शब्द इति चेत्, न, अतः प्रभवात् प्रत्यक्षानुमानाभ्याम् ॥ २८ ॥
śabda iti cet, na, ataḥ prabhavāt pratyakṣānumānābhyām || 28 ||
śabde—Wtih regard to (Vedic) words; iti cet—if it be said; na—no; ataḥ—from these (words); prabhavāt—because of the creation; pratyakṣa-anumānābhyām—from direct perception.
28. If it be said (that the corporeality of the gods would involve a contradiction) with regard to (Vedic) words, (we say) no, because of the creation (of the world together with the gods) from these (words), (as is known) from direct perception (Sruti) and inference (Smriti).
A further objection is raised with respect to the corporeality of the gods. If they have a body, they too like men would be subject to births and deaths. Now all the words in the Vedas according to Purva Mimamsa are eternal. So also every word has for its counterpart a form, an object which it denotes. The relation between a name or word and form (the object) is eternal. The word or name, its object, and their relation are eternal verities. Now in the Vedas we find words like Indra, Varuna, etc.—the names of the gods. If these gods are not eternal, since they possess bodies, then these words cannot have their eternal counterpart, the object. So the eternity and authoritativeness of the Vedas, which are based on the eternal relation between the word and its object, would be a myth. This is the main objection. It is answered thus. Each word of the Vedas has an objective counterpart, which is not an individual but a type. The word ‘cow’, for instance, has for its counterpart the object, which is a type and as such is eternal and does not depend on the birth or death of individuals belonging to that type. Similar is the case with words like Indra, Varuna, etc. Words representing the gods etc. have for their counterpart objects that are types and not individuals. Again Indra is the name of any one who would occupy that exalted position, like the word ‘king’ in ordinary parlance. So there is no contradiction to Vedic words. As a matter of fact, the world including the gods etc. have originated from Vedic words.
This does not mean that the Vedic words constitute the material cause of these things, which Brahman alone is, as stated in Sutra 1. 1. 2. What then is meant? According to Indian philosophy the universe and its objects have both name and form as the conditions of their manifestation. There can be no mental state (Chitta-vritti) unconditioned by name and form. The thought wave first manifests as a word and then as the more concrete form. The idea is the essence, and the form is, as it were, the outer crust. What is true of the individual mind is also true of the cosmic mind. In this sense only is the world said to be created, rather manifested, from the Vedic words. This is endorsed by the Sruti and Smriti. In the Vedas it is said that the Lord uttered different words before creating different types of beings. Vide Brih. 1. 2. 4.
“The several names, actions, and conditions of all things He shaped in the beginning from the words of the Vedas” (Manu 1. 21).