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Brahma Sutras – According to Shankara 2-3-6

Topic 6 - Earth Created From Water

Sutra 2,3.12

पृथिवि, अधिकाररूपशब्दान्तरेभ्यः ॥ १२ ॥

pṛthivī, adhikārarūpaśabdāntarebhyaḥ || 12 ||

pṛthivī—Earth; adhikāra-rūpa-śabdāntarebhyaḥ—because of the subject-matter, colour, and other Śruti texts.

12. Earth (is meant by the word ‘Anna’) because of the subject-matter, colour, and other Śruti texts.

From water earth” (Taitt. 2. 1); “It (water) produced Anna (lit. food)” (Chh. 6. 2. 4).

The two texts are apparently contradictory; for in one water is said to produce earth and in another food.

The Sutra says that ‘Anna’ in the Chāṇḍogya text means not food, but earth. Why?

First on account of the subject-matter treated in the section. In “It created fire,” and such other texts the Śruti describes the creation of the five elements, and so ‘Anna’ should refer to an element and not food.

Again in a complementary passage we have, “The black colour in fire is the colour of Anna” (Chh. 6. 4. 1), where the reference to colour clearly indicates that the earth is meant by ‘Anna’. Hence ‘Anna’ in the passage under discussion means earth, and there is no contradiction between the Chāṇḍogya and Taittirīya texts.

Other Śruti texts like, “That which was there as the froth on water was solidified and became this earth” (Brih. 1. 2. 2), clearly show that from water earth is produced.