Brahma Sutras – According to Shankara 1-3-6

Topic 6 - That which shining, everything shines is Brahman

In the last section, in the text quoted (Chh. 8. 12. 3) there is mention of ‘the highest light’.

This section is introduced to prove that what was referred to as ‘light’ is Brahman, and for this other texts are taken up for discussion in which this ‘light’ is mentioned.

 Sutra 1,3.22

अनुकृतेस्तस्य च ॥ २२ ॥

anukṛtestasya ca || 22 ||

abykṛteḥ—Because of the acting after; tasya—Its; ca—and.

22. Because of the acting after (i.e. shining after) (That which shining, everything else shines) and (because by) Its (light everything else is lighted).

“There the sun does not shine, nor the moon .. . . It shining, everything else shines after It, by Its light all this is lighted” (Mu. 2. 2. 11).

Here ‘It’ refers to the Supreme Brahman, the pure Consciousness, and not to any material light besides the sun -and the moon.

It is absurd to say that one light is lighted by another. Nor do we know of any material light besides the sun that can light it.

It shining, everything else shines’ shows that it is the principle of Intelligence which shines first of all.

By Its light all this is lighted’ shows that it is the light of Intelligence, Consciousness or Brahman which illumines the whole world, luminous and non-luminous.

That Brahman is self-luminous we learn from texts like, “It is the light of lights.

Sutra 1,3.23

अपि च स्मर्यते ॥ २३ ॥

api ca smaryate || 23 ||

api ca—Moreover; smaryate—the Smriti states.

23. Moreover the Smriti states (It to be the universal light).

That the sun illumines not” etc. (Gītā 15. 6) and also

The light which residing in the sun illumines the whole world, that which is in the moon and in the fire—know that light to be Mine” (Gītā 15. 12).