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Brahma Sutras – According to Shankara 2-2-6

Topic 6 - Refutation of the Jainas

Sutra 2,2.33

नैकस्मिन्न्, असंभवात् ॥ ३३ ॥

naikasminn, asaṃbhavāt || 33 ||

na—not; ekasmin—in one; asaṃbhavāt—on account of the impossibility.

33. On account of the impossibility (of contrary attributes) in one and the same thing (the Jaina doctrine is) not (true).

After the refutation of the Bauddhas the Jaina doctrine is taken up for discussion and refutation. The Jainas acknowledge seven categories, which can be mainly divided into two groups, the soul and the non-soul.

Again they predicate seven different views as regards the reality of everything. Everything according to them may be real, unreal, both real and unreal, different from real and unreal, indescribable, and so on.

Now this view about things cannot be accepted, as it is absurd to think of the same thing as endowed with these contradictory attributes of reality, unreality, etc.

According to the Jaina doctrine we cannot arrive at any certain knowledge, and this world, heaven, and even Freedom will become doubtful.

According to Vedāntic view, however, the world is Anirvachaniya, unspeakable, and so fit for all relative purposes.

Sutra 2,2.34

एवं चात्माकार्त्स्न्यम् ॥ ३४ ॥

evaṃ cātmākārtsnyam || 34 ||

evam—In the same way; ca—and; atmā-akārtsnyam—non-universality of the soul.

34. And in the same way (there would arise) the non-universality of the soul.

The Jainas say that the soul is of the size of the body. If so, it would be limited and with parts; therefore it cannot be eternal.

Another difficulty would be that the soul of an ant taking an elephant body as a result of its past work will not be able to fill up that body; and conversely, the soul of an elephant will not have sufficient space in an ant body.

The same difficulty arises with respect to the different stages like childhood, youth, old age, etc. in a single individual.

Sutra 2,2.35

न च पर्यायादप्यविरोधः, विकारादिभ्यः॥ ३५ ॥

na ca paryāyādapyavirodhaḥ, vikārādibhyaḥ || 35 ||

na ca—Nor; paryāyāt—in turn; api—even; avirodhaḥ—consistency; vikārādibhyaḥ—on account of change etc.

35. Nor (can) consistency (be gained) even (if the soul is assumed to take on and discard parts) in turn (to suit different bodies), on account of the change etc. (of the soul in that case).

To get over the difficulty shown in the previous Sutra about the soul being of the size of the body it assumes,

if it be regarded as having parts and alternately adding to and taking away from them, then another defect, i.e. the soul undergoing modification and consequently being non-eternal, would arise.

If it is non-eternal and ever-changing, bondage and Liberation cannot be predicated of it.

Sutra 2,2.36

अन्त्यावस्थितेश्चोभयनित्यत्वादविशेषः ॥ ३६ ॥

antyāvasthiteścobhayanityatvādaviśeṣaḥ || 36 ||

antya-avasthiteḥ—Because of the permanency (of the size) at the end; ca—and; ubhaya-nityatvāt—there follows the permanency of the two; aviśeṣaḥ—there is no difference.

36. And because of the permanency (of the size of the soul) at the end (i.e. on release) there follows the permanency of the two (preceding sizes, i.e. those at the beginning and middle), (hence) there is no difference (as to the size of the soul at any time).

The size of the soul at the time of release, the Jainas hold, is permanent.

Now if this size is permanent, it cannot have been created, for nothing created is eternal and permanent. If it is not created, it must have existed in the beginning and middle as well.

In other words the size of the soul was always the same, be it minute or great. Hence the Jaina theory that it varies according to the size of the body is untenable.