4. Not, on account of the difference of character of that; and its being such (appears) from Scripture.
The same opponent who laid stress on the conflict between Scripture and Smriti now again comes forward, relying this time (not on Smriti but) on simple reasoning. Your doctrine, he says, as to the world being an effect of Brahman which you attempted to prove by a refutation of the Sânkhya Smriti shows itself to be irrational for the following reason. Perception and the other means of knowledge show this world with all its sentient and non-sentient beings to be of a non-intelligent and impure nature, to possess none of the qualities of the Lord, and to have pain for its very essence; and such a world totally differs in nature from the Brahman, postulated by you, which is said to be all-knowing, of supreme lordly power,
antagonistic to all evil, enjoying unbroken uniform blessedness. This difference in character of the world from Brahman is, moreover, not only known through Perception, and so on, but is seen to be directly stated in Scripture itself; compare 'Knowledge and non-knowledge' (Taitt. Up. II, 6, 1); 'Thus are these objects placed on the subjects, and the subjects on the prâna' (Kau. Up. III, 9); 'On the same tree man sits grieving, immersed, bewildered by his own impotence' (Svet. Up. IV, 7); 'The soul not being a Lord is bound because he has to enjoy' (Svet. Up. I, 8); and so on; all which texts refer to the effect, i.e. the world as being non-intelligent, of the essence of pain, and so on. The general rule is that an effect is non-different in character from its cause; as e.g. pots and bracelets are non-different in character from their material causes--clay and gold. The world cannot, therefore, be the effect of Brahman from which it differs in character, and we hence conclude that, in agreement with the Sânkhya Smriti, the Pradhâna which resembles the actual world in character must be assumed to be the general cause. Scripture, although not dependent on anything else and concerned with super-sensuous objects, must all the same come to terms with ratiocination (tarka); for all the different means of knowledge can in many cases help us to arrive at a decisive conclusion, only if they are supported by ratiocination. For by tarka we understand that kind of knowledge (intellectual activity) which in the case of any given matter, by means of an investigation either into the essential nature of that matter or into collateral (auxiliary) factors, determines what possesses proving power, and what are the special details of the matter under consideration: this kind of cognitional activity is also called ûha. All means of knowledge equally stand in need of tarka; Scripture however, the authoritative character of which specially depends on expectancy (âkânkshâ), proximity (sannidhi), and compatibility (yogyatâ), throughout requires to be assisted by tarka. In accordance with this Manu says,'He who investigates by means of reasoning, he only knows religious duty, and none other.' It is with a view to such confirmation of
the sense of Scripture by means of Reasoning that the texts declare that certain topics such as the Self must be 'reflected on' (mantavya).--Now here it might possibly be said that as Brahman is ascertained from Scripture to be the sole cause of the world, it must be admitted that intelligence exists in the world also, which is an effect of Brahman. In the same way as the consciousness of an intelligent being is not perceived when it is in the states of deep sleep, swoon, &c., so the intelligent nature of jars and the like also is not observed, although it really exists; and it is this very difference of manifestation and non-manifestation of intelligence on which the distinction of intelligent and non-intelligent beings depends.--But to this we reply that permanent non-perception of intelligence proves its non-existence. This consideration also refutes the hypothesis of things commonly called non-intelligent possessing the power, or potentiality, of consciousness. For if you maintain that a thing possesses the power of producing an effect while yet that effect is never and nowhere seen to be produced by it, you may as well proclaim at a meeting of sons of barren women that their mothers possess eminent procreative power! Moreover, to prove at first from the Vedânta-texts that Brahman is the material cause of the world, and from this that pots and the like possess potential consciousness, and therefrom the existence of non-manifested consciousness; and then, on the other hand, to start from the last principle as proved and to deduce therefrom that the Vedânta-texts prove Brahman to be the material cause of the world, is simply to argue in a circle; for that the relation of cause and effect should exist between things different in character is just what cannot be proved.--What sameness of character, again, of causal substance and effects, have you in mind when you maintain that from the absence of such sameness it follows that Brahman cannot be proved to be the material cause of the world? It cannot be complete sameness of all attributes, because in that case the relation of cause and effect (which after all requires some difference) could not be established. For we do not observe that in
pots and jars which are fashioned out of a lump of clay there persists the quality of 'being a lump' which belongs to the causal substance. And should you say that it suffices that there should be equality in some or any attribute, we point out that such is actually the case with regard to Brahman and the world, both of which have the attribute of 'existence' and others. The true state of the case rather is as follows. There is equality of nature between an effect and a cause, in that sense that those essential characteristics by which the causal substance distinguishes itself from other things persist in its effects also: those characteristic features, e.g., which distinguish gold from clay and other materials, persist also in things made of gold-bracelets and the like. But applying this consideration to Brahman and the world we find that Brahman's essential nature is to be antagonistic to all evil, and to consist of knowledge, bliss and power, while the world's essential nature is to be the opposite of all this. Brahman cannot, therefore, be the material cause of the world.
But, it may be objected, we observe that even things of different essential characteristics stand to each other in the relation of cause and effect. From man, e.g., who is a sentient being, there spring nails, teeth, and hair, which are non-sentient things; the sentient scorpion springs from non-sentient dung; and non-sentient threads proceed from the sentient spider.--This objection, we reply, is not valid; for in the instances quoted the relation of cause and effect rests on the non-sentient elements only (i.e. it is only the non-sentient matter of the body which produces nails, &c.).
But, a further objection is raised, Scripture itself declares in many places that things generally held to be non-sentient really possess intelligence; compare 'to him the earth said'; 'the water desired'; 'the prânas quarrelling among themselves as to their relative pre-eminence went to Brahman.' And the writers of the Purânas ako attribute consciousness to rivers, hills, the sea, and so on. Hence there is after all no essential difference in nature between
sentient and so-called non-sentient beings.--To this objection the Pûrvapakshin replies in the next Sûtra.