Brahma Sutras (Nimbarka commentary)

by Roma Bose | 1940 | 290,526 words

English translation of the Brahma-sutra 3.3.32, 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 3.3.32

English of translation of Brahmasutra 3.3.32 by Roma Bose:

“Of those who are entrusted with (certain) office, there is abiding so long as the office lasts.”

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

Of Vasiṣṭha and the rest, on the other hand, “there is abiding so long as the office lasts”, owing to the influence of the works of which their office is the result.

Śrīnivāsa’s commentary (Vedānta-kaustubha)

(The author) is now refuting the following objection:

The argument stated above, viz. that through the power of knowledge there result the decay of all the karmas of a knower at the time of his separation from the body, and the (consequent) attainment (by him) of a distinguished place through the path beginning with light, is not justifiable, since it is found that even great sages like Vasiṣṭha and the rest, (though) possessed of knowledge, were re-born and experienced pleasures and pains. The re-birth of Vasiṣṭha from a pitcher is well-known.[1] How he experienced grief is declared by Smṛti thus: “He devoured Vasiṣṭha’s hundred sons, Śakti and his younger brothers, as an infuriated lion devours a small deer. On hearing that his sons had been killed by Viśvāmitra, Vasiṣṭha bore that grief as the great mountain bears the world. He, the best of the sages, planned to destroy himself, but never did the greatest among the wise think of destroying Kauśika (i.e. Viśvāmitra). The holy sage threw himself down from the peak of the Meru. From the mountain he fell down on its stones as on a heap of cotton. When he did not die from that fall, O Pāṇḍava, His Holiness entered a blazing-fire in a great forest. Then, though well-lit, the fire did not bum him. Seeing the sea, the great sage, afflicted with grief, fastened a heavy stone around his neck and dropped into the water. (But) the great sage was placed on the land by the current of the sea-waves. Then, depressed, he, went once more towards his own hermitage” (Mahābhārata (Asiatic Society edition) 1.6737-6744[2]). How he experienced happiness, too, is declared by Smṛti thus: “And he was followed to his hermitage by his daughter-in-law, named Adṛśyantī. Then by chance he heard from behind the sound of the study of the Veda, complete in meaning and ornamented with the six subsidiary parts. ‘Who is following me?’ he asked then. ‘I, Adṛśyantī,’ replied his daughter-in-law, Śakti’s wife, highly virtuous, endowed with austerities and leading a religious life. ‘Daughter, from whom is coming the sound of the study of the Veda with its subsidiary parts? Formerly, the Veda with its subsidiary parts was heard by me from Śakti alone.’ ‘In my womb has been born, O sage, the offspring of your son Śakti, who repeated the Vedas here for twelve years.’ Told thus by her, the sage Vasiṣṭha, the highest, highly pleased, saying: ‘I have an offspring’, refrained, O Pārtha, from dying” (Mahābhārata (Asiatic Society edition) 1.6755b-6760[3]).

(Reply:) “Of those who are entrusted with (certain) office i.e. of Vasiṣṭha and the rest, who owing to certain karmas, have been entrusted with offices like composing the Veda and so on, “there is abiding so long as the office lasts”, owing to the non-cessation of the works which have already begun to bear fruits and which brought about the office. Hence, in their case too, when through retributive enjoyment, the works which have begun to bear fruits and which brought about the office become exhausted; and when the office (thereby) comes to an end, there result the decay of all works at the time of their separation from the final body and the (subsequent) attainment (by them) of the path beginning with light.

Here ends the section entitled “So long as the office lasts” (14).

Footnotes and references:


Vide Ṛgveda-saṃhitā 7.33.13, p. 26.


Pp. 244-245, vol. 1.


P. 245, lines 14-19, vol. 1.

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