No motion or action can he attributed to the real Self1 min read

Shri Shankara Acharya’s Vakyavritti Verse  20

‘’The Self, the ultimate reality, in whose proximity the body, senses, mind and vital force, though by nature inert, appear to be conscious like the Self – that am I. This you must understand.”


According to the Sankhya view which is recognized in Vedanta, no motion or action can he attributed to the real Self, but prakriti (the primordial substance) by the mere proximity of the Self assumes motion.

This motion is not imparted by an impersonal Self but by that aspect of the Absolute which is omnipotent and omnipresent.

It seems puzzling that the Self, which is actionless, should cause motion in prakriti, but the fact is that both prakriti and its motions are phenomenal.

If the Self and prakriti were both real, they could not be interdependent or co-existent, for one would be just the same as the other. It is therefore clear that the motions of the mind and the senses are caused by the inner Self, which is nevertheless non-acting.

In the state of deep sleep the mind is actionless, and yet there comes forth from it the dreaming state, in which there is action of many kinds..

The dream action is caused by the inner Self which is actionless, but in the ultimate analysis the dream also is unreal and no action has really taken place.

The same applies to man’s daily action in waking life.

Shri Shankara Acharya’s Vakyavritti Verse  21