Brahma Sutras (Nimbarka commentary)

by Roma Bose | 1940 | 290,526 words

English translation of the Brahma-sutra 3.4.49, 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 3.4.49

English of translation of Brahmasutra 3.4.49 by Roma Bose:

“Non-manifesting, on account of connection.”

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

Without manifesting one’s own greatness and so on, due to learning, let one remain in the childlike state, i.e. without pride, since it is possible for this alone to have a “connection” with the topic.

Śrīnivāsa’s commentary (Vedānta-kaustubha)

It has been established that in the text: “Hence let a Brāhmaṇa, being disgusted with learning desire to stay in the childlike state; being disgusted with the childlike state and learning, then he becomes an ascetic” (Bṛhadāraṇyaka-upaniṣad 3.5.1), asceticism too is something to be enjoined. Now the meaning of the phrase ‘childlike state’ is being considered.

The doubt is whether the action of a child, i.e. nothing but wilful behaviour, is meant by the phrase ‘childlike state’, and that is to be practised by one desirous of salvation; or whether freedom from arrogance, pride, self-consciousness and so on are denoted by the phrase ‘childlike state’ here, and these are to be practised by one desirous of salvation. If it be suggested that ‘childlike state’ means the state of a child, i.e. nothing but wilful behaviour; that is to be practised by one desirous of salvation, there being no reason for the restriction that only freedom from arrogance and the rest are to be practised and not simply wilful behaviour,—

We reply: “Without manifesting” one’s wisdom, generated through hearing and so on, one should desire to stay in the childlike state, i.e. be free from arrogance and the rest. Why? “On account of connection,” i.e. because the state of freedom from arrogance and so on alone can have any “connection” with the topic of discussion, while wilful behaviour can have no connection whatsoever with it, in accordance with the scriptural text: “Not one who has not refrained from bad conduct, not one who is not tranquil, not one who is not composed, not one who is not of peaceful mind, can obtain Him even through intelligence” (Kaṭha 2.24). Hence it is established that one desirous of salvation should have ‘childlike state’, i.e. freedom from arrogance and the like.

Here ends the section entitled “Non-manifestation” (13).

Comparative views of Śrīkaṇṭha:

Here he concludes the topic, viz. whether those who practise the vow called Pāśupata are entitled to salvation or not. The prima facie view is that since such people do not belong to any stage of life, they are not so entitled. The answer is: “(Although the Pāśupata-āśrama) does not manifest itself, (i.e. is not, a particular āśrama, yet) owing to (its) connection (with all the requisites of the stage of asceticism, such as, chastity and so on, it is called an ‘atyāśrama’ or super-āśrama, and is the cause of salvation)”.[1]

Comparative views of Baladeva:

He, like Nimbārka, takes this sūtra (sūtra 50 in his commentary) as forming an adhikaraṇa by itself, but dealing with an entirely different topic, viz. the keeping of knowledge as secret. Hence the sūtra: “(Let one remain) without manifesting (i.e. revealing the knowledge attained), on account of connection (i.e. tradition)”. That is, when a preceptor teaches his disciple, he should ask the disciple to keep what he has learnt a strict secret, for such is the tradition[2].

Footnotes and references:


Śk. B. 3.4.49, pp. 415-416, Parts 10 and 11.


Govinda-bhāṣya 3.4.50, pp. 299-300, Chap. 3.

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