Having established that Satyam, Jnanam, anantam Brahma are linked in the definition of Brahman but in themselves are not intrinsically connected Shankara proceeds to demonstrate that as defining Brahman they are intimately connected and not an factitious confection of the theological mind of an advaitin.
Taking ‘satyam’ as truth which is unchanging and therefore real is a similar intuition to that of Parmenides who held that change was unreal, as a state which did not exist could not emerge into reality. It has no traction. If then Brahman is ‘satyam’ could it not be the unchanging material cause of the universe? Here we revisit the standard material identity analogy i.e. only the clay out of which the various vessels are made persists through all the manifestations of ‘clay’. Therefore only the ‘clay’ is real and all the pots, dishes, cups etc. mere names of clay.
However a merely material cause is insentient so the attribute ‘jnanam’ must be appended to ‘satyam’. Elsewhere Shankara rejects the Sankhya philosophy of ‘pradhana’ or the primal inert material basis of creation. The order and design of the universe shows an intelligent origin.
Does this ‘jnanam’ or consciousness/knowledge indicate an agent of knowing? Shankara demurs. An agent of knowing implies a distinction between the knower and the known and also coming to know or arriving at knowledge indicates change.
If Brahman be the agent of knowing, truth and infinitude cannot justly be attributed to It. For as the agent of knowledge It becomes changeful; and as such how can it be true and infinite? That indeed is infinite which is not separated from anything. If it be the agent of knowing, It becomes delimited by the knowable and the knowledge, and hence there cannot be infinitude, in accordance with another Vedic text: “That is the Infinite in which one does not know anything else. And that in which one knows anything else is limited” (Ch.Up. VII., xxiv, 1)