Hinduism,Cosmos ,Sanatan Dharma.Ancient Hinduism science.

Brahm Sutra Part 2

Chapter III, Section 2


In the preceding Pada or Section the passage of the soul to different spheres and its return has been explained in order to create dispassion or disgust in people who perform sacrifices to obtain heaven. If they have a clear understanding of the fate of the soul they will naturally develop Vairagya and will strive to attain Moksha or the final emancipation.

This section starts with the explanation of the soul’s different states, viz., waking, dream, deep sleep. The three states of the soul will be shown to be merely illusory and the identity of the individual soul and the Supreme Soul will be established.

A knowledge of the three states, viz., waking, dreaming and deep sleep, is very necessary for the students of Vedanta. It will help them to understand the nature of the fourth state, viz., Turiya or the state of superconsciousness. For a student of Vedanta, the waking state is as much unreal as the dream state. The state of deep sleep intimates that the nature of the Sup�reme Soul is Bliss and that Brahman is one without a second, and that the world is unreal. Vedantins make a study of the four states very carefully. They do not ignore dream and deep sleep states whereas the scientists draw their conclusions from the experiences of the waking state only. Hence, their knowledge is limited, partial and incorrect.

In the last section the waking state of the soul has been fully dealt with. Now its dream state is taken up for discussion.

In order to make the students understand the true significance of the Maha-Vakya or the great sentence of the Upanishad Tat Tvam AsiThou art That, this section explains the true nature of That and Thou.


This Section starts with the explanation of the states of dream, deep sleep and so on. Then it discusses the twofold nature of Brahman, one immanent and the other transcendent. Lastly it deals with the relation of Brahman to the individual soul as well as to the world.

Adhikarana I: (Sutras 1-6) treats of the soul in the dreaming state. The vision in dreams is of a wonderful character. According to Sri Sankara the three first Sutras discuss the question whether the creative activity, attributed to the Jiva or the individual soul in some Sruti texts produces objects as real as those by which the soul in the waking state is surrounded or not.

Sutra 3 says that the creations of the dreaming soul are mere Maya or illusion as they do not fully exhibit the nature or character of real objects, as they are wanting in the reality of the waking state.

Sutra 4 intimates that dreams, although mere Maya, yet have a prophetic quality. Some dreams are indicative of future good or bad.

Sutras 5 and 6 say that the soul, although it is identical with the Lord, is not able to produce in dreams a real creation, because its knowledge and power are obscured by its connection with the gross body. The rulership is hidden by ignorance in the Jiva state. It is not possible for the individual soul to dream a good or a bad dream according to his own choice as he in his present state of bondage is ignorant of the future.

Adhikarana II: (Sutras 7-8) teaches that the soul abides within Brahman in the heart in the state of deep sleep.

Adhikarana III: (Sutra 9) gives reasons to assume that the soul awakening from sleep is the same that went to sleep. What has been partly done by a person before going to sleep is finished after he wakes up. He has also a sense of self-identity. He has memory of past events. He has memory in the shape of `I am the person who had gone to sleep and who have now awakened.’

Adhikarana IV: (Sutra 10) explains the nature of a swoon. It intimates that swoon is half death and half deep sleep, a mixture of these two states.

Adhikarana V: (Sutras 11-21) intimate the nature of Sup reme Brahman in which the individual soul is merged in the state of deep sleep.

Sutra 11 declares that Brahman is devoid of distinctive attributes (Nirvisesha). Brahman with attributes is only for the sake of Upasana or pious worship of devotees. It is not its real nature.

Sutra 12 declares that every form due to limiting adjunct is denied of Brahman. In every passage of Sruti identity is affirmed. The Supreme Truth is Oneness. Separateness is for devotion. There is only one Infinite formless essence or Principle in reality.

Sutra 13 says that the whole universe characterised by enjoyers, things to be enjoyed and a ruler has Brahman for its true nature.

Sutra 14 says that the assumption of diversity or plurality is objectionable. Brahman is destitute of all forms.

Sutra 15 says Brahman appears to have forms, as it were. This is due to its connection with its unreal limiting adjuncts, just as the light of the sun appears straight or crooked, as it were, according to the nature of the thing it illumines.

Sutra 16 says that the Sruti (Brihadaranyaka) expressly declares that Brahman is one uniform mass of consciousness or intelligence and has neither inside nor outside.

Sutra 17 says the other scriptural passages and the Smriti also teach that Brahman is without attributes.

Sutra 18 declares that just as the one luminous sun when entering into relation to many different waters is himself rendered multiform by his limiting adjuncts, so also the one Unborn Brahman.

Sutra 19: Here the Purvapakshin objects. There is no similarity of the two things compared as in the case of Brahman any second thing is not apprehended or experienced like water. Brahman is formless and all-pervading. It is not a material thing. Sun has a form. It is a material thing. Water is different from the sun and is at a distance from the sun. Hence the sun may be reflected in the water.

Sutra 20: The objection raised in Sutra 19 is refuted. The similarity is only in point of the participation in the distor tion and contortion, in increase and decrease of the image reflected. Brahman participates as it were in the attributes and states of the body and other limiting adjuncts with which it abides. Two things are compared with reference to some particular points or features only.

Sutra 21 says the scriptures declare that the Atman is within the Upadhis or limiting adjuncts.

Adhikarana VI: (Sutras 22-30) teaches that the clause neti, netinot this, not this in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad II.3.6 denies the gross and subtle forms of Brahman given in Bri. Up. II.3.1 and not Brahman itself.

Sutras 23-26 further dwell on Brahman being in reality devoid of all distinctive attributes which are entirely due to the limiting adjuncts or Upadhis.

Sutras 27-28: express the views of the Bhedabhedavadins. They say there is difference as well as non-difference between the individual soul and Brahman. The separateness and oneness is like a serpent in quiescence and motion.

Sutra 29: This Sutra refutes the view of the Bhedabhedavadins and establishes the final truth which has been declared in Sutra 25 viz., that the difference is merely illusory due to fictitious limiting adjuncts and identity or non-difference is the reality.

Sutra 30: Sutra 29 is confirmed. The Sruti in fact expressly denies separateness.

Adhikarana VII: (Sutras 31-37) explains that Brahman is one without a second and expressions which apparently imply something else as existing are only metaphorical.

Brahman is compared to a bridge or a bank or causeway not to indicate that He connects the world with something else beyond Him but to show that He is the protector of the worlds and is also like a causeway, the support of the indivi duals while crossing over this ocean of life.

He is conceived to be symbolised and located in a limited space for facility of meditation on the part of those who are not very intelligent.

Adhikarana VIII: (Sutras 38-41) intimates that the fruit of actions is not as Jaimini thinks, the independent result of actions acting through Apurva, but is dispensed by the Lord. The Lord who is all-pervading is the bestower of fruits of actions, according to merits and demerits.


The soul in the dream state

Sandhye srishtiraha hi III.2.1 (319)

In the intermediate stage (between waking and deep sleep) there is (a real) creation; because (the Sruti) says so.

Sandhye: in the intermediate stage (between waking and deep sleep, i.e., in the dream state); Srishtih: (there is real) creation; Aha: (Sruti) says so; Hi: because.

The state of dream is now considered.

Sutras 1 and 2 are Purvapaksha Sutras and set out the view that what we see in dreams are true creations because of the word `Srijate’ (creates).

The word `Sandhya’ means dream. It is called `Sandhya’ or the intermediate state because it is midway between waking (Jagrat) and the deep sleep state (Sushupti). That place is called the intermediate state or place because it lies there where the two worlds or else the place of waking and the place of deep sleep join.

Scripture declares, when he falls asleep, there are no chariots, in that state, no horses, no roads, but he himself creates chariots, horses and roads, etc. (Bri. Up. IV.3.9-10). Here a doubt arises whether the creation which takes place in dreams is a real one (Paramarthika) like the creation seen in the waking state or whether it is illusory (Maya).

The Purvapakshin holds that in the dreaming state there is a real creation.

In that intermediate state or dream the creation must be real, because scripture which is authoritative declares it to be so, He (the individual soul) creates chariots, horses, roads, etc. We, moreover, infer this from the concluding clause, He indeed is the creator (Bri. Up. IV.3.10).

Further there is no difference between the experience of the waking state and that of the dream state. Atman in dream gets pleasure by going in a car, hearing music, seeing pleasure-sights and eating sumptuous food even as in the waking state.

Hence the creation of the dream state is real and originates from the Lord Himself, just as ether, etc., sprang from Him.

Nirmataram chaike putradayascha III.2.2 (320)

And some (the followers of one Sakha, namely, the Kathakas) (state that the Supreme Lord is the) Creator; sons, etc., (being the lovely things which He creates).

Nirmataram: Creator, the shaper, the builder, the maker; Cha: and, more over; Eke: some (followers of the particular Sakhas of the Vedas); Putradayah: sons, etc.; Cha: and, also.

The Purvapakshin or the opponent gives a further argument to show that the creation even in dreams is by the Lord Him self. He who is awake in us while we are asleep, shaping one lovely thing after another, that is Brahman (Katha Up. II.2. 8).

`Kama’ (lovely things) in this passage means sons, etc., that are so called because they are beloved. The term `Kama’ does not denote mere desires. It is used in this sense in the previous passage also, such as Ask for all Kamas according to thy wish (Katha Up. I.1.25). That the word Kama there means sons, etc., we infer from Katha Up. I.1.23, where we find these Kamas described as sons and grandsons, etc.

Even in dreams the Lord Himself creates just as in the case of the waking state. Therefore the world of dreams is also real.

The scripture declares This is the same as the place of waking, for what he sees while awake the same he sees while asleep (Bri. Up. IV.3.14). Hence the world of dreams is real.

To this we reply as follows.

Mayamatram tu kartsnyenanabhivyaktasvarupatvat III.2.3 (321)

But it (viz., the dream world) is mere illusion on account of its nature not manifesting itself with the totality (of the attributes of reality).

Mayamatram: mere illusion; Tu: but; Kartsnyena: entirely, fully; Anabhivyaktasvarupatvat: on account of its nature being unmanifested.

The thesis adduced in Sutras 1 and 2 is now criticised.

The word `tu’ (but), discards the view expressed by the two previous Sutras. The world of dreams is not real. It is mere illusion. There is not a particle of reality in it. The nature of the dreamworld does not agree entirely with that of the waking world with respect to time, place, cause and the circumstance of non-refutation. Hence the dream world is not real like the waking world.

In the first place there is in a dream no space for chariots and the like, because those objects cannot possibly find room in the limited confines of the body. If you say that the soul goes out and enjoys objects, how can it go hundreds of miles and return within a few minutes?

In a dream the soul does not leave the body; because if it did, then one who dreams of having gone to London would find himself there on waking, while he went to sleep in Bombay. But as a matter of fact, he awakes in Bombay only.

Further while a man imagines himself in his dream going in his body to another place, the by-standers see the very same body lying on the cot.

Moreover a dreaming person does not see in his dream other places such as they really are. But if he in seeing them did actually go about, they would appear to him like the things he sees in his waking state.

Sruti declares that the dream is within the body, But when he moves about in dream, he moves about according to his pleasure within his own body (Bri. Up. II.1.18).

In the second place we notice that dreams are in conflict with the conditions of time. One man who is sleeping at night dreams that it is day. Another man lives during a dream which lasts for ten minutes only, through fifty years. One man sees at night an eclipse of the sun in his dream.

In the third place, the senses which alone can bring the sensation of sight etc., are not functioning in dream. The organs are drawn inward and the dreaming person has no eyes to see chariots and other things. How can he get in the twinkling of an eye materials for making chariots and the like?

In the fourth place the chariots etc., disappear on waking. The chariots etc., disappear even in the course of the dream. The dream itself refutes what it creates, as its end contradicts its beginning. The chariot is suddenly transferred into a man, and a man into a tree.

Scripture itself clearly says that the chariots, etc., of a dream have no real existence. There are no chariots in that state, no horses, no roads, etc.

Hence the visions in a dream are mere illusion.

The argument that the dream world is real, because it is also a creation of the Supreme Lord like this waking world is not true, because the dream world is not the creation of the Lord, but of the individual soul. The Sruti declares When he dreams he himself puts the physical body aside and himself creates a dream body in its place (Bri. Up. IV.3.9.) This passage of the Sruti clearly proves that it is the individual soul who creates the dream world and not the Lord.

Suchakascha hi sruterachakshate cha tadvidah III.2.4 (322)

But (though the dream world is an illusion), yet it is indi cative (of the future), for (so we find) in the Sruti, the dream experts also declare this.

Suchaka: Indicative, suggestive; Cha: moreover, and; Hi: because, as for; Sruteh: from the Sruti; Achakshate: say, affirm; Cha: also; Tadvidah: dreamexperts, those who know the secrets of dream.

An argument in support of Sutra 3 is given.

The word `Tadvid’ or expert means those who know how to interpret dreams such as Vyasa, Brihaspati, and the rest.

Well then, as dreams are mere illusion, they do not contain a particle of reality? Not so we reply: because dreams are prophetic of future good and bad fortune. For scripture says When a man engaged in some sacrifice undertaken for a special wish sees in his dreams a woman, he may infer success from that dream-vision (Chh. Up. V.2.8). Other scriptural passages declare that certain dreams indicate speedy death, e.g., If he sees a black man with black teeth, that man will kill him.

Those who understand the science of dreams maintain that to dream of riding on an elephant and the like is lucky while it is unlucky to dream of riding on a donkey. Whatever a Brahmin or a god, a bull or a king may tell a person in dream, will doubtless prove true.

Sometimes one gets Mantras in dream. Lord Siva taught Visvamitra in dream the Mantra called Ramaraksha. Visvamitra exactly wrote it out in the morning, when he awoke from sleep.

In all these cases the thing indicated may be real. The indicating dream however, remains unreal as it is refuted by the waking state. The doctrine that the dream itself is mere illusion thus remains uncontradicted.

The word `creation’ in dream in the first Sutra is used in a secondary and figurative sense. The soul’s good and bad deeds bring about pleasure and pain enjoyed during dream, by means of dream-experiences. In the waking state the light of the soul operates along with the light of the sun to bring about experiences. The dream state is referred to, to show the self-activity of the soul even after the senses are shut off and there is no operation of external light. It is this fact that is the primary teaching. The reference to creation in dreams is secondary.

The world of dreams is not real in the same sense as the world consisting of ether is real. We must remember that the so-called real creation with its ether, air, etc., is not absolutely real. The world of ether, etc., vanishes into nothing when the individual soul realises its identity with the Supreme Soul.

The dream-creation, however, is stultified every day. That the dream is mere illusion has therefore to be understood very clearly and decisively.

Parabhidhyanattu tirohitam tato hyasya

bandhaviparyayau III.2.5 (323)

But by the meditation on the Supreme Lord, that which is hidden (by ignorance, viz., the equality of the Lord and the soul becomes manifest), because from him (the Lord) are its (the soul’s) bondage and freedom.

Parabhidhyanat: by meditation on the Supreme Lord; Tu: but; Tirohitam: that which is hidden; Tatah: from Him(the Lord); Hi: for; Asya: his, of the individual soul. Bandhaviparyayau: bondage and its opposite, i.e., freedom.

The Purvapakshin or the opponent says: The individual soul is a part (Amsa) of the Supreme Soul, just as a spark is a part of the fire. Just as fire and spark have in common the powers of burning and giving light, so also the individual soul and the Lord have in common the powers of knowledge and rulership. Therefore the individual soul may by means of his lordship create in the dreaming state chariots and the like at will (Sankalpa) like the Lord.

This Sutra refutes it and says that the soul now is different from the Lord on account of Avidya or ignorance. The rulership is hidden by ignorance in the Jiva state. It becomes manifest only when in the state of meditation on the Lord. This ignorance is dispelled by the knowledge, I am Brahman, just as through the action of a strong medicine the power of sight of the blind man becomes manifest.

The Sruti declares when that God is known all fetters fall off; sufferings are destroyed and birth and death cease. From meditating on Him there arises on the dissolution of the body, a third state, that of universal Lordship; he who is alone is satisfied (Svet. Up. I.11). Till the knowledge dawns the individual soul cannot create at will anything real.

Lordship does not come to man spontaneously. It does not on its own accord reveal itself to all men, as the bondage and freedom of the individual soul come from the Lord. That means: from knowledge of Lord’s true nature, i.e., from realisation of God freedom comes; from ignorance of His true nature comes bondage. Till such realisation comes, where is then any power of creation?

Dehayogadva so’pi III.2.6 (324)

And that (viz., the concealment of the soul’s rulership) also (results) from its connection with the body.

Dehayogat: from its connection with the body; Va: and, or; Sah: that (the concealment of the soul’s rulership); Api: also.

Sutra 5 is amplified here.

Such hiding of power is due to embodiment of the soul. The state of concealment of the soul’s knowledge and Lordship is due to its being joined to a body, i.e., to a body, sense-organs, mind, intellect, sense-objects, sensations, etc., on account of ignorance. Just as fire is hidden in wood or ashes, the knowledge and power of the soul are hidden, though the Jiva is really the Supreme Lord. Hence the soul does not itself create. If it can, it will never create unpleasant dreams. No one ever wishes for something unpleasant to himself.

The soul’s knowledge and Lordship remain hidden as long as he erroneously thinks himself as the body, etc., as long as he is under the wrong notion of not being distinct from those limiting adjuncts.

Sruti declares that the soul is non-different from the Lord. It is True, it is the Self, Thou art That, O Svetaketu! But its knowledge and power are obscured by its connection with the body.

Though the dream-phenomena are like waking phenomena in their having relative reality. The Sruti itself declares that they do not really exist. As the dreams are due to Vasanas acquired during the waking state, the similarity between the dream state and the waking state is declared.

From all this it follows that dreams are mere illusion. They are false.



Tadabhavo nadishu tat sruteh atmani cha III.2.7 (325)

The absence of that (i.e., of dreams, i.e., dreamless sleep) takes place in the nerves (Nadis or psychic currents) and in the self, as it is known from the Sruti or scriptural statement.

Tadabhavah: absence of that (dreaming) i.e., deep sleep; Nadishu: in the nerves (psychic currents); Tat sruteh: as it is known from the Srutis; Atmani: in the self; Cha: and, also. (Tat: about it.)

The state of dreamless deep sleep is now discussed.

The state of dream has been discussed. We are now going to enquire into the state of deep sleep (Sushupti).

Various Sruti texts describe the soul as resting in deep sleep in nerves (Nadis), in Prana, in the heart, in itself, in Brahman or the Absolute.

In different Sruti passages deep sleep is said to take place under different conditions.

When a man is asleep reposing and at perfect rest so that he sees no dreams, then he has entered into these Nadis (nerves) (Chh. Up. VIII.6.3). In another place it is said with reference to the Nadis, Through them he moves forth and rests in the region of the heart (Bri. Up. II.1.19). In another place it is said In these the person is when sleeping, he sees no dream. Then he becomes one with the Prana alone (Kau. Up. IV.19). In another place it is said That ether which is within the heart in that he reposes (Bri. Up. IV.4.22). In Chhandogya Upanishad it is said, Then he becomes united with that which is, he is gone to his self (Chh. Up. VI.8.1). In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad it is said Embraced by the highest Self he knows nothing that is without, nothing that is within (Bri. Up. IV.3.21). When this being full of consciousness is asleep… lies in the ether, i.e., the real self which is in the heart (Bri. Up. II.1.17).

Here the doubt arises whether the Nadis, etc., mentioned in the above passages are independent from each other and constitute various places for the soul in the state of deep sleep or if they stand in mutual relation so as to refer to one place only.

The Purvapakshin or the opponent holds the former views on account of the various places mentioned serving one and the same purpose. Things which serve the same purpose, e.g., rice and barley do not depend on each other. As all the words which stand for the places enumerated are in the same case, viz., the locative case in the texts, they are coordinate and therefore alternatives. If mutual relation was meant then different case-endings would be used by the Sruti. Hence we conclude that in the state of deep sleep the soul optionally goes to any one of those places, either the Nadis, or that which is, the Prana, the heart, etc.

The Sutra refutes the view of the Purvapakshin and says that they are to be taken as standing in mutual relation indicating the same place. The view that the soul goes to one or another of these is not correct. The truth is that the soul goes through the nerves to the region of the heart and there rests in Brahman.

There is no alternative here. The assertion made above that we are compelled to allow option because the Nadis, etc., serve one and the same purpose is without foundation. The authority of the Srutis is weakened if we allow option between two statements of the Sruti. If you recognise one alternative, the authority of the other alternative is denied.

Further the same case is used where things serve different purposes and have to be combined. We say, e.g., he sleeps in the palace, he sleeps on a cot. We have to combine the two locatives into one as He sleeps on a cot in the palace. Even so the different statements have to be combined into one. The soul goes through the Nadis to the region of the heart and then rests in Brahman. Just as a man goes along the Ganga to the sea so also the soul goes through the Nadis to Brahman. So he attains Svarupa.

Scripture mentions only three places of deep sleep, viz., the Nadis, the pericardium and Brahman. Among these three again Brahman alone is the lasting place of deep sleep. The Nadis and the pericardium, are mere roads leading to it. The `Puritat’ or pericardium is the covering which surrounds the lotus of the heart.

In deep sleep the individual soul rests in Brahman, but there is a thin veil of ignorance between him and the Supreme Soul. Hence he has no direct knowledge of his identity with the Supreme Soul, as in Nirvikalpa Samadhi or superconscious state. The Sruti declares He becomes united with the True, he is gone to his own (Self) (Chh. Up. VI.8).

In the Kaushitaki Upanishad (IV.19) the three places are mentioned together: In these the person is when sleeping he sees no dreams. Then he becomes one with the Prana (Brahman) alone.

Therefore Brahman is the resting place of the soul in deep sleep.

Atah prabodho’smat III.2.8 (326)

Hence the waking from that (viz., Brahman).

Atah: hence; Prabodhah: waking; Asmat: from this (i.e., Brahman).

The mode of waking from deep sleep is now described.

Therefore waking is coming from that state of union with Brahman or Atman.

Brahman is the place of repose of deep sleep. That is the reason why the Sruti texts which treat of deep sleep invariably teach that in the waking state the individual soul returns to waking consciousness from Brahman. The Sruti declares In the same manner, my child, all these creatures when they have come back from the True do not know that they have come back from the True (Chh. Up. VI.10.2). This Sruti passage clearly intimates that the Jiva or the individual soul returns from the True or Brahman to the waking state and that the Jiva rests or merges himself in Brahman and not in the Nadis, Hita, etc., during deep sleep. But he does not realise his identity with Brahman in deep sleep as he is enveloped by the evil of ignorance.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad also declares When the time comes for the answer to the question `whence did he come back’? (II.1.16); the text says, As small sparks come forth from fire, thus all Pranas come forth from that Self (II.1.20).

If there were optional places, to which the soul may resort, in deep sleep, the Sruti would teach us that it awakes some times from the Nadis, sometimes from the pericardium (Puritat), sometimes from the Self (Brahman).

For this reason also Brahman is the place of deep sleep. The Nadis are only the gateway to Brahman.



Sa eva tu karmanusmritisabdavidhibhyah III.2.9 (327)

But the same (soul returns from Brahman after deep sleep) on account of work, remembrance, scriptural text and precept.

Sah eva: the selfsame soul (which went to sleep); Tu: but; Karmanusmritisabdavidhibhyah: on account of Karma or work, memory, scriptural authority and precept; (Sah: he; Eva: only, and no other); Karma: activity, on account of his finishing the action left unfinished; Anusmriti: remembrance, on account of memory of identity; Sabda: from the Sruti; Vidhibhyah: from the commandments.

Here we have to enquire whether the soul when awaking from deep sleep is the same which entered into union with Brahman or another one.

The word `tu’ (but) removes the doubt.

If another self arose from sleep, the consciousness of personal identity (Atmanusmarana) expressed in the words I am the same as I was before would not be possible.

The Purvapakshin or the opponent holds that there is no fixed rule on this point. There can be no rule that the same soul arises from Brahman. When a drop of water is poured into a big basin of water, it becomes one with the latter. When we again take out a drop it will be difficult to manage that it should be the very same drop. It is hard to pick it out again. Even so when the individual soul has merged in Brahman in deep sleep it is difficult to say that the self-same Jiva arises from Brahman after deep sleep. Hence some other soul arises after deep sleep from Brahman.

This Sutra refutes this and says that the same soul which in the state of deep sleep entered Brahman again arises from Brahman, after deep sleep, not any other for the following reasons.

The person who wakes from sleep must be the same because what has been partly done by a person before going to sleep is finished after he wakes up. Men finish in the morning what they had left incomplete on the day before. It is not possible that one man should proceed to complete a work half done by another man. If it were not the same soul, then the latter would find no interest in completing the work which has been partly done by another. In the case of sacrifices occupying more than one day, there would be several sacrifices. Hence it would be doubtful to whom the fruit of the sacrifice as promised by the Veda belongs. This would bring stultification of the sacred text. Therefore it is quite clear that it is one and the same man who finishes on the latter day the work begun on the former.

He has also a sense of self-identity. He experiences identity of personality before and after sleep, for if sleep leads to libera tion by union with Brahman, sleep will become the means of liberation. Then scriptural instructions would be useless to attain salvation. If the person who goes to sleep is different from the person who rises after sleep, then the commandments of the scriptures with reference to work or knowledge would be meaningless or useless.

The person rising from sleep is the same who went to sleep. If it is not so he could not remember what he had seen, etc., on the day before, because what one man sees another cannot remember. He has memory of past events. One cannot remember what another felt. He has memory or recollection in the shape of I am the person who had gone to sleep and who have now awakened.

The Sruti texts declare that the same person rises again. He hastens back again as he came to the place from which he started, to be awake (Bri. Up. IV.3.16). All these creatures go day after day into Brahman and yet do not discover Him (Chh. Up. VIII.3.2). Whatever these creatures are here whether a tiger, or a lion, or a wolf, or a boar, or a worm, or a midge or a gnat, or a mosquito, that they become again (Chh. Up. VI.10.2). These and similar texts which appear in the chapters which deal with sleeping and waking have a proper sense only if the self-same soul rises again.

Moreover, if it is not the same soul, Karma and Avidya will have no purpose.

Therefore from all this it follows that the person rising from sleep is the same that went to sleep.

The case of the drop of water is not quite analogous, because a drop of water merges in the basin of water without any adjuncts. Therefore it is lost for ever but the individual soul merges in Brahman with its adjuncts (viz., body, mind, intellect, Prana, sense). So the same Jiva rises again from Brahman on account of the force of Karma and desire.

When the individual soul enters Brahman in deep sleep, he enters like a pot full of salt water with covered mouth plunged into the Ganga. When he awakens from sleep it is the same pot taken out of the river with the same water in it. Similarly the individual soul enveloped by his desires goes to sleep and for the time being puts off all sense-activities and goes to the rest ing place namely, the Supreme Brahman and again comes out of it in order to get further experiences. He does not become identical with Brahman like the person who has obtained libera tion. Thus we hear that the same soul which had gone to sleep awakes again into the same body.

Hence it is an established fact that the same soul awakes from deep sleep.



Mugdhe’rddhasampattih pariseshat III.2.10 (328)

In a swoon (in him who is senseless) there is half union on account of this remaining (as the only alternative left, as the only possible hypothesis).

Mugdhe: in a swoon; Ardhasampattih: partial attainment of the state of deep sleep or death; Pariseshat: on account of the remaining, because of excess, as it is a state in addition to all others.

The state of a swoon is now discussed.

The Purvapakshin says, There are only three states of a soul while living in the body, viz., waking, dreaming and deep sleep. The soul’s passing out of the body is the fourth state or death. The state of swoon cannot be taken as a fifth state. A fifth state is known neither from Sruti nor Smriti.

What is swoon then? Is it a separate state of the soul or is it only one of these states?

It cannot be waking, because he does not perceive external objects, by the senses.

May this case be similar to that of the arrow-maker? Just as the man working in the preparation of an arrow, although awake, is so absorbed in his work that he perceives nothing else, so also the man who is stunned by a blow may be awake but may not perceive anything else as his mind is concentrated on the sensation of pain caused by the blow of a stick.

No, we reply. The case is different owing to the absence of consciousness. The arrow maker says, I was not conscious of anything but the arrow for such a length of time. The man who returns to consciousness from a swoon says, I was conscious of nothing. I was shut up in blind darkness for such a length of time. A man who is waking keeps his body straight or upright but the body of a swooning person falls prostrate on the ground. Therefore a man in a swoon is not awake.

He is not dreaming, because he is totally unconscious.

It is not deep sleep because there is happiness in deep sleep whereas there is no happiness in the state of swoon.

He is not dead also, because he continues to breathe and his body is warm. When a man has become senseless and when people are in doubt whether he is alive or dead, they touch the region of his heart in order to find out whether there is warmth in his body or not. They place their hands to his nostrils to find out whether there is breathing or not. If they do not perceive warmth or breath they come to the conclusion that he is dead and take his body to the crematorium to burn it. If there are warmth and breathing they conclude that he is not dead. They sprinkle cold water on his face so that he may come back to consciousness.

The man who has swooned away is not dead, because he comes back to consciousness after some time.

Let us then say that a man who has swooned lies in deep sleep as he is unconscious and at the same time not dead. No, we reply. This is also not possible owing to the different characteristics of the two states.

A man who has swooned does sometimes not breathe for a long time. His body shakes or trembles. His face is dreadful. His eyes are staring wide open. But a sleeping man looks calm, peaceful and happy.

He draws his breath at regular intervals. His eyes are closed. His body does not tremble. A sleeping man may be waked by a gentle stroking with the hand. He who is lying in a state of swoon cannot be wakened even by a blow with a stick. Swoon is due to external causes such as blow on the head with a stick, etc., while sleep is due to fatigue or weariness.

Swoon is only half-union. The man in the state of swoon belongs with one half to the side of deep sleep, with the other half to the side of the other state, i.e., death. It is only half sleep. We do not mean by this that he half enjoys Brahman. We mean that it partly resembles sleep. It is half death, a state almost bordering upon death. In fact it is the door to death. If there is a remnant of Karma he returns to consciousness. Else, he dies.

The man in the state of swoon belongs with one half to the side of deep sleep, with the other half to the side of the other state, i.e., death.

Those who know Brahman say that swoon is half-union. In a swoon the person partially attains the state of deep sleep as there is no consciousness in that state and he returns to consciousness and partially the state of death as he experiences pain and misery which are expressed through distortion of face and limbs.

The objection that no fifth state is commonly acknowledged is without much weight, because as that state occurs occasionally only it may not be generally known. All the same it is known from ordinary experience as well as from the science of Ayurveda. It is a separate state, though it happens occasionally. As it is a mixture of the two states, viz., deep sleep and death it is not considered as a fifth state.



Na sthanato’pi parasyobhayalingam sarvatra hi III.2.11 (329)

Not on account of (difference of) place also two-fold characteristics can belong to the Highest; for everywhere (scripture teaches It to be without any difference).

Na: not; Sthanatah: on account of (difference of) place; Api: even; Parasya: of the Highest (i.e., Brahman); Ubhayalingam: two-fold characteristics; Sarvatra: everywhere; Hi: because.

The Sutrakara now proceeds to deal with the nature of Brahman.

In the scriptures we find two kinds of description about Brahman. Some texts describe it as qualified, i.e., with attributes and some as unqualified (without attributes). From whom all activities, all desires, all odours and all tastes proceed (Chh. Up. III.14.2). This text speaks of attributes. Again, It is neither coarse nor fine, neither short nor long, neither redness nor moisture etc. (Bri. Up. III.8.8). This text speaks of Brahman without attributes.

Are we to assume that both are true of Brahman according as it is or is not connected with limiting adjuncts or Upadhis or have we to assume only one of them as true and the other false? and if so, which is true? and why it is true?

This Sutra says that the Highest Brahman cannot by itself possess double characteristics. In the case of Brahman you cannot say that it has two aspects, viz., with form and attributes, and without form and attributes, i.e., with Upadhis (limiting adjuncts) and without Upadhis, because It is described everywhere as being Nirguna (without attributes).

Both cannot be predicated of one and the same Brahman because it is against experience. One and the same thing cannot have two contradictory natures at the same time. Brahman cannot at the same time have form and be formless.

The redness of a flower reflected in a crystal does not change the nature of the crystal which is colourless. Even so the mere connection of a thing with another does not change its nature. It is an altogether erroneous notion to impute redness to the crystal. The redness of the crystal is unreal. A thing cannot change its real nature. Changes of its real nature means annihilation. Similarly in the case of Brahman, its connection with the limiting adjuncts like earth, etc., is due to ignorance. An Upadhi cannot affect the nature of Brahman, such Upadhi being merely due to Avidya or nescience. The essential character of a thing must always remain the same whatever may be the conditions imposed on it. If however it appears to be altered it is surely due to ignorance.

Therefore we have to accept that Brahman is without attributes, because all Sruti texts whose aim is to represent the nature of Brahman such as It is without sound, without touch, without form, without decay (Katha Up. I.3.15) teach that It is free from all attributes.

Brahman with attributes is only for the sake of Upasana or pious worship of devotees; it is not Its real nature.

Na bhedaditi chenna pratyekamatadvachanat III.2.12 (330)

If it be said that it is not so on account of difference (being taught in the scriptures), we reply that it is not so, because with reference to each (such form), the Sruti declares the opposite of that.

Na: not so; Bhedat: on account of difference (being taught in the scrip tures); Iti: thus, as, so, this; Chet: if; Na: not so; Pratyekam: with refe rence to each; Atadvachanat: because of the declaration of opposite of that. (Atad: absence of that; Vachanat: on account of the statement.)

An objection to the preceding Sutra is raised and refuted.

This Sutra consists of two parts namely an objection and its reply. The objection portion is Bhedat iti chet and the reply portion is Na pratyekamatadvachanat.

The Purvapakshin says, The various Vidyas teach different forms of Brahman. It is said to have four feet (Chh. Up. III.18.2); to consist of sixteen parts or Kalas (Pras. Up. VI.1); to be characterised by dwarfishness (Katha Up. V.3); to have the three worlds for its body (Bri. Up. I.3.22); to be named Vaisvanara (Chh. Up. V.11.2), etc. Hence we must admit that Brahman is also qualified.

This Sutra refutes it and declares that every such form due to limiting adjunct is denied of Brahman in texts like This bright, immortal being who is in this earth and that bright immortal corporeal being in the body are but the self (Bri. Up. II.5.1). Such texts clearly indicate that the same self is present in all limiting adjuncts like earth, etc. Therefore there is only oneness. It, therefore cannot be maintained that the conception of Brahman with various forms is taught by the Vedas.

In every passage identity is also affirmed. The Supreme Truth is oneness. Separateness is for devotion. The Sruti de clares that the form is not true and that there is only one form less essence or principle in reality.

Api chaivameke III.2.13 (331)

Moreover some (teach) thus.

Api: also; Cha: moreover, and; Evam: thus; Eke: some.

A further argument is given in support of Sutra 11.

Some Sakhas or recensions of the Vedas directly teach that the manifoldness is not true. They pass a critical remark on those who see difference, He goes from death to death who sees difference, as it were, in it (Katha Up. I.4.11). By the mind alone it is to be perceived. There is no diversity in It. He who perceives therein any diversity goes from death to death (Bri. Up. IV.4.19).

Others also By knowing the enjoyer, the enjoyed, and the ruler, everything has been declared to be three-fold and this is Brahman (Svet. Up. I.12), say that the entire world characterised by enjoyers, things to be enjoyed and a ruler has Brahman for its true nature.

Arupavadeva hi tatpradhanatvat III.2.14 (332)

Verily Brahman is only formless on account of that being the main purport (of all texts about Brahman).

Arupavat: without form, formless; Eva: only, indeed, decidedly; Hi: verily, certainly, because; Tatpradhanatvat: on account of that being the main purport of scripture. (Tat: of that; Pradhanatvat: on account of being the chief thing.)

A further argument is given in support of Sutra 11.

We must definitely assert that Brahman is formless and so on. Why? On account of this being the main purport of scriptures. The scriptures declare,It is neither coarse nor fine, neither short nor long (Bri. Up. III.8.8). That which is without sound, without form, without decay (Katha Up. I.3.15). He who is called ether is the revealer of all names and forms. That within which names and forms are, that is Brahman (Chh. Up. VIII.14.1). That heavenly Person is without body, He is both within and without, not produced (Mun. Up. II.1.2). That Brahman is without cause, and without anything inside or outside, this self is Brahman, Omnipresent and Omniscient (Bri. Up. II.5.19).

These texts aim at teaching Brahman, describe It as formless. If Brahman be understood to have a form then the scriptural passages which describe it as formless would become meaning less. The scriptures have a purport all throughout. On the contrary, the other passages which refer to a Brahman qualified by form do not aim at setting forth the nature of Brahman but rather at enjoying the worship of Brahman.

Therefore Brahman is formless.

As long as those latter texts do not contradict those of the former class they are to be accepted as they stand; where, how ever, contradictions occur, the texts whose main purport is Brahman must be viewed as having greater force than those of the other kind. This is the reason for our deciding that, although there are two different classes of scriptural texts, Brahman must be held to be altogether formless, not at the same time of an opposite nature. The main Sruti texts declare Brahman to be formless.

The colour and forms are the products of the elements and Brahman is far above the influence of and different from the elements. Hence He is called the colourless or formless. Material colour and form cannot be found in Him when He is far above the subtle material cause as well as above its presiding deity.

Prakasavacchavaiyarthyat III.2.15 (333)

And as light (assumes forms as it were by its contact with things possessing form, so does Brahman take form in connec tion with Upadhis or limiting adjuncts), because (texts which ascribe form to Brahman) are not meaningless.

Prakasavat: like the light; Cha: and, moreover; Avaiyarthyat: because of not being meaningless.

A further argument is given in support of Sutra 11.

The word `Cha’ (and) is employed to remove the doubt raised above.

If Brahman is formless then all the scriptural texts which treat of Brahman with form would be meaningless, and superfluous. Then all Upasanas of Brahman with form would be useless. How can the worship of such a false Brahman lead to Brahmaloka?

This Sutra explains that they also have a purpose. The light of the sun has no form but it appears to be great or small according to the hole through which it enters a room and yet has the force of dispelling the darkness in the room. Similarly Brahman which is without a form appears to have a form due to limiting adjuncts like earth, body, etc. Just as the light of the sun comes in contact with a finger or some other limiting adjunct and according as the latter is straight or bent, itself becomes straight or bent as it were, so also Brahman assumes, as it were, the form of the earth, and the limiting adjuncts with which it comes into contact. The wor ship of such an illusory Brahman can help one to attain Brahmaloka which is also illusory from the view-point of the Absolute.

Therefore these texts are not meaningless. They have certainly a purport. All parts of the Veda are equally authoritative and therefore must all be assumed to have a meaning or purpose.

This, however, does not contradict the tenet maintained above, viz., that Brahman though connected with limiting adjuncts does not possess double characteristics, because what is merely due to a limiting adjunct cannot constitute an attri bute of a substance. Further the limiting adjuncts are all due to ignorance.

Aha cha tanmatram III.2.16 (334)

And (the Sruti) declares (that Brahman is) that (i.e., intelligence) only.

Aha: (the Sruti) declares; Cha: and, moreover; Tanmatram: that (i.e., intelligent) only.

The force of the word `Matra’ in Tanmatra is to denote exclusiveness.

Scripture declares that Brahman consists of intelligence. As a lump of salt has neither inside nor outside, but is altoge ther a mass of saltish taste, thus indeed has that Self neither inside nor outside but is altogether a mass of knowledge (Bri. Up. IV.3.13). Pure intelligence constitutes its nature. Just as a lump of salt has neither inside nor outside but one and the same saltish taste, not any other taste, so also Brahman has neither inside nor outside any characteristic form but intelligence.

Darsayati chatho api smaryate III.2.17 (335)

(The scripture) also shows (this and) it is likewise stated in Smriti.

Darsayati: (the scripture or Sruti) shows; Cha: and, also; Atho: thus, moreover; Api: also; Smaryate: the Smritis declare or state.

The argument in support of Sutra 11 is continued.

That Brahman is without any attributes is also proved by those scriptural texts also which expressly deny that It possesses any other characteristics, e.g., Now, therefore, the description of Brahman; not this, not this (neti, neti) (Bri. Up. II.3.6). There is no other and more appropriate description than this not this, not this.

Kenopanishad (I.4) declares It is different from the known, It is also above the unknown. Taittiriya Upanishad (II.9) says From whence all speech, with the mind, turns away unable to reach it.

The Sruti text which treats of the conversation between Bahva and Vashkali has a similar purport. Vashkali questioned Bahva about the nature of Brahman. Bahva explained it to Vashkali by silence. Bahva said to Vashkali Learn Brahman, O friend and became silent. Then on a second and third question he replied I am teaching you indeed, but you do not understand. That Brahman is Silence.

If Brahman has form, there is no necessity to deny everything and say Not this, not this.

The same teaching is conveyed by those Smriti texts which deny of Brahman all other characteristics, e.g., I will proclaim that which is the object of knowledge, knowing which one attains immortality; the Highest Brahman without either begin ning or end, which cannot be said either to be or not to be (Gita XIII.12). It is unmanifest, unthinkable, and without modification, thus It is spoken of (Gita II. 25).

Of a similar purpose is another Smriti text. Lord Hari instructed Narada The cause, O Narada, of your seeing Me endowed with the qualities of all beings is the Maya thrown out by Me; do not cognise Me as being such in reality.

Ata eva chopama suryakadivat III.2.18 (336)

For this very reason (we have with respect to Brahman) comparisons like the images of the sun and the like.

Ata eva: for this very reason; therefore; Cha: also, and; Upama: compa rison; Suryakadivat: like the images of the sun and the like.

The argument in support of Sutra 11 is continued.

That Brahman is formless is further established from the similes used with respect to It. As Brahman is of the nature of intelligence, devoid of all difference, transcending speech and mind, as He is formless, homogeneous and as He is described only by denying of Him all other characteristics, the scriptures compare His forms to the images of the sun reflected in the water and the like, meaning thereby that these forms are unreal being due only to limiting adjuncts. As the one luminous sun enters into relation to many different waters is himself rendered multiform by his limiting adjuncts; so also the one unborn Brahman appears different in different bodies.

Ambuvadagrahanattu na tathatvam III.2.19 (337)

But there is no similarity (of the two things compared since) (in the case of Brahman any second thing) is not apprehended or experienced like water.

Ambuvat: like water; Agrahanat: in the absence of perception, because of non-acceptance, because it cannot be accepted, not being experienced; Tu: but; Na: not, no; Tathatvam: that nature, similarity.

An objection to the preceding Sutra is raised by the Purvapakshin.

An objection is raised by the Purvapakshin that the similarity spoken of in the preceding Sutra is not appropriate or correct. In the above illustration the sun is seen to be separate from the water. Sun has a form. It is a material thing. Water is different from the sun and is at a distance from the sun. Hence the sun may be reflected in the water. But Brahman is formless and all-pervading.

It is not a material thing. All are identical with it. There are no limiting adjuncts different from it and occupying a different place, that can catch its reflection. It is not seen to be separate from the Upadhis or limiting adjuncts.

Brahman is all-pervading. So no object can be at a distance from Him. The sun is reflected in water because of its distance from water. But there can be no such distance between Brahman and any object. Hence reflection in this connection is a meaningless term.

Therefore the instances are not parallel. The comparison is defective.

The next Sutra removes the objection.


samanjasyadevam III.2.20 (338)

As (the highest Brahman) is inside (its limiting adjuncts) It participates in their increase and decrease; owing to the appropriateness (thus resulting) of the two (things compared), it is thus, (i.e., the comparison holds good).

Vriddhihrasabhaktvam: participating in the increase and decrease; Antarbhavat: on account of its being inside; Ubhaya- samanjasyat: on account of the appropriateness in the two cases; Evam: thus. (Vriddhi: increase; Hrasa: decrease; Ubhaya: towards both; Samanjasyat: because of the justness, appropriateness.)

The objection raised in the preceding Sutra is refuted.

The comparison with the reflection of the sun should not be taken on all fours. Whenever two things are compared they are so only with reference to some particular point or feature they have in common. Entire equality of the two can never be demonstrated. If it could be shown, there would be an end of that particular relation which gives rise to the comparison. Exact similitude in all points would mean absolute identity.

The similarity is only in point of the participation in the distortion and contortion in increase and decrease of the image or reflection. The reflected image of the sun dilates when the surface of the water expands; it contracts when the water shrinks; it trembles when the water is agitated; it divides itself when the water is divided. It thus participates in all the attributes and conditions of the water; while the real sun remains all the time the same.

Even so Brahman although in reality uniform and never changing, participates as it were in the attributes and states of the body and the other limiting adjuncts within which It abides. It grows with them as it were, decreases with them as it were and so on. As the two things compared possess certain common features, no objection can be made to the comparison. The comparison is certainly not defective on account of the above similarity in the two cases.

Darsanaccha III.2.21 (339)

And on account of the declaration of scripture.

Darsanat: as it is found to be so, because it is seen, on account of scrip tural declaration; Cha: and, also.

A further reason is given to refute the objection raised in Sutra 19.

The scripture moreover declares that the Supreme Brahman enters into the body and other limiting adjuncts. He made bodies with two feet, He made bodies with four feet. That Highest Brahman first entered the bodies as a bird. He is called the Purusha on account of His dwelling in all bodies (Bri. Up. II.5.18). Having entered into them with this luring individual self (Chh. Up. VI.3.2). For all these reasons the comparison set forth in Sutra 18 is not defective.

Therefore it is established that Brahman is formless, homogeneous, of the nature of intelligence, and without any difference.

Scripture declares that devout meditations on Brahman with form have results of their own viz., either the warding off of calamities, or the gaining of power, or else release by successive steps (Krama Mukti or progressive emancipation).



Prakrtaitavattvam hi pratishedhati

tato braviti cha bhuyah III.2.22 (340)

What has been mentioned up to this is denied (by the words not this, not this and the Sruti) says something more than that (afterwards).

Prakritaitavattvam: what bas been mentioned up to this; Hi: because, for; Pratishedhati: denies; Tatah: then that, over and above that; Braviti: declares; Cha: and; Bhuyah: something more. (Prakrita: mentioned first, previously stated; Etavattvam: this much.)

In this group of Sutras also the Sutrakara expounds the Nirvisesha (formless) Brahman.

The Sruti declares There are two forms of Brahman, gross and subtle, the material and the immaterial, the mortal and the immortal, the limited and the unlimited, Sat and Tyat (Bri. Up. II.3.1).

After describing the two forms of Brahman, the gross consisting of earth, water and fire, and the subtle, consisting of air and ether, the Sruti declares finally Now, therefore, the description of Brahman; not this, not this (Bri. Up. II.3. 6).

There arises a doubt whether the double denial in not this, not this negates both the world and Brahman, or only one of them.

The Purvapakshin or the opponent maintains that both are denied and consequently Brahman which is false, cannot be the substratum for a universe which is also false. It leads us to Sunyavada. If one only is denied it is proper that Brahman is denied, because It is not seen and therefore Its existence is doubtful and not the universe because we experience it.

This Sutra refutes this view of the Purvapakshin. It is impossible that the phrase Not so, not so should negative both, as that would imply the doctrine of a general void. The words Neti, Neti cannot be said to deny Brahman as well as its having form, because that would be Sunyavada.

The Sruti affirms Brahman. What is the good of teaching Brahman and saying that it is non-existent? Why smear yourself with mud and then wash it? So Brahman is beyond speech and mind and is eternal, pure and free. It is a mass of consciousness. Therefore the Sruti denies that Brahman has form but not Brahman itself.

What has been described till now, viz., the two forms of Brahman: gross and subtle, is denied by the words, not this, not this.

Brahman cannot be denied, because that would contradict the introductory phrase of the Chapter. Shall I tell you Brahman? (Bri. Up. II.1.1), would show disregard of the threat conveyed in Tait. Up. II.6. He who knows the Brahman as non-existing becomes himself non-existing, would be opposed to definite assertions such as He is He is to be apprehended (Katha Up. II.6.13); and would certainly involve a stultification of the whole Vedanta.

The phrase that Brahman transcends all speech and thought does certainly not mean to say that Brahman does not exist, because after the Sruti has established the existence of Brahman in such texts as He who knows Brahman obtains the Highest, Truth, Knowledge, Infinity is Brahman. It cannot be supposed all at once to teach its non-existence. Because the common saying is Better than bathing it is not to touch dirt at all. The Sruti text From whence all speech with the mind turns away unable to reach it (Tait. Up. II.4), must therefore be viewed as intimating Brahman.

Not so, not so negatives the entire aggregate of effects superimposed on Brahman, but not Brahman which is the basis for all fictitious superimpositions. It denies of Brahman the limited form, material as well as immaterial which in the preceding part of the chapter is described with reference to the gods as well as the body, and also the second form which is produced by the first, is characterised by mental impressions, forms the essence of that which is immaterial, is denoted by the term Purusha.

The double repetition of the negation may either serve the purpose of furnishing special denial of the material as well as the immaterial form of Brahman; or the first `not so’ may negative the aggregate of material elements, while the second denies the aggregate of mental impressions. Or else the repetition may be an emphatic one, intimating that whatever can be thought is not Brahman.

The Sruti denies that Brahman has form but not Brahman itself. It interdicts by two negations the gross and the subtle bodies. Or it interdicts Bhutas (elements) and Vasanas. Or the repetition is for stating the denial of all similar assumptions. So the denial denies the world as superimposed on Brahman and does not deny Brahman itself.

After the negation of Neti Neti, the Sruti goes on to describe in positive terms the further attributes of this BrahmanHis name being the True of the true (Satyasya Satyam). Moreover after making such a denial, it affirms the existence of something higherAnyat Paramasti; Satyasya SatyamThe Truth of Truth. This intimates that Brahman alone is the one reality that exists and is the substratum of the world which is illusory.

`Neti Neti’ denies the so-muchness of Brahman, as was described in the preceding Sutras. It says that the material and immaterial is not the whole of Brahman. It is something more than that. The word `Iti’ refers to what has been mentioned immediately before, i.e., the two forms of Brahman, the subject matter of the discussion. Hence it cannot refer to Brahman itself which is not the chief topic of the preceding texts.

The objection viz., Brahman is not experienced and therefore it is Brahman that is denied, has no force. It cannot stand, because the object of the Sruti is to teach about something which is not ordinarily experienced by us. Otherwise its teaching would be superfluous.

We, therefore, decide that the clause not so, not so, negatives not absolutely everything, but only everything but Brahman.

Tadavyaktamaha hi III.2.23 (341)

That (Brahman) is not manifest, for (so the scripture) says.

Tat: that (i.e., Brahman); Avyaktam: is not manifest; Aha: (so the scripture) says; Hi: for, because.

The character of Brahman is discussed.

This is a Purvapaksha Sutra.

Brahman is beyond the senses, so the Sruti declares. If Brahman exists, then why is It not apprehended by the senses or the mind? Because It is extremely subtle and is the witness of whatever is apprehended i.e., subject in the apprehension. The individual souls are enveloped by ignorance. Hence they are not able to perceive Brahman. The Sruti declares Brahman is not apprehended by the eye, nor by the speech, nor by the other senses, nor by penance, nor by good works (Mun. Up. III.1). That Self is to be described by no, no! He is incomprehensible, for He cannot be comprehended (Bri. Up. III.9.26). That which cannot be seen nor apprehended (Mun. Up. I.1.6).

When in that which is invisible, incorporeal, undefined, unsupported (Tait. Up. II.7). Similar statements are made in Smriti passages, e.g., He is called unevolved, not to be fathomed by thought, unchangeable.

Api cha samradhane pratyakshanumanabhyam III.2.24 (342)

And moreover (Brahman is experienced) in devout medita tion (as we know) from the Sruti and Smriti.

Api cha: and moreover; Samradhane: in devout meditation; Pratyakshanumanabhyam: from the Sruti and the Smriti.

The discussion on the characteristic of Brahman is continued.

The word `Api’ sets aside the Purvapaksha. It is used in a deprecative sense. The above Purvapaksha is not even worthy of consideration.

Brahman is exceedingly subtle. Hence He cannot be seen by the physical eyes. He is beyond the senses. But Yogis behold Him in their purified minds. If Brahman is not mani fest, then we can never know Him and therefore there will be no freedom.

This Sutra declares that Brahman is not known only to those whose heart is not purified, but those who are endowed with a pure heart realise Brahman in the state of Samadhi when ignorance is annihilated.

This is vouched for by Srutis as well as Smritis. The Self-existent created the senses with out-going tendencies. Therefore man beholds the external universe but not the internal Self. Some wise man, however, with his eyes closed and wishing for immortality beholds the Self within (Katha Up. IV.1). When a man’s mind has become purified by the serene light of knowledge, then he sees Him, meditating on Him as without parts (Mun. Up. III.1.8).

The Smriti also says the same thing He who is seen as light by the Yogins meditating on Him sleeplessly, with suspended breath, with contented minds and subdued senses, etc., reverence be to Him and the Yogins see Him, the august, eternal one!

Prakasadivacchavaiseshyam prakasascha

karmanyabhyasat III.2.25 (343)

And as in the case of (physical) light and the like, there is no difference, so also between Brahman and Its manifestation in activity; on account of the repeated instruction (of the Sruti to that effect).

Prakasadivat: like light and the like; Cha: also, and; Avaiseshyam: simi larity, non-difference, non-distinction; Prakasah: Brahman; Cha: and; Karmani: in work; Abhyasat: on account of repeated mention (in the Sruti).

The discussion on the character of Brahman is continued.

The identity of Jiva and Brahman is explained. Just as light, ether, the sun, etc., appear differentiated as it were, through their objects such as fingers, vessels, water, etc., which form the limiting adjuncts while in reality they preserve their essential non-difference, so also the distinction of diffe rent selves is due to limiting adjuncts only, while the unity of all selves is natural and original. Through ignorance the indivi dual soul thinks he is different from Brahman, but in reality he is identical with Brahman.

As in the case of light, etc., the self-luminous Brahman appears diverse in meditation and other acts. This is clear from the Sruti saying Tat Tvam Asi nine times.

The Vedanta texts insist again and again on the doctrine of the non-difference of the individual soul and the Supreme Soul. The identity of the individual soul with the Supreme Soul is known from repeated instruction of the Sruti in texts like That Thou artTat Tvam Asi, I am BrahmanAham Brahma Asmi which deny difference.

Ato’nantena tatha hi lingam III.2.26 (344)

Therefore (the individual soul becomes one) with the Infinite; for thus the (scripture) indicates.

Atah: hence, therefore; Anantena: with the Infinite; Tatha: thus; Hi: because, for; Lingam: the indication (of the scriptures).

The result of realisation of Brahman is stated here.

By the realisation of Brahman the meditator becomes iden tical with the Infinite. Ignorance with all its limiting adjuncts vanishes when one attains Brahma Jnana. There is indication to that effect in Sruti, He who knows the highest Brahman becomes Brahman Himself (Mun. Up. III.2.9). Being Brahman he goes to Brahman (Bri. Up. IV.4.6). If the difference were real, then one could not become Brahman Himself. Difference is only illusory or unreal. Jiva is only a mere shadow or reflection. He is mere appearance. Just as the reflection of the sun in the water gets absorbed in the sun itself when the water dries up, so also the reflected Jiva gets absorbed in Brahman when ignorance is destroyed by the dawn of Knowledge of Brahman.

Ubhayavyapadesattvahikundalavat III.2.27 (345)

But on account of both (i.e., difference and non-difference) being taught (by the Sruti), (the relation of the highest Brahman to the individual soul has to be viewed) like that of the snake to its coils.

Ubhayavyapadesat: on account of both being taught; Tu: but; Ahikundalavat: like that between a serpent and its coils. (Ubhaya: both; Vyapadesat: on account of the declaration of the scrip ture; Ahi: serpent; Kundalavat: like the coils.)

The discussion on the characteristic of Brahman is resumed.

Sutras 27 and 28 express the views of the Bhedabhedavadins. Sutra 29 gives the real view.

Having established the identity of the individual soul and Brahman the Sutrakara or the author mentions a different view of the same matter. He now proceeds to enquire into the doctrine of difference and non-difference.

Some scriptural texts refer to the Supreme Soul and the individual soul as distinct entities: Two birds of beautiful plumage, etc. (Mun. Up. III.1.1). This text speaks of difference between the Jiva and Brahman.

In some other texts the Supreme Soul is represented as the object of approach and as the ruler of the individual soul. Then he sees him meditating on him as without parts (Mun. Up. III.1.8). He goes to the Divine Person who is greater than the great (Mun. Up. III.2.8). Who rules all beings within.

In other texts again the two are spoken of as non-different. Thou art That (Chh. Up. VI.8.7). I am Brahman (Bri. Up. I.4.10). This is thy Self who is within all (Bri. Up. III.4.1). He is thy Self, the ruler within, the immor tal (Bri. Up. III.7.15).

As thus difference and non-difference are equally vouched for by the Sruti texts, the acceptation of absolute non-diffe rence would render futile all those texts which speak of difference. Therefore we have to take that their relation is one of difference and non-difference, as between a serpent and its coils. As a serpent it is one non-different, but if we look at the coils, hood, erect posture, and so on, there is difference.

Even so there is difference as well as non-difference between the individual soul and Brahman. The difference between them prior to emancipation is real. The Jiva becomes identical with Brahman only when his ignorance is destroyed by the dawn of knowledge of Brahman.

Their separateness and oneness is like a serpent in quiescence and motion.

Prakasasrayavadva tejastvat III.2.28 (346)

Or like (the relation of) light and its substratum, on account of both being luminous.

Prakasasrayavat: like light and its substratum; Va: or; Tejastvat: on account of both being luminous.

The relation between Brahman and the individual soul also is discussed.

Or else the relation of the two may be viewed as follows. Another illustration is given to establish the theory of difference and non-difference. Just as the light of the sun and its substratum, i.e., the sun itself, are not absolutely different, because they both consist of fire and yet are spoken of as diffe rent, so also the individual soul and the Supreme Soul (Brahman).

The light and the sun are both luminous. Hence they are non-different. They are different owing to their varying ex tensity. Similarly is the relation between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul one of difference and non-difference. The former is limited and the latter is all-pervading.

Purvavadva III.2.29 (347)

Or (the relation between the two, i.e., Jiva and Brahman is) as (given) before.

Purvavat: as before; Va: or.

Or it may be as stated in Sutra 25. This last is the real view, because if the individual soul is another state of Brah man or a ray of Brahman, such inherent limitation will never disappear. The Sruti affirms identity and states the feature of diversity which is due to Avidya.

The two previous Sutras express the view of Bhedabhedavadins who maintain the doctrine of difference and non-difference.

This Sutra refutes the view of Bhedabhedavadins and establishes the final truth which has been declared in Sutra 25, viz., that the difference is merely illusory, and identity or non-difference is the reality.

If the bondage of the soul is due to Avidya or ignorance only, final liberation is possible. But if the soul is really bound, whether the soul be regarded as a certain condition or state of the Supreme Soul or Brahman, as stated in Sutra 27, or as a part of the Supreme Soul, as expressed in Sutra 28its real bondage cannot be destroyed. Thus the scriptural doctrine of final liberation becomes purposeless and absurd.

If the difference is real it can never come to an end. All the scriptural instructions with regard to the final emancipation will be meaningless. Bondage is only the idea of separateness. If separateness is real there can be no final release at all. But if the difference is due to nescience or ignorance, then knowledge of Brahman or Brahma-Jnana can annihilate it. Then the Supreme Reality or Brahman, the non-difference may be realised.

It cannot be said that the Sruti equally teaches difference and non-difference. The Sruti aims at establishing non-difference only. It merely refers to difference as something known from other sources of knowledge, viz., perception, etc.

Hence the views expressed in Sutras 27 and 28 are not certainly correct. The view given in Sutra 25 alone is correct.

The conclusion is that the soul is not different from the Supreme Soul or Brahman as explained in Sutra 25.

Pratishedhaccha III.2.30 (348)

And on account of the denial.

Pratishedhat: on account of denial; Cha: and, moreover.

Sutra 29 is confirmed.

The Sruti in fact expressly denies separateness.

The conclusion arrived at above is confirmed by the fact of scripture expressly denying that there exists any intelligent being apart from Brahman or the Supreme Soul. There is no other Seer but HeNanyato’sti Drashta (Bri. Up. III.7.23).

The same conclusion follows from those passages which deny the existence of a world apart from Brahman, and thus leave Brahman alone remaining, viz., Now then the teachingnot this, not this (Bri. Up. II.3.6). That Brahman is without cause and without effect, without anything inside or outside (Bri. Up. II.5.19).

It is now an established fact that there is no other entity but Brahman. Therefore there is only one Brahman without any difference at all.



Paramatah setunmanasambandha-

bhedavyapadesebhyah III.2.31 (349)

(There is something) Superior to this (Brahman) on account of terms denoting a bank, measure, connection and difference (used with respect to It).

Param: greater; Atah: for this, than this (Brahman); Setunmanasambandhabhedavyapadesebhyah: on account of terms denoting a bridge, measure, connection and difference. (Setu: a bridge; Unmana: dimensions; Sambandha: relation; Bheda: difference; Vyapadesebhyah: from the declarations.)

It may be said that there must be something higher than Brahman because Brahman is described as a bridge, or as limit ed or as attained by man or as different from man.

There arises now the doubt on account of the conflicting nature of various scriptural statements whether something exists beyond Brahman or not.

The Purvapakshin holds that some entity must be admitted apart from Brahman, because Brahman is spoken of as being a bank, as having size, as being connected, as being separated. As a bank it is spoken of in the passage The Self is a bank, a boundary (Chh. Up. VIII.4.1). The term bank intimates that there exists something apart from Brahman, just as there exists something different from an ordinary bank. The same conclusion is confirmed by the words Having passed the bank (Chh. Up. VIII.4.2). In ordinary life a man after having crossed a bank, reaches some place which is not a bank, let us say a forest. So we must understand that a man after having crossed, i.e., passed beyond Brahman, reaches something which is not Brahman.

As having size Brahman is spoken of in the following pass ages This Brahman has four feet (quarters), eight hoofs, sixteen parts (Chh. Up. III.18.2). Now it is well known from ordinary experience that wherever an object, e.g., a coin has a definite limited size, there exists something different from that object. Therefore we must assume that there also exists some thing different from Brahman.

Brahman is declared to be connected in the following passages. Then he is united with the True (Chh. Up. VI.8.1). The embodied self is embraced by the Supreme Self (Bri. Up. IV.3.21). We observe that non-measured things are connected with the things measured, e.g., men with a town. Scripture declares that the individual souls are in the state of deep sleep connected with Brahman. Therefore we conclude that beyond Brahman there is something unmeasured.

The same conclusion is confirmed by those texts which state difference. Now that golden person who is seen within the sun. The text refers to a Lord residing in the sun and then mentions a Lord residing in the eye distinct from the former: Now the person who is seen within the eye.

The Sruti declares The Atman is to be seen etc. There is a seer and there is the seen. There is difference.

All these indicate that Brahman is not one without a second, and that there exists something different from Brahman.

Samanyattu III.2.32 (350)

But (Brahman is called a bank etc.) on account of similarity.

Samanyat: on account of similarity; Tu: but.

The objection raised in the preceding Sutra is refuted here.

The word `tu’ (but) removes the doubt. It sets aside the previously established conclusion.

There can exist nothing different from Brahman. Brahman is called the bank, etc., because He resembles it in a certain respect. He is the support of all while crossing over this ocean of the world, just as a bank is a great protection or help in crossing a canal.

There can exist nothing different from Brahman as we are not able to observe a proof for such existence. All things pro ceed from Brahman. The Sruti says that by knowing Brahman everything will be known. How then can there be any other entity? Bridge or bank means like a bridge or bank.

Brahman is called a bank on account of similarity, not because there exists something beyond Him. If the mere fact of Brahman being called a bank implied the existence of something beyond Him as in the case of an ordinary bank, we should also be forced to conclude that Brahman is made of earth and stones. This would go against the scriptural doctrine that Brahman is not something produced.

Brahman is called a bank because it resembles a bank in certain respects. Just as a bank dams back the water and makes the boundary of adjacent fields, so also Brahman sup ports the world and its boundaries.

In the clause quoted above Having passed that bank the verb `to pass’ cannot be taken in the sense of `going beyond’ but must rather mean `to reach fully’. Having passed the bank means having attained Brahman fully and not having crossed it just as we say of a student he has passed in the grammar meaning thereby that he has fully mastered it.

Buddhyarthah padavat III.2.33 (351)

(The statement as to Brahman having size) is for the sake of easy comprehension (i.e., Upasana or devout meditation); just like (four) feet.

Buddhyarthah: for the sake of easy comprehension; Padavat: just like (four) feet.

The statements as to the size of Brahman Brahman has four feet, It has sixteen digits, etc., are meant for the sake of Upasana or devout meditation, because it is difficult to understand the Infinite, most subtle, all-pervading Brahman. In order to facilitate pious meditation on the part of less intelligent people four feet etc., are ascribed to Brahman.

The description of Brahman as having a limited form (Shodasakala, 16 parts) is for the sake of meditation just as Padas, i.e., speech etc., are described in respect of mind.

Just as mind conceived as the personal manifestation of Brahman is imagined to have the organ of speech, nose, eyes and ears as its four feet, so also Brahman is imagined as having size, etc., for facility of meditation but not in reality.

Practise meditation, taking the mind as Brahman,this is the form of worship with the aid of the constituents of the in dividual soulThis Brahman is of four feet, namely, the speech as a foot, the chief vital energy as a foot, the eyes as a foot, and the ears as a foot (Chh. Up. III.18.1-2).

Sthanaviseshat prakasadivat III.2.34 (352)

(The statements concerning connection and difference with respect to Brahman) are due to special places: as in the case of light and the like.

Sthanaviseshat: on account of special places; Prakasavat: like light and the like.

Sutra 33 is further confirmed.

The statements regarding connection and difference are made with a view to difference of place. The statements regarding difference are made with reference to limiting adjuncts (Buddhi, etc.) only and not to any difference in the nature of Brahman.

When the cognition of difference which is produced by Brahman’s connection with different places i.e., with the Buddhi and the other limiting adjuncts, ceases owing to the cessation of those limiting adjuncts themselves, connection with the Sup reme Self is metaphorically said to take place; but that is done with a view to the limiting adjuncts only, not with a view to any limitation on the part of Brahman.

This is similar to the case of light and the like. The light of the sun also is differentiated by its connection with limiting adjuncts. The light is said to be divided on account of these adjuncts. It is said to enter into connection or union when the adjuncts are removed.

We see two moons on account of an eye-disease. We see only one when the disease is removed.

Light is really one but we speak of light inside a room and light outside it. The distinction is due to limiting adjuncts. The light inside the room may be said to be united with the light in general when the room is destroyed.

Other examples of the effect of limiting adjuncts are furnish ed by the ether entering into connection with the eyes of needles and the like.

Upapattescha III.2.35 (353)

And it is reasonable.

Upapatteh: as it becomes reasonable; Cha: also, and.

Further only such a connection as described above is possible. Because scriptural passages such as He is gone to his self (Chh. Up. VI.8.1) declare that the connection of the soul with the Supreme Soul is one of essential nature. The essen tial nature of a thing is imperishable. Hence the connection cannot be like that of the inhabitants with the town.

The connection can only be explained with reference to an observation owing to ignorance of the true nature of the soul.

Similarly the difference referred to by scripture cannot be real but due to ignorance, because many texts declare that there exists only one Brahman.

Scripture teaches that the one ether is made manifold as it were by its connection with different places. The ether which is outside man is the ether which is inside man, and the ether within the heart (Chh. Up. III.12.7).

Hence connection and difference are not to be taken as real, but only metaphorically.

Tathanyapratishedhat III.2.36 (354)

Similarly on account of the express denial of all other things (there is nothing but Brahman).

Tatha: similarly; Anyapratishedhat: on account of the express denial of all other things. (Anya: any other, of the other; Pratishedhat: owing to the denial, or prohibition or negation.)

Further the Sruti denies expressly that there is any other entity besides Brahman. (Brahmaivedam Sarvam; Atmaivedam Sarvam). Brahman is described as the innermost of all.

Having thus refuted the arguments of the Purvapakshin, the author or Sutrakara in conclusion strengthens his view by a further reason.

A great number of Vedic passages distinctly deny the existence of anything else besides Brahman. He indeed is below; I am below; the Self is below etc. (Chh. Up. VII.25.1.2). Whosoever looks for anything elsewhere than in the Self was abandoned by everything (Bri. Up. II.4.6). Brahman alone is all this (Mun. Up. II.2.11). The Self is all this (Chh. Up. VII.25.2). In it there is no diversity (Bri. Up. IV.4.19). He to whom there is nothing superior, from whom there is nothing different (Svet. Up. III.9). This is the Brahman without cause and without effect, with out anything inside or outside (Bri. Up. II.5.19). That there is no other self within the Highest Self follows from that scriptural passage which teaches Brahman to be within every thing (Bri. Up. II.5.19).

Therefore Brahman is one without a second.

Anena sarvagatatvamayamasabdadibhyah III.2.37 (355)

By this the Omnipresence (of Brahman is established) in accordance with the scriptural statements regarding (Brah man’s) extent.

Anena: by this; Sarvagatatvam: all-pervadingness; Ayama: (regarding Brahman’s) extent; Sabdadibhyah: from scriptural statements.

By the rejecting of the taking of the description as bridge or bank etc., in their actual sense, it is clear that Brahman has all-pervadingness. Such Omnipresence is clear also from such words as Ayama. If you take the description as bridge etc., in their actual sense but not in the figurative sense, Brahman will become limited, and consequently not eternal. But the Sruti and Smriti describe Brahman as unlimited and all-pervasive. The word Ayama means pervasive. The all-pervadingness of Brahman follows from the very fact that it is one without a second.

That Brahman is Omnipresent follows from the texts proclaiming its extent. As large as this ether is, so large is that ether within the heart (Chh. Up. VIII.1.3). Like the ether, he is Omnipresent and eternal. He is greater than the sky, greater than the ether (Sat. Br. X.6.3.2). He is eternal, Omnipresent, firm, immovable (Gita. II.24).



Phalamata upapatteh III.2.38 (356)

From Him (the Lord) are the fruits of actions, for that is reasonable.

Phalam: the fruit; Atah: from Him only; Upapatteh: for that is reasonable.

Another characteristic of Brahman is established.

The Mimamsakas hold that the Karma (work) and not the Lord gives the fruits of one’s actions.

The Sutra refutes it and declares that the fruits of one’s work viz., pain, pleasure and a mixture of the two, come only from the Lord.

The Lord of all who knows all the differences of place and time alone is capable of bestowing fruits in accordance with the merit of the agents. Karma is insentient and short-lived. It ceases to exist as soon as it is done. It cannot therefore bestow the fruits of actions at a future date according to one’s merit.

How can fruit which is positive result from such non-existence?

You cannot say that Karma died after generating the fruit which attaches itself to the doer in due time, because it is called fruit only when it is enjoyed.

You cannot say also that Karma generates Apurva which gives fruit. Apurva is Achetana (non-sentient). It cannot act unless moved by some intelligent being. It cannot, therefore, bestow rewards and punishments. Further there is no proof whatever for the existence of such an Apurva.

Therefore the fruits of actions come to men from Isvara or the Lord only, who is Eternal, Omnipotent, Omniscient, All-compassionate.

Srutatvaccha III.2.39 (357)

And because the Sruti so teaches.

Srutatvat: because the Sruti so teaches, from the declaration of the Sruti to that effect; Cha: also, and.

The preceding Sutra is strengthened on the support of Sruti.

The Sruti also declares that the fruits of actions come from the Lord. This indeed is the great, unborn Self, the giver of food, and the giver of wealth (the fruit of one’s work) (Bri. Up. IV.4.24).

Dharmam Jaiminirata eva III.2.40 (358)

Jaimini thinks for the same reasons (viz., scriptural autho rity and reasoning, on the same ground as stated in Sutras 38 and 39) that religious merit (is what brings about the fruits of actions).

Dharmam: practice of religious duties, religious merits; Jaiminih: the sage Jaimini; Ata eva: for the same reasons.

An objection is raised to Sutras 38 and 39.

The view of the Sutras 38 and 39 is being criticised.

Jaimini says that Dharma gives fruits of actions as Sruti and reason support such a view.

Scripture, Jaimini argues, proclaims injunctions such as the following one He who is desirous of the heavenly world is to sacrifice. It is admitted that every scriptural injunction has an object. Therefore it is reasonable to think that the scrip ture itself brings about the fruit or the result, i.e., the attain ment of the heavenly world. If this were not so, nobody would perform sacrifices and thereby scriptural injunctions would be rendered purposeless.

But it may be objected that an action cannot produce a result at a future time as it is destroyed.

Jaimini says: A deed cannot produce result at some future time, unless before passing away, it gives birth to some unseen result. We, therefore, assume that there exists some extra ordinary principle called Apurva which is produced by the Karma before it is destroyed. The result is produced at some future time on account of this Apurva.

This hypothesis removes all difficulties. But on the contrary it is impossible that the Lord should effect the fruits of Karmas. Because one uniform cause (Isvara) cannot cause variety of effects. He will have partiality and cruelty; and Karma will become purposeless, i.e., if the deed itself cannot bring about its own fruit, it would be useless to perform it at all.

For all these reasons the result springs from the action only, whether meritorious or non-meritorious. (This is the view of Jaimini).

Purvam Baadarayano hetuvyapadesat III.2.41 (359)

But Baadarayana thinks the former (i.e., the Lord to be the cause of the fruits of action) on account of His being declared to be the cause (of the actions themselves).

Purvam: the former, i. e., the Lord as the giver of the fruits of actions; Tu: but; Baadarayanah: Baadarayana, the framer of the Sutras (holds); Hetuvyapadesat: on account of His being declared the cause (of the actions themselves).

The view of Jaimini expressed in Sutra 40 is refuted by citing a contrary one.

The word `Tu’ (but) refutes the view of Sutra 40. It sets aside the view of the fruit being produced either by the mere action or the mere Apurva.

The sage Baadarayana holds the former, i.e., the Lord is the Dispenser of the fruit of actions. The Sruti clearly states that all rewards whether heaven or union with the Lord come from Him, He takes one to a purer world by virtue of one’s pietyPunyena punyam lokam nayati. Also Katha Upanishad (I.2.23) declares He gives Himself away to whomsoever He choosesYamevaisha vrinute tena labhyah.

Baadarayana says that the Lord bestows the fruits of deeds because Sruti says that the Lord induces the doing of actions and gives the fruits thereof. As the Lord acts according to the variety of Karmas, he can produce and give a variety of results and has no partiality and cruelty, and Karma will not become purposeless.

The Lord is the causal agent with reference to all actions whether good or evil. Kaushitaki Upanishad (III.8) declares He makes him whom He wishes to lead up from these worlds do a good deed and the same makes him whom He wishes to lead down from these worlds do a bad deed.

The same is said in Bhagavad Gita (VII.21-22), Whichever divine form a devotee wishes to worship with faith, to that form I render his faith steady. Holding that faith he strives to propitiate the deity and obtains from it the benefits he desires, as ordained by Me.

Moreover all Vedanta texts declare that the Lord is the only cause of all creations. The Lord creates all beings in forms and conditions corresponding to and retributive of their former Karmas. Hence the Lord is the cause of all fruits of actions. As the Lord has regard for the merit and demerit of the souls, the objections raised above that a uniform cause is incapable of producing various effects, etc., are without any foundation.

To sum up, the nature of the Supreme Brahman has been described. Brahman has been shown to be formless, self-luminous and without difference. It has been established through Neti-Neti not this, not this doctrine that Brahman is one without a second. It has been conclusively proved that the Lord is the Dispenser of the fruits of Karmas of the people.

Thus ends the Second Pada (Section II) of the Third Adhyaya (Chapter III) of the Brahma Sutras or the Vedanta Philosophy.

Chapter III, Section 3


In the previous Section (Pada 2) it has been shown that the Jiva (Tvam Pada of the Tat-Tvam-Asi Mahavakya) is identical with Brahman (Tat Pada of Tat-Tvam-Asi Mahavakya). Brahman has been shown to be Ekarasa (of homogeneous or unchanging nature). We have explained the nature of the object of cognition, i.e., Brahman.

The author of the Brahma Sutras now sets himself to ascertain the end and aim of the Vidyas (meditations of Upasanas) as prescribed in the Srutis.

The Srutis prescribe various kinds of Vidyas or meditations to enable the aspirant to attain the knowledge of identity. It is extremely difficult or rather impossible for the ordinary man to have a comprehensive understanding of the Infinite, which is transcendent, extremely subtle and beyond the reach of the senses and gross undisciplined intellect. Therefore the Srutis or the sacred scriptures prescribe easy methods of Saguna meditation for approaching the Infinite or the Absolute. They present various symbols of Brahman (Pratikas) such as Vaisvanara or Virat, Sun, Akasa, Food, Prana and mind for the neophyte or the beginner to contemplate on. These symbols are props for the mind to lean upon in the beginning. The gross mind is rendered subtle, sharp and one-pointed by such Saguna forms of meditation.

These different methods of approaching the Impersonal Absolute are known as Vidyas or Upasanas.

This Section discusses these various Vidyas by means of which the Jiva or the individual soul attains Brahman or the Supreme Soul. Similar Vidyas are described differently in different recensions of the Vedas. Now the question arises naturally whether these similar Vidyas are one and the same or different, whether similar Vidyas have to be combined into a single Upasana or meditation or to be taken separately. It is decided here which Vidyas are the same and have to be combined into one and which Vidyas are different despite certain similar features.

The aim and object of all Vidyas is the attainment of Brah man or the Imperishable. Brahman alone is the only living Reality. Brahman alone is Truth. Brahman is Sat or Existence Absolute. Hence it may be advantageous and helpful to combine the particulars of the same Vidya mentioned in different recensions or Sakhas as they have been found highly efficacious and immensely beneficial by the followers of those Sakhas.

He who meditates on Brahman as mind as is taught in the Taittiriya Upanishad, Bhrigu Valli, must collate all the attributes of the mind not only from his own particular Vedic Sakha, but from other Sakhas also where meditation on Brahman in the form of mind is taught. In meditating on Brahman as mind, he must not bring together attributes not belonging to mind such as those of food, though Brahman is taught to be meditat ed upon as food also. In fact only those attributes are to be supplied from other Sakhas which are taught about the parti cular object of meditation, and not any attribute in general.

In this Section Sri Vyasa the framer of the Brahma Sutras concludes that most of the Vidyas prescribed in the Srutis have for their object the knowledge of Brahman or Brahma-Jnana. They differ only in form but not in substance. Their final goal is the attainment of everlasting peace, eternal bliss and immor tality. One meditation or Upasana or Vidya is as good as another for attaining the final emancipation.

Sruti teaches us to meditate on Brahman either directly or through the medium of some Pratikas or symbols, such as the sun, Akasa, food, mind, Prana, the Purusha residing in the eye, the empty space (Daharakasa) within the heart, Om or Pranava and the like.

You will have to search Brahman and adore Him in and through the symbols, but these symbols must not usurp His place. You must concentrate and fix the mind on these symbols and think of His attributes such as Omnipotence, Omniscience, Omnipresence, Sat-Chit-Ananda, purity, perfection, freedom, etc.

The Vidyas appear to be different only from the view-point of difference in the symbols but the goal everywhere is the same. Remember this point always. Bear this in mind constantly.

Some attributes of Brahman are found common in some of the Vidyas. You should not consider yourself as a distinct entity from Brahman. This is a fundamental or vital point.

In all the Vidyas three things are common. The final goal is the attainment of eternal bliss and immortality, through the realisation of Brahman with or without the aid of the symbols or Pratikas. The attributes which are found in common in all the Vidyas such as blissfulness, purity, perfection, knowledge, immortality, Absolute Freedom or Kaivalya, Absolute Independence, eternal satisfaction and the like must be invariably asso ciated with the conception of Brahman. The meditator must think himself identical with Brahman and must worship Brahman as his Immortal Atman.


Adhikaranas I and II: (Sutras 1-4; 5) are concerned with the question whether those Vidyas which are met with in identical or similar form in more than one sacred text, are to be considered as constituting several Vidyas or one Vidya only. The Vidyas with identical or similar form met with in the scriptures or in different recensions of the scriptures, are one Vidya. Particulars of identical Vidyas mentioned in different places or Sakhas are to be combined with one meditation.

Adhikarana III: (Sutras 6-8) discusses the case of Vidyas which are separate on account of different subject-matter, al though in other respects there are similarities. The examples selected are the Udgitha Vidyas of the Chhandogya Upanishad (I.1.3) and the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (I.3.1). Although they indicate certain similarities such as bearing the same name and the Udgitha being in both identified with Pranayet they are to be held apart, because the subject of the Chhandogya Vidya is not the whole Udgitha but only the sacred syllable OM while Brihadaranyaka Upanishad represents the whole Udgitha as the object of meditation.

Adhikarana IV: (Sutra 9). In the passage, Let one meditate on the syllable `OM’ (of) the Udgitha (Chh. Up. I.1.1), the Omkara and the Udgitha stand in the relation of one specifying the other. The meaning is Let one meditate on that Omkara which etc.

Adhikarana V: (Sutra 10) intimates that there should be no mistake in the identity of the Prana Vidya as taught in Chhandogya, Brihadaranyaka and Kaushitaki. It determines the unity of the Prana-Vidyas and the consequent comprehension of the different qualities of the Prana, which are mentioned in the different texts within one meditation.

Adhikarana VI: (Sutras 11-13) intimates that the essential and unalterable attributes of Brahman such as Bliss and knowledge are to be taken into account everywhere while those which admit of increase and decrease as for instance the attribute of having joy for its head, mentioned in the Taittiriya Upanishad are confined to special meditations.

Adhikarana VII: (Sutras 14-15) teaches that the object of Katha Upanishad (III.10, 11) is one only, viz., to indicate that the Supreme Self is higher than everything, so that the passage forms one Vidya only.

Adhikarana VIII: (Sutras 16-17) intimates that the Self refer red to in Aitareya Aranyaka (II.4.1.1) is not a lower form of the self (Sutratman or Hiranyagarbha), but the Supreme Self.

Adhikarana IX: (Sutra 18) discusses a minor point connected with the Prana-samvada. Rinsing the mouth is not enjoined in the Prana-Vidya, but only thinking the water as the dress of Prana.

Adhikarana X: (Sutra 19) declares that the Vidyas in the same Sakha which are identical or similar have to be combined, for they are one.

Adhikarana XI: (Sutras 20-22). In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (V.5), Brahman is represented first as abiding in the sphere of the sun and then as abiding within the right eye. The names Ahar and Aham of the Supreme Brahman abiding in the sun and in the right eye respectively cannot be combined, as these are two separate Vidyas.

Adhikarana XII: (Sutra 23). Attributes of Brahman mention ed in Ranayaniya-Khila are not to be taken into consideration in other Brahma-Vidyas, e.g., the Sandilya Vidya, as the former is an independent Vidya owing to the difference of Brahman’s abode.

Adhikarana XIII: (Sutra 24) points out that the Purusha-Vidya of Chhandogya is quite different from the Purusha-Vidya of Tait tiriya though they pass by the same name.

Adhikarana XIV: (Sutra 25) decides that certain detached Mantras like Pierce the whole body of the enemy etc., and sacrifices mentioned at the beginning of certain Upanishadsas for instance, a Brahmana about the Mahavrata ceremony at the beginning of the Aitareya-Aranyaka, do, notwithstanding their position which seems to connect them with the Brahma-Vidya, not belong to the latter, as they show unmistakable signs of being connected with sacrificial acts.

Adhikarana XV: (Sutra 26) treats of the passage stating that the man dying in the possession of true knowledge shakes off all his good and evil deeds and affirms that a statement made in some of those passages, only to the effect that the good and evil deeds pass over to the friends and enemies of the deceased, is valid for all the passages.

Adhikarana XVI: (Sutras 27-28) decides that the shaking of the good and evil deeds takes place not as the Kaushitaki Upanishad states on the road to Brahmaloka or the world of Brah man but at the moment of the soul’s departure from the body.

Adhikarana XVII: (Sutras 29-30) intimates that the knower of the Saguna Brahman alone goes by the path of the gods after death and not the knower of the Nirguna Brahman. The soul of him who knows the Nirguna Brahman becomes one with it without moving to any other place.

Adhikarana XVIII: (Sutra 31) decides that the road of the gods is followed not only by those who know the Vidyas which specially mention the going on that road but all who are acquainted with the Saguna Vidyas of Brahman.

Adhikarana XIX: (Sutra 32) decides that, although the gene ral effect of true knowledge is release from all forms of body, yet even perfected souls may be reborn for the fulfilment of some divine mission.

Adhikarana XX: (Sutra 33) teaches that the negative attri butes of Brahman mentioned in some Vidyas such as its being not gross, not subtle, etc., are to be combined in all medi tations on Brahman.

Adhikarana XXI: (Sutra 34) determines that Kathopanishad (III.1), and Mundaka (III.1), constitute one Vidya only, because both passages refer to the highest Brahman.

Adhikarana XXII: (Sutras 35-36) maintains that the two passages (Bri. Up. III.4 and III.5), constitute one Vidya only, the object of knowledge being in both cases Brahman viewed as the Inner Self of all.

Adhikarana XXIII: (Sutra 37) decides that the passage in Aitareya Aranyaka (II.2.4.6) constitutes not one but two meditations. The Sruti enjoins reciprocal meditation and not merely one way.

Adhikarana XXIV: (Sutra 38) determines that the Vidyas of the True (Satya Brahman) contained in Bri. Up. (V.4.1 and V.5.2) is one only.

Adhikarana XXV: (Sutra 39) decides that the attributes mentioned in Chh. Up. (VIII.1.1) and Bri. Up. (IV.4.32) are to be combined on account of a number of common features in both the texts.

Adhikarana XXVI: (Sutras 40-41) maintains that Pranagnihotra need not be observed on days of fast.

Adhikarana XXVII: (Sutra 42) decides that those meditations which are connected with certain sacrifices are not parts of them and therefore not inseparably connected with them.

Adhikarana XXVIII: (Sutra 43) teaches that in a Bri. Up. passage and a similar Chh. Up. passage, meditations on Vayu and Prana are to be kept separate in spite of the essential oneness of these two.

Adhikarana XXIX: (Sutras 44-52) decides that the fire-altars made of mind etc., which are mentioned in the Agnirahasya of the Brihadaranyaka are not part of the sacrificial act, but constitute a separate Vidya.

Adhikarana XXX: (Sutras 53-54) determines that the self is a separate entity distinct from the body.

Adhikarana XXXI: (Sutras 55-56) decides that Upasanas or meditations connected with sacrificial acts, e.g., the Udgitha Upasana, are valid for all Sakhas.

Adhikarana XXXII: (Sutra 57) decides that the Vaisvanara Upasana of Chh. Up. (V.11) is one entire Upasana. Vaisvanara Agni is to be meditated upon as a whole, not in his single parts.

Adhikarana XXXIII: (Sutra 58) decides that various Vidyas like the Sandilya-Vidya, Dahara-Vidya and so on, are to be kept separate and not combined into one entire Upasana.

Adhikarana XXXIV: (Sutra 59) teaches that those medita tions on Brahman for which the texts assign one and the same fruit, are optional, there being no reason for their being cumulated.

Any one Vidya should be selected according to one’s choice.

Adhikarana XXXV: (Sutra 60) decides that those meditations on the other hand which refer to special desires may or may not be combined according to choice or liking.

Adhikarana XXXVI: (Sutras 61-66) decides that meditations connected with members of sacrificial acts, such as the Udgitha may or may not be combined according to liking.


The Vidyas having identical or the same form

found in scriptures constitute one Vidya

Sarvavedantapratyayam chodanadyaviseshat III.3.1 (360)

(The Vidyas or the Upasanas) described in the various Vedanta texts (are not different, are identical) on account of the non-difference of injunction, etc., (i.e., connection, form and name).

Sarvavedantapratyayam: exposition of Brahman in all the Vedanta texts; Chodanadyaviseshat: as there is no difference in the injunctions, etc., (i.e., con nection, form and name). (Sarva: all; Veda: the Vedas; Anta: the settled conclusion; Pratyayam: the knowledge, realisation; Chodanadi: or the injunction and others; Aviseshat: as there is no difference.)

Can Srutis declare different Upasanas in respect of one entity? If we say that one Sruti is correct and others are incorrect, disbelief in Srutis as a whole will follow. The Srutis which declare the nature of Brahman are not commands. They only state solid facts.

The author of the Sutras now proceeds to discuss whether the Upasana (devotional) Srutis are divergent and separate or not. Scriptures teach that like Karma, Upasanas have various results. Some of them have visible results, others unseen results. Some Upasanas create true knowledge and lead to Krama mukti or gradual liberation or release by successive steps. With a view to those meditations, therefore, we may raise the question whether the individual Vedanta-texts teach different Upasanas of Brahman or not.

There are many expositions of Brahman in Sruti. In some Sruti He is described as Vaisvanara, in another He is described as Prana and so forth. Now a doubt may arise as to whether these expositions are different or they all aim at one and the same thing.

This Sutra removes the doubt. The expositions in all the Srutis are the same. They all point to one and the same purpose of worship of Brahman, though in different forms fitted to the capacity of the meditator, because there is no difference in the injunctions about meditation. All the injunctions inti mate that Brahman is to be meditated upon. Hence the object of those expositions and of meditation is one and the same.

The Upasanas of Prana are described in one way in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and in a different way in the Chhandogya Upanishad. Now a doubt arises whether such Upasanas described differently in different Sakhas of the Vedas are different or the same.

The Purvapakshin or the opponent maintains that they are different owing to the difference in form. This Sutra refutes it and declares that such meditations are one and the same owing to the non-difference as regards injunctions, connection, name and form of these in different Sakhas.

Thus, as the Agnihotra though described in different Sakhas is yet one, the same kind of human activity being enjoined in all by means of the words He is to offer, so the injunction met with in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (VI.1.1.). He who knows the oldest and the best, etc., is the same as that which occurs in the text of Chhandogya He who knows the first and the best (Chh. Up. V.1.1). The Prana-Vidya in all the Sakhas is one and the same. There is non-difference as regards the fruit of the Upasana in both texts. He who knows it to be such becomes the first and best among his people (Bri. Up. VI.1.1). Prana is the object of meditation in both texts. The name of the meditation in both texts is Prana-Vidya. Prana is described in both texts as the oldest and the greatest. Therefore the two Vidyas are not different, as there is no difference in all respects. The two Vidyas are one and the same. The same is true of Dahara-Vidya, Panchagni-Vidya or the knowledge of the five fires, Vaisvanara-Vidya or the knowledge of the Vaisvanara, Sandilya-Vidya, etc., described in various Sakhas.

Bhedanneti chennaikasyamapi III.3.2 (361)

If it be said that the Vidyas are separate on account of difference (in minor points), we deny that, since even in the same Vidyas (there may be such minor differences).

Bhedat: on account of difference; Na: not; Iti: as, so, this; Chet: if; Na: no, not; Ekasyam: in the one and the same (Vidya); Api: also, even.

An objection to the preceding Sutra is raised and refuted.

The Sutra consists of two parts namely an objection and its reply. The objection is Bhedanneti chet. The reply is Naikasyamapi.

If you say that difference exists, we say that it is not so, because such differences can exist even in the same Upasana or Vidya.

Doubtless the Vajasaneyins refer to a sixth Agni when referring to Panchagni Vidya or the doctrine of five fires The fire becomes his fire (Bri. Up. VI.2.24), but the Chhandogyas do not. But he who knows these five fires (Chh. Up. V.10.10). But this will not make them separate. The Chhandogyas also can add it if they like. Thus the Vidya as stated in the two Srutis Brihadaranyaka and Chhandogya, is identical.

The presence or absence of a sixth fire cannot make a difference as regards form, because the Shodasi vessel may or may not be taken in the same Atiratra sacrifice. The name five fires is no objection against this increase of number, because the number five is not a fundamental part of the injunction. Differences like this are found in different chapters even in the same Sakha and in the same Vidya, and yet the Vidya described in these different chapters is recognised by all as one.

The Chhandogya Upanishad also actually mentions a sixth fire, viz., in the passage V.9.2 When he has departed his friends carry him, as appointed, to the fire.

Therefore it is quite clear that the Vidyas of the same class are one and not different notwithstanding these differences in different Sakhas.

The Purvapakshin says: Then again in the conversation between the Pranas, the Chhandogyas mention in addition to the most important Prana four other Pranas viz., speech, the eye, the ear and the mind, while the Vajasaneyins mention a fifth one also. Seed indeed is generation. He who knows that becomes rich in offspring and cattle (Bri. Up. VI.1.6).

We reply: nothing stands in the way of some additional qualification being included in the Vidya concerning the colloquy of the Pranas. The addition or omission of some particular qualification is not able to create difference in the object of knowledge and thereby in the knowledge itself, because the objects of knowledge may differ partly, yet their greater part and at the same time the knowing person are understood to be the same.

Therefore the Vidya also remains the same.

Svadhyayasya tathatvena hi samachare’dhikaraccha

savavaccha tanniyamah III.3.3 (362)

(The rite of carrying fire on the head is connected) with the study of the Veda (of the Atharvanikas), because in the Samachara (it is mentioned) as being such. And (this also follows) from its being a qualification (for the students of the Atharva Veda) as in the case with the (seven) oblations (viz., Saurya etc.).

Svadhyayasya: of the study of the Vedas; Tathatvena: on account of being such; Hi: because; Samachare: in the book named Samachara containing the rules for the performance of Vedic rites; Adhikarat: on account of the qualification; Cha: and; Savavat: as in the case of the seven oblations (viz., Saurya, etc.); Cha: and, also; Tanniyamah: that rule.

An objection based on a statement of the Mundaka Upanishad is explained and refuted.

A further objection is raised. In the Mundaka Upanishad which deals with the knowledge of Brahman, the carrying of fire on the head by the student (Sirovrata) is mentioned. The Purvapakshin or the opponent maintains that the Vidyas of the Atharvanikas are different from all other Vidyas on account of this particular ceremony which is practised by the followers of the Atharva Veda.

This Sutra refutes this and says that the rite of carrying fire on the head is an attribute not of the Vidya, but merely of the study of the Veda on the part of the Atharvanikas. So it is described in the book Samachara which treats of Vedic observances.

At the close of the Upanishad moreover we have the following sentence, A man who has not performed the rite (carrying fire on the head) does not read this (Mun. Up. III.2.11). This clearly intimates that it is connected with the study of the Upanishad and not with the Vidya.

The Sutra adds another illustrative instance in the words as in the case of the libations there is limitation of that. The rite of carrying the fire is associated only with the study of that particular Veda and not others, like the seven oblations from the Saurya libation up to the Sataudana libation, which are not connected with the fires taught in the other Vedas, but only with those of Atharva Veda. The command is to those studying the Mundaka Upanishad just as the command to per form the seven Savas is to them. The carrying of a fire-pot on their head will not make the Vidya different.

Therefore there is unity of Vidya in all cases. The doctrine of the unity of the Vidyas thus remains unshaken.

Darsayati cha III.3.4 (363)

(The scripture) also instructs (thus).

Darsayati: (Sruti) shows, instructs; Cha: also.

An argument in support of Sutra 1 is given.

The Veda also declares the identity of the Vidyas, because all Vedanta texts represent the object of knowledge, as one, e.g., Katha Upanishad (I.2.15), That word which all the Vedas declare; Aitareya Aranyaka (III.2.3.12) Him only the Bahvrichas consider in the great hymn, the Adhvaryus in the sacrificial fire, the Chhandogyas in the Mahavrata ceremony.

To prove the unity of the Vidyas some other instances may be quoted. Kathopanishad (I.6.2) mentions as one of the Lord’s qualities that He causes fear. Now this very same quality is referred to in the Tait. Up. II.7: For if he makes but the smallest distinction in the Self, there is fear for him. But that fear is only for him who knows a difference and does not know oneness.

The Impersonal Absolute is the one purport of all the Vedanta texts. Hence all Vidyas which pertain to It must also be one. The meditation on the Saguna Brahman as Vaisvanara, who is represented as extending from heaven to the earth in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is referred to in the Chhandogya Upanishad, But he who adores that Vaisvanara Self as extend ing from heaven to the earth (Chh. Up. V.18.1). This clearly indicates that all Vaisvanara Vidyas are one.

Nirguna Brahman is one and not many. Saguna Brahman also is one and not many. Hence particular Vidyas which pertain to either Saguna Brahman or Nirguna Brahman are also one and not many. This also follows from the same hymns and the like enjoined in the one place being employed in other places for the purpose of devout meditation or Upasana.

The same rule applies to other Vidyas also besides the Vaisvanara Vidya. Therefore, Vidyas are not many, though they are differently described in different Sakhas. All Vedantic texts intimate identical devout meditations. Thus the unity of Vidyas is established.


Particulars of identical Vidyas mentioned in different Sakhas or places are to be combined into one meditation

Upasamharo’rthabhedadvidhiseshavatsamane cha III.3.5 (364)

And in the Upasanas of the same class (mentioned in differ ent Sakhas) a combination (of all the particulars mentioned in all Sakhas is to be made) as there is no difference in the object of meditation, just as (a combination of) all subsidiary rites of a main sacrifice (mentioned in different Sakhas is made).

Upasamharah: combination; Arthabhedat: as there is no difference in the object of meditation; Vidhiseshavat: like the subsidiary rites of a main sacrifice; Samane: in the Upasanas of the same class, in the case of equality, the forms of meditation being the same in effect; Cha: also, and. (Artha: purpose; Abheda: non-difference; Vidhi: injunctions, of the duties enjoined by the scriptures.)

A deduction is made from the four preceding Sutras. This Sutra states the practical outcome of the discussion carried on in the first four Sutras.

The Vidyas described in different Sakhas will have to be combined in the Upasana, because their object is one and the fruit also is the same, just as in the case of Vidhiseshas.

The particulars that are mentioned in other Sakhas than one’s own are also efficacious. Therefore one will have to combine all these, just as one does in the case of subsidiary rites like Agnihotra connected with a main sacrifice, mentioned in several Sakhas.


Those Vidyas with different subject-matter are separate,

even if there may be some similarities

Anyathatvam sabdaditi chennaviseshat III.3.6 (365)

If it be said (that the Udgitha Vidya of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and that of the Chhandogya Upanishad) are different on account of (difference in) texts; we deny this on the ground of their non-difference (as regards essentials).

Anyathatvam: there is difference; Sabdat: on account of (difference in) texts; Iti: so; Chet: if; Na: not; Aviseshat: on account of non-difference (as regards essentials).

This Sutra represents the view of the Purvapakshin or the opponent. The opponent tries to establish that the two Vidyas are one.

The Sutra consists of two parts namely, a supposed objection to the objector’s view and its refutation by the objector to strengthen his case. The supposed objection is Anyathatvam sabdaditi chet and the reply is Naviseshat.

It is said in the Vajasaneyaka (I.3.1), The Devas said, `Well, let us defeat the Asuras at the sacrifices by means of the Udgitha!’ They said to speech: `sing for us.’ The speech said `yes’.

The speech and the other Pranas were pierced by the Asuras with evil. They were not able to do what was expected from them. Thereupon the Devas appointed the Chief Prana, and said to the breath in the mouth `sing for us’. The breath said `yes’ and sang.

There is a similar story in Chhandogya Upanishad I.2. The Devas took the Udgitha. They thought they would overcome the Asuras with it. The other Pranas were pierced with evil and thus vanquished by the Asuras. Thereupon the Devas went to the Chief Prana. Then comes the Chief Prana. On that they meditated as Udgitha.

Both these passages glorify the chief Prana. Hence it foll ows that they both are injunctions of a meditation on the Prana. A doubt arises now whether the two Vidyas are separate Vidyas or one Vidya only.

The Purvapakshin holds that the two Vidyas have to be considered as one. It may be objected that they cannot be one on account of the difference in texts. The Vajasaneyins represent the chief vital air as the producer of the Udgitha, Do thou sing out for us; while the Chhandogyas speak of it as itself being the Udgitha, On that they meditated as Udgitha. How can this divergence be reconciled with the assumption of the unity of the Vidyas?

But this is not acceptable because there is unity as regards a great many points. Both texts relate that the Devas and the Asuras were fighting; both at first glorify speech and the other Pranas in their relation to the Udgitha and thereupon finding fault with them pass on to the chief Prana; both tell how through the strength of the latter, the Asuras were vanquished.

The difference pointed out, is not important enough to bring about a separation of the two Vidyas.

The text of the Vajasaneyaka also coordinates the chief Prana and the Udgitha in the clause, He is Udgitha (Bri. Up. I.3.23). We therefore have to assume that in the Chhandogya also the chief Prana has secondarily to be looked upon as the producer of the Udgitha.

The two texts thus constitute one Vidya only. There is unity of Vidyas on the grounds given in Sutra III.3.1.

Na va prakaranabhedatparovariyastvadivat III.3.7 (366)

Or rather there is no (unity of the Vidyas) owing to the difference of subject matter even as (the meditation on the Udgitha) as the highest and greatest (i.e., Brahman) (is different from the meditation on the Udgitha as abiding in the eye etc.).

Na: not; Va: certainly; Prakaranabhedat: on account of difference in subject matter; Parovariyastvadivat: even as (the meditation on the Udgitha) as the highest and great (Brahman) (is different).

The objection raised in the preceding Sutra is refuted.

The Sutra refutes the former view and establishes that the two Vidyas, in spite of similarity in many points, are different owing to difference in subject matter.

In the Chhandogya, Omkara is said to be a limit of Udgitha and so such Omkara has to be regarded as Prana. In the other the singer of Udgitha, the Udgatri is called Prana. Therefore the two Vidyas are different just as the Upasana of Udgitha as the Infinite and Supreme (Parovariya) (Chh. Up. I.9.2). This is indeed the highest and greatest is different from the Upasana of Udgitha as golden in form and as being in the eye and in the sun (Chh. Up. I.6).

In the Chhandogya only a part of the Udgitha (hymn), the syllable OM is meditated upon as Prana Let one meditate on the syllable OM of the Udgitha (Chh. Up. I.1.1). But in the Brihadaranyaka the whole Udgitha hymn is meditated upon as Prana (I.3.2). Hence the two Vidyas cannot be one owing to this difference in the object of meditation.

The special features of different Vidyas are not to be combined even when the Vidyas belong to one and the same Sakha; much less then when they belong to different Sakhas.

Samjnataschet taduktamasti tu tadapi III.3.8 (367)

If it be said (that the Vidyas are one) on account of (the identity of) name; (we reply that) that is explained (already); moreover that (identity of name) is (found in the case of admittedly separate Vidyas).

Samjnatah: on account of the name (being same); Chet: if; Tat: that; Uktam: has already been answered; Asti: is, exists; Tu: but; Tat: that; Api: even, also.

An argument against the preceding Sutra is refuted.

The word `tu’ (but), removes the doubt raised above.

You cannot call them identical merely because they have the same name. The subject matter differs. This has already been established in the last Sutra. For instance Agnihotra and Darsapurnamasa are separate and yet have the same name, viz., Kathaka as they are described in the book called Kathaka. Even the Udgitha Vidya of Chh. Up. I.6 and Chh. Up. I.9.2 are different Vidyas.


It is appropriate to specialise OM by the term `Udgitha’

Vyaptescha samanjasam III.3.9 (368)

And because (OM) extends (over the whole of the Vedas), (to specialise it by the term ‘Udgitha’) is appropriate.

Vyapteh: because (OM) extends (over the whole of the Vedas); Cha: and; Samanjasam: is appropriate, consistent, justifiable.

Sutra 7 is elaborated here.

In the Sruti `Omityetadaksharamudgithamupasita’, the use of the word Udgitha as Viseshana, i.e., adjective of OM is appropriate, because OM by itself is pervasive in all Srutis and should not be understood here in its general sense.

In the passage Let a man meditate on the syllable OM as the Udgitha, the two words `Omkara’ and `Udgitha’, are placed in coordination. The question then arises whether the relation in which the ideas conveyed by these two words stand to each other is the relation of superimposition (Adhyasa) or sublation (Apavada) or unity (Ekatva) or speci fication (Viseshana) .

The word `and’ stands here in place of `but’ and is meant to discard the three other alternatives. The fourth is to be adopted. The fourth and correct view is that the one is Viseshana (an adjective) to the other as in the words Nila-Utpala (blue lotus). The passage means that Udgitha is the Viseshana of Omkara. The appropriate view of the Chhandogya passage is to take the word Udgitha as specialising the term `Omkara’.


Unity of the Prana-Vidya

Sarvabhedadanyatreme III.3.10 (369)

On account of the non-difference (of the Vidya) everywhere (i.e., in all the texts of the different Sakhas where the Prana-Vidya occurs) these qualities (mentioned in two of them are to be inserted) in the other places (e.g., the Kaushitaki Upanishad).

Sarvabhedat: on account of non-difference everywhere; Anyatra: in the other places; Ime: these (qualities are to be inserted).

A concrete instance on the general principle of Sutra 5 is cited.

In the colloquy of the Pranas recorded by the Vajasaneyins and the Chhandogyas, the Prana which is endowed with various qualities such as being the best and so on, is represented as the object of meditation. Various qualities such as being the richest and the like are ascribed to speech and the other organs. These latter qualities are in the end attributed to the Prana also. If I am the richest thou art the richest.

Now in other Sakhas also, as e.g., that of the Kaushitakins the set of qualities such as being the best and so on is attributed to the Prana (Katha Up. II.14). But the set of attributes, viz., being the richest and so on is not mentioned.

The question is whether they are to be inserted in the Kaushitaki also, where they are not mentioned.

This Sutra declares that they have to be inserted, as the Vidya is the same in all the three Upanishads. Attributes belonging to one and the same Vidya or subject have to be combined wherever that Vidya occurs although they may not be expressly stated.


Attributes like Bliss, etc., of Brahman have to be

combined into one meditation

Anandadayah pradhanasya III.3.11 (370)

Bliss and other attributes (which depict the true nature) of the Principal or the Supreme Self, i.e., Brahman (have to be combined from all places in the meditation on Brahman).

Anandadayah: Bliss and other attributes; Pradhanasya: of the Principal i.e., the Supreme Self or Brahman.

Brahman is described as Bliss, Knowledge, all-pervading, the Self of all, true, etc., in different texts of different Sakhas. All the attributes are not mentioned in all places.

Now the question arises whether they have to be combined in the meditation on Brahman or not. This Sutra says that they have to be combined, as the object of meditation (Brahman) is one and the same in all Sakhas and therefore the Vidya is one. The reason for this conclusion is the one given in Sutra 10.

The qualities attributed to Brahman in any one place have to be combined whenever Brahman is spoken of.


hi bhede III.3.12 (371)

(Qualities like) joy being His head, etc., are not to be taken everywhere, (being subject to) increase and decrease (are possible only) if there is difference (and not in Brahman in which there is non-difference).

Priyasirastvadi: qualities like joy being His head, etc.; Apraptih: are not to be taken everywhere; Upachayapachayau: increase and decrease; Hi: be cause; Bhede: (are possible) in difference. (Upachaya: increase; Apachaya: decrease.)

The discussion commenced in Sutra 11 is continued, stating here as to which of the attributes are not to be culled and combined together in every form of meditation.

More and less will apply only if there is differentia tion. Hence the descriptions of Priyasiras, etc., will not apply to Brahman. The description of Priyasiras (attributes like joy being His head, etc.) in the Taittiriya Upanishad are not Dharmas of Brahman but the Dharmas of the Ananda maya-kosa or the blissful sheath. The descriptions are given to turn the mind towards Brahman. Differences of higher and lower in Gunas can come in Upasanas of Saguna Brahman but have no application to Nirguna Brahman.

The attributes of having joy for His head and such other attributes are not acceptable in every form of meditation on Brahman because attributing limbs to Brahman would render Him liable to fluctuation.

Attributes like joy being His head and so on mentioned in the Taittiriya Upanishad are not to be taken and combined in other places where the Upasana of Brahman is enjoined because the successive terms, Joy is Its head, satisfaction is its right arm, great satisfaction is its left arm, bliss is His trunk, Brahman is His tail, His support (II.5), indicate qualities which have increase and decrease with regard to each other and to other enjoyers (individual souls or Jivas) and therefore can exist where there is difference.

Now for higher and lower degrees there is room only where there is plurality or difference but Brahman is without all plurality or difference, as we know from many scriptu ral passages. (One only, without a second). Therefore these attributes cannot constitute the nature of Brahman. They are to be confined to the texts which prescribe them and not taken to other places.

Moreover, these qualities are attributed to the Supreme Brahman merely as means of fixing one’s mind, not as themselves being objects of meditation. From this it follows that they are not valid everywhere. The attributes mentioned in any one are not valid for others.

The case is similar to that of two wives ministering to one king; one with a fan, the other with an umbrella. Here also the object of their ministrations is one, but the acts of ministration themselves are distinct. They have each their own particular attributes. Similar is the case under discussion also.

Qualities in which lower and higher degrees can be distinguished belong to the qualified Brahman only in which there is plurality, not to the Supreme Nirguna Brahman which is above all qualifications. Such attributes as having true desires (Sat-Kama) and the like which are mentioned in some parti cular place have no validity for other meditations on Brahman.

Itare tvarthasamanyat III.3.13 (372)

But other attributes (like Bliss, etc., are to be combined) on account of identity of purport.

Itare: other attributes; Tu: but; Arthasamanyat: because of common purport, on account of identity of purport. (Artha: result, object, purport; Samanyat: on account of the equality or sameness.)

The previous discussion is continued.

But attributes like Bliss, knowledge, all-pervadingness, etc., which describe the nature of Brahman, are to be combined as the object of such descriptions is the same, as they directly relate to Brahman and as they are inherent attributes of Brahman, as their purport is the one indivisible, unconditioned Brahman.

These attributes which scripture sets for the purpose of teaching the true nature of Brahman are to be viewed as valid for all passages which refer to Brahman, because their purport, i.e., the Brahman whose nature is to be taught is one. These attributes are mentioned with a view to knowledge of Brahman only, and not for Upasana.


Katha Up. I.3.10-11 teaches merely that the Self is

higher than everything else

Adhyanaya prayojanabhavat III.3.14 (373)

(The passage in Katha Upanishad I.3.10 tells about the Self only as the highest) for the sake of pious meditation, as there is no use (of the knowledge of the objects being higher than the senses and so on).

Adhyanaya: for the sake of meditation; Prayojanabhavat: as there is no use, as there is no other necessity. (Prayojana: of any other purpose; Abhavat: on account of the absence.)

The previous discussion is continued.

We read in the Kathaka (I.3.10-11), Higher than the senses are the objects, higher than the objects there is the mind, etc., higher than the Atman there is nothing, this is the goal, the highest road.

Here the doubt arises whether the purport of the passage is to intimate that each of the things successively enumerated is higher than the preceding one, or only that the Atman is higher than all of them.

The Purvapakshin or the opponent holds the former alternative because the text expressly declares the objects to be higher than the senses, the mind higher than the objects and so on. He maintains that these sentences are separate and not one as referring to the Atman alone. Therefore the purpose of the text is to teach that the objects are superior to the senses and so on.

This Sutra refutes it and declares that it is one sentence and means that the Atman is superior to all these.

The object of the Sruti is not to say that each later category is higher than the former, because there is no spiritual gain or any useful purpose in such a declaration. The aim is to declare that Brahman is higher than all, as such knowledge leads to Moksha.

The Atman alone is to be known, because the Knowledge gives freedom or the final release. The scripture also says He who has perceived that, is freed from the jaws of death (Katha Up. I.3.15).

Further, the text intimates highest reverence for the Atman by declaring that nothing is higher than the Atman and that He is the highest goal and thereby shows that the whole series of objects is enumerated only for the purpose of giving information about the Atman. This information is given for the sake of meditation on the Atman which results in the knowledge of it.

Atmasabdaccha III.3.15 (374)

And on account of the word Atman.

Atmasabdat: on account of the word `Atma’; Cha: and.

An argument in support of Sutra 14 is given.

The above conclusion is confirmed by the fact that the subject of discussion is called the Self or Atman. That Self is hidden in all beings and does not shine forth, but it is seen by subtle seers through their sharp and subtle intellect (Katha Up. I.3.2). From this we conclude that the text wishes to represent the other things enumerated as the non-Self.

A wise man should keep down speech and mind (Katha Up. I.3.13). This passage enjoins pious meditation as a means of the Knowledge of the Supreme Self. It thus follows that the Sruti indicates various excellences in the case of the Atman only and not in that of the other things enumerated.

The text He reaches the end of his journey and that is the highest place of Vishnu suggests the question as to who is the end of the journey and we therefore conclude that the enumeration of the senses, objects, etc., has merely the purpose of teaching the highest place of Vishnu and not of teaching anything about the relation of the senses, objects and so on.

But the enumeration of the senses is not altogether useless. It enables the aspirant to turn the outgoing mind towards the Inner Self or the Atman. This subtle Atman cannot be attained without abstraction, introspection and profound meditation.


The Self mentioned in Ait. Up. I.1. is the Supreme Self

and the attributes of the Self given elsewhere

should be combined with this meditation

Atmagrihitiritaravaduttarat III.3.16 (375)

(In the Aitareya Upanishad I.1.) the Supreme Self is meant, as in other texts (dealing with creation) because of the subsequent qualification.

Atmagrihitih: the Supreme Self is meant; Itaravat: as in other texts (dealing with creation); Uttarat: because of the subsequent qualification.

We read in the Aitareya Upanishad Verily in the begin ning all this was the Self, one only; there was nothing else whatsoever (I.1). Here the doubt arises whether the term Self denotes the Supreme Self or some other being such as Hiranyagarbha.

It refers to the Supreme Self, even as the word Self in other texts which treat of creation refers to It, and not to Hiranyagarbha. From the Self ether was produced (Tait. Up. II.1). Why? Because in the subsequent text of the Aitareya we have It thought shall I send forth worlds? It sent forth these worlds (Ait. Up. I.1.2). This qualification, viz., that It thought before creation is applied to Brahman in the primary sense in other Sruti passages. Hence we con clude from this that the Self refers to the Supreme Self or Para Brahman and not to Hiranyagarbha, or any other Being.

Anvayaditi chet syadavadharanat III.3.17 (376)

If it be said that because of the context (the Supreme Self is not meant) (we reply that) it is so (i.e., the Supreme Self is meant) on account of the definite statement (that the Atman alone existed in the beginning).

Anvayat: because of connection, because of the context; Iti: this, so; Chet: if; Syat: it might be so; Avadharanat: on account of the definite state ment.

An objection to Sutra 16 is raised and refuted.

The Sutra consists of two parts namely an objection and its reply. The objection is `Anvayaditi chet’ the reply is `Syad-avadharanat’.

The reference is to Para Brahman or the Highest Self. The word Asit shows that the reference is to Para Brahman alone, because He alone existed before all creation. The Lokasrishti or creation of the world is only after the Mahabhutasrishti or creation of the five great elements.

The Purvapakshin says: In the Aitareya Upanishad (I.1), it is stated that Brahman created the four worlds. But it is said in the Taittiriya and other texts that Brahman created ether, air, fire, water and earth, the five elements. It is only Hiranyagarbha that creates the world with the aid of the elements created by the Highest Self. Hence the Self in the Aitareya Upanishad cannot mean the Supreme Self but only Hiranyagarbha or the Karya-Brahman.

This Sutra refutes it and declares that on account of the statement Verily, in the beginning all this was the Self, one only (Ait. Up. I.1.) which intimates that there was one only without a second, it can only refer to the Highest Self or Para Brahman and not to Hiranyagarbha, the Karya-Brahman. The Highest Self created the four worlds after creating the elements as described in other Sakhas. The attributes of Para Brahman or the Highest Self which are mentioned in other places are to be combined in the Aitareyaka meditation.


Only thinking water to be the dress of Prana is

enjoined in the Prana-Vidya

Karyakhyanadapurvam III.3.18 (377)

On account of (the rinsing of the mouth with water refer red to in the Prana Vidya) being a reiteration of an act (already ordained by the Smriti), what has not been so ordained elsewhere (is here enjoined by the Sruti).

Karyakhyanat: on account of being a statement of an act (already enjoined by the Smriti); Apurvam: which has not been so enjoined elsewhere.

In regard to Prana Upasana, Achamana is ordained only as reiteration of what is stated elsewhere. What is ordained is only meditation on water as covering food. What is enjoined in Prana Vidya Upasana of Chhandogya Upanishad is not the Achamana, as such. Achamana is enjoined by the Smritis and is common to all. What is ordained is Anagnatatchintana i.e., meditating that the food is covered by water.

In the Chhandogya Upanishad (V.2.2) and the Brihadaranyaka (VI.1.14) there is a reference to the rinsing of the mouth with water before and after meal, thinking that thereby that Prana is dressed.

These texts intimate two things, rinsing of the mouth and meditation on the breath as dressed. A doubt arises whether the texts enjoin both these matters or only the rinsing of the mouth, or only the meditation on breath as dressed.

This Sutra states that the act of rinsing the mouth is already ordained on every one by the Smriti and the act of thinking the water as the dress of Prana is alone enjoined by the Sruti. The act of rinsing the mouth is not a new one and there for requires no Vedic injunction.


Vidyas of the same Sakha which are identical

should be combined, in meditation

Samana evam chabhedat III.3.19 (378)

In the same (Sakha also) it is thus (i.e., there is unity of Vidya,) owing to non-difference (of the object of meditation).

Samana: in the same Sakha; Evam: every, (it is) like this; Cha: and, also; Abhedat: owing to non-difference.

A corollary to Sutra 5 is proved.

In the Agnirahasya in the Vajasaneyi Sakha there is a Vidya called Sandilya Vidya, in which occurs the passage Let him meditate on the Self which consists of mind, which has the Prana for its body, and light for its form (Sat. Br. Madhy. Again, in the Brihadaranyaka (V.10.6) which belongs to the same Sakha we have That person consist ing of mind, whose being is light, is within the heart, small like a grain of rice or barley. He is the ruler of all, the Lord of allHe rules all this whatsoever exists.

A doubt here presents itself whether these two passages are to be taken as one Vidya in which the particulars mentioned in either text are to be combined or not. Are they one Vidya or different Vidyas?

This Sutra declares that, they are one Vidya, as the object of meditation (Upasya) is the same in both. The object of meditation in both is the Self consisting of mind. The combining of the particulars of a similar Vidya in the same Sakha is the same as in the case of such Vidyas which occur in different Sakhas. Although the two passages belong to one and the same Sakha, they yet constitute the Vidya only and their particulars have to be combined into one whole. The former directs worship, by means of such Vidya. The latter gives its Gunas (features).

Though there is some difference in minor details, the two descriptions of the Sandilya Vidya in the two Srutis are practically the same. So, a particular point mentioned in one Sruti in connection with the Sandilya Vidya has to be incorporated with the other, if it be not mentioned in the latter.

Therefore the Sandilya Vidya is one.


The names `Ahar’ and `Aham’ of Brahman occurring in

Bri. Up. V.5.1-2 cannot be combined

Sambandhadevamanyatrapi III.3.20 (379)

Thus in other cases also, on account of the connection (of particulars with one and the same Vidya).

Sambandhat: on account of the connection; Evam: thus, like this; Anyatra: in other cases; Api: also.

An inference on the analogy of the preceding Sutra is drawn by way of objection.

This Sutra is a Purvapaksha Sutra. It sets forth the view of the opponent.

We read in the Brihadaranyaka (V.5.1-2), Satya (the truth) is Brahman. That which is Satya is that Sunthe being who is in that orb and the being who is in the right eye. This gives the abode of the Satya Brahman with respect to the gods and the body. The text teaches the two secret names of the Satya Brahman in connection with these abodes. Its secret name is `Ahar’ with reference to the gods, and its secret name is `Aham’ with reference to the body.

A doubt here arises whether these two secret names are both to be applied to the Deva-abode of Brahman as well as to its bodily abode, or only one name to each.

Now on the analogy of the Sandilya Vidya, the particulars must be combined as the object of meditation, viz., the Satya Brahman is one. Therefore both the names `Ahar’ and `Aham’ have to be combined with respect to Satya Brahman.

Both the secret names equally belong to the Aditya as well as to the person within the eye.

Na va viseshat III.3.21 (380)

Rather not (so) on account of the difference (of place).

Na: not, not so; Va: or, but; Viseshat: because of difference. (Na va: rather not.)

The conclusion arrived at in the preceding Sutra is set aside. This is the Siddhanta Sutra.

This Sutra refutes the view of the previous Sutra. As the solar orb and the eye-ball are too distant and distant abodes for the worship of Brahman, the two significant names `Ahar’ and `Aham’ referred to in the previous Sutra, should not both be employed in the same form of meditation. Each name refers to a different locus of Upasana.

Though the Vidya is one, still on account of difference in places the object of meditation becomes different. Therefore there are different names. Hence these cannot be exchanged or combined.

The Purvapakshin or the opponent raises an objection. He says: The person within the orb of the sun and the person within the eye are one only, because the text teaches that both are abodes of the one true Brahman.

True, we reply, but as each secret name is taught only with reference to the one Brahman and conditioned by a particular state, the name applies to Brahman only in so far as it is in that state. Here is an analogy. The teacher always remains the teacher; yet those kinds of services which the pupil has to do to the teacher when sitting have not to be done when he stands and vice versa.

The comparison given by the opponent is not well chosen as the duties of the disciple towards his teacher depend on the latter’s character as teacher and that is not changed by his being either in the village or in the forest.

Therefore, the two secret names `Ahar’ and `Aham’ have to be held apart. They cannot be combined.

Darsayati cha III.3.22 (381)

(The scripture) also declares (that).

Darsayati: (Sruti) shows, indicates, declares; Cha: also, and.

An additional argument is given to refute Sutra 20.

The scripture distinctly states that the attributes are not to be combined, but kept apart; because it compares the two persons, the person in the sun and the person within the eye. If it wanted the particulars to be combined, it would not make such a comparison.

The conclusion, therefore, is that the two secret names are to be kept apart.


Attributes of Brahman occurring in the Ranayaniya Khila

constitute an independent Vidya

Sambhritidyuvyaptyapi chatah III.3.23 (382)

For the same reason (as in the previous Sutra) the support ing (of the world) and pervading the sky (attributed to Brahman in the Ranayaniya Khila) also (are not to be included in other Vidyas or Upasanas of Brahman).

Sambhriti: supporting the world; Dyuvyapti: pervading the sky; Api: also; Cha: and; Atah: for the same reason (as in the previous Sutra). (Dyu: the sky, all the space, heaven).

A restriction to Sutra 5 is made.

In a supplementary text of the Ranayaniyas we meet with a passage, The powers, which were collected together, were preceded by Brahman; the pre-existent Brahman in the beginning pervaded the whole sky.

Now these two qualities `Sambhriti’ and `Dyuvyapti’ are not to be inserted or included in the Sandilya Vidya and other Vidyas for the same reason as is given in the last Sutra, viz., difference of abode. In the Sandilya Vidya, Brahman is said to have its abode in the heart He is the Self within the heart (Chh. Up. III.14.3). The same statement is made in the Dahara-Vidya There is the palace, the small lotus of the heart, and in it that small ether (VIII.1.1). In the Upakosala-Vidya, again, Brahman is said to abide within the eye That person that is seen in the eye (IV.15.1).

Further these qualities and those mentioned in other Vidyas like the Sandilya Vidya are of such a nature as to exclude each other and are not suggestive of each other. The mere fact of certain Vidyas being connected with Brahman does not constitute their unity. It is an established fact that Brahman, although one only, is owing to the plurality of its powers meditated upon in many ways, as shown under Sutra 7.

The conclusion, therefore, is that the attributes of holding together its powers (Sambhriti and Dyuvyapti) are not to be inserted in the Sandilya and similar Vidyas, and that the Upasana referred to in this Sutra is an independent Vidya by itself. The Sandilya Vidya refers to the worship of Atman in the heart and the Upakosala-Vidya refers to the worship of the Atman in the eye, whereas the above attributes relate to the macrocosm.


The Purusha Vidya in the Chhandogya and the Taittiriya

are not to be combined

Purushavidyayamiva chetareshamanamnanat III.3.24 (383)

And (as the qualities) as (mentioned) in the Purusha-Vidya (of the Chhandogya) are not mentioned (in that) of the others (i.e., in the Taittiriya) (the two Purusha-Vidyas are not one; are not to be combined).

Parushavidyayamiva: as in the Purusha-Vidya (of the Chhandogya); Cha: and; Itaresham: of the others; Anamnanat: because of not being mentioned (in the Taittiriya).

The Purusha Vidya of the Chhandogya Upanishad and that of the Taittiriya Upanishad are now examined.

In the Rahasya-Brahmana of the Tandins and the Paingins (the Chhandogya) there is a Vidya treating of man in which man is identified with the sacrifice, the three periods of his life with the three libations Man is the sacrifice.

In the Taittiriya Aranyaka (X.64) also occurs a similar Vidya For him who knows thus the self of the sacrifice is the sacrificer, faith (Sraddha) is the wife of the sacrificer, etc.

The doubt here arises whether the two Vidyas are one, whether the particulars of the man-sacrifice given in the Chhandogya are to be inserted in the Taittiriya or not.

The fundamental attribute referred to is that man is identi fied with sacrifice in both. This Sutra declares that in spite of this, the two Vidyas are not one, because the details differ. The characteristics of the Purusha-Yajna of the Chhandogyas are not recognised in the Taittiriya text. The Taittiriya exhibits an identification of man with the sacrifice in which the wife, the sacrificer, the Veda, the Vedi, the sacrificial grass, the post, the butter, the sacrificial animal, the priest etc., are mentioned in succession. These particulars are not mention ed in the Chhandogya.

The two texts agree in identification of the Avabhritha ceremony with death. There are greater number of dissimilarities. The Taittiriya does not represent man as the sacrifice as the Chhandogya does.

Moreover the result of the Vidya in the Taittiriya is the attainment of the greatness of Brahman: He obtains the greatness of Brahman. The result of the Vidya in Chhandogya is long life, He who knows this lives on to a hundred and sixteen years.

Therefore, the two Vidyas are separate. The particulars cannot be combined in the two places. The particulars mentioned in the Purusha-Vidya of Chhandogya, such as formulas of prayer, Mantras and so on are not to be combined with the Taittiriya text of the Vidya.


Unconnected Mantras and sacrifices mentioned in certain Upanishads do not belong to Brahma-Vidya

Vedhadyarthabhedat III.3.25 (384)

Because the matter (of certain Mantras) such as piercing and so on is different (from the matter of the approximate Vidyas), (the former are not to be combined with the latter).

Vedhadi: piercing etc.; Arthabhedat: because they have a different meaning.

Certain expressions occurring at the beginning of an Upanishad of the Atharva-Veda are taken up for discussion.

At the beginning of the Upanishad of the Atharvanikas we have Pierce the whole (body of the enemy), pierce his heart, crush his veins, crush his head etc. At the beginning of the Upanishad of the Tandins we have the Mantra O God Savita! produce the sacrifice. At the beginning of Kathas and the Taittiriyaka we have May Mitra be propitious to us and Varuna etc. At the beginning of that of the Kaushitakins we have Brahman indeed is the Agnistoma, Brahman is that day; through Brahman they pass into Brahman, Immortality, those reach who observe that day.

The question is whether these Mantras and the sacrifices referred to in the Brahmanas in close proximity to the Upanishads are to be combined with the Vidyas prescribed by these Upanishads.

The opponent holds that they are to be combined, because the text exhibits them in proximity to the Upanishad-portions of the Brahmanas whose chief contents are formed by the Vidyas. In the case of Mantras we can always imagine some meaning which connects them with the Vidyas. The first Mantra quoted glorifies the heart, because the heart is often represented in the Vidyas as abode of meditation. Therefore Mantras which glorify the heart may constitute subordinate members of those Vidyas.

This Sutra declares that they are not to be combined because their meaning is different, as they indicate acts of a sacrifice and so have no association or relationship with the Vidyas.

The Mantras might be so employed if their whole contents were glorification of the heart, but this is not the case. The Mantra first quoted clearly expresses enmity to somebody and is therefore not to be connected with the Vidyas of the Upanishads, but with some ceremony meant to destroy one’s enemy.

Other Mantras are subordinate to certain sacrificial actions. They cannot, because they occur in the Upanishads, be connect ed with the Vidyas on the ground of mere proximity.

For this reason the mentioned Mantras and acts are not on the ground of mere textual collocation to be viewed as supplementary to the Vidyas of the Upanishads.


The statement that the good and evil deeds of a person go respectively to his friends and enemies is true for texts

that mention discarding of such actions by him

Hanau tupayanasabdaseshatvat

kusacchandastutyupaganavattaduktam III.3.26 (385)

But where only the getting rid (of the good and evil) is mentioned (the obtaining of this good and evil by others has to be added) because the statement about acceptance is supplementary (to the statement about the getting rid of) as in the case of the Kusas, metres, praise and hymns or recitations. This (i.e., the reason for this) has been stated (by Jaimini in Purvamimamsa).

Hanau: where only the getting rid (of good and evil) is mentioned; Tu: but; Upayanasabdaseshatvat: on account of the word `acceptance’ being supplementary to the word `getting rid’; Kusacchandastutyupaganavat: like Kusa-sticks, metres, praises and hymns; Tat: that; Uktam: has been stated (by Jaimini). (Upayana: acceptance; Sabda: on account of the statement of the word; Seshatvat: on account of being supplementary to.)

Here is a discussion on the shaking off of virtues and vices by the released soul at death and their acceptance by his friends and enemies.

Jaimini has said that statements with respect to Kusas, metres, praises and hymns have to be completed from other texts. It is said in the Kaushitaki Sruti that Kusa sticks are to be collected from trees without any specification as to what sort of tree; but in the Satyayana branch it is said that the Kusas are of the Udumbara tree. This latter expression is to be accepted as complementary to the former expression of the Kaushitaki Sruti. The first Sruti will have to be com pleted in the light of the other.

There is in a Sruti an injunction to say a prayer composed in metre without any specification of the kind of metre, but in another place there is mention of the Deva-metre to be employed in such a case. Therefore the Deva-metre is to be understood in the previous case also.

There is instruction in one Sruti to utter praises for the sacrificial vessel `Shodasi’ without specifying the time as to when it should be performed; but in another Sruti it is taught to be performed when the sun has risen. Here the latter instruction is to be accepted as supplementary to the former.

As regards the hymn it is not definitely stated which of the four priests is to join in the singing of the prayer in a sacrifice; but this doubt has been cleared up by a particular text which says that the Adhvaryu will not join in the singing. Putting the two statements together, the conclusion is that all the priests except the Adhvaryu will join.

This principle is here applied to the effects of the actions of a liberated sage in connection with the Vidyas mentioned in the Upanishads. In the text of the Tandins we find shakes off all evil as a horse shakes his hair, and shaking off the body as the moon frees herself from the mouth of Rahu, I obtain the uncreated world of Brahman (Chh. Up. VIII.13). Again in Mundaka Upanishad (III.1.3) we read Then knowing shaking off good and evil, he reaches the highest oneness, free from passion. These Srutis are silent on the point as to who accepts his good and evil deeds.

In the Satyayana branch of Sruti it is said His sons obtain his inheritance, his friends the good, his enemies the evil he has done. In the Kaushitaki Upanishad (I.4) we find He shakes off his good and his bad deeds. His beloved relations obtain the good, his unbeloved relatives the evil he has done.

This Sutra declares that the obtaining of the good and evil by his friends and enemies has to be inserted or necessarily added in the Chhandogya text and Mundaka text according to Jaimini’s principle explained above.

The Purvapakshin raises another objection. He argues that the verb `Dhu’ in the text of the Chhandogya and Kaushitaki may be interpreted as `trembling’ and not as `getting rid of’. It would mean therefore that good and evil still cling to a person who attains Knowledge, although their effects are retarded on account of the Knowledge.

This Sutra declares that such a meaning is incorrect, because the subsequent portion of the text indicates that others obtain the good and evil. This is certainly not possible unless the person who attains Knowledge abandons them.

Good and evil deeds cannot be said to `tremble’ in the literal sense of the word like flags in the wind, as they are not of a substantial nature. Though `Dhu’ in `Vidhuya’ may be said to signify `shaking’ and not `casting off’, yet as others are described as taking the liberated sage’s merits and sins, it means `casting off’.


The shaking off of good and evil by the man of Knowledge

occurs only at the time of his death

Samparaye tarttavyabhavattathahyanye III.3.27 (386)

(He who attains knowledge gets rid of his good and evil deeds) at the time of death, there being nothing to be attained (by him on the way to Brahmaloka through those works); for thus others (declare in their sacred texts).

Samparaye: at the time of death; Tarttavyabhavat: there being nothing to be attained; Tatha: in this way, so; Hi: because, for; Anye: others.

This Sutra decides when the individual soul shakes off his good and evil deeds.

The question now arises as to when the individual soul gets rid of his good and evil deeds. In the Kaushitaki Upanishad (I.4) we find He comes to the river Viraja and crosses it by the mind alone, and there he shakes off good and evil. On the strength of this text the Purvapakshin or the opponent maintains that the good and evil deeds are discarded on his way to Brahmaloka and not at the time of departing from the body.

This Sutra refutes it and declares that the liberated sage frees himself from the effects of good and evil works at the time of death through the strength of his knowledge.

Though the Kaushitaki Sruti refers to the discarding of good and evil on the Devayana way or the way to Brahmaloka, after crossing the Viraja river, the good and evil deeds are cast off at death, because there is nothing to be attained through them after death, there remaining nothing to be enjoyed by him through his good and evil works. The good and evil works are no longer of any use to him and not fit to be retained by him thereafter.

The Sanchita Karma or accumulated works are destroyed as soon as one attains knowledge of Brahman. Prarabdha is destroyed at death. So he is freed from the effects of all his merits and sins at the time of death.

As the results of his good and evil deeds are contrary to the result of knowledge, they are destroyed by the power of the latter. The moment of their destruction is that moment in which he sets out towards the fruit of his knowledge, i.e., the world of Brahman.

Moreover it is not possible to cast off the effects of good and evil deeds on the way to Brahmaloka because the soul has no gross body and so it cannot take recourse to any practice that can destroy them.

Further one cannot cross the river Viraja unless he is freed from all good and evil.

The Sruti declares shaking off all evil as a horse shakes off his hairs (Chh. Up. VIII.13.1).

Therefore the settled conclusion is that all good and evil works are cast off at the time of death.

Chhandata ubhayavirodhat III.3.28 (387)

(The interpretation that the individual soul practising Yama-Niyama) according to his liking (discards good and evil works while living is reasonable) on account of there being harmony in that case between the two (viz., cause and effect, as well as between the Chhandogya and another Sruti).

Chhandatah: according to his liking; Ubhayanirodhat: on account of there being harmony between the two. (Ubhaya: of either; there being no contradiction.)

The view is correct because voluntary performance of Yama, Niyma, etc., to get rid of Karma is possible only before death, and because it is opposed to all texts. The above view is in agreement or unison with all Srutis.

If the soul frees himself from his good and evil deeds on the way after having departed from the body and having entered on the way of the gods (Devayana), we land ourselves in impossibilities, because after the body has been left behind, he cannot practise according to his liking self-restraint and pur suit of knowledge which can effect destruction of his good and evil deeds. Therefore there cannot be annihilation of his good and evil works.

It does not certainly stand to reason that the effect is delayed till some time after death when the cause is there already. When there is a body it is not possible to attain Brahmaloka. There is no difficulty in discarding good and evil.


The knower of Saguna Brahman alone goes along Devayana,

and not the knower of Nirguna Brahman

Gaterarthavattvamubhayathanyatha hi virodhah III.3.29 (388)

(The soul’s) journey (along the path of the gods, Devayana) is applicable in a two-fold manner, otherwise there would be contradiction (of scripture).

Gateh: of the journey of the soul (after death), along the path of the gods; Arthavatvam: utility; Ubhayatha: in two ways; Anyatha: otherwise; Hi: for, certainly; Virodhah: contradiction.

Here is a side issue of Sutra 27.

In some scriptural texts the dead man’s going on the path of the gods is mentioned in connection with his freeing himself from good and evil. In other texts it is not mentioned. The doubt now arises whether the two things go together in all cases or only in certain cases.

The Purvapakshin holds that the two are to be connected in all cases, just as the man’s freeing himself from his good and evil works is always followed by their passing over to his friends and enemies.

This Sutra declares that the worshipper of Saguna Brahman only takes journey after death along the Devayana. The going on that path has a sense in the case of Saguna Upasana only and not in worshippers of Nirguna Brahman. Brahmaloka is located elsewhere in space. The Saguna Upasaka has to move and attain that abode. There is actual going through which another place is reached. Therefore, the journey has a meaning in his case only. The Prana of Nirguna Upasaka is absorbed in Brahman. He is one with the Infinite or the Absolute. Where will he move? The liberated sage who is free from all desires and egoism does not go to another place. He does not move. The Supreme Brahman is not to be reached by the liberated sage. He need not transport himself to another locality. There is no meaning at all in journey for such a sage who is absorbed in Nirguna Brahman. His ignorance is destroyed by the dawn of knowledge of Brahman. He becomes identical with the Supreme Self. If there is journey for him also, then it would contradict Sruti texts like Shaking off good and evil, free from passions, he reaches the Highest Self, or Para-Brahman (Mun. Up. III.1.3).

How can the liberated sage who has become one with the Supreme Brahman who is secondless, who is all-pervading, who is Infinite, who is without motion, go to another place by Devayana? He has already attained his goal or union with Brahman. The journey along the Devayana is meaningless for him.

Therefore, he who has realised the Saguna Brahman, he who worships Saguna Brahman alone goes by the Devayana.

Upapannastallakshanarthopalabdherlokavat III.3.30 (389)

(The two-fold view taken above) is justified because we observe a purpose characterised thereby (i.e., a purpose of the going) as in ordinary life.

Upapannah: is reasonable; Tallakshanarthopalabdheh: for the characteristics which render such journey possible are seen; Lokavat: as is seen in the world, as is the ordinary experience. (Tat: that; Lakshana: mark, characteristic features; Artha: object; Upalabdheh: being known, on account of the obtaining.)

The previous discussion is continued.

The meditations on Saguna or qualified Brahman, such as the Paryankavidya of the Kaushitaki Upanishad, there is a reason for the man’s proceeding on the path of the gods (Devayana); because the text mentions certain results which can be attained only by the man going to different places, such as his mounting a couch, his holding conversation with Brahman seated on a couch, his experiencing various odours and so on.

On the contrary going on the path of the gods has nothing to do with perfect knowledge. No purpose is served by such a journey in the case of a liberated sage or Nirguna Upasaka in whom ignorance has been destroyed by the dawn of knowledge of Brahman or the Imperishable. He has attained oneness or unity with the Supreme Self. All his desires have been fulfilled. All his Karmas have been destroyed. He is only waiting for the dissolution of the body.

The destruction is similar to what is observed in ordinary life. If we wish to reach some village we have to proceed on a path leading there, but no moving on a path is needed when we want to attain freedom from a disease.


The passage of the soul by Devayana applies equally

to all Vidyas of Saguna Brahman

Aniyamah sarvasamavirodhah sabdanumanabhyam III.3.31 (390)

There is no restriction (as to the going on the path of the gods for any Vidya). There is no contradiction as is seen from the Sruti and Smriti.

Aniyamah: (there is) no restriction; Sarvasam: of all; Avirodhah: there is no contradiction; Sabdanumanabhyam: as is seen from Sruti and Smriti. (Sabdah: the word, i.e., the revealed scripture or Sruti; Anumana: inference or Smriti.)

The journey of the soul who knows Brahman is continued.

We have shown that the going on the path of the gods is valid only for the Vidyas of Saguna Brahman, not for the knowledge of Nirguna Brahman which is devoid of all qualities.

Now we observe that the going on the path of the gods to Brahmaloka is mentioned only in some of the qualified Vidyas such as the Paryanka Vidya, the Panchagni Vidya, the Upakosala Vidya, the Dahara Vidya, but it is not mentioned or expressly stated in others such as the Madhu Vidya, the Sandilya Vidya, the Shodasakala Vidya, the Vaisvanara Vidya.

The doubt now arises whether the going on the path of the gods is to be connected with those Vidyas in which it is actually mentioned or generally with all Vidyas of that kind.

This Sutra declares that all worshippers of the Saguna Brahman, whatever their Vidyas may be, go after death by this path. This is seen from the Sruti and Smriti. Those who meditate thus through Panchagni Vidya and also those who understand other Vidyas and also those who meditate in the forest with faith and austerities, on Saguna Brahman through any other Vidya proceed on the path of the gods (Chh. Up. V.10.1.); (Bri. Up. VI.2.15).

Bhagavad Gita also declares, Light and darkness, these are thought to be the world’s everlasting paths; by the one he goes who does not return, by the other he returns again (VIII.26).

The term The True in the passage Those who in the forest, with faith, worship the True, i.e., Brahman, is often employed to denote Brahman.

Thus it is quite clear that the going on the path of gods is not confined to those Vidyas in which it is actually mentioned or expressly stated.


Perfected souls may take a corporeal existence for divine mission

Yavadadhikaramavasthitiradhikarikanam III.3.32 (391)

Of those who have a mission to fulfil (there is corporeal) existence, so long as the mission is not fulfilled.

Yavadadhikaram: so long as the mission is not fulfilled; Avasthitih: (there is corporeal) existence; Adhikarikanam: of those who have a mission in life to fulfil. (Yavad: as long as; Adhikaram: mission, purpose to be fulfilled.)

A plausible objection to Sutra 31 is refuted.

The Purvapakshin says Rishi Apantaratamas, a teacher of the Vedas was by the order of Vishnu, born on this earth as Vyasa or Krishna Dvaipayana. Similarly Vasishtha, the son of Brahma’s mind having parted from former body in consequence of the curse of Nimi, was on the order of Brahma, again procreated by Mitra and Varuna. Bhrigu and other sons of Brahma’s mind were again born at the sacrifice of Varuna. Sanatkumara also, who likewise was a son of Brahma’s mind, was in consequence of a boon being granted to Rudra, born again as Skanda. Daksha, Narada and other Rishis were born again. It is stated that some assumed a new body after the old body had perished, some assumed through their supernatural powers various new bodies while the old body remained intact all the while.

Now these Rishis had knowledge of Brahman or the Absolute and yet they had to be reborn. If this is the case what is the use of such knowledge of Brahman? The knowledge of Brahman may either be or not be the cause of final emancipation or freedom.

The Sutra refutes it and declares that ordinarily a person is not reborn after attaining knowledge of the Absolute. But the case of those who have a divine mission to fulfil is different. They may have one or more births till their mission is fulfilled, after which they are not born again. They are entrusted with the offices conducive to the subsistence of the world such as the promulgation of the Vedas and the like. They assume new bodies of their own free will and not as the result of Karma. They pass from one body to another, as if from one house into another in order to accomplish the duties of their offices. They preserve all the true memory of their identity. They create for themselves, through their power over the material of the body and the sense organs, new bodies and occupy them either all at once or in succession.

Smriti tells us that Sulabha, a woman who had knowledge of Brahman, wanted to enter into discussion with Janaka. She left her own body, entered into that of Janaka, carried on a discussion with him and again returned into her own body.

Tat Tvam Asi (That thou art) does not mean Tat Tvam Mrito Bhavishyasi (they will become That after death). It can not be interpreted to mean Thou wilt be that after thou hast dead. Another text declares that the fruit of Knowledge viz., union with Brahman springs up at the moment when the com plete knowledge of Brahman is attained. The Rishi Vamadeva saw and understood it singing, I was Manu, I was the sun.

But they never come under the sway of Avidya or nescience even though they may be born. The case is similar to that of a liberated sage. A Jivanmukta continues his physical existence even after attaining Brahma Jnana or Knowledge of the Absolute as long as the Prarabdha Karma lasts. The divine mission of these Rishis like Sri Vyasa, Vasishtha, Apantaratamas, can be compared to the Prarabdha Karma of Jivanmuktas.

For all these reasons it is established that those who are endowed with true and perfect knowledge attain in all cases final emancipation.


The negative attributes of Brahman mentioned in various texts

are to be combined in all meditations on Brahman

Aksharadhiyam tvavarodhah

samanyatadbhavabhyamaupasadavattaduktam III.3.33 (392)

But the conceptions of the (negative) attributes of the Imperishable (Brahman) are to be combined (from different texts where the Imperishable Brahman is dealt with, as they form one Vidya), because of the similarity (of defining the Imperishable Brahman through denials) and the object (the Imperishable Brahman) being the same, as in the case of the Upasad (offerings). This has been explained (by Jaimini in the Purvamimamsa).

Aksharadhiyam: of the meditation of negative attributes belonging to the Imperishable; Tu: but, indeed; Avarodhah: combination; Samanyatadbhavabhyam: because of the similarity (of denying Brahman through denials) and the object (viz., Imperishable Brahman) being the same; Aupasadavat: as in the case of the Upasad (offering) like the hymn or the Mantra in connection with the Upasada rite; Tat: that; Uktam: has been explained (by Jaimini in the Purvamimamsa).

The negative attributes of the Imperishable are now examin ed, as the positive attributes were examined in Sutra 11 of this section.

We read in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, O Gargi! The Brahmanas or the knowers of Brahman call this Akshara or the Imperishable. It is neither gross nor subtle, neither short nor long (Bri. Up. III.8.8). Again the Mundaka says, The Supreme Knowledge is that by which the Imperishable (Akshara) is attained. That which is imperceivable, ungraspable, which has no family and no caste etc. (Mun. Up. I.1.5-6). In other places also the highest Brahman, under the name of Akshara is described as that of which all qualities are to be denied.

A doubt arises now as to whether the negative qualities in the above two texts are to be combined so as to form one Vidya or they are to be treated as two separate Vidyas.

The Purvapakshin maintains that each denial is valid only for that passage in which the text actually exhibits it, and not for other places. These negative attributes do not directly indicate or specify the nature of Brahman like the positive attributes, Bliss, Peace, Knowledge, Truth, Purity, Perfection, Eternity, etc. Hence the principle stated in Sutra III.3.11 does not apply here, because no purpose is really served or gained by such a combination.

This Sutra refutes this and declares that such denials are to be combined because the method of teaching Brahman through denial is the same and the object of instruction is also the same, viz., the Imperishable Brahman (Akshara). The rule of Sutra III.3.11 applies here also. In Sutra III.3.11 positive attributes of Brahman were discussed. Here we are concerned with negative attributes which teach Brahman by an indirect method. The case is similar to the Upasad offerings. The Mantras for giving these offerings are found only in the Sama Veda. But the priests of the Yajur Veda use this Mantra given in the other Veda. The hymns which occur in the Sama Veda are recited by the Adhvaryu after the time of the Yajur Veda. This prin ciple has been established by Jaimini in Purvamimamsa (III.3. 9).

Similarly the negative attributes have to be combined here also in the meditation on the Imperishable Brahman (Akshara).

The conception of the negative attributes of the Indestruc tible (Akshara) as stated in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is to be retained in the meditations on the Indestructible everywhere (i.e., in every Akshara Vidya) because the same Akshara is recog nised in every Akshara Vidya and also because those negative attributes are presupposed to be included among His essential attributes.


Mundaka III.1.1 and Katha I.3.1 constitute one Vidya

Iyadamananat III.3 34 (393)

Because (the same thing) is described as such and such.

Iyat: so much only, this much; Amananat: on account of being men tioned in the scripture.

We read in the Mundaka Upanishad Two birds of beautiful plumage, inseparable friends, cling to the same tree. One of them eats the sweet and bitter fruits there of, the other looks on without eating (Mun. Up. III.1.1). The same Mantra is found in the text of Svetasvatara Upanishad (IV.6).

Again we have, There are the two enjoying the fruits of their good deeds, entered into the cave, dwelling on the highest summit. Those who know Brahman call them shade and light, likewise those householders who perform the Trinachiketa sacri fice (Katha Up. I.3.1).

The doubt here arises, do we have in these two texts two different Vidyas or one only?

The Purvapakshin or the opponent maintains that these are two Vidyas, because there are different objects of meditation. The Mundaka text declares that only one eats the fruit, while the other does not. Katha text says that both of them enjoy the fruits of their good actions. So the object of meditation is not the same. As the objects of knowledge differ in character, the Vidyas themselves must be looked upon as separate.

This Sutra refutes it and declares that they form one Vidya, because both describe the same Lord as existing thus and thus, i.e. in the form of the individual soul. The purpose or aim of the two Sruti passages is to teach about the Highest Self or Para Brahman and show the identity of the Jiva and Para Brahman.

As the word Dvau, i.e., two is used in the two Srutis we must realise that they refer to the same Vidya. Though the Mundaka text says that one bird (the individual soul) eats the fruits of actions and the other bird looks on without eating and though the latter passage refers to the two as eating fruits, the Vidyas are the same as they refer to the same entity. Just as when in a group one carries an umbrella we say umbrella-holders go, even so the Para Brahman also is described as eating fruits. The context refers clearly to the eternal and Supreme Brahman (Aksharam brahma yat param).

The Katha Upanishad text intimates the same highest Brahman which is above all desires. As it is mentioned together with the enjoying individual soul, it is itself metaphorically spoken of as enjoying, just as we speak of the `men with the umbrella’ although only one out of several carries an umbrella. All this has been explained at length under I.2.11.

Therefore, the Vidyas are one only, as the object of medita tion or Knowledge is one.


Brihadaranyaka III.4.1 and III.5.1 constitute one Vidya

Antara bhutagramavatsvatmanah III.3.35 (394)

As the Self is within all, as in the case of the aggregate of the elements, (there is oneness of Vidya).

Antara: as being innermost of all, inside, the status of being the inmost; Bhutagramavat: as in the case of the aggregate of the elements; Svatmanah: of one’s own self.

Two passages from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad are taken up for discussion to show that they relate to the same Vidya.

In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Ushasta questions Yajnavalkya, Explain to me the Brahman which is present to intui tion, not hiddenthis Atman or Self which is within all (Bri. Up. III.4.1). Yajnavalkya replies, That which breathes through Prana is your self, that is within all.

In the same Upanishad Yajnavalkya gives an answer to the same question put by Kahola, That which transcends hunger and thirst, grief and delusion, decay and death, knowing this very self etc. (Bri. Up. III.5.1).

The Purvapakshin maintains that these two are separate Vidyas, because the replies given being different, the objects referred to must also be different.

This Sutra refutes this and declares that the object is one, the Highest Self or Para Brahman, because it is impossible to conceive two selves being simultaneously innermost of all in the same body.

Atman alone is taught in the two texts as being ultimately immanent just as Atman is also taught as being immanent in the elements. The two passages refer only to one Vidya, because there could be only one Atman, who is Sarvantara, i.e., ultimately immanent. Among the elements water is immanent in earth, fire in water and so on. But none has ultimate imma nency. Even so there is only one ultimate immanent entity.

Relatively one element can be inside the other. But none of the five elements which constitute this physical body can be truly the innermost of all. Similarly two selves cannot be simultaneously the innermost of all in the same body. Even so one self alone can be the innermost of all.

Therefore, the same self is taught in both the replies of Yajnavalkya.

In both the cases the subject-matter of the question and the answer is Brahman. This is emphasised by the sage Yajnavalkya himself, when he repeats That soul of thine is the innermost soul of individuals. The different expositions of Yajnavalkya refer to the one and the same object of worship, viz., Brahman.

As both texts equally declare the self to be within all, they must be taken as constituting one Vidya only. In both passages question and answer equally refer to a Self which is within everything. For in one body, there cannot be two selves, each of which is inside everything else. One Self only may be within everything. We read in the Svetasvatara Upanishad He is the one God, hidden in all beings, all-pervading, the Self within all beings. As this Mantra records that one Self lives within the aggregate of all beings, the same holds good with regard to the two passages of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.

As the object of Knowledge or the object of worship is one, the Vidya also is one only.

Anyatha bhedanupapattiriti chennopadesantaravat III.3.36 (395)

If it be said (that the two Vidyas are separate, for) other wise the repetition cannot be accounted for, we reply not so; (it is) like (the repetition) in another instruction (in the Chhandogya).

Anyatha: otherwise; Bhedanupapattih: the repetition cannot be account ed for, no justification for the variety in the wording of the two replies; Iti: so, this; Chet: if; Na: no, not so; Upadesantaravat: as will be seen from other teachings, as in the teaching of another Vidya, mode of meditation, namely the Satya Vidya in the Chhandogya. (Bheda: difference; Anupapattih: not obtaining.)

The opponent says that unless the separateness of the two Vidyas be admitted, the separation of the two statements cannot be accounted for. He remarks that unless the two texts refer to two different selves the repetition of the same subject would be meaningless.

This Sutra says that it is not so. The repetition has a definite purpose or aim. It helps the aspirant to comprehend the subjects more clearly and deeply from different view points. The repetition does not justify us to take that two different selves are taught here. In Chhandogya Upanishad the instruction con veyed in the words That is the Self, Thou art That (Tat Tvam Asi), O Svetaketu, is repeated nine times, and yet the one Vidya is not thereby split into many. Similarly is this case also.

The introductory and concluding clauses indicate that all those passages have the same sense. There also the Upakrama (beginning) is the same. So is the conclusion (Upasamhara). It says, Everything else is perishable, Everything else is of evil.

In the earlier Brahmana, Atman is taught as being sepa rate from the body and the senses. In the later Brahmana, Atman is taught as not having hunger, etc. But the Vidya is the same.

The former section declares the existence of the Supreme Self which is neither cause nor effect, while the latter qualifies it as that which transcends all the relative attributes of the Samsara state, such as hunger, thirst and so on. The second answer tells something special about the Self.

The two sections, therefore, form one Vidya only.


The Sruti prescribes reciprocal meditation in Ait. Ar. II.2.4.6

Vyatiharo vishimsanti hitaravat III.3.37 (396)

There is exchange (of meditation), because the texts distin guish (two meditations); as in other cases.

Vyatiharah: exchange; reciprocity (of meditation); Visimshanti: (the scriptures) explain clearly, distinguish; Hi: because, for; Itaravat: as in other cases.

The Aitareya Aranyaka says with reference to the person in the sun, What I am, that He is; what He is, that am I (Ait. Ar. II.2.4.6).

A doubt arises here whether the meditation is to be of a reciprocal nature, a double one by means of exchange, i.e., identifying the worshipper with the being in the sun, and then inversely, identifying the being in the sun with the worshipper; or only in the former manner.

The Purvapakshin maintains that the meditation is to be practised in the former manner only and not in the reverse way also. He argues that the soul would be exalted by the former meditation and the Lord be lowered by the latter one! There is a meaning in the first kind of meditation but the second kind of meditation is meaningless.

The present Sutra refutes this view and declares that the meditation is to be practised in both ways because such a state ment would be purportless. Exchange, or reverse meditation is expressly recorded in the Sruti for the purpose of meditation, just as other qualities of the Self such as its being the self of all, Satyasankalpa, etc., are recorded for the same purpose. For both texts make the distinctive double enunciation I am Thou and Thou art I. Now the double enunciation has a sense only if a twofold meditation is to be based upon it; other wise it would be devoid of meaning; since one statement would be all that is needed.

This will not in any way lower Brahman. Even in that way, only the unity of the Self is meditated upon. Brahman who is bodiless can be adored or meditated even as having a form. The double statement is merely meant to confirm the oneness of the Self. It gives force or emphasis to the identity.

Therefore, a twofold meditation has to be admitted, not a single one. This confirms the unity of the Self. The double relation enounced in the Sruti text has to be meditated upon, and is to be transformed to other Vidyas also which treat of the same subject.


Brihadaranyaka V.4.1 and V.5.3 treat of one Vidya

about Satya Brahman

Saiva hi satyadayah III.3.38 (397)

The same (Satya Vidya is taught in both places), because (attributes like) Satya etc., (are seen in both places).

Sa eva: the same (Satya Vidya); Hi: because; Satyadayah: (attributes like) Satya etc.

We read in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad He who knows this great, glorious, first born (Being) as the Satya Brahman, conquers these worlds (V.4.1). Again we read That which is Satya is that Sun the being who is in that orb and the being who is in the right eye… he destroys evils (V.5.3).

Now a doubt arises whether these two Satya Vidyas are one or different.

The Purvapakshin holds that the Vidyas are two; because the text declares two different results, one in the earlier passage He conquers these worlds(V.4.1), the other one later on He destroys evil and leaves it (V.5.3).

The Sutra declares that they are one, because the second text refers to the Satya of the earlier text, That which is Satya, etc.

In reality there is only one result in both cases. The state ment of a second result merely has the purpose of glorifying the new instruction given about Satya or the True, viz., that its secret names are `Ahar’ and `Aham’.

Therefore, the conclusion is that the text records only one Vidya of the True (Satyam), distinguished by such and such details and that hence all the qualities mentioned such as Truth and so on are to be comprehended in one act of meditation.

Some commentators think that the above Sutra refers not to the question whether Bri. Up. V.4,1 and V.5.3 form one Vidya or one meditation but to the question whether the Brihadaranyaka text about the persons in the sun and in the eye and the similar Chhandogya text (I.6.6), Now that golden person who is seen within the sun etc. constitute one Vidya or not.

They come to the conclusion that they constitute one Vidya and that hence truth and the other qualities mentioned in the Brihadaranyaka are to be combined with the Chhandogya text also.

But this interpretation of the Sutra is objectionable, because the Chhandogya Vidya refers to the Udgitha and is thus connected with sacrificial rites. The marks of this association are seen in the beginning, the middle and the end of the Vidya. We read at the beginning, The Rik is the earth, the Saman is fire, in the middle, Rik and Saman are his joints, and there fore he is the Udgitha, and in the end, He who knows this sings as a Saman (Chh. Up. I.6.1).

In the Brihadaranyaka, on the contrary, there is verily, nothing to connect the Vidya with the sacrificial rites. As the subject matter is different, the Vidyas are separate and the details of the two Vidyas are to be held separate.


Attributes mentioned in Chh. Up. VIII.1.1 and

Bri. Up. IV.4.22 are to be combined on account of

several common features in both texts

Kamaditaratra tatra chayatanadibhyah III.3.39 (398)

(Qualities like true) desire etc., (mentioned in the Chhandogya Upanishad are to be inserted) in the other (i.e., in the Brihadaranyaka) and (those mentioned) in the other (i.e., in the Brihadaranyaka are also to be inserted in the Chhandogya) on account of the abode, etc., (being the same in both).

Kamadi: (Satyasankalpadi) (True) desire etc.; Itaratra: in the other, elsewhere, in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad; Tatra: there, in the Chhandogya Upanishad; Cha: also; Ayatanadibhyah: on account of the abode etc.

Dahara Vidya of the Chhandogya and the Brihadaranyaka Upanishads is now discussed.

In the Chhandogya Upanishad (VIII.1.1) we read, There is this city of Brahman and in it the palace, the small lotus and in it the small ether; that is the Self. We read in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (IV.4.22) That great unborn self who con sists of Knowledge, who is surrounded by the Pranas lies in the ether that is within the heart.

A doubt here arises whether the two constitute one Vidya and therefore the particulars are to be combined or not.

The present Sutra declares that they form one Vidya and the qualities mentioned in each are to be combined in the other, because many points are common in both.

Wishes and so on, i.e., The quality of having true wishes and so on. The word `Kama’ stands for `Satyakama’ just as people occasionally say Datta for Devadatta and Bhama for Satyabhama. This quality and the other qualities which the Chhandogya attributes to the ether within the heart, have to be combined with the Brihadaranyaka passage, and vice versa, i.e., the qualities mentioned in the Brihadaranyaka such as being the ruler of all, have also to be ascribed to the Self free from sin, described in the Chhandogya.

The reason for this is that the two passages exhibit a number of common features. Common to both is the heart regarded as abode. Common again is the Lord as object of knowledge or meditation. Common also is the Lord being regarded as a bank preventing these worlds from being confounded. And there are several other points also.

But an objection is raised. There are also differences. In the Chhandogya the attributes are ascribed to the ether within the heart, while in the Brihadaranyaka they are attributed to Brah man abiding in the ether. This objection has no force. It can not certainly stand. We have shown under I.3.14 that the term ether in the Chhandogya designates Brahman.

There is, however, one difference between the two texts. The Chhandogya treats of Saguna Brahman while the Brihadaranyaka treats of Nirguna Brahman or the Supreme Brahman destitute of all qualities. Yajnavalkya says to Janaka For that person is not attached to anything. That Self is to be described by No, No,neti, neti (Bri. Up. IV.3.14).

But as the qualified Brahman is fundamentally one with the unqualified Brahman we must conclude that the Sutra teaches the combination of the qualities for glorifying Brahman and not for the purpose of devout meditation or Upasana.


Pranagnihotra need not be observed on days of fast

Adaradalopah III.3.40 (399)

On account of the respect shown (to the Pranagnihotra by the Sruti) there can be no omission (of this act) (even when the eating of food is omitted).

Adarat: on account of the respect shown; Alopah: there can be no omission.

This Sutra gives the view of the Purvapakshin or the opponent.

Because there is loving emphasis on Pranagnihotra in Jabala Sruti, such Pranagnihotra should not be omitted.

In the Vaisvanara Vidya of the Chhandogya Upanishad, the worshipper is asked first before he takes his meals to offer food to each of the Pranas, saying To Prana I offer this. The Sruti attaches much importance to this Pranagnihotra. The Sruti enjoins that food must be offered to the Pranas even before entertaining guests.

Now the question is whether the Pranagnihotra is to be observed even on days of fasting.

The Sutra declares that there should be no omission of it even on days of fasting, as the Sruti attaches much importance to it. The Jabala Sruti says it must be observed even on days of fasting by sipping at least a few drops of water.

To this Purvapaksha the next Sutra gives a reply.

Upasthite’tastadvachanat III.3.41 (400)

When eating is taking place (the Pranagnihotra has to be performed) from that (i.e., the food first eaten), for so (the Sruti) declares.

Upasthite: being present, being near, when food is served; Atah: from that, on that account; Tadvachanat: for so (the Sruti) declares.

This Sutra refutes the view expressed in the last Sutra, and declares that Pranagnihotra, need not be performed on fasting days, because the Sruti expressly declares, Therefore the first food which comes is meant for Homa. And he who offers that first oblation should offer it to Prana, saying Svaha (Chh. Up. 19.1).

The first portion of the food should be offered to the Pranas on those days when it is taken. The Sruti gives importance to this only and not that it should be observed even on days of fasting.


Upasanas mentioned in connection with sacrifices

are not their parts, but separate


prithagghyapratibandhah phalam III.3.42 (401)

There is no rule about the inviolability of that (i.e., Upasa nas connected with certain sacrifices) that is seen (from the Sruti itself); for a separate fruit (belongs to the Upasanas), viz., non-obstruction (of the results of the sacrifice).

Tannirdharananiyamah: no rule, about the inviolability of that; Taddrishtih: that being seen (from the Sruti); Prithak: separate; Hi: because; Apratibandhah: non-obstruction; Phalam: fruit, reward, result.

This Sutra states that a meditation or Upasana prescribed in connection with a ceremonial rite is not compulsory.

We have the direction to make a certain Upasana as an Anga (element or limit) of Karma (Karmangavabaddhopasti). Is it an indispensable element? No. If it is performed there will be greater fruit. Even if it is not done the Karma will be complete. This is clear from the Chhandogya Upanishad.

We now enter into an enquiry whether certain Upasanas mentioned with some sacrifices are part of those sacrifices and therefore inseparable and permanently connected with them.

The present Sutra declares that Upasanas do not constitute a part of the sacrifice, because there is no rule as to their inseparability. The Sruti expressly declares that the sacrifice can be done with or without the Upasanas. The ignorant man, as well as the wise man may both engage in the Udgitha worship; both perform the sacrifice (Chh. Up. I.1.10). This shows that the Udgitha worship may be performed, the meditation or Upasana part being left out. That which is performed with meditation, faith and knowledge becomes all the more effective.

There is no fixed rule for compulsory performance of Udgitha meditation and the like in ceremonials, because performance of the meditation on `OM’ is left optional to the performer and also because the fruit in each case is quite distinct, if the performance of the rite is not in any way obstructed, because it is clear that the meditation is sure to produce its own effect independently of the rite but the rite is liable to interruption and obstruction. If, however, the meditation and the rite be conjoined, fruit becomes doubly effective.

The Chhandogya Sruti (I.1.10) indicates that the rite can be done even without meditation or Upasana and that to perform the rite with meditation is to make it more effective. Hence the Udgitha meditation and all others performed in connec tion with ceremonial rite (Karmanga Upasana), are not com pulsory and are to be done by those only who wish to attain greater fruits.

The original sacrifice brings its own rewards but the Upasana increases its results. Therefore, the Upasana does not constitute a part of the sacrifice. Therefore, it may or may not be done according to the sweet will of the sacrificer.

The Upasana prevents any obstruction to the results of the sacrifice. This does not make it a part of the ceremonial rite. The rewards of the sacrifice may be delayed on account of the intervention of an evil Karma of the sacrificer. The Upasana annihilates the effect of this evil deed and hastens the attainment of the fruits of the sacrifice. That is all. The sacrifice does not rely upon the Upasana for its rewards.

Therefore, the Upasana does not form a part of the sacrifice and is, therefore, optional.


Meditations on Vayu and Prana are to be kept separate

notwithstanding the essential oneness of these two

Pradanavadeva taduktam III.3.43 (402)

As in the case of the offerings (Vayu and Prana must be held apart). This has been explained (in the Purvamimamsa Sutra).

Pradanavat: as in the case of the offerings of the `Pradana, oblation’; Eva: exactly; Tat: that; Uktam: has been stated.

The section of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad which begins Voice held, I shall speak (Bri. Up. I.5.21) determines Prana to be the best amomg the organs of the body and Vayu to be the best among the Devas.

In the Chhandogya Upanishad Vayu is said to be the general absorber of the Devas, Vayu indeed is the absorber (IV.3.1); Prana is said to be the general absorber of the organs of the body, Breath indeed is the absorber (IV.3.3).

In the Samvarga Vidya of the Chhandogya Upanishad, meditation on Prana with reference to the body and on Vayu with reference to the gods is prescribed.

Many Sruti texts say that Prana and Vavu are one in essence. Therefore, the Purvapakshin main tains that the two meditations can be combined and that Vayu and Prana are non-separate because in their true nature they do not differ. And as their true nature does not differ they must not be meditated upon separately. In some places we have even a direct identification of the two, What Prana is that is VayuYah pranah sa vayuh.

The present Sutra refutes the above view and declares that they are to be kept apart despite the non-difference in nature of Prana and Vayu, because their functions on account of their different abodes are different. Although there may be non-difference of true nature, yet there may be difference of condition giving rise to difference of instruction, and through the latter to difference of meditation.

The Sutra compares the case under discussion to a parallel one from the Karmakanda by means of the clause as in the case of the offerings.

As an illustration we may take Pradhana where Purodasa (oblations) is given separately to Raja Indra (the Ruler), Adhiraja Indra (the monarch or the over-ruler), and Svaraja Indra (the sovereign or the self-ruler) according to his different capacities, though Indra is essentially one, though he is one god.

Hence, though the Vidya is one from the Adhyatmic point of view, there is separateness from the Adhidaivata point of view. So the meditations on Prana and Vayu have to be kept apart. This principle is established by Jaimini, in Purva mimamsa (Sankarsha alias Devata Kanda).


The fires in Agnirahasya of the Brihadaranyaka are not part

of the sacrificial act, but form an independent Vidya

Lingabhuyastvat taddhi baliyastadapi III.3.44 (403)

On account of the majority of indicatory marks (the fires of the mind, speech, etc., in the Agnirahasya of the Vajasaneyins do not form part of the sacrifice), for it (the indicatory mark) is stronger (than the context or the general subject matter). This also (has been explained in the Purvamimamsa Sutras by Jaimini).

Lingabhuyastvat: because of an abundance of distinguishing marks; Tat: that, the distinguishing mark; Hi: because; Baliyah: is stronger; Tat: that; Api: also.

In the Agnirahasya of the Vajasaneyins (Satapatha Brahmana) certain fires named after mind, speech, eyes, etc., are mentioned.

A doubt arises whether these form part of the sacrifice mentioned therein or form an independent Vidya.

The present Sutra declares that in spite of the prima facie view which arises from the context, these form a separate Vidya because there are many indicatory marks to show that these fires form an independent Vidya.

The indicatory marks are of greater force than the context or the leading subject matter (Prakarana). This has been explained in the Purvamimamsa (III.3.14).

The reference in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad takes a man’s age to be one hundred years, i.e., 36,000 days and describes each day’s mentality as an Agnichayana or fire sacrifice. The passage occurs in a portion relating to Karma or ceremonial action. If you say that such a meditation is an Anga or element in the ceremonial because it occurs in a passage relating to Karma, we say that the majority of indicatory marks is otherwise, e.g., the Sruti says that such Chayana goes on even in sleep. A specific reason given in a passage has a greater weight or force than mere context.

Purvavikalpah prakaranat syat kriyamanasavat III.3.45 (404)

(The fires spoken of in the previous Sutra are) alternative forms of the one mentioned first, (i.e., the actual sacrificial fire) on account of the context; (they) ought to be part of the sacrifice like the imaginary drink or the Manasa-cup.

Purvavikalpah: an alternative form of the already mentioned first; Prakaranat: on account of the context, as can be understood from the subject matter of the chapter; Syat: there may be, ought to be; Kriyamana savat: ceremonial act, like the act of meditation, like the imaginary drink, as in the case of mental operation in the soma-sacrifice.

An objection is raised to the preceding Sutra.

The Purvapakshin raises a fresh objection. On the tenth day of the Soma sacrifice a Soma drink is offered to Prajapati wherein the earth is regarded as the cup and the sea as the Soma. This is a mental act only, and yet it forms a part of the sacrifice.

The same then holds good with regard to the quasi-agnis made of mind and so on though these fires are mental, i.e., imaginary, yet they form part of the sacrifice and not an independent Vidya, because of the context. They are an alternate form of the actual fire mentioned first.

You may say that it is only Arthavada and that a mere Arthavada cannot override the context and that such meditation is part of the Karma as is the case in the Dasaratra Karma.

Atidesascha III.3.46 (405)

And on account of the extension (of the attributes of the actual fire to these imaginary fires).

Atidesat: on account of the extension (of the attributes of’ the first to these fires); Cha: and.

Objection to Sutra 44 is continued by presenting another argument in support of Sutra 45.

The Purvapakshin gives another reason to support his view. The Sruti in that passage ascribes all the attributes of the actual fire to these imaginary fires. Therefore, they are part of the sacrifice.

Vidyaiva tu nirdharanat III.3.47 (406)

But (the fires) rather constitute the Vidya, because (the Sruti) asserts it.

Vidya: Vidya, form of meditation or worship, Knowledge; Eva: alone, indeed; Tu: verily, undoubtedly, but; Nirdharanat: because the Sruti asserts it.

Objections raised in Sutras 45 and 46 are now refuted.

The word `Tu’ (but) sets aside the Purvapaksha. It refutes the opponent.

The present Sutra declares that the fires form an indepen dent Vidya, because the text asserts that They are built of knowledge (Vidya) only, and that By knowledge they are built for him who thus knows.

Darsanaccha III.3 48 (407)

And because (in the text indicatory marks of that are) seen.

Darsanat: it being seen in the scriptures, because it is clearly stated in Sruti, because (of the indicatory marks) seen; Cha: and.

The indicatory marks are those referred to in Sutra 44. In fact the internal indications show that it is a Vidya and not a Karmanga.

Srutyadibaliyastvaccha na badhah III.3.49 (408)

(The view that the Agnis or fires constitute an independent Vidya) cannot be refuted, owing to the greater force of the Sruti etc.

Srutyadibaliyastvat: on account of the greater force of the Sruti etc.; Cha: and; Na: no, cannot; Badhah: refutation.

Objections raised in Sutras 45 and 46 are further refuted.

There is no negation of this view on the basis of the context, because of the greater strength of Sruti, etc.

Our opponent has no right to determine on the ground of Prakarana that the Agnis are subordinate to the sacrificial action and so to set aside our view according to which they are independent. For we know from the Purvamimamsa that direct enunciation (Sruti), indicatory mark (Linga) and syntactical connection (Vakya) are of greater force than leading subject matter (Prakarana) and all those three means of proof are seen to confirm our view of the Agnis being independent.

Mere context is of no force against express Sruti, Linga, etc. The Sruti used the word `Eva’ where there is an imperative tense, etc., used, a mere Upadesa can be treated as an Arthavada, because there is also an express command. Where there is no such indication, an Upadesa must be treated as a Vidhi. Therefore what we have here is an independent Vidya and not a Karmanga.

The Sruti directly says, All these fires are kindled with knowledge alone. The indicatory mark is this. All beings kindle these fires for him, even when he is asleep. This continuity of the fire shows that they are mental ones. An actual sacrifice is not continued during sleep. The syntactical connections Through meditation alone these fires of the worshipper are kindled. These three are more forcible than mere context.

Anubandhadibhyah prajnantaraprithaktvavat

drishtascha taduktam III.3.50 (409)

On account of the connection and so on (the fires built of mind, etc., form an independent Vidya), in the same way as other Vidyas (like Sandilya Vidya) are separate; and it is seen (that in spite of the context a sacrifice is treated as independent). This has been explained (in the Purvamimamsa Sutras by Jaimini).

Anubandhadibhyah: from the connection and so on; Prajnantaraprithaktvavat: even as the other Vidyas are separate; Drishtah: (it is) seen; Cha: and; Tat: that; Uktam: is stated (in the Purvamimamsa by Jaimini).

The argument in refutation of Sutras 45 and 46 is continued.

This Sutra gives additional reasons in support of the view set forth in Sutra 47.

Independence has, against the general subject matter, to be assumed for the fire-altars built of mind and so on, because the text connects the constituent members of the sacrificial action with activities of the mind. The text connects for the purpose of Sampad Upasana (meditations based on resemblance) parts of a sacrifice with mental activities, e.g., These fires are started mentally, the altars are set up mentally, the cups are taken mentally, the Udgatris are praised men tally, the Hotris are recited mentally, everything connected with this sacrifice is done mentally. This is possible only if there is a sharp difference between things which resemble each other.

The Sruti mentions in regard to such mental worship all the greatness of a Karmanga. Therefore Atidesa (similarity) applies even on the footing of the context referring to an inde pendent Vidya which is separate from a Karmanga.

The fires constitute an independent Vidya, just as the Sandilya Vidya, Dahara Vidya, form separate Vidyas, although mentioned along with sacrificial acts.

A similar thing is seen in Aveshti being done as an independent ceremony in the Rajasuya sacrifice. It is observed in the sacrificial portion of the Vedas, that though the sacrifice Aveshti is mentioned along with the Rajasuya sacrifice, it is yet considered as an independent sacrifice by Jaimini in the Purva mimamsa Sutras.

Na samanyadapyupalabdhermrityuvanna hi

lokapattih III.3.51 (410)

In spite of the resemblance (of the fires to the imaginary drink, they do) not (constitute part of the sacrificial act) because it is seen (from the reasons given, and on the ground of Sruti that they form an independent Vidya) as in the case of death; for the world does not become (fire, because it resembles fire in some points).

Na: not; Samanyadapi: in spite of the resemblance, because of common ness, on the ground of their resemblance to sacrificial fire; Upalabdheh: for it is seen; Mrityuvat: just as in the case of death; Na hi lokapattih: for the world does not become (fire on account of certain resemblances).

The argument in refutation of Sutras 45 and 46 is continued.

Though being a mental act, there is an element of similarity, it is not a Karmanga because it is stated to have a separate fruit. This is clear from the illustrations relating to Mrityu and describing the earth as fire.

The resemblance cited by the Purvapakshin has no force. It cannot certainly stand because on account of the reasons already given, viz., the Sruti, indicatory mark, etc., the fires in question subserve the purpose of man only, and not the purpose of some sacrificial action.

Mere resemblance can hardly justify the contrary view. Anything indeed may resemble anything in some point or other; but in spite of that there remains the individual dissimilarity of each thing from all other things.

The case is analogous to that of `death’. The resemblance cited is like the common epithet `death’ applied to fire and the being in the sun. The being in that orb is death indeed (Sat. Br. X.5.2.3). Fire indeed is death (Tait. Samh. V.1.10.3). This resemblance cannot make fire and the being in the same one.

Again we have This world is a fire indeed, O Gautama, the sun is its fuel etc., (Chh. Up. V.4.1). Here it does not follow from the similarity of fuel and so on that the world does not actually become fire.

Thus also in our case. Hence from the fact that the Manaschita Agni (fire) is a mental act like the Manasagraha which is a Karmanga, you cannot on that ground of such similarity alone argue that it also is a Karmanga.

Parena cha sabdasya tadvidhyam

bhuyastvattvanubandhah III.3.52 (411)

And from the subsequent (Brahmana) the fact of the text (under discussion) being such (i.e., enjoining an independent Vidya) (is known). But the connection (of the fanciful Agnis or imaginary fires with the actual fire is) on account of the abundance (of the attributes of the latter that are imagined in these fires).

Parena: from the subsequent (Brahmana), by the subsequent expression, by the statements immediately following; Cha: and; Sabdasya: of Sruti, of the text, of the word; Tadvidhyam: the fact of being such; Bhuyastvat: because of abundance; Tu: but; Anubandhah: connection.

In a subsequent Brahmana we have By knowledge they ascend there where all wishes are attained. Those skilled in words do not go there, nor those who destitute of knowledge do penance. This verse depreciates mere works and praises Vidya or knowledge. A former Brahmana also viz., the one beginning Where that orb leads (Sat. Br. X.5.2.23) concludes with a state ment of the fruit of knowledge Immortal becomes he whose self is death and thereby shows that works are not the chief thing. Hence we conclude that the injunction of the Sruti is that the fires constitute an independent Vidya.

The connection of the fires with the actual fire is not because they constitute part of the sacrifice but because many of the attributes of the real fire are imagined in the fires of the Vidya, in the Agnis built of mind. The statement of the fires built of mind along with the ordinary sacrificial fire is due to an abundance of common matters with the latter.

All this establishes the conclusion that the fire-altars built of mind and so on constitute an independent Vidya.


Atman is an entity distinct from the body

Eka atmanah sarire bhavat III.3.53 (412)

Some (maintain the non-existence) of a separate self (besi des the body) on account of the existence (of the self) where a body is (only).

Eka: some (maintain the non-existence); Atmanah: of a separate self (besides the body); Sarire: in the body; Bhavat: because of existence.

In this topic the existence of an Atman apart from the body is taken up for discussion. Unless there is a soul apart from the body there is no use of the scripture teaching liberation. Nor can there be any scope for ethical commands which are the means of attainment of heaven or for the teaching that the soul is Brahman.

There must be a soul apart from the body who can enjoy the fruits of the Upasana or Vidyas, otherwise of what avail is Upasana? If there is no soul all Upasanas become useless.

At present we will prove the existence of a soul different from the body in order to establish thereby the qualification of the self for bondage and release. For if there were no selves different from the body, there would be no room for injunction that have the other world for their result, nor could it be taught of anybody that Brahman is his Self.

This Sutra gives the view of the Charvakas or Lokayatikas (materialists) who deny the existence of an Atman different from the body. They say that consciousness is a mere material product and that the body is the soul. They declare that consciousness is seen to exist only when there is a body and that it is nowhere experienced independent of the body. Therefore consciousness is only an attribute or quality of the body. There is no separate self or soul in this body.

They say man is only a body. Consciousness is the quality of the body. Consciousness is like the intoxicating quality which arises when certain materials are mixed in certain proportions. No single material has the intoxicating effect.

Although consciousness is not observed in earth, and the other external elements, either single or combined, yet it may appear in them when transformed into the shape of a body. Consciousness springs from them. No soul is found after the body dies and that hence as both are present or absent together, consciousness is only an attribute of the body just as light and heat are attributes of fire.

As life, movements, consciousness, remembrances and so on, which are regarded as qualities of the Atman by those who maintain that there is an independent Atman apart from the body, are observed only within the bodies and not outside the bodies, and as an abode of those attributes different from the body cannot be proved, it follows that they must be attributes of the body only.

Therefore, the Self is not different from the body.

The next Sutra gives a reply to this conclusion of the Charvakas or Lokayatikas (materialists).

Vyatirekastadbhavabhavitvanna tupalabdhivat III.3.54 (413)

But not (so); a self or soul separate (from the body does exist), because (Consciousness) does not exist even when there is the body (after death), as in the case of cognition or per ceptive consciousness.

Vyatirekah: separation; Tadbhavabhavitvat: for (consciousness) does not exist even when there is the body; Na: not (so); Tu: but; Upalabdhivat: as in the case of knowledge or cognition.

The statement in the preceding Sutra is refuted.

The soul is separate because even when the body exists the soul goes away. They are separate just as subject and object are separate.

The view expressed by the opponent in the previous Sutra is certainly wrong, because the Atma-Dharma such as Chaitanya (consciousness), etc., are not found after death, though the body exists. Consciousness cannot be an attribute of the body, because we do not find consciousness in a body after a person dies.

This consciousness is an attribute of something which is different from the body and which abides in the body.

The subject and the object cannot possibly be identical. Fire cannot burn itself. The acrobat cannot stand upon his own shoulder. Can form sense form? Can sound hear sound? No. Consciousness is eternal, as it is of the same identical quality always. Can you say that consciousness is a quality of the light, because light is necessary to see forms? Even so consciousness is not a quality of the body. Moreover consciousness functions in dreams even without the aid of the body.

The Charvakas accept that the cogniser is different from the thing cognised. So the experiencer of this body, he who cognises this body must be different from the body. He who cognises this body is the Self.

Therefore, consciousness is an attribute of this Self, rather its very essence of nature.

As consciousness constitutes the character of the Self, the Self must be distinct from the body. That consciousness is permanent follows from the uniformity of its character and we, therefore, may conclude that the conscious Self is permanent also. That consciousness is the nature of the Self, that it is permanent, follows from the fact that the Self, although connected with a different state, recognises itself as the conscious agent a recognition expressed in judgments such as I saw this and from the fact of remembrance and so on being possible.

Therefore, the view that the Self is something separate from the body is free from all objections.


Upasanas connected with sacrificial acts, i.e., Udgitha Upasana

are valid for all schools

Angavabaddhastu na sakhasu hi prativedam III.3.55 (414)

But (the Upasanas or meditations connected with parts) (of sacrificial acts are) not (restricted) to (particular) Sakhas, according to the Veda (to which they belong), (but to all its Sakhas because the same Upasana is described in all).

Angavabaddhah: (Upasanas) connected parts (of sacrificial acts); Tu: but; Na: not; Sakhasu: to (particular) Sakhas; Hi: because; Prativedam: in each Veda, according to the Veda.

There is no rule that the Angavabaddha (Karmanga) Upa sana in each Sruti Sakha is separate and should be confined to it alone.

The above said intervening or occasional discussion is over. Now we pursue the main theme. In Udgitha, etc., various Karmanga Upasanas are taught. From this you could not say that each Upasana in each Sruti Sakha is different, on account of the proximity of text and the difference in Svaras or sounds. All such Upasanas may be taken together, because the Udgitha Sruti is more powerful than mere proximity of context or diversity of Svara.

There are certain Upasanas mentioned in connection with sacrificial acts, as for example the meditation on `OM’ which is connected with the Udgitha as Prana, or the meditation on the Udgitha as the earth and so on. Let a man meditate on the syllable `OM’ as the Udgitha (Chh. Up. I.1.1). Let a man meditate on the five-fold Saman as the five worlds (Chh. Up. II.2.1).

A doubt here arises whether the meditations or Vidyas are enjoined with reference to the Udgitha and so on as belonging to a certain Sakha only or as belonging to all Sakhas. The doubt arises because the Udgitha and so on are chanted differently in different Sakhas, because the accents, etc., differ. Therefore, they may be considered different.

Here the Purvapakshin holds that the Vidyas are enjoined only with reference to the Udgitha and so on which belong to the particular Sakha to which the Vidya belongs. Why? Because of proximity.

The present Sutra refutes the view that they are so restricted, because the text speaks of these Upasanas in general and so they are all one in all the branches.

The word `tu’ (but) discards the prima facie view or the view of the Purvapakshin. The Upasanas are not restricted to their own Sakhas according to the Veda to which they belong but are valid for all Sakhas, because the direct statements of the text about the Udgitha and so on enounce no specification. Direct statement has greater force or weight than proximity.

There is no reason why the Vidya should not be of general reference. We, therefore, conclude that, although the Sakhas differ as to accents and the like, the Vidyas mentioned refer to the Udgitha and so on belonging to all Sakhas, because the text speaks only of the Udgitha and so on in general.

Mantradivadvavirodhah III.3.56 (415)

Or else, there is no contradiction (here), as in the case of Mantras and the like.

Mantradivat: like Mantras, etc.; Va: or else; Avirodhah: there is no contradiction.

The discussion commenced in Sutra 33 is continued.

Just as Mantras, etc., mentioned in only one Sakha, are used in another Sakha, with respect to that particular rite, so also the Upasanas connected with particular rites in one Sakha of the Veda can be applied to the other Sakhas.

As for example the Mantra Kutarurasi (thou art the grinding stone), prescribed in one Branch of the Vedas for taking stone to grind rice, is acceptable in that rite every where; even so the Upasana (meditation) prescribed in one Branch of the Vedas may be transferred or applied to other Sakhas or Branches without apprehending any impropriety.

We find that Mantra and Guna and Karma in one Sakha are taken into another Sakha, just as the members of sacrificial actions on which certain Vidyas rest are valid everywhere, so the Vidyas themselves also which rest on those members are valid for all Sakhas and Vedas.


Vaisvanara Upasana is one entire Upasana

Bhumnah kratuvajjyayastvam tatha hi darsayati III.3.57 (416)

Importance (is given to the meditation) on the entire form (of Vaisvanara) as in the case of sacrifice; for thus (the Sruti) shows.

Bhumnah: on the entire form; Kratuvat: as in the case of sacrifice; Jyayastvam: prominence, pre-eminence, importance; Tatha: so; Hi: be cause, for, as; Darsayati: (the Sruti) shows.

The Vaisvanara Vidya is discussed here.

In the Chhandogya Upanishad (V.11. 8) there is the Vaisvanara Vidya, the meditation on the cosmic form of the Lord. The meditator should think that His head is the heaven, His eye the sun and so on. Different fruits are mentioned for each part of the Upasana. For example, the fruit of meditat ing on His head as the heaven is He eats food, beholds his beloved ones and has Vedic glory in his house (Chh. Up. V.12.2).

Now a doubt arises whether the Sruti here speaks of one Upasana on the entire cosmic form or Upasana of each part of Vaisvanara.

The present Sutra says that the Sruti speaks of one Upasana on the whole form of Vaisvanara or the cosmic form of the Lord.

The Sruti gives superiority to the meditation on Vaisvanara as a whole, as in the case of Kratu or sacrifice. Though the Sruti declares fruits for Upasana or worship of each part of Vaisvanara, yet it emphasises the worship of the entire Vaisvanara with the universe as His body, just as in sacri fices like Darsa-Purnamasa all the Angas have to be combined.

The separate fruits mentioned for meditation on parts of Vaisvanara must be combined into one whole with meditation.

The text informs us that six Rishis, Prakinasala, Uddalaka, etc., being unable to reach a firm foundation in the Knowledge of Vaisvanara, went to the King Asvapati Kaikeya; goes on to mention the object of each Rishi’s meditation, viz., the sky and so on; determines that the sky and so on are only the head and so on of Vaisvanara. Asvapati said That is but the head of the self, and rejects all meditations on Vaisva nara in his partial form. He said Your head would have fallen if you had not come to me (Chh. Up. V.12.2). As this text discourages partial worship of Vaisvanara, it is quite clear that it recommends the entire Upasana on the whole Vaisvanara.

Moreover the section begins thus: which is our own self, which is Brahman (Chh. Up. V.11.1). This indi cates that the entire Brahman is the object of meditation. It ends thus of that Vaisvanara Self Sutejas is the head etc. (Chh. Up. V.18.2). This clearly intimates that only the entire Upasana is intended.

For all these reasons, the view according to which the text enjoins a meditation on the entire Vaisvanara only is correct.

Sabdadibhedadhikaranam: Topic 33

Various Vidyas like the Sandilya Vidya, Dahara Vidya and so on are to be kept separate and not combined into one entire Upasana

Nana sabdadibhedat III.3.58 (417)

(The Vidyas are) separate, on account of the difference of words and the like.

Nana: different, various; Sabdadibhedat: on account of difference of names of words, etc. (Bhedat: due to variety.)

In the previous Sutra we have arrived at the conclusion that a meditation on Vaisvanara as a whole is the pre-eminent meaning of the text, although special fruits are stated for meditations on parts such as Sutejas and so on.

The Purvapakshin follows this line of argument and says that we must combine all the different Vidyas like Sandilya Vidya, Dahara Vidya, Satya Vidya, and so on into one composite meditation or more general meditation on the Lord, as the object of meditation is the one Lord.

The present Sutra refutes this and declares that the Vidyas are separate, although the object of meditation is on the one Lord, on account of the difference of words and the like. For the text exhibits a difference of words such as He knows.

Let him meditate, Let him form the idea (Chh. Up. III.14.1). This difference of terms is acknowledged as a reason or test of difference of acts, according to Purva mimamsa Sutras, II.2.1.

And the like or etc. refers to other reasons like the difference in qualities.

The Lord indeed is the only object of meditation, but according to its general purport each passage teaches different qualities of the Lord. Although one and the same Prana is the object of meditation in the other series of passages, yet one of his qualities has to be meditated upon in one place and another in another place. From difference of connection there thus follows difference of injunction and from the latter we apprehend the separateness of the Vidyas.

Though the object of meditation is the one Lord, yet He is different on account of the difference in qualities that are imagined in different Upasanas. Further it is not possible at all to combine all the various Vidyas into one.

Therefore, the different Vidyas are to be kept separate and not combined into one composite or general meditation.

Though the Vidya (what is to be known) is one, each Upasana which is described by such words as Upasita, etc., is different. In each Upasana certain special attributes of the Lord and certain special results are stated.

The forms of meditation such as the Sandilya Vidya, the Satya Vidya, the Dahara Vidya, the Vaisvanara Vidya, are different owing to difference of names and processes, the directory words and the attributes, yet, each of them teaches the worship of the same Lord; but under a particular aspect meditations have been prescribed in various names and forms so as to suit different meditators.

The Sutra, therefore, rightly declares the separateness of the Vidyas.


Any one of the Vidyas should be selected

according to one’s own option or choice

Vikalpo’visishtaphalatvat III.3.59 (418)

There is option (with respect to the several Vidyas), because the result (of all the Vidyas) is the same.

Vikalpah: option; Visishtaphalatvat: on account of (all Vidyas) having the same result.

The most important Vidyas are: Sandilya Vidya, Bhuma Vidya, Sat Vidya, Dahara Vidya, Upakosala Vidya, Vaisva nara Vidya, Udgitha Vidya, Anandamaya Vidya, Akshara Vidya.

One may follow any Vidya according to his option, and stick to it till he reaches the goal, as the result of all Vidyas or the goal is the same, namely the realisation of Self or Brahman. If we adopt many, the mind will get distracted and the spiritual progress will be retarded. When the Brahman is realised through one meditation, a second meditation would be purposeless.

Therefore, one must select one particular Vidya and stick to it and remain intent on it till the fruit of the Vidya is attained through the intuition of the object of meditation.


Vidyas yielding particular desires may or may not be

combined according to one’s liking

Kamyastu yathakamam samucchiyeranna va

purvahetvabhavat III.3.60 (419)

But Vidyas for particular desires may be combined or not according to one’s desires on account of the absence of the previous reason (mentioned in the previous Sutra).

Kamyah: Vidyas adopted for some sensuous desires; Tu: but; Yatha kamam: according to one’s desire or liking; Samucchiyeran: may be combin ed; Na: not; Va: or; Purva: the former; Hetu: reason; Abhavat: on account of the absence of.

This Sutra shows an exception to the previous Sutra that more Vidyas than one may be combined where the object is other than the realisation of Brahman.

In the previous Sutra it was stated that any one of the Vidyas about Brahman should be taken up, and that more than one at a time should not be taken up, because each Vidya was quite sufficient to take to the goal or Self-realisation and more than one Vidya would produce distraction of the mind.

We have on the other hand, Vidyas connected with parti cular desires, e.g., He who knows that the wind is the child of the regions never weeps for his sons (Chh. Up. III.15.2). He who meditates on name as Brahman, walks at will as far as name reaches (Chh. Up. VII.1.5).

The question arises whether one is to restrict oneself to only one of these Vidyas or can take up more than one at a time.

The present Sutra declares that one can practise more than one Vidya or not according to one’s liking, as the results are different unlike that of the Brahma-Vidyas. He may practise more than one Vidya or not, on account of the absence of the former reason, i.e., because there is not the reason for option which was stated in the preceding Sutra.


Meditations connected with members of sacrificial acts

may or may not be combined according to one’s liking

Angeshu yathasrayabhavah III.3.61 (420)

With regard (to meditations) connected with members (of sacrificial acts) it is as with (the members) with which they are connected.

Angeshu: with regard (to meditations) connected with members (of sacrificial acts); Yathasrayabhavah: it is as with (members) with which they are connected.

Of the six Sutras which are contained in this Adhikarana, the first four Sutras are Purvapaksha Sutras and the last two Sutras are Siddhanta Sutras.

Different instructions connected with a sacrifice are stated in the different Vedas. The scriptures say that all these members mentioned in the different Vedas are to be combined for the due performance of the principal one.

The question now is, which is the rule to be followed with regard to the meditations or Upasanas connected with these members.

The present Sutra declares that the same rule which applies to the members applies also to the Upasanas connected with them. It is according to the abodes. As the abiding places of those meditations, viz., the Stotra and so on are combined for the performance of the sacrifice, so those meditations or Upasanas also; for a meditation is subject to what it rests on. All these Upasanas are to be combined.

Just as the Stotras, etc., are combined when performing Karmas, so also the Upasanas which are Angas of Karma (Angavabaddha Upasana) should be combined.

Sishtescha III.3.62 (421)

And from the injunction of the Sruti.

Sishteh: from the injunction of the Sruti; Cha: and.

An argument in support of the objection raised in Sutra 61 is adduced.

That is because the Upasanas depend on the Stotras.

As the Stotra and the other members of the sacrifice on which the meditations under discussion rest are taught in the three Vedas, so also are the meditations resting on them. Just as the members are scattered in the different Vedas, so also are the meditations connected with them. There is no difference as regards the injunction of the Sruti with reference to these meditations.

There is no difference between the members of a sacrificial act and the meditations referring to them.

Samaharat III.3.63 (422)

On account of the rectification.

Samaharat: on account of the rectification.

A further reason is given by the opponent. Another argu ment in support of Sutra 61 is adduced.

There is also indication in the Sruti about such combination. Such combination is seen when the Udgatri performs the Hautra Karma described in another Veda for removing the effects of error in the discharge of his function.

Chhandogya Upanishad declares What is Udgitha is OM or Pranava and what is OM is Udgitha. This meditation on the oneness of the Udgitha and OM mends the Udgitha defiled by any mistake committed even on the part of the Hotri, the hymn-reciting priest in recitation of the Udgitha (Chh. Up. I.5.5).

Here it is said that the mistakes committed by the Udgatri or chanting priest of the Sama Veda are rectified by the recitation of the Hotri or invoking priest of the Rigveda. This indicates that though the meditations are given in the different Vedas they are yet interlinked. Hence all of them have to be observed.

The passage From the seat of the Hotri, he sets right any mistake committed in the Udgitha (Chh. Up. I.5.5), declares that owing to the force of the meditation on the unity of Pranava and Udgitha, the Hotri rectifies any mistake he may commit in his work, by means of the work of the Hotri.

Now, as a meditation mentioned in one Veda is connected with what is mentioned in another Veda, in the same manner as a thing mentioned in another Veda, the above passage suggests the conclusion that all meditations on members of sacrificial acts, in whatever Veda they may be mentionedhave to be combined.

A thing belonging to the Rigveda, viz., Pranava is, accord ing to the Chhandogya text, connected with the Sama Veda meditation on the Udgitha. Hence meditations also which belong to different Vedas may be combined; because there is no difference between them and things as far as connection is concerned.

Gunasadharanyasrutescha III.3.64 (423)

And from the Sruti declaring `OM’ which is a common feature (of the Udgitha Vidya) to be common to all the Vedas.

Gunasadharanyasruteh: from the Sruti declaring the feature of `OM’ as being common to all the Vedas; Cha: and.

Another argument in support of Sutra 61 is adduced.

Further Pranava (Omkara) is common to all the Upasanas and links them up.

It is found in Sruti that OM is the common property of all the Vedas. Therefore, it is an inseparable concomitant of the sacrificial rites, prescribed in the Vedas. Hence the Vidyas also, being dependent on OM, are concomitants of the sacrificial rites. Chhandogya Upanishad declares Through this (`OM’) the Vedic Vidya proceeds. With OM the Adhvaryu gives orders, with OM the Hotri recites, with OM the Udgatri sings (Chh. Up. I.1.9). This is stated with re ference to OM, which is common to all the Vedas and all the Upasanas in them. This indicates that as the abode of all Vidyas, viz., OM, is common, so the Vidyas that rest in it are common also. Therefore, all of them are to be observed.

Na va tatsahabhavasruteh III.3.65 (424)

(The meditations connected with members of the sacrificial acts are) rather not (to be combined) as the Sruti does not state their going together.

Na: not; Va: rather; Tatsahabhavasruteh: their correlation not being mentioned by the Sruti. (Tat: their; Sahabhava: about being together; Asruteh: because there is no such injunction in Sruti).

The words `Na va’ `rather not’ discard the Purvapaksha. This Sutra refutes the contention raised in Sutras 61-64.

This and the following Sutra give the conclusion.

There is no Sruti commanding such combination of the Karmanga Upasanas. No Sruti refers to such compulsory combination of the Upasanas. So they can be done singly or in combination as we like.

There is no binding rule that the Vidyas, depending on the Pranava or on any part of a sacrificial rite, is a necessary concomitant of the sacrifice. It may be dispensed with or retained at the option of the performer. But there is this difference. If Vidyas be associated with the rites greater good will accrue.

Though the utterance of the Pranava or the Udgitha hymn has been enjoined by the Sruti to be necessary for the sacrificial performance, yet Sruti does not insist that the Vidya (meditation) portion of the performance is a necessary adjunct to the mind. It is not absolutely necessary for the fulfilment of external sacrifices. A sacrifice may be per formed even without the Vidya (meditation) merely by utterance of Mantras, singing of the Udgitha hymns, pouring of the clarified butter into the sacred fire and the like external rites, in order to attain particular desired objects, but the Vidya or meditation on Brahman leads to realisation of Brahman.

The rule for combining the instructions regarding sacrifices that are scattered in all the Vedas cannot be applied with regard to the meditations (Upasanas) connected with them. If the instructions regarding the sacrifices are not combined, the sacrifice will itself fail. But it is not the case if the Upasanas are not practised, because Upasanas only increase the fruits of the sacrifice (Vide III.3.42). Upasanas are not inseparable from the sacrifice.

Therefore, Upasanas (Vidyas, meditations) may or may not be practised.

Darsanaccha III.3.66 (425)

And because the Sruti (scripture) says so (shows it).

Darsanat: because the Sruti says so, shows it from Sruti; Cha: and, also.

This Sutra is adduced in support of Sutra 65.

This may also be inferred from Sruti.

Chhandogya Upanishad declares The Brahmana (superintending chief priest) who possesses such knowledge saves the sacrifice, the sacrificer and all the priests, just as the horse saves the horseman (Chh. Up. IV.17.10).

This shows that the scriptures do not intend that all the meditations should go together. For, if all meditations were to be combined, all priests would know them all and the text could not specially announce that the Brahmana, chief superintending priest, possessing a certain knowledge thereby saves the others.

The meditations, therefore, according to one’s liking may or may not be combined.

Thus ends the Third Pada (Section 3) of the Third Adhyaya (Chapter III) of the Brahma Sutras or the Vedanta Philosophy.

Chapter III, Section 4


In the last Section the Vidyas or Upasanas (meditations) which are the means to the knowledge of Brahman were discussed.

In this Section the Sutrakara enters into an enquiry whether the knowledge of Brahman is connected with ritualistic work through one who is entitled to perform the works or is an independent means to accomplish the purpose of man.

Sri Baadarayana, the Sutrakara, begins by stating the final view in the first Sutra, Thence etc. He is of opinion that through the independent Knowledge of Brahman enjoined in the Vedanta-texts the purpose of man is effected.

In the present Section it will be shown that Knowledge of Brahman is independent of Karma and that is not subordinate to sacrificial acts.

Baadarayana establishes that the attainment of the final emancipation is the direct result of Brahma Vidya of knowledge of Brahman, that works or sacrifices are only indirect aids to contemplating by purifying the heart, that Karma does not directly lead to the final beatitude, that the seeker of Brahman may even do away with Karma and may attain freedom solely by contemplation on Brahman and that even in that case he should not abandon the duties enjoined by the scriptures.


Adhikarana I: (Sutras 1-17) proves that the knowledge of Brahman is not Kratvartha, i.e., subordinate to action (sacrificial acts) but independent.

Adhikarana II: (Sutras 18-20) confirms this conclusion that Sannyasa is prescribed by the scriptures, that the state of the Pravrajins is enjoined by the sacred law and that for them Brahma Vidya only is prescribed, and not action.

Adhikarana III: (Sutras 21-22) determines that certain clauses forming part of Vidyas are not mere glorificatory passages (Srutis or Arthavadas) but themselves enjoin the meditation.

Adhikarana IV: (Sutras 23-24) The stories recorded in the Upanishads are not to be used as subordinate members of acts. They do not serve the purpose of Pariplavas and do not form part of the ritualistic acts. They are meant to glorify the Vidya taught in them. They have the purpose of glorifying as Arthavadas the injunctions with which they are connected.

Adhikarana V: (Sutra 25) For all these reasons the Sannya sin need not observe ritualistic acts as knowledge serves their purpose. They require no actions but only knowledge.

Adhikarana VI: (Sutras 26-27) Nevertheless the actions enjoined by scripture such as sacrifices, conduct of certain kinds, etc., are useful as they are indirect means of knowledge.

Adhikarana VII: (Sutras 28-31) Certain relaxations allowed by scripture of the laws regarding food, are meant only for cases of extreme need. Restrictions as regards food may be abandoned only when life is in danger.

Adhikarana VIII: (Sutras 32-35) The duties of the Asramas are to be performed by even one who does not strive after liberation or who is not desirous of knowledge.

Adhikarana IX: (Sutras 36-39) Those who stand midway between two Asramas are also entitled to knowledge. Those also who owing to poverty and so on, are Anasramins, have claims to Vidya.

Adhikarana X: (Sutra 40) A Sannyasi who has taken the vow of life-long celibacy cannot revoke his vow. He cannot revert back to his former stages of life.

Adhikarana XI: (Sutras 41-42) Expiation of the fall of an Urdhvareta, of one who transgresses the vow of life-long celibacy.

Adhikarana XII: (Sutra 43) Exclusion of the fallen Urdhva retas or life-long celibate. He must be shunned by Society.

Adhikarana XIII: (Sutras 44-46) Those meditations which are connected with subordinate members of the sacrifice are the business of the priest, not of the Yajamana or sacrificer.

Adhikarana XlV: (Sutras 47-49) Bri. Up. III.5.1 enjoins Mauna or meditation as a third in addition to Balya (child-like state) and Panditya (scholarship or erudition).

Adhikarana XV: (Sutra 50) By Balya or child-like state is to be understood a child-like innocent state of mind, being free from passion, anger, etc.

Adhikarana XVI: (Sutra 51) intimates that the fruition of knowledge may take place even in this life if there be no obstruction to it (the means adopted).

Adhikarana XVII: (Sutra 52) declares that there is no diffe rence in liberation, i.e., in the realisation of Brahman. It is of one kind in all cases.


Knowledge of Brahman is independent of sacrificial acts

Purushartho’tah sabdaditi baadarayanah III.4.1 (426)

From this (Brahma Vidya or Brahma Jnana results) the purpose or the chief object of pursuit of man, because the scriptures state so; thus (holds) the sage Baadarayana.

Purusharthah: purpose of man, object of human pursuit, here the chief object, i.e., salvation; Atah: from this, from Brahma Vidya; Sabdat: from the scriptures, because the scriptures state so, from Sruti; Iti: so thus (says), this is the opinion of; Baadarayanah: the sage Baadarayana, (holds).

The result or fruit of Brahma Vidya is stated.

The Sutrakara Sri Vyasa now proceeds to show that Brahma Jnana leads not to Karma, but to the attainment of the highest Purushartha, i.e., Moksha or the final emancipation. That is Baadarayana’s teaching.

The four Purusharthas are: Dharma (discharge of religious duty), Artha (acquisition of wealth, worldly prosperity), Kama (enjoyment), and Moksha (salvation). Knowledge of Brahman is not merely connected with sacrificial acts by affording to the agent a certain qualification. It definitely paves the way for the attainment of the final release or freedom from births and deaths.

Whence is this known? From the scripture.

Baadarayana bases his arguments on the Sruti texts, such as The knower of Atman goes beyond griefTarati sokamatmavit (Chh. Up. III.4.1). He who knows the highest Brah man becomes even BrahmanBrahmavitbrahmaivabhavati (Mun.Up.III.2.9). He who knows Brahman attains the HighestBrahmavidapnoti Param (Tait. Up. II.1).

For him who has a teacher there is delay only so long as he is not delivered; then he will be perfect (Chh. Up. VI.14.2). He who has searched out and understood the Self which is free from sin, etc., obtains all worlds and all desires (Chh. Up. VIII.7.1). The Atman is to be seen etc., up to Thus far goes immortality (Bri. Up. IV.5.6-15).

These and similar texts emphatically declare that Knowledge of Brahman effects the highest purpose of man or Supreme Purushartha.

Against this the Purvapakshin raises his objection as follows. Here Jaimini comes forward with his following objections.

Seshatvatpurusharthavado yathanyeshviti jaiminih III.4.2 (427)

Because (the self) is supplementary (to sacrificial acts), (the fruits of the Knowledge of the Self) are mere praise of the agent, as in other cases; thus Jaimini opines.

Seshatvat: because of being supplementary (to sacrificial acts); Pusushar thavadah: are mere praise or the agent; Yatha: as; Anyeshu: in other cases; Iti: thus (says); Jaiminih: Jaimini (holds).

Sutras 2 to 7 are Purvapaksha Sutras and Sutras 8 to 17 are Siddhanta Sutras.

Jaimini thinks that the Sruti texts merely praise the doer of Karma and that Brahmajnana is only an accessory of Karma (Karmanga).

He is of the opinion that the Vedas merely prescribe works to attain certain purposes including emancipation. He holds that the knowledge of Brahman has no independent fruit of its own because it stands in a subordinate relation to sacrificial action. This relation is meditated by the Self, the object of knowledge, which is the agent in all works and, therefore, itself stands in a subordinate relation to action. The agent becomes qualified for actions, the fruit of which will only appear after death by knowing that his self will survive the body.

A man undertakes a sacrificial act only when he is conscious that he is different from the body and that after death he will go to heaven when he will enjoy the fruits of his sacrifice.

The qualification the self thus acquires is similar to that which the rice-grains acquire by being sprinkled with water; because they become fit to be used in the sacrifice, only through this latter act of ceremonial purification.

As the knowledge of the Self has no independent position, it cannot have an independent fruit of its own. Therefore the passages which state such fruits cannot be taken as injunctions of fruits, but merely as Arthavadas (or glorificatory passages), like other Arthavadas relating to the substance (Dravya) or to the purification of the substance (Samskara) or to subordi nate acts themselves (Karma), making some additional state ment about the fruits of the sacrificial actions to which the knowledge of the Self is auxiliary.

Jaimini maintains that the statement that the reward of Brahma Jnana is the highest good does not mean that such knowledge of the Self by itself yields any real fruit but the statement is only an exhortation to the performance of the sacrifices. He says that the knowledge of the self is useful only so far as it produces in the performer a belief in his extramundane existence to enable him to enjoy the rewards of his sacrifices. The statement that it yields any fruit by itself is only an exhortation to purification of the sacrificer. The purification of the sacrificer is a necessary concomitant factor like other material requisites of a sacrifice; because without this purifica tion he would not be assured of his surviving the body and enjoying the fruit of his sacrifices in a higher world after death.

Acharadarsanat III.4.3 (428)

Because we find (from the scriptures such) conduct (of men of realisation).

Acharadarsanat: because of the conduct found (from the scriptures).

The objection raised in Sutra 2 is strengthened.

Janaka the king of the Videhas performed a sacrifice in which gifts were freely distributed (Bri. Up. III.1.1). Sirs, I am going to perform a sacrifice (Chh. Up. V.11.5). These and similar passages indicate that those who know Brahman are connected with sacrificial action.

Janaka and Asvapati were knowers of Brahman. If they had attained the final emancipation by knowledge of Brahman there was no necessity for them to perform sacrifices. If mere knowledge could effect the purpose of man, why should they perform sacrifices troublesome in many respects? If a man would find honey in the Arka tree why should he go to the forest? But the two texts intimate that they did perform sacrifices.

This proves that one attains the final emancipation through sacrifices or works alone and not through the knowledge of Brahman, as the Vedantins maintain.

Tacchruteh III.4.4 (429)

Because scripture directly declares that (viz., that knowledge of Brahman stands in a subordinate relation to sacrificial acts.)

Tat: that, that knowledge is subsidiary and supplementary to sacrifice; Sruteh: from Sruti, because the scriptures directly declare.

The Sruti also says that Vidya is an Anga of Karma.

If one does Karma with knowledge there will be greater efficiency. What a man does with knowledge, faith and meditation is more powerful (Chh. Up. I.1.10). This text clearly indicates that knowledge is a part of the sacrificial act. This passage directly states that knowledge is subordinate to work and from this it follows that mere knowledge cannot effect the purpose of man.

Samanvarambhanat III.4.5 (430)

Because the two (knowledge and work) go together (with the departing soul to give fruits of actions).

Samanvarambhanat: because of the accompanying together, as they jointly follow the sacrificer to produce their effects on account of their taking hold together or being together.

The objection begun in Sutra 2 is continued.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says The departing soul is followed by knowledge and work (Bri. Up. IV.4.2). This passage indicates that knowledge and work go together with the soul and begin together to manifest their fruits. Therefore, it follows that knowledge is not independent. It is not able to produce any such effect independently. It is concluded that knowledge is not independent of works or sacrificial acts.

Tadvato vidhanat III.4.6 (431)

Because (the scriptures) enjoin (works) for such (only who understand the purport of the Vedas).

Tadvatah: for such (as know the purport of the Vedas); Vidhanat: be cause (the scriptures) enjoin (work).

The objection, begun in the Sutra 2, is continued.

Further Karma is enjoined for one who recites and studies the Vedas. He who has learnt i.e., read the Vedas from a family of teachers, according to the sacred injunction in the leisure time left from the duties to be performed for the Guru; who after having received his discharge has settled in his own house, studying his sacred texts in some sacred spot (Chh. Up. VIII.15.7). Such passages also indicate that those who know the purport of the whole Veda are qualified for sacrificial acts and that hence knowledge does not independently produce any result.

Niyamaccha III.4.7 (432)

And on account of prescribed rules.

Niyamat: on account of prescribed rules, because of compulsory injunction; Cha: also, and.

The argument begun in Sutra 2 is concluded here.

Doing Karma is a Niyama or life-long commandment. Performing works here (i.e., in this life), let a man wish to live a hundred years (Isa. Up. 2). Agnihotra is a sacrifice lasting up to old age and death; for through old age one is freed from it or through death (Sat. Br. XII.4.1.1). From such definite rules also it follows that Knowledge is merely supple mentary to works, or stands in a subordinate relation to work .

The Sutrakara (Sri Vyasa) upholds his view in the following Sutra against all those objections.

Adhikopadesaattu baadarayanasyaivam taddarsanat III.4.8 (433)

But because (the scriptures) teach (the Supreme Self to be) other (than the agent), Baadarayana’s view is correct (or valid) for that is seen thus (in scriptural passages).

Adhikopadesat: because (the sriptures) teach (the Supreme Self to be) something over and above; Tu: but; Baadarayanasya: of Baadarayana; Evam: thus, such (is the opinion); Taddarsanat: for that is seen (from the scrip tures). (Adhika: Supreme Being, more different; Upadesat: from the statement in Sruti, owing to the teaching about.)

Objections raised in Sutras 2 to 7 are now being refuted one by one. This Sutra refutes Sutra 2.

Sutras 2-7 give the view of the Mimamsakas which is refuted in Sutras 8-17.

The Sruti declares Isvara as higher than the individual soul. So Baadarayana’s doctrine as stated in Sutra 1 is correct. The Sruti shows this. The real nature of the soul is divinity.

The word `tu’ (but) discards the Purvapaksha. The Vedanta texts do not teach the limited self which is the agent. What the Vedanta texts really teach as the object of Knowledge is something different from the embodied self, viz., the non-transmigrating Lord who is free from all attributes of transmigrating existence such as agency and the like and distinguished by freedom from sin and so on, the Supreme Self.

The knowledge of such a self does not only not promote action but rather puts an end to all actions. Hence the view of the revered Baadarayana which was stated in Sutra 1 remains valid and cannot be shaken by fallacious reasoning about the subordination of knowledge to action and the like.

That the Vedanta texts teach the Supreme Self is clear from such texts as the following: He who perceives all and knows all (Mun. Up. I.1.9). From terror of it the wind blows, from terror the sun rises (Tait. Up. II.8). It is a great terror, a raised thunderbolt (Katha Up. II.6.2). By the command of that Imperishable one, O Gargi (Bri. Up. III.8.9). It thought, may I be many, may I grow forth. It sent forth fire (Chh. VI.2.3).

Tulyam tu darsanam III.4.9 (434)

But the declarations of the Sruti equally support both views.

Tulyam: the same, similar, equal; Tu: but; Darsanam: declaration of the Sruti.

This Sutra refutes the view expressed in Sutra 3. It is a reply to the third Sutra.

There are equal Srutis which show that Vidya is not Karmanga. The Sruti shows that Vidya is not Karmanga.

The word `tu’ (but) is used in order to remove the idea that Vidya is subordinate to Karma. There is equal authority in the scriptures from the proposition that Vidya is not subordi nate to Karma, that for one who has attained knowledge there is no work. Thus there are scriptural passages such as: knowing this the Rishis descended from Kavasa said: For what purpose should we study the Vedas, for what purpose should we sacri fice? Knowing this indeed the ancient ones did not offer the Agnihotra, and when Brahmanas know that self and have risen above the desire for sons, wealth and worlds, they wander about as mendicants (Bri. Up. III.5).

Thus the sages called Kavaseyas did not care for Karma, nor did Yajnavalkya, who abandoning all Karmas went to forest. This much indeed is the means of Immortality, my dear, saying this Yajnavalkya left home (Bri. Up. IV.5.15). Thus we find examples of eminent men devoted to Vidya, renouncing all ceremonial actions. Therefore, scriptural texts are not all one-sided, in favour of Karmas, but there are passages to the contrary also. The examples of persons like Janaka and others indicate that these men followed Karma as an example to mankind, so that the social order may be pre served. Their work was characterised by non-attachment and therefore it was practically no work at all. Hence the argument of the Mimamsakas is weak.

There are indeed found in Srutis instances of sacrifices being performed by enlightened souls like Janaka, but there are also declarations of equal weight to the effect that performance of sacrifices is quite useless and redundant for the enlightened, i.e., those who have known Brahman.

So it cannot be asserted on the strength of the instances of Janaka and others like him, that knowledge is to be considered as secondary to the sacrifice.

With reference to the indicatory sign as to the dependence of knowledge to work, which is implied in the passage Sirs, I am going to perform a sacrifice we say, that it belongs to a section which treats of Vaisvanara.

Now the texts may declare that a Vidya of Brahman as limit ed by adjuncts is accompanied by works; but all the same the Vidya does not stand in a subordinate relation to works as the leading subject matter and the other means of proof are absent.

The author or Sutrakara (Baadarayana) next answers the objection raised in the Sutra 4.

Asarvatriki III.4.10 (435)

(The scriptural declaration referred to in Sutra 4) is not of universal application.

Asarvatriki: not universal, not applicable everywhere.

The refutation of the objections is continued. This Sutra specially refutes Sutra 4.

The statement of the Sruti referred to in Sutra 4 to the effect that the combination of meditation and sacrifice makes the sacrifice effective is not applicable everywhere. The above-mentioned statement of the Sruti does not refer to meditations in general, but only to the Udgitha Vidya which forms the subject matter of the discourse concerned.

The declaration of the Sruti that Knowledge increases the fruit of the sacrifice does not refer to all knowledge (all Vidyas), as it is connected only with the Udgitha (Udgitha Vidya) which is the topic of the section Let a man meditate on the syllable OM as the Udgitha.

The text says that if this Udgitha Vidya is recited by a person with knowledge, then it is more fruitful than if it is recited without such Vidya.

Therefore, Vidya is not an auxiliary to work in every instance.

The author next answers the objection raised in III.4.5.

Vibhagah satavat III.4.11 (436)

There is division of knowledge and work as in the case of a hundred (divided between two persons).

Vibhagah: (there is) division of knowledge and work; Satavat: as in the case of a hundred (divided between two persons).

This Sutra specially refutes Sutra 5.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad declares The departing soul is followed by Vidya (Knowledge) and Karma (work) and past experiences (IV.4.2). Here we have to take knowledge and work in a distributive sense. It means the knowledge follows one and work another. Just as when we say, Give Rs. 100 to Rama and Krishna it means Give Rs. 50 to Rama and Rs. 50 to Krishna, the above passage means that the Vidya relates to the souls seeking emancipation and Karma to other souls. There is no combination of the two.

The text quoted refers only to knowledge and work which concern the soul that transmigrates but not the soul which is about to obtain final release. Because the passage, Thus does the man who desires to transmigrate (Bri. Up. IV.4.6) indicates that the previous text refers to the soul that transmigrates. The Sruti declares of the soul who is about to be released, But the man who never desires never transmigrates (Bri. Up. IV.4.6).

The next Sutra refutes the Sutra 6.

Adhyayanamatravatah III.4.12 (437)

(The scriptures enjoin work) on those who have merely read the Vedas.

Adhyayanamatravatah: of one who has merely read the Vedas.

This Sutra specially refutes Sutra 6.

He who has read the Vedas and known about the sacrifices is entitled to do sacrifice. But no work is prescribed for one who has knowledge of Brahman (Brahma Jnana).

Naviseshat III.4.13 (438)

There being no specification (the rule does) not (specially apply to him who knows, i. e., a Jnani).

Na: not, compulsion does not apply; Aviseshat: on account of the absence of any specification, because there is no special mention.

This Sutra specially refutes Sutra 7.

The Sruti Kurvanneveha performing works here let a man live etc., of the Isavasya Upanishad does not specially apply to a Brahma Jnani. It is general in its terms. There is no special mention in it that it is applicable to a Jnani also. It is not binding on a Jnani when there is no specification.

The Sruti of the Isavasya does not lay down any such restrictive rule that even the illumined sage must perform Karma throughout his life. Why so? Aviseshat. Because there is no specification. All that it says is Let one perform Karmas throughout his life. There is nothing to show to which class of people, that particular rule is addressed. On the other hand there are express texts of the Srutis which show that immortality is not to be obtained by Karmas, but by knowledge alone.

Mahanarayana Upanishad of the Tait. Ar. X.5 declares Not by Karmas (sacrifices), not by progeny, nor by wealth can one obtain immortality. It is by renunciation alone that some great souled beings have obtained immortality.

The apparent conflict in the two Sruti texts is to be recon ciled by giving them different scopes. One is addressed to Karma-nishtha-devotees, the other to the Jnana-nishtha- devotees.

Stutaye’numatirva III.4.14 (439)

Or rather the permission (to do work) is for the glorification (of knowledge).

Stutaye: for the purpose of glorification (of knowledge); Anumatih: permission; Va: or, rather.

This Sutra also refutes Sutra 7.

The passage performing works here may be treated in another way also. The injunction to do work for the knowers of Brahman or the illumined sages is for eulogising this knowledge. A Brahma Jnani or knower of the Self may work all his life but he will not be bound by its effects, on account of the power of knowledge. Knowledge nullifies the effect of Karma. No work clings to the man. This clearly glorifies Knowledge.

Kamakarena chaike III.4.15 (440)

And some according to their own liking (have abandoned all works).

Kamakarena: according to their own liking; Cha: and; Eke: some.

The argument in refutation of Jaimini’s views is continued.

In Sutra 3 it was stated that Janaka and others performed sacrifices even after attaining knowledge of Brahman. This Sutra says that some have abandoned all works according to their own liking. Some may like to work to set an example to others after attaining knowledge, while others may abandon all works. There is no compulsion on the knowers of Brahman or liberated sages as regards work.

A scripfural text of the Vajasaneyins runs as follows: Know ing this the people of old did not wish for offspring. What shall we do with offspring, they said, we who have this self and this world (Bri. Up. IV.4.22). From this it follows that know ledge is not subordinate to action and that the scriptural state ments as to the fruit of knowledge cannot be taken in any but their true sense.

Upamardam cha III.4.16 (441)

And (scripture teaches that the) destruction (of all qualifi cations for work results from knowledge).

Upamardam: complete destruction, putting an end to all actions; Cha: and.

The previous argument is continued.

Further, such knowledge brings the realisation that every thing is Atman or Brahman. How then can the knower act?

Again, far from being a part of work, knowledge puts an end to all works, all obligatory duties. Mundaka Upanishad declares, Brahman in both His superior and inferior aspects being realised, the knot of the heart (egoism, etc.) is cut down, all doubts are dispelled and works are destroyed (Mun. Up. II.2.9).

Knowledge of Brahman annihilates all ignorance and its effects like agent, deed and fruit, But when to the Knower of Brahman everything has become the Self, then what should one see and through what? (Bri. Up. IV.5.15). The know ledge of Brahman is antagonistic to all actions. Hence it cannot be subsidiary to work. It is independent.

Urdhvaretassu cha sabde hi III.4.17 (442)

And (knowledge belongs) to those who observe perpetual celibacy, because in scripture (that stage of life is mentioned).

Urdhvaretassu: to those who observe perpetual celibacy, in those stages of life where the sexual energy has an upward flow; Cha: and; Sabde: in the Sruti; Hi: because.

The previous argument is continued.

Further the Sruti declares Jnana in relation to Sannyasins. Knowledge is said to be in Sannyasins. They have not to do any Karmas. Such Sannyasa can be taken even without going through the householder’s life.

Scripture shows that knowledge is valid also for the stages of life for which perpetual celibacy is prescribed. Now in their case knowledge cannot be subordinate to work, because work is absent, because the works prescribed by Vedas such as the Agnihotra are not performed by men who have reached those stages. To a Sannyasin there is no work prescribed except enquiry of Brahman and meditation on the Supreme Self. So how can knowledge be subordinate to work?

We find from the Sruti texts that there is a stage of life called Sannyasa. There are three branches of duty (Chh. Up. II.23.1). Those who in the forest practise faith and austerity (Chh. Up. V.10.1). Those who practise penance and faith in the forest (Mun. Up. I.10.11). Wishing for that world only, mendicants renounce their homes and wander forth (Bri. Up. IV.4.22). Let him wander forth at once from the state of studentship. All these attain to the worlds of the virtuous; but only one who is finally established in Brahman, attains immortality. (Chh. Up. II.23. 1-2).

Everyone can take to this life, without being a householder etc. This indicates the independence of knowledge.

Thus, the theory of Jaimini that Knowledge is subordinate to Karma has no legs to stand upon, and has been refuted.


Sannyasa is prescribed by the scriptures

Paramarsam jaiminirachodana chapavadati hi III.4.18 (443)

Jaimini (considers that scriptural texts mentioning those stages of life in which celibacy is obligatory, contain) a reference (only to those stages; they are not injunctions; because other (scriptural texts) condemn (those stages).

Paramarsam: a passing allusion, mere reference; Jaiminih: Jaimini; Achodana: there is no clear injunction; Cha: and; Apavadati: condemns; Hi: because, clearly, certainly.

An objection to Sutra 17 is raised.

Jaimini says that in the text quoted in the last Sutra (Chh. Up. II.23.1), there is no word indicating that Sannyasa is enjoined on man. It is a mere reference only but not an injunction.

The Brihadaranyaka text quoted in the last Sutra declares that some persons do like Sannyasa. Sruti here makes a statement of fact. It does not enjoin Sannyasa.

Thus there is no direct Sruti for Sannyasa though there are Smritis and Achara (usage). But if we say that there is no Sruti for the householder’s life, he (Jaimini) would reply that Karmas like Agnihotra are enjoined by Sruti.

Further, the text here glorifies steadfastness in Brahman. But only one who is firmly established in Brahman attains Immortality. Sacrifice, study, charity, austerity, studentship and life-long continence bestow the fruit of obtaining heaven. But Immortality is attained only by one who is firmly established in Brahman.

Moreover, there are other Sruti passages which condemn Sannyasa. Having brought to your teacher his proper reward, do not cut off the line of children (Tait. Up. I.11.1). To him who is without a son this world does not belong; all beasts even know that (Tait. Br. VII.13.12).

Anushtheyam baadarayanah samyasruteh III.4.19 (444)

Baadarayana (holds that Sannyasa) also must be gone through, because the scriptural text (quoted) refers equally to all the four Asramas or stages of life.

Anushtheyam: should be practised; Baadarayanah: Baadarayana, the author of the Sutras; Samyasruteh: for the scriptural text refers equally to all the four Asramas.

The objection raised in Sutra 18 is refuted.

In the text quoted sacrifice refers to the householder’s life, austerity to Vanaprastha, studentship to Brahmacharya, and one who is firmly established in Brahman to Sannyasa. So the text refers equally to all the four stages of life. The text that relates to the first three stages refers to what is enjoined elsewhere. So also does the text that relates to Sannyasa.

Therefore, Sannyasa also is enjoined and must be gone through by all.

Baadarayana holds that Sannyasa is an appropriate Asrama like Grihastha Asrama (householder’s life), because both are referred to in Sruti. The word Tapas refers to a different Asrama in which the predominant factor is Tapas.

Vidhirva dharanavat III.4.20 (445)

Or rather (there is an) injunction (in this text) as in the case of carrying (of the sacrificial wood).

Vidhih: injunction; Va: or rather; Dharanavat: as in the case of carry ing (of the sacrificial wood).

The argument commenced in Sutra 19 to refute the objection raised in Sutra 18 is continued.

This Sutra now tries to establish that there is an injunction about Sannyasa in the Chhandogya text quoted. The passage is rather to be understood as containing an injunction, not a mere reference.

The case is analogous to that of `carrying’. There is a scriptural text relating to the Agnihotra which forms part of the Mahapitriyajna which is performed for the manes. Let him approach carrying the sacrificial wood below the ladle holding the offering; for above he carries it to the gods. Jaimini inter prets the last clause as an injunction although there is no word in it to that effect, for such an injunction is nowhere else to be found in the scriptures. Following this argument, this Sutra declares that there is an injunction as regards Sannyasa and not a mere reference in Chh. Up. II.23.1, as it is not enjoined anywhere else.

Even if in the Sruti there is only Anuvada (declaration) of other Asramas, the Purvamimamsika rules show that we must infer a Vidhi (injunction) of Sannyasa from the portion: Brahmasamstho’mritatvameti, because there is no other sepa rate injunction just as there is no command that the Samit should be kept on the upper portion of the Sruk and yet the Purvamimamsa says that such command should be inferred.

In the present case also the same rule of construction should be applied. Further, even if there is only a declaration and not an injunction as regards the other Asramas, we must infer an injunction about Sannyasa as it has been specially glorified.

Further there are Sruti passages which directly enjoin Sannyasa, Or else he may wander forth from the student’s life, or from the house, or from the forest (Jabala Upanishad 4). Hence the existence of Sannyasa Asrama is undeniable.

The word Tapas in the Sruti refers to Vanaprastha whereas the speciality of Sannyasa is control of the senses (Indriya Samyama). The Sruti differentiates Sannyasa and says that those belonging to the other three Asramas go to the Punya Lokas whereas the Sannyasin attains Amritatva (Immortality).

Jaimini himself says that even glorification must be in a complimentary relation to an injunction. In the text, steadfast devotion to Brahma is employed. Hence it has an injunctive value. Brahma Samstha means meditating always on Brahman. It is a state of being grounded in Brahman to the exclusion of all other activities. In the case of other Asramas: that is not possible as they have their own Karmas. But it is possible to Sannyasins as they have abandoned Karmas. Their Sama (serenity) and Dama (self-restraint) help them towards it and are not obstacles.

Sannyasa is not prescribed only for those who are blind, lame, etc., and who are, therefore, not fit for performing rituals. Sannyasa is a means for the realisation of Brahman. It must be taken in a regular prescribed manner. The Sruti declares, The wandering mendicant, with orange-coloured robe, shaven, wifeless, pure, guileless, living on alms, accepting no gifts, qualifies himself for the realisation of Brahman (Jabali Sruti).

Therefore, Sannyasa is prescribed by the scriptures. As knowledge is enjoined on Sannyasins, it is independent of works.


Scriptural texts as in Chh. Up. I.1.3. which refer to Vidyas are not mere praises but themselves enjoin the meditations

Stutimatramupadanaditi chennapurvatvat III.4.21 (446)

If it be said that (texts such as the one about the Udgitha are) mere glorifications on account of their reference (to parts of sacrifices), (we say) not so, on account of the newness (of what they teach, if viewed as injunctions).

Stutimatram: mere praise; Upadanat: on account of their reference (to parts of sacrificial acts); Iti: thus, so; Chet: if; Na: not so; Apurvatvat: on account of its newness. (Iti chet: if it be said).

This Sutra consists ot two parts, namely an objection and its reply. The objection portion is: `Stutimatramupadanaditi chet’, and the reply portion is: `Na apurvatvat’.

That Udgitha (OM) is the best of all essences, the highest, holding the highest place, the eighth (Chh. Up. I.1.3). This earth is the Rik, the fire is Saman (Chh. Up. I.6.1). This world in truth is that piled up fire-altar (Sat. Br. X.1.2.2). That hymn is truly that earth (Ait. Ar. II.1.2.1).

A doubt arises whether these passages are meant to glorify the Udgitha or to enjoin devout meditations.

The Purvapakshin maintains that these are mere praise and no injunction to meditate on `OM’ and so on. These passages are analogous to passages such as This earth is the ladle. The sun is the tortoise. The heavenly world is the Ahavaniya which simply glorify the ladle and so on.

The latter half of the present Sutra refutes the view of the opponent.

In the Sruti passage That Udgitha (OM) is the best essence of the essences etc., the description is not mere praise but is a Vidhi, and it tells us something which is new.

The analogy is incorrect. Glorificatory passages are of use in so far as entering into a complimentary relation to injunctive passages, but the passages under discussion are not capable of entering into such a relation to the Udgitha and so on which are enjoined in altogether different places of the Vedas and would be purposeless as far as the glorification is concerned. Passages such as This earth is the ladle are not analogous because they stand in proximity to injunctive passages, and so they can be taken as praise.

Therefore, the texts such as those under discussion have an injunctive purpose. On account of the newness, these are not mere praise but an injunction.

Bhavasabdaccha III.4.22 (447)

And there being words expressive of injunction.

Bhavasabaat: from words indicative of existence of injunction in Sruti; Cha: and, also, moreover.

The argument commenced in Sutra 21 is concluded.

Let one meditate on OM or the Udgitha (Chh. Up. I.1.1). We have a very clear injunction to meditate on OM in this passage. On the face of this we cannot interpret the text quoted in the last Sutra as mere praise of OM. The expression This is the best of all the essences in the passage cited under the preceding Sutra is not a mere glorificatory expression, but it amounts to an injunction for the Udgitha meditation.


The stories mentioned in the Upanishads do not serve the purpose of Pariplavas and so do not form part of the ritualistic acts.

They are meant to euloisge the Vidya taught in them

Pariplavartha iti chenna viseshitatvat III.4.23 (448)

If it be said (that the stories told in the Upanishads) are for the purpose of Pariplava (only, we say) not so, because (certain stories above) are specified (by the Sruti for this purpose).

Pariplavarthah: for the purpose of Pariplavas; Iti: so; Chet: if; Na: not so; Viseshitatvat: because of specification, on account of (certain stories alone) being specified. (Iti chet: if it be said.)

The purpose of narration of stories in the Upanishads is stated in this Sutra and in the next one.

This Sutra consists of two parts namely, an objection and its reply. The objection portion is `Pariplavartha iti chet’. And the reply is: `Na viseshitatvat’.

In the Asvamedha sacrifice the priest recites stories to the king who performs the Asvamedha sacrifice, and his relatives at intervals during the performance of the sacrifice. These are known as Pariplavas and form part of the ritualistic acts.

The question is whether the stories of the Upanishads such as those relating to Yajnavalkya and Maitreyi (Bri. Up. IV.5.1), Pratardana (Kau. Up. III.1), Janasruti (Chh. Up. IV.1.1), and so on also serve this purpose in which case they become part of the rites, and the whole of Jnana Kanda becomes subordinate to Karma Kanda.

The Purvapakshin holds that those stories of the Upanishads serve the purpose of Pariplava, because they are stories like others and because the telling of stories is enjoined for the Pariplava. From this it follows that the Upanishadic stories and Vedanta texts do not chiefly aim at knowledge, because like Mantras they stand in a complimentary relation to sacrificial acts.

Tatha chaikavakyatopabandhat III.4.24 (449)

And so (they are meant to illustrate the nearest Vidyas), being connected as one coherent whole.

Tatha: so, similarly; Cha: and; Ekavakyatopabandhat: being connected as one whole. (Ekavakya: unity cf construction or of statements or that of sense; Upabandhat: because of connection.)

The discussion commenced in Sutra 23 is concluded here.

Therefore, it is for the purpose of praise of Vidya because only then there would be unity of idea in the context. Only such a view will lead to harmony of the context.

The stories of the Upanishads are to be regarded as essential parts of Brahma Vidya. They are introduced only to facilitate an intelligent grouping of the subject. The stories are intended to introduce the Vidyas. The story form creates more attention and interest on the part of the aspirant. Their object is to make it clear to our understanding in a concrete form, the Vidyas taught in other portions of the Upanishads in the abstract.

Why do we say so? Ekavakyatopabandhat. Because of their syntactical connection with the Vidyas taught in the succeeding passages.

Thus in the story beginning with Yajnavalkya had two wives, etc., we find immediately following in that very section, the Vidya taught about the Atman in these words The Atman is verily to be seen, to be heard of, to be meditated upon. As these stories are immediately preceded or succeeded by instructions about Brahman, we infer that they are meant to glorify the Vidyas and are not Pariplava stories. The stories are told in order to facilitate the understanding of these abstruse subjects and they are eminently fitted to subserve that purpose.


Sannyasins need not observe ritualistic acts,

as Brahma Vidya or knowledge serves their purpose

Ata eva chagnindhanadyanapeksha III.4.25 (450)

And, therefore, there is no necessity of the lighting of the fire and so on.

Ata eva: therefore, only, for this reason only; Cha: and, also; Agni: fire; Indhanadi: fire-wood, and so on, kindling fire and performing sacrifices, etc.; Anapeksha: no need, has not to be depended upon. (Agni-indhanadi-anapeksha: no necessity of lighting fires, etc.)

This Sutra states that the seeker of Brahman may dispense with sacrificial rites.

Brahma Vidya has no need for fire, fire-wood, etc. It is by itself the cause of emancipation.

In Sutra III.4.1 it was stated that the knowledge of Brah man results in the attainment of the highest Purushartha or goal of life. The expression Ata Eva (for this reason alone) must be viewed as taking up Sutra III.4.1 because thus a satisfa ctory sense is established. For this very same reason, i.e., because knowledge serves the purpose of Sannyasins, the lighting of the sacrificial fire and similar works which are enjoined on the householders, etc., need not be observed by them.

Thus the Sutrakara sums up the result of this first Adhikarana, intending to make some further remarks.

As a Sannyasin, devoted to the meditation on Brahman is stated in Sruti to attain immortality and not any of the rewards arising from sacrificial rites, he is not required to have recourse to sacrificial works to be performed with fire, fire-wood and so on. Chhandogya Upanishad declares, Brahmasamstho’amrita tvameti One devoted to Brahman attains Immortality (Chh. Up. II.23.1).

The theory or doctrine that knowledge and work must be combined in order to produce Mukti or salvation is hereby set aside. Brahma Vidya or Knowledge of Brahman is sufficient for that purpose.


Works prescribed by the scriptures are means

to the attainment of knowledge

Sarvapeksha cha yajnadi sruterasvavat III.4.26 (451)

And there is the necessity of all works because the scriptures prescribe sacrifices, etc., (as means to the attainment of knowledge) even as the horse (is used to draw a chariot, and not for ploughing).

Sarvapeksha: there is the necessity of all works; Cha: and; Yajnadisruteh: for the scriptures prescribe sacrifices, etc., (as means to knowledge); Asvavat: like a horse, as in the case of the horse.

The Sutra says that sacrificial works and the like are necessary for origination of knowledge of Brahman.

We may conclude from the previous Sutra that works are altogether useless.

This Sutra says that all these works are useful for origination of knowledge. Even the scriptures prescribe them as they serve an indirect means to the attainment of knowledge. Brihad aranyaka Upanishad declares, Brahmanas seek to know Brahman by the study of the Vedas, by scriptures, gifts, penance and renunciation (Bri. Up. IV.4.22). Similarly the passage, what people call sacrifice that is really Brahmacharya (Chh. Up. VIII.5.1), by connecting sacrifices and so on with Bra hmacharya which is a means of knowledge, intimates that sacri fices, etc., also are means of knowledge. Again the passage That word which all the Vedas record, which all penances proclaim, desiring which men live as religious students, that word I tell thee briefly, it is OM (Katha Up. I.2.15), likewise intimates that the works enjoined on the Asramas are means of knowledge.

When knowledge once is attained requires no help from external works for the production of this result namely, Liberation. The case is analogous to a horse, whose help is required until the place of destination is reached but it may be dispensed with after the journey has been accomplished.

When Atma-Jnana is attained it does not need any other accessory to bring about salvation, but Karma is needed for Atma-Jnana. Just as a horse is not used to drag a plough but is used to drag a car, so the Asrama Karmas are not needed for the fruition of Jnana but are needed for Jnana.

The final emancipation results only from knowledge of Brahman and not from work. Work purifies the mind and knowledge dawns in a pure mind.

Hence works are useful as they are an indirect means to knowledge.

If knowledge be originated by sacrifices, gifts, penance and fasting, what is the necessity of other qualifications like Sama (serenity) and Dama (self-restraint)? To this the author replies in the next Sutra.

Samadamadyupetah syat tathapi tu tadvidhestadangataya

teshamavasyanushtheyatvat III.4.27 (452)

But all the same (even though there is no injunction to do sacrificial acts to attain knowledge in the Brihadaranyaka text) one must possess serenity, self-control and the like, as these are enjoined as auxiliaries to knowledge and therefore have necessarily to be practised.

Samadamadyupetah syat: one must possess serenity, self-control and the like; Tathapi: still, all the same, even if it be so; Tu: verily; Tadvidheh: as they are enjoined; Tadangataya: on account of their being a part, as helps to knowledge; Tesham: their; Avasyanushtheyatvat: because it being necessary to be practised. (Avasya: necessarily; Anushtheyatvat: because they must be practised.)

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad declares, The Brahmanas seek to know Brahman through the study of the Vedas, sacrifices, charity, etc. (Bri. Up. IV.4.22). In this passage there is no word to indicate that sacrifice is enjoined on one who wants to know Brahman.

So the Purvapakshin maintains that there is no necessity at all for work for one who aspires after knowledge.

This present Sutra says that even should this be so. The seeker for knowledge must possess calmness of mind, must subdue his senses and so on; because all this is enjoined as a means of knowledge in the following scriptural passage, There he who knows this, having become calm, subdued, satisfied, patient and collected sees Self in Self (Bri. Up. IV.4.23).

What is enjoined must necessarily be carried out. The introductory word `therefore’ (Tasmat) which expresses the praise of the subject under discussion makes us un derstand that the passage has an injunctive character, because if there were no injunction, the praise would be meaningless.

Further the Madhyandina Sruti uses the word pasyet let him see and not `he sees’. Hence calmness of mind, etc., are required even if sacrifices, etc., should not be required.

As these qualities are enjoined, they are necessarily to be practised. Sama, Dama etc., are proximate or direct means of knowledge (Antaranga-Sadhana). Yajnas or sacrifices, etc., are remote or indirect means of knowledge (Bahiranga-Sadhana).

The word `Adi’ (and the rest) mentioned in the Sutra, indi cates that the aspirant after Brahma Vidya must possess all these qualifications of truthfulness, generosity, asceticism, celibacy, indifference to worldly objects, tolerance, endurance, faith, equilibrium, compassion etc.


Food-restrictions may be given up only when life is in danger

Sarvannanumatischa pranatyaye taddarsanat III.4.28 (453)

Only when life is in danger (there is) permission to take all food (i.e., take food indiscriminately) because the Sruti declares that.

Sarvannanumatih: permission to take all sorts of food; Cha: only; Prana tyaye: when life is in danger; Taddarsanat: because the Sruti declares that.

This and the subsequent three Sutras indicate what kind of food is to be taken.

Chhandogya Upanishad declares, For one who knows this, there is nothing that is not food (Chh. Up. V.2.1). The question is if such Sarvannanumati (description of all as his food) is a Vidhi or Vidhyanga or a Sruti (praise).

The Purvapakshin maintains that it is enjoined on one who meditates on Prana on account of the newness of the statement. It has an injunctive value, as such statement is not found anywhere else.

The Sutra refutes it and declares that it is not an injun ction, but only a statement of fact. We are not justified in assuming an injunction, where the idea of an injunction does not arise. It is not Vidhi or injunction as no mandatory words are found. Can a man eat and digest all things? No. Prohi bited food may be eaten only when life is in danger, when one is dying of hunger as was done by the sage Chakrayana (Ushasti) when he was dying for want of food. Sruti declares this.

Sage Ushasti was dying of hunger on account of famine. He ate the beans half-eaten by a keeper of elephants but refused to drink what had been offered by the latter on the ground of its being a mere leaving. The sage justified his conduct by saying, I would not have lived, if I had not eaten the beans, but water I can do without at present. I can drink water wherever I like.

From this it follows, that the passage For one who knows this etc., is an Arthavada.

Abadhatccha III.4.29 (454)

And because (thus) (the scriptural statements with respect to food) are not contradicted.

Abadhat: becausc of a non-contradiction, as there is no contrary state ment anywhere in Sruti; Cha: and, also, moreover, on account of non-sublation.

The topic commenced in Sutra 28 is continued.

And thus those scriptural passages which distinguish lawful and unlawful food such as When the food is pure the whole nature becomes pure (Chh. Up. VII.26.2) are non-sublated. The statement of the Chhandogya Upanishad will not be contradicted only if the explanation given is taken, and not otherwise.

Only then other Srutis will have unhindered applications. Only in this view will the Sruti When the food is pure the mind becomes pure have application.

Clean food should generally be taken as there is no contrary statement anywhere in Sruti to the purifying effect of clean food. There is nowhere any passage in Sruti, contradicting the passage of the Chhandogya Sruti which declares that clean food makes our nature pure.

Unlawful food as a general rule clogs the understanding and obstructs the clear works of the intellect. But in the case of the sage, whose heart is always pure and intellect keen, the taking of such food does not obstruct the working of his brain, and his knowledge remains as pure as ever.

Api cha smaryate III.4.30 (455)

And moreover the Smritis say so.

Api: also; Cha: moreover; Smaryate: the Smriti says so, it is seen in the Smritis, it is prescribed by Smriti.

The previous topic is continued.

Smriti also states that when life is in danger both he who has knowledge and he who has not can take any food. He who eats food procured from anywhere when life is in danger, is not tainted by sin, as a lotus leaf is not wetted by water.

On the contrary many passages teach that unlawful food is to be avoided. The Brahmana must permanently forego intoxicating liquor. Let them pour boiling spirits down the throat of a Brahmana who drinks spirits. Spirit-drinking worms grow in the mouth of the spirit-drinking man, because he enjoys what is unlawful.

From this it is inferred that generally clean food is to be taken except in the case of extreme starvation or in times of distress only.

When the Upanishad says that the sage may eat all kinds of food, it must be interpreted as meaning that he may eat all kinds of food, in times of distress only. The text of the Upanishad should not be construed as an injunction in favour of eating unlawful food.

Sabdaschato’kamakare III.4.31 (456)

And hence the scripture prohibiting license.

Sabdah: the scriptural passage; Cha: and; Atah: hence; Akamakare: to prevent undue license, prohibiting license, as to non-proceeding according to liking.

The previous topic is discussed and concluded here.

There are scriptural passages which prohibit one from doing everything just as he pleases, which forbid man to take undue liberty in the matter of food and drink. Therefore a Brahmana must not drink liquor (Kathaka Sam.). Perfect spiritual discipline is absolutely necessary for controlling the mind and the senses and attaining knowledge or Self-realisation. Such Sruti texts are meant for this discipline.

Therefore, it is established that the Sruti does not enjoin on one who meditates on Prana to take all kinds of food indiscriminately.

As there is Sruti which forbids license in food and drink, the Sruti referred to above in Sutra 28 is an Arthavada.

The permission to take all kinds of food is confined to times of distress only when one’s life is in danger. One must strictly observe the injunctions of the scriptures in ordinary times.


The duties of Asrama are to be performed by even one

who is not desirous of salvation

Vihitatvacchasramakarmapi III.4.32 (457)

And the duties of the Asramas (are to be performed also by him who does not desire emancipation) because they are enjoined (on him by the scriptures).

Vihitatvat: because they are enjoined; Cha: and; Asrama- karma: duties of the Asrama, or order of life; Api: also.

This and the subsequent three Sutras show who are required to perform sacrifices and do other prescribed duties.

Under Sutra 26 it has been proved that the works enjoined on the Asramas are means to knowledge. The question arises now, why should one who does not desire knowledge or final release do these works?

The present Sutra declares that since these duties are enjoined on all who are in these Aramas or orders of life, viz., student-life, householder’s life, and hermit life, one should observe them.

In the case of a man who keeps to the Asramas but does not seek liberation, the Nityakarmas or the permanent obligatory duties are indispensable. The Sruti says Yavajjivam agnihotram juhotias long as his life lasts, one is to offer the Agnihotra.

Sahakaritvena cha III.4.33 (458)

And (the duties are to be performed also) as a means to knowledge.

Sahakaritvena: as, an auxiliary, on account of cooperativeness, as means to knowledge; Cha: and.

The topic commenced in Sutra 32 is continued.

The duties or works are helpful in producing knowledge but not its fruit, viz., emancipation. In the former case the connection between Karma and fruit is inseparable (Nitya-Samyoga), but in the latter case it is separable (Anitya-Samyoga). Salva tion or Moksha is attainable only through knowledge of Brahman or Brahma-Jnana.

Works (Karmas) are an aid to Vidya or knowledge of Self. Those who are desirous of emancipation should also perform religious rites as a help to enlightenment. Brahma Vidya is independent in producing its results. Karma is merely the handmaid and cooperator of Vidya. Works are means for the origination of knowledge.

Sarvathapi ta evobhayalingat III.4.34 (459)

In all cases the same duties (have to be performed), because of the twofold indicatory marks.

Sarvatha: in all cases, in every respect, under any circumstance; Api: also; Ta eva: the same duties (have to be performed); Ubhayalingat: because of the twofold inferential signs. (Ta: they, the sacrificial works; Eva: certainly.)

The previous topic is continued.

The word `Api’ in the Sutra has the force of `indeed’, `even’. The words `Sarvatha Api’ are equal to `Sarvatha Eva’.

The question arises whether the works performed as enjoined on the Asramas, and those done as auxiliaries to knowledge are of two different kinds.

The present Sutra declares that in either case, whether viewed as duties incumbent on the Asramas or as cooperating with knowledge, the very same Agnihotra and other duties have to be performed, as is seen from the Sruti and the Smriti texts.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad declares, Him the Brahmanas seek to know through the study of the Vedas, sacrifices etc. (Bri. Up. IV.4.22). This text indicates that sacrifices etc., enjoined in Karmakanda for different purposes are to be performed as means to knowledge also.

The Smriti also says the same thing, He who performs obligatory works without aiming at the fruit of work etc. (Gita VI.1). Those very obligatory duties subserve the origi nation of knowledge also.

Moreover the Smriti passage He who is qualified by that forty-eighty purifications etc., refers to the purifications required for Vedic works, with a view to the origination of knowledge in him who has undergone these purifications.

In every respect, whether viewed as duties incumbent on a householder or as practices auxiliary to knowledge or illumination, the sacrificial works, prescribed to be performed, are recognised to be the same and not different, because they are indispensable requisites for both orders of life, as permanent duties for a householder and as auxiliary aids to meditation for a Sannyasi.

The Sutrakara, therefore, rightly emphasises the non-difference of the works.

Anabhibhavam cha darsayati III.4.35 (460)

And the scripture also declares (that he who is endowed with Brahmacharya) is not overpowered (by passion, anger, etc.).

Anabhibhavam: not being overpowered; Cha: and; Darsayati: the scrip ture shows, the Srutis declare.

The previous topic is concluded here.

This Sutra points out a further indicatory mark strengthening the conclusion that works cooperate towards knowledge. Scripture also declares that he who is endowed with such means as Brahmacharya, etc.. is not overpowered by such afflictions as passion, anger and the like. For that Self does not perish which one attains by Brahmacharya (Chh. Up. VIII.5.3). This passage indicates that like work, Brahmacharya, etc., are also means to knowledge. He who is endowed with celibacy is not overcome by anger, passion, jealousy, hatred. His mind is ever peaceful. As his mind is not agitated, he is able to practise deep and constant meditation which leads to the attainment of knowledge.

It is thus a settled conclusion that works are obligatory on the Asramas and are also means to knowledge.


Those who stand midway between two Asramas

also are qualified for knowledge

Antara chapi tu taddrishteh III.4.36 (461)

And (persons standing) in between (two Asramas) are also (qualified for knowledge), for that is seen (in scripture).

Antara: (persons standing) in between (two Asramas); Cha: and; Api tu: also; Taddrishteh: such cases being seen, (as it is seen in Sruti, because it is so seen).

Widowers who have not married again, persons who are too poor to marry and those who are forced by circumstances not to enter into wedlock and have not renounced the world come under the purview of Sutras 36-39.

The word `tu’ is employed in order to refute the Purvapaksha that Karma is necessary for the origination of knowledge of Brahman. The force of the word `cha’ is to show certainty.

A doubt arises whether persons in want who do not possess means, etc., and, therefore, are not able to enter into one or the other of the Asramas, or who stand midway between two Asramas as for example, a widower, are qualified for knowledge or not.

The Purvapakshin maintains that they are not qualified, as they cannot perform the works of any Asrama which are means to knowledge.

The present Sutra declares that they are entitled, because such cases are seen from the scriptures. Scriptural passages declare that persons of that class such as Raikva and Gargi, the daughter of Vachaknavi had the knowledge of Brahman (Chh. Up. IV.1 and Bri. Up. III.6.8).

Vidura, a man who had no wife, did not adopt the Vanaprastha Asrama, and who had no Asrama, was expert in Brahma Vidya. He had knowledge of Brahman.

Antara (who stand outside) are those persons who do not belong to any order or Asrama and consequently do not perform the duties of any Asrama. They are born in this life with discrimination and dispassion owing to the performance of such duties in their previous birth. Their minds have been purified by truth, penance, prayers, etc., performed in their past lives. If a man has duly discharged the duties of his Asrama in previous birth, but owing to some obstacles or Pratibandhas Brahma-Jnana did not arise in him in that life, and he dies before the dawn of knowledge, then he is born in the present life ripe for knowledge. Brahma-Jnana manifests in him in all its glory by mere contact with a sage. Therefore such a man does not perform any Karmas or rather does not stand in any need of performing any duties of Asramas.

Api cha smaryate III.4.37 (462)

This is stated in Smriti also.

Api: also, too; Cha: moreover, and; Smaryate: is stated in Smriti, the Smriti records such cases.

The previous topic is continued.

Moreover, it is stated also in Smriti that persons, not belonging to any one of the four prescribed orders of life, acquire Brahma-Jnana.

It is recorded in the Itihasas (Mahabharata) also how Samvarta and others who paid no regard to the duties incumbent on the Asramas went naked and afterwards became great Yogins or saints. The great Bhishma is also an instance in point.

Manu Samhita declares There is no doubt that a Brahmana attains final success only by practice of continuously repeating the Japa. It matters little whether he performs other prescribed duties or not. One who is friendly to all, is really a Brahmana (II.87).

But the instances quoted from scripture and Smriti furnish merely indicatory marks. What then is the final conclusion? That conclusion is stated in the next Sutra.

Viseshanugrahascha III.4.38 (463)

And the promotion (of knowledge is bestowed on them) through special acts.

Visesha: special; Anugrahah: favour; Cha: and. (Viseshanu- grahah: special advantage, advantage or favour accruing from extraordinary good works done in the previous life.)

The previous topic is continued.

Moreover knowledge of Brahman may be attained by the special grace of the gods due to Japa, fasting and worship of gods. Or it may be that Asrama Karmas might have been done in previous births.

A widower who is not a householder in the proper sense of the term, can attain knowledge of Brahman through special acts like Japa, fasting, prayer, which are not opposed to the condition of those who do not belong to any Asrama.

The Smriti says By mere prayer no doubt the Brahmana perfects himself. May he perform other works or not, the kind-hearted one is called Brahmana (Manu Samhita II.87).

This passage indicates that where the works of the Asramas are not possible, prayer qualifies for knowledge.

Smriti also declares Perfected by many births he finally goes to the highest state (Bhagavad Gita VI.45). This passage intimates that the aggregate of the different meritorious works performed in previous births promotes knowledge.

Therefore, there is no contradiction in admitting qualifica tion for knowledge on the part of widowers and the like.

Atastvitarajjyayo lingaccha III.4.39 (464)

Better than this is the other (state of belonging to an Asrama) on account of the indicatory marks (in the Sruti and the Smriti).

Atah: from this, than this, than the intermediate state mentioned above; Tu: but; Itarat: the other, the state belonging to a prescribed order of life; Jyayah: better, superior; Lingat: because of the indicatory marks, from such indications in the scripture, from indication, signs, in ferences; Cha: and.

The previous topic is concluded here.

The word `tu’ (but) is employed in order to remove the doubt. The word `cha’ (and) is used in the sense of exclusion.

Though it is possible for one who stands between two Asramas to attain knowledge, yet it is a better means to know ledge to belong to some Asrama. He who belongs to an Asrama has better means of attaining knowledge of the Self or Brahman, because the facilities are greater in the latter condition.

This is confirmed by the Sruti and Smriti The Brahmanas seek to know Brahman through sacrifices etc. (Bri. Up. IV.4.22). On that path goes whoever knows Brahman and who has done holy works as prescribed for the Asramas and obtained splendour (Bri. Up. IV.4.9). Smriti declares, Let not a Brahmana stay for a day outside the Asrama; having stayed outside for a year he goes to utter ruin.

Tadbhutadhikaranam: Topic 10

He who has taken Sannyasa cannot revert back

to his former stages of life

Tadbhutasya tu natadbhavo jaiminerapi

niyamatadrupabhavebhyah III.4.40 (465)

But for one who has become that (i.e. entered the highest Asrama, i.e., Sannyasa) there is no reverting (to the preced ing ones) on account of restrictions prohibiting such reversion or descending to a lower order. Jaimini also (is of this opinion).

Tadbhutasya: of one who has become that, for one who has attained that (highest Asrama); Tu: but; Na: no; Atadbhavah: lapse from that stage, falling away from that; Jaimineh: according to Jaimini, of Jaimini (is this opinion); Api: also, even; Niyamatadrupabhavebhyah: on account of the restrictions prohibiting such reversion. (Niyamat: because of the strict rule; Atadrupdbhavebhyah: because there is no statement permitting it, and because it is against custom; Abhavebhyah: because of the absence of that.)

The question whether one who has taken Sannyasa can go back to the previous Asrama is now considered.

The present Sutra declares that he cannot go back to the previous Asrama. This is the opinion of Jaimini also.

There are no words in the Sruti allowing such a descent. The Sruti expressly forbids it, He is to go to the forest, he is not to return from there.

It is also against approved custom or usage.

The Upanishad declares Having been dismissed by the teacher he is to follow one of the four Asramas according to rule, up to release from the body (Chh. Up. II.23.1). There are texts which teach of the ascent to higher Asramas. Having completed the Brahmacharya state he is to become a householder. He may wander forth from the Brahmacharya state, but there are no texts which treat of the descent to lower Asramas.

Dharma is what is enjoined for each and not what each is capable of doing.

Scripture declares, Once returning to the forest, one should never return to household life. A Sannyasi should not stir up the household fire again after having once renounced it.

Therefore, one cannot go back from Sannyasa.


Expiation for one who has broken the vow of Sannyasa

Na chadhikarikamapi patananumanattadayogat III.4.41 (466)

And there is no fitness for expiation in the case of a Naishthika Brahmacharin (who is immoral), because a fall (in his case) is inferred from the Smriti and because of the inefficacy (in his case) of the expiatory ceremony.

Na: not; Cha: and; Adhikarikam: (expiation) mentioned in the chapter that deals with the qualification; Api: also, even; Patananumanat: because of a fall (in his case) is inferred from the Smriti; Tadayogat: because of its (of the expiatory ceremony) inefficiency in his case.

The previous discussion is continued.

The present Sutra expresses the view of the Purvapakshin.

The opponent maintains that there is no expiation for such transgression in the case of a Naishthika Brahmacharin who has taken the vow of life-long celibacy, because no such expiatory ceremony is mentioned with respect to him. The expiatory ceremony which is mentioned in Purvamimamsa VI.8.22, refers to ordinary Brahmacharins and not to Naishthika Brahmacharins.

Smriti declares that such sins cannot be expiated by him any more than a head once cut off can again be fixed to the body, He who having once entered on the duties of a Naishthika again lapses from them, for him a slayer of the Self, I see no expiation which might make him clean again (Agneya XVI.5.23).

Further the expiatory ceremony referred to in Purvamimamsa is not efficacious in his case, because he will have to light sacrificial fire and therefore have to marry. In that case he will cease to be a Naishthika Brahmacharin thereafter.

But the Upakurvana (i.e., who is a Brahmacharin for a certain period only, not for life, one who is a Brahmacharin till marriage) about whose sin Smriti makes no similar declaration, may purify himself by the ceremony mentioned. If he is immoral there is expiation.

Upapurvamapi tveke bhavamasanavattaduktam III.4.42 (467)

But some (consider the sin) a minor one (and therefore claim) the existence (of expiation for the Naishthika Brahmacharin also); as in the case of eating (of unlawful food). This has been explained (in the Purvamimamsa).

Upapurvam: (Upapurvaka-patakam, Upapatakam) a minor sin; Api tu: but, however; Eke: some (say); Bhavam: possibility of expiation; Asanavat: as in the eating (prohibited food); Tat: this; Uktam: is explained (in Purvamimamsa).

The previous discussion is continued.

Some teachers, however, are of opinion that the transgres sion of the vow of chastity, even on the part of a Naishthika is a minor sin, not a major one excepting cases where the wife of the teacher is concerned and so can be expiated by proper ceremonies just as ordinary Brahmacharins who take prohibited food such as honey, wine, flesh, are again purified by expiatory ceremonies. They plead that that sin is not anywhere enumerated among the deadly ones (Mahapataka) such as violating a teacher’s bed and so on. They claim the expia tory ceremony to be valid for the Naishthika as well as the Upakurvana. Both are Brahmacharins and have committed the same offence.

It is only sexual intercourse with the wife of the Guru or spiritual preceptor that is a Mahapataka (major sin). That Upapataka, a minor sin is an expiable sin has been explained in the Purvamimamsa of Jaimini in Chap. I.3.8.

The Smriti passage which declares that there is no expiation for the Naishthika must be explained as aiming at the origination of serious effort on the part of Naishthika Brahmacharins. It puts him in mind of the serious responsibility on his part so that he may be ever alert and vigilant and struggle hard in maintaining strict unbroken Brahmacharya and thus achieving the goal or summum bonum of life, i.e., Self-realisation.

Similarly in the case of the hermit and the Sannyasin. The Smriti does prescribe the purificatory ceremony for both the hermit (Vanaprastha) and the mendicant (Sannyasi). When the hermit has broken his vows, undergoes the Kricchra-penance for twelve nights and then cultivates a place which is full of trees and grass. The Sannyasi also proceeds like the hermit, with the exception of cultivating the Soma plant, and undergoes the purifications prescribed for his state.


The life-long celibate who fails to keep up his vow

must be excluded by society

Bahistubhayathapi smriteracharaccha III.4.43 (468)

But (they are to be kept) outside the society in either case, on account of the Smriti and custom.

Bahih: outside; Tu: but; Ubhayatha: in either case, whether it be a grave sin or a minor sin; Api: also, even; Smriteh: on account of the state ment of the Smriti, from the Smriti; Acharat: from custom; Cha: and.

The previous discussion is concluded here.

Whether the lapses be regarded as major sins or minor sins, in either case good people (Sishtas) must shun such transgres sors, because the Smriti and good custom both condemn them.

Smriti declares, he who touches a Brahmana who has broken his vow and fallen from his order, must undergo the Chandrayana penance. Approved custom also condemns them, because good men do not sacrifice, study, or attend weddings with such persons.


The meditations connected with the subordinate members of sacrificial acts (Yajnangas) should be observed by the priest

and not by the sacrificer

Svaminah phalasruterityatreyah III.4.44 (469)

To the sacrificer (belongs the agentship in meditations) because the Sruti declares a fruit (for it): thus Atreya (holds).

Svaminah: of the master, of the sacrificer or Yajamana; Phalasruteh: from the declaration in Sruti of the results; Iti: so, thus; Atreyah: the sage Atreya (holds).

This is the view of the Purvapakshin or the opponent.

A doubt arises as to who is to observe the meditations connected with the subordinate members of sacrificial acts (Yajnangas), whether it is the sacrificer (Yajamana) or the priest (Ritvik).

The opponent, represented by the Sage Atreya, maintains that it is to be observed by the sacrificer, as the Sruti declares a special fruit for these meditations.

There is rain for him and he brings rain for others who thus knowing meditates on the five-fold Saman as rain (Chh. Up. II.3.2).

Hence the sacrificer only is the agent in those meditations which have a fruit. This is the opinion of the teacher Atreya.

Artvijyamityaudulomistasmai hi parikriyate III.4.45 (470)

(They are) the duty of the Ritvik (priest), this is the view of Audulomi, because he is paid for that (i.e., the performance of the entire sacrifice).

Artvijyam: the duty of the Ritvik (priest); Iti: thus; Audulomih: the sage Audulomi (thinks); Tasmai: for that; Hi: because; Parikriyate: he is paid.

The previous topic is continued.

The assertion that the meditations on subordinate members of the sacrifice are the work of the sacrificer (Yajamana) is unfounded.

But Audulomi says that they are to be done by the priest (Ritvik), because he is engaged (literally bought) for the sake of the Karma. As the priest is paid for all his acts, the fruit of all his acts, is as it were, purchased by the Yajamana (sacri ficer). Therefore the meditations also fall within the perfor mance of the work, as they belong to the sphere of that to which the sacrificer is entitled. They have to be observed by the priest and not the sacrificer.

This is the view of the sage Audulomi.

Srutescha III.4.46 (471)

And because the Sruti (so) declares.

Sruteh: from the Sruti; Cha: and.

The previous topic is concluded here.

The Ritvik is to make the Anga Upasana. But the fruit goes to the Yajamana.

Whatever blessing the priests pray for at the sacrifice, they pray for the good of the sacrificer (Sat. Br. I.3., I.26). Therefore an Udgatri who knows this may say: what wish shall I obtain for you by my singing (Chh. Up. I.7.8). The scriptural passages also declare that the fruit of meditations in which the priest is the agent, goes to the sacrificer.

All this establishes the conclusion that the meditations on subordinate parts of the sacrifice are the work of the priest.

Therefore, Audulomi’s view is correct, being supported by the Sruti texts.


In Bri. Up. III.5.1 meditation is enjoined besides the

child-like state and scholarship

Sahakaryantaravidhih pakshena tritiyam

tadvato vidhyadivat III.4.47 (472)

There is the injunction of something else, i.e., meditation, cooperation (towards knowledge) (which is) a third thing (with regard to Balya or state of a child and Panditya or scholarship), (which injunction is given) for the case (of per fect knowledge not yet having arisen) to him who is such (i.e., the Sannyasin possessing knowledge); as in the case of injunctions, and the like.

Sahakaryantaravidhih: a separate auxiliary injunction; Pakshena: as an alternative; Tritiyam: the third; Tadvatah: for one who possesses it, (i.e., knowledge); Vidhyadivat: just as in the case of injunctions and the like.

This Sutra examines a passage of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and concludes that continuous meditation is also to be considered as enjoined by Sruti for the realisation of Brahman. This and the following two Sutras show that the scripture enjoins the four orders of life.

Mauna (Nididhyasa or meditation) is enjoined as an aid. The third, i.e., Mauna is enjoined for a Sannyasi in case his sense of cosmic diversity is persistent, just as Yajnas are enjoined for one desirous of heaven.

Therefore, a knower of Brahman, having done with scholar ship, should remain like a child (free from passion, anger, etc.); and after having finished with this state and with erudition he becomes meditative (Muni) (Bri. Up. III.5.1).

A doubt arises now whether the meditative state is enjoined or not.

The Purvapakshin maintains that it is not enjoined, as there is no word indicating an injunction. Though the imperative mood occurs in regard to Balya or child-like state, there is no such indication in regard to the Muni. The text merely says that he becomes a Muni or meditative whereas it expressly enjoins One should remain etc., with respect to the state of child and scholarship.

Further scholarship refers to knowledge. Therefore, it includes Muniship which also refers to knowledge. As there is no newness (Apurva) with respect to Muniship in the text it has no injunctive value.

This Sutra refutes this view and declares that Muniship or meditativeness is enjoined in the text as a third requisite besides child-like state and scholarship.

Muni means a person who constantly meditates on Brahman. So constant meditation is the third auxiliary observance for one who is already possessed of Panditya (erudition) and Balya (child-like state); and as such constant meditation is enjoined to be observed like the injunctions about sacrifice and control of the senses and so on.

This Sutra refers to a passage of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, where in reply to a question by one Kahola, the sage Yajnaval�kya enjoins first, scholarly attainments, the child-like simplicity, and then thirdly, continuous meditation cooperating with the two previous conditions, with a view to realisation of Brahman. Though there is no verb of imperative or injunctive force in the case of this third state, there is to be inferred an injunction to be understood like the injunctions in the other cases.

Muniship is continuous contemplation on Brahman. Therefore, it is different from scholarship. It is a new thing (Apurva). It has not been referred to before. Hence the text has injun ctive value. Incessant meditation is highly beneficial for a Sannyasin who has not yet attained oneness or unity of Self and who experiences plurality on account of past expressions or the prevailing force of the erroneous idea of multiplicity.

Munihood is enjoined as something helpful to knowledge.

Kritsnabhavattu grihinopasamharah III.4.48 (473)

On account of his being all, however, there is winding up with the householder.

Kritsnabhavat: on account of the householder’s life including all; Tu: verily; Grihina: by a householder, with the householder; Upasamharah: the conclusion, the goal, salvation, (the Chapter) ends. (Kritsna: of all (duties); Bhavat: owing to the existence; Grihinopasamharah: conclusion with the case of the householder.)

The Sruti winds up with the householder as he has all the duties. He has to do difficult sacrifices and has also to observe Ahimsa, self-control, etc. As the householder’s life includes duties of all the other stages of life, the Chapter ends with the enumeration of the duties of the householder.

The Chhandogya Upanishad concludes with the householder’s stage, because of the fact that this stage includes all the others. He, the householder, conducting his life in this way, concent rating all his senses upon the self, and abstaining from injury to any living being throughout his life, attains the world of Brahma and has not to return again to this world (Chh. Up. VIII.15.1).

The word `tu’ is meant to lay stress on the householder being everything. He has to do many duties belonging to his own Asrama which involve a great trouble. At the same time the duties of the other Asramas such as tenderness for all living creatures, restraint of the senses and study of scriptures, and so on are incumbent on him also as far as circumstances allow. Therefore, there is nothing contradictory in the Chhandogya winding up with the householder.

The householder’s life is very important. Grihasthasrama includes more or less the duties of all Asramas. The Sruti enumerates the duties of the Brahmacharin and then those of the householder and there it ends without referring to Sannyasa in order to lay stress on the life of the householder, to show its importance, and not because it is not one of the prescribed Asramas.

Maunavaditareshamapyupadesat III.4.49 (474)

Because the scripture enjoins the other (stages of life, viz., Brahmacharya and Vanaprastha), just as it enjoins the state of a Muni (Sannyasi).

Maunavat: just as silence, like constant meditation, like the state of a Muni (Sannyasi); Itaresham: of the others, of the other orders of life; Api: even, also; Upadesat: because of scriptural injunction.

This Sutra states that the scripture enjoins the observance of the duties of all the orders of life.

Just as the Sruti enjoins Sannyasa and householder’s life, so also it enjoins the life of a Vanaprastha (hermit) and that of a student (Brahmacharin). For we have already pointed above to passages such as Austerity is the second, and to dwell as a student in the house of a teacher is the third. As thus the four Asramas are equally taught by the scripture, they are to be gone through in sequence or alternately.

That the Sutra uses a plural form (of the `others’) when speaking of two orders only, is due to its having regard either to the different sub-classes of those two or to their difficult duties.


Child-like state means the state of innocence,

being free from egoism, lust, anger, etc.

Anavishkurvannanvayat III.4.50 (475)

(The child-like state means) without manifesting himself, according to the context.

Anavishkurvan: without manifesting himself; Ananvayat: according to the context.

This Sutra says that the perversity of a child is not meant by the word `Balyena’ (by the child-like state), in the passage of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad quoted under Sutra 47.

In the passage of the Brihadaranyaka quoted in the Sutra 47, the child-like state is enjoined on an aspirant after knowledge. Therefore, a Brahmana after he has done with learning should remain like a child. What is exactly meant by this?

Does it mean to be like a child without any idea of purity and impurity, freely attending to the calls of nature without any respect of place, etc., behaving, talking and eating, accord ing to one’s liking and doing whatever one likes, or does it mean inward purity, i.e., absence of cunningness, arrogance, sense of egoism, force of the sensual passions and so on as in the case of a child?

The present Sutra says it is the latter and not the former, because that is detrimental to knowledge. It means that one should be free from guile, pride, egoism, etc. He should not manifest the undesirable evil traits. He should not manifest by a display of knowledge, learning and virtuousness. Just as a child whose sensual powers have not yet developed themselves does not attempt to make a display of himself before others, he must not publish and proclaim his learning, wisdom and goodness. Such meaning only is appropriate to the context, purity and innocence being helpful to knowledge.

Then only the passage has a connection with the entire chapter on the ground of cooperating towards the principal matter, namely, the realisation of Brahman. Being free from ostentation is necessary, because only then there will be Anvaya or concordance of doctrine.

The Smriti writers have said, He whom nobody knows either as noble or ignoble, as ignorant or learned, as well as well-conducted or ill-conducted, he is a Brahmana. Quietly devoted to his duty, let the wise man pass through life unknown, let him step on this earth as if he were blind, unconscious, deaf. Another Smriti passage is With hidden nature, hidden conduct, and so on.


The time of the origination of knowledge

when Brahma Vidya is practised

Aihikamapyaprastutapratibandhe taddarsanat III.4.51 (476)

In this life (the origination of knowledge takes place) if there be no obstruction to it (the means adopted), because it is so seen from the scriptures.

Aihikam: in this life; Api: even; Aprastutapratibandhe: in the absence of an obstruction to it (the means adopted); Taddarsanat: as it is seen in Sruti. (Aprastuta: not being present; Pratibandhe: obstruction; Tat: that; Darsanat: being declared by the scriptures.)

This Sutra states whether the consequence of Brahma Vidya, which is the realisation of Brahman, is possible in this life or will wait till death.

Beginning from Sutra 26 of the present Pada (Section) we have discussed the various means of knowledge.

The question now is whether knowledge that results from these means comes in this life or in the life to come.

The present Sutra declares that knowledge may come in this life only if there is no obstruction to its manifestation from extraneous causes. When the fruition of knowledge is about to take place, it is hindered by the fruit of some other powerful work (Karma), which is also about to mature. When such an obstruction takes place, then knowledge comes in the next life.

That is the reason why the scripture also declares that it is difficult to know the Self, He of whom many are not even able to hear, whom many even when they hear of him do not comprehend; wonderful is a man when found who is able to teach him; wonderful is he who comprehends him when taught by an able teacher (Katha Up. I.27).

The Gita also says, There he recovers the characteristics belonging to his former body, and with that he again strives for perfection, O Joy of the Kurus (Chap. VI.43). The Yogin striving with assiduity, purified from sin, gradually gaining perfection, through manifold births, then reaches the Supreme Goal (Chap. VI.45).

Further scripture relates that Vamadeva already became Brahman in his mother’s womb and thus shows that knowledge may spring up in a later form of existence through means pro cured in a former one; because a child in a womb cannot possibly procure such means in its present state.

It, therefore, is an established conclusion that knowledge originates either in the present or in a future life, in dependence on the evanescence of obstacles.


Liberation is a state without difference. It is only one

Evam muktiphalaniyamastadavasthavadhrites-

tadavasthavadhriteh III.4.52 (477)

No such definite rule exists with respect to emancipation, the fruit (of knowledge), because the Sruti asserts that state (to be immutable).

Evam: thus, like this; Muktiphalaniyamah: there is no rule with respect to the final emancipation, the fruit (of knowledge); Tadavasthavadhriteh: on account of the assertions by the Sruti as to that condition. (Mukti: salvation; Phala: fruit; Aniyamah: there is no rule; Tat: that; Avastha: condition; Avadhriteh: because the Sruti has ascertained so.)

In the previous Sutra it was seen that knowledge may result in this life or the next according to the absence or presence of obstructions and the intensity of the means adopted.

Similarly a doubt may arise that there may be some rule with respect to the final emancipation also, which is the fruit of knowledge. A doubt may arise whether salvation can be delayed after knowledge, and whether there are degrees of knowledge according to the qualification of the aspirant, whether there exists a similar definite difference with regard to the fruit characterised as final release, owing to the superior or inferior qualification of the persons knowing.

This Sutra declares that no such rule exists with regard to release. Because all Vedanta texts assert the state of final release to be of one kind only. The state of final release is nothing but Brahman and Brahman cannot be connected with different forms since many scriptural passages assert it to have one nature only.

The knower of Brahman becomes Brahman. There can be no variety in it, as Brahman is without qualities.

There is no such divergence in the fruit of Mukti, because of the affirmation of its identical nature. There may be differences in the potency of the Sadhana leading to knowledge or Brahma Vidya. Brahma Vidya itself is of the same nature, though it may come early or late owing to the power of the Sadhana. There is no difference in the nature of Mukti (liberation) which is attained by Brahma Vidya. There would be difference of results in Karmas and Upasanas (Saguna Vidyas) but Nirguna Vidya is but one and its result viz., Mukti is identical in all cases.

Difference is possible only when there are qualities as in the case of the Saguna Brahman. There may be difference in the experiences according to difference in Vidyas but with regard to Nirguna Brahman it can be one only and not many.

The means of knowledge may, perhaps, according to their individual strength, impart a higher or lower degree to their result, viz., knowledge, but not to the result of knowledge, viz., Liberation. Because liberation is not something which is to be brought about, but something whose nature is permanently established, and is reached through knowledge.

Knowledge cannot admit of lower or higher degree because it is in its own nature high only and would not be knowledge at all if it were low. Although knowledge may differ in so far as it originates after a long or short time, it is impossible that liberation should be distinguished by a higher or lower degree. From the absence of difference of knowledge also there follows absence of definite distinction on the part of the result of knowledge, viz., Liberation.

There cannot be any delay in the attainment of emancipation after knowledge has dawned, because knowledge of Brahman itself is emancipation.

The repetition of the clause, Tadavasthavadhriteh because the Sruti asserts that state indicates that the Chapter ends here.

Thus ends the Fourth Pada (Section 4) of the Third Adhyaya (Chapter III) of the Brahma Sutras or the Vedanta Philosophy.

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