Brahma Sutras – Adhyāsa or Superimposition, Chapter 1, Section 3 –  Slokas 1 – Slokas 43

।। प्रथमोऽध्यायः ।।
।। तृतीयः पादः ।।

द्युभ्वाद्यायतनं स्वशब्दात् ।। 1.3.1 ।।

The heavenly worlds, the earthly worlds, the nether worlds and others deemed to be resting places exist only in the reflection of Consciousness. They are an illusion and in reality, are neither created nor destroyed.

 

मुक्तोपसृप्यव्यपदेशात्।।1.3.2।।

Therefore, what is meant by mukti? Who liberates whom? And is there anything to be liberated from? When only the Supreme Self exists, resting places and worlds attained on merit or sin are a mere illusion, a reflection of Consciousness. What is imperative is to abide in the Self residing in the heart lotus of one to see, know, realize, perceive and experience the universe and all of creation both manifest and unmanifest as the Supreme Self.

 

नानुमानमतच्छब्दात्।।1.3.3।।

The creator, sustainer, destroyer, doer, witness, enjoyer and beneficiary residing in all the beings including gods and goddesses is the Supreme Brahman. Hence, the heavenly or earthly or nether abode is referable only to the illusion and not to the Supreme Truth, as there is nothing apart or different from the Supreme Self.

 

प्राणभृच्च।।1.3.4।।

Differences between the jeeva and Supreme Self arise because of the reflection of Consciousness. In reality, the jeeva is indivisible, subtlest of the subtle, infinite and unabated Bliss.

 

भेदव्यपदेशात्।।1.3.5।।

Jeeva, heavenly worlds, earthly worlds, nether worlds and others appear to exist as different and apart from the Supreme Self. These differences of individual, resting places and goal arise only in the illusion, a mere reflection of Consciousness.

 

As everything arises from the Supreme Brahman and there is nothing apart or different from IT, these differences are nothing more than a reflection of ITSELF which ultimately dissipates for the wise who abides in the Supreme Self.

 

प्रकरणात्।।1.3.6।।

As everything manifests from the Supreme Brahman as a reflection of ITSELF, the essence of all is the Supreme Brahman.

 

स्थित्यदनाभ्यां च।।1.3.7।।

The jeeva is the Supreme Self in reality and therefore, unattached and untainted by actions and inactions, merit and sin and fruits of sin and merit. Even actions like eating do not taint the Self or the jeeva as the food, act of eating and the process itself is the Supreme Self.

 

भूमा सम्प्रसादादध्युपदेशात्।।1.3.8।।

Infinite Bliss that lies beyond the three states of waking, dream and sleep is ever-existent. All that one needs to do is to abide in the Supreme Self that resides in the heart lotus and withdraw into the unabated Bliss.

 

धर्मोपपत्तेश्च।।1.3.9।।

Qualities both good and bad that are assigned to various actions and inactions, merit and sin, fruits of sin and merit and beings both manifest and unmanifest are attributed only to the reflection of Consciousness as the Supreme Brahman that is ever-existent is Absolute and beyond description, form and name.

 

अक्षरमम्बरान्तधृतेः।।1.3.10।।

The akshara that is the Imperishable Supreme Brahman is the foundation for all creation both manifest and unmanifest and supports everything that exists in this infinite space.

 

सा च प्रशासनात्।।1.3.11।।

The Supreme Being as the Imperishable Supreme Cause creates, sustains and destroys this reflection of Consciousness that is a mere illusion. Remaining as a witness, enjoyer, beneficiary and doer, IT remains as the foundation and support for all of creation both manifest and unmanifest.

 

अन्यभावव्यावृत्तेश्च।।1.3.12।।

As nothing exists apart or different from the Supreme Brahman, qualities both good and bad and their descriptions are attributable only to the reflection of Consciousness. Hence, though it can be said that the Supreme Being is the foundation and support for all of creation, when one sees, knows, realizes, perceives and experiences the entire universe as the unabated Bliss, then where and what is foundation or support or creation?

 

ईक्षतिकर्मव्यपदेशात्सः।।1.3.13।।

Hence, the one who sees, the object or scene seen and the act of seeing is the Supreme Being. Therefore, one who meditates on the Supreme Self residing in his heart lotus is the Supreme Self meditating on ITSELF while abiding in ITSELF.

 

दहर उत्तरेभ्यः।।1.3.14।।

Space or ether is also the Supreme Brahman as it has been created by the Supreme Brahman and remains in the unmanifest state in the reflection of Consciousness.

 

गतिशब्दाभ्यां तथा हि दृष्टं लिङ्गं च।।1.3.15।।

The whole of creation in its dream, waking and sleep state are in reality pure Bliss. The apparent appearance of going and coming, merging and uniting and resting and liberating is attributable only to the reflection of Consciousness and not to the reality as there is nothing apart or different from the Supreme Being.

 

धृतेश्च महिम्नोऽस्यास्मिन्नुपलब्धेः।।1.3.16।।

Though the Supreme Brahman manifests ITSELF as a mere illusion, reflection of ITSELF, IT remains untainted and unattached to the reflection. All that has been created in the reflection as a reflection of ITSELF is supported by the Supreme Brahman and when these myriad reflections dissipate, then only the ONE remains. Hence, though it may appear that space or ether supports this universe, that space is also in reality the Supreme Brahman.

 

प्रसिद्धेश्च।।1.3.17।।

Also, space or ether is largely defined as the expansive, infinite space likened to the Supreme Brahman.

 

इतरपरामर्शात्स इति चेन्नासम्भवात्।।1.3.18।।

Hence, it should be known that the jeeva though explained by many to be apart and different from the Supreme Brahman and limited to the constraints of ether or space, is in reality, the Supreme Self that is infinite, all-pervading, indivisible, the Unmanifest and the Unknown.

 

उत्तराच्चेदाविर्भूतस्वरूपस्तु।।1.3.19।।

Though many commentaries have mentioned that the jeeva is bound to limitations and therefore, exists within the constraints of space or ether, it must be known that it is only an apparent appearance attributable to the reflection of Consciousness. In truth, the jeeva is the Supreme Self and therefore, is the Supreme Truth and remains Unmanifest and Unknown.

 

अन्यार्थश्च परामर्शः।।1.3.20।।

The reference made to the jeeva being manifest is again referable only to the reflection of Consciousness. The wise who abide in the Supreme Self residing in their heart lotus see, know, perceive, realize and experience all of creation as the pure, eternal, infinite, indivisible, subtlest of the subtle and all-pervading Supreme Self.

 

अल्पश्रुतेरिति चेत्तदुक्तम्।।1.3.21।।

Many refer to the Sruti that states the limitedness of this space or ether of the reflection of Consciousness as the Supreme Brahman, but it must be noted that this declaration is referable only to the space or ether of the reflection of Consciousness and not to the infinite, all-pervading and eternal Supreme Brahman.

 

अनुकृतेस्तस्य च।।1.3.22।।

Because the one who illumines all of creation, who resides as the self-effulgent Light in every being, who is the life-force of all and who is the Light of Wisdom, Knowledge and Truth of all is the Supreme Brahman who is beyond description, form and name.

 

अपि च स्मर्यते।।1.3.23।।

It has been stated in the Smriti that IT is the universal Light also known as the Light of Lights.

 

शब्दादेव प्रमितः।।1.3.24।।

As all of creation has manifested from the Supreme Brahman, the scriptures state that the word Lord refers to one and all as every created being is the Supreme Brahman. This created being is said to be the size of the thumb.

 

हृद्यपेक्षया तु मनुष्याधिकारत्वात्।।1.3.25।।

In the cavity in the heart lotus resides the Supreme Brahman who is said to be of the size of the thumb and a man who abides in the Self and follows the tenets as laid down in the Vedas will know, perceive, realize and experience that infinite Light of Lights.

 

तदुपर्यपि बादरायणः संभवात्।।1.3.26।।

Bādarāyana Maharshi states that beings above men are also entitled to the study of the Vedas as it will help them attain the Supreme Knowledge. All scriptural authorities and commentaries have categorically declared that one must abide by the Vedas and the scriptures to realize the Supreme Self residing in one’s heart lotus.

 

विरोधः कर्मणीति चेन्नानेकप्रतिपत्तेर्दर्शनात्।।1.3.27।।

Many may say that the gods and goddesses have a divine body and not a physical body and therefore, appear to be in contradiction with the sacrifices prescribed in the scriptures. However, it must be understood that the creator, sustainer, destroyer, doer, witness, enjoyer and beneficiary residing in all the beings including gods and goddesses of different forms and names is the Supreme Brahman.

 

शब्द इति चेन्नातः प्रभवात्प्रत्यक्षानुमानाभ्याम्।।1.3.28।।

Though it may appear that there is a contradiction about the corporeal state of the gods and goddesses with regard to the Vedic utterances, the reality is that those are only apparent and referable to the reflection of Consciousness. In reality, the gods and goddesses are the Supreme Brahman and are pure, eternal, infinite, all-pervading and unabated Bliss as all of creation has manifested from the Supreme Brahman as a reflection of ITSELF.

 

अत एव च नित्यत्वम्।।1.3.29।।

And therefore, the Vedas are eternal and unmanifest.

 

समाननामरूपत्वाच्चावृत्तावप्यविरोधो दर्शनात्स्मृतेश्च।।1.3.30।।

Hence, due to the similarity in the names and forms in every cycle that commences in this creation of both manifest and unmanifest, there is no contradiction with regard to the infinite and eternal nature of the Vedas even in the constant cycle of creation, sustenance and dissolution.

 

मध्वादिष्वसम्भवादनधिकारं जैमिनिः।।1.3.31।।

Jaimini Maharshi is of the opinion that the gods of the heavenly worlds are not eligible for upāsanā or for the knowledge of the Supreme Brahman.

 

ज्योतिषि भावाच्च।।1.3.32।।

Many believe that the gods of the heavenly worlds are not eligible to know about the secret Vidyas because the terms of sun, moon and fire have been used to describe spheres of light in the reflection of Consciousness.

 

भावं तु बादरायणोऽस्ति हि।।1.3.33।।

Bādarāyana Maharshi maintains that every being created as a manifestation of the Supreme Brahman in this reflection of Consciousness is qualified to know the Supreme Truth and this includes the gods of the heavenly worlds. The reason given is that the Supreme Brahman exists in each and every created being including gods and goddesses irrespective of form and name.

 

शुगस्य तदनादरश्रवणात्तदाद्रवणात्सूच्यते हि।।1.3.34।।

King Janasruti’s grief and anguish on hearing his Rishi’s words owing to him being called a sudra raised questions if sudras are eligible to know the Supreme Brahman. Here sudra refers to one who is ignorant about the Supreme Being and swayed by the illusion.

 

It has been categorically stated in all scriptures that one who is devoted to the Supreme Being in every moment and surrenders himself to the Supreme Being will experience the Supreme Brahman.

 

क्षत्रियत्वगतेश्चोत्तरत्र चैत्ररथेन लिङ्गात्।।1.3.35।।

King Janasruti born as a kshatriya is revealed later. Again, it must be mentioned that irrespective of caste, creed and merit or sin, one who surrenders himself to the Supreme Self, abides in the Supreme Self and remains resolute will surely experience the Supreme Self.

 

संस्कारपरामर्शात्तदभावाभिलापाच्च।।1.3.36।।

As per the tenets of the Vedas and the prescribed duties and obligations as mentioned in the Vedas, purificatory ceremonies of the dwija are mentioned and their absence are stated in the case of sudras.

 

तदभावनिर्धारणे च प्रवृत्तेः।।1.3.37।।

It must be stated that if the Supreme Being wills, even a sinner or a woman or a sudra can attain His Lotus Feet. However, there are several instances when Gurus and Rishis have verified if the disciple is a sudra or not. Here, sudra refers to the overwhelming delusion and ignorance.

 

श्रवणाध्ययनार्थप्रतिषेधात्स्मृतेश्च।।1.3.38।।

Though sudras are not permitted to be taught the knowledge of the Brahman through the Vedas, the rites and rituals and their inner meaning, they are permitted to attain the Supreme Truth through experience and surrender and the knowledge of the Puranas, Ramayana and Mahabharat.

 

कम्पनात्।।1.3.39।।

Prāna is the Supreme Brahman, is the Sabda Brahman, is the life-force of all of creation and is the Supreme Consciousness.

 

ज्योतिर्दर्शनात्।।1.3.40।।

The Light of Lights is the Supreme Brahman that pervades the infinitum.

 

आकाशोऽर्थान्तरत्वादिव्यपदेशात्।।1.3.41।।

Akāsā refers to the infinitum, the all-pervading Supreme Brahman that appears to be myriad with innumerable forms and names.

 

सुषुप्त्युत्क्रान्त्योर्भेदेन।।1.3.42।।

The Supreme Self is stated by many to be different from the jeeva in the states of deep sleep and death. However, the 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.

 

पत्यादिशब्देभ्यः।।1.3.43।।

Hence, the term Lord refers to the Supreme Self, Supreme Being and Supreme Brahman.

 

[Brahma Sutras – Adhyāsa or Superimposition, Chapter 1, Section 3 –  Slokas 1 – Slokas 43]

 

 

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