Brahma Sutras – Chapter 2, Section 3 –  Slokas 1 – Slokas 53

।। द्वितीयोऽध्यायः ।।
।। तृतीयः पादः ।।

न वियदश्रुतेः ।। 2.3.1 ।।

Ākāśa is eternal, has no origin and is not created as stated by the Sruti.


अस्ति तु।।2.3.2।।

But there is a Sruti text that says that Ākāśa is created.



But the above-mentioned Sruti text is to be taken in the context of Ākāśa being created in the reflection of Consciousness only as Ākāśa is neither created nor destroyed.



And also from the Sruti texts, it has been stated that Ākāśa is eternal.


स्याच्चैकस्य ब्रह्मशब्दवत्।।2.3.5।।

It is clear that the word of creation or manifested or sprung forth with regard to Ākāśa is used in the context of the reflection of Consciousness.



The Sruti texts declare that the cause and effect are indistinguishable and hence, the knowledge of the Supreme Brahman is the knowledge of the universe as the universe is a mere reflection of the Supreme Brahman.


यावद्विकारं तु विभागो लोकवत्।।2.3.7।।

An apparent separateness and distinction is seen in the universe in all effects and this is because the universe is a mere illusion, a reflection of Consciousness. When one abides in the Supreme Self residing in their heart lotus, one will see, know, realize, perceive and experience this universe in its true state of the Supreme Self – EXISTENCE, BLISS and CONSCIOUSNESS.


एतेन मातरिश्वा व्याख्यातः।।2.3.8।।

Through this, the explanation of Ākāśa and Vāyu being an effect is explained.


असम्भवस्तु सतोऽनुपपत्तेः।।2.3.9।।

The question of an origin of SAT does not arise as it does not stand to reason.



Fire is produced from this air as stated in the Sruti.



Water is produced from fire.



Earth is referred to as anna because of its attributes, colour, essence and other Sruti texts.


तदभिध्यानादेव तु तल्लिङ्गात्सः।।2.3.13।।

The Supreme Brahman is the Primordial Cause and through IT’s reflection, all elements are created in the natural order from the previous and thus, the Supreme Lord is the creator of the pancha bhutas (five elements).


विपर्ययेण तु क्रमोऽत उपपद्यते च।।2.3.14।।

At the time of deluge, the elements get withdrawn one into the other in the reverse order.


अन्तरा विज्ञानमनसी क्रमेण तल्लिङ्गादिति चेन्नाविशेषात्।।2.3.15।।

If it is claimed that between the Supreme Brahman and the elements, the intellect and the mind should also be reabsorbed into the Brahman at the time of deluge, then this can be refuted as there is no difference between the intellect, the mind and the elements. One must remember that the entire creation is a reflection of the Supreme Brahman and is in reality, the Supreme Brahman and therefore, there is nothing apart or different from the Supreme Brahman.


चराचरव्यपाश्रयस्तु स्यात्तद्व्यपदेशो भाक्तस्तद्भावभावित्वात्।।2.3.16।।

But the mention of the birth and death of the jeeva is referable only to the reflection of Consciousness and the existence of the unmanifest and the manifest is directly dependent on the Supreme Brahman.


नात्माऽश्रुतेर्नित्यत्वाच्च ताभ्यः।।2.3.17।।

The individual Self is not produced for it is not mentioned by the scriptures as it is eternal as known from the Sruti texts.


ज्ञोऽत एव।।2.3.18।।

For this very reason only, the individual soul or jeeva is intelligence itself.



The Sruti texts declare that the jeeva on the demise of the mortal coil moves from sphere to sphere before returning to the earthly plane. This suggests that the jeeva is not infinite. However, one must remember that moving from plane to plane is referable only to the illusion, the reflection of Consciousness and not to its true state of unabated Bliss.


स्वात्मना चोत्तरयोः।।2.3.20।।

The going and coming is directly connected to the jeeva which is then determined to be of the size of the infinitesimal atom.


नाणुरतच्छ्रुतेरिति चेन्नेतराधिकारात्।।2.3.21।।

If it is said that the jeeva is not an infinitesimal atom as the scriptures state that IT is all-pervading, then it must be known that the all-pervading entity spoken about in the scriptures is the Supreme Brahman. One must remember that any reference to the jeeva as an infinitesimal atom is only referable to the illusion, the reflection of Consciousness.


स्वशब्दोन्मानाभ्यां च।।2.3.22।।

With reference to the direct statements of the Sruti texts to IT’s atomic size and infinitesimal measure, it is important to note that the jeeva is to be understood to be subtle comparable to one hundredth of the tip of a hair divided into hundred parts. It is at the same time considered to be infinite and indivisible.



There is no contradiction like sandal paste.


अवस्थितिवैशेष्यादिति चेन्नाभ्युपगमाद्धृदि हि।।2.3.24।।

If it is said that the analogy of the sandal paste on a particular part of the body is not accurate, then it can be stated that the scriptures have accorded a special seat for the jeeva in the heart lotus only.


गुणाद्वा लोकवत्।।2.3.25।।

Or owing to its quality that is intelligence as in the world.


व्यतिरेको गन्धवत्।।2.3.26।।

The extension of the quality of intelligence beyond the jeeva in which it is inherent is like the fragrance that extends beyond the fragrant object.


तथा च दर्शयति।।2.3.27।।

This is what the Sruti declares.



Another teaching of the Sruti states that the jeeva pervades this body using its inherent quality of intelligence which is prajnā that is the Supreme Consciousness only.


तद्गुणसारत्वात्तु तद्व्यपदेशः प्राज्ञवत्।।2.3.29।।

But the declaration to the infinitesimal atomic size of the jeeva is to be understood with regards to its quality of intelligence or prajnā as the Prajnānam Brahma that is all-pervading is declared to be infinitesimal.


यावदात्मभावित्वाच्च न दोषस्तद्दर्शनात्।।2.3.30।।

No defect is found in the previous Sutra as it conforms with the scriptural theory of conjunction of the jeeva with the intellect as long as the jeeva exists. Now, this needs to be understood as the relative relation between the intellect and the jeeva is only in the illusion, reflection of Consciousness.


पुंस्त्वादिवत्त्वस्य सतोऽभिव्यक्तियोगात्।।2.3.31।।

The connection between the jeeva and prajnā is ever-existent and therefore, to say that it exists either only in the waking state or the dream state or sleep state will be inaccurate. The reason is that there is nothing apart or different from the Supreme Consciousness and this universe is a mere reflection of IT.


नित्योपलब्ध्यनुपलब्धिप्रसङ्गोऽन्यतरनियमो वाऽन्यथा।।2.3.32।।

It is largely accepted that the intellect as part of the antah karana and its relation with the jeeva causes the Supreme Brahman to appear as the jeeva. Hence, to say that there is no connection or internal mode with the jeeva would result in either perpetual perception of the senses with everything or perpetual non-perception or limitation of either the jeeva or the senses.


कर्ता शास्त्रार्थवत्त्वात्।।2.3.33।।

The jeeva is an agent on account of the scriptural injunctions referable only to the illusion, reflection of Consciousness. The reason is that the Supreme Self is unattached, untainted, a non-agent, witness, enjoyer, beneficiary and doer.



The Sruti states that the jeeva as an agent wanders about taking the organs where it pleases in its body in the dream state. This is again referable only to the reflection of Consciousness.



As the jeeva takes the organs with it in the dream state, it is declared to be an agent only in the illusion, reflection of Consciousness.


व्यपदेशाच्च क्रियायां न चेन्निर्देशविपर्ययः।।2.3.36।।

The scriptures have mentioned the jeeva to be the agent and prajnā or Supreme Consciousness to be the doer and performer of all actions, inactions, sacrifices and others.



There is no rule or limitation in the case of perception as even perception, the act of perception, the experience of perception and the one who perceives is the Supreme Self that is limitless and with no beginning and no end.



The theory that the power of the intellect progresses from that of an instrument or mode to an agent is inadmissible as it would mean reversal of power which is a violation of the scriptural authorities.



If the jeeva is not an agent, then statements in the texts referable to the realization of the Supreme Self through samādhi would be rendered to be inadmissible. Therefore, the jeeva is an agent and the prajnā is an instrument or mode only


यथा च तक्षोभयथा।।2.3.40।।

And even as a carpenter is both.


परात्तु तच्छ्रुतेः।।2.3.41।।

The Sruti declares that the jeeva can act as an agent only because of the Supreme Lord.


कृतप्रयत्नापेक्षस्तु विहितप्रतिषिद्धावैयर्थ्यादिभ्यः।।2.3.42।।

The jeeva though given the power of an agent by the Supreme Lord has to act as per the works, actions and inactions already done and set forth in motion from its creation and therefore, scriptural injunctions and prohibitions are relevant as this entire phenomenon is referable to the illusion, reflection of Consciousness.


अंशो नानाव्यपदेशादन्यथा चापि दाशकितवादित्वमधीयत एके।।2.3.43।।

The jeeva is declared to be a part of the Supreme Lord and is non-different from the Supreme Brahman as many Śākhās have spoken of the Supreme Brahman as fishermen, knaves and others to state that all creation is in reality the Supreme Brahman irrespective of limitations of caste, creed and community.



The above-mentioned declaration of the jeeva being a part of the Supreme Lord is also drawn from the words of the mantra.


अपि च स्मर्यते।।2.3.45।।

And it is stated in the Smriti.


प्रकाशादिवन्नैवं परः।।2.3.46।।

The Supreme Lord being the witness, doer, enjoyer, beneficiary and non-agent remains unaffected by pleasure and pain like how light is not affected by the shape of the things one touches.


स्मरन्ति च।।2.3.47।।

The Smritis also state that.


अनुज्ञापरिहारौ देहसम्बन्धाज्ज्योतिरादिवत्।।2.3.48।।

Therefore, scriptural injunctions and prohibitions are possible because of the connection of the Self with the body as in the case of light and shadow of objects.



And as for the non-extension of the jeeva beyond its own body, there is no doubt or confusion regarding the results of the actions.


आभास एव च।।2.3.50।।

And the jeeva is only a reflection of the Supreme Lord.



Many believe that there is no permanency about the unseen principle indicating that there are many jeevas and each are all-pervading. However, this would result in confusion and is a violation of the scriptural texts as the Supreme Self is the Immutable, the Unmanifest and the Unknown.


अभिसन्ध्यादिष्वपि चैवम्।।2.3.52।।

Doctrines of several schools suggest the plurality of jeevas and their all-pervasiveness and other factors which is absurd and is in violation of the scriptural texts.


प्रदेशादिति चेन्नान्तर्भावात्।।2.3.53।।

If it is said that the distinction of pleasure and pain results from the difference of place, then it can be refuted as the Self resides in every being both manifest and non-manifest.


[Brahma Sutras – Chapter 2, Section 3 –  Slokas 1 – Slokas 53]

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