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Chapter I, Section 1


The Vedanta Sutras are called Sariraka Mimamsa because they deal with Para Brahman, the Sarira (the embodied).

In the first chapter the author shows that all the Vedic texts uniformly refer to Brahman and find their Samanvaya (reconciliation) in Him. In the second chapter, it has been proved that there is no conflict between Vedanta and other Sastras. In the third chapter the means of attaining Brahman are described. In the fourth chapter is described the result of attaining Brahman.

The Adhikarin (one who is competent to understand and study the Sastra) is one who is of tranquil mind and has the attributes of Sama (quietude), Dama (self-control), etc., is full of faith, is constantly engaged in good thoughts and associates with the knowers of Truth, whose heart is purified by the due discharge of all duties, religious and secular, and without any idea of reward. The Sambandha is the description of Brahman by this Sastra. The Vishaya or the subject matter of this Sastra is the Supreme Brahman who is all pure. The Prayojana (necessity) of this Sastra is to obtain realisation of the Supreme Brahman, by the removal of all false notions that prevent that realisation.

This Sastra consists of several Adhikaranas or topics or propositions. Every proposition consists of five parts:(1) Thesis or Vishaya, (2) Doubt or Samsaya, (3) Anti-thesis or Purvapaksha, (4) Synthesis or right conclusion or Siddhanta and (5) Sangati or agreement of the proposition with the other parts of the Sastra.

In the whole book of the Vedanta Sutras Brahman is the main theme or the subject matter of discussion. An interpretation of any passage must not go away from the subject matter of Brahman. Each chapter has a particular topic of its own. A passage must be interpreted consistently with the topic of that chapter. There is a certain relation between Adhikaranas or topics themselves. One Adhikarana leads to another through some particular association of ideas. In a Pada or section there are many Adhikaranas and they are not put together in a haphazard manner.


This section gives a bird's-eye view of the subject dealt with in the Brahma Sutras namely the nature of the Supreme Brahman or the Highest Self, of the individual soul and the universe and their inter-relations and gives hints on meditation on Brahman.

Adhikarana I: Sutra 1 gives a hint that the book is meant for those who are endowed with a real desire for attaining the knowledge of Brahman.

Adhikarana II: Sutra 2 defines Brahman as that whence the world originates etc.

Adhikarana III: Sutra 3 declares that Brahman is the source of the Vedas and that Brahman is known only by the study of Sruti and by no other means of knowledge.

Adhikarana IV: Sutra 4 proves Brahman to be the uniform topic of all Vedanta texts.

Adhikarana V: Sutras 5 to 11 show that none but Brahman is admitted by Sruti to be the cause of the world. They prove by various cogent and convincing arguments that the Brahman which the Vedantic texts proclaim as the cause of the universe is an intelligent principle, and cannot be identified with the non-intelligent or insentient Pradhana from which the world originates, as declared by the Sankhyas.

Adhikarana VI: Sutras 12 to 19 raise the question whether the `Anandamaya' in Taittiriya Upanishad II-5 is merely the individual soul or the Supreme Self. The Sutras show that Brahman is All-Bliss and that by the term `Anandamaya' in Sruti is meant neither the individual soul, nor the Pradhana of Sankhyas. The Sutras prove that they all describe none but Brahman.

Adhikarana VII: Sutras 20 and 21, show that the golden person seen within the sun and the person seen within the eye mentioned in Chh. Up. I-6 are not some individual soul of high eminence, but the highest Brahman or the Supreme Self.

Adhikarana VIII: Sutra 22 shows that the ether (Akasa) from which according to Chh. Up. I-9 all beings originate, is not the elemental ether but the Supreme Brahman.

Adhikarana IX: Sutra 23 shows that Prana, also mentioned in Chh. Up. I-11-15 is the Supreme Brahman.

Adhikarana X: Sutras 24 to 27 teach that the light spoken of in Chh. Up. III-13-7 is not the ordinary physical light but the Supreme Brahman.

Adhikarana XI: Sutras 28 to 31 decide that the Prana mentioned in Kau. Up. III-2 is Brahman.

Chapter I


Section 1

Jijnasadhikaranam: Topic 1

The enquiry into Brahman and its pre-requisites

Athato Brahmajijnasa I.1.1 (1)

Now, therefore, the enquiry into Brahman.

Atha: now, then, afterwards; Atah: therefore; Brahmajijnasa: a desire for the knowledge of Brahman (the enquiry into the real nature of Brahman).

Sutra literally means a string. It serves the purpose of stringing together the flowers of the Vedanta passages.

The word Atha is not used to introduce a new subject that is going to be taken up. It is here to be taken as denoting immediate consecution.

The enquiry of Brahman specially depends upon some antecedent conditions. The enquirer should be endowed with certain spiritual requisites or qualifications. Then only the enquiry is possible.

Atha i.e., after the attainment of certain preliminary qualifications such as the four means of salvation viz., (1) Nitya-anitya-vastu-viveka (discrimination between the eternal and the non-eternal); (2) Ihamutrarthaphalabhogaviraga (indifference to the enjoyment in this life or in heaven, and of the fruits of one's actions); (3) Shatsampat (sixfold virtues viz., Samacontrol of mind, Damacontrol of the external senses, Uparati cessation from worldly enjoyments or not thinking of objects of senses or discontinuance of religious ceremonies, Titiksha endurance of pleasure and pain, heat and cold, Sraddhafaith in the words of the preceptor and of the Upanishads and Samadhanadeep concentration); (4) Mumukshutva (desire for liberation).

Those who have got an earnest desire for the knowledge of Brahman only are fit for the study of Vedanta Philosophy or Brahma Sutras. Even without possessing the knowledge of Karma Kanda which deals with religious ceremonies or sacrifices, a desire for attaining the knowledge of Brahman will arise direct from the study of the Srutis. The enquiry of Brahman does not depend on the performance of any acts.

You must know and realise the eternal Brahman. Then only you will attain eternal bliss, freedom, perfection and immortality. You must have certain preliminary qualifications for your search. Why should you enquire about Brahman? Because the fruits obtained by sacrifices etc., are ephemeral, whereas the knowledge of Brahman is eternal. Life in this earth and the life in heaven which you will attain on account of your virtuous deeds is transient. If you know Brahman, you will enjoy everlasting bliss and immortality. That is the reason why you must start the quest of Brahman or the Truth or the Ultimate Reality.

A time comes when a person becomes indifferent to Karmas. He knows that Karmas cannot give him everlasting, unalloyed happiness which is not mixed with pain, sorrow and fear. Therefore, naturally, a desire arises in him for the knowledge of Brahman or the all-pervading, eternal Soul which is above Karmas, which is the source of eternal happiness.

Charvakas or Lokayatikas think that the body is the soul. Some think that the senses are the soul. Some others think that the mind is the soul. Some think that the intellect is the soul. Some think that the soul is a mere momentary idea.

Some think that nothing exists in reality. Some think that there is a soul which is different from the body which is both agent and enjoyer of the fruits of action. Others hold that he is not a doer but is only an enjoyer. Some think that the individual soul is a part of the Supreme Soul. Vedantins maintain that the individual soul is identical with the Supreme Soul. Different schools of philosophy hold different views. Therefore it is necessary to examine the truth of things very carefully.

Knowledge of Brahman destroys Avidya or ignorance which is the root of all evil, or the seed of this formidable Samsara or worldly life. Hence you must entertain the desire of knowing Brahman. Knowledge of Brahman leads to the attainment of the final emancipation. Hence an enquiry about Brahman through the study of the Srutis which treats of Brahman is worthwhile and should be undertaken.

The question now arises: What are the characteristics of that Brahman? The nature of the Brahman is described in the following Sutra or aphorism.



janmadyasya yatah

(Brahman is that) from which the origin etc., (i.e. the origin, sustenance and dissolution) of this (world proceed).

Janmadi: origin etc.; Asya: of this (world); Yatah: from which.

Answer to the enquiry of Brahman is briefly given in this Sutra. It is stated that Brahman who is eternally pure, wise and free (Nitya, Buddha, Mukta Svabhava) is the only cause, stay and final resort of this world. Brahman who is the originator, preserver and absorber of this vast world must have unlimited powers and characteristics. Hence He is Omnipotent and Omniscient. Who but the Omnipotent and Omniscient Brahman could create, rule and destroy it? Certainly mere atoms or chance cannot do this work. Existence cannot come out of non-existence (Ex nihilo nihil fit). The origin of the world cannot proceed from a non-intelligent Pradhana or Prakriti. It cannot proceed from its own nature or Svabhava spontaneously without a cause, because special places, times and causes are needed for the production of effects.

Brahman must have some characteristics. You can attain knowledge of Brahman through reflection on its attributes. Otherwise it is not possible to have such knowledge. Inference or reasoning is an instrument of right knowledge if it does not contradict the Vedanta texts.

In the ascertainment of Truth or the Ultimate Reality or the first cause the scriptures alone are authoritative because they are infallible, they contain the direct intuitive experiences of Rishis or Seers who attained Brahma Sakshatkara or Self-realisation. You cannot depend on intellect or reasons because a man of strong intellect can overthrow a man of weak intellect. Brahman is not an object of the senses. It is beyond the reach of the senses and the intellect.

The second Sutra does not propound here that inference serves as the means of knowing Brahman. It points to a Vedantic text which gives a description of the characteristics of Brahman. What then, is that Vedanta text? It is the passage of Taittiriya Upanishad III-i: Bhrigu Varuni went to his father Varuna sayingSir, teach me Brahman. That from whence these beings are born, that by which, when born they live, that into which they enter at their death, try to know That. That is Brahman.

You will attain Self-realisation through meditation on Brahman or the truths declared by Vedantic texts and not through mere reasoning. Pure reason (Suddha Buddhi) is a help in Self-realisation. It investigates and reveals the truths of the Scriptures. It has a place also in the means of Self-realisation. But perverted intellect (Viparita Buddhi) is a great hindrance. It keeps one far away from the Truth.

That which is the cause of the world is Brahman. This is Tatastha Lakshana. The origin, sustenance and dissolution of the world are characteristics of the world. They do not pertain to the eternal unchanging Brahman. Yet these indicate Brahman which is the cause for this universe. Srutis give another definition of Brahman. This is a description of its true, essential nature Satyam Jnanam Anantam BrahmaTruth, Knowledge, Infinity is Brahman. This is Svarupa Lakshana.

The knowledge of the real nature of a thing does not depend on the notions of man but only on the thing itself. The knowledge of Brahman also depends altogether on the thing, i.e., Brahman itself. Action depends entirely on your will but perception is not an effect of volition. It depends on the object perceived. You cannot convert a tree into a man by an act of will. A tree will remain a tree always. Similarly Realisation of Brahman is Vastu Tantra. It depends on the reality of the object. It is not Purusha Tantra. It does not depend on volition. It is not something to be accomplished by action. Brahman is not an object of the senses. It has no connection with other means of knowledge. The senses are finite and dependent. They have only external things for their objects, not Brahman. They are characterised by outgoing tendencies on account of the force of Rajas. They are in their nature so constituted that they run towards external objects. They cannot cognise Brahman.

Knowledge of Brahman cannot come through mere reasoning. You can attain this knowledge through intuition or revelation. Intuition is the final result of the enquiry into Brahman. The object of enquiry is an existing substance. You will have to know this only through intuition or direct cognition (Aparakosha- anubhuti or Anubhavaexperience). Sravana (hearing of the Srutis), Manana (reflection on what you have heard), Nididhyasana (profound meditation) on Brahman leads to intuition. The Brahmakara Vritti is generated from the Sattvic Antahkarana which is equipped with the four means of salvation, and the instructions of the Guru, who has understood the real significance of `Tat Tvam Asi' Mahavakya. This Brahmakara Vritti destroys the Mula-Avidya or primitive ignorance, the root cause of all bondage, births and deaths. When the ignorance or veil is removed, Brahman which is self-effulgent reveals Itself or shines by Itself in Its pristine glory and ineffable splendour. In ordinary perception of objects the mind assumes the form of the object. The Vritti or ray of the mind removes the veil (Avarana-bhanga) that envelops the object and Vritti-sahita-chaitanya or intelligence reflected in the modification of the mind reveals the object. Then only you cognise the object. There is Vritti-vyapti and there is Phala-vyapti also in the perception of an object. You want a Vritti and intelligence (Chaitanya) associated with the Vritti. But in the case of cognition of Brahman there is no Phala-vyapti. There is only Vritti-vyapti as Brahman is self-luminous. If there is a cup in a pot, you want a lamp and the eyes to see the cup in the dark, when the pot is broken: but if there is a lamp within the pot, you want the eyes only to see the lamp when the pot is broken. You do not want a lamp.




The scripture being the source of right knowledge.

Sastra: the scripture; Yonitvat: being the source of or the means of the right knowledge.

The Omniscience of Brahman follows from His being the source of scripture. The aphorism clearly points out that the Srutis alone are proof about Brahman.

As Brahman is the cause of the world we have to infer that Brahman or the Absolute is Omniscient. As the scripture alone is the means of right knowledge with reference to Brahman the proposition laid in Sutra 2 becomes confirmed. Brahman is not merely the Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer of the world, He is the source or womb of scriptures and is revealed by scriptures. As Brahman is beyond the reach of the senses and the intellect, He can be apprehended only on the authority of the Srutis which are infallible and contain the spiritual experiences of realised seers or sages. The Srutis declare that Brahman Himself breathed forth the Vedas. Therefore He who has brought forth the Srutis or the Vedas which contain such wonderful divine knowledge must be all-knowledge and all-powerful.

The scriptures illumine all things like a search light. Scripture is the source or the means of right knowledge through which you have a comprehensive understanding of the nature of Brahman. Srutis furnish information about what is not known from other sources. It cannot be known by other means of knowledge independently of the Srutis. Brahman is formless, colourless, attributeless. Hence it cannot be grasped by the senses by direct perception. You can infer the existence of fire by its accompanying smoke but Brahman cannot be established by inference or analogy, because it is attributeless and there cannot be a second thing which is similar to Brahman. Brahman is Infinite and secondless. He who is ignorant of the Srutis cannot know that Supreme Being. There are other means of knowledge also which have got a place but they are not independent. They supplement after Brahman is established by the Srutis.




But that (Brahman is to be known only from the Scriptures and not independently by any other means is established), because it is the main purpose (of all Vedantic texts).

Tat: that; Tu: but; Samanvayat: on account of agreement or harmony, because it is the main purpose.

The argument in support of Sutra 2 is continued. Brahman or the Absolute can be known only from the scriptures because all the scriptural passages can be harmonised only by such a doctrine. The Vedantic texts refer to Brahman only, because they have Brahman for their main topic. The proposition that Brahman is the only cause of the world is established: because this is the authoritative saying of the scriptures. All the Vedantic texts agree in this respect.

The word `tu' (but) is employed to rebut the above Purvapaksha or the prima facie view as urged above. It is proper to say that Brahman is the uniform topic taught in all the Vedantic texts. Why? Samanvayat. Anvaya means construing a passage according to the six characteristics or Shad Lingas viz., (1) Upakrama-Upasamhara Ekavakyataagreement in beginning and conclusion; (2) Abhyasarepetition; (3) ApurvataUniqueness of subject matter; (4) Phalafruit; (5) Arthavadapraise and (6) Yuktireasoning. These six marks help to arrive at the real purport of any work. In chapter six of the Chhandogya Upanishad Brahman is the main purport of all passages. In the beginning you will find This world, my child, was but the Real (Sat) in the beginning. It concludes, In it all that exists has its Self. It is true. It is the Self. There is agreement in the opening and concluding passages. This is Upakrama-Upasamhara. Uddalaka the preceptor, repeats `Tat Tvam Asi' nine times to his disciple Svetaketu. This is repetition (Abhyasa). Brahman is doubtless unique, as He is Infinite and secondless. When you attain knowledge of Brahman everything else is known. This is Phala or fruit.

There is reasoning in the scriptures. Just as pots are nothing but clay, ornaments are nothing but gold, so also this world of names and forms is nothing but Brahman. If you know the nature of clay, you will know all that is made out of clay. Even so if you know Brahman, everything else will be known to you. Brahman is the source of the creation, preservation and dissolution of the universe. This is Artha-vada or Stuti-vada by way of praise. All these six marks or Shad Lingas denote that the chief topic or main purport of the Vedantic texts is Brahman.

All the Vedanta-texts have for their purport Brahman, for example, Being only this was in the beginning, one without a second (Chh. Up. VI-2-1) In the beginning all this was Atman or self only (Ait. Ara. II-4-I-1). This is Brahman without cause and without effect, without anything inside or outside; this self is Brahman perceiving everything (Bri. Up. II-5-19) That Immortal Brahman is before (Mun. Up. II-2-11) and similar passages. It is not right to think that these passages have a different sense. The passages cannot refer to agents, divinities connected with acts of religious duty. You will find in Bri. Up. II-4-14, Then by what should he see and Whom? This clearly shows that there is neither an agent, nor an object of action, nor an instrument.

Brahman cannot become an object of perception and other means of knowledge, because It is extremely subtle, abstract, infinite and all-pervading. How can a finite insentient instrument know the Infinite? The senses and the mind derive their power and light from Brahman the source. Brahman is Self-luminous, Self-existent, Self-knowledge, Self-delight, and Self-contained. Brahman cannot be realised without the aid of Vedantic passage Tat Tvam AsiThou art That (Chh. Up. VI-8-7).

When one realises Brahman, he is totally freed from all sorts of miseries and pains. He attains the goal of life or the summum bonum. The conception of duality as agent, action and the like is destroyed. Self-realisation is not a fruit of action. It is not a result of your willing or doing. It is the result of realising one's identity with Brahman. Scripture aims only at removing the veil of ignorance or Avidya. Then the self-effulgent Brahman shines by Itself in Its pristine glory. The state of Moksha or the final emancipation is eternal. It is not transient like the fruits attained through action. Action depends upon the will and is independent of the object. Knowledge depends on the nature of the object and is independent of the will of the knower.

A proper understanding of the Vedantic texts leads to the final emancipation of man. It is not necessary for him to exert or do any superhuman feat or action. It is only mere understanding that it is a rope and not a snake that helps to destroy one's fear. Scripture does not speak only of ethical and ceremonial duties. It reveals the soul and helps one to attain Self-realisation. The sage who has learnt by the help of Vedantic texts to remove the erroneous identification with the body will not experience pain. It is only the ignorant worldly minded man who experiences pain on account of his identification with the body.

The attainment of heaven, procuring a son, getting rain, etc., are taught in the Vedas as incitement to the acquirement of knowledge of Brahman by baby souls and to produce faith in man. When he finds that the Vedic Mantras have the power to produce rain he gets faith in them and has an inclination to study them. He gradually gets disgust for the mundane objects and develops discrimination between the real and the transitory and burning yearning for liberation. He develops love for Brahman. Therefore all Vedas teach Brahman. Sacrifices give mundane fruits only when they are done with selfish motives, only when Kama or strong desire is at the back of the Mantras. When they are performed with Nishkamya Bhava without selfish motives they purify the heart and help to attain knowledge of the Self. Hence Karma Kanda itself, by teaching the worship of various deities, becomes part of Brahma Jnana. It is really the worship of Brahman, when the element of desire or selfishness is removed. Such a worship purifies the heart and produces a taste for enquiry of Brahman. It does not produce any other earthly desire.

The object of enquiry in the Karma Kanda is something to be accomplished viz., duty. The object of enquiry in Vedanta texts is the already existent, absolutely accomplished Brahman. The fruit of the knowledge of Brahman must be different from the fruit of knowledge of duty which depends on the performance of action.

You will find in the Upanishads Verily the Self (Atman) is to be seen Bri. Up. II-4-5. The Atman which is free from sin that it is which we must search out, that it is which we must try to understand Chh. Up VIII-7-1. Let a man worship him as Atman or the SelfBri. Up I-4-7; Let a man worship the Atman only as his true stateBri. Up. I-4-15; He who knows Brahman becomes BrahmanMun. Up. III-2-9. These texts rouse in you a desire to know what that Brahman is. The Vedantic texts give a beautiful description of the nature of Brahman. They teach that Brahman is eternal, all-knowing, absolutely self-sufficient, ever pure, free, pure knowledge, absolute bliss, self-luminous and indivisible. One attains final emancipation as the fruit of meditation on Brahman.

The Vedantic texts declare, The wise who knows the Atman as bodiless within the bodies, as unchanging among changing things, as great and omnipresent does never grieve (Katha Up. II-22). He is without breath, without mind, pure (Mun. Up. II-1-2). That person is not attached to anything (Bri. Up. IV-3-15). All these texts establish the fact that the final emancipation differs from all the fruits of action and is an eternally and essentially bodiless state. Moksha is Kutastha Nitya, i.e., eternal, without undergoing any change. Brahman is omnipresent like ether (Akasavat Sarvagata) free from all modifications (Nirvikara), absolutely Self-sufficient, Self-contained (Nirapeksha), indivisible (Akhanda). He is not composed of parts (Nishkala). He is Self-luminous (Svayam Prakasa, Svayam Jyoti).

You will find in Katha Upanishad, Different from merit and demerit, different from effect and cause, different from past and future is that Brahman (I-2-14). Moksha is the same as Brahman. Moksha or Brahman cannot be the effect of actions. It cannot be supplementary to actions. If it is so it would be non-eternal.

To know Brahman is to become Brahman. Mundaka Upanishad says, He who knows Brahman becomes Brahman. As Brahman is an already existing entity, knowing Brahman does not involve an act like a ritualistic act. When Avidya or nescience is destroyed through knowledge of the Self, Brahman manifests Itself, just as the rope manifests itself when the illusion of snake is removed. As Brahman is your Inner Self you cannot attain It by any action. It is realised as one's own Atman when the ignorance is annihilated. Texts like The Atman is to be realised etc., is not an injunction. It is intended to withdraw the mind of the aspirant from external objects and turn it inwards.

Brahman is not an object of the action of knowing. It is different from the Known and again it is beyond the Unknown (Kena Up. I-3) How should he know him by whom He knows all this (Bri. Up. II-4-14). Brahman is expressly declared not to be the object of an act of devout worship (Upasana). Know that alone to be Brahman, not that which people adore here (Kena Up. I-5).

The scripture never describes Brahman as this or that. Its purpose is to show that Brahman as the eternal subject, Pratyagatman, the inner Self is never an object. It cannot be maintained that Moksha or Brahman is something to be ceremonially purified. There is no room for a purificatory ceremony in the eternally pure Brahman.

Brahman is the Self or Atman of all. It can neither be striven nor avoided. All objects perish because they are mere modifications of the five elements. But the Soul or Brahman is immortal and unchanging. It is in its essence eternally pure and free.

He who identifies himself with his body experiences pain. A sage who has removed Dehadhyasa or identification of the body by identifying himself with the pure, all-pervading Brahman will not experience pain. A rich man who is puffed up by the conceit of his wealth is affected with grief when he loses his wealth. But he is not affected by the loss of wealth after he has once retired from the world and has become an ascetic. A sage who has attained knowledge of Brahman cannot be a merely worldly doer as before. He does not belong to this world as he did before. A worldly man also can become a sage of Self-realisation with the Bhava of non-doer (Akarta), non-agent (Abhokta). The Srutis declare When he is free from the body, then neither pleasure nor pain touches him (Chh. Up. VIII-12-1). The objector may say The state of being free from the body follows only when a man dies. This is entirely wrong because the cause of man being joined to the body is erroneous knowledge. The sage who has attained knowledge of Brahman, and who identifies himself with Brahman is free from his body even while still alive. The Sruti also declares Just as the slough of a snake lies on an ant-hill, dead and cast away, so also lies this body. That bodiless immortal Soul is Brahman only, is only light. (Bri. Up. IV-4-7). With eyes, He is without eyes as it were; with ears, without ears as it were; with speech, without speech as it were; with a mind, without mind as it were; with Prana, without Prana as it were; The sage is no longer connected with action of any kind.

The Sankhyas say that the Vedantic texts about creation do not refer to Brahman but to the Pradhana which is made up of the three GunasSattva, Rajas and Tamasas the First Cause. They maintain that all the Vedanta texts which treat of the creation of the world clearly point out that the cause of the world has to be concluded from the effect by inference and the cause which is to be inferred is the connection of the Pradhana or Prakriti with the Souls or Purushas. The followers of Kanada (the School of Vaiseshika philosophy) infer from the very same passages that the Lord is the efficient cause of the universe and the atoms are its material cause.

The Sankhyas say Omnipotence can be attributed to the Pradhana as it has all its effects for its objects. Omniscience also can be ascribed to it. Knowledge is really an attribute of Sattva Guna. Sattva is one of the components of Pradhana. Therefore Pradhana can be said to be omniscient. You cannot ascribe Omniscience or limited knowledge to the Soul or Purusha which is isolated and pure intelligence itself. Therefore the Vedanta texts ascribe Omniscience to the Pradhana although it is in itself non-intelligent.

Brahman is without any instruments of action. As Pradhana has three components it seems reasonable that it alone is capable of undergoing modifications like clay into various objects and may act as a material cause, while the uncompounded, homogeneous and unchangeable Brahman is unable to do so. Therefore the Vedantic texts which treat of creation clearly refer to Pradhana only and therefore it is the First Cause referred to by the scriptures. To these conclusions Sri Vyasa gives an answer in the following Sutra.


Brahman (the intelligent principle) is the First Cause


On account of seeing (i.e. thinking being attributed in the Upanishads to the First Cause, the Pradhana) is not (the first cause indicated by the Upanishads; for) it (Pradhana) is not based on the scriptures.

Ikshateh: on account of seeing (thinking); Na:is not; Asabdam:not based on the scriptures.

Sutras 5 to 11 refute the arguments of the Sankhyas and establish Brahman alone as the First Cause.

It is not possible to find room in the Vedanta texts for the non-intelligent Pradhana, because it is not based on scripture. Why? Because seeing or thinking is ascribed to the cause in the scripture. In the scripture it is said that the First Cause willed or thought before creation. You will find in the Chhandogya Upanishad VI-2, Being only, my dear, this was in the beginning, one only without a second. It thought `May I be many, may I grow forth.' It projected fire. Aitareya Upanishad says, The Atman willed: `Let me project worlds'. So it projected these worlds (I-1-1.2). In Prasna Upanishad VI-3 it is said of the person of sixteen parts. He thought. He sent forth Prana... There cannot be any thinking or willing in the insentient Pradhana. It is possible only if the First Cause is an intelligent being like Brahman.

If it is said that such a quality can be attributed to Prakriti in a secondary sense, just as red-hot iron can be called fire because it can burn, we reply, why should we ascribe creative power and Omniscience to such Prakriti which we invest with will and Omniscience in a secondary sense when we can ascribe creative power and Omniscience to Brahman Himself to whom Will and Omniscience can be ascribed in a primary sense.

Brahman's knowledge is permanent. He is not in need of any instruments of knowledge. He is not in need of a body. His knowledge is without any obstructions. Svetasvatara Upanishad says, He grasps without hands, moves without feet, sees without eyes, hears without ears. He knows what can be known, but no one knows Him. They call Him the first, the Great person (VI-8, III-19).

You cannot attribute sentiency (Chetanatva) to Pradhana even in a figurative sense, because it is said that the Creator became the soul and entered the body. How can the insentient matter (Achetana) become the sentient soul (Chetana)? Vedantic texts emphatically declare that by knowing Brahman everything else can be known. How can we know the souls by knowing matter?

Pradhana or matter cannot be the Sat which is described as the cause of the world, because that would be opposed to the scripture which uses the word Ikshateh. You will find in Svetasvatara Upanishad, He, the God of all souls, is the Creator of the world. Therefore it is quite clear that Brahman and not Pradhana is the cause of this world.

In all Vedantic texts there is a uniform declaration that Chetana (consciousness) is the cause of the world. Pradhana potentially contains all forms in a seed state. The whole world exists in it in a subtle seed state in Pralaya and yet it cannot be regarded as the Creator because it is non-sentient. Vedanta texts emphatically declare that an Intelligent Being willed and created this universe. You will find in Chhandogya Upanishad, The Sat existed in the beginning. It was one without a second. It willed to become many. It created fire.

The argumentation of the Sankhyas that the Pradhana is all-knowing because of its Sattva is inadmissible, because Sattva is not preponderant in the Pradhana as the three Gunas are in a state of equipoise. If the Pradhana is all-knowing even in the condition of equilibrium (Gunasamyavastha) on account of the power of knowledge residing in Sattva, it must be little-knowing also on account of the power of retarding knowledge which resides in Rajas and Tamas. Therefore while Sattva will make it all-knowing, Rajas and Tamas will make it little-knowing. This is actually a contradiction. Further a modification of Sattva which is not connected with a witnessing principle or silent Sakshi is not called knowledge. The non-intelligent Pradhana is devoid of such a principle. Hence all-knowingness cannot be ascribed to Pradhana.

The case of the Yogins does not apply to the point under consideration here. They attain Omniscience on account of excess of Sattva in them. There is an intelligent principle (Sakshi) in him independent of Sattva. When a Yogi attains knowledge of the past and the future on account of the grace of the Lord, you cannot deny the Eternity and Infinity of Brahman's knowledge.

Brahman is pure Intelligence itself, Unchangeable. All- knowingness and creation are not possible for Brahman. To this objection it can be replied that Brahman can be All-knowing and creative through His illusory power, Maya.

Just as in the case of ether we talk of ether inside a jar and ether in the sky but it is all really one ether, so also the differentiation of Jiva and Isvara is only an apparent differentiation on account of limiting adjuncts or Upadhis, viz., body and mind.

The Sankhyas raise another objection. They say that fire and water also are figuratively spoken of as intelligent beings. The fire thought `May I be many, May I grow' and it projected water. Water thought `May I be many, May I grow,' it projected earth Chh. Up. 6-2-3-4. Here water and fire are insentient objects, and yet thinking is attributed to them. Even so the thinking by the Sat in the text originally quoted can also be taken figuratively in the case of Pradhana also. Hence, though Pradhana is insentient, it can yet be the First Cause.

The following Sutra refutes this argument.

Gaunaschet na Atmasabdat I.1.6 (6)

If it be said that (the word `seeing' or thinking) is used in a secondary sense, (we say) not so, because of the word Atman being applied to the cause of the world.

Gaunah: indirect, secondary, figurative; Chet: if; Na: not; Atmasabdat: because of the word Atman, i.e., soul.

You say that the term `Sat' denotes the non-intelligent Pradhana or Prakriti and that `thinking' is attributed to it in a secondary or figurative sense only as it is to fire and water. You may argue that inert things are sometimes described as living beings. Therefore Pradhana can well be accepted as the efficient cause of the world. This cannot stand. This is certainly untenable. Why so? Because of the terms `Atman' (soul) being applied subsequently in the Sruti to that which is the cause of the world vide the Sruti All this universe is in essence That; That is the Truth. That is Atman (Soul). That thou art O Svetaketu. Chh. Up. VI-8-7. (Instruction by Uddalaka to his son, Svetaketu).

The passage in Chh. Up. VI-2 begins, Being (Sat) only, my dear, this was in the beginning. After creating fire, water, earth, It thought `let me now enter into these three as this living self (Jiva) and evolve names and forms' Chh. Up. VI-3-2. The Sat, the First Cause, refers to the intelligent principle, the Jiva as its Self. By the term Jiva we must understand the intelligent principle which rules over the body and supports the Prana. How could such a principle be the self of the non-intelligent Pradhana? By Self or Atman we understand a being's own nature. Therefore it is quite obvious that the intelligent Jiva cannot form the nature of the non-intelligent Pradhana. The thinking on the part of the fire and water is to be understood as dependent on their being ruled over by the Sat. Hence it is unnecessary to assume a figurative sense of the word `thinking'.

Now the Sankhya comes with a new objection. He says that the word `Atman' (Self) may be applied to the Pradhana, although it is non-intelligent, on account of its being figuratively used in the sense of `that which serves all purposes of another', as for example, a king uses the word `self' to some servant who carries out his wishes `Govinda is my (other) self'. Similarly it applies to Pradhana also because the Pradhana works for the enjoyment and the final salvation of the soul and serves the soul just in the same manner as the minister serves his king. Or else the word Atman (Self) may refer to non-intelligent things, as well as to intelligent beings, as for instance, in expressions like Bhutatma (the Self of the elements), Indriyatma (the Self of the senses) just as the one word `light' (Jyoti) denotes a certain sacrifice (the Jyotistoma) as well as a flame. Therefore the word Self (Atman) can be used with reference to the Pradhana also. How then does it follow from the word `Self' that the `thinking' attributed to the cause of the universe is not to be taken in a figurative sense?

The next Sutra refutes the argument.

Tannishthasya mokshopadesat I.1.7 (7)

(The Pradhana cannot be designated by the term Self) because Salvation is declared to one who is devoted to that Sat.

Tat: to that; Nishthasya: of the devoted; Mokshopadesat: from the statement of salvation.

Further reason is given in this Sutra to prove that Pradhana is not the cause of this world.

The non-intelligent Pradhana cannot be denoted by the term `Self' because Chhandogya Upanishad declares: O Svetaketu! That (the subtle Sat) is the Self. `Thou art That'. An intelligent man like Svetaketu cannot be identified with the non-intelligent Pradhana. If the non-intelligent Pradhana were denoted by the term `Sat', the meaning of the Mahavakya Tat Tvam Asi would be `Thou art non-intelligent'. The teaching will come to this. You are an Achetana or non-intelligence and emancipation is attaining such a state of insentiency. Then the Srutis would be a source of evil. The scriptures would make contradictory statements to the disadvantage of man and would thus not become a means of right knowledge. It is not right to destroy the authority of the faultless Srutis. If you assume that the infallible Sruti is not the means of right knowledge this will be certainly quite unreasonable.

The final emancipation is declared in the Srutis to him who is devoted to the Sat, who has his being in Sat. It cannot be attained by meditation on the non-intelligent Pradhana vide Sruti: `He waits only till he is released and therefrom unites with Brahman' (Chh. Up. VI-14-2).

If the scripture which is regarded as a means of right knowledge should point out a man who is desirous of emancipation but who is ignorant of the way to it, an insentient self as the true Self he would, like the blind man who had caught hold of the ox's tail to reach his village, never be able to attain the final release or the true Self.

Therefore the word `Self' is applied to the subtle Sat not in a merely figurative sense. It refers to what is intelligent only in its primary meaning. The `Sat', the first cause, does not refer to the Pradhana but to an intelligent principle. It is declared in the Sruti that he, who is absolutely devoted to the Creator or cause of the world, attains the final emancipation. It is not reasonable to say that one attains his release by devotion to blind matter, Pradhana. Hence Pradhana cannot be the Creator of the world.

Heyatvavachanaccha I.1.8 (8)

And (the Pradhana cannot be denoted by the word `Self'), because it is not stated (by the scriptures) that It (Sat) has to be discarded.

Heyatva: fitness to be discarded; Avachanat: not being stated (by the scriptures); Cha: and.

Another reason is given in this Sutra to prove that Pradhana is not the Creator of the universe.

If you want to point out to a man the small star Arundhati, you direct his attention at first to a big neighbouring star and say `That is Arundhati' although it is really not so. Then you point out to him the real Arundhati. Even so if the preceptor intended to make his disciple understand the Self step by step from grosser to subtler truths through the non-self he would definitely state in the end that the Self is not of the nature of the Pradhana and that the Pradhana must be discarded. But no such statement is made. The whole chapter of the Chhandogya Upanishad deals with the Self as nothing but that Sat.

An aspirant has been taught to fix his mind on the cause and meditate on it. Certainly he cannot attain the final emancipation by meditating on the inert Pradhana. If the Sruti here meant the Pradhana to be the cause of the world, it would have surely asked the aspirant to abandon such a cause and find out something higher for his final emancipation. Hence Pradhana cannot be the end and aim of spiritual quest.

The word `and' signifies that the contradiction of a previous statement is an additional reason for the rejection.

Further this chapter begins with the question, What is that which being known everything is known? Have you ever asked, my child, for that instruction by which you hear what cannot be heard, by which you perceive what cannot be perceived, by which you know what cannot be known. Now if the term `Sat' denoted the Pradhana, if the Pradhana were the first cause, then by knowing Pradhana everything must be known, which is not a fact. The enjoyer (soul) which is different from Pradhana, which is not an effect of the Pradhana cannot be known by knowing the Pradhana. If `that' or Sat means Pradhana (matter) the Srutis should teach us to turn away from it. But it is not the case. It gives a definite assurance that by knowing that everything can be known. How can we know the soul by knowing matter? How can we know the enjoyer by knowing the enjoyed? Hence the Pradhana is not denoted by the term `Sat'. It is not the first cause, knowing which everything is known, according to the Sruti.

For this the Sutrakara gives another reason.

Svapyayat I.1.9 (9)

On account of (the individual) merging in its own Self (the Self cannot be the Pradhana).

Svapyayat: on account of merging in one's own self.

The argument to prove that Pradhana is not the cause of the universe or the Self is continued.

The waking state is that where the mind, the senses and the body act in concert to know the objects. The individual soul identifies himself with the gross body. In the dreaming state the body and the senses are at rest and the mind plays with the impressions which the external objects have left. The mind weaves its web of Vasanas. In deep sleep the individual soul is free from the limitation of mind. He rests in his own Self though in a state of ignorance.

With reference to the cause denoted by the word `Sat' the Sruti says, When a man sleeps here, then my child, he becomes united with the Sat, he is gone to his own self. Therefore they say of him `he sleeps' (Svapiti) because he is gone to his own (Svam Apita) Chh. Up. VI-8-1. From the fact that the individual soul merges in the universal soul in deep sleep, it is understood that the Self, which is described in the Sruti as the ultimate Reality, the cause of the world is not Pradhana.

In the Chhandogya text it is clearly said that the individual soul merges or resolves in the Sat. The intelligent Self can clearly not resolve itself into the non-intelligent Pradhana. Hence, the Pradhana cannot be the First Cause denoted by the term `Sat' in the text. That into which all intelligent souls are merged in an intelligent cause of the universe is denoted by the term Sat and not the Pradhana.

A further reason for the Pradhana not being the cause is given in the next Sutra.

Gatisamanyat I.1.10 (10)

On account of the uniformity of view (of the Vedanta texts, Brahman is to be taken as that cause).

Gati: view; Samanyat: on account of the uniformity.

The argument to prove that Pradhana is not the cause of the universe is continued.

All the Vedanta texts uniformly refer to an intelligent principle as the First Cause. Therefore Brahman is to be considered as the cause. All the Vedanta texts uniformly teach that the cause of the world is the intelligent Brahman. The Srutis declare thus, As from a burning fire sparks proceed in all directions, thus from that Self the Pranas proceed each towards its place, from the Pranas the gods, from the gods the worlds (Kau. Up. III-3). From that Brahman sprang ether (Tait. Up. II-1). All this springs from the Self (Chh. Up. VII-2-6). This Prana is born from the Self (Pra. Up. III-3). All these passages declare the Self to be the cause. The term `Self' denotes an intelligent being. Therefore the all-knowing Brahman is to be taken as the cause of the world because of the uniformity of view of the Vedanta-texts.

A further reason for this conclusion is given in the following Sutra.

Srutatvaccha I.1.11 (11)

And because it is directly stated in the Sruti (therefore the all-knowing Brahman alone is the cause of the universe).

Srutatvat: being declared by the Sruti; Cha: also, and.

The argument that Pradhana is not the cause of the world is continued.

The All-knowing Lord is the cause of the universe. This is stated in a passage of the Svetasvatara Upanishad VI-9, He is the cause, the Lord of the Lords of the organs. He has neither parent nor Lord. `He' refers to the all-knowing Lord described in the chapter. Therefore it is finally established that the All-knowing, All-powerful Brahman is the First Cause and not the insentient or non-intelligent Pradhana or anybody else.

Thus the Vedanta texts contained in Sutra I-1-11 have clearly shown that the Omniscient, Omnipotent Lord is the cause of the origin, subsistence and dissolution of the world. It is already shown on account of the uniformity of view (I-1-10) that all Vedanta texts hold an intelligent cause.

From Sutra 12 onwards till the end of the first chapter a new topic is taken up for discussion. The Upanishads speak of two types of Brahman, viz., the Nirguna or Brahman without attributes and the Saguna or Brahman with attributes.

The Upanishads declare, For where there is duality as it were, then one sees the other; but when the Self only is all this, how should he see another? Bri. Up. IV-5-15. Where one sees nothing else, hears nothing else, understands nothing else, that is the greatest (Infinite, Bhuma). Where one sees something else, hears something else, understands something else, that is the little (finite). The greatest is immortal; the little is mortal Chh. Up. VII-24-1. The wise one, who having produced all forms and made all names, sits calling the things by their names Tait. Ar. III-12-7.

Who is without parts, without actions, tranquil, without faults, without taint, the highest bridge of immortality, like a fire that has consumed its fuel Svet. Up. VI-19. Not so, not so Bri. Up. II-3-6. It is neither coarse nor fine, neither short nor long; defective in one place, perfect in the other Bri. Up. III-1-8.

All these texts declare Brahman to possess a double nature, according as it is the object either of nescience or knowledge. Brahman with attributes (Saguna) is within the domain of nescience. It is the object of Upasana which is of different kinds giving different results, some to exaltations, some to gradual emancipation (Krama-Mukti), some to success in works. When it is the object of nescience, categories of devotee, object of devotion, worship are applied to it. The kinds of Upasana are distinct owing to the distinction of the different qualities and limiting adjuncts. The fruits of devotion are distinct according as the worship refers to different qualities. The Srutis say According as man worships him, that he becomes. According to what his thought is in this world, so will he be when he has left this life Chh. Up. III-14-1. Meditation on the Saguna Brahman cannot lead to immediate emancipation (Sadyo-Mukti). It can only help one to attain gradual emancipation (Krama-Mukti).

Nirguna Brahman of Vedantins or Jnanis is free from all attributes and limiting adjuncts. It is Nirupadhika, i.e., free from Upadhi or Maya. It is the object of knowledge. The Knowledge of the Nirguna Brahman alone leads to immediate emancipation.

The Vedantic passages have a doubtful import. You will have to find out the true significance of the texts through reasoning. You will have to make a proper enquiry into the meaning of the texts in order to arrive at a settled conclusion regarding the knowledge of the Self which leads to instantaneous emancipation. A doubt may arise whether the knowledge has the higher or the lower Brahman for its object as in the case of Sutra I-1-2.

You will find in many places in the Upanishads that Brahman is described apparently with qualifying adjuncts. The Srutis say that the knowledge of that Brahman leads to instantaneous release (Sadyo-Mukti). Worship of Brahman as limited by those adjuncts cannot lead to immediate emancipation. But if these qualifying adjuncts are considered as not being ultimately arrived at by the passages but used merely as indicative of Brahman then these passages would refer to the Nirguna Brahman and the final emancipation would result from knowing that Brahman. Therefore you will have to find out the true significance of the passages through careful enquiry and reasoning.

In some places you will have to find out whether the text refers to Saguna Brahman or the individual soul. You will have to arrive at a proper conclusion as to the true significance of these passages which evidently have a doubtful import through careful enquiry and reasoning. There will be no difficulty in understanding for the intelligent aspirant who is endowed with a sharp, subtle and pure intellect. The help of the teacher is always necessary.

Here ends the commentary of the eleven Sutras which form a sub-section by itself.




Anandamaya means Para Brahman on account of the repetition (of the word `bliss' as denoting the Highest Self).

Anandamayah: full of bliss; Abhyasat: because of repetition.

Now the author Badarayana takes up the topic of Samanvaya. He clearly shows that several words of the Srutis which are apparently ambiguous really apply to Brahman. He begins with the word `Anandamaya' and takes up other words one after another till the end of the chapter.

Taittiriya Upanishad says, Different from this Vijnanamaya is another inner Self which consists of bliss (Anandamaya). The former is filled by this. Joy (Priya) is its head. Satisfaction (Moda) is its right wing or arm. Great satisfaction (Pramoda) is its left wing or arm. Bliss (Ananda) is its trunk. Brahman is the tail, the support. II-5

Now a doubt arises as to whether this Anandamaya is Jiva (human soul) or Para Brahman. The Purvapakshin or opponent holds that the Self consisting of bliss (Anandamaya) is a secondary self and not the principal Self, which is something different from Brahman, as it forms a link in a series of selfs beginning with the self consisting of food (Annamaya), all of which are not the principal Self. Even though the blissful Self, Anandamaya Purusha, is stated to be the innermost of all it cannot be the primary Self, because it is stated to have joy, etc., for its limits and to be embodied. It also has the shape of man. Like the human shape of the former is the human shape of the latter. If it were identical with the primary Self, joy, satisfaction, etc., would not affect it; but the text clearly says, `Joy is its head'. The text also says, `Of that former one this one is the embodied Self' Tait. Up. II-6. Of that former Self of bliss (Anandamaya) is the embodied Self. That which has a body will be certainly affected by joy and pain. The term Anandamaya signifies a modification. Therefore it cannot refer to Brahman which is changeless. Further five different parts such as head, right arm, left arm, trunk and tail are mentioned of this Anandamaya Self. But Brahman is without parts. Therefore the Anandamaya Self is only Jiva or the individual soul.

Here is the answer of the Siddhantin. This Sutra shows that Brahman is Bliss. By the Anandamaya Self we have to understand the Highest Self, `on account of repetition'. Abhyasa or repetition means uttering a word again without any qualifications. It is one of the Shad Lingas or six characteristics or marks by which the subject matter of a passage is ascertained.

The word `Bliss' is repeatedly applied to the highest Self. Taittiriya Upanishad says: `Raso vai sah. Rasam hyevayam labdhvanandi bhavati'`He the Highest Self is Bliss in itself. The individual soul becomes blissful after attaining that Bliss' II-7. `Who could breathe forth if that Bliss did not exist in the ether of the heart? Because He alone causes Bliss. He attains that Self consisting of Bliss' II-7. He who knows the Bliss of Brahman fears nothing II-9. And again He (Bhrigu, having taken recourse to meditation), realised or understood that Bliss is Brahman Anandam Brahmeti vyajanat III-6.

Varuna teaches his son Bhrigu what is Brahman. He first defines Brahman as the cause of the creation, etc., of the universe and then teaches him that all material objects are Brahman. Such as, food is Brahman, Prana is Brahman, mind is Brahman, etc. He says this in order to teach that they are the materials of which the world is made. Finally he concludes his teaching with `Ananda' declaring that `Ananda is Brahman'. Here he stops and concludes that `the doctrine taught by me is based on Brahman, the Supreme' Taitt. Up. III-6-1.

Knowledge and Bliss is Brahman Bri. Up. III-9-27. As the word `Bliss' is repeatedly used with reference to Brahman, we conclude that the Self consisting of bliss is Brahman also.

It is objected that the blissful Self denotes the individual soul as it forms a link in a series of secondary selfs beginning with the Annamaya Self. This cannot stand because the Anandamaya Self is the innermost of all. The Sruti teaches step by step, from the grosser to the subtler, and more and more interior and finer for the sake of easy comprehension by men of small intellect. The first refers to the physical body as the Self, because worldly minded people take this body as the Self. It then proceeds from the body to another self, the Pranamaya self, then again to another one. It represents the non-self as the Self for the purpose of easy understanding. It finally teaches that the innermost Self which consists of bliss is the real Self, just as a man points out at first to another man several stars which are not Arundhati as being Arundhati and finally points out in the end the real Arundhati. Therefore here also the Anandamaya Self is the real Self as it is the innermost or the last.

`Tail' does not mean the limb. It means that Brahman is the support of the individual soul as He is the substratum of the Jiva.

The possession of a body having parts and joy and so on as head, etc., are also attributed to It, on account of the preceding limiting condition viz., the self consisting of understanding, the so-called Vijnanamaya Kosha. They do not really belong to the real Self. The possession of a body is ascribed to the Self of Bliss, only because it is represented as a link in the chain of bodies which begins with the self consisting of food. It is not attributed to it in the same sense in which it is predicated of the individual soul or the secondary self (the Samsarin). Therefore the Self consisting of Bliss is the highest Brahman.

Thus, the Sutra establishes that Anandamaya is Brahman. But the commentator Sankara has a new orientation of outlook in this regard. The Acharya says that Anandamaya cannot be Brahman because Anandamaya is one of the five sheaths or Koshas of the individual, the other four being Annamaya (physical body), Pranamaya (vital body), Manomaya (mental body), and Vijnanamaya (intellectual body). The Anandamaya is actually the causal body which determines the functions of the other sheaths. The individual enters into the Anandamaya sheath in deep sleep and enjoys bliss there, which is the reason why this sheath is called Anandamaya (bliss-filled). A coverage of individuality cannot be regarded as Brahman. Further, if Anandamaya had been Brahman itself, the individual in deep sleep will be united with Brahman in that condition. But this does not happen since one who goes to sleep returns to ordinary waking experience. Hence the Anandamaya is not Brahman.

Vikarasabdanneti chet na prachuryat I.1.13 (13)

If (it be objected that the term Anandamaya consisting of bliss can) not (denote the supreme Self) because of its being a word denoting a modification or transformation or product (we say that the objection is) not (valid) on account of abundance, (which is denoted by the suffix `maya').

Vikara sabdat: from the word `Anandamaya' with the suffix `mayat' denoting modification; Na: is not; Iti: this; thus; Chet: if; Na: not so; Prachuryat: because of abundance.

An objection against Sutra 12 is refuted in this Sutra.

If the objector says that `maya' means modification, it cannot be. We cannot predicate such a modification with regard to Brahman who is changeless. We reply that `maya' means fulness or abundance and Anandamaya means not a derivative from Ananda or Bliss but fulness or abundance of bliss.

The word `Anandamaya' has been certainly applied to denote the Supreme Soul or the Highest Self and not the individual soul. In the Tait. Up. II-8 the Bliss of Brahman is finally declared to be absolutely Supreme. Maya therefore denotes abundance or fulness.

Anandamaya does not mean absence of pain or sorrow. It is a positive attribute of Brahman and not a mere negation of pain. Anandamaya means `He whose essential nature or Svarupa is Ananda or Bliss'. When we say: `the sun has abundance of light', it really means, the sun, whose essential nature is light is called Jyotirmaya. Therefore Anandamaya is not Jiva but Brahman. `Anandamaya', is equal to `Ananda-svarupa'He whose essential nature is bliss. `Maya' has not the force of Vikara or modification here.

The word `Ananda' or Bliss is used repeatedly in the Srutis only with reference to Brahman. `Maya' does not mean that Brahman is a modification or effect of Bliss. `Maya' means pervasion.

The phrase `The sacrifice is Annamaya' means `the sacrifice is abounding in food', not `is some modification or product of food!' Therefore here also Brahman, as abounding in Bliss, is called Anandamaya.

Taddhetuvyapadesaccha I.1.14. (14)

And because he is declared to be the cause of it (i.e. of bliss; therefore `maya' denotes abundance or fulness).

Tad+Hetu: the cause of that, namely the cause of Ananda; Vyapadesat: because of the statement of declaration; Cha: and.

Another argument in support of Sutra 12 is given.

The Srutis declare that it is Brahman who is the cause of bliss of all. Esha hyevanandayatiFor he alone causes bliss Tait. Up. II-7. He who causes bliss must himself abound in bliss, just as a man who enriches others must himself be in possession of abundant wealth. The giver of bliss to all is Bliss itself. As `Maya' may be understood to denote abundance, the Self consisting of bliss, Anandamaya, is the Supreme Self or Brahman.

The Sruti declares that Brahman is the source of bliss to the individual soul. The donor and the donee cannot be one and the same. Therefore it is understood that `Anandamaya' as stated in Sutra 12 is Brahman.

Mantravarnikameva cha giyate I.1.15 (15)

Moreover that very Brahman which has been re-referred to in the Mantra portion is sung (i.e. proclaimed in the Brahmana passage as the Anandamaya).

Mantra-varnikam: He who is described in the Mantra portion; Eva: the very same; Cha: and also, moreover; Giyate: is sung.

The argument in support of Sutra 12 is continued. The previous proofs were founded on Lingas. The argument which is now given is based on Prakarana.

The Self consisting of bliss is the highest Brahman for the following reason also. The second chapter of the Taittiriya Upanishad begins, He who knows Brahman attains the Highest Brahmavidapnoti Param. Brahman is Truth, Knowledge and Infinity (Satyam, Jnanam, Anantam Brahma) (Tait. Up. II-1). Then it is said that from Brahman sprang at first the ether and then all other moving and non-moving things. The Brahman entering into the beings stays in the recess, inmost of all. Then the series of the different self are enumerated. Then for easy understanding it is said that different from this is the inner Self. Finally the same Brahman which the Mantra had proclaimed is again proclaimed in the passage under discussion, different from this is the other inner Self, which consists of bliss. The Brahmanas only explain what the Mantras declare. There cannot be a contradiction between the Mantra and Brahmana portions.

A further inner Self different from the Self consisting of bliss is not mentioned. On the same i.e. the Self consisting of bliss is founded. This same knowledge of Bhrigu and Varuna, he understood that bliss is Brahman Tait. Up. III-6. Therefore the Self consisting of Bliss is the Supreme Self.

Brahmavidapnoti ParamThe knower of Brahman obtains the Highest. This shows that the worshipper Jiva obtains the worshipped Brahman. Therefore Brahman who is the object attained must be considered as different from the Jiva who obtains, because the obtained and the obtainer cannot be one and the same. Hence the Anandamaya is not Jiva. The Brahman which is described in the Mantras (Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahma) is described later on in the Brahmanas as Anandamaya. It is our duty to realise the identity of the teaching in the Mantras and the Brahmanas which form the Vedas.

Netaro'nupapatteh I.1.16 (16)

(Brahman and) not the other (i.e. the individual soul is meant here) on account of the impossibility (of the latter assumption).

Na: not; Itarah: the other i.e. the Jiva; Anupapatteh: because of the impossibility, non-reasonableness.

The argument in support of Sutra 12 is continued.

The Jiva is not the being referred to in the Mantra Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahma because of the impossibility of such a construction.

The individual soul cannot be denoted by the term the one consisting of bliss. Why? On account of the impossibility. Because the scripture says with reference to the Self consisting of bliss, He wished `May I be many, may I grow forth.' He reflected. After he had thus reflected, he sent forth whatever there is.

He who is referred to in the passage, The Self consisting of bliss etc. is said to be creator of everything. He projected all this whatever is Tait. Up. II-6. The Jiva or the individual soul cannot certainly do this. Therefore he is not referred to in the passage The Self consisting of bliss etc.

Bhedavyapadesaccha I.1.17 (17)

And on account of the declaration of the difference (between the two i.e. the one referred to in the passage `The Self consisting of bliss' etc. and the individual soul, the latter cannot be the one referred to in the passage).

Bheda: difference; Vyapadesat: because of the declaration; Cha: and.

The argument in support of Sutra 12 is continued.

The Sruti makes a distinction between the two. It describes that one is the giver of bliss and the other as the receiver of bliss. The Jiva or the individual soul, who is the receiver, cannot be the Anandamaya, who is the giver of bliss.

The Self consisting of bliss is of the essence of flavour attaining which the individual soul is blissful: Raso vai sah (Brahma) Rasam hyeva'yam (Jiva) labdhva'nandi bhavati. Tait. Up. II-7.

That which is attained and the attainer cannot be the same.

Hence the individual soul is not referred to in the passage which is under discussion.

Kamachcha Nanumanapeksha I.1.18 (18)

Because of wishing or willing in the scriptural passage we cannot say even inferentially that Anandamaya means Pradhana.

Kamat: because of desire or willing; Cha: and; Na: not; Anumana: the inferred one, i. e. the Pradhana; Apeksha: necessity.

The argument in support of Sutra 12 is continued.

The word `Akamyata' (willed) in the scriptural text shows that the Anandamaya cannot be Pradhana (primordial matter), because will cannot be ascribed to non-sentient (Jada) matter. Prakriti is non-sentient and can have no Kamana or wish. Therefore the Anandamaya with regard to which the word Kama is used cannot be Prakriti or Pradhana. That which is inferred i.e. the non-intelligent Pradhana assumed by the Sankhyas cannot be regarded as being the Self of bliss (Anandamaya) and the cause of the world.

Asminnasya cha tadyogam sasti I.1.19 (19)

And moreover it, i e., the scripture, teaches the joining of this, i.e., the individual soul, with that, i.e., consisting of bliss (Anandamaya) when knowledge is attained.

Asmin: in him; in the person called Anandamaya; Asya: his, of the Jiva; Cha: and, also; Tat: that; Yogam: union; Sasti: (Sruti) teaches.

The argument in support of Sutra 12 is concluded in this Sutra.

Scripture teaches that the Jiva or the individual soul obtains the final emancipation when he attains knowledge, when he is joined or identified with the Self of bliss under discussion. The Sruti declares, When he finds freedom from fear, and rest in that which is invisible, bodiless, indefinable and supportless, then he has attained the fearless (Brahman). If he has the smallest distinction in it there is fear (of Samsara) for him Tait. Up. 11-7.

Perfect rest is possible only when we understand by the Self consisting of bliss, the Supreme Self and not either the Pradhana or the individual soul. Therefore it is proved that the Self consisting of bliss (Anandamaya) is the Supreme Self or Para Brahman.




The being within (the Sun and the eye) is Brahman, because His attributes are taught therein.

Antah: (Antaratma, the being within the sun and the eye); Tat Dharma: His essential attribute; Upadesat: because of the teaching, as Sruti teaches.

The wonderful Purusha of Chhandogya Upanishad described in chapters 1, 6 and 7 is Brahman.

From the description in the Chhandogya Upanishad of the essential qualities belonging to the Indwelling Spirit residing in the Sun and in the human eye, it is to be understood that he is Brahman and not the individual soul. You will find in Chhandogya Upanishad I-6-6, Now that person bright as gold who is seen within the sun, with beard bright as gold and hair bright as gold altogether to the very tips of his nails, whose eyes are like blue lotus. His name is `Ut' because he has risen (Udita) above all evil. He transcends all limitations. He also who knows this rises above all evil. So much with reference to the Devas.

With reference to the body, Now the person who is seen in the eye is Rik. He is Sama. He is Uktha. He is Yajus. He is Brahman. His form is the same as that of the former i.e. of the Being in the Sun. The joints of the one are the joints of the other, the name of the one is the name of the other Chh. Up. I-7-5.

Do these texts refer to some special individual soul who by means of knowledge and pious deeds has raised himself to an exalted state; or do they refer to the eternally perfect supreme Brahman? The Purvapakshin says that the reference is to an individual soul only, as the scripture speaks of a definite shape, particular abode. Special features are attributed to the person in the Sun, such as the possession of beard as bright as gold and so on. The same characteristics belong to the being in the eye also.

On the contrary no shape can be attributed to the Supreme Lord, That which is without sound, without touch, without form, without decay Kau. Up. I-3-15.

Further a definite abode is stated, He who is in the Sun. He who is in the eye. This shows that an individual soul is meant. As regards the Supreme Lord, he has no special abode, Where does he rest? In his own glory Chh. Up. VII-24-1. Like the ether he is Omnipresent, Eternal.

The power of the being in question is said to be limited. He is the Lord of the worlds beyond that and of the wishes of the Devas, shows that the power of the being in the Sun is limited. He is the Lord of the worlds beneath that and of the wishes of men, shows that the power of the person in the eye is limited. Whereas the power of the Supreme Lord is unlimited. He is the Lord of all, the King of all things, the Protector of all things. This indicates that the Lord is free from all limitations. Therefore the being in the Sun and in the eye cannot be the Supreme Lord.

This Sutra refutes the above objection of the Purvapakshin. The being within the Sun and within the eye is not the individual soul, but the Supreme Lord only. Why? Because His essential attributes are declared.

At first the name of the being within the Sun is stated, His name is `Ut'. Then it is declared, He has risen above all evil. The same name is then transferred to the being in the eye, the name of the one is the name of the other. Perfect freedom from sins is ascribed to the Supreme Self only, the Self which is free from sin etc., Apahatapapma Chh. Up. VIII-7. There is the passage, He is Rik. He is Saman, Uktha, Yajus, Brahman, which declares the being in the eye to be the Self, Saman and so on. This is possible only if the being is the Lord, who as being the cause of all, is to be regarded as the Self of all.

Further it is declared, Rik and Saman are his joints with reference to the Devas, and the joints of the one are the joints of the other with reference to the body. This statement can be made only with reference to that which is the Self of all.

The mention of a particular abode, viz., the Sun and the eye, of form with a beard bright as gold and of a limitation of powers is only for the purpose of meditation or Upasana. The Supreme Lord may assume through Maya any form He likes in order to please thereby his devout worshippers to save and bless them. Smriti also says, That thou seest me O Narada, is the Maya emitted by me. Do not then look on me endowed with the qualities of all beings. The limitation of Brahman's powers which is due to the distinction of what belongs to the Devas and what to the body, has reference to devout meditation only. It is for the convenience of meditation that these limitations are imagined in Brahman. In His essential or true nature He is beyond them. It follows, therefore, that the Being which scripture states to be within the eye and the Sun is the Supreme Lord.

Bhedavyapadesachchanyah I.1.21 (21)

And there is another one (i.e. the Lord who is different from the individual souls animating the Sun etc.) on account of the declaration of distinction.

Bheda: difference; Vyapadesat: because of declaration; Cha: and, also; Anyah: is different, another, other than the Jiva or the individual soul.

An argument in support of Sutra 20 is adduced.

Anyah: (Sarirat anyah: other than the embodied individual soul). Moreover there is one who is distinct from the individual souls which animate the Sun and other bodies, viz., the Lord who rules within. The distinction between the Lord and the individual souls is declared in the following passage of the Srutis, He who dwells in the Sun and is within the Sun, whom the Sun does not know, whose body the Sun is and who rules the Sun from within, is thy Self, the ruler within, the immortal (Bri. Up. III-7-9). Here the expression He within the Sun whom the Sun does not know clearly shows that the Ruler within is distinct from that cognising individual soul whose body is the sun. The text clearly indicates that the Supreme Lord is within the Sun and yet different from the individual soul identifying itself with the Sun. This confirms the view expressed in the previous Sutra. It is an established conclusion that the passage under discussion gives a description of the Supreme Lord only but not of any exalted Jiva.




The word Akasa i.e., ether here is Brahman on account of characteristic marks (of that i.e. Brahman being mentioned).

Akasah:the word Akasa as used here; Tad: His, of Brahman; Lingat: because of characteristic mark.

Brahman is shown to be Akasa in this Sutra. The Akasa of Chh. Up. I-9 is Brahman.

In the Chhandogya Upanishad I-9 the following passage comes in. What is the origin of this world? `Ether' he replied. Because all these beings take their origin from the ether only, and return into the ether. Ether is greater than these, ether is their ultimate resort (Dialogue between Silak and Prabahana). Here the doubt arisesDoes the word `ether' denote the Highest Brahman or the Supreme Self or the elemental ether?

Here Akasa refers to the Highest Brahman and not to the elemental ether, because the characteristics of Brahman, namely the origin of the entire creation from it and its return to it at dissolution are mentioned. These marks may also refer to Akasa as the scriptures say from the Akasa sprang air, from air fire, and so on and they return to the Akasa at the end of a cycle. But the sentence All these beings take their origin from the Akasa only clearly indicates the highest Brahman, as all Vedanta-texts agree in proclaiming definitely that all beings take their origin from the Highest Brahman.

But the Purvapakshin or the opponent may say that the elemental Akasa also may be taken as the cause viz., of air, fire and the other elements. But then the force of the words all these and only in the text quoted would be lost. To keep it, the text should be taken to refer to the fundamental cause of all, including Akasa also, which is Brahman alone.

The word Akasa is also used for Brahman in other texts: That which is called Akasa is the revealer of all forms and names; that within which forms and names are, that is Brahman Chh. Up. VIII-14-1. The clause They return into the ether again points to Brahman and so also the phrase `Akasa is greater than these, Akasa is their final resort', because the scripture ascribes to the Supreme Self only absolute superiority. Chh. Up. III-14-3.

Brahman alone can be greater than all and their ultimate goal as mentioned in the text. The qualities of being greater and the ultimate goal of everything are mentioned in the following texts: He is greater than the earth, greater than the sky, greater than heaven, greater than all these worlds Chh. Up. III-14-3. Brahman is Knowledge and Bliss. He is the Ultimate Goal of him who makes gifts Bri. Up. III-9-28.

The text says that all things have been born from Akasa. Such a causation can apply only to Brahman. The text says that Akasa is greater than everything else, that Akasa is the Supreme Goal and that it is Infinite. These indications show that Akasa means Brahman only.

Various synonyms of Akasa are used to denote Brahman. In which the Vedas are in the Imperishable One (Brahman) the Highest, the ether (Vyoman) Tait. Up. III-6. Again OM, Ka is Brahman, ether (Kha) is Brahman Chh. Up IV-10-5 and the old ether (Bri. Up. V-1.)

Therefore we are justified in deciding that the word Akasa, though it occurs in the beginning of the passage refers to Brahman, it is similar to that of the phrase Agni (the fire) studies a chapter, where the word Agni, though it occurs in the beginning denotes a boy. Therefore it is settled that the word Akasa denotes Brahman only.



ATA EVA PRANAH I.1.23 (23)

For the same reason the breath also refers to Brahman.

Ata eva: for the same reason; Pranah: the breath (also refers to Brahman).

As Prana is described as the cause of the world, such a description can apply to Brahman alone.

Which then is that deity? `Prana' he said. Regarding the Udgitha it is said (Chh. Up. I-10-9), `Prastotri' that deity which belongs to the Prastava etc.

For all the beings merge in Prana alone and from Prana they arise. This is the deity belonging to the Prastava Chh. Up. I-11-4. Now the doubt arises whether Prana is vital force or Brahman. The Purvapakshin or opponent says that the word Prana denotes the fivefold breath. The Siddhantin says: No. Just as in the case of the preceding Sutra, so here also Brahman is meant on account of characteristic marks being mentioned; for here also a complementary passage makes us to understand that all beings spring from and merge into Prana. This can occur only in connection with the Supreme Lord.

The opponent says The scripture makes the following statement: when man sleeps, then into breath indeed speech merges, into breath the eye, into breath the ear, into breath the mind; when he wakes up then they spring again from breath alone. What the Veda here states is a matter of daily observation, because during sleep when the breathing goes on uninterruptedly the functioning of the sense organs ceases and again becomes manifest when the man wakes up only. Hence the sense organs are the essence of all beings. The complementary passage which speaks of the merging and emerging of the beings can be reconciled with the chief vital air also.

This cannot be. Prana is used in the sense of Brahman in passages like `the Prana of Prana' (Bri. Up. IV-4-18) and `Prana indeed is Brahman' Kau. Up. III-3. The Sruti declares All these beings merge in Prana and from Prana they arise Chh. Up. I-11-5. This is possible only if Prana is Brahman and not the vital force in which the senses only get merged in deep sleep.




The `light' is Brahman, on account of the mention of feet in a passage which is connected with the passage about the light.

Jyotih: the light; Charana: feet; Abhidhanat: because of the mention.

The expression `Jyotih' (light) is next taken up for discussion. The Jyotis of Chhandogya Upanishad III-13-7 refers to Brahman and not to material light; because it is described as having four feet.

Sruti declares, Now that light which shines above this heaven, higher than all, higher than everything, in the highest worlds beyond which there are no other worldsthat is the same light which is within man. Here the doubt arises whether the word light denotes the physical light of the sun and the like or the Supreme Self?

The Purvapakshin or the opponent holds that the word `light' denotes the light of the sun and the like as it is the ordinary well-established meaning of the term. Moreover the word `shines' ordinarily refers to the sun and similar sources of light. Brahman is colourless. It cannot be said in the primary sense of the word that it `shines'. Further the word `Jyotis' denotes light for it is said to be bounded by the sky (`that light which shines above this heaven'); the sky cannot become the boundary of Brahman which is the Self of all, which is all-pervading and infinite, and is the source of all things movable or immovable. The sky can form the boundary of light which is mere product and which is therefore united.

The word Jyoti does not mean physical light of the sun which helps vision. It denotes Brahman. Why? On account of the feet (quarters) being mentioned in a preceding text: Such is its greatness, greater than this is the Purusha. One foot of It is all beings, while its remaining three feet are the Immortal in heaven Chh. Up. III-12-6. That which in this text forms the three quarter part, immortal and connected with heaven of Brahman which altogether constitutes four quarters, this very same entity is again referred to in the passage under discussion, for there also it is said to be connected with heaven.

Brahman is the subject matter of not only the previous texts, but also of the subsequent section, Sandilya Vidya (Chh. Up. III-14). If we interpret `light' as ordinary light, we will commit the error of dropping the topic started and introduce a new subject. Brahman is the main topic in the section immediately following that which contains the passage under discussion (Chh. Up. III-14). Therefore it is quite reasonable to say that the intervening section also (Chh. Up. III-13) treats of Brahman only. Hence we conclude that in the passage the word `light' must denote Brahman only.

The word `Jyoti' here does not at all denote that light on which the function of the eye depends. It has different meaning, for instance with speech only as light man sits (Bri. Up. IV-3-5); whatever illumines something else may be considered as `light'. Therefore the term `light' may be applied to Brahman also whose nature is intelligence because It gives light to the whole universe. The Srutis declare Him the shining one, everything shines after; by His light all this is illumined (Kau. Up. II-5-15) and Him the gods worship as the Light of lights, as the Immortal (Bri. Up. IV-4-16).

The mention of limiting adjuncts with respect to Brahman, denoted by the word `light' `bounded by heaven' and the assignment of a special locality serves the purpose of devout meditation. The Srutis speak of different kinds of meditation on Brahman as specially connected with certain localities such as the sun, the eye, the heart.

Therefore it is a settled conclusion that the word `light' here denotes Brahman.

Chhando'bhidhanannet chet na tatha

cheto'rpananigadat tatha hi darsanam I.1.25 (25)

If it be said that Brahman is not denoted on account of the metre Gayatri being denoted, we reply not so, because thus i.e. by means of the metre the application of the mind on Brahman is declared; because thus it is seen (in other passages also).

Chhandas: the metre known as Gayatri; Abhidhanat: because of the description; Na: not; Iti: thus; Chet: if; Na: not; Tatha: thus, like that; Chet'orpana: application of the mind; Nigadat: because of the teaching; Tatha hi: like that; Darsanam: it is seen (in other texts).

An objection raised against Sutra 24 is refuted in this Sutra.

The Purvapakshin or the opponent says In the passage, `One foot of It is all beings', Brahman is not referred to but the metre Gayatri, because the first paragraph of the preceding section of the same Upanishad begins with Gayatri is everything, whatsoever here exists. Hence the feet referred to in the text mentioned in the previous Sutra refer to this metre and not to Brahman.

In reply we say, not so; because the Brahmana passage Gayatri indeed is all this teaches that one should meditate on the Brahman which is connected with this metre, for Brahman being the cause of everything is connected with that Gayatri also and it is that Brahman which is to be meditated upon.

Brahman is meditated upon as Gayatri. By this explanation all become consistent. If Gayatri meant metre then it would be impossible to say of it that Gayatri is everything whatsoever here exists because certainly the metre is not everything. Therefore the Sutra says Tatha hi darsanamSo we see. By such an explanation only the above passage gives a consistent meaning. Otherwise we will have to hold a metre to be everything which is absurd. Therefore through Gayatri the meditation on Brahman is shown.

The direction of the mind is declared in the text `Gayatri is all this'. The passage instructs that by means of the metre Gayatri the mind is to be directed on Brahman which is connected with that metre.

This interpretation is in accordance with the other texts in the same section e.g. All this indeed is Brahman Chh. Up. III-14-1 where Brahman is the chief topic.

Devout meditation on Brahman through its modifications or effects is mentioned in other passages also; for instance, Ait. Ar. III-2-3.12 it is the Supreme Being under the name of Gayatri, whom the Bahvrichas worship as Mahat-Uktha i.e. Maha Prana, the Adhvaryu priests as Agni (fire), and the Chandoga priests as Maha Vrata (the greatest rite).

Therefore Brahman is meant here and not the metre Gayatri.

Bhutadipadavyapadesopapatteschaivam I.1.26 (26)

And thus also (we must conclude, viz., that Brahman is the subject or topic of the previous passage, where Gayatri occurs) because (thus only) the declaration as to the beings etc. being the feet is possible.

Bhutadi: the elements etc. i.e. the elements, the earth, the body and the heart; Pada: (of) foot, part; Vyapadesa: (of) mention (of) declaration or expression; Upapatteh: because of the possibility or proof, reasonableness, as it is rightly deduced from the above reasons; Cha: also; Evam: thus, so.

An argument in support of Sutra 24 is adduced.

The beings, earth, body and heart can be felt only of Brahman and not of Gayatri, the metre, a mere collection of syllables. The previous passage has only Brahman for its topic or subject, because the text designates the beings and so on as the feet of Gayatri. The text at first speaks of the beings, the earth, the body and the heart and then goes on describing that Gayatri has four feet and is sixfold. If Brahman were not meant, there would be no room for the verse such is the greatness etc.

Hence by Gayatri is here meant Brahman as connected with the metre Gayatri. It is this Brahman particularised by Gayatri that is said to be the Self of everything in the passage Gayatri is everything etc.

Therefore Brahman is to be regarded as the subject matter of the previous passage also. This same Brahman is again recognised as light in Chh. Up. III-12-7.

The elements, the earth, the body and the heart cannot be represented as the four verses of Gayatri. They can be understood only to mean the fourfold manifestations of the Supreme Being. The word heaven is a significant word. Its use in connection with `light' reminds us of its use in connection with the `Gayatri' also. Therefore the `light' shining above heaven is the same as the `Gayatri' that has three of its feet in heaven.

Upadesabhedanneti chet na

ubhayasminnapyavirodhat I.1.27 (27)

If it be said (that Brahman of the Gayatri passage cannot be recognised in the passage treating of `light') on account of the difference of designation or the specification (we reply) no, because in either (designation) there is nothing contrary (to the recognition).

Upadesa: of teaching of grammatical construction or cases; Bhedat: because of the difference; Na: not; Iti chet: if it be said; Na: no; Ubhayasmin: in both, (whether in the ablative case or in the locative case); Api: even; Avirodhat: because there is no contradiction.

Another objection against Sutra 24 is raised and refuted. If it be argued that there is a difference of expression consisting in case-ending in the Gayatri-Sruti and in the Jyoti Sruti regarding the word `Div' (heaven) then the reply is `No'; the argument is not tenable, as there is no material contradiction between the two expressions.

In the Gayatri passage three feet of it are what is immortal in heaven, heaven is designated as the abode of Brahman; while in the latter passage that light which shines above this heaven, Brahman is described as existing above heaven. One may object that the subject matter of the former passage cannot be recognised in the latter. The objector may say how then can one and the same Brahman be referred to in both the texts? It can; there can be no contradiction here. Just as in ordinary language a bird, although in contact with the top of a tree, is not only said to be on the tree, but also above the tree, so Brahman also, although being in heaven, is here referred to as being beyond heaven as well.

The locative Divi in heaven and the ablative `Divah' above heaven are not contrary. The difference in the case-ending of the word Div is no contradiction as the locative case (the seventh case-ending) is often used in the scriptural texts to express secondarily the meaning of the ablative (the fifth case-ending).

Therefore the Brahman spoken of in the former passage can be recognised in the latter also. It is a settled conclusion that the word light denotes Brahman.

Though the grammatical cases used in the scriptural passage are not identical, the object of the reference is clearly recognised as being identical.




Prana is Brahman, that being so understood from a connected consideration (of the passage referring to Prana).

Pranah: the breath or life-energy; Tatha: thus, so, likewise like that stated before; like that stated in the Sruti quoted before in connection therewith; Anugamat: because of being understood (from the texts).

The expression `Prana' is again taken up for discussion.

In the Kaushitaki Upanishad there occurs the conversation between Indra and Pratardana. Pratardana, the son of Divodasa, came by means of fighting and strength to the abode of Indra. Pratardana said to Indra, You yourself choose for me that boon which you think is most beneficial to man. Indra replied, Know me only. This is what I think most beneficial to man. I am Prana, the intelligent Self (Prajnatman). Meditate on me as life, as immortality III-2. That Prana is indeed the intelligent Self, bliss, undecaying, immortal III-8.

Here the doubt arises whether the word Prana denotes merely breath, the modification of air or the God Indra, or the individual soul, or the highest Brahman.

The word `Prana' in the passage refers to Brahman, because it is described as the most conducive to human welfare. Nothing is more conducive to human welfare than the knowledge of Brahman. Moreover Prana is described as Prajnatma. The air which is non-intelligent can clearly not be the intelligent Self.

Those characteristic marks which are mentioned in the concluding passage, viz., `bliss' (Ananda), undecaying (Ajara), immortal (Amrita) can be true only of Brahman. Further knowledge of Prana absolves one from all sins. He who knows me thus by no deed of his is his life harmed, neither by matricide nor by patricide Kau. Up. III-1.

All this can be properly understood only if the Supreme Self or the highest Brahman is acknowledged to be the subject matter of the passages, and not if the vital air is substituted in its place. Hence the word `Prana' denotes Brahman only.

Na vakturatmopadesaditi chet

adhyatmasambandhabhuma hyasmin I.1.29 (29)

If it be said that (Brahman is) not (denoted or referred in these passages on account of) the speaker's instruction about himself, we reply not so, because there is abundance of reference to the Inner Self in this (chapter or Upanishad).

Na: not; Vaktuh: of the speaker (Indra); Atma: of the Self; Upadesat: on account of instruction; Iti: thus; Chet: if; Adhyatma sambandha bhuma: abundance of reference to the Inner Self; Hi: because; Asmin: in this (chapter or Upanishad).

An objection to Sutra 28 is refuted.

An objection is raised against the assertion that Prana denotes Brahman. The opponent or Purvapakshin says, The word Prana does not denote the Supreme Brahman, because the speaker Indra designates himself. Indra speaks to Pratardana, Know me only. I am Prana, the intelligent Self. How can the Prana which refers to a personality be Brahman to which the attribute of being a speaker cannot be ascribed. The Sruti declares, Brahman is without speech, without mind Bri. Up. III-8-8.

Further on, also Indra, the speaker glorifies himself, I slew the three-headed son of Tvashtri. I delivered the Arunmukhas, the devotees to the wolves (Salavrika). I killed the people of Prahlada and so on. Indra may be called Prana owing to his strength. Hence Prana does not denote Brahman.

This objection is not valid because there are found abundant references to Brahman or the Inner Self in that chapter. They are Prana, the intelligent Self, alone having laid hold of this body makes it rise up. For as in a car the circumference of the wheel is set on the spokes and the spokes on the nave; thus are these objects set on the subjects (the senses) and the subjects on the Prana. And that Prana indeed is the Self of Prajna, blessed (Ananda), undecaying (Ajara) and immortal (Amrita). He is my Self, thus let it be known. This Self is Brahman, Omniscient Bri. Up. II-5-19.

Indra said to Pratardana, Worship me as Prana. This can only refer to Brahman. For the worship of Brahman alone can give Mukti or the final emancipation which is most beneficial to man (Hitatma). It is said of this Prana, For he (Prana) makes him, whom he wishes to lead out from these worlds, do a good deed. This shows that the Prana is the great cause that makes every activity possible. This also is consistent with Brahman and not with breath or Indra. Hence `Prana' here denotes Brahman only.

The chapter contains information regarding Brahman only owing to plenty of references to the Inner Self, not regarding the self of some deity.

But if Indra really meant to teach the worship of Brahman, why does he say worship me? It is really misleading. To this the following Sutra gives the proper answer.

Sastradrishtya tupadeso vamadevavat 1.1.30 (30)

The declaration (made by Indra about himself, viz., that he is and with Brahman) is possible through intuition as attested by Sruti, as in the case of Vamadeva.

Sastradrishtya: through insight based on scripture or as attested by Sruti; Tu: but; Upadesah: instruction; Vamadevavat: like that of Vamadeva.

The objection raised in Sutra 29 is further refuted.

The word `tu' (but) removes the doubt. Indra's describing himself as Prana is quite suitable as he identifies himself with Brahman in that instruction to Pratardana like the sage Vamadeva.

Sage Vamadeva realised Brahman and said I was Manu and Surya which is in accordance with the passage Whatever Deva knew Brahman became That (Bri. Up. I-4-10). Indra's instruction also is like that. Having realised Brahman by means of Rishi-like intuition, Indra identifies himself in the instruction with the Supreme Brahman and instructs Pratardana about the Highest Brahman by means of the words `Know me only'.

Indra praises the knowledge of Brahman. Therefore it is not his own glorification when he says `I killed Tvashtri's son' etc. The meaning of the passage is `Although I do such cruel actions, yet not even a hair of mine is harmed because I am one with Brahman. Therefore the life of any other person also who knows me thus is not harmed by any deed of his. Indra says in a subsequent passage `I am Prana, the intelligent Self.' Therefore the whole chapter refers to Brahman only.

Jivamukhyapranalinganneti chet na upasatraividhyat

asritatvadiha tadyogat I.1.31 (31)

If it be said that (Brahman is) not (meant) on account of characteristic marks of the individual soul and the chief vital air (being mentioned); we say no, because (such an interpretation) would enjoin threefold meditation (Upasana), because Prana has been accepted (elsewhere in the Sruti in the sense of Brahman) and because here also (words denoting Brahman) are mentioned with reference to Prana.

Jivamukhyapranalingat: on account of the characteristic marks of the individual soul and the chief vital air; Na: not; Iti: thus; Chet: if; Na: not; Upasana: worship, meditation; Traividhyat: because of the three ways; Asritatvat: on account of Prana being accepted (elsewhere in Sruti in the sense of Brahman); Iha: in the Kaushitaki passage; Tadyogat: because of its appropriateness; as they have been applied; because words denoting Brahman are mentioned with reference to Prana.

But another objection is raised. What is the necessity of this Adhikarana again, meditation of Prana and identifying Prana with Brahman, when in the preceding Sutra, I-1-23 it has been shown that Prana means Brahman?

To this we answer: this Adhikarana is not a redundancy. In the Sutra I-1-23, the doubt was only with regard to the meaning of the single word Prana. In this Adhikarana the doubt was not about the meaning of the word Prana, but about the whole passage, in which there are words, and marks or indications that would have led a person meditating, to think that there also Jiva and breath meant to be meditated upon. To remove this doubt, it is declared that Brahman alone is the topic of discussion in this Kaushitaki Upanishad and not Jiva or vital breath.

Therefore this Adhikarana has been separately stated by the author.

The Purvapakshin or the opponent holds that Prana does not denote Brahman, but either the individual soul or the chief vital air or both. He says that the chapter mentions the characteristic marks of the individual soul on the one hand, and of the chief vital air on the other hand.

The passage `One should know the speaker and not enquire into speech' (Kau. Up. III-4) mentions a characteristic mark of the individual soul. The passage Prana, laying hold of his body, makes it rise up Kau. Up. III. 3 points to the chief vital air because the chief attribute of the vital air is that it sustains the body. Then there is another passage, `Then Prana said to the organs: be not deceived. I alone dividing myself fivefold support this body and keep it' Prasna Up. II-3. Then again you will find `What is Prana, that is Prajna; what is Prajna, that is Prana.'

This Sutra refutes such a view and says, that Brahman alone is referred to by `Prana', because the above interpretation would involve a threefold Upasana, viz., of the individual soul, of the chief vital air, and of Brahman. Which is certainly against the accepted rules of interpretation of the scriptures. It is inappropriate to assume that a single sentence enjoins three kinds of worship or meditation.

Further in the beginning we have know me only followed by I am Prana, intelligent Self, meditate on me as life, as immortality; and in the end again we read And that Prana indeed is the intelligent Self, blessed (Ananda), undecaying (Ajara) and immortal (Amrita). The beginning and the concluding part are thus seen to be similar. Therefore we must conclude that they refer to one and the same subject and that the same subject-matter is kept up throughout.

Therefore `Prana' must denote Brahman only. In the case of other passages where characteristic marks of Brahman are mentioned the word `Prana' is taken in the sense of Brahman. It is a settled conclusion that Brahman is the topic or subject matter of the whole chapter.

Thus ends the first Pada (Section 1) of the first Adhyaya (Chapter I) of the Brahma Sutras; or the Vedanta Philosophy.

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