Before whom words recoil – it cannot be defined by word or idea

The purpose of all words is to illustrate the meaning of an object.
When they are heard, they should enable the hearer to understand
this meaning, and this according to the four categories of substance,
of activity, of quality and of relationship. For example,
cow and horse belong to the category of substance. He cooks or he
prays belongs to the category of activity. White and black belong
to the category of quality. Having money or possessing cows belongs
to the category of relationship. Now there is no class of substance
to which the Brahman belongs, no common genus. It cannot
therefore be denoted by words which, like ‘being’ in the ordinary
sense, signify a category of things. Nor can it be denoted by
quality, for it is without qualities; nor yet by activity, because it
is without activity ‘at rest, without parts or activity,’ according
to the Scriptures. Neither can it be denoted by relationship, for
it is ‘without a second’ and is not the object of anything but its
own self. Therefore it cannot be defined by word or idea; as the
Scripture says, it is the One ‘before whom words recoil’

Shankara

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>