Brahma Sutras (Nimbarka commentary)

by Roma Bose | 1940 | 290,526 words

English translation of the Brahma-sutra 1.1.1, including the commentary of Nimbarka and sub-commentary of Srinivasa known as Vedanta-parijata-saurabha and Vedanta-kaustubha resepctively. Also included are the comparative views of important philosophies, viz., from Shankara, Ramanuja, Shrikantha, Bhaskara and Baladeva.

Brahma-Sūtra 1.1.1

English of translation of Brahmasutra 1.1.1 by Roma Bose:

“Then, therefore, an enquiry into Brahman.”

Nimbārka’s commentary (Vedānta-pārijāta-saurabha):

An enquiry is to be instituted, at all times, into the Highest Person,—Ramā’s Husband, denoted by the term “Brahman”, the greatest of all because of His infinite, inconceivable and innate nature, qualities, powers and so on,—by one who has studied the Veda with its six parts[1]; who has been assailed with doubt, arising from texts which teach[2] that the fruits of works are both transitory and eternal[3]; who has, for that very reason, enquired into the science which is concerned with the consideration of religious duties,[4] and has, thereby, gained the knowledge determined therein[5] regarding works, their kinds and their fruits; in whom, as a consequence, there arisen a disregard (for worldly objects), that is the result of a discrimination between the finitude and eternity of the fruits of the knowledge of works and Brahman respectively, the former being surpassable, the latter non-surpassable[6]; who wishes for the grace of the Lord; who is covetous of having a vision of Him; to whom the spiritual preceptor is the only God; who has whole-hearted devotion for the holy spiritual teacher; and who is desirous of final release—this is the sense of the introductory text.

Śrīnivāsa’s commentary (Vedānta-kaustubha)


1. I worship the holy Swan[7], Sanaka and others[8], the Divine Sage[9], and Nimbabhāskara[10]: May a devotion for Lord Kṛṣṇa arise in us through their grace.

2. I bow down to the feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, in reference to whom alone the mass of scriptural texts does not come into mutual conflict, whom those who are engaged in meditation and Yoga obtain, and who is to be worshipped constantly by Varuṇa and Indra with mind and speech.

Finding that the people on earth were being deluded by various sorts of false arguments, Lord Vāsudeva, the Highest Person, the Lord of all, and the one identical material and efficient cause of the entire universe, assumed the form of the son of Parāśara[11] and composed the Vedānta-treatise, called the ‘Śārīraka-mīmāṃsā[12], with a view to augmenting in the people knowledge and devotion regarding Himself and establishing the Highest Brahman in a manner beyond doubt. Then, the supremely merciful reverend Nimbārka, the founder of the sect of the reverend Sanatkumāra, composed a commentary, very difficult to understand, called the ‘Vedānta-pārijāta-saurabha’ (Fragrance of the Heavenly Flower of the Vedanta), as an explanation of the texts of the Śārīraka-mīmāṃsā. Then, again, through his command, and with a view to benefiting the wise, the ‘Vedānta-kaustubha’ (Gem of the Vedanta), which is easy, concise and explains the sense of the ‘Vedānta-pārijāta-saurabha’, is being composed by me, his disciple, following the path recommended by him and wishing to obtain his favour.

If it be argued: our purpose being served through an enquiry into religious duties simply, what is the use of an enquiry into Brahman?—we reply: since religious duties yield non-permanent fruits, an enquiry into Him is to be undertaken for the sake of obtaining unsurpassed and infinite bliss.

Here the word “then” implies ‘succession’, and not any other sense, there being no previous distinct mention. It cannot be said that in conformity with the statement, viz. ‘The word “om” and the word “atha” formerly issued forth from the throat of Brahman, and hence both are auspicious’, (the word “atha”) here indicates auspiciousness,—because this treatise being auspicious by itself in sound as well as in meaning, does not await any other auspiciousness; because good luck is obtained through the mere hearing of it; and because in the very same way, the other meanings of the term “then”, viz. special prerogative and the rest[13] are not appropriate here. Moreover, a word, pronounced with one particular sense in view, should not be employed in any other sense. Here the intended sense is ‘succession’, since the word “therefore” refers to something previous. Hence, the word “then” has the sense of ‘succession’ only; the word “therefore” implies the reason.

The reality which is obtainable by one who is devoted to the sound-Brahman,—in accordance with the following and other scriptural and Smṛti texts, viz. ‘He who does not know the Veda does not know Him, the Great’, ‘There are two Brahmans to be known, the sound-Brahman and what is Higher. Those who know the sound-Brahman go to the Higher Brahman’. (Maitrī 6.22),—and which is possessed of the characteristics to be mentioned hereafter, is the object denoted by the term ‘Brahman’. The word “enquiry” denotes a desire for the knowledge of the desired Brahman.

Although the supplial of the verb (in the indicative mood, viz. ‘arises’) is appropriate here thus: “Then”, i.e. afterwards, “therefore”, i.e. for this reason, an “enquiry into Brahman” arises, it being possible for people with insight to have a spontaneous desire for enquiring into a particular object (viz. Brahman) (without being definitely told or enjoined by Scripture to do so), yet in concordance with the text: ‘O, the self verily is to be seen, to be heard, to be thought, to be meditated on, it is to be enquired into’ (Bṛhadāraṇyaka-upaniṣad 2.4.5; 4.5.6), we must understand here a grammatical concordance with a word implying injunction, viz. ‘should arise’.[14] In accordance with the scriptural text: ‘Desiring for release, one should see the self in the self alone’ (Bṛhadāraṇyaka-upaniṣad 4.4.23), the words ‘one who desires for release’ in the instrumental case, are implied here—such is the construction of the words (in the sūtra)[15].

Here the term “then”, implying ‘succession means: After the knowledge regarding the nature of religious duties, the means thereto, the mode of performing them and their fruits—which form the subject of the enquiry into religious duties.[16] Thus, having studied the Veda with its parts,[17]—being first properly initiated, as enjoined by the text ‘One’s own scripture should be studied’[18]; having found, in a general way, the texts which are mutually contradictory, some depicting the non-permanence and others the permanence of the fruits of works thus: ‘Undecaying, indeed, is the good deed of one who performs the Cāturmāsya[19] sacrifices’ (Āpastamba-śrauta-sūtra 8.1.1[20]), ‘We have drunk the soma-juice, we have become immortal’ (Ṛg-veda-saṃhitā 8.48.3[21]), ‘Where there would he no heat, no cold, no weakness, no opponents’ and so on[22], and, ‘Just as here the world, obtained through merit perish’ (Chāndogya-upaniṣad 8.6.1), ‘That (work) of his has an end’ (Bṛhadāraṇyaka-upaniṣad 3.8.10), ‘The permanent, verily, cannot be obtained through the non-permanent (Kaṭha 1.2.10), ‘What is not made is not (obtained) through what is made’ (Muṇḍaka-upaniṣad 1.2.12), ‘Frail, indeed, are these boats of sacrifices’ (Muṇḍaka-upaniṣad 1.2.7), and so on;[23] being thereby assailed with doubt; and unable to determine (the exact nature of the fruits of works) in particular, one, with a view to removing it (viz. the doubt), proceeds to make an enquiry into religious duties, and having, through such an enquiry, determined properly the nature of works, the mode of performing them and their fruits, one comes to have such a knowledge,—after that, this is the sense.[24]

The word “therefore” means ‘because of the reason’. That is, the enquiry into Brahman should be undertaken, because the fruit of works are ascertained to be finite and surpassable from the scriptural passage: ‘Just as here the world acquired by work perishes, so exactly hereafter, the world acquired by merit perishes’ (Chāndogya-upaniṣad 8.1.6), and from the Smṛti passage: ‘“The worlds beginning with the world of Brahma come and go, O Arjuna”’ (Gītā 8.16); secondly, because that the knowledge of Brahman has a fruit which is unsurpassed and endless is ascertained from the following scriptural and Smṛti passages: ‘Knowing him alone, one surpasses death, there is no other road to salvation’ (Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad 3.8.), ‘When men will roll up the sky like a piece of leather, then there will he an end of misery, (even) without knowing the Deity’[25] (Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad 6.20), ‘Knowing the Deity, they are free from all fetters’ (Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad 1.8; 2.15), ‘He who, having searched the self, knows it, attains all the worlds and all objects of desires’ (Chāndogya-upaniṣad, ‘The person, of the size of a thumb only, abides in the self’ (Kaṭha 4.12), ‘Knowing him one surpasses death, there is no other path to salvation’, ‘”Many people, purified by the penance of knowledge, have come to be of my nature”’ (Gītā 4.10), ‘He who possesses knowledge attains me’ (Gītā 7.19), ‘“Knowing me one attains peace”’ (Gītā 5.20) and so on; and, finally, because we find that one who is unacquainted with the self has been censured in Scripture as a wretched fellow and a self-killer, in the passages: ‘Verily he who, 0 Gārgī, departs from this world, without knowing this Imperishable, is a vile and wretched creature’ (Bṛhadāraṇyaka-upaniṣad 3.18.10); ‘Those worlds are said to he sunless, surrounded by blind darkness. To them they go, after death, whosoever are destroyers of the self.’ (Īśa-upaniṣad 3) and so on.[26]

Anticipating the question: By whom (is this enquiry to be undertaken)? (we reply): By one, who has grown indifferent to the fruits of works and so on because of those reasons (stated above); who, on hearing that the direct vision of the Lord is the special cause of salvation, has come to he seized with a strong inclination to have such a direct vision, which inclination is generated by proper discrimination, itself generated through it (viz. hearing); who is desirous of the grace of the Highest Person alone; who looks upon the spiritual preceptor as the only God; who has approached the spiritual teacher; who has wholehearted devotion for the spiritual teacher; and who is desirous of final release,—such is the construction,—in accordance with the following scriptural passages: viz. ‘Having examined the worlds acquired by work, let a Brāhmaṇa he indifferent to them’ (Muṇḍaka-upaniṣad 1.2.12), ‘When the seer sees the golden-coloured Creator, the Lord, the Person, the source of Brahma, the wise man, having discarded merit and demerit, and stainless, attains supreme identity’ (Muṇḍaka-upaniṣad 3.1.3), ‘When he sees the other, the Lord who is propitious and His greatness, he comes to be freed from sorrow’ (Muṇḍaka-upaniṣad 3.1.2; Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad 4.7), ‘Thinking itself and the Mover as different, then favoured by Him, it goes to immortality’ (Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad 1.6), ‘The knot of the heart is broken, all doubts are solved and his works perish, when He, who is high and low, is seen’ (Muṇḍaka-upaniṣad 2.2.8), ‘He can be obtained by him alone whom He chooses. To him this self reveals its own form’ (Kaṭha 2.23), ‘One who has come to be freed from sorrow sees Him who is without active will and His greatness, through the grace of the Lord’ (Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad 3.20), ‘For the sake of this knowledge, let him, with fuel in hand, approach the teacher alone, who is versed in Scripture, and devoted to Brahman. To him, who has approached him, whose mind is completely calm, and who is endowed with tranquillity, the wise teacher truly told that knowledge of Brahman, through which he knows the Imperishable, the Person, the True’ (Muṇḍaka-upaniṣad 1.2.12-13), ‘Be one to whom the preceptor is a God’ (Taittirīya-upaniṣad 1.11), ‘To one who has the highest devotion for the Lord, as for God so for his teacher, to that great-souled one these matters which have been declared become manifest’ (Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad 6.23).

The compound “Brahma-jijñāsā” is to be explained as ‘The enquiry concerning Brahman![27] The genitive case: ‘concerning Brahman’[28] expresses the object, in accordance with the rule ‘The subject and the object (take the genitive case) when they are used along with a word ending with a kṛt-affix’ (Pāṇini-sūtra 2.3.65, Siddhānta-kaumudī 623).[29] ‘The enquiry concerning Brahman’ is a compound with the object-genitive,[30] in accordance with the rule ‘The genitive is compounded, when used along with a word ending with the kṛt-affix (and the compound comes under the category of the Ṣaṣṭhī-tat-puruṣa)’ (Kātyāyana-vārtika-sūtra 1317, quoted in Siddhānta-kaumudī 703).[31]

Brahman is none but Lord Kṛṣṇa, the substratum of inconceivable, infinite, unsurpassed, natural and greatest nature and qualities and so on, omniscient, omnipotent, the Lord of all, the cause of all, without an equal or a superior, all-pervading, and the one topic of all the Vedas, as known from the following scriptural and Smṛti passages, viz.: ‘He grows and causes to grow, hence He is called the supreme Brahman’, ‘Who is omniscient, all-knowing’ (Muṇḍaka-upaniṣad 1.1.9; 2.2.7), ‘Supreme is his power, declared to he of various kinds, and natural is the operation of his knowledge and strength’ (Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad 6.8), ‘This is the Lord of all’ (Bṛhadāraṇyaka-upaniṣad 4.4.22), ‘Him, the supreme and great Lord among the lords; Him, the great God among the gods’ (Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad 6.7), ‘He has no work or organ, nothing is seen to be equal or superior to Him’ (Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad 6.8), ‘The Lord of matter and soul, the Lord of the attributes’ (Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad 6.16),.‘The One God is hidden in all beings, all-pervading, and the inner soul of all beings’ (Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad 6.1.1), ‘Kṛṣṇa alone alone is the Supreme Deity. Let one meditate on Him’ (Gopāla-pūrva-tāpanī-upaniṣad[32]), ‘“I am the source of all, everything originates from me”’ (Gītā 10.8),‘“There is nothing else higher than me, O Dhanañ-jaya”’ (Gītā 7.7), ‘“I alone am to be known through all the Vedas”’ (Gītā 15.15) and so on. (This explains the term “Brahman”.)

(Now, the explanation of the term “jijñāsā”:) Knowledge with regard to Him (viz. such Brahman) alone, i.e. the desire with regard to the knowledge of one so desired (viz. Brahman),—this is the sense. Scripture declares this in the Bṛhadāraṇyaka passage:

‘O, the self is to be seen, to be heard, to be thought, to be meditated on’ (Bṛhadāraṇyaka-upaniṣad 2.4.5; 4.5.6), as well as in the Chāndogya passage: ‘But the Plenty alone is to be enquired into’ (Chāndogya-upaniṣad 7.23.1). In the passage: ‘O Maitreyī, the self is to be seen’ the suffix ‘tavya’ has the sense of ‘fitness’ simply, in accordance with the aphorism ‘The suffixes “kṛt” and “tṛc” are used in the sense of fitness’ (Pāṇini-sūtra 3.3.169; Siddhānta-kaumudī 2822[33]), because the direct vision of Brahman is not something to be enjoined,[34] it being established to be the intimate and inner means to salvation by the following texts:—‘The knot of the heart is broken, all doubts are solved and his works perish, when the soul, the Lord[35] is seen’ (Muṇḍaka-upaniṣad 2.2.8), ‘Stainless, he attains a supreme identity’ (Muṇḍaka-upaniṣad 3.1.3), ‘When he sees his glory, he becomes freed from grief’ (Muṇḍaka-upaniṣad 3.1.2; Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad 4.7), ‘“Then knowing me in truth, he forthwith enters into that”’ (Gītā 18.55), and so on. Thus, with a view to having an access to ‘seeing’,[36]—which is known from another text, which consists in a direct vision of the Lord, and which is the unique means to salvation,—it is ‘meditation’,[37]—which is an intimate and inner means to it (viz. ‘seeing’),—that is enjoined here.[38] By the term ‘knowledge’, the reverend Bādarāyaṇa designated, in the aphorisms, the very same thing (viz. meditation), which is a synonym for the words ‘contemplation’, ‘knowledge’, ‘supreme devotion’, ‘steadfast remembrance’, the rule being that the aphorism and the text indicating the subject-matter (viz. the Upaniṣad-texts) must both have the same meaning. Now, here also, the texts denoting the subject-matter are of a greater weight, as they, as the primary object, are authoritative by themselves; and hence, the meaning of the aphorisms is to be interpreted in accordance with them alone, otherwise they cannot stand in a relation of subject-matter and what treats of the subject-matter.[39] In Scripture, ‘hearing’[40] and‘thinking’[41] are laid down as means to ‘meditation’,[42] since these two also are indirect means to the attainment of salvation. Thus, having ascertained that the Vedānta-texts are concerned with demonstrating the nature, attributes and the rest of the Lord, one approaches a preceptor, who has directly intuited the nature and the rest of Brahman, the object to be worshipped demonstrable by the Vedānta-texts, and learns the meaning of those texts from him who has himself realized that meaning directly. This is ‘hearing’.[43] ‘Thinking’ is a kind of reflection, by means of arguments which are in conformity with Scripture, with a view to making the meaning of what has been ‘heard’ and taught, the object of one’s own realization.[44] ‘Meditating’ means a ceaseless contemplation on the object of ‘thinking’, which (contemplation) is the unique cause of a direct vision (of the Lord). Accordingly, this (viz. the above Bṛhadāraṇyaka-text) is an apūrva-vidhi[45] concerning ‘meditation’, since (salvation is) absolutely unobtainable (without meditation).[46]

The explanation of the (above-quoted Chāndogya) text ‘The Plenty’, etc., may be seen under the explanation of the aphorism ‘The Plenty’, etc. (Brahma-sūtra 1.3.7).

The resulting meaning is that salvation can be obtained by an individual, eternally fettered, and desiring for salvation, who was, by chance, looked upon (with favour) by Madhusūdana at the time of his birth,[47] who has practised the group of means (to salvation), who has worshipped the feet of his preceptor, and who has a direct vision of Brahman, obtained through the hearing of, thinking upon and meditating on Him, knowable through the Vedanta.

Salvation means attaining the nature of the Lord, resulting from the cessation of the bondage of matter in its causal[48] and effected forms,[49] as known from the scriptural text: “Having attained the form of supreme light, he is completed in his own form” (Chāndogya-upaniṣad 8.3.4; 8.12.2, 3); as well as from the aphorisms: ‘Because release is taught of him who takes his stand upon it’ (Brahma-sūtra 1.1.7), ‘And (Scripture) teaches in it the union of this with that’ (Brahma-sūtra 1.1.20) and so on; and from the Smṛti passage, viz.: ‘The attainment of the Lord, characterized by a feeling of unsurpassed joy and happiness, exclusive and absolute, is supposed to he an antidote (to the disease of transmigratory existence)’, ‘“Many people, purified by the penance of knowledge have come to attain my nature”’ (Gītā 4.10) and so on. The word ‘nature’[50] has been explained by the Lord Himself in the passage ‘“Resorting to this knowledge, they have come to have similarity with me”’ (Gītā 14.2). This we shall expound more clearly in the chapter dealing with the fruit.[51]

Then, in answer to the enquiry:—Of what nature is the individual, desiring salvation? Of what nature is his bondage?—the scriptural truth is being considered now, in order that those who desire for salvation may have an easy access to Scripture.

Now, there are three kinds of reality, distinguished as the sentient, the non-sentient and Brahman, because in the aphorisms as well, a trinity of reals has been mentioned, viz. the object to be enquired into (i.e. Brahman), the enquirer (i.e. the sentient), and māyā (i.e. the non-sentient) which consists in the three guṇas and is the original cause of his (viz. the enquirer’s) nescience, as otherwise the very enquiry will be impossible; and also because of the following scriptural and Smṛti texts, viz. ‘By knowing the enjoyer, the object enjoyed and the Mover, everything has been said. This is the three-fold Brahman’ (Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad 1.21). ‘Perishable are all beings, the changeless is called the Imperishable’ (Gītā 15.16), ‘But the Highest Person is another, declared to be the supreme self’ (Gītā 15.17) and so on.

Among these, the sentient substance is different from the class of non-sentient substances; is of the nature of knowledge; possessed of the attributes of being a knower, being an agent and so on; of the form of an Ego; has its very nature, existence and activity under the control of the Lord; is atomic in size; different in every body; and subject to bondage and release. As has been said: ‘The individual soul is of the nature of knowledge, under the control of the Lord, fit to be associated with and dissociated from a body, atomic, different in every body, possessed of the quality of being a knower and that which they call, endless. But through the grace of the Lord, verily they know it, the form of which is associated with beginningless Māyā.[52] The (ever) free, the bound and the bound-freed,[53] (such are the three broad classes of souls); and then again it should be known that there is a multitude of divisions (of these, viz. the ever-free, etc.)’. (Daśa-ślokī 1-2).[54] There are scriptural and Smṛti texts, as well as aphorisms to this effect, viz.: ‘Verily, different from this (soul) consisting of the mind is another internal soul, consisting of intelligence’ (Taittirīya-upaniṣad 2.4), ‘Just as a lump of salt is without an inside and an outside, and is entirely a mass of savour simply, so, verily, O! this self is without an inside or an outside, and is entirely a mass of intelligence simply’ (Bṛhadāraṇyaka-upaniṣad 4.5.13), ‘Here this person becomes self-illuminating’ (Bṛhadāraṇyaka-upaniṣad, ‘O! undecaying, verily, is this self, possessing indestructibleness as its attribute’ (Bṛhadāraṇyaka-upaniṣad 4.5.14), ‘Now he who knows: “Let me smell this”, which self is he?’ ‘This person who among the senses is made of knowledge, who is the light within the heart’ (Bṛhadāraṇyaka-upaniṣad 4.3.7). ‘This, verily, is the person of the essence of intelligence who sees,....hears, tastes, smells, thinks and knows’ (Praśna 4.9),[55] ‘There is, verily, no cessation of the seeing of the seer, because it (i.e. the soul) is indestructible; there is, verily, no cessation of the hearing of the hearer, because it is indestructible; there is, verily, no cessation of the thinking of the thinker, because it is indestructible; there is, verily, no cessation of the knowing of the knower, because it is indestructible’ (Bṛhadāraṇyaka-upaniṣad 4.3.23), ‘“By whom, O! should the knower be known?”’ (Bṛhadāraṇyaka-upaniṣad 2.4.14; 4.5.15), ‘This person simply knows’, ‘The seer does not see death, nor disease, nor, again, suffering’ (Chāndogya-upaniṣad 7.26.2). ‘He is the best person,...not remembering this appendage of the body’ (Chāndogya-upaniṣad 8.12.3), ‘So exactly do the seer’s sixteen parts, going to the Person, on attaining the Person, merge in (Him)’ (Praśna 6.5), ‘“Just as the one sun manifests the entire world, so O Bhārata, does the owner of the field (viz. the individual soul) manifest the whole field (viz. the body)”’ (Gītā 13.34), ‘A knower, for that very reason’ (Brahma-sūtra 2.3.19), ‘An agent, on account of scripture having a sense (Brahma-sūtra 2.3.32).[56] ‘I am thou, verily, O Deity! he is I, I am Brahman, thus I bow down to the Death of death’, ‘He shining alone, everything shines after him; through his light all this shines’ (Kaṭha 2.2.15), ‘He alone makes him, whom he wishes to lead upwards from these worlds, do good deeds. He alone makes him, whom he wishes to lead downwards from these worlds, do evil deeds’ (Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad 3,8), ‘Whether He may make him do good or evil, not even thereby is the Lord in fault ‘The individual soul is small in power, not independent and insignificant’;[57] ‘Atomic, verily, is this soul. These two, merit and demerit, bind it’, ‘The individual soul should be known as the hundredth part of the tip of a hair, divided a hundredfold, yet it is capable of infinity’ (Śvet.5.9), ‘Verily, (the soul) is perceived to be like the tip of the spoke of a wheel only, and insignificant, through its quality of buddhi, and through its own attributes’ (Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad 5.8), ‘(There is the mention, of departing, going and returning’ (Brahma-sūtra 2.3.19), ‘If it be said, not atomic, because Scripture declares what is not that, (we reply:) no, because the topic is something else’ (Brahma-sūtra 2.3.21), ‘That designation is on account of having that quality for its essence, as in the case of the Intelligent soul’ (Brahma-sūtra 2.3.28);[58] ‘The Eternal among the eternal, the Conscious among the conscious, the One among the many, who bestows objects of desire’ (Kaṭha 5.13), ‘A part, on account of the designation of a plurality’ (Brahma-sūtra 2.3.42),[59] ‘There is indeed another different soul, called the elemental soul,—he who being overcome by the white or dark fruits of works, attains a good or bad birth....Because of being deluded, he does not see the Lord, the causer of action and dwelling within the self. He is borne along and defiled by the properties of matter’ (Maitrī-upaniṣad 3.2),[60] ‘An unborn one, verily, lies by, enjoying. Another unborn one discards her, who has been enjoyed’ (Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad 4.15), ‘Stainless, he attains a supreme identity’ (Muṇḍaka-upaniṣad 3.1.3), ‘He does not return again’ (Kālāgni-rudra-upaniṣad 2), ‘Non-return, on account of scriptural texts’ (Brahma-sūtra 4.4.22)[61] and so on.

The non-sentient substance is of three kinds, viz. what is derived from matter, what is not derived from matter and time.[62] As has been said:—‘What is derived from matter, what is not derived from matter and time,—these are held to be the non-sentient. (The second is) denotable by the term ‘māyā’, ‘pradhāna’ and the rest, and there are distinctions of white and the rest in it, although it is the same’ (Daśa-ślokī 3.). Among these, the substance which is the substratum, of the three guṇas is the prākṛta. It is eternal as well as subject to changes like transformation and so on, as declared by the following scriptural texts:—‘A cow she is white, black and red, without beginning and end,[63] the progenitress, and the source of all beings, milking all wishes for the Lord’ (Cūlikā-upaniṣad 5), ‘There is an unborn one red, white and black, producing many progeny of the same nature’ (Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad 4.5) and so on; by the Smṛti passages, viz.: ‘This, consisting of the three guṇas, is the source of the world and is without beginning and end’ (Viṣṇu-purāṇa 1.2.21a),[64] ‘Non-sentient, for the sake of another, ever-changing, consisting of the three guṇas, the field of works—such is said to be the form of prakṛti’ and so on; as well as by the following aphorisms: ‘It has a sense, on account of its subordination to Him’ (Brahma-sūtra 1.4.3), ‘As in the ease of the sacrificial ladle, for want of any specification’ (Brahma-sūtra 1.4.8), ‘But that which has light for its cause, because thus, in fact, some read’ (Brahma-sūtra 1.4.9) and so on. The guṇas are sattva, rajas and tamas. That very prakṛti, being transformed, through its own guṇas, into the body, the sense-organs, the mind and intelligence of the individual souls, and through, being a hindrance to salvation, is said to be the cause of the bondage of the individual soul. It is the cause of the universe, beginning with the mahat and ending with the cosmic egg, and its products are to be known as non-permanent.

Next, the aprākṛta is a non-sentient substance, absolutely different from prakṛti consisting of three guṇas and time, occupies a region different from the sphere of prakṛti, and is denoted by the terms ‘eternal manifestation’, ‘the region of Viṣṇu’, ‘the supreme void’, ‘the supreme place’, ‘the world of Brahman’ and so on, as declared by the following scriptural texts and aphorisms:—‘Of the colour of the sun, beyond darkness’ (Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad 3.8; Gītā 8.9), ‘He who is its Master in the supreme void’, ‘That supreme region of Viṣṇu the wise see always’ (Nṛ. Pūr. 5.10; Skanda 15; Mukti 2.77; Vāsu 4), ‘But the man whose charioteer is intelligence, and the mind, the reins, attains the end of the road, the supreme place of Viṣṇu’ (Kaṭha 3.9), ‘Having obtained the soul, I become united with the uncreated world of Brahman’ (Chāndogya-upaniṣad 8.13.1), ‘He does not return again’ (Kālāgni-rudra-upaniṣad 2), ‘Nonreturn, on account of scriptural texts’ (Brahma-sūtra 4.4.22) and so on; as well as by the following verses in the Mahābhārata—viz.: ‘Whom they, call prakṛti, the eternal, because He is the original source of all beings—the Divinity, without beginning and end, the Lord Nārāyaṇa, Hari. His supreme place is manifested beyond the abode of Brahma. That celestial, luminous place which the gods do not see, more brilliant than the sun and fire, is the place of Viṣṇu the Great, and through its own rays, O king! it is difficult to be seen, by gods and demons. The ascetics endowed with penance, infused with auspicious deeds, perfected by Yoga, great-souled, and devoid of ignorance and delusion, go there to Lord Nārāyaṇa, Hari, the adorable. Having gone there, they do not, O Bhārata, return to this world again. This place is, O king, eternal and undecaying, for this, O Yudhiṣṭhira, is always the proof of the Lord. Higher than the seat of Brahma is that supreme place of Viṣṇu, which some people who are endowed with knowledge and intelligence, and want to reach the supreme place, know to be pure, eternal, luminous and the supreme Brahman. That place is immensely holy, full of holy families, going where men do not grieve, do not return, do not feel pain. But those Sattvatas attain here the place of Brahman’. The same thing is found in the Bhagavad-gītā Compare, e.g. the statement by the Lord, viz.: ‘“Through His grace,[65] you shall obtain supreme peace and an eternal place”’ (Gītā 18.62). And through the beginningless desire of the Lord, it is manifold in forms, as the objects of His enjoyment and of His ever-free souls, and not liable to any alternations of evolution and the rest; since it is beyond time, in accordance with the text: ‘That manifestation, of which time, composed of Kalās[66] and minutes, is not the cause of transformation. Your eight-fold attributes and lordship, O Lord, are natural and supreme’. Next, time is a species of non-sentient substance, different from both the prākṛta and the aprākṛta, eternal and all-pervading, in accordance with the scriptural text; ‘Now, eternal, verily, are the soul, matter and time’; and also because in the text: ‘“Existent alone, my dear, was this in the beginning”’ (Chāndogya-upaniṣad 6.2.1), the existence of time, denoted by the term ‘beginning’, is declared; as well as on account of the Smṛti passage:—‘The Lord Time is beginningless, and has, O Brahmin, no end’ (Viṣṇu-purāṇa 1.2.26a[67]). ‘There can he no apprehension in the world which does not involve time.’ It is the special cause of the conventional uses (of such terms) as ‘past’, ‘future’, ‘present’, ‘simultaneous’, ‘lasting’, ‘quick’ and so on; assisting in the creation and the rest; and the special cause of the conventional use (of different measures of time), beginning with the paramāṇu and ending with the parārdha.[68] Since it is well-known from the Purāṇas, no detailed account is given here. All objects derived from prakṛti are dependent on time. But although time is the regulator of everything, it is itself regulated by the Supreme Lord, in accordance with the text: ‘Who is a knower, the Time of time, possessor of attributes, omniscient’ (Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad 6.2).

The meaning of the word “Brahman” has already been expounded above. He is Lord Kṛṣṇa, an abode of groups of qualities like Creator-ship of the world and the rest, to he mentioned hereafter, and is denoted by the words‘Supreme Brahman ‘Nārāyaṇa’, ‘Vāsudeva’ and so on. As has been said: ‘Let us meditate on Kṛṣṇa, on Hari, with eyes like lotus, on Brahman, supreme and adorable, free by nature from all faults, and one mass of infinite auspicious qualities, and having the vyūhas[69] as His limbs’ (Daśa-ślokī 4).

The mutual differences among these (three) substances, viz. the sentient, the noil-sentient and Brahman are taught, by the texts contained respectively in the different chapters (treating of these three) and indicating the respective peculiarities of their qualities and nature. The non-difference of the sentient and the non-sentient is taught in the following texts:—‘“Existent alone, my dear, was this in the beginning, one only, without a second”’ (Chāndogya-upaniṣad 6.2.1), ‘The self, verily, was this in the beginning, one only’ (Aitareya-upaniṣad 1.1.1), ‘Thou art that’ (Chāndogya-upaniṣad 6.8.7; 6.9.8; 6.10.3; 6.11.3; 6.12.31; 6.13.3; 6.14.3; 6.15.3; 6.16.3), ‘This soul is Brahman’ (Bṛhadāraṇyaka-upaniṣad 4.4.5), ‘All this, verily, is Brahman’ (Chāndogya-upaniṣad 3.14.1), ‘I am you, verily, O reverend Deity’, ‘Then he knows the self alone: “I am Brahman”’.

In this way, the two kinds of texts being both authoritative in their primary and literal import, the sentient and the non-sentient, though of different natures (from Brahman), yet are non-different from Brahman, because they have their existence and activity under His control,—just as the sense-organs, though of different natures (from the vital-breath) are yet non-different from the vital-breath, because they are under its control, as is well-known from the dialogue between the vital-breath and the sense-organs in the Chāndogya: ‘Verily, they are not called speech, eyes, or mind, but called the vital-breath alone’ (Chāndogya-upaniṣad 5.1.15). Hence the view of the author of the aphorisms is that Brahman, the object to be enquired into, is both different and non-different from the sentient and the non-sentient. Tor that very, reason, there is no necessity for enquiring into the two realities (viz. the sentient and the non-sentient), and the doctrine that through the knowledge of one, there is the knowledge of all[70] fits in well. As has been said: ‘Hence, all knowledge concerning all objects is true, since they, as declared by Scripture and Smṛti, have Brahman for their essence,—this is the view of those who are versed in the Vedas, and the Trinity of Reals too is established by Scripture and aphorisms’ (Daśa-ślokī 7). The following aphorisms may be referred to: ‘A part, on account of the mention of variety, and otherwise, some even read the status of a fisherman, a knave and so on’ (Brahma-sūtra 2.3.42), ‘But on account of the mention of both, as in the case of a snake and its coil’ (Brahma-sūtra 3.2.27), ‘Or, like the substratum of light, because of being light’ (Brahma-sūtra 3.2.28) and so on. Detailed explanations may be seen further on.

Since this aphorism (Brahma-sūtra 1.1.1), ascertaining the meaning of Scripture, is of the nature of an introduction, the indispensable factors (in the study of a particular subject) are also mentioned virtually by it, with a view to encouraging people with insight to (the study of) Scripture. These are: the person entitled (to the study), the topic, the relation and the purpose.[71] Among these, one who is desirous of release and possessed of the stated marks[72] is the person entitled (to the study of the Vedanta). The topic is the Lord Vāsudeva, the Highest Person, denoted by the term ‘Brahman’ and the rest, omniscient, the substratum of natural, inconceivable and infinite attributes and powers persisting as long as He Himself does, the Controller of Brahma, Rudra, Indra, matter, atoms, time, karma, and Nature, who is absolutely untouched by faults and who is the substratum of a natural difference—non-difference from the sentient and the non-sentient. The relation is that between a topic and what treats of the topic.[73] The purpose here is salvation, characterized by attaining the state of the Lord.

Here ends the section entitled ‘The enquiry’ (1).

Comparative views of Śaṅkara:

Comparison of Nimbārka’s reading and interpretation (of Brahma-Sūtra 1.1.1) with the readings and interpretations of Śaṅkara.[74]

Interpretation different. According to Nimbārka, the term. “atha” (=then) signifies: ‘after the study of the Veda and the Pūrva-mīmāṃsā’, But according to Śaṅkara, this is not the case. He points out that the study of the Pūrva-mīmāṃsā is by no means an essential pre-requisite to the study of Brahman.[75] There is no essential connection between the enquiry into religious duties and that into Brahman. On the contrary, there is an absolute difference between them as regards the result and the object of enquiry.[76] The result of the former is the attainment of worldly and heavenly enjoyment,, which is something to be accomplished; while the result of the latter is salvation, which is not something to be accomplished, being eternal and ever-accomplished. This being so, the essential pre-requisite to the enquiry into Brahman is not the enquiry into religious duties, but the acquisition of the four qualifications[77],—viz. (1) discrimination between eternal and non-eternal objects, (2) aversion to the enjoyment of the objects of sense, here or hereafter, (3) possession of self-restraint, tranquillity and the rest[78] and (4) the desire of emancipation.[79]

Comparative views of Rāmānuja:

Comparison of Nimbārka’s reading and interpretation (of Brahma-Sūtra 1.1.1) with the readings and interpretations of Rāmānuja.

Reading and interpretation same, only much more elaborate. Rāmānuja points out that the two Mīmāṃsās—viz. the Karma-mīmāṃsā and the Brahma-mīmāṃsā constitute one connected whole, the first naturally leading to the second,[80] and criticises at length, in this connection, the Śaṃkarite view that the enquiry into Brahman does not necessarily presuppose the enquiry into religious duties.[81]

Comparative views of Bhāskara:

Comparison of Nimbārka’s reading and interpretation (of Brahma-Sūtra 1.1.1) with the readings and interpretations of Bhāskara.

Literal interpretation same, but import different. Bhāskara develops here his peculiar doctrine of jnāna-karma-samuceaya, or combination of knowledge and work. Thus, according to both Nimbārka and Bhāskara, the enquiry into Brahman should be undertaken after an enquiry into religious duties, but for different reasons. According to Nimbārka, the prior study of the Karma-mīmāṃsā convinces us of the transitory nature of the fruits of karmas, and this naturally leads us to the study of the Brahma-mīmāṃsā, with a view to attaining a permanent fruit therefrom, viz. salvation. For this reason, we study first the Pūrva-mīmāṃsā, and then the Uttara-mimāṃsā or the Vedanta.

But according to Bhāskara, we enquire into Karmas before enquiring into Brahman for quite different reasons, viz.

(1) We do not enquire into Karmas first and then into Brahman, because the former are transitory, the latter not; but we enquire into both Karmas and Brahman, for the very same reason, viz. because we know that they both play an equal part in the attainment of salvation. Salvation can be obtained through a proper combination of knowledge and works, and unless we first know the nature of the works themselves, we cannot possibly decide which kinds of works are to be resorted to and combined with knowledge, and which kinds to he avoided and not to be so combined. It is for this reason, that we first study the Karma-mīmāṃsā, and then the Brahma-mīmāṃsā, and combine the obligatory works with knowledge, avoiding those that are undertaken for selfish ends.

(2) Further, the Vedanta deals with various kinds of meditations on the subordinate parts of sacrifices—, e.g. the meditation on the udgītha and so on. But unless we are first acquainted with the nature of those sacrifices themselves, such meditations are not possible. It is for this reason also that we first study the Karma-mīmāṃsā, and then the Brahma-mīmāṃsā.[82]

Bhāskara also criticises here the Śāṃkarite interpretation of the term “atha”.[83]

Comparative views of Śrīkaṇṭha:

Comparison of Nimbārka’s reading and interpretation (of Brahma-Sūtra 1.1.1) with the readings and interpretations of Śrīkaṇṭha.

Literal interpretation same, but import different. That is, Nimbārka and Śrīkaṇṭha both agree that the Brahma-mīmāṃsā is to be studied after the study of the Karma-mīmāṃsā, but the reason for this, as given by Śrīkaṇṭha, is different from that given by Nimb ārka. We have already seen the reason given by Nimbārka. But according to Śrīkaṇṭha, we must first study religious duties and then Brahman, because the two stand in a relation of worship (ārādhanā) and the worshipped (ārādhya);[84] cause (hetu) and effect,[85] means (sādhana) and end (sādhya)[86]. The proper performance of Karmas purifies the mind. But unless we first know the nature, etc. of Karmas, we cannot perform them properly, i.e. choose the right ones (nitya and naimittaka ones) and avoid others (kāmya ones), and unless we perform karmas properly, our mind is not purified, and unless our mind is purified, there can be no rise of knowledge in it. It is for this reason that we should first study the Karma-mīmāṃsā and then the Brahma-mīmāṃsā.[87] Like Rāmānuja, Śrīkaṇṭha holds that the Karma-mīmāṃsā and the Brahma-mīmāṃsā form one and the same treatise.[88]

Comparative views of Baladeva:

Comparison of Nimbārka’s reading and interpretation (of Brahma-Sūtra 1.1.1) with the readings and interpretations of Baladeva.

Interpretation different. According to Baladeva also, the word “atha” means ‘immediate sequence’, hut he points out that it cannot be said that the study of the Karma-mīmāṃsā is an essential prerequisite to the study of the Brahma-mīmāṃsā, for it is often found that even one who knows the Karma-mīmāṃsā by heart, but who is deprived of the company of the good, has no desire to enquire into Brahman, while one who does not know the Karma-mīmāṃsā, but is purified by truthfulness, prayer, etc. and associates with the good, has a natural inclination to enquire into Brahman. It cannot be said also that the term “atha” means that the enquiry into Brahman can be undertaken only after the acquisition of the four-fold qualifications, viz. discrimination between the eternal and the non-eternal and the rest, as held by Śāṅkara, for these cannot be acquired unless one first associates with the good and the holy.[89]

Hence, what the term “atha” means is as follows:—A man who has properly studied the Veda and has understood its meaning in a general way, who has faithfully performed the duties incumbent on his own stage of life, who is truthful and so on, whose mind has become purified by the performance of duties in a disinterested spirit and who has come into contact with a knower of truth, should then commence an enquiry into Brahman, for then he is convinced that the fruits of works undertaken with selfish ends in view are but transitory, while Brahman alone is the cause of eternal happiness.[90]

Thus, the five pre-requisites to the enquiry into Brahman are:—(1) Study of the Veda. (2) Proper performance of the duties incumbent on one’s own stage of life. (3) Purification of the mind by such performance of works in a disinterested spirit. (4) Association with the good and the holy. (5) The consequent acquirement of the faculty of discriminating between the permanent and the non-permanent, disgust for non-permanent worldly objects and desire to know the permanent in details.

All the commentators agree in holding that the word “atah” means ‘because the fruits of Karmas are transitory, while the knowledge of Brahman alone leads to eternal bliss’.

Footnotes and references:


The six parts are:—(a) Śikṣā or the science of proper articulation and pronunciation, comprising the knowledge of letters, accents, quantity, the use of the organs of pronunciation, and phonetics generally, but especially the laws of euphony peculiar to the Veda; (b) Chandaḥ [Chandas] or treatises on metre; (c) Vyākaraṇa or treatises on grammar; (d) Nirukta or treatises on the explanation of difficult words; (e) Jyotiṣa or treatises on astronomy; and (f) Kalpa or treatises on ceremonials. The first and second of these Vedāṅgas are said to be intended to secure the correct recitation of the Veda, the third and fourth the understanding of it, the fifth and sixth its proper employment at sacrifice. Monier-Williams, p. 1016.


Prakṛṣṭeṇa karoti iti prakaraṇam, tad-vad vākyam.


I.e. Whose mind is assailed with doubt owing to the contradictory teachings regarding the fruits of works, some texts declaring that the fruits of works are transitory, while others declaring that they are eternal. Cf. Vedānta-kaustubha, 1.1.1.


I.e. the Pūrva-mīmāṃsā,


I.e. the Pūrva-mīmāṃsā.


I.e. in whose mind has arisen a disgust for all worldly pursuits and objects, since he has apprehended the great distinction between the fruits of works, viz. ordinary worldly objects and heaven, and the fruit of the knowledge Brahman, viz. salvation. Even heaven has an end, but not so salvation, and even heaven is not the highest end, but salvation is. See Vedānta-kaustubha 1.1.1.


The Swan Incarnation of Brahmā is supposed to be the Founder of the sect of Nimbārka.


The Four Kumāras, Sanaka and others, the second spiritual teachers of the sect.


I.e. Nārada, supposed to be the third spiritual teacher of the sect and the immediate guru of Nimbārka.


I.e. Nimbārka.


Parāśara is supposed to be the father of Vyāsa, the reputed author of the Brahma-sūtras.


There is difference of opinion as to why the Vedānta-sūtras or the Brahma-sūtras are called the ‘Śārīraka-mīmāṃsā’. According to the Ratnaprabhā commentary on Brahma-sūtras (Śaṅkara’s commentary), they are so called because they treat of the Brahman-hood of the embodied soul. (‘Śārīrako jīvas tasya Brahmatva vicāro mīmāṃsā.’ P. 64, Kāsī ed., Part I.)

According to Baladeva, however, Brahman is ‘śārīra’ or embodied since Scripture declares that the whole universe is the body of the Lord. Hence the Vedānta-sūtras are called the ‘Śārīraka-mīmāṃsā’, because they deal with Brahman, the śārīra (the embodied). Govinda-bhāṣya 1.1.12.


For the different meanings of the term ‘atha’ vide Amara-koṣa, p. 311, line 8.


That is, we can of course make the sūtra complete thus:‘Then, therefore, an enquiry into Brahman (arises)’, but it is better to complete it thus: ‘Then, therefore, an enquiry into Brahman (should arise)5, and make the sūtra an injunction and not a plain statement.


Thus, the entire sūtra really means: ‘(Mumukṣuṇā) athāto Brahmajijñāsā (kartavyā)’, or ‘(By one who desires salvation) then, therefore, an enquiry into Brahman (should be made)’.


I.e. the Pūrva-mīmāṃsā.


See footnote (1), p. 1.


A similar passage is found in Taittirīya-āraṇyaka 2.15, p. 153.


Name of the three sacrifices performed at the beginning of the three seasons of four months. Vide [Vedic Index of Names and Subjects], p. 259, vol. 1.


P. 1, vo1 1.


P. 139, line 3.


These texts denote the permanence of the fruits of work.


These texts denote the non-permanence of the fruits of works.


That is, first a man studies (a) the Veda and finds mutually contradictory statements about the fruits of works. (b) This leads him to study the Pūrva-mīmāṃsā, with a view to learning the real nature of works and their fruits, and he finds that the fruits of works are not everlasting, (c) This leads him to study the Vedānta, with a view to attaining what is permanent, viz. salvation. Hence the term ‘atha’ means that the Vedānta is to be studied after the study of the Veda and the Pūrva-mīmāṃsā.


I.e. When the impossible will be possible, the sense being that the knowledge of Brahman is the only means of putting an end to miseries.


That is, the enquiry into Brahman is to be undertaken because of three reasons, viz.: (1) because the fruits of works are not lasting and unsurpassed, (2) because the knowledge of Brahman leads to infinite bliss, i.e. salvation, and (3) because those who do not know Brahman, their self, are censured as worthless creatures. The word “ataḥ” (=therefore) in the sūtra implies these three reasons.


Brahmaṇo jijñāsā.




P. 452, vol. 1.


I.e. a genitive denoting an object.


P. 496, vol. 1.


P. 205.


P. 569.


That is, the above quotation simply means that the Self (Brahman) is fit or worthy to be seen, and not that the Self should be seen,—no injunction here with regard to seeing. See p. 9, footnote 4.


Correct reading ‘Tasmin dṛṣṭe parāvare or when he, who is high and low, is seen. Vide Muṇḍaka-upaniṣad 2.2.8, p. 31; [A Concordance to the principal Upaniṣads and Bhagavad-gītā], p. 528.




That is, in the above text (Bṛhadāraṇyaka-upaniṣad), the Lord is not enjoined to he seen but to be meditated on, meditation leading to seeing or direct vision which is the immediate cause of salvation.


That is, the Vedānta-sūtras lay down what is contained in the Upaniṣads. Hence the Vedānta-sūtras are the viṣayin or what treat of the subject-matter, and the Upaniṣad-texts are the viṣaya, or the subject treated. Now, the viṣayin and the viṣaya must, evidently, refer to the same thing. And here, the viṣaya being of a greater force, the viṣayin must be understood in accordance with the viṣaya, or the sūtras are to be understood in the light of the Upaniṣads. Hence as the latter enjoin meditation, the former must also do so.






That is, a man first ascertains that the Vedānta-texts demonstrate the Lord, and then approaches a teacher and learns the meaning of those texts from him.


That is, for realizing directly for himself what he has so far accepted on the authority of his preceptor.


An ‘apūrva-vidhi’ is a vidhi which enjoins something that is absolutely necessary and indispensable for the production of the desired result, e.g, when it is enjoined; ‘The rice-grains are to be sprinkled over with water’, it is meant that without this sprinkling, the desired result, viz. the saṃskāra of these rice-grains or making them fit for being used in a sacrifice cannot be attained by any other means. Hence, here the vidhi with regard to the sprinkling is an ‘apūrva-vidhi’. In the very same manner, the above Bṛhadāraṇyaka text: ‘The self should be seen, be heard, be thought, be meditated on’, lays down an ‘apūrva-vidhi’ regarding meditation, since without meditation, the desired result, viz. salvation, cannot he attained by any other means.

For the different kinds of vidhis—viz. apūrva, niyama and pari-saṃkhyā see Vedānta-ratnamañjūṣā, pp. 41-43.


This finishes the explanation of the Bṛhadāraṇyaka text ‘O friend, the self should be seen’, etc.


Vide Vedānta-ratnamañjūṣā, p. 133; also p, 142, where it is said that only one man in a thousand is looked at with favour by Madhusūdana at the time of his birth, and that not by chance, but because of the merits accumulated through thousands of previous births.


I.e. pradhāna, the primal matter.


I.e. the body, an effect of pradhāna.


Viz., the fourth chapter.


That is, the real nature of the soul is distorted through its connection with māyā or matter and karma, yet individuals can know the real nature of their selves through the grace of the Lord. See Vedānta-ratnamañjūṣā, pp. 20-21.


That is, the souls which were bound once, but are freed now.


For details, see Vedānta-ratnamañjūṣā


Quotation incomplete. The correct quotation is ‘.....who sees, touches, hears, smells, tastes, thinks, knows and acts’. Vide Praśna 4.9, pp. 41-42.


These texts also set forth the essential nature of the soul, viz. its dependence on the Lord for its activity and its non-difference from Him in that sense.


These texts and aphorisms set forth the essential nature of the individual soul, viz. that it is knowledge by nature, a knower, an agent and an enjoyer.


These texts and sūtras set forth the size of the soul, viz. its atomicity.


These texts and aphorisms set forth the number of the souls, viz. that there is a plurality of souls.


Quotation incorrect. Vide Maitrī., pp. 369, 371. Correct quotation translated.


These texts and aphorisms set forth the liability of the souls to bondage and release.


Prākṛta, aprākṛta and kāla.


Correct reading ‘māda-vatī’ or without sound. For correct quotation, vide Cūlikā-upaniṣad 5, p. 230.


P. 14.


Correct quotation ‘tat-prasādāt’ and not ‘mat-prasādāt’.


Kalā is a particular division of time. Monier-Williams, p. 261.


P. 15.


A paramāṇu is the time taken by the sun to traverse past an atom of matter and so on. Vide Vedānta-ratnamañjūṣā, p. 38, for details.


The vyūhas are Vāsudeva, Saṃkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Āniruddha. Vide pp. 47-49, for details.


Vide Chānd. 6.1 ff. The sense is that the sūtras recommend an enquiry into Brahman alone, and not into the sentient and the non-sentient, not because these two are unreal, but simply because by enquiring into Brahman, the Cause, we come to know of the sentient and the non-sentient too, the effects, and hence no separate enquiry is necessary.


See above, pp. 11-14.


See above, p. 9 of the book and footnote 5 there.


Only the points of difference will be noted.


Brahma-sūtras (Śaṅkara’s commentary) 1.1.1. ‘Dharma-jijñāsāyāḥ prāg api adhīta-Vedāntasya Brahma-jijñāsopapatteh’, p. 71.


Brahma-sūtras (Śaṅkara’s commentary) 1.1.1. ‘Dharma-brahma-jijñāsayoḥ phala-jijñāsya-bhedācca’ (p. 74).




I.e. śama (control of the internal organ, viz. the mind), dama (control of the external sense-organs), uparati (indifference to worldly pursuits), titikṣā (endurance of the opposite extremes, like heat and cold, pleasure and pain, etc.), śraddhā (faith in the scripture and the spiritual teachers), and samādhāna (deep concentration).


Brahma-sūtras (Śaṅkara’s commentary) 1.1.1. ‘Nityānitya-vastu-vivekaḥ, ihāmutrārtha-phalabhoga-virāgaḥ, śama-damādi-sādhana-sampat, mumukṣutvañ ca’.


Śrī. B. 1.1.1. ‘Vakṣyati ca Karma-brahma-mīmāṃsayor aikaśāstryam’, etc., p. 2, vol. 1 (Madras ed.).


Op, cit., pp. 5-13, vol. 1.


Brahma-sūtras (Bhāskara’s Commentary) III, p. 2.


Op. cit. pp. 3-5.


Brahma-sūtras (Śrīkaṇṭha’s commentary) 1.1.1, p. 34, Part 1.


Op. cit., pp. 37, 39, Part 1.


Op. cit., pp. 39, 43, Part 1.


Brahma-sūtras (Śrīkaṇṭha’s commentary) 1.1.1, pp. 33, 39, 43, 50, 68, 70, Part 1. Of course Śrīkaṇṭha is not a Jñāna-karma-samuccaya-vādin like Bhāskara.


Brahma-sūtras (Śrīkaṇṭha’s commentary) 1.1.1, p. 33, Part 1.


Govinda-bhāṣya 1.1.1, pp. 24-25, chap. 1.


Op. cit., pp.. 19-20, chap. 1.

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