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7. And the best.

By 'the best' we have to understand the chief vital air (mukhya prâna), which, in the colloquy of the prânas, is determined to be the best because it is the cause of the preservation of the body. This chief vital air the Pûrvapakshin maintains to be something non-created, since Scripture (Ri. Samh. V, 129, 2), 'By its own law the One was breathing without wind,' shows that an effect of it, viz. the act of breathing, existed even previously to creation, at the time of a great pralaya; and because texts declaring it to have been created--such as 'from him is born breath' (Mu. Up. II, 1, 3)--may be interpreted in the same way as the texts declaring that the soul is something created (sec p. 540 ff.).--To this the reply is that, since this view contradicts scriptural statements as to the oneness of all, previous to creation; and since the Mundaka-text declares the prâna to have been created in the same way as earth and the other elements; and since there are no texts plainly denying its createdness, the chief vital air also must

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be held to have been created. The words 'the One was breathing without wind' by no means refer to the vital breath of living creatures, but intimate the existence of the highest Brahman, alone by itself; as indeed appears from the qualification 'without wind.'--That the vital breath, although really disposed of in the preceding Sûtras, is specially mentioned in the present Sûtra, is with a view to the question next raised for consideration.--Here terminates the adhikarana of 'the minuteness of the prânas.'

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