Brahma Sutras – Chapter 3, Section 1 –  Slokas 1 – Slokas 27

।। तृतीयोऽध्यायः ।।
।। प्रथमः पादः ।।

तदन्तरप्रतिपत्तौ रंहति सम्परिष्वक्तः प्रश्ननिरूपणाभ्याम् ।। 3.1.1 ।।

The jeeva goes out of the body enveloped with subtle parts of the elements to obtain a fresh body as known by the question and answer in the scriptures.


त्र्यात्मकत्वात्तु भूयस्त्वात्।।3.1.2।।

As water consists of three elements, the jeeva is enveloped by all these elements. However, water alone is mentioned in the scriptural texts on account of its preponderance in the human body.



As the organs also go with the jeeva, the elements also accompany the jeeva.


अंग्न्यादिगतिश्रुतेरिति चेन्न भाक्तत्वात्।।3.1.4।।

The scriptures categorically declare that the organs depart when the Prāna leaves the body after the jeeva.


प्रथमेऽश्रवणादिति चेन्न ता एव ह्युपपत्तेः।।3.1.5।।

If an objection is raised that water is not mentioned in the first of the oblations, then one must understand the appropriateness of such an interpretation referable to the word Sraddhā that is likened to faith and water.


अश्रुतत्वादिति चेन्नेष्टादिकारिणां प्रतीतेः।।3.1.6।।

One may say that the jeeva does not depart enveloped with water and the other fine elements but that can be refuted as it has been categorically stated in the scriptures. It is necessary to abide by the tenets as laid down in the scriptures and diligently perform the prescribed duties like sacrifices, charity and others in the universe which is a mere reflection of Consciousness. Those who abide by the scriptures will move to the higher planes and finally realize the Truth that this entire universe in reality is the Supreme Self.


भाक्तं वानात्मवित्त्वात्तथाहि दर्शयति।।3.1.7।।

The Sruti declares that the gods in the heavenly planes use the jeevas who perform sacrifices and prescribed duties of the scriptures. The Brahmins who are householders and who perform agnihotra every day are verily the Kamadhenus, satisfying all the gods by making offerings of food and drink that are both dear and desirable to them. Here, Brahmins refer to those who are contemplating on the Brahman at all times and perform the obligatory duties prescribed in the scriptures.


All these offerings are received in the heavenly worlds by the gods through the oblations poured into the sacred sacrificial fire. There is nothing in the heavenly worlds like the devout who strive to satisfy all the desires of the gods.


Just as householders experience sorrow when the cow is taken away from them, similarly, a Brahmana who is endowed with the knowledge and wisdom of the Supreme Truth causes sorrow to the gods. The reason is that a man who has realized the Self will not trouble himself with the prescribed rites and rituals and obligatory offerings in the sacrificial fire for the gods residing in the heavenly worlds.


Hence, the gods obstruct a seeker’s experience of the Self by creating delusion, desire and lust so as to tempt the seeker to move away from the search for the Supreme Truth.


कृतात्ययेऽनुशयवान्दृष्टस्मृतिभ्यां यथेतमनेवञ्च।।3.1.8।।

When all the good deeds done by the jeeva are exhausted, IT will descend to earth with the residual karma in accordance with the path IT left the earthly plane by first. This is stated in the Sruti and Smriti.


चरणादिति चेन्नोपलक्षणार्थेति कार्ष्णाजिनिः।।3.1.9।।

If it is said that the conduct of a jeeva and therefore, the residual karma is not a factor for rebirth on earth, then that can be refuted as the word conduct has been used to denote the remainder of karma that the jeeva has to exhaust. This is what Kārshnājini Rishi thinks.


आनर्थक्यमिति चेन्न तदपेक्षत्वात्।।3.1.10।।

If it is said that the word conduct is to be interpreted as residual karma and that good conduct is not a factor for birth and rebirth, then it can be refuted as karma is dependent on good conduct. It is the view of Kārshnājini Rishi that residual karma and not good conduct is the cause for a new birth.


सुकृतदुष्कृते एवेति तु बादरिः।।3.1.11।।

It is accepted that residual karma is the cause for birth and rebirth. Bādari Rishi thinks that there is no difference between karma and conduct and that conduct is merely good and evil actions and inactions.


अनिष्टादिकारिणामपि च श्रुतम्।।3.1.12।।

The Sruti declares that all jeevas go to the moon or lunar world irrespective of whether they have performed the prescribed duties of the scriptures like sacrifices and others.


संयमने त्वनुभूयेतरेषामारोहावरोहौ तद्गतिदर्शनात्।।3.1.13।।

This Sutra refutes the earlier one and states that sinners do not go to heaven but instead to the abode of Yama Dharmaraja. Those who have sinned and not abided by the tenets as laid down in the scriptures will go to the hellish worlds and after experiencing the result of their evil actions, will descend to earth to take another birth.


स्मरन्ति च।।3.1.14।।

The Smritis also declare thus.


अपि च सप्त।।3.1.15।।

Moreover there are seven hells.


तत्रापि च तद्व्यापारादविरोधः।।3.1.16।।

Chitragupta, the universal stenographer makes detailed notes of every being’s action, inaction, thought and speech and is commissioned by Yama Dharmaraja. A jeeva after leaving the mortal coil goes to the abode of Yama Dharmaraja and faces the consequences of his evil actions and inactions.


विद्याकर्मणोरिति तु प्रकृतत्वात्।।3.1.17।।

But here the reference is to the two paths of knowledge and action leading to the higher planes and hence, one has to understand the implication of the same with regard to the universe which is a mere reflection of Consciousness.


न तृतीये तथोपलब्धेः।।3.1.18।।

The mention of the five oblations does not apply to the third kind that is sinners, for they are born irrespective of the oblations and as per their residual karma. Five oblations are for those who have abided by the tenets as laid down in the scriptures and performed the obligatory and prescribed duties.


स्मर्यतेऽपि च लोके।।3.1.19।।

There are many examples of births which have been recorded in the world without the completion of five oblations.



And also on account of observation and the four types of birth.


तृतीयशब्दावरोधः संशोकजस्य।।3.1.21।।

The third term referring to plant life springs from moisture. These germinate from earth and water and hence, come into existence without the completion of five oblations. Therefore, one may conclude that sinners do not go to heaven while those who have abided by the scriptures go to the heavenly worlds.



The jeeva while descending from Chandraloka attains similarity of nature and not identity with the five elements.


नातिचिरेण विशेषात्।।3.1.23।।

The jeeva‘s descent from the Chandraloka through the various stages does not take much time as per the declaration of the Srutis.


अन्याधिष्ठितेषु पूर्ववदभिलापात्।।3.1.24।।

The descending jeeva dwells as it were in plants (rice, corn and others) animated by other jeevas till IT gets the opportunity for a new birth. This is what the Sruti states.


अशुद्धमिति चेन्न शब्दात्।।3.1.25।।

The meaning of animal sacrifice prescribed in the scriptures needs to be understood as one renouncing their violent, dark and animal nature. The killing of this nature of one within themselves and offering this nature to the Supreme Lord is not deemed to be unholy.



Then the jeeva gets connected with the one who performs the act of generation


योनेः शरीरम्।।3.1.27।।

From the womb, a new body emerges.


[Brahma Sutras – Chapter 3, Section 1 –  Slokas 1 – Slokas 27]

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