A friend wanted a proper interpretation of the fifth सूत्र of ब्रह्मसूत्रम्. Since ALL COMMENTARIES in it are not correct, the proper interpretation is given below. The fifth सूत्र of ब्रह्मसूत्रम् introduces माया through the word ईक्षतेः. In all branches of the Vedas, the word ईक्षत refers to the creation event. For example, गोपथब्राह्मणम् says: ब्रह्म ह वा इदमग्र आसीत् । स्वयन्त्वेकमेव तदेक्षत् । महद्वै यक्षम् । तदेकमेवास्मि । हन्ताहं मदेव मन्मात्रं द्वितीयं देवं निर्मम इति ।. The word ईक्षत has been interpreted from the root ई in the sense ई अक्ष्णोतीति - अक्ष व्याप्तौ संहतौ च ।. According to गणार्थकल्पद्रुमः, it also means ई ईयते. Because of ईयता (confined by the complimentary characteristics of व्याप्ति and संहति), it describes limited dimension (परिछिन्न) – hence one only - एकमेव - as there is nothing similar to IT. Without limited dimension, IT cannot be one, as dimensional clarity is a precondition for एकत्व. Otherwise; it will be infinite – अनन्त.
This view is further confirmed from a total reading of the fifth सूत्र of ब्रह्मसूत्रम् - ईक्षतेर्नाशव्दम्. The word अशव्दम् has been interpreted as absence of scriptural authority (शव्दप्रमाण) in support of attributing Nature (जडप्रकृति) the ability of ईक्षण, which is a conscious function. Then, either the word न or अ is superfluous. The general interpretation could be obtained without either of these. Also शव्दम् – sound, is not the same as शव्दप्रमाण – transferred perception from an authoritative source without direct interaction with the object. There is a simpler explanation for the use of the word नाशव्दम्.
In Vedas, the words वाक् and शव्द are used in different meanings. ऋग्वेदः 6-69-8 gives the mechanism of त्रेधासाहस्री, which the ऐतरेयब्राह्मणम् defines as इमे वेदाः इमे लोकाः अथवागेति वृयात् ।. Based on their intensity, वाक् can lead to कम्प or चिति. Of these कम्प leads to सरस्वती वाक् which generates शव्दब्रह्म, and चिति leads to आम्भृणीवाक्, which leads to परम्ब्रह्म. While वाक् is like a peaceful ocean (समुद्र अर्णव), शव्द is rough (शपं आक्रोशं ददाति इति शव्दः). Vedic formula for शव्दः is: विन्दुवाताग्न्यम्वराणां तस्मात् साङ्केतिकाः स्मृताः । Or शव्दः = श + ब + द + ः, where शकार विन्दु, बकार वात, दकार अग्निः विसर्गश्चाकाश. This makes for 304 types of sounds of which, only 12 types are within human audible range. I am not discussing the details here.
Scientists will question this by pointing out that based on its intensity; there can be infinite types of sound frequencies/waves. How can these be restricted to 304 types? The answer is: these are different types of perceived sounds (not frequencies) like types of perceived colors (and not wave lengths of light). Even though the wavelength of light vary vastly from gamma rays to radio waves, the “visible light” corresponds to wavelength range of about 400 - 700 nm with the 7 colors - VIBGYOR range: violet from 400 to about 445, indigo at about 445, blue at about 475, green at about 510, yellow at about 570, orange at about 590, and red at about 650 to 700 nm. The colors are not specific wavelengths but are spread out over a range. All wavelength of light within that range is called one color. The same principle applies to sound also.
The words न अशव्दम् has to be interpreted as double negative for शव्दम्. Since repeatition is prohibited, it implies extra meaning for the word नाशव्दम्. The initial ज्ञान-बल-क्रिया of ब्रह्म, being universal in cognition (सामान्यरूपत्वेन सर्वविषयकत्वात् परिच्छेद्यराहित्येन पूर्णत्वात् अविच्छिन्नरूपम्), is in the nature of internal वाक् that is not in the speech form (आन्तराभिलात्मकशव्दनस्वभावः). The ईक्षण of ब्रह्म is not like physical observation, but conceptual in nature (प्राकृतेच्छादिवत् वाह्यविषयाभावात् शुद्धप्रकाशमय) just like a new-born child senses everything without being able to express its feelings in speech form (यथा हि सद्योजनितशिशोः स्थुलरूपाहंभावाभावेऽपि अन्तःसंरम्भरूपो जडत्वविलक्षणोऽस्मीत्यभ्युपगमोकल्पोभावोऽस्ति तथा परचिद्रूपस्य शिवस्यापि निर्विकल्पएवाहंभावः). It is not expressed in alternative speech form as अ-ह etc (अहं प्रत्यवमर्शो यः प्रकाशात्मापि वाग्वपुः । नासौ विकल्पः सह्युक्त द्वयापेक्षी विनिश्चयः). Since it is not in speech form as अ-ह etc, it is अशव्दम्. But since it is वाक्, it is न अशव्दम्. This is the proper interpretation of न अशव्दम् in the ब्रह्मसूत्रम् 1/1/5 - an adjective (क्रियाविशेषण) for ईक्षतेः.