the sky and earth stand held together [Footnote ref 5]. God and soul are distinguished again in the famous verse of S'vetas'vatara [Footnote ref 6]:

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