Brahma Sutras (Shankara Bhashya)

by Swami Vireshwarananda | 1936 | 124,571 words | ISBN-10: 8175050063

This is the English translation of the Brahma-sutras including the commentary (Bhashya) of Shankara. The Brahma-sutra (or, Vedanta-sutra) is one of the three canonical texts of the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy and represents an early exposition the Vedantic interpretation of the Upanishads. This edition has the original Sanskrit text, the r...

Chapter III, Section IV, Adhikarana IX

Adhikarana summary: Those who stand midway between two Asramas are also entitled to Knowledge

 Sutra 3,4.36

अन्तरा चापि तु, तद्दृष्टेः ॥ ३६ ॥

antarā cāpi tu, taddṛṣṭeḥ || 36 ||

antarā—(Persons standing) in between (two Asramas); ca—and; api tu—also; taddṛṣṭeḥ—such cases being seen.

36. And (persons standing) in between (two Asramas) are also (entitled to Knowledge), because such cases are seen.

The question is raised whether persons of dubious position—who have not the means etc, to do the duties of an Asrama, or who stand midway between two Asramas, as for example a widower—are entitled to Knowledge or not. The opponent holds that they are not, since they cannot do the works of any Asrama which are means to Knowledge. This Sutra says that they are entitled, for such cases are seen irom the scriptures, as for example Raikva and Gargi, who had the knowledge of Brahman. Vide Chh. 4. 1 and Brih. 3. 6 and 8.


 Sutra 3,4.37

अपि च स्मर्यते ॥ ३७ ॥

api ca smaryate || 37 ||

api ca—Further; smaryate—the Smriti records such cases.

37. The Smriti also records such cases.

Samvarta and other Rishis, without doing the works enjoined on the Asramas, became great Yogis.


 Sutra 3,4.38

विशेषानुग्रहश्च ॥ ३८ ॥

viśeṣānugrahaśca || 38 ||

viśeṣa-anugrahaḥ—Favour due to special works; ca—and.

38. And special works favour (Knowledge).

A widower, who cannot be said to be a householder in the proper sense of the word or a poor man who has not the means to perform the duties of the Asrama, can attain Knowledge through special works like player, fasting, Japa etc., which are not opposed to the condition of those who do not belong to any Asrama.


 Sutra 3,4.39

अतस्त्वितरज्ज्यायो लिङ्गाच्च ॥ ३९ ॥

atastvitarajjyāyo liṅgācca || 39 ||

ataḥ—Than this; tu—but; itarat—the other; jyāyoḥ—better; liṅgāt—because of the indicatory marks; ca—and.

39. But better than this is the other (state of being in some Asrama or other), (being maintained by the Sruti and the Smriti) and because of the indicatory marks (in the Sruti and the Smriti).

Though it is possible for one who stands between two Asramas to attain Knowledge, yet both the Sruti and Smriti say directly and indirectly that it is a better means to Knowledge to belong to some Asrama. “The Brahmanas seek to know It through . . . sacrifices” etc. (Brih. 4. 4. 22)—this is a direct statement of the Sruti; “Any other knower of Brahman who has done good deeds” etc. (Brih. 4. 4. 9), and “Let not a Brahmana stay even for a day outside the Asrama”—these are indirect statements of the Sruti and Smriti respectively.

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