31. Since there may be manifestation of that which exists; as in the case of virile power and so on.
The 'but' is meant to set the raised objection aside. The case may be that while consciousness is present also in deep sleep, and so on, it is manifested in the waking state only; whence there would be no objection to viewing consciousness as an essential attribute of the Self. 'As in the case of virile power and the like.' Special substances such as the virile element are indeed present in the male child already, but then are not manifest, while later on they manifest themselves with advancing youth; but all the same the possession of those substances is essential to the male being, not merely adventitious. For to be made up of seven elementary substances (viz. blood, humour, flesh, fat, marrow, bone, and semen) is an essential, property of the body. That even in deep sleep and similar states the 'I' shines forth we have explained above. Consciousness is always there, but only in the waking state and in dreams it is observed to relate itself to objects. And that to be a subject of cognition, and so on, are essential attributes of the Self, we have also proved before. The conclusion, therefore, is that to be a knowing subject is the essential character of the Self. And that Self is of atomic size. The text 'when he has departed there is no consciousness' (samgñâ; Bri. Up. II, 4, 12) does not declare that the released Self has no consciousness; but only that in the case of that Self there is absent that knowledge (experience) of birth, death, and so on, which in the Samsâra state is caused by the connexion of the Self with the elements- as described in the preceding passage, 'that great being having risen from out these elements again perishes after them.' For the text as to the absence of samgñâ after death must be interpreted in harmony with other texts describing the condition of the released soul, such as 'the seeing one does not see death nor illness nor pain; the seeing one sees everything and obtains everything everywhere' (Kh. Up. VII, 25, 2); 'not remembering that body
into which he was born--seeing these pleasures with the mind he rejoices' (VIII, 12, 3; 5).
The Sûtras now proceed to refute the doctrine of the Self being (not a knower) but mere knowledge, and being omnipresent.