:: Introduction to Shudda-advaita Darshan as per TattvarthDeep Nibandha and Anu-Bhasya ::

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Introduction to Shudda-advaita Darshan as per TattvarthDeepNibandha
Summum Bonum of life
Pramana Chapter
Pramey Chapter
Samkhya System Nirakarana
Atomic Theory Nirakaran (Paramanuvaad)
Buddhist Theory Nirakaran
Vigyanvaad Nirakaran
Syaadvaad Nirakaran
Mimansakas and Naiyayikas Nirakaran
Mayavaad Nirakaran
Nescience (Avidhya)
Relation between Jiva and Brahman
Work, Knowledge and Devotion

Summum Bonum of life:

Tattvarth Deep Nibandha is one of the works of Shree Vallabhacharya, the exponent of the Shuddha-advaita system of Philosophy in India. His Philosophy of Shudda-advaita is explained at great length in his work Anubhasya, which is a commentary on the BrahmaSutras of Badarayan Vyas. In his Subodhini commentary on the Bhagwat, he has explained this philosophy also. His son Vitthaleshji and his descendents, Shri Purushottamji, Yogi Gopeshwarji, Girdharji, Murlidharji etc. also have explained this philosophy both by their learned commentaries on his works and also by their independent works. In all these works, has been discussed the problem of ultimate reality of the world and the summum bonum of life.

Every philosopher in every age has tried to solve this problem according to his light. In this world, the end of all activity is happiness. There is not a single person in this world who will welcome pain. Even those persons who commit suicide do so only out of utter disgust in life. When all hope of release from pain deserts them, they are compelled by circumstances to resort to suicide. But in their heart they desire happiness. One writer has said that all men by their nature desist from pain. Every one desires happiness. Shri Vallabhacharya, in his commentary Subodhini while explaining the purpose of life says ‘To all, two things are desirable –
1. Removal of pain
2. Attainment of happiness”.

Mere removal of pain is a negative side of the problem. So the attainment of happiness is also necessary. The Greeks called this happiness ‘well-being’.

That the highest human good is the well-being is universally admitted by all philosophers all over the world, both by the past and the present but there are different views to precise nature of well-being. Mr. Rogers in his ‘A short History of Ethics’ writing on this question says ‘the vulgar often identifies it with pleasure, wealth or honour, but these cannot be final ends, for some pleasures are not desirable, Wealth is only a means to well-being and honour is sought rather to increase our confidence in our own virtue then as an end desirable for its own sake. Plato pronounced the doctrine of an absolute good which is the prime source of the excellence of all good things. This also must be rejected because it is contrary to experience. The Cynics held that well-being is identical with the possession of virtue. This also cannot be accepted as final, since the worth of virtue has to be estimated by the nature of the mental activities to which it leads.

Moreover, regarded as a merely inactive possession, it is useless and almost meaningless. Aritotle defines ‘well-being’ as an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue in a complete life. This implies that as ‘well-being’ is not a subordinate end, it must be complete. It is an unconditional good, desirable for its own sake, and preferable to any other. Again, it implies that this activity must be conscious, and either purely rational or in obedience to pleasure. The Epicureans identified happiness with pleasure and Stoics with abstinence from it and life of complete self-abnegation. This is a how the problem of ‘well-being’ was solved by the Greek Philosophers. Latin Philosophers gave a new colour on this.

Hobbes understands ‘well-being’ in self-interest, in constant progress of desires towards of fulfillment. According to Spinoza, ‘well-being’ consists in ‘the knowledge of God’, who is the one substance embracing all reality within HIS own being. Butler and August Compte saw well-being in social good or altruism. According to Kant, distribution of happiness, in exact proportion to virtue constitutes Summum Bonnum. The German philosopher Fichti, Schelling and Hegel were rationally idealists. To them well-being meant freedom by the knowledge of self. The Utilitarian school of Bentham and Mill, which is described by Sidgwick as ‘Universalistic Hedonism’ defines well-being as the greatest happiness of the greatest number in society. According to this, the value of any kind of happiness is to be judged from its utility. From all these views, we learn that in the Western Philosophy, the problem of well-being is pursued variously by various philosophers. However all accept well-being as the supreme end of the life. It is either individualistic or universalistic. The Individualistic well-being is called Egoistic Hedonism. It teaches that the agent must, or ought to pursue, his own happiness. Thus latter is called universalistic Hedonism, which regards universal happiness as the end. Only the German school of rationalistic idealism sees happiness in the freedom by knowledge.

Now let us turn to the East. The earliest school that has attempted to tackle this problem, systematically is the Samkhya school of Kapila. According to this school, Summum Bonum is freedom from pain. Pain is threefold: - 1 The Internal (Adhyatmik) 2. the External (Adhibhautik) and 3. the Divine or superhuman (Adhidaivik). Of these the internal is two fold – bodily and mental. Bodily pain is caused  by the disorder of the universal humours, wind, bile and phlegan; and mental pain is due to perception of particular objects. The external pains are caused by men, beasts, birds, reptiles and inanimate things. The superhuman pains are due to the evil influence of planets spirits, good etc. Release from all these kinds of pains is the end of human life. That constitutes final beatitude. The spirit experiences pain on account of its being under the influence of nature. If the spirit isolates itself from the influence of nature, it becomes free from pain. So spirit’s isolation from nature is the liberation according to the Samkhyas. When the spirit realizes the real character of the nature, it ceases to operate its influence upon him. Pantanjali said that the means of freedom from pain lies in the exercise of control over mind and senses. It is the want of control over these that is the cause of all troubles in the world. The logicians (Naiyayikas) assert that the knowledge of right kind which enables a man to discriminate what is ephemeral from what is permanent can help him to secure liberation from pain. That is the view of the Vaisheshika also. The Naiyayikas lay emphasis upon correct knowledge, arrived by logical methods of perception, inference, analogy and the verbal authority. The Vaisheshikas require the knowledge of seven subjects such as substratum, quality etc. which will explain the real nature of the things in the world. Jaimini required performance of sacrifice as a means to the liberation of Pain. Badrayan, the author of Brahman Sutras indicated the knowledge of Brahman, the supreme spirit for the achievement of the above end. Buddhism sees a means in self-effacement and Jainism in self-control and penance. To Shankaracharya, liberation is the removal of nescience by means of the knowledge of Brahman. Ramanuja couples the knowledge with work for that end. Thus various ways are suggested for liberation from pain by different schools. Vallabhacharya, the author of Tattva Deep Nibandha undertakes here to offer solution from his own point of view. For the sake of convenience, he divides his work into three chapters

  1. Shastrarth
  2. Sarvanirnaya
  3. Bhagwatarth

In the first chapter he gives the interpretation of the scriptures; in the second, his verdict, on the character of the various scriptures, and in the third his exposition of the underlying meaning of Bhagwat.

The first chapter contains 104 verses. On each of these verses, he has written his own commentary called ‘Prakasha’. This elucidates in an explanatory manner, what he has stated concisely and pithily in the verse-part. To make clear the ‘Prakasha’ portion, Shree Purushottamji has written very able and learned commentary called ‘Avran-bhang’ which means breaking or removing of the veil. The obscurity of the thought in Vallabhacharya’s Prakasha is the veil, which he has removed by his commentary.

The first verse of the first chapter, he devotes to the salutation of Lord Krishna, whom he regards as the Supreme Lord. In the second Verse he stated the problem of this work. It is as he says, ‘emancipation.’ Only the Satvik and the votaries of God are entitled to it. It is for them that he undertakes to consider that problem in this work.

Every philosophical problem should be approached from four points of view viz.

  1. Pramana
  2. Pramey
  3. Sadhan
  4. Fal

Here emancipation is the fruit. Its real character should first of all be known by means of proofs. That will come under the Pramana section. Then the question of the main objects of knowledge, worth knowing will be discussed in Prameya Section. Then the various means for the realization of ultimate fruit will be explained under the Sadhana section. In the fruit section, the real nature of fruit will be explained. The first chaper i.e. Shastrath Prakaran deals with the Pramana.

Pramana Chapter:

Pramana means ‘Proofs of knowledge.’ Pramana is defined as ‘Pramakaran’ – an instrument of knowledge. ‘Prama’ is explained as ‘Yathartha Anubhav’ i.e. it must be direct cognition, free from doubt, perversion of  facts or false reasoning.

The ‘Yatharthatva’ of ‘Anubhav’ is explained as ‘Tadvati Tatprakaaratvam’ for instance ‘Rajat’ (Silver) has Rajatva ‘Silverness’. So when we say ‘Rajat’ is ‘Rajatva’, it is ‘Yatharth’ (exact) cognition. The work ‘Karan’ means ‘Sadhaktam Kaaran’ i.e. the cause that is most essential in producing a certain result. So anything that is most essential in exact cognition of the object is called ‘Pramana.’

Here the question to be decided is what should be our ‘Pramana’ in the right appreciation of our problem of emancipation and understanding the ultimate reality of the world viz. Brahman.
In V. 7 Shree Vallabhacharya mentions only ‘Sabda Pramana’ as valid, (“Sabda Eva Pramanam”). The Materialist (Charvaka) recognizes only ‘Pratyaksh’. The pramanas considered by other systems are given in the below table:

Sr. No





Perception and Inference. Not in Vedas (Pratyaksha and Anuman)



Anuman, Pratyaksha and Shabda









Shabda Only.






Pratyaksh and Anuman



Pratyaksh and Anuman



Pratyaksh and Shabda



Anuman, Pratyaksha and Shabda



Anuman, Pratyaksha and Shabda



Analogy (Upaman)


Kumaril, AdvaitaVaad

Anuplabdhi and Abhav



Sambhav and Aitihya





Pramana Derivation Chart:


Chart 1: Pratyaksha Praman Chart


                                   Chart 2: Sabda Pramana Chart

Shree Vallabhacharya rules out all except ‘Shabda’, because except ‘Pratyaksh’ and ‘Anumaan’, others are included under any of the first three. For instance ‘Sambhav’ means probability. This is included in inference. The fact of probability depends upon the statement, to be understood by inference. What is called ‘Chesta’ is humour.

It is mere continuity of a vague assertion of which the original source cannot be traced. It is open to doubt. So when it is open to doubt it is not a valid means of coginition. If however the original source is known and known to be trustworthy then, it is a case of Verbal Cognition (Shabda) Pure and simple. Similarly ‘Aitihya’ becomes a case of Shabda Pramana if it is given by a trustworthy person; otherwise it is no Pramana at all. Pratima when it is a correct word it is included under Pratyaksha and Anuman, otherwise it is not valid.

Thus having ruled out Sambhav, Chesta, Aitihya and Pratima we shall consider Upaman, Arthapatti and Abhav. Upaman means ‘Analogy’. It is illustrated by the example, “As the cow, so the gavaya”. Gavaya is an animal, which resembles a cow. The knowledge of the Gavaya here is got from the words ‘As the cow’. Therefore it is included under verbal cognition. Also here when we first see the animal Gavaya, we at once remember the cow which is seen. So it is perception which is here instrumental in giving us the knowledge that the animal like cow which we see is Gavaya. Or it can be included under Inference. Mr. Ganganath Jha in his translation of Tattva Kaumudi explains it thus –‘When experienced persons use a certain term in reference to a particular thing, it should be regarded as denoting it – specially when there is no function other than direct denotation as is found in the well-known case of the term cow applied to the animal genus ‘Cow’ (Major Premise).

The term Gavaya is used (by experienced persons) in reference to the animal similar to the cow (Minor Premise). Therefore the term gavaya must be regarded as denotative of that animal (Conclusion).
Thus this cognition is purely inferential. So this is rejected. Shri Purushottamji also in his Prasthan Ratnakar rejects it as an independent proof.

Arthapatti means ‘Presumption’. The Naiyayikas reject it because they maintain that its function is performed by a Vyatirekyanuman. The example cited here is ‘Fat Devdutta does not eat by day’. Fatness is the result of eating. Now if the man does not eat by day, he must be eating by night. So ultimately what is called ‘Presumption’ becomes the case of inference. Similarly in the case of latter, although there is not direct contact between the object and the senses, yet there is comprehension of the absence of an object through the medium of Visheshan Vishesyabhav. The absence of the jar, at a certain place itself in the form of vacancy; all faculties with the sole exception of the Sentient Faculty – are consequently undergoing modification and all these diverse modifications are perceptible by the sense; hence there can be no object.

So out of the list of 10 Pramanas, only three remain to be considered, Pratyaksh, Anuman and Shabda. Vallabhacharya believes only in ‘Shabda Praman’. Inference is dependent upon Perception. Inference without help of perception cannot give us knowledge. If the perception is invalid; the inference will be invalid. As inference is subordinate to perception, it cannot be accepted as an independent proof in the matter of the cognition of Brahaman. When we prove the statement viz. the mountain is fiery, we give smoke as its reason. But when we give reason, we remember the cases of smoke always associated with fire. We had perceived on a former occasion smoke, arising from fire. We had perceived all that where there was no fire there was no smoke. We remember this knowledge of perception and with its help prove the case in question. So inference as an independent proof has no value. This being the case in the matter of the knowledge of Brahman it is not accepted. Because it requires direct or indirect contact between the senses and the object to be cognized, Brahman cannot be thus cognized. Moreover perceptual cognition is very often erroneous, due to the defective function of organs. So it is also not accepted.

What is, then, this Shabda Pramana? It is the sentence of a trustworthy man. The word ‘Apta’ excludes all pseudo-knowledge. It should be self-sufficient in authority. All verbal testimony is not accepted as shabda pramana, but only those that lead to the knowledge of Brahaman. Judged by this test, out author mentions only the following four scripture as the testimony – the Vedas, the Gita, the Brahma Sutras, and Samadhi Bhasha of Bhagavata. The Jaimini Sutras are also to be included in this list if they do not conflict with these.

In the Bhagvata, there are three kinds of language. One is ‘Lok Bhasa’ i.e. the language similar to that used by wordly poets like Kalidas etc. The portion which contains description of time, place fights etc treated as ‘Lok Bhasha’ i.e. language similar to that used by wordly poets like Kalidas etc. The portion which contains description of time, place, fights etc. treated as Lok Bhasa. In the Prakasha it is illustrated by the line Athoshasi Pravuttayaam etc., i.e. when it was morning. Such Descriptive passages do not add to the knowledge of Brahman. Hence it is not included in the category of the word proof. The other kind of language is called ‘Paramat Bhasa’ i.e. the language in which the opinions of others are mentioned as in the example of ‘Shrutam DwaipayanaMukhaat’. This was heard from the mouth of Dwaipayana. This has no value for the knowledge of Brahman. Only the portion called Samadhi Bhasha is useful to us, because, in it, the truth, experienced by the author in his state of meditation is depicted. It being so, it can serve as a valid proof. Shri Vallabhacharya explains the word Samadhibhasha as ‘Samaadhau Swaanubhuya Niropitam Sa Samadhibhasa’. Such truth can stand all tests. It can never be errorneous. So in the matter of proofs, Vallabhacharya accepts only Shabda Pramana that which gives us the knowledge of transcendental subject i.e. Brahman and of this only.

The Vedas consists of two parts: - 1. Purva Kanda 2. Uttar Kanda. The former means samhitas and Brahman works, the latter means Aryankas and Upanishads. The subject of the former is Sacrifice and the latter ‘Knowledge of Brahman’. According to Vallabhacharya entire Vedas consisting of the above two parts and also of Arthavada etc. becomes Verbal Recognition. Jaimini will accept only the first part of the Vedas and reject the second as of no use for religious life. Shankaracharya on the other hand accepts only the latter and rejects the former as being useless. But Vallabhacharya accepts both. He does not take Vedas by half. To accept one part and reject another, is nothing but having the Vedas or cutting a body into two parts. In Vallabhacharya’s opinion, both the portions are important and complementary of each other. In all these four works, the principal subject dealt with is Brahman. So whatever doubts we have about Brahman should be solved by these four works. These works are not to be taken as separate proofs. Each succeeding work should be regarded as supplementary of each preceding one. Any doubt arising about any point discussed in any preceding work should be removed by reference to the succeeding work. For example if one, while reading the shruti passage “he is without  hands and feet and yet He runs and holds”, has a doubt whether human hands and feet are denied here to Brahman or it is a general denial: then that doubt should be solved by a passage of Gita viz ‘He has hands and feet etc. every where). Similarly if doubt arises from the passage of Gita, it should be removed from reference to the Sutras of Badarayan and any doubt in that should be cleared from reference to Bhagavat.

The manusmriti and other Smritis are also authentic if they are not contradictory to the spirit of the Veda. But if it is asked, what should be done if there is in some portion inconsistency and in some contradiction. In that case our author says that it should be rejected. Anything contrary to the meaning of Vedas should be discarded.

Having mentioned the names of scriptures which he accepts as proofs of verbal cognition; Vallabhcharya says that all these works are unanimous in character in the matter of the knowledge of Brahman. Their principal meaning is God, the highest entity. That God is represented under various names in these works. In the Purva Kanda of the Vedas, He is represented as ‘Sacrifice’ in the Uttarkand as Brahman, in the Smriti works as Parmatman and in Bhagvat as Bhagwan or Krishna. These different names do not imply different Gods. God is one but is comprehenced differently. Work and knowledge are the powers of God. He reveals his power of works through sacrifice which is God’s form. The power of knowledge is revealed through his form of Brahman. As the Purva Kanda of the Vedas reveals only sacrifice – as part of God, it is partial revelation of the conception of God. Similarly the Uttarkand is partial, being confined only to be knowledge-aspect. But Bhagvata exhausts the full conception of God:- the work-aspect as well as knowledge-aspect. It is therefore complete exposition of God. In that work, God’s manifold sports are described exhaustively. So to understand the real conception of God, it is necessary that we should consult the Bhagwata without which our knowledge of Brahman will be only one-sided. The Vedas consider God analytically but Bhagvata considers it synthetically. It says that God is capable of assuming many forms.Everything that we see is God. Nothing exists outside God. So even sacrifice and knowledge aspects are not separate from God. They both exist in him. Thus the conception of God is considered synthetically by the author of Bhagwata. So for thoroughness in the comprehension of God, we must betake to Bhagwata. It cannot be dispensed with it. No doubt Gita and Brahman Sutra give the knowledge of Brahman; but they do not describe the bliss parts of God. For this reason Vallabhacharya adds Bhagwata to the list of the verbal proofs. Shankaracharya accepts only the Vedas, Gita and Brahma Sutras, but Vallabhacharya is not satisfied, with these three only. So to make the list complete, he adds Bhagvata.

In these scriptures three different means for reaching God have been mentioned. In this section, Vallabhacharya only gives a cursory glance of them. He reserves them for detailed discussion in the second section. The three names are work, knowledge and devotion. Ordinarily they are supposed to be different means Vallabhacharya also regards them different, but he says that their ultimate goal, when considered in their real light is one and the same. Jaiminiya lays stress upon work only as the path to reach summum bonum and Shankaracharya upon knowledge only. Ramanujacharya harmonises both these into only conception of workship.The teachers of the Devotional sect regards devotion as the only proper means. Thus divergent opinions prevail among the philosophers and thinkers regarding the adequate means of reaching God. Each school sticks to one particular means, which it considers to be the best of all the means. According to Vallabhcharya, each of these means should be harmonized with others, for the thorough comprehension of God. Each one taken separately is not sufficient to enable man to march onwards on the path of spiritual progress. Moreover for the right understanding of any thing, we must look at it from two points of view, externally and internally. The external view will reveal the object only superficially i.e. only the outside of it as it appears to the external senses will be known. This can be known when the object is viewed intrinsically. Our conceptions of work, knowledge and devotion should be viewed from both the sides. Mere internal view will not be adequate to give us complete truth. To say that only work is good, or knowledge is good does not give us the whole truth. The advocates of work or knowledge or devotion did not look at the problem internally. Hence they have erred in their judgement in regarding the particular means which they advocated as par excellence. Vallabhacharya examines the problem, internally. In his examination, he finds that really speaking there is no contradiction between these means. The contradiction that appears to us is only apparent, not real, because we look at the problems, from one angle of view i.e. from external view. But if we look at them from the other view, we shall understand their real nature and then the apparent contradiction will at once disappear. So, in Vallabhacharya’s judgment these three different means can be synthesized into one. Really speaking if we speak of our life in terms of geometry, then it should be conceived as a triangular figure-having three sides of work, knowledge and devotion. These sides must meet each other at their ends where the sides cease to exist separately. They are absorbed in making a figure called a triangle. In other words work, knowledge and devotion are necessary to make life. These three concepts should be merged each other into another. So that life is not this or that, but sweet harmonious amalgamation of all these-which will form one means of reaching God. Although Vallabhacharya has soft corner in his heart for devotion, he does not disregard other two. In verses 20-21-22, he explains the real meanings of work, knowledge and devotion. In ‘Gyannishtha Tada Gyeya Sarvagyo Hi Yadaa Bhavet.’ He explains the real nature of knowledge. What is knowledge? Is it one derived from pondering upon the sentence “Tatvamasi” etc.? No, such knowledge cannot reveal Brahman. It can simply give verbal knowledge but cannot reveal God. God is the ultimate goal of each means. If knowledge is unable to take one near God, it is useless. It is not worth its salt. The end of knowledge will be secured, if the knower has become possessed of the knowledge of all i.e. God. He must through knowledge realize the fact that in all objects there is only one thing. And that thing is God. The different objects that we see are His diverse forms. Behind these diverse forms, there lies the supreme entity of God. When one realizes this fact i.e. sees unity in the midst of diversity, is said to have got real knowledge. So in short, knowledge has its value if it enables one to realize the unity. Otherwise it is useless. It must make the knower understand that God is omnipresent. It brings home to our mind that He is everywhere. Such knowledge is necessary for one’s seeking God. Similarly work is not mere sacrifice and the rituals. His idea of work is explained in the line ‘Dharmanistha Tadaa Gyeya Yadaa Chittam Prasidati!” When the mind of the person becomes calm we must know that he has got the real sense of work. According to this view, the test of Dharmnistha lies in its being capable of making a man’s mind pacific and calm under all circumstances. Things might go wrong with him. The world may behave inimically towards him. All his hopes may fail and his plans may go amiss yet his mind remains cool and pleased. Its equipoise is never disturbed. The various distractions and troubles of the world will simply pass over the surface of the mind, but will not affect it even in the least. When the mind is so cultivated, it is said to have acquired the real purpose of work. One who acquires such an attitude of mind sees the hand of God behind all the worldly events. He will regard the world as theatre in which God enacts various scenes. Himself assuming various forms in order to play the role of various characters. So the happiness or misery, joy or sorrow, profits or losses have no meaning at all.

These are the external changes. This being the conviction of one devoted to the ideal of work, he never lets his mind ruffled. Tranquility and placidity is the test of the ideal of work. This is the underlying meaning of work. Such an ideal has its place in life. It is essential like knowledge.

Similarly the ideal of devotion is essential. But it is not simply ‘love’. It connotes a great deal. He explains it in the line ‘Bhakti Nishtha Tadaa Gyeya Yadaa Krishnah Prasidati”. When Krishna is pleased, the ideal of devotion should be supposed to have reached completion. The test of knowledge if Sarvagyata (knowledge of all) that of work “ChittaPrasannata” (Placidity of mind) and that of devotion, KrushnaPrasannata (grace of the Lord). If the knowledge does not conduce to the state of knowing God in all things, it is of no use. If the sacrifices etc. which we understand as work, do not free the mind from passions of greed etc. and make it placid, then they are not worth their salt. The Ultimate object of work is to make a man resort to the service of God. The devotion has its value only if through it a man becomes recipient of the grace of God. These are the three ideals of life, though treated separately, but really speaking they are one. They are rather stages on the path to reach god. The stage of knowledge is the first one, that of work(services) is second one, and that of devotion the third one. That is why Vallabhacharya mentions knowledge first in his Karikas. His message is that a devotee should cultivate all these ideals to perfection in order to reach the Summum Bonum. These three ideals must be merged one into another, to evolve out of that merging a new beautiful life of a devotee. So according to him, nothing among these ideals is antagonistic to each other. In other words the merging of life of a devotee is the complete ideal of the knowledge, work and devotion into each other. But these ideals should be understood in their real significance which are conveyed in ‘Sarvagya, Chittaprasannata, and KrishnaPrasannata”. In the absence of the fusion of these ideals, his life should be understood as ‘Imperfect’ and our author brings home to our mind by pointing out the futility of these separate ideals. In the Prakash, he explained this point by saying that just as a man who wants to cross the river must throw his body into it otherwise he cannot cross it, so also, one must throw one’s whole heart and soul into the realization of these ideals otherwise the end for which the ideals are meant will not be secured.

After having considered the ideals and their real nature, he tells us how to realize these ideals. The realization of the ideals depends upon the suitability of the surroundings but in modern times it is not possible. Environment is not congenial to men in all the cases. What ‘then under’ these circumstances should be done? To that he replies that even under most unfavorable, circumstances there is no need of becoming dependent. If it is not possible to practice the means preached by the scriptures, men should at least be devoted to Lord Krishna. His devotion is quite sufficient. This view he expresses in verse 13. Even the Kali age which is regarded as not favorable, will be favorable. But when? Only if man resorts to Krishna and dedicates himself to his service. So there is no need to be pessimistic. All the scriptures this way, are said to have understood the meaning of scriptures, others fail to understand them. If the interpreters of the scriptures tell anything contrary to this; they should not be listened to.

Pramey Chapter:

But what is this highest entity called God or Brahman? The author answers the question first by giving the Karya Lakshana of God and then by Swaroop Lakshana. By Karya Lakshana we mean, the concept of ‘God’ as expressed in the term of Karya i.e. effect viz world. The author says that if you put a question ‘ What is God?, then, I say that He is the creator of the world and the souls. The author of the Brahman Sutras also pursues this method of describing Brahman, in his second aphorism ‘Janmandhasya Yato’ i.e. God is one from which the world originates in which it exists and into which it finally is absorbed. So in the opinion of out author, the world and the souls are creations of Brahman. He is the material cause as well as the efficient cause. In order to understand the relation subsisting between the cause ‘Brahman’ and its effect ‘the World’ let us understand what is meant by cause.
A cause is that which preceding its effect is invariably concommittant with it and at the same time is not proved to be an essential and accidental circumstance i.e. three essentials constitute our notion of a cause
1. Priority to effect
2. Invariability with it
3. Its Non-accidentality.

The requisite priority excludes effect from being covered up by a cause. The invariability excludes all the accidental circumstances. In the production of a piece of cloth, an ass many by happen to bring the threads out of which cloth is to be made. Here although the ass exists before the cloth, still it is not the cause owing to its want of being invariably associated with the cloth. We cannot say that for the production of a cloth, the ass is necessary. All that is required is threads. They may be carried by an ass or by any other means. The priority of the ass being accidental, he is not a cause.

Again, the cause may be prior, and an unvariable concomitant yet it is not sufficient to be a cause, without being not unessential and accidental circumstance. The colour of the thread does exist before and is invariably connected with a piece of cloth. For this reason it may be the cause. But its not so. Because the colour of threads exhausts its casual power by contributing to the production of the colour of the cloth. In other words, the cause must be Ananyatha-Siddha. Having thus defined the cause, the author of Tarka Sangraha says that they are three kinds of causes

  1. Samvaayi
  2. Asamvaayi
  3. Nimitta

The Vedantins accepts only the first and the last. Samvaayi Karan is the material cause and Nimitta Karan is an efficient cause.

It is explained by the illustration of threads which constitute the material cause of the cloth. Here the cloth is in an intimate relation with the threads. The relation between the material cause and its effect must be intimate (Samvett). Relation of threads with the loom is that of simple conjuction (Samyog). It is intimate relation and not conjunctional relation that is required between a material cause and its effect. This intimate relation subsists between the 2 Ayutsiddha objects i.e. objects out of which one continues united with the other so long as the other exists. This is in accordance with the views of the Naiyayikas. But Purushottamji in his Prasthan Ratnakar defines material cause as  for e.g. The yarn is the material cause of the cloth because it is yarn that becomes manifest in the form of cloth. Cloth is nothing but yarn in a transformed condition i.e. the essence of the effect is the same as cause. So when an effect comes out form a cause, it means that the cause possesses that effect in it.

It is latent there, waiting for some external energy to bring it out. When it is brought out, it retains its character of the original substance. An ornament is an effect and gold its material cause. It is material cause, because gold possesses the same substance which is in gold. If the substance were not the same, the ornament would not have been made. So long the ornament remains, the substance of gold also remains. But when ornament is dissolved, the substance of gold is not dissolved. It remains the same in all its phases. So when any material retains its quality of ‘Identity’ between it and its effect, it is called a material cause. In other words that is the material cause which reveals its nature in the effect. This being the case, the material is always inherent in an effect. Without this cause, no effect is possible. The effect ‘Ornament’ is produced from ‘Gold’, because gold is inherent. The Nimitta Karan is the efficient cause. The goldsmith who makes ornaments is the efficient cause. For an effect, therefore, two things are necessary. Once the substance, out of which the thing is to be created and the maker, who creates it in accordance with his plan. The former we call a material cause and the latter, an efficient cause.

Let us try to understand what do these 2 mean? Are they both identical or different? Shri Vallabhacharya holds that in the case of the world and the souls, Brahman is both a material cause and efficient cause. We shall discuss here some important theories relating to this question.

The Casuality of the world is attributed to Nature in the Samkhya system and to atoms in Vaisheshika System. In his Anubhasya, Shri Vallabhacharya has proved the falsity of the samkhyas claim in favour of nature, on the strength of scriptural evidence.Some of the chief points emphasized there in refuting the PrakrutiKaranta as under:

Samkhya System Nirakarana:

  1. RachananuPateshascha Nanumanam (2-2-1). Prakriti according to Samkhyas is Jada. The attribute of Kartutva belongs only to Chetan. Therefore Jad Prakruti can not be a cause of the cosmos.
  2. Pravruteshcha (2-1-2): If Prakruti is admitted as a cause, the Jeeva’s activity or engagement into various affairs of life would not be possible. The activity needs impulse from something, endowed with conscientiousness. But Prakruti is destitute of such consciousness. So she can not be a cause.
  3. Payombuvaschettatrapi (2-2-3). This is advanced against the argument that Pravruti is possible in the case of Prakruti. Just as waters present wonderful spectacle in the foam, by producing diversity of colours; in the same way Prakruti will also manifest activity of its own accord. But this argument does not hold good. Even in the motion of waters, there is the hand of Chetan at work. It is Chetan that imparts motion. So the analogy cited does not support the causality of Prakriti.
  4. Vyatirekanavsthiteshchanapekshatvat: (2-2-4): This is directed against Swatah Parinaam Samarthya of Prakriti. If Prakriti be capable of evolving herself, then there will be no end of an effect i.e. cosmos. It will always continue. But we learn that just as the effect (cosmos) has its origin, so it has ultimate end also. A time will come when this continuity will be disturbed. So it is wrong to hold that Prakruti unaided by any other agency evolves cosmos out of herself.
  5. Anyatraabhavascha Na Trunadivat (2-2-5): The Samkhya Vadi seems to argue that grass-blade and leaves etc. grazed by cattle turn themselves into milk. This turning is not due to any external agency. It happens in the natural course. In the like manner, Prakruti is also capable of self-manifestation.

The Sutrakara Challenges this argument by a meet counter reply. “Turning into milk”, referred to above is not slef-evident. It is caused by the action of Chetan which appeared in “grazing”. If this turning into milk does appear only in a particular part of the body, why dos it not appear in horns etc? This proves that the position taken by Samkhya is false.

  1. AbhyupagamepyatharBhavat (2-2-6).
    1. To establish causality of Prakriti it should not be said that like a cow going to her calf naturally of her own accord, Prakriti reveals activity for the enjoyment of Purush. Even if such an argument were offered, its validity at once falls down, owing to the absence of Pragyakaaritva in her. So mere Prakruti can not be a cause of cosmos.

Now he proceeds to refute the causality of Prakriti, action under the influence of Purusha.

  1. Even this position is not tenable. Prakriti and Purusha both together cannot aid each other in the production of the universe. A blind man may help a lame man and a lame man in his turn a blind man. Or to take another illustration, a piece of iron gets attracted towards a magnet, and a magnet in its turn towards a piece of iron. But such a relation of mutual aiding does not subsist between Prakriti and Purusha. If it is held that Prakriti works under the influence of Purusha. If it is held that Prakriti works acting under the influence of Purusha, then this statement is subject to a flaw of Aprayojakatva of Prakriti. Prakriti will cease to be a Prayojaka. Nor can it be supposed that this acting depends upon Prakriti, and consequently no force or impulse of creating or acting is derived by her from Purusha; because in that case, activity will continue forever and will never cease. This argument naturally presupposes the eternal relationship between Prakriti and Purusha. But the Samkhyas do not belive this. The relation between them is not eternal. The union of Prakriti with Purusha is a cause of bondage. This bondage can be cut off, only when Purusha remains aloof from Prakriti. So it is fallacious to draw conclusion which is antagonistic to the Samkhya theory, in order to establish causality of Prakriti acting under the influence of Purusha.
  2. Angitvanupapateshcha (2-2-8). Another flaw is pointed out in the above reasoning. If causality be attributed to Prakriti and Purusha, then one of them must be considered chief and another subordinate. Suppose some on holds that Purusha is chief, then we must know that he indirectly lends support to or rather embrace Brahmvaad. This means frustration of his cherished theories. Nor can he declare that Prakriti is chief and Purusha is subordinate. Such an assumption conduces one to the state of want of emancipation.

                   The sutra does not permit to draw such an inference so that it will not leave any doubts for any of the flaws, pointed out above. Prakruti is destitute of the capability of knowledge. We are not, therefore, entitled to draw any inference of an opposite kind.
Thus, the Sutrakara rejects Samkhya theory whole-some, as not deserving any amount of consideration in the matter of causality, because on examination, the theory is found defective and incompatible with the spirit of the Shruti. Not only this, but there is a conflict even among the Samkhyas themselves. Some commonly known as “Nirishwar Samkhyas’ accepts 25 substances, enumerated above; while others of the same group known as “Seshvara’ add Ishwara and make the list of 26 substances.

Atomic Theory Nirakaran (Paramanuvaad):

 Next, the theory of the causality of atoms supplies the Sutrakara with a theme for consideration. The credit of propounding this theory belongs to Kanad. It is not only peculiar to him but is the distinguishing feature of his philosophy. These atoms take the place of Tanmatras in Samkhya philosophy. It is however not unknown in the Nyaya philosophy, yet it is not fully worked out there as in the Vaisheshika works. In his analysis, he stops at one smallest point, beyond which he cannot carry on his analytical method. Without this admission, he is of opinion that a fault known as a regressus ad infinitum will result. “A mountain, he says, would not be larger then a mustard seed. These smallest and invisible particules are held by Kanad to be eternal in themselves, but non-eternal as aggregates. As Aggregates again they may be organized, the power of smelling is the earthly organ, stones are inorganic”. “As to atoms, they are supposed to form first an aggregate of two, then an aggregate of three double atoms, then of four triples atoms an so on. White single atoms are indestructible, composite atoms are by their very nature liable to decomposition, and in that sense to destruction. An atom, by itself invisible, is compared to the sixth part of a mote in a sun beam”

This atomic theory, says the Sutrakara, fails to interprete correctly the doctrine of causality. The refutation of this theory is based upon the following arguments:

  1. No combination of atoms is possible. Two distinct atoms that unite with each other have no space in them. This want of space prevents their combination. So the theory of Dwaanuk, Taryanuk etc is ludircrous.
  2. If atoms are eternal, there will be no dissolution of the universe.
  3. We can not suppose that atoms possess form. If we believe that they possess form, then they would acquire ephemeral character.
  4. This atomic theory is not accepted by all vaidikas.

Buddhist Theory Nirakaran:

Now we shall consider the Buddhist Theory:
According to Buddhas, the combination of two things namely Paramanu Samuh and Skandh Samuday is the cause of the bondage of Jeeva. Paramanu Samuh means Prithvivyadibhut Samuday and Skandh Samuday is the collection of five Skandhas:-

  1. Rupa Skandh
  2. Vigyan Skandh
  3. Vedana Skandh
  4. Sangya Skandh
  5. Sanskar Skandh

The combination of all these is the cause of the bondage of Jeeva’s in metapsychosis. The separation of all these by the annihilation of each one of them means emancipation. This is the conception of emancipation according to the Buddhistic school. Badarayana refuses to accept this theory of the dual combination of Paramanu Samuh and Skandh Samudaya on the ground that it is accepted them all substances as well as Jivas according to Baudhas being ephemeral, it will not be possible for the Jivas to cut off the bondage of metempsychosis. The reasoning is this. In the first moment, according to this theory, JIvas and Samuday dways will be produced. In the second moment, they will get united with each other. In the third moment, their union results into metempyschosis of the Jivas. But this is opposed to the fundamental doctrine of the Bauddhas who declare the momentariness of all things. The sutra contains refutation of this theory. The disputant offers an explanation for this theory, by stating that, even though all things by nature are momentary, and their existence ceases in the next moment, yet the things existing in a prior condition are a cause to those that usher into existence in a prior condition are a cause to those that usher into existence in a subsequent condition. Thus the continuity is never broken. This being the case, there will be no end of the metempyshosis. But the Sutrakara is too bold to make allowance even such explanation. He therefore in 2-2-19, boldly declares against this attitude of his disputant. The Nimitatva of these is accepted so far as Uttaropatti of things are concerned. In the case of Samuday it does not permit any such admission; because want of stability of things prevents its after connection in a subsequent stage; and this makes the combination impossible. So the theory is not free from the flaw to which it is subjected above. The theory is not free from the flaw to which it is subjected above. The theory that the things that are produced causes production of subsequent things also does not hold good, because at the moment of its production, it is already destroyed. Moreover, if we accept that things are born, continue and get dissolved. Moreover, if we accept that things are born, continue and get dissolved simultaneously in one and the same moment, the contradiction involved becomes apparent. The attack of this point is an occasion in 2-2-20

The Bahyamat lays down two fundamental Pratigya’s in connection with this. The first one is called Kshanikatva Pratigya which is expressed in Sarva Kshanikam. If in 2-2-21  the Sutrakara  says that if the connection of the thing is admitted in the next moment, with another thing, then the first Pratigya will be violated. If it is not admitted then, it leads to the violation of second. Thus the disputant is on the horns of a dilemma. He is placed in a very precarious position. So the assumption of his theory at once totters down.

Having thus rendered Baudha’s postion impotent as regards the production of things ‘in the succeeding moment, the Sutrakara goes on attacking their position with respect to destruction of things’. This gives an occasion for the sutra 2-2-22. This is principally directed against those Baudhists that style themselves as Vainashikas. They hold non-eternity of things. These kinds of destruction, upheld by the Baudhas are not possible;because the continuity of things is not destroyed. The continuity persists even in succeeding moments.

The first Nirodh is opposed to all reasons, because the things being momentaty,cannot have any connection with their Nashak “Destroyer”. The second one also similarly falls to the ground. Thus the theory of Nirodh “Destruction” cannot be supported.

But the Kshanikvadins believe that emancipation results from the extinction of nescience. The Sutrakara says that even this is not true. The Sutra 2-2-23 exposes the hollowness of their arguments. If the destruction of nescience, with all its attendants is admitted as not resulting from any motive then the utility of scriptural authority becomes questionable. If it be admitted to proceed from a deliberate motive, and a fair ground, it is not possible in view of the fact that in the system of the Baudhas, the object other than nescience as well as its effect is not accepted. Commenting upon what has been said about Akash by Baudhas, the Sutrakara in the next sutra states that what applies to Nirodh does mutatis mutandis also apply to Akash.

Vigyanvaad Nirakaran:

Vigyanvadi is also answered as follows in the Nabhavah Upalabhdhe Adhikaran

  1. Naabhavah Upalabhdhehe: 2-2-28. The Vigyanvadi consideres Prapancha to be Vigyanmayah. According to him, objects have got no external existence. But this non-existence of the objects cannot be accepted. Objects have their external existence. No body can deny this.
  2. 2-2-29. Even if one denies non-existence of Prapanch, its unreality cannot be gain said. If this attitude be taken by Vigyanvadi, the Sutrakara opposes it here. It is a wrong analogy to draw comparison between dreamy phenomena and external objects. Lapse of time does not exhibit any difference in the condition of external objects like a jar etc. Their knowledge will be the same even after a lapse of time. In the dreamy phenomena, our experience is not of the same character.
  3. 2-2-30. As external objects have no existence, in the system of Vigyanvad, desires also have no existence. If however it is argued that desires are beginningless, the statement becomes liable to a fault of Andhaparadh. Without object, there can be no desires.
  4. Kshanikatvacch 2-1-31. Desires can have no substratum, because AlayVigyan is momentary.

Thus both Sautantrika and Vigyanvadi are firmly overcome by the Sutrakara. Their theory of Asatkaryavad is totally rendered useless.


Syaadvaad Nirakaran:

The Syaadvaad is also refuted in four aphorisms. The followers of Syaadvaad are indifferent to external objects. They explain everything in accordance with what is called Saptabhaanginay. The seven BHangi’s (modes) are

  1. Syaadatsi
  2. Syaanashti
  3. Syaadasti Cha Nasti Cha
  4. Syaadvaktavya
  5. SyaadastiChaavaktavyaha
  6. Syaanaasti Chavaktavyascha
  7. Syaadasti Cha Syaanaasti Chavaktavyaascha
  1. 2-2-23: This Saptabhanginay does not merit admission, since Bhav and Abhav both expressed in the words of Asti and Nasti cannot be combined into one. The thing cannot be and not be at the same time. Either it is or it is not.
  2. 2-2-34: If one says that owing to its indifference to external state of objects, the above fault does not occur, the Sutrakara warns us that even if the above explanation were granted, the statement will not be entirely free from the fault pointed out above. In that case also it will prove non-existence of everything.

According to Syaadvad, the size of soul is in proportion to the body. If the body is big, the soul is big, if it is small, the soul is small. This is hardly believable in view of that fact that, owing to unequality of all bodies, all the souls proportionately will be proportionately unequal.

  1. 2-2-35: It should not be said that souls expand and contract like the limbs of the body. If it were so, then atma must be believed a vikaari substance.
  2. 2-2-36: To avoid above faults, one should not hold permanency of Anutva or Mahatva. Because even thus does not establish Sharirparimanatva of body. This gives a final stroke to Syaadvad.

Mimansakas and Naiyayikas Nirakaran:

The conception of Ishwara figures prominently in the system of Patanjali, who added Ishwara as an extra entity to the list of 25 entities, accepted by the samkhyas. Kapil, however, does not advance any arguments to disprove the existence of God. What he says is this, that – and in this respect he does not differ much from Kant-there are no logical proofs to establish that existence, but neither does he offer any such proofs for denying it. This position is bettered by Patanjali in the Yoga Philosophy. The question of the existence of a Deity has arrested the attention of Gautam also; but only incidentally-“It comes in when a problem of the Buddhists is under discussion, namely, whether the world came out of nothing, and whether the manifestation of anything presupposes the destruction of its cause. This is illustrated by the fact that the seed has to perish before the flower can appear. But Gautam strongly denies this, and reminds the opponent that if the seed were really destroyed by being pounded or burnt, the flower would never appear. Nor could it be said that the flower, if it had not existed previously, destroyed the seed, while if it had, it would have owed its existence to the simple destruction of the seed. Therefore he continues, as nothing can be produced from nothing, nor from an annihilated something like a seed, the world also cannot have sprung from nothingness, but requires the admission of an Ishvara, the Lord, as its real cause. And this admission of an Ishvara, even though in the capacity of a governor rather then of a maker of the world is confirmed by what was evidently considered by a Gautama as a firmly established truth, namely that every act of man invariably produces its result, though not by itself, but under the superintendence of some one, that is of Ishvara. We then meet with a new argument, different from that of Mimansakas, namely that, if previous work (Karma) continued to produce effect of its own accord, independent of supreme Lord, then, how shall we account for the fact that some good or evil deeds of men at times remain barren without producing their fruits?

This doctrine of Ishvara is disapproved by the Sutrakara, who offers the following arguments.

  1. 2-2-37. Ishvara cannot be acknowledged as a Niyamak different from Jeeva’s, because in that case the fault of “Unequality” and “cruelty” will be attributed to Ishvara. As this Ishvara has the expectancy of Karma’s, his independence becomes doubtful.
  2. 2-2-33: Jeeva and Brahm being Vibhu, the connection of unborn God with Jiva is not possible.
  3. 2-2-39: Ishvara cannot be imagined as a maker of the universe. Otherwise it will be inconsistent with the position assumed by the opponent.
  4. If Kartrutva be attributed to Ishvara, then the senses will also belong to him; and this means He is subject to the experience of happiness and misery. This supposition reduces Ishvara to position analogues to that of a Jeeva.

These arguments prove the untenability of the Ishvaravad of Naiyayikas.

Mayavaad Nirakaran:

Shankaracharya explains the creation of the world by his theory of Maya. Absolute Brahman has nothing to do with creation. It is the work of Maya. On account of Maya, the creative activity is attributed to Brahman i.e. Universe is the outcome of Maya. This doctrine is subject to the under-mentioned flaws:-

  1. If we support Maya to be the cause, then we shall have to support two principles existing simultaneously
    1. Braham and
    2. Maya.

This means dualism, which is opposed to the philosophy of Mayavada.

  1. It is said by the upholder of the Maya doctrine that just as a man has errorneous cognition of a serpent in a rope lying on the ground, due to some optical defect; in the same way, it is due to Maya that one does see Brahman as the Universe. In fact, just as the serpent does not exist, so also the universe does not exist. Here it must be said that the analogy is false. In the illustration of a rope and a serpent, both the objects have forms, whereas in the example of Brahman and the Universe only the universe has a form. Now how can a Universe that has a form, be seen in Brahman that is formless? This is against common experience. Even the appearance must be of an object that has a form and not of one that has no form. Again in the case of illusion, this law operates, that the illusion is possible only if that object which has been previously seen. In the rope, the illusion of the serpent is possible, because the person who has that illusion has seen the serpent previously, but nobody has seen the universe, prior to its illusion in Brahman. The doctrine of Maya therefore is not tenable.

From all these theories, we learn that neither Prakriti not atoms nor Maya becomes the material cause of Universe. Vallabhacharyaji considers Brahman as the material cause. According to him the universe is not an illusion or something wrongly conceived in Brahman. It is one that was latent in Brahman that been brought out by Brahman for its pleasure. So the universe is not false. It is real as Brahman. Baudhas hold it real but their view is that existence comes into being from non-existence. The Naiyayikas and Vaishehshikas maintain that it is a non-entity arising from entity. The Mayavada holds that the whole series of effects are only as apparent changes in the cause. So the universe according to him is unreal. The Samkhya system has repudiated all these theories and established the theory of an effect being an entity arising from an entity.
But in that system the universe is supposed to emanate from non-entity. The following are the chief grounds on which the existence of an effect is proved in that system.

  1. What is a non-entity can never be made an entity i.e. that which has never existed can never be brought into existence. If oil were not contained the oil-seed, we could not have produced oil.
  2. Effect is always in one way or another, related to the cause. If the cause is real, its effect must be real.
  3. Prior to its revelation, an effect is always latent in the cause. The jar could not be made if it were not latent in the clay. So if the universe were not in its cause, it could not have been manifested. There the universe is real.

Shree Vallabhacharyaji accepts the reality of the universe. As Brahman is real, its creation is also real. It cannot be other then real.

In Tadananyatvaadhikaran, he says that Sutrakara expresses his view on this knotty question on the strength of the passage of the Shruti viz.Shruti ‘Vacharambhanam Vikaaro Naamdheyam Mruttiketyeva Satyam” Cha (6-1-1). Some hold that the words ‘Vacharambhanam” and “Vikaaro” etc. prove that falsity or unreality of the effect. This interpretation, according to Sutrakara, is a far fetched one and unwarranted by the wordings of the Shruti. This point is clearly hinted in the sutra 2-1-14. The purport of the Shruti is to establish the oneness of or non-difference between the cause and the effect and not the unreality of the effect as alleged of Mayavadin. The stress is laid upon Ananyata between Karya and Karan and not upon Mithyatva of Karya. The Bhasyakara commenting upon this sutra, makes the following observations upon the Mayavadins for holding the theory of the unreality of cosmos. It will be realized from these comments that the theory of Mithyatva is here strongly denounced by the Bhasyakara. Not only its hollowness is exposed in all its nakedness but his challenge is thrown point blank back on him. In the example of clay, referred to in the above Shruti, it is said that various names by which different objects created out of clay are known are due to speech. Names and forms are called Vikaras (modifications). In the case of a Jar, the thing that is clay is true at all times; but the fact that it has received the appellation of a jar is due to speech. In the same way, the differences or modifications such as Jagat, Jiva etc that appear to our eyes are due to speech. They do not exist in the thing with which they are associated. In fact Jagat and Jiva are the parts of Brahman. For the sake of wordly transaction they are given distinct names as Jagat and Jiva. This does not make any fundamental difference in their essential form. The difference that appears between them and Brahman is simply nominal. Nobody can say against this, that even when one gives the name of a jar to a certain lump of clay, he is conscious of the conviction of its unreality; because the cognition of a jar is possible only in its existence and not in its non-existence. Even at a time when one has this cognition, the jar is there, nobody can deny its existence. The cognition arises from existence. Hence, it is beyond all shades of doubt that Vacharambhan Shruti propounds oneness with Karan (Brahman). Also, the Shruti (Chandogya 6-2-0) shows the reality of cosmos. Next the two sutras 2-1-15 further support to this.

Asadvyapadeshadhikaran further removes the misunderstanding arising from the word Asat in Asadwa Idamangna Aasita. The word Asat must not be construed so as to derive from it the sense of Asatva of Karya. The real sense that can be attached to it is that of Avyakrutatva. The shruti does not mean “It was non-existent before’ but “It was unmanifest”. This sense is derived by connecting it with the remaining part of the sentence. This sentence unequivocably declares that Brahman has manifested itself its own form in the universe. This is stated in 2-1-17. The point is made more explicit by citing an analogous case of Pat. So long Pat is folded, we can not possess definite knowledge about it; i.e. how long and broad it is. But if it be spread broadly we can know these details. In the same way, so long universe is latent in Brahman, we do not become conscious of its existence, but when it is revealed, we know it exactly what it is. So here the existence of the universe is regulated by certain miraculous powers of Brahman namely, powers of revelation and non-revelation. The universe before its existence was latent in Brahman; but when Brahman wills to evolve it out for its sport, it through the instrumentality of its power known as ‘revelation’ this. Therefore, does not prove that it is not real. The word Asat is used in the sense of Avvyakrut, unrevealed, it refers to the condition prior to the revelation of Jagat from Brahman. It has nothing to do with the cognition of falsity of Jagat.

If it is argued, that Brahman alone can not be a cause of the universe; because there is an expectancy of other auxillary causes; as in the case of a jar, a potter stands in need of such auxillary causes, as a wheel, a stick etc. Against this, the Sutrakara cites an analogous case of milk. He says that just as milk, while getting itself converted into the form of “Curds” does so if its own accord, without an expectancy of any other means, in the same way, Brahman also while itself getting transformed into the form of jagat, does not stand in need of any other help. In DevadiDevapi Loke 2-2-25 he expounds the same truth. In the world, we see that the gods and the yogis perform wonders by means of their own powers, without being helped by others. If this is the case with Gods and Yogis, then what wonder is there if an extraordinarily wonderful power of creating everything out of itself, unaided by others should be possessed by Brahman?

Brahman is endowed with all the powers. Nothing is wanting in Brahm. The Shruti Chandogya 3-14-2 declares Brahm to be everything. The sutra 2-1-30 is expressly clear on the Sardharmatva of Brahm. Not should it be said that as Brahman is destitute of senses, no Kartrutva must belong to it; because this point is already solved in 2-1-27. The Sutrakara bases all his evidence upon the authority furnished from Shrutis. He refuses to believe in evidence other then that of Shruti. The Shruti’s declare repeatedly that Brahm is Kartru. On the strength of the scriptural evidence we must admit the reality of the world.

On the strength of the authority of the Vedic passages and the Brahma Sutras, Vallabhacharya believes the world to be the Karya of God. This is summarized in v 27 in the line Prapancho Bhagavatkaryastadrupo Maayayabhavat. The world is the creation of Brahman. So Brahman is an efficient cause. This is explained clearly in his gloss Ayam Prapancho Na Prakrutah..
Not only that it is the work of Brahman, but it partakes of the nature of Brahman. This is so; because Brahman has manifested itself in the form of the world. In other words the world is the visible form of Invisible Brahman. It is a material cause also. To suggest this, the word Tadrup is used in the verse. If the nature of the world (i.e. effect) is not the same as that of Brahman (i.e. cause) then the existent might emanate from the non-existent. The question here arises, granted that the world is the work of Brahman how can such a world i.e. a finite and limited be created from one who is Beginningless and infinite. The answer is furnished by the word Mayaya in the verse. It is through the instrumentality of Maya, that this world has been brought out by Brahman. But what is this Maya? Is it jugglery? If it is so, then, the world being the creation of Maya, will be unreal. Shankaracharya understands the word Maya in the sense of jugglery, but Shree Vallabhacharya says that it is wrong to characterize Maya as jugglery. Maya is nothing but one of the powers of Brahman and it is subject to the will of Brahman. Whenever Brahman wills to create the world out of itself for its sport, It manifests the world by means of Maya i.e. Power. So, whenever out author uses the word Maya, it should be understood in the sense of power of Brahman, which is capable of assuming any form according to Brahman’s volition. The purpose of Brahman’s creation is for sport (pleasure).
In the second place, in the second line of the same verse, our author differentiates jagat ‘world’ from Samsar ‘metempsychosis’. These two are often identified with each other by some thinkers but it is wrong. There is a difference between Jagat and Samsar. The Samsar is the work of the human soul owing its existence to nescience. Due to nescience the soul forgets her real nature and also relation with Brahman, and consequently imagines herself as the door. Whenever a man does anything, he feels in his mind that it is done by him independently of any one. Thus he attaches much importance to himself, forgetting the Divine power who is above him. Whenever he gets or acquires, anything he thinks it is due to his efforts and skill. This is because he is under influence of nescience. This nescience is also Brahman’s power. In fact, Brahman is the doer of everything, but as stated above, the man is so overpowered by nescience, that he wants to take credit upon himself for everything which is done by him, which in fact is due to the divine will. So Prapanch is due to Maya and Samsar is to nescience. Our author elucidates the difference between the two below:
We learn that, it is Samsar which is unreal and not jagat. Jagat as said above is the work of Brahman, who creates it for its pleasure. Without diversity, pleasure is not possible. So the various objects and souls are created. Again the souls are subjected to the influence of nescience, so that they experience the condition of metempsychosis. When they realize their real form and relation of Brahman, by means of knowledge, nescience is removed and metempsychosis is destroyed. Thus samsar has Uttpatti origination and Lay destruction; whereas jagat has only Avirbhav manifestation and Tirobhav disappearance. Samsar has its end, but jagat has no end .The withdrawing of Jagat in Brahman is called an end but really speaking it is no one way of Brahman to indulge in sport. Just as it creates the world for its sport, so also it withdraws it into Itself for its sport. The first is the external sport i.e. sport into its visible form, ‘world’. The second is internal form i.e. in its invisible form. Our author thus attempts to give us an idea of Brahman, by a method known as “Karya Lakshana’. But the karya lakshana does not enable a man to have any clear idea about the real nature of Brahman. Because it is only an indirect way of describing it so he makes an attempt to describe Brahm by Swaroop Lakshana also Verse 25-26, describes Brahman’s original form. There is it said Brahman is all-pervading like the sky. It is enveloped by its maya. It is Saakar because it has limbs such as hands, feet, eyes and mouths in all directions. It stands pervading everything. It has infinite forms. Though it assumes infinite forms, itself is indivisible. Brahman is possessed of three qualities Sat, Chit and anand. From the Sat part emerges the world, from chit the human souls and from anand, the antaryamin. In the world, Chit and anand are not revealed and in the human souls, anand is not revealed. In the Antaryamin form, although anand is revealed, it is only in a limited measure. In fact, the Brahman reveals Itself under the forms viz world, human souls and the inner souls.

In verses 31 to 33, the effects of two powers viz knowledge and nescience are mentioned. In the first place it should be clearly understood that they are the powers of God created by his own power only. Under the influence of nescience the souls suffer humiliation, misery and state of bondage. Under the influence of the knowledge power, they get freedom from all kinds of wordly ills and realize the oneness of God. In the state of devotion, neither knowledge nor nescience can exercise their influence upon the souls. Then they become functionless. In that condition, they experience the bliss of Brahmanand which is higher then freedom.

Nescience (Avidhya):

Nescience has five constituents, each one of which is called Adhyas. They are Dehadhyas, Indriyadhyas, Pranadhyas, Antahkaranadhyas, and Swaroop Vismruti. Adhyas means super-imposition. When one thing is imposed on another, it is called super-imposition. Nescience creates such illusion on the soul, that the soulm who in fact is a part and parcel of Brahman, forgets her own real form and identifies herself with the body, the senses breath, and the inner organ and forgets away her entire nature. Under the influence of Dehadhyas, the soul thinks that she is body. That is one kind of ignorance. Due to this, the man will say, ‘I am fat or I am thin’. Really speaking fatness or thinness pertains to the body but the soul thinks that it belongs to her. Similarly when one says ‘I am blind or I am deaf’ the quality of blindness or deafness that pertains to senses is attributed to the soul. The ultimate result of nescience is to make the soul completely forget him. These Adhyasas are the chains forged by nescience to keep the soul imprisoned in the wordly state. So long these chains are not broken; freedom cannot be secured by the soul. The chains are to be broken by knowledge. Knowledge will not destroy the nescience and show the path of freedom but it will also break the shell of the adhyasas.

Knowledge also has five constituents, namely renunciation, knowledge, discipline, penance and devotion. Renunciation means aversion to worldly pleasures. Knowledge is explained as “Nitya-anitya Vastu Vivek Purvakam Parityag” i.e. abandonment of things, accompanied by discrimination of the permanent from the non-permanent. Discipline is Ekante-ashtang yog and Tapah is ‘VicharPurvakamalochana” i.e. meditating upon God or it is Ekagrasthiti i.e. the state of concentration. Devotion is love. Each one of these masks a stage in the advance on the path of progress. In the first stage of knowledge, the man learns futility of the worldly pleasures, and so grows averse to them. Then he does know what is worth having and what is not worth having. Only those things which are of permanent value are worth having to him. He will therefore set his mind upon such things only i.e. he will prefer spiritual life to the life of the worldly pleasures. This way he endeavours to control the minds. When the mind is perfectly controlled, he will concentrate his mind upon the Lord. After that in the last stage he loves God. The stage of love is the last phase of knowledge. Then the knowledge is complete. Such knowledge will remove nescience and make the soul free from metempyschosis.

It is said that as the world has emanated from Brahman so the souls have emanated from Brahman. The human soul is infinitesimally small. Like perfume it pervades the whole body. Ordinarily it is atomic but when it acquires likeliness of Brahman, it becomes all pervading. The main characteristics of the soul are discussed fully in the Brahma sutras. We give below what Vallabhcharayaji says there about the nature and size of the soul and its relation to Brahman.

The objector again challenges the argument of Jiva’s Anutva on the ground of Tatvamasi. In this, the identity between human soul and Brahman is established by resorting to what is called Bhagtyaaglakshana. The objector’s point is that, if the identity of Jiva with Brahm becomes obvious from this, how can Jiva be regarded atomic? This objection is removed by the Sutrakara in 2-3-29. The identity expressed in Tatvamasi relates to their Guna’s. The prominent quality of Brahm is Anand. The Jiva has this quality latent in it. When this particular quality becomes manifest in Jiva, it acquires the position in which it resembles Brahman. This is what is meant by Tatvamasi. It is the quintessence of their Guna’s that is mentioned here. The sutra 2-3-30 says the same thing. It is true that Jiva itself has got no anand in the state of worldly existence. But this does not mean that it is bereft of it altogether. The quality of anand is therem but it is not manifest. As Pumsatva of a man, which is latent in his childhood becomes patent in its advanced condition when it once more becomes part and parcel of Brahman. This point is expressed in 2-3-31. If, however, it is argued that even in the condition of mundane existence, Jiva has got this anand, there; we must admit that this anand does always exist. In that case, nobody can deny its existence. The admission of such an argument will conduce us to draw further conclusion that, if it is so, then there will be no metempsychosis at all. In the absence of metempsychosis, there will be no stage of emancipation. So it must be admitted that jiva does not possess anand. It is the chief attribute of Brahm. In other words jiva is Brahm minus Anand.

Next the question of Jiva’s kartrutva is considered. We have seen above that according to Samkhyas, activity belongs only to Prakriti; but this theory of the Samkhyas is refuted by the Sutrakara in the first pada of 2nd chapter. Here he declares that the quality of activity is to be associated with Jiva.

Relation between Jiva and Brahman:

  1. Jiva is a portion of Brahm. It should not be doubted that as Brahm is Niravaya, Jiva cannot be its part. Brahman’s form is not like worldly forms. The Shrutis do not assert that Brahm is formless. On the contrary they say that Brahm has a form which differs from those of ordinary beings, whose forms are composed of bones, blood, skin etc. Brahm’s form consists of Anand. And as Anand, it is sakar. This is the meaning of Nirakar and Sakar Shruti’s. So no contradiction appears in saying that Jiva is a part of Brahm. This may again be disputed on the supposition that, if it be so believed in, then there will be no difference between Jiva and Brahman. This is also answered by the fact that, even though Jiva is a part of Brahm, in Jiva state of metempsychosis, he differs from Brahman because Jiva in its latter condition, after its separation from Brahman, does not possess Anand, as patent as in the case of Brahm. This Amsatva of Jiva is emphasized by the Sutrakara in 2-3-43.
  2. Another objection to the Amsatva of Jiva of that, if Jiva is a Part of Brahman, then, the misery and unhappiness of Jiva will make Brahm also miserable and unhappy. It is the common experience of all persons that if a part is affected, then, the whole of which it forms a part is also affected. If a foot receives injury, will not the body suffer? The sutrakara allows the legality of this objection, but to strengthen his position, he cites a case of Prakash light. We know that heart of a lamp causes burning sensation in others but itself is immune from this effect. In the same way, Brahm is free from the experience of misery and unhappiness. Just as any Dosh in Prakash does not affect it, in the same way the Dosh of Jiva, which is a portion of Brahm does not affect Brahm. This point is cleared in B.S. 2-3-25.
  3. The upholders of the Maya doctrine regard the soul as phenomenal appearance or reflection of Brahman. But that is not Vallabhacharyaji’s view. According to him, it is a part of Brahman. In the Avaran Bhang commentary, 6 views among the holders of the reflection theory are indicated and refuted. These six views may be indicated briefly as under:-
    1. Prakriti has two aspects: - Maya and Avidya. The reflection of Chaitanya in Maya is called Ishwar and that in Avidya nescience is called Jiva.
    2. Prakriti is Trigunatmika. Its form Maya is Satva Pradhan and Avidya is Rajstham Pradhan. The reflection of Chaitanya in Maya is Ishwar and that in Avidya is called Jiva.
    3. Prakriti is possessed of 2 powers- one is called Vikshep Shakti: The power of projecting and the other Avran Shakti: the power of obscuring. The first is called Maya and the reflection of Brahm into it is called Ishwar. The second is called Avidya and the reflection of Chaitanya into it is called Jiva.
    4. The reflection of Chaitanya in Avidya is called Ishwar and that in Antahkaran is called Jiva.
    5. The reflection of Chaitanya of Maya is Ishwar and that in Antahkaran is Jiva.
    6. The reflection of Chaitanya in Avidya is Jiva.

All these theories have been refuted by Purushottamji. Shri Vallabhcharya repudiates all these theories by only one sentence “MayaJavNikacchaanna Naananya Pratimbimbate”. A veiled object cannot have reflection. Brahman, according to the assumption of the Mayavadin is veiled by Maya. So he cannot have reflection. Moreover, the object which is to be reflected requires some space in which it should be reflected although the place where the object is located, cannot give reflection. Brahm is everywhere. There is no place without Brahm. When there is no empty space without Brahm, there can be no reflection of Brahm. If against this, it is said that the sky stands above us pervading all things and yet it is reflected in waters. The sky is not located in one place. To this, the author replies, the reflection of the sky is possible, because waters are not in the sky. Really speaking even here it is not the reflection of the sky, which has got a definite Rup. Brahman, according to Mayavada is formless. And it is the law of reflection that only an object which has shape or form should be reflected.

So Brahman cannot throw reflection into Maya. Again, according to the Shruti passage Dwasuparna, Brahman and Jeeva are like two brids perched upon on bough, i.e. they have one place. No object can cast its reflection in the very place in which it is located. So jiva cannot be Brahman’s reflection. Again reflection is perceptible to the eyes, but Brahman, whose reflection is supposed to be Jiva, is not perceptible to the eyes but Brahman, whose reflection is supposed to be Jiva, is not perceptible to the eyes. It is adrushya and not Chakshurgrahya. Moreover, reflection can only reveal the form of the object and not its action.

Having rendered the reflection theory null and void, our author proves that Brahm is the material cause of the world and the souls.

So on such grounds the reflection theory is discarded by our author. The world and the souls have emanated from Brahman. Therefore Brahman is the cause and the world and the souls are its effects. To say that Brahman is a material cause does not give us adequate idea bout the very form of Brahman. So our author gives Swaroop lakshana of Brahman in verses 65, 66 and 67. There, it is said that Brahm’s form consists of existence, consciousness and bliss. Brahm is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, changeless, and destitute of merits, devoid of any kind of Distinctions etc.

Branches, leaves, flowers and fruits are the various distinctions appearing in a tree. They are SwagatBheda. Although they exist in one and the same tree, still, the branches are different from leaves etc. but such distinctions do not exist in Brahman. Similarly there are no distinctions of the class (Sajatiyabheda). One tree is different from another tree, although belonging to the same species. But in Brahman, there are no such distinctions, because Brahman is one in all the souls. It is also devoid of the Vijaatiyabhed. A mango tree is a tree and a nimb tree is also a tree, but both these trees do not belong to the same class. The material objects i.e. Jad padarthas are different from souls (Chit). But both these are the forms of Brahman. In fact no differences exist in Brahman. So Brahman is SajatiyaVijaatiyaSwagatadwaitaVarjit. Further, it is said that it is a substratum of all, and different from all worldly objects. It is the master of Prakriti and Spirit etc.

Brahman according to Vallabhacharya is not Nirguna and Nirakar. Shankarcharya considers Nirgun Brahmn as the higher entity and Saguna Brahm as lower entity. Thus he differentiates between two kinds of Brahman. Saguna Brahm in his system is meant for worship only till the state of knowledge is reached. After the state of knowledge Saguna Brahm is no longer needed. Vallabhacharya has only one conception of Brahm. His Brahm is both Nirguna and Saguna. It is niguna because of devoid of wordly qualities and it is saguna because it is possessed of divine qualities. Similarly Brahm is Nirakar and Sakar. Its form is made of Bliss. It has the limbs like hands, feet etc. but they are all bliss. This apparent contradiction between two kinds of Brahman is removed by Vallabhacharya in his commentary called Anubhasya on Brahma Sutras. Here we shall give its gist.
“The fourth adhikaran considers the form of Brahman. Primafacia, an attempt is made to reconcile the conflicting statements on the subject of the form of Brahman and pronounce uncontroversial judgement upon them, revealing the true nature of Brahman. As Brahman is the cause of everything, two fold nature of Brahman is not possible. Everywhere only one Brahman is described. Nor should it be said that Prapanch Rahit Brahm and Prapanch Sahit Brahm are two distinct ones. Kath. 4-1-1 lays down the prohibition of difference. The followers of certain shakhas are however of opinion that these conflicting statements point out that outwardly we perceive difference but really speaking such a difference does not exist.

Illustration of “Sun’s light” serves very good analogy for a right explanation of the nature of Brahman. Just as Sun’s light is both the object of cognition and of non-conginition, so is Brahman. Brahman reveals its nature unto us by means of Its grace and not otherwise. Should any one argue on the strength of Shruti (Gha. 4-5-13) that according to this, Brahman’s form is “PragyaGhana” i.e. “Embued with knowledge” and therefore the attributes of Jada and Jiva are not found in Brahman; and consequently the statement regarding Brahman’s being possessed of the attributes of Prapanch is subsidiary only. This argument is answered in the next adhikarana. The attributes such as “Sarvakamatva” etc are not due to “UPadhi”. Brahman being a substratum of all contrary qualities, It does not need anything. The question then here arises, how to explain the contrast between “NishPrapanch” or “Nirvishesh Shruti’s” and “Saprapanch” or “Savishesh Shrutis”? The Sutrakara attempts the solution of this puzzle in 3-2-22. Here he says that the object of the Nirvishesh Shruti’s is the negation of worldly qualities. The object of the Nirvishesh Shruti’s is not to convey to us the entire negation of any form or qualities in the case of Brahman. Their implication is that Brahman has no worldly form or qualities. This does not mean Brahman has no form. It has got a form; but it is divine and transcendental. The Shruti passages have to be understood in this sense only.

In the next adhikarana the same point is further stressed. As Brahman is capable of being seen, one cannot hold that it is Nirakar. Shruti and Smruti passages declare that Brahman’s form is seen by its votaries “Yamevaish Vrunute Tem Labhyaha” (Mundak. 3-2-3). Bhagwad Geeta (11-14), Bhagwad Geeta (11-54). In all these passages, it is said that if Brahman is pleased with the votary, It reveals its form to him. This goes to prove that Brahm possesses form. The Sutra (3-2-2) sums the controversy, the two kinds of Brahman, by an apt illustration of a serpent. It informs us that because two kinds of Shruti’s, of opposite character are met with, in the Vedic text; we should not suppose that there is an express exhortation made about two Brahmans. Inspite of this, they favour the doctrine of Brahman being one. The confusion of sense arising here can be removed by understanding the example of a serpent. A serpent is ordinarily straight, yet at times, it assumes circular form by twisting itself into many coils. It assumes various positions-straight, crooked or circular. This does not prove that, there are many serpents. Similarly Brahm may assume many forms and changes, yet from that we are not justified to draw deduction that there are many Brahmanas. The descriptions of both Nirvishesh and Savishesh Brahma’s apply to one Brahm. Brahm who is both Nirakar and Sakar is one and the same. Not only this, but even the attributes of Brahm are also Brahm.They are not separate from it. The 10th adhikarana, on the strength of these reasons propounds that Brahman is the highest entity. The Shruti expressly denies the existence of any other object, higher than or equal of Brahman.

Work, Knowledge and Devotion:

Let us now turn to the question of means in the system of  Shree Vallabhacharyaji. In all, there are three principal means – work, knowledge and devotion. An exhaustive treatment of these and their relative importance will be given in the second chapter of this work. Here we shall make a passing reference to them and try to understand how Shree Vallabhacharya views each one of them. Shree Vallabhacharya belongs to the devotional school; so, naturally, he will assert that devotion if the supreme means for the attainment of Summum Bonum. We have already discussed this point in the beginning of our treatise. The same question has been discussed in the Brahma Sutras by Badarayan Vyas. Let us hear the arguments used by Badarayan. He starts the whole discussion there, after first laying down that work is identical with Brahman.

Just as knowledge is Brahman, so is work Brahman. This is confirmed by “Tatha Hi Purushartho Bhagwanen”. Jaimini denies this position. He is of opinion that Karma alone leads to the realization of fruit and not Gyan. So as a means Karma is better than Gyan. To Jaimini God is nothing but Karma. He states his theory of Karma as under:

  1. Achar Darshanam (2-4-3) .Even the knowers of Brahman, such as Vasistha etc have been heard practicing sacrificial ceremonies such as Agnihotra etc. This establishes the fact that Gyan is impotent to sublate the force of Karma.
  2. The Shruti “Janako Ha Vaideho BahuDakshinen Yagyeneje” mentions an example of Janak, who performed sacrifices, although he was far advanced in knowledge and had no need of work. This means that even a Gyani must do karma.
  3. Samanvayrambhanat 3-4-5: The combination of Gyan and Karma has been enjoined in Shruti passages such as “Tam Vidhyakarmani Samanvaarmete”. From this, it is clear that both Gyna and karma have to be resorted to.
  4. “Tadvato Vidhanaat” 3-4-6: In has been laid down that knowledge of Brahman entitles one to perform karma.
  5. “Niyamansch”: A strict rule is prescribed in scriptures namely that Agnihotra must be performed as long as there is life. If one fails to abide by this, he incurs sin, which can be purged off by performing only contrition ceremonies which are mentioned in the Smriti works.

The following points are advanced by Badarayan to controvert Jaimini’s theory of Karma.

  1. In “Adhikopadeshaattu Badarayanesyaivam Taddarshanaat 13-4-8: he says that Brahman is superior to Karma. This is declared even by a shruti passage (Bruh. 4-4-22). Vallabhacharya asserts that Brahman is not karma or Gyan or both, but he transcends both these conceptions. To identify Brahm with Karma or Gyan or both these is to circumscribe the power of Brahman to only one or two powers out of infinite powers. This is also the attitude of Badarayana and it is indicated in this sutra. As bhakti is connected with Brahman directly, it is the most reliable means for the attainment of Brahman. In the presence of Bhakti, Gyan and Karma prove in-effectual.
  2. The Sutra “Tulyam Darshanam” 3-4-9 points out equality of Achar (practice) i.e. among Gyani’s both kinds are seen
    1. Those who have resorted to Karma and
    2. Those who have renounced karma.

This frustrates the theory of Jaimini who holds that knowledge is subsidiary to Karma. Next Sutra 3-4-10 lends further support to it. The Shruti does not authoritatively assert that all knowers of Brahman must practice abandonment of Karma. On the contrary we have innumerable passages scattered about here and there in the Vedic Literature, that strengthen our impression about the abandonment of Karma.Compare this especially with 4-5-15. Here one may be inclined to raise a question, namely, why Janak did perform Karma and Shukra did not? Its answer is furnished in “Vibhagaha Shatvat”. Performance of Karmas depends upon one’s adhikara. One Gyani needs karma and another does not need it. Adhikara alone decides it. A further question here may arise namely how is the question of adhikara to be ascertained? The sutra “Adhyayanmaatravatah” 3-4-12 furnishes an apposite answer to this. Only those that betake to the study of Vedas are privileged for the performance of Karma. But one who is a knower of Brahman does not need it.

  1. “Naavisheshat 3-4-13. Refutes karmavadins argument that shruti have laid that positive injunction about the performance of karma. In the passage, “Na Karmana Na Prajayaa Na Dhanen Tyaagenaike Amrutatvaamaanashu”, we are told that for moksha, karma is not needed. It specifically shows the importance of Karma Tyaag.
  2. “Urdhwaretah: Su Cha Shabde hi” 3-4-17: This shows that recluses have not to perform Karma, Vairagya is a pre-requisite condition for embracing a life of renunciation.

Having thus rendered karma theory, weak and impotent, the Sutrakara proceeds to effect a compromise. He says that as according to Yoga, a particular mental state is needed for the thoroughness in meditation, in the same way at times, performance of karma is deemed requisite for Bhakti. So the Gospel of Karma, which is a drift of Purvakanda is not useless. It has also some end to achieve. Viewing from this point of view, we cannot question its utility.

The second adhikaran carries on the same discussion further in 6 Sutras. It shows positively the relation between Karma and Gyan. In the Sutra 3-4-25, it is said that for gathering the knowledge of Purushottam, there is a strong need of all i.e. Karma, Gyan and Bhakti. This is illustrated by an example of Ashwa a horse. The horse is not employed in one kind of service. He is employed in various kinds of services. Similarly karma also is not restricted to one specific use. It does avoid hindrances in the path of knowledge, and also obliterates the impurities of the heart. This is the use of the karma. As a means of knowledge it is useful but, after that, it is useless. It cannot help the man to secure the fruit of knowledge. In the next Sutra, he says that the “Shamdamadi” are to be regarded as constituents of Gyan. In Bhakti Marga, however, they are not to be much cared for.

Summarising his position, Shree Vallabhacharya says that no doubt Knowledge is better then work, at the same time one must know that devotion is better than knowledge. But if knowledge is united with devotion it is still far better. Mere knowledge is useless. Therefore, Shree Vallabhacharya says that if a man of knowledge is devoted to Shree Krishna, then none is better than he. Shankaracharya says that mere knowledge of “Tatvamasi” is sufficient to remove nescience and guarantee emancipation. Shree Vallabhacharya does not agree with him. Knowledge of “Tatvamasi” is mere verbal knowledge. That cannot guarantee emancipation. It cannot generate real knowledge which is needed to cut off the bonds of nescience. Shankaracharya detaches the words “Tatvamasi” from the whole sentence in which they occur and regards it as a great sentence (Mahavakya). Our author says that to take only “Tatvamasi” as a Mahavakya is mutilation of the Upananishadic text. The words “Tatvamasi” by themselves do not constitute Mahavakya. They occur in the section of the Shvetketu episode in the Chhandogya Upanishad.

Just before this portion a statement is made that there is only one kind of knowledge worth seeking, by which all knowledge is sought. If that knowledge is got then no other knowledge remains to be known. That knowledge is the knowledge of Brahman. Just as by knowing gold, the knowledge of ornaments which are made out of it is also got, so by knowing Brahman all created things are known.  Thus stating his position at the outstart, the point of the destituteness of the equality of Brahman is emphasized by several illustrations and finally it is summarized in the following sentence “Etedatmyamidam Sarva TatSatyaam Sa Atma Tatmasi Schetketo”. So this whole sentence should be taken as “Mahavakya” and not only its part “Tatvamasi”. First by Etat, the world is said to be Brahman, and to emphasise that it is not unreal, the words “Tatsatyam” are used. Again to say that it is not non-different from Brahman, the words “Sa Atma” are used. Then, it is said that soul is Brahman, for this, the words “Tatvamasi” are inserted. So merely “Tatvamasi” is not a “Mahavakya”. The whole sentence cited above should be taken as “Mahavakya”. Moreover “Tatvamasi” does not imply the identity of the human soul with Brahman but the non-difference of the souls from Brahman. The sentence “Tatvamasi” conveys only verbal knowledge, which alone cannot lead to emancipation. So it is of no use as a means. In the world, the knowledge of words may help one to remove the ignorance but Brahman is not like a wordly object. It is transcendental. It cannot be, therefore, comprehended by the above method. This is expressed by our author in these worlds:- (“Laukikam Hi LokYuktyaavgamyate, Brahm Tu Vaidikam, VedPratipaatiditarthBodho Na ShabdSadharanaVidhyaya Bhavati KintvanyaySadhanamastitsyah”). “Anyasadhan” are, the author says, “Tap”, “Ved Yukti” and “Bhagwad Prasad” i.e. God’s grace, penance and understanding the Vedas in their real light. These are auxilliares to it. Mere “tap” and “Ved Yukti” are powerless to produce the fruit without Bhagwad Prasad. The real knowledge is very difficult to get. Even in the Satya Yuga it was after undergoing a great deal of sufferings that a man used to get it. In this Kali Yuga, even that is not possible. And what is the test of knowledge? It is in attainment of the state of “Sarvagyata” and “AlaukikTejasvita”. A man who has got knowledge becomes omniscient. He knows everything and gets divine halo of light, but even the man who has acquired knowledge fails to attain “Brahmbhav” and “Sayujya”. Knowledge and nescience are like two states of waking and sleeping, which being of opposite character annihilates each other. Knowledge annihilates nescience. But when nescience is more powerful then it will knowledge. Inspite of knowledge, nescience may operate its effect and hurl a man down in the bottomless abyss of sin and thereby cause his degradation. So knowledge is not a trustworthy means. Therefore to save him from such a condition devotion is necessary. If knowledge is supported by devotion, then, not only that it can resist the force of nescience but it can annihilate it for ever; so that emancipation will be within immediate reach. On these grounds, our author rejects Mayavadins, theory of knowledge. Not does the Samkhya theory of knowledge appeal to him, because, according to that system, Prakriti is regarded as the cause of Universe. As that system does not accept Brahman it is defective. Instead of 25 Principles of that system, Shree Vallabhacharya accepts 28 as mentioned in Puranas. However the Samkhya is not completely discarded by him. The Samkhya Marga mentioned in the Puranas finds his favour because ultimately it becomes a means of devotion. Yoga preaches restraint over senses as a means, but if it is going to be an independent means without any association with devotion, it is useless. It should be used for meditation of God. Even, if it is used for Atma Bodh, then also it has some value. In Gyanmarg various remedies for the Laya of Prapanch are suggested; but they are only purifactory of mind. They cannot annihilate Prapanch. But it can be annihilated by Service of the Lord. By the service of the Lord, the senses will cease to function as the organs of the body. Their physical character will be transformed, and they will become so spiritualized that they will no longer run after worldly objects. When their character is so formed, they will not function for the pursuit of worldly pleasures. Either they will show aversion to them or be indifferent to them and thus the Prapanch will be annihilated since Prapanch is Niranand, Jeeva is Guptanand and Krishna is Purnanand.  Another way to annihilate Prapanch is to feel the presence of some presiding diety in each one of the senses, so that man who has got this feeling will never be inclined to do any wrong deeds or think evil thoughts. Each sense has a certain presiding deity. For example, the deity of speech is god fire. When a man becomes conscious of the presence of god of fire in speech he understands the real function of that sense i.e. the sense will not be used for any worldly purposes. It will understand its real function. Each sense will function for a divine purpose. The third remedy is “AdhyatmaDradhGyan”. This means that the firm knowledge of the non-difference of the soul from Brahm also helps one to cut off the bonds of the world.

These remedies of annihilation of Prapanch are, in fact, meant for the training of the mind, so that the man who has tried them acquires fitness for renunciation of the world, but they cannot enable the man to completely annihilate the Prapanch. Complete annihilation is possible only through the instrumentality of devotion. So the principle, enunciated by Shree Vallabhacharya is that devotion alone is the proper means for the annihilation of Prapanch. Devotion again is of two kinds:

  1. Sadhan Rupa Bhakti
  2. Fal Rupa Bhakti.

Shree Vallabhacharya says that there are three classes of the devotees. The first class, second class and third class. The first class devotees are those whose devotion is coupled with knowledge and radiated by love. If his act of devotion is coupled with knowledge, but not radiated by love, then he is of the second class. If it’s a mere devotion without knowledge, he is of the third class. Mere devotion no doubt destroys sins and generates Dharma. But that is not Bhakti. Devotion therefore needs Knowledge and love. The knowledge is acquired by “tap” and “Vairagya” and love for God. The point of Shree Vallabhacharya on this question will be clear from his Prakash Commentary on V. 95. which is quoted here:

“VairagyaGyanYogeshcha Premna Cha Tapasa Tatha|
Ekenaapi Dradenesham Bhajansiddhimavapnuyaat||”

From this it is obvious that, according to Shree Vallabhacharyaji “Vairagya, Gyan, Yoga, Prem, and Tap” are the Angas of devotion. It must be noted here that love which is mentioned here as the Anga of Bhakti is SadhanRupa. It is not Falrupa. The Falrupa Bhakti is pure love. Is it independent of the above angas. There angas are meant for the development of the devotion. When it is fully developed, it will no longer need them. It itself then becomes fruit. In fact, in the system of Shree Vallabhcharya, there are two kinds of Devotion- one whose fruit is Sayujya or Brahmabhav and the other whose fruit is Bhajananand. The first one is ordinarily termed as Bhakti, the second one is termed as “Pushti Bhakti”.



Brahmasutranubhashyam by Mahaprabhu Shree Vallabhacharyaji
Tatvarthadeepanibandh by Mahaprabhu Shree Vallabhacharyaji Published by J.G. Shah