Origin of the world

Commentary by Medhātithi. Translation by Ganganath Jha.

आसीदिदं तमोभूतमप्रज्ञातमलक्षणम् । अप्रतर्क्यमविज्ञेयं प्रसुप्तमिव सर्वतः ।५।

ततः स्वयंभूर्भगवानव्यक्तो व्यञ्जयन्निदम् । महाभूतादिवृत्तौजा प्रादुरासीत्तमोनुदः ।६।

योऽसावतीन्द्रियग्राह्यः सूक्ष्मोऽव्यक्तः सनातनः । सर्वभूतमयोऽचिन्त्यः स एष स्वयमुद्बभौ ।७।

 
आसीदिदं तमोभूतमप्रज्ञातमलक्षणम् । अप्रतर्क्यमविज्ञेयं प्रसुप्तमिव सर्वतः ॥ ५ ॥
The (world) was in existence in the form, as it were, of dense darkness - unperceived, undifferentiated, incogitable, incognizable; as it was wholly merged in deep sleep.
क अस्ताः क्व निपतिताः । शास्त्रोक्तनिपतितधर्मान् पृष्टस्तानेव वक्तव्यतया प्रतिज्ञाय जगतोऽव्याकृतावस्थावर्णनमप्रकृतमपुरषार्थं च । सोऽयं सत्यो जनप्रवादः आम्रान् पृष्टः कोविदारानाचष्ट इति । न चास्मिन् वस्तुनि प्रमाणं न च प्रयोजनमित्यतः सर्व एवायमध्यायो नाध्येतव्यः ।
At the very outset there arises an objection. Where we began and whereto we are carried! Manu was asked to expound the duties laid down in the scriptures and he promised to expound them; under the circumstances, the description of the world in its undifferentiated state is wholly irrelevant and purposeless. In fact, it becomes a true case of the well-known proverb ‘being questioned about mangoes, he describes the kovidāra tree. Further, there is no authority in support of what is here described; nor is any useful purposed served by it. So the whole of this first discourse need not be studied at all.
उच्यते । शास्त्रस्य महाप्रयोजनत्वमनेन सर्वेण प्रतिपाद्यते । ब्रह्माद्याः स्थावरपर्यन्ताः संसारगतयो धर्माधर्मनिमित्ता अत्र प्रतिपाद्यन्ते । तमसा बहुरूपेण वेष्टिताः कर्महेतुनेति (श्लो. ४९) । वक्ष्यति च - एता दृष्ट्वा तु जीवस्य गतीः स्वेनैव चेतसा । धर्मतोऽधर्मतश्चैव धर्मे दध्यात्सदा मन इति (श्लो. १२.२३) । ततश्च निरतिशयैश्वर्यहेतुधर्मस्तद्विपरीतश्चाधर्मस्तद्रूपपरिज्ञानार्थमिदं शास्त्रं महाप्रयोजनमध्येतव्यमित्यध्यायतात्पर्यम् ।
Our answer to the above is follows. What the first discourse does is to describe the fact of the treatise having an extensive scope; so that what is described here is the whole range of the cosmic process, beginning with brahman down to the inanimate objects, as forming the basis of dharma and adharma. Right and wrong; for instance, verse 49 describes the vegetable objects as ‘wrapped in manifold darkness, the result of their own acts’ [which shows that plants also are related to and affected by right and wrong]. And later on, again at 12.23, it will be stated that ‘having recognised by means of his intellect, these transitions of the individual soul, through merit and demerit, (right and wrong), one should fix his attention upon the right.’ From all this it follows that right is the cause of superiority (in the scale of existence) and wrong of the reverse; thus the present treatise, expounding the exact nature of right and wrong, serves an extensive purpose and as such should be studied. Such is the purport of the first discourse.
मूलं त्वत्र मन्त्रार्थवादाः सामान्यतो दृष्टं च । तथा च मन्त्रः । “तम आसीत्तमसा गूढमग्रेऽप्रकेतं सलिलं सर्वमा इदं तुच्छेनाभ्वपिहितं यदासीत्तपसस्तनमहिनाऽजायतैकम्” ऋग्वेद १०.१२९.३ । चन्द्रार्काग्न्यादिषु बाह्याध्यात्मिकेषु महाप्रलये प्रकाशकेषु नष्टेषु तम एव केवलमासीत् । तदपि तमः स्थूलरूपतमसा गूढं संवृत्तम् । न हि तदानीं कश्चिदपि ज्ञाताऽस्ति । अतो ज्ञातुरभावान्न कस्यचित् ज्ञानमस्तीति तमसा गूढमुच्यते । अग्रे भूतसृष्टेः प्राक् अप्रकेतमज्ञातं सर्वं आः आसीत् । इदं सलिलं सरणधर्मकं क्रियावत् यत्किञ्चिच्चेष्टावत्तत्सर्वं निश्चेष्टमासीत् । तुच्छेन सूक्ष्मेणाभु स्थूलमपिहितं प्रकृत्यात्मनि विशेषरूपं लीनमित्यर्थः । एतावताऽव्याकृतावस्था जगतो द्योतिता । चतुर्थेन पादेनाद्या सृष्ट्यवस्थोच्यते । तपसस्तन्महिना महत्त्वेन एकं यदासीत्तदजायत विशेषात्मनाऽभिव्यज्यते स्म । कर्मवशात्पुनः प्रादुर्बभूवेत्यर्थः । अथवा तस्यामवस्थायां तपःकर्मणा महत्त्वेन हिरण्यगर्भ आत्मनाऽजायत प्रादुरासीत् । यथा वक्ष्यति ततः स्वयंभूरिति (श्लो. ६) ।
The authority for what is declared in the present verse consists of mantra, arthavāda and inference. As for the mantra, we have the following (in Ṛgveda 10.129.3) - ‘darkness existed enveloped in darkness, uncognised in the beginning; this whole existed in a fluid state; the gross was contained in the subtle; the one entity that existed came to be born by virtue of austerities.’ The meaning is as follows. At the universal dissolution, the sun, the moon, the fire and other sources of light having been destroyed, there existed darkness alone: this subtle darkness was enveloped, wrapped in darkness in the gross form; at this time there was no cogniser; hence there beign no one to cognise things there was no cognition of anything; therefore darkness is described as enveloped in darkness. In the beginning i.e. before elemental creation, it was uncognised, unknown; this whole existed in the fluid state i.e. every active or mobile object was motionless; the gross, the larger, was contained in the subtle, the smaller i.e. every differentiated object was resolved into its original evolvents; this indicates the undifferentiated state of the world; and the last foot of the mantra describes the earliest stage of evolution; that one entity which existed came to be born by virtue of austerities i.e. by the force of austerity it became manifested in differentiated forms i.e. under the influence of past acts, it came into existence again; or it may mean that under the conditions described, Hiraṇyagarba came into existence by himself, by virtue of his austerities; as described later on (verse 6) - ‘thereupon the self-born’ etc.
सामान्यतो दृष्टेन महाप्रलयाऽपि संभाव्यते यस्य ह्येकदेशे नाशो दृष्टस्तस्य सर्वस्यापि नाशो दृश्यते यथा शालाऽपि क्वचिद्दह्यमाना दृष्टा कदाचित्सर्वो ग्रामो दह्यते । ये च कर्तृपूर्वा भावास्ते सर्वे विनश्वरा गृहप्रासादादयः । कर्तृपूर्वं चेदं जगत्सरित्समुद्रशैलाद्यात्मकम् । अतो गृहादिवन्नङ्क्ष्यतीति संभाव्यते । “कर्तृपूर्वतैव न सिद्धेति” चेत्तन्निवेशलिशेषवत्त्वादिना गृहादिवत्साऽपि साध्यत इत्यादि सामान्यतो दृष्टम् ।
The possibility of universal dissolution is proved by inference: that which has been found to be destroyed in one part is also found to be destroyed in its entirety; eg. at one time a single house is found to be burnt and at another time the entire village is burnt (this is the major premise); all such things as are produced by active agents - such as houses, palaces and the like are found to be liable to destruction (this is the second step in the inferential process); hence it follows that like the house, etc. the whole world will come to destruction (this is the final conclusion). It will not be right to argue that the fact of the world being the work of an active agent is itself not yet established for that fact also is deduced from the fact of the world having, like the house and such things, a particular shape. All this constitutes the inference (upon which the statements in the present verse are based).
न च प्रमाणशुद्धौ तद्दूषणे वा प्रयतामहेऽनिदंपरत्वाच्छास्त्रस्य । एतद्धि यावन्न विचार्य निरूपितं तावन्न सम्यगवधार्यते । तथानिरूपणे च तर्कशास्त्रता स्यान्न धर्मशास्त्रता ग्रन्थविस्तश्च प्रसज्यते ।
We do not make any attempt either at clarifying (discussing and strengthening) the said proofs or at refuting the counter-arguments because the present treatise does not deal with proofs and reasonings. And reasonings could not be fully grasped until they have been fully stated and examined. And if all this were done, the work would become a treatise on ‘reasonings’ not on ‘law’ and futher, it would become too prolix.
प्रक्रियाबहुलं चेदं सर्वमुपन्यसिष्यते । क्वचित्पौराणी प्रक्रिया क्वचित्सांख्यानाम् । न तया ज्ञातयाऽज्ञातया वा कश्चिद्धर्माधर्मयोर्विशेष इति निपुणतया न निरूप्यते । अर्थिता चेत्तत एवान्वेष्या । पदार्थयोजनाव्याख्यानमात्रं त्वध्यायस्योपदिश्यते तदेव करिष्यामः । तात्पर्यमुपदर्शितमेव ।
This subject (of creation and dissolution) in its details shall be found described (in verse 7 et. seq.) and the process described shall be in some places in accordance with the Purāṇas and sometimes in accordance with the Sāṅkhya doctrines. But the knowing or not knowing of those details does not make any difference in right and wrong; hence we are not going to deal with it in detail. If any person stands in need of the detailed account of the process, he should search for it in the said sources of information. What we undertake to do is to construe and explain the words of the text and this is all that we shall do. A brief exposition of the purport of the discourse we have already given.
आसीदिदं जगत्तमोभूतं तम इव । भूतशब्दोऽनेकार्थोऽह्युपमायां प्रयुक्तः । यथा ‘यत्तद्भिन्नेष्वभिन्नं छिन्नेष्वच्छिन्नं सामान्यभूतं स शब्द इति’ सामान्यभूत इति सामान्यमिवेत्यर्थः ।
This world was in existence in the form of dense darkness i.e. as if it were dense darkness. The term bhūta which has several meanings is here used to denote similarity just as in the statement ‘that which remains the same even though the things denoted by it are diverse; which remains undestroyed even when the things denoted are destroyed, which is, as if it were (sāmānyabhūta), a generality, this is the word.’ The word sāmānyabhūta means ‘as if it were a generality’.
किं तमसा जगतः सादृश्यमत आह अप्रज्ञातम् । विशेषाणां स्वभावानां विकाराणां प्रकृतावुपलयनादतः प्रत्यक्षेणाज्ञातम् । अनुमानात्तर्हि ज्ञायेत तदपि चालणक्षम् । लक्षणं लिङ्गं चिह्नं तदपि तस्यामवस्थायां प्रलीनमेव सर्वविकाराणां विशेषात्मना विनष्टत्वात् ।
What is that constitutes the similarity of the world to darkness? The answer is given by the next word ‘unperceived’. In as much as all the products with their diverse differentiated forms are at the time resolved in the evolvent original, the world is not perceived. It might have been cognised by means of inference; but that also is not possible as it is undifferentiated. The differential meant is that character which distinguishes one thing from another and this also is dissolved at the time for the simple reason that all products, with their distinguishing features, have been destroyed.
अप्रतर्क्यम् । यद्रूपमासीत्तर्कयितुमपि न तद्रूपतया शक्यम् । सर्वप्रकारमनुमानं निषेधति । न सामान्यतो दृष्टमनुमानमस्ति । तद्रूपकावेदकं न विशेषतो दृष्टमतश्चाविज्ञेयम् ।
Incogitable - that form in which the world existed was not capable of being even thought of, in that form; ‘cogitation’ here stands for all forms of inference; the meaning being that at the time there was no kind of inference - neither from generals to particulars nor from particulars to general - available by means of which the world could be cognised. For these reasons it was incognisable.
नैव तर्ह्यासीदसदेवाजायतेति प्राप्तमेतन्निषेधति प्रसुप्तमिव सर्वतः । नासतः सतः उत्पत्तिः । उक्तं च ‘सदेव सोम्येदमग्र आसीत् कथमसतः सज्जायेते’ त्याद्युपनिषत्सु । अतश्चाविज्ञेयमवच्छेदविषयैः प्रमाणैः । आगमात्तादृशादेव गम्यते ।
From all this it might follow that the world did not exist at all and it was only a non-existent world that came into existence (subsequently); with a view to preclude this, the text adds - ‘as if wholly merged in deep sleep’. As a matter of fact, the existent can never come into existence out of the non-existent; it has been declared in the Upaniṣad - ‘O dear one, this was, in the beginning existent; how could the existent be born out of the non-existent?’ All that is meant is that the world is incognisable by the instrumentality of the ordinary means of cognition which operate through and bear upon only differentiated things; that such is its condition is known from the scriptures, which also are as transcendental in their character as the ante-natal condition of the world.
प्रसुप्तमिव जाग्रत्स्वप्नवत्तां निःसंबोधक्लेशप्रध्वस्ताशेषविकल्प आस्ते न च नास्तीति शक्यते वक्तुं प्रबुद्धस्य सुखमस्वाप्समिति प्रत्यभिज्ञानदर्शनात् एवं जगदागमात्सिद्धार्थरूपादाभासानुमानेभ्यश्च तार्किकाणामवसीयते ।
As if merged in deep sleep - ‘deep sleep’ stands for that condition of repose which is beyond the conditions of waking and dreaming; and it has been cited only by way of illustration; the meaning being - ‘just as the soul in the condition of deep sleep remains entirely unconscious of any thoughts or sufferings and free from all notions of diversity and yet it cannot be said to be non-existent because on waking it is recognised as being the same that was asleep, as shown by the idea ‘I have slept soundly’ - exactly the same is the case with the world, as is shown in the scriptures that describe things as they have actually existed and also proved, for those who depend upon reasonings, by what appear to be sound inferences.
आसीदिति । वर्तमाना तु साऽवस्था न कस्यचित् विज्ञेयेत्यत उक्तमविज्ञेयम् । सर्वतो नैकदेशप्रलय इत्यर्थः ॥ ५ ॥
Was in existence - the past tense has been used because the condition described can never be known by any person; hence it is that it has been described as incognizable. Wholly - this shows that the dissolution is not partial but total (5).
 
 
ततः स्वयंभूर्भगवानव्यक्तो व्यञ्जयन्निदम् । महाभूतादिवृत्तौजा प्रादुरासीत्तमोनुदः ॥ ६ ॥
Thereafter, the supreme being Hiraṇyagarba, self-born, unmanifest and bringing into view this (universe), appeared - dispelling darkness and having his (creative) power operating unpon the elemental substances and other things.
तस्या महारात्र्या अनन्तरम् । स्वयं भवतीति स्वयंभूः । स्वेच्छया कृतशरीरपरिग्रहो न संसार्यात्मवत्कर्मपरतन्त्रं शरीरग्रहणमस्य ।
After the above described great night - the self-born, he who comes into existence by himself i.e. who takes up a body by his own will, his taking the body not being dependent upon his past acts, as it is in the case of beings undergoing births and deaths.
अव्यक्तो ध्यानयोगाभ्यासभावनावर्जितानामप्रकाशः । अथवा अव्यक्तमिदमित्येवं पठितव्यम् इदमव्यक्तावस्थम् ।
Unmanifest - not cognizable by people devoid of ability to contemplate and other powers produced by the practice of yoga. Or it would be better to read avyaktam (in the accusative) making it an epithet of idam ‘this’. The meaning being ‘this universe which was in its unmanifest condition.
व्यञ्जयन् स्थूलरूपैर्विकारैः प्रकाशमानयन् । यदिच्छया पुनर्जगत्प्रादुर्भवति । प्रादुरासीत् प्रादुःशब्दः प्राकाश्ये । तमोनुदः तमो महाप्रलयावस्था तां नुदति विनाशयति पुनर्जगत्सृजत्यतस्तमोनुदः ।
Bringing into view - making it perceptible in the form of the greater products i.e. he by whose wish the world comes into existence. Appeared - the term prādur denotes visibility. Dispelling darkness - ‘darkness’ stands for the state of dissolution; he dispells, sets aside, that state; he creates the world afresh and is therefore said to ‘dispel darkness’.
महाभूतानि पृथिव्यादीनि । आदिग्रहणात्तद्गुणाः शब्दादयो गृह्यन्ते । तेषु वृत्तं प्राप्तमोजो वीर्यं सृष्टिसामर्थ्यं यस्य स एवमुक्तः । स्वयमसमर्थानि महाभूतानि जगन्निर्वर्तयितुम् । यदा तु तेन तत्र शक्तिराधीयते तदा वृक्षाद्यात्मना विक्रियन्ते । न तु प्रकृतिशक्त्यवस्थानि प्रकृतिरूपापन्नानि महाभूतानि जगत्सर्गादौ महाभूतशब्देनाभिप्रेतानि ।
Elemental substances - earth and the rest. Other things - refers to sound and other qualities of the said substances. He has his power i.e. creative power operating, acting upon the said substances. The elemental substances by themselves are incapable of producing the world. When however the requisite potency is instilled into them by him, they become transformed into the shapes of trees and other things. The term ‘elemental substances’ here does not stand for the substances which at the beginning of ‘creation’ exist in the form of potencies lying latent in primordial matter.
पाठान्तरं महाभूतानुवृत्तौजा इति । अनुवृत्तमनुगतमिति प्रागुक्त एवार्थः ॥ ६ ॥
Another reading is mahābhūtānuvṛttaujā. anuvṛttam means ‘bent upon’. The meaning of the epithet remains the same as before (6).
 
 
योऽसावतीन्द्रियग्राह्यः सूक्ष्मोऽव्यक्तः सनातनः । सर्वभूतमयोऽचिन्त्यः स एष स्वयमुद्बभौ ॥ ७ ॥
He, who is apprehended beyond the senses, who is subtle, unmanifest and eternal, absorbed in all created things and inconceivable, appeared by himself.
योऽसाविति सर्वनामभ्यां सामान्यतः प्रसिद्धमिव परं ब्रह्मोद्दिशति । योऽसौ वेदान्तेष्वन्यासु चाध्यात्मविद्यास्वितिहासपुराणेषु च प्रसिद्धो वक्ष्यमाणैर्धर्मैः ।
He who - these two pronouns refer to something well-known, that is (in the present context, the supreme brahman, he who is described in the Vedānta texts as also in other philosophical systems, in the itihāsas and purāṇas, as having the qualities going to be described in the present verse.
स एष प्रादुरासीदित्यत्रोक्तः । स्वयमुद्बभावुद्भूतः शरीरग्रहणं कृतवान् । भातिरनेकार्थत्वादुद्भवे वर्तते । अथवा दीप्त्यर्थ एव । स्वयंप्रकाश आसीन्नादित्याद्यालोकापेक्षः ।
He appeared by himself i.e. took a body for himself; the root bhā having several meanings, is here used in the sense of ‘coming into existence’ or it may be taken in its usual sense of ‘shining’ the meaning being that he was self-effulgent and did not need the light from the sun or other sources.
इन्द्रियाणामतीतोऽतीन्द्रियम् । अव्ययोभावः । अतीन्द्रियग्राह्यः सुप्सुपेतिसमासः । इन्द्रियाण्यतिक्रम्य गृह्यते न कदाचिदिन्द्रियस्य गोचरः । अन्यदेव तद्योगजज्ञानं येन गृह्यते ।
Atīndriya means that which is beyond the sense, the compound being taken as an avyayībhāva. The compound atīndriyagrāhya being included under the general rule of compounds formulated in Pāṇini’s sūtra 2.1.4; the meaning being that he is apprehended beyond the senses, he never comes within range of the senses; it is an entirely different kind of cognition, the inuitive cognition of the yogin by which he is apprehended.
अथवेन्द्रियाण्यतिक्रान्तमतीन्द्रियं मन उच्यते । परोक्षत्वादिन्द्रियाणामविषयः । तथा च वैशेषिका युगपज्ज्ञानानुत्पत्तिर्मनसो लिङ्गमित्यानुमानिकत्वं मनसः प्रतिपन्नाः (न्यायसूत्र १.१.१६) । तेन गृह्यते ।
Or, the compound ‘that which is beyond the senses’ may be taken as standing for the mind, which being imperceptible, is not perceived by the senses. It is for this reason that the vaiśeṣikas have held mind to be ‘cognisable by means of inference’ as stated in the Nyāyasūtra 1.1.16 - ‘The fact that cognitions do not appear simultaneously is indicative of the mind.’ And it is by means of this mind alone taht he said being is apprehended.
तथा च भगवान्व्यासः नैवासौ चक्षुषा ग्राह्यो न तु शिष्टैरपीन्द्रियैः । मनसा तु प्रसन्नेन गृह्यते सूक्ष्मदर्शिभिरिति ॥ प्रसन्नेन रागादिदोषैरकलुषितेन तदुपासनापरत्वेन लब्धसूक्ष्मदर्शनशक्तिभिः ।
Says the revered Vyāsa also - ‘He is not perceptible by the eye nor by the other senses; he his apprehended by means of the clear mind, by persons endowed with subtle powers of cognition - i.e. not sullied by the defects of passion - by persons who have acquired the powers of subtle perception, by virtue of their being entirely devoted to the worship of the said being.
सूक्ष्म इव सूक्ष्मोऽणुः । न द्यसावणुस्थूलादिविकल्पानामाश्रयः । सर्वविकल्पातीतो ह्यसौ । उक्तं च ।
यः सर्वपरिकल्पानामाभासेऽप्यनवस्थितः । तर्कागमानुमानेन बहुधा परिकल्पितः । व्यतीतो भेदसंसर्गाद्भावाभावौ क्रमाक्रमौ । सत्यानृते च विश्वात्मा स विवेकात्प्रकाशत इति ।
Subtle - as if he were subtle, small; in reality he is not the substratum of any such finite or concrete predications or concepts as large or small; he is, in fact, beyond all such predications; as is declared in the following passage - ‘he is free even from the semblance of all predications; he has been variously conceived of on the strength of scriptures and inference, he is beyond all taint of duality, beyond affirmation and denial, beyond sequentiality and non-sequentiality, beyond reality and unreality, he is the very soul of the universe and becomes cognised only by means of discriminative wisdom.'
सूक्ष्मत्वादव्यक्तः सनातनोऽव्यक्तस्वाभाविकेनानादिनिधनेनैश्वर्येण युक्तः । येषामपि कर्मप्राप्यं हैरण्यगर्भं पदं तन्मतेऽपि सनातनत्वं सत्यप्यादिमत्त्वेऽन्तत्वाभावात् । न हि सर्गादिफलभोक्तृत्वावस्था कदाचिदपैति ।
Because he is subtle, he is unmanifest, eternal; being of subtle nature, he is endowed with beginningless and endless puissance. Some people have held that the position of Hiraṇyagarba is attained by (ordinary beings) through (meritorious) acts; according to these people also he is everlasting in the sense that though he has beginning, he has no end; because his condition, which consists in being the experiencer of the fruits emanating from his original act of bringing about creation, never comes to an end.
सर्वाणि भूतानि मया स्रष्टव्यानीत्येवंभावितचित्तो भूतात्मा एवं संपन्नः सर्वभूतमय इत्युच्यते । यथा मृणमयो घटो मृद्विकारत्वान्मृद्भिरारब्धशरीर एवं यः कश्चित्किञ्चिदत्यन्तं भावयति स तन्मय इत्युपाचारादुच्यते । यथा स्त्रीमयोऽयं पुरुषः ऋङ्मयो यजुर्मय इति ।
He is described as absorbed in all created things in the sense that he is the very soul of things having his mind intent upon the idea that all things are to be created by me; when, for instance, the jar made of clay, having its body built out of clay, is said to be aborbed in (consisting of) the clay’ similarly when a certain person ponders too much over a thing, he is described figuratively as absorbed in that thing; as we find in such expressions as ‘this person is absorbed in women’, ‘he is absorbed in the Ṛgveda’, ‘he is absorbed in the Yajurveda’ and so forth.
अथवाऽद्वैतदर्शने नैव चेतनाचेतनानि भूतानि पृथक्त्वेन सन्ति तस्यैवायं विवर्तः अतो विवर्तानां भूतमयत्वात्तैश्च तस्याभेदाद्युक्तमेव तन्मयत्वम् ।
Or it may be in view of the Advaita non-dualistic philosophy by which sentient as well as insentient things have no existence apart from Hiraṇyagarbha, all being his illusory modifications; so that these modifications consisting of the created things and these being non-different from him, it is only right that he should be described as absorbed in (consisting of) creating things.
कथं पुनरेकस्य नानारूपविवर्तितोपपत्तिरेकत्वाद्विरोधिनी उच्यते । एवमाहुर्विवर्तवादिनः यथा समुद्राद्वायुनाऽभिहता ऊर्मयः समुत्तिष्ठन्ति ते च न ततो भिद्यन्ते नापि लिप्यन्ते सर्वथा भेदाभेदाभ्यामनिर्वाच्याः एवमयं ब्रह्मणो विश्वविवर्तः ।
But how can the single entity undergo illusory modifications? It would be inconsistent with its unity. The answer given by the upholders of the theory of illusory modifications is as follows: When the surface of the sea is struck by the winds, high waves rise out of it and these waves are not entirely apart from the sea nor are they totally absorbed in it; and they cannot be described as either different or non-different from it; exactly similar is the case with the illusory modifications of brahman.
अपिशब्दश्चात्र द्रष्टव्यः । स्वरूपे स्थितोऽग्राह्यो विवर्तावस्थायामिन्द्रियग्राह्यः । एवं सूक्ष्मः अपिशब्दात् स्थूलावस्थायां स्थूलः । अव्यक्तो व्यक्तश्च । शाश्वतोऽशाश्वतश्च । भूतमयस्तद्रूपरहितश्च । विवर्तावस्थाभेदेनैव व्याख्येयम् ।
The term ‘also’ may also be supplied to the words of the text; the sense being - even though, in his own pristine form, he is imperceptible, he becomes perceptible in the form of the modifications; similarly with the epithet ‘subtle’; the implication of ‘also’ being that he is gross in the form of the grosser modifications; similarly, he is unmanifest and also manifest, eternal and also not eternal, absorbed in created things and also free from their forms (and limitations); all this being in reference to him in the condition of modifications.
अचिन्त्यः आश्चर्यरूपः सर्वविलक्षणया शक्त्या योगात् ॥ ७ ॥
Inconceivable - i.e. his character is marvellous, he is being possessed of remarkable powers (7).