Mandukya Karika, verse 4.11


कारणं यस्य वै कार्यं कारणं तस्य जायते ।
जायमानं कथमजं भिन्नं नित्यं कथं च तत् ॥ ११ ॥

kāraṇaṃ yasya vai kāryaṃ kāraṇaṃ tasya jāyate |
jāyamānaṃ kathamajaṃ bhinnaṃ nityaṃ kathaṃ ca tat || 11 ||

11. The disputant, according to whom the cause itself is the effect, maintains that the cause itself is born as the effect. How is it possible for the cause to be unborn if it be said to be born (as the effect)? How, again, is it said to be eternal if it be subject to modification (i.e., birth)?

Shankara Bhashya (commentary)

How is it that the Sāṃkhyas, who believe in the evolution of an existing cause, maintain a view which is irrational? It is thus replied by the followers of the Vaiśeṣika system: Those who say that the cause, that is to say, such material cause as clay, is, in itself, the effect; or in other words those disputants who assert that the cause itself changes into the effect, maintain, as a matter of fact, that the ever-existent and unborn cause, namely the Pradhāna, etc., is born again as the effect, such as Mahat, etc. If Pradhāna be born in the form of Mahat, etc., then how can it be designated as birthless? To say that it is unborn, i.e., immutable and at the same time born, i.e., passing into change, involves a contradiction. Further, the Sāṃkhyas designate Pradhāna as eternal. How is it possible for Pradhāna to be eternal1 if even a part of it be affected by change? In other words, ordinary experience does not furnish us with the instance of a jar, composed of parts, which, if broken in any part, can still be called permanent or immutable. The purport is that a contradiction is obvious in the statement that it is affected partly by change and at the same time it is unborn and eternal.