Brahma Sutras – Chapter 1, Section 1 –  Slokas 1 – Slokas 31

श्रीमच्छंकरभगवत्पादैः विरचितम्।

।।प्रथमः पादः।।


अथातो ब्रह्मजिज्ञासा ।। 1.1.1 ।।

There is nothing greater and higher than Brahmajnāna – the Supreme Knowledge. All the actions and inactions prescribed in the Vedas and scriptural authorities are only the way to dhyāna and eventually tapas (single-pointed concentration on the Supreme Being).


Of what use will the fruits of such prescribed acts be to one who abides in the Self? What is there for one to do? What is there for one to see? What is there for one to achieve? Is there one who exists different and apart from the Self?


The inquiry into the One, Absolute, Supreme Being and the Self of Selfs is only true duty of every created being.


जन्माद्यस्य यतः।।1.1.2।।

Enquiry into that Brahman who is the all-pervading Supreme Cause from whom creation, sustenance and dissolution manifests, the Supreme Being in whom everything exists and IT exists in everything and yet, nothing exists in IT and IT does not exist in anything can be known, realized and experienced only from and through one’s Self.



One must abide by the scriptures and follow the tenets as laid down as it is the surest means for one to know, understand and experience the Supreme Truth. The Supreme Truth as the Supreme Person has been declared as the goal of the Vedas and the scriptural authorities. A created being’s entire existence is to realize the Self, be in the Self, be content in the Self and abide in the Self with the knowledge that whatever is to happen will happen and whatever is not to happen will not happen. A person remains in this state of a jeevamukta till the prarabdha (the physical body) falls off.


तत्तु समन्वयात्।।1.1.4।।

THAT Brahman, the indivisible, infinite, all-pervading, subtlest of the subtle and Bliss can be known only from the scriptures and by no other means. One must not swerve from the scriptural authoritative texts because in each of these, the goal, purport and the only reality is the Supreme Being also known as Supreme Brahman. The Supreme Brahman is Existence, Consciousness and Bliss and can be understood, known, realized and experienced only with the help of the scriptures.



Mind which is a bundle of thoughts, intellect, egoity, the sensory organs, the five elements and its five respective attributes are reflections of Consciousness. Therefore, seeing, thinking, analysing and other faculties of the antah karana have to be conditioned into the process of neti-neti nyāya, where, through the process of elimination, one arrives at the Absolute.


Hence, thinking that is merely a reflection of Consciousness is not the ultimate reality and the foundation. Its origin is the Self and therefore, as nothing exists apart from Self, the foundation of thinking, the act of thinking and the process of thinking is the Self.



If it is said that thinking which is a mere reflection of Consciousness is deemed to be the foundation of the scriptures, then it must be known that the Vedas and the scriptures themselves are a reflection of the Supreme Existence and the Supreme Truth. When only the Supreme Truth, the undifferentiated and undivided Bliss exists, what are these reflections? They are manifestations of SAT but in reality are not manifestations at all but pure Consciousness. When these reflections merge into the Consciousness and the differentiation ceases to exist, only Existence exists. That is why the scriptures have extolled SAT.


तन्निष्ठस्य मोक्षोपदेशात्।।1.1.7।।

To the one devoted to that SAT, which is the Supreme Cause, Supreme Being, Supreme Person declared as the goal of the Vedas and scriptural texts and Supreme Truth, moksha is guaranteed.


What needs to be understood is that in all actions and inactions and their results, surrender and abidance in the Self will lead to Infinite Bliss that is the Supreme Self. When everything in the created universe both manifest and unmanifest is nothing but Consciousness (Supreme Self), all one needs to do is to see, know, perceive, understand, realize and experience this world as pure Bliss.



As the Vedas and scriptures are a reflection of Consciousness, they are in reality nothing but the Supreme Self. Therefore, SAT or IT is what one seeks irrespective of restrictions of caste, age, eligibility and effort. The scriptures guide one to this Supreme Goal but ultimately, the journey is based entirely on merit that is ordained by the Supreme Self.


For one to even seek the Self residing in his heart, the will, effort, action and result is only because of the Supreme Self. The Supreme Self is the doer and yet remains as the non-agent. Actions and fruits of actions do not taint IT.



The three states of waking, sleep and dream are also to be discarded as mere illusion and reflections of Consciousness as the Self is ever-existent. In deep sleep, the bliss experienced is by whom? Who exists in deep sleep? Who is the Witness in deep sleep?


Unless, one is aware at all times, how can it be said that one is blissful or not? If one is aware, is there another entity that experiences this awareness? What is awareness? Who ascertains it is awareness?



Therefore, as all the scriptural texts, aksharasswaraschandassuktas, shlokasmatras and other injunctions of the Vedas have emanated from the Supreme Self, it can be declared that the First and Supreme Cause known as Moola is the Supreme Self. There does not exist anything apart or different from this Supreme Cause that is the Witness, Beneficiary, Agent and yet is Non-Agent and Doer and THAT which remains blemishless is the Supreme Person extolled in all the scriptures.



The all-pervading, Omniscient and Infinite Brahman alone is the Moola or Supreme Cause of this universe as stated in the Vedas. The Supreme Person spoken about as the goal of the Vedas can be known, perceived, understood, realized and experienced only by and through the Self. The Supreme Being appears to be manifest and unmanifest but in reality, is beyond the Unmanifest and is Unknown.



The Supreme Brahman who is pure Bliss, Existence and Consciousness is beyond the limitations of the koshas and the manifest world of illusion. The Supreme Cause is the Bliss and everything created both manifest and unmanifest is nothing but Bliss. What is imperative is to see this world as undivided and undifferentiated Bliss and not as the illusion with limitations and multifaceted differentiation.


As nothing can exist apart or different from the Supreme Cause, how can there be another entity that is not the Self? Everything is the Self and in the Self and the Self is everything and IT is in everything and yet, nothing is in IT and IT is in nothing. Because, there is only the ONE.


विकारशब्दान्नेति चेन्न प्राचुर्यात्।।1.1.13।।

The Supreme Brahman may appear to the ignorant as myriad but to the one who has conditioned the sensory organs and the mental faculties of mind, memory, intellect and egoity, there is only the Absolute – The Supreme Truth. As the Supreme Being pervades everything created, the experience of the Supreme Truth is the true meaning of Oneness.



As the Supreme Self is the ultimate abode, the Supreme Cause, the Absolute, the Supreme Truth and thereby, the Supreme Brahman, it is THAT which is full and wholesome, THAT which exists inside and THAT which manifests ITSELF as the world. Therefore, when only the Self exists, it is taking the Self from the Self with only the Self remaining.


मान्त्रवर्णिकमेव च गीयते।।1.1.15।।

As everything is the Supreme Brahman and as the Vedas and scriptures are mere reflections of THAT, every mantra extolls the Supreme Bliss, renders an experience of the Supreme Bliss and is the Supreme Bliss that is the Supreme Truth.



It is the Supreme Being (Supreme Brahman) who is the creator, sustainer and destroyer of this universe that is a mere reflection of Consciousness, a manifestation of the Supreme Truth that is an illusion. Hence, as there is nothing apart or different from the Supreme Brahman, everything that exists is the Supreme Brahman.



Though it may appear that there is a jeeva and the Supreme Brahman and that both are different, what is important to note is that this jeeva is the reality, Consciousness, infinity, the very embodiment of bliss, Supreme Self, the ultimate Light, unmanifest and the cause of the manifest world, the maya.


कामाच्च नानुमानापेक्षा।।1.1.18।।

The true state of a being is pure, eternal and infinite Bliss. Though it may appear to the ignorant that he or she seeks or wants or desires peace and Bliss, the wise neither seek nor want nor desire as they have attained and remain in their true state of Bliss. They neither seek nor want nor desire kaivalya moksha or videhamukti. They are content in the Self and abide in the Self.


Bliss is neither to be sought nor desired nor gained. All one needs is TO BE. The relative bliss experienced by the jeeva in the koshas is relative and yes, it has its origin in the Self and is the Self and yet one needs to BE the Absolute.


अस्मिन्नस्य च तद्योगं शास्ति।।1.1.19।।

The Vedas elucidate the dawn of the Supreme Truth upon one (jeeva) who has conditioned the mind, memory, intellect and ego and senses to withdraw into the heart, where the Self resides. This subtle, infinite and indivisible Self residing in the heart lotus pervades all and is the knower of all and yet remains unattached and untainted.



The one who resides within the sun and the eye is the Supreme Being because IT’s characteristics are mentioned and extolled in the Vedas and scriptural commentaries. Hence, the Supreme Self exists equally within, outside, in all the beings and is all-pervading.



On account of ignorance and delusion emanating from maya, one will make a distinction between the person in the sun and the Supreme Being who brings the sun to life. But what needs to be known is that the sun, the essence of the sun, the person residing within the sun, the person itself and the entity that brings the sun to exist is the Absolute Supreme Being.


Distinction between the jeeva and the Supreme Self arise because of the reflection of the Consciousness that results in identification and superimposition of the Self creating multiple entities that appear to be individualistic but in reality, are all one.



Ākāśa refers to the infinite, eternal and omnipresent Brahman that is beyond the limitations of the five elements (pancha bhutas). This infinite Brahman is the Supreme Being mentioned as the goal of the Vedas and is the Supreme Abode.


अत एव प्राणः।।1.1.23।।

Hence, the prāna is Supreme Brahman. That which is the essence of the universe and of all created beings both manifest and unmanifest is the imperishable Supreme Brahman that creates, sustains and dissolves this illusion that is a mere manifestation and reflection of its Consciousness.



Jyoti is the Supreme Brahman, jyoti is the path to the Supreme Brahman, jyoti is knowledge, jyoti is wisdom and jyoti is the Supreme Truth. This Light of Lights is the Supreme Being that is the self-effulgent Supreme Self.


छन्दोऽभिधानान्नेति चेन्न तथा चेतोऽर्पणनिगदात्तथा हि दर्शनम्।।1.1.25।।

The conditioning of the mind, memory, intellect, egoity and the sensory organs is enhanced by the Light that resides in the heart lotus. This Light may have many names like Gayatri, Sandhya, Vandana and Savitri. The Gayatri metre is the self-effulgent Supreme Being that aids the ignorant to seek the Truth within and the wise to abide in IT.


But as everything emanates from the Supreme Light, everything is the Supreme Light. All that is required is to see, perceive and experience this illusory world as the Supreme Light that is immortal, infinite and all-pervading.



Hence, Gayatri is the foundation for one to realize the Supreme Brahman who resides in one’s heart lotus. The Parama Pada or Supreme Abode which is the ever-existent self-effulgent Light that maybe called Gayatri, Savitri, Vandana or Sandhya is the Light of Lights and the Supreme Consciousness.


उपदेशभेदान्नेति चेन्नोभयस्मिन्नप्यविरोधात्।।1.1.27।।

Hence, that Light of Lights that is all-pervading appears to be individualistic but in reality is infinite, subtlest of the subtle and indivisible. The Supreme Light of knowledge, wisdom and Truth manifests ITSELF as a mere reflection yet remaining unattached and untainted. It is because of delusion and ignorance that one fails to see the oneness of all.



Prāna, the life-force, vital air and essence of the Supreme Brahman is the Light of Lights. It is this luminosity that illumines all of creation pervading the manifest and unmanifest. Yet, this Supreme Light is beyond the Unmanifest and is Unknown.


न वक्तुरात्मोपदेशादिति चेदध्यात्मसम्बन्धभूमा ह्यस्मिन्।।1.1.29।।

The seer, the seen and the act of seeing is the Witness, the Supreme Self. The seer, the seen and the act of seeing is a mere reflection of Consciousness. When the seer, the seen and the act of seeing become One, then only the One that is eternal and ever-existent is known, perceived and experienced.


शास्त्रदृष्ट्या तूपदेशो वामदेववत्।।1.1.30।।

Upon realizing the Supreme Self and abiding in the Supreme Self, one experiences ITSELF as THAT which is the Supreme Being, Existence, Consciousness and Bliss that is infinite, eternal and pure. The illusion is no longer seen or perceived or experienced as illusion but as everlasting Bliss.


जीवमुख्यप्राणलिङ्गान्नेति चेन्नोपासात्रैविध्यादाश्रितत्वादिह तद्योगात्।।1.1.31।।

Meditation is Supreme Brahman, concentration is Supreme Brahman, mantra is Supreme Brahman, mantra upāsanā is Supreme Brahman, contemplation is Supreme Brahman, prāna is Supreme Brahman and the jeeva is the Supreme Brahman. All that is required is to see, perceive, know, realize and experience this universe as limitless, pure, eternal and unabated Bliss.


[Brahma Sutras – Chapter 1, Section 1 –  Slokas 1 – Slokas 31]

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