Brahma Sūtras

Topic 1 - The Inquiry into Brahman and its Pre-requisites Sutra 1,1.1 अथातो ब्रह्मजिज्ञासा ॥ १ ॥ athāto brahmajijñāsā || 1 || atha —Now; ataḥ —therefore; brahmajijñāsā —the inquiry (into the real nature) of Brahman. 1. Now (after the attainment of the requisite spiritual qualities) therefore (as the results obtained by sacrifices etc., are ephemeral, whereas the result of the

Topic 2 - Definition of Brahman Sutra 1,1.2 जन्माद्यस्य यतः ॥ २ ॥ janmādyasya yataḥ || 2 || janmādi —Origin etc. (i.e. sustenance and dissolution); asya —of this (world); yataḥ —from which. 2. (Brahman is that omniscient, omnipotent cause) from which proceed the origin etc. (i.e. sustenance and dissolution) of this (world) . In the previous Sutra it has been

Topic 3 - Brahman cognisable only through the scriptures Sutra 1,1.3 शास्त्रयोनित्वात् ॥ ३ ॥ śāstrayonitvāt || 4 || śāstrayonitvāt —The scripture being the means of right knowledge. 3. The scriptures (alone) being the means of right knowledge (with regard to Brahman, the proposition laid in Sutra 2 becomes corroborated) . This Sutra makes the idea expressed in Sutra 2

Topic 4 - Brahman the main purport of all Vedānta texts Sutra 1,1.4 तत् तु समन्वयात् ॥ ४ ॥ tat tu samanvayāt || 2 || tat —That; tu —but; samanvayāt —because It is the main purport. 4. But that (Brahman is to be known only from the scriptures and not independently by any other means is established) because It is

Topic 5 - The First Cause is An Intelligent Principle Sutras 5-11 refute these arguments of the Sānkhyas and establish Brahman as the First Cause. The discussion mainly refers to the sixth chapter of the Chāṇḍogya Upanishad. Sutra 1,1.5 ईक्षतेर्न, अशब्दम् ॥ ५ ॥ īkṣaterna aśabdam || 5 || īkṣateḥ —On account of thinking (seeing); na —is not; aśabdam —not

Topic 6 - Concerning “the Self consisting of bliss” Sutra 1,1.12 आनन्दमयोऽभ्यासात् ॥ १२ ॥ ānandamayo'bhyāsāt || 12 || ānandamayaḥ —“The Self consisting of bliss”; abhyāsāt —because of the repetition. 12. (In the passage) “The Self consisting of bliss” etc. (Brahman, which is spoken of as the tail, is put forward as an independent entity and not as something subordinate

Topic 7 - The Person in the Sun and the Eye is Brahman Sutra 1,1.20 अन्तस्तद्धर्मोपदेशात् ॥ २० ॥ antastaddharmopadeśāt || 20 || antaḥ —Within; taddharmopadeśāt —because Its characteristics are mentioned. 20. (The one) within (the sun and the eye is Brahman) , because Its characteristics are mentioned (therein) . “Now that golden person who is seen within the sun,

Topic 8 - The Word ‘Ākāśa’ (ether) to be Understood as Brahman In the last topic the characteristics like “ being above all evil ” etc., being of doubtful import were made to refer to Brahman and not to the deity of the solar orb and accordingly the mention of form etc. were interpreted to be imagined in Brahman for

Topic 9 - The word Prāṇa to be understood as Brahman Sutra 1,1.23 अत एव प्राणः ॥ २३ ॥ ata eva prāṇaḥ || 23 || ata eva —For the same reason; praṇaḥ —(the word) Prāṇa (refers to Brahman). 23. For the same reason (the word) ‘Prāṇa’ (also refers to Brahman) . “‘Which is that deity?’ ‘Prāṇa,’ he said. For all

Topic 10 - The word ‘light’ to be understood as Brahman In the two previous topics, on account of the characteristics of Brahman being present in the texts quoted, it was possible to conclude that Brahman was referred to in them. The next Sutra takes up for discussion a text which itself does not mention the characteristics of Brahman, but