Brahma Sutras (Nimbarka commentary)

by Roma Bose | 1940 | 290,526 words

English translation of the Brahma-sutra 1.1.11, 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 1.1.11

English of translation of Brahmasutra 1.1.11 by Roma Bose:

“(Brahman alone is the cause of the world), on account of the universality of knowing (him as the cause).”

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

As a sentient cause is known from all the Vedāntas, the doctrine of a non-sentient cause is untenable.

Śrīnivāsa’s commentary (Vedānta-kaustubha)

For this reason too, pradhāna is not denoted by the term ‘existent’, viz. on account of the universality of ‘knowing’, i.e. apprehending. One sentient cause of the world being known from all the Upaniṣads, the sentient Brahman alone is the cause of the origin and the rest of the world. Nor, again, even the slightest inconsistency is found in the Vedāntas, such as, in some places a sentient cause is taught, in others a non-sentient. The sense is that if here a non-sentient object be understood by the term ‘existent’, the multitude of texts, speaking of a sentient cause, will come to be contradicted.

Comparative views of Rāmānuja:

Reading same. Interpretation too is same, since although according to Rāmānuja, the word ‘gati’ means ‘pravṛtti’ or primary meaning and not ‘avagati’ or apprehension as held by Nimbārka, yet the ultimate meaning is the same, viz. the meaning or import of all the scriptural texts is uniform, i.e. from all of them Brahman alone is known and nothing else, and hence Brahman alone is the cause.[1]

Comparative views of Śrīkaṇṭha:

Reading same, interpretation different. He connects this sūtra more particularly with the preceding one, thus: ‘On account of the universality of knowing (the term “existent” as denoting the Supreme Lord)’. That is, just as in this Upaniṣad, viz. the Chāndogya, the term ‘existent’ implies the Lord, and none else, so in all other Upaniṣads as well. Hence it can never stand for pradhāna. According to him also, thus, the word ‘gati’ means ‘avagati’.[2]

Comparative views of Baladeva:

This is sūtra 10 in this commentary. Reading same, interpretation different, viz.—‘On account of the universality of knowing (the Nirguṇa Brahman from all Scriptures) That is, Scripture uniformly teaches the Nirguṇa Brahman, and never the Saguṇa. Hence the Nirguṇa Brahman alone is the cause of the world. According to him also, the term ‘gati’ means ‘avagati’.[3]

Footnotes and references:


Śrī-bhāṣya (Madras edition), p. 165, vol. 1.


Brahma-sūtras (Śrīkaṇṭha’s commentary) 1.1.11, p. 202, Part 3.


Govinda-bhāṣya 1.1.10, p. 53, Chap. 1.

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