The Mahabharata
  Srimad Bhagavatam

  Rig Veda
  Yajur Veda
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  Bhagavad Gita
  Sankara Bhashya
  By Edwin Arnold

  Brahma Sutra
  Sankara Bhashya I
  Sankara Bhashya II
  Ramanuja SriBhashya


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  Brahma Sutras

Brahma Sutra Bhashya of Sri Adi Sanakara - Part I
translated by George Thibaut



Adhik. I (1-7) teaches that the soul, when passing out of the body at the time of death, remains invested with the subtle material elements (bhûtasûkshma) which serve as an abode to the prânas attached to the soul.

Adhik. II (8-11) shows that, when the souls of those who had enjoyed the reward of their good works in the moon descend to the earth in order to undergo a new embodiment, there cleaves to them a remainder (anusaya) of their former deeds which determines the nature of the new embodiment.

Adhik. III (12-21) discusses the fate after death of those whom their good works do not entitle to pass up to the moon.

Adhik. IV, V, VI (22; 23; 24-27) teach that the subtle bodies of the souls descending from the moon through the ether, air, &c., do not become identical with ether, air, &c., but only like them; that the entire descent occupies a short time only; and that, when the souls finally enter into plants and so on, they do not participate in the life of the latter, but are merely in external contact with them.


Adhik. I (1-6) treats of the soul in the dreaming state. According to Sankara the three first Sûtras discuss the question whether the creative activity ascribed to the soul in some scriptural passages produces things as real as those by which the waking soul is surrounded, or not; Sûtra 3 settles the point by declaring that the creations of the dreaming soul are mere 'Mâyâ,' since they do not fully manifest the character of real objects. Sûtra 4 adds that dreams, although mere Mâyâ, yet have a prophetic quality. Sûtras 5 and 6 finally reply to the question why the soul, which after all is a part of the Lord and as such participates in his excellencies, should not be able to produce in its dreams a real creation, by the remark that the soul's knowledge and power are obscured by its connexion with the gross body.

The considerably diverging interpretation given of this adhikarana by Râmânuga has the advantage of more closely connecting the Sûtras with each other. According to him the question is not whether the creations of a dream are real or not, but whether they are the work of the individual soul or of the Lord acting within the soul. Sûtras 1 and 2 set forth the pûrvapaksha. The creations of dreams (are the work of the individual soul); for thus Scripture declares: 'And the followers of some sâkâs declare (the soul to be) a creator,' &c. The third Sûtra states the siddhânta view: 'But the creations of dreams are Mâyâ, i. e. are of a wonderful nature (and as such cannot be effected by the individual soul), since (in this life) the nature (of the soul) is not fully manifested.' Concerning the word 'mâyâ,' Râmânuga remarks, 'mâyâsabdo hy âskaryavâkî ganakasya kule gâtâ devamâyeva nirmitâ ityâdishu tathâ darsanât.' The three remaining Sûtras are exhibited in the Srî-bhâshya in a different order, the fourth Sûtra, according to Sankara, being the sixth according to Râmânuga. Sûtras 4 and 5 (according to Râmânuga's numeration) are explained by Râmânuga very much in the same way as by Sankara; but owing to the former's statement of the subject-matter of the whole adhikarana they connect themselves more intimately with the preceding Sûtras than is possible on Sankara's interpretation. In Sûtra 6 (sûkakas kâ hi) Râmânuga sees a deduction from the siddhânta of the adhikarana, 'Because the images of a dream are produced by the highest Lord himself, therefore they have prophetic significance.'

Adhik. II teaches that in the state of deep dreamless sleep the soul abides within Brahman in the heart.

Adhik. III (9) expounds the reasons entitling us to assume that the soul awakening from sleep is the same that went to sleep.--Adhik. IV (9) explains the nature of a swoon.

Adhik. V (11-21) is, according to Sankara, taken up with the question as to the nature of the highest Brahman in which the individual soul is merged in the state of deep sleep. Sûtra 11 declares that twofold characteristics (viz. absence and presence of distinctive attributes, nirviseshatva and saviseshatva) cannot belong to the highest Brahman even through its stations, i.e. its limiting adjuncts; since all passages which aim at setting forth Brahman's nature declare it to be destitute of all distinctive attributes.--The fact, Sûtra 12 continues, that in many passages Brahman is spoken of as possessing distinctive attributes is of no relevancy, since wherever there are mentioned limiting adjuncts, on which all distinction depends, it is specially stated that Brahman in itself is free from all diversity; and--Sûtra 13 adds--in some places the assumption of diversity is specially objected to.--That Brahman is devoid of all form (Sûtra 14), is the pre-eminent meaning of all Vedânta-texts setting forth Brahman's nature.--That Brahman is represented as having different forms, as it were, is due to its connexion with its (unreal) limiting adjuncts; just as the light of the sun appears straight or crooked, as it were, according to the nature of the things he illuminates (15).--The Brihadâranyaka expressly declares that Brahman is one uniform mass of intelligence (16); and the same is taught in other scriptural passages and in Smriti (17).--At the unreality of the apparent manifoldness of the Self, caused by the limiting adjuncts, aim those scriptural passages in which the Self is compared to the sun, which remains one although his reflections on the surface of the water are many (18).--Nor must the objection be raised that that comparison is unsuitable, because the Self is not material like the sun, and there are no real upâdhis separate from it as the water is from the sun; for the comparison merely means to indicate that, as the reflected image of the sun participates in the changes, increase, decrease, &c., which the water undergoes while the sun himself remains unaffected thereby, so the true Self is not affected by the attributes of the upâdhis, while, in so far as it is limited by the latter, it is affected by them as it were (19, 20).--That the Self is within the upâdhis, Scripture declares (21).

From the above explanation of this important adhikarana the one given in the Srî-bhâshya differs totally. According to Râmânuga the adhikarana raises the question whether the imperfections clinging to the individual soul (the discussion of which has now come to an end) affect also the highest Lord who, according to Scripture, abides within the soul as antaryâmin. 'Notwithstanding the abode (of the highest Self within the soul) (it is) not (affected by the soul's imperfections) because everywhere (the highest Self is represented) as having twofold characteristics (viz. being, on one hand, free from all evil, apahatapâpman, vigara, vimrityu, &c., and, on the other hand, endowed with all auspicious qualities, satyakâma, satyasamkalpa, &c.) (11).--Should it be objected that, just as the soul although essentially free from evil--according to the Pragâpativâkya in the Khandogya--yet is liable to imperfections owing to its connexion with a variety of bodies, so the antaryâmin also is affected by abiding within bodies; we deny this because in every section of the chapter referring to the antaryâmin (in the Brihadâranyaka) he is expressly called the Immortal, the ruler within; which shows him to be free from the shortcomings of the giva (12).--Some, moreover, expressly assert that, although the Lord and the soul are within one body, the soul only is imperfect, not the Lord (dvâ suparnâ sayugâ sakhâyâ) (13).--Should it be said that, according to the Khândogya, Brahman entered together with the souls into the elements previously to the evolution of names and forms, and hence participates in the latter, thus becoming implicated in the samsâra; we reply that Brahman, although connected with such and such forms, is in itself devoid of form, since it is the principal element (agent; pradhâna) in the bringing about of names and forms (according to 'âkâso ha vai nâmarûpayor nirvahitâ') (14).--But does not the passage 'satyam ânam anantam brahma' teach that Brahman is nothing but light (intelligence) without any difference, and does not the passage 'neti neti' deny of it all qualities?--As in order, we reply, not to deprive passages as the one quoted from the Taittirîya of their purport, we admit that Brahman's nature is light, so we must also admit that Brahman is satyasamkalpa, and so on; for if not, the passages in which those qualities are asserted would become purportless (15).--Moreover the Taittirîya passage only asserts so much, viz. the prakâsarûpatâ of Brahman, and does not deny other qualities (16).--And the passage 'neti neti' will be discussed later on.--The ubhayalingatva of Brahman in the sense assigned above is asserted in many places Sruti and Smriti (17).--Because Brahman although abiding in many places is not touched by their imperfections, the similes of the reflected sun, of the ether limited by jars, &c., are applicable to it (18).--Should it be said that the illustration is not an appropriate one, because the sun is apprehended in the water erroneously only while the antaryâmin really abides within all things, and therefore must be viewed as sharing their defects (19); we reply that what the simile means to negative is merely that Brahman should, owing to its inherence in many places, participate in the increase, decrease, and so on, of its abodes. On this view both similes are appropriate (20).--Analogous similes we observe to be employed in ordinary life, as when we compare a man to a lion (21).

Sutras 22-30 constitute, according to Sankara, a new adhikarana (VI), whose object it is to show that the clause 'not so, not so' (neti neti; Brihadâr.) negatives, not Brahman itself, but only the two forms of Brahman described in the preceding part of the chapter. Sutras 23-26 further dwell on Brahman being in reality devoid of all distinctive attributes which are altogether due to the upâdhis. The last four Sutras return to the question how, Brahman being one only, the souls are in so many places spoken of as different from it, and, two explanatory hypotheses having been rejected, the conclusion is arrived at that all difference is unreal, due to fictitious limiting adjuncts.

According to Râmânuga, Sûtras 22 ff. continue the discussion started in Sûtra 11. How, the question is asked, can the ubhayalingatva of Brahman be maintained considering that the 'not so, not so' of the Brihadâranyaka denies of Brahman all the previously mentioned modes (prakâra), so that it can only be called that which is (sanmâtra)?--The reply given in Sutra 22 is that 'not so, not so' does not deny of Brahman the distinctive qualities or modes declared previously (for it would be senseless at first to teach them, and finally to deny them again), but merely denies the prâkritaitâvattva, the previously stated limited nature of Brahman, i.e. it denies that Brahman possesses only the previously mentioned qualifications. With this agrees, that subsequently to 'neti neti' Scripture itself enunciates further qualifications of Brahman. That Brahman as stated above is not the object of any other means of proof but Scripture is confirmed in Sutra 23, 'Scripture declares Brahman to be the non-manifest.'--And the intuition (sâkshâtkâra) of Brahman ensues only upon its samrâdhana, i.e. upon its being perfectly pleased by the worshipper's devotion, as Scripture and Smriti declare (24).--That this interpretation of 'neti' is the right one, is likewise shown by the fact that in the same way as prakâsa, luminousness, âna, intelligence, &c., so also the quality of being differentiated by the world (prapañkavsishtatâ) is intuited as non-different, i.e. as likewise qualifying Brahman; and that prakâsa, and so on, characterise Brahman, is known through repeated practice (on the part of rishis like Vâmadeva) in the work of samrâdhana mentioned before (25).--For all these reasons Brahman is connected with the infinite, i.e. the infinite number of auspicious qualities; for thus the twofold indications (linga) met with in Scripture are fully justified (26).--In what relation, then, does the akid vastu, i.e. the non-sentient matter, which, according to the brihadaranyaka, is one of the forms of Brahman, stand to the latter?--Non-sentient beings might, in the first place, be viewed as special arrangements (samsthanaviseshâh) of Brahman, as the coils are of the body of the snake; for Brahman is designated as both, i.e. sometimes as one with the world (Brahman is all this, &c.), sometimes as different from it (Let me enter into those elements, &c.) (27).--Or, in the second place, the relation of the two might be viewed as analogous to that of light and the luminous object which are two and yet one, both being fire (28).--Or, in the third place, the relation is like that stated before, i.e. the material world is, like the individual souls (whose case was discussed in II, 3, 43), a part--amsa--of Brahman (29, 30).

Adhik. VII (31-37) explains how some metaphorical expressions, seemingly implying that there is something different from Brahman, have to be truly understood.

Adhik. VIII (38-41) teaches that the reward of works is not, as Gaimini opines, the independent result of the works acting through the so-called apûrva, but is allotted by the Lord.


With the third pâda of the second adhyâya a new section of the work begins, whose task it is to describe how the individual soul is enabled by meditation on Brahman to obtain final release. The first point to be determined here is what constitutes a meditation on Brahman, and, more particularly, in what relation those parts of the Upanishads stand to each other which enjoin identical or partly identical meditations. The reader of the Upanishads cannot fail to observe that the texts of the different sâkhâs contain many chapters of similar, often nearly identical, contents, and that in some cases the text of even one and the same sâkhâ exhibits the same matter in more or less varied forms. The reason of this clearly is that the common stock of religious and philosophical ideas which were in circulation at the time of the composition of the Upanishads found separate expression in the different priestly communities; hence the same speculations, legends, &c. reappear in various places of the sacred Scriptures in more or less differing dress. Originally, when we may suppose the members of each Vedic school to have confined themselves to the study of their own sacred texts, the fact that the texts of other schools contained chapters of similar contents would hardly appear to call for special note or comment; not any more than the circumstance that the sacrificial performances enjoined on the followers of some particular sâkhâ were found described with greater or smaller modifications in the books of other sâkhâs also. But already at a very early period, at any rate long before the composition of the Vedânta-sûtras in their present form, the Vedic theologians must have apprehended the truth that, in whatever regards sacrificial acts, one sâkhâ may indeed safely follow its own texts, disregarding the texts of all other sâkhâs; that, however, all texts which aim at throwing light on the nature of Brahman and the relation to it of the human soul must somehow or other be combined into one consistent systematical whole equally valid for the followers of all Vedic schools. For, as we have had occasion to remark above, while acts may be performed by different individuals in different ways, cognition is defined by the nature of the object cognised, and hence can be one only, unless it ceases to be true cognition. Hence the attempts, on the one hand, of discarding by skilful interpretation all contradictions met with in the sacred text, and, on the other hand, of showing what sections of the different Upanishads have to be viewed as teaching the same matter, and therefore must be combined in one meditation. The latter is the special task of the present pâda.

Adhik. I and II (1-4; 5) are concerned with the question whether those vidyâs, which are met with in identical or similar form in more than one sacred text, are to be considered as constituting several vidyâs, or one vidyâ only. Sankara remarks that the question affects only those vidyâs whose object is the qualified Brahman; for the knowledge of the non-qualified Brahman, which is of an absolutely uniform nature, can of course be one only wherever it is set forth. But things lie differently in those cases where the object of knowledge is the sagunam brahma or some outward manifestation of Brahman; for the qualities as well as manifestations of Brahman are many. Anticipating the subject of a later adhikarana, we may take for an example the so-called--Sândilyavidyâ which is met with in Kh. Up. III, 14, again--in an abridged form--in Bri. Up. V, 6, and, moreover, in the tenth book of the Satapatha-brâhmana (X, 6, 3). The three passages enjoin a meditation on Brahman as possessing certain attributes, some of which are specified in all the three texts (as, for instance, manomayatva, bhârûpatva), while others are peculiar to each separate passage (prânasarîratva and satyasamkalpatva, for instance, being mentioned in the Khândogya Upanishad and Satapatha-brâhmana, but not in the Brihadâranyaka Upanishad, which, on its part, specifies sarvavasitva, not referred to in the two other texts). Here, then, there is room for a doubt whether the three passages refer to one object of knowledge or not. To the devout Vedântin the question is not a purely theoretical one, but of immediate practical interest. For if the three texts are to be held apart, there are three different meditations to be gone through; if, on the other hand, the vidyâ is one only, all the different qualities of Brahman mentioned in the three passages have to be combined into one meditation.--The decision is here, as in all similar cases, in favour of the latter alternative. A careful examination of the three passages shows that the object of meditation is one only; hence the meditation also is one only, comprehending all the attributes mentioned in the three texts.

Adhik. III (6-8) discusses the case of vidyâs being really separate, although apparently identical. The examples selected are the udgîthavidyâs of the Khândogya Upanishad (I, 1-3) and the Brihadâranyaka Upanishad (I, 3), which, although showing certain similarities--such as bearing the same name and the udgîtha being in both identified with prâna--yet are to be held apart, because the subject of the Khândogya vidyâ is not the whole udgîtha but only the sacred syllabic Om, while the Brihadâranyaka Upanishad represents the whole udgîtha as the object of meditation.

Sûtra 9 constitutes in Sankara's view a new adhikarana (IV), proving that in the passage, 'Let a man meditate' (Kh. Up. I, 1, 1), the Omkâra and the udgîtha stand in the relation of one specifying the other, the meaning being, 'Let a man meditate on that Omkâra which,' &c.--According to Râmânuga's interpretation, which seems to fall in more satisfactorily with the form and the wording of the Sûtra, the latter merely furnishes an additional argument for the conclusion arrived at in the preceding adhikarana.--Adhik. V (10) determines the unity of the so-called prâna-vidyâs and the consequent comprehension of the different qualities of the prâna, which are mentioned in the different texts, within one meditation.

Adhik. VI comprises, according to Sankara, the Sûtras 11-13. The point to be settled is whether in all the meditations on Brahman all its qualities are to be included or only those mentioned in the special vidyâ. The decision is that the essential and unalterable attributes of Brahman, such as bliss and knowledge, are to be taken into account everywhere, while those which admit of a more or less (as, for instance, the attribute of having joy for its head, mentioned in the Taitt. Up.) are confined to special meditations.--Adhik. VII (14, 15), according to Sankara, aims at proving that the object of Katha. Up. III, 10, 11 is one only, viz. to show that the highest Self is higher than everything, so that the passage constitutes one vidyâ only.--Adhik. VIII (16, 17) determines, according to Sankara, that the Self spoken of in Ait. Âr. II, 4, 1, 1 is not a lower form of the Self (the so-called sûtrâtman), but the highest Self; the discussion of that point in this place being due to the wish to prove that the attributes of the highest Self have to be comprehended in the Aitareyaka meditation.

According to Râmânuga the Sûtras 11-17 constitute a single adhikarana whose subject is the same as that of Sankara's sixth adhikarana. Sûtras 11-13 are, on the whole, explained as by Sankara; Sûtra 12, however, is said to mean, 'Such attributes as having joy for its head, &c. are not to be viewed as qualities of Brahman, and therefore not to be included in every meditation; for if they were admitted as qualities, difference would be introduced into Brahman's nature, and that would involve a more or less on Brahman's part.' Sûtras 14-17 continue the discussion of the passage about the priyasirastva.--If priyasirastva, &c. are not to be viewed as real qualities of Brahman, for what purpose does the text mention them?--'Because,' Sûtra 14 replies, 'there is no other purpose, Scripture mentions them for the purpose of pious meditation.'--But how is it known that the Self of delight is the highest Self? (owing to which you maintain that having limbs, head, &c. cannot belong to it as attributes.)--' Because,' Sûtra 15 replies, 'the term "Self" (âtmâ ânandamaya) is applied to it.'--But in the previous parts of the chapter the term Self (in âtmâ pranamaya, &c.) is applied to non-Selfs also; how then do you know that in âtmâ ânandamaya it denotes the real Self?--'The term Self,' Sûtra 16 replies, 'is employed here to denote the highest Self as in many other passages (âtmâ vâ idam eka, &c.), as we conclude from the subsequent passage, viz. he wished, 'May I be many.'--But, an objection is raised, does not the context show that the term 'Self,' which in all the preceding clauses about the prânamaya, &c. denoted something other than the Self, does the same in ânandamaya âtman, and is not the context of greater weight than a subsequent passage?--To this question asked in the former half of 17 (anvayâd iti ket) the latter half replies, 'Still it denotes the Self, owing to the affirmatory statement,' i.e. the fact of the highest Self having been affirmed in a previous passage also, viz. II, 1, 'From that Self sprang ether.'

Adhik. IX (18) discusses a minor point connected with the prânasamvâda.--The subject of Adhik. X (19) has been indicated already above under Adhik. I.--Adhik. XI (20-22) treats of a case of a contrary nature; in Bri. Up. V, 5, Brahman is represented first as abiding in the sphere of the sun, and then as abiding within the eye; we therefore, in spite of certain counter-indications, have to do with two separate vidyâs.--Adhik. XII (23) refers to a similar case; certain attributes of Brahman mentioned in the Rânâya-nîya-khila have not to be introduced into the corresponding Khândogya vidyâ, because the stated difference of Brahman's abode involves difference of vidyâ.--Adhik. XIII (24) treats of another instance of two vidyâs having to be held apart.

Adhik. XIV (25) decides that certain detached mantras and brâhmana passages met with in the beginning of some Upanishads--as, for instance, a brâhmana about the mahâvrata ceremony at the beginning of the Aitareya-âranyaka--do, notwithstanding their position which seems to connect them with the brahmavidyâ, not belong to the latter, since they show unmistakable signs of being connected with sacrificial acts.

Adhik. XV (26) treats of the passages stating that the man dying in the possession of true knowledge shakes off all his good and evil deeds, and affirms that a statement, made in some of those passages only, to the effect that the good and evil deeds pass over to the friends and enemies of the deceased, is valid for all the passages.

Sûtras 27-30 constitute, according to Sankara, two adhikaranas of which the former (XVI; 27, 28) decides that the shaking off of the good and evil deeds takes place-not, as the Kaush. Up. states, on the road to Brahman's world--but at the moment of the soul's departure from the body; the Kaushîtaki statement is therefore not to be taken literally.--The latter adhikarana (XVII; 29, 30) treats of the cognate question whether the soul that has freed itself from its deeds proceeds in all cases on the road of the gods (as said in the Kaush. Up.), or not. The decision is that he only whose knowledge does not pass beyond the sagunam brahma proceeds on that road, while the soul of him who knows the nirgunam brahma becomes one with it without moving to any other place.

The Srî-bhâshya treats the four Sûtras as one adhikarana whose two first Sûtras are explained as by Sankara, while Sûtra 29 raises an objection to the conclusion arrived at, 'the going (of the soul on the path of the gods) has a sense only if the soul's freeing itself from its works takes place in both ways, i.e. partly at the moment of death, partly on the road to Brahman; for otherwise there would be a contradiction '(the contradiction being that, if the soul's works were all shaken off at the moment of death, the subtle body would likewise perish at that moment, and then the bodiless soul would be unable to proceed on the path of the gods). To this Sûtra 30 replies, 'The complete shaking off of the works at the moment of death is possible, since matters of that kind are observed in Scripture,' i. e. since scriptural passages show that even he whose works are entirely annihilated, and who has manifested himself in his true shape, is yet connected with some kind of body; compare the passage, 'param gyotir upasampadya svena rûpenabhinishpadyate sa tatra paryeti krîdan ramamânah sa svarâd bhavati tasya sarveshu lokeshu kâmakâro bhavati.' That subtle body is not due to karman, but to the soul's vidyâmâhâtmya.--That the explanation of the Srî-bhâshya agrees with the text as well as Sankara's, a comparison of the two will show; especially forced is Sankara's explanation of 'arthavattvam ubhayathâ,' which is said to mean that there is arthavattva in one case, and non-arthavattva in the other case.

The next Sûtra (31) constitutes an adhikarana (XVIII) deciding that the road of the gods is followed not only by those knowing the vidyâs which specially mention the going on that road, but by all who are acquainted with the saguna-vidyâs of Brahman.--The explanation given in the Srî-bhâshya (in which Sutras 31 and 32 have exchanged places) is similar, with the difference however that all who meditate on Brahman--without any reference to the distinction of nirguna and saguna--proceed after death on the road of the gods. (The Srî-bhâshya reads 'sarveshâm,' i.e. all worshippers, not 'sarvâsâm,' all saguna-vidyâs.)

Adhik. XIX (32) decides that, although the general effect of true knowledge is release from all forms of body, yet even such beings as have reached perfect knowledge may retain a body for the purpose of discharging certain offices.--In the Srî-bhâshya, where the Sûtra follows immediately on Sûtra 30, the adhikarana determines, in close connexion with 30, that, although those who know Brahman as a rule divest themselves of the gross body--there remaining only a subtle body which enables them to move--and no longer experience pleasure and pain, yet certain beings, although having reached the cognition of Brahman, remain invested with a gross body, and hence liable to pleasure and pain until they have fully performed certain duties.

Adhik. XX (33) teaches that the negative attributes of Brahman mentioned in some vidyâs--such as its being not gross, not subtle, &c.--are to be included in all meditations on Brahman.--Adhik. XXI (34) determines that Kâtha Up. III, 1, and Mu. Up. III, 1, constitute one vidyâ only, because both passages refer to the highest Brahman. According to Râmânuga the Sûtra contains a reply to an objection raised against the conclusion arrived at in the preceding Sûtra.--Adhik. XXII (35, 36) maintains that the two passages, Bri. Up. III, 4 and III, 5, constitute one vidyâ only, the object of knowledge being in both cases Brahman viewed as the inner Self of all.--Adhik. XXIII (37) on the contrary decides that the passage Ait. Âr. II, 2, 4, 6 constitutes not one but two meditations.--Adhik. XXIV (38) again determines that the vidyâ of the True contained in Bri. Up. V, 4, 5, is one only--According to Râmânuga,Sûtras 35-38 constitute one adhikarana only whose subject is the same as that of XXII according to Sankara.

Adhik. XXV (39) proves that the passages Kh. Up. VIII, 1 and Bri. Up. IV, 4, 22 cannot constitute one vidyâ, since the former refers to Brahman as possessing qualities, while the latter is concerned with Brahman as destitute of qualities.--Adhik. XXVI (40, 41) treats, according to Sankara, of a minor question connected with Kh. Up. V, 11 ff.--According to the Srî-bhâshya, Sûtras 39-41 form one adhikarana whose first Sûtra reaches essentially the same conclusion as Sankara under 39. Sûtras 40, 41 thereupon discuss a general question concerning the meditations on Brahman. The qualities, an opponent is supposed to remark, which in the two passages discussed are predicated of Brahman--such as vasitva, satyakâmatva, &c.--cannot be considered real (pâramârthika), since other passages (sa esha neti neti, and the like) declare Brahman to be devoid of all qualities. Hence those qualities cannot be admitted into meditations whose purpose is final release.--To this objection Sûtra 40 replies,'(Those qualities) are not to be left off (from the meditations on Brahman), since (in the passage under discussion as well as in other passages) they are stated with emphasis'--But, another objection is raised, Scripture says that he who meditates on Brahman as satyakâma, &c. obtains a mere perishable reward, viz. the world of the fathers, and similar results specified in Kh. Up. VIII, 2; hence, he who is desirous of final release, must not include those qualities of Brahman in his meditation.--To this objection Sûtra 41 replies, 'Because that (i. e. the free roaming in all the worlds, the world of the fathers, &c.) is stated as proceeding therefrom (i. e. the approach to Brahman which is final release) in the case of (the soul) which has approached Brahman;' (therefore a person desirous of release, may include satyakâmatva, &c. in his meditations.)

Adhik. XXVII (42) decides that those meditations which are connected with certain matters forming constituent parts of sacrificial actions, are not to be considered as permanently requisite parts of the latter.--Adhik. XXVIII (43) teaches that, in a Bri. Up. passage and a similar Kh. Up. passage, Vâyu and Prâna are not to be identified, but to be held apart.--Adhik. XXIX (44-52) decides that the fire-altars made of mind, &c., which are mentioned in the Agnirahasya, do not constitute parts of the sacrificial action (so that the mental, &c. construction of the altar could optionally be substituted for the actual one), but merely subjects of meditations.

Adhik. XXX (53,54) treats, according to Sankara, in the way of digression, of the question whether to the Self an existence independent of the body can be assigned, or not (as the Materialists maintain).--According to the Srî-bhâshya the adhikarana does not refer to this wide question, but is concerned with a point more immediately connected with the meditations on Brahman, viz. the question as to the form under which, in those meditations, the Self of the meditating devotee has to be viewed. The two Sûtras then have to be translated as follows: 'Some (maintain that the soul of the devotee has, in meditations, to be viewed as possessing those attributes only which belong to it in its embodied state, such as gñâtritva and the like), because the Self is (at the time of meditation) in the body.'--The next Sûtra rejects this view, 'This is not so, but the separatedness (i. e. the pure isolated state in which the Self is at the time of final release when it is freed from all evil, &c.) (is to be transferred to the meditating Self), because that will be the state (of the Self in the condition of final release).'

Adhik. XXXI (55, 56) decides that meditations connected with constituent elements of the sacrifice, such as the udgîtha, are, in spite of difference of svara in the udgîtha, &c., valid, not only for that sâkhâ in which the meditation actually is met with, but for all sâkhâs.--Adhik. XXXII (57) decides that the Vaisvânara Agni of Kh. Up. V, II ff. is to be meditated upon as a whole, not in his single parts.--Adhik. XXXIII (58) teaches that those meditations which refer to one subject, but as distinguished by different qualities, have to be held apart as different meditations. Thus the daharavidyâ, Sândilyavidyâ, &c. remain separate.

Adhik. XXXIV (59) teaches that those meditations on Brahman for which the texts assign one and the same fruit are optional, there being no reason for their being cumulated.--Adhik. XXXV (60) decides that those meditations, on the other hand, which refer to special wishes may be cumulated or optionally employed according to choice.--Adhik. XXXVI (61-66) extends this conclusion to the meditations connected with constituent elements of action, such as the udgîtha.


Adhik. I (1-17) proves that the knowledge of Brahman is not kratvartha, i.e. subordinate to action, but independent.--Adhik. II (18-20) confirms this conclusion by showing that the state of the pravrâgins is enjoined by the sacred law, and that for them vidyâ only is prescribed, not action.--Adhik. III (21,22) decides that certain clauses forming part of vidyâs are not mere stutis (arthavâdas), but themselves enjoin the meditation.--The legends recorded in the Vedânta-texts are not to be used as subordinate members of acts, but have the purpose of glorifying--as arthavâdas--the injunctions with which they are connected (Adhik. IV, 23, 24).--For all these reasons the ûrdhvaretasah require no actions but only knowledge (Adhik. V, 25).--Nevertheless the actions enjoined by Scripture, such as sacrifices, conduct of certain kinds, &c., are required as conducive to the rise of vidyâ in the mind (Adhik. VI, 26, 27).--Certain relaxations, allowed by Scripture, of the laws regarding food, are meant only for cases of extreme need (Adhik. VII, 28-3l).--The âsramakarmâni are obligatory on him also who does not strive after mukti (Adhik. VIII, 32-35).--Those also who, owing to poverty and so on, are anâsrama have claims to vidyâ (Adhik. IX, 36-39).--An ûrdhvaretas cannot revoke his vow (Adhik. X, 40).--Expiation of the fall of an ûrdhvaretas (Adhik. XI, 41, 42).--Exclusion of the fallen ûrdhvaretas in certain cases (Adhik. XII, 43).--Those meditations, which are connected with subordinate members of the sacrifice, are the business of the priest, not of the yagamâna (Adhik. XIII, 44-46).--Bri. Up. III, 5, 1 enjoins mauna as a third in addition to bâlya and pânditya (Adhik. XIV, 47-49).--By bâlya is to be understood a childlike innocent state of mind (Adhik. XV, 50).

Sûtras 51 and 52 discuss, according to Râmânuga, the question when the vidyâ, which is the result of the means described in III, 4, arises. Sûtra 51 treats of that vidyâ whose result is mere exaltation (abhyudaya), and states that 'it takes place in the present life, if there is not present an obstacle in the form of a prabalakarmântara (in which latter case the vidyâ arises later only), on account of Scripture declaring this (in various passages).'--Sûtra 52, 'Thus there is also absence of a definite rule as to (the time of origination of) that knowledge whose fruit is release, it being averred concerning that one also that it is in the same condition (i.e. of sometimes having an obstacle, sometimes not).--Sankara, who treats the two Sûtras as two adhikaranas, agrees as to the explanation of 51, while, putting a somewhat forced interpretation on 52, he makes it out to mean that a more or less is possible only in the case of the saguna-vidyâs.

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