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The G. T. A. Printing Works, 



1. 1. ri Irishnaraja lodapr latiadur 


by his most obedient servant 







with the commentaries of 





A. Mahadeva Sastri, B. A. 

Curator, flnvt. Oflc.ntfil Library,' Mysore. 

M Y S O R E : 


'All rights reserved]. 


The Taittiriya-Upanishad is so called because of the 
recension (sakha) of the Krishna- Yajurveda to which it 
is appended. It is the most popular and the best-known 
of all the Upanishads in this part of the country, where 
the majority of the brahmins study the Taittiriya recen- 
sion of the Yajurveda, and it is also one of the very few 
Upanishads which are still recited with the regulated 
accent and intonation which the solemnity of the subject 
therein treated naturally engenders. The Upanishad 
itself has been translated by several scholars including 
Prof. Max Muller ; and the latest translation by Messrs. 
Mead and J.C. Chattopadhyaya, of the Blavatsky Lodge 
of the Theosophical Society, London, is the most 
' soulful ' of all, and at the same time the cheapest. A 
few words, therefore, are needed to explain the object 
of the present undertaking. 

Sankaracharya and Suresvaracharya -are writers of 
highest authority belonging to what has been now-a- 
days marked off as the Advaita school of the Vedanta. 
Every student of the Vedanta knows that the former 
has written commentaries on the classical Upanishads, 
on the Bhagavadgita, and on the Brahmasutras, be- 
sides a number of manuals and tracts treating of the 
Vedanta Philosophy, while among the works of the 
latter, which have but recently seen the light, may be 



mentioned (i) the Brihadarawyaka-Upanishad-bhashya- 
Vartika, (2) the Taittiriya-Upanishad-bhashya-Vartika, 
(3) the Manasollasa,* (4) the Prawava-Vartika, * and 
(5) the Naishkarmya-siddhi. The first four of these are 
professedly commentaries on Sankaracharya's works, 
while the last is an independent manual dealing with 
some fundamental questions of the Vedanta. 

As the subject is treated of in the Brihadarawyaka- 
Upanishad from different stand- points of view and in 
great detail, it is the one Upanishad, in commenting 
on which Sankaracharya evidently seeks to present 
an exhaustive rational exposition of the Vedic Religion 
by fully explaining every position as it turns up and 
examining it from several points of view, whereas in 
his commentaries on other Upanishads Tie contents 
himself with merely explaining the meaning of the texts 
and shewing, only where necessary, how they support 
his advaita doctrine as against the other doctrines 
which seek the support of the Upanishads. It is cer- 
tainly for this reason that Suresvaracharya, who un- 
dertook to explain, improve, amplify and supplement 
the teachings of Sankaracharya, thought fit to further 
expound the latter's commentary on the Brihadaraw- 
yaka- Upanishad. This exposition forms the colossal 
work known as theBrihadaranyaka-Upanishad-bhashya- 
YArtika, which is held to be of no less authority than 

* The Manasollasa and the Pnmava-Vartika, the two smallest 
works of Surc.svuracluiryn, havu bocn made accessible to the 
English-reading public- in the " Minor Upauishads " Vol. II. 
issued in this (TIIK YEUJC ItjtLiijioN) Series. 


the bhashya itself and is more frequently cited by later 
writers on all knotty points of Advaita, as expounding 
its philosophy with greater precision. Much need not 
be said here as to Suresvaracharya's marvellous power 
of exposition, since the readers of this series have been 
made familiar with it through the Manasollasa, which 
is only a condensed statement of the first principles 
of the system as developed in the commentary on the 
Upanishad and of the main lines of argument on which 
he proceeds to establish them. 

Not quite so exhaustive, however, is either Sankara- 
charya's or Suresvaracharya's commentary on the 
Taittiriya-Upanishad. The only reason for the latter's 
writing a vartika on the bhashya of the Upanishad 
seems to me to have been the high importance of this 
classical Upanishad as exclusively treating, among 
other things, of the five Kosas (sheaths of the Self). 
As the doctrine of the Kosas is the pivotal doctrine of 
the Vedanta on its theoretical as well as its practical 
side, students of the Vedanta should be thoroughly 
familiar with it before proceeding further in their 
studies. Accordingly, in an attempt to present to the 
English-reading public the Vedanta Doctrine as ex- 
pounded by the two great teachers, it is but proper 
first to take up the Taittiriya-Upanishad. 

As though to make up for the want of that thorough- 
ness in Sankaracharya's and Suresvaracharya's com- 
mentaries on the Taittiriya-Upanishad which is so char- 
acteristic of their commentaries on the Brihadarawyaka, 


Sayawa (or Vidyara^ya, as some would have it), that 
prolific scholiast on the Vedic literature, has written 
a commentary on the Taittiriya-Upanishad which is at 
once thorough and lucid. Though in interpreting the 
original text of the Upanishad Sayawa differs slightly 
here and there from Sankaracharya, he follows the 
great teacher very closely on all points of doctrine, 
and quotes profusely from the writings of the two 
great leaders of the school. In fact, Sayawa's Intro- 
duction to the study of the Upanishads is, as its 
readers are aware, made up of long extracts from the 
Vartikasara, a lucid digest of Suresvaracharya's Vartika 
on the Brihadarawyaka-Upanishad. Into his exposi- 
tion of the Taittiriya-Upanishad, Sayawa introduces, in 
appropriate places and in a concise form, the various 
discussions embodied in the Vedanta-sutras, so that by 
studying this exposition the reader is sure to obtain a 
comprehensive view of the contents of the Vedanta- 
sutras and a fair insight into the true relation between 
the Sutras and the Upanishads. 

The work now presented to the public contains a 
literal translation of the Taittiriya-Upanishad, and of 
Sankaracharya's and Sayawa's commentaries thereon. 
Of Sayana's commentary, only such portions and they 
are very rare are omitted as are mere repetitions 
of Sankaracharya's commentary. Suresvaracharya's 
vartika is in many places especially in the Siksha- 
vallf a mere repetition of the bhashya ; and therefore 
it is only where the vartika explains the bhashya or 


adds to it something new, that the vartika has been 
translated. A few notes have been extracted from 
Anandagiri's (or, more properly, Anandajwana's) glosses 
on the bhashya and on the vartika. I have also added 
some notes of my own where they seem most necessary. 
The Sanskrit Text of the Upanishad is given in 
Devanagari, followed by the English rendering of the 
Upanishad printed in large type (pica). Then follows 
the English rendering of S'ankaracharya's commentary 
printed in a smaller type (small pica). The English 
translation of Sayaa's Commentary as well as the 
notes from Suresvaracharya's Vartika and A'nandagi- 
ri's Tika are given in a still smaller type (long primer), 
these notes being marked (S.) or (A.) or (S. & A.) as the 
case may be. Some of the foot-notes which have been 
taken from the Vanamala (Achyuta Krishnananda 
swamin's gloss on the bhashya) are marked off as (V). 

OS. ") 
: " J 

August 1903. , 





Brahmavidya the specific theme of theUpanishad Doc- 
trine of Salvation by works alone No salvation by works 
alone No salvation by works associated with contempla- 
tion Etymology of ' Upanishad.' pp. i n. 


(Sikshavalli or Samhiti-UpanisJiad) 



The three divisions of the Taittiriya Upanishad Why 
Sawhiti-Upanishad should come first. pp. 14 16. 

Lesson I. Invocation to God. 

Devas place obstacles in men's way to Brahmavidya 

A Mantra for the removal of those obstacles, pp. 17 28. 

Lesson II. Study of Phonetics. pp. 29 32 

Lesson III. Contemplation of Samhita. 

Invocation for fame and lustre Contemplation of Sam- 
hita in the five objects Contemplation of Sawhita in the 
Worlds Contemplation of Sawhita in the Lights Con- 
templation of Sawhita in Knowledge Contemplation of 
Sawhita in Progeny Contemplation of Sawhita in the 
Self Contemplation of Sawhita enjoined for a specific end 
should be seated when engaged in contemplation No 



specific time and place necessary for Upasana The scope 
of Sawhita-Up&sana Identity of Upasana taught in differ- 
ent Upanishads When different attributes should be 
gathered together in Upasana Two distinct Upasanas of 
Sawhita Self-contemplation and Symbolic contemplation 

No Symbol should be contemplated as the Self One 
mode alone of Self-contemplation should be practised Sym- 
bolic contemplations may be practised in any number The 
Symbol should be contemplated as Brahman, not vice- versa 

Upasana defined. pp. 33-57. 

Lesson IV. Prayers for Health and Wealth. 

Prayer for intellectual vigour Pra;/ava, the essence of 
the Vedas Prayer for physical and moral health Prayer 
for fame Prayer for union with the Divine Prayer for 
many disciples Prayer for light and peace. pp. 58-70. 

Lesson V. Contemplation of Vyahritis. 

The three Utterances The fourth Utterance Con- 
templation of the Utterances Contemplation of the Utter- 
ances as the worlds Contemplation of the Utterances as 
Gods Contemplation of the Utterances as the Vedas 
Contemplation of the Utterances as life-breaths Vyahntis 
represent Purusha in His sixteen phases Contemplation 
of the Utterances enjoined. pp. 71-79. 

Lesson VI. Contemplation of Brahman. 

Brahman in the heart The Path of Light leading to 
Brahman The state of Brahman attained Contemplation 
of Brahman enjoined The Fifth and Sixth Lessons treat 
of one and the same upasana Many are the Self-compre- 
hending upasanas One alone of the Self-comprehending 


upasanas should be practised Contemplation of Brahman 
as the Self How Paramatman is ' manomaya,' formed of 
thought How Brahman is full of light Attributes of 
Brahman mentioned elsewhere should be borrowed Upa- 
sana should be practised till death Where the Upasaka' s 
path of departure diverges How far the process of death 
is the same for all The Path of Light The departing 
soul of the Upasaka joins the sun's rays even at night 
Even the Upasaka dying in the Dakshinayana has access 
to the Northern Path The Path of light is but one The 
Vayu-loka precedes the Aditya-loka The region of Lightn- 
ing precedes that of Varua The Light, etc., are the 
guiding Intelligences The Path of Light is common to all 
Upasakas of Sagua Brahman Worshippers of symbols 
cannot attain to Brahma- loka The glory of Brahma-loka 
In Brahma-loka the yogin secures objects of enjoyment by 
mere thought In Brahma-loka the yogin can enjoy with or 
without a body The bodies of a yogin's creation have each 
a soul No yogin can create the universe as a whole 
Thence the yo,*in attains to Videha-Kaivalya in due 
course. pp. 80-115. 

Lesson VII. Contemplation of Brahman in the visible. 

This lesson treats of the contemplation of the Hirawya- 
garbha External groups of the visible Internal groups 
of the visible The Upasana enjoined. pp. 116-122. 

Lesson VIII. Contemplation of Pranava. 

The Prawava-Brahman The Praava extolled Con- 
templation of Pranava enjoined The relation between ' Om 
and Brahman The meaning of " Om, the Udgitha " The 
meaning of " Om is Brahman " Contemplation of the 
Unconditioned Brahman. pp. 123-135. 


Lesson IX. Upasaka's Duties. 

The works incumbent on an Upasaka The most im- 
portant of the Upasaka's duties. pp. 136-144. 

Lesson X. The Illumination. 

A Mantra to be repeated The purpose of the Mantra 
The Mantra is an expression of Self-realisation Conditions 
of saintly vision Repetition of this Mantra serves as a sub- 
stitute for Brahmayaja Sawsara cut asunder by non- 
attachment No obstacle lies on the path of the unattached 
soul Purity of the unattached soul Purity leads to wis- 
dom and immortality. pp. 145-151. 

Lesson XI. The Exhortation. 

Works are necessary for wisdom Know as well as learn 
the Veda Duties briefly stated Duties never to be neg- 
lected Persons worthy of worship How far to observe 
Vedic prescription and orthodox custom Conduct towards 
great men How to make gifts How to decide matters 
of doubt On intercourse with the accused The pero- 

Does the highest good accrue from works or from know- 
ledge ? The theory that the highest good accrues from 
works Works cannot produce liberation Neither does 
liberation accrue from works and Vidya combined Com- 
bination of Vidya and works is impossible Knowledge 
leads to salvation without the aid ot works In working 
for knowledge, the duties of the order are fulfilled Works 
of all orders conduce to knowledge Knowledge is possible 
even beyond the pale of dramas. pp. 152-188. 

Lesson XII. Thanks-giving. pp. 189-191. 


(Anandavalli or Brahma-valli.) 


Chapter I. The Peace-chant. 

Thanks-giving. Prayer for mutual good feeling between 
master and disciple. Master and disciple. pp. 195-199. 

Chapter 11. Brahmavidya in a nutshell. 

Brahma- vidya is the specific theme of this section. The 
seeker of Brahmajana should renounce works. Cessation 
of Avidya is the specific end To speak of Brahman as 
one to be reached is only a figure of speech. The primary 
meaning of ' Brahman.' Brahman is knowable. An 
immediate knowledge of Brahman possible. Brahman 
realisable through manas. How Revelation helps the reali- 
sation of Brahman. Absolute identity of Brahman and 
the Self He who knows Brahman becomes Brahman. 

pp. 200-219. 

Chapter III. Knowledge and Liberation. 

Knowledge is an independent means to the end of man. 
The student attains knowledge in this or in a future 
birth. Nothing is real except Brahman. A peculiar fea- 
ture of the death of the Brahmavid. To reach Brahman 
is to be rid of separateness Jiva is ever liberated. The 
Liberated Soul is identical with Brahman. How Brahman 
is both conditioned and unconditioned. Liberation is the 
highest state, pp. 220 233, 


Chapter IV. Brahman Defined. 

An explanatory Verse. Definition of Brahman. What 
is a definition. Brahman is the real. Brahman is Con- 
sciousness Brahman is the Infinite Brahman is not a 

non-entity. Brahman is not a momentary existence. Brah- 
man defined here is a positive entity. As one with the Self 
Brahman is infinite. Brahman is the eternal, infinite, 
independent Consciousness. Brahman is beyond speech. 

' Real,' etc., construed as specifying attributes. ' Real,' 
etc., construed as defining attributives. 'Real,' etc., define 
Brahman by mutual government. Brahman defined as 
the Real. Brahman defined as Consciousness. Brahman 
defined as the Infinite. Other definitions of Brahman. 
Brahman is unconditioned. pp. 234-274. 

Chapter V. Summum Bonum. 

What it is to know Brahman. The Avyaknta as 'the 
highest heaven.' The a'casa of the heart as the ' highest 
heaven.' Brahman ' hid in the cave ' is one's own Self. 
Attainment of the Supreme Bliss. pp. 275-290. 

Chapter VI. The Infinite and Evolution. 

The relation of the sequel to the foregoing. Mantra and 
Brahmawa. Brahman is absolutely infinite. Identity of 
Brahman and the Self. Brahman is the material cause of 
the universe. The three theories of creation. How far 
the Nyaya theory is right. How far the Sankhya theory is 
right. All accounts of Evolution contribute only to a 
knowledge of Brahman. Unreality of Evolution. Akasa. 

Evolution by Brahman's Will and Idea. YJiyu (the air.) 

Fire. Water. Earth. Primary elements are only 


five. Brahman is not made up of matter. Evolution of 
material objects. Evolution of the Viraj and the Sutra. 

Akasa is not unborn. The air is not unborn. Brahman 
has no birth. How fire is evolved from Brahman. Water 
is evolved from Brahman. ' Food' means earth. Brah- 
man is the essential cause of all evolved things. Dissolu- 
tion occurs in the reverse order of Evolution No Self- 
contradiction in the Srutias to Evolution. pp. 291-321. 

Chapter VII. Maya and Isvara. 

Maya described. Maya is a fact of common experience. 

Maya as inexplicable. Maya as a non-entity. 
Maya is rooted in the pure Atman. Maya tends to make 
Atman the more luminous. Maya differentiates Atman into 
Jiva and Isvara. Maya and the Universe. Maya as a 
wonder-worker. The universe is a Maya. Various views 
as to the origin and purpose of Creation. Orthodox theory 
as to the nature of Evolution Isvara is the Dispenser of 
the fruits of actions Isvara is both the efficient and the 
material Cause of the Universe. No self-contradiction in 
the Upanishads as to the Brahma- Vada. The Upanishads 
do not support other doctrines of Cause. pp. 322-340. 

Chapter VIII. On the Defensive. 

Defence of the Vedic Doctrine. The Veda versus the 
Sankhya system The Veda versus the Yoga system. The 
Veda versus the Sankhya reasoning. The Veda versus em- 
pirical reasoning generally The Veda versus sensuous 
perception. Non-duality in duality, how far real. Isvara 
untainted by good and evil, Duality evolved from non- 
duality The theory of transformation maintained. 


Though incorporeal, Brahman possesses Maya. Evolution 
as an act of sport, Isvara acquitted of partiality and 
cruelty. The Attributeless as the material Cause. 

PP- 341-355- 
Chapter IX. On the Offensive. 

The Vedanta versus the Sankhya. The Vedanta versus 
the Vaiseshika. How far the Vaiseshika theory supports 
the Brahma-vada. The Vaiseshika theory of creation over- 
thrown The Vedanta versus Buddhist Realist. The 

Vedanta versus Buddhistic Idealism The Vedantin versus 

the Arhats The Vedanta versus Theism The Vedanta 

versus the Paucharatra. pp. 356-368. 

Chapter. X. The Evil and its Cure. 

The seed of human organism The seed developing into 

man The action of ' five fires' in the birth of man. 

Limitation of the Self as man by Avidya. Avidya and its 
proof. The growth of the subtle body Evolution of 

manas, etc., from Consciousness. The Self is unborn 

Review of the past lives just before birth The misery of 
birth and infancy The misery of youth. The misery of 
old age The misery of death and the after-career. The 
study of kosas and its purpose Sawsara is due to Avidya. 
Brahmavidya is intended for man. The process of im- 
parting Brahmavidya. The one Self differentiated into the 
Ego and the non-Ego The kosas, subjective and objec- 
tive. The relation between the subjective and the objec- 
tive kosas. The Self beyond Contemplation of the 
sheaths as altars of sacred fire The purpose of the con- 
templation of kosas. 

pp. 369-386. 


Chapter XL Annamaya-kosa. 

Introduction Composition of the Annamaya-kosa. 
Contemplation of the Annamaya-kosa A mantra on the 
unity of the Viraj and the Annamaya The Viraj. Con- 
templation of the Viraj and its fruits. The Viraj as the 
nourisherand the destroyer Knowledge of the Annamaya- 
kosa is a stepping-stone to knowledge of Brahman. 

pp. 387-404. 
Chapter XII. Pranamaya-kosa. 

The purpose of the sequel The Pranamaya-kosa. 
The effect is one with the cause. Composition of the 

Pra/zamaya-kosa The physical body is not the Self. 

Prawa has a birth Prawa is a distinct principle The 
limited size of the principle of Prawa Contemplation of 
the Prawamaya Pra??a, the Universal Life. pp. 405-425. 

Chapter XIII. Manomaya-kosa. 

From Prawamaya to Manomaya. Manas Senses are 
born of the Paramatman The senses are eleven in num- 
ber The senses are not all-pervading The senses are 

dependent on Devas The senses are distinct from Praa 
proper. Manas is the chief among the senses. Contem- 
plation of the Manomaya. What the Veda in reality is. 
Brahman beyond speech and thought Fearlessness, the 
fruit of the Contemplation. The outcome of the study of 
the Manomaya. pp. 426-444. 

Chapter XIV. Vijnanamaya-kosa. 

Relation between the Manomaya and the Vijiianama- 
ya. The nature of the Vijiianamaya Contemplation of 


xviii CONTENTS. 

the Vijiianamaya. Contemplation of Vijiianaas the Hira- 

yagarbha The fruit of the contemplation of the Hiranya- 

garbha How Brahmavidya is acquired by persons other 

than the twice-born. Devas acquire Brahmavidya through 
the Veda Is Brahmavidya accessible to the Sudras ? 
The Upasaka liberated before death The outcome of the 
study of the Vijiianamaya. pp. 445 468. 

Chapter XV. Anandamaya-kosa. 

The nature of the Anandamaya self. The Anandamaya 
is not Brahman The bliss of the Anandamaya-kosa 
Bliss is a positive state. Theories of pleasure The 
Vedantin's theory of pleasure Contemplation of the Anan- 
damaya Concentration in Brahman attained. Brahman, 
the one Being. Brahman, the Innermost Self. The Anan- 
damaya construed as the Paramatman. The Anandamaya 
construed as the Jiva Brahman, the sole theme of the 
Upanishads. _ Conclusion, pp. 469-502. 


(Anandavalli or BrahinavalLl) 


Chapter I. Questions. 

The purpose of the sequel. Srava?*a and Manana. The 
Questions of the Disciple. Pp. 507 511. 

Chapter II. Brahman's existence as Creator. 

The purpose of the sequel. Brahman exists. Brahman's 
Creative Will. Brahman is independent of desires. 
Duality is an illusion. Brahman's Creative Thought. A 
summary of the foregoing argument. Pp. 512 523. 

Chapter III. Brahman's existence as Jiva. 

Brahman entering the Universe. No literal interpreta- 
tion of entering is possible. The true import of the pas- 
sage. A clear summary of the discussion. Another 
passage of the same import. The one Life and Its aspects. 
Brahman does not literally enter the Universe. Enter- 
ing means manifestation. Brahman in manifestation is un- 
affected by multiplicity. Brahman as the Ego is unaffected 
by pleasure and pain. Linga-deha is the upadhi of jiva. 

Pp. 524549. 
Chapter IV. The Jiva. 

Jiva is not the Creator. Jiva is not subject to birth and 
death. Jiva is not of the Creation.- Jiva is the self-consci- 
ous principle. Jiva is all-pervading. Jiva is the agent. 
Jiva's agency is illusory. Jiva is impelled to action by 
Jsvara. Jiva as distinguished from Isvara. Pp. 550 559. 


Chapter V. Jiva's career after death. 

Jlva carries to the other worlds the seeds of the future 
body. Jiva descends to earth with residual karma. The 
sinful do not reach svarga Jiva's return from svarga. 
The relative speed of jiva when returning. Jiva is not born 
as a plant. Pp. 560566. 

Chapter VI. 5tates of Consciousness. 

The objects seen in svapna are unreal. Where jiva lies 
in Sushupti. Identity of Jiva who sleeps and wakes. 
Swoon is a distinct state of consciousness. Elimination of 
foreign elements from jiva. Pp. 567 573. 

Chapter VII. Brahman as external objects. 

Form and the formless. The conscious and the uncon- 
scious. The real and the false. The One Reality. 
Brahman experienced by the wise. The bearing of the 
present section. Brahman the self-cause. Brahman, the 
Good Deed. Pp. 574 583. 

Chapter VIII. Brahman the source of joy. 

Brahman the source of the supersensuous pleasure. 
Brahman is the source of activity and sensual pleasure. 

Pp. 584-589- 
Chapter IX. Who attains Brahman ? 

The purpose of the sequel. True knowledge leads to 
fearlessness. Brahman's real nature. Brahman is the 
Self. Knowledge of duality causes fear. Duality is a 
creature of avidya. Brahman's existence as the source of 
fear. The non-dual Self. Brahman as the Ruler of the 
Universe, Pp. 590605. 


Chapter X. Brahman the Infinite Bliss. 

The purpose of the sequel. Is Brahman's Bliss inherent 
or generated ? Brahman's Bliss to be comprehended 
through sensual pleasure. The unit of human bliss. The 
bliss of the Manushya-Gandharvas. The conditions of 
higher bliss. Peace is the essential condition of bliss. 
The bliss of the Deva-Gandharvas. The bliss of the Pitns. 
The bliss of the Devas born in the Aj&na. The bliss of 

the Karma-Devas The bliss of Devas proper. The bliss of 

Indra. The bliss of Bnhaspati. The bliss of the Praja- 
pati. The bliss of the Hirawyagarbha. Freedom from 
desire is the pre-eminent condition of bliss. The Supreme 
Bliss and its manifestations. The Supreme Bliss is one 
and non-dual. Pp. 606 628. 

Chapter XI. Brahman the Self. 

The purpose of the sequel. To know Brahman is to at- 
tain Him. What is truth, Duality or Non-Duality ? 
Non-duality is truth, because duality is a creature of igno- 
rance. Fearlessness in moksha is compatible only with 
non-duality. Duality is not perceived by Atman in His 
natural state. Fearlessness is incompatible with duality. 
Ignorance and knowledge are not the attributes of the Self. 
Attainment is knowledge. A summary of the foregoing 
discussion. Pp. 629 650. 

Chapter XII. The Unconditioned Brahman. 

Brahman is beyond speech and thought. The Word 
removes our ignorance of Brahman without denoting Him. 
The doctrine of the injunction of Brahma-juana refuted. 
The One Self is self-luminous, unconditioned, immutable, 


non-dual. Knowledge of the one Self imparted by Revela- 
tion. No external evidence is necessary to prove the Self. 
Knowledge of Brahman cannot be enjoined. The autho- 
rity of the 'anuvadas'. The authority of assertive sentences. 
The scope of injunction in the Vedanta. Wisdom eradi- 
cates fear. Sayana's explanation of the verse Positive 
and negative definitions of Brahman. Brahman is not 
denied. Pp. 651683. 

Chapter XIII. Beyond Works. 

The enlightened one is not afflicted by anxiety about 
good and evil. The enlightened one derives strength from 
good and evil. Conclusion of the Anandavalli. The en- 
lightened one is above sin The enlightened one is above 
good deeds. The indestructibility of the prarabdha-karma. 

The indestructibility and use of obligatory acts All 

obligatory acts are aids to Wisdom. Liberation neces- 
sarily accrues from right knowledge Persistence of 
wisdom through subsequent incarnations. Pp. 684 697. 





Peace -chant, p. 701. 

Chapter I. How to investigate Brahman. 

The purpose of the sequel. The bearing of the legends in 
the Upanishads Gateways to the knowledge of Brah- 
man Brahman defined indirectly. Investigation of Brah- 
man is necessary. Brahman can be defined Brahman 
is the source of the Veda. The Veda is the sole authority 
regarding Brahman. The Upanishad is the authority 
regarding Brahman Injunction is not the main theme of 
the Upanishads. The threefold process of investigation. 
Necessity of mental purity. Necessity of Meditation. 
Investigation to be continued till intuition is attained. 
Brahman as the cause of the universe Brahman as omni- 
scient and omnipotent To define Brahman as the cause 
is to define Him indirectly. This definition is not incom- 
patible with Brahman's non-duality Maya as Brahman's 
co-efficient. Devotion is the essential condition of Brahma- 

vidya The sruti recognises the order, of celibates. No 

descent from a higher to a lower stage is permitted. 

Penance for deviation from the path of celibacy Penance 

ensures purity only in future life Devotion to Brahman 
is incompatible with works. Pp. 702 739. 

Chapter II. Realisation of Brahman. 

Food realised as Brahman. The first finding is not 
satisfactory. Devotion is necessary at all stages, Life- 


principles as Brahman Manas as Brahman. Intelli- 
gence as Brahman Bliss as Brahman Devotion is the 
sole means to Brahtnavidya Bliss is the Self The 
fruits of wisdom. Never condemn food. Pp. 740 760. 

Chapter III. Some minor contemplations. 

Contemplation of food as Brahman Contemplation of 
life and body. Contemplation of water and fire Con- 
templation of Earth and Ether. Contemplation of Brah- 
man in man Contemplation of Brahman in the Cosmic 
Being. Contemplation of Brahman in some special as- 
pects. Pp. 761775. 

Chapter IV. Final Attainment. 

The Atman is ever beyond Sawsara. Unity of the Self 
and Brahman. The enlightened one becomes a Jlvan- 

mukta The Jivanmukta's song of unity with all. 

Knowledge ensures Bliss. Pp. 776 791. 






From whom is born the whole universe, in whom 
alone it is dissolved, and by whom alone is this upheld, 
to that Self who is Consciousness be this bow ! 

I bow ever to those Gurus by whom all these Upa- 
nishads have been explained heretofore, who have 
explained all words and sentences as well as all kinds 
of proof. 

For the benefit of those who wish to have a clear 
view of the essence of the Taittinyaka, has the follow- 
ing commentary been got up by me by the grace of the 

* This verse occurs also in the published edition of Suresva- 
racharya's Vtu'tika ; and ^Inandagiri gives different glosses iiuder 
the Bhashya and the Vartika. 


Brahmavidya the specific theme of the 

In the former section* were made known the obliga- 
tory acts, nityani karnuwi, intended for the eradication 
of sins already incurred, as well as kamyani karrruwi, 
those acts by which to secure some specific objects, and 
which are intended for the benefit of those who seek 
those objects. 

Now the Sruti commences Brahma-vidyn with a 
view to remove the cause which leads one to have re- 

*i.f.., in the section termed Bmhmaiia, and which enjoins works. 
The works here enjoined are not intended to secure moksha ; for, 
the ruti " By Dharma one wards off sin," declares that they 
are intended to destroy sins already incurred. Even Jaimini, 
who commences his Karma-mtmamsa with the aphorism " Now 
then commences an enquiry into Dharma" excludes all inquiry 
into the Thing in Itself ; so that this specific theme of the Upa- 
nishad has not been dealt with in the section which treats of 
works, i. e., of things that are to be brought into existence by 

The ritualistic section of the Veda treats not only of the works 
above referred to, which one is bound to do so long as one lives, 
but also of those which are intended to secure objects of desire 
pertaining to this world or the next. Neither among these acts 
arc there any intended to secure moksha, inasmuch as the 
(Sruti does not enjoin any of them as a means thereto ; whereas it 
expressly enjoins them as a means of securing worldly ends. 
The works enjoined in 1 ho ritualistic section of the Veda thus 
serve to secure such things as fall within the limits of samsara 
or mundane existence. 


course to works (karma.) Desire (krtma) must be the 
cause of works, because it is desire that urges one to 
work. In fact, activity is there where desire is. Indeed, 
no activity arises in those who have attained all desires, 
inasmuch as they rest in their own Self when there is no 
desire. When one seeks for Atmtm, the Self, then one 
has attained all desires. And the Self is Brahman. The 
Sruti, indeed, speaks of the knower of Brahman attain- 
ing the Supreme End. Wherefore, one is said to attain 
the supreme end when one abides in one's own Self, on 
the removal of avidya or ignorance of the nature of 
Brahman, as the Sruti declares in such passages as the 

" He attains the Fearless, the firm abode" * 
" He unites with this blissful Self." t 

The Upanishad imparts knowledge concerning the Thing 
in Itself ; for, that knowledge alone can put an end to the 
desires which lead one to have recourse to works. Bondage 
is caused by desire, and liberation by absence of desire, as 
taught by the Sruti with particular care in the following 
passages : 

" As his desire, so is his resolve ; as his resolve, so his 

work ; as his work, so his reward But he who 

does not desire, who has no desires, who is beyond 
desire, whose desires have been attained, whose object 

* Taittiriya-Upanishad 2-7-1. 

f Ibid. 2-8-1. The- two passages here quoted occur in a 
section which treats of the Selfjin the ,4nandamaya-kosa. 


of desire is 4tman, his sense-organs do not depart. 

Being the very Brahman, he attains to Brahman." * 
False conception regarding the Thing in Itself, which is 
in fact devoid of all duality, which is ever none other than 
Aiman, our own Self, is due to ignorance of Its real nature. 
False conception gives rise to desires, and these lead to 
action. How can action, which thus arises from ignorance 
of .<4tman, ever co-exist with the knowledge of yltman. 
Therefore, knowledge of A tman is quite an effective antidote 
to all activities. 

Doctrine of Salvation by works alone. 

(Mtmamsaka's objection :) Interested (kamya) and for- 
bidden (pratishiddha) acts being avoided, the fruits of 
rtrabdha the karma whose fruits are being reaped in 
the present birth being exhausted by enjoyment, all 
sins of omission being warded off by the performance 
of obligatory duties, without any effort t at all one can 
attain moksha, which consists in dwelling in one's own 
Self. I 
Or, it may be that, karma (vedic ritual) being the means 

* Brihadaranyaka-Upanishad, 4-4-5, 6. 

f There existing no cause which can give rise to another birth. 

J This theory assumes that all past karma combines together 
and gives rise to one birth, and that the fruits of the whole of 
that past karma can be exhausted in that one birth alone without 
any residual karma being left which may give rise to more births 
in the future. 


to the unsurpassed pleasure spoken of as svarga, * 
moksha is secured by means of karma alone. 

Thus, the soi-disant Mi'mamsakas hold that he who seeks 
moksha should resort to karma, and that for him no such 
thing as knowledge of yltinan is necessary. 

No Salvation by works alone. 

(Brahmavadin's answer:) Not so. It is indeed quite 
possible that innumerable karmas generated in the 
innumerable past births and productive of opposite 
effects exist, those which have already begun their 
effects as well as those which have not. Wherefore, 
since such of the karmas as have not yet begun their 
effects cannot be exhausted in this one birth by way of 
enjoying their fruits, there cannot but be another birth 
brought about by the residual karma. The existence 
of such residual karma is declared in hundreds of pass- 
ages in the sruti and the smriti, such as the following : 

" Among them, those of good conduct here 

soon attain to a good womb." 1 
" Then, on returning to this world, he obtains, by 

* According to the Mimamsaka, 'svarga' means unsurpassed 
pleasure ; and this unsurpassed pleasure can accrue in no other 
state than that of moksha or disembodied state. Therefore 
according to the Mimamsaka, the SVuti teaches that the vedic 
ritual such as jyotishfoma, which is said to be the means of at- 
taining svarga, is the only means to moksha, the state of dis- 
embodied spirit. 

Chhandogya-Upanishad 5-10-7. 



virtue of the remainder of merit, birth in a distinguished 
family "* 

Moreover, the fruits of brahmanicide and of the 
Asvamedha or horse-sacrifice are so opposed to each 
other that the fruits of both cannot be reaped in one 
and the same birth. On the other hand, they have to be 
reaped in two different bodies, one quite Tamasic and 
other quite Sattvic. Further, in the Dharmasastras, 
in the treatises on civil and religious law, it is said that 
the effect of even one karma done here runs through at 
least seven births. It needs no saying that innumera- 
ble karmas must give rise to innumerable births. 

(Mimamsaka.) Nitya or obligatory rites are intended 
to destroy good and evil karmas which have not yet be- 
gun their effects. t 

(Brahmavadin :) No, because sin (pratyavaya) is said 
to accrue from their omission. Sin (pratyavaya) indeed 
means something evil ;+ and it being admitted that the 
obligatory rites are intended to avoid the coming evil, 
i. e., the sin of omitting the obligatory duties, they are 
not intended for the destruction of the anmrabdha- karma, 
that portion of the past karma which has not yet begun 
its effect. Even granting that the nitya or obligatory 
rites are intended for the destruction of anarabdha-kar- 
ma, even then they can destroy the impure deed alone, 

* udpastamba-Dharmastttra, 2-2-3. 

f Now the Mimamsaka argues, admitting the existence of san- 
chita-karma, that portion of the past karma which has not yet 
begun its fruits. 
J i. e,, the effect of sinful acts, (Sur) ; the coming evil. (A.) 


but not the pure one, which is unopposed to it. In- 
deed, since the karma which is productive of good is 
a pure one, it cannot be opposed to the nitya or obli- 
gatory acts. Properly speaking, it is a pure act and an 
impure one which are opposed to each other. 

Moreover, in the absence of knowledge, karma in its 
entirety can never be exhausted, since then, in the 
absence of knowledge, those desires which give rise to 
karma cannot cease. In fact desires spring up in him 
who knows not /Itman, the Self, inasmuch as they aim 
at results which are external to the Self. Desire can 
never arise with reference to one's own Self, as He is 
ever present ; and it has been said that ^Itman Himself 
is the Supreme Brahman. 

Further, omission of nitya-karma is purely negative ; 
and no sin, which is a positive effect, can ever arise from 
a mere negative circumstance. Wherefore, omission of 
obligatory duties is a mere sign indicative of the exist- 
ence of an evil tendency resulting from sins accumulat- 
ed in the past. Thus we are not at a loss to explain 
the force of the present participle in the following 
passage : 

" Omitting the prescribed act, or performing the 
forbidden act, or being addicted to sensual en- 
joyments, man will have a fall."* 

* Maim XI. 44. The last line has been rendered according to 
^.nandagiri's reading. According to some of the published 
editions it must be rendered a.s follows : " M,an must perform 
a penance." 


Otherwise we would be led to conclude that a positive 
effect springs out of a mere negative fact, a conclusion 
which is opposed to all evidence. Wherefore it does 
not stand to reason that, without any special effort, one 
will abide in one's own Self. 

As to the contention that, the unsurpassed pleasure 
termed svarga being caused by karma, moksha is pro- 
duced by karma, (we reply) it cannot be ; for, moksha is 
eternal. Indeed, what is eternal cannot be produced. 
In our ordinary experience we find that what is pro- 
duced is impermanent. Therefore moksha is not a 
thing produced by karma. 

No Salvation by works associated with 

(Objection:) Karma associated with Vidya (contem- 
plation) has the power of producing what is eternal. 

(Answer:) No, because of a contradiction. It is a 
contradiction in terms to say that what is eternal is 

By induction we infer the general law that what is pro- 
duced is impermanent. It having been thus ascertained 
that impermanency is in the nature of all born things, Vidya 
can never alter it. 

(Objection :) What has been destroyed is not itself 
again born. Thus, like the pradhvamsabhava non- 
existence of a thing, known as destruction, moksha is 
eternal and is yet produced. 

(Answer :) No ; because moksha is positive. 


To explain : we mean that no positive result of an act, 
such as a pot, unlike the mere negative result, such as the 
destruction of a thing, is ever found eternal in our experi- 
ence. If moksha be a positive result of an act, it must also 
be impermanent. 

We have so far assumed that the result of an act can be 
purely negative, such as the destruction of a thing. Proper- 
ly speaking, the result of an act cannot be merely negative. 
When a pot is said to have been destroyed, we have potshreds 
produced, -which is a positive result ; and these potshreds. 
are no doubt as impermanent as the pot itself. No mere 
abhrtva or absence of a thing being ever the result of an act, 
it is a mere play upon words to say that it is produced by an 
act. All effects, such as the pot, ever inhere in clay etc., 
either manifested or latent, as attributes of the substances, but 
never in the mere non-existence (abhava). Mere non-exist- 
ence (abtuiva) cannot be related to an act or a quality. Inv 
aginary in itself, it can never be related to any other thing. 
It is therefore a mere verbal quibble to speak of abhava as 
if it were a thing in itself, just as it is a verbal quibble to 
speak of the body of a stone-image. So the Brwshyakara 
says : 

To say that pradhva;wsabhava, non-existence of a 
thing known as destruction, is produced is only a verbal 
quibble, inasmuch as nothing specific can be predicated 
of non-existence. Non-existence is indeed only the 
negative of existence.* Just as existence, though 

* Abhava is nothing distinct from the particular thing which 
is said to be absent. It being opposed to bhava or being, no- 
thing positive can be predicated of it. (Aj 



one and the same throughout, is yet distinguished by 
cloth, pot, and so on, e.g., we speak of the existence of 
a cloth, the existence of a pot, and so on, so also, 
though abhava or non-existence is in itself devoid of all 
distinctions, yet it is spoken of as different and in 
association with different acts or qualities as though it 
were a substance etc.* Non-existence cannot^ indeed, t 
co-exist with attributes as the blue lotus co-exists with 
its attributes. If it were possessed of attributes, then 
it would come under the category ot bhava or being. 

(Objection :) The agent concerned in Vidya and 
Karma, wisdom and works, being eternal, moksha which 
is the result of a continuous current of Vidya and 
Karma is also eternal like the Gangetic current. 

(Answer:] No; for, agency is painful. On the ces- 
sation of agency, moksha ceases, t 

* As to the contention that there are many kinds of abhava 
all of which except pragabhava, non-existence of a thing prior 
to its birth are said to be eternal, we reply that, though of one 
sort in itself, it is }-et spoken of as many owing to the multi- 
plicity of acts or qualities attributed to it. In point of fact, 
there arc not many distinct abhavas. (A) 

f It cannot be disputed that attributes co-exist with substances. 
So, if gha/a-pradhvawsabho-va non-existence of a pot known 
as destruction be eternal in its specific character as such, the 
concept of pot which enters into that specific concept must 
also be eternal. If the concept of pot be thus eternal, how 
is a conception of its non-existence possible ? Existence and 
non-existence of a pot cannot indeed co-exist. 

; So long as agency which is painful does not cease, there can 
be no moksha. Neither can there be moksha when agency ceases 
or then no action is possible which is said to produce moksha. 


Wherefore * moksha consists in dwelling in one's own 
Self on the cessation of avidya and kama, on account 
of which one resorts to karma. Airman, the Self, is 
Brahman ; and since a knowledge of Him leads to the 
cessation of avidyfl, the Upanishad which treats of 
Brahma-vidya forms a subject of special study. 

No cessation of avidya can ever be brought about except 
by Brahma- vidyn, knowledge of Brahman. Accordingly 
we should understand that, for the attainment of this 
knowledge, the Upanishad should be studied. This vidya 
alone serves to destroy avidy# or ignorance, and it concerns 
none other than .<4tman, our own Self. 

Etymology of Upanishad. 

Vidya (knowledge of Brahman) is called Upanishad 
because, in the case of those who devote themselves to 
it, the (bonds of) conception, birth, decay, etc., become 
unloosed, or because it destroys (those bonds) altogether, 
or because it leads (the devotee) very near to Brahman, 
or because therein the Highest Good is seated. As 
intended to produce this knowledge, the treatise is also 
called Upanishad. 

* i. e. because the highest good cannot be attained except by 
knowledge of Brahman. 






The three divisions of the Taittiriya Upanishad. 

The Taittinya- Upanishad is threefold Samhiti, Varuni, 
and Yrtjnikz. The Upanishad as made up of the first 
pra.patha.ka. or lecture is called Sflwzhiti, because the study 
of forms a part of it. Varuwa being the propagator 
of the traditional lore of Brahmavidy<7 embodied in the 
second and third lectures, the Upanishad which is made up 
of the two lectures is called after him. In the fourth lecture 
Mantras which are used in Yajnas or sacrificial rites are 
also mentioned, and therefore the Upanishad as made up of 
this lecture is called Yajnikz. Of these three, the chief is the 
Varum, inasmuch as therein is expounded the Brahmavidya 
which is the direct means to man's siimmwn bomim, viz., the 
attaining of Brahman. 

Why Sa'mhiti' = Upanishad should come first. 

It should not be objected that, as the chief of the three,* 
the Vaniftf'-upanishad should be first read. For, to acquire 
the necessary qualification to study the chief one, the Samhiti- 
Upanishad should be read first. By karma or Vedic ritual, 
no doubt, the seeker of knowledge has attained the necessary 
qualification for wisdom as well as a craving for wisdom ; 
still, concentration or one-pointedness of mind cannot be 
brought about by works. On the other hand, owing to the 
multiplicity of activities, there will be a greater tendency to 
wander away from the one point of study. The .K^has 
declare that concentration or one-pointedness of mind is es- 


sential for an intuitive realisation, in the following words : 
"By subtle seers alone, with a sharp and subtle 
mind, is He beheld. * 

This one-pointedness of mind is produced by a practice 
of dhyana, meditation. Hence the aphorisms of Patanjali 
describing the nature of Yoga and the means thereto : 

"Yoga is the suppression of the transformations 
of the thinking principle." t 
" Their suppression is secured by abhyasa 
(practice) and vairagya (non-attachment)." J 

Wherefore it is but right that, for a practice of dhyrtna or 
meditation, the Sawhita-Upanishad should come first. 

* Kartia-Upa; 3-12. f Op. cit 1-2. J Op. cit 1-12 


(First Anuvdka) 

Devas place obstacles in men's way 
to Brahmavidya. 

There is a popular saying that many are the obstacles 
which beset the way to a good end. On our way to Brahma- 
vidyfl, especially, there are possibly many obstacles placed 
by Devas. It is therefore necessary to endeavour to 
remove those obstacles. We learn from the following 
passage of the Bnhadarawyaka-upanishad that Devas throw 
obstacles in the way to Brahmavidya : 

" Now whoever worships the Devato as separate, regard- 
ing ' He is separate, I am separate,' he knoweth not. As a 
a cow (is to us), so is he to Devas. Just as many cows 
feed one man, so every one man feeds all Devas. When one 
cow alone is taken away, it is unpleasant ; how much more 
so if many are taken away ! Therefore Devas do not like 
that men should know." 

The passage may be explained as follows : Men are of 
two classes, those who know Brahman, and those who 
resort to works. That he who knows Brahman becomes all 
has been declared in the preceding passage in the words 
" He who knows thus etc." f Not even Devas can throw ob- 
stacles in the way of a man becoming all when he knows the 

* Bri. up 1-4-10, f Ibid. 

18 CONTEMPLATION. [S'ikshd- 

real nature of Brahman. For the man that knows Brahman 
becomes the ^4tman the very Self of those Devas, as 
declared in the same Upanishad in the following words : 
" And Devas cannot, verily, make him power- 
less ; he becomes their very self indeed." : 
Having thus spoken of the know r er of Brahman attaining 
the summitm bonum, the Upanishad proceeds to shew the con- 
trary result in the case of him who has no such knowledge, 
in the words " now whoever worships Devato as separate" 
etc. Now, i. e., after describing the glory of Brahmavidyfl, 
the power of avidyrt or ignorance is going to be described. 
He who worships the Divine Being as distinct from himself, 
thinking that the Divine Being, the object of worship, is dis- 
tinct from himself and that the worshipper himself is distinct 
from the Divine Being, the worshipper, thus seeing a dif- 
ference, knows not his own glory of being himself Brahman. 
Just as an animal, an elephant or a horse, not aware of 
its own superior strength, comes under the control of men 
who are inferior in strength, so does the ignorant worshipper 
come under the control of Devas. As many cattle cows, 
sheep, horses, bulls, buffaloes etc. subserve the happi- 
ness of a single man, each by an appropriate service 
such as yielding milk, carrying loads etc., so every individu- 
al who is ignorant subserves the happiness of Agni, Swrya, 
Indra and other Devas by way of offering to them sacrificial 
oblations, and so on. Accordingly, with reference to Devas, 
every individual man stands in the place of all animals. A 
person, for instance, who owns many cattle will be put to 
much pain when even a single animal is carried away by a 
thief or a tiger : how much more so when many are carried 

* Ibid, 


away ! Therefore Devas are put to much pain when men 
realise the identity of the Self and Brahman. Since the 
Veda itself thus declares that it is quite contrary to the 
wishes of the Devas that men should acquire Brahmavidya, 
it is quite possible that Devas may place obstacles in the 
way of men who wish to acquire Brahmavidya. This has 
been clearly stated in the Vartikasara as follows : 

" Without knowing the true nature of his own Self, a man 
works to nourish external Devas by sacrifices, gifts and 
other rites, as a bull works for a merchant. A man, though 
owning many cattle, yet suffers much pain when a single 
animal is stolen away. When the human animal, constitut- 
ing almost the whole property of Devas, is carried away by 
the thief of Brahmavidy^, all Devas are put to much 
pain. Thus it will be painful to Devas if men should know 
the identity of the Self and Brahman, and therefore they ob- 
struct the growth of wisdom. Accordingly we find even 
sannyasins taking to a vicious course of life, being thrown 
off their guard, with the mind turned towards external ob- 
jects, bent upon quarrelling, all this because their hearts 
are poisoned by Devas." 

Like Devas, even .ftishis and others are obstructors. This 
also has been declared in a passage in the Bnhad^rawyaka- 
upanishad, which is briefly explained in the Wirtikasara as 
follows : 

"Identifying himself with a caste and a religious order, he 
who knows not the Truth, with his mind turned outward, 
forms the support of all creatures from Devas down to ants. 
The householder nourishes all, nourishes Devas by wor- 
shipping and offering oblations to them, nourishes /?ishis by 
studying Vedas, Pitns by Snzddha rites, men by gifts of 
food and clothing and houses, cattle by grass and water, 


dogs and birds by the leavings and seeds of grain. Since 
no one does an act of good who has not been won by 
karma, the householder must have been acquired by Devas, 
etc., by their own karma. Devas and others always wish 
safety as much to the householder, who does good to them, 
as to their own bodies, acquired as they both alike are by 
their own karma. Neglect of works is the result of acquiring 
a knowledge of truth ; and it is a great peril to which the 
householder is subject. This peril, indeed, cannot be avert- 
ed by Devas and all. Neglect of works from sickness or 
languor is not a permanent loss, since man may do them 
afterwards. Accordingly, Devas and others thwart man's 
attempts to attain wisdom lest his knowledge of the real 
nature of Brahman may deprive them of their whole pro- 

The same truth is expressed by the Kashas in the 
following words : 

" Of whom the many have no chance to even 
hear, whom many cannot know though they 
have heard.'' * 

And our Lord has stated the same truth in the following 
verse : 

" Among thousands of men one perchance 
strives for perfection. Even among those who 
strive and are perfect, only one perchance 
knows Me in truth." f 

Mantra for the removal of those obstacles. 

Since many obstacles lie in the way of man's highest 
aspiration, a mantra to be recited for their overthrow is 

* Kaiha Upa 2-7. f Bhagavadgita VII. 3. 

Anuvaka I.] INVOCATION TO GOD. 21 

given in the opening section of the Sawhito-upanishad. 
But this mantra is not given at the commencement of the 
karma-kam/a or ritualistic section, because performance of 
rites is desired even by the Devas and others and therefore 
no obstacles will lie in the way. It may perhaps be urged 
that all obstacles to wisdom have been removed by the per- 
formance of sacrificial works and gifts enjoined in the 
former section. We admit that it is true. But there may still 
exist some other obstacles which are removable by a recita- 
tion of this mantra. Want of relish for knowledge is the 
first obstacle, and this is the result of the great sins accu- 
mulated in the past as has been declared in the Purawa in 
the following words : 

" Wisdom-worship is not relishing to men 
of great sins ; on the other hand, wisdom- 
worship even looks very repulsive in itself." 
And those great sins are removed by sacrificial rites and 
g'fts calculated to create a taste for knowledge of Brahman, 
It is this relish which is spoken of as vividisha, desire to 
know. That it is produced by sacrificial rites, etc., is de- 
clared in the following words : 

" Him do the Brahmawrs seek to know by 
sacrifice, by gifts, by the austerity of restricted 
food." :;: 

Though the sacrificial rites, etc., when performed with a 
view to their immediate specific results lead to enjoyments, 
to samsrtra or mundane life, still it stands to reason that 
when dedicated to the Lord they remove the great sins 
which obstruct the growth of wisdom. Hence the words of 
the Lord : 

* Bri. Up. 4-4-22. 

22 CONTEMPLATION. Slkshtt-V Cllll, 

" He who does actions, placing them in 
Brahman, abandoning attachment, is not 
tainted by sin as a lotus-leaf by water." 
And a sign of this extinction of sin is freedom from all 
attachment. Accordingly it has been said in the Naish- 

" The mind getting purer by works dedicated 
to the /svara manifests non-attachment for the 
region of Brahma and the like, and then it is 
perfect in purity." t 
In the Sreyonruirga, too, it is said : 

"Man's conviction of the worthlessness of 
all this mundane existence from Brahma 
down to plant marks the ripening of his acts 
dedicated to the Divine Being, the Antarya- 
min, the Indwelling Regulator." 

Though the obstacle which has caused a dislike for 
knowledge has been removed on attaining vairagya (non- 
attachment), still many obstacles may lie in the way of \ipa- 
sana (contemplation) otherwise spoken of as yoga by 
which the mind becomes one-pointed. They are enume- 
rated by Patanjali as follows : 

" Disease, dullness, doubt, carelessness, sloth, 
worldly-mindedness, misconception, missing 
the point, and unsteadiness are the causes 
of the mind's distraction and they are the 
obstacles." | 

What diseases are is well-known. Dullness consists in the 
mind being unfit for work. Owing to a preponderance of 
tamas the mind does sometimes become unfit for work. 

* Bhag. Gita V. 10. f Op. cit. 1-47. J Yogastttras, i. 30. 

Anuvaka L] INVOCATION TO cob. i3 

Doubt is the absence of a determinate knowledge as to the 
object of contemplation. Carelessness is the occasional neg- 
lect of contemplation. Sloth is indifference, a tendency to 
procrastinate. Worldly -mindedness is the absence of vairagya 
or non-attachment. Misconception is the false notion as to 
the nature of the object of contemplation. Missing the point 
is marked by the absence of a continuous progress through 
higher and higher stages in the concentration of mind. 
Unsteadiness consists in engaging in contemplation at one 
time, in sacrificial rites and gifts at another, in trade or 
agriculture yet again, and so on. 

Here follows the mantra which has to be recited for the 
removal of obstacles on the path of yoga : 

: Hill 

i. Om. May Mitra be propitious to us, and 
Varu/za propitious be ; may Aryaman propitious 
be to us; propitious be Indra and Brihaspati to 
us ; to us propitious may Vishwu of vast extent be. 

Mitra is the Devatatman,* the Shining One, the In- 
telligence, the Self identifying Himself with, and mani- 
festing Himself as, day and pram, or upward current of 
life-breath. Varuwa is the Intelligence concerned with 
night and apana or downward current of life-breath, 
Aryaman with the eye and the sun, Indra with strength, 
Brihaspati wkh speech and buddhi or intellect, Vishmi 

* Here it is Brahman, the Swtratman, that is invoked as 
Mitra, etc ( (Su. & Aj 

24 CONTEMPLATION. [S'ikskd- 

with the feet. These and others are the Devatas 
working in the individual organism. ; 

May all these Devatos be propitious to us. It is 
only when these are propitious to us that wisdom can 
be studiedt, retained in memory and imparted to 
others without any obstacle. Hence the prayer to 
them to be propitious. 

Vishwu is said to be of vast extent because in His n- 
carnation as Trivikrama his feet were very extensive. Or 
it may be explained thus : Mitra and other Devatas or In- 
telligences who identify themselves with, and function 
through, pnraa and other detached members of the bodily 
organism have been mentioned. The Viraj-Purusha who 
identifies Himself with, and functions in, the whole orga- 
nism has yet to be mentioned. He is said to be of vast 
extent because He pervades all, having the whole Brahm- 
da. for his body. Thus the Devas working severally in 
the whole body and its members have been invoked to bless 
the student by way of removing all obstacles. 

2. Bow to Brahman ! Bow to Thee, Vciyu ! 
Thou art indeed Brahman perceptible. Thee 

* Through prana or life and sense-organs. A. 
f This study consists in determining the import of the 
Vedantic texts by sitting at the feet of a teacher. (A.) 


indeed will I declare Brahman perceptible. 
The right will I declare ; and I will declare the 
true. May That protect me; may That protect 
the teacher. Me may That protect ; may It 
protect the teacher. 

The seeker of Divine Wisdom bows to Vayu and de- 
clares Him as Brahman for the mitigation of all troubles 
in the way of acquiring Brahmavidya, since on Him 
depend the fruits of all actions. To Brahman, i. c., to 
Vayu, I make this bow. Here Vayu himself is addresed 
Brahman. Moreover, since Thou art Brahman imme- 
diate, when compared with the external organs of 
sensation such as the eye, I shall declare Thee Brahman 

As Sutra, or Cosmic Life, Energy and Intelligence, Pnz- 
a is no doubt remote. But the individualised Prana, or Vita- 
lity in the heart is present to everybody's consciousness and 
is therefore immediate when compared with the eye etc., 
whose existence can only be inferred from the fact of colour 
etc., being perceived and which are therefore remote. Prana 
is spoken of as Brahman perceptible, since in breathing the 
body expands (the root ' brih ' means to expand). Though 
not the very Brahman, Pi-ana, is addressed as such just in 
the same way that the gate-keeper of a king's palace is 
addressed as king to get a ready admission. Prana is the 
gate-keeper as it were of Brahman in the heart. The seek- 
er of liberation who wishes to see Brahman addresses Prana 
as Brahman with a view to praise the Intelligence func- 
tioning in the vitality. (A), 



CONTEMPLATION-. [S'ikskd- Vail}. 

Since the right i.e., that which, by buddhi or intel- 
lect, is determined as right, as having been taught in 
the scriptures, and so constituting our duty depends 
upon Thee, I will declare Thee to be the right. The 
right thing when executed in speech and by the body 
constitutes the true. Since this execution, too, depends 
upon Thee, I shall declare Thyself to be the true. May 
That, that Brahman who is called Vayu, by me thus 
praised, protect me, the seeker of wisdom ; and may the 
same Brahman protect the teacher by way of granting 
him power to teach. The repetition of " May That 
protect," etc., shows earnestness. 

Now, he bows to the Supreme Brahman who impels all 
these Devas, as their Antarynmin, as the Ruler indwelling 
them all, in the words " Bow to Brahman." Brahman 
as the Stra, endued with jnana.-s3.kti and kriya-sakti, with 
the powers of intelligence and force, holds in their places all 
beings of life that put on the body of Vayu, as declared 
in the following passage : 

"Vayu verily, O Gautama, is that Sutra. ; by 
the Szrtra, verily, O Gautama, by Vayu is this 
world and all beings are woven." : 

Accordingly the student bows to Wiyu also. Now, the 
Antaryamin is not addressed in the second person, in- 
asmuch as He is out of sight, being known only through 
the scriptures and inference. As the Sz^tnztman, however, 
i. e. as Vayu, Brahman is known through the sense of touch. 
This very idea is clearly set forth in the words : " Thou art 
indeed Brahman perceptible." Because Brahman, mani- 

* Bri. Up. 3-7-2. 

Anuvdka 7.1 INVOCATION TO GOD. 27 

fested through the upadhi or medium of Vayu, is perceptible 
to the senses, the student says : I shall in the sequel, in 
the passages treating of upasana or contemplative wor- 
ship declare Thee, indeed, as Brahman fit for Sakshrttkara 
or direct perception. It is, indeed, the Conditioned Brahman 
who after a long practice of contemplation can be directly 
perceived in the form in which He has been contemplated. 
Accordingly the Chhandogas read in the Sandilya-Vidya as 
follows : 

" (He attains to the /svara's state) who feels 
certain that ' departing hence, I shall attain 
to Him,' and to whom there is no doubt." * 

The Vfljasaneyins also declare "Becoming the Deva, he 
is absorbed in the Dsvas." f ' Becoming the Deva ' means, 
the Sakshfltkara or immediate realisation of the Deva in this 
very birth. 'To be absorbed in the Devas ' means to be- 
come the Deva himself after death. Wherefore, there is 
nothing untrue in what I am going to declare in the sequel. 
On the other hand, I am declaring a real fact when I 
say that ' Thou art Brahman perceptible.' ' To declare the 
right ' is to contemplate in the mind of a real fact indeed to 
be expressed. To ' declare the true ' is to give expression to 
it in speech. May the perceptible Brahman who will be 
spoken of in the sequel protect both myself, the student 
and the teacher, by granting to us respectively the power to 
grasp wisdom and the power to impart wisdom. The same 
idea is again repeated in the text, 

3. Om ! Peace ! Peace ! Peace ! 

* Chhft. Up. 3-4-4. t Bri. Up. 4-1-2. 

28 CONTEMPLATION. [S'iksktt-V ' alii . 

The uttering of the word ' peace ' three times is in- 
tended to ward off the troubles that occur on the path 
to wisdom owing to causes operating in the individual 
organism, in the external beings, and in the region of 
Devas or Cosmic Intelligences. 

Having thus prayed to the perceptible Brahman as Vayu, 
the student contemplates by means of Praava which de- 
signates Him the imperceptible Antaryamin, the Ruler 
within, and prays for the removal of obstacles : There are 
three kinds of troubles: (i) the A dhyatmika, those which 
arise from causes operating in the student's own body, 
namely, fever, pain in the head, and so on ; (2) the 
yldhidaivika the troubles from the Devas etc. ; (3) the 
/Idhibhautika, troubles arising from Yakshas, Rakshasas, 
etc. For the cessation of these three, the word ' peace ' is 
uttered thrice. That the contemplation of Jsvara by Prawava 
is meant for the removal of obstacles is formulated by 
Patanjali in four Swtras as follows : 

" /svara is a particular soul untouched by 
affliction, works, fruition and impressions. 

His designation is Prawava. A constant 

repetition of it and an intense meditation on 
its meaning should be practised. Thence 
arises a cognition of the Inner Consciousness 
and absence of obstacles." " ;: 

* Yogaswtras 1.-24-29. 


(Second Anuvdka) 

The Upanishad being mainly intended for a know- 
ledge of its meaning, there should be no want of care 
in the study of the text. * Therefore here follows a 
lesson on Sikshrt, the doctrine of pronunciation. 

sfteri ^MIWH: i ^f: ^rc: i *PTT ^^TJ ^m 

I ^Trf?. 3fajrTSn*T: II 

Om ! We shall treat of the phonetics : sound, 
rhythm, quantity, strength, modulation, union. 
Thus has been declared the lesson on phonetics. 

Phonetics (Siksha) is the science which treats of 
sounds and their pronunciation. Or, the word ' sikshfl ' 
may here signify the sounds etc., which are treated of 
in that science, t Sound : such as 'a'. Rhythm : such as 
udatta or high-pitched tone. Length : short, long, etc. 
Strength : intensity of effort. Modulation : pronunciation 
of sounds in the middle tone. Union : conjunction of 
several sounds. These are the things to be learnt. 
Thus far is the lesson on phonetics. In these wprds 
the Upanishad concludes the present subject witfr a 
view to proceed to the next. 

* Otherwise, the intended meaning cannot be conveyed. 
f The science of phonetics being expounded elsewhere, the 
second interpretation is preferable. (AJ 


For him who, by the recitation of the mantra given in the 
first anuvaka, has removed obstacles, it is proper to proceed 
with the text treating of the ways of contemplation and of 
the nature of Brahman. As the text of the Upanishad is 
mainly intended for a knowledge of the things therein treated 
of, one should spare no pains in learning the text ; and ac- 
cordingly the Upanishad proceeds with a lesson on phonetics. 
Here one may ask, what if one be careless ? We reply : 
carelessness will lead to evil. It has been said, " The Man- 
tra, when wanting in rhythm or sound, or when wrongly 
used, conveys not the intended idea. That thunderbolt of 
speech will ruin the worshipper as the word ' indra-satru ' 
did owing to a fault in rhythm " * 

* Pan-ini-Siksht. 52. The story concerning " indra-satru " is 
told in the Taittiriya-Samliita 2-4-12 as follows : TVashfa, " the 
Vulcan of the Hindus," whose son had been slain by Indra, pre- 
pared to get up the Soma sacrifice without Indra. The latter 
wished for an invitation for it, but; Tvashfa would not invite 
him, who had slain his son. Then Indra interrupted the sacri- 
fice and forcibly drank away the Soma juice. Thereupon Tvashto 
poured into the fire an oblation of the Soma juice that then re- 
mained, praying " Agui, grow up into an Indra-satru." Thence 
rose a person, named Vritra, 'who began to extend his form 
rapidly over the three regions of the earth, the interspace and 
heaven. Tvashio. was afraid of his growing power and gave Indra 
a consecrated weapon to kill him with. With this weapon and 
with the whole strength of Vishnu at his back, Indra was able to 
draw away the whole strength of Vritra into himself and Vishnu, 
when Vritra became absorbed in Indra'sbody. Tvashfa. of course 
prayed that the person should prove Indra's destroyer ; but, as 
he had mispronounced " Indra-satru, " with udatta (acute 
accentor high tone) on the first instead of on the last syllable, 
the result was quite the contrary. 


(Objection :) If so, this lesson should have been given in 
the karma-kflw/a or ritualistic section. 

(Answer:) True. For that very reason, as the lesson 
subserves both the sections, it is given between the two 

(Objection:) Then, as subservient to both, let it be given 
at the beginning of the Veda. 

(Answer:) Though subservient to both, it has to be 
given in the theosophical section in order to shew its greater 
use as regards knowledge. As to the ritualistic section, 
despite the chance of misunderstanding the scriptures owing 
to error in the rhythm and sound, it is possible to do away 
with any imperfection in the performance by prayaschitta or 
an expiatory act. Accordingly, in such cases, the Veda 
gives the following mantra for an expiatory offering of 
clarified butter : 

" Whatever in the sacrifice is wrongly done, 
unknown or known, do, O Agni, rectify that 
(part) of this (sacrifice) ; thou indeed knowest 
what is right." 

On the contrary, when the scriptures in the theosophical 
section are wrongly understood, the imperfection cannot be 
made up for. Indeed, it is not possible to do away with 
wrong knowledge by an expiatory act. We have never seen 
an illusory perception of serpent in a rope removed by the 
reciting of the Gayatn hymn. Wherefore no expiatory act 
whatever is enjoined in connection with knowledge, in the 
same way that it is enjoined in connection with the rituals. 
On the contrary, in the case of him who, striving in the path 

* Taittirtya-Brohmana 3-7-11. 


of wisdom commits any sin, the scriptures deny all ex- 
piation other than theosophy, in the following words : 
" If the yogin should unguardedly commit a 
sin, he should resort to yoga alone, never to 
any other thing such as mantra." 

Wherefore the lesson on the phonetics is given here es- 
pecially to enjoin great care in the study of the upanishads, 
so that there may be no defect in the knowledge acquired 
and that the scripture may be understood aright. 

............ Modulation (sama) consists in reciting the text 

neither too fast nor too slow, in pronouncing e^ery sound 
according to its proper time ............... As to the six things 

mentioned here the Veda should be recited according to the 
directions given in the several sciences ; and these are the 
only six things in the science of phonetics to be attended 
to. Since in the upanishad " siksha " and other words 
are recited in one neutral accentless tone, this lesson can- 
not indeed insist on the accentuation of radical words and 
terminations as taught in the science of grammar ; still the 
accentuation as current in the traditional mode of recit- 
ing the texts' should be learnt. Though it does not enable 
us to acquire any special knowledge in particular, still, 
being enjoined in this lesson on phonetics, it may be of 
some : to us unknown service. That unknown service may 
consist-in the removing of obstacles placed in the way of him 
who engages in contemplation and seeks to acquire wisdom. 


(Third Anuvdka,) 

In the second lesson has been shewn in what particular 
way the text should be recited, to secure some visible and 
invisible good. In the third lesson is taught a certain con- 
templation which is calculated to secure fruits of this and 
the future world. 

Invocation for fame and lustre. 

There occurs first the following mantra which serves the 
purpose of an auspicious act. In the peace-chant given 
above, removal of obstacles was prayed for, while in this 
mantra the student prays for perfection in the contemplation 
and its fruits. The mantra reads as follows : 

i. Fame to us both : Brahma-varchasa to us 

Now the sruti proceeds with the Upanishad or sacred 
teaching concerning conjunction (sajuhita). * Whatever 
fame t accrues from a knowledge of the sacred teaching 

* The contemplation of gross physical objects through Samhita 
or conjunction of physical sounds is first taught so that persons 
whose minds are habitually btfiit towards external objects may 
lind an entrance into ths subtle truths conveyed by the upa- 
nishads (S.) 

f On account of the observance of all duties enjoined in the 
scriptures and by the study of the Veda under proscribed condi- 

34 CONTEMPLATION [S'lks/ld- 

regarding Sawihita, may it accrue to both of us, master 
and pupil. Whatever lustre * accrues from that cause, 
may it accrue to us both. This invocation is uttered 
by the pupil. Such prayer, indeed, becomes him alone, 
as he has not yet achieved his aspirations. It does not 
become the master who has already achieved his aspi- 
rations. A master is one who has already achieved his 

The pupil's fame consists in his being known to have 
rightly practised the contemplation, and the master's fame 
in being known to have taught it aright. This implies 
that the contemplation has attained perfection, not wanting 
in any of its parts. Brahma- varchasa is the lustre which a 
brahmaa ought to possess, and which accrues from a study 
of the Veda. It stands for all the fruits spoken of in the 
sequel of this lesson ............ No doubt the blessing prayed 

for accrues only to the pupil, the worshipper ; still, by 
courtesy, it is spoken of as a good accruing also to the 
master, inasmuch as the master will feel happy when the 
pupil attains the fruits prayed for. 

Contemplation of Samnita in the five objects. 

The sruti now enunciates the Vidyfl or contemplation for 
which the auspicious act of invocation has been performed. 

2. Now, then, the Upanishad of Sawhito (the 

* of the skin. (A.) 


sacred teaching about conjunction) shall we de- 
clare in the five objects : in the worlds, in the 
lights, in knowledge, in progeny, in the self. 
These are great conjunctions, they say. 

Now : after what has been taught in the preceding 
lesson as to how the Upanishads should be recited. 
Then : because the buddhi or intellect, always accustom- 
ed as it has been to think of the text, cannot suddenly be 
directed to a knowledge of the truths taught in it The 
sruti says : We shall now teach the comtemplation of 
Sawhita how Sawhita should be regarded and medi- 
tated upon, a thing which is quite near to the mere 
text with reference to the five objects of knowledge : 
namely, the contemplation of the worlds, of the lights, 
of knowledge, of progeny, of the self. As concerned 
with conjunction and with great things, these sacred 
teachings regarding the five objects of thought are 
spoken of as Maha-sawhitrts, as great conjunctions, by 
those who know the Veda. 

The student having practised recitation of the sounds, 
rhythm, etc., of the text in the manner laid down in the 
preceding anuvrtka, we shall first explain the contemplation of 
Sawhita, which concerns itself with the recitation of the Vedic 
text ; for, the student who is going to engage in contempla- 
tion, fully e imbued as he is with the idea of Vedic recitation 
by long practice, will find it very hard to direct his mind at 
once to contemplations not connected with the recitation of 
the Vedic text. 'Sa;hito' means an extremely close approxi- 
mation of sounds to one another, ' Upanishad ' here means 


contemplation, because by contemplation a man finds, lying 
very near him, all the good such as progeny, cattle, and the 
brahma-varchasa. The conjunction which has to be con- 
templated upon will be described in relation to five groups 
of things. To shew that there are not as many distinct 
contemplations as there are groups of things to be con- 
templated, the sruti proposes here to treat of one single 
act of contemplation comprehending all the five groups of 
objects ................ Ths conjunctions are said to be great 

because in the contemplation they are to be regarded .as 
great things such as the worlds. 

Contemplation of Samhita in the Worlds. 

Now the sruti proceeds to deal with the first of the five 
groups of things to be thought of in the contemplation of 

3. Now as to the worlds : earth is the first form, 
heaven the next form, the interspace the junc- 
tion, air the medium ; thus far as to the worlds. 

Of the conjunctions mentioned above, contemplation 
of conjunction in the worlds will now be described. 
The word ' now ' in all these passages denotes the order 
in which the objects are to be regarded in the course of 
contemplation. Earth is the first form, the first souncj, ; 
that is to say, the first of the two sounds joined together 

AnuvakallT.] OF CONJUNCTION. 57 

should be regarded as the earth. * Similarly heaven is 
the next sound. The interspace (antariksha) is the 
junction, the mid-space between the first and the second 
sounds, the place where the two sounds are joined to- 
gether. Air is the medium t, that by which they are 
joined together. Thus has been taught the coftte'm'pla- 
tion of Sawhita in the worlds. 

In the scriptural text ' ishe-(t)-tvfl,' ' e ' and ' t ' the final 
and the initial sounds, respectively, of the words ' ishe ' and 
' tvrt ' which are to be joined together are the two sounds 
joined together. The middle space between them should be 
regarded as the antariksha. The ' t ' within the brackets is 
the sound which comes in by doubling the ' t,' one of the 
two sounds joined together, and it is this additional sound 
' t ' which has to be regarded as the air. 

Contemplation of 5amhita in the Lights. 

Then follows the second group : 



4. Now as to the lights : fire is the first form, 
sun the second form, water the junction, lightning 
the medium. Thus far as to the lights. 

* The earth, heaven, etc., here stand for the Devatds, the In- 
telligences functioning in the earth, heaven etc. The material 
forms are not worthy of worship. (A.) 

f The special effort. (A.) 


This and the following groups should be interpreted 
like the preceding one. 

Contemplation of Samhita in Knowledge. 

5. Now as to knowledge : master is the first 
form, pupil the second form, knowledge the junc- 
tion, instruction the medium. Thus far as to 

Knowledge stands for the text which has to be taught by 
the master and learnt by the pupil. 

Contemplation of Samhita in Progeny. 

Then follows the fourth group : 


6. Now as to progeny : mother is the first form, 
father the second form, progeny the junction, 
procreation the medium. Thus far as to progeny. 

Progeny : sons, grandsons etc. 

Contemplation of Samhita in the Self. 


7. Now as to the self: lower jaw is the first 
form, upper jaw the second form, speech the junc- 
tion, tongue the medium. Thus far as to the self. 

' Self ' here denotes the whole aggregate made up of the 
physical body, sense-organs, etc., as well as the Conscious- 
ness witnessing them all, inasmuch as the notion of self 
refers to this aggregate. It is this self with which the fifth 
group is concerned. Speech : the organ of speech located in 
the throat, palate, etc. 

The Sruti concludes the members of conjunction described 
above in the following words : 

8. Thus these are the great conjunctions. 

Contemplation of Samhita enjoined 
for a specific end. 

This contemplation is prescribed as a means to a specific 
end in the following words : 

Whoso should contemplate these great con- 
junctions thus declared is endued with progeny 
and cattle, with brahma-varchasa, with food to 
eat, with the region of svarga, 


The Sanskrit verb 'vid,' to know, should be here under- 
stood in, the sense of up^sana or contemplation because 
this section treats of upasana. Upasana consists in a con- 
tinuous flow of one and the same idea as recommended 
by the scripture, unmixed with other ideas, and made 
to hang on some perceptible object recommended by 
the scripture. He who renders constant service to the 
Guru or to the King is said to render upasana to him, 
and he attains the fruit thereof. Here, too, he who 
contemplates in the manner described above attains 
progeny and other fruits. 

The Sanskrit root 'vid,' no doubt, denotes knowledge pro- 
duced by the operation of sense-organs, not upasana or the 
act of contemplation, a mental act depending on the will and 
effort of the individual. Still, the verb ' vid ' which means 
to know should here be understood in its secondary sense of 
upasana or contemplation which is allied to knowledge, 
both knowledge and contemplation being alike functions of 
the mind. The word cannot be understood here in its 
primary sense inasmuch as mere knowledge which is not 
dependent on the individual's will and effort cannot form 
the subject of an injunction. If mere knowledge were 
meant here, then, as it has been already imparted in the 
words " earth. is the first form " and so on, there would be 
no need for an injunction. It cannot be urged that the 
form ' veda ' occurring in the Upanishad is in the indi- 
cative mood and does not therefore mean an injunction. 
For, we regard the form ' veda ' imparative, as often used 
in the Vedic texts. It may perhaps be also urged that this 
form ' veda ' is indicative, not imperative, and that there- 
fore the sentence merely repeats the truth already presented 

AnuvdkallL] OF CONJUNCTION. 41 

to the mind. In reply, we say that mere knowledge of the 
truth does not enable one to attain progeny, cattle, and other 
fruits mentioned. Wherefore, we are to understand that the 
word 'veda' is used in its secondary sense of contemplation, 
and is in the imperative mood, signifying an injunction. 
This interpretation is, moreover, in accordance with the 
context, the present section being concerned with upflsana 
as may be seen from the last words of the sixth lesson, 
"thus do thou, O Prachma-Yogya, contemplate (upassva)." 
Here, svarga is indeed the fruit to be reaped in the future. 
As to the cattle and other fruits, they may be attained either 
here or hereafter, as in the case of the Chitra sacrifice whose 
fruits namely, cattle are said to be attainable here in the 
absence of all obstacles, or hereafter if there should be any 
obstacles in the way of its attainment in the present birth. 
It is for the attainment of fruits like these that the act of 
contemplation which depends on the individual's will and 
effort is enjoined here by the word ' veda.' 

The Philosophy of Contemplation. 

[In the Vedanta-s?<tras, various points concerning upasana 
have been discussed and settled. The Vedanta-sutras, bet- 
ter known as the Sariraka-Mimamsa, an enquiry into the 
embodied soul, comprise four books (adhyayas) divided 
each into four parts (padas), each of these four parts contain- 
ing several sections (adhikarawas.) An adhikarawa is made 
up of one or more aphorisms (s.'^tras) and forms a complete 
discussion of a single question. The commentator on 
this Upanishad gives here and there at the close of a lesson 
a digest of such discussions as bear upon the subject-matter 
of the lesson. 



Every such discussion will be presented here in its three 
following parts : 

1. Question: A statement of the two or more different, 
antagonistic, alternative points of view presenting them- 
selves on a subject. 

2. Purvapaksha or the Printa Facie View : The one or 
more points of view which will bs ultimately set aside, with 
all the arguments in its or their support. 

3. Siddhdnta or Conclusion: That point of view which has 
the strongest support of evidence and which should there- 
fore be accepted as the final demonstrated truth, as well 
as all the arguments which can be adduced in its behalf.] 

The Upasaka should be seated when engaged 
in Contemplation. 

The question of the upasaka's posture is discussed as 
follows in the Vedanta-S^tras IV. i. 7-10 : 

(Question] : Is it necessary or not necessary for a man to 
be seated while engaged in contemplation ? 

(The Pvima Facie View :) It is unnecessary, inasmuch as 
no particular posture of the body has any bearing on the 
activity of manas. 

(Conclusion :) It is necessary that he should be seated 
when engaged in contemplation. Otherwise, contemplation 
is impossible. In the first place it is impossible for a man 
to contemplate while lying down, since all on a sudden he 
may be overpowered by sleep. Neither is it possible for 
him to contemplate when standing or walking ; for, the mind 
would then wander away from the point by having to attend 
to the balancing of the body and to ascertain the right road. 

AnuvakallL] OF CONJUNCTION. 43 

No specific time and place necessary for Upasana. 

(Vedflnta-Stras, IV. i. n.) 

(Question :) Is there any specific time or place wherein 
alone one should practise contemplation ? 

(The prima facie view] : The Veda has prescribed the east 
as the proper direction for Brahmayajna, the place inclined 
towards the east for Vaisvadeva, the afternoon for Piwrfa- 
pitriyajwa, and so on. Thus, time and place of a specific 
character are prescribed in the case of Vedic rites. In the case 
of contemplation, too, which is alike an act enjoined by the 
Veda, there should be a specific time and place prescribed. 

(Conclusion ^Concentration is the primary condition of 
meditation (dhyana), and this concentration is not improved 
by resorting to any particular place or time. There can 
therefore be no specific time or place prescribed. Hence it 
is that the sruti, prescribing a proper place for the practice 
of yoga, recommends that the place selected should be 
agreeable to the mind. One should practise yoga only at a 
place which is pleasing to the mind. No specific place is 
prescribed in the scriptures. It is true that the sruti declares 
that the place selected for the practice of yoga should be 
" even, clean, free from gravel, fire and sand." * But, as 
the sruti concludes by saying that the place should be pleas- 
ing to the mind, we understand that there the sruti only 
refers to some of the general conditions which facilitate con- 
templation, the end in view. These general conditions being 
satisfied, there is no restriction that any particular place or 
time should be resorted to for yoga. The sruti only means 
that contemplation should be practised where concentration 
is possible. 

* (S'vetasyatara-Upanishad, 2-10, 

44 CONTEMPLATION. [S jkshcl-V dill 

The Scope of Samhita-Upasana. 

We have now to discuss as to how much of the attributes 
of the Being described in the scriptures should be brought 
within the sphere of contemplation. In the Aitareya-Upa- 
nishad also, contemplation of Sawhita is given as follows : 

" Now, then, the sacred teaching regarding 
Conjunction" ; * 

and so on. Now we have to enquire : (i) Are the Upasana 
given in the Aitareya recension and that given in the Tait- 
tin'ya recension one and the same or different ? (2) Even if 
they are one and the same, is it necessary or not necessary 
that all that is taught in one place should be taken as taught 
in the other ? 

As to the first question : on the principle established in 
the case of Panchagni-Vidya and Pnwa-Vidya, it may at 
first thought appear that the Uprzsanas of Sawhita taught in 
the Aitareya and the Taittin'ya recensions are one and the 

Identity of Upasanas taught in 
different Upanishads. 

The identity of Upasana in the case of Panchagni-Vidyrt 
and Prflwa-Vidyrt has been established in the Vedanta-Swtras 
III. iii. i. as follows : 

(Question :) The Chh^ndogya and Bnhadarawyaka Upa- 
nishads treat of the Upasana of " the five fires." Are the 
Upflsanas different or identical ? 

(The Prima Facie View :) The two Upanishads teach two 
different sorts of contemplation, these last being known by 
different names, Kauthuma and V^jasaneyaka respectively ; 

* Op. cit. 3-1-1-1. 


so, too, in the case of other Up.isanas. There is yet 
another mark pointing to a distinction between the Upfl- 
sanas taught in different recensions. The ceremony called 
Siro-vrata is spoken of in the Mu;zrfaka-Upanishad in the 
words : " This Brahma-Vidy should be taught to those 
only by whom the vow of siro-vrata has been duly observ- 
ed." * Siro-vrata is a kind of vow enjoined only on the 
students of the Atharva-Veda, but not on others. It would, 
therefore, seem that difference in recension makes the Upa- 
sanas quite distinct. 

(Conclusion] : Despite the difference of recension the 
Upasana remains one and the same, because of the identity 
of the teaching. The contemplation of Prana., for instance, 
is taught in the Chhandogya-Upanishad in the words, 
" Whoso, verily, contemplates (Prana) the Best and the 
Highest." t And the BHhad.irawyaka treats of the contem- 
plation of Prana. in the same words. Similarly, the five fires 
of Heaven, Rain, Earth, Moon, and Woman, recommended 
for contemplation in what is called the Panchagni-Vidya 
are spoken of in exactly the same terms in the two recensions. 
And the fruits also of the Upasana of Prana., namely, that 
the Upasaka " verily becomes the best and the highest " 
are described in the two recensions in exactly the same 
terms. As to the Up^sana being known by different names 
such as Kauthuma, Vrtjasaneyaka, and so on, they are not so 
named by the sruti itself. It is, on the other hand, only the 
students who name the different recensions of the Veda after 
the sages who have taught them. As to the contention that 
the siro-vrata goes to indicate a difference in the Up^sana, 
we answer that this ceremony is necessary for the learning 

* Op. cit. 3-2-10. f Op. cat. 5-1-1. 

46 CONTEMPLATION [Siksha-Valli. 

of the Vedic text, not for a practice of the contemplation 
therein taught. The words ' he that has not observed the 
vow should not learn it ' :: show that it is a vow connected 
with the learning of the text. Wherefore, there being so 
many marks of identity while there is none pointing to a dis- 
tinction, it is but proper to maintain that the mere fact of 
an up^sana being taught in two different recensions makes 
no difference in the upasana itself. 

Following the same principle in the present case, one 
may argue that even the upasanas of conjunction as taught 
in the two recensions are identical, because, in the first 
place, the object to be contemplated upon is one and the 
same as indicated by the words " whoso thus contemplates 
this conjunction," and the words "Earth is the first form," 
and so on ; and also because the fruits of the upasana as 
described in the two places are of the same kind, namely 
" He is endued with progeny and cattle." 

When different attributes should be gathered 
together in Upasana. 

Now, as to the second question raised above, the prin- 
ciple of gathering together all the attributes spoken of in 
different places in connection with one and the same upasana 
has also been established in the Vedanta-S?*tras III. iii. 5. as 
follows : 

(Question :) Are the various attributes, spoken of in con- 
nection with an upasana taught in different places, to be 
gathered together or not ? 

(Prima Facie View :) The Vajasaneyaka-Upanishad, when 
teaching of the contemplation of Praa, assigns to it an ad- 

* MuncZaka Up. 3-2-11. 

AunvdkallL] OF CONJUNCTION. 47 

ditional attribute that it is the ' semen,' in the words 
" The semen, verily, soared up." As this attribute is 
not mentioned in the Chhandogya, one may think that that 
attribute should not be thought of when contemplating 
Pnwa according to the teaching of the latter, the purpose of 
contemplation being served by regarding the attributes of 
Prana. as the vital breath, as speech, and so on. 

(Conclusion :) Though untaught in the Chhandogya re- 
cension, the attribute should be added to the object of con- 
templation, because it is taught in the other recension. We 
do find Agnihotra and other sacrificial rites being performed 
in all their parts as taught in the different recensions. 
Against this it may be urged that, the purposes of contem- 
plation being served by those attributes only which are 
given in one's own recension, it is unnecessary to add to 
them those attributes also which are given elsewhere. This 
contention has no force ; for, on the principle that more 
work produces more result, the attributes spoken of in other 
recensions are as serviceable as those given in one's own. 
Wherefore it is necessary to collect together all the attri- 
butes mentioned in different recensions. 

In pursuance of the principle thus established, one may 
think that to the details of the Sawhito-Upflsana given in the 
Taittin'ya-Upanishad should be added those given in the 
Aitareya-Upanishad, such as " Speech is the first form, 
manas the second form," | and so on ; and that to those 
given in the Aitareya-Upanishad should be added the de- 
tails given in the Taittir/ya-Upanishad, such as " Fire is 
the first form," and so on. 

* Bri. Up. 6-1-12. f Op. cit. 3-1-1-tJ. 

4 8 CONTEMPLATION [S'ikska- Vdlll. 


Thus at first sight it would appear that the Upasanas 
of Sawzhita taught in the two recensions are one and the 
same, and that the several attributes mentioned in the two 
places should be gathered together in thought by him who 
wishes to contemplate Sawhito or conjunction. 

Two distinct Upasanas of Samhita. 

This prima facie view should be set aside in pursuance of 
the principle established in the Vedflnta-SfJtras III. iii. 6, in 
the case of the Udgztha-Vidya. This principle is discussed 
as follows : 

(Question] : Are the Udgf'tha-Vidyfls taught in the Chhan- 
dogya and the Bnhadarayaka identical or different ? 

(The prima facie view] : As they are both alike designated 
as the Udgitha-Vidya, they are properly one and the same. 
No doubt the designation is not authorised by the Veda ; 
but such incidents as a war among the vital activities are 
related in both texts alike. Having represented the sattvic 
and tamasic activities of the senses as Devas and Asuras 
respectively, the Chhandogya describes a war among them ; 
and then, after shewing that speech and other Devas are as- 
sailed by Asuras, it declares that the Praua-Deva alone is 
unassailed by them. All this is related in the same way in 
the Brihadara^yaka. The teachings of the two Upanishads 
refer apparently to one and the same vidya (up^sana). 

(Conclusion) : They are really two different vidyas, the 
thing to be contemplated upon being different in each. In 
the Chhflndogya, the syllable 'Om,' occurring in the Udgztha, 
a particular song, has to be regarded as Pnwa, Life ; where- 
as in the Brihadarawyaka Pr#;za, represented as the chanter 
of the whole Udgitha song, as the stimulator of the organ of 


speech, has to be regarded as Udgfltn, that one of the four 
principal priests at a sacrifice whose function it is to chant the 
hymns of the Sflma-Veda. Thus owing to a difference in 
the thing to be contemplated, the two vidyas are quite 
different. As to the war among sense-organs being related 
alike in both, this point of similarity, found as it is only in 
minor details, cannot by itself point to an identity in the 
main vidyas. In both alike, no doubt, Pra is represented 
to be the highest, as unassailable by the Asuras, and this 
ought to enter into the contemplation ; but as the difference 
already pointed out in the thing to be contemplated has not 
been gainsaid, the Udg/tha-Vidyas taught in the two Vedas 
are quite different. 

In accordance with the principle thus established, in the 
present case we should look upon the contemplation of con- 
junction taught in the Taittinya and Aitareya Upanishads 
as different on account of a radical difference in the things 
to be contemplated upon. In the former, the things to be 
contemplated upon in the contemplation of conjunction have 
been declared in the five groups of objects ; and in the latter, 
the things to be contemplated upon are divided into adhidaiva 
and adhyrttma, cosmic and personal. It is there declared as 
follows : 

" Vayu and Akasa, these are the adhidaivata. 
Then as to the adhyatma : Speech is the first 
form, and manas the second form," :;: and so on. 

The extent of similarity in the thing to be contemplated- 
in so far as the Earth is mentioned as the first form in both 
alike is not sufficient to make the two vidyas identical. 

* Op. cit. 3-1-1-5, 6. 

50 CONTEMPLATION. [S'ikshd- 

The points of difference preponderate, and it is but reason- 
able that the preponderant should prevail. 

The two vidyrts being thus different, it is not right that 
the several things mentioned in the Aitareya-Upanishad as 
worth contemplating should bs added to those declared 
here in the Taittin'ya-Upanishad. No part of the New 
Moon and Full Moon sacrifices, for instance, is added to the 
Agnihotra, because the last is quite different from the two. 

It has been thus proved that the two vidyas taught in 
reference to Sa/whito are different, and that therefore no 
part of the details given in the Aitareya should be added to 
what is given in the Taittin'ya-Upanishad. 

Sef= Contemplation and Symbolic Contemplation. 

There is yet another point for discussion. Upasanas 
are of two kinds, those which involve the contemplation of 
the Self, and those which are concerned with external sym- 
bols (Pratzka). In the former, the Paramfltman, the High- 
est Self, is contemplated in His sagu?za or conditioned form, 
as taught in the sixth anuvaka. There it is taught 
that the Purusha, known as Paramatman, the Highest 
Self, abiding in the heart-space, has to be contemplated 
upon as made up of manas, as immortal, as golden, and 
so on, in the thought " I am that Parairmtman." This 
contemplation of the Self is well discussed in the Ve- 
danta-Swtras IV. i. 3. When the devotee contemplates a 
visible thing outside the Highest Self, and exalts that thing 
by way of regarding it as a great Devato or as Brahman 
Himself, the contemplation is said to be symbolic, concern- 
ed with a symbol. In the present case it is taught that 

AnuvdkallL] OF CONJUNCTION. 51 

" Earth is first form." Here the first sound in a conjunc- 
tion has to be contemplated, being regarded as the Bhm- 
Devato, the Intelligence functioning in the Earth. Where 
it is taught that " Manas should be contemplated as 
Brahman " and so on, it is manas, &c., exalted by being 
regarded as Brahman, which should be contemplated. 

No Symbol should be contemplated as the Self. 

And this symbol should not be regarded by the devotee 
as his own Self. A symbol is an effect of or an emanation 
from Brahman, and as such it forms a fit object on which the 
contemplation of the Supreme may be made to hang. That 
such symbols should not be regarded as the Self has been 
established in the Vedanta-Szrtras, IV. i. 4. as follows : 

(Question :) When it is taught that manas should be 
regarded as Brahman, that the Sun should be regarded as 
Brahman, and so on, it means that the symbols, manas, 
the sun, etc., exalted by being regarded as Brahman, form 
the objects of contemplation. Are those symbols to be 
regarded in contemplation as one's own Self ? 

(Prima facie view :) These symbols should also be con- 
templated as one's own Self, for the symbols are effects of or 
emanations from Brahman, and as such are one with 
Brahman ; and jz'va, too, is one with Brahman. Thus all 
distinction being absent by both of them being alike one 
with Brahman, the symbol which is the object of contempla- 
tion and j/va who is the contemplator are one and the same. 

(Conclusion :) When the symbol which is an effect of or 
emanation from Brahman is regarded as one with Brahman, 
then what has made it a symbol has quite vanished away. 

52 CONTEMPLATION [Slksha~Vdl\. 

When the pot becomes one with clay, the pot as such has 
vanished away. When, again, the jrva, the separate indivi- 
dual Ego, is regarded as one with Brahman, then he ceases 
to be a separate individual Ego, and in consequence he 
ceases to be a contemplator. If, with a view to preserve 
intact the distinction between the object of contemplation 
and the contemplator, the oneness of cause and effect and 
the unity of jzva and Brahman be disregarded, then the 
symbol and the contemplator cannot be one, and they will 
be quite different from each other like the cow and the 
buffalo. Wherefore it is not right to contemplate the symbol 
as the Self. 

One mode alone of Self -Contemplation 
should be practised. 

Now, all upflsanas in which Brahman, the object of con- 
templation, is regarded as one with the Self, culminate in 
the sakshatknra or actual perception of Brahman ; so that 
when Brahman is intuited by one Upasana, other contem- 
plations are of no use. By engaging in another contempla- 
tion, the mind may even wander away from the srtkshatkrt- 
ra already attained. Accordingly, when several upasanas 
are taught for the benefit of one who seeks to attain Brahma- 
srtkshfltkara, to intuitively realise Brahman, it has been de- 
cided that only one of them it may be any one should be 
resorted to. 

Symbolic Contemplations may be practised 
in any number. 

But, in the present case, the contemplation of conjunction 
may be practised in one, two, or more forms at will. This 

AunvakallL] OF CONJUNCTION. 53 

point has been settled in the VecUrnta-Swtras III. iii. 60. as 
follows : 

(Question :) Is there any restriction as to the number of 
symbolic contemplations to be practised ? Or can they be 
practised in any number at will ? 

(Prima facie view :) The principle established in the case 
of those upasanas in which the Self is contemplated as one 
with the object of contemplation may be applied to the 
contemplation of symbols, the object in view here alike be- 
ing the sakshatkara. 

(Conclusion :) There is a vast difference between the two. 
As to the former, the Sruti gives us to understand in the 
words, "Becoming the Deva, he is absorbed in the Devas" 
that as the culminating point of contemplation, the con- 
templator realises while still alive his unity with the Deva, 
and that after death he becomes the Deva Himself. There 
is no evidence whatever to shew that contemplation of 
symbols produces sokshatkara. And as sokshotkora is not 
the aim of the contemplation of symbols, we should un- 
derstand that the several objects of enjoyment, declared 
in the respective contexts to be attainable, constitute the 
fruits of the contemplation of symbols. Accordingly, as 
producing fruits of a distinct kind, one up^sana does not 
become useless when another has been practised. And the 
objection that the mind would wander away from the point 
does not at all apply to the present case ; for, by contem- 
plating one symbol at certain moments and again at another 
moment contemplating another symbol, the aprva or in- 
visible effect of the first contemplation does not become 
extinct. Therefore the symbolic contemplations may be 

54 CONTEMPLATION. S^ksk^- Vdlll. 

practised at will, either one alone or more than one ; and in 
the latter case the many contemplations may be practised 
either severally or conjointly. 

The Symbol should be contemplated as Brahman, 
not vice versa. 

From the expression " Earth is the first form " it may at 
first sight appear that, being the first mentioned, earth is the 
subject of the proposition and is therefore the thing to be 
contemplated, i.e., the symbol, and that the first sound in 
the conjunction, which is subsequently mentioned, is the 
predicate, showing how that symbol is to be regarded. On 
the other hand, earth being the superior of the two, the first 
sound in the conjunction should be looked upon as a symbol 
and contemplated as earth. For instance, the small salagnz- 
ma stone is regarded as the Supreme as Vishnu, as Siva, 
and so on ; but not vice versa. The principle that an in- 
ferior thing which is a symbol should be viewed in contem- 
plation as a superior one is established in the Vedanta-swtras 
IV. i. 5. as follows : 

(Question :) The sruti teaches us to contemplate that 
"Manas is Brahman." and so on. There arises the question, 
are we to regard manas etc. as Brahman, or are we to re- 
gard Brahman as manas etc. ? 

(Prima facie vieiv :) Brahman being the Dispenser of the 
fruits of all actions, it is Brahman whom vre should con- 
template as manas, as something not Brahman. 

(Conclusion :) Brahman is the superior of the two, and it 
is therefore proper that manas, the inferior one, should be 
contemplated as Brahman, the superior. To take an ex- 

Anuvaka III.] * CONJUNCTION'. 55 

ample from our wordly concerns : when a king's servant is 
addressed as king himself, he feels honored, but not vice 
versa. The word ' as ' (Sanskrit ' iti.') going with Brahman 
in the passages " let him contemplate manas as Brahman " 
shews that manas should be regarded as Brahman. It may 
be asked, how can Brahman award fruits of action, when 
something other than Brahman, such as manas, is worship- 
ped ? We answer thus : as the presiding Lord witnessing 
all actions, He can award fruits of our contemplation in the 
same way that He awards fruits when we worship a guest 
who is entitled to our hospitality. Wherefore, we should 
contemplate the symbol, which in itself is a thing different 
from Brahman, viewing it as Brahman. 

No doubt the words in the text, " the sacred teaching 
about conjunction shall we declare in the five worlds," 
seem to imply that earth etc., denoted as they are by words 
in the locative case, are the objects to which contemplation 
should be directed that is to say, that they are the symbols ; 
still, it is but proper to understand that the first sound, 
etc, are the symbols which have to be viewed as earth etc. 
When, for instance, it is taught " Let him contemplate the 
fivefold Sflman in the worlds," it has been made out that 
the Sflman forming an integral part of a sacrificial rite is 
the symbol which should be viewed as worlds, these last 
being denoted by a word in the locative case. 

Indeed, this point has been established in the Veddnta- 
Sfrtra IV. i. 6, on the ground that Saman used as the object 
of the act of contemplation is the main thing to be con- 
templated, and is therefore the symbol which should be 
viewed as worlds. Similarly, here in the passage " whoso 
should contemplate these conjunctions," conjunctions form 

56 CONTEMPLATION [S'lkskti- 

the object of the act of contemplation, and we are therefore 
to understand that they are symbols to be viewed as earth 
etc. Though earth, etc., are symbols, yet as constitut- 
ing the forms in which the first sound, etc., are to be viewed, 
they may be properly referred to in the words " in the 
worlds" etc. 

Upasana defined. 

To discuss yet another point : 

(Question:} What is upasana ? Is it a single act of 
thought or a frequent repetition of one and the same thought ? 

(Prima facie view :) Just as the scriptural injunction "He 
shall initiate a Brahma^a of eight years into the study of 
Vedas" is duly observed when the act is once done, so too, 
by a single act of thought, the scriptural injunction is duly 
fulfilled, and no repetition of the thought is necessary. 

(Conclusion :) Not so, we say ; for, as in the learning of the 
vedic texts, the thought should be repeated. Just as, in 
pursuance of the scriptural command that every one should 
learn his own scriptures, one recites the vedic text frequently 
till he can fix it in memory, so, the thought should be often 
repeated. If the very word ' adhyayana' means repeated 
utterance, the word ' upasana' also means a frequent repeti- 
tion of thought. Accordingly the blessed bhashyakara, in 
his commentary on the Vedanta-Szrtras IV. i. i. says as 
follows : 

" Moreover, the words ' upasana' (devotion or contempla- 
tion) and ' nididhyasana' (meditation) denote acts involving 
frequent repetition. Accordingly, indeed, when we say ' he 
is devoted to (up^ste) the prince', or ' he is devoted to 

AuuvakallL] OF CONJUNCTION. 57 

guru', we refer to a person who attends on the prince or 
guru intently, never swerving from the act. So, when we 
say ' parted from her husband she meditates on him,' we 
refer to a woman who thinks constantly of the husband and 
is quite anxious to meet him. 

It is true that no definite measure of the frequence of 
thought is anywhere prescribed in the sruti, as is done in 
the case of mantras meant for repetition ; but the thought 
should be revolved until the idea that the symbol is the 
Deity contemplated upon has struck its roots deep down in 
the mind of the contemplator. Therefore the Vartikakara 
says : 

"To approach a thing, viewing it as something 
else as taught in the scriptures, and there to 
dwell long till they come to be regarded as 
one, constitutes what is called up^sana."* 

It is like wise ministers" having installed a boy prince 6n 
the throne and constantly waiting on him till all people come 
to recognise his sovereignty and obey him as their king. 
When once the symbol has come to b2 regarded as the Deity, 
the idea does not again depart from it. To illustrate : the 
idea of God comes up to the mind on seeing the idol in a 
ruined temple though no longer worshipped. The results 
spoken of in the scriptures will accrue to him who has con- 
templated the symbol till the idea that it is the Deity Him- 
self has taken a firm root in the mind. 

* Taittiviya-Upanishacl-Vtti'tika' 


{Fourth A.nitvdka.) 

In the third lesson contemplation of conjunction has been 
taught for the attainment of progeny and other fruits. From 
tbat indirectly accrues also the power of concentrating 
thought, a necessary condition for the attainment of a 
knowledge of Brahman. Now, no man who is wanting in 
retentive power of intellect, who forgets the teaching of 
scriptures once learned, can acquire a knowledge of Brah- 
man. And no man who, owing to sickness and such other 
causes, lacks physical vigor, etc., or who suffers from want 
of food and clothing and the like, can apply himself to the 
study of the scriptures and such other means of acquiring 
a knowledge of Brahman. Therefore mantras conducive 
to the attainment of retentive power of intellect and the 
like are taught in the fourth lesson. 

Prayer for intellectual vigour. 

First, the sruti teaches the mantra to be recited by him 
who wishes to acquire retentive power : 

I. Who, of all forms, the bull of chants, sprung 
up from chants immortal, May He, the Lord, 


me with intelligence cheer. Of the immortal, 
O God, the possessor may I be ! 

Here are taught japa and homa the recitation of 
mantras and the offering of oblations as means of. 
obtaining medha and sri, intelligence and fortune. (That 
such is the purpose of this lesson is) shewn by the 
expressions, " May He, the Lord, me with intelligence 
cheer ;" and " then to me fortune bring/' 

Pranava, the essence of the Vedas. 

The syllable ' Om ' is said to be the bull of Vedas 
because of the ascendency thereof as of the bull in a 
herd of cattle. It is 'of all forms,' because it pervades 
all speech, as declared elsewhere in the sruti : 

" As all leaves are fast bound in the 
stalk, so is all speech fast bound in the 
syllable ' Om.' The syllable ' Om ' is 
all this." * 

It is for this reason that it is spoken "of as the " bull 
of chants." The syllable ' Om ' is indeed the object of 
contemplation here, and it is therefore but proper to 
extol it as the bull of chants and so on. The Vedas are 
verily immortal, and it is from such immortal Vedas 
that the syllable ' Om ' was born : that is to say, as the 
most essential element of the Vedas did it shine forth to 
Prajapati, the Lord of creatures, when he began to 
meditate with the object of knowing what was the most 
essential element in all vedic and vulgar speech. The 

*Ghha-Up. 2-23-4. 

60 CONTEMPLATION [S'lkskti-* 

syllable 'Om' is eternal aud cannot therefore be literally 
said to have a birth. May that syllable ' Om,' the 
Supreme Lord, the Dispenser of all aspirations, cheer 
me with wisdom ! Or (to interpret the sruti better still): 
May He strengthen me with intelligence. It is the 
strengthening of intelligence that is here prayed for. 
Of the immortal, i.e., (by the context), of that knowledge 
of Brahman which is the means to immortality, the 
possessor may I be. 

Prawava is the highest among the Vedas which are 
chanted in Gayatrt and other metres, as declared in the 
Kartm-Upanishad : 

" That place which all the Vedas declare, 
for which they declare all penances, which 
seeking they live the life of celibacy, that 
place I tell thee briefly : it is 'Om.'" * 

The whole universe is only Its embodiment, inasmuch as 
all things are comprehended in speech composed of words, 
and the whole speech is comprehended in that syllable ',' 
the first member of Prawava. That all things are compre- 
hended in speech is declared in the Aitareyaka as follows : 

" Speech is his (the breath's) rope, the 
names its knots. Thus by his speech as 
by a rope, and by his names as by knots, 
all this is bound. For, all these are names 
indeed." t 

Just as a dealer in cattle ties together many animals by 
* Ka/ha-Up. 2-15. r f A itareya-^ranyaka 2-1-6-1. 

. IV.} 


bands attached to one long extended rope, so, in the hands 
of Parame^vara, the Supreme Lord, speech is the long rope, 
and names such as ' Devadatta ' are bands, and by these all 
things in the universe are tied up. Everything therefore 
rests in speech. That is to say, every man, on hearing his 
own [name pronounced by another, comes up to him as 
though he were bound and dragged by bands of rope. That 
the whole of speech, with all the things in the universe 
comprehended within it, is itself comprehended in Praava 
is declared by the Chhandogas in the following words : 

"As all leaves are fast bound in the stalk, 

so, is all speech fast bound in the syllable 

' Om.' The syllable < Om ' is all this." * 

Just as the va/a, asvattha and other fig leaves are pervaded 

by fibres running through them, so is the whole speech 

pervaded by the syllable ' Om.' We should bear in mind 

that it is through the syllable ' a ' that the whole speech 

is comprehended in the Prawava, as declared in the 

Aitareyaka : 

" ' A ' is the whole of speech ; and mani- 
fested through different kinds of contact 
(mutes) and of winds (sibilants), it becomes 
many and different." t 

Those sounds which are termed sparsas and those which 
are termed Mshmans are uttered in the Matnka-mantra 
with 'a' attached to them. The sound 'a' is therefore said 
to be embodied in the whole speech. Thus has been shewn 
how Praava is ' of all forms,' embodied in the whole uni- 
verse. Praava manifested itself to Prajapati as the highest 

* Chha. Up. 2-23-4, Aita. ^nwyaka 2-3-6-14. 

62 CONTEMPLATION [S'iksha-ValR. 

or most essential element of the Vedas. Accordingly the 
Chhandogas read as follows : 

" Prajapati brooded on the world. From 
them thus brooded on threefold know- 
ledge issued forth. He brooded on it, and 
from it thus brooded on issued the three 
utterances ( vyrthntis), Bhz<A, Bhuva//, 
Sva/j. He brooded on them, and from 
them thus brooded on issued the syllable 
' Om ' " * 

To brood upon the worlds is to meditate deeply upon them 
with a view to find out their essence. To issue forth is to 
clearly shine forth as the essence. Immortality or freedom 
ffom death constitutes what is known as liberation, and that 
is the end for which the syllable ' Om ' manifested itself. 
Hence it is that the Chhandogas, in the opening section 
treating of the syllable ' Om,' read at the commencement, 
" He that is well established in Brahman attains immortali- 
ty." Praava being the designation of Brahman, he alone 
who devoutly contemplates Prawava can be said to be well 
established in Brahman. 

May He, the Supreme Lord, who is designated by Pra- 
wava, cheer me, the seeker of wisdom, (by endowing me) 
with the power of retaining in memory the scriptural texts 
and their teaching. May I, O God, by Thy Grace grasp 
the immortal, i.e., the scriptural texts and their teachings 
whereby to attain immortality. 

Prayer for physical and moral health. 

Having given the mantra for acquiring retentiveness, the 
* Chha. Up. 2-23-3, 4. 


sruti now proceeds to teach a mantra for securing immunity 
from sickness : 

ft^H? OFT I R^TT *t n^ror I mfcr! *TK 

2. Able may my body be, sweetest be my 
tongue ! With ears much may I hear ! The 
sheath of Brahman art thou, veiled by intelligence. 
What I have learned clo Thou keep. 

Moreover, may my body be able ! May my tongue be 
sweetest, uttering only what is most agreeable ! With 
ears much may I hear ! May my karya-k6nraa-sanghata 
the aggregate of the causes and the effects, i e., the 
gross physical body and the subtle senses making 
up my whole bodily organism be competent for ^4tma- 
jnana, competent to acquire a knowledge of the Self. 
And it is for the same end that I pray for medha, 
intellectual retentiveness. Of Brahman, of the Para- 
matman or Highest Self, Thou art the sheath, as of a 
sword, being the seat of His manifestation. 

I speak of Thee as the sheath of Brahman because those 
who have cast aside all worldly desires perceive the Suprem e 
in Thee, and because, as both the designation and the sym- 
bol of Brahman, Thou art alone the means of perceiving 
Him. (S.) 

Thou art indeed the Pratzka, the symbol of Brahman : 
in Thee Brahman is perceived. By worldly intelligence 
Thou art concealed : that is to say, the truth concern* 


ing Thee is unknown to men of common intelligence. 

Concealed as Thou art :;: by their worldly intelligence, 
they whose thoughts are engrossed in the external objects 
do not contemplate Thee, the Divine Being, who givest 
immortality. (S.) 

Do Thou guard what I have heard, do thou guard my 
wisdom, the knowledge of the Self and the like which I 
have acquired by hearing the scriptural texts ; that is to 
say, do Thou enable me to acquire wisdom and retain it. 

Do Thou guard my wisdom from the attacks of attach- 
ment, aversion and other such evils : do Thou so watch 
that when I am engaged in the study of scriptures and in 
other means of acquiring knowledge, I may not meet with 
any obstacles to wisdom, such as worldly attachment and the 
like. (S.) 

These mantras are to be repeated by him who wishes 
to improve the retentive power of memory. 

As I seek wisdom, may my body be healthy and thus 
efficient for a practice of contemplation ! May my tongue 
be endued with extreme sweetness ; may it be an apt organ 
wherewith to recite the scriptural texts ! May I hear many a 
scriptural text conducive to the growth of wisdom : may I 
not be afflicted with the evil of deafness. O Prawava, Thou 
art the place where I may meditate upon the Supreme Being, 
the Cause of the universe. Just as a leather-sheath is the place 
for preserving a sword, so is Prawava the place for a safe 
meditation of Brahman. Accordingly, concerning the 
syllable ' Om,' the Karfha-Upanishad says : 

* As a scdagroma stone is concealed by the idea of God. (A.) 


" This is the best means, this the highest means." " 
Thus Prawava is associated with the retentive power of 
intellect. Do Thou, O Supreme Lord, designated as Thou 
art by that grand Prawava, protect my learning all the 
secret truths of the Veda that I have learned with my ears 
by way of removing the obstacles of forgetfulness and the 

Prayer for fortune. 

Here follow the mantras with which the seeker of 
fortune should offer oblations : 

RkMMI | ^W -sfl-WlcW: I TOM *W 


3. Bringing to me and increasing ever and 
anon clothes and kine, food and drink, doing this 
long, do Thou then bring to me fortune woolly, 
along with cattle. Swzha ! 

Then, t after endowing me with medhrt or intelli- 
gence, do Thou endow me with fortune which in an 
instant rather, ever will bring to me and increase 
clothes and kine, food and drink. For to one who is 
devoid of wisdom fortune is indeed only a source of evil. 

Works conducing to man's good' in this or the future 
world can be accomplished only by means of wealth, human 
and divine, i. ., material wealth such as money, and 

* Op. oil, 217. 
f On my acquiring a knowledge of the Vedic teaching. (8.) 


66 COMTEMF LATION. [S'ikska- Valli. 

spiritual wealth such as contemplation of the >ivine "Being 
and wisdom. Hence the prayer for the ,two. (S.) 

Fortune is, said, .to he; woolly because the fortune 

Sought for includes goats and sheep as well as other 

kinds of cattle. From the context we are to understand 

.that here the syllable ' Om ' is addressed. The word" 

'svaha' shews that the mantra is intended for an oblation. 

The word also marks the end of a mantra here as well as 
in the succeeding cases. (S.) ': 19^ 

Do Thou, Supreme Lord, designated by Praava, secure 
to me fortune from all sources, providing me with clothes, 
etc., for my enjoyment, increasing them when acquired, 
preserving them, when thus increased, long and safe for 
me who is the seeker of wisdom ...... To that God, who will 

endow me with fortune, may this thing clarified butter or 

A.1. 1'1 U U1 *.- I * **"" 

the like be an oblation ! 

Prayer for obtaining disciples. 

Now the jruti gives five, mantras wherewith the person 
who has been endowed with fortune abounding in clothes, 
food, drink, etc., offers oblations with a view to obtain 
disciples for the propagation of the traditional wisdom. 

*nss*F?. ssRifcr. w^r n .<\ n 

_ __ _____ 

* The word i explained to mean ' May it be a fit oblation ; ' or 

i -i i . j 


i -i i . j 

' the sruti has itself said. 


4: May devotees of Brahman come to me from 
every side ! Svaha ! 

r T-, T >O1 

5. Variously may devotees of Brahman come 

j j j 

to me ! Svahtf ! 

2 . . . 

6. Well-equipped may devotees of Brahman 
come, to me ! Svaha ! qm> &d I 

7. Self-controlled may devotees of Brahman 
come to ; me ! : Svahft ! 

8. Peaceful may devotees of Brahman come 
to me ! Svalw ! : **tt ri Jiv/ nolnu 

May disciples, intent on the acquisition of knowledge, 
come to me, a teacher of the traditional wisdom ! Whatever 
be their respective ends> be it cattle, or. the region of 
svarga, or the region of Brahma, or liberation, to me may 
they come, endued with intellectual aptitude tar wisdom, 
abstaining from all puerile, sportive outgoing activities of 
the sense-organs, free from anger and other evil tendencies 
of the mind ! 

The mantras from the 5 to 8 are not read in this context 

in some countries, in the belief that they belong to some 
other recension. :; 

Prayer for fame. 

Here follow the mantras productive of fajne as a teacher 

of traditional wisdom: _ . _ ^ 

* Nor does Sri iSankarochcirya recognise theni as forming 
apart of this Upanisbacl. 


^TT^T MO || 
g. Famous among people may I become! 

10. Superior to the wealthiest may I become ! 

...Superior to the wealthiest among the same class of 
people as myself, may I become ; that is to say, may 
I be superior in virtues to the class of men who possess 
wealth ! 

By Thy Grace, O Supreme Lord, may I be famous 
among all people as a teacher. ........ 

Prayer for union with the Divine. 

How the worshipper may become famous and superior is 
described in the following mantras : 

11. That Self of Thine, O God, may I enter ! 
Svaha ! 

12. Do Tii-ou, O God, enter me. Svaha! 

13. In that Self of Thine, of a thousand 
branches, O God, do I wash myself. Svahal 

May I enter into Thee, the sheath of Brahman. 
Haying entered jitfO Thee, may I not be other than 


Thyself ! Do Thou also, O Lord, enter into me. Let 
us be one alone in Self. :;: In Thee alone ( as in a river ) 
of a thousand branches, I wash all acts of sin. 

God (Bhagavat) : ' Bhaga ' is the name given to the six 
perfections collectively, perfection in power, in virtue, in 
fame, in fortune, in wisdom, in non-attachment. May I, O 
Supreme Lord, enter into Thee, may I ever lovingly serve 
Thee as though I have become one with Thyself ! Do Thou 
also enter into me, i.e., do Thou graciously hold me in 
great love as though Thou hast entered into me. In Thee, 
in Thy thousand forms, I wash myself. That is to say, 
devotion to Thee is the sole path to Bliss. 

Prayer for many disciples. 

The sruti then proceeds to give a mantra intended to 
secure many disciples, illustrating the thing by analogies. 


14. As waters run to a low level, as months 
into the year, so unto me may devotees of 
Brahman, O Disposer of all, come from ever}' 
side ! 

The year (aharjara, consumer by days, or consumer of 
days) is so called because, revolving round and round 
in the form of days, it wastes away the worlds, or 
because days are consumed in the year in which they 
are comprehended. 

* i. e., do Thou destroy all cause of distinction. (S.) 



As water flows quickly down an inclined level, as months 
run into the year, not one of them transgressing it, so may 
the devotees of Brahman come unto me from all parts of trie 
country with extreme quickness, and may they never trans- 
gress me ! 

.-33\rl- Prayer for light and peace. 
...^.V>.. r>. ..r> _ mrn ,. cLIjc 

SRmrrsKT JT m m% % m y%& K 


15. 'Refuge* Thou art, to me do Thou shine 

forth ; forth unto me must Thou come ! 

Thou art like a refuge, like a rest-house close by, 

wherein to shake off all weariness. Thou art the abode 
wherein resting, thy devotees can shake off all sin and 
pain. Do Thou, therefore, shine forth to me. Do Thou 
come unto me : do thou make me one with Thyself, -as 
the metallic head of an arrow (becomes one with the 
body it pierces into). 

The seeker of fortune, as spoken of in this section, 
i,e,, in the chapter on wisdom, must be one who seeks 
wealth wherewith to perform the sacrificial rites which 
serve to destroy all accumulated sins of the past. It is 
only on the extinction of these sins that wisdom shines 
forth, as the smriti says : 

" Wisdom arises in men on the extinction 
of sinful karma. As in a clear mirror, they 
see the Self in the self." 
Do Thou make me illustrious as the teacher of Brahma 

vidya. Do thou come to me, i.e, be gracious to me. 


* Or tUe haunt of all living creatures, (S.) 


(Fifth Anuvdka.) 


. . . . . 

Contemplation of Samhito (conjunction) was first 
taught. Then followed the mantras intended for him 
who seeks wisdom and those intended for him who 
seeks fortune. These mantras subserve wisdom in- 
directly. Here follows the contemplation of Brahman 
within, in the form of Vyahritis, the utterances where- 
by to secure the fruits, of self-lordship (svarajya). 
Accordingly this section proceeds to extol His glory. (S.) 
The t'hree Vyahritis being held in high regard, Brahman 
declared independently of them may not be readily accepted 
by the. intellect ; wherefore the sruti teaches the disciple to 
contemplate, within the heart, Brahman, otherwise termed 
the Hirawyagarbha, as embodied in the Vydhritis. (A.) 

The fifth and the sixth anuvakas treat of the contempla- 
tion of Brahman ; the fifth treating of the contemplation of 
the subordinate Devatas, while the sixth treats of Brahman, 
the Supreme Devatrt, First, the Sruti speaks of the three 
as. the symbols of the three subordinate Devatrts, 

The three Utterances. 

i, ' BhttA,' ' Bhuva/;,' 'SuvaA ' : there are thus, 

verily,. these three utterances, 

' ' 


The utterances mentioned here are known as the 
most celebrated ones. 

Vyahritis are so called because they are uttered in various 
rituals, such as agnihotra, as is well known to all. 

The Fourth Utterance. 

Having thus spoken of the three Vyahntis well known in 
connection with the ritualistic section, the sruti proceeds to 
declare another Vyahriti as a symbol : 

2. Of them, verily, that one, the fourth, 
'Maha/z', did the son of Mahachamasa discover. 

This Vyahriti, namely 'Maha/*', is the fourth of them. 
It was the son of Mahachamasa that discovered this 
fourth Vyahriti. As a past event is described here, 
the present tense should be understood in the sense of 
past time. Mention of M^hachamasya is intended to 
show that the Vyahriti was discovered by a Rishi. 
Since the name of the Rishi is mentioned here, we 
understand that contemplation of the .Rishi forms an 
integral part of the upasana taught here. 

Mahflchamasa is so named after the great vessel (chamasa) 
of Soma. The vesssel of Soma is spoken of as ' great ', be- 
cause it is used in most of the Soma sacrifices. His son is 
the .ffishi here referred to as Mrthachamasya. That /?ishi 
teaches the Vyahriti 'MahaA', -the fourth of the Vyahritis 
of which three have been mentioned as Bhuk etc., as the 
main object of contemplation. 

Anu. V.] OF THE VYA'HR'ITIS. 73 

Contemplation of the Utterances. 

Now the sruti proceeds to enjoin how the four Vyahntis 
should be regarded in contemplation. 

I H 3jfif 

3. That is Brahman ; that is /4tman ; its limbs 
the other Gods. 

The Vyahriti uttered as Maha/z, and discovered by the 
son. of Maruichamasa, that is Brahman. * Indeed, 
Brahman is Mahat (the Great) ; and the fourth Vyarmti, 
too, is Maha/?.. What else is that Vyahf'iti ? It is 
that /Itman, t because it is all-reaching. The other 
Vyrthritis, i. e., the worlds, the Gods, the Vedas, the 
praas, -are all, indeed, reached by the Vyahriti, 
'Maha/*,' i.e., by the sun, the moon, Brahman (Prawava) 
and food respectively. The other Gods are therefore 
its limbs. Here ' Gods ' stand for others also, namely, 
worlds, Vedas and prawas. 

'Maha/f, the fourth Vyrthriti, should be regarded as 
Brahman, the Reality. Because it is Brahman, this fourth 
Vyahnti is Atman abiding in the middle of the body. The 
other Gods of the Vyahntis should be regarded as its limbs, 
namely, hands, feet, and the like. Or, this may be a mere 

* That is to say, let this fourth vyohriti be contemplated upon 
as Brahman. It should be regarded as -Brahman, because of its 
greatness, and as 4tman because it pervades all. (S.) 

f yltman is derived from a root which means ' to reach,' ' to 



praise of the fourth Vyahrit'i, no contemplation of them as 
such being enjoined here.. The word ' MahaA ' being derived 
from a root meaning ' to worship,' it is but proper to praise 
the Vyahriti as Brahman, the Adorable One. Just as the con- 
scious Self is superior to the limbs of the body, [so ' MahaA ' 
the fourth Vyahnti is superior to the other Vyahntis. 

Contemplation of the Utterances as the Worlds. 

The Upanishad proceeds to enjoin the contemplation ' of 
the Vyahntis as the worlds : 

4. As Bhw/z, verily, is this world ; as Bhuva//-, 
the mid-region ; as Suva/z, the other world ;, as 
MahaA, the sun; by the sun, indeed, do all worlds- 

Because Gods, the worlds, etc., are all the limbs of 
the Vyahriti 'Maha/i,' which is the trunk as it were, 
therefore it is said that by the sun the worlds attain 
growth and so forth. It is indeed by the trunk of the 
body that the limbs attain growth.- Thus the first 
Vyflhnti 'BhA' should be regarded as the world, as 
Agni, as the .Rigveda, as prawa ; and so should the 
other Vyahritis be regarded each in four forms. 

The Vyflhriti 'MahaA' is the trunk as it were of Brahman 
or the Hirawyagarbha who ensouls the worlds etc. As the 
trunk pf the body contributes to the growth of the limbs, so 

Anti.V.] OF THE VYA'HR'ITIS. 75 

in the form of the sun etc., the Vyahnti 'MahaA' contributes 
to the growth of the worlds' and so on. This is another 
reason why Maha/* is spoken of as ^tman, the first reason 
being that Maha/f reaches all. (A. & S.) 

' Because all worlds fall within the ken of our regard 
(man to regard with reverence) only when illumined by 
the sun, it is very proper that Maha/* should be regarded 

as the sun, . . 

Contemplation of the Utterances as Gods. 

Now the Upanishad enjoins the contemplation of the 
Vyahntis as Gods : 

n ^ || 

5. As Bh"f//z, verily, is Agni, Fire ; as BhiivaA 
is Wzyu, the Air ; as Suva/? is /iditya, the Sun ; 
as Maha/ is Chandramas, the Moon ; by Chan- 
dramas, indeed, do all luminaries excel. 

It is only when the moon shines that all the stars around 
shine in excellent forms. 

.Contemplation of the Utterances as the Vedas. 

Then the Upanishad enjoins the contemplation of the 

Vyah/itj$.a,s .the Vedas ; , , 

I g* ^fir 


6. As BhwA, verily, as the Riks ; as Bhuva/z, 
the Samans ; as SuvaA, the Yajuses ; as Maria//, 
Brahman ; by Brahman, indeed, do all the Vedas 

"Brahman" here means the syllable 'Om' ; none else 
can be meant here where we are concerned with words, 
namely, the Vedas. 

The Riks, the Samans, and the Yajuses refer to the 
mantras occurring in the three Vedas respectively. 
'Brahman' here denotes the syllable ' Om.' By 'Om' indeed 
are all the Vedas made excellent, inasmuch as the recitation 
of the Vedas is preceded by that of the Prawava. 

Contemplation of the Utterances as life -breaths. 

Now the Upanishad enjoins the contemplation of the 
VyflhVitis as pnza, life-breath : 

7. As Bhw/z, verily, is the upward life ; as 
Bhuva/j, the downward life ; as Suva/f, the per- 
vading life ; as Maha/z, the food ; by food, indeed, 
do all lives excel. 

It is only when food is eaten that the cravings of vitality 
are satisfied. 

Vyahritis represent Purusha in His sixteen phases. 

Now the Upanishad concludes its teaching concerning the 
Vyahntis regarded as the worlds and so on : 


They, verily,' these four (Vyahntis) become 
fourfold ; four, four are the Vyflhritis. 

They, namely, these four (Vyahf'itis), Bhuh, Bhuva/i, 
SuvaA and Maha/i, are each fourfold, each being in four 
forms. Four in all, they become each four. Reitera- 
tion of them as presented above is meant to impress 
that they should necessarily be contemplated in the 
aforesaid manner. 

It .is not merely to magnify the Vyahntis that this is re- 
peated. It is intended to impress that each Vyahriti should 
be contemplated in its four aspects, so that the contempla- 
tion may comprehend the Supreme Spirit (Purusha) in His 
sixteen phases (A.) 

Each Vyflhriti becoming four, the Vyahritis in all become 
sixteen. To show that all of them should enter into the 
contemplation, 'four' is twice repeated in the last sentence. 

Contemplation of the Utterances enjoined. 

Now the Upanishad enjoins the contemplation of the 
Vyflhntis : 

cTT | % 3[ m 

9. Whoso contemplates them, he knows 
Brahman ; to him do all Devas offer tribute. 

He who contemplates the Vyah7'itis mentioned above 
knows Brahman. 

78 CONTEMPLATION [S'iksha- Vcilll. 

(Objection} : Brahman being already known, as has 
been declared above "That is Brahman; That' the 
.dtman," there is no necessity to declare here that he 
knows Brahman, as if Brahman were unknown before. 

(Answer:) No. There is no room here for such 
objection, because the sruti intends to teach something 
in special about Brahman. True ; that the fourth 
Vyahriti is Brahman has been known ; but neither the 
distinctive feature of His being knowable within the 
heart nor the whole description (to be given in the next 
lesson) of Himself and of His attributes, that He is 
formed of thought, that He is full of peace, and so on, 
is yet known. It is indeed with a view to teach all this 
that the sastra looks upon Brahman as if unknown and 
says " he knows Brahman." Hence no room for the 
objection. The meaning is this : he knows Brahman, 
who contemplates Him as possessed of all the attributes 
to be described in the sequel. So that this lesson 
relates to the same thing that is treated of in the next : 
both the lessons treat, indeed, of one and the same 
upasana. And there is also something in the sequel 
which points to this conclusion. The words " He is 
established in Fire as Bhw/t " constitute a mark point- 
ing to the unity of upasana. Nothing here goes to 
signify that two distinct contemplations are here en- 
joined. There are no words, indeed, such as ' Veda;' 
'upastta,' i.e. 'let him regard', 'let him contemplate, '-*- 
marking off one injunction from the other., .The words 
" he who knows (veda) them," occurring in the fifth 

A nu. V.] OF THE VYA'HR ITIS. 79 

lesson refer to what is to come next and does not there- 
fore point to any distinction in the contemplation 
(upasana). It has been shewn how these words refer 
to what is to be said in the next lesson which teaches 
the distinctive features of Brahman (to be contemplated 

To him who contemplates thus, all Devas, becoming 
his subordinates, bring tribute on his attaining to self- 
lordship (svarajya). All the worlds as well as all Devas 
contribute to his enjoyment according to their respective 
powers. This is the fruit accruing to the contemplator. 

To 'him who contemplates the Vyahritis regarded as the 
Earth, and. so on, Indra and all other Gods pay reverential 

(Qbj'ectivn] : He who contemplates symbols such as the 
Vyrthntis here spoken of cannot attain to the Brahma-loka, 
inasmuch as in the Ved^nta-s^tras, IV. iii. 15, it has beeri 
determined that those alone attain to that region who 
contemplate Brahman independent of a symbol. Thus as 
they do, not attain to Brahman, it is not right t6 say that 
he is worshipped by all Gods. 

(Answer) : No such objection can be urged here. For, 
when a person contemplates the Vyahntis, he contemplates 
Brahman also as taught in the next lesson. The contempla- 
tion of Brahman is, indeed, the primary factor, while the 
contemplation of the Vyohfitis is supplemental to it. The 
contemplator, therefore, does attain to Brahman, and it is 
but right to say that he will be worshipped by all Gods. 


(Sixth A nuvdka.) 

It has been said that the other Gods represented by 
Brw/t, Bhuva/f, and Suva/z. are the limbs of Brahman, 
the Hirawyagarbha represented by Maha/j, the fourth 
Vyrthriti. Now the sruti declares that the hridaya- 
akasa., the bright space in the heart, is the proper place 
for the contemplation and immediate perception of that 
Brahman whose limbs the other Gods are, just as the 
salagrama stone is the proper place for the contempla- 
tion of Vishnu. Indeed, when contemplated there, that 
Brahman is immediately perceived in all His attri- 
butes, as formed of thought and so on, as theamalaka 
fruit is seen in full when held in the palm. It is necessary 
also to declare the path by which to attain to the state 
of the universal Self. With this end in view the sruti 
proceeds with the sixth anuvaka. 

Brahman in the Heart. 

i. Here, in this bright space within the heart, 
is He, that Soul who is formed of thought, un- 
dying, full of light. 

. VI.\ 


The heart is the lotus-like fleshy organ, the seat of 
life, with the apertures of many a nadi opening into it, 
with its head downward ; and it is seen and well recog- 
nised by all when a sacrificial animal is dissected. 
There is akasa. or bright space within it as there is in a 
vessel. Therein is the Purusha, the Soul, so called 
because He lies in the body, or because by Him the 
Earth and all other worlds are filled. He is mano- 
maya, formed of manas, thought or consciousness, 
so described because He is known through thought or 
consciousness. Or, 'manas' may mean antaA-karana, the 
organ of thinking, and the Manomaya is He who identi- 
fies Himself with thought, or whose characteristic mark 
it is. He is immortal. He is effulgent, full of light. 

Brahman, who has bsen declared as if He were remote, is 
now said to be the immediate one. Do thou see the Self 
by thyself in the space within the heart. This space within 
the heart is the abode of buddhi, the intellect. There dwells 
the Soul (Purusha) to be cognised immediately as one formed 
of thought (Manomaya). The Soul is spoken of as Mano- 
maya because, just as Rahu, the eclipsing shadow, is seen 
along with the moon, so is the Soul directly seen only along 
with the manas. Or, because the manas is the organ 
by which the Soul (Purusha) can think of objects, He is 
spoken of as Manomaya. Or, the Soul is spoken ' of as 
Manomaya because He identifies Himself with manas ; or 
because the Soul is manifested through manas, which 
therefore forms the mark pointing to His existence. (S). 

In the fifth lesson the contemplation of the subordinate 
Gods has been taught. The sixth treats of the contempla- 
tion of the paramount God. 


$ 2 CONTEMPLATION. [S'iksha-Vatli. 

In the middle of the heart-lotus there is akasa., the bright 
space, of the same capacity as the thumb of the individual 
to whom the heart belongs, and so often talked of in the 
Srutis and in the Yoga-Sastras. In this bright space is 
Purusha, the Paramatman, the Highest Self, the All-pervad- 
ing. He is no doubt everywhere ; but here the sruti teaches 
that the heart is the place where we may contemplate and 
realise Him. Indeed, manas can intuitively realise 
Him only when, having been restrained by samrtdhi in the 
middle of the heart, it becomes one-pointed, as the sruti 
elsewhere says " He is seen by the sharp intellect." The 
word 'this' (Sanskrit ' ayam '= this here) preceding the 
word ' soul,' signifies immediateness and therefore shews 
that the Soul is capable of being immediately realised in 
intuition. That Soul shines forth in all His grace and 
beauty when contemplated in the middle of the heart. Ac- 
cordingly the heart is spoken of in connection with the 
Dahara-vidyfl and Saiidilya.-V\dya. ' Manas is the main 
feature of the Soul who is thus to be contemplated in the 
heart : those who seek knowledge realise Him by manas, 
and those who resort to contemplation have to meditate with 
manas. He transcends death and shines by His own light. 

The Path of Light leading to Brahman. 

Now the Sruti proceeds to show the path by which 
the sage attains to Brahman described above, as realis- 
ed in the bright space of the heart, forming the very 
Self of the sage, and here referred to as Indra, the Lord : 

* Y\de Chhctndogya-Upanishad VIII. 1-6 ; III. 14. 

Ami. VI.~\ O F BRAHMA^. 83 

2, In the mid-region of the throat's two pillars, 
that which hangs down like a nipple, that is the 
birth-place of Indra, where the hair-end splits 
up dividing the two regions of the skull. 

There is a nadi (tube) called sushumna, passing up- 
ward from the heart, and often referred to in the yoga- 
sastras. It passes through the mid-region of the throat's 
two pillars, as also of that bit of flesh which hangs 
down like a nipple between the throat's two pillars, 
and through the region of the skull where the roots of 
hair lie apart. When it reaches this last place, the 
nadi passes up breaking open the two regions of the 
head. That is the birth-place of Indra, that the path 
by which to attain to one's own true nature. 

The sus^umn.i-n^t which starts up from the heart forms 
the path by which to reach Indra, the Lower Brahman 
presented here for contemplation. This path will be found 
described at length in the works on Yoga. The sage has to 
force his way up through the nipple-like piece of flesh hang- 
ing down in the throat with its face turned downward, and 
to pass by the path of sushumna filled with udana-vayu, the 
up-going current of the vital air. This, it should be known, 
is the path of Indra, and the sage can effect his passage 
through it by means of the Rechaka-Prawayama, that process 
of restraining breath which consists in driving the life-current 
upwards and outwards. Passing by that path, he breaks 
open the two regions of the skull and reaches the surface 
of the head where we find the hair-roots parted from one 
another (S. & A.) 


The right and left sides of the mouth's interior situated 
just above the root of the tongue are called the talukas, "the 
throat's two pillars." Between them lies a small piece of 
flesh hanging down like the nipple of a heifer, and often refer- 
red to in the Yogasatras, * quite visible to others, and even 
touched by an exper c in the Lambikfl-yoga f with the tip 
of his own tongue. That is the seat of Indra, of Parame- 
svara, the Supreme Lord. This piece of flesh stands for the 
Sushumnrt nodi ; and the sruti here speaks of it as if it were 
Sushumna itself which lies quite close to it, in the same way 
that, when pointing out the moon, we point to the end of a 
tree's branch as the place where the moon is. And penetrat- 
ing into this nadi, the mind becomes one-pointed, and is then 
able to immediately realise the Paramatman, the Supreme 
Self. To this end the Kshurika-Upanishad reads as follows : 

" There are one-hundred and one nadis. Of them 
sushummz is regarded the best, which rests in the Supreme, 
untainted, of the same form 'as Brahman. Ida lies to the 
left and Pingak to the right. Between them is the Supreme 
Abode, and he that knows It knows the Veda." 

Thus, the Sushumna-n^rfi is the abode of the Supreme 
Lord. And it is His abode because it is also the path by 
which to attain immortality. That it is the path to im- 
mortality is declared by the Chhandogas and the Kashas as 
follows : 

" Of the heart there are a hundred nadis and one more ; 
of them that one pierces right through the head. Rising up 
by this, one reaches deathlessness ; the others, leading 
in divers ways, are used for going out." .{ 

* Vide Minor Upanishads Vol. II. pp. 62-66. f Ibid p. 128. 
J Kartia-ljpa. 6-16. Chhandogya-Upa. 8-6-6. 

Ami. VI.] OF BRAHMAN. 85 

The Sushumnfl-nflrfz forces its way up between the right 
and left portions ot the head especially there where the 
roots of the hair lie. Just as the tip of the hair beyond 
which there is no hair is spoken of as the hair-end, so here 
the root of the hair below which there is no hair is spoken 
of as the hair-end. 

State of Brahman attained. 

Having thus taught the path of the upasaka's exit for 
attaining the fruit of the contemplation, the sruti proceeds 
to declare what that fruit is : 

3. In Agni as ~Bhuh he rests, in Vayu as B-huva/f, 
in Aditya. as Suva//, in Brahman as Maha/z. He 
attains self-lordship ; he attains to the lord of 
manas, the lord of speech, the lord of sight, the 
lord of hearing, the lord of intelligence. Then he 
becomes this, the Brahman whose body is the 
bright space, whose nature is true, whose delight 
is life, whose manas is bliss, who is replete with 
peace, w r ho is immortal. 

By that path, he who thus contemplates and realises 

86 CONTEMPLATION. [S'iksha-Valll 

that Self who is formed of thought makes his exit from 
the head and becomes established in Agni (Fire), 
represented by the Vyahriti ' Bh/z,' who is the lord 
of this world, a limb as it were of the Great Brahman; 
i.e., in the form of Agni he pervades this world. Similar- 
ly in Vayw, Air, represented by the second Vyahriti, 
'Bhuva/z,' he is established. So, too, he is established 
in ^Iditya, the Sun, represented by the third Vyarmti, 
' Suva/t." He is also established in Brahman, the main 
body represented by the fourth Vyahriti, ' Maha/t.' 
Resting in them all as their very Self, becoming 
Brahman Himself, he attains to swirojya, self- 
lordship ; i. e. he becomes himself the lord of the 
subordinate Gods, in the same way that Brahman is 
their lord. 

In this world, he who has none else for his king, who is 
himself the king, is said to be a svanzj, an independent lord. 
The contemplator bocomes such a king here and attains to 
such kingship over manas, speech, sight, ear, intellect ; 
there is no doubt of it. Such excellent results accrue from 
the contemplation of the Divine Being described above- (S.) 

And to him all Gods will offer tribute in subordina- 
tion to him, just as they offer tribute to Brahman. He 
attains to the lord of manas : he attains indeed to the 
Lord of all minds, to Brahman who is the Soul of all 
things, It is indeed Brahman who thinks with all 
minds. To Brahman he attains who contemplates Him 
in the aforesaid manner. Moreover, he becomes the 
lord of all organs of speech, the lord of all organs of 


sight, of all organs of hearing, and of all organs of 
understanding. As the Soul of all things he becomes 
the owner of the sense-organs of all beings of life. 

Moreover, he becomes something even greater than 
that ; he becomes, to wit, the very Brahman of whom we 
are speaking, whose body is akasa, the bright space, 
rather, whose body is as subtle as akasa ; whose nature 
is true whether expressed through matter with form or 
through formless matter ; who sports in the pnwas 
or life-functions, who is the pleasure-ground of all 
life-functions ; to whom the mind causes nothing 
but happiness; who is peace and perfection, who is 
found full of peace and endued with the attribute of 
immortality. It should be here understood that these 
additional attributes pertain to the same Being who has 
been already described as Manomaya and so on. 

The Sruti here describes the form of Brahman represent- 
ed by the Vyahriti, with a view to enjoin the contempla- 
tion thereof. As the life-giving Soul of the three worlds, 
this Brahman expresses Himself in as 'sat-tya,' as 'sat' and 
'tyad,' as 'mwrta' and 'amwrta,' as matter with form and as 
matter with no form. ::: He has His pleasure-ground in 
the senses (prawas) ; or, in Him the senses have their 
pleasure-ground. (S.) 

By the contemplation of the three Vyflhntis the contem- 
plator becomes established in Agni and so on : he attains 
the powers which Agni, Vflyu and -<4ditya possess. By the 

* See Brill. I* p. 2-o. The air and ether (rtkasa) are formless, 
\vhile light, water and earth present themselves in forms. 

88 CONTEMPLATION. [S'tkskd- 

contemplation of the fourth Vyahriti he becomes established 
in 1 Brahman abiding in the Satyaloka : he attains the power 
of that Brahman. It is this power which is described 
at length in the words "he attains self-lordship" etc. He 
becomes himself the Lord of Agni and other subordinate 
Gods. Because he is their king, it is said that all the Devas 
offer tribute to him. Not only does lie become himself the 
lord of all, he attains to lordship over the minds of all beings 
of life. As the very Soul of all living beings, he is the lord 
of all sense-organs. The antha/z-karaa or inner sense 
which is one in itself, is spoken of as manas and vij;wma, in 
virtue of its two distinct functions: when acting as an organ, 
it is called manas, the mind, while acting as an agent it is 
spoken of as vij/wna, the intellect. Formerly, he was the 
lord of the mind, speech and other organs pertaining to 
an individual organism, w r hereas, now that he has by 
contemplation attained to the upadhi of the Viraj, to the 
state of the Universal Soul, he becomes the lord of the mind, 
speech, etc., pertaining to all organisms. 

After attaining to the state of the Viraj, the Macrocosmic 
Soul, he will be endowed with a knowledge of the real 
nature of Brahman ; and when nescience (avidyfl) is thus 
destroyed, he attains to a state which the sruti proceeds to 
describe as follows : Like akasa. Brahman is, in His nature, 
devoid of form. Or, to interpret the sruti in another way, 
as the basic Reality on which the imagination of the whole 
universe rests, Brahman is the essence of all ; and, as such, 
may be said to be one with akasa in nature. In akasa. there 
are two elements found, one being the Real Basic Substance 
that may be described as Sat, Chit, /4nanda, or Existence, 
Consciousness and Bliss, and the other being an imaginary 

Ami. K/.1 OF BRAHMAN. 8g 

element made up of nama and r?<pa, name and form. The 
latter of the two elements, composed ot name and form, is 
false and cannot therefore constitute the nature of Brahman ; 
but the Basic Substance is real and constitutes the nature 
of Brahman. The same thing is meant when Brahman is 
described as one " whose nature is true." As the Reality 
whereon rests the whole imaginary universe, Brahman's 
being is real, can never be reduced to a non-entity. So 
also, all life's play, all its activity such as birth and the like, 
takes place in Brahman. That prana. or life is born of 
Brahman is declared as follows : " From Him is prana. 
born, manas and all senses." :; The same thing is taught 
in the form of question and answer : 

Question : " Blessed Lord, whence is this~pra born ? " f 
Answer : " From yitman is this prana born." J 
The sruti thus speaking of prawa's birth also serves to 
account for the popular notions as to the Atman being 
present in the body or departing from it. This, too, has 
been declared by the sruti as follows : 

" On what staying shall I say ? Thus think- 
ing, He evolved prana..'" j 

Brahman is the seat of all this play of life. And Brahman 
is the Being in whom lies the bliss of manas. When manas 
ceases to face sense-objects and turns towards Brahman, 
then it is that great happiness accrues to manas. And this 
is declared in the Maitreya-Upanishad as follows : 

" That happiness which belongs to a mind 
which by deep meditation has been washed 

* Mtmc?aka-T7p 2-1-3. f "Prasna-Up 3-1. 
J Ibid. 3-3, Ibid. 6-3, 4, 

90 CONTEMPLATION. [S'ikska- V Olll. 

clean from all impurity and has entered within 
the Self cannot be described here by words ; 
it can be felt by the inward power only." : 

In this Upanishad, too, it is declared as follows : 
" Nectar, in good sooth, this (soul) possessing 
a thing of bliss becomes."! 

And Brahman is replete with peace, the mind having 
ceased altogether to wander away. Indeed, Brahman being 
known, the mind, immersed as it is in the pure nectar of 
bliss, will never wander away. This kind of peace is describ- 
ed by the Svetasvataras in the words " knowing Siva he 
attains unlimited peace." \ 

The Lord also has taught as follows : 

"Thus always keeping the mind steadfast, 
the yogin, with the mind controlled, attains 
to the peace to be found in Me, culminating in 

Nirvana." i 

Wherefore, Brahman is full of peace obtaining in the 
mind. Or, the peace now spoken of may be said to inhere 
in Brahman Himself. Unlike Maya, which is subject to 
change, transforming itself into the universe, Brahman 
never changes ; He is quite immutable (lotfastha), as the 
sruti says, 

"Unborn is /4tman, great and firm." * 
Accordingly, Brahman is replete with peace inherent in 
Himself. And Brahman is devoid of death. Death means 
departure of the vital breath from the body, and this is 
possible only in the case of the J*'va who is associated with 

* Op. cit. 6-34, f Tait. Up. 2-7. { Op. cit. 4-U 
Bha, Qtttt 6-15, f Bri. Up. 4-4-2U, 


the vital air, not in the case of the Paranwtman, unassocia- 
ed .with the vital air. The absence of the vital air in 
Brahman is declared elsewhere in the sruti as follows : "He 
is without life, : without manas, pure." :; 

Contemplation of Brahman enjoined. 

Having thus described the Entity to be contemplated, the 
path by which to reach to Him, as also the fruits of the 
contemplation, the .Sruti proceeds to enjoin the contempla- 
tion as follows : 

4, Thus, do thou, O Prachma-yogya, contem- 

Thus do thou, O Prachma-yogya, contemplate Brah- 
man described above, endued with the attribute of 
thought and so on. This exhortation of the teacher 
implies the high regard he has for the truth here taught. 

Thus does the Teacher named Mahrtchamasya instruct 
the disciple who is pnzchma-yogya, i.e., who has prepared 
himself for the course of contemplation, having washed 
away all his sins by the observance of all obligatory rites 
prescribed in the former (or ritualistic) section, both nitya 
and naimittika, those which have to be practised every day 
of one's life as well as those which have to be performed on 
particular occasions. The word "thus" shows that the 
disciple has to contemplate the Entity described as dwelling 
within the heart and so on, with the attributes described in 
the words " whose body is rtkasa," and so on. No doubt, 
in the words " This then he becomes," the sruti seems to 

, Up, 2-1-2, 


imply that the state of Brahman is the result to which the 
contemplator will attain after having attained to the condi- 
tion of theVinrj ; and we should accordingly understand that 
the sequel the portion commencing with " whose body is 
flkasa " treats of mukti, the state of liberation. But, since 
the sruti " In whatever form he worships Him, that he be- 
comes," declares that the object of contemplation and the 
resultant state should be identical, the attributes described 
in the words "whose body is flkasa" should also enter into 
the contemplation of Brahman here taught. Hence it is that 
the Teacher (Sankaracharya) has construed the passage as 
describing the attributes of Brahman here presented for 

The Fifth and Sixth Lessons treat of one and 
the same Upasana. 

Now we have to discuss the following question: Do the 
Fifth and Sixth Lessons treat of one upasann or two differ- 
ent upasanas ? 

(Prima facie view) : They treat of two different uplands, 
inasmuch as the things to be contemplated as well as the 
fruits of contemplation spoken of in the two lessons are 
different. In the fifth, the thing to be contemplated is a 
symbol, the Vyflhnti, regarded as the worlds etc., whereas, 
in the sixth, the object of contemplation is Brahman formed 
of thought and endued with other attributes. In the former 
the fruit of the contemplation is described in the words "To 
him all Devas offer tribute ; whereas the latter speaks of 
quite a different result, namely, the attainment ofindepend^ 

Ann. VI.] OF BRAHMAN. 93 

ent sovereignty. Therefore the upasanas treated of in the 
two lessons are quite different. 

(Conclusion}: Both being addressed to one and the same 
person, one upasana alone is taught in the two places. 
In the words " whoso contemplates them, he knows 
Brahman " (V. 9) the sruti declares that the contemplation 
of Brahman is intended for the same person for whom the 
contemplation of the Vyahritis is intended. Further, the 
sixth lesson declares the fruits of the contemplation of 
the Vyflhriti as well, in the words " In Agni as Bhuh ha 
becomes established." (VI. 3). Wherefore, one upasana 
alone is taught in both the lessons. As to the difference in the 
things to be contemplated, it may be easily explained by con- 
sidering their mutual relation to be one of awgangi-bhava, 
that of chief and subordinate factors. Then, the offering of 
tribute by all the Devas may be regarded as the fruit accru- 
ing from the aga or subordinate factor. In the case of the 
fruit of a subordinate factor spoken of in the passage " He 
who pours oblation with the leaf-ladle ( juhuh), 
he never hears of evil repute, " ::: it is but proper to maintain 
that the passage is intended merely to recommend the main 
act of sacrifice, but not to reveal any particular fruit accruing 
from the subordinate factor referred to, inasmuch as nobody 
ever seeks to know the fruit of the act of pouring oblations 
with a leaf-ladle, that act forming but an integral part of 
the main sacrifice and being therefore incapable of producing 
any fruit of its own, distinct from the fruits of the main 
act. But, here, contemplation ot Brahman, independent of 
the Vyrthntis, is possible, and it may therefore be concluded 
that the latter is taught with a view to a particular fruit of 

* Taittiriya-sawhtta III. 5. 7. 

94' CONTEMPLATION, giksllti- Vttlll. 

itk Own ; and its fruits are spoken of not merely with a view 
to recommend the main factor in the contemplation. The 
two,- therefore, together constitute one upasana, of which they 
are respectively the chief and subordinate factors. 

Many are the Self -Comprehending Upasanas. 

We cannot, however, by extending the principle thus 
established to the contemplation of Brahman as earth &c. 
to be taught in the Seventh Lesson, hold that it constitutes 
one upasanrt with what is taught in the Sixth Lesson ; for, 
on the principle discussed in connection with the Sandilya.- 
Vidyfl, the Dahara-Vidya, and the like, it must be quite 
distinct from the other. This latter principle is determined 
in the Vedanta-Stras III. iii. 58. as follows : 

(Question): The Dahara-Vidya, :;: the Sfldilya-Vidya,f the 
Madhu-Vidyrt J and the like, are described in the Chhando- 
gya and other Upanishads. Now a question arises as to 
whether all these vidyas (contemplations) together constitute 
one upasana or each constitutes a distinct upasana by itself. 

(Prima facie view] : On the principle determined in the 
preceding section, all of them constitute together but one 
upasana, inasmuch as a contemplation of all of them put 
together is the best course and there is but one Brahman. 

(Conclusion) : Because it is impossible to practise all 
contemplations combined into one whole, the Vidyas must 
be different. And Brahman, the object of contemplation in 
these Vidyas, cannot be regarded as one and the same ; for, 
He differs with the different attributes assigned to Him. 
Nor is it impossible to determine the scope of each Vidya, 
inasmuch as in each case the upakrama and the upasawtuzra, 

* Chha-Up. VIII. 1-6, | Mid III, 14, $ Ibid III, 1-11, 

Ailll. VI.} OF BRAHMAN. 95 

the opening and the concluding sentences, serve to clearly 
define the limits of the Vidya. Therefore the several Vidy&s 
are distinct from one another. 

One alone of the Self- Comprehending Upasanas 
should be practised. 

The two Vidyrts described in the Sixth and Seventh 
Lessons being thus distinct from each other, one alone of 
them should be practised, but not both. This point has 
been determined in the same work III. iii. 59. 

(Question] : Now, Upasan^s are either Self-comprehending 
or symbolic. The former comprise all the contemplations of 
the Conditioned yltman, in each of which the Being contem- 
plated upon is, as pointed out in the Vedanta-swtras IV. 1.3, 
regarded as one's own Self ; and the latter are concerned 
with the contemplation of the symbols ( prat/kas ), 
of things external to the Self and elevated in thought by 
being studiedly regarded as some Devate or God. Is there, 
or is there not, a restriction as to the number of the Self- 
comprehending Uprtsanas which one should practise ? 

(Prima facie view) : Of the Self-comprehending Vidyas 
such as Sandilya-Vidya, either one alone may be practised, 
or two, or three, as a person chooses, since no authority 
constrains us to .practise any one or more particular up/tsa- 
mis ; and there is indeed no reason whatever why a person 
should practise the Sandi\ya.*V\dya alone or the Dahafa- 
Vidya alone, or any other Vidya exclusively. The matter ; is 
therefore left to one's own choice. 

(Conclusion) : There is in the first place one .determining 
factor, namely, the fact that no purpose is served by others. 
To explain ; The object of the Upasana is an immediate 

$6 CONTEMPLATION. [S'lkshd-Valll. 

intuitive realisation of /svara. If it can be accomplished by 
a single upasana, other upasanas serve no purpose. More- 
over, the realisation obtained by an upasana is not one 
brought about by an organ of right knowledge ; it is, on the 
other hand, generated by incessant meditation and consists 
in thinking of oneself as one with the Entity contemplated 
upon. How can this idea of identity remain firm, when, 
after practising one kind of upasana, the person abandons 
it and resorts to another, and thus his mind passes from one 
idea to another ? Thus, by reason of the practice of more than 
one upflsana having no purpose to serve and even causing 
unsteadiness of mind, it is necessary that one alone of the Self- 
comprehending upasanas should be practised, and no more. 

Contemplation of Brahman as the Self. 

As in the case of the right knowledge of Brahman, so, 
feven when contemplating Brahman, He should be regarded 
as one with the Self. That the right knowledge of Brahman 
consists in knowing that He is one with one's own Self has 
been shewn in the Vedanta-Swtras IV. i. 3 : 

(Question] \ Should the knower apprehend Brahman as 
distinct from himself or as one with his own Self ? 

(Printa facie view) ; Brahman treated of in the scriptures 
should be known by ]iva, the knower, to be quite distinct 
from himself, inasmuch as J*va and Brahman cannot be 
identical, the one being subject to misery, and the other 
being above all misery. 

(Conclusion) \ The difference lies only in the upadhi. It 
has been clearly shewn in the Vedanta-s;rtras II. iii. 40 that 
Jiva, though Brahman in reality, is subject to the miseries 
of worldly existence as caused by his connection with the 

Ami. VI.} OF BRAHMAN. 97 

upadhi of anta/z-karana. As there is no real distinction 
between them, it should be known that Brahman is identi- 
cal with one's own Self. Hence it is that those who know 
the real truth understand Brahman to be identical with the 
Self, as declared in the grand propositions " I am Brahman;" 
"This Self is Brahman;" and they even teach the same 
thing to their disciples in the words " That, Thou art." 
Therefore it should be known that Brahman is identical 
with the Self. 

Accordingly, in the present case, the contemplation should 
be practised thus: "I am the Paramatman, the Supreme 
Self, formed of thought, immortal, full of light." 

How Paramatman is Manomaya, formed of thought. 

In the Vedrtnta-sz/tras I. ii. i. it has been discussed, with 
reference to the Sawrfilya-Vidya, how the Parairurtman can 
be spoken of as Manomaya, formed of thought. 

(Question] : In the Chhandogya-Upanishad, the Entity 
to be contemplated is described as " formed of thought, 
luminous in form, embodied in prawa." Is it J*va or 
/svara who is thus spoken of ? 

(Prima facie view] : It is Jzva ; for, in the case of Jz'va it 
is easy to explain his connection with manas and the like. 
The word "manomaya" meaning " formed of manas" refers 
to a connection with manas or thought, and the word "pr;/a- 
sarira" meaning " having pnwa for his body " refers to a 
connection with prrtwa or life. Neither of these can be ex- 
plained in the case of /svara, owing to the denial of manas and 
pnwa (in the description of /svara) in the words " Having no 

* Op, cit. 3-14-2, 


prana, having no manas, who is pure." :;; Moreover, it can in 
no way be explained how He who has no place to rest in can 
have His abode in the heart, or how He who pervades all 
can bs very small in sizs as declared by the sruti in the 
Sattdilya-Vidya : " This /Itman who is within the heart, and 
who is very small." I Hence it is Java that is spoken of in 
the passage referred to. 

(Conclusion): The very Brahman who is spoken of in the 
preceding passage where peace (sama) is enjoined in the 
words "All this is Brahman, born from Him, dissolving into 
and breathing in Him ; so let every one contemplate Him 
in peace", I is the Thiig to which the epithets ' mano- 
maya' and ' praasanra ' refer. The meaning of the passage 
which enjoins peace may be explained as follows : All that 
we see is Brahman, because from Him it is born, unto 
Him it dissolves, and in Him it breathes. Therefore, since 
Brahman who is Himself the All can have no likes or 
dislikes, one should bs peaceful at the time of contem- 
plation. Brahman being thus construed to be the sub- 
ject of discussion in this passage, the next passage in 
which the epithet ' manomaya ' occurs must also refer to 
Brahman. And there is no inconsistency in speaking of 
Brahman as associated with manas and pran.i ; for, though 
not applicable to the Unconditioned, the epithets can be ex- 
pi ained as shewing how Brahman should be contemplated 
in His conditioned form. Therefore, here as in all other 
Upanishads, Brahman is declared to be the object of wor- 
ship. Nowhere, indeed, in the Upanishads, is J/va declared 
to be the object of worship. The conclusion, therefore, is 
that it is Brahman who should be contemplated. 

MH?uZ- Up. 2-1-2. f Uhha. Up. 3-14-3. $ Ibid. 3-14-1, 


Just as, in the Chhuzndogya-upanishad, it is to Brahman 
spoken of in the passage enjoining peace during contempla- 
tion that the epithet ' manomaya' refers, so also, here in this 
lesson, it is the Paramrttman, designated by the word 
1 purusha' which means ' all-pervading', who is spoken of 
as 'formed of thought'. That the word ' purusha' means 
' all-pervading' is taught in the Sreyo-m.irga as follows: 

" Purusha is so called because of His lying in 
the body, or because He is full in Himself, or 
because all that we see is pervaded by Him." 

(Objection] : The first etymology "lying in the body " 
applies to jz'va also. 

(Answer): No, because Brahman is here the subject of 
treatment, as shown by the opening words " whoso knoweth 
these, he knoweth Brahman," as also by the concluding 
words " Brahman whose body is the bright space." 

How Brahman is full of light. 

That the words " full of light" may be applied to Brahman 
has been determined in the Vednta-Stras I. i. 20 as 

(Question): In the first adhyaya of the Chh^ndogya-upa- 
nishad, the sruti first taught all the subsidiary objects of 
contemplation connected with the Udgztha-Upflsana and 
then proceeds to speak of the main object of contemplation 
in the following words : 

" Now that golden (i. e., full of light) Soul 
(Purusha) who is seen within the sun," 
and so on. 

* Op cit. !-6-6. 


Now, in the solar orb there dwells a certain jiva or 
individual soul who, in virtue of his works (karma) and 
knowledge (vidyrt) of a superior kind, has attained to the 
position of a God (Deva) and is engaged in the government 
of the world. And, as present everywhere, /svara dwells 
in the solar orb also. Hence the question, which of the two 
is spoken of in the passage quoted above ? 

(Prima facie view): It may be that the Devato or the 
Individual Intelligence functioning in the solar orb is re- 
ferred to here; for the soul (purusha) here spoken of is 
said to have a limited sovereignty, a seat and a colour. His 
limited sovereignty is referred to in the following words: 

" And He is the lord of these worlds which 
are beyond it (the sun), as also of the de- 
sires of the Devas." 

And His seat is referred to in the words "who is seen 
(lying) within the sun". The epithet "golden ' refers to His 
colour. Now, Paramesvara who is the Lord of all, who is 
the abode of all, who has no colour or form, cannot, indeed, 
be said to have a limited sovereignty, or to dwell in another 
as His abode, or to possess a colour or form. Wherefore 
it must be some Devata or Individual Intelligence who 
is here spoken of. 

(Conclusion): -The 'golden Purusha' here spoken of must 
be the /svara, for He is said to be the Sarwztman, Himself 
the all, to be one with all, to be immanent in all things 
as their very essence. In the passage, " That is the Rik, 
that the Sflman, that the Uktha, that the Yajus, that the 
Brahman (Vedas)," f the sruti refers by the word 'that' to 

* Ibid. 1-6-8. f Hid. 1-7-5. 

. VI.] 


the golden Purusha, the subject of discussion, and teaches 
that He is one with the whole universe including the Rik, 
Srtman etc. And this can literally apply to the One Second- 
less Paramesvara, not to a Devatfl or Individual Intelligence 
of the dual universe. And the attribute of being free from 
all sins, as described in the words " He has risen above all 
sins," is a characteristic mark of Brahman. No doubt, the 
Devata of the solar orb has risen above works (karma) and 
therefore generates no acts of virtue and sin in the present 
or in the future ; but, as He is still subject to pain caused 
by the asaras (demons) and the like, we may presume 
that the accumulated sins of past births still cling to Him, 
giving rise to the pain. The limited sovereignty, seat, 
and colour pertaining to an up.idhi can also apply to the 
Param.itrnan, the object of worship, when associated with 
the upadhi. Wherefore it is /svara who is spoken of as the 
golden Soul (Purusha). 

Attributes of Brahman mentioned elsewhere 
should be borrowed. 

Just as, in the passages of the Chhandogya Upanishad 
under reference, oneness with all and the like attributes are 
regarded as characteristic features of Brahman, so, here in 
the Sixth Lesson, immortality and true-naturedness and 
the like may be regarded as characteristic features of 
Brahman. Therefore, it is the Paramatman who should be 
contemplated upon as endued with intelligence and other 
qualities. In the Saw^ilya-Vidyfl the Chhandogas read as 

" Full of intelligence, embodied in life, lumi- 
nous in form, of unfailing will." :; 

*Chho. Up. 3-14-2. 


The Vajasaneyins, again, read in the Bnhadarawyaka as 

follows : 

" That person, full of intelligence, unfailing 
light indeed, is within the heart, small like a 
grain of rice or barley. He is the Ruler of all, 
the Lord of all ; He rules all this, whatsoever 
exists. " :;: 

So that, on the principle I of the Panchrtgni-Vidya 
contemplation of the five fires, we should understand 
that, though the three upanishads belong to different recen- 
sions, one and the same Vidya (contemplation) is taught in 
all of them, inasmuch as the Being who is presented in 
them for contemplation is of the same nature viz., He who 
is full of intelligence, and so on. The principle of the Panch- 
rtgni-Vidya has been discussed in the Third Lesson. | The 
Vidya being identical, each of the three recensions should 
borrow whatever new features are spoken of in the two 
others arid contemplate the Being in all His features thus 
brought together. And this principle, too, of borrowing 
new features from other recension or recensions has been 
discussed in the same Lesson. 

Upasana should be practised till death. 

The contemplation should be practised till the attainment 
of sakshatkara or immediate perception, i.e., till the devotee 
comes to regard himself as one with Brahman endued with 
all the attributes gathered together as shown above. The 
word 'upasana' means "repetition of an idea,' as has been 
shewn in the Third Lesson. J And the sruti also viz., 

* Bri. Up. 5-6-1. f Vide ante pp. 44-46. Ante pp. 56-57, 

Ann. P7.1 OF BRAHMAX. 103 

"Becoming the Deva, he is absorbed in the Devas,*" speaks 
of the sakstuttkora, or intuitive realisation of Divinity in this 
very birth. Even after attaining the s.ikshfltkara, the upa- 
sana of Brahman should be continued till death. This point 
is discussed in the Vedrtnta-stras IV. i. 12, as follows: 

(Question) : Are up.isanas to be practised as long as one 
chooses or till death ? 

(Pyima facie view) : The word 'upasana' means a continu- 
ed current of one and the same idea uninterrupted by any 
foreign idea. This can be accomplished in a limited period 
of time. Wherefore, it may be practised as long as one 
chooses, and it is not necessary to practise it till death. 

(Conclusion) : The idea prevailing at the last moment of 
life is the one which determines the future birth ; and that 
idea cannot arise easily except by practising upasana till 
death. Hence the smnti : 

" Whatever object a man thinks of at death 
when he leaves the body, that, O son of Kuntz 
reaches he by wham that object has been constantly 
meditated upon " f 

(Objection): How, then, can the idea of svarga possibly 
arise at the last moment of life in him who has to go to 
svarga in virtue of the Jyotishfoma and other acts of 
sacrifice ? 

(Answer) : We say that the aprva, the unseen effect 
generated by the sacrificial act, will produce the idea. 

(Objection) : Even in the case of an upasana there may 
exist some apwrva or unseen effect. 

* Bri-Up-4-1-2, f Blia, Gita VIII, 6, 

164 CONTEMPLATION. [S'ikska-Volti. 

(Answer): Yes, it exists ; but then we should not, on 
this score, dispense with the constant repatition of the idea, 
which is a known and tangible means of obtaining the 
result. Otherwise, every kind of pleasure or pain or the 
like being the result of an aprva or invisible cause, there 
is no use making an effort to obtain food etc., which is the 
known means of securing the pleasure. Wherefore, practice 
of contemplation till death is necessary, as it is the known 
means of obtaining the intended result. 

Where the upasaka's path of departure diverges. 

A special feature in the departure of the upasaka, who 
has been thus repeating the contemplation till death, is 
discussed in the Vednta-s.'dras IV. ii. 17 as follows: 

(Question): Is there any or no special feature in the 
departure of one who has been practising contemplation, as 
compared with other men's departure ? 

(Prima facit view)'. It has been said that an upasaka's 
departure is the same as _that of others till they come to 
the starting-point on their paths. Now, it is but proper to 
hold that, even after they start on their paths, their depar- 
ture is the same, inasmuch as, in the case of both alike, the 
sruti speaks of the flashing of the heart etc. Accordingly 
the 5ruti says : 

" The tip of his heart flashes ; with that flash 
this soul (Atman) makes his exit through the 
head or through other parts of the body."" 

*Bri- Up- 


This passage may be explained as follows : 
The present birth closes when ' the sense of speech attains 
unity with manas' and so on,* i.e., when the whole linga- 
san'ra combined with Jn r a becomes absorbed in Pararruit-' 
man, remaining in Him as a mere potentiality. Then; for 
the next birth, the linga-san'ra again manifests itself in 
the heart. At that moment, in the linga-sartra which then 
rests in the tip of the heart, there occurs an illumination 
in the form of an idea of the future birth which is to come 
next, commonly spoken of as ' antya-pratyaya,' the idea of 
the last moment. With this idea in mind, the soul de- 
parts through the nadis. And this is the same for all. 
Wherefore the upasaka's departure differs in no way from 
that of others. 

(Conclusion) : As against the foregoing we hold as 
follows : An upasaka makes his exit exclusively by the 
nadi in the head, others making their exit by other nadis 
only, because of the upnsaka having constantly thought 
of the nadi in the head, and in virtue of the peculiar power 
of the contemplation of the Conditioned (Sagu/ta) Brahman. 
This point is clearly set forth elsewhere in the sruti in the 
following words : 

" Of the heart there are" etc. I 

That is to say, the other nadis serve only for exit, but not for 
the attainment of immortality. Wherefore there is some 
speciality in the departure of an uprtsaka. 

How far the process of death is the same for all. 

As to that part of the pro333S of departure which precedes 

* .For the whole pruc'jss read the sequel. 
f Kaih. Up. 0-1(5. Quoted in full on p. Si. 



the point of divergence where the upasaka makes his exit 
through the \\adi of the head, five points are discussed in 
the Vedrtnta-Swtras referring to a passage in another upa- 
nishad. The passage referred to occurs in the Chhflndogya- 
Upanishad and reads as follows : 

"The speech, my dear, of that departing 
person is absorbed in manas, manas in life, 
life in fire, and fire in the Supreme God." 

With reference to this passage, the five following points 
have been discussed and established : 

(i). The upanishad does not mean that the ten senses 
of the dying man, ' speech' standing here for all the ten 
senses, are not totally and substantially absorbed in manas. 
It only means that the action of speech, etc., ceases while 
manas is still active, their activity being thus absorbed as 
it were in the activity of manas. (Vedrtnta-stras IV. ii. 1-2). 

(2) Similarly, when manas is said to be absorbed in life, 
the upanishad only means that the activity of manas ceases 
when prana. or life-breath is still active. (IV. ii. 3). 

(3). Life becomes absorbed, not in fire (the element of 
matter called tejas), but in Jrva, the man's own conscious 
Ego, as declared in the Bnhadrtrawyaka- Upanishad : 

" To this Self, at the last moment, do all pni- 
as go."t (Vedrtnta-Stras. IV. ii. 4-6.) 

(4). The process of departure consisting in the ces- 
sation of one activity after another up to the starting- 
point on the path of exit through a r\adi is the same for all 

* Op. cit, 6-S-t). f Op. cit. 4-4-1. 

Ann. F/.] F BRAHMAN. 107 

the three, for him who is led by Dharma and Adharma, 
for an uprtsaka, and for him who has attained to an intuitive 
knowledge of the truth. (IV. ii. 7). 

(5). The activity of the external organs of sensation, 
manas, and prawa, having been absorbed in that of Jzwitman, 
the conscious individual Ego, the activity of this JiVrttman 
is in its turn absorbed in that of the five subtle elements of 
matter, tejas or fire (in the passage quoted from the 
Chhrtndogya-Upanishadj standing here for all the five subtle 
elements, among which the element of fire predominates. 
These subtle elements of matter are then absorbed in the 
Paranirttman. In the case of him who has not yet realised 
the true nature of Brahman, the elements of matter do not 
in their substance become absorbed in the Paranirttman ; it 
is only their activity that ceases, while in their substance 
they exist potentially in the Paranirttman who alone is 
awake at the time (IV. ii. 8-n). 

Thus in five sections has been discussed that part of the 
process of departure which is common to all. 

The Path of Light. 

The present birth closes with the absorption, in the 
Paranirttman, of all activity of the linga-san'ra made up of 
the five subtle elements. Subsequently (IV. ii. 17) is dis- 
cussed a special feature in the departure of an uprtsaka who, 
wending his way to Brahma-loka, makes his exit through 
the nadi of the head. And the path of exit has been des- 
cribed here (in part) in the second passage of this lesson. We 
should understand that this portion of the path stands for the 
whole Path of Light which leads to the region of Brahman. 

Concerning the path to the region of Brahman, six points 

108 CONTEMPLATION. Slkshtt-V Cllti. 

are discussed in the Vedanta-s;<tras with reference to a 
passage in the Chhandogya-upanishad which reads as 
follows : 

" Now, when he so starts up from this body, 
then, by these rays alone does he start up- 
ward." ''' 

The departing: soul of the upasaka joins the 
sun's rays even at night. 

(i) In this passage the Chhandogas declare that, on 
making his exit through the nadi of the head, the soul joins 
the rays of the sun. One may perhaps think that, though it 
is possible for the upasaka, dying during the day-time, to 
join the sun's rays, it is not possible for him to do so if he 
should die at night. As against this it has been argued 
that, though at night the sun's rays are not manifested, 
yet the soul does join them, since there exists a connection 
between the nadis and the sun's rays as long as the body 
exists (IV. ii. 18-19). 

Even the upasaka dying in Dakshinayana has access 
to the Northern Path. 

(ii) In the Uttara-rrurrga or Northern Path which begins 
with the sun's rays, the UttanryaKa ( i.e., the progress of 
the sun north of the equator ) is mentioned as a stage. 
This may at first lead one to think that the upasaka dying 
in the Daksrmwyana does not attain the fruits of the upa- 
sana. Against this it has been argued that the fruit does 
accrue to the upasaka inasmuch as tha term ' uttaryaa ' 
means here the Devatfl or Intelligence who identifies him- 
self with the period of time so called. (IV. ii. 20-21). 

> Op. cit. 8-6-5. 

Ann. VI. 1 F BRAHMAN, 109 

The Path of Light is but one. 

(iii) In the Chlwndogya and Brihadaranyaka Upanishads, 
the Path is spoken of in connection with the Panchagni- 
Vidyrt, as commencing with light (archis), in the words 
" they arrive at light," : and so on. In connection with 
another Vidya, the Vrtjasaneyins speak of the Path as com- 
mencing with the Vayu-loka, the region of Vayu (Air), in the 
words " He comes to Vayvu" | In the Paryanka-Vidya, 
the Kaush/takins speak of it as commencing with the Agni- 
loka, the region of fire, in the words " Betaking himself to 
this path gone by the Devas, he comes to the Agni-loka." | 
These passages may lead to the view that the Northern 
Path is of several kinds. Against this it has been argued 
that it is possible to construe the passages cited above by 
regarding the regions of Vayu and Agni, etc., as definite 
stages on one path. (IV. iii. i.) 

[ The stages on the Path of Light leading to Brahman 
are mentioned differently in different Upanishads as follows : 

1. THE CHHA'NDOGYA-UPANISHAD : The Light (Archis), 
the Day (Ahan), the Bright Half of the Moon (A puryamana.- 
paksha), the Six Months during which the Sun goes to the 
North, the Year (Samvatsara), the Sun (y4ditya), the Moon 
(Chandramas), the Lightning fVidyuth), Brahman. 

Day, the Bright Half of the Moon, the Six Months during 
which the Sun goes to the North, the Region of Devas 
(Devaloka), the Sun, the Lightning, Brahman. 

3. THE KAUSHI'TAKI-UPANISHAD : The Region of Fire 

* Chh. Up. 4-15-5; Bn. Up. 6-2-15. f Hid. 5-10-1. 
J Kau. Up. 1-3. 


(Agnij, the Region of the Air (Vayu), the Region of 
Varua, the Region of Prajrtpati, the Region of Brahman. 

The ascending order of the stages as determined by the 
Vedflnta-SHtras is as follows : 

(i) The Light or the Region of Agni, (2) the Day, 
f3Jthe Bright Half of the Moon, (4) the Six Months during 
which the Sun goes to the North, (5) the Year, (6) the 
Region of Devas, (7) the Region of the Air, (8) the Sun, 
(9) the Moon, (10) the Lightning, (u) the Region of Varuwa, 
(12) the Region of Indra, (13) the Region of Prajnpati, 
(14) the Region of Brahman. Tr.] 

The Vayu-loka precedes the Aditya-loka. 

(iv). " The question arising as to the situation, on the 
path, of the Vrtyu-loka spoken of by the Kauslu'taldns, 
it has been shewn that it is situated just below the Aditya- 
loka, the reigon of the Sun, because it is said in the Bnhadrt- 
rawyaka that the soul reaches ;4ditya by the path afforded 
by Vayu. * (IV. iii. 2). 

The region of Lightning precedes that of Varuna. 

(v). The Kaush/takins place on the Path of Light the 
regions of Varu/za, Indra and Prajapati. There arising a 
question as to their relative situation on the path, it has 
been argued that inasmuch as the Lightning and Varuwa (the 
Lord of w ater) are related to each other through rain, the 
region of Varuwa should be placed next above that of the 
Lightning, and that the regions of Indra and Prajapati should 
be placed above the region of Varua, on the principle that 
new-comers should be placed last. (IV. iii. 3.) 

* Op-cit. 610.1 

VI. \ 


The Light, etc., are the guiding Intelligences. 

(vi). The Light, etc., phxced by the sruti on the path, 
constitute neither sign-posts on the way (iruirga-chihna), 
nor regions of enjoyment (bhoga-bh/nni) ; but they are 
DevaUs or intelligences who lead the soul from one region 
to another on the way. (IV. iii. 4-6). 

The Path of Light is common to all upasakas 
of Saguna Brahman. 

The path whose course has been thus determined is 
meant only for those who contemplate Sagua Brahman. 
He who has realised the true nature of Brahman by the 
right sources of knowledge has nothing to do with the path. 
This departure by the Path of Light applies to all upasanas 
of Saguwa Brahman, not to those up^sanas only in connec- 
tion with which the path is mentioned in the sruti. By this 
Path, the upasaka attains to Brahman ; for, it has been 
declared that "a non-human Spirit dwelling in the region of 
the Lightning conducts the souls to Brahman. It has also 
been determined that the upasaka's (immediate) goal is not 
Parabrahman Himself, Who cannot be said to be reached 
by a path, but that particular region of Brahman which 
falls within the sphere of evolution. (IV. iii. 7-14.) 

The worshippers of symbols cannot attain to 

This region of Brahman in the evolved universe cannot 
be reached by those who contemplate symbols (prab'kas). 
It can be reached only by those who contemplate Brahman, 
not by others, (IV. iii. 15-16.) 

na CONTEMPLATION [Siksha-Valli. 

The glory of the Brahma loka. 

It is this region of Brahman (constituting the Goal reached 
by the Path of Light) which is described by the 5ruti in 
para 3 of this lesson. On reaching the Brahma-loka, the 
upasaka identifies himself with both the Individual Intelli- 
gences and the Universal Intelligence. As identifying him- 
self with the Individual Intelligences, he becomes one with 
Agni, Vdyu, /Iditya and other Intelligences and partakes of 
their powers. As identifying himself with the Universal 
Intelligence, he becomes Brahman, the Lord of the Earth 
(Bhiih) and all other worlds, and attains to Swzrajya ; i.e., 
he becomes an independent lord. 

In saying that the Yogin attains to the state of 
Brahman now described the Kaushftakins speak of him in 
the Paryanka-Vidya ?.s follows : 

" Then five hundred Apsarases ( celestial 
damsels) go towards him, one hundred with 
chowries in their hands, one hundred with gar- 
lands in their hands, one hundred with oint- 
ments in their hands, one hundred with gar- 
ments in their hands, one hundred with fruits 
in their hands. They adorn him with an 
adornment worthy of Brahman, and when 
thus adorned with the adornment of Brahman 
the knower of Brahman moves towards 

Concerning this very attainment of Brahman, this indepen- 
dent dominion (svarajya), the following four points have 
been discussed and settled in the Vedanta-s//tras : 

* Kaush. Up, 1-4. 

Ann, VI,] oi- BRAHMAN, .113 

In Brahma=loka, the Yogin secures objects of 
enjoyment by mere thoughts. 

(i). The Yogin who dwells in the Brahma-loka attains ob- 
jects of enjoyment by merely thinking of them. He does not 
stand in need of any external means to bring them about, 
(IV. iv. 8-9) 

In Brahma=loka, the Yogin can enjoy with 
or without a body. 

(ii). Concerning the Yogin who has himself thus created 
objects of enjoyment by thought, one 5ruti declares that he 
assumes a body" wherewith to enjoy the objects, while 
another declares that the Yogin does not assume a body for 
the purpose. To explain this difference, it is not necessary 
to suppose that there are two different classes of Yogins, to 
whom respectively they apply. The fact, on the other 
hand, is that one and the same person may, as he chooses, 
assume a body or not for the purpose. (IV. iv. 10-14). 

The bodies of a Yojin's creation have each a soul. 

(iii). When the Yogin above referred to chooses to create 
simultaneously more bodies than one, it may be supposed 
that Jz'va, the individual soul, is present only in one of 
them while the others are soulless. But, as a matter of 
fact, all bodies have their respective souls (J/vrttmans), all 
of these latter acting according to the will of one individual. 
(IV. iv. 15-16) 

No Yogin can create the universe as a whole. 

(iv). Though the Yogin can thus create, by mere thought, 
the objects of his enjoyment, his bodies, and his souls (JJwrt- 
mans), he cannot, in the same way, create the great 

* The physical body and tho organs of extoninl sensation. 


elements of matter such as akasa. (ether) or the Brahmrfa 
(the Mundane. Egg) or the worlds made of matter. It is 
the beginningless, eternal Paramesvara, the Supreme Lord 
alone, but not a Yogin, who is the creator of the universe* 
(IV, iv, 17-22). 

Thence the Yogin attains to Videha-kaivalya 
in due course. 

The, Yogin who has become an independent Lord as 
shewn above attains, while still in the Brahma-loka, to the 
Sflkshfltkara, immediate intuitive realisation of the true 
nature of the unconditioned Brahman ; and then, on the 
Brahma-loka coming to an end, he attains Videha-kaivalya, 
the disembodied state of muksha. This state has been des- 
cribed in this lesson in the words " Then he becomes this," 
etc. The same has been expressed by the Blessed Vyasa 
in the following aphorism : 

" At the close of creation, along with its Lord, 
(they go) then to the Supreme, as said (in the 
sruti)." (IV. iii. 10). 

That is to say, on the dissolution of the Brahma-loka, they 
attain to the Supreme Brahman, along with Brahman, the 
Four-faced, the Lord of the world, as declared in the sruti 
and the smriti : 

" Those aspirants who by Vednntic wisdom 
have well ascertained the Thing, and whose 
minds have been purified by the yoga of 
renunciation, they all, at the last moment of 
the Great Cycle, become released from the 
Great, the Immortal,"" 

* Kuivtvlya -Up, 2 '!. 

Ami. VI.] 1< 

" \\'hen the dissolution comes at the end of 
the Great Cycle, they all, perfected in soul, 
enter the Supreme Abode." 

Thus, he who contemplates Brahman first attains to Brah- 
ma-loka and then attains absolute salvation. 


(Seventh Lcssn i.) 


This lesson treats of the contemplation 
of the Hiranyagarbha. 

The sruti has thus taught us to contemplate Brahman 
in the form of the Vyflhriti ; and now it proceeds to 
teach that the self-same Brahman should be contem- 
plated in the pa nktas or ft ve-mcmbcred groups of objects 
composed of the earth and so on.* As related to the 
number five, the universe made up of these groups may 
be regarded in the light of the pankti metre t and the 
whole is therefore a pankta, made up of the pankti. And 
a yajwa or sacrificial rite is also a prmktat as declared in 
the sruti " Five-footed is the pankti (metre) and yaj/za 
is a pankta." Therefore to regard this whole universe 
as the p.inkta, as made up of (the five-fold groups of 
objects such as the earth and other) worlds and so on, 
is tantamount to regarding it as a yaj/ia or sacrificial rite 
itself. By the yajna thus effected, one becomes the Pra- 
japati manifested as the pankta, as the universe made 
up cf the five-membered groups of objects. 

* With a view to attain great results. (3), 

f Fan-Hi is a vcdic metro consisting of five feet (pctdas) of eight 
syllables each. 

J That is to say, the universe nvvy he regarded not only ill 
the light of the pankti metre as has been shewn above, but 
also in tlje light of u ytij^u or sue riJ'ciul lite. (A.) 

Allll. VII. \ 01 ' BRAHMAN IX THE VISIBLE. 117 

The Hira;/yagarbha or Prajapati, i.e., Brahman manifest- 
ed as the universe, is a p^nkta, because the universe has been 
built out of the/w elements of matter. To regard the Hira- 
wyagarbha as a pankta. is to regard Him as a yaj//a, which 
is also a pa;/kta, as brought about by the interaction of five 
factors, namely, (i) the sacrificer, (2) his wife, (3) his son, 
(\) divine wealth such as Vidya or contemplation, and ("5) 
human wealth such as man's action and the materials used 
in performing the sacrificial rite. By the yaja thus effcted in 
contemplation, the up^saka attains to the state of the Praja- 
pati, the governing Soul of the universe, manifesting Himself 
in the form of the three worlds. (S. & A.). 

In the Sixth Lesson has been taught the contemplation of 
Brahman regarded as manomaya (formed of thought) and 
so on. Inasmuch as this Brahman, who has none of the 
attributes psrceivable by the eye, can be grasped only by 
the aspirants of the highest class, the sruti proceeds to 
teach in the Seventh Lesson the contemplation of Brahman 
endued with attributes perceptible to the eye, a contempla- 
tion which is suited to the aspirants of a lower class, 

External groups of the visible. 

Now the srtiti first gives three groups of five members 
each, external to the human organism, as the attributes 
(forms or embodiments) of the Brahman w r ho has to be 

IIS CUXTLMl'LATION [S'iks/ld- Vlllll. 

I. Earth, the mid-region, heaven, (the main) 
quarters and the intermediate quarters ; Agni 
(Fire), Vayu (Air), Aditya. (Sun), Chandramas 
fMoon) and Nakshatras (the Stars) ; waters, 
plants, trees, the bright space (akasa.), and y4tman 
(the Self) : thus far among the external beings. 

Now the sruti proceeds to show how the whole 
universe is a pnnkta. Earth, etc., constitute the pankta. 
of worlds (lokas) ; Agni, etc., of Devatas ; waters, etc., 
of bhzrtas or external beings. Mentioned as one among 
thebrmtas, ' ^Itman' here means the Vinrj (the Universal 
Soul manifesting Himself in the form of the visible or 
physical worlds). Before the words 'among the external 
beings ' we should understand the words " among the 
worlds, among the Devatas," inasmuch as the panktas 
of the worlds and Devatas also have bean mentioned. 

...Waters, etc., are the fivs substances (dravya) These 

three groups of five objects pertain to external being, 
because they are made up of the earth and other [objects of 
creation which are regarded as external, comprehended in 
the notion of ' this,' as distinguished from prana. (upward 
vital breath) and others to be mentioned below, which are 
comprehended in the notion of ' 1.' So far has been 
taught how to contemplate Brahman in the external world, 

Internal groups of the visible. 

To prevent the confounding of the preceding groups with 
those which follow, the mtti niaiks off the latter from the 
former and proposes to describe three more groups of 
things each ; 

. VIL] 


2. Now, as to the self. Pr<7//a, vyrma, apflna, 
udrma, sarrmna ; the eye, the ear, manas, speech, 
touch ; skin, flesh, muscle (snavrt), bone, marrow. 

Now will be mentioned three internal groups of five 
things each. Pra;/a, etc., form the group of the five 
airs; the eye, etc., form the group of the five senses ; 
skin, etc., form the group of the five ingredients of the 
physical body. 

After the enumeration of the three groups of external 
objects, three groups of five things each comprising the self 
are enumerated. The self here spoken of refers to .the 
self familiarly so called, namely, the aggregate of the 
physical body and the senses, which those people who have 
n o philosophic culture look upon as ' I'. Now the sruti 
proceeds to treat of the contemplation of Brahman in this 
self. Pnwa, etc., are none other than the five different 
functions of that one vital air which abides in the middle of 
the body. Hence the aphorism of the Holy Sage Vywsa 
concerning Prana, " of fivefold functions like manas is it 
said to be" (Vedanta-stras II. iv. 12). And the several 
seats of these functions are enumerated by the ancients as 
follows : 

" In the heart is the pnia ; in the anus, the 
apna ; sam^rna is in the navel situated ; udana 
lies in the region of the throat ; vyrtna 
traverses the whole body," 

120 CONTEMPLATION [S'tksha- Vcill'l, 

The upasana enjoined. 

The three fivefold groups of external things as well as 
the three fivefold groups of internal things thus far 
enumerated represent together the whole universe consti- 
tuting Brahman's uprzdhi or seat of function. It is Brah- 
man of this nature, associated with the upndhi, that has 
to be contemplated. The contemplation is enjoined in the 
following passage by way of speaking about it in apprecia- 
tive terms : 


This having ordained, the .Rishi spake thus : 
verily, is this all ; by pawkta, indeed, 
does one the paukta strengthen. 

Having ordained that this whole universe, external 
as well as internal, is fivefold (p.ikta), the 7\!ishi, i.e., 
the Veda, or a certain saga who attained to a realisa- 
tion of the same, said as follows : all this is pankta, 
built on the principle of five. The number (five) being 
present in both alike, by the internal p.znkta does (the 
up.isaka) strengthen the external ; i.e., the former fills 
the latter ; i.e., again the former is perceived as one 
with the latter. That is to say, he who contemplates 
thus, regarding all this as prwkta, as built on the 
principle of five, becomes one with the Prajnpati, indeed. 

Having realised that the whole universe is pankta, is built 
on the principle of five, the 7ftshi said that all this universe 

. VIL] 


from Brahma down to plant is. pankta. and no other. Because 
of this identity in number, by the internal (rtdhyatmika) 
pankta. does one strengthen the whole external group, the 
former becoming one with the latter. (S.) 

That is to say, on the principle that the lower object 
should be regarded as the higher, one should regard the 
internal group as one with the external. (A). 

A certain .Rishi, a seer of supsr-sensuous truths revealed 
in the scriptures, perfected in contemplation, i.e., having 
intensely meditated upon the earth, mid-region and other 
objects of holy regard to the point of realisation, i.e., having 
attained in his own consciousness to the state of the Viraj, 
the Universal Soul, -the Rishi taught to his disciples the 
truth which he has realised in his own consciousness, in the 
following words : All the world we perceive, the body of 
the Vintj, is prtkta, is related to the pankti metre, as is 
well known to all. To explain : According to the sruti " five- 
syllabled is pankti," the number five enters into the metre 
of pankti, So also is the universe associated with the 
number five, because of the declaration of the adepts, 
namely, that the great quintupled elements of matter 
and all their evolutions constitute what is called the Vimj. 
Accordingly, in virtue of the relation of similarity which 
the universe bears to this pankti metre, the universe is said 
to be p#kta. So, too, even the contemplation of the earth, 
etc., as concerned with groups of five things, may be re- 
garded as pankta.. Therefore, the up^saka attains to the 
State of the Viraj, who, as has been shewn, is pankta., by 
the contemplation of the earth, etc., which is also pankta, 
By this appreciative reference to the upnsana, the sruti implies 
the injunction that he who wishes to attain to the state gf 



the Viroj should contemplate in the manner described above. 
On the principle already enunciated, it is to be understood 
that, on attaining to the Vir^j, moksha will be attained in 
due course, through knowledge of the truth. 


(Eighth Amtvnka.) 


The sruti has taught the contemplation of Brahman, 
first in the form of the Vyahriti (Utterance), and subse- 
quently in the form of p.iwktas or fivefold groups. 
Now will be taught the contemplation of tho syllable 
' Om', which is an accessory to all kinds of worship. 
When contemplated as the Higher or Lower Brahman, 
the syllable ' Om', though a mere sound, forms indeed 
a means of attaining the Higher or Lower Brahman. 
It is, verily, the abode of the Higher as well as the 
Lower Brahman, just as an idol is the ab^de of Vish/ra. 
So the sruti says, " By this means alone, he goes to one 
of Them."* 

Praava being held by all in high regard, any teaching 
regarding the contemplation of Brahman will not b3 so 
readily accepted by the intellect if the teaching were altogether 
dissociated from Prawava. The contemplation of Brahman 
is therefore taught here through Praava. The Prawava 
which is a mere sound is, no doubt, insentient in itself and 
cannot therefore be conscious of the worship offered to 
it ; still, as in the case of worship offered to an idol, it is 
the /svara who in all cases takss note of the act and dis- 
penses the fruits thereof. (A.) 

In the Seventh Lesson has bean taught the contem- 
plation of Brahman as manifested in the form of earth and 

* Prasna-Up. 52, 


other visible gross forms, for the benefit of the aspirants of 
low mental culture. In the Sixth Lesson was taught 
the contemplation of Brahman manifested in the subtler 
forms of manas and the like, for the benefit of the aspirants 
of a middling class who can grasp subtle truths to a certain 
extent. In the Eighth Lesson will be taught, for the bene- 
fit of the highest class of aspirants, the contemplation of 
pure Brahman as declared in the Vedanta and designated 
by Praava. 

The Pranava- Brahman. 

The sruti first speaks of Pra??ava, the object of contem- 
plation ; 


I. ' Om' is Brahman. ' Om' is this all. 

One should hold in mind i. c., contemplate that 
the sound ' Om' is Brahman. For, every form of 
sound is pervaded by the syllable ' Om', as declared 
elsewhere in the sruti, "As all leaves are fast bound 
in stalk"* etc. Inasmuch as the thing designated is 
dependent on its designation, all that we see is said to 
be the syllable ' Om'. 

One of the points of similarity, on account of which the 
syllable ' Om' may be regarded as one with Brahman, is 
that, like Brahman, it is the basis of all. (A.) 

The syllable ' Om,' and nothing else, is the designation 
of the Paramatman, as Patanjali says in his Yoga-stra 
already quoted : " His designation is Praava." The 

* The passage is fully quoted on page 61, 


being that has to be contemplated here is none other 
than that Brahman who is denoted only by the syllable 
4 Om'. No such upadhi as the earth or manas should 
be thought of. That is to say, one should merely pro- 
nounce the syllable ' Om', the designation, and (while 
doing so) contemplate Brahman denoted by it. The sruti 
proceeds to explain how the syllable ' Om' can be the 
designation of Brahman, by stating that in this very 
syllable ' Om' all this universe, made up of names and 
forms, is comprehended. That all words are therein 
comprehended is declared by the sruti in the words " As 
all leaves are fast bound in the stalk," etc., and " speech 
is his (breath's) rope,'" ;: etc. The sruti shows that all 
things are included in the syllable ' Om' through the 
words denoting them. All this has already been shown 
in the Fourth Lesson when commenting upon the phrase 
" of all forms." Thus the Praava being present in every 
thing, it can be the designation of Brahman who is also 
present in every thing. 

The Pranava extolled. 

In the sequel, the syllable ' Om' is extolled, since it 
is the thing to be contemplated : 

I srafor 

The passages are fully quoted on pp. 60 61, 


2. Om ! this verily is compliance ; and on ut- 
tering ' O recite,' they begin to recite. With Om 
they sing samans. ' Om ! Som !' with this do 
they tell the prayers. ' Om !' thus does the 
Adhvaryu convey acceptance. ' Om !' thus 
assents the Brahma (priest). ' Om !' thus one 
permits the offering of an oblation to Fire. 
Om !': thus says the bmhma/.'a who is about 
to recite. u May I obtain Brahman ;" thus 
wishing, Brahman verily does he obtain. 

' Orn' is the word of compliance. When one's duty 
is declared by another, the former complies with it, 
by uttering ' Om,' thereby conveying the idea ' I shall 
do so, ' or ' I shall go there,' and so on. Indeed, every 
one knows that ' Om' is the word of compliance. 
Moreover, when the direction " O recite" is given, they 
recite accordingly. Similarly, with ' Om' the Saman- 
chanters sing the Samans. ' Om Som' this being 
uttered, those who pray tell their prayers. So, with 
' Om,' the Adhvaryu conveys acceptance. By ' Om' 
the Brahma (one of the priests) expresses his assent. 
When a .sacrificer says that he is going to offer an 
oblation, by ' Om' verily does another give his per- 
mission. ' Om' indeed does a brahmana utter when 
about to recite the sacred texts : that is to say, with 
' Om' does he start the recitation. Wishing to learn 
Brahman, the Veda, he does master the Veda. Or, to 
interpret it in another way,-wishing to attain Brahman, 

Ami. VHL] OF PRAN'AVAl 127 

the Paramatman, i. c., wishing to lead his self to the 
Paramatman, a brhma?ta utters 'Om' and 'Om' alone, 
aud by that syllable 'Om' he does attain Brahman. 

The meaning of the whole passage is this : because 
all undertakings which start with the syllable ' Om' 
become fruitful, therefore one should contemplate the 
syllable ' Om' as Brahman. 

* The sruti proceeds to show that the syllable ' Om' is 
related to all things, by citing a few instances connected 
with Vedic ritual. In the Darsa fNew Moon), and the 
P//r;jam.Tsa (Full Moon) and other sacrificial rites, when 
the Adhvaryus, i. e., the priests who perform the acts 
enjoined in the Yajur-Veda, have to address a direction 
to the Agm'dhra, they utter the mantra ' sravaya. 1 
/I pastamba says that this directicn may begin with 'a,' or 
with 'o,' or with ' Om'. The second alternative has been 
adopted by the sruti here. The ' o ' in the mantra is in- 
tended to address the Agm'dhra. So the mantra means, 
" Agm'dhra, give the Devas to know that an oblation is 
about to be offered." The syllable ' o ' in the mantra is 
similar to 'Om.' The word of direction " o srrtvaya " re- 
sembles ' Om ' in so far as ' o ' occurs in both, and every- 
body knows also that ' o ' resembles a part of the Praava. 
Thus the Adhvaryus issue their direction by means of ' o * 
which is only a part of ' Om.' So the Srtman-chanters, 
the Udgatris, chant their Samans after uttering the Prattava. 
Similarly, even the Hotns, the Rig-Vedic priests, recite the 
hymns with Prawava, by uttering " Om Som.' The Hotna 
seeking the permission of the Adhvaryu for reciting the 

1 It may be noted that Srtyana's interpretation of this 
passage differs fvom tfankamcharya'tj iu Kome particulars, 


hymns, address the Adhvaryu and say " Somsavom, shall 
\ve pray ? " Here '5om' is the first syllable and ' om ' the 
last. Putting together the first and last syllables, the 
sruti says that the Hotxis pray with " Om Som." When 
the Hotn has recited the hymns, the Adhvaryu addresses 
them a word of encouragement, known as ' pratigara.' When 
uttering the word of encouragement, the Adhvaryu utters 
'Om.' In the middle of a hymn, on the completion of the first 
half of a verse, the Adhvaryu utters the words of encourage- 
ment : " O Hotn, your chanting the first half of the verse 
has delighted us." On the completion of the verse, the 
pratigara, or the word of encouragement, should be uttered 
with the Praava at its beginning ; and the Prawava so 
Uttered denotes assent to the chanting of the hymn. When 
the whole hymn is completed, the Prawava alone should be 
uttered to convey assent. Thus even in the pratigara the 
Prattava is present. The Brahma (priest) is one who knows 
the conduct of the rituals as taught in the three Vedas. 
When he urges other priests to acts, such as the sprinkling 
of Consecrated waters, then he begins his direction with the 
PraMava. In the Agnihotra-homa, when the Adhvaryu is 
about to take out milk by a ladle from the milk-vessel and 
to pour it into the vessel named Agaihotfa*havafti, then he 
asks the sacrificer's permission in the words " Om ! shall I 
take out the oblation for the Devas ? " The sacrincer 
grants permission by uttering the syllable ' Om.' In the 
same way, when about to engage in the Brahma-yaj;/a or 
sacred study of the Vedas, a brdhma&a commences the study 
by uttering the Pra;/ava. Thus by citing instances from 
the Vedic ritual, it has been shewn that the syllable ' Om ' 
perVddss all* 

Ann. VIIL] OF PRAN'AVA. 129 

The Contemplation of Pranava enjoined. 

Then the sruti proceeds to enjoin the uprtsana of Praava 
by way of declaring the fruits of the uprtsana. He who 
wishes to attain Brahman should contemplate Brahman as 
designated by the syllable ' Om.' By this contemplation, 
he will certainly attain Brahman. 

The relation between Om and Brahman* 

Now we have to enquire, what does the passage " Orti is 
Brahman " mean ? Does it mean that the syllable Om is a 
symbol and should be deliberately looked upon as Brahman? 
Or does it mean that we should contemplate Brahman with 
the adjunct of Om, Brahman as designated by Om ? 

It may at first appear to mean that one shold contem- 
plate the word ' Om ' itself as Brahman, thus regarding it 
as a symbol on which the idea of Brahman should be super- 
imposed. So interpreted, the words ' Om ' and ' Brahman' 
are in their proper order as the subject and the predicate of 
the proposition. 

As against the foregoing, we hold as follows : on the 
principle discussed in connection with the Udg/tha-Vidyrt, 
the syllable Om should be regarded as a mere adjunct of 
Brahman, not as the main object o r contemplation. The 
principle referred to is discussed as follows in the Vedrtnta- 
S/ttras III. iii. g ; 

The meaning of "Om, the Udgitha." 

(Question} : It is said " Let him contemplate the syllable 
Om the Udgitha."* Here the words ' syllable' and 'Udgztha' 
are put in apposition to each other ; and this appositional 
use may be explained in four different ways: (i) It may 

* Chhrt. Up. 111, 

130 CONTEMPLATION S'lks/ld- V Cllll 

mean mere adhyasa or superimposition of the idea of Udgttha 
upon ' Om,' like the passage " let him contemplate name as 
Brahman." (2) Or it may be intended to remove a mistaken 
idea ; we say, for example, " the thief is a pillar " when we 
wish to undeceive a man who has mistaken a pillar for a 
thief. (3) Or, it may imply unity as in the sentence " J/va 
is Brahman." (4) Or, it may imply a relation of substance 
and attribute as in the sentence "The blue thing is a lotus." 
In which one of these four ways should the passage under 
discussion be explained ? 

(Thf pvima facie view}: In the absence of a determining' 
cause we cannot construe the passage in any one particular 
way exclusively. 

(Conclusion] ; -It is possible to make out that 'Udgitha* 
should be construed as a spscifying adjunct of the syllable 
' Om.' The syllable ' Om ' occurs in the three Vedas, the 
/?ig-veda, the Yajur-veda, and the Srtma-veda. The ques- 
tion may therefore arise, which one of them is to be 
contemplated ? This question is answered by the passage 
thus: that particular ' Om,' and not any other one should 
be contemplated, which forms part of the Udg/tha Sflnian. 
Thus the ' Om ' which is to be contemplated here is specifi- 
ed as the one occurring in the S^ma-veda. If we construe 
the passage otherwise, as implying a removal of illusion, or 
as implying unity, we will have to make a conjecture as to 
the fruit of the contemplation of ' Om ' so conceived, for it 
is a contemplation which is quite independent of that which 
has been treated of in the remaining part of the section, and 
as such it must produce quite a distinct result. On the 
other hand, if we construe the passage to mean the relation 
of substance and attribute, the contemplation enjoined here 

Ann, VIII,] op PRAN'AVA, 131 

will be that of the symbol <Om' viewed as ' rasatama, 
the most essential element ' as taught in the sequel ; 
so that, no injunction of a contemplation distinct from the 
one which is to follow is intended in this connection, and 
therefore no conjecture need bs made as to the fruit 
produced separately by that contemplation. 

( Objection ) : -The word ' Udg/tha ' denotes the whole 
song, of which the syllable ' Om ' is only a part ; the term 
* Udg/tha ' cannot therefore be literally applied to ' Om.' 
Thus, if you interpret the passage so as to make ' Udg/tha ' 
a specifying adjunct of ' Om,' the word ' Udg/tha' will have 
to be understood in a secondary sense. 

(Answer] : True. But to construe ' Udg/tha' as a specify- 
ing adjunct of ' Om ' is preferable to construing it in any 
other way. To interpret the appositional use as implying 
superimposition, i. e., to make the sruti speak of ' Om ' as 
'Udg/tha' which 'O;n' is really not, is to ignore the 
literal meaning of ' Udg/tha ' altogether, just as to speak of 
an idol as Vislwu is to ignore the literal meaning of the word 
' Vishwu ' altogether as applied to something which is not 
Vishwu. To do so is to violate the literal construction 
altogether. If, on the other hand, we construe the sruti so 
as to mean that the syllable ' Om ' is a part of the Udg/tha, 
i. e., if we interpret the word ' Udg/tha ' to mean ' a part of 
the Udg/tha,' we do not ignore the literal meaning of 
4 Udg/tha' altogether. This interpretation is at least in partial 
accordance with the literal sense and is therefore nearer to 
it than the rest. In applying in this sense the epithet 
' Udgttha ' to ' Om,' we surrender only a portion of the 
denotation of the word, -namely, all the syllables in the 
Udg/tha other than ' Om.' Therefore, in the passage/' Let 


him contemplate the syllable 'Om' the Udgz'tha," the 
word 'Udgt'tha' is an epithet applied to 'Om' in order 
to distinguish it from the same syllable occurring in the 
other Vedas, 

The meaning 1 of ' Om is Brahman.' 

To return to the present subject. In the passage " Om is 
Brahman," the word ' Brahman ' may denote any one of 
the three kinds of Brahman : Brahman as manifested 
in the form of thought (Manomayaj, or Brahman as mani- 
fested in the form of earth &c., or the pure Unconditioned 
Brahman. In accordance with the principle of interpreta- 
tion discussed in connection with the Udg^tha, the epithet 
* Om ' applied to Brahman shews that the Unconditioned 
Brahman is here spoken of as opposed to the Conditioned 
Brahman. The passage means that the Supreme Brahman 
denoted only by the designation ' Om ' should be contem- 
plated. If ' Om ' be a mere symbol, then it is the word 
which has to be deliberately viewed as Brahman ; and then 
it will be a contemplation of the word ' Om,' not of Brah- 
man. In that case, the upasaka of the symbol cannot 
hope to attain even the Brahma-loka, much less the Real 
Brahman. If Brahman cannot be attained, then the words 
of the sruti " Brahman verily does he obtain," speaking of 
the fruits ot the contemplation, are falsified. When Brahman 
Himself designated by the sylladle ' Om' is contemplated, 
the upflsaka attians to the Brahma-loka ; and there realising 
Brahman in His essential nature, he goes to Brahman 
Himself and thus attains Videha-mukti, Liberation from 
embodied existence altogether. Therefore the passage 
" Om is Brahman" speaks of Brahman in His essential 
nature as designated by the syllable ' Om.' 

Ami, VIIL] F PRAN'AVA, 133 

Contemplation of the Unconditioned Brahman. 

(Objection}; Brahman in His essential nature can be 
reached only by knowledge (vedana) coming from a right 
source (prarruwa), not by upasana or contemplation." 
Hence it is that, in the Sa;wilya-Vidya, Dahara-Vidy^ and 
the like, the contemplation enjoined is thai of the Saguna 
or Conditioned Brahman. In none of the ai is enjoined the 
contemplation of Brahman in His essential nature. More- 
over, on ascertaining from the Vedantic texts the Uncondi- 
tioned Brahman in His essential nature, one has achieved 
all one's aspirations, and can have nothing more to achieve 
by means of the upasana. Further, those who .know 
Brahman are rid of all sense of agency ; how can they 
engage in an upasana ? 

(Answer] : These considerations do not detract from the 
soundness of our conclusion. For, the Ved^ntic proposi- 
tions are of two sorts, awntara-vakyas and malw-vakyas, 
subordinate propositions and main propositions. A 
subordinate proposition is that which treats of the 
essential nature of Brahman as the cause of the universe, 
while the main proposition teaches that the Ego is essenti- 
ally one with Brahman. Now, for him who has realised 
the unity as taught in the main proposition, there is, 
we admit, no purpose to be served by the contemplation, 
as the opponent has shown ; nor can he regard himself as 
an agent concerned in the act of contemplation. On the 
other hand, he who has learned from the subordinate 
propositions the essential nature of Brahman as the mere 

* Which partakes of the peculiar colour of the mind of the 
individual concerned and does not therefore necessarily re- 
present the Tiling as it is. 


cause of the universe does not lose the sense of his own 
agency ; and he can be an upasaka. We can even imagine 
the contemplation serving a purpose : the up^saka goes 
first to the Brahma-loka, and realising there the true nature 
of Brahman, he attains Videha-mukti. Such a man should, 
therefore, contemplate the essential nature of Brahman. 
Accordingly the Nnsimha-Uttara-Tapamya-Upanishad 
teaches many ways of contemplating the Unconditioned 
Brahman. The smnti also enjoins the contemplation of 
Brahman in His essential nature : 

" When a man has entered the assembly of 
those who have committed minor sins or of 
those who have committed major sins, he 
should contemplate Brahman during a quarter 
of the night." 

And the contemplation of Brahman in His essential nature 
has been discussed in the Vedanta-swtras I.iii. 13. as follows: 
(Question] : The Prasnopanishad reads, 

" He, again, who contemplates that Supreme 
Spirit (Purusha) by this triple syllable 'Om' " 
and so on. 

What Brahman should be contemplated ? Is it the 
Lower Brahman known as the Hira;;yagarbha, or is it the 
Supreme Brahman? 

(The prima, facie view}: It is the Lower Brahman that 
should be contemplated. For, the sruti declares the fruit 
of the contemplation in the words " he by the samans is 
carried up to Brahma-loka." f The upasaka is said to go 
to the region of Brahman, the " Lotus-seated," whereas the 
fruit of the contemplation of the Supreme Brahman, by 

* Op. cit. 5-5. 

Anil. VIIL] OF FRANCA. 135 

which man should be able to realise his highest end, cannot 
be said to end there. The phrase "Supreme Spirit 
(Pursha)," an epithet of the Supreme Brahman, can be 
applied to the Lower Brahman also, inasmuch as the latter 
is supreme with reference to others below. 

(Conclusion) : It is the Supreme Brahman that should be 
contemplated here. For, the Upanishad speaks, in the 
sequel, of the Brahman contemplated here as identical with 
the Supreme Being that has to be finally realised. The 
passage of the Sruti referred to reads as follows : 

" He sees the Purusha lying in the body, the 
Higher than that highest, than that Ji'va- 
ghana, the aggregate Soul." * 

That is to say, he who, by upflsana, has attained to the 
Brahma-loka sees the Paramatman lying in the heart of all 
living beings, who is higher even than the Hirayagarbha, 
than that Highest Being who is all Jt'vas in the aggregate, 
The Parani/itman who, in this passage, is spoken of as 
being realised at the end, is the very Being who at the com- 
mencement of the section is referred to as the Being who 
has to be contemplated. The words ' Supreme ' and 
1 Purusha ' occurring in both the places show that one 
and the same Brahman is spoken of in the two places. 
Neither is the Brahma-loka the only fruit attainable ; 
for, from there liberation will be attained in due course. 
Therefore the passage means that the Supreme Brahman 
Himself should be contemplated. 

Thus the contemplation of Brahman even in His pure 
essential nature being possible, he who wishes to attain to 
Brahman should utter the Prawava and contemplate Him, 
in His pure essential nature as designated by the Pra?;ava. 


(Ninth Anuvaka) 

As it has been taught that one becomes an independ- 
ent Lord by mere knowledge (vij^ana), one may think 
that works enjoined in the sruti and in the smriti are 
of no use. As a safeguard against this possible error, 
the Upanishad here proceeds to treat of works with a 
view to shew that they * are means of attaining the 
end of man. 

In the Eighth Lesson it has been taught that Brahman 
should be contemplated by means of Pra^ava, which desig- 
nates the Unconditioned Brahman. This may lead one to 
think that, because by mere up^sana the end of man, 
namely, liberation attainable in due course, can be accom- 
plished, no purpose of anupasaka is served by the obligatory 
duties enjoined in the sruti and the smriti. To prevent this 
supposition, the Upanishad teaches in the Ninth Lesson that 
performance of the obligatory duties should be conjoined 
with the upasana. 

The works incumbent on an Upasaka. 

* They co-operate with the apara-vidya or lower Avisdom, and 
theii* purpose is therefore the same as that of the apara-vidyii-(A), 



i. The right, as well as study and teaching; 
the true, as well as study and teaching ; penance, 
as well as study and teaching ; restraint, as well 
as study and teaching ; peace, as well as study 
and teaching ; the fires, as well as study and 
teaching ; offering to fires, as well as study and 
teaching ; guests, as well as study and teaching ; 
the human, as well as study and teaching ; the 
offspring, as well as study and teaching ; be- 
getting, as well as study and teaching ; propaga- 
tion of the race, as well as study and teaching. 

What * the right' is has been already explained.* 
The right and the other duties to be mentioned below 
should be practised, as wall as Svadhyaya, the learning 
of one's own Veda, and Pravachana, which means 
either Adhyapana, the teaching of it, or Brahma- 
Yaj;ra, a daily solemn recitation of it. The meaning 
of ' the true' has been already explained along with 
' the right.' Or ' the true' may mean truth-speaking. 
Penance (tapas) : bodily mortification. Restraint (dama) : 
calmness of the organs of external sensation. Tran- 
quillity (Sama) : calmness of manas, the internal organ. 

* yUle ante i>age 2ti, 


138 CONTEMPLATION [S'ikskd- V dill 

While practising these, fires should be consecrated, 
and oblations offered to them ; guests should be honor- 
ed ; the human, that is to say, social duties * should 
be discharged as occasions arise ; offspring should be 
begotten by having intercourse with wife in season, 
at periods favourable for conception ; the race should 
be propagated through children's children, by getting 
the sons married. While engaged in all these acts, 
one should pay special attention to the studying and 
the teaching of the Veda. It is to impress this truth 
that study and teaching are repeated along with 
every one of the other duties. Indeed, a knowledge 
of the Vedic teaching can only be acquired by learning 
the Vedic text, and on that knowledge the highest 
good depends ; while the teaching or recitation of the 
Veda is intended for retention of the text in memory 
as well as for increase of merit (Dharma). Special 
regard should therefore be paid to the study and 
teaching of the Veda. 

The right (rita) : when a man wishes to say something, 
he first ponders over the thing as it is and then thinks of 
the word denoting it. Rita, is this nwnasic act of thinking 
as to the right word which will accurately describe the 
thing. Swidhyrtya : the necessary study. ... It will not 
do for the seeker of moksha to practise contemplation 
only ; he should practise right speech, as also the study and 
teaching of the Veda. Penance (tapas) : Fasting and 
other kinds of bodily mortification. The Sruti says " there 

* Sucb us marriage 


is no higher penance than fasting."" In the Sruti else- 
where "by yaja, by gift, by tapas, by fasting,"! fasting 
is mentioned separately from tapas, and this shews that 
gifts of money and the like are penances intended for those 
who cannot practise fasting. The Sruti says ' It is verily 
a penance, they say, when one gives away his property." + 
Restraint : the withdrawing of sight and other organs of 
external sensation away from forbidden objects. Tran- 
quillity : the restraining of the manas from all forbidden 
thoughts. Fires (Agnis) : consecrated fires known as the, etc. Agnihotya: the offering of oblation in 
the consecrated fires in the morning and in the evening. 
Guests : such as those who go to other's houses to beg 
food on odd occasions, not on the new-moon day or any 
other specially sacred days. The human : the honouring 
of women and other such acts as are incumbent on people 
at marriage and on other like occasions. As sanctioned 
by the custom prevailing among the leaders of society, 
even these acts should be observed like those which are 
enjoined in the Sruti and the Smriti. Offspring, etc : He 
should also observe the necessary sacramental rites ante- 
cedent to the child-bearing. He should have intercourse 
with wife in proper season with a view to produce children. 

Even the upasaka should perform all acts and ceremonies 
enjoined in the Sruti and the Smriti according to the caste 
and the religious order to which he belongs ; otherwise, 
obstructed by the sin accruing from the neglect of enjoined 
works, the upasana cannot produce the desired effect. We 
cannot, however, extend this principle and say that even 
a knowledge of the real nature of Brahman requires the aid 

Yajniki Up. 73, f B ". Up. 4-4-22. J Tftitt, Sawhitc* VJ. i. 

H CONTEMPLATION [giksha-Valli, 

of works to produce its intended effect ; for, he who knows 
truth has nothing to do with works, inasmuch as all illusion 
regarding his own Self i. e., the false idea that he is an 
agent, that he belongs to a particular caste or to a parti- 
cular religious order has ceased. But since, in the case 
of an upasaka, the illusion still exists, he has yet some 
concern with works and it is therefore but proper that his 
upflsana should be conjoined with works. It may perhaps 
be urged that, for him who contemplates incessantly, it 
is not possible to engage in Agnihotra and similar rites 
which tend to mental distraction and involve a vast 
amount of labour. Then let him engage in that course of 
action which will help upasana : let him practise self- 
control, controlling the body, the senses and the mind. 
This is the end the Yoga-Sastra has in view when treating 
of yama and niyama, the several forms of self-control, 
both of a positive and a negative character. Though 
performance of Agnihotra and practice of self-control are 
meant as alternative courses of action according as the 
person has a wavering or unwavering mind, yet the study 
and the teaching (or recitation) of scriptures are quite 
necessary. The Sruti repeats these two duties along with 
every other duty, with a view to impress the truth that 
they should be constantly practised in whatever other 
duties he may be engaged. The study of scriptures should 
under no circumstances be neglected, since in case of 
neglect, one becomes a Sudm as the Smnti says : 

" That twice-born man who, without studying 
the Vedas, turns his attention to other things, 
soon becomes a swdra while still alive, as 
well as his whole family. " 


As to the prohibition of the abandoning of the daily 
recitation, the Sruti declares in the section of Brahma- 
yaj;/a as follows : 

" Untouched by evil is the study of the Veda. 
It is, verily, the purifier even of the Devas. 
He that casteth it aside, is not lucky (even) in 
speech : no share hath he in heaven. So it 
is said : ' He who hath abandoned (the 
Veda, which is) the friend, aye which knoweth 
the friend, for him there is no lot even in 
speech. Much may he hear, but he heareth 
false. Not indeed doth he know the path 
of good deeds.' " :i: 

As to the sannyflsin who renounces all former works, 
even he should not abandon the study of the Veda. To 
the same effect the Smnti says : 

" Let a man renounce all works, let him not 
renounce that one thing, the Veda." 
(Objection) : The ^ruwi-Upanishad enjoins the abandon- 
ment even of the Vedic study (svadhyflya). There the 
things to be abandoned are enumerated as follows : " sons, 
brothers, relations, etc., hair-tuft, the sacred cord, the 
sacrificial rite, the canon, the Vedic study (svadhyaya)" 
and so on. 

(Answer}: This objection does not apply here. For 
the Sruti enjoins that the ritualistic section of the Veda, 
which is of no use to the parivrojakas or sannyasins, should 
alone be abandoned. A repeated study, however, of the use- 
ful portion is necessary, as the same Upanishad mentions it 
as one of the sannyasin's duties, in the following words : 

* Taitt. 4rawyaka 215, 


"He shall first take a bath at the three 
sandhis (connecting periods), he shall hold 
communion with /Itman in samadhi ; he shall 
often repeat the Aranykas of all the Vedas ; 
he shall repeat the Upanishad, aye shall he re- 
peat the Upanishad." 

That none should give up the study of one's own scriptures 
or the teaching and reciting of them, that is, that special 
regard, should be paid to these duties, is indicated by the 
repetition, in the sruti, of the words "study and teaching." 

The most important of the upasaka's duties 

Now the sruti refers to the different views as to which 
one of the duties mentioned above is the most important: 

: \\\ \\ 

2. The true, as Satya-vachas, the son of Rathz- 
tara holds ; penance, as Tapo-nitya, the son of 
Purusish/a holds; study and teaching alone, as 
Naka, the son of Mudgala, holds; that, verly, is 
penance, aye that is penance. 

The teacher named Satyavachas, of the family of 
Rathitara, so called because he speaks nothing but 
truth,- maintains that truth-speaking alone should be 
practised. The teacher named Tapo-nitya, so called 
because of his constant penance, the son of Purusishte., 
holds that penance alone should be practised. The 
teacher named Naka, the son of Mudgala, thinks that 

Ami. IX.] XJIPASAKA'S bufrEs-; *43 

the study and teaching of the Vedas should alone be 
practised. Because the study and teaching of the 
Vedas constitute in themselves a penance, they alone 
should be practised. Though already mentioned, truth- 
speaking, the study of the Vedas, and their recitation 
are again mentioned here with a view to inspire special 
regard for them. 

Nrtka is so called because, always contented with the 
study and recitation of the Vedas, he never felt any sort of 
anguish. No doubt in the words, "By penance Devas were 
first to go to God ; by penance did .ffishis attain svarga," : 
the sruti declares that penance is the most important. This 
does not, however, detract from the validity of Maudgalya's 
contention that the study and the recitation of the Vedas 
are the most important. They alone constitute the high- 
est penance, as the repetition of the words shews, and are 
therefore the most important. It is because they consti- 
tute the highest penance, that the Vedic recitation termed 
Brahma- Yaja should be practised even on those days on 
which the first learners should not study the Vedas, 
Accordingly the sruti says : 

" He who, thus knowing, studies the Vedas 
even when it rains and lightens, when it roars 
and thunders, when the wind is blowing, even 
on the new moon day, he only practises 
penance ; study, indeed, is penance." f 
Another passage points to the same idea : 

" Standing or walking, sitting or lying down, 
he shall not fail to recite the Veda ; then he ia 

* Yujniki-Up. 79. f Tait, ^ranyaka 2 14 4 

144 CONTEMPLATION. [Siksha- Vatti. 

a man of penance, he is pure, who, thus know- 
ing, recites the Veda." * 

Wherefore, as productive of great fruits, it is a penance 
higher even than the penance of fasting and giving away 
wealth, as declared by the sruti in the following words : 
" What measure of svarga he wins who gives 
away this earth full of wealth, that measure 
of the world he ( who studies the Veda ) wins, 
(a world) which is even greater and inexhaust- 
ible. He, moreover, conquers death, he attains 
unity with Brahman." f 

* Ibid. 2 12. f MM, 21 


(Tenth Anuvaka) 

A Mantra to be repeated 

sftfiSr: 2 Prcfef I 

i. The Mover of the Tree I am; my fame 
like the mountain's peak. The High One making 
(me) pure, I am the very Immortal One as He is 
in the sun; I am the Lustrous Wealth. Of high 
wisdom (I am) , immortal, undecaying. So runs 
Trisanku's teaching of wisdom. 

The purpose of the mantra. 

The mantra that comes next is meant for recitation; 
and its recitation leads to wisdom, as the context gives us 
to understand. Indeed, the present section is devoted 
to wisdom, and we are not given to understand that 
it is meant for any other purpose. And it stands to 
reason that wisdom arises in him whose mind has been 
purified by svodhyaya or recitation of the sacred text. 

The mantra is an expression of Self-realisation. 

As the Antaryamin, I am the Mover, the Impeller* 

* The Generator.(S.) 

146 CONTEMPLATION. [Siksha-Valli. 

of the perishable tree of samsflra or mundane existence. 
My fame is on high, like the mountain's peak. The 
High One is the Primal Source, acting as the purifier. 
Shining forth through wisdom, the Supreme Brahman 
restores me to purity, me who am the Sarvatman, the 
Self of all. 

Brahman, the Primal Source, is the Supreme Purifier, 
because by shining forth through buddhi in consciousness, 
He frees me from sams^ra or region of births. (S). When 
thus purified, I become Brahman, the Pure One, the 
Primal Source. ( A) 

I am the Immortal, the Pure Principle of /Itman 
(the Self), the self-same Pure Immotal Principle of 
pitman who, in hundreds of passages in the sruti and the 
smriti, is said to abide in the Sun, the source of all our 
nourishment. Verily, I am the Lustrous Wealth, 
the self-luminous Principle of Atman. Or, (to interpret 
the sruti in another way:) I have obtained the Lust- 
rous Wealth, the Brahma-jnana or knowledge of Brah- 
man, the wealth which conduces to the happiness of 
moksha, that which illumines the Principle of Atman. 
I am highly wise, as endued with wisdom, with omni- 
science. I am omniscient because I am endued with 
the power of sustaining, producing and destroying the 
samsara, or mundane existence. As such I am im- 
mortal, endued with the attribute of immortality; and 
I am undecaying. Or, (to interpret the sruti in another 
way:) I am soaked with amrita, with the waters of 



Thus the 7?ishi, named Trisanku, who became Brah- 
man and realised Brahman, said after attaining to a 
knowledge of A tman's oneness, with a view to proclaim, 
like the sage Vamadeva, the fact that he had achieved 
all aspirations. This mantra which the .Rishi had seen in 
his divine vision (arsha darsana) is an expression of 
^4tmavidyrt, showing what constitutes Self-realisation. 

The recitation (japa) of the mantra given above conduces 
to purity and progress. He who seeks liberation should 
devoutly repeat the mantra, well-balanced in mind, with 3 
view to attain Brahmaj/wna, the realisation of Brahman. (S) 

Conditions of saintly vision. 

From the fact of this sacred text, which sets forth 
wisdom, being read next in order to the section (ninth 
lesson) which treats of right-thinking and other acts of 
virtue (Dharma), we may conclude that divine visions 
(arshani darsanani), relating to the Self (/l.tman) and 
other things, occur to him who, free from desire (kama) 
and aspiring to know Brahman, is devoutly engaged in 
the obligatory works enjoined in the sruti and the 

Not the recitation of the sacred text alone leads to 
Brahma-jwnna. On the other hand, all works conduce to 
the same end. (A) The seeker of moksha, who devoutly 
performs the works enjoined in the sruti and the smriti, 
attains saintly (arsha) vision, an intuitive knowledge of truth 
to which leads to moksha. (S) When the devotee performs 
the works enjoined in the sruti and the smriti, in the service 
of the LfOrd (Isvara), doing them devoutly for the sake of the 


Lord, not for the sake of their immediate fruits, and 
when he has thereby been purified in buddhi and aspires 
for liberation alone, then he attains the intuitive knowledge 
which leads to liberation, that knowledge which arises in 
him untaught, revealing nothing but truth. (A) 

Repetition of this mantra serves as a substitute 
for Brahmayajna. 

* In the Ninth Lesson it has been taught that the works 
enjoined in the Sruti and the Smriti should be performed 
in addition to the contemplation of Brahman. It has also 
been incidentally taught that Brahmayaja is the best 
tapas(or austerity). But there may be persons who, though 
earnest, are yet not competent for Brahmayaja, as having 
not learned the Vedas owing to dullness of intellect or other 
causes. Now, in the Tenth Lesson the sruti gives a 
mantra, by repeating which even those persons can reap 
the fruits of Brahmayajna. 

Samsara cut asunder by non- attachment. 

The tree here spoken of is the tree of samsara, because 
(like a tree) samsara can be cut asunder by a knowledge 
of the Reality. This tree of samsara is graphically described 
in the Taittin'ya-/! rawyaka in these words : 

"Now, He that knoweth the tree whose root is 
on high, whose branches are down below.... " 

The Root, the Source of the tree of samsara, is the Supreme 
Brahman, who rises high above all universe. Its branches 

* Sayawa's interpretation of this lesson differs a little from 

. X.} 


are the bodies of Devas, men, and beasts, and they are down 

below. The Kartta-Upanishad reads : 

" This old, old tree that sees no morrow's 
dawn (stands) with its roots up and branches 
down." * 

The tree of sams^ra is impermanent and does not stay 

the same to-morrow. It has no beginning. The Lord, 

too, has described it in the following words : 

" They speak of an eternal Asvattha rooted 
above and branching below, whose leaves are 
the Vedas ; he who knows it is a Veda- 
knower." 1 

May I, the seeker of liberation, be able to cut asunder the 
tree of samsara by the sword of indifference ( vainzgya ) to 
sense-objects ! That it is cut asunder by indifference has 
been taught by the Lord in the following verse : 

"Having cut asunder this firm-rooted- Asvattha 
by the strong sword of non-attachment, then 
that Goal should be sought, whither having 
gone none return again." { 

No obstacle lies on the path of the unattached Soul. 

The tree of samsara being cut asunder, my fame becomes 
like unto a mountain's peak ; it rises high as the mountain's 
peak is high. The fame concerning my liberation rises 
very high and spreads in the regions of Devas : so that even 
Devas cannot thwart my wishes. Accordingly the sruti 
says : 

* Op. cit. G 1, f Bhag. Gita, XV. 1. J Ibid, XV. 3, 4. 


" Indeed, not even Devas have power to pre- 
vent his becoming (Brahman)." * 

Purity of the unattached 5oul. 

My purity transcends all, I am as pure as the Immortal 
abiding in the fast-coursing Sun. The Sun indeed courses 
always with extreme swiftness. So He is addressed : 

" I bow to Thee, who in one-half eye-wink 
traversest two thousand and two hundred and 
and two yojanas." t 

In the sun there abides the Shining One, the Immortal 
Being. Accordingly, in the Madhuvidy J, the Chhandogas 
declare that the solar sphere is sweet honey, and that in 
its several compartments eastern, western, etc. there are 
stored up immortal essences of red, white, and other colours, 
constituting the fruits of works enjoined in the ./?ig-Veda 
and other scriptures. And it has also been declared that 
the Vasus and other gods live upon these immortal 

Purity leads to wisdom and immortality. 

Extremely pure as I am, may I come by the lustrous 
wealth !.. Wealth is of two kinds, human and divine. Human 
wealth consists of gold, silver etc., which are perceived by 
the eye. That which is heard by the ear, *. e., the Brahma- 
jnana and the like which are known only through the Veda, 
constitutes divine wealth. Accordingly, when treating of a 
certain course of contemplation, the Vajasaneyins enjoin the 
contemplation of the eye and the ear regarded respectively 
as symbols of human and divine wealth. "The eye is 

* Bri. Up. 1310. f Yojana = about 8 or 9 miles, 
J- Chha. HI. et. seq. 



human wealth ; by the eye indeed does one perceive it, The 
ear is divine wealth ; by the ear indeed does one hear 
it." The epithet 'lustrous' shews that the divine wealth is 
here prayed for. Here lustre is vigour ; and Brahma-jwma, 
the divine wealth, is vigorous because of its power ,to 
remove all samsflra. 

Endowed with these riches, with this divine wealth of 
Brahma-jtfna, may I be possessed of vigorous intelligence, 
of the intellectual power of clearly grasping the teachings of 
the scriptures which expound Brahma-jwana; and may I 
then be soaked with the ambrosia of Brahmic bliss ! 

According to the sage Trisanku, the recitation of this 
mantra constitutes the austerity of Vedic recitation known as 
Brahmayajwa, which one should practise after learning 
the Veda from a teacher. 

Lesson XI 

(Eleventh Anuvdka) 


In the Tenth Lesson a mantra has been taught which may 
berecited in lieu of Brahma-yajwa; so that, even to a man of 
dull intellect, Brahma-yajwa is easy of performance. Thus 
it is possible for one to combine performance of the works 
taught in the 5ruti and the strmti with practice of the conte- 
mplation taught before, thereby to attain liberation through 
an intermediate stage. In the Eleventh Lesson the sruti 
leaches that performance of works is by itself a step towards 
moksha, inasmuch as it creates a taste for wisdom. 

Works are necessary for wisdom. 

Jn proceeding in this lesson to enjoin the observance 
of certain necessary duties, the sruti evidently means 
that, prior to the attaining of the knowldge that the 
Self (/Itman) is one with Brahman, it is absolutely 
necessary to perform the works enjoined in the sruti 
and the smnti. The aim of this exhortation is evident- 
ly the regeneration of the aspirant. Indeed, Self- 
knowledge does readily spring up in him who has been 
regenerated, i.e., whose manas (sattva) has been purified, 
Hence thesmriti, 

" By tapas (austerity) man killeth sin; by 
Vidya (wisdom) he reacheth the Immortal." 

In the sequel here the sruti says: 

"By tapas do thou seek to know Brahman."* 

* 3-2. 


So, to bring about the dawn of wisdom, works must 1 
be performed, because of the sruti's exhortation ; and 
transgression of the exhortation cannot but lead to evil, 
First, too, in order comes the exposition of works. 
(In this Upanishad), prior to the exposition of pure 
Brahma-vidyrt, works are treated of; and once the 
Brahma-vidyrt has arisen, works serve no purpose, as 
this Upanishad teaches in the sequel : 

" He finds the Fearless as the mainstay." * 
"Him verily in truth burns not the thought 
* why have I not done righteousness ?' " f 
" He has no fear of anything whatever." t 

From this it may be concluded that works conduce to 
the rise of knowledge by way of extinguishing the 
past accumulated sins. And there is a mantra to the 
same effect : 

" By avidya (works) crossing over death, 
by vidya does one reach the Immortal." 

The mention of right speech and other duties in the 
Ninth Lesson is meant to remove the impression that 
they are of no use whatever, while here the sruti means 
to teach that their observance is necessary as conduc- 
ing to the dawn of knowledge. 

Two sides of the injunction should be distinguished here: 
(i) that prior to the attainment of knowledge it is necessary 
to perform works, and (2) that it is only prior to knowledge 
that their performance is necessary. (A) He who aspires 

* T, U. II. 7, f ttd. II. 9. + [btf, Jsa-up. 11. 



to moksha should observe the duties mentioned here with a 
view to obtain wisdom. They should be observed till the 
Self-knowledge is attained. Once the Self-knowledge has 
been attained, all human aspiration has been achieved; and 
as the Self is ever free in Himself, there is no more purpose 
to be served by works. It is, therefore, only prior to 
Brahma-j/Kjna that performance of works, as tending to the 
purification of manas, is absolutely necessary. (S) 

Know as well as learn the Veda- 

Having taught the Veda, the teacher then 
exhorts the pupil. 

After teaching the Veda * to the pupil (ante-vrtsin, 
lit., he that dwells near), then the teacher begins to 
exhort him : that is to say, when the pupil has learnt 
the texts, the teacher then instructs him in the meaning 
of the texts. This gives us to understand that after 
learning the Veda the pupil should not turn back from 
the abode of the teacher without making an enquiry 
into Dharma, into the nature of the works enjoined 
in the Veda, And the smriti says: 

" And one should know and then engage 
in works." t 
Who the teacher is, Manu says as follows : 

" The twice-born who draws the pupil near 
and teaches him the Veda with the (ritualistic) 

The whole Veda (S) 
f J~iW -dpastftTjiba-DhnnnapHtra. 22^1 5. 


formulas as well as the secrets, him they call 
a teacher." * 

The pupil is he who always dwells in close proximity with a 
teacher, such as the one described above. The smriti says : 
"Never leaving him, his shadow as it were, 
(the pupil) should reside with the teacher." 
To such a pupil, the master teaches the Veda after drawing 
him near, i. e., after due initiation (Sk. up-m = to lead 
near). Then, when the pupil has learned the text, the 
teacher instructs him in the duties to be performed. From 
this we understand that after learning the Veda the pupil 
should not return home from the teacher's family without 
enquiring into Dharma. 

Duties briefly stated. 

2, Speak the true. Follow Dharma. 

Speak the true: give utterance to what them comest 
to know by proper evidence and what is worthy of 
utterance. And thou shalt follow Dharma, too. 'Dharma' 
here stands for duty in general, inasmuch as the several 
duties, such as truth-speaking, are particularised below. 

The wise who know all Dharma lay down that truth - 
speaking consists in giving utterance to a thing as it is 
perceived, without hypocrisy or a motive to do injury. 
The wise say that Dharma consists in the observance of 
Agnihotra and other works. (S). 

Truth-speaking stands also for other virtues mentioned 
along with it, such as " harmlessness, truth, the abstaining 

* Op. c it. .2 140. 

CONTEMPLATION [S'iks'ha- Valll 

from theft," etc.* 'Dharma' means Agnihotra and other sacri- 
ficial rites enjoined in the extant srutis. Jaimini has defined 
it thus; " Dharma is the thing taught in (the word of) com- 
mand (Veda)"t Thus the two comprehensive sentences teach 
that all duties enjoined in the sruti and the smnti should be 

Duties never to be neglected. 

On the principle that " Once done, the command of the 

scriptures has been observed," one may suppose that after 
a single performance of the works enjoined in the sruti and 
the smnti they may be abandoned. To prevent this supposi- 
tion the sruti commands as follows : 

3. From study swerve thou not. Having offer- 
ed dear wealth to the teacher, cut thou not the 
progeny's line. From the true it will not do to 
swerve, nor from Dharma, nor from welfare. 
Neither will it do to swerve from well-being, nor 
from study and teaching, nor from duties to 
Devas and Pitris. 

Be thou never negligent of study. 

t Yttj*uivalkya-.smnti 1.122. f F?(rvami'ramsa I. j. 2. 


Never forget the scriptures thou hast learnt from the 
Guru. The smnti says : 

" Know that to forget what has been learnt is 
equal to brahmanicide." 

As a return for the knowledge, do thou obtain for the 
teacher a most acceptable wealth* and give it to him. 
Then, with the permission of the teacher, secure a 
suitable wife and prevent break in the line of descent. 
It will not do to bring about a break in the line of des- 
cent. That is to say, if a son is not born, attempts 
should de made to get a son by means of sacrificial 
rites such as the Putrakamya-ishd, a rite performed 
with a view to get sons. This appears to be the mean- 
ing of the sruti because of the mention of three duties, 
" offspring, begetting, and propagation. "t Otherwise, 
the sruti would have mentioned only one, that of be- 
getting. To swerve from the true is to have an occa- 
sion to utter a falsehood. In virtue of the word 'swerve 1 
we understand that it will not do to utter falsehood 
even in forgetfulness : otherwise the sruti would have 
simply forbidden the uttering of falsehood. 

The sruti again speaks of the duty of truth-speaking 
with a view to teach that one should never tell a lie, how- 
ever small, even in forgetfulness. (S). 

It will not do to swerve from Dharma. Dharma 
refers to some particular works to be done; to swerve 
from Dharma, therefore, means to neglect those 

* Cows, gold, cloth &c. (Sr'yfUia) such as the teacher dosires 
iu uccortUuce with tlie Law (S). f Ttiit. Up. J. 9, 

I 5 8 CONTEMPLATION 4 S'lks/ld- V dill . 

works. Dhafma should never be neglected ; it should 
be observed. It will never do to swerve from welfare 
i. e., from acts tending to self-preservation nor from 
well-being, i. e., from those auspicious acts which pro- 
mote one's prosperity. 

The means of self-preservation are either physical or 
superphysical. The Vedas recommend certain rites whereby 
to secure longevity and health (vide. Taittin'ya-Sawhitrt 
II. iii. 77), and these are the super-physical means; medi- 
cine and the like constitute the physical means. Similarly, 
there are both physical and super-physical means of acquir- 
ing wealth. The Taittinya Sawhitfl 2 i i prescribes a 
super-physical means to it. The accepting of gifts from 
others is the physical means. Since, without welfare and 
wealth, it is not possible to perform the woks which are 
conducive to moksha, it is necessary to warn against the 
neglect of welfare and wealth. 

To study the Vedas and to teach them are indeed 
absolutely necessary. 

First the $ruti warned against the forgetting of what has 
been learned. Here is a warning against the neglect of 
teaching to others what has been learnt, as well as against 
the omission of Brahma-yaj;<a. 

It is also necessary to observe all the rites (enjoined 
for the propitiation) of Devas and Pitfis. 

The rites propitiative of Devas such as Vinrtyaka-Yrata, 
Ananta>Vrata -are enjoined in the Puntxa ; the annual cere- 
monies and the like are propitiative of the Pitns. 

Persons worthy of worship. 

J^ow the sruti enjoins that one should worship one's 


mother etc., as Devatns, without regarding them as mere 
men ; 

4. Treat thy mother as a God ; as a God 
treat thou thy father ; as a God shalt thou treat 
thy teacher ; thy guests as Gods shalt thou treat. 

These should be worshipped as Devatas. 

Worship thy mother as if she were a Deva, Rudra, 
Yish/m, Vinrtyaka, or the like, 

How far to observe Vedic prescriptions and 
orthodox custom. 

5. What works are free from fault, they should 
be resorted to, not others, 

6. What are good works of ours, they should 
be done, not others. 

Thou shalt do such other works as are free from 
blame and sanctioned by sishfachflra or practice of wise 
men, but not those works which, though practised by 
the wise, are open to blame. 

As to the works intended to produce unseen results, 
thou shalt necessarily engage in the good works which 


we, the teachers, practise and which are not contrary 
to the teaching ot the Vedas, but not in the contrary 
ones though practised by the teachers. 

As to acts other than those mentioned above, thou shalt 
strive to perform those which are practised by the wise, and 
which do not seem to involve any evil. It will never do to 
resort to evil acts or to those which are open to the least 
suspicion of evil, though practis 3d by the wise. Thou shalt 
follow our example only with regard to those acts which 
are not contrary to the sruti and smriti and which are in 
accordance with the practice of the wise. (S). 

As to the works tending to promote welfare and prosperi- 
ty, the sruti lays down some restrictions. These works are 
of two classes : those which are open to blame and those 
which are not. Those which have been already referred 
to,- namely, the sacrificial rites conducive to longevity, 
acceptance of gifts, the conducting of a sacrificial rite for 
another, are works not open to blame and are there- 
fore worthy of performance ; the others, such as the magical 
rites performed for malevolent purposes, though conducive 
to welfare by way of destroying the enemy, should not be 
resorted to, since they are open to blame as leading to hell. 

Wise men's practice being authoritative like -the sruti and 
the smriti, one may suppose that the teacher's example 
should be followed in all acts. But here too, the sruti 
makes a certain reservation. 

Sri Krishna has described two kinds of sampad or nature 
Dai vt and A sun, divine and demoniac in the following words: 

" Fearlessness, purity of heart, steadfastness 
in knowledge and Yoga, alms-giving, self- 

. XL] 


restraint and sacrifice, sacred reading, aust- 
erity, uprightness ; 

" Harmlessness, truth, absence of anger, re- 
nunciation, tranquillity, absence of calumny, 
compassion to creatures, uncovetousness, 
gentleness, modesty, absence of fickleness ; 

" Boldness, forgiveness, fortitude, purity, ab- 
sence of hatred, absence of pride; these belong 
to one born for a divine lot, O Brwrata. 

" Ostentation, arrogance and self-conceit, 
anger as also insolence, and ignorance belong 
to one who is born, O Prtrtha, for an /isuric 
lot." * 

. Now thou shalt follow us in cultivating the good qualities 
such as fearlessness, but not ostentation etc. This principle 
should be extended to the whole range of sishtochara or ortho- 
dox custom. To illustrate : Parasunrma, the son of Jatna- 
dagni, killed his mother by the father's command. Here we 
should follow the example of Parasunzma in the good act of 
obeying the father's command, but not in the sinful act of 
killing the mother. And so in other cases. 

Conduct towards great men. 

% % 


7. Whatever brahmawas are better than our- 
selves, in their sitting it will not do for thee to, 

* Bhag. Gtta XVI. -14; 


162 CONTEMPLATION S*iksh(l~ V ClUl . 

Whoso among the brahmawas not kshatriyas and 
others are eminent as teachers * versed in the sastras 
or scriptures etc., and are superior to ourselves, thou 
shalt entertain them by offering them seats and so on, 
i. e., remove their fatigue. Or( to interpret in another 
way) : when such bnihmaas are seated in an assembly 
for discussion, thou shalt not even so much as breathe ; 
thou shalt merely grasp the essence of what they say. 

In their discourses, thou shalt not hasten to say anything. 
Thou shalt grasp the essence of their discourse and never 
thwart them, if ever you have power to do so. '(S) 

If ever you meet righteous persons, superior by age, 
knowledge and qualities to us who are thy teachers, thou 
shalt remove their fatigue by offering them seats, by wash- 
ing their feet and by such other kinds of service. Or to 
interpret in another way, thou shalt not breathe in their 
assembly. Much less shalt thou engage in a discussion 
with them in a tone of familiarity, thinking that thou art 
very learned. All thy concern should be to learn what 
they teach. 

How to make gifts. 

8. With reverence should gifts be made, never 
with irreverence should a gift be made. With 
liberality should gifts be made, with modesty 

* It is a common thing that for fear of the king eto.. people 
make gifts during marriage and other occasions, (Sj. 


should gifts be made. With fear * should a gift 
be given, in friendliness should a gift be given. 

Whatever thou hast to give, do thou give it only 
with reverence. Never with irreverence should a thing 
be given. 

When thou givest wealth t3 a brahmatta, thou shalt give 
it reverently. Nothing should be given with irreverence. 
What is irreverently given is of no use in either world. 
Accordingly the Lord says: 

Whatever is sacrificed, given, or done, and 
whatever austerity is practised without faith, 
it is called A sat, O Ptfrtha; it is naught here 
or hereafter."" 

To interpret the sruti in another way : Just as a reverential 
man makes a gift, so, even in the absence of reverence, a 
man should make a gift. The verse quoted above teaches 
only that thereby he does not reap the fruit of a gift made 
Sflttvically . But he does reap the fruits of a nrjasic or a 
tamasic gift. Accordingly the Lord distinguishes three kinds 
of gifts : 

"That alms which is given knowing it to be 
a duty to give to one who does no service, in 
place and in time, and to a Avorthy person, 
that alms is held Sdttvic. 
" And what is given with a view to receiving 
in return, or looking for the fruit, or reluctant- 
ly, that alms is held to be Rrtjasic. 

"The gift that is given at a wrong place or 


1$4 CONTEMPLATION [S'tksha- Vall\. 

time to unworthy persons, without respect or 
with disdain, that is declared to be Trtrnasic."t 

With ostentation, with modesty, or from fear of sastras, 
with the discrimination of the nature of the time, place, 
and the donee should gifts be made. These sentences 
treat of the three kinds of giving mentioned above. " I am 
rich in -wealth; as my wealth goes to slaves, men and 
women, so let it go to the brrthmawas." When a gift is 
made thus insultingly by a man because of his vast wealth, 
that gift is tamasic. When a man makes gifts in the same 
spirit because of the shame felt by him when abstaining 
from making gifts while his equals do so, his giving is 
rajasic. Those gifts are sattvic which, for fear of sin, a 
man makes to the sacrificial priests and the like as laid 
down by law. A man w r ith sttvic nature should give 
with discrimination. For example, he should know that 
full fees are due to the four important priests such as the 
Adhvaryu, half fees to the next four such as Pratiprasthatn, 
one-third to the next four such as Neshfri, one-fourth 
to the next four such as Unnetn. 

Or, the whole passage speaks of sattvic gift only. " There 
should be no guile in the matter of wealth'^; thus the law 
lays down that gifts should be made according to one's 
means. A wealthy man should make large gifts lest 
making small gifts may bring great shame on him, 

How to decide matters of doubt. 

Having thus taught of the duties which cannot otherwise 
be known, the sruti now proceeds to shew how to decide 
in matters of doubt : 

f Ibid. XVII. 20-22, 


3TPTrfiT: I 

9 Now if to thee a doubt as to a deed, of a 
doubt as to conduct, should occur, as the 
brahma/jas there who are thoughtful, zealous, 
well-versed, not hard (at heart), desirous of 
Dharma would act in such matters, so there 
shalt thou act. 

If, to thee, thus acting, there should ever occur* a 
doubt as to a deed enjoined in the sruti or in the strifiti, 
or a doubt as to a custom (achara), then, in those 
matters, thou shalt act just in the way in which the 
brahmanas of the country and the age who are compe- 
tent to judge t, well versed in the matter, not urged on 
by others to the deed or custom, seeking Dharma, 
seeking what is beyond the senses, unassailed by kama 
(worldly desire) would act in such matters. 

Deeds are of two classes, those which are enjoined in the 
sruti, such as the Agnihotra, and those which are enjoined 
in the smnti such as the sandhyrt-vandana or worship of the 
Divine Being at the main points of time in the day. To take 
an example from the works enjoined in the sruti ; In one place 
the sruti says " The offering of oblation should be made 
when the sun has risen ; " and elsewhere it says " The offer* 

* Owing to coiiftisioli of mind (S) 
f Who are able to discern the subtle poiiiia (S, 

166 CONTEMPLATION. [S'lkska- 

ing of oblation should be made when the sun has not yet 
risen." This may give room to a doubt. Again, to take an 
example of the works enjoined in the srrmti : A doubt may 
arise as to whether the Sandhya Devatfl the form in which 
the Divine Being should be worshipped at the main points 
of time in the day is of the male or female sex, the scrip- 
tures speaking of the Devata in either way. To take an 
example of a custom in worldly affairs handed down in the 
family : A doubt arises as to the propriety of marrying 
a maternal uncle's daughter or of eating animal food, inas- 
much as contradictory views obtain in these matters. In 
such matters of doubt as these thou shalt act in the way in 
which those brahmawas would act who live in the same 
country, age, and tribe in which thou livest at the time ; 
who, as free from attachment, aversion, anxiety and other 
evil tendencies of mind, are competent to decide as to the 
real meaning of the scriptures ; who are themselves engaged 
in the observance of the constant and incidental duties, 
intent on their due performance ; who are free from anger, 
free from bigotry ; and who work only for virtue (Dharma), 
not for gain and honor. 

On intercourse with the accused. 

Having thus taught how to act in matters of doubt, the 
sruti now goes on to teach the procedure whereby to decide 
as to whether one should abstain or not from social inter- 
course with persons accused of a sinful act : 

ST^P-'WTTcR I ^ ^ &T3T&TT: titi&ft: \ fftt STT- 



io. Now as to the accused : as the brahmawas 
there who are thoughtful, zealous, well-versed, 
not hard (at heart), desirous of Dharma would 
act in such matters, so there shalt thou act. 

Now as to those who are suspected to be guilty of a 
blameworthy act, do thou proceed as recommended 

The Peroration. 
The exhortation is concluded as follows: 


II. This is the direction; this the advice; this 
the secret ofVedas; this the command; thus 
shall devotion be, and thus verily (all) this shalt 
thou observe. 

This is the direction, this is the advice that fathers 
or others should give to their sons, etc. This is the 
secret, the meaning, of the Vedas. This is the word 
of God*; this is the exhortation as to all things that are 
authoritative. Therefore all that has been taught shall 
be duly done. The repetition shews high regard for 
the instruction here set forth, implying that all this 
should be observed, that none should fail to observe it. 

The righteous should strive to obey every command that 
has been thus laid down. (S). 

The instruction thus given from para 2 to io is adesa, 

* Jsyara, the Paramatman, the Highest Self. (S) 


the Vedic injunction. Just as a king commands his servants 
so does the Vedic injunction command the devotee. Upa- 
desa is the command laid down in the smriti, so called 
because the smyitis are very near to the sruti, upon which 
they are based. Even in the smntis that cannot be traced 
to the original srutis, directions such as " speak the true " 
are given in the same form. What has been taught in 
the words " speak the true" etc., constitutes the essence of 
the Vedas. Of the three parts of the Vedas, the mantras 
(prayers to Gods &c.), the arthavadas or subsidiary passages, 
and the vidhis or injunctions, -the last, namely, the injunc- 
tions, constitute the very essence of the Vedas. These com- 
mands are the commands of God, as the Lord says " Sruti 
and smnti are my own command" 

Because these duties, such as "speak the true" taught 
in thesruti and the smnti are enjoined by God Himself and 
constitute the essence of the Vedas, therefore it is a bounden 
duty to observe them. 

Seeing that here the sruti lays so much stress on works, 
some hold that works alone can lead to moksha: while some 
others hold that moksha results from works and knowledge 
combined. Both these theories were refuted by us (in the 
introduction to the study of the Upanishads) when discuss- 
ing the relation between the ritualistic section and the 
wisdom section of the Vedas. Though works are not the 
direct cause of moksha, they conduce to it by way of creating 
a desire for knowledge. Hence the injunction of works in 
the wisdom section of the Veda. 

Does the highest good accrue from works 
or from knowledge ? 

In the opening section (the introductory part of the 


btuishya ) it was shewn that Vidya or knowledge of Atman 
by itself leads to the Highest Bliss. To establish the 
proposition still more firmly, the commentator again enters 
into a discussion of the point on this occasion when the 
sruti is found to enjoin works, his main object being to shew 
that works and knowledge serve each a distinct purpose (A) 

Now, to discriminate between Vidya and Karma, 
knowledge and works, we shall discuss the following 
question: Does the highest good accrue from works 
pure and simple, or from works aided by knowledge, or 
from knowledge and works operating together conjointly 
as co-ordinate factors, or from knowledge aided by 
works, or from knowledge pure and simple ? 

The theory that the highest good accrues from works. 

One may say that the highest good accrues from 
works (karma) pure and simple, because he alone is 
qualified for works who possesses a knowledge of the 
whole Vedic teaching. And this knowledge includes a 
knowledge of A tman as taught in the Upanishads, as 
the smriti says " The whole Veda with the secret 
(rahasya) should be learnt by the twice-born." In the 
words " knowing thus, one sacrifices," " knowing thus, 
one officiates at a sacrifice," the sruti shews that only 
a man of knowledge is qualified for works of any kind. 
It is also said " knowledge first, then action." There 
are indeed some exegetists who maintain that the 
whole of Veda is intended to teach works ; so that if 
the highest good cannot be attained by works, the Veda 
is of no use. 



It is a principle recognised by all exegetists that the Veda 
speaks of things as they are only with a view to teach some- 
thing else which has to be done, which has to be newly 
brought into existence. On this principle, we should un- 
derstand that, where the Veda treats of A tman as He is, 
i: subserves an injunction of an act by way of creating an 
exalted notion of the nature of the agent concerned in the 
act; so that, the sruti spsaking of the fruits accruing from 
the knowledge of /f tman points in the main to the injunction 
of an act. The highest good, therefore, accrues fiom works 
alone. (A) 

Works cannot produce liberation. 

Not so, bscause of the eternality ofmoksha. It is 
indeed admitted that moksha is eternal, and it is also 
known to all that the effect of an act is temporary. 
If the highest good accrue from works, then it would 
b2 temporary, a conclusion which nobody is prepared 
to accept. 

(Objection: ) The interested and prohibited acts be- 
ing avoided, the arabdha-karma being exhausted by its 
fruits being enjoyed, no sin of omission being incurred 
when all obligatory duties are performed, moksha is 
attained even without knowledge. 

(Ansivjr, : This cannot bs, because, as was already 
shewn,* there possibly exists some residual karma 
which gives rise to another body ; and the performance 
of obligatory works cannot neutralise that part of the 
residual karma which is not opposed to them. 

* Vide ante page 5, 


As to the contention that he alone is qualified for 
works who possesses a knowledge of the whole Vedic 
teaching, we answer: This too cannot be, because, apart 
from the knowledge acquired by a mere study of what 
is heard ( i. c. of Vedic texts ), there is upasana. 
Possessing the knowledge acquired by a mere study 
of Vedic texts, a man is indeed qualified for works ; 
no such knowledge as has to be acquired by means of 
upasana is necessary for works. And upasana is laid 
down as another means to moksha, as a means which is 
quite distinct from the knowledge acquired by a study 
of Vedic texts. And so it must be, because the sruti 
declares that it is a distinct thing. That reflection 
(manana) and meditation (nididhyasana or upasana) 
are distinct from the knowledge acquired by a mere 
study of Vedic texts is clear from the fact of separate 
efforts being enjoined in the sruti, which, after direct- 
ing " thou shalt hear of the Self," teaches again that 
"thou shalt reflect and meditate upon the Self. " 

Neither does liberation accrue from w^rks and 
Upasana combined. 

(Objection}: So, then, let moksha accrue from works 
aided by Vidya or Upasana. It is possible that, when 
aided by Vidya, works acquire a power to produce a 
new effect. Just as a poison, daclhi or thick sour milk, 
etc., though in themselves liable to produce death, fever 
and such other effects, acquire, when co-operating with 
a mantra, sugar, etc. , power to produce quite new 

! 7 2 CONTEMPLATION. [&iksha- 

effects. So, moksha may be produced by works aided 
by Vidya. 

(Answer) : No. The objection already stated, that what 
is produced cannot be eternal, applies to this view also. 

(Objection) :-On the authority of the Vachana :|; (saying, 
i. e. sruti) moksha, though produced, is eternal. 

(Answer): No, because the sruti is a revelation. 
Sruti, as we all understand, reveals a thing as it is; it 
does not make what has not been in existence. Indeed, 
not even on the authority of a hundred srutis, can it be 
that the eternal is produced, or that what is produced 
is imperishable. 

This argument will do also to refute the view that 
Vidya and Karma, conjoined as co-ordinate factors, 
produce moksha. 

(Objection) : Vidya and works serve to remove the 
obstacles on the way to moksha. 

Avidyfl and adharma are the obstacles. They are destroyed 
by Vidya and works respectively. Thus, these do not pro- 
duce moksha itself. Moksha, which consists in remaining 
as the Self, is eternal. And all philosophers admit that 
non-existence known as destruction fpradhvamsabhrtva) , 
though an effect produced, is eternal. (Aj 

(Answer): No: we find that works produce quite a 
different effect. Works are found to bring about one 
of the following effects: utpatti or production of a new 

* This refers to such passages as " And again he returns not." 
(Chha-Up. 8151.) (A) 


thing, vikrtra or change of state, samskara or conse- 
cration, apti or acquisition; but moksha is different from 
production or any other of these effects. 

The cessation of avidya can be brought about only by 
Vidya (T3rahma-j;/ana) as taught in the sruti : 

" The heart's knot is dissolved; all doubts are 
cut apart; deeds perish when higher and lower 
That have once been seen. " * 

To effect it, Vidyrt does not require help; and the effect 
of work, it is well known, is something different. To llu. 
trate these effects with reference to Vedic sacrificial acts : 
a sacrificial cake (puro</rtsa) is a thing produced by an act ; 
grain is consecrated by the act of sprinkling water thereon 
while uttering some mantras; the soma plant changes its 
original state by the act of pressing out the juice of the plant; 
and the Veda is acquired by the act of studying. On the 
contrary, moksha, the state of remaining as the One Self, 
cannot have a beginning, is not capable of improvement, is 
not subject to change, is not a thing to be acquired; and it 
cannot therefore be an effect of Karma. (A) 

(Objection) : Because of a path being spoken of in 
the sruti, moksha is attainable. The sruti speaks of a 
passage in the following words: "They, free from stain, 
go forth by the sun's gate. " t " Rising by this, one 
reaches deathlessness. " J Moksha is therefore a thing 
to be reached. 

* MuwZ. Up. 228.; f Mm?. Up.-2-ll. 
J Ka*ha. Up. 6-16 

J 74 CONTEMPLATION tfikskti- VdllL 

As the sruti speaks of the Path of Light leading to mok- 
sha, we understand that moksha consists^in reaching Brah- 
man who dwells beyond the Brahm.i;/Ja, the Mundane Egg. 
Therefore it cannot be contended that moksha is ever pre- 
sent, is inherent in the nature of the Self. (A) 

(Answer) : No, because (the goal) is everywhere and 
is not a thing different from the pilgrim. As the cause 
of akasa. and all else, Brahman is omnipresent ; and 
all conscious souls (Vij^anatmans) are identical with 
Brahman. So that, moksha is not a thing to be attain- 
ed. What is to be gone to must be distinct from the 
goer, must be a thing removed in space from the goer. 
What is not distinct from another cannot be gone to 
by that other. That the goer here is not distinct from 
the Goal is taught in hundreds of passages in the srut 
and the smnti, such as the following : 

" Having created it, He penetrated into it." * 
" And do thou also know Me as kshetrajna 
in all kshetras (bodies)." t 

(Objection') : This contention is opposed to the sruti 
which speaks of the Path and the Divine glory (of the 
liberated Soul). To explain : There is yet another ob- 
jection. To hold that moksha is not a state to be attain- 
ed is to contradict the passages speaking of the Path, 
and those passages which declare as follows : 

" He becomes one, he becomes three ...... " t 

" When he desires the world of the fathers 

* Taitt. Up. 2 6.f Bha. Gita XIII. 2. 


(pitris) ,by his mere will the fathers come 

to receive him " * 

" He moves about there eating, playing, and 
rejoicing, be it with women, carnages, or re- 
latives, never minding the body into which he 
was born." t 

(Answer} : No; because these passages refer to 
Karya-Brahman, to Brahman manifested in the evolv- 
ed universe. It is only in the evolved Brahman that 
women, etc., can be found, but not in Brahman who 
is the cause, as witness the following passages : 

" Existence alone, my dear, this at first 
was, one alone without a second." J 
" Where one sees nothing else, hears 
nothing else, understands nothing else, 
that is the Infinite." 
" When the Self only is all this, how 
should he see another ? " $ 
Combination of Vidya and works is impossible. 

In arguing that works can have no effect on moksha, 
it has been hitherto assumed that a conjunction of works 
and knowledge is possible. Now the bbflshyakara pro- 
ceeds to argue that the conjunction is impossible. (A). 

And because of their mutual opposition, combination 
of Bright) knowledge and works is an impossibility. 
Of course, Vidya or Right Knowledge which is con- 
cerned with the Reality wherein agency and other 
factors of action are altogether absent, must be op- 

* IbUl. 8-2-1 f IbUl 8-12-3. 

+ Chlue, 6-2-1. Ibid. 7-24-1. 8 Bri.-Up. -i-o-15. 

176 CONTEMPLATION. [S'ikslld- 

posed to karma or works which can only be brought 
about by various factors operating together. It is, 
indeed, impossible to regard one and the same thing 
both as being really marked by agency and so on and 
as devoid of all such distinctions. One of the two 
states must, of necessity, be an illusion. If one of 
them is an illusion, it is the duality that should be 
regarded as an illusion, set up as it is by the innate 
ajwana or ignorance of truth as said in hundreds of 
passages such as the following : 

" For, when there is, as it were, duality, 

then one sees the other." * 

"He who sees any difference here goes 

from death to death." t 

" Where one sees something else, that 

is the finite." I 

" Now, if a man worships another deity, 

thinking the deity is one and he another, 

he does not know. " 

" If he makes but the smallest distinction 

in It, there is fear for him. " H 

That oneness is the truth is declared in the following 

" This Eternal Being that can never be 
proved is to be perceived as one only." $ 

* Hid. f Ka/h. Up, 2-10. J Chhf, Up-7-^44. Bri. Up-1-4-10 
Tf Taitt. UjKJ-7-1 s Bri.Up-4-t--20 


" One alone without a second."* 
" Brahman alone is all this. " t 
" The Self alone is all this. " 1. 

And no work is possible in the absence of a conscious- 
ness of all such factors of action as sampradana, i. e. y 
a. being to whom something may be given. Moreover, 
there are thousands of passages in the sruti, teaching 
that, in right knowledge, there is no consciousness of 
distinction. Hence the mutual opposition between 
Vidya and Karma, between right knowledge and works ; 
and hence the impossibility of their combination. 
Wherefore, the contention that moksha accrues from 
Vidya and Karma combined does not stand to reason. 

(Objection}: This contention is opposed to the sruti 
inasmuch as works are enjoined (in the sruti). (To ex- 
plain): If it be argued that the sruti imparts a knowledge 
of the oneness of the Self by denying the agent and the 
other several factors of action, like unto that knowledge 
of the rope which removes the illusion that it is a ser- 
pent, this argument is opposed to all Vedic texts which 
treat of works, as there would be nothing left for them 
to teach. But the works are enjoined; and such an 
opposition will not do, since the Vedic texts are all 

(Answer}: No, because the sruti aims to teach the 
best interests of man. (To explain) : The passages of the 
sruti which are devoted to knowledge (Vidya) aim at 

* Chh. Up-6-2-1 f Nri. Ut.Tap-7. J Chha.7-25-2 


delivering man from samsara and therefore proceed to 
impart wisdom with a view to bring about, by means 
of wisdom, the cessation of avidya or nescience which 
is the cause of samsara. 

(Objection}: Even this contention is opposed to the 
sflstra which aims to teach the reality of the agent and 
other factors of action^ 

(Answer}: No. The sastra which, assuming the 
existence of the several factors of action as popularly 
understood, enjoins works with a view to the extinction 
of sins already incurred is conducive to the interests of 
those who seek liberation as w r ell of those who seek the 
(immediate) fruits of action, and as such it cannot 
operate so far as to teach further that the several factors 
of action are real. 

, t That is to say, the various texts of 5ruti which have been 
learned in pursuance of the Vedic command should be held 
as .authoritative (i. e.> imparting true wisdom) not because 
the distinctions, mentioned therein are real, but because they 
teach what is to the best interests of man. (A). 

No rise of wisdom is possible so long as the obstacle 
of accumulated sin lies in the way to it. And on the ex- 
tinction of this sin* wisdom arises ; then comes the 
cessation of avidya, and then the final cessation of 

Till now, the impossibility of a conjunction of Vidya and 
Karma, of knowledge and works, has been argued on the 

*By due performance of works enjoined. (Tr.) 


ground that they are respectively based on truth and illusion, 
Now the bhashyakara proceeds to argue the point on the 
ground that Vidya and Karma are intended respectively 'for 
akrtmins and kamins, for those who are free from kama or 
desire and those who are not yet free from it. (A) 

Moreover, desire for the not-self (external objects) 
arises in him who sees the not-self; and ttius desiring, 
he does works ; and, to reap the fruits of those works,' he 
will have to take a body etc., to undergo samsara, 
to pass through birth and death. To one who, on the 
contrary, sees the oneness of the Self (/Itman), .there 
can be no desire. ^4tman (the Self) being not different 
from one's own self, /Itman cannot be an object of 
desire ; so that to be established in one's own true 
Self is moksha. Hence, too, the opposition between 
knowledge and works. And because of their mutual 
opposition, knowledge does not stand in need of works 
to bring about moksha. 

And we have shown that as to the (right) knowledge 
itself coming into existence, the obligatory works are 
the cause of knowledge as removing the accumulated 
sins of the past which lie as obstacles in the way, and 
that therefore the works are treated of in this section.* 
Hence no contradiction of the srutis enjoining works. 

We therefore conclude that the Highest Good ac- 
crues from Vidya alone, from knowledge pure and 

* Which is_dcvoted to Vidya. (Tr.) 


Knowledge leads to salvation without 
the aid of works. 

That in leading to moksha, knowledge does not require 
the help of works, has been determined in the Vedanta- 
Stras III, iv. 25, as follows : 

(Question) : Does or does not the Self-knowledge require 
the help of works in producing its fruits ? 

(Prima facie view] : It does require the help of works, 
because these latter form its anga, its limb as it were. The 
Darsa.-Purna.masa rite, for instance, does require the help 
of the Prayflja, its anga. It has been no doubt shewn in 
the opening section (III. iv. i.) that knowledge, as an 
independent means to the end of man, cannot form an anga 
or appendage of works. It has not, however, been shewn 
that works do not form an anga or appendage of knowledge ; 
so that, as our premise that works are an appendage of 
knowledge still holds good, knowledge cannot do without 

(Conclusion) : Bramajwzna, does not require any ex- 
ternal help in removing what it has to remove (namely, 
avidyfl or ignorance of the true nature of the Self), because 
it is an illuminator, like a light, or like the consciousness 
of a pot. As to the contention that works form its anga or 
appendage, we ask, in what way do works form its append- 
age ? Is it by way of helping knowledge in bringing about 
its fruits like the pray^ja, or because they are necessary to 
bring knowledge itself into existence, just as the pounding 
of grain is necessary to bring a cake into existence ? The 
former cannot be the case ; for, then, moksha as produced 
by works would be only a temporary effect. If the latter 
were the case, the prayaja and the like could not be called 


angas, inasmuch as they do not bring the principal act into 
existence. Therefore, once the knowledge has arisen, it 
does not stand in need of works to produce its effect. 

Works are necessary for the rise of knowledge. 

That works are necessary for knowledge to arise has been 
determined in the Ved^nta-sz/tras III. iv. 26-27 as follows: 

(Question] : Are works necessary or not necessary for 
Brahma-Vidyrt to arise ? 

(Prima facie view] : Just as the Brahma- Vidya does not 
require the help of works to produce its fruit, so also no 
works are necessary for its birth. Otherwise, it will be 
playing fast and loose, once saying that Brahma- Vidyfl 
requires the aid of works and again that it does not 
require it. 

(Conclusion] ; There is no playing fast and loose here. 
For, one and the same thing does or does not require an 
external aid according to the end in view and according to 
its capacity for the achieving of that end. A horse, for 
example, is not necessary for dragging a plough, but he is 
necessary for driving in a coach. And it cannot be urged 
that there is no authority to prove that works are necessary 
for knowledge to arise. " Him, by the recitation of the 
Vedas, do the brrthma7/as seek to know, by sacrifice, by 
gifts, by the austerity of fasting ; "* in these words the 
sruti gives us to understand that recitation of the Veda and" 
such other works form the remote means to the knowledge 
of Brahman, by way of creating a desire for knowledge.- 
" Having become tranquil, self-controlled, quiet, patient, 
well-balanced, one sees the Self in the self :"t in these words. 

* Bri. Up. 4-4-22. f Ibid. 4-4-23, 

*82 CONTEMPLATION. [S'ikshd-Valli. 

the sruti enjoins tranquillity, self-control and other forms 
of nivritti or quietistic life as a means of bringing about 
knowledge ; so that these form the proximate means to 
knowledge. Therefore, works like sacrificial rites, and 
virtues like tranquillity and self-control, are necessary for 
the rise of knowledge. 

In working for knowledge, the duties of the 
order are fulfilled. 

In the Vedrtnta-s?jtras III. iv. 32 35 it has been deter- 
mined that, in doing works for the sake of knowledge, the 
duties of the order are also fulfilled. 

(Question} : Is it necessary to perform the prescribed 
duties twice separately, once for the sake of knowledge, 
and again by way of observing the duties of the order ? 
Or will it do to perform them only once ? 

(Prima facie view) : The very works such as sacrifices 
etc., which are enjoined in the Upanishad as a means of 
acquiring knowledge, are also the works which are enjoined 
in the ritualistic section as the duties of the several orders. 
As the ends in view in the two cases are different, the works 
should be done twice. 

(Answer) : Not necessary. When a person eats food in 
fulfilment of a sraddha (a ceremonial rite performed in honor 
of the manes) the call of hunger is also answered by that 
very act. So, too, by doing works for the sake of know- 
ledge, the demands of the holy order to which the individual 
belongs are also answered. One may perhaps urge that 
works for knowledge are optional as prompted by desire, 


while the duties of the order are obligatory and therefore 
constant ; and that, such being the case, when we do the 
works only once to achieve both the ends, we only confound 
together two such contradictory things as constant and 
temporary duties. But this objection cannot stand ; for on 
the authority of scriptures, one and the same act may put on 
two different aspects. For example, the sruti says " the 
sacrificial post should be of khadira wood," and again says 
" for the seeker of manliness, the sacrificial post shonld be 
of khadira wood." Here on the authority of the scriptural 
injunction, one and the same thing serves the purposes of 
both the obligatory and the interested sacrificial acts. So, 
too, here. Therefore, it will do to perform the sacrificial 
acts, etc., only once for the attainment of both the ends in 

Works of all orders conduce to knowledge. 

(Objection) : If so, there is no room for other asramas 
or orders of religious life, because of Vidya being caused 
by works. And since works are enjoined exclusively 
with reference to the order of householders, it is 
the only order of life (in which man may work for 
knowledge) ; and the texts, too, which enjoin life-long 
observance of works will favour this view above all 

(Answer) : No ; for, works are of many kinds. Agni- 
hotra, etc., are not the only works. There are works 
unmixed (with cruelty and the like), namely, chastity 
(brahmacharj-a), penance (tapas), truth-speaking, sarna 
or control of the mind (or inner sense), dama or control 


of the external senses, ahimsa or abstention from 
cruelty, and others, enjoined on other orders as every- 
body knows, and which conduce even more effectively 
to knowledge; and there are also works such as 
Dhyana, Dharana and the like. And the sruti itself is 
going to declare " By tapas (meditation) do thou seek 
to know Brahman." * It is possible, in virtue of the 
works done in the former births, to attain knowledge 
even prior to entering on the life of a householder ; and 
since the order of a householder is entered on only for 
the sake of works, it is quite useless for a man to be- 
come a householder when he possesses the knowledge for 
which works are intended. Moreover, sons etc., are 
intended for attaining to the several lokas or regions 
of enjoyment. How can a man actively engage in 
works, when from him have fled all desires for the 
enjoyments of this world, or of the Pitri-loka, or of the 
Pevaloka, which are to be secured by means of sons 
(works and upasana), and when, realising the eternal 
Self, he finds works of no use ? Even a man who has 
already entered the order of householders should ab- 
stain from all works when, on the rise of right know- 
ledge, he loses all attachment as the knowledge be- 
comes ripe, and he finds all works quite useless to him. 
And this is indicated by the sruti in the words " Verily, 
my dear, I am about to go forth from this place."t 

(Objection] : It is not proper to say so, because it is 

found that the greater part ot the sruti is devoted to 

--- . - 

* Tait-Up-3-2. f Bri Up-4-5-2. 

Anil. XI. \ IHE EXHORTATION. 1 ^5 

works. The sruti puts forth more effort to teach 
Agnihotra and other works; and there is much trouble 
involved in the works themselves, inasmuch as Agnihotra 
and the like can be accomplished only with the aid of 
many things. Such duties as austerity and chastity 
enjoined on other orders pertain to the order of the 
householders alike, and all other works can be ac- 
complished with very limited means. It is, therefore, 
improper to hold that other orders of life are alter- 
natives quite equal to the order of householders. 

(Answer] : No, because of the aid rendered by the 
works done in former births. (To explain :) The 
argument that a greater part of the sruti is devoted to 
works does not detract from the validity of our conten- 
tion. For, even the works done in former births, be 
they works like Agnihotra or works like the practice of 
brahmacharya ( chastity ), are helpful to the rise 
of wisdom; and this is why we find some persons 
free from all attachment from their very birth, while 
some others, who are engaged in works, are not al- 
together free from attachment and hate knowledge. 
Wherefore it is desirable that those who, in virtue of 
the purificatory acts done in former births, are free from 
attachment, should enter other orders of life (than that 
of householders). 

And because of the multiplicity of \vorks. (To 
explain) : Because innumerable results accrue from 
, and because people long more for those results 


1 86 CONTEMPLATION. [S ikslia-V dill . 

" May I come by this," " may I come by that; " thus 
do people desire innumerable things, it is but right 
that a greater part of the sruti should be devoted to 

And because works are means. We have already 
said that works are the means of attaining knowledge. 
Greater effort should be put forth as to the means, not 
as to the end. 

(Objection] : As knowledge is caused by works, there 
is no use making further effort. Knowledge arises from 
works on the extinction of the accumulated sins of the 
past which have obstructed its rise. All exertion such 
as the study of Upanishads other than the perform- 
ance of karma or vedic rituals is 'useless. 

(Answer) : No, because there is no such rule. There 
is no law laid down to the effect that knowledge comes 
from the extinction of obstacles alone, but not from 
the Divine Grace (Jsvara-Prasada), or from the practice 
of austerity (tapas) and dhy^na and the like. Ahiinsa 
(abstention from injury), brahmacharya (chastity) and 
the like are all conducive to wisdom, while srava;;a 
(study of upanishads), manana (reflection upon their 
teaching^, and nididhyasana (meditation) are the im- 
mediate cause of wisdom. We , therefore, conclude that 
there are other asramas or orders of life. And we also 
conclude that all orders are qualified to work for vidyrt, 
and that the highest good accrues from knowledge 


Knowledge is possible even beyond the pale 
of asramas. 

That even the works of those who do not belong to any 
one of the four recognised orders conduce to knowledge has 
been determined in the Ved<mta-stras III. iv. 36 39 as 
follows : 

(Question] : Does that man attain knowledge or not, who 
does not pertain to one of the four recognised orders ? 

(Prima facie view) : -Knowledge of the Reality cannot 
be attained by a widower, by a snataka (one who has finish- 
ed his studies with the teacher and has been just initiated 
into the order of householders, but who has not yet taken a 
wife), and in short, by any person who, having completed 
the duties of one order, has not for some reason entered on 
the duties of the next succeeding order ; for, such a person 
does not belong to any recognised order of religious life, 
which is the means of purifying the mind (buddhi). 

(Conclusion) : Knowledge is possible even for those who 
do not belong to any one of the four recognised orders of 
religious life, inasmuch as there are works, such as japa 
(recitation of the set formulas), which are quite independent 
of the four holy orders and are yet conducive to the purifica- 
tion of the mind. The smnti says " By sacred recitation 
alone, verily, can a brahmawa be perfected ; there is no doubt 
of this." * In the sruti, we are told that Raikva, who does 
not belong to any particular order and is yet to marry, is 
qualified for samvarga-vidya. t Thus Gargi and other inst- 
ances of persons who do not belong to any one of the 

, 2 87. f Vide Chhandogya-Up. 4 1. ei teg. 

1 88 CONTEMPLATION. SMs/M- V dill 

recognised orders may be cited. This does not mean that the 
recognised orders ser\ r e no purpose ; for they tend to accele- 
rate purification. Knowledge is, therefore, possible even 
for him who does not belong to any one of the recognised 
holy orders. 


(Twelfth \)in\'iika). 

In the Eleventh Lesson the master's exhortation to the 
pupil has been given. So far it has been taught that there 
exist uprtsanas and works which are remote aids to the 
right knowledge of Brahman. In the Twelfth Lesson the 
sruti gives the peace-chant which should be recited on 
reading the texts treating of these external aids, on study- 
ing their meaning, and on observing the acts thus enjoined. 


i. Om! May Mitra be propitious to us, and 
Yariu/a propitious be ; may Aryaman propitious 

* According to (Sankaraeharya-, this Lesson should go 
with the r.rahinavallt. (TrJ 


be to us ; propitious be Indra and Brihaspati to 
us ; to us propitious may Vishwu of vast extent 
be. Bow to Brahman, Bow to Thee, Vrtyu ! 
Thou art indeed Brahman perceptible. Thee 
indeed have I declared Brahman perceptible. 
The right have I declared ; and I have declared 
the true. That has protected me, That has 
protected the teacher ; aye, That has pro- 
tected me, That has protected the teacher. Om ! 
Peace ! Peace ! Peace ! 

This lesson should be construed in the same way as the 
First Lesson. In the First Lesson, the words ' I will declare 
Brahman ' are used because Brahman has not been taught 
already* Similarly, since the removal of obstacles has to 
be sought for, the words " May That protect me" are used; 
whereas at the end the words " I have declared Brahman," 
" That has protected me," are used inasmuch as Brahman, 
has already been spoken of, and all obstacles have been 
removed. The disciple refers to the removal of obstacles 
which has been already effected, with a view to shew that 
he is not ungrateful. Otherwise, if the seeker of moksha 
does not remember the good done by Indra , Varu;;a and 
other Gods, it would seem that he is ungrateful ; but it is 
not proper to be ungrateful, inasmuch as the smriti says, 

" In the case of bnzhmanicide, an expiation is 
seen, but there is no expiation for ingratitude." 

Even when the prescribed acts have been performed, their 


fruition may be obstructed by the sin of ingratitude. It is 
to avoid this sin that the pupil brings back to mind the good 
done by the Devas by \vay of having removed all obstacles 
arising from within and without the body. 





A peace-chant was recited (in Siksrmvalh', Anuvaka I) 
with a view to remove obstacles in the way of the 
(lower) wisdom therein taught. And here again the 
peace-chant is recited for removal of obstacles in the 
way of the Brahma-Vidya which is going to be taught. 

Thanks - giving-. 

^r % for. $ w^r. \ 

* Om. May Mitra be propitious to us, and 
Varu;/a propitious be ; may Aryaman propitious 
be to us; propitious be Indra and Brihaspati to 
us ; to us propitious may Vish/m of vast extent 
be. Bow to Brahman ! Bow to Thee, Vayu I 
Thou art indeed Brahman perceptible. Thee 

* Sayaiin has construed this anuvaka as'a supplement to the 
teaching imparted in the $ikshnvalli. But according to 
anka,racharya, it forms a prelude to Avhat follows here ill 
tho Brahma vail '. 


indeed have I declared Brahman perceptible. 
The right have I declared ; and I have declared 
the true. That has protected me, That has 
protected the teacher ; aye, That has protected 
me, That has protected the teacher. Om ! 
Peace ! Peace ! Peace ! 

Prayer for mutual good-feeling between Master 
and disciple. 

May Brahman protect us both ! 
May He give us both to enjoy ! 
Efficiency may we both attain ! 
Effective may our study prove ! 
Hate may we not (each other) at all! 
Om ! Peace ! Peace ! Peace ! 

May Brahman protect us both together, both the 
teacher and the pupil ! May Brahman give us both to 
enjoy ! May we achieve efficiency for wisdom ; and may 
we, thus efficient, pursue our study effectively, i. e. 
may the study enable us to understand what is taught ! 
May we not hate each other at all ! On the occasion of 
instruction, enmity may arise from some unworthy act 
which the pupil or the teacher may have done unawares. 
It is to prevent this that the benediction is uttered : 


May we never have occasion to cherish mutual hatred ! 
The peace-chant is read here "with a view to remote all 
ill-feeling which, in the intercourse between the master and 
the pupil, may have arisen from an unworthy act. The 
knowledge imparted by the master cannot bear fruit unless 
the mind (antaA-karawa) of the master is pacified ; for, the 
master is not different from /svara. (S) 

The meaning of the word " peace " uttered thrice 
here has been already explained."* 

This peace-chant serves also to remove obstacles in 
the way of the knowledge which is going to be impart- 
ed. It is indeed to be wished that knowledge of the 
Self may be attained without let or hindrance ; there 
lies the source of the highest good. 

This peace-chant is intended to remove all obstacles in 
the way of Brahma-vidyrt which is going to be taught. As 
to what has been already taught, no peace-chant is here ne- 
cessary, as the Sruti says " That has protected me, " thus 
shewing that the knowledge already imparted has produced 
its effect without any obstacle. Indeed in the sequel, the 
Upanishad will teach the inherent identity of the Self and 
Brahman, a knowledge of which will devour all ignorance. 
Freedom from krtma (desire) accrues only from the know- 
ledge of That which being unknown, kama (desire), with all 
its train, comes into being. (S) 

In the Sflwhiti- Upanishad was clearly expounded the 
means to Brahma- vidya. In the Varuni- Upanishad the 
real nature of Brahman will clearly be explained. 

*Videpago 28, 


First the sruti gives a mantra intended for recitation, 
and which will prevent the rise of all mutual enmity between 
the master and the pupil, so that there may reign perfect 
mutual amity between them. 

Master and disciple. 

The disciple for whom the teaching herein embodied is 
intended is one who has conceived a taste for knowledge as a 
result of the performance, in this birth or in the past births, 
of the nitya and naimittika (obligatory and occasional) 
works enjoined in the ritualistic section ; whose mind has 
been turned inward and has attained one-pointedness by the 
practice of contemplation taught in various forms in the 
Sflwhiti'-Upanishad; who has clearly seen the impermanency 
of all the worlds that can be earned by kamya (desire- 
prompted) works, and who has, therefore, grown disgusted 
with them; who, having concluded that moksha cannot be 
attained by works, approaches the Guru for the sake of the 
knowledge of Brahman's real nature, which alone can lead 
to moksha. And the Guru is one who has studied the 
Vedas, who has mastered the whole of the Vedic teaching 
and is therefore competent to instruct; whose mind, being 
ever devoted to Brahman, is never engrossed in external 
things. Accordingly the A tharvamkas say: 

" Having surveyed the worlds that deeds 
(done for reward) build up, he who loves God 
unto renunciation should betake himself. 
The uncreate is not by the create (to be 
obtained). To find out that, he verily should 
to a teacher go versed in the law, who takes 

AilU /.] THE PEACE-CHANT. 199 

his final stand on God fuel in hand. " * 
And the Kashas, too, read as follows: 

" Of Him the speaker is a wonder, and able is 

he who attains (Him) ; a wonder is he who 

knows (Him) taught by an adept. " t 

Here, though the Guru has achieved all aspirations and 
has nothing more to achieve, yet the disciple prays, in 
this mantra, for the welfare of both. 

May Brahman whom I can know after securing the grace 
of the master (achaiya.) protect both me and the Guru ! 
May Brahman so guard us both at the time of instruction 
that the Guru may teach me with full energy and at the 
same time I may grasp the teaching with full comprehension 
and without doubts! -Thus the disciple first prays for Brah- 
man's providential care in the matter of ultimate result, 
namely, that his grasp of the teaching may be such as to 
dispel all his avidya and that the master may be pleased on 
seeing this cessation of avidy^. To attain this end, the 
disciple prays, may we both so co-operate as to infuse into 
the knowledge a power to produce the desired effect! 
Then the disciple prays for the means by which this can be 
effected : May all the texts which we, the Guru and the 
disciple, have been studying together, prove effective by 
way of illumining the teaching therein embodied ! May we 
not cherish mutual hatred ! The disciple may be displeased 
that the Guru has not properly explained, and the Guru 
may grow displeased with the disciple for want of ardent 
devotion; may there be no occasion for this kind of dis 
pleasure ! 

Up. 1-2-12. f Kafh. Up. 2-7. 



Homage to the eternal Consciousness, That which is 
present in all divers things, never a thing of the past, 
the Innermost one, the Immutable, neither to be secured 
nor to be avoided ! (S) 

Brahma- Vidya is the specific theme of this section. 

In Book I. were first taught those contemplations 
the contemplations of Sawhita and the like which are 
not incompatible with works; then was taught the 
contemplation of the Conditioned Self through the 
Vyrthritis, whereof fruit is independent sovereignty 
(swzrajya). But these alone cannot bring about a 
complete annihilation of the seed of samsara. * With 
a view, therefore, to the extinction of aj;mna or igno- 
rance which is the seed of all trouble, with a view to 
impart a knowledge of the Self divested of all condi- 
tions, t the sruti proceeds with this section ( Book II ) 
as follows : 

* For, these tiprtsanas have their origili in kama and karnut, 
in desire and works. (S) 

f i.e., to impart a knowledge of the Thing in itself, of the Self 
as He is, (S/. 

Ann. /.] 


i. The knower of Brahman reaches the 

The Seeker of Brahtnajnana should 
renounce works. 

Brahmavidyfl is intended for that person who has become 
pure in mind (antaA-kara^a) by the observance of obliga- 
tory duties, with no more attachment for the immediate 
fruits of actions than for the sons, etc., seen in a dream. 
From sense-perception, from the Scriptures, and from in- 
ference, he learns that all fruits accruing from works are 
perishable ; and thus knowing, he loses all attachment for 
them as for a hell. That (state of liberation) which is free 
from all faults, which is marked by the extinction of all 
desire, is unattained merely because of our Tamas(ajna 
or nescience) ; for, this non-attainment of liberation rests in 
popular belief, unsupported by reason. No factor of action 
can destroy the nescience which has placed moksha beyond 
reach ; and therefore he alone who has renounced all works 
and is equipped with the qualifications stated above is qua- 
lified for a knowledge of the Inner One. Renunciation is 
verily the best of all means to moksha. He alone who has 
renounced all can know It, his own Inner Self, the Supreme 
Abode. " Give up dharma and adharma, and likewise the 
true and the false." And so the Taittinya-sruti also says : 
" Renunciation is Brahman." * The disciple should, there- 
fore, see that whatever is brought about by works is perish- 
able ; and then, equipped solely with the renunciation of 
works, he should strive for knowledge of the Inner Self. If 

* Mahanctrayana-Up, 21-2. 


a thing conies of itself into existence, of what use is action 
there ? If it be in the nature of a thing never to come into 
existence, what have works to do there either ? But when 
a thing is capable of being produced and needs only a cause 
for its birth, then alone action is necessary to cause the 
birth as in the case of a pot which has to be produced from 
clay. On the other hand, that which, like a flower in 
empty space, never comes into existence, or that which, 
like flkrt-sa, always exists, can never be brought into exist- 
ence by an act. And the sruti does not purpose to enjoin 
that anything should be done. It does not enjoin that the 
end in view should be achieved, because everybody knows it 
without an injunction. Nor does the sruti purpose to 
command the performance of the mere sacrificial act, 
because the mere act is painful. * The sruti ! purposes to 
instruct merely as to the means of attaining the desirable. 
"Do thou by tapas seek to know Brahman well ; " I in these 
words the sruti stimulates us to work for Brahmajiuma, 
and in the words " Whence (all) these beings are born " 
the sruti speaks of the characteristic nature of Brahman 
whom we seek to know. And the means of realising Brah- 
man consists in abandoning the sheaths (kosas) one after 

* And it cannot be that the srnti which has man's happiness 
in view teaches what primarily is painful to him. 

f The source of all stimulus to action lies in our own raa or 

* Tait. Up. 3 2; i.e., if you want to know "Brahman, you 
should resort to tapas, 

Ibid 31. 


another, in rejecting everything that has any concern with 
action, and thus entering the Innermost Being, That which 
is at the back of all Kosas. (5). 

Cessation of Avidya is the specific end. 

And the aim of this Brahmavidya is the extinction 
of avidya, and, through it, the final cessation of sawsara. 
The sruti will accordingly declare " Brahman's bliss 
knowing, he fears not from anything whatever."* So 
long as the cause of sawsara exists, it cannot be said 
that " the Fearless he attains as the mainstay ; " t nor 
that " sins committed or virtues neglected burn him 
not." j We are thus given to understand that from 
this knowledge of Brahman as the All-Self, comes the 
cessation of saw/s^ra. 

In the words " the knower of Brahman reaches the 
Supreme" the sruti itself speaks of the purpose with 
a view to shew, at the very outset, the bearing and the 
purpose of the Brahmavidya. The bearing and the 
purpose of Vidya being known, one will try and listen 
to the teaching, grasp it, and hold it in the mind ; for 
Vidya is attainable only through these processes, such 
as sravawa (listening to the teaching), as elsewhere the 
sruti says : 

" /Itman should be heard, should be 
thought of" etc. 

In speaking of the end as conceived by a person who, 
owing to avidyrt, longs for it (as though it were something 

T*it. Up. 2-9, f Jbid 2-7. Ibid 2-9, Bri.,Up. 2-4-0- 

204 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED, Aliandd- V alii . 

external, as something he has yet to attain to), the sruti 
means to stimulate the effort whereby to attain the end 
which being one with the true Self of the seeker is 
really infinite. Since all the works which have been 
spoken of in the ritualistic section are intended to bring 
about some effects, i.e., to yield fruits external to the Self, 
the disciple will act in no other way. On learning that 
results of all actions are perishable, the man loses all 
longing for them ; but, as avidyrt, the root of kama, is yet 
not destroyed, he still cherishes a desire to rise up from this 
lower region (of causes and effects) to the Supreme. Thus, 
in the words " the knower of Brahman reaches the Sup- 
reme," the sruti speaks of an end and a means, only with 
a view to the attainment of what is quite the contrary, 
by way of leading the disciple to the Innermost One. Like 
a mother inducing her child to drink a medicinal mixture, 
by saying that thereby his hair will grow in profusion, the 
sruti induces one who is yet a child in knowledge to strive 
for that which cannot be attained except by knowledge. 
As to the notion that it detracts from the nature of moksha 
to thus think of it as an effect produced by a means, that 
notion is burnt away into nothing in the fire of the knowledge 
that Brahman is one. That inborn desire of every man 
which expresses itself in the form " May I not be put to the 
slightest misery, may I always be happy," is possible only 
when the object of that desire namely, moksha exists. 
Though he has not realised the true nature of moksha, 
still man works for liberation all the same, his mind 
burning with the desire described above, and filled with 
the fear of saw/sflra. Since everywhere activity can be 
induced only by (stating) the end to be attained, the sruti 

A.HII /.I 


starts with the words " the knower of Brahman reaches 
the Supreme," with a view to allure man (to the proper 
course of action). Attracted by the fruits declared in the 
sruti, he betakes himself to sravana. and other processes of 
acquiring knowledge ; for, these are the only processes by 
which knowledge can be acquired, as the sruti itself has 
declared. No activity, here, of whatever kind, be it the 
one enjoined in the Vedas or that which is concerned 
with a worldly pursuit, is without an end in view. It 
is therefore the end in view that can induce activity. (5). 
Brahman will be denned in the sequel. Brahman is 
so called because He is the greatest. The knower of 
Brahman reaches the Supreme, the Unsurpassed. 
The Supreme here spoken of must be Brahman himself, 
inasmuch as by knowing one thing something else 
cannot be attained. Elsewhere the sruti clearly says 
that the knower of Brahman attains Brahman : 
" He who doth truly know that Brahman Sup- 
reme, he Brahman Himself becomes."" 
Here the end is stated in the words " reaches the Sup- 
reme." The attainer of the end is spoken of as "the 
knower of Brahman." By this sentence the sruti necessari- 
ly implies that Brahmavidya is the means of attaining the 
Supreme. Just as a sacrificer achieves svarga by means 
of Agnihotra, so the knower of Brahman can attain to the 
Supreme by means of Brahmavidya. (S). 

To speak of Brahman as one to be reached 
is only a figure of speech. 

(Objection] : The sruti declares in the sequel that 
* Jlund. Up, 3,2-9,^ 


Brahman is present in all and forms the Self of all ; 
so that He is not one to be reached. We generally 
speak of one thing being reached by another, of one 
limited object by another limited object. Brahman 
being unlimited and the Self of all, it is not proper to 
speak of His attainment as though He were limited 
and distinct from one's own Self. 

Attainment being always associated with duality, with 
the limitations of space, time &c., how can it be predicated 
of Brahman who is not limited by them. (S). 
(Answer) : There is no incongruity here. How? 
Because of the attainment or non-attainment of Brah- 
man being dependent on perception or non-perception. 
^To explain): The Jiva who, though in reality one 
with Brahman, yet identifies himself with the physi- 
cal (annamaya) and other bodies which are limited 
and external to the Self and formed of material ele- 
ments, and he becomes engrossed in them. Then, 
just as a man, whose mind is engrossed in the enumera- 
tion of those that are external to himself, is oblivious 
of his own existence, though in reality he is immediately 
present there to make up the required number, * so 
the jiva is quite oblivious of his being in reality one 
with Brahman; and regarding, in virtue of this avidya 

* A story is told of ten way-farers who, after crossing a 
stream, wanted to see whether all the passengers were alive. But 
each of them, counting all the nine'other.s except himself, found 
that one was missing and all began to weep bitterly for the loss 
of one of them, till at last they were disillusioned by some one 
telling each of them that the reckoner himself was the tenth. 


(nescience), the physical and other external bodies, 
the non-self as his own Self, he thinks himself to be 
none other than the physical and other bodies, the 
non-self; so that by avidya, Brahman, though one's 
own Self, becomes unattained. Thus, we can quite 
understand how jn r a, owing to avidya, has not attain- 
ed his true nature as Brahman, and how he attains it 
by vidya, on seeing that Brahman, who is the Self of 
all, as taught in the sruti, is his own Self, like a man 
who, owing to ignorance, misses himself making up 
the required number, and who, when reminded by some 
one else, finds himself again by knowledge. 

The non-attainment of the One Self, who is the All, 
is due to avidyrt, like the missing of the tenth man, the 
avidyfl consisting in regarding the five bodies severally 
annamaya etc, as his own selfs. By the knowledge that 
" I am the tenth", the tenth man is attained only through 
the destruction of aj;wna ; and similarly Brahman is attained 
by the removal of aj/zana. So long as we admit that the 
knower, the knowable and the like are distinct from Brah- 
man, we understand the word Brahman in its secondary 
sense. To understand the word in its primary sense, we 
should know that the knower, tbe objects of knowledge, etc., 
are all one with Brahman. There is then no occasion 
for an injunctionfniyoga) of an act, * as there is during 
our recognition of duality, inasmuch as here the evil is 
removed by the mere destruction of ignorance, as a sick 
man becomes himself on the eradication of his malady. 

* Such as the act of meditation l>y which Brahman may 
actually be reached. (^4), 

208 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. Anatldd- Vttlll. 

He who invests his Inner Self with agency and then wishes 
to attain that Self who is not an agent is like one who, 
suffering from an intense chill and seeking for fire, ap- 
proaches a fire demon. Granted that, by a man still 
cherishing the notion of agency, Brahman is attained ; 
we ask, what is the cause of His non-attainment ? There 
is indeed no cause other than non-perception. Wherefore, 
here, by way of removing the evil of avidya and all its 
effects, the sruti teaches that the Inner Self, whose agency 
is due to avidyfl, is really immutable. Displacing the 
consciousness of the universals and other external objects 
which pre-supposes the agency of the knower, by means of 
that (immutable) Consciousness of the Inner Self which 
is the essence of the other consciousness, one attains the 
Supreme. (S). 

Having given in the First Lesson, the mantra to be recited 
for the removal of all possible obstacles, such as mutual 
enmity between the master and the pupil, the sruti states 
at the outset of the Second Lesson, concisely and in an 
aphoristic form, the essence of the whole Upanishad. The 
doctrine of Liberation by knowledge of Brahman is the 
essential teaching of the whole Upanishad. 

The primary meaning of 'Brahman'. 

The word 'Brahman' derived from the root "bn;;m" to 
grow, denotes ' a great thing '. And unsurpassed or abso- 
lute greatness must be here intended, inasmuch as there 
is nothing in the context, nor any word or particle in the 
sentence, pointing to a limitation. If we have been speak- 
ing of a thing which is relatively great, or if there be a 


significant word or particle in the sentence (implying limi- 
tation), then limitation may be meant. In fact, neither 
of them is found here. Absolute greatness consists in 
being eternally pure and so on. This is evidently what His 
Holiness (Sri Sankaracharya) means when He writes in 
the commentary on the Sariraka-Mtmamsa (or the Vedanta- 
sz/tras) as follows: 

" There must exist Brahman, who, by nature, is eter- 
nally pure, conscious and free, omniscient and omnipotent. 
The etymology of the .word 'Brahman' points indeed to 
what is eternally pure and so on, in accordance with the 
meaning of the root 'briwh'. " 

That this is the intended meaning of the word will be 
clear from the definition " Real, Consciousness, Infinite is 
Brahman. " 

Brahman is knowable. 

He who knows i. e. , realises intuitively by manas 
Brahman thus described is here spoken of as 'Brahmavid', 
the knower of Brahman. The Vojasaneyins read as follows: 

" By manas alone can He be realised; there is 
here no duality whatever." :;= 

By means of manas operating through the eye and 
other senses, one perceives, not the pure Brahman, but 
the Brahman associated with name and form. Accordingly 
the sruti says that Brahman has to be seen ' by manas 
alone', by manas unassociated (with the external senses). 

(Objection): Though independent of the eye and other 
senses, manas depends (for its knowledge of Brahman) on 

* Bri.-Up, 4449, 

2 7 

2io BRAH\U-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. \Aiianda-V alii 

Vedic Revelation, Brahman being knowable only through 
Sastra (Revelation). 

(Answer): Yes; hence the word "realised." That is, 
Brahman as taught in the Vedas can be brought home to 
one's mind by means of manas acting independently of the 
senses. By the word ' alone,' all organs of external sensa- 
tion, such as the eye, are excluded ; and by the word 
' realised ' Sk. anu-drashtevya = can be seen after 
Revelation is admitted. 

An immediate knowledge of Brahman possible. 

It should not, however, be supposed that, Brahman being 
revealed by the Ved^.s, an indirect ( paroksha ) knowledge 
of Brahman is alone possible, as in the case of Dharma 
and Adharma. The analogy between the two is not so 
complete ; for, Brahman is, by His very nature, the Im- 
mediate (aparoksha), as the sruti has declared, " That 
Brahman which is the very Immediate"* whereas Dharma 
and Adharma are, in their nature, remote. We admit that 
though Brahman is in Himself the Immediate, there is the 
illusion that He is remote. Hence it is that in the subordi- 
nate propositions such as " Real, Consciousness, Infinite is 
Brahman " the sruti speaks of Brahman in His aspect as 
the Cause of the universe, and then, with a view to remove 
the false notion of remoteness, teaches in the main proposi- 
tions that Brahman is one with the Pratyagfltman, the 
Inner Self. Accordingly, the Vfljasaneyins declare, " He 
that knows ' I am Brahman ' becomes this all." : Here, 
too, in the Taittin'ya Upanishad, Brahman's identity with 
the Inner Self is taught in the words " Whoso knoweth 

* Bri. Up. G-4 1. f Ibid. 1 t 10. 

Ann I.] 


the One hid in the cave," etc. It is not possible even 
to imagine that anybody will ever fall into the error of 
supposing the Pratyagrttman to bz remote ; for, by all men 
including children and cowherds, the Inner Self, the 
Pratyagatman, is regarded as immediately perceived in 
manas. If things like a pot, which are apprehended by 
the Pratyagatman or Inner Self through sight and other 
senses, and which are even insentient in themselves, * 
can be regarded as immediate because they are not appre- 
hended through a medium such as linga (a mark, forming 
the middle term of a syllogism), how is it possible for one 
to suppose, even by a mistake, that the Pratyagfltman is 
remote (paroksha), that Pratyagatman whose remoteness 
we cannot so much as imagine, the very Chit or Conscious 
Principle which is self-luminous and illumines all ? That 
the Pratyagatman is self-luminous and illumines all is taught 
in the sruti in the following words : 

" After Him alone shining, all things shine ; 
by His light does all this clearly shine." I 

Such being the case, it is not possible to suppose that any 
one will, even by a mistake, regard as remote the Pratya- 
grttman who is really the illuminator of all, the very Chit 
or Consciousness shining forth in the notion of ' I ' even in 
our consciousness of practical life. 

(Objection): -The Witness (sakshin), as distinguished 
from the physical body and other sheaths (kosas), five in 
all, is remote (paroksha). 

(Answer} : No, because of His being absolutely immedi- 

* and which may therefore be regarded fts remote froni the Self, 
f Katha-Up. 5 lo. 


ate. Because He is regarded as immediate even when associ- 
ated with the physical body and other sheaths which are 
insentient (jarfa) and therefore capable of obscuring Him, 
much more therefore is He immediate when unassociated 
with them. Thus, because of His being one with the Inner 
Self who is immediate, Brahman, though knowable through 
Revelation, is apprehended in manas as the Immediate. 

Brahman realisable through manas. 

(Objection] : What is apprehended by manas can never 
be Brahman, as the Talavakaras say : 

" What by manas one thinks not, by what, 
they say, manas is thought, That alone, do 
thou know, is Brahman, not that which they 
worship thus. " * 

This passage may be explained as follows : That Witness- 
Consciousness (Sflkshi-Chaitanya) which no born creature 
can apprehend by manas as an object of thought, and by 
which, as those who know the mysteries of the Vedas 
declare, that manas is illumined, do thou, O disciple, 
understand that the Witness-Consciousness is Brahman. As 
to the Brahman whom the Upasakas worship as the Cause 
of the Universe revealed in the scriptures, as something 
external to their own Self, like a pot presenting itself as 
an object of perception, the Being thus worshipped cannot 
be the Brahman properly so called, because no being that 
is external to one's own Self, that is an object of perception, 
that is conditioned by an up^dhi, can be the Brahman 
proper. Because of such denial, what is perceived immedi- 
ately by manas as an object of thought cannot be Brahman. 

* Kona-Up. 16, 


(Answcy]: No such objection can be raised here. We 
do not indeed admit that the sruti means that Brahman 
cannot be apprehended by manas. If, on the contrary, 
that be the meaning of the passage, how is it that the 
sruti teaches " That alone, do thou know, is Brahman" ? 

(Objection) : As the Witness is self-luminous, it does 
not stand to reason to say that He is illumined, like a pot, 
by the consciousness proceeding from manas. 

(Answcy) : Well, we explain thus. Certainly, Brahman 
is not illumined by the phala, by the resulting or generated 
consciousness of manas. He is, however, illumined by the 
vntti, by the mental modification, i.e., by the manas 
thrown into a particular mode. When Brahman is grasp- 
ed by the mano- vntti, by manas in that particular state 
into which it is thrown by the teaching of the mahawzkya 
or main proposition which teaches that Brahman is 
identical with the Witness-Consciousness, when manas is 
thrown into this state, i.e., when the right knowledge of 
the Reality has bsan attained avidya which is the cause of 
all distinction between Erahman and the Inner Self vanishes 
altogether. It cannot be urged that this state of manas is only 
a remote knowledge ; for, contact with the object can alone 
bring about a change in the mode ( vntti ) of manas. 
When a change in the mode of manas is brought about 
through the eye, it then assumes the form of a pot in virtue 
of its contact with the pot, and people call it immediate 
perception. Why should we not in the same way regard 
as immediate perception that mode also of manas in which 
it assumes the form of the Witness- Consciousness by 
coming in contact with it ? 


How Revelation helps the realisation 
of Brahman. 

It should not be objected that, if only by contact with the 
object the manas can be made to assume the form of the 
Witness-Consciousness, Revelation (Vrtkya) has no purpose 
to serve. For, Revelation alone can remove the illusion 
that Brahman, denned as the Cause of the Universe, is 
distinct from the Pratyagatman, the Inner Self. Thus, 
that mode of manas which apprehends the unity of the 
Inner Self and Brahman is brought about only by contact 
with the vishaya or object of knowledge in consequence 
of the sruti having denied all distinction ; so that, this 
knowledge, though produced by Revelation, is immediate. 
But in the case of a person whose mind is turned outward 
and does not therefore come in contact with the Wit- 
ness-Consciousness dwelling within, the knowledge he has 
of the unity of the Inner Self and Brahman has been 
brought about by Revelation alone. Such knowledge is 
mediate, remote (paroksha), like the knowledge we have 
of Dharma, Adharma, Svarga, Naraka, and so on. And 
here the absence of saksrmtkara or immediate perception 
is not due to any fault in Revelation. It is due to the 
fault of the person himself in that his mind is turned out- 
ward. We do not, for instance, think it a fault of the eye 
that a person who faces the east does not see the color 
and form of the things in the west. When the person 
whose mind has been turned outward resorts to Brahma- 
dhyana to nididhyrtsana as it is called, and thereby 
brings about that state of the mind (buddhi) wherein, 
being turned inward and becoming one-pointed, it is 
competent to investigate and apprehend the subtle, then, 


the mind ( buddhi ) comes in contact with the Inner 
Self, puts on His form, and, aided by Revelation, casts 
away the illusion of duality. And this state of buddhi is 
called Saksrmtkflra. In the case of a mukhyadhikarin or duly 
qualified disciple whose mind has been turned inward 
even prior to listening to the Revelation (of unity) by the 
contemplation of Saguwa Brahman, or by nididhyasana 
after listening to the teaching of the unity, and who, by a 
course of logical reasoning based upon agreement and 
difference, has been able to distinguish the Witness- Consci- 
ousness from the physical body, etc., and to realise It, 
and who has determined the nature of Brahman as taught 
in the subsidiary passages (awmtara-vflkya), the mahrt- 
vakya gives rise to the very sakshatkara. or direct percep- 
tion of the Self as one with Brahman, not a mere indirect 
knowledge. This very idea is explained in the Vakya- 
v;itti as follows : 

" The Inner Consciousness that shines forth is 
the very non-dual Bliss, * and the non-dual 
Bliss is the very Inner Consciousness. When 
the knowledge of their mutual identity 
thus arises, then, indeed, the non-Brahman- 
ness of the ' Thou ' ceases, as also the remote- 
ness of the ' That.' If so, what then ? Listen : 
The Inner Consciousness is established as the 
very Perfect Bliss." | 

Absolute Identity of Brahman and the Self, 

(Objection] : Though mutual unity (anyonya-todfltmya) 
may be predicated of Brahman and the Self, yet they can- 

* i. e. Brahman. (Tr.) f Op. cit. 39 H 

2l6 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. Altailda- Vdlll. 

not be One Impartible Essence ( akhada-eka-rasa ) ; for 
despite the unity of ' blue ' and ' lotus,' they are yet distinct 
as attribute and substance. Accordingly, here, too, there 
may still remain the distinction as Brahman and the Self. 

(Answer); No; there is a difference between the two 
cases, because of the failure of unity in the case of a subst- 
ance and its attribute. The attribute of ' blue ' is found 
in the clouds and the like, and thus its unity with the lotus 
fails. Even the substance, namely the lotus, fails to coexist 
with blue colour inasmuch as there are white and red 
lotuses. Being thus distinct from each other, an impartible 
unity (akha^da-artha) between a substance and its attribute 
is impossible ; whereas the unity of Brahman and the Self 
never fails, and they are therefore one and the same thing, 
the One Impartible Essence. And this truth has been 
taught by Visvar/jpacharya :|: in the following words : 

"No Self-ness (Atma.-ia) can be outside 
Brahman ; nor Brahman-ness (Brahma-to) 
outside the Self. Therefore the unity of these 
two is different from that of 'blue' and 'lotus'." 

(Objection) : If so, the words ' /Itman ' and ' Brahman ' 
being synonymous, there would be no use having two 
separate words. 

(Answer) \ Not so. Despite the absence of all distinc- 
tion in the thing denoted, a distinction yet exists in the 
ideas to be removed which are creatures of delusion, name- 
ly, the non-Brahman-ness (of the Self) and the remoteness 
(of Brahman). This, too, has been taught by the 

* <(U<i.s Suresvumchuryu. 


as follows : 

" Though the very Self, Brahman is, 
owing to delusion, tainted with remoteness. So 
also, though the very Brahman, the Self 
thinks as if there is some other being." ' 
The Thing is one alone. In Its aspect as revealed only in 
the sruti, It is called Brahman. In Its aspect as the one 
immediately perceived in manas, It is called /Itman, the 
Self. Its nature, as the Cause of the universe, as the 
Omniscient Being, and so on, is revealed only by the sruti; 
and the mediateness of our knowledge thereof leads to the 
illusory idea that Brahman Himself is remote. And since 
the physical body and the like called up in the immediate 
manasic perception of ' I ' are non-Brahman, we fall into 
the error of thinking that even the Witness, the Conscious 
Self, is non-Brahman. Because the distinction between 
Brahman and yltman thus conceived accounts for the two 
separate words in use while the real thing spoken of is the 
One Impartible Essence, an immediate knowledge of Brah- 
man as identical with the immediate Self within, arises 
from the mahavakya. A person who is endued w r ith this 
kind of knowledge is here spoken of as Brahmavid, the 
knower of Brahman. 

He who knows Brahman becomes Brahman. 

Such a one is fit to attain the Supreme; and so indeed the 
sruti says : ' He reaches the Supreme '. The (Sanskrit) word 
'para '(here translated as ' Supreme ') means also 'other'. 
But the word cannot mean ' other ' here, inasmuch as the 

* Bri. Up. Sambandha-Vartika 909. 



Thing is non-dual, the sruti having denied all duality in the 
words " Here is no duality whatever."* If the word signifies 
1 highest ', Brahman must be the thing denoted by the word 
' para ', all the rest being low as made up of maya. Thus 
it is tantamount to saying that he who knows Brahman 
reaches Brahman Himself. The ^4tharvamkas expressly 
say: "he who verily knows that Supreme Brahman 
becomes Brahman Himself." f 

(Objection.} : The act of reaching spoken of in such 
sentences as "he reaches the village " consists in a contact 
with the village preceded by a passage. Therefore, just as 
an upflsaka of the Saguwa Brahman rises up through the 
nadi of the head, and after passing on the Path of Light, 
reaches the Brahma-loka, by a similar process, we should 
explain, the knower of Brahman reaches Brahman. 

(Answer): No, because of the denial of ascent and passage. 
Ascent is denied by the sruti in the words "His prvwas (the 
vital air and the senses) do not ascend." The denial of 
passage is conveyed by the sniti in the following words : 

"As to the path of the person who has become 
the Self of all beings and who rightly sees all 
beings, Devas are confounded, looking out 
(as they do) for the path of the pathless." 

To explain : The Brahmavid, who is the Self of all beings 
of life, sees all those beings rightly as one with himself. 
What his path is, even Devas are at a loss to know. These 
Devas are the Guiding Intelligences (the /4tiv0hikas, 
Transporters) on the ' northern,' ' southern ' and downward 

*Bri. Up. 44-19. f Mund. Up. 8-2-9, 

I 1 


paths ; and they get confounded when looking out for the 
path of the pathless, of the Brahmavid who has no path ; they 
are at a loss to find his path, whereas they can trace the 
course of those who have to pass through the three paths, 
namely, the upasakas (those who have practised contempla- 
tion), the performers of sacrificial rites and acts of charity 
and non-performers of these acts. Wherefore, it is only a 
figure of speech to say that Brahman is reached. And the 
dissolution (of the Brahmavid's life-principles in the uni- 
versal life) is spoken of by the sruti in the following words : 

" His pra/zas ascend not ; " " here alone they 
are dissolved." "Being Brahman himself, he 
is merged in Brahman."" 

Though he is the very Brahman even prior to knowledge, by 
aJKrtna he imagines himself, to be a jiva, and on the attain- 
ment of knowledge he himself, i.e., the upadhi in whose asso- 
ciation he has become a jiva, disappears altogether so that 
he becomes Brahman even in consciousness. A man, not 
being aware of the jewel on the neck, searches for it else- 
where; and when reminded by some one, he feels the jewel 
and then says, as if by a figure, that it has been attained. 
Similarly, to say that Brahman is attained is only a figure 
of speech. 

* Bri. Up, 4-4-7 ; 3-2-11. 


The question as to the essential nature of Brahman will be 
discussed later on (in Chap IV.) We shall now proceed to 
discuss some points in connection with the knowledge of 
Brahman and the attainment of the Supreme. 

Knowledge is an independent means to the 
end of man. 

That the knowledge of Brahman referred to in the expres- 
sion "the knower of Brahman " is an independent means to 
the summinn bomtin has baen determined in the Vedanta- 
S7/tras III. iv. i. as follows : 

(Question) : Is the Self-knowledge an independent means 
to the end of man, or is it a mere accessory to sacrificial 
rites ? 

(Prima facie view) : In the absence of the knowledge that 
the Self (A tman) is distinct from the body, a person is not sure 
that there is a soul going to the other world, and he will not 
therefore engage in the Jyotishfoma and other sacrificial 
rites. Thus, as impelling one to sacrificial rites, the Self- 
knowledge imparted by the Upanishads is an accessory 
factor (anga) of sacrificial rites. 

(Conclusion) : As against the foregoing we hold as follows: 
Knowledge of the Self (/Itman) as distinct from the body is 
of two kinds : one is the knowledge that the Self (Atman) is 


an agent and passes from this to the other world, while the 
other is the right knowledge that the Self is one with Brah- 
man. Of the two, the knowledge of the Self as the agent 
rouses activity ; but the knowledge of the truth that the 
Self is the non-dual Brahman does not induce action ; n<ay, 
it even brings about cessation of activity by its denial of the 
reality of action and its various operative factors as well as 
of its fruits. 

(Objection) : We are told that even men of right know- 
ledge such as Janaka were engaged in action. 

(Answer) : Yes ; they took to that course of life for loka- 
sangraha, i. e., with a view to set an example to the world. 
If performance of works be necessary even for men of right 
knowledge to secure liberation, then how to explain the 
sruti which speaks (in their case) of the worthlessness of 
offspring etc., in the words " what have we with offspring to 
do, we to whom this here, this Self, is the world." :|: Thus 
the sruti says that when the world of the True Self has 
been immediately realised, the offspring etc., which 
are the means of securing happiness in the world of non- 
self, turn out to be of no use. Of the same tenor are the 
statements " For what end are we to study Vedas? " "For 
what end are we to worship ? " and so on. Wherefore, 
knowledge of the True Self is an independent means to the 
summnm bonum, not a mere accessory factor of sacrificial 

The student attains knowledge in this or in 
a future birth. 

As to when that knowledge arises, the Vedrtnta-swtra 

* Bri. Up. 4-4-22 


(III. Iv. 5.) discusses as follows : 

(Question] : Does the student of Brahmavidyfl attain the 
knowledge invariably in this birth, or does he attain it 
either in this birth or in a future birth ? 

{Prima facie mew] : When the processes of srava;za (study), 
manana (reflection) and nididhy^sana (meditation)have been 
gone through, the knowledge does, of necessity, arise in 
this very birth. There is certainly no necessity for the 
alternative in point of time that it is attained either in 
this very birth or in a future birth ; for, the man who en- 
gages in sravawa and other processes desires to attain know- 
ledge in this very birth. A person engages in the study with 
the desire " may I come by wisdom in this very birth." It 
should not be supposed that since sacrificial rites, etc., 
produce their effects in the unseen (i.e. in future births), and 
since the sacrificial rites, etc., are said to be the means of 
attaining the knowledge of Brahman, this knowledge of 
Brahman can, like svarga and other fruits of sacrificial rites, 
etc., be reaped only in a future birth. For, the sacrificial 
rites, etc., have served their purpose by way of creating a 
desire for knowledge, even before the student engages in 
sravawa and other processes. Wherefore, the knowledge 
does, of necessity, arise in. this very birth. 

(Conclusion): We maintain that, in the absence of obsta- 
cles, the knowledge arises in this very birth. But when 
there is an obstacle in the way, it arises in a future birth, in 
virtue of the sravawa and other processes gone through in 
this brith. That many an obstacle may exist is declared as 
follows : 

p. 2-7. 


"Of whom the many have no chance even to 
hear, whom many cannot know though they 
have heard. "* 

Against this it should not be argued that there exists no 
evidence for the assertion that the knowledge arises in a 
future birth as a result of the sravawa and other processes of 
study gone through in former births ; for, the sruti speaks 
of Vamadeva having attained knowledge while yet in the 
womb : 

" Lying still in the womb, Vamadeva thus 

uttered it." f 

Therefore knowledge arises in this very birth or in a future 

Nothing is real except Brahman. 

It has been said above t that because there exists nothing 
real except Brahman, the word ' para ' here in the Upani- 
shad cannot mean 'other'. The unreality of all else has 
been determined as follows in the Vedanta-stras III. 

" 3 1 37: 

(Question) : Does anything exist or not beyond Brahman? 

(Prima facie viciv):It must be admitted that, beyond 
Brahman who is said, in the words " not thus, not thus,"]: 
to be devoid of all perceptible attributes, there exists some- 
thing. The reasons are : 

(i) Brahman is spoken of as a bridge in the following 
passage: "Then, as to the ^tman, He is the bridge, the 

* Aitaroya-Up. 24-1. f Vide, ante p. 217. J Bri.-Up. 2-3-6, 


support." * Now, in common parlance, a bridge is bounded 
by the shore on either side and keeps the water in its place ; 
and crossing over the bridge one reaches the dry land. 
Similarly, Brahman is a bridge maintaining the universe 
in its place ; and there must be something else beyond, 
which one reaches after crossing over Brahman. 

(2) The sruti applies a measure to Brahman in the 
words "Four-footed is Brahman,"! "The Purusha has 
sixteen phases." \ We find such measures applied in common 
parlance to a quadruped or the like beyond which there is 
something else, but never to a thing beyond which there is 
none else. 

(3) The sruti speaks of Brahman's contact with another in 
the words " With the Existence, my dear, he then becomes 
united. "$ And that contact is possible only when something 

exists beyond Brahman, the Existence. 

(4) In the words " Aiman, verily, my dear, should be 
seen," the sruti refers to a distinction as the seer and the seen. 

For these reasons, it cannot be held that there is nothing 
beyond Brahman. 

(Conclusion): In the first place Brahman cannot be a 
bridge in the primary sense of the word ; for, otherwise, it 
would even follow that Brahman is formed of earth and 
wood. If, on the other hand, Brahman is spoken of as a 
bridge on account of some point of agreement with it, then 
let the point of agreement consist merely in holding 
something in its place, not in regard to something else 
existing beyond ; and the sruti, too, reads " the bridge, 
the support." As to the sruti applying a measure, it 

* Chha. 844. f Ibid. 3-18-2. J Ibid. 6-7-1. Ibid 6-8-1. 


is only for the purposes of contemplation ; for such mea- 
sures are applied in the sruti when treating of a contempla- 
tion, not when teaching as to what the Reality is. Such 
distinctions as the sruti refers to are due to the upadhis, like 
the distinction between the infinite akasa. and the akasa. 
limited by a pot. Thus, because the passages which seem 
to imply that there is something else beyond Brahman 
admits of a different explanation, and because the sruti 
denies all else in the words " One alone without a second," 
there exists nothing beyond Brahman. 

A peculiar feature of the death of the Brahmavid. 

It has been said that the attainment of Brahman here 
spoken of is unlike that of the Brahma-loka, in that the 
life-principles of a Brahmavid does not, at death, depart 
from his body. This point has been established in the 
Vedanta-s^tras (IV. ii. 12-14) as follows : 

(Question) : " His praas do not depart ;" :|: in these 
words the sruti denies the departure of pnwas (i. e., the 
life-principles which make up the Linga-sanra, comprising 
the pnwamaya, manomaya, and vij/wnamaya kosas) in the 
case of the person who has known the Reality. Is it the 
departure from the physical body or the departure from the 
ji'va that is denied here ? 

(Prima facie vieiv) : It is the departure from the pva that 
is denied here ; for otherwise, if life does not depart from 
the body, then there would be no death of the body. 

(Conclusion) : Water sprinkled on a heated stone goes 
nowhere else, nor even is it seen there ; on the other hand, 
it disappears altogether. Similarly, the life-principles of 

*Bri. Up. 44-6, 


226 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. Andttda- Vdlll. 

the person who has known the Reality, though not depart- 
ing from the body, do not yet remain in the body ; on the 
other hand, they become altogether dissolved. Thus, owing 
to absence of vitality, the body is said to be dead. It need 
not be urged here that, in the absence of life's departure, the 
body cannot be said to die. For, from the distension (and 
inertness) of the body we have to infer that the life-princi- 
ples which are said to have not departed from the body do 
not remain in the body either. 

(Objection] : In preference to all this trouble, let us admit 
life's departure from the body and deny its departure 
from the jz'va. 

(Answer) : We cannot say so ; for, the wearing of another 
body being inevitable so long as the pnwas or life-principles 
departing from the body cling to the j*va, there can be 
no moksha at all. Therefore it is life's departure from the 
body, not from j^'va, that is denied here. 

To reach Brahman is to be rid of separateness. 

It has been said above* that the reaching of the Supreme 
consists in the extinction of the upndhi or limitation which 
makes /Itman a j/va. This extinction of the up^dhi has been 
discussed in the Ved^nta-sz^tras IV. ii. 15. as follows : 

(Question) : Do the wise man's pnwas or vital powers, 
i. e., speech and other senses, become dissolved in the Su- 
preme Brahman or in their respective causes ? 

(Prima facie view) : When speech and other pnw/as (life- 
principles) of the wise man undergo dissolution at death 
they are dissolved in their respective causes, but not in the 

* Vide ante p. 219, 


Paramrttman, the Supreme Self; for, in the words " When, 
this person dying, speech goes to the Fire, life-breath to the 
Air, sight to the Sun " :;: etc., the sruti teaches that life- 
breath etc., designated as kalas (constituents of the 
organism) in the passage " To their bases go the fifteen 
kalrts,"! are absorbed in their respective causes referred to 
(in this latter passage) as the basic 'principles (pratish^has). 
(Conclusion] : From the stand-point of the person who 
has realised Truth, they are absorbed in the Paramatman 
Himself, as ascertained from the sruti which elsewhere 
says : 

" Just as the rivers onward rolling unto their 
setting in the ocean go, quitting both name 
and form ; just so the sage, from name and 
form set free, goes to the shining Man beyond 
Beyond." J 

This passage speaks, in the illustration, of the absorption of 
rivers into the ocean. It may be urged that the absorption 
(of pra?*as) in the Paramatman, which is the point to be 
established, is not quite so explicit here. If so, there is 
the following passage which makes it quite clear : 

" Just as these rivers rolling onward, towards 
ocean tending, on reaching ocean sink, their 
name and form (distinctive) perish ' ocean ' 
they're simply called; in just the self-same 
way, of that all-watchful one, these sixteen 
phases, Man-wards tending, on reaching Him 
sink in the Man, their name and form do 
perish the Man they're simply called." 

* Bri. Up. 3-2-13. f MuneZ. Up. 3-2-7. J Ibid. 3-2-8. 
Prasna. Up. 6-5. 


This last passage represents the stand-point of the Tattva- 
vid himself, i.e., of the person who has realised Truth. 
That passage of the sruti, on the other hand, which has been 
quoted in support of the prima facie view represents the 
stand-point of the by-standers. On the death of the 
Tattva-vid, the persons standing near think, from their 
own stand-point, that even his speech and other pranas 
are absorbed in the Fire, etc. Hence no discordance 
between the two passages. Therefore the pnz/as of the 
Tattva-vid are dissolved in the Paramatman, the Supreme 

Jiva is ever liberated. 

The nature of liberation which is attained on the extinc- 
tion of the upadhi has been determined in the Vedanta- 
Swtras IV. iv. 1-3. as follows: 

(Question) : The sruti says : " Serene, rising out from 
this body and becoming that Supreme Light, he attains 
to his true Self." ::: This passage may ba explained thus : 
On the extinction of the upadhi, j^'va attains perfect sere- 
nity. Thus serene, jz'va gives up all attachment for the 
three bodies, reaches the Supreme Brahman and dwells 
in the state of liberation. Now the question is : Is this 
state of liberation a new acquisition ? or has it been inherent 
in j/va all along ? 

(Prima facie view] : The state of liberation here referred 
to has not already existed in jz'va ; it is, on the other hand, 
an acquired state, since the sruti declares in the words 
" he attains to his true Self " that the state has been newly 
brought into existence. If it existed before, it must have 

* Chh. Up. 8-12-2, 


existed even in the state of samsara and cannot therefore 
be a result achieved. Therefore the state of liberation is 
like svarga a newly acquired condition. 

(Conclusion) : The state of liberation has already existed 
in jz'va since it is spoken of as ' the true Self in the passage 
" he attains to his true Self." The sruti " svena rpe;?a 
abhinishpadyate" cannot simply mean that he attains to 
a state or form belonging to him, (the word ' sva' being 
interpreted to mean 'his own 1 ); for, then, the statement 
would be of no purpose. The state of liberation, whatever 
that might be, belongs to j/va as a matter of course ; and 
the statement, therefore, would convey no specific meaning. 
If, on the other hand, the expression " svena n/pena 
abhinishpadyate" is interpreted to mean ' he attains to his 
true Self,' then the statement will serve to show that 
it is not a mere possession or belonging (i. e., something 
external which has been newly acquired). Nor does the 
word "attain" imply that the state of liberation has been 
produced, inasmuch as what has already existed does not 
admit of production. On the other hand, the attainment 
here consists in the manifestation of the Brahman-ness in 
virtue of the knowledge of Truth. It may perhaps be 
urged here that in that case the expressions ' ' becoming 
the Supreme Light," and "attains to his true Self" 
are tautological. We answer: the expression "becom- 
ing the Supreme Light " merely points to the fact of 
having eliminated from 'That' (i.e., from Brahman, 
the Cause) all that is foreign to His essential nature, while 
the expression "attains to his true Self " points to the fact 
of having realised the import of the whole proposition 
("That Thou art"). And the fact that liberation has 

230 J5RAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED, Anailda- Vdlll. 

existed does not detract from its being an end to be aimed 
at ; for, the liberation that has hitherto existed has not been 
free from ajwma. Therefore the state of liberation is none 
other than the Ancient Thing Itself, (the One Reality that 
has always been in existence). 

The Liberated Soul is identical with Brahman, 

Yet another feature of the state of liberation has been 
discussed in the Vedanta-Sntras IV. iv. 4. is as follows : 

(Question) : Is the liberated soul distinct or not distinct 
from the Supreme Brahman ? 

(Prima facie view) : The liberated soul must be distinct 
from the Supreme Brahman, inasmuch as they are respecti- 
vely spoken of as the agent and the object of an action. In 
the words " The serene one approaches (or becomes) the 
Supreme Light" * the ' serene one,' i. c., jz'va, is spoken of 
as the agent of the act of approaching, and Brahman, ' the 
Supreme Light,' is spoken of as the object. Wherefore, 
the liberated j^'va is distinct from Brahman. 

(Conclusion) : It has been said that to approach or become 
the Supreme Light is merely to know the essential nature of 
' That' (i. e., Brahman the Cause) eliminating therefrom all 
that is foreign to it.f So, at that stage there may yet be 
a sense of duality. Subsequently in the words " he attains 
to his true Self," the sruti refers to that state of the liber- 
ated soul which corresponds to the import J of the 
proposition " That Thou art " taken as a whole. At this 
stage there can be no distinction between jz'va and Brahman, 
since later on in the words " He is the Highest Purusha 

* Ibid. 

f Brahman being still regarded as separate from jiva. (Tr.) 
J Viz., the absolute identity of Brahman and jiva. (Tr J 


(spirit)"- the sruti refers to the liberated Soul and declares 
that ' He 'i.e., the ]iva. who has attained to his true Self- 
is the same as the Highest Spirit, i.e., Brahman. Therefore, 
the liberated Soul is not distinct from Brahman. 

How Brahman is both conditioned and 

Yet another point in this connection is discussed in the 
Vedanta-szrtras IV. iv. 5 7. 

(Question] : Brahman who is identical with the liberated 
Soul is spoken of in the sruti in two ways, as conditioned 
(sa-visesha) in some places and as unconditioned (nir-visesha) 
in some other places, as witness the following passages : 

" It is the Self, free from sin, free from old 
age, from death and grief, from hunger and 
thirst, whose desires are unfailing, whose 
purposes are unfailing." f 

" As a mass of salt has neither inside nor 
outside, but is altogether a mass of taste, thus 
indeed has the Self neither inside nor outside, 
but is altogether a mass of knowledge." I 

The question is, is Brahman both conditioned and uncon- 
ditioned at the same moment ? or, is Brahman conditioned 
at one time and unconditioned at another ? 

(Prima facie view] : Brahman, when in the state of libera- 
tion, cannot be both conditioned and unconditioned at the 
same moment, the two states being quite opposed to each 
other. It must, therefore, be that He is in the two states 

* Ibid 8-li>-3. f Ibid 8-1-5. % Bri. Up. 4-5-13, 


alternately at different moments. 

(Conclusion) : As against the foregoing, we hold as 
follows : From two different stand-points of view, Brahman 
may be conditioned and unconditioned at the same time. 
He is unconditioned from the stand-point of the liberated 
one, whereas from the stand-point of one who is still held in 
bondage, Brahman, who is one with the liberated, appears 
to be the Cause of the universe endued with omniscience 
and other attributes. Certainly, the liberated ones are never 
conscious that they are possessed of omniscience, unfailing 
will and other such attributes, inasmuch as the avidya which 
lies at the root of the idea has been destroyed. But those 
who are held in bondage are under the sway of avidya and 
therefore imagine that Brahman who is ever uncondition- 
ed is endued with omniscience and other such attributes. 
It being thus possible to explain that Brahman is at the 
same moment conditioned or unconditioned according as 
the stand-point is the one or the other, it is idle to suggest 
that Brahman exists in these two different states alternately 
at different periods of time. Wherefore Brahman is both 
conditioned and unconditioned at the same time. 

Liberation is the highest state. 

One more point has been discussed in the Vedrtnta- 
swtras III. iv. 52 as follows: 

(Question) : Is there any state higher than the state of 
liberation here referred to ? 

(Pviina facie -view) ; The Brahma-loka, the region of 
Brahman to which the upasakas of Saguwa Brahman attain 
as the fruit of their contemplation, is of four states : Sfllokya 
(being in the same world as Brahman, the Four-faced), 


Sarwpya (being of the same form as Brahman), Sflrm'pya 
(being very close to Brahman), and S^rsh^i (being equal in 
rank to Brahman). Or thus : By the rule " more work, 
better results " svarga is of various sorts. Similarly, 
liberation here referred to, which is alike the fruit of an act 
may be surpassed by some other state. 

(Conclusion} : What we call liberation is none other than 
one's own inherent nature as Brahman, but not an acquired 
state like svarga. It has bsen taught in the sruti and even 
stands to reason that Brahman is of one nature. Therefore, 
liberation is of one sort, whether attained by Brahman, the 
Four-faced, or by man. The S^lokya and other specific kinds 
of liberation mentioned above are acquired results and 
therefore admit of degrees of excellence according to the 
quality of ths up^sana ; but the mukti or liberation (spoken 
of here), we may conclude, is not of that nature. 



An Explanatory Verse. 

In the words " the knower of Brahman reaches the 
Suprerm " the sruti has aphoristically set forth knowledge 
and moksha, the means and the end ; and their nature has 
been determined in the Vedanta-Stras as shewn in the 
foregoing chapter. Now the sruti cites a certain verse 
which forms a short commentary on the aphorism. 

"The knower of Brahman reaches the Supreme :" 
this is to express in an aphoristic form the whole 
teaching of the Second Book (/Inanda-Valh'). Now 
the following verse (;'ich) is quoted (i) with a view 
to determine the nature of Brahman who, as has been 
indicated in the words " the knower of Brahman reaches 
the Supreme, " is the Thing to be known, but whose 
characteristic nature has not been stated definitely by 
way of giving a definition which will set forth His 
characteristic nature as distinguished from all else ; (2) 
with a view that Brahman, of whom it has been but 
vaguely said that He should be known, may be more 
definitely known, i. c., in order that we may know that 
Brahman, as defined below, is the same as our own Inner 
Self (Pratyag^tman) and no other ; and (3) with a view 
to shew that the fruit of Brahmavidya declared above 
in the words " the knower of Brahman reaches the 

Anil 7.1 BRAHMAN DEFINED. 235 

Supreme " consists in attaining to the state of the 
Universal Being (Sarvatma-bhava, lit., all-Self-ness), 
in being Brahman Himself who is beyond all attributes 
of samsara. 

fl^TSWJrfir | "tfcq ^T*FRT m I ...." IRII 

2. On that, this has been chanted : " Real, 
Consciousness, Infinite is Brahman; ...." 

As referring to what is taught in the foregoing Brah- 
maua text, the following verse (rich) is chanted : " Real, 
Consciousness, Infinite is Brahman ; ... " 

For a clear understanding of what has been taught in 
the foregoing aphoristic statement, this sacred verse is 
cited. That is to say, the whole meaning of the aphorism 
is clearly explained in the verse. In the foregoing aphoristic 
expression, the sruti speaks of the " knovver of Brahman." 
Now, one will b3 inclined to ask what Brahman is. 
Accordingly, the sruti describes the nature of Brahman in 
the four words " Real, Consciousness, Infinite (is) 

Definition of Brahman. 

The sentence " Real, Consciousness, Infinite is 
Brahman " forms a definition of Brahman. The three 
words, "Real," "Consciousness," and "Infinite" 
are the attributive adjuncts * (viseshanartha) of 
Brahman, the substantive (viseshya). Brahman is the 

* ;'. e., epithets stating tho specific attributes of Brah- 
inan. (A.) 


substantive, because, as the Thing to be known, 
Brahman forms the subject of discourse. Because of 
their relation as substantive and attributive, the 
words " Real " and so on are in the same case, all 
of them referring to one and the same thing (samana- 
dhikaranaK When qualified by the three epithets, 
"Real,'' etc., Brahman is distinguished from all other 
substances. Indeed, a thing is known only when it is 
distinguished from all else, as, for instance, when we 
speak of " a blue big sweet-smelling lily." 

That is to say, just as the epithets ' blue,' ' big,' and 
' sweet-smalling ' serve to define a lily, so the epithets 
' Real' etc., serve to define Brahman, the Supreme Being. 
When so defined by the epithets " Real" and so on, Brah- 
man is distinguished from all other sub'ances, none of which 
possess the said attributes of Brahman, (i.e., which are all 
unreal, insentient and finite). A thing is said to be known 
when known as distinguished from all else. A blue lily, 
for instance, is said to ba known only when known as 
distinguished from the red lily and the lilies of other colours. 
Similarly, Brahman can ba said to be known only when 
known as distinguished from all else, (from the unreal etc.), 
since, otherwise, there can be no definite conception of 
Brahman. (S). 

Since the words ' Real, ' etc., are of the same case, 
all referring to one and the sama thing, they must be related 
as attributive and substantive (visesha/ja-viseshya), just 
as in the phrase " a blue big sweet-smelling lily" the 
words are related as attributive and substantive. In the 
passage of the sruti under consideration, Brahman must 

Anil. /.] BRAHMAN DEFINED, 237 

b2 regarded as the substantive, because, as having been 
declared to be the knowable, Brahman formi the main 
subject of discourse ; and the words ' Real ' etc., mark 
off Brahman from all that are unreal etc. 

What is a definition ? 

(Objection] : -A substantive is specified by an attribu- 
tive, only when it also admits of qualification by quite 
a different attributive, like, for instance, the lily, which 
is either red or blue or of some other colour. When 
there are many substances coming under one genus, 
each being distinguished by a distinctive attribute, then 
only da tha attributes have a meaning, but not when 
there is one thing alone of the kind ; for then it 
admits of no qualification by any other attributive. 
Just as there is only one sun which we see, so there 
is only one Brahman ; there are no other Brahmans 
from whom He may be distinguished, unlike the blue 
lily (which can be distinguished from the red lily and 
other varieties.) 

A substantive is a thing which admits of being qualified 
by various attributives in turn. As there is no Brahman 
of another kind, how can Brahman be a substantive ? (S). 
That is to say : When a substantive denotes a thing which 
exists in various forms of manifestation, each form being 
distinct from others, then that substantive needs qualifica- 
tion by an attributive if any particular form of the thing 
should be denoted. The lily, for instance, being of various 
kinds, each distinct from others, it has to be qualified 
by ' red ' or ' blue ' or the like, in order that a particular 


variety may bs denoted. Brahman being secondless, there 
are not many Brahmans, and therefore Brahman cannot be 
qualified by an attributive. -(A). 

Besides the blue big sweet-smelling lily spoken of at 
present, there are other kinds of lily, namely, a red lily, 
a small lily, a slightly fragrant lily, which are all met 
with in common experience. Therefore, in this case, the 
words ' blue,' etc., serve to distinguish the lily meant here 
from other lilies. But there are no other kinds of Brah- 
man ; there is no Brahman who is not real, there is no 
Brahman who is insentient, there is no Brahman who is 
finite. Just as the sun we see is only one, so Brahman also 
is one alone. Since there are no other Brahmans from 
whom the one meant here has to be distinguished, the 
adjuncts ' Real,' etc., are of no use. 

(Answer) : No, because of the adjuncts being in- 
tended as a definition. To explain : The objection 
does not apply here. Why ? For, the main purpose 
of the attributives here is to define Brahman, not 
merely to state His specific attributes. What is 
the difference between a definition and the defined on 
the one hand, and the attributive and the substantive 
on the other ? We shall tell you. The attributives 
ssrve to distinguish the substantive from others of the 
same genus only, while a definition aims to dis- 
tinguish the thing defined from all else, as when we 
say " akasa is the space-giving substance." And we 
have said that the sentence ' Real ... ', is intended as 
a definition. 

If ' Brahman' and ' real' etc., be respectively regarded 
as the substantive (viseshya) and the attributive (viseshaa), 


then the objection may apply. But, since we regard them 
as the defined (lakshya) and definition (laksha/za) respective- 
ly, the foregoing objection cannot in the least apply to our 
interpretation. Now, that is termed attributive (vise- 
shaa) which abides in a heterogeneous thing it qualifies, 
and which is a coinhering attribute distinguishing it from 
others of the same class. (S). That is to say, an attribu- 
tive is that which always coexists with the substantive in 
consciousness, distinguishing it from others (of the same 
genus) (A). The substantive (viseshya) is that which ex- 
ists both as a genus and as particulars, and which is possess- 
ed of various attributes, each of these attributes being 
sometimes found and sometimes not found in association 
with it (5). That is to say, the substantive (viseshya) is 
that which denotes a thing as distinguished only from 
others of the sams genus (A]. A definition or character- 
istic mark (laksha/za) is that attribute which isolates all 
things from the thing defined, i.e., which enables one to 
distinguish in consciousness the thing defined from all 
others, and which always inheres in the thing defined (5). 
That is to say, a definition distinguishes the thing defined 
from all else, of the same and other genera. (A). A thing 
is said to be defined by a definition, when the definition 
marks it off from others of the same genus as also of other 
and therefore opposed genera. (S). That is to say, a thing 
is defined when it is marked off from all else. (A). 

The words " real," etc., form defining adjuncts of Brah- 
man, and there do exist things which have to be excluded 
from the conception of Brahman. A simple attributive 
serves merely to distinguish the thing described from 
others of the same class ; whereas the defining adjunct 


serves to distinguish the thing denned from all else. Ac- 
cordingly the words ' real,' etc., serve to distinguish 
Brahman from all things that are not Brahman, from all 
unreal, insentient and finite things. When we define 
akasa. as space, the definition serves to distinguish akasa 
from all corporeal substances, and yet there is nothing else 
belonging to the same class, i.e., no other akasa., from 
which it has to bs distinguished. Similarly, here, all 
unreal, insentient and finite things are excluded from 
the conception of Brahman. 

The words ' real,' ' consciousness' and ' infinite' do 
not qualify one another, because they are all intended 
to qualify something else. Here, they qualify the 
substantive ' Brahman.' Therefore, every one of these 
adjuncts is independent of the other adjuncts and is 
directly related to Brahman. Thus : Brahman is the 
Real, Brahman is Consciousness, Brahman is the 

Brahman is the Real. 

Whatever does not deviate from the form in which 
it has been once ascertained to be is real ; and what- 
ever deviates from the form in which it has been once 
ascertained to be is unreal. 

When a thing never puts on a form different from that 
form in which it has been once proved to be, that thing 
is real, and as such it must be quite distinct from k^rya 
or what is produced. (S). 

All changing form (vikara) is, therefore, unreal, as 
the sruti definitely says ; 


" (All) changing form (vikara) is a name, 
a creation of speech ; what is called clay is 
alone real : thus, Existence (Sat) alone is 

Thus, in the words " Brahman is real," the sruti dis- 
tinguishes Brahman from all changing forms (vikara). 

When a thing which has been ascertained to be of a 
certain form never deviates from that form, then that thing 
is real, we say, as, for example, the rope which has been 
mistaken for a serpent. That thing is unreal which de- 
viates from its (once ascertained) form, as, for example, the 
serpent which comes up in idea when in reality there is. 
only a rope. Similarly Brahman, who forms the basis of 
the whole universe, is real because of the absence of devi- 
ation even in mukti. As proving false when right know- 
ledge arises, the universe is subject to deviation in mukti 
and is therefore unreal. Accordingly the Ma/^/kya-Upani- 
shad teaches the unreality of the universe in the words 
" a mere myth (may a) is this duality." f The Chhandogas, 
too, declare, by way of illustration, the unreality of pots 
and other changing forms (viksra) and the reality of clay, 
the material cause (praknti), as follows : 

" (All) changing form is a name, a creation of 
speech ; what is called clay is alone real : thus, 
Existence (Sat) alone is real." * 

Brahman is Consciousness. 

From this, |: it may follow that Brahman is the cause. 

* Clihrt. Up. 6-14. f Gaurfapoda-Karikas i 17. 
+ i.e., from the analogy of clay. 


242 bRAHMA-vibYA EXPOUNDED. [ Anciuda- Valti. 

And it may also follow that, being the cause, Brahman, 
like any other substance is a factor of an action, and is 
like clay insentient (achit). The sruti, therefore, says 
that Brahman is Consciousness. 

The meaning is : consciousness alone is absolutely real, 
while the insentient matter is real only from the stand- 
point of our ordinary worldly experience (v^yavahflra). 

The word 'jnana' means knowledge, consciousness. 
Here the word ' pana' should be derived so as to mean 
' knowledge' itself, but not " that which knows," since 
the word is used as an adjunct of Brahman along with 
' real ' and ' infinite.' 

The word 'jwraa' maybe derived in four ways : it may 
denote, with reference to the act of knowing, either the 
agent of the act, or the object of the act, or the instrument 
of the act, or the act itself; i.e., it may mean the knower, 
or the object known, or the instrument of knowledge, or 
the act of knowing. The question is, which one of these 
is here meant ? Because the word is used to distinguish 
Brahman from all else, and because it goes along with the 
adjunct ' infinite,' the word should, in all propriety, mean 
' knowledge' ; since, otherwise, it is open to many objections. 
By 'jwma' we should understand that knowledge which 
is real (i. e., unfailing,) and infinite. Thus, as standing 
best to reason, the word 'j?wna' should be derived so as 
to mean knowledge itself. (S) Elsewhere this etymology 
would make ' j/wna ' mean the act of knowing ; but, here, 
from its association with the adjuncts ' real ' and ' infinite, ' 
the word 'jana' denotes Consciousness pure and simple, 
the undiflerentiated unconditioned Consciousness. (A) 


Brahman, indeed, cannot be real and infinite if He 
were the agent of the act of knowing: how can 
Brahman be real and infinite, while undergoing change 
as the agent in the act of knowing ? That, again, is 
infinite which is not limited by anything else. If 
Brahman were the knower, He would be marked off 
from what is known and from (the act of) knowing and 
cannot therefore be infinite, as the sruti elsewhere says : 

"Where one sees nothing else, understands 

nothing else, that is the Infinite. But where one 

understands something else, that is the finite." * 

(Objection] : Since in the passage " where one un- 
derstands nothing else " it is only the knowing of 
non-self that is denied, the sruti may mean that one 
knows one's own Self. 

(Answer) : No; for, the passage is intended to 
convey a definition of the Infinite. The sruti quoted 

above, " where one sees nothing else " is intended 

to define the nature of the Infinite (Bhwman 1 . Taking 
for granted the prevalent notion that " what one sees 
is something else, (something other than one's own self), 
the sruti here gives us to know the nature of the 
Infinite in the words " where there is no seeing of 
something else, that is the Infinite." Since the words 
" something else " are used in the sruti where it seeks 
to deny what \\& prima facie understand by seeing etc., t 

* Chha Up. 7-2-4-1. 

f i. e., to deny the seeing, hearing, etc., of things beyond the 
Self. (Tr) 


the passage cannot convey the idea that one can act 
upon (i. e., know) one's own Self. Owing to the absence 
of duality in one's own Self, there can be no knowing 
of one's own Self. If the Self were the thing known, 
there would be no knower, inasmuch as the Self is 
concerned in the act only as the thing known. It 
cannot be contended that the one Self alone is concerned 
in both ways, both as the knower and as the known ; 
for, as devoid of parts, the one Self cannot be both the 
knower and the known simultaneously. Being indivisible, 
the Self cannot, indeed, be the known and the know- 
er, at the same time. Moreover, if the Self be know- 
able like a pot, etc., all instruction through the scriptures 
as to the knowledge thereof would be useless. Indeed, 
instruction as to the knowledge of what can be known 
in the ordinary way like a pot, etc., would, indeed, be 
of no use. Therefore, if Brahman be the knower, He 
cannot be infinite. If Brahmin be subject to special 
conditions of existence as the knower and so on, He 
cannot be the Existence pure and simple, and the pure 
and simple Existence alone is real, as elsewhere the 
srnti says " That is real." * Therefore the word 
'jnana.' being used as an adjunct of Brahman along 
with the words ' real ' and ' infinite, ' the word should 
be so derived as to mean knowledge or Consciousness, 
and the expression ' Brahman is Consciousness ' serves 
to dispel the notion that Brahman is an agent or any 
other factor of an action, as also the notion that He is, 
like clay, etc., an insentient (achit) thing. 

f Chh. Up. 6-3- 7. 

Ami. I. 1 BRAHMAN DEFINED. -245 

Brahman is the Infinite. 

Brahman being defined as Consciousness, it will 
perhaps be thought that He is finite, since we find that 
all worldly consciousness is finite. To prevent this 
supposition the sruti says " Brahman is Infinite." 

Brahman is infinite or endless, i. e., having no limit or 
measure. (S) 

To prevent the supposition that Brahman spoken of as 
Consciousness is finite like the consciousness of a pot, the 
sruti says that ' Brahman is infinite. : In common parl- 
ance, the word ' j;wna ' (knowledge or consciousness), which 
etymologically means ' that through which something is 
known or shines forth, ' is applied to that particular mode 
(vritti) of mind (anta/z-kara:/a), which connects a pot or the 
Iik2 with Consciousness ; and this state of mind is material 
(bhautika) inasmuch as the sruti says " formed of food 
(annamaya), verily, my dear, is manas." It stands to 
reason that such j/wna (consciousness) is limited. But here 
(in the definition of Brahman) the word is derived so as to 
mean knowledge itself and denotes the very consciousness 
(sphura;;a). As this consciousness is immaterial, it is in- 
finite, limitless. There are three kinds of limit, due respect- 
ively to space, to time, and to other tilings. Now, there 
is no limitation (in Brahman) due to space or time, inas- 
much as in the words " like akasa, He is all-pervading and 
eternal," the sruti gives us to understand that He is 
present at all times and in all places. Like His presence 
at all times and in all places, His essential oneness with all 
things is declared in the sruti as follows : 

* Ch];. Up. 6-5-4. 


"Aye, this immortal Brahman is before ; Brah- 
man is behind, on right and left, stretched 
out above, below. This Brahman is surely 
this all. He is the best." * 

So, since there exists nothing distinct from Brahman, there 
is no limitation caused by other existing things either. 
Thus, the passage means : Brahman is that which is 
distinguished from all that is unreal, from all that is 
insentient, from all that is finite. 

Brahman is not a non-entity. 

( Objection } : Since the attributives, ' Real,' etc., 
serve to merely exclude unreality and the like, and 
since Brahman, the substantive, unlike such (substant- 
ives) as ' lily,' is not known t, it would appear that the 
passage " Real, Consciousness, Infinite is Brahman," 
conveys the idea of a non-entity (szmya) like the 
following : 

" Bathed in the waters of the mirage, 
crested with sky-flowers, here goes the 
son of a barren woman, carrying a bow of 
the hare's horn." 

This objection has been started against the statement al- 
ready made that the attributives ' Real ' etc., are meant to 
exclude the unreal etc., (vide p. 238). The meaning of the 
objection is this : As a matter of fact, all substantives such 
as lily denote things which fall within the range of other 

* Mund. Up. 2211. 

t there being no source of knowledge, other than sruti, 
concerning Brahman, 

j4mi. I. 1 BRArtMAN-DEFINED. ^47 

sources of knowledge than sabda or word, whereas Brah- 
man, the substantive here, is not a thing knowable from 
any other source of knowledge than the scriptures ; and the 
mere word 'Brahman' cannot be a proof as to His existence 
and nature. And since the words ' real,' etc., are merely 
meant to exclude the unreal, etc., the passage ' Real, Con- 
sciousness, Infinite is Brahman ' cannot give us an idea 
of a positive entity. 

(Answer) : This passage does not refer to a non-entity for 
the following reasons : 

(1) We have nowhere experienced an illusion which does 
not embrace (i. e., rest on) some reality. Accordingly all 
illusion rests only on some reality. (S). 

That is to say, when the passage " Real, Consciousness, 
Infinite is Brahman, " excludes the unreal etc., it means to 
teach that Brahman is the reality lying at the basis of the 
illusory manifestation of the whole universe. (Tr). 

(2) A word such as ' lily ' conveys to us an idea of the 
thing denoted by the word ; it cannot convey an idea of the 
absence of the thing, an idea which forms the import of 
a vakya or assemblage of words. (S). 

That is to say, 'not unreal,' 'not insentient,' 'not unlimit- 
ed,' each of these is an idea that can be imported only by 
an assemblage of words, and therefore the single words 
'real' etc., cannot convey the negations referred to. 
These words, on the other hand, convey respectively the 
ideas of supreme reality, self-luminosity, and fullness 
(infinity). (A). 

(3) One grasps from a word first the thing denoted by 
the word, and then comes to know of the absence of the 


opposite, because of their mutual opposition, as in the case 
of inimical animals, the slayer and its victim (S). 

When we see a place infested with rats, we infer the 
absence there of their enemy, the cat. Similarly, from the 
word "real," etc., we first obtain the idea of supreme reality, 
and so on ; and then we infer (by artrwpatti, Presump- 
tion) :;: the absence of the opposite, of unreality and the 
like, since such contraries as reality and unreality cannot 
abide in one and the same thing. Accordingly, as knowable 
primarily from a different source of knowledge (manantara), 
the absence of what is opposed to the thing directly de- 
noted by a word cannot be the primary sense of that 
word. (A). 

(4) From a proposition (sabda) we understand, in the 
first instance, the relation ( sangati), of the substance and 
the attribute (dharmin and dharma), whereas the absence of 
the contrary is known from quite a different source of 
knowledge (manflntara) and is not therefore looked upon 
as the import of the proposition. (S). 

The proposition ' Brahman is real ' imports, in the first 
instance, the idea of the co-existence (ttfdfltmya) of Brah- 
man and reality as the substance and the attribute ; and 
then on a second consideration, namely, If Brahman is real, 
how can He be unreal ? i.e., by arth^patti or presumption 
which is a quite different source of knowledge, the absence 
of unreality in Brahman is known. Accordingly, not being 
unknowable from other sources of knowledge, the latter 
does not form the main import of the proposition. The 
meaning derived secondarily from the import of a proposi- 
tion, cannot be itself the import of the proposition. (A). 

* Vide Minor Upanishads Vol. II. p. 26, 


(5) The idea of blue does not arise without involving the 
idea of the thing that is blue ; so, too, the idea of a subst- 
ance does not arise without involving that of the attri- 
bute. (S). 

The ideas of substantive and attributive are always 
correlated, so that the sruti speaking of Brahman as Real, 
Consciousness and Infinite, cannot refer to a mere noth- 

(6) Every word such as ' blue ' primarily conveys to us 
the idea of a thing as related to something else. This is 
why there always arises the question, what is it that is 
blue? (S). 

Since no non-entity can be related to anything, no word 
in a sentence can ever denote a non-entity. (A^). 

Brahman is not a momentary existence. 

The passage cannot refer to a momentary existence 
(kshamka) either. The Vfirtikak.'ira says : 

Similarly, as may be determined by pratyaksha or 
immediate perception, it is not possible to establish the 
momentariness of anything whatever. (S). 

It is acknowledged by all that every pramana. or instru- 
mant of knowledge is such only as revealing what has 
hitherto remained unknown. And as a thing cannot be 
both known and unknown at the same moment, this 
difference must be due to its different conditions at different 
moments of its existence. Accordingly, there is no evidence 
for the momentary existence of anything whatever. The 
sruti, moreover, declares that /Itman's vision is never 
obscured, (A), 


(2) Moreover, the idea of the destruction of a thing is 
inconceivable. (A) . 

Destruction of a pot cannot take place when the pot exists; 
nor even can (the attribute of) destruction inhere in the pot. 
If it should inhere in the substance (pot) as its attribute, 
then the pot has not been destroyed at the moment any 
more than before (S). 

A pot cannot be said to have undergone destruction so long 
as it exists. Since existence and destruction are opposed 
to each other, they cannot pertain to a thing at the same 
moment. Destruction cannot take place when the pot does 
not exist ; for, what is there to be destroyed ? Perhaps the 
opponent may say : though destruction has taken place 
when the pot exists, the destruction itself has been destroy- 
ed in its turn on facing its opposite, the existence of the pot. 
As against this, the Vartikalcira says: (A). 

Do you maintain that destruction itself has been destroy- 
ed ? Then, we agree. May you live a hundred years ! My 
contention is that the pot is not subject to destruction, and 
so far you do not argue against it. The act of destruction 
cannot do away with the thing, such as a pot, which under- 
goes destruction, i. e., in which the action takes place-, 
any more than the act of going can do away with the goer. 
How can anything, which depends for its existence upon 
something else existing, do away with that other thing (S). 

Brahman defined here is a positive entity. 

Admitting that here the words ' real, ' etc,, are meant as 
mere attributives pointing to the denial of what the subst- 
antive is not, we have tried to shew that the passage refers 
neither to a non-entity nor to a momentary existence. Now 


in point of fact, as said before, the passage is meant to 
define the essential nature of Brahman in Himself and can- 
not, therefore, point to a non-entity or to a momentary exist- 
ence. So, the Bhrtshyak^ra proceeds to answer the objection 
as follows: (A). 

The objection cannot apply here, became the pass- 
age is intended as a definition. 

For Brahman to be a substantive, it is enough if we ha~v e 
an idea that He exists ; and it is not necessary that He 
should fall within the range of some other pramana. or source 
of right knowledge/ 1 '- And we form an idea of the possibility 
of Brahman's existence on the following consideration : 
Where a rope is mistaken for a serpent, we know that the 
false serpent rests on a reality, namely, the rope. Similarly, 
there should exist some reality at the basis of the whole 
manifested universe, which is false because, like the illu- 
sory serpsnt, it is a phenomenon (drisya), an appearance. 
The sruti, therefore, defines here not a mere non-entity, but 
the essential nature of Brahman who is thus presumed to 
exist. Moreover, we should understand that no specifying 
attributes of Brahman are sought here, inasmuch as Brah- 
man's essential nature is not itself known already. (A). 

We have said above t that, though they are mere 
attributives, ' real ' and other adjuncts are intended, 
in the main, to define the essential nature of Brahman. 
If the thing denned were a non-entity (swnya), the 

*As the opponent suggests. Vide ante p. 216.' 
f Vide ante p. 238. 


definition would serve no purpose.* Thus, because 
the passage is intended as a definition, we think that 
it does not refer to a mere non-entity. Though serv- 
ing to exclude the opposite, the adjuncts ' real, ' etc., do 
not, of course, abandon their own connotation. 

The word ' real ' connotes unfailing existence, the word 
'consciousness' connotes self-luminous knowledge of objects, 
and the word ' infinite' connotes all-pervading-ness. Thus, 
each of the adjuncts conveys a positive idea while exclud- 
ing the opposite, and therefore does not signify a mere 
negation. (A). 

Certainly, if the adjuncts 'real,' etc., were to connote 
mere negation (szmya), they cannot be the determinants 
of a substantive. If, on the other hand, the adjuncts 
convey positive ideas of their own such as reality, 
then we can understand how they serve to determine 
the nature of Brahman, the substantive, as distinguish- 
ed from other substantives which are possessed of the 
opposite attributes. Moreover, even the word 
' Brahman ' conveys a positive idea of its own. 

In conjunction with other words, ' real ' etc., the word 
' Brahman ' connotes a positive idea of its own, namely, 
greatness. Absolute greatness consists in being unlimited in 
space and time and being secondless ; and nothing here 
warrants a limitation of the greatness connoted by the 
word. The word ' Brahman ' connotes a being who is of 

* A non-entity need not be defined simply because it is a non- 
entity. (A). 

Ann, 7. 1 BRAHMAN DEFINED. 253 

unsurpassed or absolute greatness. This is another reason 
why the passage cannot refer to a non-entity. (A). 

The word ' Brahman ' has a known meaning of its own 
as conveyed by the root ' brih ' to grow. His Holiness 
(Sri Sankaracharya) has shewn (elsewhere), in another way, 
how the word ' Brahman ' has a definite sense of its own : 

" As Brahman is the Self of all, everybody 
knows of His existence. Every one, indeed, 
feels the existence of the Self." ' 

Thus, as the Self of all, Brahman's existence is familiar 
to every one. And that Brahman is the Self is declared 
by the sruti in the words "This here, the Self, is 
Brahman."! Thus, since the passage does not refer to a 
mere non-entity, we can understand how the words ' real, ' 
etc., serve to specify Brahman and define Brahman's 
essential nature. Otherwise, what is there to be specified ? 
or whose essential nature has to be defined ? 

Of these (attributive words), the word ' infinite ' 
constitutes a qualifying adjunct by way of denying all 
limitation, while the words ' real ' and ' consciousness' 
are qualifying adjuncts by themselves conveying some 
(positive) ideas of their own. 

The exclusion of the opposite is, as was already shewn, J 
only an implication, not the primary import of the 
words. (5) 

* VliJe the Bhashya on the Vedraita-siitras, Vol. I, p. 14 
(S. B. E). 

fMam?. Up. 2. 
Vide ante pp.247-248. 


As one with the Self, Brahman is infinite. 

Since in the passage " From Him, verily, from this 
Self (/4tman), was akasa. born, ''* etc., the word ' Self 
G4tman) is used with reference to Brahman, Brahman 
is the very Self of the knower. And in the words " He 
unites with this blissful Self "t the sruti declares that 
Brahman is the Self. And also because of His 
entrance : in the words "having created it, He entered 
into that very thing, t " the sruti shews that Brahman 
Himself has penetrated into the body in the form of 
jwa. Brahman is, therefore, the knower's own Self. 

Brahman will be spoken of as " one hid in the cave, " 
and again as the Self (^trnan) in the words " From Him, 
verily, from this hitman here, was flk^sa born "8 From these 
two passages we may conclude that the words ' Brahman ' 
and 'hitman' denote one and the same thing.' Do you main- 
lain that the Supreme Brahman is spoken of as distinct 
from the conscious Self ?j| Then how could the distinction, 
alleged to be taught by the Scripture as an absolute truth, 
be ever set aside ? :|;:;: If the Self be not in Himself the 

Taitt. Up. 2-1. find. 2-8. I Ibid. 2-6. 

Ibid. 2-1. i. c, as the witness of the buddhi, i. c., ncrnin 
as the Self pitman) (A) Ibid. 

^[ Therefore Brahman cannot be limited by the Self. (A) 

|| In such passages as " who abides in the Self (Jtman) " 

etc., Bri. Up. 3-7 (Madbyandma-/$akhaJ (A) 

**That is to say, inasmuch as it could not be set aside, we 

should understand that the aruti merely reiterates the distinction. 

as set up by illusion, with a view to teach unity, (A) 

Anil. /.] BRAHMAN DEFINED. 255 

Supereme Brahman, how can His nature be altered by the 
mere command * of the sruti, how can it be altered by 
something else (i. c., by constant meditation of the unity ?) 
From him who directs his mind to the Inner Self, who has 
rid himself of all attributes alien to the Self, and who has 
then attained, in accordance with the teaching of the 
scriptures, the knowledge that ' I am Brahman', how can 
the Supreme be different from him ? If all such attributes 
GS " not gross," I be held to be the attributes of Brahman 
who is distinct from the Self, of what avail are they, all of 
them being alien to the Self ? If, on the other hand, they 
are the attributes of the Self, they serve to obliterate the 
idea of all distinction between the Self and Brahman. The 
sruti :|: opens with the word ' Brahman ' and ends with the 
word '/Itman'. Each of the words ' Brahman' and 'yltman' 
will find its complete signification only when it includes the 
connotation of the other, and this is not possible if Brahman 
and /itman were two distinct entities. (S). 

Brahman is the eternal, infinite, independent 

(Objection) : If so, Brahman being the Self, He is 
the knower, the agent of the act of knowing. It is a 

* The alleged Vedic command being "Let, the mind dwell in 

the thought that ' than art That'. "(A) 

t Bri Up. 3-8-8. 

J The passage here referred to is "Tell me Brahman who is 
visible, not invisible, the Self (^tinun) who us \vithiu all" 
Bri.Up, 3 i-l.-(A). 


well-known fact that the Self is the knower. " He de- 
sired :"* in these words the sruti gives us to understand 
that he who has desire is the knower. t Thus, as 
Brahman is the knower, it would not be proper to speak 
of Brahman as knowledge or consciousness.* It would 
also make Brahman non-eternal. If Brahman were 
knowledge, i. e., the dhatvartha, the root-sense, the 
very act of knowing, then Brahman would be non- 
eternal. And then Brahman would also bo relative or 
dependent ; for, the act signified by the root ' jna ' to 
know depends upon the operation of karakas or acces- 
sories of action ; and knowledge or consciousness being 
here the meaning of the root, it is non-eternal and de- 

(Answer}: No; for, as it is not distinct from the 
essential nature (of the Self), knowledge or consciousness 
is spoken of as an effect, only by courtesy. Conscious- 
ness is the essential nature of the Self (.4tman); it is 
not distinct from the Self, and it is therefore eternal. 
Now to explain : The manifestations in the form of 
sound, etc., of the buddhi, which is an upndhi of (the 
Self), and which, passing through the eye and other 
sense-organs, puts on the forms of sense-objects, are 

*Bri. Up. 1-2; 1-4. 

f And as shewn in the Tarka-sustras or the Sciences of Logic, 
it is but proper that the Self MtniauJ is an agent f S) 
J As was done before. Vide ante p. 2t'J. 

Ami. I. ] BRAHMAN DEFlNEt). 

objects of -4tman's consciousness ; and whenever they 
arise, they become permeated by /Itman's consciousness; 
and it is these manifestations of buddhi, illumined by 
the /Itman's consciousness and spoken of as 
consciousness itself, which constitute the meaning of 
the root ' jna' = to know and are imagined by the 
undiscriminating men to be the inherent attributes 
(dharmas) of /Itman Himself, changing every now 
and then. 

The changes which take place in the buddhi are ascribed 
to the Self owing to non-discrimination. The Self is not 
the agent in the act of knowing, because knowledge or 
consciousness which is the essential nature of the Self is not 
distinct from Him. It is the buddhi which gives rise to the 
cognitions, and its agency is ascribed by courtesy to the 
Witness thereof. For, the buddhi gives rise to vrittis or cogni- 
tions permeated by /Itman's consciousness all embraced by 
the consciousness as sparks of incandescent iron (are per- 
meated by fire). On seeing that these cognitions to which 
the buddhi has given rise are all set with Consciousness, 
the ignorant think that Consciousness itself is produced, 
though It is eternal, immutable (Kwfastha). What other 
witness can be cited to prove the agency of that Witness 
whose evidence is the only one men have as to the manifesta- 
tion and obscuration of the buddhi ? As Consciousness is 
unaffected prior to the rise of any particular state of buddhi, 
so, too, even on the rise of that state, Consciousness remains 
unaffected, as our own experience proves. (S) That is to 
say, there exists no evidence to prove that any change has 
taken place in Consciousness which witnesses the absence 



as well as the presence of a state of buddhi. The Witness- 
Consciousness remains unaffected by the state of buddhi 
while merely witnessing the absence or presence of buddhi's 
modes. (A) 

As to Brahman's Consciousness, however, it is, like 
the sun's light or like the heat of the fire, not distinct 
from Brahman's essential nature (svampa) ; nay, it is 
the very essential nature of Brahman, not dependent 
on any external cause, inasmuch as it is His own 
eternal nature. As all beings are undivided from 
Him in time and space, as He is the cause of time and 
flkasa and all else, as He is extremely subtle, to Him 
there is nothing unknowable, however subtle, conceal- 
ed and remote it may be, whether past or present or 
future. Wherefore, Brahman is all-knowing. And 
there is also the following mantra : 

" Without hands, without feet, He 
moveth, He graspeth ; eyeless He secth, 
earless He heareth. He knoweth what 
is to be known, yet is there no knower 
of Him. Him call they first, mighty, 
the Man."* 
The Sruti further says : 

" Knowing is inseparable from the knower, 
because it cannot perish. But there is 
then no second, nothing else different 
from Him that He could know."t 

*veta. Up, 3-19. fBri. Up. 4-3-30. 


Because Brahman is not different from the Conscious 
one (Self) and has not to rely (for His Consciousness) 
on the sense-organs and other instruments of knowledge, 
we must understand that, though essentially of the 
nature of Consciousness, Brahman is yet eternal. His 
Consciousness is not what is connoted by the root 
(namely, the temporary act of knowing), inasmuch as 
It is immutable. And for the same reason, Brahman 
is not the agent of the act of knowing. 

Brahman is beyond speech. 

For the same reason, Brahman cannot be designated 
by the word ' jwana'. On the other hand, by the word 
'j;wna' which refers only to a semblance of His 
(Consciousness) and denotes a state (dharma) of 
buddhi, Brahman is indicated, but not designated, 
inasmuch as Brahman is devoid of attributes such as 
genus (quality, act, etc.), through denoting which 
words can be applied to things, and inasmuch as the 
word refers to the same thing to which ' real ' and 
' infinite ' refer. 

As Brahman illumines agents and acts, words which 
designate agents and acts can but remotely indicate the 
Supreme Brahman; they do not directly designate Him. 
Brahman's Consciousness, which is inseparate from all, 
which is immutable and is not different from Brahman, is 
immanent in all as their Innermost Self. (S) 

Neither can Brahman be designated by the word 
'Real.' Being in His essential nature devoid of all 


alien elements, Brahman, when defined as real, is only 
indicated by the word which denotes the genus or 
universal of being (satta-samanya) in the external 
world. Brahman cannot indeed be primarily denoted 
by the word ' satya '. 

Accordingly, in their close mutual proximity, the 
words ' real, ' etc., determine the sense of one another ; 
and while thus shewing that Brahman cannot be 
directly designated by the words ' real ' etc., they 
serve also to indicate the essential nature of Brahman. 

These words, without giving up their own meaning, 
indicate the nature of the Supreme by eliminating every 
thing alien to His nature and removing the ignorance which 
is the root of all illusion. ' Real ' and other words used here 
have different meanings only in so far as they serve to 
eliminate different ideas such as unreality. When the 
elimination has taken place, all these words point to the one 
essential nature of Brahman, which is not therefore a 
complex idea conveyed by an assemblage of words 
(vrtkya). (S) 

Hence the unspeakableness of Brahman by a word, 
as the sruti declares in the following words : 

" Whence (all) words return without 
attaining, as also manas."* 

" He finds his fearless mainstay in the 
Unuttered, in the Homeless."! 

*Tftitt. Up. 2-4, 1JW. 2-7, 

. I.] 


Hence, too, is He, unlike the blue lotus, not denoted 
by an assemblage of words. 

All such passages as these can have a meaning only when 
Brahman is of the nature described above. 

Thus (the meaning of the words in the definition is as 
follows) : The word ' real (satya) ' signifies immutability 
(ktastha-trt), and the word ' jwma (knowledge) ' conscious- 
ness. Consciousness being in itself immutable (and forming 
the nature of Brahman), the knower, (i. c., the Witness, 
Brahman) is infinite (ananta), i. e., One. (S). 

' Real, ' etc., construed as specifying attributives. 

Though in reality there is only one Brahman and no 
more, still, as associated with uprzdhis which are unreal, 
insentient, and limited, three other Brahmans belonging to 
the same genus of Brahman as the Real Brahman, but who 
are respectively unreal, insentient, and limited, may appear 
to exist, from the stand-point of an ignorant person. 
Accordingly, the words ' real ', etc., serve to distinguish the 
Brahman meant here from the other Brahmans. 

' Real ' etc., construed as defining attributives. 

But when the passage is regarded as a definition, it 
serves to distinguish the one Brahman from the up^dhis 
which belong to a different genus altogether. Elsewhere, 
for example, the sruti has defined the Infinite (Bh^man) by 
distinguishing It from all ordinary consciousness which is 
triple (tripufo'), i. e., which always comprises the three ele- 
ments of perceiver, perception and percept. The Chhando- 
gas read as follows ; 


" Where one sees nothing else, hears nothing 
else, and understands nothing else, that is the 
Infinite." * 

Here the sruti teaches that the Infinite is that thing in 
which the threefold consciousness of one seeing another is 
absent and thus points to the Reality which is beyond all 
ordinary experience by distinguishing It from everything 
else. Similarly, here, too, we may understand that in the 
words ' real, ' etc., the sruti defines Brahman to be untinged 
with unreality and so on by way of distinguishing Him 
from all that is unreal. 

' Real, ' etc., define Brahman by mutual 

Now, when construed as mere (specifying) attributives, 
the three words ' real,' ' consciousness,' and ' infinite '- 
combine together by way of governing the meaning of one 
another and point to the essential nature of Brahman. 

To explain : The word ' real,' which means absence 
of brtdha or liability to prove false, denotes three kinds of 
reality, namely (i) Pratibhasika or pertaining to illusion, 

(2) Vyrtvarmrika or pertaining to practical or ordinary life, 

(3) Prtramarthika or absolutely true. In the case in which 
the mother-of-pearl is mistaken for silver, the silver does 
not prove false so long as the illusion (pratibhasa) lasts, and 
this sort of reality is therefore spoken of as Pratibhasika. 
Earth and other elements of matter, as also the body (san'ra) 
and other material compounds, do not prove false in our con- 

* Chhand. Up. 7-24-1, 

Ami. 7.1 BRAHMAN DEFINED. 2&3 

sciousness of practical life, and their reality is therefore 
spoken of as Vyavaharika or pertaining to ordinary or 
practical life. Not proving false even after the attainment 
of the knowledge produced by the Vedanta (Upanishad), the 
reality of Brahman is Paramarthika or absolutely true. The 
word ' real ' applied to the three kinds of reality alike, 
points here to Brahman, as it is governed i.e., as its applica- 
tion is restricted by the words ' consciousness (piana.} ' 
and ' infinite (ananta).' The real of the illusory and the 
ordinary consciousness are neither conscious nor infinite. 
Even the word ' j;wna (knowledge or consciousness),' applied 
alike to Consciousness (Chit) and to the vnttis or modes of 
buddhi, points here to Brahman whose essential nature is 
Chit or Consciousness, since the use of the word is restricted 
by the words ' real ' and ' infinite.' Certainly, unlike Brah- 
man, the buddhi-vnttis or states of mind are neither 
absolutely real (abadhya), i. c., beyond all liability to prove 
false, nor devoid of the three * kinds of limitation. The 
word ' infinite', too, applied alike to the akasa. which is 
unlimited in space and to Brahman who is devoid of all 
kinds of limitation, applies to Brahman alone when its use 
is restricted by the words ' real ' and ' consciousness,' for 
the reason that akasa is neither consciousness nor absolutely 
real. Thus governing one another, the three words ' real,' 
' consciousness ' and ' infinite ' point to Brahman who is 
immutable, conscious, and secondless. So the teachers of 
old say : 

* Vide ante pp. 24-5, 240. 

264 bRAHMA-vibYA EXPOUNDED [Ananda-Vatli. 

"'Real' means immutable, 'j;wna(knowledge)' 
means consciousness, and ' infinite ' means 
one. Thus by the three words is Brahman 

Of the three words, the word " infinite " denotes Brahman 
by merely excluding all else, whereas the words "real " and 
"consciousness" refer to Brahman by primarily signifying in 
themselves immutability and consciousness and incidentally 
excluding falsity and insentiency (jrtrfya) as the Vartikakflra 
has said.* There the V^rtikakflra has said that the 
idea of exclusion is not the primary import of the 
sentence and that it is derived from another source of 
knowledge. This other source of knowledge is the inex- 
plicabilfty of a coexistence of the pairs of opposites reality 
and unreality, consciousness and unconsciousness. 

It is true that the relation (here imported) of substance 
and attribute is not real ; still, it does form a gateway to 
the knowledge of Brahman in His true nature in the 
same way as a reflection, which is false in itself, leads to a 
knowledge of the real object, or in the same way as the 
seeing of a woman in a dream indicates the good that is to 
come. In so far as from the three adjuncts we thus get a 
knowledge of the essential nature of Brahman, they 
constitute a definition of Brahman. 

Brahman defined as the Real. 

Or, each of these adjuncts is in itself an independent 
definition of Brahman. The unreal, namely, ajnana and 

* Vide ante p. 248. 


its effects, being excluded by the word ' real, ' there 
remains one thing alone, the indivisible (akhanrfa) Conscious- 
ness, i. e., Brahman. The attribute of reality, which has 
thus hinted at the essential nature of Brahman, is itself 
an effect of aj/wna and therefore false ; and as such it is 
excluded by the very word ' real. ' The kataka* dust, for 
example, when dropped into the muddy water, removes 
the muddiness, and itself disappears. Or, to take another 
example : a drug swallowed for the digestion of the food 
already eaten causes the digestion of itself and of the food. 
It should not be supposed that, as the attribute of reality 
is thus excluded, it will follow that Brahman is false. For, 
unreality has been already excluded. On the disappearance 
of the kataka dust, for example, the former muddiness does 
not again appear ; nor, when the drug has been digested, 
does the food again become undigested. Both reality and 
unreality having been thus excluded, the result is to define 
that Brahman is attributeless. Does any one imagine that 
such a thing is non-existent ? He should not ; for then the 
Thing cannot be Existence (Sat) and the Self (Hitman). 
The Chhandogas declare ' Brahman is Existence and the 
Self.' Having begun with the Reality under the designation 
' Existence (Sat) ' in the words " Existence alone, my dear, 
this at first was " they read " That is real (satya), That the 
Self (/Itman). "f Thus the very thing that is here (in the 

* The clearing-nut, a seed of the plant Strychnos Potatorum, 
which being rubbed upon the inside of the water-jars occasions 
a precipitation of the earthy particles diffused through the 
water and removes them, 

t Chhrt, Up. 6-9-4. 


266 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED [An aiida-'V alii. 

Taittin'ya-upanishad) spoken of as ' real ' is in the Chhan- 
dogya-Upanishad declared to be Existence and the Self. 
Certainly, Existence cannot be non-existent, any more than 
light can be darkness. We have already refuted the idea 
of the non-existence of the Self by citing the bhashyakara's 
(Sankarachflrya's) words." Moreover, Brahman cannot be 
non-existent, because He is the basic reality whereon rests 
the illusory notions of reality, falsity, and so on. There can, 
indeed, be no illusion without an underlying basic reality. 
To this end, the Chhandogya-Upanishad first expounds, 
as the opponent's view, the theory of Non-existence in the 
words, " On that, eerily, some say that Non-existence alone 
this at first was, one alone without a second ; from that 
Non-existence the existence was born ; " then it condemns 
that theory in the words " How, indeed, my dear, can it be 
thus?, he said, how can existence be born of Non-exist- 
ence ? ;" and then finally it concludes with the theory of 
Existence, as its own, in the words " Existence alone, verily, 
my dear, this at first was, one alone without a second."! And 
this theory alone is consistent with experience. If, on the 
other hand, Non-existence were the upadana or material 
cause of the universe, (i. e., if the universe is made up of 
Non-existence), then the whole universe would present itself 
to consciousness in association with non-existence, thus : 
earth does not exist, water does not exist, and so on. But 
the universe is not so regarded. Wherefore, Brahman, the 
Cause of the Universe, is Existence itself. Just as in the 
Chhandogya are expounded the merits and faults of the 

* Vide ante p. 263, f Op. cit, 6-2-1, 2. 

Anil. I. 1 BRAHMAN DEFINED. 267 

theories of Existence and Non-existence in regard to 
Brahman, the Cause, so also here in the Taittin'ya Upani- 
shad will be expounded the merits and faults of the theories 
of Existence and Non-existence with reference to Brahman 
in His aspect as the Inner Self (Pratyagatman) : 

" Non-being, verily, doth one become if he 
doth Brahman as non-being know. Brahman 
is! if thus one knows, they then as being 
Him do know." ::: 

The Kashas also read, " ' Ha exists' thus alone is He to be 
known. " f Therefore, though actually devoid of the attri- 
bute of reality or being, still, as the basic reality whereon 
rests that illusory notion, Brahman is Being, Existence 

(Objection] : If a thing cannot exist in either of the only 
two possible alternative modes of existence, no other mode 
of existence is indeed possible. On this principle, we think 
that it does not stand to reason that Brahman is devoid 
of both the attributes, reality and unreality. 

(Answer]: Not so. It is possible, as in the case of a 
eunuch (napuwsaki). A eunuch is neither of the male sex 
nor of the female sex. So here. 

(Objection) :- The existence of this third class of persons 
is proved by immediate or sensuous perception. 

(Answer) : If so, Brahman also is known from the sruti 
(to be neither real nor unreal.) 

* Taitt, Up. 2-6. fKatfia. Up. 6-13. 


(Objection] : But, in the words " Brahman is real, " the 
sruti says that Brahman is denoted by the word ' real ' and 
thus admits of the attribute of reality. 

(Answer) : No, because of the sruti declaring that Brah- 
man is beyond speech in the words, " whence all words 
turn back."* But the word ' real ' which in common par- 
lance is applied to the real of our ordinary consciousness, 
and which, on the strength of the attribute of such reality 
falsely ascribed to Brahman, excludes the opposite attribute 
of unreality, points to the real Brahman, the mere Existence 
devoid of both the attributes, just as a person extracts by 
one thorn another that has pierced into his sole, and then, 
casting aside both, leaves the sole alone. Thus, the defini- 
tion that ' Brahman is real ' is faultless. 

Brahman defined as Consciousness. 

(Objection): As jnana. (knowledge, consciousness), Brah- 
man may be concerned in an act. Jwma may mean either 
that by which something is known, or the very act of 
knowing. In the former case, Brahman becomes an 
instrument in the act of knowing, and in the latter He 
becomes an act. But, properly speaking, Brahman cannot 
be either. " Partless, actionless, tranquil ;"f in these words 
action is altogether excluded. Therefore the definition of 
Brahman as jwana is fallacious. 

(Answer): Not so. Like the word 'real (satya), ' the 
word ' consciousness (j;?ana) ' also is a lakshana, an indicator. 
The root, in itself, denotes only a mode of mind (buddhi- 

*#veta. Up. 6-19, fTait. Up. 2-4. 


vritti). Accordingly in the Upadesa-sahasn it is said : 
"The pitman's semblance (abhasa.) is the 
agent, and the act of buddhi is the meaning 
of the root. Both these, combined together 
without discrimination, form the meaning of 
the word ' knows. ' Buddhi has no conscious- 
ness, and the Atman has no action ; so that, 
properly speaking, neither of these can alone 
be said to know."* 

The word ' jnana, ' which denotes primarily the buddhi 
or mind having consciousness reflected in it, and manifest- 
ing some sense-object as sound, touch, and so on, ascribes 
to Brahman the attribute of cognition, with a view 
first to exclude inertness and insentiency (jarfatva) from 
Brahman and then to indicate the true nature of Brahman 
as devoid of even that attribute, i. e., as the Pratyagatman 
(Inner Self), as the Eternal Consciousness. All this has 
been clearly explained by the Vartikakara.f The sruti says : 

"Sight is indeed inseparable from the seer."]: 
" As a mass of salt has neither inside nor 
outside, but is altogether a mass of taste, 
thus, indeed, has the Self neither inside 
nor outside, but is altogether a mass of 
knowledge. " 

In these passages the sruti declares that the Self is one 
Eternal Pure Consciousness, and it is the actionless Self of 

* Op. cit. (Verse) xviii. 53-54. f Vide ante p. 257- 

J Bri. Up. 4-3.23, Ibid, 4-5-13, 

270 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. M 11(111(1(1- Vttll'l . 

this nature that is here hinted at by the word *j;wna 
(consciousness) '. Therefore the definition that Brahman is 
Consciousness is free from all faults. 

Brahman defined as the Infinite. 

(Objection) : The definition that Brahman is the Infinite 
excludes the three kinds of limitation, so that, it follows 
that Brahman has the absence of limitation for its attribute. 
To say, for instance, that there is no pot here on this piece 
of land is to signify that the piece of land has the abssnce 
of a pot for its attribute. Accordingly, the passage cannot 
point to one Indivisible Essence (akhaw^a-eka-rasa). 

(Answer): When limitation of Brahman by a second 
thing is excluded, even abhava or non-existence as 
something distinct from Brahman has been excluded : so 
that the word ' infinite ' first predicates of Brahman an 
association with abh^va or non-existence, which is itself a 
product of maya, with a view to exclude limitation, and 
then excluding, on the principle of the kataka dust," even 
that abhflva, it points only to the One Essence, the One 
Existence. Thus alone can we explain the sruti which says 
elsewhere, " Existence alone, my dear, this at first was." 
Therefore the definition of Brahman as the Infinite is 
faultless. Accordingly the Vartikak^ra says : 

" As the 6elf is the womb of time and space, 
as the Self is the All, as nothing else exists, the 
Supreme Self is absolutely infinite. 

* Vide ante p. 265, 


" There can be indeed no limitation of the 
Uncreated Reality by the fictitious. Time and 
other things (we experience) here are all ficti- 
tious, because of the sruti ' mere creation of 
speech is all changing form.' ' 

Other definitions of Brahman. 

On the same principle of construction that has been adopt- 
ed in interpreting the expression ' Brahman is real, ' we 
should construe, as forming each an independent definition, 
such words as 'bliss (ananda), ' 'self-luminous (svayaw- 
jyotis), ' ' full (pwrwa), ' occurring in the passages like the 

" Consciousness and Bliss is Brahman. " f 
" There he becomes the self-luminous Purusha. J" 
" Full is That, Full is This. " 

Accordingly, bliss and other attributes should be gathered 
together in this connection. Such plurality of definitions 
is due to the plurality of the popular illusions concerning 
the nature of Brahman which have to be removed ; and 
Brahman is not, on that account, of many kinds. It is the 
Unconditioned (Nir-visesha) alone that all the definitions 
ultimately refer to. 

The principle of the gathering together (upasawh^ra) 
of bliss and other defining adjuncts in this connection has 
bsen discussed in the Ved<mta-stras III. iii. 11-13 as 

* Tait. Up. Vavtika, Brahmavallf, 134135. 
f Bri. Up, 3-9-28. J Ibid. 4-3-9. Ibid. 5-1-1. 

272 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. [A.nanda-Valll. 

(Question) : The Taittinya-Upanishad describes the Sup- 
reme Brahman as ' Bliss,' < Real,' and so on in the follow- 
ing passages : " Bliss is Brahman ; " " Real, Consciousness, 
Infinite is Brahman. " The question is : Is it necessary or 
not necessary to take into account these attributes of Brah- 
man when studying the teaching of the Aitareyaka and 
other Upanishads concerning the Supreme Brahman, 
as contained in such passages as " Consciousness (prajwzna) 
is Brahman ? "* 

(Prima facie view}: Not necessary, because such attribu- 
tes are peculiar to the Vidyfl (up^sana) inculcated in that 
particular upanishad, as in the case of the attributes like 
" the Dispenser of blessings. " To explain : In the 
Upakosala-Vidya, Brahman is spoken of as " the Dispenser 
of blessings, " " the Dispenser of Light, "!' and so on, while 
in the Dahara-Vidya, He is spoken of as " one of unfailing 
desires and unfailing purposes. "J But the attributes 
mentioned in the one Vidya are not to be taken into account 
in the other. A similar assortment should be made here 
in the case of ' bliss ' and other attributes. 

(Conclusion] : The two cases are not quite analogous. 
Since the attributes such as " the Dispenser of blessings " 
are mentioned where specific courses of contemplation are 
enjoined (for specific purposes), each group of attributes 
should be held quite apart from other groups in strict 
accordance with the injunctions. But the attributes such 
as ' bliss ' are calculated to give rise to a knowledge of Brah- 
man, and, as such, they do not form subjects of injunction. 

*Ait. Up, 5-3. f Chh, Up. 4-15-3, 4- Jl&id, 8-1-5. 


Accordingly, since there is no room at all here for injunction 
pointing to a particular assortment of attributes, and since 
all of them alike are calculated to lead to a knowledge of 
Brahman, they should all be taken into account in 
determining the essential nature of Brahman. 

Brahman is unconditioned. 

That Brahman is unconditioned has been discussed in 
the Vedanta-s^tras, III. ii. 11-21 as follows: 

(Question) : Is Brahman conditioned or unconditioned ? 

(Prima facie view] : " This Brahman is four-footed :' I:;: in 
such words as these the sruti declares Brahman to be 
conditioned. " Not gross, not subtle:"! in these words the 
sruti declares Brahman to be unconditioned. Therefore, 
Brahman actually exists in both ways. 

(Conclusion) : It is the Unconditioned that is taught in 
the scriptures, inasmuch as it is the Unconditioned that 
other sources of knowledge cannot tell us anything about. 
On the contrary, Brahman, conditioned as the author of 
the universe, can be known by a process of inference such 
as the following : the earth and all other things must have 
a cause because they are effects. Therefore, when in the 
upasana section the conditioned Brahman is presented for 
contemplation, the sruti only reiterates the nature of 
Brahman as ascertainable from other sources of knowledge. 
But that is not the idea concerning the nature of Brahman 
which the sruti aims, in the main, to inculcate. We should 
not, however, suppose that Brahman really exists in both 
ways, as made out respectively by inference and from the 

Chlia. Up. 3-18-2. fBri. Up. 3-8-8. 


274 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. Altailda- Vdlll. 

sruti. To say that one and the same thing is both condi- 
tioned and unconditioned is a contradiction in terms. Thus, 
inasmuch as the notion that Brahman is conditioned does 
not constitute the chief aim of this teaching, it must be a 
mere illusion ; and therefore Brahman is in reality 
unconditioned. It is this Brahman, the One Indivisible 
Essence, that is referred to in the passage ' Real, 
Consciousness, Infinite is Brahman.' 


Having thus explained the nature of Brahman in the 
first foot (quarter) of the verse which is calculated to 
unfold the meaning of the aphorism " the knower of Brah- 
man reaches the Supreme," the sruti proceeds to explain, 
in the remaining portion of the verse, the nature of the 
knowledge and of the attainment of the Supreme referred to 
in the aphorism. 

" .... ^r %5 ftfcf g^rat w* ^rfR 

" ^ \\\\\ 

2. " ....Whoso knoweth the one hid in the cave 
in the highest heaven attains all desires together, 
as Brahman, as the Wise." 

He that knows Brahman of the nature described 
above abiding in the cave in the highest heaven 
attains all desires without any exception : he enjoys all 
the pleasures that one may desire, he enjoys them all 
simultaneously, as one with the Omniscient Brahman. 

What it is to know Brahman. 

(Objection] : As one with the knower, the Supreme 
Brahman cannot be a thing that the knower may seek to 
attain, And since there is no (knower) other than Brahman, 


how can it be said " whoso knoweth the one hid in the 
cave," and so on ? (S). 

If Brahman and the Self be identical, there can be no 
knower, nothing knowable, no knowledge. How can there 
be a knowing of Brahman at all ? 

(Answer) : All statements as to the knowing of Brahman, 
as to the attainment of all desires, and as to mukti, are 
figurative. The V^rtikakara says : 

The knower attains the one who is (ever) attained, by 
the mere cessation of nescience on attaining to the consci- 
ousness of the absence (in Brahman) of unreality and other 
such attributes as have been set up by his ignorance 
of (the true nature of) Brahman as real etc. Thus alone 
does a person come to know (Brahman) though already 
known ; thus alone does the Self come to be liberated 
though already liberated ; thus alone does nescience cease 
to exist though really it never existed. I can swear thrice 
to it.* So, with the vision obscured by agency and other 
attributes ascribed (to the Self) by avidya, one fails to see 
Brahman in His true nature as real, etc. , though He 
is one's own Inner Self. Wherefore, when on the cessation 
of avidyfl the vision is fully open at all times, one devours 
away all notions of duality such as the knower, and sees the 
Inner Self (Pratyagatman) (S) 

Just as a person comes to know that he is the tenth 
man on hearing the statement " thou art the tenth, " f 

*i. e., I assort this on the authority of the scriptures which 
say " One alone without a second " and so on (A), 
f Yide ante the note on page 20tJ. 

Ami. I. ] SUMMUM BONUM. 277 

though evidently the knower, the thing known, and know- 
ledge are not really different from one another, so also, in 
pursuance of the teaching of the sruti, a person may come 
to know also that he is himself Brahman. So long, how- 
ever, as he does not know that he himself is Brahman, the 
illusion that he is a j^va does not cease by the mere 
knowledge of Brahman (the Cause). He should, therefore, 
know that one's own Inner Self ' hid in the cave ' is id- 
entical with Brahman. 

The Avyakrita as ' the highest heaven.' 

The cave (guha, from the root ' guh 'to hide) the 
buddhi (the intellect), is so called because therein are 
hidden all things, such as the knower, knowledge, and 
the knowable ; or because the human ends, enjoyment 
and liberation, are therein hidden. In the buddhi is the 
highest heaven, i. c., the highest akasa (lit., the bright 
one) known as the Avyakrita, the Undifferentiated. 
That (the Avyakrita),* indeed, is the highest t akasa, 
because of its nearness to ' Akshara' (the Supreme Brah- 
man) as shown in the following passage : 

" Here, O Gargi, in this Indestructible 
One (Akshara) the akasa (Avyakrita) is 
woven like warp and woof."t 

* Here follows the reason why akasa (Vyoman) is interpreted 
to mean the Avyakrita, not the element of matter known as 
akasa (A). 

f Tho material akasa is low in comparison with the Avyakrita ; 
the latter may, therefore, be spoken of as the highest akasa, (A) 
+ BH. Up. 3-8-11. 


In so speaking of Brahman being " hid in the cave 
in the highest heaven,"* the sruti refers to the state of 
things as they are. For, there is no evidence that any one, 
other than Brahman denned as real, etc., dwells within the 
buddhi. The devotee, having then (on hearing the teaching 
of the sruti) completely withdrawn his mind from all things 
that are not real, etc., enters into what dwells within the 
mind and realises the Self (^tman), the Real (S). 

That is to say, on hearing the teaching of the sruti that 
Brahman, who is devoid of all conditions of cause and effect, 
lies hidden in the Avyaknta, the cause of Buddhi, the 
devotee who belongs to the highest class of the students of 
Brahma- Vidya, i. e., whose mind is turned away from all 
unreal, insentient and limited objects (which are painful in 
themselves) completely (i. e., without cherishing the least 
doubt or misconception regarding their real nature) first 
conceives Brahman as the Cause ; and then, seeing that all 
effects as well as their absence (abhava) are mere illusions 
having no real existence apart from Brahman, the Cause, 
and seeing also that Brahman, the Cause, is not distincl from 
Brahman who is neither the cause nor the effect, he comes 
to the conclusion that the Witness of the buddhi is really 
none other than Brahman who is the Real, Consciousness, 
the Infinite, and Bliss. (A). 

Thus, with a view to point out the means of realising the 
unity of Brahman and the Self, the sruti has taught to us 
in the words " hid in the cave, in the highest heaven, "- 

* i. e., in the Avyakrita. The Avyakrita is Brahman unknown 
(ajwata). When removed by ignorance from the Self, i. e., when 
unrecognised as one with the Self, Brahman is called the 
Avyakrita and forms the Cause of.the whole universe. (A) 

Ann. /.] SUM^UM BONUM. 275 

that Brahman who is beyond all causes and effects, who 
lies in the Avyaknta, in the Brahman that abides in the 
buddhi as the cause lies in the effect. (S. & A). 

The ' cave ' is the five kosas (sheaths of the Self) in 
their aggregate. So we have elsewhere said : 

" Behind the physical body there is prana. ; be- 
hind prana., there is manas ; behind that again 
is the agent (kartn) ; behind this again is the 
enjoyer (bhoktn). This series is the cave." * 

The Avyaknta, the cause of these five kosas, is here 
spoken of as the ' highest heaven.' The nature of the 
Avyaknta has been described by those who are acquainted 
with the tradition as follows : 

"The nescience concerning ^tman, with a 
semblance of consciousness in it, is the Avya- 
knta, the cause of the two bodies (the gross 
and subtle bodies, the sttwla and swkshma 

And the sruti also shews in the words " That, verily, 
the Avyaknta then this was. "I that, before evolution, 
this whole universe was the Avyaknta. To be the Avya- 
knta is to be in an unmanifested condition. On account of 
Its similarity to akasa in so far as both are alike incorporeal 
(uirwrta), the Vajasaneyins speak of the Avyaknta as akasa 
in the Akshara-Brahma/ja, where Gargi puts a question 
and Yajavalkya answers : 

(Question): "In what is the akasa (Avyaknta) woven, 
like warp and woof ?" J 

* Vedanta-Panchadasi, -J-2, t Bri. Up. l-i-7. J Ibid. 3-8-7, 


(Answer) : " Here, indeed, in the Akshara, O Gargi, is 
the akasa woven like warp and woof. " * 

As the cause of the five elements of matter (including 
akasa. commonly so called, the air, and so on) this (Avya- 
knta) akasa. is the highest. The Supreme Brahman abides 
in this highest akasa,. It is no doubt true that the universe 
including the Avyaknta and the five elements abides in 
the imperishable Supreme Brahman called Akshara, since 
the universe is 'superimposed upon Him who is the basic 
reality underlying all. Still, the budclhi (intellect) of the 
seeker of knowledge (realisation) dismisses from its view 
all external objects of sense (sound, etc.,) and entering within 
through the annamaya and other kosas up to the Avyaknta, 
it realises the true nature of Brahman as transcending the 
universe. It is, therefore, from the standpoint of the one 
who seeks realisation, that Brahman is spoken of as though 
He were abiding in the Avyakrita, here spoken of as " the 
highest heaven." 

Or, t the words ' cave ' and ' heaven ' may be con- 
strued as put in apposition to each other. Then the 
' cave ' is the Avyaknta-akasa itself ; and being the 
Cause and the subtlest, the Avyaknta, too, has all 
things contained within It in the three times (past, 
present, and future). Within this cave of the Avya- 
krita, Brahman lies hidden. 

Such is the construction put upon this part of the passage 
by some commentators. (A). 

* Bri, Up. 3811. 

f i. e., instead of construing ' cave' and 'heart 'as Vyadhi* 
karana, as referring to two distinct tilings, one being located in 
the other. (A.) 

Ann. I. "I SUMMUM .BONUM. 281 

They construe ' cave 'and ' heaven,' as we have seen, in 
two ways: (i) as vyadhikaraua, referring to two distinct 
things, to buddhi and (Avyflkrita) Brahman respectively, 
whereof the latter is located as it were in the former, as the 
cause (such as clay) is located (i. e., is constantly present) 
in all its effects (such as pot) ; (2) as samanrtdhikarawa, as 
referring to one and the same thing, the Avyaknta Brahman 
being the cave wherein all things are contained, as the 
effects are all contained in the cause. (Tr). 

The akasa of the heart as the ' highest heaven.' 

Now Sankaracrmrya proceeds to give what he considers 
to be a better interpretation : (A). 

But it is proper to understand by " the highest 
heaven " the heaven or akasa* of the heart, inasmuch 
as ' the haaven ' is intended as vijnana-anga, as an 
aid to the realisation or immediate knowledge (of Brah- 
man). That the ' heaven ' or akasa of the heart is the 
highest is clear from another passage of the sruti which 
says : 

" And the akasa which is around us is 
the same as the akasa which is within us ; 
and the akasa which is within us, that is 
the same as the akasa which is within the 
heart. "t 

The (material) akasa. in the heart is supreme when 
compared with the akasa. outside the heart. It is the 
akasa wherein the buddhi rests. (S) 

*i- e., the material (bluita) akasa enclosed in the heal't. (A^, 
fCuha, Up. U-12-7,8,9. 


The thumb-sized akasa which, as all know, exists within 
the heart-lotus is itself spoken of as ' the highest heaven.' 
It is but proper to speak of the akasa. in the heart as the 
highest one when compared with the akasa outside the 
body and the akasa within the body, inasmuch as the akasa. 
within the heart is the seat of the satrmdhi and the sushupti 
states of consciousness which are free from all pain, 
whereas the other two are seats of the jagrat (waking) 
and svapna (dream) states of consciousness. In that akasa. 
lies the ' cave, ' the buddhi, so called because the triple 
consciousness comprising the knower, knowledge and the 
known, as well as the Java's enjoyment and liberation 
caused respectively by illusion and discrimination, are 
located in the buddhi. 

In the material akasa. of the heart lies the buddhi (the 
understanding) ; and in the buddhi dwells Brahman ; i. e., 
Brahman is manifested in the buddhi This interpretation 
of the passage stands best to reason. For, then, it amounts 
to saying that as one with the Seer, -with the Witness, 
with the Self, 'Brahman is the Immediate (aparoksha) . 
Otherwise, i. e., if the passage be interpreted to mean that 
Brahman dwells in the Universal Being (Samashtfi), i. e., 
in the Avyrtknta or Maya, it would follow that Brahman is 
remote (paroksha). Then, owing to its remoteness, the 
knowledge thus imparted cannot remove the illusion of 
sawsflra which is a fact of immediate perception. Because 
the sruti intends to teach that, as one with the Seer or the 
Immediate Consciousness within, Brahman is immediate, 
dwelling in every one's own heart, therefore we should 
understand that the akasa. of the heart is the ' heaven ' here 
gpoken of. Then alone can the sruti impart to us an 

Ann. /.] SUMMUM BONUM, 283 

immediate knowledge of Brahman. (A) 

Brahman ' hid in the cave ' is one's own Self. 

In this 'heaven ' of the heart there is the cave, the 
buddhi or understanding ; and there (in the cave) is 
Brahman hidden ; which means that Brahman is 
clearly perceived through the vritti or state of the 
buddhi. In no other manner,* indeed, can Brahman 
be related to any particular time or place, inasmuch as 
He is present everywhere and devoid of all conditions. 

The Self (^4tman) is spoken of as lying in the buddhi 
because the idea that the Self is the doer and the enjoyer 
has arisen from His contact with matter (/. e., with the 
anta/j-kara/za, the inner sense, the buddhi), or because 
Brahman is perceived through the state (vntti) of the 
buddhi free from Tamas and Rajas, as the sruti elsewhere 
says " By manas alone can Brahman be seen." f The 
buddhi is spoken of as a cave because those who have 
turned their mind inward see Brahman quite hidden in the 
buddhi, beset with kama and avidya. (S). 

Brahman is said to be hidden in the buddhi because it 
is in the buddhi that Brahman is perceived. It is, indeed, 
there that Brahman dwells as the Inner Self. Though 
Brahman is one's own Self, He is not perceived by those 
whose minds are directed outward, veiled as He is 
by kflma, avidya and so on. But He is perceived by 
those whose minds are turned inward, since in their case 
the veil of kama and avidya is torn away. 

* than as being clearly perceived through the buddhi. (A) 
f Bri. Up. 4-4-19, 


With a view to remove the duality involved in the idea 
that the Supreme Brahman is knowable by the knower, 
the sruti here teaches that the Knowable is "in the cave in 
the highest heaven," i.e., in the knower. * (S). 

(Objection) : If jzva and Brahman, the knower and the 
Knowable, were identical, then, since j/va is a sawsarin, it 
would follow that Brahman also is a sa;;zsflrin, and then 
nobody would seek to attain Brahman. (A). 

(Answer) : He who has been all along treading the path 
of ends and means, enters at last, in his own Self, 
the Supreme, who is altogether unrelated to ends and 
means. (S). 

That is to say, the j/va, the safft&frin, who has all along 
been acting with the hope of attaining svarga and other 
objects of desire by means of sacrificial rites, realises at 
last as one with his own Self the Supreme Brahman, 
who is neither an end nor a means. When even the 
sawsrtrin thus ceases to be a sawsflrin, where is room for the 
objection that our interpretation makes Brahman a sa;- 
srtrin by speaking of His identity with j/va who is a saw- 
srtrin. (A). 

Attainment of the Supreme Bliss. 

What of him who thus realises Brahman? He en- 
joys all desires, i.e., all desirable pleasures, without any 
exception. Does he enjoy them alternately one after 
another as we enjoy sons, svarga, and the like ? The 
sruti answers : No; simultaneously he enjoys them all 

* i. e., again, that Brahman is the same as the Witness and no 
more, and that the Witness is the same as Brahman and no 
more. (Aj. 

Ann. L ] SUMMUM BONUM, 285 

amassed together at one and the same moment in one 
single consciousness, which, like the sun's light, is 
eternal and inseparate from the true nature of Brahman, 
and which we have described as Real, Consciousness 
and Infinite. This is the meaning of the words " to- 
gether, as Brahman." The enlightened sage becomes 
Brahman ; and, as Brahman Himself, he enjoys all 
pleasures simultaneously, not like the man of the 
world who enjoys pleasures one after another, his 
true Self being limited by an upadhi and so forming 
a mere reflection as it were like the sun's image in 
water, and partaking of the nature of samsara, while 
his pleasures are dependent on dharma and other 
causes, on the eye and other sense-organs. How then 
(does he enjoy the pleasures) ? In the manner men- 
tioned above : he enjoys all pleasures simultaneously, 
as he is identical, in his true essential nature, with 
Brahman the Omniscient, the Omnipresent, the 
Universal Being ; while his pleasures are not de- 
pendent on dharma and other causes, or upon the 
eye and other sense-organs. ' The wise' means ' the 
omniscient.' Indeed, nothing short of omniscience 
can be properly called wisdom. Himself being omni- 
scient and Brahman, he enjoys all pleasures. The 
word ' iti' (in the original = thus), added to the 
mantra at the end, is intended to mark the close of the 
mantra quoted. 

So long as the consciousness of agency remains, there can 
be no enjoying of all pleasures at one moment. According- 
ly the sruti says tha-t he enjoys them all as Brahman. 

286 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED, [Ancindci-V alii . 

If the sruti be interpreted to mean that he enjoys all the 
pleasures along with Brahman, thus implying duality, 
then Brahman would not be one with the Inner Self. It 
is not even possible to think that the Supreme Brahman, 
defined as " Real, Consciousness, Infinite" is external to the 
Self. Since the word ' saha' is a mere particle, :|: it cannot 
be contended that the word means ' along with' and nothing 
else. So, the passage means that the sage who has known 
Brahman enjoys all pleasures simultaneously. When all 
that is unreal, etc., has been removed by the right know- 
ledge of Brahman, there exists nothing else except the 
Self (/Jtman). Accordingly, as Brahman, the wise, the 
sage attains all pleasures at one and the same moment. 
Nothing else besides the Inner Self is found abiding within 
the cave of the heart. Wherefore, to him who has real- 
ised Brahman (defined as Real, Consciousness, Infinite), 
Brahman is the same as the Inner Self and none other. 
To shew that there exists none to be known and attained 
other than the wise man himself, ' Brahman' and ' the wise' 
are grammatically put in apposition to each other, thus 
denoting that the two words refer to one and the same 
thing. By the one consciousness which admits of no 
sequence, he comprehends all pleasures occurring in a 
sequential order, as the sruti elsewhere says : 

" But as to the man who does not desire, who, 
not desiring (and) freed from desires, is satis- 
fied in his desires, or desires the Self only," 
At the beginning, at the end, and in the middle, the minds 

* A particle (nipatn) can have more meanings than one. (A) 
f Bri. Up. 446, 

. /.] SUMMUM BONUM. 287 

working in all the innumerable bodies are indeed permeated 
by the one undifferentiated Consciousness experiencing none 
separate from the Self. Since the knower of Brahman has 
attained all desires, which are the stimuli of all kinds of ac- 
tivity, he no longer enters on any pursuit whatever, for want 
of a motive. Avidya is the source of all desires, and all acti- 
vities grow out of desires. Activity gives rise to Dharma 
and Adharma, and these give rise to the body which is the 
seat of evil. Therefore, in the case of the wise sage, 
immediately on the destruction of avidyrt follows a complete 
cessation of all the phenomena (of mind) which are the 
main-springs of all activity. (S). 

In the words " he attains all pleasures," etc., the sruti 
explains what the attainment of the Supreme is which was 
spoken of in the aphorism. The knower of Brahman 
attains simultaneously all pleasures experienced by all be- 
ings of life. The man without the knowledge puts on, one 
after another, bodies of different kinds as the result of his 
own actions (karma) ; and then, in the form of jz'va, a 
reflection of his own true Self caused by his connection 
with the upfldhi, like the sun reflected in water, he enjoys 
pleasures through the eye and other sense-organs as 
the Vrtrtikakara has explained above. 

(Objection) : A mantra in the Muw/aka-Upanishad de- 
clares the existenca of two sentient entities in the body, in 
the following words : 

" Two beauteous-winged companions, ever 
mates, perch on the self-same tree ; one of the 
twain devours the luscious fruit ; fasting, the 
other looks on." ' :! 

* Op, cit. 314, 

288 BRAHMA-V1DYA EXPOUNDED [AnCindd-V dill. 

Of the two, it is the jzva, the enjoyer, limited by the uprtdhi 
and forming as it were a reflection of the true Self, and 
having only one body who comes by enjoyment ; whereas 
it is by the Witness, the non-enjoyer, the Absolute Conscious- 
ness called Brahman, who, as free from all up^dhis, is pre- 
sent everywhere, it is by Him that the whole world of 
objects of enjoyment is illumined. This is common to the 
wise and the ignorant alike. Under such circumstances, 
we ask, on what special ground is it spoken of as the result 
attained by the wise man ? 

(Answer): We answer: the wise man, realising that 
Brahman who illumines all objects of enjoyment is one 
with himself in his true nature, feels quite happy. But the 
ignorant man does not feel in that way. 

(Objection] : Just as the pleasures of all beings are illumin- 
ed by the consciousness of Brahman, so, too, all the miseries 
of all beings may be illumined by that consciousness. By 
this consciousness of the miseries, the wise sage may also 
feel pain. 

(Answer] : No, because of the absence of all taint of 
misery in Brahman, the Witness. Accordingly, the Ka/has 
read : 

" Just as the sun, the eye of all the world, is 
not besmirched with outer stains seen by the 
eyes ; so, that one inner Self of all creation is 
never smeared with any pain the world can 
give, for it standeth apart." 

(Objection) : Neither is Brahman affected by happiness 
any more than by misery. 

Kafha-Up, 5 U. 


(Answer) : True. Brahman is not affected by happiness. 
But bliss is the very nature of Brahman, as the sruti declares: 
" Bliss is Brahman, he knew." :;: 
" Consciousness and Bliss is Brahman." | 
Though Bliss is the very nature of Brahman, it puts on 
the form of a sensual pleasure (vishay^nanda) when limited 
by a state of mind (chitta-vritti). In his longing pursuit 
after an object of desire, a man feels miserable on 
failing to obtain it ; but when at any time that object is 
obtained in virtue of a past merit (puw-ya), his longing for it 
ceases, and then his mind is turned inward and thrown into 
a peculiar sattvic state (vritti). The mind in that state com- 
prehends a portion of Brahman's Bliss within, and this 
limited Bliss is called vishay^nanda, the sensual pleasure. 
This is the meaning of the Brihadarawyaka when it says: 

"This is His highest bliss. All other creatures 

live on a small portion of that bliss.".]: 

It is these sensual pleasures (vishayananda) those small 
bits of Brahman's Bliss snatched by the sattvic vrittis and 
experienced by all living beings from Brahma (the Four- 
faced) down to the plant which are here referred to by the 
sruti in the words " he attains all desires". "Desire" here 
means that which is desired. It is pleasures, not miseries, 
that are desired by all beings of life. The Brahmavid, the 
person who has realised Brahman, disregards, in virtue of 
his right knowledge, all limitations in these pleasures which 
are due to the vrittis or states of mind ; and then he realises 
as Brahman that residual essence which has been thus liber- 
ated from all limitation and whose essential nature is Bliss 

* Taitt-Up. 36. f Bri-Up. 3928. 

J Op. cit. 4332. 



and Bliss alone. Then, he feels happy in the perennial 
thought that all that is worth achieving has been achieved 
and that all that is worth attaining has been attained. It is 
this happiness which distinguishes the wise sage from the 


The relation of the sequel to the foregoing. 

The subject-matter of the whole valU (Book II), 
expressed in an aphoristic form in the Brahmana pass- 
age (Chapter II) "The knower of Brahman reaches the 
Supreme," has been briefly explained in the mantra 
(Chaps. Ill and IV). Again with a view to determine 
at greater length the meaning of the same passage, the 
sruti proceeds with the sequel which forms a sort of 
commentary thereon. 

Mantra and Brahmana. 

The Veda consists of two portions, Mantra and Brah- * The Brahmavalh' f falls under the category of 
Brahmana. Br^hmawa again is eight-fold. And the eight 
varieties of Brahma;m are enumerated by the Vajasaneyins^: 
as follows : 

i. Itihasa or story " Bhngu, the son of Varu/za, once 
approached his father Varu^a," and so on. 

* Mantra and Bruhmaua are thus distinguished : Mantra is 
that portion of the Veda which consists of prayers or hymns or 
words of adoration addressed to a deity or deities and intended 
for recitation. Brahmami is that portion of the Veda which 
contains rules for the employment of the mantras at various 
sacrifices, detailed explanations of these sacrifices, their origin 
and meaning, with illustrations in the way of stories and 

f Or Jlnandavalli as ,Saukaracharya calls it. (Tr). 

I Bri, Up. -1 19. Taitti. Up. 31. 


2. Puvana (cosmogony): the portion treating of sarga 
and pratisarga, primary and secondary creations : such as 
" That from which all these creatures are born," etc. * 

3. Vidya or Upnsana : the contemplations, such as are 
enjoined in the words " Whoso should contemplate these 
great conjunctions thus declared," etc. t . 

4. Upanishad or instruction in the secret wisdom : In 
the Lesson XI (Exhortation) in the Sikshavallt, it has been 
said " This is the secret of the Vedas." 

5. Slokas or verses : such as those to be quoted in the 
sequel of this Book, ^nanda-vall/. 

6. Sutm or aphorism such as " the knower of Brahman 
reaches the Supreme." 

7. Anuvydkhydna or a short succinct gloss, such as "Real 
Consciousness, Infinite is Brahman," etc., "' where the 
words of the swtra are succinctly explained one after 

8. Vydkhydna or a clear exhaustive exposition of that 
point in the anuvy^khyana which needs further explanation. 
The passage forming the text 'of the present chapter is a 
Vyflkhyana, because of the evolution (snsh^i) being described 
there with a view to explain how Brahman is infinite as de- 
clared in the Anuvyakhy^na. So the Vakyavnttikara says : 

" Do thou know That which the sruti (first) 
declares to be infinite, and to prove whose 
infinitude the sruti then says that the universe 
is evolved from it." 

The evolution which will serve to shew that Brahman 
is infinite, the sruti describes as follows: 

* [bid. t Ibid. 1-3. J Ibid-. 1-11. Ibid. -2-1. If 


: \\\\\ 

3. From That, verily, from This Self is 
(ether) born; from akasz, the air; from the 
air, fire; from fire, water; from water, earth; 
from earth, plants ; from plants, food : from 

food, man. 

Brahman is absolutely infinite. 

Now, in the beginning of the mantra it has been 
said "Real, Consciousness, Infinite, is Brahman". 
How can Brahman be real and infinite? 

It has been taught in the mantra that one's own Self is 
Brahman who is the Real, Consciousness, and the Infinite; 
who is beyond the five kosas; who is the Fearless ; who is 
described in the s^stras as invisible" and so on. Then the 
question arises, how can Brahman be such ? (S) That is 
to say, like all things which are marked by the threefold 
limitation, Brahman is also a thing divided from other 
things, and like them He must be finite, unconscious and 
unreal. How can Brahman be the Real, Consciousness, 
and the Infinite ? (A) 

We answer : :: Brahman is infinite in three respects 

* Brahman being the cause of time, space, and all, He is in- 
finite in all three respects, and as such He is the Real and 
Consciousness ; so that it is now necessary to show first that He 
is the cause of all ; and when it is shewn that Brahman is 
infinite in all three respects, it will necessarily follow that He is 
the Heal and Consciousness. (S). 

294 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. [Anaiida-V alii . 

in respect of time, in respect of place, and in respect 
of things respectively. A kasa for example, is infinite* 
in space ; for, there is no limit to it in space. But 
A kasa is not infinite either in respect of time or in 
respect of things. Why ? Because it is an effect 
(karya). t Unlike akasa, Brahman is unlimited even 
in respect of time, because He is not an effect. What 
forms an effect is alone limited by time. And Brahman 
is not an effect and is therefore unlimited even in 
respect of time. So, too, in respect of things. How 
is He infinite in respect of things ? Because He is in- 
separate from all. That thing, indeed, which is seperate 
from another forms the limit of that other; for, when 
the mind is engaged in the former, it withdraws from 
the latter. The thing which causes the termination 
of the idea of another thing forms the limit of that other 
thing. The idea of the cow, for instance, terminates at 
the horse ; and because the (idea ofj cow thus termi- 
nates at the horse, the cow is limited, finite. And 
this limit is found among things which are separate 
from one another. There is no such separation in the 
case of Brahman. He is therefore unlimited even in 
respect of things. 

Here one may ask : How is Brahman inseparate 
from all? Listen. Because He is the cause of all 
things. Brahman, indeed, is the cause of all things, 

* Because akasa, is the prakriti or material cause of all \\i-.\r 
exists in spa'-e. An effect is, indeed, a part of the c-aiise. ;iiul 
does not exist elsewhere outside the cause. (S). 

t i. e., it is bora in time. And akasn is not infinite as a thing ; 
for, there are other things bey ides aku&u. 


time, akasa, and so on. 

( Objection ) : Then Brahman is limited by other 
things, in so far as there are other things called effects. 

(Answer) : -No, because the things spoken of as 
effects are unreal. Apart from the cause, there is indeed 
no such thing as an effect really existing, at which the 
idea of the cause may terminate ; and the sruti says : * 
" (All) changing form (vikara) is a name, a creation of 
speech," etc. (vide ante p. 2^1). So, in the first place, 
as the cause of akasa, etc., I Brahman is infinite in 
space ; for, it is admitted by all that akasa is unlimited 
in space. And Brahman is the cause of akasa. From 
this it may be concluded that (.4tman) is infinite in 
respect of space. Indeed an all-pervading thing is 
never found to arise from that which is not all-pervad- 
ing. Hence the yltmairs absolute infinitude in point 
of space. Similarly, not being an effect, /Itman is in- 
finite in point of time ; and owing to the absence of 
anything separate from Him, He is infinite in respect 
of things. Hence His absolute reality. 

Since thus the threefold infinitude of Brahman and the 
unreality of all causes and effects have to be clearly shewn 
in the sequel, we should understand that it is the true nature 
of Brahman as real, etc. , which the sruti expounds in the 
sequel by way of describing the evolution of the universe, 

* What is real or not imaginary cannot be limited by what is 
imaginary; and that time, etc., are imaginary is shewn in the 
srnti quoted hero. (S) 

f and therefore one with all things. 


and that the evolution does not form the main subject- 
matter. (S. & A.). 

Identity of Brahman and the Self. 

" From That " : ' That ' here refers to Brahman as 
described in the original aphoristic expression. " From 
This Self": ' This ' here refers to Brahman as subse- 
quently] denned in the words of the mantra. From 
Brahman who has been first referred to in the aphoris- 
tic passage of the Brahmawa section and next defined 
in the words " Real, Consciousness, Infinite is Brah- 
man," from Him, from Brahman here, from Him 
who is spoken of as the Self (/Itman), is nknsa born. 
Brahman is indeed the Self of all, as the sruti else- 
where says " That is real, That is the Self.* And thus 
Brahman is .4tman. From Him, from Brahman who 
is here in us as our own Self, is akasa born. 

Since in the words ' the knower of Brahman reaches the 
Supreme,' the sruti tells us that by mere knowledge of 
Brahman one attains Brahman ; and since the word ' wise ' 
in the expression " as Brahman, the wise, "is put in apposi- 
tion to ' Brahman,' thus showing that Brahman and the wise 
man are one and the same, we understand that the Self and 
Brahman are identical. And in the passage we are now 
construing, ' That ' and ' This ' are put in apposition to 
each other ; so that, here also, the sruti evidently implies the 
identity of Brahman and the Self. Indeed the word ' Self 
does not primarily denote anything other than our own 
Inner Self. " From me all this is born ; in me it is dissolv- 
ed in the end ; alone I support all this : " these words of 

* Chha. Up. 687. 


the scripture also, speaking of the Self as the cause of the 
universe, point to the identity of the Self and Brahman, 
since there cannot be two causes of the universe. (S). 

The Thing spoken of as ' Brahman ' and ' Supreme ' in 
the aphorism is here referred to by the word ' That ' signify- 
ing remoteness. And the Thing spoken of as ' Real ' etc., 
and as ' hid ' in the verse just preceding the passage we 
now interpret and forming a sort of commentary on the 
aphorism is here referred to by the word ' This ' signifying 
proximity or immediateness. 'Verily' shews certainty. These 
three words imply that the Thing spoken of in the aphorism 
and the Thing spoken of in the verse are one and the same. 

Or, the word ' That ' denoting remoteness (paroksha) 
points to the Thing in Its aspect as Brahman which is 
revealed by /Sruti. The word ' verily ' signifies that such 
Brahman is declared in all Upanishads. The word ' this ' 
implying immediateness (pratyaksha ) denotes the aspect of 
the Thing as one's own immediate consciousness. To make 
this clear, the word ' Self ' is used. The words ' That ' 
and ' This,' put in apposition to each other and referring 
to one and the same thing, imply oneness ( tadatmya. ) of 
the Self and Brahman. It is this oneness that is signified 
in the preceding verse by the words ' Brahman' and ' wise' 
being put in apposition to each other and thus referring to 
one and the same thing. 

Brahman is the material cause of the universe. 

That the Supreme Brahman who is the Inner Self of all 
living beings is the praknti or material out of which the 
ether ( akasa. ), air, and all other born things are made is 
denoted by the ablative-case-termination ' from.' Pawni 



says that the ablative denotes the praknti, the material, of 
which the thing that is born or comes into being is made 
up. " Akasa is born:" this means that akasa passes 
through birth, is the agent in the act of being born or 
coming into being. So, the ablative termination signifies 
that Brahman is the upadana-kara^a, the material cause, of 
akasa. ' Praknti ' literally means that of which the effect 
is essentially made, and it therefore denotes the material cause, 
such as clay. It is true that even the potter, the efficient 
cause, has a share in producing the pot ; still, in the 
production thereof, the potter's share is not so important. 
The potter, indeed, is not constantly present in the pot pro- 
duced, in the same way as clay is present. Thus, because 
of the importance of its share in the production of the effect, 
the upadana or material cause alone is meant by the word 
' Praknti.' 

(Objection): It is Maya, not Brahman, that is the 
material cause of the universe. So the Svetasvataras read : 

"Maya, indeed, as praknti man should know, 
and as the owner of Maya the Mighty Lord." : 

(Answer): The objection has no force, because Maya is 
only a sakti or power of Brahman and as such has no 
independent existence. That Maya is only a sakti or power 
of Brahman is declared in the same Upanishad as follows : 

" Of Him is no result, no means of action ; 
none like to Him is seen, none surely greater. 
In divers ways His power (sakti) supreme is 
hymned, His wisdom ( and ) His might dwell 
in Himself alone." f 

* Op cit. -1 10. t Op. cit. 68. 


" Such men, by art of meditation, saw, in its 
own modes concealed, the power of the 

No sakti or power can ever indeed detach itself from its 
seat (rtsraya) and remain independent. Therefore, to say 
that Maya, which is a power, is the prakn'ti is tantamount to 
saying that Brahman who possesses that power is the pra- 
knti. The word '/Itman' in the ablative case here refers 
to the Pararrmtman (Supreme Self), the Mahesa (Mighty 
Lordj, the Mflyin ("possessor of the Maya), the praknti of 
the Universe. From Him, from the Paramatman who is 
the Mrtyin, akasa was born. That is to say, it is the Para- 
matman Himself that is manifested in the form of the aka- 
sa., air, etc. 

The three Theories of Creation. 

The uprtd<ma or material cause such as clay gives rise to 
a pot which is quite distinct from clay. The material cause 
such as milk is itself transformed into curd. The material 
cause such as a rope, combined with ignorance, turns out to 
be a serpent. The philosophers of the Nyaya school 
declare, on the analogy of clay and pot, that the universe 
comprising earth and so on is newly created out of atoms. 
(paramrt;ms) ; whereas the Sankhyas declare, on the 
analogy of milk and curd, that the Pradhana composed of 
the guwas, Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas, transforms Itself 
into the universe composed of Mahat, Ahankara, etc. But 
the Vedrtntins declare, on the analogy of rope and serpent, 
that Brahman Himself, the One Partless Essence, the Basic 

* Op. cit, l',l 


Reality underlying the whole imaginary universe, puts on, 
in virtue of His own Maya, the form of the universe. Of 
these three theories, the theory of creation and the theory 
of transformation, the Arambha-vrtda and the Pari/wma- 
vrida, have been refuted in the 5*r*raka-M*m/ims& (the 

How far the Nyaya theory is right. 

How then, it may be asked, to explain the theories pro- 
pounded by the two great /?ishis, Gautama and Kapila 1 
We answer thus : The two theories have been propounded 
to help the dull intellects and refer to secondary or minor 
evolutions (avantara-snshtis). The Great /?ishi, Gautama, 
taught the creation of earth, etc. , out of the atoms, with a 
view to impart instruction concerning jiva and /svara to him 
who, following the views of the Lokayatas or materialists, 
identifies himself with the body; who, not knowing that 
there is a self distinct from the body and going to svarga or 
naraka, does not observe the Jyotishfoma and other sacri- 
ficial rites; and who, not knowing that there exists /svara 
whom he should worship, does not practise the contempla- 
tion of /svara which leads him to Brahma-loka. A krtsa, 
time, space, and atoms having been once evolved from the 
Supreme Brahman, the First Cause, the process of further 
evolution from that point may correspond to the account 
given by Gautama and others of his school. How 
is the Vedflntin's theory violated by it ? So far, the Maya 
theory is not vitiated by it, inasmuch as Gautama's 
false theory false because it is drisya, an object of consci- 
ousness external to the Self has been generated by the very 
Maya which gives rise to the illusion of sawzsara of wonder- 
ful variety in all beings of life from Brahma down to plants. 


How far the Sankhya theory is right. 

On the same principle, it may perhaps be urged, the 
Evolution described in the Vedanta fUpanishad) is also an 
illusion. We admit that it is an illusion, and it is the very 
object of the Yed^nta to teach that the whole creation is 
an illusion. Just as Gautama's endeavour is to teach to the 
duller intellects (rnandadhikflrins) that there is a soul dis- 
tinct from the body who is the doer of actions and who is 
capable of going to svarga, so the great sage, Kapila, 
taught the Sankhya-sastra with a view to impart to men of 
average intellect: (madhyamadhikarins) a knowledge of the 
Conscious /Itman, -the mere Witness, free from agency 
and attachment of every kind, and thus to prepare them 
for Brahma-jnana. In the S<rakhya-sastra, Evolution in 
some of its later stages prior to the Evolution of 
atoms is described in order to enable the student to disting- 
uish between Chit and Achit, Spirit and Matter. Where 
there is Brahman alone who is the One Partless Essence, 
Maya sets up two distinct things such as chit (sentient) and 
ja^/a (insentient), sets up many individual souls distinct 
from one another, and sets up Giu/as such as Sattva, Rajas, 
and Tamas. The subsequent process of evolution may 
correspond to the account given in the Sflnkhya system. 

Similarly, the Saiwzgamas treat of the evolution of eleven 
tattvas or principles prior to the evolution of the twenty - 
five described in the Sankhya, with a view to clear the 
conception of /svara, the object of all worship. 

All accounts of Evolution contribute only 
to a knowledge of Brahman. 

The Sruti, however, has here described just a little of the 
Evolution beginning with akfisa, only by way of illustra- 


tion. An exhaustive description of the evolution is indeed 
impossible and is of no avail. This description of evolu- 
tion is intended as a means to the knowledge of Brahman, 
and this purpose is served by a description of even a part of 
the evolution. That the evolution serves as a means to the 
knowledge of Brahman is declared by Gaurfapadacharya in 
his memorial verses on the Maw/ukya-upanishad as follows : 

" Evolution as described by illustrations of 
earth, iron, sparks of fire, has another impli- 
cation; for, they are only means to the reali- 
sation of the Absolute ; there being nothing 
like distinction." :|: 

No contemplation or knowledge of evolution in itself is 
declared anywhere as a means to a distinct end. Nowhere 
does the sniti say " Let a man contemplate evolution ;" 
or " the knower of evolution attains to well-being." Hence 
it is that all accounts of evolution given in the sruti, the 
smnti, the ngama, and the purawa have been accepted by 
the Vartikakara : 

" By whatever account (of evolution) a know- 
ledge of the Inner Self (Pratyagatman) can be 
imparted to men, that here (in the Vedic 
Religion) is the right one ; and there is no one 
(process)fixed for all." I 

There can be no rule that, of the various dreams seen by 
many, a certain one alone should be accepted and not the 
rest. Let us not discuss more, lest we may say too much. 

* Op. cit 315, f Bri. Up. Vartika, 1-4402. 


Unreality of Evolution. 

Seeing that Brahman is inseparate from all, changeless, 
one, neither the cause nor the effect, it is not possible to 
maintain that evolution takes place in the Supreme Brah- 
man Himself. All things other than Brahman should 
because of that very fact of their being other than Brah- 
man be regarded as effects. And since Bahman is not the 
cause, I there can be no cause of evolution. If the cause of 
evolution lies in the very essential nature of Brahman, 
then since Brahman's presence is constant, the universe 
must be constant, which cannot be ; for (every thing 
that is born has its birth in time and space, and) there 
cannot be another time and another space in which that 
time and that space can have their birth. (S). 

Evolution (of the universe from Brahman) was not (in 
the past), because Brahman is not of the past ; and Brah- 
man was not of the past because He is the cause of 
time. (S) That is to say, Brahman, the alleged creator, is 
unrelated (asanga) to anything else and is therefore unrela- 
ted to the time past. And unlike pots, etc., Brahman is not 
conditioned or limited by time. Such association with time 
as is implied in the statement that He is the cause of time 
is a mere maya. (A). And the evolution (of the universe 
from Brahman) will not take place in the future, since 
(Brahman) is not of the future ; and He is not of the future 
because no change can ever arise in Brahman. Evolution 
does not take place in the present because Atman is ever 
secondless and immutable. Therefore, from the standpoint 

j- i.e., since Brahman is eternal and immutable (Kfcistha)-( A; 

304 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED [Anaildd- V ttlll 

of the real state of things, the evolution of the universe from 
Brahman never was, nor is, nor is yet to be. It is quite as 
meaningless to speak of the evolution as having taken 
place in the past or as taking place now or as yet to take 
place in the future, as it is meaningless to speak of an 
atom as a camel. Therefore avidya alone is the cause of the 
evolution. (S.) 

The universe, again, must have been existent or non- 
existent as such before its birth. It could not have been 
non-existent, since then it could have no cause. If the 
universe were non-existent, how could there have been that 
relation between it and the cause, in virtue of which the 
universe should come into being ? Neither could the 
universe have existed as such prior to its birth ; for there 
would be nothing new in the effect. Moreover, birth, des- 
truction and other changes to which all things in the 
universe are subject cannot themselves be subject to birth, 
destruction and so on, and must therefore be eternal and 
immutable; for, to speak of the birth of birth involves the 
fallacy of infinite regress (anavastha): which is absurd. -(S&A) 

As the triple time (past, present and future) has its 
origin in avidya, it cannot be the cause of the universe. 
For the same reason, neither Karma nor Devas, nor /svara, 
nor anything else can be the cause. The birth of the uni- 
verse, its continuance (sthiti) and its dissolution, all these 
occur every moment. The sruti indeed declares that the 
creator (kartri,) generates the universe by his mind and acts. 
As a moon is generated by the eye-desease called timira, so 
is akasa born of Brahman tainted with avidyri, which has 
neither a beginning nor a middle nor an end. What is 
thus evolved cannot stand even for a single mom ent ; 


whence its permanence ? To the deluded vision it appears 
permanent like the serpent generated by avidy# out of the 
rope. He who is attacked by the eye-desease (timira.) thinks 
of the moon-light born of it as something external to himself ; 
similarly one looks upon the (universe) evolved (out of the 
Self) as distinct from the Self (S). 


Akasa. is that thing which has sound for its property 
and which affords space to all corporeal substances. 

The akasa thus evolved out of the material cause (upa- 
dana) namely, Brahman combined with Maya, partakes 
of the nature of both Brahman and Maya. Brahman has 
been described as Real, and this means that Brahman is 
Existence ; for, having started with the words " Existence 
alone, my dear, this at first was," the sruti concludes 
" That, the Existence, is Real." : Akasa partakes of (the 
nature of Brahman as) Existence, inasmuch as it presents 
itself to our consciousness as something existing. Maya 
means wonder ; for, when houses, mountains, etc., are 
swallowed by a juggler, people say "this is maya." Just as 
the appearance of a reflected image of the vast expanse of 
heaven in an imporous mirror of solid bell-metal is a 
wonder, so the appearance of akasa in Brahman is a wonder, 
it being inconceivable how akasa can make its appearance 
in Brahman who is impenetrable, who is the pure essence 
of Bliss and Bliss alone, who is Real, Consciousness, and 
Infinite. Since none but a juggler can swallow houses and 
mountains, others call it a wonder ; similarly, since none 
of the ji'vas can create akasa and other things which have 
been created by /svara, those things are a wonder to us. 

* Chha. 6. 

39 ' 


In so far as akasa is thus something wonderful, it partakes 
of the nature of Maya. But the power of akasa. to afford 
space to all (corporeal) things constitutes its own peculiar 
nature. " Akasa, is a wonderful thing affording space :" in 
this form akasa. presents itself to our consciousness as 
partaking of the nature of Brahman and Maya. And it has 
sound for its property. The echo heard in mountain-caves 
etc., is supposed to be inherent in akasa. and is therefore 
said to be the property of akasa.. 

Evolution by Brahman's Will and Idea. 

The will (kama) and idea fsankalpa*,) alone concerning 
the evolution of akasa. which, as has been shewn above, 
has mere sound for its property and affords space to all 
corporeal substances pertain to the Brahman endued 
with Maya. His will (kama) takes the following form, " I 
will create akasa.." His idea (sankalpa) is the thought " let 
akasa, (of the said description) come into being." Brahman 
being devoid of mind, it is true that no idea in the form of a 
mano-vntti or mode of mind is possible. Still His Maya, 
the unthinkable power (achintya-sakti), transforms itself 
nto the two vnttis or modes called kama and sankalpa, will 
and idea. That in virtue of His unthinkable power (sakti) 
all experience is possible for Brahman though He is devoid 
of sense-organs is declared by the sruti in the following 

words : 

Without hands, without feet, He moveth, 

He graspeth ; eyeless He seeth ; ( and ) 

earless He heareth." I 

All acts (karmas), which were done by sentient creatures 
in a former evolution and were then unripe, remain during 

* = the imagining f SVeta-Up. 3 19. 


the time of pralaya (dissolution of the universe) in the 
Brahman endued with Maya and slowly ripen. When the 
acts become ripe, He creates the world in order that the 
creatures may enjoy the fruits of those acts. This has been 
declared in the Tattvaprakosika, a digest of the teaching of 
the Saiva-^gamas: 

" Out of mercy to all living beings who have 
been wearied in sawsnra, the Lord brings 
about the Great Dissolution of all things 
for the repose of those very beings. Again, in 
virtue of their acts having become ripe, 
the Supreme Lord, out of mercy to the souls 
(pasus), brings about creation and fructifies the 
acts of the emboided beings." 

Therefore, owing to the ripeness of the acts of living 
beings, there arises in the Supreme Lord a desire to create 
and an idea (sankalpa=the imagining) of the things that 
are to be evolved in the creation. The things that are to be 
evolved come into being just in accordance with the will 
and the idea of the Lord. Accordingly, the Paramatman, 
the Supreme Self, is described in the sruti as "One whose 
desires are true, whose ideas are true." Such being the 
case, all the things come into being one after another ex- 
actly as He thinks of them. 

Vayu (the air.) 

Thence, i.e., from akasa, comes into being Vayu, 
the air, with two properties, the property of touch 
which is its own, and the property of sound belonging 
to akflsa already evolved. 

Of these elements such as akasa, each is said to be 

308 BRAHMA- V1DYA EXPOUNDED. \A/ll(inda-ValU. 

possessed of one, two or more properties according as it is 
the first, second, and so on, in the order of evolution ; for, 
on the principle that every effect is pervaded by cause, each 
of the succeeding elements is pervaded by the element or 
elements preceding it in the order of evolution. The air 
(Vfl-yu) is not born of the akasa, because the latter is a mere 
effect (karya). The air (Vayu) is born from Atma.n assum- 
ing the form of akasa.. Therefore it is from A tman that 
the air takes its birth. The same is true in regard to 
the birth of other elements. (5) 

From Brahman associated with Maya and having put on 
the form (upadhi) of akasa. which was first evolved, the air 
was born. Maya and Brahman are the cause of all 
things and, as such, are common to all, and therefore 
it is on account of the special relation of the air to 
Brahman's Upadhi of akasa. as its proximate invariable 
antecedent, that the air is declared to be born of akasa. 
The property of the air is touch which is neither hot nor 
cold. To carry away is the function of the air just as it is 
the function of akasa. to afford space. In the air, also, the 
attributes of its cause are all present. The attribute of 
existence expressed in the words " the air exists " pertains 
to Brahman. That peculiar nature of the air which is not 
found in other things and is therefore strange is an attribute 
of the Maya. The noise made by the air blowing on the 
sea-shore and other places is the attribute of sound pertain- 
ing to akasa.. 

The sound which inheres in akasa. as its property is 
present in the air, etc., and the undiscriminating person 
ascribes it to the air itself, and so on, just as a person 
ascribes all the attributes of a garland to the serpent when 


he has mistaken the garland for the serpent (S. 115). 


In the same way we should interpret the [other passages, 
such as "from the air, the fire is born," and so on. 

From the air was born fire having three attributes, 
composed of the two preceding attributes and (the 
attribute of) colour which is its own. 

Luminosity is the special property of fire, and its function 
is to illumine. In this case also, the existence of fire is the 
attribute of Brahman ; its strangeness as something distinct 
from all other things is the attribute of Maya. The " bhng 
bhug" sound of the blazing fire is the attribute of akasa. It 
is hot to the touch : this is the attribute of the air. Now 
the touch and the sound of the fire are peculiar, distinct 
from the touch of the air and the sound of rtk.zsa ; and this 
peculiarity causes wonder and is therefore due to Maya. 


From fire was born water with four attributes, com- 
prising its own attribute of taste and the three preced- 
ing ones. 

The special property of water is sweet taste. The 
attributes of the cause are also present in it. Thus, water 
exists. Owing to liquidity which distinguishes it from all 
the rest, it is something strange. In a current of water 
flowing through rocky river-beds the "bul ! bul ! " sound is 
h2ard. It is cold to the touch and white in colour. 


From water earth came into being, with five attri- 
butes, comprising smell which is its own and the four 
preceding attributes. 


From water, of the nature described above, was born 
earth. Smell is its special property. Earth exists. It is 
something strange on account of its solidity which dis- 
tinguishes it from all the rest. By contact with a corporeal 
substance the " kata ! kata ! " sound is produced. It is 
hard to the touch. It is of various colours, black, green 
and so on. Its taste is sweet and so on. 

Thus has been described the evolution of the five ele- 
ments of matter from akasa. to earth. 

Primary elements are only five. 

(Question): The Kaushttakf-Up. (3-8) speaks of ten 
btmta-matras or elements of matter. How is it that here the 
sruti speaks lif only five? (A) 

(Answer): There are only five primary elements of 
matter such as akasa. mentioned above. Nothing else, we 
deem, exists besides the five elements, of which all causes 
and effects are made up. (S) 

Brahman is not made up of matter. 

Though earth is possessed of the four attributes pertain- 
ing respectively to akasa. and so on, yet it is not itself pre- 
sent in those four elements. Similarly though the whole 
universe is made up of Brahman, still Brahman is not made 
up of the universe. (S) 

Thus has been established the proposition declared above, 
that Brahman is Real, Consciousness, Infinite and Second- 
less, and that in Him nothing else is experienced. (S^ 

Evolution of material objects. 

From earth plants were born ; from plants, food ; 
and from food, transformed into semen, was born man 


( purusha ) with a form composed of the head, hands 
and so on. 

Plants, food and man are formed of matter. Their 
evolution here stands for the evolution of the whole universe 
of material objects comprising mountains, rivers, oceans 
and so on. Though the bodies of cattle and the like which 
are born of sexual union are all ' formed of food ' (anna- 
maya), still owing to the importance of the human being as 
one qualified for the path of knowledge and works, the 
sruti has here spoken of man among others. The import- 
ance of man is thus declared in the Aitareyaka : 

" But in man the Self is more manifested, for 
he is most endowed with knowledge. He says 
what he has known, he sees what he has 
known, he knows what is to happen to- 
morrow, he knows heaven and hell. By 
means of the mortal, he desires the immortal ; 
thus is he endowed. With regard to the 
other animals, hunger and thirst only are a 
kind of understanding. But they do not say 
what they have known, nor do they see what 
they have known. They do not know what 
is to happen tomorrow, nor heaven and hell." 

Evolution of the Viraj and the Sutra. 

In declaring the evolution of matter and material objects 
the sruti tacitly implies the evolution of the Viraj whose 
body is made up of material objects in the aggregate. So, 
the Vartikakara says : 

Then came into being the Viraj, the manifested God, 


whose senses are Dis and other (Devatas or Intelligences), 
who wears a body formed of the five elements (quintupled 
= panchikrita), and who glows with the consciousness 
" I am all." And prior to the evolution of the Viraj must 
have occurred the evolution of the Sutra * ; for, the Vinzj 
could come into being after the Sutra had come into being. 
The sruti elsewhere speaks of the Siitra as the basis of the 
Viraj ; and therefore, since the evolution of the Viraj is here 
mentioned, the evolution of the Sutra also must have been 
meant here. Moreover, the sruti will speak of the Intelli- 
gence (i. e., the Sutra) in the words " Intelligence increases 
sacrifice;" and this shows that the evolution of the Sutra 
also is implied here. Further the sruti will refer to the 
S.vtra as " Life, sight, hearing, mind, speech," distinguishing 
Him from "food (anna)" I etc., and will also enjoin the con- 
templation (uprtsana) { of the S?rtra in the words " Intelli- 
gence, as Brahman the eldest, do all the Gods adore." 
Here " Intelligence" cannot refer to the mere act (of 
knowing) since a mere act cannot be an object of contem- 
plation and cannot be qualified as 'Brahman the eldest '. 
Neither can it refer to the individual soul, because one 
cannot contemplate oneself. Nor does the word denote 
Brahman, the first cause, because the first cause cannot 
be spoken of as Intelligence (Vijwana). Therefore, the 
word ' Intelligence ' denotes the Stra and it is the contem- 
plation of the s^tra that is there enjoined. As the stra will 

* The Sutratmaii fthe Thread-Soul,), "the Cosmic Intelligence, 
the Hiranyagrabhar, having for His nparllii or vehicle the 
totality of the subtle bodies. 

t 31 J 25 


be thus spoken of as an object of contemplation, the evolu- 
tion of the Sutra, is also implied in this connection. Piror to 
the evolution of the Viraj (the effect) the Swtra remains 
undifferentiated from the one Existence, the Pararruftman, 
the Cause of the Stra ; and, therefore, though an effect, 
the Stra does not manifest Himself as an effect. After 
evolving the effect (the Viraj) as clay evolves -the pot, the 
Sutra becomes as it were the effect. That is to say, in the 
form of the Viraj the Sutra becomes visible. But as long 
as the effect is not evolved, the Stra is praj/wna-ghana, 
pure and simple consciousness; i. e., He abides as a mere 
potentiality of intelligence and motion (vijwana and kriya) 
in Brahman, the first cause, because of the absence of a 
vehicle through which to manifest Himself as the Universal 
Intelligence or as individual Intelligences, as Samashifi or 
Vyashzfi. When conditioned by the effect (VirajJ, the Sutra. 
manifests Himself as the Universal Intelligence and the 
individual Intelligences (S. & A.). 

Akasa is not unborn. 

The evolution of aktisa. from Brahman has been discussed 
as follows, in the Vednta-stras (II. iii. i 7). 

(Question) : -The question at issue is, whether akasa, is 
eternal or has a birth. 

(Pvima facie view] : The sruti says " From Him, from 
This here, from the Self, is akasa. born." The akasa. here 
spoken of is eternal and has no birth. For, it is hard to 
make out the three necessary causes of its birth, namely, 
the samavayin or material cause, the nimiUa or efficient 
cause, and the asamivayin or other accessory causes. But 
the sruti speaks of it as having been born from /Itman 



simply because it possesses the attribute of existence like 
those things which are admitted to have been born of vltman. 
Therefore the akasa., which has neither a beginning nor an 
end, is not born. 

(Conclusion): All Upanishads proclaim aloud, as if by 
beat of drum, that, the one Thing being known, all else is 
known. This dictum can be explained only if akasa also is 
born of Brahman and, as such, is one with Brahman in the 
same way that the pot is one with clay ; but not otherwise. 
Moreover, akasa. must have a birth because it is separate 
from other things, like a pot etc. The proof of its separate- 
ness from other things lies in the well-marked distinction 
between it and the other things such as the air. Against 
this it may psrhaps b3 urged that Brahman is distinct from 
other things and yet has no birth. We answer that Brah- 
man is one with all and that it is not possible to shew that 
He is distinct from anything whatsoever. And, moreover, 
the sruti speaking of the birth of akasa. will be respected if 
we maintain that it has a birth. As to the contention that 
it is impossible to make out the three necessary causes of 
its production, it is wrong to say so, because, though 
according to the Ny^ya theory of miv creation (arambha- 
vrtda) the three causes are necessary, they are not necessary 
according to the theory of illusion (vivarta-vada). On 
these grounds we maintain that akasa. is born from Brahman, 
the Cause. 

The air is not unborn. 

In the Vedrtnta-sHtra (II. iii. 8) the question of the birth 
of the air is discussed as follows: 

(Question): Is the air (vayu) eternal, or is it born of any- 
thing else? 


(Pt-ima facie vieiv): It is only in the Taittin'yaka that the 
air is spoken of as born from akasa. And this birth is only 
figurative, inasmuch as, when treating of creation, the 
Chhandogya speaks of the birth of lire, water, and earth, 
but not of the air. It may be asked, how can the Taittmya 
passage be regarded as figurative in direct contravention to 
the well-recognized principle that omission in one place 
cannot render nugatory what is expressly declared in another 
place ? In reply we say that the passage should be under- 
stood in a figurative sense because it contradicts another 
statement of the sruti. In the Bnhad.irayaka, for instance, 
it is said "This Intelligence (Devatrt) whom we speak of as 
VVjyu never vanishes". * Because the destruction of Vayu is 
thus denied in the sruti, and because the denial of destruc- 
tion is incompatible with birth, we maintain that the air is 

(Conclusion): It is true that the Chhrmdogya does not 
speak of its birth ; still, on the same principle j on which 
we understand in one place the attributes mentioned in 
another place though they are not expressly declared in the 
former, we may regard the birth of the air as declared in the 
Chhandogya, seeing that all that is said in the Taittin'yaka 
have to be understood in the Chhandogya. As to the 
statement of the sruti that Vayn never vanishes, it should 
not bj construed quite so literally. Occurring in a sec- 
tion devoted to upasana or contemplation, it only serves 
to extol the Intelligence (Devata). All the arguments, too, 
by which the birth of rtknsa has been established apply to 
the present case alike. It should not be supposed that, as 
having been evolved from rtkflsa, the air is not comprehended 

* Op. Cit. 1522 f Vide ante pp. 46-47. 


in Brahman and that threfore by knowing Brahman we 
cannot know the air; for, it will be shewn in the sequel 
that Brahman Himself takes the form of every antecedent 
effect and so forms the cause of the succeeding effect : so 
that, here too, as having assumed the form of akflsa, Brah- 
man Himself is the cause of the air. We therefore conclude 
that the air has a birth. 

Brahman has no birth. 

( Vedanta-swtra II. iii. 9). 

(Question] : Now the question arises, has Brahman a 
birth or no birth. 

(Pvima facie view] : " Existence alone this at first was." : 
The Existence here spoken of, i. e., Brahman, must have 
a birth, because all causes must have a birth, as for 
instance akasn. 

(Conclusion') : Brahman, the Existence, has no birth ; 
for, it is hard to conceive a cause that can produce Brah- 
man. In the first place non-sxistence cannot be the cause, 
because of the denial " how can existence be born of non- 
existence ? " * Neither is existence itself the cause of 
Existence; how can a thing bathe cause of itself ? Nor 
can flkasa or the like be the cause of Existence ; for, akasa, 
etc., are themselves born of Existence. And as to the 
induction that every cause must have a birth, it is invali- 
dated by the sruti " That One, the Self here, is great and un- 
born." i Therefore Brahman, the Existence, has no birth- 
How fire is evolved from Brahman. 

The Vedanta-sutra (II. iii. 10) discusses the birth of fire 
as follows : 

(Question}: " It created fire: "* in these words the Chhn- 

* Chha, 6-2. f Bri Up. 4-4-22. 


dogya speaks of fire as born of Brahman, while the Tai- 
ttinya declares fire to have been born of the air. There 
arises the question, Is fire born of Brahman or of the air ? 

(Prima facie view] : The Taittin'yaka passage admits 
of the interpretation that fire comes after the air, and 
it may therefore be concluded that fire is born of Brah- 

(Conclusion) : The word ' born' occurring in a previous 
sentence has to ba understood in the sentence " from the 
air, fire;" so that the sentence cannot but mean primarily 
that fire is evolved from the air as its material cause. By 
harmonising the Chhumdogya and the Taittin'yaka state- 
ments, we arrive at the conclusion that it is out of Brah- 
man assuming the form of the air that fire is evolved. 

Water is evolved from Brahman. 

With reference to the evolution of water, the Vedrtnta- 
swtra (II. iii. n) discusses the question as follows: 

(Question): Is water born of Brahman, or of fire? 

(Prima facie view] : It is true that both the Chh^ndogya 
and the Taittin'yaka upanishads declare that water is born 
of fire. But we cannot accept this statement, since two 
things so opposed to each other as fire and water, which 
can never coexist with each other, can be related as cause 
and effect. 

(Conclusion) : -Though the quintupled (panchYknta) fire 
and water of our sensuous perception are opposed to 
each other, still we should not suppose that the unquin- 
tupled (a-panchzk;ita) fire and water, which are beyond our 
sensuous perception and which are therefore knowable 


through the sruti alone, are opposed to each other. Fur- 
ther, we see that increase of heat produces perspiration. 
Therefore, as taught in the t\vo upanishads, water is born 
out of Brahman assuming the form of fire. 
'Food' means earth. 

The Chhumdogya says, " they (waters) created food." 
This statement has been discussed as follows in the Vedan- 
ta-s?rtra (II. iii. 12): 

(Question): What does ' food' mean? Does it mean the 
element of matter known as earth, or does it mean the 
eatable things such as barley ? 

(Prim.i facie view) : In common parlance the word 'food' 
is used in the latter sense. 

(Conclusion) : The word 'food' means here the element of 
matter called earth, inasmuch as it occurs in a section 
treating of the evolution of the mahnbhwtas or primary 
elements of matter. Further, the sruti says: "The red 
colour of burning fire is the colour of fire, the white colour 
of fire is the colour of water, the black colour of fire is the 
colour of food."! It is mostly in earth, not in barley or rice, 
that we meet with black colour. And the parallel teaching 
is expressed in the Taittin'yaka in the words "from water, 
earth." On the strength of this parallelism, we may inter- 
pret 'food' to mean earth. It should not be urged that this 
interpretation is not warranted by the etymology of the 
word ' anna' (what is eaten) ; for, the element of earth and 
food being related to each other as cause and effect, they 
are looked upon as one. Therefore the word 'food' here 
signifies earth. 

* Op. cit, G-2-4. f Ibid. 641. 


Brahman is the essential cause of all evolved things. 

(Ved<rnta-stra, II. iii. 13) 

(Question) : In settling the various points discussed above, 
it has been assumed that every effect is evolved from Brah- 
man Himself who assumes the form of the effect preceding. 
The question we how propose to discuss is: Is it the okas a, 
the air, etc, that produce their effects? or, is it Brahman 
assuming the form of the akasa, the air, etc., that produces 
the effects ? 

(Pi'ima facie view): The first of the two alternatives 
appears to be reasonable. In the words " from akasa, the 
air is born ; from the air, fire," and so on, the sruti de- 
clares that from the akasa, etc., unassociated with Brah- 
man, the succeeding things are evolved. 

(Conclusion): In the words " He who is within controll- 
ing the akasa,"'''' " He who is within controlling the air," * 
the sruti denies the independence of the akasa, etc. Similarly 
in the words "the light saw" f " the waters saw," f etc., the 
sruti teaches that light, etc., are creators endued with 
thought; and this power of thinking is not possible in the 
insentient things which are quite independent of the intelli- 
gent Brahman. Wherefore the cause of every thing is 
Brahman Himself assuming the form of akasa etc. 

Dissolution occurs in the reverse order of Evolution. 

( Vedanta-sntra II. iii. 14.) 

(Question] : Does the dissolution of things take place in 
the same order in which they are evolved, or in a different 
order ? 

* Bri. Up, 37 t Chha. 62. 


(Prima facie view) : The order in which the evolution of 
things takes place being once denned, the same order must 
apply to the process of dissolution. 

(Conclusion] : If it be held that the cause is dissolved 
before the effect, it would follow that the effect will remain 
for a time without its material cause : which is absurd. On 
the other hand, the Purana. says : 

" O God-sage, the world-basis, namely, earth, 
is dissolved in water, water is dissolved in fire, 
fire is dissolved in the air." 

Thus the reverse order of evolution is equally well defined 
in the Puraa as the order in which dissolution takes place. 
We conclude therefore that dissolution takes place from 
earth upward, the order of evolution being reversed here. 

No Self-contradiction in the Sruti as to Evolution. 

(Vedanta-Stra, II. iii. 15.) 

(Question) : Is the foregoing order of evolution contra- 
dicted or not by the following passage of the sruti : 

" From Him rise life, mind, and all the senses, 
aether, air, fire, water, and earth supporting 
all." * 

( Prima facie mew) : The order of evolution from akasa. 
downwards is violated by the order given in this passage 
wherein pnzwa, etc., are said to have been evolved prior to 
akasa, etc. 

(Conclusion) : " For, truly, my child, mind comes of 
earth, life comes of water, speech comes of fire. " I In these 

* MuntZaka-up. 2-1-3. f Chha. 6-5-4. 


words, the sruti declares that pnwa, etc. are things com- 
posed of the elements of matter. They should accordingly be 
classed with the elements of matter, and therefore there can 
be no reference here to any special order of their evolution. 
Moreover, the passage quoted above from the Muttfeka does 
not mean any particular order at all. There is no word or 
particle in the passage signifying order, as there is in the 
Taittinya passage, "from akasa is born the air" and so 
on ; whereas the Murfaka passage is a mere enumeration of 
things evolved. Hence no contradiction between the two 


Maya described. 

Maya is the upadana. or material cause of the whole uni- 
verse which is made up of elements of matter and material 
objects, from akasa. down to man. Being itself the material 
cause, Maya makes Brahman also, in whom it inheres, the 
prakxiti or material cause. The peculiar nature of Maya is 
clearly described in the NHsiwha-Uttara-Tapam'ya-Upa- 
nishad in the following words : 

" And Maya is of the nature of dark- 
ness (Tamas)i as-onr experience shows. 
It is insentient ; it is ignorance itself; 
it is infinite, void, formed of l this,! 
pertaining to This here, and reveal- 
ing It eternal. Though ever'non-exist- 
cnt, Maya appears to the deluded as 
if it wen one with the Self. It shoics 
the being and non-being of This here> 
as manifested and uninanifested, as 
independent and dependent. * 
To explain : f 

* Op. cit. 9. 

f A clear explanation of this passage is given by Vidyaroya 
in his commentary on the Upanishad, as also in the Ohitrnch'pa. 
tin- sixth section in the Vedonta-Panciiadasi The accompanying 
explanation is derived from both. (TrJ 


Maya as a fact of common experience. 

Maya is of the nature of Tamas, darkness, nescience 
(ajuana). The proof of its existence lies in our own experi- 
ence, as the sruti itself declares. So the common question 
how can aj/wna inhere in Brahman who is pure conscious- 
ness ? is answered by an appeal to our own experience. 
The association of Brahman (Consciousness) with Maya or 
Avidya (nescience) is a fact of experience, and there is no 
use putting the question. "It is insentient (jao'a), it is ignor- 
ance ;" in these words the sruti appeals to the facts of our 
experience to prove the existence of Maya. All objects 
other than the Chit or Consciousness, such as pots, are 
insentient ; and this insentiency of the external objects is 
none other than the insentiency experienced in sushupti. 
When intellect fails to perceive a thing, people call it 
ignorance (moha). ' I am ignorant ; ' ' This is ignorant ; ' 
the ignorance which manifests itself in this form is none 
other than the ignorance which supervenes the Self in the 
state of sushupti (deep dreamless sleep) ; and the ignorance 
of the sushupti state, too, is a fact of every one's experience. 
Thus, the insentient and delusive Maya is experienced by 
all people in their ordinary life. As all persons, from the 
most intelligent down to children and cowherds, experience 
the Maya, it is said to be infinite, i. e., universal. Like- 
wise, the ignorance of the sushupti state is all-comprehend- 
ing ; and there is nothing which does not come within the 
sweep of ignorance even in the waking state. Ignorance 
(moha) is therefore infinite (ananta). The infinite insentient 
Maya, of the nature of ignorance, is thus a fact of every 
man's experience, and therefore the teaching of the sruti 
that Maya is the cause of the universe is not opposed to 

324 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. Aliailda- Vdlll. 

experience. And it is with a view to give us to understand 
the non-duality of Brahman that the sruti teaches that the 
whole universe is nothing but Maya (a strange inexplicable 
phenomenon), of the nature of Tamas (darkness) or avidya 

Maya as inexplicable. 

Though Maya is a fact of every one's experience, it is 
not real, because, from a rational point of view, it is inexpli- 
cable (anirvacham'ya), as the sruti has described it in the 
words " Then it was not 'asat,' it was not 'sat.' "* We cannot 
say that it is ' a-sat', that it does not exist : because it is 
present before consciousness. Neither can we say that it is 
'sat,' that it exists : because it is denied in the sruti in the 
words " there is no duality whatever here".! Maya is in- 
explicable from another point of view. In the state of 
dreamless sleep there is in us no other light than the self- 
luminous Chit or Consciousness, and Maya is experienced 
as inhering in that pure Consciousness, as we have already 
seen. We are at a loss to explain how the insentient Maya 
can thus inhere in pure Consciousness (Chit). 

Maya as a non-entity. 

It is from the stand-point of wisdom (vidya) or right 
knowledge that Maya is declared in the sruti to be a non- 
entity (tuchchha) ; for, in the vision of the enlightened, 
Maya is ever absent. 

It is in this Maya or Avidya experienced in the sushupti 
that the whole universe, everything comprised in the vast 
Evolution, is contained in the form of vasanas or latent 
tendencies and impressions. Thus Maya is of three kinds 
differing with the three stand-points of view. It is at all 
times non-existent, a mere void (tuchchha), from the stand- 

* Taitt. Prct. 2-8-9 f Kafhji-Up. 4-11. 


point of the sruti, which represents the right knowledge of 
the enlightened. It is inexplicable from the stand-point of 
reason. It is a fact from the stand-point of ordinary 

Maya is rooted in the pure Atman. 

(Objection) : Where does the root of this Maya, or Avidya 
lie ? It cannot be in j*va, because jzva is subservient to 
Avidya, he being a creature thereof. The question is, where- 
in, prior to the evolution of jrva and other things in the 
universe does Maya rest ? and what is that thing which 
being an object (vishaya) of Avidya, i. e. , which being un- 
known, jz'va and other things in the universe come into 
being ? Neither in /svara is Maya rooted ; for, He is omni- 
scient in Himself and a product of Avidya. :|: 

(A nswev] : Yes; for the reasons adduced above, Maya is 
rooted neither in /svara nor in jn r a. On the other hand, it 
pertains to This here ; it is rooted in the pure Chit, in the 
Absolute Conciousness, which shines forth self-luminous 
to the whole world in the sushupti, constituting the basis 
as well as the object of Avidya whereon rests all differen- 
tiation of j^va and /svara. 

Maya tends to make Atman the more luminous. 

It is no doubt evident from the fact of every one's experi- 
ence expressed in the words " I do not know myself", that 
ajwina or nescience is primarily rooted in the ^4tman alone, 
in the Absolute Consciousness, and that it is this Absolute 
Consciousness which being primarily unknown, the universe 
presents itself to Consciousness. This relation, however, of 

* Thai is to say, Isvara as distinct from jiva is a being 
evolved from Chit by Avidyct. 


/4tman to Avidya never really detracts in the least from His 
purity : on the other hand, like clarified butter poured into 
the fire, it only tends to increase His luminosity as its Wit- 

(Objection] : Then, as the blazing fire burns up the 
clarified butter, yltman may burn up Avidya ; so that there 
can be no Avidya at all ? 

(Answer) : Yes : Avidyrt is ever non-existent. 

(Objection) : Then, how is it that Avidy^ is spoken of as 
the cause of the universe ? 

(Answer) : Though Avidyrz is really non-existent, the 
ignorant, who cannot discriminate, imagine that it exists and 
that it is one as it were with the Aima.n. The non-existent 
appears to the ignorant as if it were existent. From the 
stand-point of the ignorant, therefore, Avidya may be 
spoken of as the cause of the universe. 

Maya differentiates Atman into jiva and Isvara. 

Maya or Avidya reveals the 'being' or existence of 
Consciousness, the locus as well as the object of Avidya, 
by way of constituting the object witnessed by Conscious- 
ness and thus enabling Consciousness to shine forth, not- 
withstanding that the pure Consciousness cannot in Itself 
be spoken of either as being or non-being in the ordinary 
sense of these terms; while, in the case of the ignorant, 
Maya renders Consciousness non-existent by veiling It. 
When Consciousness is manifested, it is a being ; when It 
is unmanifestcd it is a non-being. The Absolute undifferen- 
tiated Consciousness, existing by virtue of Its own inherent 
power, becomes manifested by contact with Avidyrt, by way 
of bringing that Avidyrt into light, just as light diffused in 

Ami. I.} MAYA AND ISVARA. 3 2 7 

space becomes manifested by bringing corporeal objects into 
light. Though Consciousness is self-luminous, still It 
becomes unmanifested when the insentient preponderates, 
such being the very nature of Avidya. According as /Itman 
is manifested or unmanifested, He is independent or depen- 
dent, He is the /svara or ajiva. Aim&n is independent with 
reference to May. 7 in so far as, while able to manifest 
Himself, He makes it appear to exist and contributes 
to its creative power, (arthakriyakarin) . And hitman be- 
comes dependent on May.: when Consciousness appears to 
be subordinate to the Maya which abides in Him, and as 
a result the Self is identified with the Maya itself. Thus the 
One Consciousness appears in the differentiated form of 
j&'va and /svara, according as It is or is not associated with 
ahankara (egoism) . 

Maya and the Universe. 

Maya exhibits the being and non-being of the universe by 
evolution and involution, by unrolling and rolling in, like a 
cloth with painted pictures. Maya is dependent, inasmuch 
as it is not perceived apart 'from Consciousness. It is also 
independent because it brings about a change in the Self 
who is unattached. It converts /Itman, who is immutable 
and free from attachment, into the universe, and has also 
created /svara and j/va out of a semblance of Consciousness. 

Maya as a wonder-worker. 

Without affecting at all the Immutable Self ( Kwtfastha ) 
Maya creates the universe and all. There is here naught 
that is surprising to us, since it is in the very nature of 
Maya to bring about the impossible. Just as liquidity 
is an inherent property of water, heat of fire, hardness of 
stone, so also the achievement of the impossible is an 


inherent property of Maya. It is not due to external causes. 
One's mind is filled with astonishment at a juggler's pheno- 
menon so long only as one does not know that it is caused 
by the juggler ; once it is known, one rests satisfied that it 
is a mere maya. 

All questions arise against those only who maintain the 
reality of the universe. No question can arise against 
Maya because it is itself a question, a wonder. If you raise 
a question against this question itself, I raise another 
question against your question. Wherefore the question 
should be solved, but it should not be attacked by a counter 
question. Maya, which is a wonder by its very nature, 
is a question by itself ; and all intelligent persons should, 
if they can, try and find a solution for it. 

The Universe is a Maya. 

(Objection) : That the universe is a Maya has itself yet 
to be made out. 

(Answer): If so, we shall proceed to determine it. Let 
us first see what sort of a thing that is which w r e call maya 
in common parlance. That which presents itself clearly to 
our mind, but which it is not possible to explain, people 
apply to that the term maya, as for instance, the indrajala, 
the phenomenon produced by a juggler. Now, the universe 
clearly presents itself to our consciousness ; but its expla- 
nation is impossible. Therefore the universe is a mere 
Maya, as you may see if you view the matter impartially. 

Even if all learned men were to join together and proceed 
to explain the universe, ignorance stares them in the face 
in some one quarter or anotner. What answers, for instance, 
can you give to the following questions ? How are the 
body, its sense-organs and the rest produced from semen ? 

. /.] 


How has consciousness come to be there ? Do you say 
that such is the very nature of semen ? Then pray tell me 
how you have come to know it. The inductive method of 
agreement and difference fails you here ; for there is such a 
thing as sterile semen. " I know nothing whatever:" this 
is your last resort. It is for this reason that the Great Ones 
regard the universe to be a magic. On this the ancients 
say : " what else can be a greater magic than that the semen 
abiding in the womb should become a conscious being endued 
with various off-shoots springing from it such as hands, 
head and feet, and that the same should become invested 
with the marks of infancy, youth, and old age following 
one another and should see, eat, hear, smell, go and come? " 
As in the case of the body, so in the case of the fig seed and 
tree and the like. Ponder well. Where is the tiny seed, and 
where is the big tree ? Therefore rest assured that the 
universe is a maya. As to the Tarkikas (logicians) and 
others who profess to give a rational explanation of the 
universe, they have all been taught a severe lesson by 
Harshamisra and others. Manu says that those things 
which are beyond thought should not be subjected to argu- 
ment, and it is indeed impossible to imagine even in mind 
how the universe has been produced. Be assured that Maya 
is the seed endued with the potentiality of producing what is 
unthinkable. This seed, Maya, is alone present to consci- 
ousness in sushupti or deep dreamless sleep. 

Various views as to the origin and purpose 
of Creation. 

The Svetovataras speak of the Mahesvara, the Great 
Lord, as one who owns this Maya and excercises control 
over it. That He is the creator is also declared by the 


330 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. Alianda- Valll. 

SVeUsvataras in the following words : 

" From that, the magic Master (Mayin) 
brings this all ; in this another by His magic 
power (Maya) is held in bonds." :;; 

As to the origin and purpose of Creation, 

states in his memorial verses on the Ma/z^kya-Upanishad 

the various views on the subject in the following words : 

" Others who contemplate on Creation deem 
it an expansion (vibhti). By others Crea- 
tion is supposed to be of the nature of a dream 
(svapna) or maya, ' Creation is a mere will of 
the Lord ;' thus has been Creation determined 
(by some). Those who contemplate on Time 
think that all beings proceed from Time. 
Some say that Creation is for the sake of 
pleasure ; others hold that it is for sport. It 
is the inherent nature of the Shining One 
(Deva) : what desire can He have who has 
attained all pleasures ? " 

To explain : * Several views are held as regards the nature 
and purpose of Creation. One view is that the /svara 
creates the world with the view of manifesting His own 
glory as the Lord of the Universe, i. e., with a view to shew 
how great and mighty He is. This and other views to be 
explained below as to the nature and purpose of Creation 
are advanced only by those who study evolution, whereas 
those who' study the Absolute Truth lay no stress on evolu- 
tion. The sruti says that " It is the Lord who by His Maya 

* Op. cit. 49. * Op. Cit. i. 7-!'. 

* The explanation is taken from the commentaries of /Stuikum- 
Churya, vlmuidagh-i, and 

Ann. I. 1 ^ AVA AN7r > ISVARA. 331 

shines in all the various forms." | A juggler, for instance, 
projects the magical thread in space (rtk^sa) ; and thereby 
ascending into the air, weapons in hand, he goes far be- 
yond our ken, is there hacked by the sword into pieces in 
battle, falls down in pieces on earth, and again rises up alive 
in the presence of the spectators ; but these spectators do 
not care to find out the truth or otherwise of the maya and 
the phenomenon produced by themaya. Similarly, here, the 
three states of consciousness, namely, sushupti, Cdeep sleep), 
svapna (dream) and jflgrat (waking state;, are like the 
magic thread projected in space by the juggler. The reflec- 
tions of Atman in these states, called respectively the 
Prj;za(wise), theTaijasa(luminous), the Visva(penetrating), 
and so on, may be compared to the juggler who appears to 
ascend into the air by the magic thread. Entirely distinct 
from the thread and from the man who ascends by it is the 
juggler (mayavin), the real personage who has all the while 
been standing invisible on the earth, veiled by his maya ; 
and like him is the Supreme Reality, the Fourth One lying 
beyond the three states of consciousness. Consequently, 
those ^4ryas (noble persons) who seek liberation take to 
the study of the Supreme Reality alone, not to the fruitless 
study of Creation. Therefore the various views here referred 
to are the theories held by students of evolution. 

Accordingly, there are also persons who hold that Creation 
is, like a dream, a casual manifestation, occurring in the 
absence of enquiry ; and there are others still who hold that 
evolution is a may a, the sole purpose being the exhibition 
of a wonder-working power. These two theories are to be 
distinguished from the siddhanta or othodox Vedrtritic view. 

t Bri, Up, 2-5-19, 


The things seen in a dream have a real counterpart in the 
waking consciousness ; and as such they may be real in one 
sense. Similarly the maya, inhering in the magical stone 
or the like which is a real substance, may be so far real in 
one sense. According to the orthodox view, the universe 
has not even this much of reality in it. 

A fourth view as to the nature of Creation is that it is 
controlled entirely by the mere will (ichchha) of the /svara. 
When many dishes of sweet viands are placed before a 
man, it depends entirely on his own choice as to which one 
or more dishes he will partake of. So also here, /svara's will 
is unfailing, unobstructed. A pot, for instance, is a mere 
act of the potter's will and nothing more ; for, he first 
forms within in his mind an idea of what its image and form 
and name ought to be and then produces the thing in the 
external world. So the /svara's creation is His mere 
thought and nothing more. Such is the view of Creation 
held by some Theists. 

Others, again, namely, the jyotir-vids, the students of 
astronomy, maintain that Time, not the /svara, is the 
cause of the universe, the /svara remaining quite an in- 
different impartial spectator. Trees put forth flowers and 
fruits at particular seasons of the year, so that this bud- 
ding forth and ripening of fruits depends upon time. Simi- 
larly the manifestation of the universe depends on Time. 

Thus various views are held as to the origin of the uni- 
verse. Divergent views prevail even as regards the purpose 
of Creation. According to some, God creates the universe 
for His own enjoyment, in the same way that a man engages 
in agriculture or commerce for his own enjoyment; while 
according to some others, God engages in the creatiou of 


universe for mere sport, just as a man plays at dice or 
engages in other games as a matter of diversion. 

Orthodox theory as to the nature of Evolution. 

Last comes the orthodox theory of the Vedflnta. Evolution 
is the very nature (svabhava) of the Divine Being, and 
is a creation of Maya which is inherent in Him, and which, 
as has been already shewn, is a fact of universal experi- 
ence. Just as Brahman is, in His essential nature, Real, 
Consciousness, and Bliss and nothing else, so birth, exist- 
ence, and destruction of the universe are natural to Brahman 
endued with Maya ; so that no specific purpose need be 
sought for, as He is devoid of all desire. This is the 
orthodox theory. 

The two theories as to the purpose of Creation just 
discussed are false. "What desire can He cherish who 
has attained all pleasures ? " Thus does the Teacher 
(Gaurfaprtdi-zchflrya) set aside the two views regarding the 
purpose of Creation. 

Or it may be that here the Teacher sets aside all the 
foregoing theories in the words, " what desire can He have 
who has attained all pleasures ? " But for Maya, the 
Supreme Self who is in possession of all pleasures can 
never be supposed to think of evolving the universe with 
the object of manifesting His own glory and lordly power. 
The universe created out of may a and dream cannot but be 
of the nature of may a and dream ; and the words ' maya ' 
and ' dream (svapna) ' denote what is unreal. Neither is 
it ever possible for the Supreme One, who is essentially 
Bliss and Bliss alone, to cherish a desire (ichchha) or lo 
engage in a voluntary act. Being never subject to any 
change in Himself, He can never cherish a desire or 
engage in a voluntary act. To Brahman unaffected by 

334 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. [Anandd- Valli. 

Maya, no pleasure or sport can be ascribed. Therefore all 
creation by the Lord is a mere illusion (may a). 

Now as to the theory that all beings proceed from Time 
(kala). The rope appears to be a serpent in virtue of its 
own nature, owing to our aj/wna, i. e., when \V3 are 
ignorant of its real nature ; similarly the Supreme mani- 
fests Himself as akasa and so on by virtue of His own in- 
herent power, owing to Maya or our ignorance of His true 
nature. The sruti nowhere declares that Time is the cause 
of all beings, whereas it expressly declares that akasa. 
is born from the Self. 

Isvara is the Dispenser of the fruits of actions. 

(Objection) : It is the former acts (karmas) of sentient 
creatures which generate the bodies in which those crea- 
tures reap the fruits of their acts. Of what avail is the 
/svara spoken of ? 

(Answer); Not so ; /svara alone is the Dispenser of all 
fruits of actions as has been established in the Vedanta- 
Stttras III. ii. 38 41. There the point is discussed as 
follows : 

(Question) : Is it the act (karma) itself that dispenses its 
fruit, or is it the /svara worshipped by means of the act ? 

(Prima fade view) : An act is no doubt of only a tempo- 
rary duration. It does not, however, according to the 
ritualistic school of Jaimini, disappear altogether without 
generating something new called apilrva, which may be 
supposed to be either a form put on by the act after it has 
disappeared from view, or a form put on by the effect prior 
to its manifestation at a subsequent period. And through 
this aprva the act done, which to all appearance is tempo- 



rary, may itself produce the effect. To maintain therefore 
that /svara is the Dispenser of fruits involves a needless 

(Conclusion}'. The apwrva of karma is insentient in itself 
and has therefore no power to dispense the fruit of the 
act just in accordance with its specific nature and 
magnitude. In our own experience we see no such power 
possessed by an act of service, which is insentient. Therefore 
it should be admitted that, as it is the king to whom service 
is rendered that dispenses the fruits of the service, so it is 
/svara worshipped by works that dispenses the fruits of the 
works. Certainly, this view involves no needless assumption ; 
for, /svara is revealed in the Vedas and is therefore not an 
assumption. That /svara alone is the dispenser of the 
fruits of good and bad deeds, of dharma and adharma, and 
that He alone impels men to those acts is taught by the 
sruti in the following words : 

" For, He makes him, whom He wishes to lead 

up from these worlds, do a good deed ; and 

the same makes him, whom He wishes to 

lead down from these worlds, do a bad deed. " :: 

On the contrary, as /svara is thus proved by proper evid- 

ence, it is the objector's position that involves a gratuitous 

assumption, the alleged aprva being nowhere spoken of in 

the sruti. Hence the conclusion that /svara who is wor- 

shipped by works is the dispenser of the fruits of those 


Isvara is both the efficient and the material 
cause of the universe. 

That /svara is both the efficient and the material cause of 

* Kautj. Up. 8-8, 


the universe has been established in theVedanta-s?d:ras 
I. iv. 23-27, as follows : 

(Question} : The Upanishads teach that Brahman is the 
cause of the universe. The question is : Do they teach that 
He is the mere efficient cause of the universe ? or that He 
is the material cause as well ? 

(Prima facie view] : He is only the efficient cause of the 
universe. For, in the words " He thought" the sruti refers 
to His having thought of the universe to be evolved. 
Certainly the thinking of the effect to be produced makes 
Him the mere efficient (nimitta) cause. 

(Conclusion] : " He thought, ' may I be born manifold :' ' 
in these words the sruti declares that the Thinker Himself 
becomes manifold by being born in various forms. There- 
fore, /svara is the upadana. or material cause as well. 
Further, the sruti declares that the One Brahman being 
known, the whole universe, though not taught, becomes 
known. That is to say, to know the One is to know all. 
This dictum can be explained only if Brahman is the 
material cause of all; for, then, it is easy to justify the 
dictum on the ground that the universe is evolved from 
Brahman. If, on the contrary, Brahman were the mere 
efficient cause of the universe, all things comprised in the 
evolved universe would be distinct from Brahman ; how, then, 
could one be said to know all by knowing Brahman ? There- 
fore the sruti means that Brahman is the material as well 
as the efficient cause of the universe. 

No self-contradiction in the Upanishads as to the 

In the Vedanta- s^tras (from I. i. 5 to I. iv 13) it has 

Ami. I.] MAYA AND ISVARA. 337 

been shewn that all the UpanTshads teach, in one voice, that 
Brahman is the material as well as the efficient cause of 
the universe. This interpretation has been justified in the 
Vedrrnta-swtras I. i. 14-15, by way of explaining all apparent 
self-contradictions on the subject. 

(Question) : Are we right or not in construing thus the 
Vedanta teaching as to the Cause of the universe ? 

(Pi'ima facie view} : It would seem that this interpreta- 
tion is not right ; for, the Upanishads are full of self- 
contradictions and cannot be regarded as a pramana or 
right source of knowledge at all. The Taittin'ya-Upanishad, 
for instance, teaches that Brahman creates cikasa., etc., 
whereas the Chhandogya-Upanishad teaches that He 
creates light, etc. In the Aitareyaka it is said that He begins 
His creation with "these worlds," while the Muw/aka- 
Upanishad teaches that He starts with the creation of 
pnrwa and so on. Thus there are self-contradictions in the 
teachings of the Upanishads as to the things created by 
Brahman. Even their teaching as to the nature of the 
Cause involves a self-contradiction. The Chtumdogya speaks 
of the Cause as Existence in the words " Existence alone 
this at first was, " whereas the Taittin'yaka speaks of it as 
Non-existence in the words "Non-existence verily this at 
first was, " and the Aitareyaka says that the Self is the 
Cause, in the words " The Self, verily, this at first was, 
one alone." Owing to such self-contradictions as these, it 
is not right to maintain that an harmonious self-consistent 
doctrine as to the Cause of the universe can be made out 
from the teaching of the Upanishads. 

(Conclusion] : Granted that a difference exists in the 
teaching of the Upanishads as to the things created such as 



, and also as to the order in which they are created. 
Akasa and other created things are mentioned in the Upa- 
nishads not for their own sake, but solely with a view to 
impart a knowledge of Brahman. On the other hand, 
there is no difference whatever in the teaching of the Upani- 
shads as to the nature of Brahman, the Creator of the 
universe, who forms the main subject of discourse. Brah- 
man spoken of in one place as Existence is designated in 
another place as the Self (/Itman) with a view to teach 
that Brahman Himself is in the form of the jh r a or Ego in 
all. When the sruti speaks of the Cause as Non-existence, 
it refers to the Avyaknta, the Undifferentiated, but not to an 
absolute Non-existence; for, elsewhere, in the words "How 
can existence corns out of non-existence ? " the sruti 
expressly teaches that Non-existence cannot be the Cause. 
All the apparent sslf-contradictions thus admitting of an 
easy explanation, wa are right in maintaining that the 
sruti teaches in one accord that Brahman is the Cause of 
the universe. 

The Upanishads do not support other doctrines 
of Cause. 

In the Vedrtnta-stra I. iv. 28, the same interpretation 
that we have put upon the teaching of the Upanishads as 
to the Cause of the universe has been upheld by way of 
shewing that the sruti does not lend any support to the 
doctrine that the atoms, etc., are the cause of the uni- 

(Question}: Does the Upanishad anywhere teach that, 
like Brahman, the atoms, the void (s/mya), and the like are 

Ann /.] MAYA AND ISVARA. 339 

the Cause of the universe ? Or does it teach everywhere that 
Brahman alone, and nothing else, is the Cause ? 

(Prima facie view] : The sruti teaches also that atoms, 
etc. , are the Cause of the universe, for, it illustrates 
the Cause by the example of a fig seed. To explain : In 
the sixth adhyaya of the Chhandogya-Upanishad, where 
one Uddrtlaka instructs his pupil Svetaketu, the former 
refers by way of illustration to fig seeds which hold mighty 
trees in their womb, with a view to shew how the vast 
external universe of gross physical objects is comprehended 
within the one subtle principle. From this we may under- 
stand that the sruti means that atoms (paramawus), corres- 
ponding to the fig seeds in the illustration, are the Cause of 
the universe. And the void (s/mya) also is directly declared 
to be the Cause of the universe in the words " Non-existence 
this in the beginning was." * The theories of Nature 
(svabhava) and Time are also referred to in the words 
"Svabhava, the inherent nature, is the cause, as some sages 
say; Time as some others hold." f Therefore the sruti 
supports those theories also which respectively maintain that 
atoms, etc., are the Cause of the universe. 

{Conclusion) The dictum that, the One being known, all 
is known, cannot be explained in the light of nihilism 
(snya-vrtda) or other theories. The snya and the like 
being incapable of producing Brahman, Brahman cannot 
be known by knowing the void (s?mya) and the like. The 
illustration of fig seeds and so on can be explained on the 
ground that Brahman, who is beyond the ken of the senses, 
is very subtle. It has been said ']: that the word " non- 

* TaUfc. Up. 2-7-1 t<3veta6-l. J Vide ante p. 3d8 


existence" denotes the Avyaknta or the Undifferentiated, 
devoid of name and form. Nature (svabrmva) and Time 
theories are referred to in the sruti only as theories which 
should be rejected. Hence the conclusion that Brahman 
alone, as taught in the sruti, is the Cause of the universe, 
not the atoms, or the like. 


Defence of the Vedic Doctrine. 

In the Vedanta-sutras ( in the Pada. i of the Adhyaya II ) 
all objections raised against the doctrine of Brahman, 
which has been made out in the First Adhy^ya as the one 
taught by all Upanishads in one voice, on the ground that 
it is opposed to the smiitis or teachings of some individual 
sages and to the logic of experience, have been answered in 
thirteen disquisitions (adhikarawas), all of which together 
form a defence of the foregoing exposition of the Vedic 
doctrine. The first disquisition has been digested as 
follows : 

The Veda versus the Sankhya system. 

(Vedanta-s?*tras II. i. 1-2). 

( The opponent ) : The Vedic doctrine of Brahman should 
make room for the Srmkhya teaching ; for, as the S^nkhya 
teaching would otherwise have no scope at all, it must 
prevail as against the other. Of course the Sflnkhya doctrine 
has been promulgated for the express purpose of teaching 
the nature of things as they are ; it has nothing whatever 
to do with Dharma, i. e., with the teaching of what one has to 
do ; and therefore, if the teaching of the S^nkhya system be 
set aside even in that matter, then it would have no scope 
at all. If, on the other hand, the teaching of the Veda, 
which treats of Dharma as well as Brahman, be set aside so 
far as it concerns one of them, namely, Brahman, even 


then it will have ample scope, so far as it treats of Dharma. 
Accordingly, it is but proper that the Vedic doctrine of Brah- 
man should give in to the Srmkhya teaching, inasmuch as 
otherwise the latter would have no scope at all ; whereas (as 
shewn above) the Vedic teaching can afford to make room 
for the other. 

(The Veddntin) : As against the foregoing, we hold as 
follows : It is not right that the Vedic teaching should be 
made to give in to the Sankhya doctrine ; for, the latter 
has been falsified by the institutes of Manu and the like 
which speak of Brahman as the Cause of the universe. The 
institutes of Manu and the like are indeed more authorita- 
tive, inasmuch as they are based on the Vedic texts now 
extant, while Kapila's doctrine has no such basis. Cer- 
tainly, we know of no Vedic text whatever supporting the 
doctrine that Pradturaa is the Cause ; and it has been 
already shewn that all extant Vedic texts point to Brahman 
as the Cause of the universe. Hence the impropriety of 
making the Vedic doctrine give in to the Sflnkhya teaching. 

The Veda versus the Yoga system. 

(Vedrtnta-sutras II i. 3) 

(The opponent) : The Yoga doctrine is the science taught 
by Patanjali. The eight-stepped yoga therein taught is 
taught in the extant Vedic texts also. In the Svetasvata- 
ra-Upanishad, for instance, yoga is taught at great length. 
Further, yoga is a means to knowledge ; for, in the words 
" with the sharp and subtle mind He is beheld" :;: the 
sruti declares that the one-pointedness of mind which can be 

* Kartia. Up. '3-1-2 

Ann. 7.1 ON THE DEFENSIVE. 343 

accomplished by yoga is a means to the immediate realisa- 
tion of Brahman. Hence the authority of the science of 
Yoga. And this science teaches that Pradhana alone is the 
Cause of the universe. Therefore the Veda should make 
room for the Yoga doctrine. 

(The Vedantin) : Indeed the Yoga doctrine is an authority 
so far as it is concerned with its main aim, which is to teach 
the eight-stepped yoga ; but it is no authority as regards the 
non-Vedic theory of Pradhana, which lies away from the 
main aim of its teaching. To explain : Having started 
with the words " Now commences the teaching of yoga," 
the science then defines yoga in the words " yoga is the 
restraint of the modifications of the thinking principle ", and 
expounds yoga at great length in the sequel; so that 
the main aim of the science is yoga. The science does not, 
on the other hand, start with Pradhana and the rest as the 
main subject of its teaching. When in the second section 
which is devoted to an exposition of yama, niyama, and 
other steps on the path of yoga, the author explains the 
evil, the cause of evil, its abandoning, and the means of 
abandoning it, he makes a casual mention of Pradhana, etc., 
as taught in the Sankhya. Pradhana does not therefore 
form the main subject of its teaching. Hence no neces- 
sity for the Veda giving in to the Yoga doctrine. 

The Veda versus the Sankhya reasoning. 

(Vedanta-swtras II. i. 4 n) . 

(The opponent] : It should give in to the empirical reason- 
ing such as the following : The insentient universe cannot 
have been born of Brahman who is intelligent; for the one 


is of quite a different nature from the other. What is quite 
opposed to another cannot be born of that other ; as for 
example, the buffalo is not born of the cow. 

(The Veddntin] : The dictum that the cause and the effect 
are of the same nature fails in the case of scorpions and 
hair. We know that the scorpion, a sentient organism, 
is born of cow-dung which is insentient, and that an insen- 
tient thing such as hair is born of the human organism 
which is sentient. Therefore no dry reasoning independ- 
ent of the Veda can take a final stand in any matter. Accor- 
dingly one of the teachers has said : 

" A thing inferred with ever so great a care 
by logicians however expert is quite otherwise 
explained by other and greater experts." :|: 

Therefore, the Vedic doctrine cannot be set aside on the 
strength of the specious argument based upon the distinc- 
tion between Brahman and the universe. 

The Veda versus empirical reasoning generally. 

(Vedrtnta-stra II. i. 12). 

(The opponent] : Granted that the Vedic doctrine cannot 
be set aside on the strength of the Sankhya and Yoga 
systems and their logic. There are, however, other 
systems, those of Kawida, Buddha and so on ; and the 
Vedic doctrine will have to give way to their teachings and 
their logic. Kawada, a Maharshi, a great sage, has taught 
that the atoms (parairm;ms) are the cause of the universe, 
and supports this theory by the following argument : All 
things produced are produced out of smaller parts; a cloth, 


for instance, is produced out of threads ; and all molecules 
are things produce:!; therefore they must have been pro- 
duced out of things which are smaller in magnitude. And 
Buddha, again, who is an incarnation of Vish/m, teaches 
that the universe has come out of abhava or non-existence 
and supports that visw by logic : Every existing thing is pre- 
ceded by its non-existence ; the dream-world, for instance, is 
preceded by sushupti or dreamless sleep. Wherefore, the 
Vedic doctrine should give in to the mighty systems of 
Kawrda and the like. 

(The Veddntin] : As against the foregoing we argue as 
follows : When even the Sankhya and Yoga doctrines, treat- 
ing of Prakriti, Purusha and other things, and which are 
incidentally here and there cited by the authors of the Puni- 
na.s, by the crest-jewels of Yedic teachers, have been set 
aside as weak and unwarranted so far as their teaching -as 
to the Cause of the universe is concerned, much more 
readily should we set aside as weak and unwarranted the 
theories of Kawrda and the like which are ignored by all 
wise teachers. Certainly, nowhere in the Puraas, the 
Pjdrna, the Brahma and the like, is the theory of atoms 
and molecules cited even incidentally. On the contrary, 
in the words " One should not honor, even by a word of 
mouth, the sceptical rationalists and hypocritical devo- 
tees," ' such systems are altogether condemned. As to 
the generalisation that all produced things are produced 
out of smaller parts, it does not apply to illusion (vivarta) ; 
for, we see mighty trees on a distant mountain-top giving 
rise to the illusory idea of the very minute tip of the grass- 
blade. Even as to the inference that the universe has come 

* Vishwupurana, 3 18 101. 



out of non-being, the example of the dream-world cited 
above does not warrant the general proposition that every 
produced thing is preceded by its non-existence ; for su- 
shupti is only an avasthrt or condition of the Self (/Itman), 
and since the existence of the Self during sushupti has 
thus to be admitted, it follows that the dream-world is 
preceded by something existing. Wherefore the Vedic 
doctrine should not give way to the systems of Ka;wda, 
Buddha and the like. 

The Vedanta versus sensuous perception. 

(Vedanta-s.'jtra II. i. 13) 

(The opponent) : The non-duality which has been made 
out by a connected interpretation of Vedic texts is proved 
false by pratyaksha etc. , by sensuous perception, empiri- 
cal inference, etc. , which reveal a distinction between the 
perceiver and the things perceived. 

(The Vedantin) \ No. For, in the cas3 of the ocean we per- 
ceive both duality and non-duality : in the form of waves 
it is dual ; and as a body of water it is non-dual. Only, 
these opposites, duality and non-duality, cannot coexist 
in that thing which does not altogether admit of even a 
distinction of aspects and is absolutely one. Wherefore, 
when it is possible to distinguish two aspects non-dual 
as Brahman, and dual as differentiated into the perceiver 
and the objects of perception, the Vedic doctrine cannot be 
set aside on the ground of opposition to our perception 
of duality. 

Non- duality in duality how far real. 
(Vedflnta-stras, II. i. 14-20) 

(Question) : Is this non -duality in duality absolutely real 

Ann. /.I DN THfe DEFENSIVE. 347 

or only apparently so ? 

(Prima facie view] : It is absolutely real ; for it never 
proves false in the case of Brahman any more than in the 
case of the ocean. 

(Conclusion] : " Here there is no duality whatever :" * in 
these words the sruti denies all duality. By reasoning, too, 
we come to the same conclusion. For, duality and non- 
duality, which are mutually destructive, cannot coexist in 
one and the same thing, just as the one moon cannot be 
two. As to the conclusion arrived at in the preceding article 
that duality and non-duality in the One Thing are due to 
difference in Its aspects, even this is not right ; for, the 
non-dual Reality does noUadmit of different aspects. In the 
ocean or the like, however, both duality and non -duality 
are admitted because of a difference in its aspects, which is 
a fact of experience ; and it is a well-established principle 
that no fact of experience can be dismissed as unreason- 
able. It cannot be said that, in the present case also, two 
different aspects, as Brahman and as the universe, are facts 
of experience ; for, Brahman is knowable only through sas- 
tras (scriptures). Wherefore non-duality in duality in the 
case of Brahman is opposed to both sruti and reasoning and 
has only a relative (vy^vaharika) reality, i.e., it is real only 
from the stand-point of the unenlightened. It may be asked, 
then, what is the Absolute reality ? We reply: Non-duality 
is alone real : apart from the cause, there is no effect ; and 
therefore the cause alone is real. And accordingly the sruti 
teaches that the cause alone is real, and illustrates the 
truth by clay and the like. 

* Kattia. Up. 441 

348 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. [Ancwda-V alii . 

" By one clod of clay, for instance, my dear, 
all that is made of clay is known. A product 
of speech is the changing form, a name ; what 
we call clay is alone real : so, my dear, is the 
one spoken of."* 

This passage may bs explained as follows: A big clod of 
clay is the cause, and pots and dishes, etc., are its changing 
forms. The Tarkikas(logicians) maintain that pots and di- 
shes, etc. , are things quite distinct from clay. To shew 
that pots, etc. , are not independent realities, the sruti speaks 
of them as vik^ras or changing forms ; which means that 
pots, etc. , are only different forms of the one thing, clay, 
and that they are not independent realities any more than 
childhood, youth, and dotage are independent of Deva- 
datta. So that even while it manifests itself in the form of 
pots, etc. , clay alone is the independent reality. There- 
fore, when clay is known, the whole real essence of pots, 
etc. , is known. Unreal as these are, they are not worth 
knowing. Though these changing forms manifest them- 
selves through the eye, yet, when properly scrutinised, 
they are found to have no being whatever of their own 
apart from clay. They exist only in names, dish, pots, 
etc., which are but a creation of speech. Thus these chang- 
ing forms have no real being of their own and yet present 
themselves to consciousness: that is to say, they are false 
appearance3(mithya) and are therefore unreal ; whereas clay 
has a being of its own even apart from its changing forms 
and is therefore real. It is in accordance with this illustra- 
tion that we should understand the Vedic teaching regard- 
ing Brahman, and it is quite clear that in that teaching 

, 614. 

Ami. /.] ON T " e t> Et '' EN " slv fc- 349 

Brahman corresponds to clay, and the universe to pots, etc. 
Wherefore, the universe being one with Brahman, the truth 
is that Brahman is non-dual. Those persons, however, 
who have not thus investigated the matter learn on the one 
hand from the teaching of the Veda that Brahman is non- 
dual, while again they are convinced of duality by sensuous 
perception and empirical inference. As thus the twofold 
knowledge arises only at first sight, i. e. , in the ab- 
sence of a thorough investigation, we may conclude that the 
non-duality in duality presented to the mind in the case of 
Brahman and the universe, as in the case of the ocean and 
its waves, is but relatively true (vyavaharika), and that 
it is considered real only in the absence of investigation. 

Isvara untainted by good and evil. 

(Vedrtnta- s/rtras II. i. 21-23) 

(The opponent) : -In the case of jj'vas merged in the sawsrt- 
ra, the Paramesvara or Supreme Lord does good to them 
by way of endowing them with non-attachment (vairagya). 
He has also created evil in the form of sin(adharma)leading 
to hell (naraka) ; and while doing so, He, as the Omnisci- 
ent, knows His identity with the j/vas. This is to say that 
He does both good and evil to Himself, which is incon- 
gruous ; for, no sensible person in the world neglects his 
own good or does evil to himself. The Vedic doctrine, 
therefore, is open to the objection that it makes the Lord 
neglect His own good. 

(The Vcddntin) : As against the foregoing we hold as 
follows : /svara is omniscient, and therefore knows that 
the ju r a's sa/ns^ra is unreal and that He is untainted in 

Himself. Hence no room for the objection that the Lord 

is affected by good and evil. 


Duality evolved from non-duality. 

(Vedanta-swtras, II. i. 24-25.) 

(The opponent): "One alone without a second" :* from 
these words we learn that Brahman is devoid of all duality; 
i. e. , we learn that He is not in Himself made up of dis- 
tinct parts and that there exists nothing else belonging to the 
same class as Brahman or to a different class. On the 
contrary, the things to be created, such as akasa, the air, 
etc., are various. When there is no variety in the cause, 
there cannot certainly be any variety in the effect ; other- 
wise, from one thing, such as milk, might be evolved things 
of different kinds, such as curd, oil and so on. Moreover, 
the sruti describes the evolution of akasa. and other things 
in a certain order ; and we are at a loss to know what there 
is to determine the particular order of evolution. There- 
fore, the evolution of the universe in all its variety and in a 
particular order cannot take place from Brahman who is 
one and secondless. 

(The Veddntin) : In point of fact, Brahman is, no doubt, 
non-dual ; but the sruti, reason, and experience tell us 
that Brahman is associated with avidya. The sruti says : 
"Maya verily is Praknti(cause), man should know ; and /5va- 
ra the possessor of Maya." Maya is the same as avidyrt, since 
both alike are characterised by indefinability. It should not 
be supposed that this admission of Maya lands us in duality ; 
for, nothing is real except Brahman. Thus, though one, 
Brahman can produce the universe in all its variety 
with the help of avidya. Neither should it be supposed 
that there exists nothing to determine the particular order 

* Chha. 621. 

Anil 7.1 M THE DEFENSIVE. 35! 

in the evolution of things ; for, avidya may possess poten- 
tialities which bring about the evolution of things in a 
particular order. Therefore, the evolution of things in the 
universe in all their variety and in a particular order can 
take place from Brahman, the secondless. 

The theory of transformation maintained. 

(Vednta-stras II. i. 26-29.) 

(The opponent) : In the sixth article (adhikarana) * it has 
been shewn that cause and effect are one ; so that, the Vaise- 
shika's theory of the production of an effect distinct from 
the cause is not acceptable to the Brahmavadin. He is 
therefore obliged to accept the theory of transformation 
(pari/ama), as in the case of milk and curd. Then he may 
be asked this question : Is it wholly or in part that Brah- 
man transforms Himself into the universe ? In the former 
case, Brahman would be non-eternal ; in the latter, 
Brahman would be made up of parts. Wherefore the 
theory of transformation cannot be maintained. 

(The Vedantin): Brahman's transformation of Himself in- 
to the universe is effected by the potentialities of Maya, as 
the sruti says, "The Lord appears multiform through may as 
(false ideas) " f It is not a reality. Therefore the Brahma- 
Vflda cannot be caught between the two horns of the 
dilemma, transformation as a whole or transformation in 
part. Thus, the theory of transformation is not difficult for 
the Brahmavrtdin to maintain. 

Though incorporeal, Brahman possesses Maya. 

(Vedanta-s^tras. II. i. 3031) 

(The opponent) : In the world we find all jugglers, who 
* Vide ante pp, 346349, f Bri. Up. 2519. 

352 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. ^11(111(1(1- Vdlli. 

display magical powers, possessed of a body. Brahman be- 
ing without a body, how can He have the power of Maya ? 
(The Veddntin) : Though the house-builders and other 
architects stand in need of earth, timber, grass and other 
external objects quite distinct from themselves, yet, a 
juggler can construct houses and the like without resorting 
to any external things. Similarly, though the worldly 
juggler stands in need of a body, still, without a body, Brah- 
man may possess Maya. Perhaps it may be urged that 
we have the authority of sensuous perception for maintain- 
ing that a juggler can produce houses, etc. , without any 
external aids. If so, then, even as regards Brahman, we 
may rely on the authority of the sruti which says that " the 
Mahesvara is the possessor of Maya," * and maintain that 
He is without a body and yet possesses Maya. 

Evolution as an act of sport. 

(Vednnta-sf/tras II. i. 32 33) 

(The opponent) : " Bliss is Brahman : " f in these words 
the sruti declares that the Paramesvara, the Supreme Lord, 
is ever-contented. If we admit that such a being cherishes 
a desire for creation, it will detract from His ever-content- 
edness. If, on the other hand, we deny any such desire, 
then it is tantamount to saying that, as creating the uni- 
verse without an intelligent purpose in view, the /svara 
behaves like a lunatic. 

(The Veddntin) : Princes and others, who are quite 
intelligent, engage in hunting and other kinds of activity 
only as a matter of sport, with no specific end in view. 
And inspiration and expiration are facts of everybody's 

* Sve'a, 410. f Tai. Up. 3 6 

Anil. I.] ON THF DEFENSIVE. 353 

experience. There are innumerable instances of purpose- 
less activities displayed by children. Like these, /svara, 
though ever-contented, may create the whole universe 
without any specific end in view and yet be not a lunatic. 

Isvara acquitted of partiality and cruelty. 

(Vedanta-swtras. II. i. 34 36) 

(The opponent) . /svara creates most happy beings such 
as Devas, as also most unhappy beings such as cattle and 
other lower animals, and also men who are midway 
between the two. Thus bestowing happiness and misery 
of different degrees upon different classes of souls, how 
can /svara be other than partial ? Or, bringing about the 
destruction of Devas, lower animals, men and other crea- 
tures in the whole universe, an act which is extremely 
reprehensible even to the meanest being, how can He be 
other than merciless ? Thus, the /svara of the Vedrmta is 
open to the charge of partiality and mercilessness. 

(The Veddntin) : In the first place /svara cannot be 
charged with partiality, inasmuch as the different creatures 
are born in the highest class or in the middle class or in 
the lowest class of beings just according to their respective 
karmas. It cannot, however, be urged that this detracts 
from the independence of /svara ; for, as the Antaryrtmin, 
the Inner Regulator and Controller dwelling in all beings, 
He rules all karma. 

Here one may say : If, to avoid the charge of partiality 
against /svara, you say that karma is the cause of t difference, 
and again if, to secure /svara's independence, you make 
Him the Regulator of karma's operations, in the end you 
make /svara Himself the cause of difference in {lie lots 



of different creatures. 

In reply we say that this is not a fault at all. The 
act of regulating consists in the mere preventing of the 
potentialities of the different things in nature from getting 
into confusion. These potentialities form the very body or 
essence of Maya ; and /svara is not their creator. Since the 
respective karmas of the different beings are, by virtue of 
their inherent potentialities, the cause of the differences, 
/svara who is the mere regulator of their operations cannot 
be charged with partiality. 

Like sushupti or dreamless sleep, the destruction of the 
universe, is not a source of pain ; on the contrary, it 
removes all pain ; so that /svara only shews His mercy by 
this act. 

(Objection) : Though /svara is not open to the charge of 
partiality when, in the minor evolutions, He creates the 
universe in accordance with the preceding karma, still He 
is open to the charge as regards His first creation, since 
there existed no karma preceding that creation. 

(Answer) : No. The series of creations is beginningless, 
as the scriptures say, " no end, no beginning." 

The Attributeless as the material cause. 

(Vedrtnta-stra II. i. 37) 

(The opponent) : That is said to be the prakriti or material 
cause which changes itself into the effect. In our expe- 
rience we find that all material causes such as clay are pos- 
sessed of attributes. Then, how can the attributeless 
Brahman be the material cause of the universe ? 

* Bhg. Gita. 153 

Anil. /.] N THE DEFENSIVE. 355 

(The Veddntin) : It is true that etymologically the term 
' prakriti' means that which undergoes change. But this 
change may take place in two ways : either by way of 
actual transformation as in the case of milk, etc., or by 
being mistaken for something else, as a rope is mistaken 
for a serpent. Now, though the attributeless Brahman can- 
not undergo actual transformation, He may be mistaken for 
something else. We do find that one jati or species, which 
is attributeless, is mistaken for another : on seeing, for 
instance, a dirty brahma/ja, people mistake him for a sudra. 
Therefore, though attributeless, Brahman can be the 
praknti or material cause of the universe. 


The second prtda (quarter) of the second Adhy^ya of the 
Vedrtnta-SMtras establishes in eight articles (adhikarawas) 
the theory that Brahman is the cause of the universe, by 
way of condemning all other theories. 

The Vedanta versus the Sankhya. 

(Vedflnta-SMtras II. ii. i 10) 

(Sdnkhya) : Pradhana which is composed of pleasure, 
and pain and ignorance is the prakriti or material cause of 
the universe, inasmuch as we find the universe made up of 
objects of pleasure, pain and ignorance. To explain : A 
pot, a cloth, and the like produce pleasure when they are 
obtained, since they serve the purpose of fetching water, 
covering the body, and so on. For this very reason, when 
a person is robbed of them by others, they form a source of 
pain. When, again, no water has to be fetched, then the pot 
is not a source of pleasure or pain ; it remains an object of 
indifference. Ignorance (moha) concerning the pot consists 
in its being thus an object of indifference. Moha figno- 
rance) is derived from the root ' muA ' -to be unconscious ; 
and with reference to objects of indifference no chitta-vntti 
or state of consciousness is seen to arise. Since pleasure, 
pain and ignorance thus run through the whole universe, 
Pradhana is the cause of the universe. 


(Veddntin) : Pradhana is not the cause of the universe, 
because, insentient as it is, it cannot have the power of 
designing and building the universe composed of such a 
variety of things as the bodies, the senses, mountains, and 
so on, each with a peculiar form and structure of its own. 
In the world we see that complex structures such as 
palaces, of which each part serves a distinct purpose of its 
own, are all the work of very highly intelligent authors. 
This incapacity for designing the structure of the universe 
apart, we cannot conceive how the insentient Pradhana 
can ever so act as to bring the universe into existence ; for, 
we see no carriages or other insentient things acting when 
not acted on by intelligent beings. If, then, to avoid this 
difficulty, the Sankhya should admit that the sentient 
spirit (Purusha) acts upon Pradhana, the admission runs 
counter to his postulate that Purusha is unattached. As 
to the assertion that pleasure, pain and ignorance run 
through pots and other things in the universe, we say that 
the proposition cannot de maintained, because pleasure, 
pain and ignorance are internal (subjective states) whereas 
pots and other things are external objects. Therefore, 
Pradtuina cannot be the cause of the universe. 

The Vedanta versus the Vaiseshika. 

In the last chapter, when answering the Sankhya's 
objection against the theory that from the sentient Brah- 
man is evolved the universe which is insentient and is 
therefore of quite a different nature from its cause, the 
Vedrtntin illustrated his theory by the observed fact of the 
birth of a scorpion from the cow-dung. Thereby the Sank- 
hya's objection was answered, and the Vedanta theory was 
so far maintained. 


In the present chapter the VecUntin has attempted a 
refutation of rival theories and has overthrown, in the first 
article the Sankhya doctrine of cause. He has now to 
refute the Vaiseshika theory. 

How far the Vaiseshika theory supports the 

(Vedanta-sutra II. ii. n.) 

The Vaiseshika theory having been worked out in great 
detail, a person who has been thoroughly impressed with 
that theory, would pay no regard to the theory that Brah- 
man is the cause, unless he is furnished with an illustra- 
tion of a cause producing an effect differing in its nature 
from that cause, taken from his own system. Now, we 
shall proceed to enquire whether the Vaiseshika system 
furnishes an instance of a cause producing a dissimilar 
effect. It may at first sight appear that the system furni- 
shes no instance ; for, according to that system, a white 
cloth is produced out of white threads only, not out of 
threads of red colour. The Vedantin maintains that the 
system does furnish instances of causes producing dissimi- 
lar effects. To explain : a parama/m (ultimate infinitesi- 
mal particle) is, according to the Vaiseshika, of the size 
spoken of as all-round-ness, (panmandsdya) . A combina- 
tion of two parama/ms as opposed to atoms which cannot 
be measured in terms of atoms produces a dvi-anuka 
(a molecule of two atoms) which can be measured in 
terms of an atom. This is one instance. Similarly, 
a dvi-a;mka is short (hrasva) in measure, and has therefore 
no length ; and a combination of three such molecules pro- 

Ann. 1 . 1 N THE OFFENSIVE. 359 

duces a tri-a;mka ( three-atomed ) molecule having the 
measure of length, and so far immeasurable in terms of 
atoms. This is another instance. So also other instances 
can be cited from the Vaiseshika system. 

The Vaiseshika theory of creation overthrown. 

(Vedanta-SHtras II. ii. 12 17) 

(The Vaiseshika) : The universe of the last cycle is dis- 
solved at the time of Pralaya ; and again, when a desire to 
create arises in the Great Lord, then, in virtue of the 
karma of sentient beings, activity springs up for the first 
time in the unmoving parama/ms (ultimate particles). As a 
result of this activity, one pa.ra.manu combines with another, 
and out of this combination a dvi-amika is formed, and out 
of a combination of three dvi-a/mkas, a tri-auka is formed. 
In this way the whole universe is produced. In the ab- 
sence of all contradiction to this theory, we maintain that 
paramrz/ms combine together and produce the universe. 

(The Veddntin) : It has been said that activity first 
springs up in the paranirt/ms. We ask : Has this activity 
a cause or not ? If it has no cause, it may spring up at all 
times, since there is nothing to restrict it to a particular 
occasion ; and then there can be no dissolution (pralaya). 
If it has a cause, then, again, we ask : Is that cause seen 
or unseen ? Is it something suggested by our ordinary ex- 
perience or something transcendental ? In the first place 
the cause cannot be something seen or what our ordinary 
experience can suggest ; for, no action or reaction (pra- 
yatna or pratighata) is possible prior to the creation of 
the bodily organism. As to /svara's action (prayatna) , it 


is eternal and cannot therefore be an invariable antecedent 
of the first activity which is occasional. In the next place, 
the cause of the first activity cannot be something unseen 
or transcendental ; for, the transcendental or supersensu- 
ous cause (adnshte or the latent force of the past karma) is 
said to inhere in the ,4tman and cannot, therefore, be rela- 
ted to paramawus. Being placed in such dilemmas as 
these, the Vaiseshika's explanation of the first activity in 
the pararmzwis cannot be accepted, and no combination of 
paranifl/ms as a result of that activity is therefore possible. 
Thus the theory that the universe arose out of the parama- 
us combined together is for ever cast away. 

The Vedanta versus Buddhist Realist. 

(Vedrtnta-sw/ras II. ii. 18 27.) 

(The Buddhists) : There are some Buddhists who main- 
tain that external objects exist as such, and they hold as 
follows : There are two aggregates, the external and the 
internal. The external aggregate comprises the objects 
such as earth, rivers, oceans, and so on ; and the internal 
group is made up of the mind and its modes. The whole 
universe consists of these two aggregates and no more. 
The parama/ms are the cause of the external aggregate. 
They are of four classes ; some of them are hard and are 
spoken of as the atoms of earth. Some are viscid and are 
spoken of as the atoms of water. The atoms of a third class 
are hot and are spoken of as the atoms of fire. The atoms 
of the fourth class are mobile and are spoken of as the 
atoms of the air. Out of the ultimate atoms (paramaus) 
of these four classes combining together simultaneously is 
formed the external aggregate. The cause of the internal 

. /.] ON THE OFFENSIVE. 361 

aggregate is made up of five skandhas (groups;. These 
groups are (i) Rpa-skandha, the group of forms, com- 
posed of sounds, touch, etc. , which are perceived through 
the mind ; (2) Vij/wna-skandha, the group of knowledge, 
which consists of cognitions of these forms ; (3) Vedami- 
skandha, the group of feeling, which consists of pleasure 
and pain caused by the cognitions ; (4) Sawj;w-skandha, the 
group of designations, which is made up of names such as 
Devadatta ; (5) Sawsk^ra-skandha, the group of tenden- 
cies, made up of the latent impressions left by the four 
groups mentioned above. Out of these five groups (skandhas) 
combined together is evolved the internal aggregate. Thus 
the two aggregates admit of an explanation.* 

(The Veddntin}; We ask: Is there an Intelligence external 
to these two aggregates and bringing about aggregations of 
atoms and skandhas ? Or do they themselves aggregate 
together ? Suppose the answer to the former question is in 
the affirmative; then we ask again, is that Intelligence an 
abiding entity or a momentary existence ? To say that the 
Intelligence is an abiding entity is to contradict the funda- 
mental doctrine of the Buddhists that everything is momen- 
tary. Suppose the Intelligence is momentary ; then it is 
impossible to explain how, having not itself existed at one 
moment, it can bring about the aggregation at the next in- 
stant. If the Buddhist should say that there exists no Intel- 
ligence external to the aggregates and bringing about their 
aggregation, we then ask, how can the insentient skandhas 
and atoms aggregate together into their respective forms, of 
their own accord without a governing Intelligence. Thus the 

*Vide Minor Up. Vol II. pp. 8990. 



Buddhistic doctrine of the two aggregates does not accord 
with reason. 

The Vedanta versus Buddhistic Idealism 

(Vedanta-sntras, II. ii. 28 32). 

(The Buddhist] ; Some Buddhists maintain that external 
objects do not really exist as such. They say that Vij/wna- 
skandha (group of cognitions)is alone real. It cannot be 
urged, they say, that this proposition is opposed to our 
ordinary experience (vyavarmra). For, in svapna (dream) 
experience of external objects is possible although at the time 
the mind alone really exists while the external objects do 
not really exist. So our experience of external objects is 
possible in the waking state, though they do not really exist 
at the time. Thus it stands to reason that Vijana-skandha 
alone is real. 

(The Veddntin) : As against the foregoing we hold as 
follows : The illustration of svapna or dream state does not 
apply to the case ; for, our dream experience proves false in 
the waking state; whereas our experience of the waking state 
never proves false. Neither can it be said that there is no 
evidence for the existence of external objects; for it is 
witnessed by our consciousness. Pots, etc, are indeed ex- 
perienced in consciousness as things existing in the external 
world. Perhaps it may be urged on the other side that it is 
our own mind (buddhi) that manifests itself as pots and 
other external objects, and that this idea is expressed in the 
words, " the reality that is knowable within manifests itself 
as if it were something external. " If so, we reply that these 
very words constitute the evidence^for the existence^ of the 
external world. If external objects nowhere exist at all, no 


idea of external objects is possible, and the words "as if it 
were something external " would have no meaning at all. 
Therefore, as external objects do exist, it cannot be main- 
tained that Vijwana alone is real. 

The Vedantin versus the Arhats. 

(Vedrtnta-s^tras, IT. ii. 33 36) 

(The A r hat] : There are in the main two padarthas 
(categories), Jz'va and a-Jzva. J/va, the soul, is intelligent, 
is of the size of the body in which it dwells, and is made 
up of parts. A-J/va, the non-soul, is of six classes : one 
class comprises mountains and the like, and the other five 
are: (i) asrava, the aggregate of the senses, so called be- 
cause it is through these senses that the soul moves among 
the sense-objects ; (2) sawvara, (non-discrimination, etc.,) 
which enshrouds the discriminating faculty ; (3) nirjara 
(austerity) such as plucking of the hair, sitting upon 
a heated stone the means of causing the decay of desire, 
anger, and other passions; (4) bandha (bondage), the 
series of births and deaths brought about by the eight 
kinds of karma, four of them being injurious acts and 
constituting the four kinds of sins, and the four others 
being non-injurious acts and constituting the four kinds of 
meritorious action ; (5) moksha (release) which consists in 
the soul constantly rising upward when, by the means 
pointed out in the scriptures, it has risen above the eight 
kinds of karma. 

[In the Sarvadarsana-sangraha, Sflyawa explains this point 
further as follows : 

If a thing absolutely exits, it exists altogether, always 


everywhere, and with every-body, and no one at any time 
or place would ever make an effort to obtain or avoid it, as 
it would be absurd to treat what is already present as an 
object to be obtained or avoided. But if it be relative ( or 
indefinite), the wise will concede that at certain times and 
in certain places any one may seek or avoid it. Moreover, 
suppose that the question to be asked is this : " Is being or 
non-being the real nature of the thing.?" The real nature of 
the thing cannot be being, for then you could not properly 
use the pharse, " It is a pot " (ghafo'sti), as the two words 
" is " and " pot " would be tautological ; nor ought you to 
say, " It is not a pot," as the words thus used would imply 
a direct contradiction ; and the same argument is to be 
used in other questions. As it has been declared, 

" It must not be said ' It is a pot,' since the 
word ' pot ' implies ' is ' ; nor may you say 
' it is not a pot,' for existence and non-exist- 
ence are mutually exclusive," &c. 

Thus said the teacher in the Syddvdda-manjari 

" A thing of an entirely indeterminate nature 
is the object only of the Omniscient ; a thing 
partly determined is held to be the true object 
of scientific investigation. When our reason- 
ings based on one point proceed in the reveal- 
ed way, it is called the revealed Sydd-vdda, 
which ascertains the entire meaning of all 

" All other systems are full of jealousy from 
their mutual propositions and counter-propo- 
sitions ; it is only the doctrine of the Arhat 

Ann. I. 1 ON THE OFFENSIVE. 365 

which with no partiality equally favours all 
sects." * ] 

The nature of these seven categories is determined on the 
principle known as the saptabhangz-nyrtya, ' the system of 
seven paralogisms.' This principle is stated as follows : 
(i) " May be, it is," (2) " May be, it is not," (3) " May 
be, it is and it is not," (4) " May be, it is indefinable," 
(5) " May be, it is and yet indefinable, (6) " May be, it is 
not and indefinable," (7) " May be, it is and it is not and 
indefinable." ' Syat ' (may be) is here an indeclinable 
particle meaning ' a little.' Now there are four classes of 
opponents (to the Jain doctrine) who severally hold the 
doctrine of existence, the doctrine of non-existence, the 
doctrine of existence and non-existence successively, and 
the doctrine that everything is indefinable (anirvacham'ya). 
And again there are three other classes holding one or another 
of the three first theories in conjunction with the fourth. 
As against these seven classes of opponents, the seven kinds 
of reasoning should be employed. When, for example, the 
holder of the doctrine of existence comes up and scornfully 
asks the /irhata, "Does moksha exist in your system?" 
then the ^Irhata answers " It exists a little." Similarly, as 
against other schools, he answers " It does not exist a little,', 
and so on. Thereby all opponents are abashed to silence^ 
Thus, by the all-sufficient principle of saptabhangznyaya, 
the nature of jwa and other categories is made out, and so 
far there is nothing anomalous in the system. 

(The Veddntin) : This reasoning on the so-called principle 
of saptabhangfis illogical, inasmuch as it predicates existence 

* Translated by Prof. Cowell, 

366 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. [ AnCindd- Vdlli. 

of soul when answering the question of the holder of the 
doctrine of existence, and it predicates non-existence of the 
same soul when answering the question of the holder of the 
doctrine of non-existence. The ^frhat predicates two quite 
opposite attributes of one and the same subject. And it is 
not right to maintain that the soul is made up of parts ; 
for, then it would be non-eternal. If the soul be non-eternal 
who is there to seek for moksha as an end ? Wherefore, the 
nature of the soul and other categories cannot be determin- 
ed by the illogical reasoning called the sapta-bhangz. 

The Vedanta versus Theism. 

(Vedanta-SMtras, II. ii. 37 41) 

It has already * been shewn, on the mere strength of 
scriptures, that /svara is both the efficient and the material 
cause of the universe. The Tarkikas, Saivas and other 
theists do not assent to this doctrine and maintain on the 
contrary that /svara is the mere efficient cause of the 
universe. In support thereof, they resort to the following 
course of empirical reasoning : The potter is not the material 
cause of the pot which he makes ; he is only the efficient 
cause, as the controlling agent operating upon the rod, 
wheel and other things. L,ike the potter, /svara only stands 
b3sid3 the universe of which he is the efficient cause. 

(The Veddntin] : It is not right to maintain that /svara is 
the mere efficient cause ; for, then, it will be difficult to 
acquit Him of partiality, cruelty and other faults. It may be 
asked, how does the Vedantin acquit Him of those faults ? 
We reply that /svara creates the universe in accordance 

* ride ante pp. 335-336 

Ann. /.] N THE OFFENSIVE. 367 

with the karma of living beings ; and we say so on the 
authority of Revelation (Agama). If the thiest should seek 
refuge with /Jgama as the last resort, then he should 
abandon the doctrine of extra-cosmic God, inasmuch as in 
the words " Manifold may I become " '-' the sruti declares, 
that /svara is the material cause. Hence the unsoundness 
of the theory of extra-cosmic God." 

The Vedanta versus the Pancharatra. 

(Vedanta-s/ftras, II. ii. 42 45) 

( The Pancharatra, ) : The Bhagavatas of the Prtncharatra 
school hold as follows : The One Lord, Vasudeva, is the 
material as well as the efficient cause of the universe. The 
breaking of the bondage of mundane existence is effected 
by worshipping Him, by knowing Him and by meditating on 
Him. From Vasudeva, j/va who is spoken of as Sankarsha/fa 
is born ; from jfva is born manas spoken of as Pradyumna; 
from manas is born egoism (ahawkara) spoken of as Aniru- 
ddha. The whole universe is arrayed in the four forms of 
Vasudeva, Sajkarsha#a, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. 

(The Veddntin):A.s not opposed to the teaching of the 
sruti, the teaching of the Pancharatra regarding Vasudeva 
and His worship, etc., may be accepted. But the asser- 
tion that jtva is born is wrong and cannot be maintained . 
for, if jj'va were born it would lead us to the conclu- 
sion that a man will not reap what he has sown and 
that he reaps what he has not sown. To explain : since 
the j&va of a former creation had a birth at the beginning of 

* Tiii. Up. '! 1>. 


that creation, he must have been destroyed at the end of 
it, so that the acts of dharma and adharma done by him 
could not bear fruit, and it would therefore follow that they 
were destroyed. And the new j/va that is born at the 
beginning of this creation comes by pleasure and pain here, 
though he has not already done acts of dharma and adhrma, 
and thus reaps what he has not sown. Thus the birth of 
the soul as taught in the Pflncharatra is unsound. 


The seed of human organism. 

From earth co-operated by rain, etc., all plants, such as 
rice, composed of the five guas or component parts, come 
into being in orderly succession. To say that the earth is 
co-operated by rain, etc. , is to say that the earth becomes 
quintupled; i.e. , it combines with the other four elements 
and thus forms a compound of all the five elements. And 
all food, all that is edible, is derived from plants. From 
the food, when digested, comes chyle (rasa) ; chyle genera- 
tes blood, blood generates flesh, and flesh gives birth to 
fat (medas) ; from fat bones are produced, and bones give 
rise to marrow (majja) ; from marrow comes the semen, 
which, combined with the mother's blood (asnj), constitutes 
the seed (bjja). 

The seed developing into man. 

"With his intellect enveloped by the mighty snares of 
avidyrt or ignorance of his real Self, with his heart carried 
away by the fish-hook of insatiable kmna(desire) that is born 
of non-discrimination (moha), man, the father of the one yet 
to be born, is assailed by darkness (tamas), struck down by 
the arrows of sense-objects that are poisoned with attachment 
and discharged from the bow of desire with all the force of 
purposeful thoughts. Then he is powerless as if possessed 

* The whole of this Chapter is a traiislatiouof the Vartika and 
of portions of -liiamlagiri's gloss thereon. 


370 BRAHMA- VIDYA EXPOUNDED. \Ananda-Vcilli. 

with a demon ; and urged on by the karma of the person 
that is to be born, he falls amain into the woman-fire, as 
the moth rushes into a blazing fire, covetous of its flame. 
When the man has embraced the woman, the semen describ- 
ed above is extracted from every part of the body ; and 
through the semen-carrying tube (nadi) , it is soon let into 
the womb, in the manner determined by their karma and 
knowledge.'' 1 ' The semen thus poured into the womb and 
acted on by the controlling force of the two causes 
namely, the former karma and knowledge passes succes- 
sively through the embryonic states of 'kalala' and 'budbuda' 
in a few days. Then it passes on into the state of the foetus 
(pesl) and then becomes a compact mass (ghana) . This 
compact mass gradually assumes the form of a body en- 
dued with various limbs, and from these limbs grow the 
hairs. With whatever elements of matter (bhtas) and 
with whatever senses (karawas) the soul was associated in 
the former birth, the same elements and the same sense- 
organs go to make up the organism in which the soul is to 
be born here in the present life ; | and this we maintain 
on the strength of the sruti which declares as follows : 

" As a goldsmith, taking a piece of gold, turns 
it into another newer and more beautiful 
shape, so does this self, after having thrown 

* i. e. by the karma and knowledge of the parent and the off- 
spring, or of the two parents of the forthcoming child. (A) 

f That is to say, the same five elements of matter that entered 
into the composition of the former body form the material canse 
of the present bod}', and the same senses that functioned in the 
former body become manifested in the present one. (A) 

Ami. /.] THE EVIL AND ITS CURE. 371 

off this body and dispelled all ignorance make 
unto himself another newer and more beauti- 
ful shape." * 

The action of five fires in the birth of man. 

The sruti elsewhere says : 

" Into the five fires of heaven, rain-cloud, earth, 
man and woman, the Devas pour the oblations 
of faith, soma (moon), rain, food, and semen ; 
and when the fifth oblation has been made, 
the soul is born as man." f 

Here the sruti mentions the stages through which the 
constituents of human organism have passed. The Devas, 
i.e., the pranas or life-forces of the man J, pour his faith 
(sraddha) into the fire of heaven. The matter of heaven, 
thus acted on by the faith of the individual and by the life- 
forces, becomes the luminous matter of heaven, the soma- 
rajan. The same life-forces of man then pour that matter 
of heaven (soma) into the fire of rain-cloud ; and thence it 
comes as rain. Then the Devas pour this rain into the 
third fire called earth, and there comes the food. This 
food enters into man and is converted into semen, and this 
ssmen, when cast into the woman's womb, becomes man. 

Limitation of the Self as man by avidya. 

The Viraj, the Universal Self manifested in His vesture 
of the gross physical matter of the universe, has been 

* Bri. Up. 444. 

f This is an abstract of the Chhft. Up. 5 4, et seq. 
J The yajamana, \vho in his former birth was engaged in the 
Bacrificial ritual. 


evolved from the S.'^tra, the same Universal Self manifest- 
ed in the subtle matter of the universe ; and though in- 
finite and coextensive with the whole universe, He yet 
becomes a limited being through ignorance (sammoha), 
and thinks "this much I am" with reference to the 
physical body of man, in virtue of kflma and karma. 
In the same fashion the Swtra, manifested both as the 
Universal Being and as limited beings in the subtle matter 
of the universe, becomes limited as the linga-san'ra or 
subtle body % of man which is made up of the seven- 
teen constituents. ' ;: The source of this twofold limita- 
tion is in the Avyakta, the Unmanifested Cause ; and this 
Avyakta, as limited in the human organism, is identical 
with man's Ego in the sushupti state. The Supreme Self 
who is beyond the cause and the effects above referred to, 
and who is infinite in Himself, becomes by avidy^ what 
is called the Kshetrajwa, the knower of the body, the 
self-conscious Ego, as manifested in man, who is a mere 
semblance of the Supreme Conscious Self. Hence the 
words of our Lord, Sn Krisrwa : "Do thou know Me 
as the Kshetrajwa." t 

Avidya and its proof. 

It is avidya, the consciousness ' I do not know,' bring- 
ing about the limitation of the Supreme Self as the self 
of man, which is the sole cause of the threefold limitation 
above referred to. Our consciousness is the sole evidence 
of its existence, just as the consciousness of the owl is the 

* These are manas, buddhi, five Jnanendriyas or organs of 
knowledge, five Karmendriyas or organs of action, and five 
pnwns or vital airs. 

Bh. Gita XIII 2. 

Ann. /.] THE EVIL AN ' D ITS CURE. 373 

sole evidence of the night's darkness that it sees during our 
daytime. That is to say : nothing but Consciousness exists 
as an objective reality ; and for the existence of avidya in It, 
there is no proof other than our own experience (sv^nu- 
bhava). He who seeks to prove avidya by proper tests 
of truth is, indeed, like one who tries to see the darkness 
of a mountain-cave by means of a lamp. What the human 
consciousness knows as the non-self is all evolved from 
avidyrt, and is looked upon as avidya itself, as false know- 
ledge. Vidya or real knowledge is identical with the 
Self; it is Consciousness itself. Avidyfl is the non-percep- 
tion of the Self, the veil of the Self. It is not a mere 
negative of vidya, since the mere absence of vidy.i cannot 
act as the veil of the Self. The negative prefix 'a' in 
' avidyfl' implies only that the thing denoted by the word is 
something opposed to or other than vidya, as in ' a-mitra 
(non-friend)' and ' a-dharma (demerit) ' ; not that it is the 
mere absence of vidyfl. And, when properly examined, all 
differentiation perceived by the deluded minds in the non- 
self, in the external universe, as being and non-being, 
resolves itself into this non-perception, i.e., is finally trace- 
able to the idea ' I do not know'; and it is therefore proper 
to hold that it is all a manifestation of avidyrt. 

The growth of the subtle body 

With his discrimination obscured by this avidyrz, the 
human Ego (j/va) abandons his former body, and with the 
upadhi of the linga-sanra enters the womb of the mother, 
wafted thither by the strong winds of karma. 

The solid, watery, and fiery substances eaten by the 
mother are each resolved into three parts; and each of these 
three parts undergoes a definite transformation. Thus the 


subtlest portion of the solid food builds up manas, buddhi, 
and indriyas (senses) ; the subtlest part of the watery 
food builds up prana. or life-breath in all its various mani- 
festations ; the subtlest part of the fiery food builds up 
speech and other organs of action. Their less subtle parts 
are transformed respectively into flesh, blood, and marrow ; 
and the grossest parts are transformed into dung, urine, 
and bone. 

Evolution of manas, etc., from Consciousness. 

The several senses are evolved from the Ahawzk^ra 
( Egoism ) under the impulse of former impressions 
(bhflvanas) which are now brought up by karma ; and the 
nature and efficiency of the senses so evolved depend there- 
fore upon the former karma and knowledge of the individual 
concerned. To illustrate : The organ of hearing is evolved 
from the consciousness " I am the hearer ; " and this 
principle should be extended to the evolution of the other 
indriyas or senses: from Egoism conjoined with the 
consciousness " I am the toucher " the sense of touch is 
evolved ; and from the Egoism conjoined with the consci- 
ousness " I am the seer," the sense of sight is evolved. Thus 
it is from the Ahawknra acted on by Consciousness that the 
senses are evolved, not from the Ahawzkara pure and simple 
as some Sakhyas hold. 

The Self is unborn. 

Atman is said to be born when the body is born just as 
when the pot is produced the akasa. of the pot is said to be 
produced. ^4tman being thus really not subject to birth, 
He is not subject to other changes, inasmuch as all these 
changes presuppose the change called birth, 


Review of the past lives just before birth. 

As this visible physical body of the man lying in the 
womb develops, his linga-sanra also develops itself more 
and more. In the ninth or tenth month after conception, 
when all his senses (karawas) have been developed, and 
prior to his birth into the world, all the vasanas or latent 
impressions gathered up in the past innumerable births 
present themselves one after another to the view of the 
embodied soul who, in his linga-sanra, has already entered 
into the womb under the impulse of his past dharma and 
adharma and is lying there awake in all his senses. Man, 
thus awakened as to his past experience stored up in him 
as vasanas or latent impressions, becomes alive to the 
misery of existence in the womb and the like. " Ah, what 
a great misery has befallen me!" Thus feeling dejected, 
he then grieves about himself in the following wise : " Ere 
entering this womb, I often suffered intolerable excruciating 
pain; I often fell into the burning sands of the hell that 
burn the wicked souls ; but these drops of the pitta fluid 
heated by the digestive fire of the stomach cause more 
excruciating pain to me who am held down in the womb ; 
and the worms in the stomach, with their mouths as sharp 
as the thorns of the kufasalraali plant, :|: torture me, who 
am already tormented by the saw-like bones on each side. 
The misery of the kumbh/paka hell looks very small by 
the side of the torture in the womb which is full of all mal- 
odors and is burning with the digestive fire of the stomach. 
Lying in the womb, I suffer all the misery of the hells 
where the wicked souls have to drink of pus, blood and 

* with which the wicked are tortured in the world of Yama. 

376 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. [Ancuida-V alii. 

rheum, and to eat of things vomitted ; and I suffer all the 
misery of the worms that live in the dung. The greatest 
misery of all hells put together cannot exceed the pain 
now suffered by me lying in the Avomb." 

The misery of birth and infancy 

Then squeezed by the net-work of bones, overwhelmed by 
the fire of the stomach, with all the limbs smeared with 
blood and liquid discharges, and enveloped in a membrane, 
tormented by excruciating pain, crying aloud, with the face 
downwards, he emerges out of the womb as if delivered 
from a snare and drops down lying on the back. Then the 
baby knows nothing, and remains like a mass of flesh and 
foetus. He has to be guarded from the grip of dogs, cats 
and other carnivores, by others with sticks in hand. He 
cannot distinguish the demon from the father and Dakmi f 
from the mother ; he cannot distinguish pus from milk. Fie 
upon this miserable state of infancy ! 

The misery of youth. 

Then, on attaining youth, he grows haughty and is 
assailed with the fever of sexual passion. All on a sudden 
he sings aloud, and as suddenly he leaps or jumps and 
ascends a tree. He frightens the mild ; and, blinded by 
the intoxicating love and anger, he pays no heed to any- 
thing whatsoever. 

The misery of old age. 

Then attaining to the age of decrepitude which is the 

* The sawsara in its hideous aspect as experienced in the 
womb is here described with a view to create a disgust for 
paHisrtra and to spur on the disciple to a strong endeavour to 
get out of it and to avoid future return to the womb. (A ) 
f A kind of female imp. 


object of all insult, he becomes miserable. With the chest 
choked up by phlegm, he cannot digest the food ; with 
fallen teeth, with weak sight, having to eat of sharp and 
bitter and astringent things, with the loins, neck and 
hands, thighs and legs, bent down by the morbid humours 
of wind, he becomes quite helpless, assailed by myriads of 
diseases, insulted by his own kinsmen, precluded from all 
ablutions, smeared with dirt all over the body, lying on 
the floor, embracing the earth as it were. Having swallow- 
ed all the intelligence, memory, courage, bravery, and the 
strength of the youth, this damsel of a Jara :|: feels as if 
she has achieved all and dances with joy to the drum of 
asthmatic cough, to the kettle-drum of the roaring stomach, 
to the flute of the sonorous breath, with the garment-hem 
of white mustachios, with the petty-coat of the wrinkled 
and grey-haired skin, having a third leg as it were in the 
staff, again and again reeling and tumbling ; brilliant in 
the gold-jewels of projecting knots of flesh, veiled in the 
thin skin, with the tinklings of moving anklets caused by 
the rubbing of the heel and knee-bones. 

The misery of death and the after career. 

To the death-pangs that succeed, there is no parallel. 
Creatures suffering from the direst maladies of the body 
are afraid of death. In the very embraces of kinsmen, 
the mortal creature is dragged away by death, as the ser- 
pent lying hidden in the depths of the ocean is dragged 
away by the kite. " Ah ! my dear ! my wealth ! O my 
son ! " While thus bitterly weeping, man is swallowed by 
death as a frog by a serpent. It is meet that the seeker of 

* Old age personified 

378 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. \Ancinda-Vatli' 

moksha should remember the pangs of the dying man whose 
vitals are cut to pieces, and whose joints are unloosed. 
" When thy consciousness fails thee and with it thy per- 
ceptive faculty, when tied by the band of death, how canst 
thou find a saviour ? Encountering darkness everywhere, 
as when entering a deep pit, thou wilt see with distressed 
eyes, thy kinsmen beating their breasts. Thou wilt then 
find thyself dragged by kinsmen all around with their iron- 
bands of affection." Tormented by hiccough, withering 
away by hard breathing, dragged by bands of death, man 
finds no refuge. 

Mounted on the wheel of sawsnra, and led on by the 
couriers of death, and bound fast by the death-band, man 
grieves, ' where am I to go ?' As man goes alone after 
death, his karma alone leading him on, is he a wise man 
who in this world of maya thinks that the mother, father, 
elders, sons and kinsmen are all his and will come to his 
help ? This world of mortals is verily like a resting-tree. 
One evening birds meet together on a tree for the night's 
rest, and the next morning they leave the tree and part 
from one another and go their way ; just so do men meet 
for a time as relatives and strangers in this world and then 
disperse. Birth leads to death, and death to birth ; thus 
without rest man wanders for ever like gha/z'-yantra (a 
machine for raising water). 

The study of kosas and its purpose. 

Having described the evolution from Brahman of the 
universe including man, the sruti proceeds to shew how to 
bring about the destruction of the great evil of sawsara. 
It is with this end in view that the five kosas of man will 


be described ; and by resolving each kosa into that which 
precedes it in evolution, each effect into its immediate cause 
till the Ultimate Cause is reached, man will be led on to a 
knowledge of Brahman who is neither the cause nor the 
effect, and of the unity of his Self and Brahman. 

Samsara is due to avidya. 

The dwelling in the womb and all other vicissitudes of 
existence described above as making up the evil of saw/s^ra 
pertain to the linga-deha, or subtle body. Though the real 
Self of man has nothing to do with those vicissitudes, still, 
by delusion (sam-moha), by confounding together the two 
bodies and the real Self, he thinks that he himself is subject 
to the changes. Identifying himself with buddhi (under- 
standing, intellect), man regards himself as the cogniser, and 
engages in the act of congnising. Identifying himself with 
manas, he regards himself as trie thinker, and as a result of 
this confusion he performs mental acts. Identifying himself 
with prrt,7a (up-breathing) and other forms of vitality he 
feels concerned in all outgoing activities. And identifying 
himself with sight and other senses, he is engrossed in think- 
ing of color and so on. Similarly, when the physical body 
is burnt, he thinks himself burnt; the deluded man regards 
himself black and thus puts on the blackness of the body. 
By avidyrt man becomes attached to cattle, wealth and 
the like and thinks himself the owner of them; and by 
attachment he ascribes to himself the affections of the 
physical body and the linga-sanra, and thinks that he is a 
student, a householder, an ascetic, a sage, and so on. The 
body is in fact a product of the various elements of matter, 
quite foreign to the real Self of man, and man subjects 


himself to evil by mere delusion, by regarding the human 
organism as T and 'mine'. 

Brahmavidya is intended for man. 

Though all bsings alike the lower kingdoms as well as 
man, are products of food and are evolved from Brahman 
primarily, still, the human being is here made the subject 
of investigation, simply because it is man who is qualified 
for karma and j;wna, who is capable of acting and know- 
ing aright. Man is plunged deep down in this ocean of 
sawsara, in this repository of all evil ; and it is man whom 
the sruti seeks, by means of Brahmavidya, to unite to 
Brahman, to his own Innermost Self. 

The process of imparting Brahmavidya. 

The sruti tries to impart this Brahmavidya or knowledge 
of Brahman by an exposition of the five kosas. By afford- 
ing to man an insight into the nature of the kosas (the 
sheaths of the Self), it will be shewn that Brahman beyond 
the kosas is one with man's real Self within. It is indeed by 
first pointing to the end of the tree's branch that one points 
out the moon beyond. The human mind which is fully 
tainted with the wsanrts with the tendencies and impres- 
sions of past mundane experiences that have accumula- 
ted in this beginningless sawsrtra can realise the real Self 
within only by some peculiarly appropriate process, and it 
is this appropriate process which the sruti describes in the 

The one Self differentiated into the Ego 
and the non-Ego. 

The Pratyagfltman, the real Self within, is one in Him- 
self, untouched with any duality; neither does there exist 

Ann. 7.1 THE EVIL AND ITS CURE. 381 

anything whatever even outside the Self. The one Self is, 
owing to avidyrt, differentiated into the two false categories 
of the Ego and the non-Ego. That is to say, when the one 
true Self is not realised in His true nature as one, that very 
Self appears differentiated as the Ego and the non-Ego ; so 
that all the differentiation we are conscious of is due to avidya 
and therefore false ; and the Self remains all the while one 
in fact, untouched by duality. 

The kosas, subjective and objective. 

There are five kosas or sheaths in which the Self manifests 
Himself as the Ego, namely, the Annamaya or the one 
composed of food, the Pnwamaya or the one composed of 
vitality, the Manomaya or the one composed of thought, the 
Vij/wnamaya or the one composed of intelligence, and the 
/Inandamaya or the one composed of bliss ; and correspond- 
ing to these there are five kosas or sheaths in which the 
same Self manifests Himself as the objective, as the 
non-Ego, namely, Anna or food, Pnwa or vitality, 
Manas or thought, Vij/wna or intelligence, and /Inanda 
or bliss. So that, ultimately, there are five principles, 
Anna, Prana., Manas, Vijwana and ^4nanda. Anna is 
the Virrtj ( the radiant ), that which is manifested to 
our senses, the physical. This has grown or evolved out 
of Pnma or vitality. Prana., Manas, and Vij;wna constitute 
what is called the S^tmtman. This Strtman is made up 
primarily of two kinds of matter : one of them is the vehicle 
of all outgoing activity (kriya-sakti) and is called Praa or 
life-principle ; the other kind of matter is the vehicle of all 
intellection or knowledge (vijwma-sakti) and is of two kinds, 
Manas and Vij/mna. Manas is the anta/j-karawa, that kind 


of matter in which all concrete (savikalpaka ) thought ex- 
presses itself. It is in the mnnasic form of matter that all 
concrete thoughts, such as those embodied in the /?ig-Veda, 
the Yajur- Veda, and the S^rna- Veda, express themselves. And 
Manas is behind Prawa : that is to say, it is from Manas that 
Proa has been evolved. Vijwrna or intelligence, too, is the 
anta/i-kara;za, the matter in which all abstract (nirvikalpaka) 
thought expresses itself. All determinate ascertained know- 
ledge, such as that concerning the truths taught in the Veda, 
constitute the Buddhi, the understanding. These three kosas 
of Prm/a, Manas, and Vij;wna constitute the S/^tnitman. 
ylnanda is the bliss which results from knowledge and action, 
and is the ultimate cause of all. Thus, Anna or physical 
matter constitutes the Vinrj-kosa; Prana., Manas, and Vij?mna 
constitute the Stmtman ; and ^nanda constitutes the Kra- 
akosa (the Cause sheath). The same five kosas (sheaths 
or principles) are mentioned in the Brihadara/jyalca * under 
the names of Anna, Pnwa, Manas, Vach (sheech, correspond- 
ing to Vij/wma here) and Avyflkn'ta (the undifferentiated 
Root of matter). Prana. Manas and Vach, spoken of as the 
three foods of Prajapati, constitute the Stratman ; Anna is 
the Viraj ; and the Avyakrila is the Kf?ra;/a, the ultimate 
Cause of all. 

The relation between the subjective and the 
objective kosas. 

The five sheaths of the non-Ego or objective group cons- 
titute respectively the material essences of which the five 
sheaths of the Ego or subjective group are built up. On 
realising the nature of the ten kosas of the Ego and the 

* 12. 


non-Ego groups, the student should first resolve in thought 
the five sheaths of the Ego group into their respective 
material essences in the objective group ; i. e. , he should 
understand that the Annamaya-kosa is made up of the 
matter on the plane of physical matter, that the Prawamaya- 
kosa is made up of matter on the plane of Prana. or vital 
essence, and so on. He should then realise that, as the 
effect is not distinct from the cause, the Annamaya is not 
distinct from Anna, its material cause. So, too, with regard 
to the other kosas. The student should now take the next 
step : he should see that as Anna has been evolved from 
Prana., the one is not distinct from the other, its material cause, 
and is therefore one with it. In the same way he should see 
that Prana. is not distinct from Manas, that Manas is not 
distinct from Vij/wna, and that Vij/mna is not distinct from 
/Inanda, the first Cause. 

The Self beyond. 

When the student has by this process risen above the 
level of effects and attained to the level of the Cause, he is 
taught the grand truth that the Self and Brahman are 
identical. In the light of this teaching he ceases to identify 
himself with the Cause and rises to the level of Brahman 
beyond the Cause, and thus realises the unity of Brahman 
and the Self. 

Contemplation of the sheaths as altars of 
sacred fire. 

As Luanda is the innermost essence of the remaining four 
principles of the non-Ego group, so, the ^Inandamaya-kosa 
is the pratyagrttman or the innermost essence of the remain- 
ing four sheaths of the Ego group, inasmuch as .these 


sheaths are all manifestations of the one j^'va who is con- 
sciousness pure and simple (prajwana-ghana). The con- 
templation, however, enjoined in the sequel, of the 
/Inandamaya-kosa which is consciousness pure and simple 
as made up of a head, two Avings, a trunk and a tail may 
be explained as referring to the variety in the manifested 
forms of bliss resulting from the acts of the individual. 
Each sheath is represented as made up of a head and so on 
for the purposes of contemplation. Accordingly, the teachers 
of old have explained that these are but imaginary repre- 
sentations of the kosas in the form of altars of the sacred 
fire. The Annamaya-kosa, for instance, should be contem- 
plated as the altar of the sacred fire arranged in the form of a 
bird:" the head of the human physical body corresponding to 
the head of the bird, the arms to the wings, the middle 
portion to the trunk, and the remaining part to the tail 
of the bird. 

The purpose of the contemplation of kosas. 

By a constant contemplation of these kosas represented 
as altars of the sacred fire, the student attains wisdom. His 
buddhi or understanding becomes purer and acquires the 
faculty of true discrimination. With the growth of the 
faculty of true discrimination, he abandons the first kosa 
and recedes to the one next behind. Thus step by step he 
abandons one kosa after another, and receding behind all 
kosas and dissolving away all of them, he attains to a 
knowledge of his unity with Brahman and becomes liberat- 
ed. The sruti further declares that he who contemplates 

* In sacrificial rites, the altars of the sacred fire are usually 
arranged in the form of a bird, such as a hawk. 

Ann. /.] T HE EVIL AND ITS CURE. 385 

Anna or the Viraj obtains all food. This must be the 
additional fruit of the contemplation accruing to the devotee ; 
for, so the Veda teaches, and no teaching of the Veda can 
ever be doubted. Doubt may arise only as to the matters 
known through sensuous perception or through inference 
therefrom, the vision in this case being distorted by the 
idiosyncrasies of the human mind. The Vedic revelation, 
on the other hand, is not subject to any such distortion. 

Or, the purpose of the teaching of these upasanas may be 
explained in another way : Man naturally identifies himself 
with the kosas. The sruti, taking hold of this natural bent 
of the human mind, enables man to resolve, by Dhyana or 
meditation, each kosa into what is behind it, till he reaches 
the Self behind all kosas, and then enjoins him to hold on 
to that Self alone. The fruits of the contemplation men- 
tioned in connection with the several kosas should not be 
supposed to accrue as declared here. The unity of Brah- 
man and the Self is the main point of teaching, and that 
alone therefore is the truth which the sruti seeks to impress 
in this connection. A parallel case is found in the Chhan- 
dogya-Upanishad. There * the sruti teaches the contem- 
plation of name, etc., to which man resorts of his own 
accord, without the sruti enjoining it, only with a view to 
enjoin the contemplation of the Infinite (Bhz/man), declar- 
ing it as the highest of the upasanas therein taught. 

Or, it may be that in speaking of the contemplation of 
food, etc., and the fruits thereof, the Taittinya merely 
reiterates the teaching of the BHhadarawyaka concerning 

* Op. cit. 7, 


386 BRAHMA- VIDYA EXPOUNDED. \_Ananda-Valli. 

the contemplations of the Vinzj and the S^tratman, which 
are there enjoined as the means of attaining fruits ranging 
below moksha, while the main object of the Taittinya is to 
impart a knowledge of the Absolute Reality as the means of 
attaining the highest good. 



In chapters VI to IX, it has been well established that 
the whole universe from akass. down to man has been 
evolved from Brahman endued with Maya. This being 
established, it becomes quite evident that Brahman is 
infinite ; for, as the effect has no existence apart from the 
cause, Brahman Himself is in the form of space, time and 
all things. Having thus established the infinitude of Brah- 
man declared in the words " Real, Consciousness and 
Infinite is Brahman," the sruti proceeds to establish the 
statement that He is ' hid in the cave,' by way of dis- 
criminating the real Brahman from the five kosas begin- 
ning with the Annamaya and ending with the /Inandamaya. 

Composition of the Annamaya- kosa. 

To treat first of the Annamaya-kosa : 

4. He, verily, is this man, formed of food- 

This human being whom we perceive is a viknra or 
product of food-essence. It is, indeed, the semen, the 
essence of all parts of the body, bearing the (generator's) 
thought-impress of human form, that here constitutes 
the seed ; and he who is born from that seed (which 
bears the thought-impress of human form) must be 


likewise of human form ; for, as a rule we find that all 
creatures that are born, of whatever class of beings, are 
of the same form as the parents. 

(Question] : All creatures alike being formed of food- 
essence and descended from Brahman, why is man 
alone taken (for examination) ? 

(Answer] : Because of his importance. 
(Question) : Wherein does his importance lie ? 

(Answer) : In so far as he is qualified for karma and 
jnana., for acting and knowing aright. Man alone, 
indeed, is qualified for karma and jnana., because he 
alone is competent to follow the teaching, and because 
he alone seeks the ends which they are intended to 
secure. Accordingly the sruti says elsewhere : " But in 
man the Self is more manifested " &c.* It is man 
whom the sruti seeks to unite to Brahman, the Inner- 
most Being, through Vidya or wisdom. 

t With a view to transport man by the ship of Brahma- 
vidya to the farthest shore of the great ocean of evil-produc- 
ing kosas (sheaths), the sruti says " He, verily, is this man " 
etc. Here ' He ' refers to the Atman, the Self, the Primal 
Being; and 'verily,' shows that He is the ^4tman taught 
in all upanishads. In the words ' this man ' the sruti 
teaches that the A tman Himself has become the man of 
kosas by avidya, by not knowing himself. Just as a rope 

* Aita. -4ra. 2-3-2-5. The passage is quoted in full on page 311. 

f Here the Vartikakora's explanation differs from the 

. I. 1 ANNAMAYA-KOSA. 389 

becomes a serpent only by avidya, for, a rope can never 
actually become a serpent, so, by avidya A tman becomes the 
man of five kosas and appears to suffer along with the kosas. 
' Annarasamaya ' means a thing formed of food-essence. 
Reason* as well as revelation t teach that the Supreme Self 
is not formed of any material, unlike a pot which is formed 
of clay. But we know that the body is made of food-essence. 
The sruti says that " He ( the Self ), verily, is this man 
formed of food," simply because the physical body is an 
upfldhi of the Self. (S & A). 

By " this man formed of food-essence " we should under- 
stand the piwfa or individual human organism only ; but 
that organism is one with the Vinrj, with the whole visible 
universe constituting the physical body of the Cosmic Soul. 
Elsewhere, in the words " The Self alone was all this in 
the beginning, in the form of man," J the sruti teaches the 
unity of the body and the Viraj ; and here, too, in the words 
" Those who contemplate upon Anna (food) as Brahman," 
the sruti directs us to regard Brahman and Anna as one. 
When by up^sana the organism which is limited to the 
individual is unified with the Vinrj or Cosmic Organism 
Piana (life) becomes also unified with V^yu, the Hiraya- 
garbha ; and then the Self in the upadhi of the Hiraya- 
garbha passes beyond the limits of individuality, in the 
same way that a lamp-light confined within a pot becomes 

* The reason is : that He has no parts, that He is unattached, 
and so on. 

f " He is not born, He does not die," etc. (Kaiha-np. 2-18^ 
J.Bri, Up. 141 


diffused in space when the confining pot is broken to 
pieces (S. & A.). 

The human organism, composed of a head, hands, feet, 
etc., and which at the beginning of creation was evolved 
after the evolution of akasa and other things mentioned 
already, that very human organism is the one which every 
man regards as ' my body.' Certainly, what a person now 
regards as his own body is not itself the one evolved at the 
beginning of creation ; still, as both alike are formed of food- 
element evolved in the course of the evolution beginning 
with flkdtsa, man's body is of the same kind as the one 
evolved at the beginning of creation. Hence the words 
" He, verily, is this man. " The words " formed of 
food-essence (anna-rasa) " clearly point to this idea. There 
are six kinds of food-essence : sweet, acid, saline, bitter, 
acrid and astringent. The physical body is formed of these 
six essences of food. The essence of the food eaten by the 
parents is in due course converted into the seven principles 
of this body, namely, skin, blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow 
and semen ; and on entering the womb it is again changed 
into a human body. The Garbha-upanishad says : 

" The food-essence is of six kinds. From this 
essence blood is formed ; from blood, flesh ; 
from flesh, fat ; from fat, bone ; from bone, 
marrow ; from marrow, semen. From a com- 
bination of semen and blood the foetus is 

The gross physical body mentioned here as formed of food- 
essence includes also the subtle body lying within it, inas- 
much as this latter body is formed of simple (a-pEUfdi&rita, 

. /.] 


unquintupled, uncompounded) elements of matter (bhwta) 
and is nourished and maintained by food, etc., eaten by man. 
That the subtle body is formed of elements of matter is 
declared by the Teacher in the following words : 

" The five unquintupled primary elements of 
matter, and the senses which are evolved from 
them, constitute together the Linga-San'ra 
composed of the seventeen constituents; the 
Linga-Sarz'ra thus being material." 

That the subtle body is nourished and maintained by food, 
etc., is taught in the Chtumdogya: 

"Formed of food, verily, is manas ; formed of 
water is prana.; formed of fire is speech. " :; 

From our ordrinary experience it can be shewn that in the 
case of all beings, when manas is weakened by fasting, it is 
invigorated by breaking the fast. Similarly, we find in our 
experience that, when prana. or vitality is weakened by the 
fatigue of a journey, it is refreshed by drinking water. So 
also we see songsters purify their throats by drinking ghee, 
oil, and other tejasic (fiery) substances and thus improve 
their voice. The physical body which we perceive formed of 
food, and associated with the Linga-deha (subtle body)which 
is composed of manas, prana., speech, etc., and whose nature 
has just been described, is the adhyatmika, i.e., belongs 
to the individual soul. From this we may also understand 
the nature of the /idhiddivika, the body of the Cosmic Soul, 

* These seventeen constituents are : the five primary elements 
the five jwana-indriyas (senses of knowledge), the five karma- 
indriyas (eenses of action), manas, and buddhi. 

t Op. cifc 654. 


the Vairajic body called Brahmanda., the Mundane Egg. 
The Vtfrtikakara has described it as follows : 

"Then came into being the Virvij, the mani- 
fested God, whose senses are Dis (space) and 
other (Devatos or Intelligences), who wears a 
body formed of the five gross elements of 
matter, and who glows with the consciousness 
' I am all'." 

The Annamaya-kosa has been described by the sruti only 
with a view to ultimately enable the disciple to understand 
the real nature of Brahman, just as the end of a tree's 
branch is first shown with a view to point out the moon 
over against it. 

Contemplation of the Annamaya-kosa. 

The sruti now proceeds to represent for the purposes of 
contemplation the five parts of the Annamaya-kosa in the 
form of a bird as in the case of a sacrificial fire. The 
sacrificial fire arranged in the form of a hawk, a heron, or 
some other bird, has a head, two wings, a trunk and a tail. 
So also, here, every kosa is represented to be made up of 
five parts : 


5. This itself is his head ; this is the right wing, 
this is the left wing, this is the self, this is the tail, 
the support, 

The disciple's mind having been accustomed to regard 
the non-self as the Self to regard as the Self the 

Ami. I. ] AXNAMAYA-KOSA. 393 

several forms, bodies, or kosas which are external to 
the Self it is impossible for it all at once to compre- 
hend the Innermost Self without the support ( of its 
former experience), * and to dwell in Him detached 
altogether from that support. Accordingly, the sruti 
tries to lead man within (to one self within another till 
the real Self is reached) by representing ( the inner 
embodied selves, the Pra^amaya and so on ) after the 
fashion of the physical body, of that embodied self with 
which all are familiar, i.e., by representing them as 
having a head, etc., like the Annamaya self, in the 
same way that a man shows the moon shining over 
against a tree by first pointing to a branch of the tree.t 

The Annamaya-kosa is here represented by the sruti as a 
bird, as having wings and a tail, in order that the Pniwa- 
maya and other kosas may also be represented in the form 
of a bird. The intellect will thereby b3 divested of its 
engrossment in external objects and can then be directed 
steadily to the self. No contemplation of a kosa is intended 
for the specific fruit spoken of here. The present section 
starts and concludes with a discussion of the unity of the 
Self and Brahman ; therefore this unity must be the aim of 

* i. e., independently of all reference to the kosas formerly 
regarded as selves. 

f lie who wants to show the moon to anothar first teaches 
that the end of the branch of the tree is the moon. When the 
eye has thus been directed towards the end of the branch, and 
has been withdrawn from all other directions, then the moon 
oyer against the end f the branch is shown. 


394 6RAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. Anaitdfl- V(llll. 

its teaching. To suppose that the contemplation for a 
specific purpose is also intended here is to admit that the 
present section deals with two different topics, which is 
opposed to all principles of interpretation. As to the sruti 
speaking of the specific fruits, it should be construed 
into a mere praise of the intermediate steps in the process of 
Brahmavidyrt, calculated to induce the student to push on 
the investigation with zest. By meditating upon the kosas 
one after another, the student realises their true nature. 
When the mind dwells steadily in one kosa and realises its 
true nature, it loses sight of all objects of its former regard ; 
and when thus divested, gradually, of the idea of one kosa 
after another, the student's mind is competent to dwell 
steadily in the Self. (A). 

Of the man formed of food-essence, what we call 
head is itself the head. In the case of the Pnwamaya 
and the like, what is not actually the head is represent- 
ed as the head ; and to guard against the idea that the 
same may be the case here (i.e., with the Annamaya), 
the sruti emphasises, "this itself is the head". The same 
is true with regard to wings, etc. This, the right arm 
of the man facing the east, is the right wing; this, the 
left arm, is the left wing ; this, the central part of the 
body, is the self, the trunk, as the sruti says, " The 
central one, verily, is the self of these limbs." This, 
the part of the body below the navel, the tail as it were, 
because, like the tail of a bull, it hangs down, is the 
support, i.e., that by which man stands. 

As to the Annamaya which is to be meditated upon, 
what we call head, the part of the body si.tua.ted above the 

Anil. /.] AXXAMAYA-KOSA. 395 

neck, is itself the head. There is no figure here. The two 
hands themselves we see are to be meditated upon as the 
two wings. The part of the body situated below the neck 
and above the navel is the self, the middle part of the body, 

the suitable abode of j/va It is plain that the part of 

the human body below the navel is the support of the 
upper part. In the body of the bull and other animals, the 
tail forms a support in so far as it serves to drive away flies 
and musquitoes and the like. This idea of the tail being 
the support of the bodies is presented here for purposes of 

As fashioned after the mould of the physical body, 
the Pnwamaya and others to be mentioned below are 
also represented to be of the same form, having a head 
and so on ; the molten mass of copper, for example, 
poured into the mould of an idol takes the form of 
that idol. 

Though the Pnwamaya and the other three kosas are not 
actually made up of ,a head and so on, still, as the molten 
metal poured into a mould takes the form of that mould, so 
the Pn77/amaya and other kosas which lie within the Anna- 
maya-kosa may be imagined to be moulded after the latter. 
Such a representation is only intended to facilitate the medi- 
tation and discrimination of the four kosas (S&A) 

* That is to say, the value of the idea consists in the fact that 
a contemplation thereof leads to a comprehension of the true 
nature of Brahman in man, which is here the main subject of 
discourse. Brahman will be spoken of as the support of the 
^nandamaya self. (Tr.) 

396 BRAHMA-VlDYA EXPOUNDED, ^Alianda- V alii. 

A Mantra on the'unity of the Viraj 
and the Annamaya. 

Thus has been taught the form in which the Annamaya- 
kosa should be contemplated. Now, the sruti quotes a 
mantra with a view to confirm what has been taught in the 
Brahma^a here regarding the kosa and its upasana: 


[?% r 

6. On that, too, there is this verse:* 

srsri XRT: w I qi: ^ra'jm rar: 


I m I rrs5wrrf% I 


* According to the division current among the students of 
these days, the first aiuivctka ends here. Some students give to 
these divisions the name ' Khamfcis' or sections. Say ana, does not 
recognise this division and even condemns it as not founded on 
any logical division of subject-matter. He looks upon the whole 
ylnandavallt, beginning with " The knower of Brahman 
reaches the Supreme", us the second anuvaka, the Peace-Chant 
being the first anuvaka. These two anuvakas with the Bhrigu- 
vallt, the third anuvoka.constitute what St'yawa calls the Vrtrunt- 

Ami. //.] ANNAMAYA-KOSA." 397 

[Anuvaka II] 

I "From food indeed are (all) creatures born, 
whatever(creatures) dwell on earth; by food, again, 
surely they live ; then again to the food they go 
at the end. Food, surely, is of beings the eldest; 
thence it is called the medicament of all. All 
food, verily, they obtain, who food as Brahman 
regard ; for, food is the eldest of beings, and 
thence it is called the medicament of all. From 
food are beings born ; when born, by food they 
grow. It is fed upon, and it feeds on beings ; 
thence food it is called." 

Bearing on this teaching of the Brahmawa, there 
is the following mantra which refers to the nature of 
the Annamaya-atman, the self of the physical body. 

The sloka is quoted here in corroboration of the teaching 
of the Brahmafza, with the benevolent idea of impressing 
the truth the more firmly. (S). 

Just as a mantra was quoted before with reference to 
what was taught in the aphorism " the knower of Brahman 
reaches the Supreme," so also a verse is quoted here in 
corroboration of what has been just taught. This verse 
consists of fourteen padas or lines. Though no such metre 
is met with in ordinary language, this extraordinary metre 
must have been current in the Vedic literature. 


The Viraj. 

From food, * indeed, converted into rasa ( chyle ) 
and other forms, are born all creatures, moving and 
unmoving ( sthavara and jangama). Whatever crea- 
tures dwell on earth, all of them are born of food and 
food alone. After they are born, by food alone they live 
and grow. Then again, at the end when their growth, 
their life, has come to an end, to food they go ; i. e , in 
food they are dissolved. Why ? For, food is of all 
living beings the eldest, the first-born. Of the others, 
of all creatures, of the Annamaya and other kosas,t 
food is the source. All creatures are therefore born of 
food, live by food, and return into food at the end. 
Because such is the nature of food, it is therefore 
called the medicament of all living creatures, that 
which allays the scorching (hunger) in the body. 

Food, the Vir^j, was evolved bsfore all creatures on 
earth, and is therefore the First-born. Hence the assertion 
of the Puraa "He verily was the first embodied one". 
Those who know the real nature of food call it the medica- 
ment (aushadha) of all, because it affords a drink that can 
assuage the fire of hunger which would otherwise have to 
feed upon the very dhrttus or constituents of the body. This 
cow of food suckles her calf of the digestive fire in all beings, 
through the four udders of the four food-dishes. |: (S) 

* i.e., from the Virrfj. 

t The Prauamaya and other kosas arc certainly not constituted 
of Anna, the physical food ; but the}' attain growth by the food 
eaten by man. 

J The four kinds of food are those which have to be eaten 
respectively by mastication, by sucking, by swallowing, and 
by licking. 

Alllt. II.] AMNAMAYA-KOSA. 399 

All creatures, the womb-born, the egg-born, and so 
on, all creatures that dwell on earth, are born of food 

(anna), as has been already shewn The bodies of animals, 

etc., form the food of the tigers and the like ; hence the 
assertion that they dissolve in food at the end. Because 
food is the source of the bodies of all living beings, it is the 
medicine of all, as removing the disease of hunger. By 
removing the disease of hunger, food forms the cause of a 
creature's life, of its very existence. The sruti speaks of food 
as the remover of hunger simply to shew that it is the cause 
of the existence of all creatures. The sruti has described the 
Annamaya-kosa at length by speaking of food as the cause 
of the birth, existence and dissolution of all living creatures. 

Contemplation of the Viraj and its fruits. 

The sruti then proceeds to declare the fruit that 
accrues to him who has realised the Food-Brahman, 
the unity of food and Brahman. They who contemplate 
the Food-Brahman as directed above obtain all kinds of 
food. Because " I am born of food, I have my being 
in food, and I attain dissolution in food," therefore, food 
is Brahman. * How, it may be asked, can the contem- 
plation of the Self as food lead to the attainment of all 
food ? The sruti answers : For, food is the eldest of 
all beings, because it was evolved before all creatures ; 

* Food is Brahman, because it is the cause of the birth, exist- 
ence, and dissolution of all Annamaya-kosas. The disciple should 
contemplate on the idea " I am the Food-Brahman," because it is 
not possible to attain all food without being embodied ri the body 
of the Viraj, the Food-Brahman, and because the disciple cannot 
attain to that state without contemplating his unity with the Viraj. 


and it is therefore said to be the medicine* of all. It 
therefore stands to reason that the worshipper of /Itman 
as food in the aggregate attains all food. 

The sruti speaks of food as Brahman because food is the 
cause of the birth, existence, and destruction of the universe. 
He who contemplates this Brahman, the Virtfj, for a long 
time with great reverence and uninterrupted devotion and 
contemplates the Vimj as one with the devotee himself, he 
becomes one with the Viraj and attains all food that all 
individual creatures severally attain. That is to say, the 
devotee of the Viraj partakes of all food, like the Vinrj 
Himself. In the words "This here is the Vinrj" the Tnwrfins 
declare that the Viraj is the eater of all food. How this is 
possible the sruti explains by declaring that the whole 
visible universe is pervaded by the Viraj as the eater there- 
of, as every effect must be pervaded by its cause. (S) 

Those men who contemplate Brahman in food, taking 
food as a symbol of Brahman, i. e., those who elevate food 
in thought to the height of Brahman and contemplate it as 
having assumed the form of the physical body made up of 
a head, a tail and other members, these devotees attain nil 
food. Or, the food which was at first evolved from Brah- 
man through the evolution of akasa. and so on is now 
manifested as the physical' bodies of individual souls, such 
as human and other bodies, as also in the form of the Vin/j, 
i.e., as the body of the Universal Soul. Those who contem- 
plate Brahman as manifested in the upadhi of food thus 
transformed attain unity with the Universal Being, the Viraj, 
and partake of all kinds of food which all the different classes 

* See the Vartikakara's explanation on page 398 

Anil. II.] ANNAMAYA-KOSA. 401 

of living beings, from Brahman down to plants, severally 
attain, each class attaining the food appropriate to it. 

Addressing at first the disciple who seeks to know the 
Truth, the sruti has declared " food, surely, is the eldest of 
beings," etc., with a view to describe the nature of the 
Annamaya-kosa, the physical body, since knowledge of 
the body is a step on the path to knowledge of 
Brahman. And the sruti repeats the same statement again . 
with a view to extol the Being to be contemplated upon. 
The passage means : Because food (Anna) is the eldest- 
born, the cause of all living beings from man to the Viraj, 
therefore it is the medicament of all, as removing all diseases 
of sa/wstfra. For, by practising contemplation on the line 
indicated above, one attains the Viraj, and in due course 
attains salvation as well. 

" From food are beings born ; when born, by food 
they grow." This repetition of what has been already 
said is intended to mark the conclusion of the present 

The Virrtj, here presented for contemplation, is a lofty 
Being, for the further reason that He is the cause of the 
origin and growth of the bodies of all living beings. 

The Viraj as the nourisher and the destroyer. 

The etymology, too, of the word 'anna' points to the 
loftiness of Food as the cause of all bodies. 

Now the sruti gives the etymology of the word 'anna'. 
It is so called because it is eaten by all beings and is 
itself the eater of all beings. As eaten by all beings and 


402 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. Aliailda- Vcilli . 

as the eater of all beings, Food is called Anna.* The 
word "iti" (in the text) meaning 'thus' marks the close 
of the exposition of the first kosa. 

'Anna' (Food) is so called because it is eaten by all beings 
for their living existence ; or because it destroys all beings, 
It is a well-known fact that all bodies die of diseases 
generated by disorderly combinations of food-essences in 
them. Here, the sruti marks the close of the verse quoted, as 
well as the end of the exposition of the Annamaya-kosa. 

Knowledge of the Annamaya-kosa is a stepping- 
stone to knowledge of Brahman. 

To the man who seeks to know the nature of Brahman 
'hid in the cave', the sruti has expounded the Annamaya-ko5a 
as a step to the knowledge of Brahman. The exposition 
forms a step to the knowledge by way of removing all 
attachment to external objects such as sons, friends, wife, 
home, land, property, and confining the idea of self to one's 
own body. Every living being naturally identifies himself 
with his sons, etc., as if they form his very self; and this fact 
is admitted by the 5ruti in the words " Thou art the very self, 
under the name ' son '."f In the Aitareyaka also it is said 
" This self of his takes his place as to the good acts ; while 
the other self, reaching the (old) age and having achieved 
all he had to do, departs." * The meaning of the passage 

* This etymology is intended to shew that the Prajapati, who i.s 
manifested in the form of Food, exists in two forms, as both 
the eaten and the eater. 

f The Taittin'ya Ekognikondk. '2 11 S3. 
J Aita-Up, 4i 


is this : A householder, gifted with a son, has two selves, 
one in the form of the son and the other in the form of the 
father. His self in the form of the son is installed in the 
house for the performance of the purificatory rites (pu;/ya- 
karma) enjoined in the sruti and the smriti ; whereas his 
self in the form of the father, having achieved all that he 
has had to do, dies, his life-period having been over. The 
Blessed Bhrtshyak<rra (Sri Sankanrchrtrya) has also referred 
to this fact of experience, in the following words: "when 
children, wife, etc., are defective or perfect, man thinks 
that he himself is defective or perfect, and thus ascribes to 
the Self the attributes of external things." Since every 
man is aware that the son is distinct from himself, the 
notion that the son is himself is like the notion that " Deva- 
datta is a lion." Therefore the Annamaya-kosa has been 
expounded here with a view to shew this kind of its superi- 
ority as self, i. e., with a view to confine the disciple's 
idea of self within the limits of one's own body by 
withdrawing the idea from the whole external world com- 
posed of sons, friends, etc. The sruti. will explain this 
clearly in the sequel, in the following words : 

" He who thus knows, departing from this 
world, into this self formed of food doth pass."" 

There may be a person who, owing to the preponderance 
of the deeply ingrained seeds of attachment for external 
objects, does not, when once taught, take his stand in the 
Annamaya self. It is to enable such a man to do it that 
the contemplation of the Annamaya self has been taught. 
He who practises this contemplation, constantly fixing his 

* Tai. Up. 28. 


thought on the Annamaya self, withdraws altogether from 
the external objects and takes his stand in the Annamaya 
self. If a devotee of this class be short-lived and die while 
still engaged in this contemplation without passing through 
the subsequent stages of investigating the real nature of the 
PrrtMamaya and other selves and thus perfecting the know- 
ledge of the true nature of Brahman, then, he will attain all 
food as declared above. It is this truth that the Lord has 
expressed in the following words :. 

"Having attained to the worlds of the righte- 
ous and having dwelt there for eternal years, 
he who failed in yoga is reborn in a house of 
the pure and wealthy."" 

Thus with a vie>v primarily to remove all attachment for 
external objects, the sruti has treated of the nature of the 
Annamaya-kosa, and has incidentally spoken of its upa- 
sanaand the fruit thereof. 

* Bhag. Gilt*. 0-41. 


The purpose of the sequel. 

Now the sastra proceeds to shew, by means of 
wisdom, i.e., by way of removing the five sheaths of the 
Self which avidya has set up, that Brahman, who 
is behind all the illusory selves from the Annamaya 
down to the ^nandamaya, is one's own true Inner self, 
in the same way that, by threshing the many-sheathed 
seed of kodrava (Paspalum scrobiculatum), one brings 
to view the grain within. 

First, with a view to lead the mind which has lost its 
longing for external objects to the inner being which is 
behind food and the food-sheath, the sruti proceeds to ex- 
pound the nature of Prana. or vital air and the Pnwamaya- 
kosa or the vital body (S) 

The Pranamaya-kosa. 

2. Than that, verily, than this one formed 
of food-essence, there is another self within, 
formed of Pra;^a ; by him this one is filled. 

Distinct from that, from the gross physical body 

406 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. [Anandci-Valli. 

(pinda) formed of food-essence, which has been describ- 
ed above,* there is a self within formed of Pnwa or 
vital air, and quite as falsely imagined to be the self as 
the gross body. The self formed of Prawa, the vital 
air (vayu), fills the self which is formed of food- 
essence, as the air fills the bellows. 

The effect is one with the cause. 

"Than that": here ' that ' refers to the Viraj, being the 
one at a distance, i. e. , manifested as food or gross physical 
matter which is external to the individual being formed of 
that food. "Verily": This particle serves to call back to 
memory the Viraj described. " Than this one " : The word 
' this ' here denotes the immediate, individual being. By 
this appositional use of 'than that ' and ' than this one' the sruti 
teaches that the individual being (the effect, the product,) 
is one with the Viraj, the Cosmic Being, is in truth identi- 
cal with the cause. So, too, in similar contexts in the 
sequel, the appositional use of ' than that ' and 'than this one 1 
shews the oneness of the effect (such as the Pra/mmaya) 
with the cause (such as Prawa).f Otherwise, i. e. , if the 
effect be not one with the cause, Brahman and the uni- 
verse would be two distinct things : and this is nothing 
but the duality of the Sankhya system. (S). Moreover, 

* and represented as a bird. 

f For, on the principle of the oneness of effect with the cause, 
the whole external universe can be resolved into Brahman, 
the Cause. And on realising the identity of Brahman with the 
Self as taught by Revelation, Brahman the Cause becomes the 
Infinite Being who is neither the cause nor the] effect. (S) 

Allli. II.] PRANAMAVA-KOSA. 407 

the cause, such as the Pnwamaya, is said to exist indepen- 
dently of the effect, such as the Annamaya, while the effect 
cannot exist independently of the cause. This also points 
to the same conclusion, namely, that the effect is one with 
the cause, is not distinct from the cause, is the cause 
itself .(S) 

Tha CDmposition of the Pranamaya-kosa. 

And the Pra//amaya-kosa is of a distinct nature from the 
Annamaya, and is within it as its basic substance. It is a. 
self, because like the Annamaya it is also falsely identified 
with the Self. (S) 

Now the first mentioned sheath, the Annamaya-kosa, is 
permeated by four kosas, by the Pnummaya and the rest. 
Similarly the Pm/zamaya is permeated by three kosas, the 
Manomaya by two kosas, and the Vij/wnamaya by one 
kosa. (S) 

The Annamaya is filled by the as the serpen' 
is filled by the rope, (where the latter is mistaken for the 
former). The Annamaya is an effect of the Pnwamaya ; 
it is a mere imagination, as the sruti says " all effect is a 
mere name, a creation by speech." * (S). 

In the words of the Brahma/za it was declared that the 
Paramatman (the Supreme Self) Himself attained the state 
of the Annamaya-kosa in the course of evolution beginning 
with akasa ; and the same truth was then confirmed by 
quoting a verse. Distinct from the self first spoken of in 
the words of the Bnihmawa, and then in the verse, as the one 
experienced in the consciousness " I am a man", distinct 

* Chhtt. 6-1-4. 


from this self is the self, dwelling within it. By 
the Pnwamaya self the Annamaya is filled. Within the 
physical body dwells the body of vital airs, pervading it from 
head to foot. 

In the Linga-sanra, there are two saktis or potentialities, 
Jwana-sakti and Kriyrt-sakti, the potentiality of conscious- 
ness, and the potentiality of action. What we call Prana. is 
a substance evolved from the kriya-sakti of the Linga-sanra. 
A form built of Prana. is the Prawamaya-kosa, the aggregate 
of the five vrittis or functions of Prrt/;a. These vrittis are pecu- 
liar functions of the principle of Pnwa, known as pnwa (out- 
breathing), aprtna (in-breathing), vyana (diffused breath- 
ing), udana (up-breathing), and samana (essential or complete 
breathing). And the functions are manifested each in its 
appropriate region, such as the heart. Accordingly, it is 
said : " In the heart lies prana. ; in the anus lies ap^na ; 
samana is established in the navel; lies in the throat; 
vyflna pervades the whole body." This aggregate of vital 
functions, this Pnwamaya-kosa is falsely ascribed to the 
Self, and we see it identified with the Self by him who thinks 
' I breathe ' ; it is therefore here spoken of as rttman, 
the self. Now, just as sons and other external objects are 
regarded as non-self when the idea of self has been confined 
to one's own physical body, which, when compared 
with sons, etc., is the immediate self of man, so also, 
the physical body ceases to be regarded as the self 
when the Prawamaya self within the Annamaya has been 
clearly presented to view. Though neither the son nor the 
physical body is the real Self, still, in common parlance, 
they are distinguished from each other. The son is gaua- 


fltman ; that is to say, a man speaks of his son as the self 
only in a figurative sense ; whereas when a man speaks of 
his body as the self, he actually mistakes the body for the 
real Self ; that is to say, the body is a mithya-atman, is a 
false self, is actually mistaken for the real self. In the one 
case, man is conscious that the son is distinct from himself, 
while, in the other, he is not conscious that the body is 
distinct from himself. This difference is referred to by the 
Bhashyakara (Sri Sankanzcharya) in the following words : 

" When the son and the body are regarded as 
the non-self, the figurative self and the false self 
cease to be. On the rise of the knowledge that 
' I am Brahman, the Existence,' where is 
room for action ?" ;: 

The physical body is not the Self. 

The philosophers of the Lokrtyata or materialistic school, as 
well as those among the laity who are not aware of the distinc- 
tion between the body and the Self, regard the body itself as 
the Self. That this view is false is here indirectly taught by 
the sruti teaching of the Pra/jamaya self. This point has 
been discussed in the Vedanta-stra III. iii. 53. 

(Question) : In the article preceding the one under refer- 
ence, it has been determined that the contemplation of the 
sacred fires constituted of manas, etc., does not' form part 
of any sacrificial rite, and that a man may practise it 
independently of any sacrificial rite. Then the question 
arises, What is man ? This question has to be answered in 
connection with the Ritualistic section as well as in connec- 
tion with the section of Brahraavidya ; for, it deals with the 
* Vide commentary on the Vedtmta-swtra I. i. 4. 

410 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. \Anandd-V dill. 

existence of the Self independent of the body and [attaining 
svarga and moksha. 

(The Materialist): The body itself is the Self; for con- 
sciousness is invariably found in connection with the body 
and the body alone. Consciousness is manifested only where 
there is a body, but not in the absence of a body. It should 
not be urged that consciousness is a thing quite distinct from 
the body and that therefore the Self is quite independent 
of the body. For, like the power, of intoxication arising from 
a combination of arecanut and betel leaf and lime, con- 
sciousness, too, is born of the elements of matter combin- 
ing together so as to form the physical body ; how can 
consciousness be quite a different kind of thing ? Where- 
fore, the Self is no other than the physical body which is 
found to have the power of sensation. 

(The Vedantin} : -The consciousness we have of earth 
and other elements of matter must be distinct from those 
elements of matter, because it is their perceiver. In every 
case of perception, the perceiver must be distinct from the 
thing perceived ; the sense of sight, for instance, is distinct 
from colour. Such being the case, when a person says that 
the perceiving consciousness is the Self, how can the Self 
ever be identified with the body which is made up of matter ? 
As to the argument that consciousness is found where there 
is a body, and that it is not found where there is no body, 
we say that the negative part of the argument cannot 
be maintained, inasmuch as the scriptures speak of the 
intelligent Self passing into the other world without the 
physical body. And the authority of the scriptures must 
be upheld by all. 

. //.] PRANAMAVA-KOSA.' 4! I 

Prana has a birth. 

That the vital principle (Prana) dwelling within the 
physical body which has been proved to be the non-self 
has a birth has been determined as follows in the 
Vedrtnta-s//tra II. iv. 8 : 

(Question) : In man there is the vital air traversing the 
aperture of the mouth and causing him to breathe in and 
out. Has it a beginning or no beginning ? 

(Pvima facie view] : -It has no beginning ; for, in speak- 
ing of the state of things prior to creation, the sruti refers 
to the activity of Prana. in the words "It breathed airless." 

(Conclusion) : The word ' breathed ' does not here denote 
the action of the vital air, inasmuch as the existence of the 
air has been denied by the suti in the words " it breathed 
airless." There the sruti speaks only of the existence of 
Brahman ; for, that passage is of the same tenor as many 
other passages of the sruti speaking of the state of things 
prior to creation, such as " Existence alone this at first 
was."* And the passage " Hence come into being Prana,"} 
etc. , speaks very clearly of the birth of Prana.. Therefore, 
like the senses, Prana has a birth. 

Prana is a distinct principle. 

(Vedanta-swtras II. iv. 9 12) . 

(Question) : Is Pnw/a, the vital air, identical with Vflyu, 
the air outside ? Or is it a mere function of the five senses ? 
Or is it something else ? 

(Prima facie view] : The external air itself, entering 
through the aperture of the mouth into the body just as it 

* Cbha 6-2-1, f Miiw?-, Up. 2-1-3. 


enters into the aperture of a bamboo stick, is termed 
Pm/;a. There exists no distinct principle (tattva) called 
Prana. ; for, the sruti says " What we call Prana. is the air 
itself." ' 

Or, just as the several birds that are confined in one 
cage cause that cage to move while they themselves are 
moving, so also the eleven senses the five organs of sen- 
sation, the five organs of action, and manas cause the body 
to move while they are engaged in their respactive activi- 
ties. This common function of all the senses, which 
results in the bodily motion, is what is called Prana. or 
vitality. And accordingly, the Sankhyas teach that " the 
common function of the senses constitutes the five airs such 
as prana. or out-breathing." f Therefore, Prana. is not a dis- 
tinct principle. 

(Conclusion] : " Prana, verily, is Brahman's fourth foot; 
it shines by the light of Vrtyu." ;J In these words, the 
sruti, speaking elsewhere of the contemplation of the four- 
footed Brahman, clearly points out a distinction between 
the fldhyatmika Prana. (the vital principle in the individual 
organism) and the rtdhidaivika Vyu (the cosmic principle 
of air), the one being helped by the other. Therefore the 
unity declared in the words " what we call Prana. is the air 
itself" should be explained as referring to their unity as 
cause and effect. As to the contention of the Sankhyas, 
we say that it is quite untenable, since there can be no 
function which is common to all the senses. In the case 
of the birds, however, the motion generated by them all 
is of one kind and contributes to the motion of the cage. 

~*~Bri.Up.3-l-5. f Sankhya-Karika, 29. J Ohha-Up. 3-18-4, 

Allll. II.] PRANAMAYA-KOSA. 413 

Not so, indeed, are the functions of seeing, hearing, thinking, 
etc., all ofVone kind. Neither are they all such as can 
contribute to the movement of the body. Therefore, we 
conclude as the only alternative left that Prana is a distinct 

The limited size of the principle of Prana. 

(Vedrtnta-sj/tra I. iv. 13.) 

(Question) : Is this principle of Prana. (in the individual 
organism) all-pervading, or small in size ? 

(Prima facie view] : Prana. pervades all bodies, from that 
of the lowest animalcule up to that of the Hirayagarbha, 
as the sruti says : 

" He is equal to a grub, equal to a gnat, equal 
to an elephant, equal to these three worlds, 
equal to this universe. " >: 

Therefore Prana is all-pervading. 

C Conclusion ) : The cosmic principle, the Prana of the 
Hira;/yagarbha, exists as the sruti says " Vrt-yu (the air) 
itself is the Cosmic Being " both as a principle in the 
Cosmic Being and as a principle in the separate individual 
beings, and it may therefore be regarded as all-pervading. 
It is this all-pervadingness that the sruti quoted above 
refers to, for the purpose of contemplation. The principle 
of Prana. in the individual being is, like the senses, invisible 
and limited in size. 

Contemplation of the Pranamaya. 

Now with a view to enjoin another contemplation on him 
who, in virtue of the strong sub-conscious idea (vasana) 

* Bri-TJp. 1322. 


that the body itself is his own self which has been 
cherished through many births, feels unable to shake off 
that notion, the 5ruti proceeds to present the form in which 
the Pnwamaya-kosa should b3 contemplated. 

3. He, verily, this one, is quite of man's 
shape. After his human shape, this one is of 
man's shape. Of him pra/ja itself is the head, 
vyana is the right wing, ap^na is the left wing, 
akasa. is the self, the earth is the tail, the support. 

He, verily, namely, this Prawamaya self is certain- 
ly of man's shape, having a head, wings, etc. Is it in 
itself (possessed of a head, etc) ? No, says the sruti. 
The self made of food-essence (anna-rasa) is human in 
form, as ever)' one knows. This Prawamaya self is 
fashioned in human form not by himself,* but only after 
the human shape of the Annarasamaya self ; just as an 
idol is fashioned after the mould into which the melted 
metal is poured. Similarly, every succeeding self 
becomes fashioned in human form after the human 
form of the preceding one ; and the latter is filled by 
the former. 

That one, who has been said to dwell within the physical 
body, is verily this one, namely, the PniHamaya self, who 

* because the Prowaraaya is incorporeal -(S). 

Ami. //.] PRANAMAYA-KOSA. 4*5 

presents himself to consciousness in the idea " I breathe." 
This one, no doubt, is devoid of a head and other members; 
still, one should imagine these members and contemplate 
him as human in form. It should not be supposed that 
even this imagining is impossible. For, it is quite possible 
to imagine that the Pnwamaya self, abiding within the Anna- 
maya in full, is moulded into human form after the human 
form of the Annamaya, just as the melted copper poured 
into a mould assumes the form of an idol. 

How, then, is he of human form? The sruti answers: 
The head of the Prawamaya is prana itself. The Praa- 
maya self is formed of Vrtyu (the vital air), and prana 
(the outward breath), that particular aspect (vritti) 
of the vital air in which it traverses through the 
mouth and nostrils, is to be imagined as the head, on 
the authority of the scriptural teaching. The imagining 
of wings, etc., is in all cases here based entirely on the 
scriptural teaching. The vynna aspect (of the vital air) 
is the right wing, and the apana aspect is the left wing. 
The rtkflsa is the self: that is to say, that particular 
aspect of vitality which is known as sarrmna is the self 
as it were. ' A kasa' here denotes samana, which abides 
in akasa or the middle of the body, as the word occurs 
in a section treating of Prawa-vrittis or aspects of vitality. 
As occupying a central position with reference to the 
other aspects of the vital air, samana is the self; and 
that the trunk or the central part is the self is declared 
by the sruti in the words, "Indeed the middle one of 
these members is the self." The earth is the tail, the 
support. The earth, i, e., the Devata or* Intelligence 


so called, is the support of the principle of Prawa in the 
individual organism, as the cause of its stay. The sruti 
elsewhere says " She props up man's apnna,"* etc. But 
for this support, the body may be carried aloft by the 
udana aspect of vitality, or it may have a fall owing to 
its weight. Therefore the PrithiW-Devata, the Intelli- 
gence called Earth, is the prop of Pnznamaya self. 

The pnwa ( out-breathing) aspect of the Pnmamaya-kosa 
is represented as its head because of its eminence as abiding 
in the mouth. The vyana aspect is represented as the right 
wing because of its superior strength ( as pervading the 
whole body), while the apana aspect is represented as the 
left wing because it is not quite so strong. The sanuzna 
aspect is termed akasa because of its similarity to akasa. (as 
all-pervading), and it is said to be the self of the pranas or 
life- functions, because therein, according to the sruti, abide 
all prawas. (S) 

The vitality in its pnwa (out-breathing) aspect passes 
upward from the heart and traverses through the mouth 
and the nostrils. This should be contemplated as the head 
of the In its vyana aspect the vital principle 
traverses through all the uadis ; and in its apana aspect it 
passes from the heart downwards. These two aspects 
should be regarded as the right and left wings. 'Akasa.' 
here denotes the space in the middle of the belly about the 
navel, and it stands for the vital principle in its samana 
aspect abiding in that region. The samana-vrtyu is the 
centre of the Pnr;;amaya-kosa. The word ' earth ' stands 
for the remaining aspect of Prana., namely, the udana-vrtyu.f 

* apana here stands for the Pmnamaya-kosa (V) 
f Here Sayana differs from ^Sankaracharya, 

Anil. II.] I'RANAMAVA-KOSA. 417 

To understand here the word ' akasa. ' in its primary mean- 
ing would be to depart from the main subject of discourse, 
namely, the Pnwamaya-kosa. The earth is the preserver 
of all living beings and is therefore said to be their support. 
Similarly, the udana air preserves pni;?a and other vital airs 
in the body, these last remaining in the body only so long 
as the udflna-wryu does not depart. It is therefore said to 
be their support. The independence of the vital principle 
in its udana aspect, as causing the stay or departure of the 
principle in all its aspects, is declared by the ^tharva/nkas 
in the following words : 

" He thought : on what now going out, shall 
I go out ; or, on what staying, shall I stay ? 
Thus thinking, He evolved life.'* 

Therefore the udana aspect of the Prana. principle forms the 
tail of the Pr^wamaya-kosa represented for the purposes of 
contemplation in the form of a bird. The principle of Pratia. 
as well as its five aspects, represented as the head, wings 
and so on, are clearly described in the Maitreya-upanishad 
as follows : 

" In the beginning, Prajapati (the lord of crea- 
tures) stood alone. He had no happiness 
when alone. Meditating on himself, he created 
many creatures. He looked on them and saw 
they were, like a stone, without understand- 
ing, and standing like a lifeless post. He had 
no happiness. He thought, I shall enter 
within, that they may awake. Making him- 
self like air ( wyu ), he entered within. Being 

* Pras. Up. 6-,'i. 

53 ~WV 


one, he could not do it. Then dividing him- 
self five-fold, he is called Prana, Apana, 
Samana, Udana, Vyana. Now, that air which 
rises upwards is Prana. That which moves 
downwards is Ap^na. That by which these 
two are supposed to be held is Vyana. That 
which carries the grosser material of food to 
the Aprtna and brings the subtler material 
to each limb has the name Samana. That 
which brings up or carries down what has 
been drunk and eaten is the Udana."* 

That is to say, having found no amusement in Himself 
when He was alone, the Prajapati created bodies for the 
purpose, and with a view to attain conscious experience in 
those bodies, He has entered into them as their J witman in 
the upfldhi of the vital air, and he leads a conscious life 
in the upadhi in its five aspects. 

Prana, the Universal Life. 

4. On that, too, there is this verse : 
As to the teaching concerning the Pnwamaya self, 
there is the followin verse : 

* Op. cit. 2 5, 


(Anuvaka III.) 

i. After Pra;/a do Devas live, as also men 
and beasts. Pnma, verily, is the life-duration of 
beings ; thence it is called the life-duration of 
all. The whole life-duration do they reach, who 
Pra/za as Brahman regard. Pra/za, verily, is of 
beings the life-duration ; thence it is called the 
life-duration of all. Thus (ends the verse). 

After Prana., after Vayu in whom inheres the life- 
potentiality, i. e., ensouled and informed by Prawa, do 
Agni and other Gods (Devas) breathe, i. c., they do the 
act of breathing, i e., again, they become active by 
way of breathing.* Or, since the present section deals 
with microcosmic or individual (adhyatmika) orga- 
nisms, I ' Devas ' here denotes senses (indriyas). Only 
when the life proper functions, the senses also can 
function. So also do men and beasts J function only 
when the life-principle functions. So that the living 
creatures have their being, not in the Annamaya 

* I. e., the other Gods are only different aspects of the Sutra*- 
man, as the Sakalya-Brahmarai says. Or, these Gods have 
attained to the state of the Sutratman in virtue of their past 
contemplation of the Stttmfcman. Or, like onrselvcs, these 
Gods have, for their npadhi, Pma, the soat of Kriyri-sakti. 

f i. e., the I 3 r<iinunaya-kosa. J i. e,, their physical bodie 

420 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. [Aiiaiida-Valli. 

self alone, which is heterogeneous (parichchhinna) or 
made up of distinct and well-defined parts ; on the 
other hand, men, etc., have their being in the Prana- 
maya self also, which lies within the Annamaya self, 
and which (unlike the other) is a homogeneous un- 
divided whole (sfldharawa), permeating the whole 
physical body (sarva-pi;^a-vyapin). * Similarly, all 
living creatures are informed by the Manomaya and 
other subtler and subtler selves, one abiding within 
another, inclusive of the A nandamaya ; the internal 
permeating the external selves which lie outside, and 
all of them alike being set up by avidya and formed of 
rtkasa and other elements of matter. And they are 
ensouled also by the true Self lying within them all 
like the Kodrava grain in its many coats, that Self 
who is All, the cause of akasa. and all the rest, who is 
eternal, unchanging, all-pervading, who has been 
defined as " Real, Consciousness, Infinite," who tran- 
scends the five kosas. He, indeed, that is to say, is 
really the Self of all. t 

* That is to saj", the Prcmamayakosa is not cut off into 
distinct regions as the piurfa or microoosmic physical body is. 
Unlike the latter, it has no specialised organs, each discharging 
a specific function. It is a unity present in every part of the 
body. Or, the idea here intended may be that the Pranamaya, in 
the cosmic aspect as the Sutrretman, pervades all the piurfas or 
individual physical bodies. 

t One kosa has been spoken of as the self of another only 
relatively, i. e., without reference to the absolute truth. In 
reality all kosaa are illusory aspects of the one real Self. ( Jj 


It has been said that " after Prana do Devas live." 
How so ? The Sruti says: because Prana is the life- 
duration of all beings. The Sruti elsewhere says, 
" Life is possible only so long as Prana. dwells 
within this body ; " * and therefore Prana. is the life- 
duration of all. On the departure of Prana. death takes 
place, as everybody knows ; and everybody under- 
stands that Prana is the life-duration of all. Wherefore, 
those who, departing away t from this external Annamaya 
self, which is t or made up of various 
distinguishable parts, retire to the Prawamaya self 
within, which is sadharawa or made up of homogeneous 
parts, and contemplate him as^Brahman, i. e those who 
contemplate" lam Pnwa who, as the source of life, as the 
life-span of all, is the Self$ of all beings," they attain 
the full life-period in this world, they do not die an un- 
natural death before the allotted period.5[ By the full 
life-period, we should, of course, understand one- 
hundred years, as the sruti fr declares. How so ? The 
sruti says " Prana, verily, is of beings the life-duration ; 

* Kaushitaki-Up. 3-2. 

t i. e., abandoning the idea that the Annamaya is the self. 

J Vjwritta-svantpa, not of one and the same nature in all 
its parts. 

i. c., common to all senses (indriyas), because the food eaten 
by Praua serves to nourish all the senses. 

8 in the form of the Swtratman (A). 

1 At birth, the present body is allotted a Certain length of 

V " Man lives one hundred years." [TuittiriyaSomkitti]- 

422 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. Aliailda- V ttlll. 

thence it is called the life-duration of all." This 
repetition is intended to explain how this Vidya 
(upasana) can yield the fruit mentioned here. The 
explanation lies in the principle that with whatever 
attributes a man contemplates Brahman, he is, as the 
result, endued with the same attributes. 

As in the case of the Annamaya self, there is a verse 
treating of the self also. Devas live only when 
Prana. breathes ; they do not live by themselves. " When 
thou rainest here, then alone do these live." :; Others, too, 
such as men and beasts, depend for their life on Prana.. 
The sruti says that all senses, both in the microcosm and 
in the macrocosm, have cast off death by attaining to the 
being of Prana. or Cosmic Life (Adhidaivata). i All this 
does, in truth, apply to Prana., because a creature lives only 
so long as there is Prana, informing it. Thence Prana. is 
often called by sages the life-duration of all. Those who 
devoutly contemplate the Piawamaya self as endued with 
the attribute of being the life of all attain to that very 
Prana. who is the life of all. (S) 

The Sattvic beings such as Agni, Indra and other Gods, 
the R.ijasic beings such as the brahmaas, kshatriyas and 
other men, the Tamasic beings such as beasts, all these 
discharge their functions only so long as the prana-vayu 
or the vital air, abiding within their respective bodies, 
functions. It is indeed the vital air that puts the body in 
motion. Accordingly, the Kaushztakins declare : 

" But Prana. alone is the conscious self 
(prajwatman) and has laid hold of this body ; 
it makes it rise up." | 

* Prasna-Up. -2-10. f Bri. Up. J Kau. Up. o 3. 


In the course of His speech concerning His part in the 
support of the body which the God of Prana. addressed to 
the Gods of the elements of matter such as akasa., and to the 
Gods of the senses such as speech, the /2 tharvamkas 
declare : 

"Life and life is best said unto them: 
' Straight into error do not step. It is I who 
by this quintuple division of myself together 
keep and hold this arrow up.' " * 

Just as an arrow is propelled by a bowman, so this 
body is propelled by Prana and is therefore denoted 
by the word ' arrow.' Because Prana, produces activity 
in the bodies of Devas, men and beasts, and because 
thereon depends the life-duration of all creatures, therefore 
it is called the life-duration of all. Those who, by this 
mere knowledge of the Pnwamaya-kosa, are unable to 
give up altogether their tendency to regard the Annamaya- 
kosa as the Self, and who, with a view to get rid of that 
tendency, resort to the contemplation of Brahman in the 
upfldhi of Prana., they attain full life-duration in this birth 
without meeting an unnatural death, as the result of their 
contemplation of Brahman in the upadhi of the microcosmic 
(rtdhyrttmika) Prana.', and by their contemplation of Brahman 
in the upadhi of the Hirawyagarbha, the ^dhidaivika or 
macrocosmic Prana. they become themselves the Hiranya- 
garbha in the future birth and attain full life-period reach- 
ing up to Mahapralaya, the Great Cosmic Dissolution, 
" Prana., verily, is of beings " etc : in these words, at first, 
the Pniamaya-kosa has been extolled ; here again they are 

*Prasna-Up. 23. 


repeated with a view to extol the up^sana or contemplation 
taught here. 

The outcome of the study of the Pranamaya-kosa. 

Now, the sruti shews the aim of all this teaching regard- 
ing the Pttwamaya-kosa : 

^h: ^ ?Ttfk 3TTc*TT I q: ^q II ^ II 

2. Thereof, of the former, this one, verily, 
is the self embodied. 

Thereof, of the former, i.e. of the Annamaya, this 
one namely, the Pnwamaya is the self, having the 
Annamaya for his body. 

The Pra^amaya which has been just described is the self 
dwelling in the Annamaya-kosa. When the idea that the 
Prawamaya is the self is deeply ingrained, the illusion that 
the Annamaya is one's own self disappears. Then there 
arises the conviction that the Annamaya is the body, and 
that the Prawamaya is one's own self dwelling in that body, 
there being no room for two selves. 

The Prawamaya just described is the self of the Anna- 
maya, is the self embodied therein, because the latter is 
ensouled by the former. (S) 

Or,* the 'self refers here to the one described above as 
" Real, Consciousness, Infinite." Any self other than the 

* Sri ^ankarachorya has interpreted this passage in accord- 
ance with the view of the Vrittikara, who holds that the 
^nandaniaya is Brahman. Here, as in the Vedanta-sutras 
(I. i. 12-19). the Bhashyakara first gives the Vrittikara's inter- 
pretation, only to set it aside later on. 


one thus defined in the sruti is such only in a secondary 
sense of the word. That Self alone lies within all. This 
interpretation gives a rational meaning to the words " yah 
p/rrvasya (the Self of the former)" in the original/'" We 
hold that the real Self underlying all false selves is the One 
described above as " Real " etc., who is devoid of all sa;- 
sra. Certainly, the real basis of the illusory serpent is in 
the rope ; it cannot be in any other false appearance such 
as a rod which illusion may set up in the place of the real 
rope (S). 

* Then the whole passage should be rendered as follows : The 
same Chit-dhatu or Principle of Consciousness that is the 
real Self of the former (Annamaya) is the Self of the Prona- 
maya CA^, 



From Pranamaya to Manomaya. 

The sruti now proceeds to unite to the Manomaya self 
him who, on the ground that all creatures have their birth 
and being and dissolution in Prana. as declared in the 
sequel, * has abandoned the false Annamaya self and has 
taken his stand in the Pnz;/amaya, in the consciousness 
" I am prrtwa." (S) 

3. Than that, verily, than this one formed 
of Pn?wa, there is another self within formed of 
Manas (thought-stuff). By him this one is filled. 


Manas is the anta/t-karaa, the internal organ 
or instrument, consisting of sankalpa (fancies, purposes, 
impulses) and vikalpa (thoughts of distinct objects, 
doubts). Formed of this stuff is the Manomaya, as the 
Annamaya is formed of food-stuff. And this is the 
inner self of the Pranamaya. The rest may be inter- 
preted as before, t 

* Tai. Up. 33, f Vide ante. p. 406 

AlUi. ///.] MANOMAYA-KOSA. 427 

Maya, which resides in Brahman and is the material 
cause of the universe, is made up of three guas or 
principles. The gua of Tamas being the cause of the 
Annamaya, inertness is found to predominate in that kosa; 
there exists in it neither the kriy^-sakti nor the jwma-sakti, 
neither the power of action nor the power of cognition. 
The gu;za of Rajas being the cause of the Pnz^amaya, 
the power of action inheres in the Pnwamaya. The guwa 
of Sattva being the cause of the three kosas from the Mano- 
maya upward, the power of cognition inheres in those three 
kosas. The cause of the Manomaya is Sattva mixed with 
Tamas ; and therefore we find in it the Tamasic qualities, 
such as attachment and hatred. The cause of the Vijwflna- 
maya is Sattva mixed with Rajas, and therefore we find in 
it the agency with reference to all Vedic sacrificial rites 
and all secular acts such as agriculture. The pure gu^a of 
Sattva is the cause of the ^nandamaya, and therefore we 
find therein only joys of various kinds, termed love and so 
on. No doubt, the j/zana-sakti, the essence of cognition, is 
in itself only one ; still it appears threefold owing to a 
difference in its aspects or functions, as the instrument 
(kara/fa-sakti), as the agent (kartn-sakti), and as enjoyment 
(bhoga-sakti). Manas is a product of jwma-sakti, or essence 
of cognition in its aspect as an instrument ; and formed 
of this Manas is the Manomaya, the aggregate of the vnttis 
or states of mind such as desires, fancies, and the like. 
These states of mind are enumerated by the Vajasaneyins 
as follows : 

" Desire, representation, doubt, faith, want of 
faith, firmness, want of firmness, shame, 


reflection, fear,. all is mind."* 

In this connection may be cited other passages such as the 
following : 

"Thirst fondness passion, covetousness" etc.* 

The Manomaya lies within the Pra^amaya, so that, on 
account of proximity, the ^tman's Consciousness, which 
permeates all, is manifested in Manas ; and because of this 
manifestation of/ltman in it, the Manomaya is the self of 
the Prrtwamaya. The Pnwamaya is permeated by the 
Manomaya, the external by the internal. Just as the 
kriy-5akti or the power of action pervades the whole body 
from head to foot, so also is the j;wma-sakti found to 
pervade the whole body. Manas, the internal sense, stands 
here for the ten external senses also, such as those of sight, 
speech, etc. It should therefore be observed that all senses, 
both of cognition and of action, are included in the Mano- 

Senses are born of the Paramatman. 

The origin of these senses has been thus discussed in the 
Vedrtnta-SHtras II. iv. i 4 : 

(Question] : Are the senses beginningless, or have they 
been created by the Supreme Self ? 

(Prima facie view): The senses are beginningless, because 
their existence prior to creation has been declared by the 
sruti in the following words : 

" Those .Rishis alone at the beginning were 
existent. Who are those 7?ishis ? Pnwas 
(the vital powers, senses)verily are the /?ishis." 

* Bri. Up. 1-5-3- t Maitri-Up. 3-5 


(Conclusion) : In the first place the proposition that, the 
One being known, all is known, cannot be true unless the 
senses (indriyas) are included among created things. And 
the statement that " mind conies of food, breath of water, 
and speech of fire " ' ;: shows that the senses are products of 
the elements of matter. The birth of the senses is clearly 
declared in the words " hence is born pnza, manas and all 
senses." I As to the passage which speaks of their exist- 
ence prior to creation, it should be interpreted as referring 
to a minor creation. We therefore conclude that senses 
are born from the Paramatman. 

The senses are eleven in number. 

(Vedrtnta-s//tras. II. iv. 5 6). 

(Question) : How many are the senses, seven or eleven ? 

(Prima facie menu] : The senses are seven in number; for 
the sruti says in general " seven senses are born thence. "| 
The sruti speaks also specifically of them as dwelling in the 
seven apertures of the head, in the words " Seven, indeed, 
are the prawas located in the head." 

(Conclusion): As against the foregoing we hold as follows: 
Senses other than those located in the head, such as hands 
and the like, are mentioned in the Veda ; " Both hands and 
what one must handle, both organ of joy and what must 
be enjoyed." " So, in determining the number on the sole 
authority of the Vedas, we find there are eleven separate 
functions namely, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touch- 
ing, speaking, taking, going, enjoying, excreting, and 
thinking ; and there must be eleven separate sense-organs 
concerned severally with these eleven functions. 

* Chhft. Up. 6-5-4. f Muud. Up. 2-1-3. J Ibul. 2-1-8 
Tait. Sum. o 1 7 [ Prasna. Up. 4 . 


The senses are not all-pervading. 

(Vectonta-swtras. II. iv. 8 13.) 

(Question] Are the senses all-pervading or limited in 
extent ? 

(The Sdnkhya): The senses are all-pervading ; but their 
functions are confined to particular regions of the several 
organisms in order that therein the several jzvas may enjoy 
the fruits of their respective actions. 

(The Veddntin): This involves a needless assumption. 
When all our experience can bs explained by supposing that 
the senses are of the same extent as the bodily regions 
where they function, of what avail is the needless assum- 
ption that the senses are all- pervading without functioning 
throughout. Moreover, the sruti speaks of the ascent, 
departure, and return of j/va ; and since these are not 
possible in the jtva who in himself is all-pervading, it has 
been assumed that the senses form the upadhi of the jzva 
and that it is by this updhi or vehicle of the senses that he 
really ascends, departs, and returns. If even this up^dhi 
were all-pervading, what then is it which really ascends, 
departs, and returns ? Wherefore, the senses are not all- 
pervading. W r hen the Strakrtra (the author of the Vedanta- 
stras) speaks of these middle-sized senses as a;ms(=atoms, 
subtle ones), he only means that they are invisible, so subtle 
that they transcend the ken of ordinary men. 

The senses are dependent on Oevas. 

( Vedanta-swtras: II. iv. 14 16) 

(Question): Are the senses quite independent in their 
working or dependent on Devas ? 


(Pvima facie view): Speech and other senses perform 
their respective functions quite independently ; they are not 
dependent on jJsvas. Otherwise, the Devas would be the 
enjoyers or sufferers by the experience acquired through the 
senses, and the jmitman (individual embodied soul) would 
derive no experience at all. 

(Conclusion) : In the words " Agni became speech and 
entered the mouth "* and so on, the sruti declares that 
speech and other senses are under the influence respectively 
of Agni and other gods ; and their operation therefore 
depends entirely upon the Davas. From this it by no 
means follows that the Devas are the enjoyers of the fruits 
of the experience. Certainly, it is not right that the Devas, 
who have attained to the state of Devas as the fruit of their 
highly meritorious karma, should be affected by the ex- 
perience so low in its kind ; on the contrary, a very high 
enjoyment accrues to them in their Devatrt bodies. It is 
the human soul that enjoys the fruits of his karma in the 
form of the experience gained through the senses working 
under the influence of the Devas. We therefore conclude 
that the senses are dependent on the Devas for their action. 

The senses are distinct from Prana proper. 

(Vedanta-stras II. iv. 17 19). 

(Question) : Are these senses mere functions of Prana., or 
are they principles quite distinct from Prana. ? 

(Prima facie view) : -Speech and other senses must be 
mere functions of Prana. proper ; for, the sruti declares that 
they are only forms of Prana., in the words " They were all 
of this one alone." f Moreover, in common parlance, they 

* Ait. Up. 2-4. f Bri. Up, 1521. 


are designated by the very term Prana. : as for instance, it 

is sometimes said, " the prowas of this dying one have not 

as yet gone." The sruti also speaks of speech and other 

senses under one and the same designation ' prana ' : 

" And the people do not call them the tongues, 

the eyes, the ears, the minds, but the breaths 

Therefore the senses are not distinct from Prana. 

( Conclusion ) : One distinction between them is this : 
while speech and other senses are overcome with weariness 
in their respective spheres of work, Prana is unwearied in 
its operation. The sruti says : 

" Death having become weariness, took them 
and seized therm ........ Having seized them, 

death held them back from their work. There- 
fore speech grows weary." ! 

Again, in the dialogue between Prana and the senses, the sruti 
declares first that the body did not perish or rise as speech 
and other senses departed from or entered into it ; and then, 
that the body perished or rose as Prana departed from or 
entered into it. Because of these distinguishing features 
declared in the sruti, it is only in a figurative sense that 
speech and other senses are said to be mere forms of Prana 
and are spoken of under the designation ' prana.' And the 
senses are spoken of as pnzwas because of their following 
Prana so closely as servants follow tlreir master. There 
is a vast difference in their functions. The senses are limit- 
ed in their respective spheres of action and are instruments 
of thought ; whereas Prana is the leader of the senses and 

*Chtra, 5115. f Bri. Up. 1521. 


the body. Accordingly, because of their weariness and other 
distinguishing features, the senses are principles quite 
distinct from Prana.. 

Manas is the chief among the senses. 

Of these eleven senses Manas is the chief, and therefore 
the Manomaya-kosa is named after it. And Manas is the 
chief of the senses because speech and other senses depend 
on it for their respective functions. Indeed in all their 
respective functions they invariably presuppose a state of 
mind called praj/w (consciousness) such as a desire to speak 
to see, to hear, or the like. This truth has been stated at 
length by the Kaush/'takins, viewing the matter both in its 
positive and negative aspects. Viewing the matter in its 
positive aspect, they declare : 

" Having by praj;w ( consciousness ) taken 
possession of speech, he reaches by speech all 

words Having by praj;w taken possession 

of the eye he reaches all forms " : 

The negative side of the proposition is declared as follows :- 
" For, without praj;m, speech does not make 
known any word. ' My mind was absent,' he 
says, ' I did not perceive that word '...Without 
prapw the eye does not make known any 
form. ' My mind was absent,' he says, ' I 
did not perceive that form.' " f 

Contemplation of the Manomaya. 

Having taught that the Manomaya, trie aggregate of 
all senses, is one's own self, the sruti now proceeds to 

* Kan. Up. >> 0. f Ibid. I! 7. 


434 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. \Anailda-V dill. 

enjoin the contemplation thereof, in order to strongly im- 
press the idea in the heart ; and with a view to this end the 
sruti first teaches the form in which it should be contem- 
plated : 

I ^ gWRTT^ I 
cTFT qafis RK: I 

i a*pftfjp*r: 

4. He, verily, this one, is quite of man's shape. 
After his human shape, this one is of man's shape. 
Of him, the Yajus itself is the head, the Rik is 
the right wing, the S<rman is the left wing, the 
ordinance is the self, the Atharva-Angirases are 
the tail, the support. 

* The Manomaya which has been declared to abide 
within the as the self, and which we feel in the 
consciousness " I think, I imagine," is represented, for 
contemplation's sake, to be of human form made up of five 
members. As explained above, f the human form of this 
kosa follows from that of the Prrt/jamaya, after the fashion 
of the melted metal assuming the form of the mould into 
which it is poured. 

What the Veda in reality is. 

Of him, the Yajus is the head. Yajus is that class of 
mantras which are not subject to any definite rule as 

* The first two sentences should be explained as before. 
Vide ante pp. 414*415. t Ibid. 


to the syllables,, lines and endings. All speech of this 
kind is here referred to by the word ' Yajus.' It is 
here represented as the head because of its importance; 
and the importance lies in its being of immediate use 
in sacrificial rites, etc. For, it is with the Yajus with 
the words svaha, etc.,* that an oblation is offered. Or. 
the representation of the Yajus as the head and other like 
representations should always be based entirely on the 
authority of the .sruti. t What we call Yajus is only a 
mano-v7'itti, a state, a mode, a function, an act, of 
mind, and consists in thinking of the particular syl- 
lables, words and sentences as uttered by particular 
organs, with particular effort, pitch and accent, as 
constituting the Yajurveda ; and it is this thought that 
manifests itself through hearing and other organs and 
is given the appellation of Yajus. The same thing 
applies to the Rik, and to the Saman. 

The word ' yajus,' is generally used to denote an aggre- 
gate of external sounds known by that name. But, lest the 
criticism of the sruti might be carried too far, we should 
absolutely accept its authority and understand that ' yajus ' 
here denotes a particular state of mind which may be 
expressed in the words " we now study the Yajurveda ; 
these syllables occurring in this particular order constitute 
the Yajurveda which we should study." (A). So that what 
we call Yajus is a particular state of Manas woven into the 

* The other words are ' sv^dhrt,' ' vashatf ' (S).t 
f Inasmuch as the sruti is of a higher authority ; whereas all 
attempt to seek for an analogy as the basis of the representation 
is.human, (S.) 

BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. [ Jl 11(111(1(1- V(llli. 

consciousness of /svara, and which, in the form of words 
and sentences, becomes manifested through hearing and 
other organs. (S). That is to say, the Yajus, the J?ik, etc., 
are only particular states of mind impregnated with con- 
sciousness ; or they are all mere consciousness in the form 
of particular states of mind. (A). 

Mantras bsing thus only vrittis or functions of mind, 
and since a function can be repeated, we can under- 
stand how a mental repetition of mantras is possible 
Otherwise, as incapable of repetition, a mantra could 
not be repeated (in mind) any more than a pot; so that 
it would be absurd to talk of a mental repetition of 

If mantras were not functions or acts of mind, were 
something other than acts, like pots, etc., no such thing as a 
repetition of the mautra would be possible ; for, it is only an 
act or function, which every state of consciousness is, 
that can be repeated, but not an external thing such as a 
pot. The mind cannot directly act upon objects which are 
external to it and therefore beyond its scope ; so that, if the 
mantras were something external to the mind, to speak of 
a mental repetition of them would be absurd. (S & A). 

But a repetition of mantras is often enjoined in 
connection with sacrificial rites. 

And such injunctions shew that mantras are acts or 
functions which alone, unlike external objects such as pots, 
are capable of repetition. (A). 

(Objection) : The mental repetition of a mantra may 
be effected by way of repeating the thought (smritij of 
its syllables. 


That is to say, though the mantra cannot itself be repeated 
(in mind), as beyond its direct reach, the repetition may 
be effected by revovling in thought the meaning of the 
mantra (S). 

(Answer) : No, because it would involve a departure 
from the primary sense of words. To explain : the 
formula " let him thrice repeat the first ( verse ) and 
thrice the last " enjoins a repetition of certain verses. 
If the verse cannot itself be the subject of repetition, 
if, on the other hand, the mere thought of it were 
repeated, it would be tantamount to a neglect of what 
is primarily enjoined in the words " Let him thrice 
repeat the first verse." 

To repeat the mere idea of what is taught in the verse is 
to resort to a secondary sense of the injunction ; for, the 
idea of what is taught in the verse is different from the 
verse itself, of which a repetition is here enjoined. More- 
over, in the words "mental repetition is deemed a thousand 
times more effective," it is said that a mental repetition of 
mantras is more fruitful, and that the external repetition, 
/. *., the repetition of mantras through word of mouth, is 
less fruitful. Wherefore the mental repetition is what is 
primarily enjoined ; while the other i.e. repetition by word 
of mouth can be made out by understanding the text in its 
secondary sense. When a passage is capable of a literal 
interpretation, it is not right to understand it in a secondary 
sense. (S & A) 

Therefore, the mantras are nothing other than the 
Atman's* Consciousness limited by the upadhi of 

* Jsyarft's (S), 


the states of mind and manifested in these states of 
mind; that Consciousness of /Itman which has neither 
a beginning nor an end, and which is here spoken of 
as Yajus. And so, we can explain how the Vedas are 
eternal. Otherwise, i. c., if they are objects external 
to consciousness, like colour, etc., the Vedas would be 
non-eternal ; and this conclusion is quite unsound. 
And the sruti which speaks of the unity of the 
Veda with the Eternal Self, in the words " He is the 
pitman abiding in Manas,* in whom all Vedas become 
one,"t will have a meaning only if the Rik and other 
portions of the Veda are eternal. There is also a 
mantra which reads as follows : 

" The A'iks are seated in Akshara (the 
Indestructible), in the Supreme Heaven, 
wherein all Devas sit on high." $ 

Since it has been established that mantras are mental 
states, and since all mental states are found invariably 
permeated by the Conscious Self, the mantras are one with 
the Conscious Self. Thus the view that mantras are 
mental states or acts explains not only the possibility of 
their repetition, but also the eternality of the Vedas which 
are ultimately one with ^4tman. Further, as the Veda is one 
with Consciousness, as it is not a mere insentient word, it 
is capable of throwing light upon Dharma and other things 
worth knowing. This view obviates the necessity for the 
unwarranted postulate of ' Sphofo. ' or eternal sound that 

* as the witness thereof (A), f Taitt, Ara. 311, 
J Taitt. Ara. 

Anil. III.'] MANOMAYA-KOSA. 439 

form of the Veda in which it is said to be distinct from the 
insentient syllables of which it is composed, and in which 
it is supposed to be able to throw light upon truth. (S&A) 

The 'ordinance' here refers to the Brahmana, (that 
section of the Veda) which ordains things requiring 
specific directions. The Atharva-Angirases, i.e., the 
mantras seen by Atharvan and Angiras, including their 
Bmhmawa, is the support, because they treat mostly 
of rites which promote man's well-being by conducing 
to his peace and strength. 

The Brrthma/za section of the Veda consists of ordinances 
and is therefore here referred to by the word " ordinance." 
Or, the Brahmaua is so called because it is the command 
of the Supreme Brahman. (S). 

The three Vedas here designated as the Yajus, etc., refer 
to the mantras comprised in them, while the Bmhmawa 
portion is referred to by the word " ordinance " ........ The 

mantras of the Atharva-Veda are represented as the support, 
because, as contributing to the attainment of what is desir- 
able and to the avoidance of what is undesirable here in 
this Iif3, they promote man's well-being. It is true that the 
Yajus and other Vedas are formed of words, not of mind ; but 
here the words ' yajus,' etc., stand for the states of mind 
concerned with the thought of those words. * 


* Sctyajta's interpretation is somewhat at variance with the 


5. On that as well there is this verse : 
As in former cases, this verse throws light upon the 
Manomaya self. 

Brahman beyond speech and thought. 

Anuvaka IV. 

I. Whence all words turn back as well as 
Manas, without reaching ; he who knows Brah- 
man's bliss fears not at any time. 

This verse is cited as evidence concerning the nature of 
the Manomaya-kosa described above. That is to say, this 
verse is quoted here to shew that the Vedas are of the 
nature described above. It is Brahman that is inaccessible 
to words ; nothing else is inaccessible to words. As 
Brahman is the Eternal Consciousness, even Manas has no 
access to Him. The sruti declares that Brahman is beyond 
the reach of mind, by describing Him as " that which one 
thinks not by Manas."" (S) 

Or, the sruti has quoted this verse with a view to teach 
that the wise man should understand that the Manomaya is 
composed of speech and thought ( Manas ), beyond whose 
reach nothing lies except Brahman, the Untainted. Brahman 
is not the main thing referred to in this verse, inasmuch as 
there is no occasion to treat of Him in this chapter. (S.) 

Keiia-Uj). 1-5 


As this chapter relates to the Manomaya-kosa, it cannot 
be the Supreme Brahman that is described here. Now to 
explain the verse as descriptive of the Manomaya-kosa : 
Manas may be said to lie beyond the scope of speech, 
because it is immediately witnessed by consciousness and 
does not therefore stand in need of speech or other senses 
to manifest itself in consciousness. It is also beyond the 
reach of Manas ; for, it is impossible to think that Manas 
is reached by its own vritti or state. As the Sutratman is 
Great or Unlimited, and as Manas is one in essence with 
the Swtmtman, even the word ' Brahman ' may be applied 
to Manas. That man has nothing to fear at any time who 
knows that bliss is the fruit of the contemplation of this 
Manomaya Brahman, and who, by contemplation, has 
attained Brahman's bliss and dwells in the state of the 
Hira;zyagarbha (A). 

He has never anything to fear, who contemplates Brah- 
man's bliss in the upadhi of the Manomaya, that bliss 
which is the essential nature of Brahman, whom no words 
nor thought can reach, though speech and mind can speak 
and think of all else. In the first place, no words can denote 
Brahman as He belongs to no particular genus and is devoid 
of qualities, etc. On this the Naishkarmyasiddhi * says ! 

"Relation, qualities, action, genus, and usage, 

these make a word applicable to a thing. 

None of these exists in Aiman: thence Atman 

is never denoted by a word." 

When Manas thinks of things, it thinks of them as of this 
or that form. In neither way can Brahman be thought of. 
Therefore Manas recedes from Brahman. This idea has 

* a work of Suresvaracharya ; III. 103. 


442 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. [Ananda- V Cilli. 

been expressed in the Pachakosa-viveka (in the Vecfonta- 

Pawchadas/) as follows: 

" Under what form then does Self exist ? if 
one were to ask this, we would reply that the 
notion of this or that mode does not apply to 
Self. That which is not like this nor like 
that, you must regard with certainty as Self in 
its essence. An object known through the 
senses is commonly spoken of as " like this," 
and that which is not presented to conscious- 
ness as " like that." The cogniser (vishayin) 
is not known through the sense-organs ; nor 
is there a non-presentation of Self ; for, the 
nature of Self implies presentation.""'' 

Fearlessness, the fruit of the contemplation. 

Just as the sruti has taught in the preceding chapters the 
contemplation of Brahman in the upadhis of the Annamaya 
and the Praamaya, so here it means to teach the con- 
templation of Brahman in the upadhi of the Manomaya. 
Otherwise, it would be of no use to represent the Yajus, etc., 
as the head and so on. Here the root ' vid ' of the word 
" vjdwm " (knower) denotes contemplation (upasana), in- 
asmuch as the two verbs " vid " and " upa-as " are used 
synonymously in the sections treating of upnsana. This 
has been clearly shewn by Sri Sankaracharya in his com- 
mentary on the Vedanta-stras (IV. i. i) : 

"In some passages the verb ' vid ' ' to know ' 
is used at the beginning and the verb ' upa-as ' 
' to contemplate ' at the end. For example, 

* Op. Cit 2627. 

Anil. IV. 1 MANOMAYA-KOSA. 443 

we have at the beginning ' He who knows 
what he knows is thus spoken of by me'* 
and then ' Teach me, sir, the deity which 
you contemplate.'' f In some passages the verb 
' upa-fls ' occurs at the beginning and the 
verb ' vid ' at the end ; as for example, we 
have at the beginning ' let a man contemplate 
on mind as Brahman,' \ and at the end ' He 
who knows this shines and warms through 
his celebrity, fame and glory of countenance."! 

Accordingly the verb ' vid,' to know, here denotes con- 
templation. As a result of this contemplation, there will be 
no fear either here or hereafter. In him who is incessantly 
engaged in the contemplation, there is no room for the 
feelings of attachment and hatred, and the devotee is 
therefore free from all fear of the world. As he has there- 
by secured mukti which will accrue to him in due course, 
(i. e., after passing through the state of the Hirawyagarbha, 
the Lower Brahman), he is devoid of all fear of the future. 
The absence of both kinds of fear is indicated by the 
words " at any time." 

The outcome of the study of the Manomaya. 

Now the sruti proceeds to point out the main purpose of 
this teaching concerning the nature of the Manomaya : 

2. Thereof, of the former, this one, verily, 
is the self embodied. 

* Chhtt. 414. f Ibid. 422. 
J dbil. 3181. Ibid. 3186, 


Thereof, of the former, i. e., of the Pnmamaya, 
this one, namely the Manomaya, is the self, having 
the Prawamaya for his body.* 

Then arises the strong conviction that the Pnwamaya is 
the body and that the Manomaya is its lord. The Bnhada- 
ranyaka records a dialogue between Bakki and Ajatasatru. 
Balflki regards Prana, as the Self ; and in order to prove that 
Prana. is not the Self, Ajatasatru takes him to a man who 
is asleep. He calls the man out by the four scriptural 
names of Prana.. The man not awaking at the call, it is 
concluded that the insentient Prana. is not the Self. And 
then, to shew that the self is self-conscious, something 
other than Prana., Ajatasatru rubs the man in hand and 
wakes him up. Then the conscious /4tman rises. And 
accordingly the sruti says : 

" And the two together came to a person who 
was asleep. He called him by these names, 
' Thou, great one, clad in white raiment, 
Soma, king.' He did not rise. Then rubbing 
him with his hand, he woke him, and he 
arose." t 

6 e) 

* l<'or a full explanation of this, Vide ante pp. 424 425. 
f Bri. Up, 2115. 



To him who has completely withdrawn from the Prawa- 
maya, the sruti teaches the Vijwmamaya with a view to lead 
him still farther within, beyond even the Manomayakosa. 

The relation between the Manomaya and the 

r: \\\\\ 

3. Than that, verily, than this one formed 
of Manas, there is another self within, formed 
of Vij;wna. By him this one is filled. 

This should be interpreted as before. The inner 
self of the Manomaya is the Vij;mnamaya. It has been 
shewn that the Manomaya is made up of the Vedas. 
Vijwrtna or Intelligence is the knowledge of what is 
taught in the Vedas, the certain or determinative 
knowledge (nischaya). And this determinative know- 
ledge * (adhyavas0ya) is an attribute (dharma) of the 
anta/i-kara;ia, the inner sense. Made up of this, i. e., 
formed of these determinative cognitions, which are 
regarded as pramanas or right cognitions is the Vijna- 

* including the determinative knowledge gained in ordinary 
experience. (A). 

446 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. \Jinanda- Vdlll. 

namaya self. Indeed, t the sacrificial rites, etc., are 
performed by one only after ascertaining their nature 
from right sources of knowledge ; and the sruti says in 
the verse (to be quoted below) that Vijnana is the source 
of all sacrificial rites. 

The Manomaya, which has been described to be made up 
of the Vedas, is mainly composed of vrittis or states of mind, 
while the next one is the owner of those states. Buddhi, 
which is made up of determinative cognitions (vyavasaya), is 
regarded as the owner of the states of mind. The sruti 
says, " Intelligence performs the sacrifice : " this will have 
no meaning unless Intelligence (Vij/wna) is regarded as an 
agent, as the owner of the mental states, as one who passes 
through those states. Buddhi or Intelligence itself, not 
the/ltman, because He is immutable, containing within 
it a semblance of ^tman's Consciousness, is the agent. 
Since the^ftman cannot be the agent, Vijnana must be the 
performer of the sacrificial rites. If Vijwma were not the 
agent, no sacrificial rite would be possible. (Sj. 

The nature of the Vijnanamaya. 

The Manomaya is made up of mental states such as k^rna 
and sawkalpa, desires, impulses and formative thoughts. 
Being the upadhi of the Pratyagrttman, i. e., being a 
medium or vehicle in which the Inner Self manifests Him- 
self, the Manomaya has been spoken of as the self. Behind 
this self, which manifests itself in consciousness as " I 
desire, I imagine " and so on, there is another self called 

f This is to shew that " Vijnana" here means knowledge of 
the truths taught in the Veda concerning the sacrifices to be 


Vij;wnamaya, the Intelligence-made. By the Vijanamaya 
lying within, the Manomaya the external one, is filled. 
When the jnana.-sa.kti or the knowing principle which is 
evolved out of the Sattva-guwa is influenced by the Tamas, 
Manas or thought-principle is formed, with its Tamasic 
attributes of attachment, hatred, etc. So Vij;wna or the 
cognising principle, with its Rrtjasic attribute of agency, is 
formed out of a combination of the knowing principle and 
the Guwa of Rajas. Among the states of consciousness, 
there is a particular one in the form " I am the agent," and 
the principle apprehended in this particular state of con- 
sciousness with the attribute of agency pertaining to it is 
the thing denoted by the word 'Vijjwna'; and 'Vijwmamaya' 
means " formed of Vijwana." Vijnana, which is evolved 
from Sattva associated with Rajas, assumes the form of 
the Ego, apprehended as ' I ' in consciousness. It is this 
principle of Ego that all people think of as 'I.' There are 
two sets of ideas, ths idea of ' this ' and the idea of ' I.' 
The idea of ' this ' refers to what is known, to something 
distinct from the knower, to something that is outward ; 
whereas the idea of ' I ' refers to the inward, to the 
knower himself. This analysis should not be objected 
to because of the fact that the knower (pramatn) and the 
known (prameya) are always found mixed up ; for, this 
mixture is a fact of experience, and it cannot therefore 
vitiate our analysis. It is a well-recognised principle that 
no ascertained fact of experience should be dismissed on 
the ground of its inexplicability. The Ego apprehended in 
consciousness as ' I ,' who is the cogniser of all knowledge 
through whatsoever organ obtained, is the one here spoken 
of as the Vijwmamaya. Having in view this princi- 
ple, the /Uharva?rikas first enumerate all instruments of 


knowledge and all things knowable through them, and then 
mention quite separately as distinct from them all him 
who experiences them : 

" Both sight and what must be seen, both 

hearing and what must be heard, 

He is the seer, toucher, hearer, smeller, taster, 
the mind of impulse and of reason, the agent, 
the knowing self, the man." 

And the Kaustutakins also first declare, from both the 
positive and negative points of view, that all experience of 
objects through senses depends upon Manas, and then 
mention, as distinct from them all, the subject of all those 
experiences : 

" Having by pra.pia (self-conscious know- 
ledge) taken possession of speech, he obtains 

by speech all words Let no man try to find 

out what speech is, let him know the speaker."! 

(Objection) : The subject of all experiences is Aiman 
Himself, not the fourth sheath called Vijwanamaya. Hence, 
it is that in discussing the nature of the ji vat man, the 
Blessed has said " (^4tman) is the agent (kartn) 
because then the scriptures will have a meaning "(II. iii-33). 

(Answer) : There is no room for such objection ; for, the 
agency of the Atma.n is due to an upadhi, as has been 
shewn in the Vedanta-sutra II. iii. 40. This sutra. says : 
Just as a carpenter can build a house with external imple- 
ments, such as a hatchet, and cannot at all build without 
them, so also, Atman is in Himself quite unattached and 
becomes an agent when associated with the senses, such 

* Prasna. Up. 48, 9. f Kaush. Up. 3-6, 8. 


as the sense of speech. 

(Objection): Then the Atman becomes an agent in 
association with the Manomaya composed of the inner 
sense (anta//-kara;/a) and the external senses. What purposes 
does the Vijwznamaya serve ? 

(Answer): Not so; for on this principle, one might 
urge that even the carpenter is useless. Since the brrthmawas 
and others may build a house with hatchets and other 
implements, the carpenter would be quite useless. If the 
carpenter is necessary because of the absence, in others 
such as brrthmawas, of the requisite knowledge and skill 
concerning the structure, then, here, too, there is a necessity 
for the Vij/wnamaya which has the power of knowing and 
acting in all matters of experience. And this two-fold power 
cannot pertain to .4tman, the real Self, except by false im- 
putation ; and we say that an attribute is falsely imputed 
to a thing only when that attribute really pertains to some 
other thing. A serpent, for instance, really exists in a hole, 
and it is for a serpent, actually existsing in a hole, that a 
rope is mistaken. Accordingly, here too, the two-fold power 
of knowing and acting, which really inheres in the Vij;mna- 
maya, is falsely imputed to the pure Conscious Atman. 
This is what the Vrtjasaneyins mean when they read : 

" He is within the heart, surrounded by the 
pnwas (senses), the self-luminous Spirit 
[Purusha) consisting of knowledge. Becom- 
ing equal with it, He wanders along the two 
worlds, as if thinking, as if moving." * 

To explain : Purusha (Spirit) is in Himself the pure self- 

* Bri, Up. 437. 



luminous Consciousness ; but, when in association with 
the upfldhi of the Vij/wnamaya, He becomes coextensive 
with it, i. e., limited by that upadhi ; and with the 
wandering uprzdhi, He Himself wanders through the two 
worlds. Though Purusha does not Himself wander at 
all, He appears to wander because of the upadhi wandering. 
Indeed when a pot is carried from one place to another, 
the akasa. within the pot is carried as it were to that 
other place, whereas in fact the akasa. is not carried from 
the one place to the other. This idea is clearly conveyed 
by the words "as if." When the up.idhi thinks, one 
imagines that the sslf-conscious Atman Himself thinks. 
Similarly, when the up.idhi moves, one imagines that the 
^tman Himself moves. This wandering of ^tman in 
sawsara, this departing (from the body), going and return- 
ing, as caused by His connection with the upadhi, has 
been explained by the Blessed P>fldarflya;/a in the Vedmita. 
s//tra (II. iii. 29). So that we must admit that even agency 
(kar/ntva) really abides in the upadhi of the Vijwanaraaya 
and is falsely imputed to the /It man. The Vijanamaya 
endued with agency is the inner self of the Manomaya 
which arts only as an instrument. 

( Objection ) : The M-Mnrtmsfl-MStra (the Vedrmta-s;/tra) 
treats of the Linga-sanra as made up only of the eleven 
senses ( including Manas ) and of pnwa in its five aspects : 
No such principle as Vij;wna has been spoken of in the 

(Answer] : Though not described in connection with the 
praas or senses (II. iv.), still it has been discussed in the 
previous section (II. iii. 29, et seq.) as the principle which 
is the source of the imputation of the attributes of sa?;?S(ira 


to the jwrtman. Moreover, it is only by admitting the 
principle of Buddhi or Vijana that the number seventeen 
of the Lingasan'ra can be made up. The number enters 
into the Blessed Teacher's description of the Lingasanra : 
" the primary unquintupled elements of matter and their 
products make up the linga-san'ra composed of seventeen 
principles." And these seventeen principles have been 
enumerated by Visvan/prtchrtrya* as follows: " Five organs 
of perception and as many organs of action, five airs, with 
Buddhi and Manas, are the seventeen principles, as they 

(Objection] ; Manas, Buddhi, Ahawkrtra, and Chitta, 
these four are four different vrittis or modifications of the 
one antaA-karaa or inner sense. Manas is the state of 
mind called doubt (sawsaya) ; Buddhi, is that known as 
nischaya or determinate knowledge ; AhaMtkora is that 
known as Egoism ; and Chitta is that known as imagina- 
tion. These vrittis or states of mind, as well as the objects 
they relate to, are enumerated by the /ltharva;/ikas in the 
following words : 

" Both impulse (Manas) and what impulse 
must seek, both reason (buddhi) and what one 
must reason, both that which makes things 
' mine ' and things that must be referable to 
' me,' imagination (chitta) too and what must 
be imagined " t 

All these different states of mind are momentary, and arise 
only at different times. Indeed, everybody knows that one 
characteristic feature of Manas is the non-simultaneity of 

* alias Suresvarocliarya. t Prasna-IJp. 4 8. 


its cognitions. Thus, the Manomaya and the Vijwniamaya 
are mere vnttis or states of mind and cannot therefore be 
regarded as distinct principles (tattvas) like the Annamaya 
and the Pnwamaya ; and since those states of mind 
arise at different moments, it is not right to regard the one 
as informing the other. 

(Answer): You cannot say so ; because, we hold that, 
as the agent (kartn) and the instrument (karana) respective- 
ly, they are distinct principles. The four states of mind 
above referred to namely, doubt, determinate knowledge, 
egoism, and imagination are different functions of the 
instrument (,). But the agent is quite a different 
principle from the instrument ; and it has been here and 
there designated as Vijw^na ( intelligence), or as Buddhi 
(understanding), or as Ahawkara (Egoism). The Ka/has, 
for instance, designate the agent as Buddhi in the following 
passage : 

" Know the Self as the lord of the chariot, the 
body as only the car, know also the reason 
(buddhi) as the driver, and the impulse (Manas) 
as the reins. The senses, they say, are the 
horses, the objects for them are the roads." 
To explain : The Chidatman, the Conscious Self, is the 
lord of the chariot. The charioteer is Buddhi, which 
is insentient in itself, the seat of agency, or the medium in 
which Consciousness (chaitanya) is reflected. Buddhi be- 
comes sentient when impregnated with a semblance of the 
Chit or Consciousness; and thus becoming an agent, it is 
independent, and, like a charioteer, controls thesense* by 
means of manas, as the charioteer controls horses by means 

* Ka/ha-Up. 133,4. 


of reins and thus drives the chariot of the body. Thus Buddhi 
and Manas are two distinct principles (tattvas). We are 
further given to understand that Buddhi is permanent and 
coeval with Manas. The word ' vijwma ' is also applied 
to the same thing in the same context : 

" Aye, the man who hath reason (vijwma) for 
driver, holding tight unto impulse's reins, he 
reacheth the end of the journey, that supre- 
me home of Vishnu."* 

In the same context, with a view to shew that Buddhi lies 
within Manas, it is declared that the one is superior to the 
other : 

" Beyond the senses are the rudiments ; be- 
yond the rudiments, impulsive mind (Manas) ; 
beyond this mind, the reason (Buddhi) " f 

So also, when the teaching of the Nirodha-samadhi, the 
samadhi which consists in the entire suppression of Manas, 
as a means of intuiting the Pratyagrttman, the sruti 
declares that Buddhi lies inside Manas : 

" The wise should sink speech into mind; this 
he should sink in the jjwnrttman (reason.)"! 

That is to say, speech and other external senses should first 
be sunk in the internal Manas. Then Manas should be 
sunk in the conscious self, (janatman ) which lies farther 
inward than even Manas. Here the term 'j/wmfltman' denotes 
the Vipnnamaya, ^not the Chidatman, the Supreme Con- 
scious Self; for the latter is in the sequel mentioned as the 
5rtnta-^4tman, the Tranquil Self. The first upadhi in which 

* Ibid. 139. f IMd. 1310. J Ibid-. 1313. 


the Supreme Brahman, the True Self (Pratyagatman), 
enters into sa/wsara or transmigratory existence, is Vij;wna, 
the next is Manas, and outside even this Manas is Prana. 
This order has been adopted by the Vajasaneyins in their 
description of samsara : 

"The self is indeed Brahman consisting of 
reason (vijwana), impulsive mind (manas),life 
(pra), etc." * 

It is the principle designated as Vijwma or Buddhi that, in 
common parlance, is spoken of as 'I.' While explaining, 
in His commentary on the Vedanta-swtras, the adhyasa or 
false imputation, the Bhashyakara (the Commentator, Sri 
Sankaracharya) first 'illustrates the imputation in the case 
of son, wife, the physical body, the senses and manas ; 
and then, as a further illustration, he refers to the imputa- 
tion of the ViJHflnamaya in the following words : 

" Thus falsely identifying Ahampratyayin 
the subject that feels as ' I ' with the Pratya- 
gfltman, the True Self, the Witness of all its 
conduct," etc. 

And so also, when commenting on the Vedanta-swtra I. i. 4, 

he says : 

" By the same Ahawkartn or principle of Ego, 
by the Ahampratyayin the subject that feels 
as ' I,' all acts are accomplished, and he 
alone is the enjoyer of their fruits." 

It is this agent and enjoyer or experiencer (kar/'ri and 
bhoktn) that the [followers of the Nyaya school regard as 
the jwitman. And the Stmkhyas say that the anta/ikara;;a 

* Bri. Up. 445. 


is threefold : Manas, the eleventh of the senses, being 
one, Ahawkrtra the second, and the principle of Mahat 
the third. They define Ahawkara as "Egoism (abhiirurna)." 
It is the Ahawkrtra, impregnated with a semblance of Chit 
or Consciousness (Chit-chhayfl), which is here spoken of as 
ViJ7^namaya. The Manomaya is penetrated by the Vijwrtna- 
maya ; and the Annamaya is penetrated by the Prawa- 
maya which is itself penetrated by the Manomaya ; so that 
there arises, throughout the Annamaya from head to foot, 
the notion of egoism, that " I am a man." 

Contemplation of the Vijnanamaya. 

With a view to enjoin the contemplation of the Vij;ma- 
maya as a means of confirming the notion that the Vijana- 
maya is the self, the 5ruti proceeds to describe the form in 
which it should be contemplated : 

4% He, verily, this one, is quite of man's shape. 
After his human shape, this one is of man's 
shape. Of him faith surely is the head, right- 
eousness is the right wing, truth is the left wing, 
Yoga is the self, and Maria// is the tail, the 

He who has acquired (through Vedas) a determinate 
knowledge, first cherishes faith(sraddhrt)as to the things 
he has to do. As faith is a primary element in all 


things to be done, it is the head as it were of the 

Faith is the head because of the smnti " Whatever is 
sacrificed, given, or' done, and whatever austerity is practis- 
ed, without faith, it is called unrighteous, O Partha ; it is 
naught here or hereafter."" 

' Srat ' means truth, and ' dha ' means to hold. Sraddrw 
is according to the Marmtmans, the conviction that the 
Pratyagrttman (the Inner Self) alone is true. (S) 

' Righteousness ' and ' truth ' have been already 
explained, t Yoga composure, meditation is the self, 
the trunk as it were. As limbs serve their purposes when 
resting in the trunk, so it is only when a man is self- 
composed by the practice of meditation that faith, etc , 
enable him to acquire a knowledge of the Reality. 
Therefore, meditation (yoga) is the self (the trunk) of 
the Vijwanamaya. MahaA is the principle of Mahat, % 
the First-born, " the Great Adorable One, the First- 
born " as the sruti elsewhere says. As the support of 
the Vijttanamaya, Mahat is the tail. Certainly, the 
cause is the support of the effects, as the earth is the 
support of the trees, shrubs &c. And the principle of 
Mahat is the source of all knowledge possessed by 
Buddhi. Therefore Mahat is the support of the 
Vijttrtnamaya self. 

* Bha. Gita XVII. 28. 

t Vide (ante p. 26) the Commentary on 'the ri^lit' ami 'the true.' 
+ The Hiranyagarbha, the Stitra. (A.). 
Bri. Up. 54-1. 


The agent who, as has been shewn above, is so univer- 
sally recognised by the Sruti, by the Ny^ya and other 
systems of philosophy, as well as by the ordinary 
experience of people, is the same principle that we all 
experience in consciousness as " I am the agent" ; and that 
agent is here spoken of as the Vij/wnamaya. After the 
pattern of the Manomaya represented in contemplation 
with a head, wings and so on, the Vijwmamaya is of 
human form, represented alike with a head, wings, etc. 
Though faith, etc. , are only vrittis or states of mind, and 
are, as such, functions of the Manomaya, still, inasmuch 
as the VijjMraamaya is the agent and is therefore the owner 
of the instrument (manas) and its functions, these states of 
mind may also form part of the Yij/wnamaya and may be 
represented as the head and so on. .Sraddhr? is the highest 
faith that what is taught by the teacher and the scrip- 
tures is true and that the knowledge of the teaching and 
the means to that knowledge as prescribed in the sruti 
are fruitful. ' Righteousness' and ' truth' here stand for 
the agency concerned with those two states of mind. 
Yoga is the samadhi of both kinds, (i) the samprajwata- 
samfldhi and (2) the asampra/wita-samadhi i. e. , (i) the 
sanirtdhi in which there still remains a consciousness of the 
distinction as cogniser, the cognised and cognition, and 
(2) the samndhi in which there is no such consciousness, 
the mind being entirely en rapport with the object of 
meditation and putting on the form of that one object exclu- 
sively. Yoga is, indeed, defined " as the restraint of all 
modifications of the thinking principle." * ' Mahat' here 
means the principle of Mahat, the Hirayagarbha, the 

* Yogas?(t,ras i, 2. 


458 niuiiMA-viDYA EXPOUNDED. 

first thing evolved out of the Avynkrita, out of that 
Undifferantiated RoDt of matte: which is dsscribed in the 
sruti as lying beyond the Mahat. This principle is the 
aggregate of all agents presenting themselves in the cons- 
ciousness of individual beings as 'I,' and is therefore the 
support of the Vijffonamaya. It is this principle of 
Mahat that is described in the Nrisiwha-Uttara-Tapam'ya 
as " The Universal Ego, ths Hira?/yagarbha." 

5. On that as well there is this verse : 
Contemplation of Vijnana as the Hiranyagarbha. 

(Anuvaka V.) 

i. Intelligence accomplishes sacrifice, and 
deeds as well does it accomplish. Intelligence 
do all Gods worship as Brahman, the Eldest. 
If Intelligence as Brahman one knows, if from 
That he swerves not, in body sins forsaking, he 
all desires achieves. 

* Op. cit. 9 


Just as there are verses throwing light on the 
teachings of the Brahmawa concerning the Annamaya, 
etc. , so there is a verse concerning the Vijfwnamaya. 
'' Intelligence accomplishes sacrifice." It is indeed a 
man of intelligence who in due faith performs a 
sacrifice. Hence the agency of Vij;tina or Intelligence. 
And it performs deeds * as well. Bacause all is done by 
intelligence (Vijnana), therefore ths Vij/wnamaya selft 
is Brahman. All Gods such as Indra + contemplate 
the Intelligence-Brahman, who is the eldest because 
He is the First-born or because He is the source of 
all activities. When thus contemplating, they identify 
themselves with the Vijftaftamaya Brahman. It is in 
virtue of the contemplation of this Brahman, the 
Mahat, that they are endued with higher knowledge 
and power (j;mna and aisvarya) . 

It is the very Supreme Brahman, wearing of His own 
accord the coat of Buddhi or Intelligence, that is here 

* i.e., worldly acts. 

f Vijintna has been dcjcribol as the agent of all acts, with a 
view to establish a point of similarity between the "Vijmum- 
maya and Brahman i.e., Sittratman, the Cause of the universe, 
so that the former may bo contemplate 1 as one with the latter. 

The Vanamala, a gloss on the bhoshya, explains this to mean 
that the Devcis practised this contemplation in a former birth 
and have become Devas in virtue of the contemplation. 

as the Sittrotman. 

8 That is to say. this higher knowledge and power which they 
possess indicates that Brahman has been worshipped in th'^ir 
former birth. 

460 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. [Aiiandci-V dtli* 

spoken of as the Intelligence-Brahman. Buddhi illumina- 
tes pots and other objects by putting itself en rapport 'with 
them. Accordingly Buddhi should place itself en rapport 
with Brahman, the Absolute Consciousness, so that it may 
illumine Brahman. (S) . By speaking of Brahman as 
associated with Buddhi, the sruti shews that the seeker of 
moksha may easily attain a knowledge of Brahman. (A) . 
Agni and other Devas always worship this Being, the First- 
born, the Intelligence-Brahman, with a view to attain 
Him. And the sruti says: 

" He behind whom the year (sawvatsara-Pra- 
japati) revolves with the days, Him the Gods 
worship as the Light of lights, as immortal 
Time." :;: (S). 

It is this Intelligence (Vij/wna), acting as the agent of all 
works, that performs the Jyotishfoma and other sacrificial 
rites. What intelligence performs is falsely imputed to 
the witness thereof, the pure Conscious yltman. Similarly, 
all worldly acts, such as those concerned with industry, 
trade, ect., are achieved only by Vij.ina. This intelli- 
gence in the individual, the agent in all worldly and 
spiritual activities, is worshipped by Indra and other Gods 
as one with Brahman, the First-born, the principle of 
Mahat designated as the Hira/zyagarbha, whose body is 
the first-born and therefore the eldest. 

"This one, the Mahat, the First-born, the 
Adorable" f 

" The Hira/jyagarbha came into existence 
lirtit." I 

* Bri. Up. 4- HO. f Hid. 3-M J Tait-Sawlu 1-1-8. 


" Pie, verily, is the first embodied one ; He 
verily is called Purusha ; Brahma the first 
creator is He of all beings ; He came first 
into being." 

The fruits of the contemplation of the 

If a person realises this Intelligence-Brahman, and 
further, if after realisation he never swerves from that 
Brahman,^for, it is possible that, in virtue of the 
external non-egos having been long regarded severally 
as the Self, he may fail, on occasions, to regard the 
Vij3namaya Brahman as the Self, that is to say, if 
he ceases to regard as Self the Annamaya and the like, 
and dwells constantly in the thought that the Vijana- 
maya Brahman is the Self, then the following will be 
the result : In this body Ii2 abandons sins. Indeed, 
all sins arise only from self-identification with the 
body ; and it stands to reason that their cessation 
should be brought about by self-identification with the 
Vijwanamaya Brahman, just as the shade is removed 
by the removal of the umbrella. Accordingly he leaves 
in the body itself all sins born of the body, all sins 
arising from self-identification with the body, and, 
becoming one in essence with the Vijwanamaya 
Brahman, he attains completely all desires, remaining 
all the while as the Vijttflnamaya self. 

Since the seat of all sins is the body, which is made up of 
nrtina, rapa, kriya, names (or thoughts), forms, and deeds, 
the removal of the body puts an end to all sins. Firm in 

462 BRAHMA- VIDYA EXPOUNDED. [Ananda-Valli. 

the idea that "I am Intelligence and Intelligence alone," he 
deposits all sins in the body itself and attains all wishes. 
The devotee, becomes one with the Intelligence, the Hira- 
yagarbha, endued with all the wonderful powers of A/nma 
and the like ; :;: and, as such, he attains all objects of 
desire in the world of effects, inasmuch as the world of 
effects is pervaded by the Cause, the Hira/jyagarbha, the 
source of all fruits of action. (S) He who, like Indra and 
other Gods, is devoted to a contemplation of Brahman in 
the uprzdhi of Vipana, and he who, thus contemplating till 
death, never turns away from that Brahman, he, that is 
to say, who never breaks the continuity of the thought 
that " I am the Intelligence-Brahman," and who never feels 
like ordinary men that " I am a man, I am the doer and 
the enjoyer, I am happy, I am miserable" hs, while 
remaining in the body, is rid of all sins leading to the 
misery of future birth; and then, after enjoying in the 
Brahma-loka all pleasures, which he will compass by 
merely willing them, he will attain true knowledge and be 
finally released. 

How Brahmavidya is acquired by persons other 
than the twice born. 

Though Indra and other Gods have no occasion to study 
the Veda, any more than women and the sdras, still they 
have access to the Brahmavidya as taught in the Veda. The 
swdras and women, on the other hand, are not entitled to 
receive Brahmavidya through the Vedas, though it may be 
taught to them through the smritis, pimwas, and so on. 

* Vide Minor U|>uui*h;i<l< V r ul, II. p. 1G5 1U6. 


Devas acquire Brahmavidya through the Veda. 

(Vedanta-sz^tras I. iii. 26 33) 

(Question) : " Whoever among Devas awoke, he indeed 
became That ; and so with .ftishis and men." * Whoever 
among Devas knows Brahman, he becomes Brahman, 
Now the question arises, Arc Devas qualified for Brahma- 
vidyfl or not ? 

(Prima facie view) : It would seem that Devas, .ffishis, 
and the like are not qualified for Vidya. It is said that a 
Vedic command is meant for him alone who seeks the 
fruit of the act enjoined, who is competent to observe the 
command, who has the requisite knowledge to do the act 
enjoined, and who does not belong to the class of persons 
specifically excluded by the scripture. These qualifications 
are not all found in disembodied beings such as Devas. It 
cannot be urged that the Vedic hymns (mantras) and ex- 
planatory passages (arthavadas) speak of Devas as embodied 
beings ; for, these texts are intended to point to what is 
taught in the injunction, but not to what their words 
literally mean. 

(Conclusion) : The arthavrtdas or explanatory passages 
which are subsidiary to injunctions (vidhis) are of three 
kinds : (i) Gu?ja-vfldas, figurative speech; (2) Anuvfldas 
repetition ; (3) Bhtrtrthavrtda, narration of real facts or 
past events. To explain : The sruti says : " The sun is 
the sacrificial post ;" " The Sacrificer is the prastara (the 
handful of kusa grass)." These texts being opposed to 
observed facts when literally understood, they should be 
interpreted in a figurative sense. The sacrificial post is 

* Bri. Up. 1-4-10. 

464 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. Anaildd- Vdlli. 

spoken of as the sun because of its lustre, and the sacrifi- 
cer is spoken of as the kusa grass because of his important 
share in the achievement of a sacrifice. Such passages are 
Gu;za-.vfldas. Again, " Fire is the antidote for frost ; " 
" The air is the swiftest God : " such passages as these re- 
peat merely what we have ascertained from other sources of 
knowledge and are therefore classed as Anuvndas. " Indra 
raised the vajra (thunder-bolt) against Vntra ; " since 
passages like this describe things as they are or as they 
happened and are unopposed to what we have learnt from 
other sources, there is nothing to prevent the impression 
that what they teach is true, so long as we admit that the 
Veda is an independent source of knowledge. Such passages 
as these, which are spoken of as bhutarthavadas, incident- 
ally teach as truths the ideas which they convey when their 
words are construed by themselves, while their main pur- 
pose is to contribute, to the meaning of the main injunctions, 
that part which can be made out by construing together 
the whole sentences. The same principle applies to the 
mantras or original chants. " :: Accordingly, on the authority 
of the mantras ( hymns ) and the arthavadas ( explanatory 
and illustrative passages), we vinderstand that the Devas 
and the like are embodied beings, and that, as such, they 
are competent to receive instruction. We can also easily 
conceive how, on seeing that their own glory is perishable 
and that there is a still higher one beyond, the Devas may 
seek for Brahraavidya. Even the requisite knowledge is 
within their reach ; for, though they neither undergo the 

* The arthavftdas come under the Bmhtnana portion of the 
Veda, which is intended to explain the moaning and purpose of 
the mantras. Vide ante pp.291 -2f> - J. 

Anil. \f] VUNANAMAYA-KOSA. 465 

ceremony of uparmyana nor study the Veclas, still, the Vedas 
present themsalves to their vision. It is not, therefore, 
possible to exclude Devas from Brahmavidya. It may be 
granted that the Saguwa-Brahmavidya (contemplation of 
the conditioned Brahman ), involving as it does the con- 
templation of a particular Deva as, for instance, ^4ditya, 
the sun is not meant for that particular Deva, because 
there exists no other God of the same description, and 
because the state of Aditya. to be attained as the fruit of the 
contemplation has been already attained by him ; but the 
title of the Devas to Nirgu/za-Vidya, to the contemplation 
of the Unconditioned, is beyond all question. So, Devas 
are qualified for Brahmavidya. 

Is Brahmavidya accessible to the Sudras? 

The title of the S^dras (the caste of labourers) to the 
Brahmavidya is discussed in the Vedanta-s^tras (I. iii. 34-38) 
as follows : 

(Question] : Is the sudra, entitled or not to instruction in 
the Vedic wisdom ? 

(Pnma facie view]: In the Sawvargavidya occurs a 
passage which reads as follows : 

" Thou hast brought these, O swdra, that by 
that means alone thou mayst make me 
speak.' : 

The meaning of the passage may be explained as follows : 
A certain disciple, named Janasruti, approached the teacher 
named Raikva and offered to him, as presents, one thous- 
and cows, a daughter, a necklace of pearls, a car, and a 

* Clihct, Up. 425. 



tcertain number of villages. Then Raikva addressed him 
hus : " O J^nasruti, O s//dra, thou hast brought these 
things, one thousand cows, etc., thinking that, by thus 
presenting the daughter, etc., to me, thou wilt please 
my mind and make me impart instruction." From this 
passage it would seem that even the 5dra who is beyond 
the pale of the three twice-born classes is qualified for 
Vedic Wisdom ; for, like the Devas who are beyond the 
pale of the three higher castes, the s-dra also may be 
qualified for Brahma- Vidya, though he is beyond the pale 
of the three higher castes. 

(Conclusion) : There is a difference between Devas and 
the s/jdras. Though Devas do not undergo the process 
of upanayana and adhyayana, of formal initiation and 
study, still the Vedas present themselves immediately to 
their minds as a result of good acts they had done in the 
past. The swdra, on the contrary, has done no such deeds 
in the past, and the Vedas, therefore, do not present them- 
selves immediately to his vision. Neither has he any occa- 
sion to study the Vedas, inasmuch as he is not entitled to 
initiation (upanayana). In the absence of one of the 
qualifications for treading the path of Vedic Wisdom, 
namely, the requisite knowledge, the sndra. cannot tread 
the path. 

( Objection ) : Then, how is it that J^nasruti, who is 
addressed as a 5dra, has been taught Vedic W'isdom ? 

(Answer] : The word ' sudra. ' as applied to Jrtnasruti 
should not be understood in the sense in which it is 
commonly used. The word should be understood in its 
etymological sense, It then means he who, owing to the 
grief (Sk. 'such ') that he was wanting in wisdom, has vun 


(Sk. 'dru') to the teacher to obtain it. It should not be urged 
that common usage should prevail as against etymology. 
For, the common usage can convey here no sense at all. 
In the whole story there are many indications, such as 
the ordering of the charioteer and other signs of wealth and 
power, shewing that Jrrnasruti is a Kshatriya. 

(Objection): If the s//dra be not qualified for Vedic 
Wisdom, then he cannot attain moksha despite his intense 
aspiration for it. 

(Answer): Not so; he may acquire Brahmavidyrt 
through the smntis and the pumas and thereby attain 
moksha. Therefore we conclude that the s//dra is not 
qualified for the Vedic teaching. 

The Upasaka liberated before death. 

That the devotee who has realised by contemplation the 
Sagu/za (conditioned) Brahman is rid of merit and demerit 
even before death, has been established in the Vednta- 
swtras (III. iii. 27-28) : 

(Question) : Does the release from good and bad karma 
take place after death or before it, in the case of one who 
has by contemplation realised Sagiwa Brahman ? 

(Priina facie view) : It takes place after death on the way 
to Brahma-loka. The sruti teaches that it takes place after 
the crossing of the river that lies close to that loka : " He 
comes to the river Virajrt and crosses it by the mind alone, 
and there shakes off his good and evil deed." : 

(Conclusion) : It is useless to carry the [ karma till the 
crossing of the river, since on the way to the loka there 
remains no fruit to accrue from the good and bad deeds, 

* Kaushi. Up. 1-4. 

468 BRAHMA-Vim'A EXPOUNDED, Anailda-V (llll. 

the attainment of Brahman being the only fruit yet to be 
realised. Moreover, in the case of the disembodied, there 
could be no means whereby to shake off the good and 
bad deeds which are alleged to have not been shaken 
off before d3ath, inasmuch as it is impossible for the 
disembodied to do an act whereby to shake them off. 
It cannot be urged that the assertion that they are 
shaken off before death is unfounded ; for the Tand'ms 
declare that the soul shakes them off as " the horse shakes 
off the hair." On these considerations, we should set aside 
the Kaushu'takin's teaching that the good and bad karma is 
shaken off after the crossing of the river. Accordingly 
we conclude that it is before death that the up^saka is 
released from his good and bad deeds. 

The outcome of the study of the Vijnanamaya. 

Now the sruti proceeds to shew that the realisation of 
the Vijwmamaya by the up.isaka leads to the conviction 
that the Manomaya is but a body : 

fi^fa <^T ^TRR 3TTc*TT I *T: <jfer IRII 

2. Thereof, of the former, this one is the 
self embodied. 

Of the former, i.e., of the Manomaya, this one, 
namely, the Vipmnamaya, is the self, having the 
Manomaya for his body. 

In ordinary experience we know that a hatchet or other 
instruments cannot be the self. So also, as a mere instru- 
ment, the Manomaya cannot be the self and must there- 
fore be counted as a body. 



The nature of the Anandamaya self 

With a view to teach that even this Vijwanamayakosa is 

not the Self, the sruti proceeds to teach the Anandamaya : 


3. Than that, verily, than this one formed 
of ViJHflna, there is another self within formed of 
bliss: by him this one is filled. 


To bring about the removal of the idea of agency from 
the Self, the Sruti proceeds to speak of the /Inandamaya, 
the consciousness of the Pratyagrztman or the True Self, 
conditioned by the upndhi of the anta//-kara/;a manifested 
as joy, the fruit of knowledge and action. In the last 
chapter the Self has been described in His aspect as the 
agent, under the designation of the Vij;wnamaya ; and now 
the sruti teaches of the Self in His aspect as the enjoyer, 
as the inner self of the Vij/wnamaya. Though pure in 
Himself, the Self becomes the enjoyer by avidyrt as He 
identifies Himself with the uprtdhi of the Buddhi (anta/*- 
karawa) , this latter taking the form of love and so on. (S) 

The Anandamaya is not Brahman. 

( Objection ) : There are some soi-disant scholars, * 
* The Vnttikara. (A) 

470 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. [Anaiida- Valll. 

who contend as follows: This one, the /Inandamaya, is 
the Supreme Being Himself; for (in the sequel) Bhrigu 
and Varua close their investigation at this stage, i. e. , 
with the ^nandamaya. Further, the sruti often declares 
that yinanda or bliss is Brahman ; and hence, too, the 
appropriateness of the designation Mnanda-valH' given to 
this portion of the Upanishad. (S) 

(Answer]: We understand that the .4nandamaya 
self here treated of is one of the evolved principles, * 
as shewn by the context and by the termination " maya." 
The present section has, indeed, hitherto spoken of 
evolved principles, those formed of food and other 
material elements ; and in the same series occurs this 
one, the /Inandamaya. And here the termination 'maya' 
is used in. the sense of product (vikara), as it undoubtedly 
is in ' Annamaya,' that which is produced out of food. 
We should therefore understand that the A nandamaya 
is a product. 

If, on the contrary, we understand the termination 
maya' to mean ' abounding in,' the termination would be 
understood in two different senses in the same context. (S) 
And without resorting to any such deviation, it is possible 
to make out a consistent meaning of the passsge. (A) 

And also because of (the liberated one) passing into 
it. To explain: The sruti will teach (in the sequel) 
that he (who has realised Brahman as his own true 
Self) " passes into the ^4nandamaya self."t We see (in 
the section whence the passage is quoted) that it is only 

* not the Supreme Brahman (Sj, f Tait. Up. 2-8. 

. V .~\ 


into things outside the Real Self, only into the things 
of the evolved universe, that he is said to pass: and 
he passes into the /I nandamaya self in the same way 
that he passes into the Annamaya. And it cannot be 
that he passes into the Real Self; because it would be 
epposed to the context. * And such a thing is also im- 
possible : it is not possible for one to pass into one's 
Self, simply because there is no duality in one's own 
Self; and Brahman is the very Self of him that passes. 

The act of passing, too, spoken of in the sruti, points to 
the conclusion that the A nandamaya is a product. That 
all products pass into or become merged in the Cause is a 
thing which we all can understand. To pass into the 
Paranirttman must be either to pass beyond Him or to 
attain him. None, indeed, can pass beyond Brahman, the 
Supreme Self, as the sruti itself has clearly taught, f And 
Brahman, the Supreme Self, is already attained, because 
He is the very Self : /svara never passes into His own 
Self by Himself ; no athlete, however clever, can mount 
upon his own shoulder. (S) 

And also because of the incongruity of representing 
the .1 nandamaya ; as possessed of a head and so on. 
It is not of course proper to imagine a head and other 
members in the One described above, who is the 

* In that section, the other things that the kno\ver of Brah- 
man is said to pass into are all outside the Heal Self. 
t Ka/lia, Up. 4 !.i. 
J alleged to be identical vrith Brahman. 

As the Beal, Consciousness, the Infinite, i. o, , as having 
no specific attributes and therefore not forming an object of 


cause of akass., etc., who does not fall under the 
category of products. And the sruti expressly excludes 
from Him all specific attributes in such passages as the 
following : 

" Transcending sight and self, beyond 

defining, void of base. "* 

" Not great, not small." t 

" Not thus, not thus."t 

Since the Supreme Reality is neither corporeal nor incor- 
poreal, we cannot imagine Him as possessed of a head, etc. 
Moreover, Brahman will be described as " transcending 
sight and self", which is opposed to what is said /here of 
the /Inandamaya. (S) 

And also because of the incongruity of the mantra 
quoted here. Since no doubt can ever arise as to the 
existence of Brahman if He were identical with the 
-4nandamaya self that is immediately experienced as 
composed of love and other parts, we cannot explain 
why the sruti quotes the mantra "Non-being verily 
does one become if he doth Brahman as non-being 

Since the /Inandamaya has a definite form, there is no 
room for doubt as to its existence. The sruti speaks of a 
doubt as to the existence of Brahman, and therefore Brah- 
man is not identical with the A nandamaya. (S & A). 

Further, it would be incongruous to speak of Brah- 
man as the support, i. e., as something distinct (from 

* Tai. Up. 2-7. f Bri. Up. 3-8*8. 

J Bri. Up. 2-3-6. Tui. Up. 2-6. 


the A nandamaya) in the words " Brahman is the tail, 
the support." 

Therefore, the A nandamaya falls under the category 
of products ; it is not the very Supreme Self. 

Bhrigu's closing of the investigation with the ^nanda- 
maya can be explained even on the theory that the ^nanda- 
maya is a product. Brahman is first described in the 
A nandavalb'. And then with a view to teach the means of 
realising Him, the sruti makes Bhngu ask Varuwa " Teach, 
Brahman, O Lord." Brahman, the end, having been already 
explained, the means of attaining the end remains to be 
taught. And these means are the five kosas (sheaths), 
because it is by an (investigation of) these kosas that one 
attains Brahman. By anva"ya and vyatireka, by the 
method of conjoint presence and absence, applied to the 
five kosas, the Aiman is realised; and they are therefore 
regarded as the means of attaining Brahman. Thus, the 
/4nandavalh" having explained the end, namely, the unity 
of the Self and Brahman, and the Bhn'guvalU having to 
concern itself only with the teaching of the means of attain- 
ing that end, it is but right that Bhngu should close the 
investigation with Luanda, which is the last step on the 
path of investigation. (S) 

(Objection) : The Bhrigu-valli does not enjoin the inves- 
tigation of Brahman. On the contrary, it is concerned 
with the knowledge of Brahman Himself. Hence the refer- 
ence at the outset (upakrama) to the knowledge, in the pass- 
age " The knower of Brahman reaches the Supreme." (S) 

(Answer) \^~ A person can be commanded to do only that 



thing which altogether depends on his will. But the right 
knowledge of Brahman does not altogether depend on any 
one's will. The connection of the Bhrigu-valli with the 
knowledge of Brahman spoken of at the outset in the 
words " Theknower of Brahman reaches'the Supreme" 
may be explained as merely pointing to the relation between 
knowledge and investigation as the end and the means. (S) 

Accordingly Varuwa has taught to Bhrigu only the five 
kosas as the means by which to realise the nature of Brah- 
man described in the ^4nanda-valh'; and as the remainder, 
namely, the real nature of Brahman to be realised can be 
known from the passages where it is described, Bhrigu 
stopped his investigation with ^nanda, the fifth kosa ; but 
not because he ever meant that the /4nandamaya is Brah- 
man. (S) 

We even grant that the /Inanda, last spoken of in the 
Bhrigu-valh', is identical with the Supreme Brahman. Who 
has ever denied that the Bliss (Inanda) which in its nature 
admits of no difference whatever is the^same as Brahman? 
Bliss is verily the essential nature of the Supreme Self 
(Paramatman). But that bliss which manifests itself as love 
and so on cannot be identical with ths Supreme Brahman. 
We call that Bliss Brahman, in which such distinctions 
as love and so on have no place, and which is quite beyond 
the reach of manas. As the five kosas have been excluded 
from Brahman as having their origin in aj/wna, it does 
not stand to reason to identify the ^ nandamaya-kosa with 
that Bliss which is beyond the reach of thought and 
word. (S) Just as the other kosas, such as the Annamaya 
which are products evolved from Brahman, are permeated 
by Brahman, the Supreme Bliss, so also is the dnanda* 


maya permeated by the Supreme Bliss and hence spoken 
of as ^nandamaya evolved from /Inanda. (S) 

Therefore the ^nandamaya self here spoken of is the 
self associated with an upadhi, with the upadhi of Buddhi 
manifesting itself in the form of love and so on as the 
result of thought and action. (S) 

The bliss (Luanda) here spoken of is the happiness 
which results from thought and action. Formed of this 
bliss-stuff is the /Inandamaya. And this lies within 
the Vijwanamaya, because the sruti declares that it lies 
within the Vij;mnamaya, the source of all sacrificial 
rites and the like. The result of all thought and action 
being indeed mean-t for the enjoyment of the enjoyer, 
it must lie within the Vijnanamaya, the source of all 
sacrificial rites * And so the /Inandamaya self must lie 
in the innermost recesses of the former kosas. Further, 
Vidya (upasana, contemplation) and karma are intend- 
ed to secure love and other forms of bliss. It is a fact, 
indeed, that the object of all contemplation and action 
is to secure lovej and other ( forms of happiness ). 
Therefore, since love and other ( forms of happiness ) 
resulting ( from thought and action ) are very jiear to 
the Self, it is but proper to say that this /Inandamaya 
is within the Vij/zanamaya. And, indeed, the Inanda- 
maya, made up of the wzsanas ( latent impressions ) of 
love and other forms of happiness, presents itself to 
consciousness in svapna (dream) in association with the 

* That is to say, tin enjoy jr o nes aftsr the agent. (A.) 

476 BRAHMAVIDYA EXPOUNDED. [ Anandd- V alii. 

Being thus an object witnessed in svapna by the 
Pratyagrttman, this ^nandamaya cannot be Brahman 
Himself (S & A). 

The bliss of the Anandamaya-kosa. 

Bliss is the essential nature of the Supreme Brahman as 
declared by the sruti in the words " Bliss as Brahman he 
knew;"* "Consciousness and Bliss is Brahman."} A 
form (vikara) of this Bliss is the ^nandamaya, the aggre- 
gate of love, joy, etc., to be mentioned below. It is true 
that the Bliss which is identical with Brahman undergoes 
no change ; still, as akasa. is imagined to undergo limitation 
through the upadhi or medium of pots, etc., so in the case 
of Bliss we may imagine a limitation through the sattvic 
vrittis of antaA-karana, through the states of the mind in its 
purity ; and in virtue of this limitation Bliss puts on the 
form of love, joy and so on. This /Inandamaya self is 
interior to, and is quite distinct from, the Vij/wnamaya 
looked upon as the agent in all actions. By this ^nanda- 
maya is filled the Vijanamaya described before. Just as 
motion which is a function of Prana. is experienced through- 
out the body permeated by the Pnr//amaya, just as senti- 
ency or sensation (jana-sakti) which is a function of manas 
is experienced throughout the body which is endued with 
Prana, and permeated by. the Manomaya, and just as the 
consciousness of agency " I am the doer " is experienced 
throughout the body which is endued with both Prana and 
Manas and permeated by the Vij/wnamaya, so also special 
forms of pleasure are experienced throughout the whole 
body, in the hands, feet, etc., \vhich are endued with 

* Tait. Up. 3-6. t Bri. Up. 3-9-28. 


Manas and Prana, and permeated by the /4nanda- 
maya. This is the idea conveyed by saying that the 
Vij;/anamaya is permeated by the ^nandamaya. 

(Objection) : Like pleasure, pain also is experienced in 
the hands and other parts of the body. 

(Answer) : What if it be experienced ? It is experienced 
by reason of the body being permeated by the Manomaya, 
which gives rise to the state of pain. Pain is a property of 
the Manomaya, and pleasure is a property of the .Inanda- 
maya as will be clearly explained in the sequel. 

Bliss is a positive state. 

Now we have to discuss the question, what is .4nanda or 
pleasure ? Is it a mere cessation of pain, or is it a positive 
state ? 

(Prima facie view): At first it may be supposed that 
pleasure is a mere cessation of pain, ^inasmuch as sensation 
of pleasure is felt on the cessation of the pain caused by 
hunger, thirst and sickness. 

(Objection) -.Pleasure is a positive state in itself; only 
it is lost sight of during the existence of pain, the opposite 
state ; so that, if pleasure should manifest itself, it is 
necessary that pain should cease. Thus since the manifest- 
ation of pleasure and the disappearance of pain are simul- 
taneous, the one is mistaken for the other. 

( Answer ) : No. On being rid of fever, we have no 
experience of any positive state of pleasure apart from the 
cessation of pain. Therefore, pleasure is nothing but the 
cessation of pain, 

478 BRAHMAVIDVA EXPOUNDED. [Anaiida- Valli. 

(Conclusion] : As against the foregoing we hold as follows: 
we conclude that pleasure is a positive state because of the 
consciousness of pleasure, experienced on hearing all on a 
sudden the musical strain of a lute when there is no conscious- 
ness of pain preceding. But if pleasure were a mere nega- 
tive state, it should be felt as the absence of some pain, and 
the consciousness should therefore include a memory of 
that pain, since every consciousness of a negative state, 
such as the absence of a pot, the absence of a cloth, 
includes the consciousness of the thing that is absent. This 
point has been well established by the teachers of old. 
Thus, because pleasure is presented to mind without any 
reference to pain, it is not the mere cessation of pain. That 
which is presented to mind without reference to pain, as 
for example, a pot cannot be the absence of pain. 

Or, pleasure is a positive state because, like pain, it 
admits of higher degrees of intensity and these higher 
degrees of intensity of pleasure will be enumerated later on 
at length when dealing with the pleasure of an emperor, etc. 

Theories of pleasure. 

Having thus determined that bliss is a positive state, we 
have now to discuss the following point : what is bliss ? Is 
it an act ? Or a quality ? Or a reflection of something else ? 
Is it a conditioned form of something? Or is it uncondi- 
tioned and independent? 

(Prima facie view) : At first sight it may seem that it 
is of the nature of an act ; because the word ' nnanda ' is 
derived from the verb ' nad,' to be pleased. And when the 
Kaushj'takins, enumerating the organs of action, speak of 
the organ of generation, they include, in the scope of its 


activity, the act of enjoying : " Having by consciousness 
taken possession of the organ of generation, he obtains 
enjoyment, amusement and offspring." * Here the word 
' enjoyment ' denotes the union of the several parts of the 
bodies in contact, pervaded throughout by the activity 
called enjoyment (ananda-kriyrt) produced by the organs 
of generation. 'Amusement' is the pastime that is the 
natural concomittant of the union ; the offspring is the 
generation of children which is the result of the union. 
Just as speaking and other kinds of activity are generated 
by the sense-organ of speech and the like, so also enjoying 
is a kind of activity generated by the sexual organ. 
Accordingly the Snkhyas say: "Speaking, taking, walking, 
excreting and enjoying are the functions of the five 
organs." f And the ^tharvawkas have also declared the 
objects reached by these organs of action along with their 
activities mentioned above : 

" Both voice and what must be voiced, both 
hands and what one must handle, both organ 
of joy and what must be enjoyed, both organ 
of voiding and what must be voided, both 
feet and what must be footed." .* 

This act of enjoying generated by the sexual organ should 
properly be included in the Manomaya, and it is not there- 
fore right to speak of the ^nandamaya as something 
interior to Vij/?anamaya. 

(Conclusion) : No, because by 'ananda' 'we mean here 

* Kaiisht. Up, 36. f Sankhya-Karikas, 28, 

J Prasna-Up. 4 8, 


something different from the act of enjoying you have 
referred to. As to the nature of this ./^nanda different views 
are held by different schools of philosophers. 

According to the Vaiseshikas, ananda or pleasure is a 
momentary affection produced in the ^tman by contact 
with Manas, the ^tman or Soul being himself the doer 
and the enjoyer. They hold that the nine affections such 
as understanding, pleasure, pain, desire, etc., are charac- 
teristic attributes of the ^tman. 

The S^nkhyas hold as follows : The .^tman being free 
from all ties, desire and other affections are only modifica- 
tions (pariwmia) of the three Gu/zas of Prakriti. Pleasure is 
a modification of the Sattva-guwa, activity is a modification 
of the Rajo-gua, and error is a modification of the Tamo- 
gu/;a. And accordingly the Lord has said : 

" Sattva attaches one to pleasure, Rajas to 
action, O descendant of Bharata ; while, 
veiling knowledge, Tamas attaches one to 
error." : 

Some followers of the Nyaya system hold as follows : 
The sensual pleasure is a mere pain because of its associa- 
tion with pain. What with the trouble of securing the 
objects of pleasure, what with the different degrees there 
are of pleasure, and what with its liability to destruction, 
one can easily see that sensual pleasure is necessarily 
associated with pain. But in the state of liberation (moksha) 
}he eternal bliss which is an inherent attribute of .Atman 
is perceived in consciousness, which is likewise an inherent 
attribute of ./ftman. Moksha is therefore an object of 

. Gitrt XIV, 9. 


The Vedantin's theory of pleasure. 

The Vaiseshika and other theories of pleasure which 
have been just described are founded on human speculation. 
But the sruti has declared that the sensual pleasure is but 
a chip of that eternal Bliss which forms the very being of 
the Self and which is an entity by itself. The sruti says : 

" This is His highest Bliss ; all other creatures 
live on a small portion of that Bliss." 

While giving expression to his wisdom, a certain Yogin 
has stated this truth in the following words : 

" Abiding all the while in the midst of the milk- 
ocean of bliss, I have foolishly spent all this 
time, tasting only such drops of the ocean as 
come forth from the fire of the sense-objects." 

This chip of Bliss may be either a reflection of the original 
Bliss, or a bit of it chopped off. The theory of Reflection 
has been stated by the teachers of old as follows : 

" Now we shall discuss the sensual pleasure 
which contains within it a portion of Brahman's 
Bliss, and which forms the gateway to it. The 
sruti has declared that the sensual pleasure is 
a bit of Brahman's Bliss; that the Supreme 
Bliss, which is one indivisible homogeneous 
essence, is of this Self, that all other crea- 
tures enjoy but a portion of this Bliss. 
" Manas is subject to three kinds of states : 
namely, tranquil (santa), violent (ghora), erring 

* Bri. Up. 4 3 02. 



(mudlm.) The tranquil states are dispassion 
(vainrgya), endurance, generosity, and so on. 
The violent states are thirst, fondness, attach- 
ment, covetousness, and so on. The erring 
states are delusion, fear, etc. In all these 
states of mind Brahman's Consciousness is 
reflected, while in the tranquil states of mind 
His Bliss as well is reflected. The sruti says 
that ' He becomes in form like to the various 
forms.' * 

" The Vedrtnta-swtra (III. ii. 18) compares 
Brahman's manifestations in the various forms 
to the reflected images of the sun. ' The Self 
of all creatures is one alone, and He appears in 
one and many ways like the moon in water.'! 
The image of the moon is imperfect when 
reflected in dirty water, whereas it is quite 
perfect when reflected in clear water. Similar- 
ly, Brahman reflected in mental states is of 
two sorts. Owing to the impurity of the 
violent and erring states of mind, Brahman's 
bliss is unmanifested in them, while, owing to 
their partial purity, His consciousness is re- 
flected in them. Or, to illustrate more aptly : 
It is only the heat, not the light, of fire that 
passes into water, however pure it may be ; 
similarly, consciousness alone is manifested in 
the violent and erring states of mind. On the 
other hand, both the heat and the light of fire 

* Ka/ha-Up. 5 9. f Brahmabindu-Up, 

Ann. P 7 .] ANANDAMAYA-KOSA. 483 

pass into a piece of wood ; and, just so, both 
Consciousness and Bliss are manifested in the 
tranquil states of mind." ;: 

Thus the theory of Reflection has been described. Now as 
to the theory of Separation. That bliss which constitutes 
the essential being of the jzwztman, and which is self- 
manifested in the up^dhis or vehicles of Consciousness 
the body, the senses, etc.", is the bliss that has been 
chopped off, as it were, from Brahman. As the object of 
highest love, jivatmnn is bliss itself. That the bliss is the 
essential being of the jmztman and that he is the object of 
highest love is declared by the Wijasaneyins as follows : 

"This Self, who is nearer to us than anything, 
is dearer than a son, dearer than wealth, dearer 
than all else." t 

This Self, who is immediately experienced in the notion 
' here I am," who is tli2 witness of the bod)', senses, 
etc., this self is the innermost principle of our being ; and 
surely it is dearer than wealth, sons and all else, these 
being of varying degrees of nearness. These varying degrees 
of nearness are explained by the Wzrtikakflra as follows : 

" Sons are dearer than wealth ; dearer than sons 

is one's own body ; the senses are dearer than 

the body; and pnma is dearer than the senses; 

dearer even than prana. is the Self beyond." 

Wealth and other things which are outside the Self are 

objects of love because of their being subservient to the 

Self. But love for the Self is the highest because it is 

* Vedanta-Panchadasi, XV. 1 11. 
f Bri. Up. 148.. 

484 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. Aliaitda- V alii 

absolute. All this has been illustrated in the Maitreyi- 

Bnrhmawa by many examples such as the following : 

"Verily, a husband is dear to one, not 

because of love for the husband; but, because 

of the love for the Self, the husband is dear." :;: 

And all the examples mentioned in this connection have 
been compiled by a writer as follows : 

" A husband, a wife, a son, wealth, cattle, 
Brahmawas, Kshatriyas, worlds, Devas, 
Vedas, creatures all these are beloved for 
the sake of the Self." 

As the object of genuine love, the Self is in his essential 
nature the true Bliss itself ; and as dwelling in each body 
. eparately, the Bliss-/! tman becomes divided as it were. 
As the genuine Bliss, the Bliss-^4tman is the original, 
whose reflections enter into tranquil states of the miqd 
when thinking of agreeable objects such as wealth, sons, 
etc. These reflections are as false as the images reflected 
in water or in a mirror ; and though the bliss which has 
become separated by the upadhis is real, still, it has the 
fault of limitation. Consequently, neither the reflected 
image of Bliss nor its detached bits can constitute the 
genuine Bliss. On the contrary, that Bliss is real which 
constitutes the essential nature of Brahman, and which is 
not subject to any kind of limitation. Accordingly in the 
dialogue between Narada and Sanatkuirurra, the Chhan- 
dogas declare as follows : 

"' ...... This bliss, however, we must seek- 

to know.' 

* Bri, Up. 245. 


'Sir, I desire to know the bliss.' 

' The Infinite is bliss. There is no bliss in the 

finite, The Infinite alone is bliss, and the 

Infinite alone, verily, we must seek to know' 

' Sir, I desire to know the Infinite.' 

' Where one sees nothing else, hears nothing 

else, cognises nothing else, that isthe Infinite. 

Where one sees something else, hears some- 

thing else, cognises something else, that is 

the finite. The Infinite is immortal, and 

the finite is mortal.'" 

asked Sanat-Kumara how he might reach the 
end of grief; and the latter said that, to reach the end of 
grief, the real nature of bliss should be investigated. 
Nrtrada undertook to investigate it, and the master 
taught him that the Bh?mian, the Infinite, was Bliss. 
" Bh.'nnan" means infinity. It has been said above that 
since neither the context nor any accompanying word sug- 
gests a limitation in its literal sense, the word ' Brahman' 
denotes absolute or unlimited greatness. So here, too, the 
word ' Bhf/man' means absolute infinity. We see that, 
people find pleasure, not in limited wealth, but only in the 
vastness of wealth. So, the Infinite is Bliss, and certain- 
ly the Infinite alone should be investigated. Seeing that 
Nrtrada was prepared for the investigation, Sanat-kumrtra 
defined the Infinite in the words " Where one sees nothing 
else," etc. In our ordinary experience, one sees colour by 
the eye, i.e., one sees something distinct from oneself. This 

* Chha. Up. 7231. 


is one aspect of the tripu;!/ or triple consciousness, made up 
of the seer, what is seen, and the act of seeing. There are 
other aspects : such as the one made up of the hearer, 
what is heard, and the act of hearing; the one made up of 
the cogniser, what is cognised, and the act of cognising ; 
and so on. That which does not admit of triple con- 
sciousness in any one of its aspects is the Infinite. The 
triple consciousness in its several aspects obtains only in 
forms set up by Maya ; and all such forms are finite. Of 
the two, the Infinite is imperishable and the finite is 
perishable. The finite things in this universe of duality 
contain seeds of pain and are therefore painful in their 
nature ; whereas the Inlinita, the Non-dual, is devoid of all 
seeds of pain and is therefore Bliss itself. This Infinite, 
in Its genuine nature as Bliss, is felt in the sushupti and 
samadhi states in which the triple consciousness is al- 
together absent. But on awaking from sushupti and 
samfldhi, *'. e., in the jag rat and vyutthrma states which 
are associated with triple consciousness, the universe of 
finite objects, embraced in the consciousness of the ordi- 
nary world, is experienced in its painful nature by the 
enlightened sage as well as by the unenlightened man of the 
world. Thus as they are mixed with pain, both the 
limited bliss, which constitutes the essential nature of the 
jz'va, and the reflections thereof in the mental states are 
not genuine. The Infinite alone is the genuine Bliss. 

Contemplation of the Anandamaya. 

Now the sruti proceeds to teach of the form in which the 
^Inandamaya, which is a vikara or modified form of the 
genuine Bliss just described, composed of love, joy and 


other forms of Bliss should be contemplated, so that 
the conviction that the ^4nandamaya is the self may be 

m 3 

4. He, verily, this one, is quite of man's 
shape. After his human shape, this one is of 
man's shape. Of him, love itself is the head, 
joy is the right wing, delight is the left wing, 
bliss is the self, Brahman is the tail, the support. 

Love, which springs up at the sight of a beloved son 
and the like, is the head, as it were, of the ylnandamaya 
self, because of its prominence. Joy is the exultation 
caused by the acquisition of a beloved object. The 
same exultation raised to a high pitch is called delight. 

The /Inandamaya, lying within the Vij/wmamaya, is none 
other than he who feels " I am happy, I am the enjoyer." 
After the pattern of the Vij/wnamaya, made up of a head, 
&c., the Jnandamaya, too, is of human form. Love, joy 
and delight are reflections of Bliss manifested in the 
Sattvic states of mind. Delight is caused by the benefit 
derived from a beloved object. 

Bliss is happiness in general; and it is the self, * as 

* i. e., the centre. 

488 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPOUNDED. [Amiida-V alii. 

it were, of love and other forms of bliss, because it 
runs through them all. Bliss (J.nanda) * is the 
Supreme Brahman. And this Bliss is manifested is 
that state of mind (anta/r-karaa) which is brought 
about when sons, friends, or such other objects of 
regard, are presented to consciousness in virtue of 
good karma, when the veil of Tamas [darkness) has 
been lifted and the mind is tranquil. 

Under the action of Dharma, darkness vanishes from 
Buddhi. The more does it vanish, the more is the Buddhi 
self-collected, and the greater is the happiness. (S) 

This is what is known among people as the sensual 
pleasure (vishaya-sukha). And this pleasure is imper- 
manent because the karma which brings about such a 
state of mind is impermanent 

As the anta/i-karana is more purified by austeri- 
ty (tapas) which is calculated to dispel darkness, by 
contemplation [vidya), by chastity and pious devotion 
(brahma-charya), and by reverential faith (sraddruz), it 
becomes more and more free (from Tamas) and be- 
comes more and more tranquil ; and then the Bliss 
manifests itself in a higher and higher degree and 
expands more and more. The sruti says in the sequel : 

" Nectar, indeed, is he. Nectar, indeed, 
possessing, he becomes a thing of Bliss."t 

* which is devoid of all duality. (S; 
f Tait. Up, 2-6. 


"He, verily, it is who bestows bliss." * 
"All other creatures live on a small por- 
tion of that bliss." t 

Thus bliss is of different degrees of intensity, owing to the 
variety of karma producing it. (S) 

The bliss here referred to is that which is reflected in 
ajwraa, the upadcma. or material cause of the vrittis or 
vehicles of consciousness described above. Or, it maybe 
that the limited bliss, forming the essential nature of the 
jiwtman, the original counterpart, is reflected in the vehicles 
described above, (namely, love, joy, delight, etc.). 

Accordingly the sruti will describe in the sequel 
different degrees of bliss, rising in scale a hundredfold 
higher and higher as the subjugation of desire (krzma) 
is more and more complete. Of the A nandamaya self, 
thus admitting of different degrees of intensity, the 
Supreme Brahman Himself the object of the sruti 
being to give us to understand what Brahman, the 
Supreme Reality, is I is the tail, the support. 

That one perfect Brahman wherein this increasing bliss 
attains its highest degree, is the tail, because it is the 
basis of all. (S). 

It is the Supreme Brahman, forming the main 
subject of discourse, that has been described as 
" Real, Consciousness, Infinite;" and it is to impart a 

* Ibid. t Bri. ~Up. 433-2. 

J That is to say, the sruti teaches thereby that Brahman 

is the Innermost one in all. 



knowledge of the Supreme Brahman that the five 
kosas, beginning with the Annamaya, have been 
described. The Supreme Brahman, the Innermost 
One lying within them alibis also the Self of them 
all. It is this non-dual Brahman that constitutes the 
support, i. c , the ultimate basic reality underlying all 
duality which avidya has set up. Since the ^-Inanda- 
maya leads ultimately to unity, there does exist the 
One, the non-dual Brahman, who is the ultimate 
basis of duality imagined by avidya, who is the tail, 
the support, of the .1 nandamaya. 

The infinite and genuine Bliss is Brahman, and is the 
basis of all the rest ; thence come the finite bliss of jmit- 
man and the reflections thereof. Love, joy and delight 
are no doubt states of the mind which is an instrument, and 
are therefore external to the Vijnaaamaya who is the agent. 
Still, inasmuch as they contain the reflections of the inner 
finite bliss of j/va or of the inner infinite bliss of Brahman, 
the /inandatnaya Self is regarded as interior to the Yij/wna- 

Concentration in Brahman attained. 

On realising intuitively by contemplation the A nanda- 
maya Self, the mind attains concentration in Brahman 
Himself who has been figuratively spoken of as the tail of 
the A nandamaya; and then, as conveying no reflection of 
any kind, the mind surely realises the true nature of Brah- 
man, as the sruti says, ' "With sharp and subtle mind is He 
beheld." * It is like one who mistakes the radiant rays of a 
gem for the gem itself, and Avho, on approaching, finds 


out what the real gem is. This circumstantial realisation 
of the true nature of Brahman is the fruit of the contem- 
plation (of the y4nandamaya ), and therefore, without 
mentioning any other fruit, the sruti concludes by merely 
teaching the true nature of Brahman, who is the basis of 
the whole universe, in the words " Brahman is the tail, 
the support." Accordingly, the sruti proceeds to cite a 
verse which describes Brahman, the chief element in the 
/Inandamaya-kosa : 


5. On that, too, there is this verse: 
As bearing on this teaching, too, the following verse 

may be cited : 

The sruti cites the following verse, in order that, through 

that verse, the student may understand what has been 

already taught. (S) 

Brahman, the one Being. 

( Anuvaka VI. ) 

i. Non-being, verily, does one become if he 
as non-being knows Brahman. If one knows that 
Brahman is, then they regard him as being. 
Thus (reads the verse). 


He who knows Brahman to be non-being becomes 
equal to a non-being himself. That is to say, he 
attains no human aspirations, any more than one who 
is non-existent. 

If a person knows that Brahman is non-being, though He 
exists in the form of the Self, he, as identifying himself 
with the kosas, surely becomes non-existent. The Self does 
not indeed exist as a kosa without existing as Brahman. 
How can the (illusory) serpent have a being except as the 
rope which alone is real ?- (S). 

If, on the contrary, a man knows that there exists 
Brahman, who is the basis'of all differentiation, who is 
the seed of all'evolution, and who in Himself is charac- 
terised by no distinguishing features (we know of 1 ,... 

Now, it may be asked, whence at all arises the 
supposition that Brahman does not exist ? We reply : 
it arises from the fact that Brahman is beyond sensuous 
experience. The mind (buddhi), trained as it has in- 
deed been to regard that as existing which falls within 
the range of sensuous experience and which is but a 
creature of speech, has also come to believe that what is 
contrary thereto, i.e., what is beyond sensuous experi- 
ence, is non-existent. People, for instance, understand 
that a pot exists, when it is brought within the range 
of experience, and that it does not exist, when it does 
not come within the range of experience. Similarly, 
here too, one may suppose that Brahman does not exist. 
Hence the supposition "if one knows that Brahman is." 

What of him who knows that Brahman exists ? 


The sruti says : Because of his knowledge that Brah- 
man exists, those who know Brahman regard him as 
being ; they regard that, being one with Brahman, he 
is the Supreme Being and Reality. That is to say, 
others regard that he is Brahman Himself. 

Suppose a person knows Brahman, the One, the Existent, 
as distinguished from the kosas which are non-existent ; 
then, the Self ( the witness ) being none other than Brah- 
man, the Brahmattas (i.e., devotees of Brahman ) regard 
him as Being. Such being the case, one should abandon 
all thought of the kosas which have been created by ajwana, 
and should resort solely to the Paramatman, the Supreme 
Self, who is free from all change, who has neither a beginning 
nor an end. Being Param^tman, the Self can never be a non- 
being, because there is no non-being except as kosas; hence 
the sruti " Death, verily, is the non-being ;"* " ' He exists ' : 
thus alone should one regard ; " f " Existent, verily, this at 
first was."| Nothing can really have a being anywhere 
except in Brahman, the Self. (S) 

So far as sensuous experience goes, all living beings 
think that a pot exists, only with reference to that pot 
which can be used for bringing water, which can be seen 
by the eye, and so on. If the contrary were the case, 
they think that no pot exists. So, with this kind of expe- 
rience firmly ingrained in his nature, man thinks that 
Brahman, who is beyond sensuous experience, does not 
exist. As opposed to him, he who has the power of dis- 
crimination thinks that all matter and all material things 
which fall within the range of sensuous experience are 

* Bri. Up, 1-3-28. f Ka/ha-Up. 6-13. J C'hha, Up. 6-2-1 


non-existent, because of his conviction of their illusory 
nature, founded on the sruti, reason and experience. He 
believes in the existence of Brahman beyond sensuous 
experience, as proved by the sruti and other authorities. 
The man who regards Brahman as non-being will be him- 
self non-existent ; for, it has been shewn that the Anna- 
maya and other kosas are non-self, and he does not admit 
the existence of Brahman beyond the kosas. Suppose a 
man knows Brahman who is beyond the five kosas ; then, 
that very Brahman is his essential being, and therefore, in 
virtue of his knowledge of the existence of Brahman, those 
who have exhaustively studied the scriptures say that he, 
this discriminating man, has a being, has a Self. 

Or, (to interpret the verse in a better way) : He 
who understands that Brahman does not exist has no 
faith in the righteous path of any kind based upon 
distinctions of caste and religious order (vanza and 
flsrama), and he therefore comes to believe that there 
is no such path, the path being in fact intended 
solely for the realisation of Brahman. So that, being 
an unbeliever (nastika), he is regarded by people as 
unrighteous. As opposed to him, he who understands 
that Brahman exists believes in the righteous path 
based upon the distinction of caste and religious order, 
and therefore resorts to it in accordance with the 
ordinance; and consequently the wise call him a 
righteous man, a follower of the right path. This is, 
in effect, to say that we should know that Brahman 

He who believes that Brahman is non-existent is certain- 

Anil. V."\ AXAXDAMAVA-KOSA. 495 

ly unrighteous. Since the whole path of righteousness 
based upon distinctions of caste, religious order, and the 
like is intended to lead to a knowledge of Brahman, he 
who condemns the whole path of righteousness by way of 
denying the existence of Brahman is a thorough unbeliever. 
On the contrary, him who believes in the existence of 
Brahman, they regard as righteous, as the pillar of the 
righteous path. This is the idea which the Kashas express 
in the words ; "' He exists' : thus should one regard." 

Brahman, the Innermost Self. 

Now the sruti proceeds to direct the upasaka to firmly 
dwell in the idea that the .-Jnandamaya is his Self, while 
teaching the aspirant of right knowledge that the Self is 
identical with the Real Brahman : 

q: i^fel \\\\\ 

2. Thereof, of the former, this one, verily, 
is the Self embodied. 

Thereof, of the former, i.e., of the Vij/wnamaya, 
this one, surely, namely, the ^nandamaya, is the 
embodied Self, i.e., the Self dwelling in the Vij;mna- 
maya body. 

That one who has no body, who is the one Existence, 
the Non-dual, the Partless, is the Self of all other selves 
mentioned above, ending with the .^nandamaya. There 
is no other Self beyond (S). 

There can never arise a doubt that this one (the 
J-nandamava) does not exist. But, as to Brahman, 


there is room for the doubt that He does not exist, 
since He is devoid of special conditions of existence 
and is common to all alike. * 

This very ^nandamaya is the master of the Yij/wna- 
maya, the latter being the body of the former. So far as 
the upasaka is concerned, the passage should be construed 
to mean that the ^nandamaya is the Self. As to the 
aspirant after true knowledge it should be construed as 
follows : The Brahman just spoken of as the tail is the 
Self of the former, i. e., of the quaternary made up of love, 
joy, delight and bliss ; the quaternary constituting the 
body, and Brahman who has the quaternary for His 
body being the Self. The self-same idea has been express- 
ed by the Vartikakrtra. Vide ante p. 425 11. 4-10. 

The Anandamaya construed as the Paramatman. 

The meaning of this section has been discussed in the 
Brahmaswtras (I. i. 12 19). One school of commenta- 
tors has interpreted the swtras as follows : 

(Question) : In the Taittin'ya-Upanishad, five principles 
the physical body, Prana., Manas, Buddhi, and _4nanda, 
have been mentioned under the designations of Annamaya, 
Pnwamaya, Manomaya, Vijwflnamaya and Anandamaya, 
every succeeding one being interior to the one preceding it. 
Now a doubt arises as to whether the Anandamaya, the 
innermost of them all, is ah entity of the world (samsarin) 
or the Supreme Self (Paramfltman). 

* Here the commentator tries oucc more to impress the 
notion that the mantra quoted above refers to Brahman, but 
not to the Anandamaya as the Vrittikctra contends. 


(Pvima facie mew] : It would seem that the ^nandamaya 
is an entity of the world; for, the word " anandamaya" 
means a modified form (viloira) of ./f nanda and is therefore 
applicable only to an entity of the world. This word can- 
not be applied to the Supreme Self, the Immutable one. 
Moreover, the ^nandamaya has been spoken of as made up 
of five members : " Love is the head, joy is the right 
wing, delight is the left wing, Bliss is the self, Brahman 
is the tail, the support." Love is the pleasure which 
arises at the sight of an object of desire. The pleasure 
caused by the acquisition of that object is joy, and that 
which arises from its enjoyment is delight. Bliss is plea- 
sure in the abstract, which manifests itself in the upadhi 
of aj/wna during sushupti and the like. That bliss which 
is unconnected with any upadhi or condition whatsoever is 
Brahman. The five members of the .^nandamaya, spoken 
of as love and so on, are represented in imagination as the 
head, etc., only to facilitate our contemplation and com- 
prehension. Of the .4 nandamaya thus represented in 
imagination, the head and the two wings form three 
members ; the central portion is spoken of as the self 
and constitutes the fourth member ; while the tail, the 
lower part, the support, the basis, constitutes the fifth 
member. Certainly the partless Paramatman can have no 
parts. Therefore, the /I nandamaya is surely a samsarin, 
an entity of the world. 

(Conclusion) : As against the foregoing, it is argued as 
follows: The A nandamaya is the Paramatman, because 
of the repetition. Again and again the A nandamaya is 
referred to in this section of the Upanishad, in the passages 

like the following: 



" This is the enquiry concerning bliss." 
" Into this self formed of bliss he passes on." I 
Frequent reference is a mark of the main subject of dis- 
course ; and we have shewn that the one main theme of 
all Upanishads (Vedanta) is Brahman, and Brahman 
alone. Moreover, the section opens with Brahman in the 
words " Real, Consciousness, Infinite is Brahman," J and 
again He is spoken of as the creator of the universe in the 
words " He created all this ;" and therefore the /Inanda- 
maya is Brahman. It should not be urged that the word 
ending in the termination " maya," and meaning " formed 
of bliss" cannot be applied to Brahman ; for, the word 
may also mean "abounding in bliss." And as to love, etc. 
being spoken of as members of the /I nandamaya, it is 
due to the upadhis, such as perception of the sense- 
objects. Wherefore the A nandamaya is Brahman. 

Such is the construction put upon the Vedanta-stras 
(I. i. 1219) by one school of the Vedrtntins. 

The Anandamaya construed as the jiva. 

Now the same stras will be interpreted according to the 
orthodox (Sankanzcharya's) school of the Vedanta : 

(Question): It has been said that "Brahman is the 
tail, the support." Here, a doubt arises as to whether the 
sruti means that Brahman is a member of the A nanda- 
maya, or that Brahman is to be known as an independent 
entity in Himself. 

(Pvimo, facie me-w] : It would appear that Brahman 
should be comprehended as a member of the A nandamaya, 

* Tait. Up. 2-8. f Ibid. J Ibid. Ibid. 


inasmuch as in common parlance the term < tail ' is a ppli- 
cable only to a member of the body. 

(Conclusion] : The word 'tail' does not mean a member 
of the body. It is that long appendage which is attached 
to the bodies of some animals. And the /4nandamaya can- 
not be said to be possessed of a tail, which is only a part 
of the Annamaya or physical body of animals such as the 
cow. Since the word ' tail' does not thus admit of a literal 
interpretation here, we should understand it in a figurative 
sense as meaning ' basis'. Brahman is the basic reality 
underlying the /inandamaya or j/va, since Brahman is 
mistaken for j/va. And the yfnandamaya cannot be the 
Supreme Self (Paramatman) ; for, even if we understand 
the word " rtnandamaya" as signifying " abounding in 
bliss" it would imply some admixture of pain. Wherefore, 
as the basic reality underlying j/va, Brahman is presented 
here as the main thing to be comprehended. Hence the 
frequent reference to Brahman in such passages as " Non- 
being verily does one become if he as non-being knows 
Brahman ;" as also the opening words of the section, " the 
knower of Brahman reaches the Supreme." So that, on 
the principle of interpretation discussed in the case of the 
Purusha spoken of in the Katfha-Upanishad, it is Brahman 
alone that is here presented for comprehension, but not the 
evolution of akasa, etc., nor the Annamaya and other 

Brahman, the sole theme of the Upanishads. 

The principle of interpretation above referred to is dis- 
cussed as follows in the Vedrtnta-stras (III. iii. 1415). 


(Question] : In the Katfha-Upanishad, occurs the follow- 
ing passage : 

" Beyond the senses, verily, are objects ; and 
beyond objects is Manas ; even beyond 
Manas is Buddhi ; beyond Buddhi is ./ftman, 
the Mahat ; beyond the Mahat is Avyakta; 
beyond Avyakta is Purusha ; beyond Purusha 
there is nothing whatsoever ; That is the 
farthest, That the Supreme Goal." 

The meaning of the passage may be explained as follows : 
A person first craves in manas for sense-objects and 
then reaches them through the senses. Now, the senses 
being internal with reference to external objects, every- 
body can understand that the former transcend the 
latter. But as objects of desire, these sense-objects are 
internal, or subjective, in relation to the senses. And 
beyond these objects of desire is the desire itself, a state of 
mind, which is quite internal or subjective. Buddhi, the 
subject experiencing these changes of manas, transcends 
the changes of manas, and beyond even Buddhi is the 
Self, the Hira?/yagarbha, designated as Mahat, the upada- 
na or material cause of Buddhi. Transcending even Mahat 
is the material cause thereof, called Avyakta, the Aj/mna 
lying at the root of all ; and even beyond Avyakta is 
Purusha, the Supreme principle of Consciousness, the 
basic Reality underlying Avyakta. And there exists 
naught beyond Purusha. Purusha is the last rung in the 
ladder of ascending transcendentality and is the Supreme 
Goal to be reached by all aspirants of the Highest Good. 

* Op. cit, 3-10,11. 


Now a doubt arises as to whether the whole series of 
things enumerated here, or Purusha alone, is presented by 
the sruti for comprehension. 

(Pyima facie view) : The whole series of things beginning 
with the senses is presented by the sruti for comprehen- 
sion, equally with Purusha, the main subject of discourse. 
Otherwise, the exposition of the series would be in vain. 
It may perhaps ba urged that to hold that the section 
expounds so many things would tantamount to the admis- 
sion that it treats of different propositions. We answer 
that the section certainly treats of different propositions, it 
being impossible to make out that only one single proposi- 
tion is here treated of. 

(Conclusion) : Since knowledge of Purusha brings about 
the cessation of aj/wna which is the source of all saw/sara, 
it is Purusha alone that forms the subject of discourse. 
Accordingly, as a means of attaining this knowledge of 
Purusha alone, Yoga has been specially taught in the 
sequel in the following words : 

" This one, the Self, hid in all beings, shines 
not ; but He is seen with sharp subtle buddhi 
by them that see the subtle." 

This passage may be explained as follows : As the 
innermost being in all, the Self lies hidden and does not 
manifest Himself to him whose mind is turned outward. 
On the contrary He manifests Himself to Him whose mind 
is turned inward. For him whose mind is thus turned 
inward and who always seeks to see the subtle Reality, it 
is possible to see the Self by means of Buddhi which by 

* Ibid 3-12. 

502 BRAHMA- VI DYA EXPOUNDED. Alianda- Vdlll. 

practice of Yoga has attained to one-pointedness and is able 
to grasp the subtle. It cannot be objected that, if Purusha 
alone be the subject of exposition, the description of the 
whole series of things would be useless ; for, this series 
is the means whereby the mind which is turned outward 
is enabled gradually to approach Purusha. Therefore, 
Purusha alone is the thing to be known. 


In accordance with this principle of interpretation, we 
understand that the evolution of akasa., etc., has been 
expounded with a view to shew that Brahman is the 
Infinite, and that the five kosas the Annamaya, etc., 
have bsen described with a view to shew that Brahman 
lies in the cave. It is Brahman, and Brahman alone, that 
is presented everywhere for comprehension. We therefore 
conclude that Brahman is Real, Consciousness, and In- 
finite, and that, as lying in the cave, He is also the inner- 
most Self of all. 






The purpose of the sequel. 

It has been said that " the knower of Brahman 
reaches the Supreme," not the ignorant man who holds to 
the unreal (asat). With a view to demonstrate this truth, 
the sruti proceeds with the sequel. (S). 

Now the following question arises : If Brahman is com- 
mon to is the essential being of both the enlightened and 
the unenlightened alike, the attainment or non-attainment 
of Brahman may apply to both alike, there being apparently 
no ground whatever for a distinction between the two. 
Now, the purpose of the sequel is to shew wherein the dis- 
tinction between the two lies. (S & A). 

Or, since the mind (anta/j-kara;za) of the one in the dark- 
ness (of ignorance) is wedded to mere forms of Evolution 
(karyamatra), i. e., since the unenlightened man identifies 
himself with the sheaths (kosas), he cannot recognise the 
existence of the Supreme Self, though He is a self-evident 
Being. So the sequel is intended to prove the existence of 
the Self who is beyond all creation, as also to answer the 
two questions that follow here. (S & A). 

Sravana and Manana. 

Having finished the exposition of Brahman, i. e., the sec- 
tion of sravana (hearing), the sruti next proceeds with the 


section of mnnana (reflection) dealing with the rationale 
of the Brahma-vidya, for the benefit of those who are en- 
grossed in outward forms. Now, at the beginning of the 
section, the sruti formulates the questions that arise in the 
mind of the disciple. 

Owing to perversity of the disciple's intellect (buddhi), 
many doubts arise in his mind with reference to the teach- 
ings of the master ; and the sruti therefore raises here such 
questions as are naturally suggested by what has been 
taught already. That the process of manana (reflection) 
follows that of sravaua (hearing master's exposition), as 
suggested here by the word ' then,' is quite clearly express- 
ed elsewhere by the sruti : 

" The Self, verily, my dear, should be heard, 
reflected and meditated upon." :;: 

These two processes are further explained by the smriti in 
the following words : 

" ( The Self ) should be heard ( studied ) 
through the words of the sruti, and reflected 
upon in reason." 

Their purposes are distinguished by the sruti in the following 
words : 

" The heart's knot is dissolved, all doubts are 
cut apart." t 

When the true nature of Brahman has been learnt from 
instructions (upadesa), the heart's knot, i. e. the illusion of 
oneness of the Inner Self with the anta/j-karaa, is dis- 

* Bri, Up. 2-4-5. f Mum/.-Up. 2-2-8. 

Ami. VI.} QUESTIONS. 509 

solved, Doubts are cut asunder by reflection (manana), in 
the process of finding the rationale of what has been taught 
in the instruction. Therefore questions are raised here 
embodying the doubts to be cut asunder. 

The Questions of the Disciple. 

3. Hence, then, the questions that follow: 
whether does any one who knows not, departing, 
goes to that region ? Or, doss any one who 
knows, departing, attain that region ? 

Because such is the case *, these then are the dis- 
ciple's questions following upon the teacher's exposi- 
tion. t 

Because Brahman is the Self of both the enlightened and 
the unenlightened and is unknowable, the disciple addressed 
the following questions to the teacher after hearing his ex- 
position. (S). 

Brahman, indeed, is the same in the enlightened and 
the unenlightened, as He is the cause of akasa,J etc. 
Therefore, it may be supposed that the attainment of 

* i. e,, because Brahman is the same in all. 

f From the foregoing exposition, the disciple has come to un- 
derstand that the knower of Brahman reaches the Supreme and 
that He who is thus attainable through knowledge is the source 
of all being, is the essence of all, is the all. 

i. e,, as He is the source of all jivas associated with matter 
(bhutas) (A). 


Brahman is possible even in the case of the unenlight- 
ened. Hence the question : Does even he who knows 
not, hence departing *, attain that region, the Supreme 
Self (Paramatman) ? Or does he not attain ? This 
second question should be here understood, because of 
the (Sanskrit) plural t " questions" ; two other ques- 
tions referring to " him who knows." 

If, though Brahman is the cause of both alike (of him 
who knows and of him who knows not), he who knows 
not does not attain Brahman, one may suppose that 
even he who knows does not attain Brahman. Hence 
arise two questions : Does he who knows Brahman, 
hence departing, attain that region ? Or does he, like 
him who knows not, not attain ? This latter question 
is the second one (concerning him who knows). 

...... Brahman who is the cause of the whole. universe and 

who, as jiva, has entered all bodies, is present in the unen- 
lightened as well as in the enlightened. If, therefore, the 
latter attains Brahman, the former too may attain Him. 
If the unenlightened cannot attain Brahman, even the en- 
lightened may not attain Him. 

Or, I only two questions are here meant, concerning 
(respectively) him who knows not and him who knows. 
The plural, however, holds good, as embracing a third 

* i. e. after death. 

t shewing that three or more questions are meant here. 

J The answer begins with the words " He desired," which 
cannot be construed as an answer to any of the four questions. 
Hence the alternative interpretation. 


question suggested by implication. To explain : The 
words " if he as non-being knows Brahman , " and " if 
one knows that Brahman is," (vide ante p. 491), give rise 
to the doubt whether Brahman exists or not. Hence 
the first question which naturally arises close upon the 
master's instruction is : Does Brahman exist or not ? 
Brahman being the same in all, a second question 
arises, Does he who knows not attain Brahman or 
not ? If he who knows not does not attain Brahman 
who is the same everywhere, then, even he who knows, 
it may be supposed, does not attain Brahman. Hence 
the third of the questions which follows : Does he who 
knows attain Brahman or not ? 

That is to say, if the unenlightened does not attain Brah- 
man, what evidence is there to shew that the enlightened 
attains Brahman ? (S). 


The purpose of the sequel. 

In the sequel, the Upanishad proceeds to answer the 
foregoing questions. 

And now, first of all, it proceeds to establish the 
very existence (of Brahman \ 

As the two other questions presuppose the existence of 
Brahman, the sruti proceeds to establish, first of all, the ex- 
istence of Brahman. (S). 

It has been said, " Rsal, Consciousness, Infinite is 
Brahman." Now, as it is necessary to explain how 
Brahman is Real, the sruti proceeds with this, the pre- 
sent section. Brahman's existence being once esta- 
blished, His reality is also established. It is, indeed, 
taught that " The Existent is the Real * ;" so that, ex- 
istence being proved, reality also is proved. 

(Question) : How do you know that the sequel is 
intended for this purpose (of proving the reality of 
Brahman by proving the existence of Brahman) ? 

(Answer) : By closely following the tenor of the 
texts. It is, indeed, this idea t (of existence) which 

* i. e. existence and reality are synonymous, (V). 
f But not the idea of the wise or the unwise attaining or not 
attaining Brahman. (V). 


runs through the succeeding passages such as the fol- 
lowing : 

" They declare That as Real." " If this 
A.kasa, (this) Bliss, existed not." 

As an answer to the disciple's first question, i. e., the 
question concerning the existence of Brahman, the Guru 
proceeds to describe creation (snshtfi) with a view to prove 
the existence of Brahman. 

Brahman exists. 

(Objection] : Now, it may be supposed that Brah- 
man is altogether non-existent. Why ? Because, that 
which exists, such as a pot, is perceived in actual ex- 
perience ; that which does not exist, such as the 
rabbit's horn, is not perceived. Brahman, likewise, is 
not perceived ; and so, not being perceived in actual 
experience, He does not exist. 

(Answer) : Not so ; for, Brahman is the Cause of 
akasa &c. 

(To explain : It cannot be that Brahman does not 
exist. Why ? For, it is taught (in the sruti, * that 
akasa and all elseiin the creation have been born of 
Brahman. It is a fact of common experience that that 
thing exists from which something else is born, as, for 
example, clay and the seed, which are the sources of a 
pot and a tree. So, being the cause ofak&sa&c-, 
Brahman exists. Nothing that is born is ever found 
to have been born of non-existence. If the whole 

* In the words, " All this He created." 



creation, comprising names and forms and so on, were 
born of non-existence, it would likewise be non-existent 
and could not therefore have been perceived (as exist- 
ing). But it is perceived (as such). Therefore Brah- 
man exists. If the creation were born of non-existence, 
it would, even when perceived, have been perceived 
only in association with non-existence (i. e., only as 
non-existent). And such is not the case. Therefore 
Brahman exists. Elsewhere in the words " How can 
existence be born of non-existence ?" * the sruti has 
declared from the point of reason t the impossibility 
of the birth of existence from non-existence. It there- 
fore stands to reason to say that Brahman is existent 
and existent only. 

Moreover, the non-existent cannot be the Cause, because 
it has no existence. The Cause is that which exists before 
the effect. Non-existence (the void, sunya) cannot there- 
fore be a cause. 

(Objection] : Brahman, too, cannot be the Cause, because 
He is immutable (kutestha). 

(Answer] : Just as the magnet, while immutable in itself, 
can produce an effect, so also, Brahman may be the Cause. 
If the cause be a thing that is ever active, then, where is 
room for anything new ? (To explain) : If it be held that 
the cause is a thing which is ever active, then, it is tanta- 

* Chha. Up. 6-2-2. 

f By adding the fact that non-existence does not run through 
the objects of experience. iV.). 


mount to saying that the cause is immutable, not undergo- 
ing change. If, on the contrary, again, it be held that the 
cause is a thing which is active only on a particular occa- 
sion, the cause must have been previously inactive, i. c., 
immutable. (S & A). 

Brahman's Creative Will. 

(Objection] : If Brahman be the cause like clay and 
the seed, then He would be insentient. 

(Answer) : No ; for, Brahman is one who has desires. 
Indeed, in our experience, there exists no insentient 
being having desires. And we have stated * that 
Brahman is Omniscient ; and it is therefore but right 
to speak of Brahman as one who has desires. 

Brahman is independent of desires. 

(Objection) : Then, as one having desires, Brahman, 
like ourselves, has unattained objects of desire, t 

(Answer) : No, because of His independence. Brah- 
man's desires do not rouse Him to action in the same 
way that impure desires influence others and guide 
their action. How then (are the}') ? They are true 
(satya) and wise (jnana) ]: in themselves, one with 

* While commenting on the passage '' Real, Consciousness, 
and Infinite is Brahman." 

f If Isvara had desires caused by Maya, then, like the jiva. 
He would not be ever-satisfied as He is said to be. 

J Like Brahman, (V), 


Himself *, and therefore pure. By them Brahman is 
not guided. It is, on the other hand, Brahman who 
guides them in accordance with the Karma of sentient 
beings. Brahman is thus independent as regards desires. 
Therefore, Brahman has no desires unattained. 

And also because Brahman is independent of external 
factors. (That is to say), unlike the desires of other 
beings, ,{the desires) which lie beyond them I , 
which are dependent on the operation of Dharma and 
other causes, and which stand (for their realisation) in 
need of additional aids such as the body (karya, the 
effect, the physical body) and the sense-organs (karana, 
the Linga-sarlra) distinct from the beings themselves, 
Brahman's desires are not dependent on external causes 
and the like. -What then ? They are one with 
Himself }. 

The Mimamsa $ answers the foregoing objection by 
comparing His desires to sportive acts and the respi- 
ratory process. He is also distinguished from jivas by 
the fact that His desires are never frustrated. So says 

* Brahman as reflected in May si is the cause of the Universe. 
His desires are forms fparirearnas ) of Maya and are ensouled by 
Consciousness which is not overpowered by ignorance, avidya, 
&c. They are therefore true and wisp, like Brahman. As one 
with Brahman, as the upadhi of Brahman, they are unaffected 
by sin (adharma) and are therefore pure. (A). 

f Beyond the control of those beings. (V). 

J i. e., Their fulfilment is dependent on Himself alone, (V.) 

$ Vide Vedanta- Sutras, II. i. 33. 


the sruti : " Of unfailing desires and of unfailing 
purposes He is." * 

It is this truth that the Upanishad teaches in the 
following words : 

snr err 

4. He desired : many may I be, may I be born ! 

He, the Atman, the Self, from whom akasa was 
born, desired, many ma}' I be ! 

It is the Pratyagatman, associated with Avidya i. e., the 
Pratyagatman not fully realising Himself, and who was 
spoken of before as the source of akasa, it is this Pratya- 
gatman that is here said to have desired ; for, without 
avidya, kama (desire) cannot arise in any being whatever. 
(S & A). 

He : That Brahman who was spoken of as " the tail, 
the support " of the Anandamaya-kosa, and who was de- 
sciibed as " the Self embodied ' of the five sheaths from the 
Annamaya to the Anandamaya. He, this Atman, who, 
prior to srishifi, was one alone without a second, desired, in 
virtue of association with His own potentiality (sakti). 
That is to say, the Maya-sakti, that wonder-producing 
potentiality which is ever present in Atman, modified itself 
into the form of desire. Certainly, without Maya, there can 
arise no desire in the One Immutable Piinciple of Consci- 

Duality is an illusion. 

The sruti describes the form of His desire in the words 
" many may I be." 

* Chha 8-1-5. 

5l8 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPLAINED. \ All 0.11(1 (I- V Cllll- 

(Question] : It may be asked, how can one thing 
become many, except by association with other things ? 

We see that the multiplicity of akasa arises from associ- 
ation with upadhis, with other things such as a pot. But, 
how can Brahman, who was without a second, become 
many ? 

(Answer] : The sruti answers in the words, " may I 
be born." 

That is to say, may I reproduce Myself increasingly, 
may I assume more forms than the one which has been 
hitherto in existence. 

Brahman does not indeed multiply Himself by giving 
birth to things quite distinct, (as the father multiplies 
himself) by giving birth to a son. How then ? It is 
by the manifestation of the name and form which have 
remained unmanifested in Himself. 

The father who gives birth to a son remains a separate 
being. He himself is not born as the son. Similarly, in 
the present case, one may suppose that Brahman, the 
Creator of the universe, is not Himself born as the universe, 
and ask, how is it that the sruti represents Brahman as 
having desired to be so born ? The answer is that name 
and form which come into bsing are not quite distinct from 
Brahman. Just as the wa^es manifesting themselves in 
the ocean are not quite distinct from the ocean, so also, 
name and form, which first reside unmanifested in Maya, 
Brahman's inherent potentiality (sakti), come into mani- 
festation afterwards, and remaining one with Brahman in 
His essential nature as existence, become themselves 


manifested as existent. This very idea is expressed by the 
Vajasaneyins in the words "All this was then undeveloped. 
It became developed by name and form." * Hence the 
propriety of the words " may I be born," the Maya of 
Brahman manifesting itself in the form of the universe. 

When name and form which have remained unmani- 
fested in the Atman become differentiated in all their 
variety,! in no way abandoning their essential nature as 
Atman I , not existing in space and time apart from 
Brahman, then, by this differentiation of name and form, 
Brahman becomes manifold. In no other way can the 
partless Brahman become manifold, or become small. 
It is, for instance, through other things that akasa 
appears small or manifold. So it is through them alone 
that Atman becomes many. Indeed there exists nothing 
other than Atman, no not-self however subtle, re- 
moved and remote, whether of the past or the present 
or the future, as distinguished from Brahman in space 
and time. Therefore name and form in all their 
variety have their being only in Brahman. Brahman's 
being is not in them. They have no being when 
Brahman is ignored and are therefore said to have 
their being in Him. It is through these upadhis (of 

* Bri. Up. 1-4-7. 

t As Tanmatras, as gross elements of matter, as the Mundane 
Egg, and as various forms of being within It. (Vi. 

+ i. e., remaining all the while as one with the Self, their 
source, not existing as distinct from the Self, 

Through name and form. 


name and form) that Brahman is manifested to us as 
all categories of being, as the knower, as the objects 
known, as knowledge, as words, as objects. 

Just as a burning faggot, while remaining of one shape, 
puts on various shapes owing to some external causes,* so 
also the multiplicity of the Supreme Atman is due to the illu- 
sion of names and forms. So, it is only by way of manifesting 
Himself in these illusory names and forms that the Lord 
must have desired to be born. These names and forms 
residing in the Atman spring forth into manifestation in all 
variety from the Atman, the Lord, in their due time and 
place, subject to the Karma of the (sentient beings in the) 
universe. It is this daily differentiation of names and 
forms from out ofVish;m which the sruti represents as 
Brahman becoming manifold, and which is like a juggler 
(mayin, magician) putting on manifold forms. Indeed, 
Brahman being without parts, it cannot be that He actually 
becomes manifold. Wherefore, it is only in a figurative 
sense that Brahman is spoken of as becoming manifold, in 
the same way that akasa becomes manifold through jars 
and other objects extending in space. (S). 

Brahman's Creative Thought. 


5. He made tapas. 

With this desire, He, the Atman, made tapas. 'Tapas' 
here means ' thought ', as sruti elsewhere says " whose 
tapas consists of thought itself t ." As he has attained all 

* When it is shaken or whirled round. 
f MumZ. Up. 1-1-9. 


desires, the other kind of tapcts * cannot be meant here. 
The tapas (penance) of the common parlance, belonging 
as it does to the world of effects, cannot be meant here. 
The penance the sruti here speaks of is the Isvara's thought 
concerning creation. (S). 

To the Supreme Lord (Paramesvara) the various forms 
of the penance of self-mortification can be of no avail. 

Such tapas He made; that is t:> say, He thought 
about the design of the universe to be created. 

| ^ n 

6. Having made tapas, He sent forth all 
this, and what of this more. 

Having thus thought, He emanated all this universe, 
as the karma, or the past acts of sentient beings, and other 
operative circumstances determined, in time and space, 
with names and forms as we experience them, as they are 
experienced by all sentient beings in all states of being. He 
emanated all this and whatever else is of the same nature. 

The Isvara, having pondered according to the sruti, 
emanated the universe, according to the desires and acts of 
the sentient beings to be born, in their proper forms and 
shapes. (S). 

A summary of the foregoing argument. 

Here the existence of Paramatman is established on the 
following grounds : 

* Self -mortification through body and mind. 



(1) that He is the Being who willed. 

(2) that He is the Being who thought. 

(3) that He is the Being who created. 

The Nihilist (asad-vadin) holds as follows : It may be 
inferred from experience that all that exists is composed of 
names and forms, as, for instance, akasa and other elements 
of matter, and the bodies composed of those elements of 
matter such as those of Devas and animals. But the 
Paramatman is distinct from name and form, as the sruti 
elsewhere says : 

" He, who is called Akasa, is the revealer of 
name and form. He, in whom these are, is 
Brahman." * 

As to the assertions such as " Paramatman is Brahman," 
they cannot go to establish His existence, inasmuch as 
they are mere fancies (vikalpas) any more than the words 
" the rabbit's horn" can establish the existence of the 
rabbit's horn. Patanjali says : 

" Fancy is a notion founded on a knowledge 
conveyed by words, but corresponding to which 
there is no object in reality." f 

So, Brahman, being devoid of name and form, is also 
devoid of existence which is always associated with a name 
and a form. This view is quite on all fours with the 
statements of the sruti such as the following : 

" Non-existent, verily, this at first was." * 
" Whence words recede." j 

* Chlian. Up. 8-14-1. f Yoga-sutras 1-9, $ T&L-Up. 2-7-1. 
Ibid. 2-9-1, 


" Then follows the teaching ' not thus, not thus '." :;: 
" Neither coarse nor fine, neither short nor long." f 
So, we conclude that Brahman does not exist. 

As against the Nihilist who argues thus, the sruti esta- 
blishes the existence of Brahman by an argument in the fol- 
lowing form : The Paramatman, as the Being who desired, 
must be existent, just as a man who desires svarga and 
the like exists. He is also the Being who thought, and 
therefore, like other thinkers such as a king's minister, He 
must be existent. He is also the creator, and therefore, 
like all other creators such as a potter who makes pots, 
He must be existent. The very existence you have asserted 
of names and forms is itself Brahman as \ve understand 
Him, the names and forms being mere illusions set up by 
Maya in the substratum of Brahman who alone is existent. 
As to the texts of the sruti referred to as supporting the 
Nihilist's position, their meaning will be explaine 1 in the 

C H A P T E R I I I . 

Brahman entering the Universe. 

The sruti now presents another argument to prove 

Brahman's Existence. Brahman, as the Being who enter- 

ed the creation, is existent, like a person who enters the 
house or the like. 

7. This having sent foith, into that very thing 
He then entered' 

Having emanated the universe, what did He do ? In 
answer the sruti says : Into that very universe which 
was created, He then entered. 

He, the Lord of Lords, the Mayavin, the Wonder-worker, 
having created the universe, then entered that very 
universe by the same maya or mysterious power, in the 
same way that a garland is said to enter the serpent, &c., for 
which it is mistaken. (S). 

Having emanated all forms (sariras) in existence, from 
the Hirawyagarbha down to unmoving objects, the Para- 
matman entered those very forms which He brought into 


No literal interpretation of entering is possible. 

Now we have to enquire * how He entered into the 
creation. Did He who emanated the universe enter 
into it in the self-same form (as the Emanator) or in a 
different form ? 

(Question] : Which of the two appears to be reason- 
able ? 

(Answer) : The participial form, 'having sent forth', 
indicates that the Emanator Himself entered into the 

(The opponent) : This does not stand to reason if 
Brahman is the Cause (of the universe) as clay (is of 
pots &c.), inasmuch as the effect is one with the cause. 
(To explain) : Since the cause itself is transformed into 
the effect, it does not stand to reason to say that 
the cause enters once more, separately, (into the 
effect), subsequent to the production of the effect, like 
one that had not already entered it. Indeed, over 
and above the transformation of clay in the form 
of a jar, there is no entering of clay into the jar. So 
we explain as follows : Just as clay may enter into the 
jar in the form of dust, so also, the Atman may enter 
in a different form into the universe composed of 
names and forms. And the sruti also says elsewhere 
" Having entered in this form, in the form of jiva." t 

* This enquiry is put in a simpler and clearer form by 
Say ana in the sequel. Vide. p. 532, ff. 

f Chha. Up. C-3-2, 


(Answer) : This does not stand to reason, for 
Brahman is one. No doubt a cause like clay may, in the 
form of dust, enter the jar, because clay is multiple in 
its constitution and is made up of parts, and there is a 
place not already filled in by dust. On the contrary, 

*. s 

Atman is one, and is, moreover, partless ; and there is 
no place not already filled in by Him. Wherefore the 
entering of Brahman cannot be explained (in the way 
suggested above'. 

(The opponent) : Then, how is the entering to be 
explained ? And the entering must be a thing not 
opposed to reason, as it is taught in the sruti, in the 
words " into that very thing He then entered." So, let 
us explain it by supposing that Brahman is made up of 
parts. As having parts, it is quite possible that Pie 
entered into the names and forms in the creation in 
the form of jiva, like the hand entering the mouth. 

As to the sruti speaking of Brahman's entrance, let us 
suppose that Brahman is finite. Then, like the hand enter- 
ing the mouth, the entering of Brahman is possible. (S). 

(Answer): This explanation will not do; for there is 
no void. (To explain) : When the Atman transformed 
Himself into the effect (universe', there can exist no 
place for Him to enter in the form of jiva, no place 
which is devoid of Atman, over and above the place of 
the effect (universe) consisting of names an:l forms. 

Whether finite or inlinite in space, the cause does per- 
vade the effect and so there is no place devoid of Atman 
which the Supreme may enter in the form of jiva. (S). 


(The opponent] : He enters the cause itself. 

That is to say, the Lord (as jiva) so enters the universe 
which He created that it finally assumes the form of the 
cause. (S). 

(Answer}: Then he would no longer be the jivatman, 
just as a jar ceases to be a jar when it enters into clay 
(/. e. when it becomes clay). 

The opponent's suggestion is tantamount to saying that 
this passage teaches that the effect is not an effect, that it 
is one with the cause, just as the passage " I am Brahman " 
teaches that the Ego is one with Brahman. Then where is 
the effect, the universe, for Isvara to enter ? (S. & A.) 

Besides, as the sruti itself says " Into that very thing 
(the universe, the effect] He then entered ", it will not 
do to hold that He (as jlva) entered into the cause. 

(The opponent) : It may be that Brahman becomes 
another kind of effect. (To explain) : By the words 
" Into that very thing He then entered ", the sruti 
means that Brahman first becomes an effect in the 
form of jiva and then becomes transformed into another 
kind of effect consisting of names and forms. 

The Brahman's entering may be explained to mean that 
jiva, an effect of Paramatman, becomes transformed into 
ahankara and other effects. (S. & A.). 

(Answer) : No, because it is opposed to reason. A 
pot, for instance, cannot become another pot. Moreover, 
it is opposed to the sruti which speaks of distinction : 
it is opposed to the texts wnich presuppose a distinc- 

528 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPLAINED. Alianda- Valli. 

tion between jiva and the universe consisting of names 
and forms. And also because of the impossibility of 
moksha if jiva becomes (the universe of names and 
forms). Certainly no one becomes that very thing from 
which he is to be released ; no person, such as a robber, 
who is bound (with a chain), becomes that chain itself. 

(An opponent) : Let us explain the passage to mean 
that Brahman transformed Himself as the external and 
the internal ; that is to say, that Brahman Himself, the 
Cause, became at once transtormed in the form of the 
receptacles such as the bodies (sarira) and also in the 
form of the jivas who are to be contained within those 

(Answer) : This will not do ; for entrance is possible 
only in the case of one who stands outside. We cannot 
indeed conceive that, when one thing lies within 
another, the same thing enters into tha.t other. One 
can enter a thing only when he is outside that thing ; 
for, in that sense alone is the word ' enter ' understood 
in common parlance, as when we say, ' he built the 
house and entered it.' 

(An opponent) : The entering may be likened to re- 
flection, as in the case of water and sun's reflection 
in it. 

(Answer]: No; for Brahman is infinite and incor- 
poreal. We can only conceive a finite and corporeal 
object being reflected in another object which is trans- 
parent, as the sun is reflected in water. On the 


contrary, we cannot understand how the entrance of 
Atman may be likened to reflection, seeing that He 
is incorporeal, that He is the Cause of akasa &c., that 
He is infinite, and that there can exist no object re- 
moved from Him in space, which may serve as the 
reflecting medium. 

The true import of the passage. 

(The opponent) : If so, then there is no entering at 
all. Neither do we find any other way (of explaining the 
passage). But the sruti says, "into that very thing He 
then entered;" and for us the sruti is the source of know- 
ledge as regards supersensuous matters. However much 
we try, we cannot make anything out of this passage. 

(Another opponent) : Ah ! then, as conveying no mean- 
ing, we have to ignore * altogether the passage, "This 
having sent forth, into that very thing He then entered." 

(Answer) : No ; for the passage is intended to treat 
of quite a different thing altogether. Why all this 
discussion beside the point ? For, this passage is intend- 
ed to treat of quite a different thing with which the sruti 
is at present concerned. We should call that to our mind. 
The sruti (Anandavalli) started with the following 
words : 

" The knower of Brahman reaches the Supreme." 
" Real, Consciousness, Infinite is Brahman. Whoso 
knoweth the one hid in the cave " 

* like a child's babble. (S). 


530 BRAHMA- VIDYA EXPLAINED. Ananda- V Cllll. 

This last passage is intended to teach that Brahman is 
no other than the Atman, the Self. And to show that 
Atman is no other than Brahman, Atman is qualified 
"This Self is Brahman." * Thus, when these two 
negative aspects of their identity have been re- 
cognised, then liberation is attained. Because the know- 
ledge productive of this result is intended to be taught here, 
therefore the non-dual Brahman is said to be hidden in the 
' cave, ' is said (in the mantra and brahma?ja) to have 
entered the mind (antaA-kara?za). (S). 

tt is knowledge concerning Brahman that is to be 
imparted here ; and it is the subject with which the 
sruti is concerned. And with a view to impart know- 
ledge of Brahman, the sruti treated of the emanation 
from Him of the effects, from the akasa down to the 
physical body ; then the knowledge of Brahman was 
begun (in the section which treats of the five kosas 
or sheaths). There the sruti taught that within 
the Annamaya self there is another self formed 
of Pra?*a, that within the latter there is the Manomaya 
self, and that within this latter there is the Vijwanamaya 
self, and thus the sruti taught that Brahman dwells in 
the cave of intelligence (Vijmina). Again the sruti 
taught that therein lies the Anandamaya self, the Self 
in a specific form. Further on, seeing that it is only 
through cognising His manifestation as the Ananda- 
maya that the Atman the finality of ever-increasing 
bliss, " Brahman, the tail, the support ", the basis of 
all differentiated manifestation, (in Himself) devoid of 

* Ma?icZ. 2. 


all differentiation can be recognised in that very cave, 
He is represented* to have entered into it. i 

It is the Undifferentiated One who is tobs cognised in this 
cave of intelligence (buddhi) which is the source of all 
differentiation ; the entrance is therefore an imaginary 
representation, not an actual fact. (S). 

Not elsewhere, indeed, is Brahman cognised, because 
He is in Himself devoid of all special manifestation. 
Our experience shews that it is only association with 
a specific condition that enables us to cognise Him. 
Just as Rahu (the eclipsing shadow) is cognised only 
when in association with a specific object such as the 
sun or the moon, so also it is association of the Atman 
with the cave of intelligence (anta/f-karawa) that causes 
the cognition of Brahman, because of the proximity 
and luminous nature of the intelligence (antaA-karana). 
And. just as the cognition of jars and other objects 
is associated with light, so also the cognition of Atman 
is associated with the light of a buddhi-pratyaya or 
intellectual state. 

Because in the luminous intelligence (antaA-karawa), we 
perceive Brahman by illusion as the seer, hearer &c., there- 
fore the Upanishad represents Him as having entered the 
intelligence, with a view to teach the indentity of the Self 
and Brahman. ( S & A ). 

So the theme with which the .Upanishad started in 

* in the passage under consideration (V;. 
j- The cave of Vijrc-anamaya. (V). 


the passage " the one hid in the cave ", in the cave 
which causes cognition of Brahman, is again treated of 
in the words "this having emanated, into that very thing 
He then entered," this latter passage forming a sort of 
commentary on the former. He who emanated akasa 
etc., emanated this universe around us and then entered 
into it. He is cognised within, in the cave of intellect 
(buddhi), in such specific forms of manifestation as seer, 
hearer, thinker, knower, and so on. It is this which 
constitutes His entrance. 

Moreover, in the words "Thereof, this one is the Self 
embodied," the sruti teaches that He who has entered the 
heart and He who has not entered the heart are identical, 
for the Supreme Brahman Himself has assumed the form of 
jlva by entering into the five kosas. This explains why the 
sruti, in the sequel of this Anuv&ka, teaches the absence in 
the Supreme Self of all conditions ascribed to Him such as 
agency connected with the act of entering. Therefore, with 
a view to teach the oneness of Kshetraj?^a and Isvara by dis- 
carding all distinction between the two, He who has not 
actually entered the universe is represented to have entered 

Therefore, Brahman, the Cause, exists. So we should 
know Him as existing only. 

A clear summary of the discussion. 

[The foregoing discussion is put in a simpler and clearer 
form by S&yawa as follows : ] 

Let us now enquire : Did the Paramatman, who was the 
Creator, enter the universe in the same form as Creator or 
in a different form ? 


(One answer) : The participial form, "having emanated" 
shews that creation and entrance are the acts of one and the 
same agent and that therefore Brahman entered as Creator 

(Objection) : This view cannot be maintained ; for, in the 
case of a material cause (upadana), like a clod of clay, the 
entering is impossible. The same clod of clay which has 
been transformed into a pot cannot itself enter the pot. 
Similarly, how is it possible for the Creator, who trans- 
formed Himself as bodies, to enter into those very bodies ? 

(Another answer) : Then, let us suppose that Brahman 
entered in a different form. Just as clay, in the form of 
dust, may enter a pot produced out of a clod of clay, so 
also, if Brahman's entrance as Isvara is not possible, let 
Him enter in the form of the jiva. 

(Objection) : Not so. The non-dual cannot have two 
forms. Even granting this possible, there can be no place 
for Brahman to enter. As the material cause, He is already 
present in all the bodies ; and therefore, as there is no place 
devoid of the Paramatman, where can He enter ? 

(Another answer) : It may be that He as jiva enters the 
Paramatman (the cause) Himself who is present in those 
bodies (as their material cause). 

(Objection) : No ; for, in the words " into that very thing 
He then entered," the sruti teaches that He entered the 
bodies that were created. 

(Another answer) : The effect, namely, the body that was 


created, is again transformed into another effect in the form 
of jiva, and this transformation is spoken of as entrance. 

(Objection] : No ; for, we do not find one transformation 
such as pot being itself transformed into another transform- 
ation such as a dish. 

(Answer] : Brahman's entering may be likened to reflec- 
tion, like the sun's reflection in water, 

(Objection) : No ; for Brahman is infinite and incorporeal, 
and there is no medium of reflection removed from Him in 
space. The orb of the sun, which is limited in space and 
corporeal, becomes reflected in a medium such as water 
removed from it in space. On the contrary, Brahman 
is not limited in space, nor corporeal ; neither is there any 
medium (upadhi) whatever which is removed from Brahman 
in space. Therefore in no way can Brahman's entering be 

(Conclusion) : This entering should be explained like the 
creation of the universe. Just as the Supreme Lord (Para- 
mesvara) created by the power of His may a this universe 
of inconceivable design, so also by the same power of maya 
He may have entered it. 

Here one may say : The sruti does not mean that this 
mysterious (mayamaya) creation of akasa, etc., should be 
regarded as real. The sruti only means that the effect does 
not exist apart from the cause any more than a jar exists 
apart from clay, and merely refers to the universe as set up 
by illusion (bhranti), with a view to establish the infinite- 
ness of Brahman already stated. Similarly, then, we argue 
that the sruti, having first explained the proposition that 


Brahman is ' hid in the cave ' by teaching at the end, in 
the exposition of the five sheaths, that ' Brahman is the 
tail,' refers to the entering of Brahman, which is a mere 
illusion, only with a view to explain more clearly the same 
thing over again. Just as a person who guilds a house and 
enters it is found to remain within it, so also, Brahman is 
perceived, in the intellect (buddhi) situated in the heart- 
lotus, in specific aspects as seer, hearer, knower, and so on, 
as though He created akasa and other things in the universe 
and then entered within it. This truth is figuratively re- 
presented as Brahman entering the universe. 

Another passage of the same import. 

This entering is taught by the Vajasaneyins in the 
following words : 

" He, this one, here entered, up to the very 
tips of the finger-nails, as a razor in a 
razor -case, or as fire in a fire-place 
(fire-wood] " * 

The meaning of this passage is explained very clearly in 
the Vartika-sara as follows : 

The One Life and Its aspects. 

' He ' refers to the Witness (Sakshin), the illuminator 
(Witness) of the Unmanifested ; ' this one ' refers to him 
who dwells in (or limited by the upadhi of) the body immed- 
iately perceived by all. 

(Objection) : The Adhishz!hana, the Supreme or Basic 
Consciousness, being non-dual, whereas the dweller in the 

* Bri. Up. 1-4-7- 


body is associated with duality (body), it is impossible to 
speak of them as one, in the words " He, this one." 

(Answer) : No ; for, in the case of one who (by illusion) 
does not know the true nature of the Real, nothing is im- 
possible,* as witness the ether (akasa) perceived by the eye 
as blue like a cloth of blue colour. The question of 
possibility or impossibility arises in the case of things 
known through proper evidence, not as regards things set 
up by illusion. 

By the word ' here ' are denoted the bodies, from the 
Sutra (Hirawyagarbha) down to unmoving objects. In 
these bodies, this one, the jiva, is very clearly perceived ; 
and this perception of Chit (Life, Spirit, Consciousness) as 
jiva, made up of a semblance of Consciousness (chidabhasa) 
and nescience (tamas) is denoted by the word ' entered.' 
Life (chit) in its semblance enters into becomes directly 
associated with the Pratyak-moha, the ignorance of the True 
Self ; and this semblance is present in all transformations or 
effects of that ignorance and constitutes the upadhi or 
condition in which Life (Chit) enters the universe. Just as 
the scarlet colour of the japa flower is falsely ascribed to 
the white crystal (sphatika) stone, so also this entering of 
the semblance of Life is falsely ascribed to Life. Thus, the 
Supreme One, having created by His own maya the universe 
from the Sutra down to unmoving objects, entered it in a 
form which is a mere semblance of Himself. How far He 
entered is taught in the words " to the very tips of the 

* i. e., it is not impossible that he should regard his Self as 
limited by the upadhi. 


finger-nails," the presence of Life in the body up to the 
very tips of the finger-nails being indicated by the body 
being felt warm up to that limit. 

Life exists in the body, pervading it both in a general 
aspect and in particular aspects: and this twofold existence 
is referred to in this passage by the two illustrations. 
Just as fire exists in the firewood, pervading the whole of 
it, so also the Atman exists in the body pervading the whole 
of it ; and just as a razor lies in a razor-case without per- 
vading the whole of it, so also, dwelling within the auditory 
and other specific narfis (nervous tubes), the Atman lies 
without pervading the body in those specific aspects. Just 
as different razors occupy different places in the razor-case, 
so also Consciousness in different aspects occupy different 
nacTis. In thejagrat (waking) and svapna (dream) states, 
jiva presents both forms ; and in sushupti (dreamless sleep) 
jiva exhibits Life in its general aspect alone. Life in its 
general aspect serves the purpose of keeping the body alive 
here, and Life in its particular aspects functioning in the 
body is concerned in thinking of objects such as sound. 

Thus the passage speaking of Brahman's entrance has 
been clearly explained word by word and in its main 

Brahman does not literally enter the Universe. 

Now, let us enquire into the rationale of the teaching. 

Does Brahman enter (the universe) (i) as Devadatta 
enters a house, or (2) as a serpent enters a stone, or (3) as 
the sun's orb enters water, or (4) as qualities enter a sub- 
stance, or (5) as seeds enter the fruit. 



The first illustration does not apply, for Devadatta is 
limited in space and has parts, whereas the Atman is not 
so. As the Atman, in His very nature, is absent nowhere 
and pervades all, any limitation of Atman is inconceivable, 
the sruti denying it in the words "not thus, not thus." * Ac- 
cordingly in the case of the Atman who is infinite and devoid 
of parts, there can be no such thing as entering a new and 
different place by leaving the former one. 

Neither is the second illustration applicable, because of 
the Atman's not being subject to transformation. The 
bhutas or elements of matter are transformed into the ser- 
pent lying within the stone. But the Atman is not subject 
to transformation 

Nor is the third illustration appropriate. Unlike the 
water and the sun, the body and the Conscious Atman 
cannot unite and disunite, and cannot therefore enter (the 
body in the way suggested). 

The fourth illustration, too, does not apply, because of 
the Atman's being not dependent on another. Attributes 
(gunas) and the like are dependent on substances ; but the 
Atman is not dependent on the body, the sruti speaking of 
Him as "the Lord of all." 

The fifth illustration is not more apt, because of the 
Atman's immutability. The seed is associated with change ; 
but the Atman is declared conclusively in the scriptures to 
be devoid of the six changes to which all things in the uni- 
verse are subject. 

* Bri. Up. 2-3-6. 


No tautology is involved in the second and fifth illustra- 
tions being separately given ; for, there is a difference be- 
tween the two. The serpent and the stone are related as 
container and contained, whereas the fruit and the seed 
within are related as whole and part. 

Then, one may say, it is the limited jiva or individual 
self who enters the bodies. So there can be no objection. 

You cannot say so, because it is the Creator that entered. 
As the sruti says "this having sent forth, into that very 
thing He then entered," the Creator and the enterer must be 
one, as when one says "Having eaten he goes." 

Thus it would at first sight appear that Brahman's entr- 
ance is in no way explicable. 

Entering means manifestation. 

As against the foregoing, we will now shew how 
Brahman's entrance is explicable. Devoid as He is of 
space, direction and the like, it is not in His essential 
nature to actually enter into another. In His case, the en- 
tering is a mere imaginary representation, as in the case 
of the solar orb reflected in a vessel of water. Though the 
two cases differ in so far as the latter, unlike the former, 
admits of separation &c., yet they are analogous in those 
points wherein analogy is intended. Who can deny the 
analogy between the two in so far as both alike are capable 
of perception only when associated with an up&dhi ? The 
two the illustration and the illustrated agree in the 
following respects : they are both capable of perception only 
in association with an upddhi, *. e., only when they are 
limited or conditioned ; they then appear otherwise than 


what they really are ; and they are then manifested as many. 

Firstly : the solar orb is too bright in itself for us to see, but 

the same orb is clearly seen when reflected in water ; simi- 

larly, the self-luminous Atman cannot be perceived when 

unassociated with an upadhi ; but when conditioned by the 

insentient physical body, &c., He is clearly perceived. 

Secondly : when a man's vision, obstructed in its course by 

a mirror and turning its way back towards his own face, 

comprehends the face, an inverted image of the face is pre- 

sented to view. Similarly, when the intellect influenced by 

the body comprehends the Self, it makes out the Immutable 

One as subject to change. Thirdly : the sun, though one, 

appears as many, because of the multiplicity of the vessels 

of water ; so, too, owing to the multiplicity of the bodies, 

the Self, though one, appears as many. Though He is 

devoid of all multiplicity and its cause *, though He is not 

divisible, though there is no witness other than Himself, 

yet, in virtue of the illusion of entering, He seems to bo en- 

dued with such attributes. Prior to it, the true Inner Self 

(Pratyagatman) was devoid of all form, was not a seer, 

or a hearer, or the like. On the birth of Name andd Form f, 

He was endued with form, became a seer, a hearer, and so 

on. He who is endued with form he who is the seer, 

hearer, and so on, and He who has no form, conditioned 

respectively by mind (buddhi) and its cause (maya) are re- 

spectively designated as Kshetrajna andlsvara, the individual 

soul and the Supreme Lord. Through these indirectly is to 

be comprehended the One who, immutable, knows "I smell 

* Objective perception. 

f the subjective and the objective universe, 


this odor," the One who is the mere Witness of all. Just as 
the sun in the heavens is comprehended through the sun 
reflected in the vessel of water, so is the All-Witness to be 
comprehended through him who dwells in the intellect as 
the doer and the enjoyer. And just as the luminary, the 
moon, is comprehended through the extremity of a tree's 
branch which is not luminous, so is the Atman, the Consci- 
ous One, to be comprehended through the upadhi of the 
Cause, which is not conscious. 

It is this very illusion of separate individuality (jlv&tman) 
which, because of its use in the comprehension of the True 
Inner Self, is here represented as the entering (of Brah- 
man), analogously with the sun's image reflected in the 
water in a vessel. Certainly, the Supreme One, devoid as 
He is of time, space, or direction, cannot be said to enter, in 
the literal sense of the word, like a serpent entering a hole ; 
this entering must therefore ba a mere imaginary represent- 
ation from the standpoint of avidya. or ignorance. Though 
a mere witness, uncontaminated by any, He is, owing to 
avidya, for want of discrimination, perceived with the attri- 
butes of mind (buddhi) and other creatures of ignorance 
(avidya), as though He were reflected in them. In illustration 
of this, the scripture has cited the analogy of fire, the sun 
and air, * thereby showing that the Atman is said to have 
entered the universe, though by nature He cannot have en- 
tered it. As fire, (the sruti says), though one, entering the 
world composed of firewood, stomach and the like became 
in form like them, (so does the Inner Self of all creation, 
though one, became in form like the various forms He 

* Katfia-Up, 5-9, 


entered) ; but as a matter of fact fire does not enter them. 
As the air, (the sruti says again), though one, entering the 
world composed of different sorts of fans, assumed various 
forms, (so did the Self) ; but in point of fact the air has not 
entered them. Again the sruti speaks of the sun as enter- 
ing water in different vessels though it remains quite outside 
them all. Similarly, the Atman, too, though He has not 
entered the universe, looks as though He has entered it. 
As creation and the like are imaginary representations, so 
should the entering be regarded as a mere fiction. Creation 
does not admit of a reasonable explanation and is therefore 
a fiction. What is non-existent cannot take birth ; and 
what is existent cannot take birth either, because it already 
exists. In the Immutable One there can bs no change. 
Therefore birth is due to ignorance. As for the verse of the 
5ruti just quoted it decidedly speaks of creation &c., with 
the mere view of giving an insight into the true nature of 
the Pratyagatman, the Inner Self. The entering of the 
Self in the particular parts of the body, as illustrated in 
the sruti by razors and the razor-case, points to His clear 
perceptibility even in the senses, while the entering into 
the body as a whole, as illustrated by fire and firewood, 
points to His pervading of the whole creation as the sub- 
stratum thereof. Nowhere do we find one thing altogether 
co-extensive with another except when one of them is the 
substratum of which the other is a false appearance. Two 
things which are quite distinct, such as the cow and the 
horse, cannot be altogether co-extensive with each other. 
Neither can two things which are altogether identical be 
said to be co-extensive with each other, inasmuch as we 
cannot conceive one of the two as co-extensive with the 


other. And it is impossible to find two things which are 
distinct as well as identical. We are therefore driven to the 
conclusion that a thorough -going co-extensiveness can exist 
only between a substratum and its false appearances. Just 
as a garland enters i.e., is mistaken for a serpent only on 
account of darkness, but not in reality, so also, it is by the 
power of maya that our Self has entered the things set up 
by the ignorance of the Inner Self. Thus the Self has en- 
tered the universe in two ways, (i) by way of pervading 
the whole universe and (2) by way of revealing Himself (as 
jiva or the individual soul). 

Brahman in manifestation is unaffected 
by multiplicity. 

Now we shall answer the objections that are levelled 
against this doctrine of entering. 

Firstly, it has been said : If the Supreme One Himself 
entered the universe, then, because of the multiplicity of 
the things wherein He has entered, and with which He 
has become identical, it would follow that the Supreme 
Lord becomes manifold. 

Our doctrine is not open to this objection ; for, we may 
turn the table by asking : As the many things in the 
universe have become identical with the One, why do you 
not say that there must be a unity ? In this case, where 
both the alternatives are possible, the scripture is the de- 
termining authority, and it denies all multiplicity. A rope 
does not become manifold in virtue of the multiplicity of the 
objects for which it is mistaken, such as a serpent, etc. and 
the sruti * says that the One Deva has entered the universe in 

* Sve. Up. 6-11. 

544 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPLAINED. Anailda-V (llli. 

the various forms. We have therefore to regard the Isvara, 
the Supreme Lord, as One alone, like the akasa. 

Brahman as the Ego is unaffected by 
pleasure and pain. 

Secondly, it has been also said : Since those into whom 
He has entered are worldly beings (sawsarins), and since the 
Supreme has become one with them, it would follow that 
He also is a being of the world (sawsarin) and is subject to 
its sorrows. 

We answer : The sruti * says that He has risen above 
hunger, etc. 

(Objection] : It cannot be so ; for we see in Him pleasure 
pain, extreme delusion, and the like. 

(Answer): No; the sruti t says, He is not tainted by 
the world's sorrows, He is quite outside the world. The 
experience of sorrows and the like can find room in tha.t one 
who is created by the upadhi, it pertains to that semblance 
of Consciousness (chidabhasa) which manifests itself in the 
upadhi. If Atman were to experience pain, who is the wit- 
ness of that sufferer ? The sufferer cannot be a witness ; 
and so also the witness cannot be a sufferer. Without un- 
dergoing change, one cannot suffer pain ; and how can one be 
a witness when one undergoes change ? Wherefore I, who am 
the witness of the thousands of changing mental states, am 
subject to no change. Pleasure and pain affect the mind 
which has the semblance of Consciousness (chidabhasa) 
in it and regards the aggregate of the body and the senses as 
the self. Like a spectator regarding the man who is ready to 
fight with a club in hand, so does the witness regard the 

* Bri. Up. 3-5-1. f Katoa-Up, 5-11. 


mind, which is subject to pleasure and pain, standing apart 
away from the aggregate. Accordingly, the pain that is 
felt through the senses pertains only to the not-Self. The 
Veda declares that senses do not comprehend the Inner Self : 
the sruti says, " whereby can one know the Knower ?" * 
Further, it says, "It is quite distinct from the known 
and quite distinct from the unknown." t The knowledge 
" I feel pain," which affects only the semblance of the Self, 
is ascribed to the Self by the deluded ; and with the wise it 
has only a secondary sense. Moreover, how can pain per- 
tain to the Self, since it is felt in particular parts of the 
body, thus : ' I feel great pain in the tip of the nose, in the 
tip of the foot-thumb ' and so on ? If pain pertained to the 
Inner Self, it would pervade the whole body like conscious- 
ness, and would not as pertaining, like consciousness, to 
the very nature of the Seer be repulsive to us. 

Against this it may be said as follows : Since the sruti 
says that all things are dear only as causing pleasure to the 
Self, pleasure pertains to the Self. 

We answer : this is not right ; for, in the words " when 
there is a creation of other things, then one sees another," J 
the sruti teaches that all duality including pleasure pertains 
to the illusory self ; and in the words " when to him all has 
become the Self, then, whereby has one to see and what ?" 
all duality including pleasure and pain is denied when the 
Self has been known. If this is not convincing to you, it is 
on account of your sin ; but to me, it is a matter of direct 
experience. To the vision turned solely towards the Inner 
One, there is no evil of any kind in the Self. 

* Bri. 2-4-14. f Kena - U P- i' 3 - t Bri - 4 ' 3 ' 31 ' Ibid - 2 - 4 ' 14 - 



It is true that the T&rkikas lay 'down the dogma that 
qualities such as desire and hatred pertain to the Self ; 
but it cannot stand the test of reason. If the Self be always 
a matter of mere inference, then his suffering cannot be 
perceived through mind. If the Self be perceived, then 
there can be no perceiver. Being devoid of parts, He can- 
not be both the perceiver and the perceived. If made of 
parts, He would be impermanent. Wherefore, the Atman 
is not the sufferer of pain. 

(Objection] : If the Supreme Self be not subject to pain, 
and as no other being really exists, where is the sufferer of 
pain ? It is for the cessation of pain that you study the Upa- 

(Answer] : We study the Upanishad for the mere anni- 
hilation of the illusion that I am the sufferer of pain, an 
illusion caused by ignorance of the True Self. Just as that 
one among ten persons who, seeing only the nine others, 
does not, on account of illusion, see himself as the tenth, 
though all the while he is the tenth man seeing the nine 
others, so also, while seeing all that is not-self, he who does 
not know the real nature of the Self does not know 
of the oneness of the Self, though as the one Self he sees all 
that is outside the Self. When the ignorance of the fact 
that he is the tenth man is burnt up in the fire of the true 
knowledge which arises when another man tells him ' you 
are the tenth,' then the tenth man sees that he is the tenth. 
Similarly, having burnt up the Self-ignorance in the fire of 
the knowledge which arises from the teaching of the sruti 
" That thou art," * one attains the oneness of the Self, as 

* Chha. 6-0-4. 


the result of that knowledge. By means of the scripture 
and the teacher, set up by the ignorance of the Inner Self, 
one attains to the unity of the Self, a unity which is opposed 
to the very means by which it is attained ; and all this is due 
to Maya. 

Thus, it is not possible for schoolmen to level against 
our system any objection whatsoever based on the doctrine 
of entrance. Hence the soundness of our doctrine of 

Other passages, too, speaking of the entrance of Brahman 
should be explained in the same way. The Nrisiwha- 
Uttara-Tapaniya, for instance, says : 

" Having created and entered the Viraj, the 
Devatas, and the sheaths, the Undeluded acts 
as if He were deluded, only by Maya." 

Linga-deha is the upadhi of Jiva. 

The upadhi of the vital breath (pra;za-vayu) is the means 
whereby the All-pervading enters the physical body. And 
accordingly the Maitreya-Upanishad says : 

" He, having made Himself like the air, 
entered within." f 

The entrance and the departure of that vital air are as- 
cribed to the Atman. The Atharvamkas say : 

" He thought, on what going out, shall I go 
out, or on what staying, shall I stay ? Thus 
thinking, He life evolved." J 

No doubt, the whole of the Linga-deha constitutes the 
upadhi by which the Atman effects His entrance into the 

* Op. cit. 9. f P- cit - 2 ' 6 - + Prasna-Up. 6-3. 


gross physical body (sthula-sarira) ; still, we must bear in 
mind that prawa or the vital principle is the most prominent 
factor in it. This upadhi of the Linga-deha enters the body 
at the tips of the feet ; and, ascending upwards, it establishes 
itself in the two thighs lying above, in the abdomen, in the 
chest, and in the head. This has been declared by the 
Aitareyins as follows : 

" Brahman entered into that man by the tips 
of his feet." * 

(Objection} : Elsewhere in the words " He had the 
thought : By which (end) should I enter it," the same 
Aitareyins start with an enquiry into the gate by which the 
Supreme Self entered the body, and then read as follows : 

" Having cleft apart this end, He entered by 
this door." f 

Here they teach that He forced open the gate in the 
head, i. e. the tip of the sushumna, and entered within the 
body by that door. There is thus a contradiction between 
these two passages. 

(Answer) : They are not mutually contradictory ; for the 
two passages are intended to convey two distinct ideas, 
according to two distinct standpoints. The Linga-deha 
subserving us in perceiving the ordinary world is said to have 
entered the body through the tips of the feet ; whereas, the 
one-pointed mental state termed 'samadhi,' which reveals the 
True Being, being attainable in the sushumna, the Linga- 
deha in that condition is said to have entered the body at 
that end. Bearing this in view, the sruti says : 

* Aita-4rawya. 2-1-4-1. f Ait. Up. 3-12. 


" Sushumna, forsooth, merged in the Supreme, 
taintless, and one in form with Brahman." * 

Now there is a passage in the Aitareya Upanishad which 
reads : 

" Fire, becoming speech, entered in the mouth. 
Air, becoming life, entered into the nostrils." t 

This means simply that speech and other constituent 
parts of the Linga-deha, which entered the body through 
the tips of the feet, sustained by their respective Devat&s or 
presiding deities, are situated in the respective regions of the 
body such as the cavity of the mouth. And the Chhandogas 
also read : 

" Let Me now enter those three beings in the 
form of this jiva, in the form of this self, and 
let me then reveal names and forms." \ 

' Jiva ' means the sustainer of life ; and the passage 
means that Brahman enters the body in the form of jiva. 

Thus, then, after a consideration of the meaning of this 
and such other passages, we conclude that the Supreme 
Self enters the body as jiva. 

* Kshura-Up. 15. f Op. cit. 2-4. I Op. cit. 6-3-2. 



Now, to discuss some points concerning the nature of 

Jiva is not the Creator. 

(Vedanta-sutras, II. iv. 20-23.) 

In the Vedanta-sutras, it has been shown that jiva is not 
the creator of Names and Forms. The disquisition is di- 
gested in the following form : 

(Pvitna facie view] : The five elements having been created 
by Isvara, it must be jiva and none else who creates 
Names and Forms, the material objects we perceive, such 
as the mountains and the like. For, in the words, " Let me 
now enter these three beings in the form of this jiva, who 
is myself, and let me then reveal Names and Forms," * 
the sruti declares that it is in the form of jiva that Isvara is 
engaged in the creation. 

(Conclusion) : As against the foregoing we hold as follows: 
In the sruti we see that it is only in the act of entering that 
Isvara assumes the form of jiva ; for, the expression "in the 
form of jiva" should be construed with " enter" owing to 
their mutual proximity. To construe the expression with 
" reveal" would be to connect it with a more remote verb. 
Indeed, jiva has not the power of creating mountains and 

* Chha.-Up. 6-3-2. 


rivers ; whereas Isvara has all powers, as the sruti says 
" Supreme is His power, and of all sorts." * Besides, the 
verb " I shall reveal" in the first person admits of a better 
interpretation when construed with Isvara. Wherefore 
Isvara is the creator of Names and Forms. As to the potter 
and the like being the makers of jars, cloths and the like, 
they become such only when impelled to the acts by the 
Lord. Therefore we conclude that Isvara Himself is the 
creator of all. 

In the same work, the Vedanta-sutras, the nature of jiva 
has been discussed in eight disquisitions. Their digests 
are given hereunder. 

Jiva is not subject to birth and death. 

(Vedanta-sutras, II. iii. 16.) 

(Question) : Is it jiva or the body that undergoes birth 
and death ? 

(Prima facie view) : In common parlance we say " a son 
is born to me ;" and the sastra prescribes sacraments such 
as the birth-ceremony. So birth and death pertain to jiva. 

(Conclusion) : As against the foregoing we hold as follows: 
Birth and death which really pertain to the body are, by 
courtesy, spoken of as pertaining to jiva ; for, if it be ad- 
mitted that birth and death pertain to jiva, it would be 
impossible to avoid the two fallacious conclusions that 
jiva's acts in this birth vanish without producing their 
effects, and that he reaps in this birth the fruits of acts 
which he never did. The common parlance and the scrip- 

t Sve.-Up. 6-8. 


tural ordinance of the birth-ceremony are based upon 
birth and death ascribed by mere courtesy to jiva. In the 
words " when devoid of jiva, forsooth, this body dies, jiva 
never dies," * the Upanishad teaches that it is the body 
devoid of jiva that really dies, and denies jiva's 
liability to death. Therefore birth and death pertain to the 

Jiva is not of the Creation. 

(Vedanta-sutras, II. ii. 17.) 

(Question] : Is jiva born, as akasa, &c., are born, at the 
beginning of the Kalpa ? or is he not born ? 

(Prima facie view) : The non-duality of Brahman prior 
to creation, taught by the sruti in the words " One alone 
without a second" t cannot be explained if jiva, as distin- 
guished from Brahman, had no birth. And the sruti, 
moreover, refers to the birth of jiva by comparing it to the 
sparks of fire : 

" As from fire small sparks start up around, 
just so, from this one,the Self, all vital energies, 
all worlds, all gods, all beings, all these selfs, 
start up around." J 

Therefore, at the beginning of the Kalpa, jiva is born 
from Brahman, like the akasa, &c. 

(Conclusion) : As against the foregoing we hold as fol- 
lows : Brahman, who is non-dual, Himself enters as jiva 
into the mind (buddhi) that is born, as the sruti says, " This 
having sent forth, into that very thing He then entered." 

* Chha-Up.-6-ll-3. f Ibid. 6-2-1 

| Bri Up. 2-2-20. Tait. Up. 2-6-7. 

Ami VL] THEjivA. 553 

Whence it cannot be said that in the absence of jiva's birth, 
the non-duality taught in the sruti does not hold good. As 
to the passage in which jiva is compared to the sparks of 
fire, it must simply refer to the birth of the jiva as related 
to the upadhi ; otherwise, we would be driven to the falla- 
cious conclusion that acts done here undergo annihilation 
and the fruits of acts not done before are reaped here in 
this birth. From the stand-point of reality, however, the 
sruti teaches the eternality of jiva : " the eternal of the 
eternal, the sentient of the sentient."* Therefore, jiva 
is not born at the beginning of the kalpa, 

Jiva is the self-conscious principle. 

(Vedanta-sutras, II. iii. 18.) 

(Question] : Is Jiva a conscious or an unconscious 
principle ? 

(Prima facie view] : As Tarkikas (the followers of Vaise- 
shika and Nyaya systems) maintain, jiva is an unconscious 
> principle ; for, consciousness fails in the states of sushupti, 
swoon, and samadhi ; and in the waking state, the quality 
of consciousness is produced by the conjunction of Atman 
with mind (manas). 

(Conclusion) : This view is wrong ; for, the sruti says that 
the conscious Brahman Himself has entered the body as 
jiva. And consciousness does not fail in sushupti and such 
other states ; it is still present as the witness of these states, 
inasmuch as, otherwise, there could be no subsequent re- 
ference to the experience thereof. Now it may be asked, 
how is it that there is then no consciousness of the external 

* Kafha-Up. 513. 



world of duality ? It is, we answer, because of the non- 
existence of duality. Accordingly the sruti says : 

" As to the saying that then He sees not, (we 
say that) while seeing, verily, He then sees not. 
For, no failure there is of the Seer's sight, 
as it is undying ; but no second one exists, 
distinct and separate from Him, which he 
might see." * 

This passage means :- -What the people aver, that then, 
in sushupti, jiva sees nothing, is not true. While jiva then 
actually sees, it is merely through illusion that people say 
that jiva does not see. Whence his vision ? The sruti ex- 
plains thus : There is indeed no failure of the Self's inherent 
vision, because in itself it is never-failing. Otherwise, even 
for him who maintains that consciousness fails in those 
states, it is not possible to speak of a failure not witnessed 
by consciousness. How is it then, it may be asked, that 
people think, though erroneously, that jiva is not conscious? 
The sruti explains thus : The duality of the universe, as 
distinguished from the conscious principle of Brahman, 
made up of action, of various factors in action, and of the 
fruits of action, does not then exist, because it has become 
merged in the cause ; so that there is no consciousness of the 
perceiver, perception and objects of perception, as in the wak- 
ing state. Hence the erroneous belief of the people that 
jiva does not see. Therefore, jiva is a conscious principle. 

Jiva is all -pervading. 

(Vedanta-sutras,II. iii. 19-32). 

* Bn. Up. 4-3-23. 

Aim. VI. ] THEjivA. 555 

(Question}: Is jiva infinitesimal (a;m)?or is he all- 
pervading ? 

(Prima facie view] : "This One, the Self, is very small 
(a?m); He is to be known by mind ; " * thus the sruti says 
that jiva is very small. His departure is also spoken of in the 
words " from this body he departs " ; t his goal in the 
words "to the moon verily do they all go" ; J and his return 
in the words "from that world he again conies back. " 
Of course, the departure, &c., are not possible in case jiva 
is all-pervading. They can, no doubt, be explained on 
the supposition that he is of a middling size ; but then 
it would be opposed to the sruti which teaches that he 
is very small (a;m), and his impermanency would then be 
inevitable. Therefore ji'va is very small. 

(Conclusion} : The mind (buddhi) containing reflected 
consciousness is not all-pervading. Jiva being conditioned 
by the mind as his upadhi or vehicle, it is easy to explain 
the sruti speaking of his smallness, departure, &c. In him- 
self, however, jiva is one with Brahman and is therefore 
all-pervading. The sruti declares that he is all-pervading 
in the words "He, verily, this One, theSelf is a great being;' >f i 
"he is all-pervading, the inner Self of all beings." |] There- 
fore jiva is all-pervading. 

Jiva is the agent. 

(Vedanta-sutras, II. iii. 33-39). 
(Question] : Is jiva the agent or not ? 

* MuncZ. 3-1-9. Bri. 4-4-6. 

f Chha. 8-6-5. f Bri. 4-4-22. 

Kaiish. 1-2. || Sve. 6-11. 


(Pvima facie view] : The Sankhyas hold that agency, 
which means engagement in action, pertains to the mind 
(buddhi) because it is subject to transformation (pariizama), 
but not to the jiva or self who is unattached. 

(Conclusion] : This view is unsound. It being evident 
that the mind serves as an organ or instrument, it cannot 
be regarded as the agent. Instruments such as an axe 
never act as agents. If the mind were the agent, we would 
have to look out for something else which might serve as its 
organ. You cannot say, let there be no agent at all ; for, 
the sacrificial acts enjoined in the first section of the Veda, 
the study of theosophy and the like enjoined in the second, 
and all worldly occupations such as cultivation, presuppose 
an agent. Therefore jiva is the agent. 

Jiva's agency is illusory. 

(Yedanta-sutras, II. iii. 40). 

(Question] : Is jiva's agency which has been established 
in the previous article, rea 1 or illusory ? 

(Pvima facie view] : Being uncontradicted, it must be 

(Conclusion] : As against the foregoing we say : Agency 
which is an attachment is denied by the sruti in the words, 
"Devoid of attachment, verily, is this one, the Purusha."* 
Just as, owing to the proximity of the white crystal stone 
to the china-rose (japa) flower, the red colour of the latter 
is ascribed to the former, so also, agency is ascribed to the 
Self owing to His proximity to the mind (antaA-kara/za). 

* Bri. 4-3-1 5, 

Ami. VI.} THEjlvA. 557 

Jiva is impelled to action by Isvara. 

(Vedanta-sutras, II. iii. 41-42). 

(Question] : Is it the Supreme Lord or passion that im- 
pels jiva to action ? 

(Prima facie view] : In the ordinary affairs of the world 
we see likes and dislikes alone impelling cultivators and 
other agents to action. In accordance with this, we should 
regard that likes and dislikes alone impel jiva to action 
when he engages in righteous and unrighteous acts, dharma 
and adharma. If Isvara were the impeller, the conclusion 
would bs inevitable that He is partial, as itnpeH'ng some 
jivas to righteous acts, and some others to unrighteous acts. 
Therefore it is riot Isvara that impels jiva to action. 

(Conclusion) : In the first place, Isvara does not become 
guilty of partiality, inasmuch as He is a general cause like 
rain. Though rain is the cause of the growth of corn, still 
it is the seeds that make them different, as rice, barley, and 
so on Similarly, though the Lord is the general impeller 
of jivas to action by way of willing "let the jivas act each 
in his own way," still He is not partial, inasmuch as 
differences in their lots are due to their respective acts in 
former births and their respective vasanas or tendencies. 

(Objection] : Acts bring forth only their fruits ; they do 
not cause other acts. 

(Answer) : True. As impelling jiva to action with a 
view to yield their own fruits in the form of pleasure 
and pain, they indirectly bring about other acts, and thus 
we are forced to the conclusion that one act causes another 


Vasanas or tendencies, however, are the direct causes of 
acts. Such being the case, where is room for the charge 
of partiality against Isvara ? 

As to the assertion that passion is found to impel men to 
action, we grant that it is so. This, however, cannot in 
any way vitiate the view that Isvara impels jiva to action ; 
for, even passion is subject to the control of Isvara who is 
the Antaryamin, the Ruler of all from within. Therefore 
it is Isvara that impels jlva to action. 

Jiva as distinguished from Isvara. 

(Vedanta-sutras, II. iii. 43). 

(Question] : Is there any distinction between jiva and 
Isvara, or are they indistinguishable ? 

(Prim a facie view] : The sruti teaches identity of jiva and 
Isvara in such words as "That thou art." * Again in the 
words "the Atman should be seen," t they are distinguish- 
able as seer and the one to be seen. So that, in the first place, 
as the sruti speaks of them as distinct, it is not possible 
to ignore the existence of jiva ; since the sruti speaks 
also of their identity, neither is it possible to maintain the 
existence of jiva as distinct from Isvara. The inevitable 
conclusion is that jiva exists, but that he is indistinguishable 
from Isvara. And as a corollary of this, jivas are mutually 
indistinguishable, because of their identity with Isvara. 
Therefore, in the Brahmavadin's theory, jiva and Isvara 
are indistinguishable. 

(Conclusion): Though there is no real absolute distinction 
between jfva and Isvara such as there is between a cow 

* Chha-Up. 6-2-7, f Bri. Up. 2-4-5. 

Anu. VI.] THEjivA. 559 

and a buffalo, still the scriptures define the nature of jiva 
in three ways in accordance with his distinctive features 
arising from the' upadhis or conditions with which he is 
associated in our ordinary experience. It is taught that he 
is an awsa or constituent portion of Isvara in the words, 
"A portion of Myself, in the world of jlva, constituting the 
very life and eternal." * In the words "He, being equal 
with it , both regions he traverses," f the sruti represents 
jiva in his aspect of intelligence (vijwana) as of equal extent 
with the mind (buddhi) designated as intellect, and thus 
gives us to understand that he is Isvara limited by intellect, 
as akasa is limited by a jar. It is also taught that he is a 
reflection of Isvara in the following words : 

"One alone, verily, is the Self of all beings, 
separate in each being ; in one way as also in 
many ways is He seen, like the moon in 
water." J 

Therefore the Brahmavadin can easily distinguish the 
jiva and the Isvara from each other. And it is easier still 
for him to explain the mutual distinction among jivas them- 
selves as observed in our experience, on the analogy of the 
manifold images of the sun reflected in manifold vessels of 
water. Thus this doctrine is open to no objection 

* Bha. Gita, 15-7. f Bri. 4-8-7. J Brahmabindu-Up. 12. 



In the Vedanta-sutras six articles (adhikara/zas) are devot- 
ed to a discussion of jiva's passage from this to other 
worlds and back. They are summarised in this chapter. 

Jiva carries to the other worlds the seeds of the 
future body. 

(Vedanta-sutras, III. i. i 7). 

(Question) : Does jiva, when departing from this world, 
carry with him elements of subtle matter (bhuta-sukshma), 
or not ? 

(Pvima facie vieiv] : When the jiva conditioned by the 
upadhi of pra//a or vital principle departs from this world to 
pass into another body, he does not carry with him elements 
of subtle matter constituting the root-principles of his future 
body ; for, the five elements of matter being easily available 
everywhere, it is unnecessary to carry them from here. 

(Conclusion}: As against the foregoing we hold as follows: 
Though mere elements of matter are easily available every- 
where, those that constitute the root-elements of the body 
are not easily available in all places and are therefore to be 
carried from here. Moreover, the senses (indriyas) which 
constitute the upadhi of jiva cannot pass into other worlds 
without material elements, as they are never found dis- 


joined in life. Further the sruti says, "In the fifth oblation, 
the waters are termed man." * The meaning of this pass- 
age may be explained as follows : Heaven, rain-cloud, 
earth, man, and woman, these five objects are represent- 
ed as fires for the purposes of contemplation. The jiva, 
going to svarga and returning again, is represented as an 
oblation in those fires. The jiva who has performed sa- 
crificial and charitable acts ascends to svarga. On the 
exhaustion of the fruits of the acts, he descends into the 
rain-cloud and is precipitated to the earth as rain. In the 
form of food he enters man ; and then through man's semen 
he enters the woman and there puts on the body. Therefore 
the five elements of matter which are the root-elements of 
the body and which, by metonymy, are here, in the 
passage just quoted, spoken of as water, pass with jiva 
into the five regions beginning with heaven and are trans- 
formed in the fifth region into the body called man. 
Therefore, when passing into the other world, jiva does 
carry with him the root-elements of the body. 

Jiva descends to earth with residual karma. 

(Vedanta-sutras, III. i. 8 n). 

(Question] : When descending from svarga, does or does 
not jiva bring with him any residual karma (anusaya) ? 

(Pnma facie view) : The man who descends from svarga 
after enjoying its bliss, comes to earth without anusaya. 
' Anusaya,' literally, that which clings to jiva, means 
residual karma. No one has any residual karma to carry 
with him when descending from svarga, all the fruits of 

* Chha. Up. 5-9-1. 


karma having. been enjoyed in svarga. Accordingly, speak- 
ing of man's descent to earth, the sruti says " Having lived 
as long as their works (sampta) last, then, by this very 
way they again come back." : Sainpdta, literally, that by 
which one ascends to svarga, is the aggregate of one's 
karma. So the passage means that jiva lives in svarga 
until the fruit of all his karma is enjoyed. Wherefore, when 
descending from heaven, he brings with him no residual 

(Conclusion) : Though the karma which has to yield its 
fruits in svarga has been exhausted by enjoyment of the 
fruits thereof, there is still left with jiva an accumulation of 
righteous and unrighteous acts, whose fruits have not yet 
been reaped. Otherwise, in the absence of righteous and 
unrighteous deeds done in this birth, it would be hard to 
explain why the body that is just born is subject to plea- 
sure and pain. 

As to the view, maintained by some, that the 
whole aggregate of the acts done in one birth is exhausted 
by enjoyment of the fruits thereof in the next succeeding 
birth alone, we say it is wrong, because this view, that the 
whole karma is exhausted in one birth, is untenable, inas- 
much as the asvamedha (the horse-sacrifice) and the like 
which take the doer to the position of Indra, and the sinful 
acts such as those which make one born in the body of a 
hog and so on, cannot both of them yield their fruits in one 
and the same birth. So that, though, out of the acts done 
in one birth, the fruits of the acts such as jyotishfoma have 
been enjoyed, there should remain other acts whose fruits 

* Chha. Up. 5-10-5, 


have not been reaped. The word ' samp&ta' (in the passage 
quoted above) refers only to the svarga-yielding act, not to 
other acts. The sruti speaks of the souls who, descending 
from svarga, put on the human body in the fifth oblation, 
as also of the existence of the acts of merit and sin which 
bring about the body : 

" Whoso have been of good conduct here, 
they soon attain good birth, the birth of a 
brahmawa or the birth of a kshatriya or the 
birth of a vaisya. But whoso are of bad con- 
duct here, they soon attain evil birth, the birth 
of a dog, or of a hog, or of an outcaste 
(chawdala)." * 

Thus we are to conclude that souls descend to earth 
carrying with them the residual of their past karma. 

The sinful do not reach svarga. 

(Vedanta-sutras, III. i. 12 21). 

(Question] : Does the sinful man reach svarga or not ? 

(Pyima facie view] : " Whoso from this world depart, to 
the Chandramas (moon), verily, they all go: " in these words 
the sruti teaches that even the sinful go to svarga which is 
here termed Chandramas (lit., a lovely region). It is true 
that the sinful are not destined to enjoy the bliss of svarga ; 
but we must suppose that they pass into heaven, so that, 
the fire of woman wherein the souls, on their return to 
earth, put on the body, may count as the fifth fire. 

* Chha, Up. 5-10-7. 

564 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPLAINED. [Anandci-Valli. 

(Conclusion) : Souls pass into svarga, only for the enjoy- 
ment of bliss, not because it is necessary to pass through 
the five fires named. For, the number of fires vary in cer- 
tain cases. In the case of Drowa, for instance, the fire of 
woman is absent, while in the case of Slta even the fire of 
man is absent. The words " they all", in the sruti quoted 
above, refer to men of good deeds. As to the sinful, the 
sruti says that they go to the world of Yama : 

" Worship with oblations Yama, son of Vivas- 
vat, the goal of men." * 

Thts passage means: " Do ye propitiate Yama to whom the 
sinfiul men will have to go." Therefore, the sinful do not 
go to svarga. 

Jiva's return from svarga. 

(Vedanta-sutras, III. i. 22). 

(Question) : The descent from svarga is described in the 
sruti as follows : 

" They return again that way, as they went, to 
the ether (akasa), from the ether to the air. 
Then the sacrificer, having become air, be- 
comes smoke ; having become smoke, he 
becomes mist ; having become mist, he be- 
comes a cloud ; having become a cloud, he 
rains down." f 

Here the question arises : Does jiva, in his descent from 
svarga, become of the same nature as akasa &c.? or does he 
become merely similar to them ? 

* Big-Veda, x. 14. 1, f Chha. Up. 540-5-6. 


(Prima facie view) : He becomes one in nature with 
them, inasmuch as the sruti, in the words " becoming air" 
and so on, teaches that the jiva becomes one with them. 

(Conclusion) : It being impossible for one thing to be j 
come another, we hold that to attain to akasa means to attain 
the subtlety of akasa ; to become air means to come under 
its control ; to become smoke, etc., is to come in contact 
with them. 

The relative speed of jiva when returning. 
(Vedanta-sutras, III. i. 23). 

(Question) ; After coming down as rain, jiva unites with 
rice, etc., as the sruti says : 

" Then he is born as rice and corn, herbs and 
trees, sesamum and beans." * 

The question is : Is jiva's return from akasa, prior to his 
union with rice, &c., slow or rapid ? 

(Prima facie view] : -Nothing in the sruti points to either 
way. Hence no definite rule. 

(Conclusion) : In the words " from this, verily, it is hard 
to escape," t the sruti speaks of the difficulty of passage on 
uniting with rice, &c., and so teaches definitely that on un- 
iting with rice, &c., jiva's passage is tardy. By implication, 
therefore, this leads us to the conclusion that, prior to this 
stage, his passage is rapid. 

Jiva is not born as a plant. 

(Vedanta-sutras, III, i. 24 27). 

(Question) : Are jivas born as rice, &c., on their descent 
from heaven ? or do they merely unite with them ? 

* Cliha. Up. 5-10-0. f Ibid 


(Prima facie view) : The sruti means that jivas do not 
merely unite with rice, sesamum, etc., as they do with 
akasa, etc., but that they are actually born as such ; for, 
the sruti says that they are ' born' as such. It cannot be 
contended that it is impossible for the soul descending from 
svarga after enjoying there the fruit of the meritorious acts 
to be born as a plant (sthavara), which birth is the effect of 
very sinful acts ; for, there exists the cause of such a birth, 
namely, the killing of animals for sacrificial purposes. 
Therefore we conclude that jivas are actually born as 

(Conclusion) : Being enjoined by the sruti, the killing of 
animals for sacrificial purposes is no sin. Therefore the 
word " born" in the sruti means simply that they unite 
with the plants mentioned. On the contrary, no actual 
birth is meant, inasmuch as the sruti does not speak of it 
as due to the operation of any acts. And where actual 
birth is meant, the sruti refers to it as the result of acts, as 
when speaking of " men of good deeds" and " men of evil 
deeds." Therefore we conclude that, when descending 
from svarga, jivas merely unite with rice, etc. 


The objects seen in svapna are unreal. 

(Vedanta-sutras, III. ii. i 6) 

(Question) : Is the creation of objects in dream real or 
unreal ? 

(Pnma facie view) : The sruti speaks of the creation in 
dream (svapna) of carriages and other things, in the words 
"he himself creates chariots, horses, and roads." * This 
creation must therefore be real so far as our ordinary expe- 
rience goes, like the creation of akasa, &c. We do not find 
any distinction between the waking state and the dream 
state, since the act of eating and the like occurring in the 
latter serve alike the actual purposes of appeasing hunger, 
&c. So we hold that the creation in question is as real as 
the creation of akasa, both being alike the acts of Isvara. 

(Conclusion) : The dream-creation must be false, as there 
are no appropriate time and place. Certainly, within the 
nadis which are very narrow like the thousandth part of the 
hair, there is no sufficient room for mountains, rivers, oceans 
and the like ; and in the case of one who goes to sleep at 
midnight, there is no appropriate time for the occurrence of 

* Bri, Up. 4-3-10. 


a solar eclipse. Neither are there, in the case of a boy who 
has not undergone the ceremony of upanayana, occasions 
for exultation at the birth of a son. Moreover, the objects 
seen in dream prove false in dream itself. The object per- 
ceived to be a tree at one moment comes at the next mo- 
ment to be regarded as a mountain. As to the allegation 
that dream-creation is taught in the sruti, it may be seen 
that the sruti speaks of the creation as fictitious : 

"There are no (real) chariots in this state, no 
horses, no roads, but he himself creates 
chariots, horses and roads." * 

Therefore the sruti means that the cars, &c., which in 
reality are non-existent, are mere illusory appearances like 
silver in the mother-of-pearl. As to its similarity with the 
jagrat state adduced above, even that is not of much avail 
here, inasmuch as we have pointed out points of disparity 
such as want of appropriate time and place which prepon- 
derate over those of similarity. It has been also alleged that 
dream-objects are created by Isvara ; but this is untenable, 
for, in the words "The man that wakes when others sleep, 
dispensing all desires," | the sruti also teaches that it is 
jiva who is the creator of the objects of dream-consciousness. 
Therefore the dream-creation is illusory. 

Where jiva lies in sushupti. 

(Vedanta-sutras, III. ii. 78.) 
(Question] : Regarding the sushupti state, the sruti says: 

* Bri. Up. 4-5-10. t Kaflia, Up. 5-8. 


"Then he has entered into these mv/is." * 
"Through them he moves forth and rests in 
the puritat." f 
"He lies in the Akasa which is in the heart." I 

In these passages the sruti declares that in sushupti jiva 
lies in the narfis, in the puritat, and also in Brahman, here 
designated as Akasa. The question is, Is it separately or 
conjointly that these places the nadis, &c., constitute the 
seat of jiva in sushupti ? 

(Prima facie view) : They constitute the seat of jiva se- 
parately, each by itself, inasmuch as all of them severally 
serve the one purpose in view. When the sruti says "let a 
man sacrifice either with rice or with barley," we under- 
stand that two alternatives are meant by the sruti, inasmuch 
as either one of them serves the one purpose of furnishing 
the sacrificial oblation. So also, the purpose to be served 
here being one and the same, namely, sushupti, we should 
understand that three alternatives are meant here by the 
sruti ; that jiva attains sushupti in the na^is at one time, in 
the puritat at another time, and in Brahman at yet another 

(Conclusion}". We do not admit that they all severally 
serve one and the same purpose ; for it is easy to shew that 
they serve distinct purposes. Now the narfis serve as the 
paths by which the jiva who has been wandering in the 
sense-organs of sight, &c., may pass to Brahman dwelling 
in the heart. Hence the words of the sruti, "through 
them he moves forth," shewing that ntu/is are the means by 

* Chha. Up. 8-6-3. f B>-i - Up. 2-1-19, J Bri. Up. 24-17. 


570 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPLAINED. [Anand(l-V dill. 

which jiva passes. The puritat, the envelope of the heart, 
serves as an enclosure, like a bed-room, and Brahman forms 
the seat, like a bed-stead. Accordingly, just as one enters 
by the gateway and lies on a bed in a room, so jiva passes 
through the nat/is and lies in Brahman within the puritat. 
Distinct purposes being thus served by them severally, they 
conjointly constitute the abode of jiva in sushupti. 

(Objection] : If jiva lies in Brahman during sushupti, then 
how is it that we are not then conscious of their relation 
as such ? 

(Ansivei'} : Because they have become one, we say. 
When a pot of water is immersed in a reservoir of water, 
we do not see its existence as distinct from the reservoir ; 
so also, we are not conscious of jiva, conditioned by the 
upadhi of anta/j-karaa, as distinct from Brahman, inas- 
much as he as we 1 ! as his enshrouding darkness is then 
merged in Brahman. It is for this reason that the sruti 
elsewhere speaks of jiva becoming one with Brahman du- 
ring sushupti : "With the Existent, my dear, he then be- 
comes one." 

Identity of jiva who sleeps and wakes. 

(Vedanta-sutras, III. ii. 9) 

(Question] : Is the jiva who wakes from sleep necessarily 
the same as he who went to sleep ? or, may he be a 
different one ? 

(Prima facie vieiv] : When a drop of water has been cast 
into the ocean, the identical drop cannot again be unfailingly 
aken out from the ocean ; similarly when one jiva has been 


merged in Brahman during sushupti, it is not possible that 
necessarily the identical jiva wakes from sleep. Therefore 
it may be that any one of the many jivas wakes from sleep. 

(Conclusion) : As against the foregoing, we hold as follows: 
The two cases are not quite analogous. The jiva is a con- 
scious entity, and when he becomes merged in Brahman, 
he is still enveloped in his karma and avidyd, ; whereas 
when the drop of water is cast into the ocean, it is unen- 
closed by anything. When a glass, filled with the water of 
the Ganges and with its mouth covered, is thrown into the 
sea, the glass can be taken again out of the sea, and we 
can clearly identify the water of the Ganges therein con- 
tained. Similarly, the identical jiva may wake from sleep. 
Therefore the sruti says : 

"Whatever thsse creatures are here, whether 
a tiger, or a lion, or a wolf, or a boar, or a 
worm, or a midge, or a gnat, or a musquito, 
that they become again and again." 

That is to say, whatever bodies the tiger and other jivas 
have s&verally occupied prior to sleep, the same bodies are 
occupied by those jivas on waking after sleep. Neither can 
it be contended that the jiva who attains Brahman during 
sleep cannot again come into being, in the same way that 
the liberated one does not come into being ; for, in the case 
of the former, the limiting upadhi still exists, so that when 
the upadhi starts up into being, the jiva must start up into 
existence. Therefore, when a jiva goes to sleep, it is the 
same jiva that wakes from sleep. 

* Chha. Up. 6-9-3. 


Swoon is a distinct state of consciousness. 

(Vedanta-sutras, III. ii. 10) 

(Question): Is swoon (murchha) comprehended in any 
one of the three states above referred to, or is it distinct 
from them all ? 

(Prima facie view] : We are not aware of a state of con- 
sciousness distinct from jagrat, svapna and sushupti. 
Therefore, swoon is comprehended in one of those states. 

(Conclusion) : As it stands quite alone, we must admit 
that it is a distinct state. It cannot be included either in 
jagrat or svapna, for, unlike these states, there is no con- 
sciousness of duality in it. Nor can it bs included in 
sushupti; because the two states appear to be quite different. 
When a man is asleep, his face is calm, his breath balanced, 
and his body motionless ; whereas, in the case of one who 
is in a fit of swoon, the face becomes agitated, his breath 
is uneven, and his body shakes. It is true that swoon is 
not a state quite familiar to children and the like because it 
is not of daily occurrence like jagrat and other states ; still 
experts do know the state of swoon occurring on rare occa- 
sions and apply proper remedies. Therefore, it is a distinct 
state of consciousness. 

Elimination of foreign elements from jiva. 

Thus, in these four articles, the nature of the jiva the 
'thou' in "That Thou art" has been divested of all foreign 
elements. In the first place, by shewing that the world of 
dream is an illusion, it has been shewn that though we are 
then conscious of pleasure, pain and agency, jiva remains 


free from attachment ; and so far, the foreign elements have 
been eliminated from jiva's nature. It has been further 
taught that this absence of all attachment in jiva's nature 
is to be found in our own experience during sleep, because, 
it has been shewn that jiva becomes then one with 
Brahman. By shewing that the same jiva that goes to 
sleep wakes also from sleep, it has been impressed upon us 
that he is not impermanent. Lastly, by way of discussing 
the state of swoon, it has been taught that, though breath- 
ing and all other signs of life fail at death, it should not be 
supposed that jiva is then dead. 


Having thus proved the existence of the Paramatman by 
referring to His presence in the body as jiva, the perceiver, 
the sruti, with a view to afford a further proof of His exist- 
ence in the form of the objects of perception, now proceeds 
to teach that He has transformed Himself as the objects of 

8. That having entered, both the being and 
the beyond He became, the definite and the 
indefinite, the abode and the non-abode, the 
conscious and the unconscious ; both the real 
and the false did the Real become, and what- 
ever else is here. That, they say, is the Real. 

Form and the formless. 

Having entered the creation, He became the being 
and the beyond, the corporeal and the incorporeal, form 
and the formless, murta and amurta. 


All things from the Avyaknta or Unmanifested Being 
down to the bodies are included in these two classes of 
objects, form and formless. (S). 

Having entered in the form of the perceiver (bholdri) the 
bodies that were created, He then transformed Himself 
into the objects of perception, the being and the beyond, &c. 
' The being' refers to the visible objects, the three states of 
matter, namely, earth (pnthvi), water (ap) and fire (tejas) ; 
and ' the beyond ' refers to the two invisible states of matter, 
air (vayu) and ether (akasa). The Brihadarawyaka-upa- 
nishad teaches, in the words " Form comprises this, what 
is distinct from air and from ether, "that the three states of 
matter other than air and ether, namely, earth, water and 
fire, are corporeal, and describes them as sat or the being, 
" this is the being ;" air and ether being described as tyad 
or the beyond. Under these two categories are brought to- 
gether all objects which are distinguished as the visible and 
the invisible. To these two categories should be added 
two other categories composed of their abhavas or negations. 
Thus, Brahman transformed Himself into the four cate- 
gories of things. 

These, forms and the formless, which, prior to 
creation, resided in the Atman, undifferentiated in 
name and form, are (now, at the beginning of creation) 
differentiated by the Atman dwelling within them. 
Though thus differentiated and spoken of as form and 
formless, they still remain one with the Atman in time 
and place, and therefore He is said to have become the 
being and the beyond. 


The definite is that object which is distinguished 
from other classes of objects and from other objects of 
the same class, and known as existing at a particular 
time and a particular place ; that which can be speci- 
fically pointed out "this it is." What is opposed to the 
definite is the indefinite. 

The definite : What can be f ally defined, as, this pot 
which is here before me with its body widely bulging out, 
which is made of clay, a tangible object capable of holding 
water. What is opposed to this is the indefinite, that which 
can be spoken of only in vague terms, as for example, the 
minute distinctions of a particular taste such as sweetness 
or of a particular odour, and so on ; these cannot be fully 

These two, the definite and the indefinite, are only 
descriptive attributes of form and the formless respec- 
tively. Thus, form and the formless are respectively 
the definite and the indefinite, the visible and the in- 
visible. So also they are the abode and the non-abode. 
A bode constitutes an attribute of form and the non-abode 
of the formless. 

The abode : the seal, such as the flower, sugar. That 
which is opposed to this is non-abode, that which dwells in 
another, such as odour and taste. 

Though "the beyond," etc., are spoken of as the 
attributes of the formless, still they pertain to objects 
in the differentiated world, inasmuch as they are said 
to have come into being after creation. ' The beyond' 


denotes Prawa (vayu or air), etc. ; and these namely, 
air and ether are indefinite and also constitute the 
non-abode. Wherefore, these attributes of the formless 
pertain only to the category of the differentiated 
being. * 

The conscious and the unconscious. 

' The conscious ' means the sentient beings, and ' the 
unconscious,'' the insentient objects such as stone. 

The real and the false. 

The real and the false : 'The real' here means the 
realities commonly so-called, on account of the con- 
text : it does not mean the Absolute Reality, for 
Brahman, the Absolute Reality, is one alone. As to 
the real here refered to, it is only relatively so, what 
we commonly speak of as real. Water, for instance, is 
said to be real as compared with the mirage, which is 
illusory. ' The false' means the so-called unreal. 

That which never fails in our ordinary experience is real, 
and what in our ordinary experience is erroneously ascribed 
is false. For example, the mother-of-pearl, a rope, a pillar, 
etc., are real ; and when they are mistaken for silver, a 
serpent, a thief, &c., these latter are said to be false. 

The categories of things here mentioned stand for the 
whole universe, including these and other categories of 

* but not to the TJnmanifested Brahman, the Cause, who is 
also formless. (V) 



being such as heat and cold, pleasure and pain, honor and 
dishonor, &c. 

The One Reality. 

(Question] : What is it that has become all this ? 

(Answer) : The Real, the Absolute Reality. 

(Question) : What, again, is that Reality ? 

(Answer) : Brahman, the subject of treatment here, 
wherewith this Book began in the words " Real, Con- 
sciousness, Infinite is Brahman." 

The Creator became by avidya all this which has sprung 
from avidya. It is by denying all that is composed of "the 
being and the beyond" that the truth is presented to us in 
the sequel, the truth that T am Brahman,' the truth that 
all duality is absent in the true Self. Because all that we 
speak of as existing and as not existing have their origin in 
ignorance (moha), the Lord of the W T orld says also, "It is 
not said to be being or non-being." Be it known that it 
is the One Inner Self who, witnessing the mind's mani- 
festation and disappearance, is unfailing. Therefore there 
must exist that Supreme Brahman, by whose existence all 
creatures of avidya, manifesting themselves as causes and 
effects, appear to exist. Whatever involves intelligent de- 
sign presupposes an intelligent being, as for instance, a 
pot ; so also, the subject of contention here namely, the 
universe involving as it does a complicate design, presup- 
poses an intelligent being. (S). 

* Bhagavadgita XIII. 12. The meaning of this as well as the 
eruti is, not that noting exists, but that cause and effect, which 
are not constant, are not Brahman. (A). 


Brahman transformed Himself as the universe made up 
of things classed as "the being and the beyond," and so on. 
By this the sruti means to teach that Brahman must exist, 
as having transformed Himself in the form of the objects of 
perception, just as milk exists prior to its transformation as 
curd, &c. 

Brahman experienced by the wise. 

Because the one Brahman alone, who is called the 
Existence, became "the being and the beyond" and 
whatever else is included in the two categories of 
form and the formless, in short, all that is comprised 
in the category of phenomena (vikara), without any 
exception, there existing no phenomena of name and 
form outside Brahman, therefore the knowers of 
Brahman say that all this is Brahman, the Real. 

Having established Brahman's existence by inference, 
the sruti proceeds here to establish the same by an appeal 
to the experience of the wise. 

Whatever we see in this universe, whether it be the per- 
ceiver or the object perceived, it is not really the universe 
as such; but it is the never-failing Brahman. So say the wise. 
Wherefore it is wrong to say that Brahman does not exist, 
since His existence is a fact of wise men's experience. 

The bearing of the present section. 

Now to shew the bearing of this section : The sec- 
tion started with the question/ does Brahman exist or 
not ? In answer to this question, it has been said 

580 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPLAINED. Anandci-V dill. 

that the Atman " desired, many may I be !" And in 
accordance with this desire He emanated akasa and 
other things in the universe, comprising ' the being 
and the beyond' and so on ; and entering the universe 
so created He became many, as the seer, as the hearer, 
as the thinker, as the knower. So that, we should 
understand that this Brahman the very Brahman 
who is the cause of akasa, etc., He who dwells in all 
creatures, who lies hid in the highest heaven of the 
heart-cave, revealing Himself in all the cognitions of 
the mind, in all His specific manifestations (as hearer, 
seer, and so on), does exist. 

Brahman, the self-cause. 

9. On that, too, there is this verse. 

Just as, in the case of the five sheaths described 
above, verses were quoted descriptive of the Self in the 
Annamaya-kosa, etc., so also, a verse is quoted here 
which speaks of the existence of the Innermost Atman 
in all, by speaking of the universe. 

[Anuvaka VII.] 


I. Non-being, verily, this in the beginning 
was. Thence, indeed, was the being born. That 
created itself by itself ; thence is That the self- 
cause called. 

' Non-being ' means the unmanifested Brahman, as 
distinguished from the universe with specific names 
and forms manifested ; * it does not mean absolute 
non-existence. ' This ' refers to the universe com- 
posed of specific names and forms. Prior to creation, 
this universe was Brahman Himself, here spoken of as 
'non-being'. Thence, from that Non-being, t was 
born the being, with specific names and forms distinct- 
ly marked. 

The universe composed of names and forms are in them- 
selves non-existent, because they are not-Self. What is 
existent came, verily, from that One Existence, namely 
Brahman. (S). 

Was the creation quite distinct from Him, as the 
son is distinct from the father ? 

The sruti answers : That created itself by itself. 
Brahman spoken of as non-being, created Himself by 

Himself. J 

That one who is " Real, Consciousness, Infinite," creates 
Himself by Himself into " the being and the beyond," when 
associated with avidya. 

* The manifested universe being called sat or being, 
f From the Cause. 

J i. e,, without being impelled by any one else, He made Him- 
self as the universe (V), 


This all-powerful Lord created all this by Himself : and 
therefore, the Mahatmans call Him as the well-doer 
(su-knta) (S). 

Indeed there exists nothing neither a material cause of 
the universe similar to clay, nor an efficient cause like the 
potter over and above Brahman. On the contrary, Brah- 
man takes the place of both. 

Such being the case, Brahman is called ' su-krita,' 
the Cause par excellence, * the self-cause. It is well 
known to the world t that Brahman is the independent 
cause, for, He is the cause of all. 

Those who are versed in the sastras say that Brahman 
is an agent by Himself. On the other hand, the jivas are 
not agents by themselves ; they are impelled to act by the 
Antaryamin, the Inner Ruler, as the following passages of 
sruti and smyiti show." 

" Who from within rules the self." J 
" He is thy Self, the Inner Ruler, the Immortal." |[ 
" It is He who makes one do a good deed." * 
" In what way I am impelled by that unknown God 
residing in the heart, in that way I do." 

Brahman, the Good Deed. 

Or, to interpret the passage in another way: Because 
Brahman created all out of Himself, remaining one with 
the whole universe, therefore, as an embodiment of 

* The independent cause. (V). 

f The world here refers to the sastra or scriptures. 

; Bri. Up. 3-7-22. || Bri. Up, 3-7A f Kau. Up. 3-8. 


such a meritorious act (puwya), Brahman, the Cause, 
is called ' su-krita' the good or meritorious act. 

' Su-knta' literally means that which is well done, a good 
act ; it refers to the act of the Lord, not to the Lord Him- 
self who is the agent. Even in common parlance, what- 
ever is done by the master himself with effort, that alone 
is said to be well done, but not that which is done by the 
servants (S). 

In either case, however, there exists, as is well-known 
in the world, what is here termed su-krita, that which 
brings about the effects (of former acts) etc., be it the 
Good Deed itself (piwya), or the other one ; * and this 
well-known truth can be explained only on the suppo- 
sition that an Intelligent Eternal Cause exists. Ac- 
cordingly, it being well-known that there exists an 
Independent Agent, or that there exists the Good Deed, 
we conclude that Brahman exists. 

namely, Brahman, the independent cause. 



To prove Brahman's existence in yet other ways, the 
sruti teaches that Brahman is Bliss (Ananda). 

Brahman, the source of the supersensuous pleasure. 


2. That one, verily, called the self-cause, He 
is the Flavour. Flavour, indeed, this one having 
got, blest becomes he. 

On the following ground also, Brahman exists. On 
what ground ? Because He is the Flavour. Whence is 
Brahman known to be a Flavour ? The sruti says : He 
who is known as the self-cause, He is, verily, the 
Flavour. 'Flavour' in common parlance, means 
that which causes satisfaction, that which causes plea- 
sure, i. e., an object which is sweet, acid, etc. Having 
got the Flavour, man here becomes blest or happy. 

Brahman who manifests Himself as 'the being and the 
beyond' is said to be the Supreme 'Rasa' or Flavour in 
this creation which in itself is destitute of flavour. Flavour 


means essence, the Immortal Brahman, the Bliss, the Joy. 
By this Flavour it is that the universe, which in itself is 
flavourless, appears to be flavoury. How, it may be asked, 
can this supersensuous Flavour be the Bliss ? The sruti 
answers in the words "Flavour, indeed," etc. (S). 

In our experience no non-existent object is found to 
cause pleasure. Though possessing no external sources 
of happiness, the wise brahmawas (devotees of Brahman) 
who do not work for happiness and who cherish no desire 
are found full of happiness as though they have obtained 
external objects of pleasure. To them, certainly, 
Brahman and Brahman alone is Flavour, the source of 

These pure ones, the sawnyasins, those who have re- 
nounced all, attain supreme Bliss, which is supersensuous. 
In them, certainly, there must reign that Supreme Peace 
which thoroughly delights their minds ; in them, cer- 
tainly, we find all marks of delightful minds. In those who 
have realised the Self we find such outward symptoms of 
peace as we find in a man who, diseased with itch, sits 
near the fire scratching his body with his mind immersed in 
joy. This inference of Bliss is meant for those only who have 
not realised the true nature of the Bliss-Self; but, for those 
who have realised the true nature of the Self, it is a fact of 
immediate experience (S). 

Therefore that One, the source of their bliss, namely 
Brahman, does exist, as flavour exists. 

Brahman is Flavour, because He is the source of the 
sage's happiness, of his feeling that he has achieved all, 


586 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPLAINED. Aliailda- Valll. 

and so on. Brahman is so called because He is to be tasted 
with love, relished in the knowledge the state of mind 
produced by the flavoury Vedantic teaching. Brahman 
is indeed approached with love by all who seek the know- 
ledge. Love for Brahman cannot arise if He were not of 
the nature of bliss. Hence the word 'flavour' points to 
Brahman being the Bliss itself. Against this it may be 
urged that those who seek to know Dharma approach it with 
love, though Dharma is not the Bliss itself. We answer 
thus: men do not indeed love Dharma for its own sake ; 
they love it as the means by which to attain the bliss of 
svarga. On the contrary, Brahman is not a means to any 
bliss superior to Himself; so that, as the primary object of 
love, Brahman is the Bliss itself. Hence it is that we find 
the sage who, having realised the Flavour, is filled with 
joy and regards himself as blest. The sage does not possess 
the worldly objects of pleasure, such as flowers, woman, 
&c. He possesses only the Self, and does not regard other 
things, such as flowers, as a possession at all. The scrip- 
ture says "Beyond the gain of the Self, there is nothing 
higher."* Wherefore we should admit that Brahman exists 
as the Bliss which is the source of the happiness of the sage. 

Brahman is the source of activity and sensual pleasure. 

Further, with a view to shew that Brahman exists even as 
the source of our physical activity and sensual pleasure, the 
sruti proceeds to shew that Brahman is the cause of both : 

* Jpastamba-Dluirnia.sutra, 1 22 2. 


3. Who indeed could live, who breathe, should 
not this Bliss be in akasa ? This verily it is that 
bestows bliss. 

For the following reason also Brahman exists. For 
what reason ? Because of the breathing and other 
kinds of activity we see. Our body, for instance,* when 
alive, breathes up and down by the aid of prawa and 
apana, the vital airs ; and thus we see that vital func- 
tions and sensational activities are carried on by the 
body and the senses combined. This conjunction in 
mutual dependence for the benefit of one single entity 
is not possible in the absense of an Intelligence outside 
the combination ; for, it is not found possible 
elsewhere, t 

So the sruti says : If in AkAsa in the Supreme 
Ether, in the cave (of the heart), this One, the Bliss, 
do not exist, who indeed in the world could breathe 
in and who could breathe up ? Therefore there 
exists that One, namely, Brahman, whose enjoy- 
ment, indeed all the activities of the body and the 
senses as well as all the vital functions subserve ; and 
it is He who causes the pleasure of (all beings in the) 
world. Why so ? For, it is this One, the Supreme 
Self, who makes (all beings in) the world happy accord- 

* as well as the bodies of the Devas or Cosmic Intelligences. 

t For instance, earth, timber and other materials out of which 
a house is built, do not combine together without an intelligent 
being, quite outside them all, who is to occupy the house as its 


ing to their merit (Dharma). The Supreme Self is 
the Bliss, which is revealed only in its limited forms 
to sentient beings on account of their avidya or 

This bliss, which the sentient beings in the world attain 
in different degrees according to their meritorious acts, 
reaches its culmination in the Infinite Bliss ; and therefore 
there must be in existence that Supreme Bliss, that Flavour, 
which is the object of our absolute love. (S). 

Akdsa : the text may be construed also to mean "should 
this one, the Akasa, the Bliss, exist not." For the word 
"Akasa'' literally means that which shines everywhere by 
itself, the self-luminous One. If this Bliss, the Self, pre- 
viously spoken of as the Flavour, do not exist, whence 
then is the agent who within this body acts through the 
senses and breathes ? The Atharvawikas teach that Atman 
is the agent who acts through the eye and other sense- 
organs : 

"He is the seer, toucher, the hearer, smeller, 
taster, thinker, knower, the agent, the con- 
scious self, the Purusha." 

In common parlance, birth and death being found concomi- 
tant with the presence and the absence of the vital air in the 
body, the ignorant believe that pra;ja itself, the vital air, is 
the Self. Relying on this belief, Balaki f regarded prawa as 
the Self and argued with Ajatasatru who held that Brahman 
was the Self. Accordingly, with a view to remove the 
illusion that it is prawa that sees and does other acts, the 

* Prasna. Up. 4-9. t Vide. Bri. Up. 2-1, 


sruti here separates praa from the real Self, in the words 
" who could breathe ? " In the absence of the Bliss-Atman, 
who is to do the act of breathing by means of prawa ? That 
prawa is a mere instrument while the Self is the agent is 
also clearly taught in the Ushasti-Brahmawa : 

"He who breathes by prawa, He is thy Self 
and within all." * 

It is true that the Bliss-Atman who is devoid of all attach- 
ment, cannot in Himself be the agent of the acts done 
through the senses &c. ; still, He can be the agent when 
associated with the upadhi of the Vijanamaya-kosa. There- 
fore, as the cause of all activity, Brahman does exist. It 
is this Bliss-Atman, the cause of all activity, who bestows 
pleasure on all beings. On obtaining an object of desire, the 
mind withdraws its attention from the object, and, turning 
inwards before the rise of a desire for another object, it enjoys 
the Bliss of the Inner Self (Pratyagatman). This is what 
is usually called sensual pleasure. This truth is known 
only to the people who are endued with discrimination. 
Thus we should admit that Brahman exists, as the source 
of this sensual pleasure. 

* Bri. Up. 3-4-1. 


The purpose of the sequel. 

Arguments for the existence of Brahman have been 
clearly stated. * The sruti now proceeds to answer the 
questions " Whether does any one who knows not, depart- 
ing, go to that region ? Or does any one who knows, 
departing, attain that region ? " It is indeed the man of 
wisdom that reaches Brahman, in whom there is no fear, 
but who is the source of fear ; for, the tamas, the darkness 
of ignorance, is the only obstacle to the -attainment of Brah- 
man ; and certainly there exists no other obstacle. What- 
ever obstacle there may exist, it is caused solely by avidya, 
and therefore avidya alone prevents the attainment of 
liberation (moksha). Though the True Self within is the 
witness of avidya, i. e., though Avidya itself exists to us 
only as witnessed by the True Self within, whose light ever 
shines and never sets, still He is screened by avidya ; and 
this is due to the power of avidya. The question as to 
why the ignorant one does not attain Brahman who is pre- 
sent in both the wise and the ignorant alike would arise 
only if it be held that Brahman could be attained without 
knowledge : but no such question could arise when we hold 
that knowledge alone leads to the attainment of Brahman, 
by removing avidyd., the cause of sawsara. We do not in- 

* in chapters II VHI. 


deed deny that Brahman, who is the Self of all and is 
therefore present in the ignorant as well as the wise, is in 
fact attained as such by both alike. We have already 
said * that, inasmuch as Brahman is the very Self of all, 
knowledge leads to the attainment of Brahman who in 
Himself is ever present in us by way of removing igno- 
rance (avidya). Accordingly the sruti now tries, in the 
following passage, to prove with great assiduity this truth, 
that it is the wise man, not the ignorant one, who attains 
Brahman. (S). 

The question as regards the ignorant man attaining or 
not attaining Brahman, though first in order, is for the 
moment set aside inasmuch as there is much to be said 
about it. The sruti first removes the doubt as to the wise 
man's attainment of Brahman. 

Even as the cause of the ignorant man's fear and 
the wise man's fearlessness, Brahman exists. It is only 
by resorting to an existing being that one can attain fear- 
lessness. Cessation of fear cannot accrue from resort 
to a non-existent being. How is Brahman the cause 
of fearlessness ? The sruti proceeds to answer : 

True knowledge leads to fearlessness. 

4. When in truth this (soul) gains fearless 
support in Him who is invisible, selfless, un- 

Vide ante pp. 207208. 


defined, non-abode, then has he the Fearless 

When the aspirant finds his support in Brahman 
without fearing, i. e., when he finds that Brahman is 
his own Self, then, he attains fearlessness, inasmuch as 
he perceives in Him no duality * generated by avidya, 
the cause of all fear. 

Brahman's real nature. 

(Question) : Of what nature is Brahman ? 
(Answer] : He is invisible, &c.... 

Invisible : Visible means what is capable of percep- 
tion, i. e., a phenomenon (vikara) ; every phenomenon 
subserves perception. Brahman is not visible, i. e., 
He is not a phenomenon, no object of perception. 
Self -less : formless, having no body. Because Brahman 
is invisible, He is formless. Because He is selfless, He 
is undefined. It is only a visesha, a specific or particu- 
lar thing, that can be defined ; and every particular is a 
phenomenon (vikara). But Brahman is not a pheno- 
menon, because He is the source of all phenomena. 
Whence He is undefined. Because such is Brahman, 
He is the non-abode. He is no abode or substratum of 
attributes. This is tantamount to saying that Brah- 
man is devoid of all attributes of the objects of crea- 

* i. e., He does not perceive duality as real ; for, it is admitted 
that even the wise man does perceive duality which, however, 
he regards as unreal, (V). 


According to the common usage, perception means the 
consciousness of objects obtained through any of the senses ; 
and in interpreting the scripture we are to understand 
its words in accordance with their common usage. The 
visible or perceptible is a thing which possesses individu- 
ality ; for, an individual or particular object alone can be 
an object of perception. Neither the Eternal Conscious- 
ness nor mere negation (abhava) can be an object of per- 
ception. Brahman has nothing that is perceptible in Him 
and is therefore invisible. Self (in 'selfless') means what can be 
imagined to have s//-existence, i.e., the universal (s&manya) 
running through the particulars which are perceptible. 
Having no existence in itself, it exists to us only through 
the particulars. Selfless therefore means devoid of univer- 
sals. (S). 

Or, the visible or perceptible means the universe we 
perceive in the waking state which is usually regarded as 
the perceptible, the physical body, the Annamaya-kosa, 
the Viraj, the universe composed of the physical compound- 
ed or quintupled matter. The self in (self-less) refers to the 
Pra;;amaya, Manomaya, and Vijiianamaya kosas, which are 
all subservient to the Self ; that is, it refers to the subtle 
body, the Sutratman, the universe composed of subtle, un- 
compounded, or unquintupled matter. Then remains the 
fifth one, the Anandamaya-kosa, the repository of the ex- 
periences resulting from the other kosas, the jiva, the 
semblance of the One Consciousness, and this is here spoken 
of as defined. Brahman the Supreme is undefined, tran- 
scending the Anandamaya, beyond the cause and the effect, 
the Pure Consciousness, referred to by the word ' Thou" in 
' That, Thou art.' (S). 



The abode means the unknown, the cause of the five 
sheaths, wherein the universe is merged (at pralaya) and 
whence the submerged universe come into being (at the 
time of creation). The non-abode means Brahman beyond 
the Cause, referred to by the word ' That,' the One who is 
Eternal, Pure, Intelligent and Free, and identical with the 
one referred to by ' Thou.' (S). 

Or, these negative epithets such as ' invisible' are meant 
to deny what has been above spoken of as ' the being and the 
beyond,' and so on. It was said that Brahman became 'the 
being and the beyond' ; and from this one may suppose that 
the universe actually exists in Brahman. The removal here 
of this idea which is uppermost in the mind of the student 
is quite in its proper place. The two categories, namely, 
forms and the formless, have been spoken of as ' the being 
and the beyond,' and so on ; and it is the denial of these 
that is here meant, inasmuch as the sruti elsewhere makes 
the same denials. In this case we should understand 
' abode' as meaning not the Primary Cause, but the 
anta/e-karaa, the abode of all tendencies (vasanas), inas- 
much as the denial of the Primary Cause is included in the 
denial of ' the formless.' Thus, these being denied, one 
can directly see what is Brahman's real nature. (S). 

For a firm knowledge of the Self it will not do merely to 
get an idea of what the Self is in Himself. The mind 
(buddhi) being drawn away from the Self when it is en- 
grossed in the being and the non-being in the not-self, in 
the objects of the external world, in causes and effects 
the sruti denies the being and the non-being and thereby 
diverts the mind from them and causes it to dwell firmly in 
the Inner Self. (S). 


Brahman is the Self. 

By denying the visible, the sruti means to teach that the 
Inner Self is one with Brahman, that Brahman is no other 
than the Self. How can anything other than the Self be ab- 
solutely real ? Neither negation nor an illusory phenomenon 
is conceivable except through association with the Absolute 
Reality, the Immutable Eternal Consciousness (S). 

Brahman here described as invisible is in reality identical 
with the Self. It is because of this identity, that the sruti 
which starts with the words "The Knower of Brahman rea- 
ches the Supreme," concludes * with the words "when this 
soul gains his support in Brahman," etc. When a man intuiti- 
vely perceives Brahman who is beyond perception, etc., i. e., 
when one realises the identity of the Self and Brahman by 
direct intuition " I am Brahman," then, at that very 
moment, he is free from avidya and attains the Supreme, 
the Fearless. The words "gains his support" shew that 
this passage refers to Brahman, who has been described as 
"Brahman, the tail, the support" (S). 

The four epithets beginning with ' invisible ' qualify 
Brahman. He is invisible, cannot be reached by the senses. 
As having no specific marks He is unknowable through 
inference. Though the three bodies are the specific mark 
of jiva, as creatorship is of the Isvara, there are no specific 
mark or marks through which the real nature of Brahman 
transcending the universe can be inferred. Brahman cannot 

* Thus shewing that to know Brahman is to gain Him, 
will not hold good unless Self and Brahman are identical. 
None but the Self can be gained by more knowledge. (A). 


be fully described. There is no word that can denote the 
real nature of Brahman. Thus, Brahman cannot be reached 
through perception, inference and revelation. Brahman is 
therefore of a different nature from the whole universe of 
effects. Further, He is abodeless, inasmuch as the sruti 
speaks elsewhere of Him as being "established in His own 
greatness." * Though the Primary Avidya cannot likewise 
be known through perception, inference or revelation, still, 
as it abides in 'Brahman, it is distinguishable from Him 
who has no abode. When the aspirant of Brahmavidya 
attains the firm conviction that this Brahman the Brahman 
whose existence has been established and whom one can 
realise in one's own experience is identical with his own 
Self, then he attains Liberation, a state in which there is no 
fear of birth and death. His Liberation is coeval with 
knowledge : he attains Brahman at the very moment he 
knows Him, a truth to which all sages bear testimony. 

When the aspirant finds that Brahman is his own 
Self, he attains fearless state. For, then he is establish- 
ed in his True Self ; then he sees nothing else, hears 
nothing else, knows nothing else. Indeed one's fear 
arises from some one else ; it is not right to say that 
one's fear arises from one's own Self. Therefore it is 
something outside the Self that causes fear to the Self. 
Despite the sources t of fear existing all around, the 
brahmawas, those who have known Brahman, are 
found to be afraid of none anywhere. This cannot be 
explained in the absence of Brahman affording to 

* (.'liha. 7-24-1, f Such as serpent?, tigers, &c. 


them shelter from fear. Because we find them fearless, 
we conclude that Brahman does exist as the cause of 
their fearlessness. 

(Question) : When does the aspirant attain the 
Fearless ? 

(Answer] : When he sees nothing else. When he 
sees no duality in the Self, then he attains the 

Knowledge of duality causes fear. 

Now the sruti proceeds to explain clearly how the ignorant 
man, departing hence, does not reach the Supreme 
Goal. (S). 

The doubt regarding the wise man having been removed 
by the sruti asserting that he attains Brahman, the sruti 
proceeds now to remove the doubt regarding the ignorant 
man, by asserting that he does not attain Brahman. 

5. When indeed this (soul) makes in this One 
even the smallest break, then for him there is 

When, on the contrary, in the state of ignorance, the 
ignorant man sees 'in this One,' in the Atman, in 
Brahman, things set up by avidya, as the timira- 
affected eye sees a second moon, when he sees even 
the smallest difference, to make difference means to 


perceive it then, because of that perception of differ- 
ence, there is fear for the perceiver of the difference. 
Thus the Self is the cause of the Self's fear. 
Duality is a creature of avidya. 

Because ignorance makes what is ever attained appear as 
unattained, therefore, the sruti has emphatically asserted that 
the wise man alone attains Brahman. Such being the case, 
the ignorant cannot attain Him, the Isvara ; for, when 
screened by avidya, what is actually attained becomes un- 
attained. Though the One Self who transcends the visible 
ever remains one with Brahman, He is deceived by avidya. 
Just as by ignorance one thinks an object in hand as un- 
attained, so also, by ignorance one does not attain Brahman, 
one's very Self. By ignorance, man separates himself from 
the One Consciousness, and regards himself as doer and 
enjoyer, in the same way that, by illusion, a rope itself be- 
comes a serpent. On account of ignorance he makes a 
distinction between himself and Brahman, as the knower 
and the known, and regards that the Isvara, the Lord, is one 
being and that he himself is another being, quite powerless. 
Thus making a distinction where there is no distinction, he 
comes by the evil of fear which arises from that distinction. 
Though in fact he has no cause of fear, still he imagines, 
through ignorance, the One Self as many, and is afraid of 
Him. Fear arises when there is a second object, as the sruti 
itself has loudly declared elsewhere "From the second, 
verily, fear arises." * (S). 

There is no real distinction of any kind between jiva and 
Brahman ; and therefore when the man of the world sees the 

* Bri. 1-4-2. 


smallest difference between them, when he sees that 
Brahman is in any way distinct from himself, then he is 
subject to the fear of birth and death, as the sruti elsewhere 
says : 

"From death to death he goes who here below 
sees seeming difference." * 

"Whosoever looks for Brahman elsewhere 
than in the Self shall be abandoned by 
Brahman." f 

Now one may suppose that a person who has mastered 
the ritualistic section of the Veda, or a person who has re- 
alised the Sa-gnna or Conditioned Brahman by contemplation, 
attains liberation in virtue of the knowledge he possesses, in 
the same way that the knower of the Nir-guna or Uncondi- 
tioned Brahman attains liberation by his knowledge. This 
supposition is removed by the sruti in the following words : 

6. That, verily, is fear to the knower who does 
not reflect. 

Because the Lord is the source of fear to him who imagines 
himself to be subject to His control and distinct from Him, 
therefore the very Brahman in whom there is nothing to 
cause fear becomes the source of fear. Ah ! None lies 
beyond the power of avidya which causes fear even to 
Brahman whom Agni and other Devas fear. The Divine 
Lord is fearless and causes fear even to the Lords ; even in 

, Up. 4-10 f Bri. Up. 24-6. 

600 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPLAINED. Anandd-V dill . 

Him avidya generates fear. Nothing is beyond its 
scope. (S). 

Brahman, whom having known, the wise man attains fear- 
lessness, the very Brahman who thus causes fearlessness 
forms the source of fear to the Self owing to ignorance. 
That One who is invisible, etc., and in whom there 
is nothing to fear, proves, when screened by ignorance, 
when He becomes subject to the control of avidya, a source 
of fear to Himself. If the knower of Brahman should, by 
ignorance, separate the Inner Self from Brahman to so 
small an extent as the tip of the hair, then his very Self 
proves a source of fear to himself (S). 

Brahman's Existence as the source of fear. 

Brahman Himself is the cause of fear to him who 
sees distinction, who thinks "The Lord is distinct from 
me ; I am distinct from Him, a being of the world 
(samsara)." When thus regarded as distinct, Brahman 
causes fear to him who makes the smallest distinction, 
not seeing the identity. Therefore, though knowing, 
yet ignorant is that man who sees not the one True 
Self that is identical with himself. It is by perception 
of the cause of distinction that one cherishes fear, 
regarding oneself as liable to destruction. * It is 
he alone who is not himself destructible that can 
be the cause of destruction, t In the absence of the 

* It is indeed he who believes that Paramesvara will destroy 
him or cast him into the hell that has any reason to fear. (A), 

t To say that the Cause of destruction is destructible involves 
the fallacy of infinite regress (anavastha),and therefore the cause 
of all destruction is eternal and cannot be other than 
Brahman. (A). 


Cause of all destruction who is not Himself liable to 
destruction, it would be hard to account for fear, which 
can arise only when the cause of danger is seen. In 
point of fact there is fear in the whole world. Where- 
fore, as there is fear in the world, we understand that 
there must certainly exist He who is the Cause of fear, 
who, being Himself indestructible, is the cause of all 
destruction, and of whom the whole world is afraid. 

The non-dual Self. 

The passage admits of another interpretation : Brah- 
man is the source of fear to the unreflecting knower of 
Brahman, to him who thinks that he has known Brahman, 
who regards Brahman as knowable by him and therefore 
distinct from himself. The True Self who is one with 
Brahman is neither the knower nor the knowable ; and 
therefore, to regard oneself as the knower is an illusion, in 
the same way as it is an illusion to regard the mother-of- 
pearl as silver ; and a person who so regards himself is 
therefore said to be unreflecting. The sruti says : 

" He thinks of It, for whom It passes 
thought." * 

" Other than known is That, beyond the un- 
known too." f 

These passages mean : It is quite distinct from the know- 
able, It is quite distinct from the unknowable ; It is distinct 
from the knowable and the knower. It is words and 
nameable things that become either known or unknown. 

* Kena, Up. 23. t Kid. 13. 



They are insentient and subject to transformation. So, too, 
is the knower of the known, theknower being a particular 
transformation of the mind (anta/j-kara/za with semblance- 
consciousness in it). But Atman who is pure Consciousness 
cannot be the known or the unknown or the knower ; other- 
wise He could not be one with the Immutable, Non-dual 
Brahman. Having separated the Self from the known and 
knowledge as also from the knower, which are all set up by 
ignorance, and having also separated Him from the un- 
known, from ignorance and the ignorant, one should 
know " I am Brahman" as taught in the sruti. (S). 

He who does not know the real nature of Brahman sees 
distinction between himself and Brahman, and therefore 
Brahman is the source of fear, the fear of sarasara, of 
birth and death as well to him (who knows the Condi- 
tioned Brahman) as to him who is quite ignorant. He does 
not attain liberation. 

Brahman as the Ruler of the Universe. 

To confirm the assertion that there is fear for him who 
has no knowledge of the real nature of Brahman, though 
he may possess other knowledge, the sruti quotes a verse : 

7. There, too, there is this verse. 

Allll. VIII'] w "0 ATTAINS BRAHMAN ? 603 

\ tfrft^r : \ 

[Anuvaka VIII.] 

I. From fear of Him does Wind blow, from 

fear of Him does Sun rise, from fear of Him 

Agni and Indra (act) and Daath the fifth does 

Wind and others here mentioned, who are very 
noble beings and lords in themselves, discharge their 
respective functions of blowing and the like, which in- 
volve much trouble, according to a certain law. This, 
their regular discharge of their respective functions, is 
possible only when there is a Ruler outside them. 
Therefore, we conclude that there is Brahmart, their 
Ruler, of whom they are afraid, and from fear of whom 
they perform their functions like the servants of a 

For want of the knowledge of unity described above, 
even the lords of lords do their respective acts, afraid of 
Brahman, the true Inner Self. Wind and others here, 
mentioned are very powerful beings, self-reliant, full of 
physical strength and very mighty. They are still afraid 
of Brahman and discharge their respective functions from 
fear. (S). 

He who has in a former birth done very noble acts and 
practised a lofty contemplation is born in this birth as the 
Wind-God. Though endued with such greatness, and 


though he is a God, he is ever unweariedly engaged in the 
act of blowing, from fear of Brahman, the Antaryamin, of 
Him who rules all from within. So, too, do the Sun, Agni 
and Indra, perform their respective functions. Death is 
the fifth God, in reference to the four gods already men- 
tioned. He runs always here and there towards those living 
beings whose life- period has been over, with a view to kill 
them. Though the Unconditioned Brahman, who in Him- 
self is without attachment, cannot be the cause of fear, 
still, when associated with the upadhi of maya, He may, as 
the Antaryamin, be the cause of fear, as the Vartikakara 
says : "He, conditioned by Tamas or Avidya, is the Ruler 
of the universe, which is subject to rule." Elsewhere the 
sruti says : 

"Who rules the air within, He is thy Self, 
the Ruler within, the Immortal." * 
"By the command of that Imperishable, O 
Gargi, sun and moon stand apart." t 

That Brahman is the Cause of fear, the Regulator, the 
Ruler from within, is settled in the following disquisition: 

( Vedanta-sutras. I. ii. 5. ) 

(Question] : In the Bnhadara;2yaka-Upanishad, Yajwa- 
vafkya said to Uddalaka as follows : 

"He who dwells in the earth and within the 
earth, whom the earth does not know, whose 
body the earth is, and who rules the earth 
within, He is thy Self, the Ruler within, the 
Immortal." :[ 

* Bri, Up. 3-7-7. f Ibid. 3-8-9. J Op. cit. 3-7-3. 


Now the question arise?, who is the Ruler of the universe, 
comprising the earth, etc. ? Is it the Pradhana, or Jiva, or 
the Isvara ? 

(Prima facie view}: Being the material cause of the 
whole universe, the Pradhana may be supposed to be the 
Ruler of its emanations. Or, jiva may be the ruler, for, 
it is he who has done acts of merit and sin (dharma and 
adharma); and these acts bring the universe into existence so 
that their fruits may ba reaped through that universe. Being 
thus the creator of the universe through his acts, jiva may 
be its ruler. 

(Conclusion} : As against the foregoing, we hold as 
follows : In the words "He is thy Self, the Ruler within, 
the Immortal ......... " the sruti teaches that the Ruler 

is one with jiva and immortal. So, as the sruti teaches 
that He is the Inner Ruler of the earth, the mid-air and all 
things, we learn that He is all-pervading. For these rea- 
sons, the Paramesvara, the Supreme Lord, is the Ruler. 
The Pradhana cannot b3 the Ruler, inasmuch as the sruti 
speaks of the Ruler as the seer and hearer, "Unseen, He 
is the seer ; unheard, He is the hearer." '- The insentient 
Pradhana cannot be a seer or a hearer. Neither can jiva be 
the ruler, as he is classed among the ruled: "who, being 
within, rules the self." t Wherefore the Supreme Lord 
is the Antaryamin, the Inner Ruler. From this it will be 
seen that it is the ignorant alone who has to fear, not he 
who knows the Real. 

t J3ri- Up, 3-7-23, f Ibid. 3-7-22. 


The purpose of the sequel. 

In Chapters II IX, all the questions have been answer- 
ed. In the words " he attains all desires together," * it 
has been said very concisely that the knower of Brahman 
attains all objects of desire at once ; and it has been also 
said in the words " That One, verily, is the Flavour," | 
that Brahman is Bliss. With a view to establish these two 
propositions the sruti starts an enquiry. 

Is Brahman's Bliss inherent or generated ? 

2. This is the enquiry concerning bliss. 

Brahman, the Source of fear, is Bliss. J Here follows 
the enquiry concerning Brahman the Bliss. 

(Question) : What is there concerning Bliss which 
has to be inquired into ? 

(Answer) : The question concerning bliss which has 
to be settled by enquiry is this : Is (Brahman's) Bliss 

* Vide ante p. 275. f Vide ante p. 584. 

J Brahman has been spoken of befoi'e as such in the passage 
''That One, verily, is the Flavour." 


generated by the contact of the subject and the object 
like the worldly pleasure, or is it inherent in Him ? 

In other words : Is it generated by the contact of the 
senses and sense-objects like the worldly pleasure ? Or, 
is it quite independent of all external means ? (S). 

Brahman's Bliss to be comprehended through sensual 

The enquiry that follows here is treated of by the sruti 
elsewhere. The Bnhadarayaka-Upanishad has discussed 
at great length and determined the nature of Bliss in the 
section which begins as follows : 

"If a man is healthy, well accomplished, and 
lord of others, surrounded by all human enjoy- 
ments, that is the highest blessing of man." * 

'Healthy' means sound in body and the senses ; 'well-ac- 
complished' means possessed of knowledge and other such 

Now the highest worldly pleasure is occasioned by 
the combination of the necessary external means and 
personal accomplishments, and this is here pointed out 
for a comprehension of Brahman's Bliss. It is, of course, 
through this bliss which is familiar to us, that it will be 
possible for us to conceive Brahman's Bliss attainable 
through the mind (buddhij from which all sense-objects 
have turned away. 

The word 'bliss' in the text means the worldly pleasure 
generated by the combination of external objects and personal 

* Bri. -i-o-oo. 


accomplishments. By means of this bliss within our ken, 
raised to the highest point, we shall indicate that Bliss which 
is ungenerated and does not depend on any external means. 
We see that whatever admits of higher and lower degrees 
culminates in what is infiinite in itself ; so, too, in the 
case of bliss. Whatever admits of a higher measure cul- 
minates in what is immeasurable in itself ; so our bliss 
culminates in the Supreme Bliss. The sruti itself teaches 
this here to those whose vision is directed outwards and 
who are therefore unable to comprehend the Inner 
Self. (S). 

Even the worldly pleasure is a part (or semblance) of 
Brahman-Bliss. When wisdom is screened by unwisdom 
(avidya) and ignorance is in the ascendant, the Brah- 
man-Bliss becomes the worldly pleasure admitting oi! 
various degrees as experienced by Brahma and other 
beings of the world in accordance with their deeds 
(karma), their wisdom, and the external means at their 
command. The same Brahman-Bliss, the Bliss which is 
present to the mind of the man who has realised 
Brahman and who is unassailecl by desire, is the bliss 
which is experienced a hundredfold more and more in the 
ascending orders of beings, rising from man, gandharvas 
and upwards, according as avidya or ignorance, desire 
and karma decrease, till the culminating point is 
reached in the bliss of Brahma, the Hirawyagarbha. 
When the distinction of the subject and the object 
caused by avidya has been set aside by vidya or wis- 
dom, then there will remain the one inherent, perfect 
non-dual Bliss. 


The Brahman-Bliss which has to be determined by en- 
quiry does not admit of higher and lower degrees. It is 
the bliss generated by karma which we find in the world 
admitting of higher and lower degrees, from the bliss of 
Brahma down to that of man. Where this bliss, rising 
higher and higher from man upwards, reaches its culmina- 
ting point, we should understand that to be Brahman, 
having no beginning, middle, or end. It is a drop of this 
Brahman-Bliss which the whole world from Brahm^ down 
to man enjoy according to their purity and meritorious 
deeds. So, rising higher and higher from man upwards, 
we can see face to face the inherent infinite Bliss of our 

The unit of human bliss. 

With a view to make us understand this truth, the 
sruti proceeds as follows : 

^TTcT ^WS'swreT: I 

*X S^NO 

II \ II 

3. Suppose a youth, a good youth, learned in 
the sacred lore, promptest in action, steadiest 
in heart, strongest in body, suppose his is all 
this earth full of wealth. This is one human 

Youth : one in prime of life. Though a youth, one 
may not be good ; and though good, one may not 
be young. Hence the qualification "good youth." 


6io BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPLAINED. [Ancinda-Valli. 

In childhood man cannot appreciate the objects of plea- 
sure and is therefore incapable of experiencing the sensual 
pleasures derived from flowers, good scents, women, and 
so on. In old age, though man can appreciate things, still, 
he lacks capacity for enjoyment ; and therefore there is no 
pleasure for him either. So that youth alone is the period 
of enjoyment. A youth who is ugly and cherishes feelings 
of enmity and the like suffers much pain : hence the quali- 
fication 'good.' Though a good youth, a man will have to 
suffer pain if he lacks the knowledge of any one of the 
fourteen sciences and the sixty-four arts : hence the epithet 
"learned in sacred lore." Though learned in all lore, he 
who is slow in action, or he who, owing to slowness of 
digestion, does not relish food, cannot enjoy : hence the qua- 
lification 'promptest,' or 'best-eater' (as the word 'asishtfha' 
is otherwise rendered), i. e., one who can eat all articles of 
food with great relish. Even such a man, if wanting in 
fortitude, cannot exhibit courage in war and the like affairs : 
hence the epithet " steadiest in heart." Though endued 
with courage, he who lacks physical strength cannot be 
equal to such tasks as horse-riding : hence the epithet 
" strongest." 

Thus all personal accomplishments have been spoken 
of. If to such a man belongs the whole earth endued 
with all wealth with material objects necessary for 
enjoyment in this visible world and with all materials 
necessary for those rituals by which to secure the plea- 
sures of the unseen world i. e., if such a man be the 
kin^, the ruler of the whole earth, then his bliss is the 
highest pleasure of man, the unit of human bliss. 


The possession of external objects of pleasure is referred to 
by the sruti in the second supposition. To this should be 
added such qualifications as "the lord of others" spoken of 
in the Bnhadarawyaka-Upanishad. If a ruler of the whole 
earth should ever possess all the qualifications, then his bliss 
would represent the unit of human bliss. 

The pleasures which are lower than these are no bliss at 
all, as they are mixed with pain. Certainly, no man other 
than a ruler of the earth described above, is found any- 
where to enjoy satisfaction in all respects. Bliss means 
satisfaction ; satisfaction is incompatible with desire for 
external objects ; and desire for an object of pleasure neces- 
sarily springs up if the object is not already possessed. 
But, in the case of a ruler of the earth, nothing mars his 
satisfaction, inasmuch as all objects in this world of man 
are in his possession. 

Such being the case, as desire grows less and less, bliss 
also rises higher and higher. Having this in view, the 
sruti proceeds to treat of the bliss which is higher than the 
one described above : 

The bliss of the Manushya-Gandharvas. 

|| t II 

4. What is a hundred times the human bliss, 
that is one bliss of human fairies, as also of the 
man versed in the Vedas, not smitten by 


The bliss of the human fairies (manushya-gandhar- 
vas) is a hundred times superior to the human bliss. The 
human fairies are those who, while they are men, have, 
in virtue of works and knowledge of a superior sort, 
have become Gandharvas. They indeed have the 
power of making themselves invisible and the like, 
and they have very subtle bodies and senses. 

These Gandharvas of the human world emit sweet 
odours ; they can assume whatever form they like ; they 
possess the power of making themselves invisible and other 
powers of the kind, and they are experts in dancing and 
music. (S). 

The conditions of higher bliss. 

They have accordingly fewer obstacles ; they possess 
power to resist the pairs of opposites (such as, pleasure 
and pain, heat and cold), and they command all 
materials of pleasure. Therefore, being unobstructed 
and able to counteract obstruction, the human fairy 
has peace of mind. Owing to greater peace of mind, 
there is a better manifestation of pleasure. Thus, we see 
that, owing to the superior tranquillity, the bliss attain- 
able at a higher stage is a hundred times superior to 
the bliss attainable in the next lower stage. 

Of the stages mentioned here up to Brahm&, each suc- 
ceeding stage is a hundred times superior to the one preced- 
ing it. (S.) 

By omitting the epithet " not smitten by passion" in 
the first instance, * the sruti shews that a man of 

* i. e,, when speaking of the human bliss. 


sacred lore who cherishes no longing for human plea- 
sures can attain a pleasure which is a hundred times 
superior to the human pleasure, i. c., a pleasure which 
is equal to the pleasure of a human fairy. 

A man of sacred lore who is averse to all human plea- 
sures, but who cherishes a desire for the pleasures of the 
next higher stage, can realise the pleasure which is a hund- 
red times superior to the unit of human pleasure. (S). 

The qualification " a good youth, learned in the sacred 
lore" implies sacred knowledge and sinlessness, and 
they are common to all stages, whereas the absence of 
desire differs (at different stages) tending to a high or 
low bliss according as the object (of desire) is high or 
low. Accordingly, inasmuch as from a superior deve- 
lopment of this last attribute accrues a hundred 
times superior pleasure, the sruti teaches by the epi- 
thet ' not smitten by passion' that the attribute of 
being unsmitten by passion is the means for the attain- 
ment of Supreme Bliss. 

The sruti teaches that the means of attaining the Sup- 
reme Bliss are three, namely, sacred lore, righteousness, 
and absence of desire. The first two are common to all 
stages from the human stage up to Brahma, while the third 
rises higher and higher with the ascending orders of beings 
and is therefore superior to the other two. (S). 

The king being a human being, his pleasure can become 
an object of our aspiration, and therefore the qualification 
of ' sacred lore' has not been mentioned in connection with 
human pleasure. The human fairies dwell in the antarik- 
sha or mid-region, as the sruti says elsewhere "By the Yak-; 


shas, the Gandharvas and hosts of the Apsarases is the anta- 
riksha inhabited ;" so that, the pleasure of human fairies, is 
not familiar to man, and the qualification ' man versed in 
the Vedas' is therefore intended to shew how that pleasure 
comes to be known in the world of man. Indeed by a 
study, of the scriptures and by his own experience, such a 
man sees many defects in the enjoyment of pleasure-giving 
objects in all regions, namely, that it has to be secured 
with much trouble, that it is impermanent, and that there are 
yet higher pleasures, and cherishes no longing for that 
kind of enjoyment. So that a man versed in the sacred 
lore and unassailed by passion enjoys all the pleasure that 
accrues to one from possession of the objects peculiar to the 
region of human fairies. Though an ignorant man who is 
unaware of the region of human fairies may at present re- 
main unassailed by a desire for the pleasures of that region, 
still, at a subsequent period when he will know more of 
the region through the scriptures, a desire for its pleasures 
may spring up in him, and then he will cease to be indiffer- 
ent. But since the man of the sacred lore who sees evil in 
those pleasures never cherishes a longing for them, he 
always remains unassailed by desire. 

Peace is the essential condition of bliss. 

(Objection] : In the case of a Gandharva, dancing, music 
and the like, cause now and then a welling up of mind and 
gives rise to delight ; but this is not possible in the case of 
the man of sacred lore who is free from passion. 

(Answer) : Let there be no such delight for him. Being 
but a momentary passing state of mind, it is not a genuine 
bliss. The genuine bliss consists in the peculiar satisfac- 


tion which prevails in the mind when, on the attainment of 
the object desired, the desire for it ceases, and the delight 
and other passing states of mind subside. It has been said : 

" Neither the sensual pleasure in this world 
nor the great pleasure of heaven is equal to a 
sixteenth part of the pleasure of the extinction 
of desire." 

Bliss in the form of satisfaction, equal to that of the fairy, 
exists for him who is versed in the sacred lore unassailed 
by desire. 

What has been said in these two instances namely, that 
the bliss of satisfaction manifests itself more and more as 
greater tranquillity prevails in the mind, should be under- 
stood in the other cases that follow here. 

The bliss of the Deva-Qandharvas. 

% 3 SKJ 'T E *FF=f5l u lHi'Kr: I 

5. What is a hundred times the bliss of hu- 
man fairies, that is one bliss of celestial fairies, 
as also of the man versed in the Vedas, not 
smitten by passion. 

These are fairies (Gandharvas) by birth. 

They are singers of the celestial regions (Deva-loka) 
born as such at the very beginning of creation. 

6l6 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPLAINED [ nCM-do,- V dill . 

The bliss of the Pitris. 

6. What is a hundred times the bliss of the 
celestial fairies, that is one bliss of the Pitris 
who dwell in the long-enduring world, as also of 
the man versed in the Vedas, not smitten by 

Those who dwell long in the Pitri-lokas are here referred 
to, and such are the departed souls of those who, while 
here, perform the ceremonies such as the Pitn-sraddha 
(offering to the Pirns). (S). 

The bliss of the Devas born in the Ajana. 


7. What is a hundred times the bliss of the 
Pitris who dwell in the long-enduring world, that 
is one bliss of the Devas born in the Ajana, as 
also of the man versed in the Vedas, not smitten 
by passion. 

The Ajana (lit., birth) is the region of the Gods 
(Devaloka). As a reward for the performance of the 
acts (of public charity) enjoined in the smriti, souls are 
born in the region of the Gods (Devas). 


The Ajana is a Devaloka so called, lying just above the 
region of Pitns. 

The bliss of the Karma- Devas. 

I ^ ^frlT ^TRfrm% I 

I <r ii 

8. What is a hundred times the bliss of the 
Devas born in the Ajana, that is one bliss of the 
Devas (known as) Karma-Devas, those who have 
reached Devas by work, as also of the man versed 
in the Vedas, not smitten by passion. 

They have reached Devas by mere work, by mere 
Vedic ritual such as fire-worship, Agnihotra. 

They are unenlightened ; i. e., they possess no knowledge 
of Brahman. 

The bliss of Devas proper. 

9. What is a hundred times the bliss of the 
Devas (known as) Karma-Devas, that is one 
bliss of Devas, as also of the man versed in the 
Vedas, not smitten by passion. 

The Devas here referred to are the thirty-three * 

* Namely, the eight Vasus, the eleven Rudras, the twelve 
-4dityas, Indra, and Prajapati. 


6x8 BHAHMA-VIDYA EXPLAINED. [Aiianda-Valtt. 

Devas who partake of the oblations offered in the 
sacrificial rites. 

These reside on the Northern or Higher Path, the Deva- 
yana, the Path of the Gods ; they are those who have 
practised both sacrificial rituals and contemplation of Brah- 

The bliss of Indra. 

in II 

10. What is a hundred times the bliss of 
Devas, that is one bliss of Indra, as also of the 
man versed in the Vedas, not smitten by passion. 

Indra is the Lord of the Devas described just above. 
The bliss of Brihaspati. 


ii. What is a hundred times the bliss of 
Indra, that is one bliss of Brihaspati, as also of 
the man versed in the Vedas, not smitten by 

Brihaspati is Indra's teacher. 


The bliss of the Prajapati. 

: I 

12. What is a hundred times the bliss of Bri- 
haspati, that is one bliss of the Prajapati, as also 
of the man versed in the Vedas, not smitten by 

Prajapati, the Lord of creatures, is the Viraj, who 
has the three worlds for his body. 

The bliss of the Hiranyagarbha. 

13. What is a hundred times the bliss of Pra- 
japati, that is one bliss of Brahma, as also of the 
man versed in the Yedas, not smitten by passion. 

BraJima, the Hiranyagarbha, who is manifested as 
the Universal Being as well as the individual beings, 
who pervades all the universe of samsara, in whom all 
the different degrees of bliss described above unite into 
one, who possesses the Dharma which causes that 
bliss, the knowledge concerning that (Dharma and its 
results), as also the utmost freedom from desire. 

He is the Sdtratman, the first of the embodied beings, 
as the sruti says, "The Hirawyagarbha was in the begin- 
ning." " ;: The smnti also says " He, verily, is the first 

* Tait. Sawihitfi. 4-1-8. 


embodied being, He is called Purusha, the soul ; He, the 
original creator of all beings, this Brahma came into being 
in the beginning." Therefore the ever-increasing bliss in 
this universe of sawsara culminates in Him, 

Freedom from desire is the pre-eminent 
conditon of Bliss. 

His bliss in its entirety is experienced directly by 
him who is versed in the Vedas, who is free from all sin 
and unassailed by desire. Therefore we learn that these 
three attributes form the means (to the Supreme Bliss). 
Knowledge of the Vedic teaching and freedom from sin 
are necessary (at all stages), while freedom from desire 
rises higher and higher at different stages ; wherefore, 
we understand that this last freedom from desire is 
the pre-eminent condition (of the Supreme Bliss). 

By teaching, as shewn above, that all degrees of bliss lie 
within the scope of the man versed in the Vedas, the sruti 
has explained how it is that " whoso knoweth the One hid 
in the cave in the highest heaven attains all desires to- 

The Supreme Bliss and its manifestations. 

Even this bliss of the Hirawyagarbha, which comes 
within the scope of the man learned in the Veda on 
developing the utmost freedom from desire, is only a 
part of the Supreme Bliss, as the sruti says, " Of this 
Bliss, verily, other beings enjoy a part."* This Bliss, 
from which its parts are separated t as drops of water 
from ocean, and wherein those parts attain unity, I 

* Bri. 4-3-32. f through their upadhis. 

J on the extinction of the upadhis. 


this Supreme Bliss is inherent in Brahman because 
it is non-dual. 

In that Supreme Bliss beyond the Hira?*yagarbha all our 
separated blisses attain unity ; there all desire for higher 
and higher degrees of bliss and all knowledge of duality are 
absent, in virtue of true Knowledge; and there freedom from 
desire in all its ascending degrees reaches its culminating 
point. Having thus arrived at a knowledge of the Supreme 
Bliss, we should then understand through the scriptures that 
" I am this Supreme Bliss." (S). 

Here there is no such distinction as bliss and the 
enjoyer of bliss. 

For, the sruti itself has taught that not the smallest dist- 
inction should be made in Brahman. No accessories are 
necessary for the attainment of one's own Self, because it 
is naturally attained. The removal of ignorance is alone 
necessary. Just as a man who is sunk down under a heavy 
burden attains greater and greater ease by the gradual 
removal of the burden, so also by the gradual removal of 
avidya, one attains gradually greater and greater peace in 
one's own Self. (S). 

Thus the highest bliss in the world of sawsara which 
forms the door leading to the Supreme Bliss, has been 
made known through both Revelation and the direct experi- 
ence of the man versed in the Vedas. Now, the sruti proceeds 
to speak of the Supreme Brahman-Bliss. 

The Supreme Bliss is one and non-dual. 

The result of the foregoing enquiry is concluded as 
follows ; 

622 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPLAINED. \ Ananda'V ttlll. 

14. And this one who is in the man, and that 
one who is in the sun, He is one. 

He who is hid in the cave in the highest heaven, 
who, having emanated akasa and the rest in the uni- 
verse down to the physical body (annamaya), has 
entered into that very universe, is here spoken of as 
" this one who." Who is here referred to 1 The one 
in this body (purusha). " That one who is in the sun" 
refers to that Supreme Bliss which is said to be within 
the scope of the man learned in the Vedas and whereof 
a part alone contributes to the bliss of all beings, from 
Brahma downwards, who are entitled to happiness. 
He is one, as the akasa in different jars occupying 
different places is one. 

(Objection) : In referrring to His existence in man, 
it is not right to refer to it in such terms merely as 
" this one who is in the man," without any specifica- 
tion ; it would, on the other hand, be right to refer to 
it in the words " this one who is in the right eye ;" for 
so does the sruti refer to it elsewhere. * 

(Answer) : No : for, this section treats of the Su- 
preme Brahman, t It is the Supreme Atman that the 
sruti treats of in this section, as witness the passages : 

* Bri. Up. 235. 

t Whereas the passage quoted above occurs in a section 
treating of the conditioned Brahman. (V), 


" When in truth this soul gains fearless 
support in Him who is invisible, selfless, 
undefined, non-abode, then has he the 
Fearless reached. * 

"From fear of Him does Wind blow." t 
"This is the enquiry concerning Bliss." % 

It is not of course right to introduce a foreign subject 
all on a sudden, while the sruti intends to impart here 
a knowledge of the Paramatman. It is, therefore, the 
Supreme Brahman that is here referred to in the words 
" He is one." Is it not indeed an enquiry into Bliss 
with which the sruti is here concerned ? The result of 
that enquiry has to be stated here, in the conclusion, 
namely, that the Bliss of Brahman is inherent and non- 
dual, the Paramatman Himself, that it is not produced 
by the contact of the subject and the object. Consonant 
with this, indeed, is the indication of Brahman in the 
words " This one who is in the man, and that one who 
is in the sun, He is one," by doing away with the 
special features existing in the different beings. 

The direct result of the foregoing enquiry into Bliss, as 
stated here, is that Brhaman is the non-dual bliss, quite 
independent of external means ; i. e., that the Brahman 
whose nature as Supreme Bliss has been shewn to us through 
inference the limited bliss of the beings in the universe 
pointing to the existence of the infinite Bliss is identical 
with the inner Self. Brahman, who is devoid of all sawsara 
and described as "Real, Consciousness and Infinite," has 

* p. 591. t P- 603. I p. 06. 

624 BRAHMA-V1DYA EXPLAINED Ananda- Vdlll. 

been raised above the unreal and the unconscious and shown 
to be one with the Self abiding in the mind of man. By 
the extrication from the not-self the egoism, etc., that lies 
in the lap of avidya, of the Witness thereof, we are made 
to perceive directly that the Witness is the same as Brahman; 
for, the Witness being self-luminous and immediately 
known, He is here referred to as "this one." The Inner 
Self of the man free from avidya as described in the words, 
"the man learned in the Vedas, not smitten by passion," 
occurring in the last instance, is, owing to proximity, referred 
to in "this one in the man ; " and so the sruti here teaches 
that this Inner Self of man, the Pratyagatman, is one with 
Brahman. (S). 

When there is no avidya, Brahman comes, of Himself, 
within the range of experience. Where an unknown object 
is to be known, there it is that an external source of know- 
ledge is needed, the ego continuing to be the perceiver ; but 
as to Brahman who is Himself Consciousness, no such ex- 
ternal source of knowledge is necessary. Here knowledge 
of the Self is identical with the Self and involves no con- 
sciousness of a foreign object ; and therefore no external 
knowledge is needed. This consciousness of the Self has, 
unlike others, neither a rising nor a setting. (S). 

The location denoted by the words 'in the man' in the, 
passage "this one who is in the man" is secondary and 
should therefore b3 ignored as unintended, the sruti referring 
mainly to the Self as it does elsewhere in such passages as 
"This intelligent one who is in the praas." * So, in the 
words "this one who is in the man," the sruti teaches that 
jiva is identical with that one who is the constant Witness 

* Bri. Up. 4-4-22. 


of the mind, and who can be reached by the mind which 
is not smitten by passion. "That one who is in the Sun" 
refers to the Paramatman who shines brightest in the sun 
and is devoid of all separation from us. That the Para- 
matman is present in the sun is taught in the sruti : 

"The Sun is the Atman of the moving and 
the unmoving." * 

Because by avidya the One Reality puts on different forms 
as Kshetrajwa and Isvara, therefore, by discarding this 
distinction, we should regard them as one in reality, just as 
the akasa of a jar and akasa outside the jar are one. (S). 

(Objection}: Even then, the reference to the particular 
entity of the sun is of no use. 

(Answer] : The reference is not useless. It serves 
to shew that the inferiority of man and the superiority 
of the sun should be ignored. Of course, the highest 
excellence in this world of duality, made up of form 
and formless matter, is reached in the sun. When we 
ignore the special features of man, we will find that the 
Supreme Bliss exists the same (in man and in the sun) ; 
and therefore neither superiority nor inferiority exists 
for one who has reached this state (of unity). It there- 
fore stands to reason to assert "This soul gains fearless 
support in Him," etc. 

The sun is the highest object in the universe made up 
of the matter having form and of the formless matter. 
Identity of the Consciousness in us with the Consciousness 

* Taifc. Saw. 2-4-14. 


626 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXlPLAINED. Anandd- V dill . 

in the sun, as taught in thesruti, is possible only when the 
elements which make the man and the sun the lower and 
the higher beings are eliminated. In the words "this one 
who is in the man" the sruti refers to jiva, the lower entity, 
manifested in the mind of man and predicates his unity with 
Isvara, the higher entity, as when we say the "serpent is 
rope. "In virtue of this predication of unity with Isvara, jiva's 
inferiority which is correlated to Isvara's superiority should 
be lost sight of, being incompatible with his unity with 
Isvara ; and then Isvara's superiority should also be lost 
sight of, inasmuch as it can exist only in relation to the infe- 
riority of jiva. So, the result of this predication is that the 
superiority in the sun and the inferiority in the jiva are both 
lost sight of. Thus discarding both, we get at that which 
is not what the words of the sentence directly denote, that 
which is taught only in the words "not thus, not thus," 
namely, the truth that Brahman is the Self and that 
the Self is Brahman. Neither superiority nor inferiority 
exists in the Atman. It is they, whose vision is over- 
powered by ignorance, that see superiority and inferiority. 
Ignorance alone leads to the perception of superiority, 
etc. ; they do not exist in reality : therefore when ignorance 
is devoured by knowledge, all distinctions vanish. Moreover, 
since the Bliss of the Supreme Brahman excels all blisses 
ranging from man up to that of the Hira/zyagarbha, we 
should hold to the unity of the Self in man and of Brahman 
in the sun ; and then, ignorance which is the source of all 
differentiation will disappear. By describing Brahman as 
"Real, Consciousness," the sruti denies the unreal and ig- 
norance in the very nature of Brahman. Ignorance which 
is the cause of all distinction, being thus removed, the 


unity of jivain man with Brahman in the sun is not incom- 
patible with reason. (S). 

'Man' here means the aspirant of wisdom. In him there 
exists some bliss, as both reason and experience shew. The 
sruti elsewhere has started at length the argument for its 
existence. Having started with the words " for the Self's 
pleasure, indeed, does everything become dear," * the sruti 
shews that all objects of pleasure such as sons, wealth, etc., 
are dear as subservient to the Self, and thereby proves that 
the Self, as the object of supreme love, is the Bliss itself. 
Every one feels, "May I ever live ! May I never die !" It is 
thus a fact of every one's experience that the Self is Bliss. 
Man here stands for all sentient beings of the same class ; 
and in speaking of bliss in man the sruti has in view the 
bliss in all the external beings that we see around us. The 
bliss in the sun is typical of the bliss which is beyond our 
perception and stands for the bliss of all the Devatas or 
Cosmic Intelligences of the same class as the sun. In 
whatever being there is bliss, whether it be in man, or in 
the other sentient creatures around him, or in the Devatas 
or Cosmic beings, in whatever upadhis or vehicles it is con- 
tained, all bliss is one and the same in its essential form. 
All the distinctions that we make in bliss, such as human 
bliss, the bliss of gods, and so on, have reference only to the 
upadhi. This One Partless Bliss of Brahman, with all the 
distinctions thereof due to the upadhis from the Hira?*ya- 
garbha down to the unmoving objects, has been referred 
to by the sruti elsewhere in the words : 

"This is His highest bliss. All other creatures 
live on a small portion of this bliss." f 

* Bri. 2-4-5. f Bri. 4.3-32. 

628 DRAHMA-VIDYA EXPLAINED. [Anandci-Valli. 

Thus the foregoing enquiry points to this conclusion : 
that the seekers of knowledge should understand that 
Brahman's Bliss is one and one alone, that it is one and 
indivisible, that it is as it were the ocean of bliss whereof 
the blisses of the Hira??yagarbha and others are so many 

C H A P T E R X I . 

The purpose of the sequel. 

The question as to whether Brahman exists or does 
not exist has been answered. The creation, the en- 
joyment of bliss, the vital functions, the fearless 
state, and existence of fear, all these point to the 
existence of Brahman (their Cause), the Source of 
akasa &c. Thus one question has been answered. The 
two other questions relate to the wise and the ignorant, 
as to whether they do or do not attain Brahman. 
The last of the three questions is, Does the wise man 
attain or not attain Brahman ? It is this question 
which the sruti proceeds to answer in the sequel. The 
middle one of the three questions being answered when 
the last question is answered, no (separate) attempt 
will be made to answer that question. 

The foregoing is the Bhashyakara's (Sankaracharya's) 
view. As against this, the Vartikakara (Suresvarachiirya) 
says as follows : 

I, whose dense ignorance has been consumed in the fire 
of His Holiness's (Sankaracharya's) speech, think that 
these questions relating to the wise and the ignorant have 
been answerecl in the words, " Whep in truth this soul 


gains fearless support in Him who is in visible.... "(Vide ante 
p. 590 et seq). By construing the passage just referred to 
as meant to answer the two questions, not only is the 
question as to the existence or .non-existence of Brahman 
answered, but also direct answers to both the other ques- 
tions are obtained. (S). 

To know Brahman is to attain Him. 

The sruti now proceeds to describe the result of knowing 
the Bliss as explained above : 

15. He who thus knows, departing from this 
world, attains this Annamaya self, this Prawa- 
maya self does he attain, this Manomaya self he 
attains, this Vijnanamaya self he attains, he at- 
tains this Anandamaya self. 

Whoever knows thus, i. e., 'thus' referring to what 
has been just said whoever knows " I am Brahman," 
Brahman described above, whoever casts aside all in- 
feriority and superiority, and realises his identity with 
the non-dual Brahman, the Real, Consciousness, the 
Infinite, he departs from this world, he withdraws from 
this world, i. e., he becomes indifferent to this world, 


to this congeries of visible and invisible objects of de- 
sire, and attains the Annamaya self described before 
at length. He does not see the aggregate of the 
external objects as distinct from his physical body ; 
that is to say, he regards the whole universe of gross 
matter * as his own physical body (annamaya-atman).t 
Then he identifies himself with the whole Prauamaya 
being .t described above, which dwells within the whole 
Annamaya ; then with the Manomaya, then with the 
Vijnanamaya, then with the Anandamaya, described 
above. And then, he attains his fearless stand in the 
Invisible, the Selfless, the Undefined, the Abodeless. 

Whenever a person in this world, as it rarely happens, 
has perfected himself in the course of many past births, 
and intuitively perceives his identity with Brahman des- 
cribed above, then he loses attachment for this personal 
self which is full of evil as also for all external beings, and 
attains to that Being in whom this physical universe takes 
its rise, has its being, and attains dissolution at the end. 'He 
who thus knows' means the person who, thus, in virtue of 
his knowledge of the truth, has given up all attachment for 
the separate body or bodies with which he identified him- 
self through attachment ; and it is such a person who 

* i. e., the Viraj. (V). 

t ('. e,, he sees that he is identical with Brahman in. the form 
of the physical matter comprising both the individual (vyashii) 
physical body as well as the universal fsamaskfi) physical 
body. (V). 

I t. e., the Siitratman. (V). 

632 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPLAINED. Anandd- V dill. 

attains the Annamaya self, and so on. In the course of 
his investigation into the nature of things, he sees his 
identity with the Annamaya-atman, the Viraj ; and seeing 
all the individual beings such as sons, grandsons &c., 
in the physical world as none other than the Viraj from 
whom they have been evolved, he rises above them all. 
Similarly, he sees the Annamaya self as none other than 
the Prawamaya self and rises above the former by identi- 
fying himself with the latter. Then again, by identifying 
himself with the Manomaya which lies within the Prawa- 
maya, he, as a matter of course, gives up his identity with 
the external, the Prawamaya, just as the serpent for which 
a rope is mistaken loses its identity as such when seen in 
its true form as rope. Thus, by passing into the higher 
and higher self, he gives up the lower ones until he attains 
finally the Fearless, the Brahman beyond the visible and 
the invisible. (S). 

When a man knows the Inherent Bliss of the Self in the 
way described above, he attains that bliss in the same 
order. Brahman denned above as " Real, Consciousness," 
and so on, has evolved, by the power of His maya, the 
whole universe from akasa down to our bodies, and is pre- 
sent in the cave of the five sheaths as though He has en- 
tered into it; that is to say, He can be directly perce- 
ived in us in His unconditioned form. And this Brahman 
is one partless Essence, the one Supreme Bliss. Now the 
sruti proceeds to teach by what steps one who has realised 
Brahman in this form attains the Bliss. 

The universe created by Brahman is twofold, made up 
of the perceiver and the object of perception, the bhoktri 


and the ohogya. The former includes the egos ranging 
from the Inner Conscious Self (Pratyak-chaitanya) down 
to the self of the physical body. That part of the universe 
which lies outside our body presenting itself to our consci- 
ousness as 'this,' and comprising the son, the wife, etc., 
comes under the category of bhogya, the objects of percep- 
tion. No doubt the son, the wife, &c., are found identified 
with the self, as witness people Avho feel happy or 
miserable when the sons, &c., are happy or miserable ; 
still, their separateness from oneself being clearly reco- 
gnised by all, they are selves only in a secondary sense, but 
not in the literal sense of the word ; and accordingly the 
sruti, with a view to prevent their identification with the 
Self, first treated of the Annamaya self. The aspirant for 
knowledge, too, understanding this truth, departs from this 
world, i. e., gives up his attachment for the son and the like 
perceived as external to the self, and identifies himself with 
the Annamaya self as taught in the sruti. That is to say, 
no longer identifying himself with the pleasures and pains 
of the sons, &c., he rests in the mere Annamaya self. In 
the same manner he passes from the Annamaya into the 
Prawamaya and other selfs. On passing into the Ananda- 
maya, he gradually gives up the four aspects of the 
Anandamaya sheath and finally rests in Brahman, the One 
Partless Bliss, spoken of as " Brahman, the tail." 

What is truth, Duality or Non- Duality ? 
Now we have to discuss this point : Who is he that 
thus knows ? and how does he attain (Brahman) ? Is 
he who attains (Brahman) distinct and quite separate 
from the Supreme Atman ? or is he identical with the 
Supreme Atman ? 



Or, is he both distinct from and identical with the Sup- 
reme Atman ? (S). 

(Question) : What would follow from this ? 

That is to say, where is the necessity for this discussion? 
A discussion must be calculated to remove a doubt and to 
serve a definite purpose. (A). 

(Answer) : If he be distinct from the Supreme 
Atman, it would go against the sruti which says : 

" This having sent forth, into that very 
thing He then entered." * 

" Now if a man worships another Deity, 
thinking f the Deity is one, I am another,' 
he does not know." t 

"Existence one alone, without a 

second." J 

" That, Thou art." || 

If he be identical with the Supreme Atman, then he 
would be both the agent and the object of the action 
spoken of in the words " he attains the Anandamaya 
self;" which is opposed to reason. Moreover, then, 
either the Supreme would be subject to the misery of 
sawsara, or there would be no Supreme Being at all. II 

* Ante p. 524. t Bri. Up. 1-4-10. J Chha 6-2-1 . || Ibid 6-8-7. 

^[ If jiva find the Supreme be identical, either jiva should 
be merged in the Supreme, or the Supreme should be merged 
in jiva. In the former ease, the existing samsara should per- 
tain to the Supreme ; in the latter case there would be no place 
for the Supreme 1 , the Ruler of jivas. (V). 


The third case is evidently open to objection. The three 
sides of the question being all alike apparently open to 
objection, it is necessary to discuss the matter thoroughly, 
with a view to determine which of them is quite free from 
objection ; and everybody knows that it is a determinate 
and certain knowledge which can be of any benefit. (A). 

(The opponent) : If it be not possible to refute the 
objections to which both the sides are severally open, 
then there is no use discussing the point. If, on the 
contrary, it is settled that one of the two sides is not 
open to objection, or if there be a third side which is 
quite unobjectionable, then that must be the meaning 
of the sruti, and a discussion of the point would be 
quite uncalled for. 

(Answer) : No ; because that settlement is the very 
object in view. Certainly, if the objections urged 
against the two sides could not be answered, or if there 
be a third side which is recognised as unobjectionable, 
then the discussion would be useless. But that point 
has not been settled as yet ; so that this discussion, 
intended as it is for a settlement of the point, does 
serve a purpose. 

(The opponent) : Yes, the discussion has a purpose 
to serve, inasmuch as it is intended to determine the 
meaning of the sastra or scriptures- So, you are welcome 
to discuss the matter, but you cannot establish the 

(The Veddntin) : What ! is there a Vedic command- 
ment that the point shall not be established ? 

636 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPLAINED. [AnCindd-V dill . 

(The opponent] : No. 

(The Vedantin) : Why then ( do you say that I can- 
not establish the point) ? 

(The opponent) : Because many are arrayed against 
you. Relying as you do solely on the teaching of the 
Vedas, you maintain oneness. But many, indeed, are 
those who are arrayed against you, arguing for duality 
and not caring for the Vedas. I have therefore a 
doubt as to whether you can establish your point. 

(The Vedantin} : A benediction, indeed, to me is 
this very thing, your saying that I, a monist, have 
many dualists arrayed against me. I will conquer 
them all ; and I shall now commence the discussion. 

Non-duality is truth, because duality is a creature 
of ignorance. 

I maintain that 'he who thus knows' * is the Su- 
preme Atman Himself; for, it is here intended to teach 
that he is identical with the Supreme. Here, t in the 
words "the knower of Brahman reaches the Supreme," 
the sruti has indeed proposed to teach that jiva attains 
identity with the Supreme through knowledge of that 
Supreme One. Certainly, it is not possible that one 
can ever attain identity with another altogether distinct. 

Whether destroyed or not, one cannot become another ; 
a pot, whether destroyed or not, does not become a 
cloth. (A). 

* ('. P., the jiviv f At the commencement of this Yalli. 

. F/7/.j BRAHMAN THE SELF. 637 

(The opponent) : Neither is it possible that one can 
ever attain identity with oneself. 

If jiva be identical with Brahman, he is already Brahman. 
What then is the meaning of the sruti which says, "He who 
knows Brahman reaches the Supreme;" "He who knows 
Brahman becomes Brahman Himself." * (S) 

(Answer) : It is true that jiva is already Brahman, for, 
he who is not Brahman cannot become Brahman. As to the 
sruti teaching that the knowerof Brahman attains Brahman, 
it only means to say that what is unattained by avidya 
becomes attained by vidya or knowledge, just as the tenth 
man who, by ignorance, did not know that he was the tenth, 
became the tenth by knowledge. (S). 

We answer the opponent thus : The object of the 
sruti is to remove the idea of separateness caused by 
avidya. The attainment of one's own Self through 
Brahma-vidya, as taught (by the sruti in the words 
quoted above), consists in the giving up of the non-self, 
of the personal self connected with the physical body, 
etc., which are erroneously regarded each in turn 
as the self. 

(Question) : How are we to understand that such is 
the purpose of the teaching ? 

(Answer) : Because the sruti teaches knowledge and 
no more. And we all see that the result of knowledge 
is the removal of ignorance. And mere knowledge is 
here taught as the means of attaining the Self. 

* Mund, Up. 3-2-9. 


Apart from the removal of avidya, no reaching of Brah- 
man like the reaching of a village is meant here. (S). 

(The opponent] : It is like imparting knowledge of 
the road. The teaching of mere knowledge (of Brah- 
man) as the means does not point to identity with 
Him. Why ? For, we see that knowledge of the 
road is imparted for reaching a strange village ; and 
certainly the man who has to go to the village is not 
identical with the village. 

Just as the knowledge of the road to the village is the 
means of reaching the village through walking, so also, 
knowledge of Brahman is the means of reaching Brahman 
through a repeated practice of contemplation of that 
knowledge. (S). 

(Answer) : No, because that is a different case. 
Certainly, no knowledge of the village itself is there 
imparted ; it is only knowledge of the road leading to 
the village that is imparted. On the contrary, here 
( in the upanishad ) no knowledge of means other 
than knowledge of Brahman is imparted. 

One literally reaches the village by travelling on the road; 
whereas here the reaching is figurative and consists in the 
giving up of avidya by knowledge. (S). 

(The opponent) : It means that knowledge of Brah- 
man aided by the ritual and other acts treated of in 
the sruti constitutes the means to the attainment of the 


(Answer] : No ; for, we have already answered this 
objection by saying that moksha is eternal, and 
so on. 

So far as liberation is concerned, there is not the least 
thing to be eftected by ritual. The Real is in His inherent 
nature ever wise and therefore ever pure. Brahman is 
therefore ever free. What is there for works to do 
here. ? (S). 

And the sruti, in the words "this having sent forth, 
into that very thing He entered," teaches that the one 
embodied in the created objects is identical with 

Fearlessness in moksha is compatible only with 

It is only on this theory that we can explain how 
the knower of Brahman attains fearless stay in Brah- 
man. Of course, it is only when the knower sees none 
other than himself that he may be said to have attained 
the fearless state by knowledge, there being then none 
other * than himself that might cause fear. And all 
beings other than the Self must be creatures of avidya; 
for then alone can mere knowledge lead us to regard 
the external being as unreal. 

It is only when duality is a creature of avidya and the 
real existence is one alone that the following passages will 
have a meaning : 

* such as Isvara. 

640 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPLAINED. \Ancinda-Valli, 

"He who thinks 'Deity is one, I am another, 

he does not know." * 

"He is to be known as one alone." f (S). 

Duality is not perceived by Atman in His natural 

The existence of a second moon, indeed, is one which 
is not perceived by him who has eyes unaffected by the 
disease of timira. 

The knowledge that the moon is one will be true only if 
a second moon is not seen by those other than the timim-dis- 
eased man. (S). 

(The opponent) : It cannot be granted that no exter- 
nal being is perceived. 

(Answer) : You should not say so ; for it is not 
perceived in the states of sushupti and samadhi. 

Speaking of sushupti, the sruti says, "Then there is 
no duality." So that, though perceived at times, duality 
is not perceived at other times and is therefore unreal. (S). 

(The opponent) : Non-perception (of duality) in su- 
shupti is like the non-perception of a thing by one who 
is quite preoccupied with another thing. 

(Answer) : No ; for there is then (in sushupti) no 
perception of anything at all. 

* Bri. Up. 1-4-10. f Bri. Up. 4-4-20. 


(The opponent] : Since there is a perception of exter- 
nal objects in the jagrat and svapna states, the 
external objects must really exist 

(Answer] : No, because the jagrat and svapna are 
creatures of avidya. * The perception of external 
objects in the jagrat and svapna states is caused by 
avidya, because it does not exist in the absence of 

(The opponent) : Then even the non-perception in 
sushupti is due to avidya. 

(Answer) : No, because this non-perception is the 
natural state (ofAtman). (To explain) : It is 
the immutable state of Atman that constitutes His 
real nature, because it is not dependent on other 
things. No changing state can ever constitute His 
real nature, because it is dependent on other things. 
Certainly the real nature ofAtman has no need of an 
external operative cause. It is only a specific aspect 
of Atman that stands in need of an external cause to 
bring it about. This specific aspect is a change, and 
perception (of external objects) in the jagrat and 
svapna states is a specific aspect (of the Atman). In- 
deed, that state of a thing which does not depend on 
an external cause is the real nature of that thing ; what 
is dependent on an external cause does not constitute 
the inherent nature of the thing, inasmuch as it dis- 
appears on the disappearance of the external cause. 

* Avidya is the erroneous identification of the Self with the 
body, etc. (A). 



Therefore, sushupti being the inherent state of the 
Atman, the specific aspect (of perception) is then un- 
manifested, whereas it is manifested in the jagrat and 
svapna states. 

Fearlessness is incompatible with duality. 

In the case, however, of those who hold that there 
exists an Isvara and a universe distinct from the Self, 
there can be no cessation of fear ; for, fear arises from 
an external being ; and an external being, if existent, 
can never undergo annihilation ; and * what is non- 
existent cannot make its existence felt. 

(The opponent}: The external being becomes the source 
of fear only when conjoined with another cause, t 

(Answer} : No, for it is the same with this other 
cause. Even supposing that the external being be- 
comes the source of fear only when there exists 
another auxiliary co-operative cause, permanent or 
transitory, such as good and bad acts (dharma and 
adharma), we cannot suppose that such a cause will 
ever cease to exist, and therefore there would be 
no cessation of fear. If, on the contrary, we should 
suppose that such a cause would cease to exist, then 
existence and non-existence would be mutually 
interchangeable, and no faith could be placed in 
anything whatsoever. 

* This is said against a possible supposition of the opponent, 
that fear is non-existent and is therefore absent in moksha. 
f This other cause beiui* jiva's dharma and adharma. 


Supposing fear can arise without a cause and is there- 
fore not caused by Isvara, even then there would be no 
cessation of fear. If fear be inherent in Atman, then it 
would cease only with the cessation of Atman. But no 
follower of the Vedas would ever admit that Atman will 
ever cease to exist. (S). 

On the other hand, this objection does not apply to 
the theory of oneness, inasmuch as (the fear of) sazsara 
as well as its cause are creations of ignorance. Cer- 
tainly, the second moon seen by the fr'rami-diseased eye 
neither comes into being nor undergoes annihilation. 

Fear being caused by ignorance, it disappears on the dis- 
appearance of ignorance. If it be caused by an external 
object, then there will be fear always. If it be caused 
by the Self, then the Self having no control over it, it would 
not cease unless the Self ceases to exist, which nobody is 
prepared to grant. And if the Self should cease to exist, 
there would be none to reap the fruit of the cessation of 
fear. If we hold that fear is caused by mere avidya, all 
this can be easily explained. When avidya will be absent, 
fear will be absent too ; for, fear arises only when there is 
avidya. Fear arises when Brahman is not realised. 
Whence can fear arise when Brahman is realised ? Where is 
the serpent when the rope is seen ? Therefore avidya alone 
must be the cause of fear. (S). 

Ignorance and knowledge are not the attributes 
of the Self. 

(The opponent) : Then knowledge and ignorance, 
vidya and avidya, are the attributes of Atman. 

644 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPLAINED. Andndd- V alii . 

(Answer] : No, because they are cognised in imme- 
diate perception (pratyakshn). Discrimination and 
non-discrimination, knowledge and ignorance, are, like 
colour, perceived by immediate perception, as pertain- 
ing to the mind (anta/f-karawa). Certainly, as an object 
of immediate perception, colour can never be an attri- 
bute of the percipient. And avidya or ignorance is 
cognised by one's own experience, " I am ignorant, 
and my understanding cannot discriminate." So also, 
knowledge or discrimination is cognised in one's own 
experience ; and the wise impart their knowledge to 
others, and accordingly those others understand also. 
Therefore knowledge and ignorance, vidya and avidya, 
should be brought under the category of name and 
form. Name and form are certainly not the attributes 
of the Atman, since the sruti says : 

" He who is called Akasa is the revealer 
of name and form. That which is distinct 
from them is Brahman. " * 

These again, name and form, are mere fictions, just as, 
with reference to the sun, day and night are mere fic- 
tions ; they do not exist in reality. 

Attainment is knowledge. 

(The opponent}: In the theory of non-duality, an iden- 
tical being would be both the agent and the object of 

* Chha, Up. 8-14-1. 


the action spoken of in the sruti " this Anandamaya 
Self he attains." 

(Answer] : No, for this attainment consists in mere 
knowledge. No reaching, as in the case of a leech 
(jaluka), is meant here. What then ? The reaching 
spoken of in the sruti means mere knowledge. 

/. e., the knowledge " I am Brahman," which removes 
avidya as well as its effects erroneously ascribed to Brah- 
man, the True Self. So that, on the attainment of know- 
ledge, there would be no occasion for this objection. (A). 

It may be urged that the Atman never sees himself as 
subject to pleasure and pain ; i. e. it may be objected that, 
since Brahman who is ever free is never subject to sawzsara, 
He cannot regard the cessation of sawsara, resulting from 
knowledge, as of any benefit. In reply, we ask, then tell 
me who the seeker of moksha is. There being no sawsarin 
other than Brahman, there would be no seeker of moksha 
if Brahman be not subject to sawsara, and the scriptures 
treating of moksha would all go in vain. Moreover, in the 
states of jagrat, svapna and sushupti, the Self experiences 
Himself as subject to sawsara, by His inherent Conscious- 
ness, as "I am black, I am happy, I do not know." Being 
devoid of causes and effects, of the senses and the body, the 
Supreme Alman is not subject to such division as the agent 
and the object, and so on. Because of the absence of these, 
the Atman is nothing but pure Consciousness. Knowledge 
removes from the Atman all connection with action, which 
arises from avidya. In Himself the Atman is unrelated to 
Action. No works are necessary for one to attain one's own 

646 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPLAINED. Andndd-V dill . 

inherent nature; for works are necessary only to bring about 
a change or what is not inherent in the nature of a thing. 
The rituals enjoined in the Veda are useful only in cleans- 
ing the mind and preparing the way for the removal of 
ignorance. (S). 

(The opponent] : Attainment should be understood in 
its literal sense, it being declared in the sruti that the 
knower attains Atman. 

(Answer) : No ; for actual union is not seen in the 
case of the Annamaya self. 

When the knower is said to pass from the external 
world into the Annamaya self, we find that no actual 
reaching takes place as in the case of a leech or in 
any other fashion. 

(The opponent): The Manomaya, or the Vijnanamaya, 
having gone out towards external objects, turns back 
again and attains itself, i. e., abides in itself. 

Like the manas or buddhi, which, after going out to- 
wards external objects through its vrittis or functions, 
turns back and reaches itself, so also the Atman goes out 
towards the physical body, etc., through manas, and then 
turning back, comes to Himself. (S). 

(Answer) : Seeing that one cannot act upon oneself, 
you have asserted that some one outside the Annamaya 
self passes into the latter ; but you here speak of the 
Manomaya or the Vijnanamaya returning to itself : 
this is a self-contradiction, 


Even a leech, however active, cannot reach itself by 
itself. Even supposing that a leech, being made of several 
parts, reaches one of its parts by another, the Atman can- 
not do so, inasmuch as He has no parts. (S). 

So, too, it is impossible to explain the actual attain- 
ment of the Self by the Anandamaya. 

Therefore the attainment is not reaching. Neither 
is it one of the Annamaya, &c., that attains Brahman. 
As the only remaining alternative unobjectionable view, 
the union (spoken of here) must be mere knowledge, 
attained by one who is outside the sheaths ranging 
from the Annamaya to the Anandamaya. 

It is only from ignorance that the Supreme Self, the 
Innermost Self in all, who lies beyond all sheaths and who is 
immutable, is said to attain or know the Self, just as it is 
on account of ignorance that 4kasa is said to be a space- 
giving substance. (S). 

When union is thus viewed as mere knowledge, (we 
can understand how), on the rise of the knowledge of 
one's true Self, vanishes away the Atman's illusory 
knowledge, that identification of the Self with the not- 
self such as the Annamaya which arises from the 
Atman's connection with the heart-cave, that Atman 
who is within all, who abides in the not-self including 
the Anandamaya, and who, having created the uni- 
verse from the akasa down to the physical body, then 
entered into that very universe. The word " attain" 
is used in this figurative sense, namely, the cessation 
of illusion of avidya or ignorance ; the attaining of the 

648 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPLAINED. Auandd-V dill . 

all-pervading Atman cannot indeed be explained in 
any other way. Moreover, there is no being other 
than Atman ; and one cannot attain oneself. Certainly 
a leech does not attain itself. Therefore, it is only 
with a view to impart the knowledge of the oneness of 
the Self with Brahman defined above in the words 
"Real,Consciousness, Infinite is Brahman," that Brah- 
man who is the object of all experience is represented as 
multiplying Himself, as creating the universe, as enter- 
ing it ; as the Flavour attained by the wise, as the 
Fearless, as the Goal attained, and so on ; whereas, 
in point of fact, no such conditions can exist in the 
unconditioned Brahman. 

That is to say, all this representation is intended to lead 
to the knowledge "I am Brahman" who is the Real, the 
Infinite, the never-failing Consciousness. On the rise of 
the sun of knowledge, the Self who lies beyond the five 
sheaths devours one by one all the five sheaths, and, like a 
lamp, becomes extinguished in Himself. (S). 

A summary of the foregoing discussion. 

Saya/za gives a clear summary of the results of the fore- 
going discussion as follows : 

(Question] : Who is meant by the words "he who thus 
knows ?" Is it Paramatman or some one else ? It cannot 
be Paramatman, for, He is the one to be known and can- 
not therefore be the knower. It cannot be some one else 
either, for, it would be opposed to the teaching such as 
"That, Thou art." 


(Answer) : This objection does not apply to our theory ; 
for, the Paramatman can bs both the knower and the 
known. When conditioned by the physical body, the 
senses, and other upadhis, He is the knower ; as the one 
partless Bliss, He is the one to be known. 

(Objection] : The sruti says that 'he who thus knows' 
attains Brahman. Attainment (saw-kramaa) means firm 
conjunction, as we find in the case of a leech firmly holding 
on to a blade of grass ; and certainly, the knower, the 
Paramatman, conditioned by the upadhis such as the body 
and the senses, cannot be said to attain the Annamaya self 
in the manner of a leech. 

(Answer) : Not so, for, attainment here means the 
disappearance of illusion as a result of knowledge. And 
accordingly the Bhashyakara (Sankaracharya) has said, 
"the word ' attain ' is used in a figurative sense, the 
cessation of illusion, of avidya." Mere knowledge cannot 
indeed be the means of attaining, in the literal sense ; we 
do not, for example, find that the mere knowledge "this is 
composed of collyrium" ever attaches collyrium to the eye. 

(Objection) : Already, in the words "departing from this 
world" occurring in the first instance, the sruti has spoken 
of the disappearance of illusory knowledge concerning 
external objects such as children. 

(Answer] : If so, then, by the attainment of the Anna- 
maya self the sruti may mean that the illusion regarding 
children and the like will spring up no more. We have 
accordingly explained the attainment of the Annamaya to 
mean resting in the Annamaya self. On the same principle, 



by the attainment of the Prawamaya we mean that, as a 
result of the realisation of the Prawamaya self, the illusion 
of the identification of the Self with the Annamaya, 
which has once disappeared, does not spring up again. 
And so in the subsequent cases. Though the Annamaya, 
etc., are not the True Self, still, they are spoken of as the 
Self, because from illusion they are commonly regarded as 
the Self, as the thing corresponding to the notion of ' I. ' 
Seeing that Brahman, the Real Bliss, is beyond speech and 
thought, the sruti does not speak of the attainment of Brah- 
man, the real Bliss, by the four-aspected bliss of the 
Anandamaya-kosa, though as a matter of fact there exists 
such attainment. 


Brahman is beyond speech and thought. 

16. On that, too, there is this verse. 

Here is a verse which also teaches that on realising 
by knowledge, in the manner described above 
that One, the Unconditioned Self, one is not afraid of 
any thing whatever, i. c., attains a fearless permanent 
stay. This verse serves also as a brief summary of the 
whole teaching of the present section, the Ananda-Valli. 

This verse is quoted for the purpose of explaining the view 
that Brahman is beyond the scope of speech and thought. 

[Anuvaka IXJ 

i. He who knows the bliss of Brahman, 
whence (all) words recede, as well as mind, 
without reaching, he is not afraid ot any one 


From the Unconditioned Non-dual Bliss-Self denned 
above, all words all designations which can denote 
only conditioned things such as substances (dravya), 
but which are employed by authors to denote the Un- 
conditioned Non-dual Brahman alike, because of the 
fact that He is also an existent thing recede without 
reaching Him ; i. e., failing to denote Brahman, they 
show themselves powerless. Mind (manas) means 
thought, cognition. And whatever thing speech is 
employed to denote, and it is employed to denote 
even the supersensuous, thought also proceeds to 
comprehend that thing. And wherever cognition acts, 
there speech also acts. Thus everywhere speech and 
thought, word and cognition, act together. 

' : Be it known that Brahman lies beyond the reach 
of speech. Because of the absence in the Paramatman of 
the features such as relation with another thing, attri- 
butes, action, genus, popular usage, etc., which may 
occasion the application of words, the sruti studiedly asserts, 
in the words "without reaching," that Brahman cannot be 
denoted by words. We have therefore said before (Vide 
p. 237 et seq.] that the words " Real, " etc., merely define 
the nature of Brahman by denying the applicability to Him 
of substantives and attributives which are applicable only 
to the five sheaths. We hold that the Self is Brahman 
devoid of the ideas of 'I, Ego' and 'mine.' Therefore, words 
which are applicable to substantives &c. recede from 
* The comments running from this paragraph onwards up to 
where iSankaracharya's Commentary is resumed are taken from 
Snresvaracharya's Vartika and ylnandajnana's gloss there- 
on. (Tr). 


Brahman because of the absence of the necessary features 
mentioned above. As veil as mind : All cognitions which 
are transformations of mind (buddhi) are incapable of reach- 
ing Him who is the Witness of the mind and its functions. 
Therefore, as cognitions fail to reach Him, words which 
generate cognitions 'recede, as well as mind,' i. e., as well 
as the cognitions produced by the words. 

(Question] : Then how is it that Brahman is said to be 
known through the sastras or scriptures ? 

(Answer]: All the words which are used to impart a true 
knowledge of Brahman only give us to understand Him in- 
directly, by implication ; they fail to denote Him directly. 

The mental cognition which is generated by a word has 
a form, and so fails to reach the self-conscious Brahman ; 
thus cognitions recede from Him along with the words. 

The Word removes our ignorance of Brahman without 
denoting Him. 

(Question); If Brahman be beyond speech, and beyond the 
thought generated by speech, how can speech (Revelation) 
remove the ignorance concerning Him ? 

(Answer): Speech, such as "That, Thou art," has that 
peculiar power in it in virtue of which it removes the ignor- 
ance concerning Atman without directly designating Him, 
just as, in the case of a man who is asleep, his sleep is 
removed by such words as " O Devadatta, arise " which 
are used to awake him, but which do not designate him 
who awakes. And ignorance disappears because it has a 
\yeak basis as compared with knowledge. Knowledge is 


the very essential form of the Self, and therefore ignorance 
can hardly exist in the Self. Moreover, speech has an in- 
conceivable power, as seen in the case of spell-chants used 
for curing bites of poisonous animals ; and accordingly we 
know Brahman through words, which, without directly 
denoting Him, can produce a knowledge of Him and there- 
by dispel our ignorance. When men who are asleep are 
awakened by means of words, they give up sleep and 
awake without having grasped the relation between the 
words and what is denoted by them ; for, in sleep no 
one grasps words as he grasps them in the waking 
state. Thus in the case of a man who is asleep the 
knowledge caused by speech is effective though there is no 
grasp of the relation between the words and their respective 
meanings. So when ignorance is despelled by speech, there 
can arise the knowledge 'I am Brahman.' Though the 
words 'that' and' thou' in the sentence "That, Thou art," 
can in themselves denote only the conditioned consciousness, 
the sentence as a whole generates by implication the idea 
of the One Invisible Essence, of Brahman as identical with 
the Inner Self, though this last is not directly denoted by 
the words ; and this knowledge of the oneness destroying 
the ignorance of it, we realise in experience our identity 
with Brahman. 

The two occurrences, namely, the rise of knowledge and 
the disappearance of ignorance, are not identical and simul- 
taneous ; they are related as cause and effect, the one 
preceding the other. There is therefore no room for any 
such question as "which of them precedes the other ?" The 
word which dispels ignorance (avidya) gives rise to the 
knowledge 'lam Brahman' ; and this knowledge disappears 


along with ignorance after destroying it, just as the medi- 
cinal drug itself disappears after removing the disease. 
Then there remains that One who is ever self-conscious, 
pure, and free. 

The doctrine of the injunction of Brahma jnana 

Thus Brahman being eternal and ever free, no necessity 
exists either for operation (bhavana) of any kind or for 
evidence (mana) of any other sort. 

Brahman being Himself Consciousness, He is above the 
ordinary run of knowable things ; and it is only in the case 
of the knowable things of our ordinary experience which 
are known through external means that is to say, in the 
case of things which are not self-known like Brahman 
that a necessity for external evidence exists. Unlike the 
fact that "there are fruits on the bank of the river" asserted 
by a trustworthy person, the fact of Brahman's non-duality 
is not amenable to such evidence as sensuous perception 
(pratyaksha) ; how, then, can one say that the sruti speak- 
ing of Brahman's non-duality stands in need of further 
evidence ? What evidence does one need to become con- 
scious of That One, by whose presence alone one becomes 
conscious of the knower, of the instrument of knowledge, 
of the object known, and of the resulting knowledge. 
Unlike the consciousness of a pot, which suffers interruption 
for want of appropriate conditions an appropriate time, an 
appropriate place, an appropriate state of mind, the con- 
sciousness of Brahman never suffers interruption in any 
State whatever, in jagrat or svapna or sushupti ; for, He 


is the witness of the presence or absence of the interrupting 
causes. The mind which apprehends 'this should be done 
thus,' and 'this should not be done thus,' does not exist 
by itself ; it has its being in this One, the Self ; what oper- 
ation or external evidence, therefore does His existence 
need ? What evidence does the One Consciousness need, 
that One who is wide awake even prior to the operation of 
the agent, etc., that is to say, in sushupti, etc., unasso- 
ciated with conditions (upadhis) and unconcerned with the 
not-self ? 

Though commanded by a Vedic injunction, how can one 
see that Thing which is not denoted by words and which 
thought, too, cannot reach ? Being eternally existent, 
Atman does not stand in need of human effort to bring Him 
into being ; and being beyond the reach of speech and 
thought, neither can the knowledge of Him form a subject 
of injunction. If the statements of fact such as "That, 
Thou art," should be construed as subsidiary to the injun- 
ction of knowledge, "the Atman should be seen," then, the 
identity of the Self and Brahman asserted in such subsidi- 
ary propositions will have to be set aside, as lying outside 
our ordinary experience; for nothing that is said in 
a subsidiary proposition can be accepted as meant 
by the Veda to be true if it should run counter to the evi- 
dence furnished by sensuous perception and the like. It is 
true that the Veda sometimes enjoins things which do not 
exist as facts of our ordinary experience, as, for instance, 
when it enjoins us to regard the heavens as fire ; but it 
does so only when the several things spoken of, such as 
the heavens and fire, are, when taken by themselves, facts of 
our experience. On the contrary, Brahman who is said to be 


eternally pure and free is never a fact of our ordinary experi- 
ence and cannot therefore form a subject of an injunction. 
A Vedic commandment, though lying outside our ordinary 
experience, can be made out, as formed of a peculiar corre- 
lation of several known things brought together ; but 
Brahman is one and indivisible and is not a composite thing 
which can be spoken of in a sentence as made up of 
several detached parts correlated together : Brahman 
cannot therefore form a subject of injunction. 

It cannot be urged that such a thing as the Brahman 
described above cannot possibly exist ; for, how can one 
say that such a Brahman cannot possibly exist, seeing that 
evidence as well as non-evidence, as also spurious evidence, 
all do bear testimony to His existence all of them existing 
to us only as witnessed by Him who is the Eternal Consci- 
ousness ? 

(Objection) : If the Vedanta does not enjoin knowledge, 
how can its teaching be authoritative ? 

(Ansiver): Why should not the assertive * sentences, such 
as "That Thou art," be regarded as authoritative ? They 
do impart knowledge, which removes the ignorance of 
the Immutable Consciousness as also the pain that results 
from that ignorance. Even the injunction (niyoga) of know- 
ledge can have no meaning unless this knowledge of the 
Immutable Consciousness be held as true ; and the injun- 
ction itself, which is insentient, cannot make itself known 
in the absence of this Consciousness. 

If the Vedanta enjoins the knowledge of Brahman, in the 
words " He shall see Atman," we ask, whence is the exist- 
ence of the Unconditioned Brahman known ? Is it from the 

* as opposed to sentences implying command or injunction. 



sentence of command or from any other sentence ? It 
cannot be from the sentence of command ; for the whole 
meaning of the sentence consists in enjoining on man the 
duty of acquiring knowledge of Brahman. A sentence of 
command enjoins a duty on man without reference to the 
reality or unreality of the things referred to in it, and can- 
not therefore be an authority as to the real nature of the 
things it speaks of. 

In point of fact, knowledge cannot form a subject of in- 
junction, inasmuch as it cannot be done or undone or other- 
wise done by a person at will ; he cannot therefore under- 
take the act though he may be enjoined by hundreds of 
sentences. He can engage only in an act which it is 
possible for him to do. It cannot be said that the nature of 
Brahman can be known from such assertive sentences as 
" That Thou art; " for, these sentences being held as sub- 
sidiary to the sentence of command, cannot describe 
Brahman unconditioned by the subject-matter of the main 
proposition ; and therefore Brahman described in such 
subsidiary assertive sentences must be one who is concern- 
ed with action. Those who are given never to transgress 
Vedic commands may even eat their own flesh and give up 
their dear lives, these acts being in their power to do. But 
one does not undertake the boiling of gold pieces though 
enjoined. He who, believing that he is enjoined by sruti 
to know Brahman, blindly undertakes the act without any 
regard to its possibility, would fail to achieve his purpose 
and so put himself to unnecessary pain, like the thief among 
boiler-makers. * 

* A thief, with a view to prevent the discovery of his theft, 
Look shelter in the house of st boiler-maker close b} r . The master 


Neither can it be said that contemplation (upasana) of 
the Conditioned Brahman, which can form the subject of an 
injunction, gives rise to the Brahma-jiiana or knowledge of 
the Unconditioned ; for, it is a principle laid down in the 
sruti and the smnti that the result of contemplation is the 
attainment of the Conditioned Brahman in accordance with 
the contemplation, but not of the knowledge of the 

If the contemplation enjoined does not comprehend the 
real nature of Brahman, then such a contemplation cannot 
give rise to Brahma-jiiana ; the idea of silver, repeated ever 
so often, cannot give rise to the idea of the mother-of-pearl 
mistaken for silver. 

If the Atman could be known, then injunction of the 
knowledge (jfuina) or contemplation (upasana) of the Atman 
would be possible. As the sruti says that the Atman can- 
not be known, there can be no injunction of the knowledge 
or contemplation of Atman who is beyond the reach of 

The Niyoga-vadins hold that the Upanishads give us to 
know the Reality only in connection with an injunction, 
believing that a mere assertive sentence of the Veda uncon- 
nected with an injunction has no value as evidence of 

of the house oi'dered him to make a boiler. He could not help 
undertaking it ; but, not having been trained to it, he was doing 
the task very awkwardly. Meanwhile, the city police, Avho were 
in search of the thief, soon appeared there, and, seeing how 
awkwardly he was doing the work, they thought lie was the 
thief and arrested him. 

660 BRAHMA-VIDYA EXPLAINED. Auandd-Y dill . 

truth. This cannot be ; for, it is works that are enjoined 
in the Vedic injunctions, and a person may be directed by 
these injunctions to do acts, which he can accomplish with 
effort. How can he ever be made to undertake what has 
not to be accomplished by effort and action, namely, the 
real nature of the Self ? 

Neither is it the knowledge of the Self that is enjoined 
here in the Upanishad by the sentences of command ; for 
such an injunction is included in the general injunction 
" Every one shall study his own section of the scriptures." 
Just as the knowledge of the injunction of a sacrificial act 
does not itself require an injunction other than this general 
injunction, so also the knowledge of Atman does not require 
a separate injunction. 

Suppose the Niyoga-vadin says as follows: It may be 
so, if, even in the absence of an injunction, we find people 
regarding Self-knowledge as a means to the end of man. 
On the contrary, we do not find that such is the case. It 
being only from a Vedic injunction of Self-knowledge that 
we come to know that Self-knowledge leads to the good of 
man, neither mere assertive statements nor other sources of 
knowledge can impart the knowledge of that fact. 

(We Answer) : It is not so ; for we cannot conceive of 
any result of knowledge other than a comprehension of the 
object to be known. Since the knowledge of the Self can 
arise even in the absence of an injunction other than the 
general one " Every one shall study his own section of the 
scriptures," what purpose is there to be served by an in- 
junction of Self-knowledge ? 


Suppose the Niyoga-vadin rejoins thus : It is not the 
sabda-jiiana, or such knowledge of the Self as can be im- 
parted by the words of the sruti, that is enjoined in the 
Upanishad. On the other hand, the Upanishad enjoins 
quite a different knowledge of the Self. It enjoins the 
achievement of that transcendental intuitive knowledge of 
the Supreme Self through the cultivation of perfect self- 
control, perfect tranquillity, perfect endurance, perfect 
balance of mind. Indeed it is not possible to comprehend 
Brahman, like a jar, by such knowledge as can be imparted 
by words, inasmuch as Brahman is not a thing which can 
be denoted by a sentence. The import of a sentence, as 
held by experts in the subject, consists in the correlation of 
things denoted by the several words in the sentence. We do 
hold that Vakya or speech is the right source of knowledge 
regarding Brahman ; but, as lying beyond the scope of 
speech, Brahman's real nature cannot form the import of a 
sentence ; so that we are forced to admit that Brahman has 
to be comprehended by some other kind of knowledge than 
that produced by words. 

Against this it may bs urged as follows : If you do not 
grant that Brahman can be comprehended by such know- 
ledge as can be imparted by a sentence, then Brahman 
cannot be taught by the Vedas. 

The Niyoga-vadin answers : You cannot say so ; for, 
Brahman does form the subject of Vedic teaching, inas- 
much as He is comprehended by that intuitive knowledge 
(sakshatkara) which is achieved by a constant con- 
templation of such knowledge of Brahman as is pro- 
duced by the Vedic texts. We cannot admit, on the 


mere authority of your dictum, that Brahman constitutes 
the subject of Vedic teaching, and forms the import of a 
sentence ; for, then, knowledge of Brahman would not 
depend on the effort of man. Unlike Dharma, the Atman's 
nature cannot form the import of a sentence, as He cannot 
be connoted by any word. Even supposing that He is 
connoted by a word, He cannot form the import of a sent- 
ence ; for, single detached words can only connote 
universals (samanya) or generic attributes, whereas a sent- 
ence as a whole points to a particular object. Though 
Brahman may be conceived as a universal (samanya), He 
cannot be regarded as a particular. In point of fact, how- 
ever, the Vedantin holds that Brahman does not admit of 
such distinctions as a universal and a particular ; so, how 
can He be comprehended by speech ? Being not denoted 
by a word, Brahman cannot form the import of a sent- 
ence ; so that no knowledge of Brahman can be imparted 
by speech. Therefore the intuitive knowledge that " I am 
Brahman" is beyond the reach of a sentence ; and as this 
intuitive knowledge is generated by a constant contempla- 
tion of that knowledge of Brahman which can be imparted 
by the Vedas, Brahman may be regarded as forming, in a 
way, the subject of the Vedic teaching. 

The One Self is self-luminous, unconditioned, 
immutable, non-dual. 

(Siddhanta) : A refutation of the theory that the nature 
of Brahman is taught in the Upanishads in association with 
an injunction is contained in the verse quoted by the Upa- 
nishad here and explained by us . ' This is the object