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The Vedanta Karikavali is a work by the Sri Vaishnava Acharya Buchchi Venkatacharya summarizing the tenets of Visistadvaita. In particular, Visistadvaita says that there are two kinds of inanimate entities, Dravya or substance and Adravya or non-substance. Adravya refer to Gunas, i.e. qualities of substances. They're enumerated in verse 14 of the Vedanta Karikavali:

The Sattva (goodness), Rajas (activity), Tamas (darkness or dullness), Shabda (sound), Sparsha (touch), Rupa (color), Rasa (taste), Gandha (odour), Samyoga (union) and Shakti (potency) are the ten kinds of Adravya (non-substance).

Other philosophical schools disagree on the number of Gunas. For instance, some philosophers think there is another Guna called Samkhya or number, which tells you how many of something you have. But Buchchi Venkatacharya rejects this view in verse 29 of the Vedanta Karikavalivali:

The enumeration of Samkhya (number) etc. as separate Gunas (qualities) as distinct from our ten is contradicted by the Sutrakara himself and is therefore rejected.

I'm interested in the part in bold. When a member of the Vedanta school says "the Sutrakara says this", the Sutra text they're referring to is usually the Brahma Sutras. So my question is, where do the Brahma Sutras reject number and other things as distinct Gunas?

You can read the Brahma Sutras here, but I can't seem to find this statement at least at first glance. Are there any Sri Vaishnava works that clarify this?

  • Why the downvote? – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 27 '18 at 19:11
  • Can it refer Samkhya philosophy rather than number? – Paṇḍyā Apr 28 '18 at 16:36
  • @Pandya No, in this context Samkhya refers to number rather than the Samkhya school. The context is the enumeration of Adravya or non-substance, i.e. the qualities of substances. – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 28 '18 at 16:41
  • can u check the verse 29 link you posted ? i don't see the word sankhya in there..think you posted 14 & 15 again. – ram Oct 11 '18 at 4:32
  • what exactly is meant by 'number is, or is not, a guna' - a number by itself cannot be a guna, unless it is associated with a quantity of something else. '3' is not a guna, '3 shakti', or '3 atmas', etc. could be a guna. what is the point of contention here, whether '3 shakti' or 'N shakti' is distinct / not distinct from just 'shakti', or whether '3' is different from 'shakti'. – ram Oct 11 '18 at 4:38

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