As I discuss in this question, by far the most popular school of Hindu philosophy is the Vedanta school, which bases its tenets on the doctrines laid out in the Brahma Sutras, a work by the sage Vyasa that summarizes and systematizes the philosophical teachings of the Upanishads. (You can read the Brahma Sutras here.) In any case, in Adhyaya 2 Pada 1 Sutra 6 of the Brahma Sutras, Vyasa says this:

dṛśyate tu

But it is seen.

Let me explain what this means. One of the tenets of the Vedanta school is that Brahman is both the material cause and the efficient cause of the Universe, i.e. both the source and the operator of the Universe. But an objection is raised, how can Brahman be the source of the Universe of Brahman is conscious and the Universe is unconscious? Vyasa responds that actually it is seen in real life that sometimes you have cause-and-effect situations where one thing is conscious and the other thing is unconscious. I discuss one example given by commentators, that of scorpions born from cow dung, in my question here. But I'm interested another such example.

Here is what the Sri Vaishnava commentator Ramanujacharya says in this section of his Sri Bhashya:

The 'but' indicates the change of view (introduced in the present Sûtra). The assertion that Brahman cannot be the material cause of the world because the latter differs from it in essential nature, is unfounded; since it is a matter of observation that even things of different nature stand to each other in the relation of cause and effect. For it is observed that from honey and similar substances there originate worms and other little animals.

And here is what the Gaudiya Vaishnava commentator Baladeva Vidyabhushana says in this excerpt of his Govinda Bhashya:

The word tu (but) is used here to dispel doubt. The word na (not), taken from the previous sutra, should be understood in this sutra also. Someone may say: "Because He is different in nature, the Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot be the ingredient from which the material universe is made." The answer is given: "Because it is many times seen that there is a difference between things and the ingredients of which they are made, it cannot be said that the Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot be the ingredient of which the material universe is made." The material universe is made from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, just as many things are manifested from sources very different in nature, just as worms come from honey, as elephants, horses, and other animals come from the kalpa-druma tree, and as gold and other things come from the cintamani jewel.

My question is, what scriptures say that worms can be born from honey? Because it seems to have been common knowledge in ancient India.

This is similar to my questions here and here, which are about other phenomenon that ancient Indians apparently took for granted but which seem totally foreign to our experience today.

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .