CHAPTER 2 SECTION 3
Thibaut interprets the opening epigram of this section as, Ether (does) not (originate), on account of the absence of scriptural statement. The Vedas (Srutis) do not deal with the concept of an unrestrained vast space, which the sages who composed the Upanishads referred to as akasa.
The commentators of the later times have treated water (apa), earth (prthvi), fire (agni), wind (vayu) and the open space (ether) as the five great elements (bhutas). A rational approach would lead us to recognize that apa, prthvi, agni, vayu and akasa were the designations of the heads of the five major social sectors (littoral, agrarian plains, intelligentsia, pastoral and the frontier including the periphery) of the later Vedic times.
The Vedas used the concepts of prthvi, divam and antariksham to refer to the three social worlds, agro-pastoral commonalty, urban-based governing elite and the frontier society that covered the forests, mountains, rivers and the periphery. The statement that ether has no origin does not bring out the intent of this cryptogram and it is also unsound to assume that concepts that were not developed by the Vedic sages were unacceptable. Vedas were not treated as holy scriptures, till the later medieval times. (na viyat asrute 2-3-1)
Thibaut interprets the next statement (2-3-2) as But there is (a scriptural statement of the origination of ether). Badarayana was only asserting that whether there was a reference to the term, vyati or akasa in the Srutis (the oral tradition recorded in the Vedic hymns) or not, there is a vast space the society of which is thinly spread and whose members do not function under any type of social or economic or political control. The reality of the existence of such a vast unorganised society needs to be recognized. (asti tu 2-3-2)
The commentator interprets the next epigram (2-3-3) as, (The Vedic statement concerning the origination of ether) has a secondary sense, on account of the impossibility (of the origination of ether). When and how did the concept of a vast uninhabited space without even plant life and even unregulated and thinly populated vast area arise we dont know. It is unlikely that this concept emerged as the result of an attempt to provide living space for animals away from the towns and villages and industrial centres. For, the concept, akasa implies open space and timelessness. According to Badarayana, it was there though we may not know since when. (gaunyasambhavat 2-3-3)
Badarayana holds that the concept, akasa or vyati, is not alien to the three Vedas. He refutes the charge that he has advanced this concept without any precedent being shown in the Vedas. The interpretation that, The word of the Veda also proclaims the non-originatedness of ether; for it declares that air and ether (antariksham) are immortal and what is immortal cannot have an origin is not rational.
Badarayana was only pointing out that the concept, akasa, was akin to the Vedic concept, antariksham. That is, the Upanishadic concept, open space (akasa) surrounding and above the core society of the agro-pastoral plains (prthvi) is akin to the Vedic concept of the frontier society (anthariksham). (sabdat ca 2-3-4) Thibaut translates this expression as And on account of the word (of the Veda).
Thibaut interprets the next statement (2-3-5) as, The one (word sprang) may be (taken in its secondary as well as in its primary sense), like the word Brahman. Badarayana points out that the Atharvaveda (Brahma) used the same word to indicate both the horizon (that is, the frontier society) and the open space. He would however draw a distinction between the two, antariksham, which referred to an organized social world of the frontier and distant regions and akasa, which referred to the thinly populated wide, open space with no organized society. (syat ca ekasya brahma sabdavat 2-3-5)
Thibaut interprets the next formula as, The non-abandonment of the promissory statements (results only) from the non-difference (of the entire world from Brahman), according to the words of the Veda.(2-3-6) The assurance given by the Vedic statement whether in the Trayi (the three Vedas, Rg, Yajur and Sama) or in Atharvaveda that the separate identities of the social worlds would be protected is not harmed by the declaration that the people of the open space (vyati or akasa) are not different from the people of the social horizon (antariksham).
Badarayana was interested in establishing that the provisions of the new social constitution (Brahma) did not supersede those of the earlier Vedic constitution. The attempt to establish that affirmation in the legal sense is implied by the term, pratijna is not a sound one. The ideologues-cum-social activists, who stood by the constitution enshrined in the Atharvaveda (Brahma), need not be upset by the introduction of the concept, akasa. It does not offend their commitment to the formation of an integrated society under the leadership of the two officials, Indra and Brhaspati, who represented the nobility and the commonalty respectively. (pratijnahani vyati ekat sabdebhya 2-3-6)
Thibaut translates the next epigram (2-3-7) as, But wherever there are effects, there is division; as in ordinary life. The teacher points out that wherever there is lack of uniformity n social structure there are bound to be divisions in the ways of life of the members of a social world. It is not to be presumed that every social world (loka) had all its members following the same orientations or functioning under a single authority or being at the same status. The commoners (manushyas) of the core society differed from its nobles (devas) and both differed from the other society (antariksham). There were internal differences in control systems, ranks and groupings in each of the three social worlds.
Badarayana implies that the vast open area known as akasa or antariksham is noted for a lack of uniform social structure and for wide variations in social relations, functions and orientations. The stand that scripture and reasoning in combination rather show that ether has an origin and that the final conclusion therefore is that ether is an effect of Brahman is irrelevant to the issue that was being debated. (yavat vikaram tu vibhago lokavat 2-3-7)
The jurisdictions covered by the concepts Vayu or Matarisva, akasa and antariksham overlap. They are all thinly populated and deal with the sections of the larger society that are beyond the core agrarian tracts. (etena Matarisva vyakyata 2-3-8) Thibaut transliterates this phrase as Hereby air (also) is explained.
Thibaut translates the formula (2-3-9) as, But there is no origin of that which is (i.e. of Brahman), on account of the impossibility (of such an origin). The commentator notes that one who has learned from scripture that ether and air, although not likely to have originated by themselves, yet actually are things with a beginning, might suspect that Brahman itself has sprung from something. This line of argument leads to the debate whether the effect can be the cause and whether what is infinite can emerge from what is finite. We have to skirt round this debate.
The social constitution, Brahma, is aware that undivided agrarian society is the product of a conscious effort and so too is the industrial society of the frontier the product of conscious effort. But the thinly populated society of the vast open areas whether in the immediate neighbourhood of the core agrarian society and which are used for pasture or on the social periphery under the jurisdiction of discrete individuals cast out of the core agrarian and the industrial frontier society or in the distant areas of the vast universe, could not have been the product of planned efforts. (asambhava tu sata anupapatte 2-3-9)
Thibaut translates the epigram (2-3-10) as, Fire (is produced) thence (i.e. from air); for thus (the text) declares. The concept, teja, is normally used to indicate heat and fire. It however denotes any highly influential social authority. It was first used to indicate the power of Matarisvan who presided over the wide moors and could not be put down. The term, teja, was later used to refer to the powers of all social authorities who could not be defied or resisted by any one. Taittiriya Upanishad seems to take this position, the commentator says. (teja ata tatha hyaha 2-3-10)
The postulate that water is produced from fire (agni) is a highly misleading one. Even as the class of intellectuals (Vipras and Brahmans) who were represented by the official designated as Agni was not part of the commonalty that was settled on lands as clans and communities and pursued their traditional economic activities, the class of Gandharvas and Apsarases was not part of that commonalty. The term, apa, referred to this fluid society. There was a similarity between the nomads of the moors who were represented by Vayu or Matarisvan and this fluid society of Gandharvas and Apsarases. The individuals who were not governed by the codes of organized clans and communities were known as naras. The concept, water (apa) as the source of food (anna), is irrelevant here. (apa 2-3-11) Thibaut explains this elusive expression as Water (is produced from fire).
Thibaut translates the next formula (2-3-12) as, The earth (is meant by the word anna), on account of the subject-matter, the colour, and other passages. It is not sound to translate the term, prthvi as earth. It referred specifically to the agrarian (to the agro-pastoral) commonalty of the plains, which had a definite authority over its members and had a definite social structure. The constitution distinguishes it from the fluid sections of the society, which have no definite structure and no definite control over the activities of their members. (prthvya adhikara rupa sabdha antarebhya 2-3-12)
According to the commentator the next formula (2-3-13) implies, But on account of the indicatory mark supplied by their reflecting (i.e. by the reflection attributed to the elements), he (i.e. the Lord is the creative principle abiding within the elements). It is not rational to bring into picture the postulate that the power of Brahma the creator is present in all the five elements, which constitute prakrti. The teacher asks the students to pay high attention to the distinctive traits of the social cadres and individuals who are referred to by the concepts, prthvi, apa, agni, vayu and akasa. Nothing beyond this has to be read here. (tat abhidhyanat eva tu tallingat sa 2-3-13)
Thibaut translates the next formula (2-3-14) as, The order (in which the elements are retracted into Brahman) is the reverse of that (i.e. the order in which they are created); this is proved (by its agreement with observation). The question of in which order the elements created are absorbed in the Brahman is not raised here. The more fluid a social rank is, that is, the more free its members are, the greater is their dependence on the cadres and classes of the lower ranks. This is an anomaly. It is shown with examples that it should not be bypassed, Badarayana points out. (viparyayena tu krama ata upapadyata ca 2-3-14)
Thibaut interprets the next formula (2-3-15) as, If it be said that between (Brahman and the elements), the intellect and mind (are mentioned, and that therefore their origination and retractation are to be placed) somewhere in the series, on account of there being inferential signs (whereby the order of the creation of the elements is broken), we deny that on account of the non-difference (of the organs and the elements). The interpretation that the creation and retraction of the elements take place in direct and reverse order and that the creation proceeds from the Self and that the retraction terminates in the Self is irrelevant here. It is imprecise to translate the terms, vijnana and manas as intellect and mind.
The social code places the intellectual who seeks to know what is not yet known (vijnana) and the planner who thinks (manas) at a high level in the social hierarchy but distinguishes between the two on the basis of their identifying marks and not because they play different special roles. (antara vijnanamanasi kramena tallingat iti ca na aviseshat 2-3-15)
Thibaut interprets the formula (2-3-16) as, But the designation (as being born and dying) abides in the (bodies of beings) moving and non-moving; it is secondary (metaphorical) if applied to the soul, as the existence (of those terms) depends on the existence of that (i.e. the body). The various sections of the population of the larger society may be classified as settled populations (acara) or mobile ones (cara). It may be noted that the formula does not refer to the concepts of birth and death or of body and soul. It is not sound to bring into focus these concepts here.
The direction (vyapadesa) is to classify on the basis of cara and acara and this leads to the two sections being imbued with distinct traits and orientations (bhava). These traits and orientations are taken into account by the social constitution recommended by Badarayana. (cara acara vyapasraya tu tad vyapadesu bhakta tad bhava bhavitatvat 2-3-16)
The commentator reads the next formula (2-3-17) as implying, The (living) Self is not (produced) as there is no scriptural statement and as it is eternal according to them (i.e. scriptural passages). The Vedas do not deal with the conceptof atma, according to Badarayana. He was commenting on the status of the individual who is not a member of any social body and who asserts his individuality.
The Srutis (Vedas) are not seen to have dealt with such individuals. They dealt only with persons who lived in and abided by or revolted against the rules of their social groups. They consider atma as the (great) soul that is eternal and do not deal with the relations between human soul (jivatma) and the great soul (paramatma) or the issue whether there are two such distinct souls. In other words, the Vedas, which are essentially chronicles and hymns describing the social life of the peoples of the Vedic times, are not to be treated as exercises in theology and metaphysics. (na atma asrute nityatvat ca taya 2-3-17)
Thibaut translates the next epigram (2-3-18) as, For this very reason (the individual soul is) intelligent. Badarayana points out that one who following the Vedas considers that great soul as eternal also treats it as knowing. He however does not describe it as omniscient. The intellectual is not a part of either sector, stationary (acara) or mobile (cara). He stays alone and is aware of his identity. (jna ukta eva 2-3-18)
Thibaut translates the next one as (On account of the scriptural declarations) of (the souls) passing out, going and returning, (the soul is of atomic size). (2-3-19) This cryptogram does not refer to the soul or to its size or to the Vedas. The individual who is aware of his identity and is an intellectual knows what would facilitate his rise to a higher social rank and what would result in his return to the original position as a commoner and has the innate power to rise to higher levels. This formula could not have dealt with the concept of God the eternal and omniscient. (utkranti gati agatinam 2-3-19)
The commentator interprets the next epigram (2-3-20) as And on account of the two latter (i.e. going and returning) being connected with their Self (i.e. the agent, the soul is of atomic size). The intellectual rises in social ladder and returns to his original position not because he is aided by his social group or class but because of his personal calibre and personal effort (or loss of effort). The highest position was that of the supreme judge and head of the highest judiciary. This position was designated as Brahma.
The representative of the larger society, visva, who was an unattached individual (nara) and who rose from the lowest rank of the society whose members were satisfied with being able to survive (prana) and had experienced the lives of all the ranks and sectors of the larger society, was known as Vaisvanara. This intellectual who had no personal interests was elevated to the highest position, Brahma, and after his tenure was over would return to the level of an ordinary scholar.
Badarayana was aware of this stand of the Vedic sages about the rise and return of the independent intellectual who adorned the position of Brahma. There is no reference to God here. (atmana uttarayo 2-3-20)
Thibaut interprets the next statement (2-3-21) as If it be said that (the soul is) not atomic, on account of scriptural statements about what is not that (i.e. what is opposed to atomic size), we deny that, on account of the other one (the highest Self) being the subject-matter (of those passages). If it is argued that the Vedas (Srutis) treat the individual as being insignificant like an atom we deny that. For, there are other passages that vest him with great importance. Badarayana was not dealing with the theory that the soul is minute like an atom or with the theory that it is highly potent. He was required to explain how an insignificant person who initially belonged to the lowest social stratum could rise as Vaisvanara to the highest position in the larger society as Brahma. (na anuratat srute iti ca na itara adhikarat 2-3-21)
Thibaut reads the next epigram (2-3-22) as And also on account of direct statement and of inference. The term, sva has been used to indicate that an individual (atma) rises to the highest level by his own effort. This may also be inferred from the different contexts in which the terms, sva and atma have been used almost interchangeably. The concept, soul, does not feature here. Only an individual (atma) who is autonomous (sva) can rise to the highest position in socio-political hierarchy. (sva sabdonmanabhyam ca 2-3-22)
The commentator translates the next epigram (2-3-23) as, There is no contradiction as in the case of sandal-ointment. The interpretation that as the soul is connected with the skin which is the seat of feeling, the assumption that the souls sensations should extend over the whole body is by no means contrary to reason is not sound.
The detractors of Badarayana objected to the concept that the autonomous (sva) individual (atma) could represent the larger society as Vaisvanara and influence all its ranks from his position as the highest intellectual and judge, Brahma. Badarayana says that there is no internal inconsistency in his stand. It is like the smell of sandal which when applied to a particular spot on the skin spreads everywhere.
All the ranks and sectors of the larger society can be influenced though Vaisvanara originally belonged to its lowest rung and reached its highest rung where he would be the only person designated and functioning as Brahma. (avirodha candanavat 2-3-23 )
Thibaut reads the next statement (2-3-24) as, If it be said that (the two cases are not parallel), on account of the specialisation of abode (present in the case of the sandal-ointment and absent in the case of the soul), we deny that, on account of the acknowledgement (by scripture, of a special place of the soul), viz. within the heart.
The comparison drawn by the teacher between the individual (sva or atma) who could represent the entire society as vaisvanara, and be its impartial arbiter and guide, Brahma, and the guide of all who exercised a pleasant influence on all like the sandal-wood was objected to by some of his detractors. There was a distinction between where they were located. The former, vaisvanara, was within the society and the latter, Brahma, was outside it.
Badarayana rejects this criticism for the social constitution, Brahma, has acknowledged that the highest authority had his seat in the core of the large society and was not a personage not concerned with the social polity concerned. The society was autonomous and was not controlled or influenced by any external agency. (avasthit iti vaiseshyat iti cenna abhyupagamat hrdi hi 2-3-24)
Thibaut interprets the next epigram (2-3-25) as, Or on account of (its) quality (viz. intelligence), as in cases of ordinary experience. The chief representative and arbiter would have the trait that the social world had. He would not be alien to any of the social worlds (lokas) even when he functioned as the supreme judge of the larger society comprising several settled populations (acara) and mobile cadres (cara) and individuals (atma). The interpretation that the soul although atomic produces effects extending over the whole body is not contrary to reason, on account of the pervading-ness of intellect which is its quality is off the mark. (gunatva lokavat 2-3-25)
Thibaut misses the meaning as he translates the next epigram as, The extending beyond is as in the case of odour. (2-3-26) Odour, which is emitted by a flower, spreads beyond the spot where the plant is located. Similarly, the influence of the impartial and unattached intellectual spreads to all regions in the open space though he shares the traits and orientations of the social world, which he belongs to.
The Gandharvas who were noted as punya-jana for their contributions to social good were mobile cadres and were referred to as a jagat, a social universe, and not as a loka, a social world, and were free to move in all areas.
Badarayana advocates such transmission of knowledge not limited to any particular territory and social representation by the intellectual as the cadres included under the class punya-jana did. (vyatireko gandhavat 2-3-26)
Thibaut interprets the next phrase (2-3-27) as And thus (scripture also) declares. The new code advocates such extension of the influence of the intellectual to all areas in the open space. (tatha ca darsayati 2-3-27)
Max Muller reads the next phrase as On account of the separate statement of soul and intelligence. The above counsel is given in a separate statement. It is not sound to bring in the concepts of soul and intelligence in the discussion about the role and influence of the impartial and universal guide. (prthak upadesat 2-3-28)
Thibaut interprets the next statement (2-3-29) as But it is designated thus (i.e. as atomic), on account of its having for its essence the qualities of that (i.e. the buddhi), as in the case of the intelligent Self (i.e. Brahman). The commentator argues why the highest soul, which is said to have originated all the things in this vast universe, could not have been minute like an atom. This soul is said to be all-pervading unborn Self who consists of knowledge and is surrounded by pranas etc. He discusses the implications of this stand.
It may be stated here that Badarayana is of the view that the highest intellectual, Brahman, is the essence of that trait (guna) of unity in diversity as he represents and looks after the interests of all social ranks and social sectors. He is constantly and knowingly spreading this trait of his (prajnavat) amongst all. This would make every one adopt a holistic rather than a sectarian outlook. The interpretation, As the conjunction of the intellect (buddhi) and soul (atma) which are different entities, must necessarily come to an end is unsound according to the commentator. Badarayana does not seem to deal with that issue here. (tad gunasaratvat tu tad vyapadesa prajnavat 2-3-29)
According to the commentator, Badarayana argues The objection (raised above) is not valid, since (the connection of the soul with the buddhi) exists as long as the soul, it being thus observed (in scripture). (2-3-30) Whatever objection raised against the postulate that the highest intellectual has to be also an impartial and unselfish representative of the entire larger society is invalid. One can have this ability to be impartial and be imbued personally with the ability to get identified with all beings it has been shown. This cryptogram cannot be read as dealing with the relation between soul and intelligence, atma and buddhi. It is not sound to read any note of rebirth of the soul in this formula. (yavad atmabhavitatvat ca na doshastat darsanat 2-3-30)
Thibaut translates the next formula (2-3-31) as, On account of the appropriateness of the manifestation of that (connexion), which exists (potentially) like virile power. It is not sound to defend the postulate that there is an intrinsic relation between soul and intelligence by drawing on the concept of man being alive and his talents intact even when he is in deep sleep.
The explanation, As in ordinary life virile power and so on, existing potentially only in young children, and being then looked upon as non-existing, become manifest at the time of puberty and do not originate only at that time, so the connexion of the soul with the intellect exists potentially during deep sleep and the period of general retraction and again becomes manifest at the time of waking and the time of creation, does not meet the intent of the teacher.
As one's latent talents like manliness become activated through adoption of methods recommended by the science of disciplined endeavour, yoga, ones great personality and individuality become manifest, Badarayana points out. Nothing beyond this must be read in this formula. (pumstvadivattvasya sata abhivyakti yogat 2-3-31)
Thibaut reads the next formula (2-3-32) as Otherwise (if no manas existed) there would result either constant perception or constant non-perception, or else a limitation of either of the two (i.e. of the soul or of the senses). The explanation that the internal organ, which constitutes the limiting adjunct of the soul, is called in different places by different names, such as mind (manas), intelligence (buddhi), knowledge (vijnana) and thought (chitta) is unsatisfactory. There are different occasions when a social unit gains from its activities or fails to gain from them. This success or failure is a constant feature. If there is no relation between effort put in (yoga) and achievement there have to be other prescriptions (niyamas) intervening between effort and result. We need not introduce other concepts in this formula. (nitya upalabdhi anupalabdhi prasanga anyatara niyamo anyatha 2-3-32)
Thibaut interprets the next cryptogram (2-3-33), as (The soul is) an agent, on account of scripture having a purport (thereby). According to the implications of Arthasastra every doer (karta) or head of a family has to be engaged in a meaningful activity. (We would keep out most portions of Dharmasastra from the ambit of this epigram.) It is not sound to introduce the concept of soul as karta. (karta sastra arthavattvat 2-3-33)
Thibaut translates the next phrase (2-3-34) as And on account of (the text) teaching its wandering about. The teacher also draws attention to the counsel on the concept of activity without an economic or social or cultural purpose and movements for purposes of entertainment (that underlies the term, vihara). He does not advocate these movements, which are against sastras. (vihara upadesat 2-3-34)
The commentator reads the next epigram (2-3-35) as On account of its taking. The teacher also counsels against receiving any gain, which is not a result of the effort he has put in for achieving it. In other words, he would call for rational economic activity and not for gain by chance. Nothing beyond this prosaic statement may be read in this cryptogram. (upadanat 2-3-35)
Thibaut interprets the next statement (2-3-36) as (The soul is an agent) also because it is designated as such with regard to actions; if it were not such, there would be a change of designation. The interpretation that the quality of being an agent belongs to the soul for that reason also that the sacred texts speak of its agency in sacred and secular actions is unsound and unwarranted. The soul does not feature implicitly or explicitly in this formula. The directions given in the codes regarding who has to be treated as a worker and what are to be treated as valid activities are to be followed. What is not in accordance with these explanations or is counter to them, it has been directed, will not be treated as a valid act. (vyapadesat ca kriyayam na ca et nirdesa viparyaya 2-3-36)
The commentator interprets the next epigram (2-3-37) as, The absence of restriction as in the case of perception. Concepts like perception, intelligence and soul are not to be brought in, in these clarifications on the rules prescribed in the science of exertion, yoga. Where there are no prescribed rules on what would be treated as valid gain from exertion or systematic labour (yoga), whatever gained by chance may be retained by a person, Badarayana agrees. (upalabdhivat aniyama 2-3-37)
Thibaut translates the next expression (2-3-38) as On account of the reversal of power. Arthasastra deals with both economy and polity. The ruler may lose his power and authority and these may revert to the one who had these earlier. Badarayana would treat this reversal as valid gain of power and authority though the new incumbent might not have exerted himself to regain his power. Badarayana had in view his contemporary scene. (Saktiviparyayat 2-3-38)
Thibaut interprets the next phrase (2-3-39) as And on account of the impossibility of meditation, samadhi. The explanation, Moreover the meditation taught in the Vedanta-texts, whose aim is the realisation of the Self represented by the Upanishads, is possible only if the Self is the agent, is irrelevant. The teacher was pointing out to his students of the new socio-political code that it was not possible for any member of the society to adopt a policy of total indifference to the happenings around him. If he is not an active and interested participant in them he has to be at least an observer. In other words yoga does not require every one to enter the state of samadhi. (samadhi abhavat ca 2-3-39)
Thibaut translates the next cryptogram (2-3-40) as And as the carpenter, in double fashion. This cryptogram cannot be unravelled unless we take into account the circumstances under which Badarayana presented them. He was one of the seven sages nominated by Manu Surya Savarni on his council.
This Manu was a contemporary of Parikshit who ascended the throne of Hastinapura soon after the great battle of Kurukshetra. Some disputed this ascent as he gained this position without any effort and when he was not aware of the happenings in the Kuru land. These aspects are covered by the previous verses.
Parikshit (the eldest of the surviving Kurus) fell at the hands of Takshaka, a leader of the carpenters who championed the cause of their guide, Samika who was insulted by the new ruler. Takshaka and others were hauled up by Janamejaya who succeeded Parikshit. Janamejaya too had not expected to be called upon to move from Takshasila to Hastinapura as the eldest of the surviving Bharatas.
The arguments advanced against Samika by the sages (who included Vyasa and Jaimini) were twofold. He was not engaged in any work and pretended to be meditating on how to work and what to work on. He was ignoring his duties. Takshaka and his men were charged with disobeying the orders of the ruler and revolting against him. Yoga required adherence to procedure prescribed for carrying out ones duties. Even the meditator was required to fulfil them. (yatha ca taksha ubhayatha 2-3-40)
Thibaut reads the next phrase (2-3-41) as But from the highest (Lord there result samsara and moksha) because Scripture teaches that. The suggestion that performance of socio-economic activities and pursuit of liberation from worldly life are both ordained by God according to the Vedas (Srutis) is untenable. The other society of the forests and mountains to which Takshaka and Samika belonged was not totally under the political control of the ruler of the agrarian state. This feature is brought to light by the defenders of Takshaka. He was a worker but was also an intellectual and as a technocrat he enjoyed certain immunities and could not be hauled up like a commoner, manushya, by the king even as aristocrats (devas), who belonged to the other social world (para) could not be. (parat tu tat srute 2-3-41)
Thibaut translates the next statement (2-3-42) as But with a view to the efforts made (by the soul the Lord makes it act), on account of the (otherwise resulting) purportlessness of the injunctions and prohibitions etc. Badarayana rejects the above defence. Creative effort is expected of every one. Practice of samadhi does not give freedom to abstain from constructive work. What should be done and what should not be done are both implied in the Vedic code. Neither soul nor god is to be brought into focus here.
Badarayana was defending the new code that gave immense freedom to choose ones economic activity including intellectual effort from the many available and approved alternatives. There has to be a purpose behind activity and it has to be organised and constructive effort. (krta prayatna apeksha tu vihita pratished dhavaiyarthyadibhya 2-3-42)
Thibaut interprets the next statement (2-3-43) as (The soul is) a part of the Lord, on account of the declarations of difference, and (because) in a different way also some record that (Brahman) is of the nature of slaves, fishers, and so on. It is not sound to introduce the concepts, soul, the Lord and Brahman, in this formula. Takshaka and his men were workers of the forest and had not yet been brought under any of the four classes, varnas, which at that stage covered only the agro-pastoral commonalty. The different declarations on what are the units recognized as being part of the class of proletariat of the larger society and what are not, have to be taken into account.
The servants (dasas) and fishermen (kitavas) and others have been brought under this class. Badarayana implies that the carpenters and woodcutters of the forest who were known as sarpas and whom Takshaka and Samika represented and guided were not of the same category as these sections. They were free to work or not to work. Badarayana thus also implies that Parikshit was wrong in treating them on par with the dasas and kitavas who did not have the status of free citizens of the larger social polity. (amso nana vyapadesat anyatha ca api dasakitavaditvam adhiyat eke 2-3-43)
Thibaut translates the next epigram (2-3-44) as And on account of the mantra. The commentator draws attention to the Chandogya Upanishad (3-12-6) about Gayatri whose three feet are on the ground and the fourth raised towards the sky. This picture is found in the Purusha-Sukta of the Rgveda too. This picture needs to be presented correctly. The society of the commoners, which is visualized as cow and described as Gayatri, has four feet. Each foot of this metre has four syllables. [A Rgveda hymn is cited to indicate that speech, creatures, earth, body, heart and the breaths as the six facets of Gayatri. It is not sound to conclude so from the theme of this section.] (Ch.U. 3-12-5).
The society of the commoners including the individuals in the periphery and those at the subsistence level is great but its leader (purusha) is greater than it. One fourth of the entire commonalty and which includes all the individuals (sarva bhuta) is under the supervision of a leader (purusha). The teacher notes that the commoners (manushyas) are placed under nobles like Vasus, Rudras, Adityas and Maruts. These commoners who are organized groups form three-fourths of this society. The discrete individuals (bhutas) are placed under independent leaders (purushas) (Ch.U. 3-12-6).
The formula pertaining to the four classes places all those who do not belong to the intellectuals (Brahmans) or to the administrators and army (Kshatriyas) or to the class of traders and landlords (Vis) in the fourth class of workers, Shudras. Even the servants of the nobles and others and the fishermen who did not belong to either the agro-pastoral core society or to the industrial frontier society and the individuals of the social periphery are accommodated in the fourth class. Carpenters hence belonged to this class. (mantravarnat ca 2-3-44)
The teacher was not dealing with the issue of whether human soul was a part of the divine soul. Not only in the said mantra chanted by all but also in the Smrtis, that is, in the Dharmasastras the same position is taken. The Nishadas or Kitavas are not treated as outcasts and the Dasas are no longer treated as servants without any civic or civil rights. The other workers whether they belonged to the organized and settled social worlds or not, had been absorbed in the fourth varna when the scheme of four classes was extended to all the sections of the larger society. (api ca smaryate 2-3-45) Thibaut translates this clause as Moreover it is so stated in the Smrti
Thibaut reads the next phrase (2-3-46) as (As the soul is affected by pleasure and pain) not so the highest (Lord); as in the case of light and so on. It is not sound to introduce the concept of the soul being not affected by pain or pleasure and the concept of God, the highest Lord. The teacher holds that even as light etc. need not be further classified (though a ray passing through a prism may throw up several colours) the external society need not be classified after who belongs to the new enlarged society has been settled. Badarayana felt that the debate on who were to be counted as not belonging to the society of four classes, varnas, was not to be pursued. (prakasadivat na evam para 2-3-46)
Thibaut translates the next expression (2-3-47) as And the Smrtis state (that). The interpretation that Vyasa and others state that the highest Self is not afflicted by the pain of the individual soul and that it is devoid of qualities (nirguna) and is not stained by the fruits of action is not relevant here. The comment that the other Self whose essence is action is connected with bondage and release too is a misleading one.
The individual occupying the highest place in the high judiciary that itself is superior to the executive and the other ranks of the society is serene and impartial. He does not take part in worldly activities and does not engage himself even in pursuit of liberation from worldly life, that is, is not a member of any social class, varna, or is in any of the four stages of life, asramas. This has been declared in the Smrtis, that is, the new social code, sastra, which has been prepared on the basis of what has been remembered about the social orientations of the Vedic era. The four classes that have been recommended by the new code for the larger society have their roots in the recommendations made by the Vedic sages in their hymns. (smaranti ca 2-3-47)
Thibaut translates the next statement (2-3-48) as (The possibility of) injunctions and prohibitions (results) from the connexion (of the Self) with bodies; as in the case of light etc. The interpretation of the commentator that obligation exists for him only who views the soul as something different from the body and that fundamentally all obligation is an erroneous imagination by one who does not see that his Self is no more connected with a body fails to bring out the import of this formula.
The code prescribes the kinds of activities that are to be followed consciously and the steps to be taken for correction when one is not able to pursue them so that the dysfunction is corrected. It is not authoritarian or too puritanical. These rules are meant for those who are connected with social bodies.
The leading guides of the society like jyotis and siddhas are governed by these provisions in the code. Like them those members of the higher and independent judiciary who have been earlier and are even now associated with social bodies are required to abide by these provisions to be able to function as impartial judges. But those judges who are not connected with these bodies do not come under this rule. (anujna parihara deha sambadhat jyoti aditva 2-3-48)
The commentator interprets the next epigram (2-3-49) as And on account of the non-extension (of the individual soul), there is no confusion (of the results of actions). The interpretation, the individual soul depends on its adjuncts and owing to the non-extension of those adjuncts there is also non-extension of the soul and hence there is no confusion of actions or fruits of actions is off the mark.
As an ideal member of the judiciary (Brahma) is not connected with any social body he moves about unchecked and is free like a particle of dust in the vast limitless open space. But one who is connected with a social body is a conglomeration of its diverse traits and is not able to exercise self-restraint or restrain others (avyatikara). He cannot bring to bear sober influence over other members of the larger society as he is still under the influence of his own social body. (asantate ca avyatikara 2-3-49)
Thibaut interprets the next phrase (2-3-50) as And (the individual soul is) an appearance (reflection) only. The person who occupies the highest position in the social polity as the supreme judge, Brahma, is not to be a mere reflection of the diverse and even contradictory traits and aspirations of its individual members and social, economic and political units. Badarayana was required to explain how the Vaisvanara, the free representative of all the ranks and sectors of the larger society could function effectively as such impartial judge. The issue of whether the individual souls (jivatmas) can all be the reflection of the great soul (paramatma) is not to be brought in here. (abhasa eva ca 2-3-50)
Thibaut reads the next expression (2-3-51) as On account of the unseen principle being non-limitative. The interpretation that while there are many souls, all-pervading like ether, and in close proximity to all bodies from within as well as without, the so-called unseen principle, which is of the nature of religious merit or demerit, is acquired through mind, speech and body and that there are no rules regulating such acquisition is not to the mark. The social ethos that influences the conduct of every individual member of the larger society is a latent force and not easily identifiable. This ethos makes one identify himself with others besides his immediate family. It is behind the concept of Vaisvanara, the universal man. But there were no rules prescribed in the earlier social code to regulate his conduct. (adrshta aniyamat 2-3-51)
Thibaut reads the next phrase (2-3-52) as And this is also the case in relations etc. The supreme judge, as the representative of all the ranks and sectors of the larger society, has to resolve the contradictions and conflicts in the society and arrive at a high level of agreement (abhisamdhi) amongst all. Similarly there has to be no conflict between the independent individual (sva) and his social groups. The interpretation that abhisamdhi means valid correlation between the results of action and the purpose of that action does not bring out the above note. (abhisamdhi adi shvapi ca evam 2-3-52)
Thibaut interprets the next epigram (2-3-53) as (Should it be said that distinction of pleasure, pain etc. results) from (difference of) place; we say no, on account of the (Selfs) being within (all things). He was off the mark. Badarayana refutes the suggestion that the term, abhisamdhi, was valid only for relations between regions as the practices among different regions may vary while the practices prescribed for a social class does not differ from region to region and hence to arrive at a common ethos on issues pertaining to what is morally correct cannot be easily determined. There is an inner attitude (antarbhava) in all that helps to discover the common ethos and uphold and spread it among all sections of the larger population. (pradesat iti ca na antarbhavat 2-3-53 )