Brahma Sutras (Nimbarka commentary)

by Roma Bose | 1940 | 290,526 words

English translation of the Brahma-sutra 2.2.21, 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 2.2.21

English of translation of Brahmasutra 2.2.21 by Roma Bose:

“(If it be admitted that the effect originates) when (the cause is) not existent, (then there is) the contradiction of the initial proposition, otherwise there is simultaneousness.”

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

On the admission of the origin of the effect when the cause is nonexistent, there must result the “contradiction of the initial proposition”, viz. that there is the origin of cognitions from four causes, viz. sense-organs, light, direction of the mind and sense-objects. On the admission of the origin of the effect when the cause is existent, there must be the origin of another momentary existence when the prior momentary existence is still present; and thus there must be “simultaneousness” according to your view, the maintained of the doctrine of momentariness!

Śrīnivāsa’s commentary (Vedānta-kaustubha)

The author condemns the causeless origin of effects.

If it be argued that let there be the production of the subsequent (effect) without a cause, and this being so, the above objection cannot be raised—then we reply: If it be admitted that there is the origin of the effect even when the cause is non-existent, then there must be the “contradiction of the initial proposition”. Thus, there must he the “contradiction”, i.e. abandonment, of your initial proposition that in the production of cognitions, there are four causes, the main cause, viz. the sense-organs like the eyes and the rest; the auxiliary cause, viz. light; the immediate cause, viz. the direction of the mind; and the supporting cause, viz. the sense-objects.[1] Moreover, even if the causeless origin of effect be admitted, the above-mentioned fault, viz. the origin of everything everywhere, remains unavoidable. If, again, to avoid this difficulty, the case be admitted to be “otherwise”, he. if it be admitted that the effect originates when the cause is existent, then there must be “simultaneousness”, i.e. there must he simultaneous existence of the cause and the effect. That is, the above-mentioned objection remains in force. Thus, does the prior momentary existence pot come to be the cause of another momentary existence pot at the time when it (the prior) itself exists, or does it become the cause of the subsequent moment,—which is being generated,—by lasting till the time of its production? In either case, there is simultaneousness. On the first alternative, all the momentary existences will come to be perceived at the same time, and the conventional distinction between the prior and the subsequent will come to an end. On the second alternative, their momentariness will be abolished, and owing to the persistence of two momentary existences, there must follow a simultaneous perception of two momentary existences in the same place.

Comparative views of Baladeva:

The meaning of the phrase “pratijñoparodhaḥ” different, viz. contradiction of the initial proposition (viz. that the world originates from the skandhas).[2]

Footnotes and references:


Adhipati, sahakārin, samanantara, ālambana.


Govinda-bhāṣya 2.2.21, pp. 115-16, Chap. 2.

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