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and even more boldly than Mahîdhara[1], vidyâ, or knowledge, by brahmavigñâna, knowledge of Brahman, which by itself, and if not preceded by works, leads to even greater darkness than what is called ignorance, i.e. sacrifice and orthodoxy without knowledge.

The three corresponding verses, treating of sambhûti and asambhûti instead of vidyâ and avidyâ, stand first in the Vâgasaneyisamthitâ. They must necessarily be explained in accordance with our explanation of the former verses, i.e. sambhûti must correspond to vidyâ, it must be meant for the true cause, i.e. for Brahman, while asambhûti must correspond with avidyâ, as a name of what is not real, but phenomenal only and perishable.

Mahidhara thinks that these verses refer to the Bauddhas, which can hardly be admitted, unless we take Buddhist in a very general sense. Uvata puts the Lokâyatas in their place[2]. It is curious also to observe that Mahîdhara, following Uvata, explains asambhûti at first by the denial of the resurrection of the body, while he takes sambhûti rightly for Brahman. I have chiefly followed Uvata's commentary, except in his first explanation of asambhûti, resurrection[3]. In what follows Uvata explains sambhûti rightly by the only cause of the origin of the whole world, i.e. Brahman[4], while he takes vinâsa, destruction, as a name of the perishable body[5].

Sankara sees much more in these three verses than Uvata. He takes asambhûti as a name of Prakriti, the undeveloped cause, sambhûti as a name of the phenomenal Brahman or Hiranyagarbha. From a worship of the latter a man obtains supernatural powers, from devotion to the former, absorption in Prakriti.

Mahîdhara also takes a similar view, and he allows, like Sankara, another reading, viz. sambhûtim avinâsam ka, and avinâsena mrityum tîrtvâ. In this case the sense would be: 'He who knows the worship both of the developed and the undeveloped, overcomes

  1. Mahidhara decides in the end that vidyâ and amritam must here be taken in a limited or relative sense, tasmâd vidyopâsanâmritam kâpekshikam iti dik, and so agrees on the whole with Sahkara, pp. 25-27.
  2. Shad anushtubhah, lokâyatikâh prastûyante yeshâm etad darsanam.
  3. Mritasya satah punah sambhavo nâsti, atah sarîragrahanâd asmâkam muktir eva.
  4. Samastasya gagatah sambhavaikahetu brahma.
  5. Vinâram vinâsi ka vapuh sarîram.