Brahma Sutras – According to Shankara 1-3-10

Topic 10 - The Prāṇa in which everything trembles is Brahman

In topic 7 it was proved that the reference to the Jīva was to inculcate the knowledge of Brahman, as the former is really identical with Brahman.

But in the text to be discussed ‘Prāṇa’ cannot refer to Brahman, as such identity is not possible—this seems to be the line of thinking of the opponent, who therefore takes up this topic for discussion.

 Sutra 1,3.39

कम्पनात् ॥ ३९॥

kampanāt || 39 ||

kampanāt—On account of vibration.

39. (Prāṇa is Brahman) on account of the vibration (spoken of the whole world).

Whatever there is in the whole world has come out of and trembles in the Prāṇa” etc. (Kath. 2.6 .2).

Here ‘Prāṇa’ is Brahman and not the vital force. Why?

First because of the context, since Brahman is the topic in the previous and subsequent texts.

Again “The whole world trembles in Prāṇa”—in this we have reference to an attribute of Brahman, It being the abode of the whole world. It is the cause of the life of the whole world including the Prāṇa.

Lastly, immortality is declared to him who knows this Prāṇa, and ‘Prāṇa’ is also often used to denote Brahman in the Śruti.