BRHADARANYAKA UPANISAD | 3.8.8 | SRI SANKARACARYA
sa hovaca : etad vai tad aksaram , gargi , brahmana abhivadanti , asthulam , ananu , ahrasvam , adirgham , alohitam , asneham , acchayam , atamah , avayv anakasam , asangam , arasam , agandham , acaksuskam , asrotram , avak , amanah , atejaskam , apranam , amukham , amatram , anantaram , abahyam ; na tad asnati kim cana , na tad asnati kas cana . || 3.8.8 ||
8 . Yajnavalkya said : O Gargi , the knowers of Brahman say , this Immutable ( Brahman ) is that . It is neither gross nor minute , neither short nor long , neither red colour nor oiliness , neither shadow nor darkness , neither air nor ether , unattached , neither savour nor odour , without eyes or ears , without the vocal organ or mind , non-luminous , without the vital force or mouth , not a measure , and without interior or exterior . It does not eat anything , nor is It eaten by anybody .
|| BHASYA || : With a view to evading both the charges , Yajnavalkya said : O Gargi , the knowers of Brahman say , this is that about which you have asked ,
" By what is the unmanifested ether pervaded ? "
What is it ? The Immutable , ie which does not decay or change . By referring to the opinion of the knowers of Brahman , Yajnavalkya evades both the charges by suggesting that nothing objectionable will be said , nor that there is failure to comprehend the question .
When Yajnavalkya thus answered the question , Gargi must have rejoined ,
" Tell me , what is that Immutable which the knowers of Brahman speak of ? "
Thus addressed , Yajnavalkya said :
It is not gross , ie is other than gross . Then It must be minute ? No , nor minute . Then is It short ? Neither short . Then It must be long ? No , nor long . By this fourfold negation of size all the characteristics of a substance are denied of It ; in other words , this Immutable is not a substance .
Is It then red colour , which is a quality ? No , It is different from that too — neither red colour ; red colour is a quality of fire . Is It then the oiliness of water * ? No , nor oiliness . Is It then a shadow , being altogether indescribable ? No , It is different from that too — neither shadow .
Is It then darkness ? No , nor darkness . Let It then be air . No , neither air . May It then be the ether ? No , nor ether . Is It then sticky like lac ? No , It is unattached . Is It then savour ? Neither savour . Let It then be odour . No , nor odour .
Has It then eyes ? No , It is without eyes , for It has not that instrument of vision ; as the Mantra says , " It sees without eyes " ( Sv . III . 19 ) . Similarly It is without ears , as the Sruti puts it : " It hears without ears " ( Ibid ) . Let It then have the vocal organ . No , It is without the vocal organ . Similarly It is without the mind .
Likewise It is non-luminous , for It has no lustre like that of fire etc . It is without the vital force ; the vital force in the body is denied of It . Has It then a mouth or opening ? No , It is without a mouth . Not a measure : It does not measure anything .
Is It then porous ? No , It is without interior . Then may be It has an exterior ? No , It has no exterior . Is It then an eater ? No , It does not eat anything . Then is It anybody's food ? No , nor is It eaten by anybody .
In other words , It is devoid of all attributes , for It is one only without a second ; so what is there that can be specified , and through what ?
( NOTE : * It is an assumption of the Vaisesika philosophy that oiliness is the quality of water . )
SOURCE | SATYAVEDISM.ORG