Brahma Sutras – According to Shankara 1-1-7

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, with a golden beard and golden hair ... is named Ut, for he has risen (udita) above all evils . . . Rig and Sāma are his joints . . . He is the lord of the worlds beyond the sun and of all objects desired by the gods” (Chh. 1. 6. 6-8).

“Now the person who is seen in the eye is Rig; he is Sāma, Uktha, Yajus, Brahman. The form of that person in the eye is the same as that of the other (the person in the sun), the joints of the one are the joints of the other, the name of the one is the name of the other . . . He is the lord of the world beneath the body and of all objects desired by men” (Chh. 1. 7. 5-8).

In the last topic, in spite of things to the contrary, the very fact of the repetition of Brahman in the texts helped us to arrive at the conclusion that Brahman was the topic of those texts.

Following the same argument, the repetition of abode, form, limitations, etc., in the texts cited ought to make some individual soul which has attained to that eminence of being the presiding deity of the solar orb, and not Brahman, the topic of these texts—this is the objection.

The Sutra refutes this and says that the person spoken of is the Highest Brahman, as its characteristics—such as being above all evils, being the self of everything like Rik, Yajus, Sāman (these few being mentioned only by way of example), and his being the lord of the worlds beyond the sun and also of the worlds beneath the body—are mentioned.

The mention of a particular abode, i.e. the sun, and the eye, of form, as having a beard, and being golden in colour, and of a limitation of powers is only for the purpose of meditation (Upāsānā).

The Highest Lord may, in order to gratify His devout worshippers, assume through Māyā any form He likes. It is for the convenience of meditation that these limitations are imagined in Brahman, which otherwise, in Its true nature, is beyond them.

 Sutra 1,1.21

भेदव्यपदेशाच्चान्यः ॥ २१ ॥

bhedavyapadeśāccānyaḥ || 21 ||

bhedavyapadeśāt—On account of a distinction being made; ca—also; anyaḥ—is different.

21. Also on account of a distinction being made (in another text between the two, i.e. the person in the sun and the individual soul animating the sun) (the Lord) is different (from the latter).

He who dwells in the sun and is within the sun, whom the sun does not know , whose body the sun is and who rules the sun from within, is thy Self, the ruler within, the immortal” (Brih. 3. 7. 9)

—this text clearly shows that the Highest Lord is within the sun and yet different from the individual soul identifying itself with the sun. This confirms the view expressed in the last Sutra.