Verse 14: Are the Gunas also present in the Unmanifest?

avivekyādiḥ siddhaḥ traiguṇyāt-tat-viparyaya-abhāvāt |
kāraṇa-guṇa-ātmakatvāt-kāryasya-avyaktam-api siddham ||

viparyaya – reverse
abhāvāt – non-appearance

Yes, because it has already been established that the effect (Manifest) exists in its cause (Unmanifest).

  1. My direct (and shared with others) experience of the Manifest (Vyakta) confirms the existence of the three Gunas.
  2. The following qualities attributed to the Manifest (and shared by the Unmanifest – see verse 11) originate with the Gunas:
    1. Inseparable: The Gunas cannot be separated from each other, they are intertwined.
    2. Objective: The experience of the Gunas is a shared experience.
    3. Non-intelligent: The Gunas merely fluctuate without sentience.
    4. Productive: The fluctuations of the Gunas produce objects.
  3. These qualities (inseparable, objective, non-intelligent and productive) are endowed by the Gunas to the Manifest.
  4. Because of my direct experiences (of pleasure, pain and delusion) of the Manifest, I know first hand that the Manifest has the qualities of the Gunas.
  5. However, my direct experience cannot attest to the presence of the Gunas in the Unmanifest (Avyakta).
  6. How then can I know that the Unmanifest also has these qualities?
  7. Black thread can only produce black cloth, it cannot produce red cloth. Similarly, whatever produces a Manifest that has the above mentioned qualities, must also have these qualities.
  8. Whatever does not possess these qualities also does not possess the three Gunas.
  9. It has been established that an effect exists in its pre-existing cause (see verse 9). Since the Gunas and their qualities are inherent in the Manifest (the effect), I can infer that they must also be inherent in the Unmanifest (the cause).
  10. Since the Unmanifest is that which causes the Manifest, it too must be endowed with the qualities of the three Gunas.

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