Brahma Sutras (Vedanta Sutras)

With the Commentary by Śaṅkarācārya

by George Thibaut | 1890 | 203,611 words

The Brahma sūtras (aka. Vedānta Sūtras) are one of the three canonical texts of the Vedānta school of Hindu philosophy. The Brahma sūtra is the exposition of the philosophy of the Upanishads. It is an attempt to systematise the various strands of the Upanishads which form the background of the orthodox systems of thought....

41. And not also (can the expiation take place) prescribed in the chapter treating of qualification, because on account of the inference of his lapse from Smṛti he (the Naiṣṭhika) is not capable of it.

If a Brahmacārin for life breaks from inattention the vow of chastity, is he to perform the expiatory sacrifice enjoined by the text, 'A student who has broken the vow of chastity shall sacrifice an ass to Nirṛti[1]' or not?--He is not, the pūrvapakṣin says. For although in the chapter which treats of qualification (Pū. Mīm. Sū. VI, 8, 22) that expiatory ceremony has been settled (for Brahmacārins in general), it does not yet hold good for the professed Brahmacārin. For Smṛti declares that such sins cannot be expiated by him any more than a head once cut off can again be healed on to the body, 'He who having once entered on the duties of a Naiṣṭhika again lapses from them, for him--a slayer of the Self--I see no expiation which might make him clean again. 'The Upakurvāṇa (i.e. he who is a Brahmacārin for a certain time only, not for life) on the other hand, about whose sin Smṛti makes no similar declaration, may purify himself by the ceremony mentioned.

Footnotes and references:


Cp. e.g. Āpastamba Dharma-sūtra I, 9, 26, 8. The passage quoted in the text is, however, a scriptural one.

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