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Published by: Satyendra Nath Dwivedi on May 23, 2011
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Author: Sage Veda-Vyasa Commentary: Swami Sivananda Review: Satyendra Nath Dwivedi


“And (Brahman is) endowed with all (powers), because it is seen (from the scriptures).” [Brahma Sutras 2.1.30]

“But (Brahman’s creative activity) is mere sport, such as is seen in the world (or ordinary life).” [Brahma Sutras 2.1.33] Brahman has created the world not out of any desire or motive. It is simply his pastime, proceeding from His own nature, which is inherent and inseparable from Him.

“Partiality and cruelty cannot (be ascribed to Brahman) on account of His taking into consideration (other reasons in that matter viz. merit and demerit of the souls), for so (scripture) declares. [Brahma Sutras 2.1.34] The Lord cannot be accused of inequality and cruelty, because enjoyment and suffering of the individual soul are determined by his own previous good or bad actions. Shruti declares:


“A man becomes virtuous by his virtual deeds and sinful by sinful acts.” [Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 3.2.13]

“And (that the world – and also karma – is without a beginning) is reasonable and is also seen (from the scriptures).” [Brahma Sutras 2.1.36]

“And because all the qualities (required for the creation of the world) are reasonably found (only in Brahman) He must be admitted to be the cause of the universe.” [Brahma Sutras 2.1.37]

“The non-abandonment of the proposition (viz. by the knowledge of one everything else becomes known can result only) from the non-difference (of the entire world from Brahman) according to the words of the Veda or the Shruti texts (which declare the non-difference of the cause and effect).” [Brahma Sutras 2.3.6]

“But there is no origin of that which is (i.e. Brahman) on account of the impossibility (of such an origin).” [Brahma Sutras 2.3.9] The Shruti says: “How can existence come out of non-existence?” [Chhandogya Upanishad 6.2.2]

“But on account of the indicating mark supplied by their reflecting i.e. by the reflection attributed to the elements, He (i.e. the Lord is the creative principle abiding within the elements).” [Brahma Sutras 2.3.13]

“But the mention of that (viz. birth and death of the individual soul) is apt only with reference to the bodies of beings, moving and non-moving. It is secondary or metaphorical if applied to the soul, as the existence of these terms depends on the existence of that (i.e. the body).” [Brahma Sutras 2.3.16] The Shruti says: “This body indeed dies when the living soul has left it, the living soul does not die.” [Chhandogya Upanishad 6.11.3] 10

“The individual soul is not (produced), (because) it is not (so) mentioned by the scriptures, and as it is eternal according to them (the Shruti texts).” [Brahma Sutras 2.3.17] The Shruti says:

“As small sparks come forth from fire, thus from the Atman all Pranas, all worlds, all Gods emanate.” [Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 2.1.20]

“There is one God hidden in all beings, all-pervading, the Self within all beings.” [Shvetashvatara Upanishad 6.11]

“For this very reason (viz. that it is not created) (the individual soul is) intelligent (itself).” [Brahma Sutras 2.3.18]

“But (even) that (agency of the soul) is from the Supreme Lord, so declares the Shruti.” [Brahma Sutras 2.3.41] The Shruti says that the soul is the doer of all and declares as cause of doership the Supreme Lord who is the bestower of the fruits of actions, and who is the inspirer and guider of all.

“The Supreme Lord, O Arjuna, dwells in the hearts of all beings, causing all beings, by his Maya, to revolve, (as if) mounted on a machine.” [BhagavadGita 18.61]

“Take refuge in Him alone with all your heart, O Bharata; by His grace you shall attain Supreme Peace (and) the Eternal Abode.” [Bhagavad-Gita 18.62]

“(The soul is) a part of the Lord on account of difference (between the two) being declared and otherwise also (i.e. as non-different from Brahman); because in 11

some (Vedic texts) (Brahman) is spoken of being fishermen, knaves, etc.” [Brahma Sutras 2.3.43] The Shruti says:

“Thou art woman, Thou art man, Thou art youth, Thou art the maiden; Thou as an old man totter along on Thy shaft, Thou art born with Thy face turned everywhere.” [Shvetashvatara Upanishad 4.3]

“The Supreme Lord is not (affected by pleasure and pain) like this (individual soul) just as light (is unaffected by the shaking of its reflections).” [Brahma Sutras 2.3.46] The Shruti says:

“Just as the sun, the eye of the whole world, is never sullied by the external fault of the eyes (of creatures), so the one inner Self of all beings is never sullied by miseries of the world, as It (in Its own form) is also transcendent.” [Katha Upanishad 2.2.11]

“And (the individual soul is) only a reflection (of Parmatman or the Supreme Lord)” [Brahma Sutras 2.3.50] “Thus the vital airs (are produced from Brahman).” [Brahma Sutras 2.4.1]

“From that (Brahman) are produced the vital air, mind and all organs.” [Mundaka Upanishad 2.1.3]

“And the best (i.e. the chief vital air or Prana is also produced).” [Brahma Sutras 2.4.8]


“And on account of its (soul’s) permanence (in the body it is the enjoyer, and not the God).” [Brahma Sutras 2.4.16]

“But the creation of names and forms is by Him who does the tripartite (creation) for so the scriptures teach.” [Brahma Sutras 2.4.20] SADHANA ADHYAYA Knowledge of the three states, viz. waking, dreaming and deep sleep, is necessary for the student of Vedanta. It helps them to understand the nature of the fourth state, viz. ‘Turiya’ or the state of super-consciousness. For a student of Vedanta, the waking state is as much unreal as the dream state. The state of deep sleep intimates that the nature of Supreme Soul is Bliss and that Brahman is one without a second, and that the world is unreal. Vedantins make a study of the four states very carefully.

“In the intermediate stage (between waking and deep sleep) there is (a real) creation; because (the Shruti) says so.” [Brahma Sutras 3.2.1]

“But it (the dream world) is mere illusion on account of its nature and manifesting itself with the totality (of the attributes of reality)” [Brahma Sutras 3.2.3] Shruti declares that: “When he moves about in dream, he moves about according to his pleasure within own body.” [Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 2.1.18]

“But the meditation on the Supreme Lord, that which is hidden (by ignorance, viz. the equality of the Lord and the soul becomes manifest), because from Him (the Lord) are its (the soul’s) bondage and freedom.” [Brahma Sutras 3.2.5]

“And that (viz. the concealment of the soul’s rule-ship) also (results from its connection with the body.” [Brahma Sutras 3.2.6]

“Verily Brahman is only formless on account of that being the main purport (of all texts about Brahman).” [Brahma Sutras 3.2.14]


“And as light (assumes forms as it were in contact with things possessing form, so does Brahman take form in connection with ‘Upadhis’ or limiting adjuncts, because (texts which describe form of Brahman) are not meaningless.” [Brahma Sutras 3.2.15] All parts of the Veda are equally authoritative and therefore must all be assumed to have a meaning or purpose.

“And (the Shruti) declares (that Brahman is) that (i.e. intelligent only).” [Brahma Sutras 3.2.16]

“And on account of the declaration of the scriptures.” [Brahma Sutras 3.2.21]

“That (Brahman) is not manifest, for (so the scriptures) say.” [Brahma Sutras 3.2.23]

“And moreover, (Brahman is experienced) in devout meditation (as we know) from the Shruti and Smriti.” [Brahma Sutras 3.2.24] Brahman is beyond the senses, so the Shruti declares:

“Brahman is not apprehended by the eye, nor by the other senses, nor by penance, nor by good works. When a man’s mind has become purified by the serene light of knowledge, then he sees Him, meditating on Him as without parts.” [Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.8]

“Therefore (the individual soul becomes one) with the Infinite; for thus the (scripture) indicates.” [Brahma Sutras 3.2.26] By the meditation of Brahman the meditator becomes identical with the Infinite. Ignorance with all its limiting adjuncts vanishes when one attains ‘BrahmaJnana’.” The Shruti says: 14

“He who knows the highest Brahman becomes Brahman Himself.” [Mundaka Upanishad 3.2.9]

“From Him (the Lord) are the fruits of actions, for that is reasonable.” [Brahma Sutras 3.2.38]

“And because the Shruti so teaches.” [Brahma Sutras 3.2.39] The Shruti teaches:

“He, who creates the fruits of all actions, the Supreme One who awakes while the creation sleeps; He is pure, He is Brahman, He is Immortal.” [Katha Upanishad 2.2.8]

“The eternal among the non- eternals, the Intelligent among the intelligent, who, though One, fulfills the desires of the many – those ‘Dhiras’ who realize Him as existing in their own Self, to them belongs eternal peace and to none else.” [Katha Upanishad 2.2.13] The Shruti prescribes various kinds of ‘Vidyas’ or meditations to enable the aspirant to attain the knowledge of identity. It is extremely difficult or rather impossible for the ordinary man to have a comprehensive understanding of the Infinite, which is transcendent, extremely subtle and beyond the reach of the senses and the gross undisciplined intellect. Therefore the Shruti prescribes easy methods of ‘Saguna’ meditation for approaching the Infinite or the Absolute. The different methods of approaching the Impersonal Absolute are known as ‘Vidyas’ or ‘Upasanas’. The aim and object of all Vidyas is the attainment of Brahman, the Imperishable. Shruti teaches us to meditate on Brahman either directly or through the medium of some ‘Pratikas’ or symbols, such as the sun, Akasha, food, mind, Prana, the 15

Purusha residing in the eye, the empty space (Daharakasha) within the heart, ‘Om’ or Pranava and the like.

“(The Vidyas or the Upasanas) described in the various Vedanta texts (are not different, are identical) on account of the non-difference of injunction, etc. (i.e. connection, form and name).” [Brahma Sutras 3.3.1]

“And because (OM) extends (over the whole of the Vedas), (to specialize it by the term ‘Udgitha’) is appropriate.” [Brahma Sutras 3.3.9] “Bliss and other attributes (which depict the free nature) of the Principal or the Supreme Self i.e. Brahman (have to be combined from all places in meditation on Brahman).” [Brahma Sutras 3.3.11]

“(The passage in Katha Upanishad [1.3.10] tells about the Self only as the highest) for the sake of pious meditation, as there is no use ( of the knowledge of the objects being higher than the senses and so on).” [Brahma Sutras 3.3.14]

“The sense objects are higher than the sense-organs; the manas is higher than the sense objects; the Buddhi is higher than the manas; the ‘Mahat’ (MahanAtma) is higher than the Buddhi. The ‘Avyakta’ (undifferentiated state) is higher than the Mahat; the ‘Purusha’ (the infinite Self) is higher than the Avyakta. There is nothing higher than the Purusha that is the finale that is the Supreme Goal.” [Katha Upanishad 1.3.10; 11]

“Of those who have a mission to fulfill (there is corporeal) existence as long as the mission is not fulfilled.” [Brahma Sutras 3.3.32] Ordinarily a person is not reborn after attaining the knowledge of the Absolute. But the case of those who have a Divine mission to fulfill is different. They may be born and keep their body till their mission is fulfilled, after which they are not born again.


“As the Self is within all, as in the case of the aggregate of the elements, (there is oneness of Vidyas).” [Brahma Sutras 3.3.35]

“The same (Satya Vidya is taught in both places), because (attributes like) Satya, etc. (as seen in both places).” [Brahma Sutras 3.3.38]

“There is no option (with respect to the several Vidyas), because the result (of the Vidyas) is the same.” [Brahma Sutras 3.3.59] The most important Vidyas are: ‘Shandilya Vidya’, ‘Bhuma Vidya’, ‘Sat Vidya’, ‘Dahara Vidya’, ‘Upakoshala Vidya’, ‘Vaishwanara Vidya’, ‘Udgitha Vidya’, ‘Ananandamaya Vidya’, ‘Akshara Vidya’. One may follow any Vidya according to his inclination, and stick to it till he reaches the goal, as the result of all Vidyas or the goal is the same, namely the realization of Self or Brahman.

“As rivers flowing to the ocean merge into it leaving all names and forms; similarly, wise men freed of all names and forms attain the Supreme Eternal Purusha.” [Mundaka Upanishad 3.2.8]

“From this (‘Brahma Vidya’ or ‘Brahma Jnana’ results) the purpose or the chief object of pursuit of man, because the scriptures state so; thus (holds) the sage Badarayana.” [Brahma Sutras 3.4.1] Brahma Jnana leads to the attainment of the highest ‘Purushartha’, i.e. ‘Moksha’ or the final emancipation. The Shruti says: “He who knows the Brahman becomes Brahman himself.” [Mundaka Upanishad 3.2.9]

“He who knows the Brahman attains the Highest.” [Taittiriya Upanishad 2.1]


The stories of the Upanishads are to be regarded as essential part of Brahma Vidya. They are introduced only to facilitate an intelligent grouping of the subject. The story form creates more attention and interest on the part of the aspirant. Their object is to make it clear to understanding in a concrete form, the Vidya taught in other portion of the Upanishad with abstract. The stories are told in order to facilitate the understanding of these abstruse subjects and they are eminently fitted to sub-serve that purpose.

“And there is necessity of all works because the scriptures prescribe sacrifices, etc. (as means to the attainment of knowledge) even as the horse (is used to draw a chariot not for ploughing)”. [Brahma Sutras 3.4.26]

“But all the same (even though there is no injunction to do sacrificial acts to attain knowledge in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad) one must possess serenity, self-control and the like, as these are enjoined as auxiliaries to knowledge and therefore have necessarily to be practiced.” [Brahma Sutras 3.4.27]

“And the promotion (of knowledge is bestowed upon them) through special acts.” [Brahma Sutras 3.4.38]

“On account of his being all, however, there is winding up with the householder.” [Brahma Sutras 3.4.48] The Shruti winds up with the householder as he has all duties. The Chhandogya Upanishad concludes:

“He, the householder, conducting his life in this way, concentrating all his senses upon the Self, and abstaining from injury to any living being throughout his life, attains the world of Brahman and has not to return to the world.” [Chhandogya Upanishad 8.15.1]


“No such definite rule exists with respect to emancipation, the fruit (of knowledge), because the Shruti asserts that state (to be immutable).” [Brahma Sutras 3.4.52] PHALA – ADHYAYA

“The repetition (of hearing, reflection and meditation on Brahman is necessary) on account of the repeated instruction (of the scriptures).” [Brahma Sutras 4.1.1] The Shruti says: “Verily, the Self is to be seen, to be reflected upon and meditated upon.” [Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 2.4.5]

“But (the Shruti) acknowledges (Brahman) as the Self (of the meditator) and also teach other (to realize It as such).” [Brahma Sutras 4.1.3] The Shruti declares: “I am Brahman.” [Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10] “That thou art.” [Chhandogya Upanishad 6.8.1]

“(The symbol) is to be viewed as Brahman (and not in the reverse way), on account of the exaltation (of the symbol thereby). [Brahma Sutras 4.1.5]

“Sitting (a man is to meditate) on account of the possibility.” [Brahma Sutras 4.1.7]

“Till death (meditations have to be repeated); for then also it is thus seen in scriptures.” [Brahma Sutras 4.1.12] “On the attainment of this (viz. Brahman) there takes place the non-clinging and destruction of later and earlier sins; because it is so declared by the scriptures.” [Brahma Sutras 4.1.13]


“But having exhausted by enjoyment the other two works (viz. good and evil works, that have begun to yield fruits), he becomes one with Brahman.” [Brahma Sutras 4.1.19] Shruti says: “Being Brahman he goes to Brahman.” [Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.6]

“(When the Jiva or the individual soul) has attained (the highest light) there is manifestation (of its own real nature) as we infer from the word ‘own’.” [Brahma Sutras 4.4.1] The Shruti says:

“Now this serene and happy being, after having arisen out of this body and having attained the highest light, manifests itself by its own nature.” [Chhandogya Upanishad 8.12.3]

“(The Self whose true nature has manifested itself is) released; according to the promise made by the scriptures).” [Brahma Sutras 4.4.2]

“(The Jiva in the state of release exists) as inseparable (from Brahman), because it is so seen from the scriptures.” [Brahma Sutras 4.4.4] The Shruti says:

“Just as pure water poured into pure water remains the same, thus O Gautama! Is the Self of a thinker who knows.” [Katha Upanishad 2.1.15] Review: Satyendra Nath Dwivedi


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