You are on page 1of 7

The chapter on phonetics.

Salutations to the knowledge-self from which the whole world is born, into which it
is dissolved and by which it is borne.

By which teachers all the Vednta texts were explained in detail in the past to the
extent of (every) word and sentence, I am forever bowed down before them.

This gloss of the essence of the Taittiriya is composed by me from the grace of (my)
teacher for those desirous of an indepth analysis.





The obligatory duties (nitya-karma) meant for the annihilation of accumulated sins
and the optional ones (kmya-karma) for those desirous of fruits, were studied in
the preceding text (i.e., the Taittirya Arayaka). Now (the study of) the knowledge
of brahman (brahma-vidy) is undertaken for the removal of the cause of the
acquisition of karma. Desire (kma) is the cause of karma because of (its) setting
(the self) in motion. For, of those whose desires are fulfilled, motion (pravtti) from a
steady position is not reasonable, there being no desire present in oneself. And
when the self is being desired there is fulfillment of desires for the self is brahman.
Indeed, the attainment of the highest (para-prpti) will be proclaimed for those who
know that (brahman).

The ruti passages declare: One gains the absence of fear and steadfastness, One
goes to the other side of this tman consisting of bliss.


Objection: Liberation (moka) arises abiding in oneself without any effort at all, from
the non-commencement of desirable and forbidden (acts), from the destruction of
previously committed acts (rabdha) by the consumption (of their effects), and from
the impossibility of relapse (into sinfulness) by the performance of obligatory acts.
Or else, since karman is the cause of the unsurpassable pleasure denoted by the
word heaven, liberation arises from karmans themselves.

Reply: No, since actions are manifold. There are many actions, with contradictory
results, performed over several births, yielding and not yielding fruit (in this birth).


Therefore, owing to the impossibility of the destruction of those actions among them
that have not begun to bear fruit by means of enjoyment in one birth, the
commencement of a body caused by residual karmans is reasonable. And, the
existence of residual karma is established from hundreds of ruti and smti passages
such as then, who are here the performers of pleasant works ..., therefore by
means of the residue ...

What if the obligatory works are taken as meant for the destruction of the pleasant
and unpleasant fruits that have not yet begun to take effect? No because we learn
from ruti that not performing them leads to sin.

For the word praytavya (sin) has for its sphere the unfavourable. Since it is
understood that the obligatory karmans are the remedies of a future sin in the form
of sorrow arising from the neglect of obligatory karmans, their objective is not the
destruction of the actions whose fruits have not begun (to ripen).

If it is the case that obligatory karmans have as their objective the destruction of
karmans whose fruits have not begun (to ripen), even then they would cause the
destruction of only the impure (karmans) and not the pure since there is not
contradiction (between the obligatory and pure karmans).


A contradiction of a karman which bears a favourable fruit with obligatory karmans
is not reasonable on account of its pure form. Only a contradiction between pure
and impure (karmans) is appropriate.


Also, the absolute destruction of karman is not reasonable since the cessation of
desires which are the causes of karman is not possible in the absence of knowledge.

For desire belongs to the one who is ignorant of the tman since its object is a fruit
which is not the tman and desire with regards to the tman is not reasonable since
it is attained at all times and it is said that the tman itself is the supreme brahman.


The non-performance of obligatory karmans is an absence. So, from that a future sin
(pratyavya) is not reasonable. Therefore, the non-performance of obligatory
karmans is a sign of a sinful action that is obtained from the sins accummulated in
the past. Consequently, the at-suffix (-ing) is not reasonable in the statement not
performing ordained karman.

Or else we get a generation of a being from non-being which contradicts all
pramas (means of knowledge). Therefore, steadfastness in ones own self without
any effort is not reasonable.

The aforementioned statement that liberation is a karman to be undertaken because
the unsurpassable pleasure that is denoted by the word heaven has karman as its
cause, that is false because liberation is eternal.
[Note: rabhya is not a gerund here but karma-rabhya is a compound qualifying
moka. According to MWD, rabhya mfn. ifc. = rabhdhavya (to be begun or
undertaken)]

For nothing eternal can be commenced in the world because what is commenced
that is not eternal. Therefore, liberation is not a karman to be undertaken.

How about karman in combination with knowledge which bring together an eternal
(thing, i.e., knowledge) and a commenced (thing, i.e., action)? No, due to (their)
contradictoriness. What is eternal and what is begun are opposed to each other.

Since that very thing that is destroyed cannot be produced (again), liberation,
although eternal, (can) verily (be thought) to be undertaken like non-being in
consequence of annihilation (pradhvasa-abhva). Not so, because liberation has
the form of being.

Further, it is not possible that non-being in consequence of annihilation can be
undertaken. Since non-being lacks distinctive qualities it is merely imagined. Nonbeing is simply an antithesis of being.


Objection: Just as being, though undifferentiated, becomes differentiated by means
of pots, cloth, etc., (yet) the beingness of a pot, the beingness of cloth are verily
non-different. In the same way, non-being, though lacking in distinctive characters,
is imagined like (the existence of) a substance, etc., (is imagined) due to (its)
association with actions and properties.
Reply: No, because non-being does not concomittantly arise with a qualification like
lotuses etc., do. With regards to being (existent by virtue of) possessing
qualifications, only being could exist (that way).



Objection: Since the agent of knowledge and karman is eternal, liberation caused by
the serial flow of knowledge and karman would be eternal.
Reply: No, because agency, like the violent motion of Gag, is a form of suffering
(dukha). And because liberation is interrupted when agency ceases. Therefore, the
Upaniad whose objective is the knowledge of brahman is undertaken, since

liberation is abiding in ones own self when the cause of clinging to karman, which is
desire, which (in turn) is ignorance, have ceased; and since the cessation of
ignorance is from the realization that the tman itself is brahman.


By the word Upaniad is meant knowledge. Due to the cutting down or exhausting
of conception, birth, old age, etc. of those who engage in it, because it causes one
to approach brahman, or the supreme good is approached in it, the text on account
of that reason is also an Upaniad.