18. Should it be said that from a subsequent passage (it appears that the individual Soul is meant); rather (the soul) in so far as its true nature has become manifest.
The Pûrvapakshin now maintains that we ascertain from a subsequent declaration made by Pragâpati that it is just the individual Soul that possesses freedom from sin and the other qualities enumerated. The whole teaching of Pragâpati, he says, refers to the individual Soul only. Indra having heard that Pragâpati had spoken about a Self free from sin, old age, &c., the enquiry into which enables the soul to obtain all worlds and desires, approaches Pragâpati with the wish to learn the true nature of that Self which should be enquired into. Pragâpati thereupon, wishing to test the capacity of his pupil for receiving true instruction, gives him successive information about the embodied soul in the state of waking, dream and dreamless sleep. When he finds that Indra sees no good in instruction of this kind and thus shows himself fit to receive instruction about the true nature of the disembodied Self, he explains to him that the body is a mere abode for a ruling Self; that that bodiless Self is essentially immortal; and that the soul, as long as it is joined to a body due to karman, is compelled to experience pleasure and pain corresponding to its embodied state, while it rises above all this when it has freed itself from the body (VIII, 12, 1). He then continues: 'Thus that serenity having risen from this body and approached the highest light, appears in its own form'; thus teaching him the true nature, free from a body, of the individual soul. He next informs him that the 'highest light' which the soul reaches is the supreme Person ('That is the supreme Person'), and that the soul having reached that highest light and freed itself from what obscured its own true nature, obtains in the world of Brahman whatever enjoyments it desires, and is no longer connected with a body springing from karman and inseparable from pain and pleasure, or with anything else that causes distress. ('He moves about there laughing,' &c.). He next illustrates
the connexion with a body, of the soul in the Samsâra state, by means of a comparison: 'Like as a horse attached to a cart,' &c. After that he explains that the eye and the other sense-organs are instruments of knowledge, colour, and so on, the objects of knowledge, and the individual Self the knowing subject; and that hence that Self is different from the body and the sense-organs ('Now where the sight has entered' up to 'the mind is his divine eye'). Next he declares that, after having divested itself of the body and the senses, the Self perceives all the objects of its desire by means of its 'divine eye,' i.e. the power of cognition which constitutes its essential nature ('He by means of the divine eye,' &c.). He further declares that those who have true knowledge know the Self as such ('on that Self the devas meditate'); and in conclusion teaches that he who has that true knowledge of the Self obtains for his reward the intuition of Brahman--which is suggested by what the text says about the obtaining of all worlds and all desires ('He obtains all worlds and all desires,' &c., up to the end of the chapter).--It thus appears that the entire chapter proposes as the object of cognition the individual soul free from sin, and so on. The qualities, viz. freedom from guilt, &c., may thus belong to the individual Self, and on this ground we conclude that the small ether is the individual Self.
This view the second half of the Sûtra sets aside. The two sections, that which treats of the small ether and that which contains the teaching of Pragâpati, have different topics. Pragâpati's teaching refers to the individual soul, whose true nature, with its qualities such as freedom from evil, &c., is at first hidden by untruth, while later on, when it has freed itself from the bondage of karman, risen from the body, and approached the highest light, it manifests itself in its true form and then is characterised by freedom from all evil and by other auspicious qualities. In the section treating of the small ether, on the other hand, we have to do with the small ether, i.e. the highest Brahman, whose true nature is never hidden, and which therefore is unconditionally characterised by freedom from evil, and so on.--
[paragraph continues] Moreover, the daharâkâsa-section ascribes to the small ether other attributes which cannot belong to the individual Self even 'when its true nature has manifested itself.' The small ether is there called a bank and support of all worlds; and one of its names,'satyam,' is explained to imply that it governs all sentient and non-sentient beings. All this also proves that the small ether is none other than the highest Self. That the individual soul, 'even when its true nature is manifest,' cannot be viewed as a bank and support of the worlds, &c., we shall show under IV, 4.
But if this is so, what then is the meaning of the reference to the individual soul which is made in the section treating of the small ether, viz. in the passage, 'Now that serene being, which after having risen from this body,' &c. (VIII, 3, 4)?
To this question the next Sûtra replies.