अन्वयादिति चेत्, स्यात् अवधारणात् ॥ १७ ॥
anvayāditi cet, syāt avadhāraṇāt || 17 ||
anvayāt—Because of the context; iti cet—if it be said; syāt—it might be so; avadhāraṇāt—on account of the definite statement.
17. If it be said that because of the context (the Supreme Self is not meant, but Hiranyagarbha), (we reply that) it is so (i.e. the Supreme Self is meant) on account of the definite statement (that the Atman alone existed at the beginning).
In the Aitareya Upanishad 1. 1 the Self is said to have created the four worlds. But in the Taittiriya and other texts the Self creates ether, water, etc.— the five elements. Now it is well known that the creation of the worlds is by Hiranyagarbha with the help of the elements created by the Supreme Self. So the Self in the Aitareya cannot mean the Supreme Self but Hiranyagarbha. The Sutra refutes it and says that on account of the statement, “Verily in the beginning all this was the Self, one only” (Ait. 1. 1), which declares that there was one only without a second, it can only refer to the Supreme Self and not to Hiranyagarbha. Therefore we have to take that the Supreme Self after creating elements as described in other Sakhas created the four worlds.
The object of Sutras 16 and 17 in establishing that the Supreme Self is meant is that the attributes of the Supreme Self given in other places are to be combined in the Aitareyaka meditation.