Brahma Sutras


by Swami Sivananda

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Hardcover: xxxi+574 pages
ISBN: 81-7052-151-3
Book Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.7 x 1.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 770 grams

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Table of Contents

Inside Front Cover  
Preface vii
Dhyana Slokas ix
Sri Sankaradesikashtakam (by Hastamalaka) xi
List of Abbreviations xiv
Brahma Sutras: Sutrapatha xv
Introduction 3-9

Chapter I

Section 1 (Sutras 1-31) 10-60
Section 2 (Sutras 32-63) 61-93
Section 3 (Sutras 64-106) 94-139
Section 4 (Sutras 107-134) 140-176

Chapter II

Section 1 (Sutras 135-171) 177-225
Section 2 (Sutras 172-216) 226-290
Section 3 (Sutras 217-269) 291-353
Section 4 (Sutras 270-291) 354-379

Chapter III

Section 1 (Sutras 292-318) 380-407
Section 2 (Sutras 319-359) 408-456
Section 3 (Sutras 360-425) 457-535
Section 4 (Sutras 426-477) 536-584

Chapter IV

Section 1 (Sutras 478-496) 585-610
Section 2 (Sutras 497-517) 611-632
Section 3 (Sutras 518-533) 633-649
Section 4 (Sutras 534-555) 650-667
INDEX to Important Topics Discussed 668-671


Sri Vyasa Bhagavan
Sri Jagadguru Sankaracharya
Srimad Appayya Dikshitar

Inside Front Cover

A clear and easy exposition by Swami Sivananda. Swamiji, in his own inimitable way, explains the Brahma Sutras to all aspirants of Truth dispelling all ignorance and doubts. In addition, he has given useful information which will not be found elsewhere. An elaborate introduction precedes the work, along with a short introduction and summary of the different Adhikaranas preceding each Pada. Each Sutra contains a word-by-word and a running translation. The text of the Brahma Sutras is included herein to enable the readers to do Svadhyaya and get them by heart for purposes of meditation.


It need not be over-emphasised that the Brahma Sutras, or the Nyaya-Prasthana of the triad of Indian Philosophical treatises hold supreme sway over the later rationalistic and scholastic developments. Right from the mighty brain of Sankara down to the master-intellects like Sriharsha, Chitsukha and Madhusudana, the main polemics have been occupied with the task of establishing the doctrine of Absolute Monism and refuting the views contrary to it, by appeal to logic as well as authority alike, which find their seeds already sown in the Brahma Sutras. The founder of a new religious and philosophical school had simply to write a new commentary on the Brahma Sutras so that his view may be accepted by the mass of people. Such is the authority of the Brahma Sutras, the work of Baadarayana.

Commentaries there have been many on the Brahma Sutras, but either they are too short and insufficient to be useful for a comprehensive study of the Sutras, or are extremely tough and abstruse to be utilised by men of ordinary understanding. This work of Swami Sivananda is of a Unique type in itself, unrivalled by any other. This commentary is neither too short to be useless, nor too verbose to be unintelligible, but follows a via media course, useful to one and all, mainly the spiritual aspirants, who want thought, not mere word.

Swamiji has got his own inimitable way of writing, which is a boon to the inquisitive student on the spiritual path. All real aspirants after Truth should possess this book, for it is a guide-light that is capable of steering them across the sea of ignorance and doubt.

Swamiji has left nothing unsaid that may be useful to the student of the Brahma Sutras, and in addition has given useful information which will not be found in other notes and commentaries. The division of each Pada into the relevant Adhikaranas marking at the same time the number of Sutras they contain, the subject matter they treat of, and the accompaniment of each Sutra by the serial number from the very beginning is for the use and guidance of the student. An elaborate introduction precedes the work in addition to a short introduction and a summary of the different Adhikaranas preceding each Pada. These are all a boon to the student of the Brahma Sutras for which the incomparable Swamiji has to be eulogised. Each Sutra also contains a word-by-word meaning and a running translation.

More need not be said than that the production is a marvellous one. Swamiji has completed his annotations on the Prasthanatraya with his Brahma Sutras. His writings are too famous to necessitate further introduction.

The text of the Brahma Sutras has been included herein to enable the readers to do Svadhyaya and get them by heart for purposes of meditation.

Sri Vyasa Purnima
28th July, 1999


श्री गुरु ध्यानम्

ब्रह्मानन्दं परमसुखदं केवलं ज्ञानमूर्तिं
द्वन्द्वातीतं गगनसदृशं तत्त्वमस्यादिलक्ष्यम्।
एकं नित्यं विमलमचलं सर्वधीसाक्षिभूतं
भावातीतं त्रिगुणरहितं सद्‌गुरुं तं नमामि॥१॥

I prostrate myself before that Guru, the Existence, devoid of the three Gunas, beyond comprehension, the witness of all mental functions, changeless and pure, one and eternal, transcending the pairs of opposites, expansive like the sky, reachable through the sentences like ‘Thou art That’, the Bliss of Brahman, the Giver of Supreme Happiness, the Mass of Absolute Wisdom.

श्री हरिध्यानम्

यं शैवाः समुपासते शिव इति ब्रह्मेति वेदान्तिनो
बौद्धा बुद्ध इति प्रमाणपटवः कर्तेति नैयायिकाः।
अर्हन्नित्यथ जैनशासनरताः कर्मेति मीमांसकाः
सोऽयं वो विदधातु वाञ्छितफलं त्रैलोक्यनाथो हरिः॥२॥

He whom the Saivas worship as Siva; the Vedantins as the Absolute (Brahman); the Buddhists as Lord Buddha; the logicians, the experts in the theory of knowledge, as the Creator; those following the teachings of Jaina as the Arhat and the ritualists as the Sacrifice; may that Hari, the Lord of the three worlds, give you the desired object.

श्री व्यासध्यानम्

व्यासं विष्णुस्वरुपं कलिमलतमसः प्रोद्यदादित्यदीप्तिं
वासिष्ठं वेदशाखाव्यसनकरमृषिं धर्मबीजं महान्तम्।
पौराणब्रह्मसूत्राण्यरचयदथ यो भारतं च स्मृतिं तं
कृष्णद्वैपायनाख्यं सुरनरदितिजैः पूजितं पूजयेऽहम्॥३॥

I worship the great Rishi Vyasa, who is called Krishna-dvaipayana, who is worshipped by gods, men and Asuras alike, who is the form of Vishnu, who is like the light of the rising sun to the darkness of the impurities of the age of Kali, who belongs to the family of Vasishtha, who divided the Vedas into different sections, who is the seed of Dharma, who wrote the Puranas, the Brahma Sutras, the Mahabharata and the Smriti.

श्री शंकराचार्य ध्यानम्

पद्मासीनं प्रशान्तं यमनिरतमनङ्गारितुल्यप्रभावं
फाले भस्माङ्किताभंस्मितरुचिरमुखाम्भोजमिन्दीवाक्षम्।
कम्बुग्रीवं कराभ्यामविहतविलसत्पुस्तकं ज्ञानमुद्रां
वन्द्यं गीर्वाणमुख्यैर्नतजनवरदं भावये शङ्करार्यम्॥४॥

I contemplate on Sankaracharya, who is seated in Padmasana, who is tranquil, who is established in self-restraint, whose glory is like that of the enemy of Cupid, who wears the sacred ashes shining on his forehead, whose smiling face resembles the blossomed lotus, who has lotus-like eyes, whose neck is conch-like, holding book in one hand and indicating Jnana-mudra (with another hand), who is adored by the foremost of gods, who gives boons to those who prostrate to him.

श्री हस्तामलकाचार्यविरचितं
श्री शंकरदेशिकाष्टकम्

विदिताखिलशास्त्रसुधाजलधे। महितोपनिषत्कथितार्थनिधे।
हृदये कलये विमलं चरणं। भव शंकरदेशिक मे शरणम्॥१॥

1. O ocean of the nectar of illumined knowledge of the whole Sastras! Thou hast revealed the treasure of the meaning of the great Upanishads. I meditate on Thy pure Lotus Feet in my heart, O Sankara Desika (Acharya), be Thou my refuge.

करुणावरुणालय। पालय मां भवसागरदुःखविदूनहृदम्।
रचिताखिलदर्शनतत्त्वविदं। भव शंकरदेशिक मे शरणम्॥२॥

2. O ocean of mercy! Protect me who am afflicted sorely by the pains of Samsara; Thou hast expounded the truth of the various schools of philosophy, O Sankara Desika, be Thou my refuge.

भवता जनता सुखिता भविता। निजबोधविचारणचारुमते।
कलयेश्वरजीवविवेकविदं भव शंकरदेशिक मे शरणम्॥३॥

3. By Thee the humanity has attained happiness. Thou art endowed with a fine intellect reflecting Self-knowledge. I meditate on Thee who expounded the identity of Jiva and Isvara, O Sankara, be Thou my refuge.

भव एव भवानिति मे नितरां समजायत चेतसि कौतुकिता।
मम वारय मोहमहजलधिं भव शंकरदेशिक मे शरणम्॥४॥

4. “Thou art my God”–thus thinking my mind became full of joy. Remove the great ocean of delusion in me, O Sankara, be Thou my refuge.

सुकृतेऽधिकृते बहुधा भवतो भविता पददर्शनलालसता।
अतिदीनमिमं परिणलय मां भव शंकरदेशिक मे शरणम्॥५॥

5. It is through various meritorious actions done by me for a long time that I have got in me a love for the vision of Thy Lotus Feet. Protect this humble self, O Sankara, be Thou my refuge.

जगतीमवितुं कलिताकृतयो वचरन्ति महामहसश्चलिताः।
अहिमांशुरिवात्र विभासि पुरो भव शंकरदेशिक मे शरणम्॥६॥

6. For the redemption of mankind great souls like Thy Self move about from place to place. Thou seemst to me like the pure and resplendent sun, O Sankara, be Thou my refuge.

गुरुपुंगव। पुंगवकेतन। ते समतामयतां नहि कोऽपि सुधीः।
शरणागतवत्सल। तत्त्वनिधे। भव शंकरदेशिक मे शरणम्॥७॥

7. O best of Gurus, O Lord Siva! It is impossible for anyone to gauge Thy mental poise. O Protector of the refugees! O Repository of Knowledge! O Sankara, be Thou my refuge.

विदिता न मया विशदैककला न च किंचन काञ्चनमस्ति गुरो।
द्रुतमेव विधेहि कृणं सहजां भव शंकरदेशिक मे शरणम्॥८॥

8. I have not been able to find any treasure worthy of possession except Thee, O Preceptor! Have mercy on me which is Thy natural quality, O Sankara, be Thou my refuge.

List of Abbreviations

Chh. Up. Chhandogya Upanishad
Tait. Up. Taittiriya Upanishad
Kau. Up. Kaushitaki Upanishad
Ait. Up. Aitareya Upanishad
Mun. Up. Mundaka Upanishad
Bri. Up. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
Katha Up. Katha Upanishad
Kena Up. Kena Upanishad
Prasna Up. Prasna Upanishad
Svet. Up. Svetasvatara Upanishad
Sat. Br. Satapatha Brahmana


॥ श्रीगणेशाय नमः॥
॥ श्रीसद्‌गुरुपरमात्मने नमः॥

Hari Om! Salutations to Sri Vyasa, the Avatara of Vishnu, the wise Badarayana and Sri Krishna Dvaipayana.

Vedas consist of three portions viz., the Karma Kanda which deals with sacrifices or ceremonial rites, the Upasana Kanda which treats of Upasana (worship) and the Jnana Kanda which deals with knowledge of Brahman. Karma Kanda represents the feet of a man, Upasana Kanda the heart, and the Jnana Kanda the head. Just as the head is the most important portion of a man, so also the Upanishads which treat of the knowledge portion of the Vedas is the head of the Vedas. Hence it is said to be the Siras (head) of Vedas.

Mimamsa means the investigation or enquiry into the connected meaning of the sacred texts. Of this Mimamsa two branches have been recognised, the Purva Mimamsa (earlier) and the Uttara Mimamsa (the latter). The former systematises the Karma Kanda–the portion of the Veda which pertains to action and sacrifices and which comprises Samhitas and the Brahmanas; the latter systematises the Jnana Kanda i.e., that part of the Vedas which includes the Aranyaka portion of the Brahmanas and the Upanishads. Jaimini is the author of the Purva Mimamsa. Sri Vyasa (Badarayana or Krishna Dvaipayana) the Guru of Jaimini is the author of the Brahma Sutras otherwise known as Vedanta Sutras. The study of Brahma Sutras is a synthetic study of the Upanishads. It treats of the Vedanta philosophy.

The Vedas are eternal. They were not written by any individual. They came out from the breath of Hiranyagarbha (Lord Brahma). Vedanta is the end or gist of the Vedas. It deals with the knowledge portion. Vedanta is not mere speculation. It is the authentic record of transcendental experiences or direct and actual realisation of the great Hindu Rishis or seers. Brahma Sutras is the Science of the Soul.

Sutras are concise aphorisms. They give the essence of the arguments on a topic. Maximum of thought is compressed or condensed into these Sutras in as few words as possible. It is easy to remember them. Great intellectual people only, with realisation, can compose Sutras. They are clues or aids to memory. They cannot be understood without a lucid commentary (Bhashya). The commentary also is in need of further elaborate explanation. Thus the interpretations of the Sutras gave rise to various kinds of literary writings such as Vrittis (gloss) and Karikas. The different Acharyas (founders of different schools of thought) have given their own interpretations of the Sutras to establish their own doctrines. The Bhashya of Sri Sankara on Brahma Sutras is known as Sariraka Bhashya. His school of thought is Kevala Advaita. The Bhashya of Sri Ramanuja who founded the Visishtadvaita School is called Sri Bhashya. The commentary of Sri Nimbarkacharya is known as Vedantaparijata-saurabha. Sri Vallabhacharya expounded his system of philosophy of Suddhadvaita (pure monism) and his commentary on the Brahma Sutras is known as Anu Bhashya.

Sanskrit is very elastic. It is like Kamadhenu or Kalpataru. You can milk out of it various kinds of Rasas according to your intellectual calibre and spiritual experiences. Therefore different Acharyas have built different systems of thought or cults by interpreting the Sutras in their own ways and became founders of sects. Madhva founded his own system of Dvaita. The cults of Vishnu known as Bhagavata or Pancharatra and those of Siva, Pasupata or Mahesvara have interpreted Brahma Sutras in accordance with their own tenets. Nimbarkacharya interpreted the Vedanta system from the standpoint of Bhedabheda-Dvaitadvaita. He was largely influenced by the teachings of Bhaskara who flourished in the first half of the ninth century. The theory held by Bhaskara and Nimbarka was held by the ancient teacher Audulomi. Badarayana himself refers to this theory in his Brahma Sutras.

There are more than fourteen commentaries on the Brahma Sutras. Sri Appaya Dikshita rendered the commentary of Sri Sankara more clear by his Parimala, Sri Vachaspati Misra by his work Bhamati and Sri Amalananda Sarasvati by his Kalpataru.

The erroneous identification of the body with the pure Atman is the root cause for human sufferings and miseries and for births and deaths. You identify yourself with the body and say, ‘I am fair, dark, stout or thin. I am a Brahmin, I am a Kshatriya, I am a doctor’. You identify yourself with the senses and say, ‘I am blind, I am dumb’. You identify yourself with the mind and say, ‘I know nothing. I know everything. I became angry. I enjoyed a good meal. I am suffering from this disease’. The entire object of the Brahma Sutras is to remove this erroneous identification of the Soul with the body which is the root cause of your sufferings and miseries, which is the product of Avidya (ignorance) and help you in the attainment of the final emancipation through knowledge of Brahman.

The Upanishads seem to be full of contradictions at first. They do not contain consistent system of thought. Sri Vyasa systematised the thoughts or philosophy of the Upanishads in his Brahma Sutras. The Sutras reconcile the conflicting statements of the Upanishads. In reality there are no conflicts for the thinker. Audulomi and Asmarathya also did this work in their own way and founded their own schools of thought.

Those who wish to study the philosophy of Vedanta should study the Ten Classical Upanishads and the Brahma Sutras. All Acharyas have commented on Brahma Sutras. This is a great authority for every philosophical school in India. If any Acharya wishes to establish his own cult or sect or school of thought he will have to write a commentary of his own on Brahma Sutras. Then only it will be recognised.

The five great Acharyas: Sri Sankara the exponent of Kevala Advaita or uncompromising monism, Sri Ramanuja the exponent of Visishtadvaita or qualified monism, Sri Nimbarka the exponent of Bhedabheda-vada, Sri Madhva the exponent of strict Dvaitism or Dvaita-vada and Sri Vallabha the exponent of Suddhadvaita-vada or pure monism agree that Brahman is the cause of this world and that knowledge of Brahman leads to Moksha or the final emancipation, which is the goal of life. They also emphatically declared that Brahman can be known only through the scriptures and not through mere reasoning. But they differ amongst themselves as to the nature of this Brahman, the relation of the individual soul to Brahman, the state of the soul in the state of final emancipation, the means of attaining It and Its causality with reference to this universe.

According to Sri Sankara, there is one Absolute Brahman who is Sat-chit-ananda, who is of an absolutely homogeneous nature. The appearance of this world is due to Maya–the illusory power of Brahman which is neither Sat nor Asat. This world is unreal. This world is a Vivarta or apparent modification through Maya. Brahman appears as this universe through Maya. Brahman is the only reality. The individual soul has limited himself through Avidya and identification with the body and other vehicles. Through his selfish actions he enjoys the fruits of his actions. He becomes the actor and enjoyer. He regards himself as atomic and as an agent on account of Avidya or the limiting Antahkarana. The individual soul becomes identical with Brahman when his Avidya is destroyed. In reality Jiva is all-pervading and identical with Brahman. Isvara or Saguna Brahman is a product of Maya. Worship of Isvara leads to Krama Mukti. The pious devotees (the knowers of Saguna Brahman) go to Brahmaloka and attain final release through highest knowledge. They do not return to this world. They attain the Nirguna Brahman at the end of the cycle. Knowledge of Nirguna Brahman is the only means of liberation. The knowers of Nirguna Brahman attain immediate final release or Sadyomukti. They need not go by the path of gods or the path of Devayana. They merge themselves in Para Brahman. They do not go to any Loka or world. Sri Sankara’s Brahman is Nirvisesha Brahman (Impersonal Absolute) without attributes.

According to Sri Ramanuja, Brahman is with attributes (Savisesha). He is endowed with all auspicious qualities. He is not intelligence itself. Intelligence is his chief attribute. He contains within Himself whatever exists. World and individual souls are essential real constituents of Brahman’s nature. Matter (Achit) and soul (Chit) form the body of the Lord, Lord Narayana who is the Inner Ruler (Antaryamin). Matter and souls are called modes of Him (Prakara). The individual souls will never be entirely resolved in Brahman. According to Ramanuja, Brahman is not absolutely one and homogeneous. The individual souls undergo a state of Sankocha (contraction) during Pralaya. They expand (Vikasa) during creation. Sri Ramanuja’s Brahman is a Personal God with attributes. The individual soul of Ramanuja is really individual. It will remain a personality for ever. The soul remains in Vaikuntha for ever in a state of bliss and enjoys the divine Aisvarya of Lord Narayana. Bhakti is the chief means to final emancipation and not Jnana. Sri Ramanuja follows in his Bhashya the authority of Bodhayana.

According to Sri Nimbarkacharya, Brahman is considered as both the efficient and material cause of the world. Brahman is both Nirguna and Saguna. The universe is not unreal or illusory but is a true manifestation or Parinama of Brahman. (Sri Ramanuja also holds this view. He says “Just as milk is transformed into curd, so also Brahman has transformed Himself as this universe”). This world is identical with and at the same time different from Brahman just as the wave or bubble is the same and at the same time different from water. The individual souls are parts of the Supreme Self. They are controlled by the Supreme Being. The final salvation lies in realising the true nature of one’s own soul. This can be achieved by Bhakti (devotion). The individuality of the finite self (Jivatman) is not dissolved even in the state of final emancipation. Sri Ramanuja also holds that the Jiva assumes the divine body of Sri Narayana with four hands and enjoys in Vaikuntha the divine Aisvarya of the Lord.

You may ask why do such great realised souls hold different views, why have they started different cults or systems. The highest philosophy of Sri Sankara which bespeaks of the identity of the individual soul and the Supreme Soul cannot be understood by the vast majority of persons. Therefore Sri Madhva and Sri Ramanuja started their Bhakti cult. The different schools are different rungs in the ladder of Yoga. The student must place his foot step by step and finally reach the highest peak of perfection–the Kevaladvaita realisation of Sri Sankara. As temperaments are different, different schools are also necessary to suit the taste, capacity, and stage of evolution of the aspirant. Therefore all schools and cults are necessary. They have got their own place and scope.

The views of various Acharyas are all true in respect of the particular aspect of Brahman dealt with by them each in his own way. Sankara has taken Brahman in His transcendental aspect, while Sri Ramanuja has taken Him chiefly in His immanent aspect. People were following blindly the rituals during the time of Sri Sankara. When he was preparing his commentary he had in view the purpose of combating the baneful effects which blind ritualism produced. He never condemned selfless service or Nishkama Karma Yoga. He condemned the performance of rituals with selfish motives.

Sankara Bhashya is the oldest of all commentaries. It upholds Suddha-Para-Brahman or the Supreme Self of the Upanishads as something superior to other divine beings. It propounds a very bold philosophy and declares emphatically that the individual soul is identical with the Supreme Self. Sankara’s philosophical view accurately represents the meaning of Badarayana. His explanations only faithfully render the intended meaning of Sri Vyasa. This is beyond doubt and dispute.

Students of Kevaladvaita School of Philosophy should study the Sariraka Bhashya of Sri Sankara which is profound, subtle and unique. It is an authority which leads to the right understanding of the Brahma Sutras. The best thinkers of India, Germany, America and England belong to this school. It occupies a high rank in books on philosophy. Advaita philosophy is the most sublime and the grandest philosophy of the Hindus.

You can understand the Brahma Sutras if you have a knowledge of the twelve classical Upanishads. You can understand the second chapter if you have a knowledge of Sankhya, Nyaya, Yoga, Mimamsa, Vaiseshika Darsana and Buddhistic school, too. All these schools are refuted here by Sri Sankara. Sri Sankara’s commentary is the best commentary. Dr. Thibaut has translated this commentary into English. “Brahma Sutras” is one of the books of Prasthanatraya. This is an authoritative book on Hindu Philosophy. The work consists of 4 Adhyayas (chapters), 16 Padas (sections), 223 Adhikaranas (topics) and 555 Sutras (aphorisms). The first chapter (Samanvayadhyaya) unifies Brahman, the second (Avirodhadhyaya) refutes other philosophies, the third (Sadhanadhyaya) deals with practice (Sadhana) to attain Brahman and the fourth (Phaladhyaya) treats of fruits of Self-realisation. Each chapter contains four Padas. Each Pada contains Adhikaranas. Each Adhikarana has separate question to discuss. The first five Adhikaranas of the first chapter are very, very important.

Glory to Sri Vyasa Bhagavan, son of Parasara, the mighty sage, a Chiranjivi who has written all Puranas and also divided the Vedas. May his blessings be upon you all!

ॐ श्री सद्‌गुरु परमात्मने नमः।
ॐ श्री वेदव्यासाय नमः।

Salutations to Sri Ganesha, Sri Sarasvati Devi,
Sri Sankaracharya and all Brahma Vidya-Gurus.




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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Jijnasadhikaranam: Topic 1

The enquiry into Brahman and its pre-requisites

अथातो ब्रह्मजिज्ञासा।

Athato Brahmajijnasa           I.1.1 (1)

Now, therefore, the enquiry into Brahman.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Janmadyadhikaranam: Topic 2

Definition of Brahman

जन्माद्यस्य यतः।

Janmadyasya yatah             I.1.2 (2)

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

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

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

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

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

The second Sutra does not propound here that inference serves as the means of knowing Brahman. It points to a Vedantic text which gives a description of the characteristics of Brahman. What then, is that Vedanta text? It is the passage of Taittiriya Upanishad III-i: Bhrigu Varuni went to his father Varuna saying–“Sir, teach me Brahman.” Varuna said यतो वा इमानि भूतानि जायन्ति। येन जातानि जीवन्ति यत्प्रभिसँविशन्ति। तद्विजिज्ञासस्व। तद्‌ब्रह्मेति॥ “That from whence these beings are born, that by which, when born they live, that into which they enter at their death, try to know That. That is Brahman.”

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

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

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

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

Sastrayonitvadhikaranam: Topic 3

Brahman is realisable only through the scriptures


Sastrayonitvat             I.1.3 (3)

The scripture being the source of right knowledge.

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

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

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

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

Samanvayadhikaranam: Topic 4

Brahman the main purport of all Vedantic texts

तत्तु समन्वयात्‌।

Tattu Samanvayat            I.1.4 (4)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


To Important Topics Discussed in the Brahma Sutras

Adhikari for Knowledge 568
Air originates from Ether 305
Akasa of Chh. Up. 1.9 is Brahman 47, 137
Aja of Svet. Up. does not mean Pradhana 150
Akshara is Brahman 105
Ashrama Dharma to be followed by even those not desirous of Moksha 565
Atman is distinct from the body 521
Atman to be seen (Bri. Up. 11.4.5) is Brahman 165
Avyakta of Katha Up. does not refer to Sankhya Tattva 143
Brahman–abiding with the element is the creative principle 311
Births and deaths are not of soul 316
Brahman and individual soul reside in the heart 74
Brahman–cause of sun, moon, etc. 161
„–creates no evil 206
„–Definition 16
„–efficient and material cause of the world 170, 185, 212
„–enquiry of 14
„–first cause 26, 156
„–full of bliss 36
„–has no origin 306
„–is abode of earth and heaven 97
„–is equipped with full powers 217
„–is highest object of meditation 108
„–is the unseen 83
„–is one without a second 446
„–its attributes to be combined in meditation 476
„–its nature 428
„–Light of lights 117
„–neither partial nor cruel 221
„–the Inner Ruler 80
„–way of realisation 19
Bhuma is Brahman 102
Characteristics of the soul which has attained Nirguna Brahman 655
Child-like state 580
Creation–the final end of 219
Dahara is Brahman 109
Devas entitled to study of Vedas and meditation 121
Dissolution–process of 313, 314
Earth is created from water 310
Eater is Brahman 72
Ether is not eternal 295
Expiation for violating the Sannyasa order 572
Fate of souls after death who are not entitled to go to Chandraloka 395
Fivefold-five of Bri. Up. IV.4.17 does not refer to Sankhyan categories 153
Food restrictions can be given up only when life is in danger 561
Good and evil deeds of a man of Knowledge are shared by his friends and enemies 490, 492
Individual soul dependent on the Lord 341
Individual soul is agent when limited by adjuncts 340
Individual soul–nature of 320
Individual soul not produced but eternal 318
Individual soul’s relationship to Brahman 344
Individual soul–size of 322
Knower of Brahman merges in Brahman at death 608
Knower of Saguna Brahman departs through Sushumna Nadi at death 625
Knower of Saguna Brahman goes to Brahmaloka 628
Knower of Saguna Brahman goes to Brahmaloka even though he dies in Dakshinayana 629
Knower of Saguna Brahman goes along the path of Devayana 494, 497
Knowledge of Brahman frees one from all sins past and future 601, 603
Knowledge–its origination 581, 607
Liberated soul can animate several bodies at once 661
Liberated soul manifests its essential nature 652
Liberated soul remains inseparable from Supreme Soul 654
Liberated soul who has attained Brahmaloka can remain with or without body 659
Liberated soul who has attained Brahmaloka has all lordly powers 663
Light is Brahman 50, 136
Mahat of Katha Up. does not refer to Sankhya Tattva 143
Manomaya is Brahman 64
Meditations in sacrificial acts 530, 575
Meditation is enjoined even for a Muni 576, 600
Meditation, its technique and rules 592,530, 575 593, 594,576, 600 595, 597, 600
Meditation essential till knowledge is attained 588
Merging of functions of organs at death 614
Mode of departure at death 619, 620
Namarupa creation of the Lord and not of the Jiva 377
Nature of Mukti 583
Nature of swoon 425
Neti-Neti explained 437
Nityakarmas enjoined in Vedas should not be given up 606
Om and Udgitha 474
Path to Brahmaloka 635, 636, 638, 639, 641
Perfected souls may take birth to fulfil the divine mission 498
Person in the eye is Brahman 76
Prana distinct from air and senses 365
Prana has also an origin from Brahman 364
Prana is Brahman 49, 55, 135
Prana is merged in Jiva 616
Prana is minute 370
Prana of a knower of Brahman does not depart 622, 624, 625
Prana Vidya–Unity of 475
Prarabdha not destroyed by knowledge 604
Purusha is of the size of the thumb 119
Reciprocal meditation 505
Reconciliation of Vidyas 501, 503, 507, 508, 513, 514
Refutation of Atomic theory 247
Refutation of Bauddha Idealists 270
Refutation of Bauddha Realists 254
Refutation of Gautama and Kanada 196
Refutation of Jaina doctrine 277
Refutation of Pancharatra 286
Refutation of Pasupata 281
Refutation of Sankhyan theory 235
Refutation of Vaiseshika 245
Refutation of Yoga 183
Return of soul from deep sleep 423
Saguna Brahman in creation 224
Sannyasa is prescribed in scriptures 551
Sannyasin cannot revert back to former stages of life 571
Self consisting of knowledge is Brahman 138
Self is higher than everything 478
Self is Supreme 480
Senses are eleven 360
Senses are independent principles 374
Senses are minute 363
Senses have their origin from Brahman 357
Senses not functions of Prana 374
Social boycott by society of a Naishthika Brahmacharin failing to keep up celibacy 574
Soul’s descent from Chandraloka 401
Soul descending from heaven 389
Soul’s entry into plants 403
Soul in deep sleep 419
Soul in dream state 413
Soul’s time for descent to the earth 402
Soul–transmigration of 382
Soul attaining Saguna Brahman effects desires by mere will 657
Stories in Upanishads eulogise the Vidyas taught in them 556
Sudras’ eligibility to study of Vedas 131
Unconnected Mantras in certain Upanishads do not belong to Brahma Vidya 489
Upasanas 524, 526, 527, 529
Vaisvanara is Brahman 86
Vidyas–their constitution 465
Vidyas–their place in meditation 470, 483, 552
Water is produced from fire 309
Works–means to knowledge 559
World is non-different from Brahman 199


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