Brahma Sutras – Chapter 3, Section 3 –  Slokas 1 – Slokas 66

।। तृतीयोऽध्यायः ।।
।। तृतीयः पादः ।।

सर्ववेदान्तप्रत्ययं चोदनाद्यविशेषात् ।। 3.3.1 ।।

All Upāsanās mentioned in several scriptural texts are ultimately the same as the Primordial Cause is one.


भेदान्नेति चेन्नैकस्यामपि।।3.3.2।।

If one were to say that the Vidyas are not the same owing to differences in descriptions and details, then that can be refuted as differences can occur in the same Vidya as well as with regards to understanding and interpretation.


स्वाध्यायस्य तथात्वेन हि समाचारेऽधिकाराच्च सववच्च तन्नियमः।।3.3.3।।

The rite of carrying fire on the head is an adjunct of the Vedas because it is stated as such in Samāchāra. This is also a qualification for the learners of the Atharva Veda as is the case with the seven oblations.


दर्शयति च।।3.3.4।।

The scripture also instructs thus.


उपसंहारोऽर्थाभेदाद्विधिशेषवत्समाने च।।3.3.5।।

In the Upāsanās of the same class mentioned in different Sakhas, a combination of all the particulars mentioned in the Sakhas is to be made as there is no difference in the object of meditation and the goal of meditation just like how a combination of subsidiary rites of a main sacrifice mentioned in the different Sakhas is performed.


अन्यथात्वं शब्दादिति चेन्नाविशेषात्।।3.3.6।।

If one were to say that the Udgitha Vidya in the Brihadaranyaka and Chandogya Upanishads are different as there is difference in the texts, then that can be refuted as the goal is the same and therefore, there is no difference.


न वा प्रकरणभेदात्परोवरीयस्त्वादिवत्।।3.3.7।।

Rather, there is no similarity or unity of the two Vidyas as there is difference in the subject matter, even as the meditation on the Udgitha is the highest and greatest and is different from the meditation on the Udgitha as abiding in the eye, the sun and others


संज्ञातश्चेत्तदुक्तमस्ति तु तदपि।।3.3.8।।

If it is maintained that the sameness of name as in the case of these two Vidyas means that both are the same, then that has already been answered. But then it can be admitted that there is difference even though there is sameness of name.


व्याप्तेश्च समञ्जसम्।।3.3.9।।

And because AUM extends over the entire Vedas, it is appropriate to qualify it by the word of Udgitha.



As all the Vidyas in reality are the same, qualities mentioned in all the texts of the different Sakhas are to be inserted in other places.


आनन्दादयः प्रधानस्य।।3.3.11।।

Bliss and other attributes of the Supreme Brahman have to be combined from all places in the meditation on Brahman.


प्रियशिरस्त्वाद्यप्राप्तिरुपचयापचयौ हि भेदे।।3.3.12।।

Qualities like joy being ITS head etc. are not to be concentrated on too much as they are subject to increase and decrease and exist because of delusion. The Supreme BLISS is permanent and ever-existent and that is the True Reality.


इतरे त्वर्थसामान्यात्।।3.3.13।।

But other characteristics like Bliss, Knowledge, Omniscience and others are to be combined for identity of purport.


आध्यानाय प्रयोजनाभावात्।।3.3.14।।

Katha Upanishad speaks about the Self as the highest for the sake of meditation and not about the relative objects that exist in the illusion, reflection of Consciousness.



And this must be the conclusion derived for the use of the word Self.



The Supreme Self is to be understood in the Aitareya Upanishad just like how it is to be understood in various scriptural texts and commentaries on account of the subsequent qualification.


अन्वयादिति चेत्स्यादवधारणात्।।3.3.17।।

There is nothing apart or different from the Supreme Self and the entire universe along with the five elements and beings are a mere illusion, reflection of Consciousness. Hence, if it is said that the Supreme Self is not meant in the texts but rather Hiranyagarbha, then it can be refuted as in the beginning there existed only the Supreme Self.



Since acamana is mentioned as an obligatory duty already recognized and enjoined by the Smriti, its mention in Prana Vidya or meditation on Prana is looked upon as being enjoined by the Sruti.


समान एवं चाभेदात्।।3.3.19।।

In the same Sakha also, this unity of Vidyas is on account of the non-difference of the object of meditation.



Elsewhere also, on the meditation on Satya Brahman, the attributes have to be combined as here in the case of Sandilya Vidya, on account of its connection with the same object of meditation.


न वा विशेषात्।।3.3.21।।

However, they are not be combined on account of difference and distinction of abode.


दर्शयति च।।3.3.22।।

The scripture also declares thus.


सम्भृतिद्युव्याप्त्यपि चातः।।3.3.23।।

For the same reason as mentioned earlier, attributes of the Supreme Brahman like pervasiveness of the sky and unlimited powers are not added to the meditations and Upāsanās as these are referable only to the illusion, reflection of Consciousness.


पुरुषविद्यायामिव चेतरेषामनाम्नानात्।।3.3.24।।

And as the qualities mentioned in the Purusha Vidya of Chhāndogya are not mentioned in the Purusha Vidyas of Taittirīya, they cannot be added to the latter as they are not one.



Certain mantras pertaining to piercing etc., are not to be applied in meditation as they have a different meaning.


हानौ तूपायनशब्दशेषत्वात्कुशाच्छन्दस्तुत्युपगानवत्तदुक्तम्।।3.3.26।।

Virtue and vice is intertwined and inherent in every part of creation. Therefore, while rejecting or discarding good and evil, the perception and reception of this good and evil by others has to be included as receiving is a natural order and supplementary to discarding as in the case of Kusas, metres, praise and recitation as stated by Jaimini Maharshi.


साम्पराये तर्तव्याभावात्तथा ह्यन्ये।।3.3.27।।

One who attains Knowledge is rid of the good and evil works done at the time of the demise of the physical frame. There is nothing to be obtained by him as stated by other texts.


छन्दत उभयाविरोधात्।।3.3.28।।

The Knower of Brahman remains untouched by the cause and effect of works done or performed as he has realized that the Supreme Brahman is the sole doer, witness, enjoyer and beneficiary of said works. Hence, it is reasonable for one to perform sadhana while in the physical frame to rid themselves of the destruction of both good and evil as they are both only referable to illusion, reflection of Consciousness.


As it is logical to state that when there is cause, effect might be delayed till some time after the fall of the physical frame, it is imperative to ensure that there is harmony between cause and effect while in the physical frame as this has been stated in the texts.


गतेरर्थवत्त्वमुभयथाऽन्यथा हि विरोधः।।3.3.29।।

The jeeva‘s journey after the fall of the physical frame must have purposefulness in two ways, for else it will lead to contradiction.



The differentiation mentioned above is logical, for the facts that render this journey possible are seen in the case of meditation on Saguna Brahman but not in the case of Nirguna Brahman as is seen in the world.


अनियमः सर्वासामविरोधः शब्दानुमानाभ्याम्।।3.3.31।।

The journey of the jeeva after the fall of the physical frame is not restricted only to certain Vidyas of or types of meditation on the Saguna Brahman. It applies equally to all the Vidyas of and meditations on the Saguna Brahman. There is no contradiction as seen from the Smriti and Sruti. It is important to remember that the journey of the jeeva is referable only to the illusion, reflection of Consciousness and not to the Knower of Brahman, for he becomes IT.



Those who have a mission to fulfil, will continue in the corporeal state till required.


अक्षरधियां त्ववरोधः सामान्यतद्भावाभ्यामौपसदवत्तदुक्तम्।।3.3.33।।

All perceptions and conceptions of the negative attributes of the Immutable Brahman are to be combined from different texts where the Immutable Brahman has been described as they form one Vidya. The reason is the similarity of defining the Immutable Brahman through rejection and denial and the object being the same. This has been said by Jaimini Maharshi. Through the careful process of Neti Neti, one must reject all that comprises of illusion, reflection of Consciousness and look for the Primordial Cause that is the Supreme Self.



Because the same thing has been described as such.


अन्तरा भूतग्रामवत् स्वात्मनः।।3.3.35।।

The same Self is taught to be existing in all beings as the innermost of all as in the case of the elements.


अन्यथा भेदानुपपत्तिरिति चेन्नोपदेशान्तरवत्।।3.3.36।।

Repetition has been recommended for one to understand the knowledge of the Supreme Truth. Therefore, if it is said that the two Vidyas or meditations are different and repetition is meaningless, then that can be refuted as repetition has a significance and is looked at as another instruction.


व्यतिहारो विशिंषन्ति हीतरवत्।।3.3.37।।

Reciprocity of meditation and subject has been prescribed in the scriptures for one to recite correctly.


सैव हि सत्यादयः।।3.3.38।।

As the same Satya Vidya is taught in both places, attributes like Satya and others are seen in both places and are to be combined.


कामादीतरत्र तत्र चायतनादिभ्यः।।3.3.39।।

Attributes like true desire mentioned in Chhāndogya are to be inserted in Brihadaranyaka and those mentioned in Brihadaranyaka are to be inserted in Chhāndogya as the abode for both are the same.



There can be no omission of the Prāna Agnihotra by the Sruti on account of the respect and significance shown.



It has been declared in the Sruti that Prāna Agnihotra is to be performed from the food that is served.


तन्निर्धारणानियमस्तद्दृष्टेः पृथग्घ्यप्रतिबन्धः फलम्।।3.3.42।।

The greatest sacrifice performed by one is with knowledge. This Upāsanā has the potency to destroy any bad karma that might have delayed the reception of benefits to the performer of a sacrifice. Hence, there is no rule about the inviolability of those meditations or Upāsanās connected to a certain sacrifice as seen in the Sruti as meditations have a separate effect and result.


प्रदानवदेव तदुक्तम्।।3.3.43।।

The meditations on Prāna and Vāyu are different owing to their different functions though they might appear to be the same. It is exactly the same with offerings as stated by Jaimini Maharshi.


लिङ्गभूयस्त्वात्तद्धि बलीयस्तदपि।।3.3.44।।

The fires of the mind, speech, etc;, of Agnirahasya do not form parts of any rite on account of the abundance of indicatory marks; for these marks are stronger than the context. That also has been stated by Jaimini Maharshi.


पूर्वविकल्पः प्रकरणात्स्यात्क्रिया मानसवत्।।3.3.45।।

The fires spoken of earlier can be used alternatively for the actual fire as they constitute a part of the sacrifice like the partaking of Somarasa.



And on the premise of the extension of the attributes of the actual sacrificial fire to the other fires.


विद्यैव तु निर्धारणात्।।3.3.47।।

The fires constitute only a VIdya or meditation as asserted by the Sruti.



And because of the indicatory marks seen.


श्रुत्यादिबलीयस्त्वाच्च न बाधः।।3.3.49।।

The view that the fires constitute a Vidya or meditation cannot be set aside owing to the greater authority of the Sruti with regards to indicatory marks and its inherent connection.


अनुबन्धादिभ्यः प्रज्ञान्तरपृथक्त्ववद्दृष्टश्च तदुक्तम्।।3.3.50।।

As the mental fires are connected to the mind and others, they become a part of a separate Vidya and are independent just like other Vidyas or meditations. And it is seen that these are treated as independent in spite of the context. This has been stated by Jaimini Maharshi.


न सामान्यादप्युपलब्धेर्मृत्युवन्न हि लोकापत्तिः।।3.3.51।।

The mental fires constitute a separate Vidya or meditation and though it bears similarity to the sacrificial fires, it does not become them just as in the case of death for the world does not become fire on account of certain similarities.


परेण च शब्दस्य ताद्विध्यं भूयस्त्वात्त्वनुबन्धः।।3.3.52।।

And from the subsequent Brahmana text, it is known that the scripture has prescribed a separate Vidya or meditation, but the connection with the actual fire on account of the abundance of the attributes of the latter have to be imagined.


एक आत्मनः शरीरे भावात्।।3.3.53।।

Some deny the existence of an Atman, for ITs existence according to them is dependent on the existence of the body.


व्यतिरेकस्तद्भावाभावित्वान्न तूपलब्धिवत्।।3.3.54।।

But that is not so; the Self separate from the body does exist, for consciousness does not exist even when there is the body after death; as in the case of perception.


अङ्गावबद्धास्तु न शाखासु हि प्रतिवेदम्।।3.3.55।।

But the Upāsanās connected with parts of the sacrificial acts are not restricted to particular Sakhas only in each Veda but to all of them because the Upāsanā mentioned is the same.



Or like Mantras, they are to be adopted in other branches and thus, there is no contradiction.


भूम्नः क्रतुवज्ज्यायस्त्वं तथा हि दर्शयति।।3.3.57।।

Meditation on the entire form of Vaisvānara is of great importance just like sacrifices, for this is shown in the Sruti.


नाना शब्दादिभेदात्।।3.3.58।।

Various Vidyas or meditations are different owing to difference in terminology etc.



There is the option/alternative with respect to the several Vidyas or meditations, because the result is the same.


काम्यास्तु यथाकामं समुच्चीयेरन्न वा पूर्वहेत्वभावात्।।3.3.60।।

But Vidyas or meditations for particular worldly desires may or may not be combined according to one’s wish on account of the absence of the reason mentioned in the previous Sutra.


अङ्गेषु यथाश्रयभावः।।3.3.61।।

With regard to meditations connected with members or subsidiaries of sacrificial rites, it is as with the members or subsidiaries with which they are connected.



Though the members or subsidiaries are scattered in the different Vedas, the meditations connected with them are to be combined accordingly as there is no difference with respect to these as per the injunction of the Sruti.



The meditations are interlinked and therefore, must be combined because of the indicatory marks of the rectification of one with the help of an other in case of an inaccuracy.



And from the Sruti that declares that AUM, which is an important factor of the Vedic rites is common to all the Vedas.


न वा तत्सहभावाश्रुतेः।।3.3.65।।

The Upāsanās or meditations connected with members or subsidiaries of sacrificial acts are rather not to be combined as stated in the Sruti as they are not correlated.



And because the Sruti says that the scriptures do not intend that all the meditations should go together.


[Brahma Sutras – Chapter 3, Section 3 –  Slokas 1 – Slokas 66]

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