Click here to load whole tree
NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Baladeva Vidyabhushana > Vedanta Sutra > Chp 1

Chapter 1

 

Pada 1

 

 

Adhikarana 1

Inquiry Into Brahman

 

 

     The first adhikarana of the Vedanta-sutra discusses brahma-jijnasa (inquiry into Brahman). The adhikarana may be shown in its five parts in the following way:

     1. Vishaya (statement): One should inquire about Brahman. This statement is confirmed by the following statements of Vedic scripture:

 

 

     yo vai bhuma tat sukham nanyat sukham asti bhumaiva sukham bhumatveva vijijnasitavyah

 

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead (bhuma) is the source of genuine happiness. Nothing else can bring one actual happiness. Only the Supreme Personality of Godhead can bring one happiness. For this reason one should inquire about the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

               —Chandogya Upanishad 7.25.1

 

 

     atma va are drashtavyah shrotavyo mantavyo nididhyasitavyo maitreyi

 

 

     "O Maitreyi, one should see, hear, remember, and inquire about the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

               —Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad 2.4.5

 

     2. Samshaya (doubt): If one has studied the Vedas and dharma-shastras, need he inquire about Brahman or not? The following statements of Vedic scriptures nourish this doubt:

 

 

     apama somam amrita abhuma

 

 

"We have attained immortality by drinking the soma-juice."

               —Rig Veda 8.18.3

 

 

     akshayyam ha vai caturmasyajinah sukritam bhavati

 

 

     "They who follow the vow of caturmasya attain an eternal reward."

 

     3. Purvapaksha (presentation of the opposing view):  There is no need to inquire about Brahman. Simply by discharging ordinary pious duties described in the dharma-shastras one can attain immortality and an eternal reward.

     4. Siddhanta (the conclusive truth): In the first sutra Bhagavan Vyasadeva replies to his philosophical opponent.

 

 

Sutra 1

 

 

athato brahma-jijnasa

 

     atha—now; atah—therefore; brahma—about Brahman; jijnasa—there should be inquiry.

 

 

     Now, therefore, one should inquire about Brahman.*

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     In this sutra the word atha means "now", and the word atah means "therefore". The sutra means "Now one should inquire about Brahman."

     Atha (now): When a person has properly studied the Vedic literature, understood its meaning, adhered to the principles of varnashrama-dharma, observed the vow of truthfulness, purified his mind and heart, and attained the association of a self-realized soul, he is qualified to inquire about Brahman.

     Atah (therefore): Because material piety brings results of material sense-happiness, which is inevitably limited and temporary, and because the transcendental form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, which is realized by the proper attainment of real transcendental knowledge, and which is full of imperishable, limitless bliss, eternity, transcendental knowldege, and all transcendental attributes, brings eternal bliss to the devotee-beholder, therefore one should renounce all material pious duties for attaining material sense-gratification, and inquire about Brahman by studying the four chapters of Vedanta-sutra.

     At the point someone may object: Is it not true that simply by studying the Vedas one attains knowledge of Brahman, and as result of this knowledge one abandons the path of material piety and fruitive work and instead takes to the worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead? If this result is obtained simply by studying the Vedas,, what need is there to study the four chapters of Vedanta-sutra?

     To this objection I reply: Even if one carefully studies the Vedas, misunderstanding and doubt may destroy his intelligence and lead him away from the real meaning of the Vedas. For this reason it is necessary to study the Vedanta-sutra, to stregnthen the students's understanding.

     Performing the duties of ashrama-dharma are also helpful in purifying the heart and understanding the transcendental reality. How the ashrama duties of the brahmana help in this regard is described in the following statement of Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (4.4.22):

 

 

     tam etam vedanuvacanena brahmana vividisanti yajnena danena tapasanashanena

 

 

     "By Vedic study, sacrifice, charity, austerity, and fasting, the brahmanas strive to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

 

     The usefulness of the brahminical duties such as truthfulness, austerity, and mantra chanting is described in the following scriptural statements:

 

 

     satyena labhayas tapasa hy esha atma samyak jnanena brahmacaryena nityam

 

 

     "By constant truthfulness, austerity, transcendental knowledge, and austerity, one becomes eligible to associate with the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

               —Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.5

 

 

japyenaiva ca samsiddhyad

     brahmana natra samshayah

kuryad anyan na va kuryan

     maitro brahmana ucyate

 

 

     "Whether he performs other rituals and duties or not, one who perfectly chants mantras glorifying the Supreme Personality of Godhead should be considered a perfect brahmana, eligible to understand the Supreme Lord."

               —Manu-samhita 2.87

 

     Association with those who understand the truth also brings one transcendental knowledge. By this association Narada and many other spiritual aspirants attained interest to ask about spiritual life and were finally eligible to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face-to-face. Sanat-kumara and many other great sages have also helped many devotees by giving their association in this way. The great value of contact with a self-realized soul is described in the following statement of Bhagavad-gita (4.34):

 

 

tad viddhi pranipatena

     pariprashnena sevaya

upadekshyanti te jnanam

     jnaninas tattva-darshinah

 

 

     "Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth."*

 

     The material benefits obtained by following the pious rituals of the karma-kanda section of the Vedas are all temporary in nature. This fact is confirmed by the following statement of Chandogya Upanishad (8.1.3):

 

 

     tad yatheha karma-cito lokah kshiyante evam evamutra punya-cito lokah kshiyate

 

 

     "By performing good works (karma) one is elevated to the celestial material world after death. One is not able to stay there forever, however, but one must lose that position after some time and accept another, less favorable residence. In the same way, by amassing pious credits (punya) one may reside in the upper planets. Still, he cannot stay there, but must eventually relinquish his comfortable position there, and accept a less favorable residence somewhere else."

 

     The following statement of Mundaka Upanishad (1.2.12) affirms that only transcendental knowledge will help one approach the Supreme Brahman:

 

 

parikshya lokan karma-citan brahmano

     nirvedam ayan nasty akritah kritena

tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet

     samit-panih shrotriyam brahma-nishtham

 

 

     "Seeing that the celestial material planets, which one may obtain by pious work, provide only temporary benefits, a brahmana, in order to understand the truth the of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, should humbly approach a bona-fide spiritual master learned in the scriptures and full of faith in the Supreme Lord."

     In contrast to the temporary material benefits obtained in the celestial material planets, the Supreme Brahman is the reservoir of eternal, limitless bliss. This is confirmed by the following statments of Taittiriya Upanishad (2.1.1):

 

 

satyam jnanam anantam brahma

 

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is limitless, eternal, and full of knowledge."

 

 

anando brahmeti vyajanat

 

 

     "He then understood that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is full of transcendental bliss."

 

     The Supreme Brahman is eternal, full of knowledge and endowed with all transcendental qualities. This is confirmed by the following statements of Shvetashvatara Upanishad:

 

 

na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate

     na tat-samash cabhyadhikash ca drishyate

parasya shaktir vividhaiva shruyate

     sva-bhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca

 

 

     "He does not possess bodily form like that of an ordinary living entity. There is no difference between His body and His soul. He is absolute. All his senses are transcendental. Any one of His senses can perform the action of any other sense. Therefore, no one is greater than Him or equal to Him. His potencies are multifarious, and thus  His deeds are automatically performed as a natural sequence."*

                                   —6.8

 

 

sarvendriya-gunabhasam

     sarvendriya-vivarjitam

asaktam sarva-bhric caiva

     nirgunam guna-bhoktri ca

 

 

     "The Supersoul is the original source of all senses, yet He is without senses. He is unattached, although He is the maintainer of all living beings. He transcends the modes of nature, and at the same time He is the master of all modes of material nature."*

                                   —3.17

 

 

bhava-grahyam anidakhyam

     bhavabhava-karam shivam

kala-sarga-karam devam

     ye vidus te jahus tanum

 

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the creator and destroyer of the entire material cosmic manifestation. He is supremely auspicious, and He does not posesses a material body, for His body is spiritual in all respects. He may be reached and understood only by loving devotional service. Those who thus serve Him and understand Him may become free from having to repeatedly accept various material bodies for continued residence in the material world. They become liberated from this world, and obtain eternal spiritual bodies with which to serve Him."

                                   —5.14                                       

 

     That the Supreme Personality of Godhead grants eternal transcendental bliss to His devotees is confirmed by the following statement of Gopala-tapani Upanishad (1.5):

 

tam pitha-stham ye tu yajanti dhiras

     tesham sukham shashvatam netaresham

 

     "The saintly devotees who worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the spiritual world attain eternal transcendental bliss. Except for them no others can attain this eternal bliss."

 

     This uselessness of the temporary benefits obtained by following the material piety of the karma-kanda section of the Vedas will be described in the third chapter of this Vedanta-sutra.

     This may be summed up by saying: One who has studied the Vedas, Upavedas, and Upanishads, understood them, associated with a self-realized soul, and in this way understood the difference between the temporary and the eternal, who has lost all attraction for the temporary and chosen the eternal, becomes a student of the four chapters of Vedanta-sutra.

     It cannot be said that simply by completely studying and understanding the karma-kanda section of the Vedas one will naturally take up the study of Vedanta-sutra. They who have studied karma-kanda but not associated with saintly devotees do not become eager to understand Brahman. On the other hand, they who have not studied karma-kanda, but who have become purified by association with saintly devotees, naturally become attracted to understand Brahman.

     Neither can it be said that simply by understanding the difference between the temporary and the eternal, and simply by attaining the four qualities of saintly persons, one will become attracted to understand Brahman. These things are not enough. However, if one attains the association of a self-realized soul and follows his instructions, then these ordinarily difficult-to-attain qualifications are automatically attained at once.

     Three kinds of persons inquire into the nature of Brahman: 1. Sa-nishtha (they who faithfully perform their duties); 2. Parinishtha (they who act philantropically for the benefit of all living entities); and 3. Nirapek\sha (they who are rapt in meditation and aloof from the activities of this world). According to their own respective abilities all these persons understand the nature of Brahman. They become more and more purified, and they eventually attain the association of Brahman.

     At this point someone may raise the following objection: Is it not so that the words om and atha are auspicious sounds that sprang from Lord Brahma's throat in ancient times? Is it not also so that these words are traditionally used at the beginning of books to invoke auspiciousness and drive away all obstacles?  For this reason I think the word atha in this sutra does not mean "now". It is simply a word to invoke auspiciousness, and has no other meaning.

     To this objection I reply: This is not true. Shrila Vyasadeva, the author of Vedanta-sutra, is the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, and therefore He has no particular need to invoke auspiciousness or drive away obstacles and dangers. That Vyasadeva is the Supreme Personality of Godhead is confirmed by the following statement of the smriti-shastra:

 

 

krishna-dvaipayana-vyasam

     viddhi narayanam prabhum

 

 

     "Please understand that Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa is actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana."

     Still, ordinary people may take it that Lord Vyasadeva has spoken the word atha at the beginning of Vedanta-sutra just to invoke auspiciousness, just as one may sound a conch-shell to invoke auspiciousness. In conclusion, we have described here how at a certain point in time, after certain understandings (atha), a person may become eager to inquire about the nature of Brahman.

     At this point someone may raise the following objection:Is it not so that the word bhuma or brahma may also refer to the individual spirit soul and not only to the Supreme Personality of Godhead?  This fact is explained in Chandogya Upanishad. Even the dictionary explains: "The word brahma means that which is big, the brahmana caste, the individual spirit soul, and the demigod Brahma who sits on a great lotus flower."

     To clear away the misunderstanding of this objector, the following scriptural passages may be quoted:

 

 

     bhrigur vai varunir varunam pitaram upasasara adhihi bho bhagavo brahma. . . yato va imani bhutani jayante yena jatani jivanti yat prayanty abhisamvishanti tad brahma tad vijijnasasva

 

 

     "Bhrigu asked his father Varuna: `My lord, please instruct me about the nature of Brahman.' Varuna replied: `All living entities have taken their birth because of Brahman. They remain alive because they are maintained by Brahman, and at the time of death they again enter into Brahman. Please try to understand the nature of Brahman.'"

 

     At this point someone may doubt: "In this Vedanta-sutra does the word `Brahman' refer to the individual spirit soul or the Supreme Personality of Godhead?"

     Someone may indeed claim that the word "Brahman" here refers to the individual spirit soul, and to support his view he may quote the following statement of Taittiriya Upanishad (2.5):

 

vijnanam brahma ced veda

     tasmac cen na pramadyati

sharire papmano hitva

     sarvan kaman samashnute

 

 

     "If one understands the true nature of the Brahman who lives in the body and uses the senses of the body to perceive the material world, then such a knower of Brahman will never become bewildered by illusion. Such a knower of the Brahman in the body refrains from performing sinful actions, and at the time of leaving the body at death, he attains an exalted destination where all his desires become at once fulfilled."

 

     Our philosophical opponent may claim in this way that the word "Brahman" should be interpreted to mean the individual spirit soul. In order to refute this false idea, Shrila Vyasadeva describes the true nature of Brahman in the next sutra.

 

 

Adhikarana 2

The Origin of Everything

 

 

 

Sutra 2

 

 

janmady asya yatah

 

     janma—birth; adi—beginning with; asya—of that; yatah—from whom.

 

 

     Brahman is He from whom everything emanates.*

 

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The word janmadi is a tad-guna-samvijnana-bahuvrihi-samasa, and it should interpreted to mean "creation, maintenance, and destruction." The word asya means "of this material universe with fourteen planetary systems, which is inhabitated by various creatures from the demigod Brahma down to the lowest unmoving blade of grass, who all enjoy and suffer the results of their various fruitive actions (karma), and who cannot understand the astonishing structure of the universe where they live."  The word yatah means "from whom", and it refers to the Supreme Brahman who manifested the universe from His inconceivable potency. This is the Brahman about whom one should inquire.

     The words bhuma and atma both mean "all pervading". These words refer primarily to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This will be elaborately explained in the Bhumadhikarana (1.3.7) and Vakyanvayadhikarana (1.4.19). The word "Brahman" in particular means "He who possesses boundless exalted qualitites." Brahman, then, refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and this is clearly confirmed in the following words of shruti-shastra:

 

    

     atha kasmad ucyate brahmeti brihanto by asmin gunah

 

 

     "From whom has this universe become manifest? From Brahman, who possesses an abundance of exalted transcendental qualities."

 

     Brahman primarily refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and only secondarily to the individual spirit souls, who manifest in small degree the spiritual qualitites of the Supreme Lord. In this way the individual spirit souls may be called Brahman, just as the royal title may be given not only to the king, but also to his associates and subordinates. Therefore, the individual spirit souls, who are all suffering the three-fold miseries of material life, should, in order to attain ultimate liberation, inquire about the Supreme Brahman, who is very merciful towards whose who take shelter of Him. For these reasons it should be understood that the Supreme Brahman, the Personality of Godhead is the object of inquiry in this Vedanta-sutra. This is not an imaginary description of Brahman's qualities. This is the truth about Brahman.

     The word jijnasa means "the desire to know." Knowledge is of two kinds: 1. Paroksha (knowledge gathered from sources other than the senses e.g. logic, knowledge obtained from authority, etc.) and 2. Aparoksha (knowledge gathered by the senses). An example of these two kinds of knowledge may be seen in the following quotation from the shruti-shastra:

 

 

vijnaya prajnam kurvita

 

 

     "After learning about the Supreme Personality of Godhead one should become able to directly see Him in the trance of meditation."

 

     Paroksha knowledge helps bring us closer to the Supreme Brahman, and aparoksha knowledge manifests the Supreme Lord before us.

     If one understands his real identity as spirit soul, that is certainly very helpful in understanding Brahman, but that does not mean that the individual soul is the same as Brahman. The individual spirit soul is always different from Brahman, and even after liberation He remains eternally different from the Supreme Brahman. The difference between the individual soul and Brahman is described in sutras 1.1.16, 1.1.17, 1.3.5, 1.3.21, and 1.3.41.

     The Vedic literature gives the following guidelines for the interpretation of obscure passages:

 

 

upakramopasamharav

     abhyaso 'purvata-phalam

artha-vadopapatti ca

     lingam tatparya-nirnaye

 

    

     "The upakrama (beginning), upasamhara (ending), abhyasa (what is repeated again and again), apurvata (what is unique and novel), phalam (the general purpose of the book), artha-vada (the author's statement of his own intention), and upapatti  (appropriateness) are the factors to consider in interpretation of obscure passages."

     If we apply these criteria to the shruti-shastra, we will clearly see that the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the individual spirit soul are described here as two distinct entities.

     Let us analyze the following passage from Shvetashvatara Upanishad (4.6-7) in the light of these six criteria.

 

 

dva suparna sayuja sakhaya

     samanam vriksham parishashvajate

tayor anyah pippalam svadv atty

     anashnann anyo 'bhicakashiti

 

 

     "The individual spirit-soul and the Supersoul, Personality of Godhead, are like two friendly birds sitting on the same tree. One of the birds (the individual atomic soul) is eating the fruit of the tree (the sense-gratification afforded to the material body), and the other bird (the Supersoul) is not trying to eat these fruits, but is simply watching His friend.

 

 

samane vrikshe purusho nimagno

     'nishaya shocati muhyamanah

jushtam yada pashyati anyam isham

     asya mahimanam iti vita-shokah

 

 

     "Although the two birds are on the same tree, the eating bird is fully engrossed with anxiety and moroseness as the enjoyer of the fruits of the tree. But if in some way or other he turns his face to his friend who is the Lord and knows His glories, at once the suffering bird becomes free from all anxieties."

 

     In this passage the upakrama (beginning) is dva suparna (two birds); the upasamhara (ending) is anyam isham (the other person, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead); the abhyasa (repeated feature) is the word anya (the other person), as in the phrases tayor anyo 'shnan (the other person does not eat) and anyam isham ( He sees the other person, who is the Supreme Lord); the apurvata (unique feature) is the difference between the Supreme Lord and the individual spirit soul, which could never have been understood without the revelation of the Vedic scripture; the phalam (general purpose of the passage) is vita-shokah (the individual spirit soul becomes free from suffering by seeing the Lord); the artha-vada (the author's statement of his own intention) is mahimanam eti (one who understands the Supeme Lord becomes glorious) and the upapatti (appropriateness) is anyo 'nashan (the other person, the Supreme Lord, does not eat the fruits of material happiness and distress). 

     By analyzing this passage and other passages from Vedic literatures, one may clearly understand the difference between the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the individual spirit soul.

     At this point someone may raise the following objection:

Is it not true that when a scripture teaches something that had not been known to its readers, then it is useful, and if when a scripture simply repeats what its readers already know, it simply wastes time uselessly?  People in general think they are different from the Supreme Brahman, and therefore if the scripture were to teach them something new it would have to be that the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the indivdual spirit souls are completely identical. For this reason it should be understood that the individual spirit souls are identical with Brahman.

     To this objection I reply: This view is not supported by the words of the Vedic scriptures. For example the Shvetashvatara

Upanishad (1.6) states:

 

 

prithag-atmanam preritam ca matva

     jushtas tatas tenamritatvam eti

 

 

     "When one understands that the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the individual spirit souls are eternally distinct entities, then he may become qualified for liberation, and live eternally in the spiritual world."

     The impersonalist conception of the identity of the individual and the Supreme is a preposterous phantasmagoria, like the horn of a rabbit. It has no reference to reality, and it is completely rejected by the people in general. They do not accept it. Those few texts of the Upanishads that apparently teach the impersonalist doctrine, are interpreted in a personalist way by the author, Vyasadeva himself. This will be described later on in Sutra 1.1.30.

 

 

Adhikarana 3

The Supreme Personality of Godhead May be Understood by the Revelation of the Vedic Scriptures

 

 

     1. Vishaya (Statement): The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the creator, maintainer and destroyer of the material universes. Because He is inconceivable to the tiny brains of the conditioned souls He must be understood by the revelation of Vedanta philosophy. This is confirmed by the following statements of the Upanishads:

 

 

sac-cid-ananda-rupaya

     krishnayaklishta-karine

namo vedanta-vedyaya

     gurave buddhi-sakshine

 

 

     Om namah. I offer my respectful obeisances to Shri Krishna, whose form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, who is the rescuer from distress, who is understood by Vedanta, who is the supreme spiritual master, and who is the witness in everyone's heart.

                              —Gopala-tapani Upanishad

 

 

tam tv aupanishadam purusham pricchami

 

 

     "I shall now inquire about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is revealed in the Upanishads."

                              —Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad 3.9.26

 

     2. Samshaya (doubt): What is the best method for understanding supremely worshipable Lord Hari: the mental speculation of the logicians, or the revelation of the Vedanta scriptures?

     3. Purvapaksha (the argument of the philosophical opposition): The sage Gautama (Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad 4.5) and others maintain that the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be understood by the speculations of the logicians.

     4. Siddhanta (the conclusion): In the Vedanta-sutra, Shrila Vyasadeva explains that scriptural revelation is the real way to understand the Supreme Brahman. He says:

 

 

Sutra 3

 

 

shastra-yonitvat

 

     shastra—the scriptures; yonitvat—because of being the origin of knowledge.

 

 

     (The speculations of the logicians are unable to teach us about Supreme Personality of Godhead) because He may only be known by the revelation of the Vedic scriptures.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     In this sutra the word "not" should be understood, even though it is not expressed. They who aspire after liberation are not able to understand the Personality of Godhead simply by logic and speculation. Why? Because He is known only by the revelation of the Vedic scriptures. Among the Vedic scriptures, the Upanishads especially describe the Supreme Person. For this reason it is said aupanishadam purusham (the Supreme Person is undertood through the revelation of the Upanishads). The process of logic and speculation as described by the word mantavya (to be understood by logic) as described in Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (4.5) should be employed to understand the revelation of the scriptures and not independently. This is confirmed by the following statement of shruti-shastra:

 

 

purvapara-virodhena

     ko 'rtho 'trabhimato bhavet

ity adyam uhanam tarkah

     shushka-tarkam vivarjayet

 

 

     "Logic is properly employed to resove apparent contradictions in the texts of the Vedas. Dry logic, without reference to scriptural revelation, should be abandoned."

 

     For this reason the dry logic of Gautama and others should be rejected. This is also confired in sutra 2.1.11. After understanding the Supreme Person by study of the Upanishads, one should become rapt in meditation on Him. This will be explained later insutra 2.1.27.

     The Supreme Lord, Hari, is identical with His own transcendental form. He and His form are not two separate identities. He is the witness of all living entities, He is the resting place of a host of transcendental qualitities, He is the creator of the material universes, and He remains unchanged eternally. By hearing about His transcendental glories, one may worship Him perfectly.

     At this point someone may raise the following objection:

The Vedanta philosophy does not give either positive orders or negative prohibitions, but simply descriptions, as the sentence "On the earth there are seven continents." Men need instruction in how to act. Therefore, what is needed is a series of orders to guide men. Men need orders, such as the ordinary orders. "A man desiring wealth should approach the king," or "One suffering from indigestion should restrict his intake of water," or the orders of the Vedas: svarga-kamo yajeta (One desiring to enter the celestial material planets should worship the demigods), or suram na pibet (No one should drink wine). The Upanishads do not give us a string of orders and prohibitions, but merely a description of the eternally perfect Brahman. for example the Upanishads tell us satyam jnanam (The Supreme Personality of Godhead is truth and knowledge). This is of small help in the matter of orders and prohibitions. Sometimes the Upanishads' descriptions may be a little useful, as for example when they describe a certain demigod, the description may be useful when one performs a sacrifice to that demigod, but otherwise these descriptions afford us little practical beneifit, and are more or less useless. This is confirmed by the following statements of Jaimini Muni.

 

 

amnayasya kriyarthatvad anarthakhyam atad-arthanam

 

 

     "The scriptures teach us pious duties. Any scriptural passage that does not teach us our duty is a senseless waste of our time."

               —Purva-mimamsa 1.2.1

 

 

tad-bhutanam kriyarthena samamnayo 'rthasya tan-nimittatvat

 

 

"Just as a verb gives meaning to a sentence, in the same way instructions for action give meaning to the statements of the scriptures."

               —Purva-mimamsa 1.1.25

 

     To this objection I reply: Do not be bewildered. Even though the Upanishads do not give us a series of orders and prohibitions, still they teach us about the Supreme Brahman, the most important and valuable object to be attained by any living entitiy. Just as if in your house there were hidden treasure, and a description of its location were spoken to you, those words would not be useless simply because they were a description. In the same way the Upanishads' description of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the greatest treasure to be attained by any living being, whose form is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss, who is perfect and beyond any criticism, who is the friend of all living entities, the Supreme Lord who is so kind that He gives Himself to His devotees, and the supreme whole of all existance, of whom I am a tiny part, is not useless, but of great value to the conditioned soul. The descriptions of the Supreme Brahman in the Upanishads are valuable, just as the description "your son is now born" is useful and a source of great joy, and the decription "This is not a snake, but only a rope partly seen in the darkness," is also useful and a great relief from fear.

     The specific benefit attained by understanding the Supreme Brahman are described in the following statement of Taittiriya Upanishad (2.1):

 

 

satyam jnanam anantam brahma yo veda nihitam guhayam so 'shnute sarvan kaman

 

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is limitless. He is transcendental knowledge, and He is the eternal transcendental reality. He is present in everyone's heart. One who properly understands Him becomes blessed and all his desires are completely fulfilled."

 

     No one can say that the Upanishads teach about ordinary fruitive action (karma). Rather, one may say that the Upanishads teach one to give up all material, fruitive work. No one can say that the Upanishads describe anything other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the original creator, maintainer, and destroyer of all the universes, whose spiritual form is eternal, who is a great ocean of unlimited auspicious transcendental qualitities, and who is the resting-place of the goddess of fortune. Jaimini's description of the importance of karma, therefore, has no bearing on the Upanishads.

     In fact Jaimini was a faithful devotee of the Lord, and his apparent criticisms (in the two quotations presented above) of the Vedic texts that do not encourage fruitive work (karma) with sufficient enthusiasm, are his hint to us that there is more that pious fruitive work in the instructions of the Vedas. In this way it may be understood that the Supreme Brahman is the subject-matter described in the Vedic scriptures.

 

 

Adhikarana 4

This is Confirmed by the Vedic scriptures

 

 

     1. Vishaya (statement): That the Supreme Personality of Godhead is described in all Vedic scriptures is described in the following scriptural quotations:

 

 

yo 'su sarvair vedair giyate

 

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is glorified by all the Vedas."

               —Gopala-tapani Upanishad

 

 

sarve veda yat-padam amananti

 

 

     "All the Vedas describe the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

               —Katha Upanishad 1.2.15

 

     2. Samshaya (doubt): Lord Vishnu is the subject-matter described in all the Vedas. Is this statement true or false?

     3. Purvapaksha (the argument of our philosophical opponent): It is not true that the Vedas teach only about the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Actually the Vedas mainly describe various fruitive karma-kanda sacrifices, such as the kariri-yajna for bringing rain, the putra-kamyeshti-yajna for gaining a son, and the jyotishtoma-yajna for traveling to the celestial material planets (Svargaloka). For this reason it is not possible to say that Lord Vishnu is the only topic discussed in the Vedas.

     4. Siddhanta (the proper conclusion): Vyasadeva replies to the objections in the following sutra:

 

 

 

Sutra 4

 

 

tat tu samanvayat

 

     tat—this fact; tu—but; samanvayat—because of the agreement of all the Vedic scriptures.

 

 

     But that (Lord Vishnu is the sole topic of discussion in the Vedas) is confirmed by all scriptures.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The word tu (but) in this sutra is used to rebut the previously stated opposing argument. It is proper to say that Lord Vishnu is the sole topic of discussion in all the Vedas. Why? The answer is: samanvayat (because the scriptures themselves bring us to this conclusion). The word anvaya means "understanding the actual meaning," and the word samanvaya means "perfect understanding after careful deliberation". When we apply the above-mentioned rules of interpretation (beginning with upakrama and upasamhara) to the texts of the Vedas, we will come to the conclusion that Lord Vishnu is the sole topic of discussion in all the Vedas. If it were not so, then why should the Gopala-tapani Upanishad state that Lord Vishnu is glorified by all the Vedas? This is also confirmed by the lotus-eyed Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, who says:

 

 

vedaish ca sarvair aham eva vedyo vedanta-krid veda-vid eva caham

 

 

     "By all the Vedas I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of the Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas."*

               —Bhagavad-gita 15.15

 

 

kim vidhatte kim acashte

     kim anudya vikalpayet

ity asya kridayam loke

     nanyo mad veda kashcana

 

mam vidhatte 'bhidhatte mam

     vikalpyapohyate hy aham

 

 

     "What is the direction of all Vedic literatures? On whom do they set focus?  Who is the purpose of all speculation? Outside of Me no one knows these things. Now you should know that all these activities are aimed at ordaining and setting forth Me. The purpose of Vedic literature is to know Me by different speculations, either by indirect understanding or by dictionary understanding. Everyone is speculating about Me."*

          —Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.21.42-43)

 

The Vedic literatures also state:

 

 

sakshat-paramparabhyam veda brahmani pravartate

 

 

     "Either directly or indirectly, the Vedas describe Brahman."

 

     In the jnana-kanda section of the Vedas{.fn  1} the transcendental forms and qualitities  of  the Supreme Personality of Godhead are directly described, and in the karma-kanda section of the Vedas the Lord is indirectly  described  in the discussion of fruitive  action  and various divisions of material knowledge

     That the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the sole topic of discussion in the Vedas is also confirmed by the following scriptural passages:

 

 

tam tv aupanishadam purusham pricchami

 

 

     "I shall now ask about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is described in the Upanishads."

               —Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (9.21)

 

 

tam etam vedanuvacanena brahmana vividishanti

 

 

     "Brahmanas study the Vedas to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

               —Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (4.4.22)

 

     As for the various fruitive results, such as the attainment of rain, a son, or residence in the celestial material planets, that are offered to the follwers of the karma-kanda rituals in the Vedas, these beneifts are offered to attract the minds of ordinary men. When ordinary men see that these material benefits are actually attained by performing Vedic rituals, they become attracted to study the Vedas. By studying the Vedas they become able to discriminate between what is temporary and what is eternal. In this way they gradually become averse to the temporary things of this world and they come to hanker after Brahman. In this way it may be understood that all the parts of the Vedas describe the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

     Vedic rituals bring material benefits as a result only when the performer of the ritual is filled with material desire. If the performer is materially desireless, then he does not gain a material result, but rather the result he obtains is purification of the heart and the manifestation of spiritual knowledge. Therefore, the meaning of the previously quoted text from Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (4.4.22) is that the demigods are considered to be the various limbs of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and by worshiping them, one actually worships the Supreme Lord, and the result of such worship is that one gradually become pure in heart and awake with spiritual  knowledge.

 

 

Adhikarana 5

Brahman Is Knowable

 

 

     1. Vishaya (statement): Now, by the use of logic and scriptural quotation, we shall refute the misconception that Brahman cannot be described. One may argue, however, that many scriptural passages support the theory that Brahman cannot be described by words. For example:

 

 

yato vaco nivartate

     aprapya manasa saha

 

 

     "The mind cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead and words cannot describe Him."

               —Taittriya Upanishad 2.4.1

 

 

     yad vacanabhyuditam yena vag abhyudyate tad eva

brahma tad viddhi nedam yad idam upasate

 

 

     "No one has the power to describe Brahman with words, even though everyone's speech occurs by the power granted by Brahman. Know that this Brahman is not material. Worship this Brahman."

               —Kena Upanishad (1.5)

 

     2. Samshaya (doubt): Is Brahman expressable by words or not?

     3. Purvapaksha (the opponenet argues): The shruti-shastra states that Brahman cannot be described by words. If this were not so, it would not be said that the Supreme Brahman is self-manifested. That Brahman cannot be described with words is also explained in the following statement of {Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.6.40):

 

 

yato 'prapya nyavartanta

     vacash ca manasa saha

aham canya ime devas

     tasmai bhagavate namah

 

 

     "Words, mind and ego, with their respective controlling demigods, have failed to achieve success in knowing the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, we simply have to offer our respectful obeisances unto Him as a matter of sanity."*

     4. Shrila Vyasadeva refutes these arguments in the following sutra:

 

 

Sutra 5

 

 

ikshater nashabdam

 

     ikshateh—because it is seen; na—not; ashabdam—indescribable by words.

 

 

     Because it is seen (that Brahman is vividly described in the Vedic scriptures, it should be understood that Brahman) is not indescribable by words.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     Here the word ashabdam means "that which cannot be described by words." In this sutra Brahman is described as not (na) indescribable by words (ashabdam). Why is this so? Because ikshateh  (because it is seen that Brahman is described in the passages of the scriptures).

     For example, Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad states:

 

 

tam tv aupanishadam purusham pricchami

 

 

     "I shall now ask about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is described in the Upanishads."

 

     We may note in this connection that the word aupanishada means "that glorious person who is described in the Upanishads."

We may also note that the word ikshateh is bhava (passive), and it is formed by adding the affix tip-pratyaya. The unusual usage here is arsha (a certain degree of grammatical liberty allowed to an exalted author).

     That the Supreme Personality of Godhead may be described in words is also confirmed by the following statement of Katha Upanishad (2.15):

 

 

sarve veda yat-padam amananti

 

 

     "All the Vedas describe the feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

 

     When it is said that Brahman cannot be described in words, the intention is that He cannot be completely described in words. In the same way it is sometimes said that no one can see Mount Meru because no one can see the entire mountain, but only small parts of it at any one time. Without accepting this understanding, that Brahman is not completely expressible by words or understandable by the mind, we would not properly understand the meaning of the scritpural statements yato vaco nivartate (words cannot describe Brahman), aprapya manasa saha (the mind cannot understand Brahman), and yad vacanabhyuditam (No one has the power to describe Brahman with words). These statements explain that Brahman cannot be completely described in words.

     That Brahman can to some extent be described with words does not contradict the fact that Brahman reveals Himself by His own wish. The Vedas are actually the incarnation of Brahman, and therefore Brahman may reveal Himself in the words of the Vedas.

     2. Samshaya (doubt): This may be so, but still the Suprme Person described in the words of the Vedas may be saguna (a manifestation of the Lord according to the modes of material nature), and not the perfect, complete and pure original Brahman who remains indescribable by words.

     If this doubt were to arise, Shrila Vyasadeva would answer it in the following sutra.

 

 

Sutra 6

 

 

gaunash cen natma-shabdat

 

     gaunah—Saguna Brahman, or the Lord's potencies; cet—if; na—not; atma—atma; shabdat—because of the word.

 

 

     If (one says that the Brahman described in the Vedas is) Saguna Brahman (a manifestation of the modes of material nature, and not the original Supreme Lord Himself), Then I say this cannot be true, because Brahman is described in the Vedas as "Atma" (the Supreme Self).

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The Brahman described in the Vedas is not merely a saguna manifestation of the mode of Goodness. Why? Because the Vedas use the word atma (the Supreme Self) to describe Him. For example:

 

 

atmaivedam agra asit purusha-vidhah

 

 

     "The Supreme Self (atma), who is a transcendental person, existed before this material world was manifested in the beginning."

          —Vajasaneya-samhita

 

 

     atma va idam eka evagra asit nanyat kincana

mishat sa ikshata lokan nu shrija

 

 

     "Before the material world was manifest, the Supreme Self (atma) alone existed. Nothing else was manifested at that time. The Supreme Self then thought, `Let me create the material planets.'"

               —Aitareya Aranyaka

 

     Both these texts clearly refer to the Supreme Self (atma) who existed before the creation of the material world. Also, In the commentary on sutra 1.1.2, I have already explained that the word atma primarily refers to the perfect Supreme Brahman, and not to anyone or anything else. For this reason the word atma used in the scriptures should be understood to refer to the transcendental Supreme Personality of Godhead, and not to any material manifestation of the mode of goodness. The transcendental Supreme Person is described in the following statements of Vedic literature:

 

           

vadanti tat tattva-vidas

     tattvam yaj jnanam advayam

brahmeti paramatmeti

     bhagavan iti shabdyate

 

 

     "Learned transcendentalist who know the Absolute Truth call this non-dual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan."*

               'Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.11

 

 

shuddhe maha-vibhutakhye

     pare brahmani shabdyate

maitreya bhagavac-chabdah

     sarva-karana-karane

 

 

     "O Maitreya, the word Bhagavan refers to the Supreme Brahman, who is full of all powers and opulences, the original cause of all causes, and the supreme transcendence, pure and always untouched by matter."

               —Vishnu Purana

 

     In this way the supremely perfect and pure Brahman is described by the statements of the smriti-shastras. If it were not possible to describe Him with words, then the scriptures would not have been able to describe Him in the above quotations.

 

 

Sutra 7

 

 

tan nishthasya mok\shopadeshat

 

     tat—that; nishthasya—of the faithful devotee; mok\sha—of the liberation; upadeshat—because of the instructions.

 

 

     (The Brahman described in the scriptures is the transcendental Supreme Lord, and not a temporary manifestation of the mode of goodness, because the scriptures) teach us that they who become His devotees attain liberation.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The word "not" is understood in this sutra and the following three sutras as well. The liberation of those devoted to Brahman is described in the following statement of Taittiriya Upanishad (2.7):

 

 

     asad va idam agra asit tato vai sad ajayata tad atmanam svayam akuruta. . . yada hy evaisha etasminn adrishye anatmye anirukte 'nilayane abhayam pratishtham vindate 'tha so 'bhayam gato bhavati yada hy evaisha etasminn udaram antaram kurute atha tasya bhayam bhavati

 

 

     "Before the material cosmos was manifested, it existed in a subtle form. At a certain time it became manifested in a gross form, and at a certain time the Supreme Brahman manifested as the Universal Form. When an individual spirit soul takes shelter of that Supreme Brahman, who is different from the individual spirit souls, invisible to the gross material senses, indescribable by material words, and self-effulgent, then the individual spirit soul attains liberation and is no longer afraid of the cycle of repeated birth and death. If one does not take shelter of this Supreme Brahman, he must remain afraid of taking birth again and again in this world."                  

 

     The Brahman described in this passage of the Vedic literature must be the Supreme Brahman who is beyond the limitations of the material world, and who is the creator of the material universes, and yet beyond them. This passage could not be interpreted to describe a Brahman that is actually a manifestation of the modes of material nature, for if this were so, then it would not have explained that they who become devoted to this Brahman attain ultimate liberation. They who are devoted to the manifestations of the modes of nature do not attain liberation by that material devotion. Therefore, because the devotees attain liberation, the Brahman mentioned here must be the transcendental Supreme Person, who is beyond the modes of nature, and completely non-material in nature.

     This non-material, transcendental Supreme Brahman is described in the following statement of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.88.5):

 

 

harir hi nirgunah sakshat

     purushah prakriteh parah

sa sarva-drig upadrashta

     tam bhajan nirguno bhavet

 

 

     "Shri Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is situated beyond the range of material nature; therefore He is the supreme transcendental person. He can see everything inside and outside; therefore He is the supreme overseer of all living entities. If someone takes shelter at His lotus feet and worships Him, he also attains a transcendental position."*

 

 

Sutra 8

 

 

heyatva-vacanac ca

 

     heyatva—worthy of being abandoned; vacanat—because of the statement; ca—also.

 

 

     (The Brahman described in the Vedic scriptures is not a manifestation of the modes of material nature,) because no scriptural passage advises one to abandon (Brahman in order to attain something higher).

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     If the Brahman described in the scriptures were enmeshed in the modes of material nature, then why do the scriptures not direct men and women to abandon the worship of Brahman and worship something higher? If this Brahman were under the spell of the modes of nature, then why do those aspiring after liberation worship this Brahman to become free from the grip of the modes of nature? Clearly, the Brahman described in the scriptures is not entangled in the modes of material nature, and for this reason the scripture state:

 

 

anya vaco vimuncatha

 

 

     "Give up talking about things that have no relation to the Supreme Brahman!"

 

     They who aspire for liberation should meditate with pure faith on this Supreme Brahman, who is eternal, filled with all transcendental qualities, and the orginal creator of the material universes. In this way it may be understood that the Brahman described in the Vedic scriptures is not a product of the modes of material nature.

 

 

Sutra 9

 

 

svapyat

 

     sva—into Himself; apyat—because He merges.

 

 

     (The Supreme Brahman described in the Vedic literatures is not bound by the modes of nature,) because He merges into Himself, (unlike the creatures bound by nature's modes, who all merge into something other than their self).

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

The Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (5.1.1) explains:

 

 

om purnam adah purnam idam

     purnat purnam udacyate

purnasya purnam adaya

     purnam evavashishyate

 

 

     "The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as complete wholes. Whatever is produced of the complete whole is also complete in itself. Because He is the complete whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance."*

 

     This verse explains that that which is purna (perfect and complete), enters into itself. This cannot be said of that which is not perfect and complete. If the Supreme Brahman described in the scriptures were a product of the modes of material nature, then it would merge into the Supreme and not into itself. In this way it could not be described as truly perfect and complete. In this verse the word adah (this) refers to the aprakata (not manifested in the material world) form of the Supreme Lord, which is the root from which the various prakata forms of the Lord emanate. Both aprakata and prakata forms of the Lord are perfect and complete. The Lord expands from His aprakata form and appears in the material world in His prakata form, displaying His rasa-lila and other transcendental pastimes. When the prakata form of the Lord leaves the material world and enters the aprakata form of the Lord, the Lord remains unchanged, eternally perfect and complete. That the Lord is untouched by the modes of material nature, and that He expands into many forms, are confired by the following statement of smriti-shastra:

 

 

sa devo bahudha bhutva

     nirgunah purushottamah

eki-bhuya punah shete

     nirdosho harir adi-krit

 

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is faultless. Even though He is the original creator of the material world, He remains always untouched by matter. He expands in innumerable vishnu-tattva incarnations, and then these incarnations enter Him and He again becomes one."

 

     At this point someone may raise the following objection: There are actually two kinds of Brahman: Saguna Brahman (Brahman enmeshed in the modes of material nature), and Nirguna Brahman (Brahman untouched by the modes of material nature). The first, or Saguna Brahman, has a form constructed of the mode of material goodness. This Saguna Brahman is the omnisicent, all-powerful creator of the material universes. The second, or Nirguna Brahman, is pure transcendental existence only. This Nirguna Brahman is pure, perfect, and complete. The Saguna Brahman is the shakti (potency) described by the Vedas, and the Nirguna Brahman is the tatparya (meaning) of the Vedas.

     Shrila Vyasadeva refutes this argument by explaining, in the next sutra:                    

 

 

Sutra 10

 

 

gati-samanyat

 

gati—the conception; samanyat—because of uniformity.

 

 

     (This is not so) because the Vedas describe only one kind of Brahman.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     In this sutra the word gati means "conception."  The Vedic literatures describe Brahman as full of transcendental knowledge, omniscient, omnipotent, perfect, complete, pure, the all-pervading Supersoul, the original creator of the material universes, the object of worship for the saintly devotees, and the bestower of liberation. The Vedas do not describe two kinds of Brahman: Nirguna and Saguna. Rather, the Vedas describe only one kind of Brahman. This one Brahman is described by Lord Krishna in the following words (Bhagavad-gita 7.7):

 

 

mattah parataram nanyat

     kincid asti dhananjaya

mayi sarvam idam protam

     sutre mani-gana iva

 

 

     "O conqueror of wealth, there is not truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon me as pearls strung on a thread."*

 

     Thus the Vedic literatures describe only one kind of Brahman: Nirguna Brahman. Shrila Vyasadeva describes this Nirguna Brahman in the next sutra:

 

 

Sutra 11

 

 

 

shrutatvac ca

 

shrutavat—because of being described in the Vedas; ca—and.

 

 

     (There is only one kind of Brahman: Nirguna Brahman), because Nirguna Brahman is described throughout the Vedic literatures.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     Nirguna Brahman is described in the following statement of Shvetashvatara Upanishad (6.11):

 

 

eko devah sarva-bhuteshu gudhah

     sarva-vyapi sarva-bhutantaratma

karmadhyakshah sarva-bhutadhivasah

     sakshi ceta kevalo nirgunash ca

 

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead manifests Himself as the all-pervading Supersoul, the witness present in the hearts of all living entities. He witnesses all activities of the living entity. He is the supreme living force. He is transcendental to all material qualities."

 

     In this way Nirguna Brahman is described in the shruti-shastra. The shruti-shastra does not say that it is impossible to describe Brahman. Some say that Brahman may be understood not from the direct statements of the Vedic literatures, but merely indirectly, or from hints found in the Vedic texts. This is not the correct understanding, for if the Vedic scriptures had no power to directly describe Brahman, then naturally they would also not have any power to indirectly describe Him or hint about Him. The Vedic literatures may say that Brahman has no contact with gunas (either qualities, or the three modes of material nature), and He cannot be seen by material eyes (adrishya), still it does not say that the words of the Vedas have no power to describe Him.

     At this point someone may raise the following objection:  Is it not said in the Vedas that Brahman has no gunas (qualities)? Your statement that Brahman has qualities contradicts the description of the scriptures.

     To this I reply: This is not true. You can only say this because you do not understand the confidential meaning of the word nirguna. Because the Supreme Brahman is all-knowing and possess many transcendental qualitites, when the scriptures say that He is nirguna, it should be understood to mean that He has no (nih) contact with the three modes of material nature (guna).

     This is confirmed by the following statements of smriti-shastra:

 

 

sattvadayo na shantishe

     yatra caprakrita gunah

 

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who possesses numberless transcendental qualities, is eternally free from the touch of the three modes of material nature: goodness, passion, and ignorance."

 

 

samasta-kalyana-gunatmako 'sau

 

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead possesses all auspicious qualities."

 

     For all these reasons it should be accepted that the Vedic literatures have the power to describe the perfect, pure, complete Supreme Brahman. When it is said by the scriptures that the Supreme Brahman has no names, forms, or qualities it should be understood that the Supreme Brahman has no material names, forms, or qualities, and that His names, forms and qualities are limitless and beyond the counting of limited spirit souls.

     At this point someone may object, saying that the literal interpretation of the Vedic statements is that Brahman is without qualities (nirguna), and your interpretation of the word nirguna is wrong.

     To this objection I reply: Does this description that Brahman has no qualities help to positively undertand Brahman? If you say yes, then you have to admit that the Vedas do have the power to describe Brahman; and if you say no, then you have to admit that your careful studies of the Vedic literature have been a great waste of time, and as a result you remain wholly ignorant of Brahman's real nature.

 

 

Adhikarana 6

The Supreme Brahman is Full of Bliss

 

 

 

Introduction by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

shabda vacakatam yanti

     yantranandamayadayah

vibhum ananda-vijnanam

     tam shuddham shraddadhimahi

 

 

     Let us place our faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is supremely pure, all-powerful, all-knowing, and full of transcendental bliss. He is perfectly described in the anandamaya-sutra and the other statements of Vedanta-sutra.

 

     From the 12th Sutra (anandamaya) to the end of this First Chapter, Shrila Vyasadeva will prove that the statements of the Vedic literatures are intended to describe Brahman. In the First Pada, Shrila Vyasadeva discusses those words of the Vedic literatures, which, taken by themselves, whould not necessarily refer to Brahman, but which, in their Vedic context, certainly do refer to Brahman.

     1. Vishaya (Statement): In the passages from Taittiriya Upanishad beginning brahma-vid apnoti param and sa va esha puruso 'nna-rasamayah, we find a description of the annamaya, pranamaya, manomaya, and vijnanamaya stages of existence, and after that we find the following statement:

 

 

     tasmad va etasmad vijnanamayad anyo 'ntaratmanandamayas tenaisha purnah. sa va esha purusha-vidha eva tasya purusha-vidhatam anvayam purusha-vidhah. tasya priyam eva shirah. modo dak\shinah pak\shah. pramoda uttarah pak\shah. ananda atma. brahma-puccham pratishtha.

 

 

     "Higher than the vijnanamaya stage is the anandamaya stage of existence. The anandamaya stage is a person whose head is pleasure (priya), whose right side is joy (moda), whose left side is delight (pramoda), and whose identity is bliss (ananda). The anandamya is Brahman."

 

     2. Samshaya (doubt): Is the anandamaya person the individual spirit soul or the Supreme Brahman?

     3. Purvapaksha (the opposition speaks): Because anandamaya is described as a person it must refer to the conditioned spirit soul residing in a material body.

     4. Siddhanta (the proper conclusion): Shrila Vyasadeva answers this argument by speaking the following sutra:

 

 

Sutra 12

 

 

anandamayo 'bhyasat

 

     ananda—bliss; mayah—full of ; abhyasat—because of repetition.

 

 

     The word anandamaya (full of bliss) used in the Vedic literatures must refer to the Supreme Brahman, for it is repeatedly used to describe Him.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The Supreme Brahman is the anandamaya described in Vedic literature. Why do we say so?  Because the word anandamaya is repeatedly used to describe the Supreme Brahman. Directly following the description of anandamaya in the Taittiriya Upanishad (2.6.1), we find the following statement:

 

 

asann eva sambhavati

     asad brahmeti veda cet

asti brahmeti ced veda

     santam enam tato viduh

 

 

     "One who thinks, `The Supreme Brahman does not exist' becomes a demonic atheist, and one who thinks, `The Supreme Brahman does exist' is known as a saint."

 

     In this passage the word Brahman was repeated. This repetition is called abhyasa. In the previous quotation from Taittiriya Upanishad, the word Brahman appeared in the word brahma-puccham, but in that case the word only occurred once, and therefore there was no abhyasa.

     The four verses of Taittiriya Upanishad beginning with the verse annad vai prajah prajayante describe the annamaya, pranamaya, manomaya, and vijnanamaya levels of existence. Each of these levels is progressively higher than the preceding one, and after them the anandamaya level, which is different in quality, is the highest of all. This will be more elaborately explained in the passage following the sutra: priya-shiras tv adya-prapter (3.3.13) of this book.

     At this point someone may raise the following objection: These stages of existence describe the conditioned souls who have fallen into the raging river of material suffering. Why has the stage of blissfulness (anandamaya) been made the chief of these stages of suffering?"

     To this objection I reply: There is no fault in this. The all-blissful Personality of Godhead is pesent in the hearts of all the suffering conditioned souls, and therefore it is perfectly appropriate to mention them together.

     The Vedic literatures speak in this way to make a difficult subject-matter intelligible for the unlettered common man. Just as one may point out the small, difficult-to-see star Arundhati by first pointing to a nearby large easy-to-see star, and then lead the viewer from that reference-point to the tiny Arundhati, in the same way the Vedic literatures first describe the suffering-filled life of the conditioned souls, and then from that reference point teach about the all-blissful Supreme Personality of Godhead.

      At this point someone may raise the following question: Is it, then, that the Vedic literatures mostly describe topics other than the Supreme Brahman, (because mostly they describe these "reference-points" to lead the reader to the Supreme), or do they mostly describe Brahman directly?"

     I answer this question: Brahman is directly described in the Vedic literatures. For example, in the next chapter of Taittiriya Upanishad, Varuna, upon being asked by his son to teach him about Brahman, explained to him that Brahman is the original creator, maintaner, and destroyer of the material universes. He further explains that the annamaya, pranamaya, manomaya, and vijnanamaya stages of existence, one by one, are all Brahman. Then he explained that the anandamaya stage is the final Brahman. After explaining this, Varuna concluded his teaching by confirming that he has spoken a true description of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He said:

 

 

     etam anandamayam atmanam upasankramya iman lokan kamani kama-rupy anusancarann etat sama gayann aste

 

 

     "After leaving his material body, one who understands the supreme anandamaya person leaves this material world and enters the spiritual world. All his desires become fulfilled, he attains a spiritual form according to his own wish, and he dedicates himself to glorifying that supreme anandamaya person."

 

     That the anandamaya person in the Vedic literatures is actually the Supreme Brahman is also described in the following statement of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.87.17):

 

 

purusha-vidho 'nvayo 'tra caramo 'nnamyadishu yah

     sad asatah param tvam atha yad eshv avasheshamritam

 

 

     "O Lord, of these persons beginning with the annamaya-purusha, You are the Supreme."

 

     We may note in this connection that it is not contradictory or illogical to say that the Supreme Brahman has a form. The form of the Supreme is described in the Vedic literatures. For example, the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (3.7.3) explains:

 

 

prithivi shariram

 

 

     "The material universe is the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

 

     It is because the Supreme Personality of Godhead has a form (sharira), that this book, the Vedanta-sutra, is also called Shariraka-sutra (sutras glorifying the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has a form). Some may say that the word anandamaya does not refer to the Supreme Brahman, and that only the word brahma-puccham refers to Brahman. This proposal is not very intelligent. Some others may say that the word anandamaya does not refer to Brahman because the wordmaya means "transformation". These persons say the word anandamaya (transformation of bliss) cannot refer to the Supreme Brahman, for Brahman is naturally full of bliss, and not a transformation of some pre-existing state of happiness. For this reason the word anandamaya must refer to the individual spirit soul, and not Brahman. In order to refute this argument, Shrila Vyasadeva speaks the following sutra:

 

 

Sutra 13

 

 

vikara-shabdan neti cen na pracuryat

 

     vikara—transformation; shabdat—from the word; na—not; iti—thus; cet—if; na—not; pracuryat—because of abundance.

 

 

     If (someone argues that the Supreme Brahman cannot be the same as the anandamaya person described in the Vedas) because the affix maya means "transformation", (and the Supreme Brahman is not a transformation of ananda, or bliss, then I reply by saying that) because the affix maya used here means "abundance", this interpretation is not correct, (and therefore the word anandamaya should be understood to mean "He who is filled with limitless bliss").

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The word anandamaya does not mean "he who is a transformation of bliss."  Why?  Because the affix maya here means "abundance", and therefore the word anandamaya means "He who is filled with limitless bliss."  The rules of Sanskrit grammar state that the affix maya may not be used to mean "transformation" in vaidika words of more than two syllables. The word ananda has three syllables, and therefore when the word anandamaya appears in the vaidika text of the Taittiriya Upanishad, it cannot be interpreted to mean "he who is a transformation of bliss."

     The Supreme Brahman, therefore, is not only free from all suffering, but filled with limitless bliss. This is confirmed by the following statements of Vedic scripture:

 

 

esha sarva-bhutantaratmapahata-papma divyo deva eko narayanah

 

 

     "There is one Supreme Personality of Godhead: Lord Narayana. He is the transcendental Supersoul in the hearts of all living entities, and He is completely free from all sin."

               —Subala Upanishad

 

 

parah paranam sakala na yatra

     kleshadayah santi paravareshah

 

 

     "Suffering is not experienced by the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

 

     When the affix maya means "abundance", it also implies the meaning "essential nature."  Therefore, when we use jyotirmaya (full of light) to mean the sun, the affix maya can also be understood to mean "essential nature". In this way the word jyotirmaya means "that of which the essential nature is light." In this way the word anandamaya may also be interpreted to mean "He whose essential nature is full of bliss." From all this it may be understood that the word anandamaya clearly refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It does not refer to the individual spirit soul.

 

 

Sutra 14

 

 

tad-hetu-vyapadeshac ca

 

     tat—of that; hetu—the origin; vypadeshat—because of the statement; ca—also.

 

 

     Because the Vedic literatures declare that the anandamaya person is the source of bliss for others, (it should be understood that the anandamaya person is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and not the individual spirit soul).

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     This is confirmed by the following statement of Taittiriya Upanishad (2.7):

 

 

     ko hy evanyat kah pranyat yady esha akasha anando na syat. esa evanandayati.

 

 

     "Who is that person, without whom the living entities cannot feel happiness? That is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who delights the individual spirit souls."

 

     This passage explains that the Supreme Brahman is the origin of happiness for the individual spirit souls. From this we may understand that the cause of happiness (the Supreme Personality of Godhead), and the receiver of happiness (the individual spirit soul) must be different persons. They cannot be indentical. Therefore the word anandamaya refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead only. We may also note that the word ananda used in this passage of Taittiriya Upanishad (is identical with the word anandamaya..

 

 

Sutra 15

 

 

mantra-varnikam eva ca giyate

 

     mantra—by the mantra portion of the Vedas; varnikam—described; eva—certainly; ca—also; giyate—is described.

 

 

     (The same Supreme Personality of Godhead) described in the mantra-portion of the Vedas is also described (as the anandamaya-person in the text of the Taittiriya Upanishad).

 

 

Purport by Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The same Supreme Brahman described in the Vedic mantra, Satyam jnanam anantam brahma (the Supreme Brahman has no limits. He is eternal and full of knowledge), is also described in the Taittiriya Upanishad by the word anandamaya. In this way the above sutra explains that the word anandamaya does not refer to the individual living entitiy. Further, the Taittiriya Upanishad explains:

 

 

brahma-vid apnoti param

 

 

     "One who understands the Supreme Brahman attains the Supreme Brahman."

 

     This sentence explains that the individual living entity worships the Supreme Brahman and then attains the association of that Supreme Brahman. This is the same Supreme Brahman previously described in the mantra, satyam jnanam anantam brahma. This is the Supreme Brahman described by the word anandamaya.  This is the Supreme Brahman described in the Taittiriya Upanishad in the passage begining with the words tasmad va etasmat. Because the Supreme Brahman is the object of attainment for the individual spirit soul, and because the object of attainment and the attainer must be two distinct entities, and they cannot be identical, therefore the Supreme Brahman and the individual living entities must be distinct persons, and therefore the word anandamaya refers only to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and not to the individual living entites.

     At this point someone may raise the following objection: If the Supreme Brahman described in the Vedic mantras were different from the individual living entity, then the individual living enitites could not be the anandamaya person described in the scriptures. The actual fact is that the Supreme Brahman and the individual living entities are identical. The Vedic mantras state that when the individual spirit soul is free from ignorance and liberated from material bondage, then he become identical with the Supreme Brahman.

     To answer this objection, Shrila Vyasadeva speaks the following sutra.

 

 

Sutra 16

 

 

netaro 'nupapatteh

 

     na—not; itarah—the other; upapatteh—because it is illogical.

 

 

     The other person (individual living entity) is not described (in the mantra "satyam jnanam anantam brahma"), because such an interpretation of the mantra is illogical.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

 

     The itara (other person) mentioned in this sutra is the individual living entity. This sutra, therefore, states that the individual spirit soul, even in the liberated condition, cannot be the Supremem Person described in the mantra, satyam jnanam anantam brahma.  This is confirmed by the following statement of Vedic literature:

 

 

     so 'shnute sarvan kaman saha brahmana vipashcita

 

 

     "The liberated soul enjoys the fulfillment of all his desires in the company of the omniscient Supreme Brahman."

 

     In this passage the difference  between the liberated spirit-soul and the Supreme Brahman is described in the words "He enjoys in the company of the Supreme Brahman."  The word vipascit means "He whose consciousness (cit) sees (pashyati) the great variety of that which exists (vividham). The word pashya is changed to pash in this word by the grammatical formula prishodaradi-gana (Panini 6.3.109). In this way the liberated individual soul attains the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is expert at enjoying many varieties of transcendental bliss, and with Him, the individual spirit soul enjoys, fulfilling all his desires.

     The word asnute should be understood to mean "enjoys" in this context. The verb ash means "to enjoy", and although we would expect it to be conjugated in the parasmaipada, (ashnati), in this passage it is conjugated in the atmanepada (ashnute). The reason for this is explained by Panini in the sutra vyatyayo bahulam iti chandasi tatha smriteh (3.1.85).

     The Supreme Personality of Godhead is naturally the Supreme Enjoyer, and the individual spirit soul is His subordinate in the matter of enjoyment also. Still, the Supreme Personality of Godhead glorifies the liberated souls, when He says:

 

 

vashe kurvanti mam bhaktah

     sat-striyah sat-patim yatha

 

 

     "My pure devotees bring Me under their control, just as  faithful wives bring a kind-hearted husband under their control."

 

 

Sutra 17

 

 

bheda-vyapadeshac ca

 

     bheda—difference; vyapadeshat—because of the statement; ca—also.

 

 

     (The Supreme Personality of Godhead and the individual spirit soul are) different, because the Vedic literature teaches this fact.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

The Taittiriya Upanishad (7.1) explains:

 

 

raso vai sah rasam hy evayam labdhvanandi bhavati.

 

     "When one understands the Personality of God, the reservoir of pleasure, Krishna, he actually becomes transcendentally blissful."*

 

     This passage clearly shows the difference between the liberated individual spirit soul and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whom the Vedic mantras describe as anandamaya, and who is the transcendental nectar attained by the individual spirit soul. This difference is also described in the following statement of Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (4.4.6):

 

 

brahmaiva san brahmapnoti

 

 

     "After becoming Brahman, the individual spirit soul attains Brahman."

 

     This statement does not mean that after liberation the individual spirit soul becomes non-different from the Supreme Brahman, but rather the liberated soul becomes similar to Brahman and in this condition meets Brahman and attains His association. This is confirmed by the folllowing statementof Mandukya Upanishad (3.1.31):

 

 

     niranjanah paramam samyam upaiti

 

 

     "This liberated soul becomes like the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

 

     Also, in the Bhagavad-gita (14.2), the Supreme Personality of Godhead declares:

 

 

idam jnanam upashritya

     mama sadharmyam agatah

 

 

     "By becoming fixed in this knowledge, one can attain to the transcendental nature, which is like My own nature."*

 

     In this way the Vedic literatures teach us that the liberated souls become like the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

     At this point someone may raise the following objection: Is it not so that the pradhana feature of the mode of material goodness (sattva-guna) is the actual origin of the anandamaya  person?

     Shrila Vyasadeva answers this objection in the following sutra.

 

 

Sutra 18

 

 

kamac ca nanumanapeksha

 

     kamat—because of desire; ca—also; na—not; anumana—to the theory; apeksha—in relation.

 

 

     (The anandamaya person) cannot be (a product of the mode of material goodness), because (the mode of goodness is insentient and desireless, whereas the anandamaya person) is filled with desires.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The Taittiriya Upanishad explains:

 

 

     so 'kamayata bahu syam prajayeya

 

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead desired: Let Me become many. Let Me father many living entities."

 

     In this way the shruti-shastra explains that the universe was created by the desire of the anandamaya person. Because the anandamaya person is thus filled with desires, it is not possible for the pradhana mode of material goodness, which is lifeless, insentient, and desireless, to be that anandamaya person.

 

 

Sutra 19

 

 

asminn asya ca tad-yogam shasti

 

     asmin—in that anandamaya person;  asya—of the individual spirit soul; ca—also; tat—of fearlessness; yogam—contact; sasti—the Vedic scriptures teach.

 

 

     (The anandamaya person cannot be manifested from the pradhana mode of material goodness, because) the Vedic scriptures teach that contact with the anandamaya person brings fearlessness (to the individual spirit soul).

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The shruti-shastra teaches that by taking shelter of the anandamaya person, the individual spirit soul attains fearlessness, and by declining to take shelter of Him, the soul becomes plagued with fears. This confirmed by the Taittiriya Upanishad (2.7.2) in the passage beginning with the words yada hy eva.

     On the other hand, contact with the material nature brings fear to the individual spirit souls. The material nature does not bring a condition of fearlessness to the living entities, and for this reason it is not possible that the pradhana mode of material goodness is the anandamaya person. Therefore, the anandamaya person is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari. The anandamaya person is not the individual spirit soul or the material nature.

 

 

Adhikarana 7

The Nature of the Person Within

 

 

     1. Vishaya (Statement): The Chandogya Upanishad explains:

 

 

     atha ya so 'ntar adityo hiranmayah purusho drishyate hiranya-shmashrur hiranya-kesha apranakhat sarva eva suvarnas tasya yatha kapyasam pundarikam evam ak\shini tasyodeti nama sa esha sarvebhyah papmabhyah udita udeti ha vai sarvebhyah papmabhyo ya evam veda tasya rik sama ca gesnau tasmad udigithas tasmat tv evodgataitasya hi gatha sa esha ye camushmat paranco lokas tesham ceshte deva-kamanam cety adhidaivatam. . . athadhyatmam atha ya esho 'ntar-ak\shini purusho drishyate saiva rik tat sama tad uktham tad yajus tad brahma tasyaitasya tad eva rupam yad amushya rupam. yav amushya gesnau tau gesnau yan nama tan nama.

 

 

     "Within the sun-globe is a golden person, with golden hair, a golden beard, and a body golden from His fingernails to all His limbs. His eyes are like lotus flowers. He is above all sin. One who understands Him also becomes situated above all sin. The Rig and Sama Vedas sing His glories. From Him the highest spiritual planets, where the demigods desire to go, have become manifested. This is the golden person present among the demigods. . . Now I shall describe the person within the human mind and heart. Within the eyes a wonderful person may be seen. The Rig, Sama, and Yajur Vedas glorify Him. He is identical with the golden person who resides in the sun."

     2. Samshaya (doubt): "Is this an individual spirit soul who by great piety and spiritual knowledge has attained this exalted position, or is this the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who appears as the all-pervading Supersoul?"

     3. Purvapaksha (the opposing argument): Because this person has a form and various humanlike features, He must be a pious spirit soul. By his piety and spiritual knowledge he has become able to become the great controller of demigods and human beings, who fulfills their desires, and grants them the results of thier actions.

     4. Siddhanta (Conclusion): Shrila Vyasadeva addresses these views in the following sutra.

 

 

Sutra 20

 

 

antas tad-dharmopadeshat

 

     antah—within; tat—of Him; dharma—nature; upadeshat' because of the instruction.

 

 

     The person within (the sun and the eye is the Supreme Personality of Godhead), because the Vedic literatures explain that His nature fits the description of the Lord.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The person within the sun and the eye is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is present everywhere as the Supersoul. This person is not the individual spirit soul. Why?  Because the Vedic literatures describe Him as being sinless and possessing all the qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. For example, He is free from all sin and all karma. The slightest fragrance of karma cannot touch Him. This is not possible for the individual spirit souls, who remain subject to the laws of karma. In many other ways also the individual spirit soul does not fit the description of this perosn within the sun and the eye. For example: the individual spirit soul is not the fulfiller of the desires of the living entities, nor is he the awarder of the fruits of action, nor is he the object of the worship of the living entities.

     At this point someone may raise the following objection: Because the person within the sun and the eye is described as having a body, therefore He must be an individual spirit soul, for the Supreme Brahman has no body.

     To this objection I reply: This is not necessarily so. The purusha-sukta prayers (Rig Veda 10.90) and many other Vedic verses describe the transcendental body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Svetashvatara Upanishad also describes the Supreme Lord's transcendental body in the following words:

 

 

vedhaham etam purusham mahantam

     aditya-varnam tamasah parastat

 

 

     "I know that Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose form is transcendental to all material conceptions of darkness."*

 

 

Sutra 21

 

 

bheda-vyapadeshac canyah

 

     bheda—difference; vyapadeshat—because of the statement; ca—also; anyah—another.

 

 

     The Supreme Personality of Godhead is different from the individual spirit soul because this doctrine is taught in all Vedic literatures.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The golden person within the sun is not the individual spirit soul who is the solar diety and who thinks the sun-planet is his own body, but rather that golden person is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supersoul who is present in every atom. This is confirmed by the following statement of the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad:

 

 

     ya aditye tishthann adityad antaro yam adityo

na veda yasyadityah shariram ya adityam antaro

yamayaty esha ta atmantaryamy amritah

 

 

     "That person situated within the sun, who is not the sun-god, whom the sun-god does not know, who manifests the sun-planet as His own body, who controls the sun-planet from within, that person is the immortal Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is present within the heart of every living entity as the Supersoul."

 

     From this description we may understand that the golden person within the sun is not the individual spirit soul who is the sun-god, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Both this passage and the previous quoted passage from the Chandogya Upanishad agree on this point.

 

 

Adhikarana 8

The Word "Akasha" Refers to Brahman

 

 

     1. Vishaya (Statement): The Chandogya Upanishad states:

 

 

     asya lokasya ka gatir iti akasha iti hovaca

sarvani ha va imani bhutany akashad eva

samutpadyante. akasham pratyastam yanty akashah

parayanam iti.

 

 

     "He asked: What is the ultimate destination of all living entities? He replied: Akasha is the ultimate destination. All living entities and all material elements have emanated from akasha, and they will again enter into akasha."

     2. Samshaya (doubt): What is the meaning of the word akasha here? Does it mean the element ether, or does it mean the Supreme Brahman?

     3. Purvapaksha (the opposing argument): The word akasha here means "the element ether", because air and the other elements evolve from it. Indeed, ether is the origin of all the other elements.

     4. Siddhanta (Conclusion): Shrila Vyasadeva refutes this argument in the following sutra.

 

 

Sutra 22

 

 

akashas tal-lingat

 

     akashah—the word akasha; tat—of Him; lingat—because of the qualities.

 

 

     The word "akasha" in the Vedic literature refers to the Supreme Brahman, for the description of "akasha" aptly fits the description of the qualities of Brahman.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The word akasha here refers to Brahman and not the material element ether. Why?  Because the akasha described here has alll the characteristics of Brahman. The akasha described here is the source from which the material elements emanate, the maintainer who sustains them, and the ultimate refuge into which they enter at the time of comsic annihilation. That is Brahman. The scriptures explain: sarvani ha va imani bhutani (All material elements have emanated from akasha). Because ether is one of the material elements, it is included in the word sarvani (all the elements). It is not the independent origin of the causal chain, but merely one of the links. For this reason it cannot be the akasha that is the source of all the elements (including ether). The use of the word eva (certainly) in this context reinforces the interpretation that akasha refers to Brahman because eva implies "there is no other cause". For this reason akasha cannot refer to the material element ether. For example, clay is the origin from which clay pots are produced, and other material substances are the origins of other objects, but all these "origins" are not primal origins, but merely intermediate steps in a great causal chain. By using the  word eva (the sole cause) the text clearly refers to the primal, uncaused cause, Brahman, and not ether or any other particular intermediate stage in the causal chain. The Vedic literatures describe Brahman as the master of all potencies and the source of all forms, and therefore, because the akasha is described (eva) as the "sole cause", it can refer only to the primal cause Brahman and not the material element ether. Although the word akasha generally means "ether" in ordinary usage, in this context the secondary meaning "Brahman" is far more appropriate.

 

 

Adhikarana 9

The Word "Prana" Refers to Brahman

 

 

     1. Vishaya (Statement): The Chandogya Upanishad explains:

 

 

     katama sa devateti. prana iti hovaca. sarvani ha vai imani bhutani pranam evabhisamvishanti pranam abhyujjihate.

 

 

     "They asked: Who is this deity of whom you speak? He replied: It is prana. From prana all the material elements have emanated, and into prana they enter at the end."

     2. Samshaya (doubt): Does the word pranahere refer to the breath that travels in and out of the mouth, or does it refer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

     3. Purvapaksha (opposing argument): The ordinary meaning of the word prana is "the breath that travels in and out the mouth."  That meaning is intended here.

     4. Siddhanta (Conclusion): Shrila Vyasadeva refutes this view by speaking the following sutra.

 

 

Sutra 23

 

 

ata eva pranah

 

atah eva—therefore; pranah—the word prana.

 

 

     The word "prana" in the Vedic literatures refers to the Supreme Brahman, for the same reasons expressed in the previous sutra.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The word prana in this passage from Chandogya Upanishad refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and not to the transformations of air. Why?  Because this text describes prana as the original cause from which the material elements have emanated, and into which they enter at the end. These are the characteristics of the Supreme Brahman, and not the material element air.

 

 

Adhikarana 10

The Word "Jyotis" Refers to Brahman

 

 

Introduction by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

The Chandogya Upanishad (3.13.7) states:

 

 

     atha yad atah paro divo jyotir dipyate vishvatah prishtheshu sarvatah prishtheshv anuttameshuttameshu lokeshu idam vava tad yad idam asminn antah purushe jyotih

 

 

     "Jyotis shines in the spiritual world, above all the material planets. Jyotis forms the background on which all material universes and all material planets, from lowest to highest, rest. This jyotis is present in the heart of every living being."

     2. Samshaya (doubt): What is the jyotis described here?  Is it the light of the sun and other luminous objects, or is it the Supreme Brahman?

     3.Purvapaksha (the opposing argument): Because there is no mention of Brahman in this passage, the word jyotis in this text must refer to the light of the sun and other luminous objects.

     4. Siddhanta (Conclusion): Shrila Vyasadeva replies in the following sutra.

 

 

Sutra 24

 

 

jyotish-caranabhidhanat

 

     jyotih—of the jyotih; carana—of the feet; abhidhanat' because of the mention.

 

 

     Because the "jyotis" in this text is described as having feet, (it must refer to the Supreme Brahman).

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The word jyotis here should be understood to mean "the Supreme Brahman". Why? Because this jyotis is described as having feet. The Chandogya Upanishad (3.12.6) states:

 

 

     etavan asya mahimato jyayams" ca purushah. pado 'sya sarva-bhutani tri-pad asyamritam divi

 

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is full of glory and opulence. His one foot is all material elements and all living entities, and His three feet are the eternal spiritual world."

 

     In the previously quoted text of Chandogya Upanishad (3.13.7), as well as in this text from Chandogya Upanishad (3.12.6), (where Brahman is described as having four feet), the spiritual world is mentioned. Although both texts are separated by a little distance, they are brought together by joint mention of the spiritual world, as well as by use of the relative and co-relative pronouns yat and tat. For these reasons it should be understood that both texts describe the all-powerful Supreme Personality of Godhead. For these reasons the jyotis described in this text is the all-powerful Supreme Personality of Godhead, and not the light of the sun and other luminous objects.

 

 

Sutra 25

 

 

     chando-'bhidhanan neti cen na tatha ceto 'rpana-nigadat tatha hi darshanam

 

     chandah—of a meter; abhidhanat—because of being the description; na—not; tatha—in that way; cetah—the mind; arpana—placing; nigadat—because of the instruction; tatha hi' furthermore; darshanam—logical.

 

 

     If   someone   were  to  claim:  “The   word   {.sy 1682}jyotis" here does not refer to Brahman, but to the Gayatri meter," then I would reply: This is not true. The Gayatri meter is taught to assist meditation on Brahman. For this reason it is logical and appropriate to interpret the word jyotis to mean "Brahman".

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     At this point someone may raise the following objection:Is it not true that the Vedic literatures state:

 

    

     gayatri va idam sarvam bhutam yad idam kincit

 

 

"Gayatri is everything that exists."

 

 

     tam eva bhuta-vak-prithivi-sharira-hridaya-prabhedaih

 

 

     "Gayatri is everything. Gayatri is speech, earth, body, and mind."

 

 

     caisha catush-pada shad-vidha gayatri tad etad ricabhyuktam

 

 

     "The Gayatri meter, of which there are four feet and six varieties, is extensively employed in the mantras of the Vedas."

 

 

etavan asya mahima

 

 

     "Gayatri is glorious."

 

     For these reasons it should be understood that the word jyotis in the Vedic literatures refers to the Gayatri mantra. Why, without any good reason, do you insist that the word jyotis refers to Brahman?

     To this objection I reply: Gayatri is a meter, and therefore it is not sensible to claim that it is everything, and everything has emanated from it. For this reason it is only reasonable to assume that the word jyotis in this context refers to Brahman and not Gayatri. Why? Because in this sutra Shrila Vyasadeva states: tatha hi darshanam (that the word jyotis refers to Brahman is only logical and consistent. Any other interpretation is illogical).

     The truth is that the Supreme Brahman has incarnated in this world in the form of the Gayatri mantra to enable the living entities to meditate on Him. This fact is confirmed by the statements of Vedic literature. If we accept that Gayatri is an incarnation of Brahman, then the scriptural statement "Gayatri is everything" is perfectly sensible. Otherwise, the interpretation we concoct is illogical and forced. In this way we have demonstrated that the Gayatri mantra is an incarnation of Brahman.

 

 

Sutra 26

 

 

bhutadi-pada-vyapadeshopapattesh caivam

 

     bhuta—the living entities; adi—beginning with; pada—feet; vyapadesha—of the statement; upapatteh—for the reason; ca—also; evam—in this way.

 

 

     Because the Vedic literatures state that the living entities, (their speech, bodies, and minds are the four) feet (of Gayatri), it should be understood (that Gayatri is an incarnation of Brahman).

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     Gayatri should be considered the same as Brahman. Why? Because Gayatri is described in the words:

 

 

     tam eva bhuta-vak-prithivi-sharira-hridaya-bhedaih

 

 

     "Gayatri is everything. The four feet of Gayatri are speech, earth, body, and mind."

 

     Without Gayatri being an incarnation of Brahman, it is not possible for these four things to be Gayatri's feet. For this reason, as previously explained, it is only natural to interpret the word "Gayatri" to mean "Brahman". In the two quotations from Vedic literature that have formed the basis of our discussion, the word dyu (the spiritual  world) has occurred. This appearance of the word dyu in both passages further confirms that the ambiguous words in these two passages refer to Brahman, and not to something else.

     At this point someone may raise the following objection: The word dyu appearing in these two passages refers to different things.

     To answer this objection, Shrila Vyasadeva speaks the following sutra.

 

 

Sutra 27

 

 

upadesha-bhedan neti cen nobhayasminn apy avirodhat

 

     upadesha—of instruction; bhedat—because of the difference; na—not; iti—thus; cet—if; na—not; ubhayasmin—in both places; api—also; avirodhat—because of non-contradicition.

 

 

     The objection that because the two scriptural passages employ the word "dyu" in two different cases (locative and ablative), therefore they describe two different objects, which cannot both be Brahman, is not a valid objection. The use of the two different causes does not mean that the two passages must describe two different things.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     At this point someone may raise the following objection: Is it not so that two contradictory descriptions of Brahman are found in the scriptures? In one place the scriptures state:

 

 

tri-padasyamritam divi

 

 

     "The eternal Supreme Personality of Godhead resides in the spiritual world, which constitutes three-quarters of all existence."

 

     In another place the scriptures state:

 

 

paro divah

 

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead resides on top of the spiritual world."

 

     In the first quotation the spiritual world was placed in the locative case. Since this is so, both passages contradict each other, They describe two different objects, one within the spiritual world, and the other above it.

     To this objection I reply: Why do you say this? Both passages refer to the same object. The uses of the locative and ablative cases in these quotations does not present a contradiction. for example, in the material world a parrot may be said to be "in" a tree or "on" it. There is no real difference in the two statements. In the same way the Supreme Personality of Godhead may be said to be "in" the spiritual world or "on" it. There is no real difference.

 

 

Adhikarana 11

The Word "Prana" Refers to Brahman

 

 

     1. Vishaya (Statement): In the Kaushitaki Brahmana, Pratardana, the son of Maharaja Divodasa, was able, by virtue of His chivalry and heroism, to enter the favorite residence of Maharaja Indra. When Indra granted Pratardana a benediction, and Pratardana requested Indra choose the benediction he was to give, Indra instructed Pratardana in the following words:

 

 

prano 'smi prajnatma tam mam ayur-amritam upasasva

 

 

     "I am prana. An intelligent person will worship me as the great immortal person."

 

     2. Samshaya (doubt): Who is this person named prana? Is he an individual spirit soul, or is He the Supreme Personality of Godhead who resides in everyone's heart as the Supersoul?

     3. Purvapaksha (the opposing argument): The words "indra" and prana here refer to a specific individual spirit soul. When pratardana inquired, Indra replied by saying the worship of Indra was the most beneficial activity for the living entities.

     4. Siddhanta (conclusion): Shrila Vyasadeva responds to this argument in the following sutra.

 

 

Sutra 28

 

 

pranas tathanugamat

 

     pranah—the word prana; tatha—in the same way; anugamat—because of the context.

 

 

     The word "prana" (should be understood to refer to Brahman) because of the context of it's use.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The prana here must refer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is present in everyone's heart as the Supersoul. Prana here cannot refer to the individual spirit soul. Why? Shrila Vyasadeva explains: tathanugamat (because of the context). The prana described here is intelligence, the self, and transcendental bliss. He is free from old-age and death. These attributes clearly indicate that the word prana here refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

     At this point someone may raise the following objection: Is it not true that to interpret the word prana here is mean Brahman is very inappropriate?  Maharaja Indra is speaking, and he says prano 'smi (I am prana). The speaker is Maharaja Indra, and he clearly refers to himself. He then proceeds to further identify himself, saying: tri-shirshanam tvashtram ahanam arunmukhan rishin shalavrikebhyah prayacchan (I killed Vritrasura, the three-headed son of Tvashta, and I gave the Arunmukha sages to the shalavrikas). All this shows that the Indra described here is an individual spirit soul who advises the living entities to worship him. Even though at the end of this passage prana is described as ananda (transcendental bliss), this also is not inconsistent, because the transcendental glories of the individual spirit souls are also described in the Vedic literatures. In fact, when Indra says he is prana and everyone should worship him, he refers to himself, the individual spirit soul Indra. Indra's statement may be compared to the advice of the Vedic literature: vacam dhenum upasita (One should worship the goddess of speech just as one worships the cow). Because Maharaja Indra is the strongest of living entities, and because strength is identified with the living-force (prana), he identifies himself with that prana. This is perfectly in accord with the statement of Vedic literature: prano vai balam (the living-force is strength). In this way it should be understood that the words prana and indra here refer to a specific individual spirit soul.

     Shrila Vyasadeva refutes this argument in the next sutra.

 

 

Sutra 29

 

 

na vaktur atmopadeshad iti ced adhyatma-sambandha-bhuma hy asmin

 

     na—not; vaktuh—of the speaker; atma—of the self; upadeshat—because of the instruction; iti—thus; cet—if; adhyatma—to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; sambandha' references; bhuma—abundance; hi—indeed; asmin—in this Upanishad.

 

 

     If it is said that the speaker here refers to himself, I say that is not true. In this passage there are many references to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     In this sutra the word adhyatma-sambandha means "with reference to the Supreme Personality of Godhead", and the word bhuma means "abundance". In this chapter of Kaushitaki Upanishad the word prana repeatedly appears in various contexts where it must unavoidably be interpreted to mean "the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

 

For example:

 

     1. When Pratardana asked for the most beneficial gift, or in other words liberation, Indra replied replied by saying "Worship me as prana." In this context prana must mean "the Supreme Personality of Godhead", for only He can grant liberation.

 

     2. The Upanishad explains:

 

 

     esha eva sadhu karma karayati

 

 

     "Prana bestows upon the living entity the power to act wonderfully."

 

     This must refer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme controller, and not to the tiny demigod Indra.

 

     3. The Upanishad also explains:

 

 

     tad yatha rathasyareshu nemir arpita nabhavara arpita evam evaita bhuta-matrah. prajna-matrasv arpitah. prajna-matrah prane 'rpitah.

 

 

     "Just as in a chariot wheel the rim rests on the spokes, and the spokes on the hub, in the same way the material elements rest on prajna (intelligence), and prajna rests on prana."

    

     This quote states that everything sentient and insentient is maintained by prana.

 

     4. The Upanishad also explains:

 

 

     sa esha prana eva prajnatmanando 'jaro 'mritah. esha lokadhipatir esha sarveshvarah

 

 

     "Prana is the Supersoul present in all living entites. Prana is the transcendental bliss. Prana remains eternally untouched by old-age and death. Prana is the master of all living entities and all planets. Prana is the Supreme Controller." 

 

     Because prana is transcendental bliss and has the various qualitites described here, the word prana in this context can refer only to the Supreme Brahman, the Personality of Godhead, who is present in the hearts of all living entities as the Supersoul. The word prana here cannot possibly refer to anyone else.

     At this point someone may raise the following objection: Is it not so that Indra directly describes himself as prana. Why does he do this if your interpretation that prana means "Supreme Brahman" is correct?

     Shrila Vyasadeva answers this objection in the following sutra.

 

 

Sutra 30

 

 

shastra-drishtya tupadesho vamadevavat

 

     shastra—of scripture; drishtya—from the viewpoint; tu—but; upadeshah—instruction; vamadeva—Vamadeva; vat—like.

 

 

     Indra speaks in this way (identifying himself with Brahman) in accordance with the teaching of Vedic literature. He does this just as the sage Vamadeva also did.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The word tu (but) is used here to remove doubt. Even though Indra was perfectly aware that he was an individual spirit soul and not the Supreme Brahman, he still said, "Worship me, knowing me to be Brahman", and this statement is actually perfectly correct according to the philosophy of Vedic literature. It is not untrue. For example, the Chandogya Upanishad states:

 

 

     na vai vaco na cakshumsi na shrotrani na manamsity acakshate prana ity evacakshate prano hy evaitani sarvani bhavanti

 

 

     "The senses are not properly called `voices', `eyes', `ears', and `minds'. The proper name for them all is prana. Everything that is exists is prana."

 

     Because prana maintains their activities, the senses are identified as prana. The learned, self-realized speaker, Indra, wishing to teach his humble, well-behaved student, instructed him: "I am that prana." This means that Indra is dependent on prana, or Brahman, not that he is identical with Brahman in all respects.

     The example of Vamadeva is found in the following passage of Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (1.4.10):

 

 

     tad vaitat pashyan nrishir vamadevah pratipade aham manur abhavam suryash ca

 

 

     "Seeing this, the sage Vamadeva repeated at every moment:`I was Manu. I was the sun-god.'"

 

     Here Vamadeva identifies himself with Manu and the sun-god because the Supreme Brahman is the controller who grants powers to Vamadeva, Manu, and the sun-god. Because they all obtain their powers from the Supreme Brahman, in one sense, they are all one. The Supreme Brahman is all-pervading. He is, in one sense, one with everything that is pervaded by Him. This confirmed by the following statements of smriti-shastra:

 

 

     yo 'yam tavagato deva-samipam devata-ganah sa tvam eva jagat-srashta yatah sarva-gato bhavan

 

 

     "Whoever comes before You, be he a demigod, is created by You, O Supreme Personality of Godhead."*

               —Vishnu Purana 1.9.69

 

 

sarvam samapnoshi tato 'si sarvam

 

 

     "You are all-pervading, and thus you are everything."*

                    —Bhagavad-gita 11.40

 

     In ordinary usage also, when there is a great assembly in a certain place, people call that oneness, because there is unity of place, and also when there is agreement of opinion, that is also called oneness. For example, it is said: "In the evening the scattered cows assemble in one place and thus attain oneness," and "The disputing monarchs finally agreed and became one in their opinion."

     At this point someone may raise the following objection: Is it not so that although there are many passages indicating that the word prana in this passage refers to Brahman, still there are many other passages that demonstrate that it is not possible for the word prana to refer Brahman. Some examples are:

 

 

na vacam vijijnasita vaktaram vidyat

 

 

     "Do not try to understand the meaning of a statement without first understanding who has spoken it."

               —Kaushitaki Upanishad (3.8)

 

 

    tri-shirshanam tvashtram ahanam

 

 

     "I am the Indra who killed Vritrasura, the three-headed son of Tvashta."

 

     These two quotations clearly identify that the speaker of the passage in question was the demigod Indra, who is an individual spirit soul.

 

     That the word prana refers to the life-force, or breath within the body, is confirmed by the following scriptural statements:

 

 

     yavad asmin sharire prano vasati tavad ayur atha khalu prana eva prajnatma idam shariram parigrihyotthapayati

 

 

     "As long as prana remains within it, the body is alive. Prana is the conscious spirit soul. Prana grasps this material body, and makes it rise up and move about."

               —Kaushitaki Upanishad (2.2-3)

 

 

     yo vai pranah sa prajna ya prajna sa pranah. sa ha hy etav asmin sharire vasatah. sahotkramate.

 

 

     "Prana is the same as prajna (consciousness). Prajna is the same as prana. Together they reside in the material body. At the last moment they both leave the body together."

               —Kaushitaki Upanishad

 

     These quotations clearly show that it is not impossible to interpret the word prana in this context to mean "the individual spirit soul" or "living force". The scriptures teach us that both are actually identical, the living force being the active expression of the inactive spirit-soul.

     In this way it is valid to interpret the word prana in three ways: 1. the individual spirit soul; 2. the living-force; and 3. the Supreme Brahman. The word prana here refers to all three. All three are worshipable for the living entities.

     Shrila Vyasadeva refutes this argument in the following sutra.

 

 

Sutra 31

 

 

jiva-mukhya-prana-lingan neti cen nopasya-traividhyad ashritatvad iha tad-yogat

 

     jiva—of the individual spirit soul; mukhya—the primary; prana—living force; lingat—the signs; na—not; iti—thus; cet' if; na—not; upasya—worshipable; taividhyat—because of being there; ashritatvat—because of taking shelter; iha—here; tat-yogat—because of appropriateness.

 

 

     If someone says the word "prana" also refers to the individual spirit soul and the primary living-force in addition to referring to Brahman, then I reply that such an interpretation is not correct. If the word "prana" referred to all three, then all three would be worshipable. This view is not correct, because neither logic nor the authority of scripture support it.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     Someone may say that the natural features of the individual spirit soul and the living-force are such that they are proper objects of worship. To this I reply: This is not true. Why? For then there would be three objects of worship. When Indra says, "Worship me as prana," he uses only one sentence. The rules of rhetoric demand that a sentence have only one correct interpretation, and therefore if we say that the word prana here refers to three different objects, we shall break that rule. This is the true meaning: There are three possible ways to interpret the meaning of prana in this context: 1. Take all these passages, including what directly mentions Brahman, as referring to the individual spirit soul and living-force; 2. Take these passages as referring some to the individual soul and living-force, and some to Brahman. and 3. Take these passages as all referring to Brahman. The first possibility has already been clearly refuted, The second possiblity is not very acceptable, for it recommends that there are three distinct objects of worship. Shrila Vyasadeva says the third possibility is actually logical because ashritatvat (this view is supported by the statements of Vedic literature).

     We may see that many passages in Vedic literature that seem to refer to the individual spirit soul or the living force, in fact refer to Brahman.

     If at this point someone were to object: Is it not true that in this passage the natural sense of the words supports  the interpretations  of the individual spirit soul and the living force?" I would reply by saying: In this passage the worship of prana is described as the most beneficial activity for the living entities. For this reason the interpretation of the Supreme Brahman is logical. For this reason Shrila Vyasadeva states in the sutra, tad-yogat (because this is logical).

     Someone may then object: Is it not true that the scriptures explain that the prana and prajna both reside within the body of the individual spirit soul, and also leave that body together at the time of death? How is this possible if you say that prana means "Brahman"?

     To this objection I reply: Brahman is present in the body of the individual spirit soul in two ways: as kriya-shakti (the potency of action), which is also known as prana, and as jnana-sakti (the potency of knowledge), which is also known as prajna. Both are manifested from Brahman. These two potencies remain within the body of the individual spirit soul, and also leave it together at the time of death.

     Another objection may be raised in the following words: Is it not true that prana and the other words you claim are names of the Supreme Brahman are all actually adjectives, and therefore cannot function as names?

     To this objection I reply: This not true. These words are simultaneously adjectives and nouns. When Indra says prano 'smi prajnatma (I am prana, prajna, and atma), he uses these words as nouns. For these reasons prana, prajna, and other words used by Indra should be understood to refer to Brahman.

     At this point a further objection may be raised: Is it not true that in the beginning you adequately demonstrated that the word prana refers to Brahman?  Most of your arguments are redundant.

     To this objection I reply: This is not true. In the beginning I dispelled the doubts that may have arisen in regard to the single word prana taken by itself. After that I discussed the word prana in relation to a specific quotation, where it was related with other words, such as ananda, and in this discussion I demonstrated that the word prana was used there in such a way that it could only be understood to mean Brahman, and not the individual spirit soul, or anything else. For this reason I have discussed this specific passage of Kaushitaki Upanishad separately.

 

 

 

Pada 2

 

Adhikarana 1

The Word "Manomaya" Refers to Brahman

 

 

Introduction by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

manomayadibhih shabdaih

     svarupam yasya kirtyate

hridaye sphuratu shriman

     mamasau shyamasundarah

 

     In the First Pada of this chapter it was said that one should inquire about the Supreme Brahman, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the creator of all universes. Certain words used in Vedic literature were also clearly shown to refer to that Supreme Brahman. In the Second and Third Padas it will be demonstrated that certain other words, although less clearly related to Brahman, also describe Him.

     In the Chandogya Upanishad, Shandilya-vidya (3.14.1) the following explanation is given:

 

     sarvam khalv idam brahma taj jalan iti shanta upasita. atha khalu kratumayah purushah. yatha kratur asmin loke purusho bhavati tathetah pretya bhavati. sa kratum kurvita. manomayah prana-shariro bha-rupah satya-sankalpa akashatma sarva-karma sarva-kamah sarva-gandhah sarva-rasah sarvam idam abhyato avakyan adarah.

 

     "Everything is Brahman. From Him everything has come. The peaceful sage should worship Brahman with this idea. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the activities of devotional service. When devotional service is performed in this world the Supreme Personality of Godhead is present. As one performs devotional service in this life he will attain an appropriate body after death. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is known by those whose minds are pure. He is the controller of all life. He is effulgent and glorious. His every desire is automatically fulfilled. He is all-pervading. He is the original creator of everything. He fulfills all desires. He possesses all pleasant fragrances. He is all sweetness. He is present everywhere. He cannot be described in words. He cannot be known."

 

     Samshaya: Do the adjectives (beginning with manomaya) in this passage describe the jiva or the Paramatma?

     Purvapaksha: The words manah and prana here appropriately describe the jiva. The Mundaka Upanishad (2.1.2) explains: aprano hy amanah shubhrah (The splendid Supreme Person has neither breath nor mind). Because this passage from the Chandogya Upanishad contradicts the description of the Supreme Lord in this way, it should be understood to refer to the jiva. The opening words sarvam khalv idam brahma (Everything is Brahman) do not necessarily mean that the entire passage following them are about Brahman, but are merely spoken so that the worshiper may become peaceful. The teaching there is that because Brahman is everything one should become peaceful. The rest of the passage should then be understood to refer to the jiva and the word brahma at the end of the passage should also be understood to refer to the jiva.

     Siddhanta: The proper conclusion is:

 

 

Sutra 1

 

 

sarvatra prasiddhopadeshat

 

     sarvatra—everywhere; prasiddha—celebrated; upadeshat—because of the teaching.

 

 

     (The word "manomaya" here refers to the Paramatma) because (in this passage) the famous (attributes of the Paramatma as are taught) everywhere (in Vedanta literature are) described.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     This passage describes the Paramatma and not the jiva. Why? Because the qualities that belong only to the Paramatma, beginning with His being the creator of the material universes, and which are described everywhere (saravatra) in Vedanta literature, are mentioned in this passage in the phrase taj-jalan and other phrases and words also.    

     Although the opening words of this passage (sarvam khalv idam brahma) are not intended to teach about Brahman but to invoke peacefulness, the word manomaya definitely describes the Supreme Brahman. The word kratu means "devotional service" and manomaya means "He who can by understood by a pure mind." The Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (4.4.19) explains manasaivanudrashtavyam (He may be seen by a pure mind). The passage yato vaca nivartante aprapyo manasa saha (The Supreme cannot be described in words or understood by the mind) means the foolish cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead and even the wisest sages cannot understand Him completely.

     The word prana-sharira (life-body) means {.sy 168}He who is the controller of life." Some also interpret this word to mean "He whose transcendental form is most dear." The words aprano hy amanah (He has neither breath nor mind) may mean either that He is supremely independent and does not need breath or mind, or it may mean that he does not possess material breath or material mind. The shruti-shastra explains manovan (The Supreme has a spiritual mind) and anida-vatam (The Supreme has spiritual breath).

     Other scriptural passages also state that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is described by the word manomaya. Some of these passages follow.

 

     manomayah prana-sharira-neta

 

     "He is understood by the pure mind (manomaya). He is the guide of the body and senses."

                         —Mundaka Upanishad 2.2.7

 

     sa esho 'ntar-hridaya akashas tasminn ayam purusho manomayo 'mritamayo hiranmayah

 

     "The golden Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is full of nectar, and who is known by the pure mind (manomaya), resides in the sky of the heart."

                              —Taittiriya Upanishad 1.6.1

 

     hrida manisha manasabhiklpto ya etad vidur amritas te bhavanti

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is known by they who have a pure heart and a pure mind. They who know Him in this way become free from death."

                              —Katha Upanishad 7.9

 

     pranasya pranah

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the life of all life."

                              —Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad 4.4.18

 

 

Sutra 2

 

 

vivakshita-gunopapattesh ca

 

     vivakshita—wished to be said; guna—qualities; upapatteh—because of being appropriate; ca—and.

 

 

     The word "manomaya" here must refer to Brahman) because the qualities (given here) most appropriately describe Brahman.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

     Manomaya (knowable by the pure mind), prana-sharira (the controller of life), bha-rupa (effulgent and glorious) and the other qualities mentioned here are appropriate for the Supreme Personality of Godhead but not at all for the jiva.

 

 

Sutra 3

 

 

anupapattes tu na sharirah

 

     anupapatteh—because of inappropriateness; tu—indeed; na—not; sharirah—the jiva.

 

 

     (The word "manomaya" here) cannot refer to the jiva because the qualities (described in this passage) cannot be attributed to him.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The manomaya her cannot refer to the jiva because it is not possible that the qualities described here refer to the tiny, glowworm-like jiva.

 

 

Sutra 4

 

 

karma-kartri-vyapadeshac ca

 

     karma—object; kartri—agent; vyapadeshat—because of the statement; ca—also.

 

 

     And because the distinction is drawn here between the agent and the object.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     With the words (Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad 3.14.4) etam itah pretyabhisambhavitasmi (After death I will attain Him) at the end the manomaya is clearly designated as the object of the sentence and the jiva, with the words abhisambhavitasmi (I will attain) is clearly identified as the agent. Therefore the manomaya, being the object, must be different from the jiva, which is the agent. The manomaya must therefore be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The word abhisambhavitasmi here describes meeting. The jiva meets the Supreme Lord as a great river meets the ocean.

 

 

Sutra 5

 

 

shabda-visheshat

 

     shabda—words; visheshat—because of the difference.

 

 

     (The word "manomaya" here cannot refer to the jiva because the words are in different cases.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The text says (Chandogya Upanishad 3.14.3) esha ma atmantar-hridaye (He is within my heart). In these words the devotee jiva is placed in the genitive case and the object of his worship is placed in the nominative case. Because the jiva and the object of his worship are in different cases they must be two distinct persons. Therefore the manomaya here must be the worshipable Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is different from the devotee jiva.

 

 

Sutra 6

 

 

smritesh ca

 

     smriteh—because of the smriti-shastra; ca—also.

 

 

     And because of the statement of smriti-shastra also.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     That the Supreme Personality of Godhead is different from the jiva is also confirmed by the following statement of Bhagavad-gita (18.61):

 

ishvarah sarva-bhutanam

     hrid-desh/e 'rjuna tishthati

bhramayan sarva-bhutani

     yantrarudhani mayaya

 

     "The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy."*

 

     Someone may object: The Chandogya Upanishad (3.14.3) describes the manomaya in the following words: esha ma atmantar-hridaye 'niyan vrir heva yavad va (In my heart is the Self, smaller than a grain of rice or barley). This text shows that because it is very tiny the manomaya must be the jiva and cannot be the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 

 

Sutra 7

 

 

arbhakaukastvat tad-vyapadeshac ca neti cen na nicayyatvad evam vyomavac ca

 

     arbhaka—small; okastvat—because of the residence; tat—of that; vyapadeshat—because of the teaching; ca—and; na—not; iti—thus; cet—if; na—not; nicayyatvat—because of meditation; evam—in this way; vyomavat—like the sky; ca—also.

 

 

     If it be said that the word "manomaya" here cannot refer to Brahman because here it is said that the residence of "manomaya" is very tiny, then I say no because Brahman should be meditated on in this way and because in the same passage the "manomaya" is said to be as great as the sky.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     For these two reasons it cannot be said that the manomaya is not the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this passage from Chandogya Upanishad the manomaya is said to be greater that the entire Earth planet. The text says jyayan antarikshat (He is greater than the sky). Because the Supreme Brahman is all-pervading the word vyomavat (like the sky) is used in this sutra.

     How may these two statements (that Brahman is very small and very great) be reconciled? To answer this question he says nicayyatvad evam (Because Brahman should be meditated on in this way). This means that it is said that Brahman is very small so He may become the object of meditation. This means that when in the Vedic literatures it is said that the infinite, all-pervading Supreme Personality of Godhead is as small as the distance bewteen the thumb and forefinger or some other very small distance, in some instances it is meant to be taken figuratively and in other places literally. In the first instance (figuratively) the devotee meditates on the Lord in his heart and in the second (literally) by His inconceivable potencies, the Lord personally appears in the heart out of kindness to His devotee. Although the Supreme Lord has only one original form, He still manifests in many different forms to His devotees. This is described in the smriti-shastra in the words eko 'pi san bahudha yo 'vabhati (Although He is one He manifests in many forms). Because of His inconceivable potency the Supreme Lord, although He is all-pervading, may become as small as an atom. This will be described (later in this book) in the section (Sutra 25) describing Vaishvanara. In this way when the Supreme Personality of Godhead is manifested in a very small form, as the size of an atom or the distance between the thumb and forefinger, that very small size is present everywhere, so in this way also the Supreme Lord is all-pervading.

     Someone may object: If the Paramatma is then also present within the material body just as the jiva is, then, because of His contact with the body the Paramatma must also feel all the pleasures and sufferings of the body just as the jiva does. To answer this he says:

 

 

Sutra 8

 

 

sambhoga-praptir iti cen na vaisheshyat

 

     sambhoga—of enjoyment; praptir—attainment; iti—thus; cet—if; na—not; vaisheshyat—because of the difference.

 

 

     If it is said that (the Paramatma in the heart also) experiences (the pains and) pleasures (of the material body), then I say no because there is a great difference (between Him and the jiva.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     In the word sambhoga the prefix sam means "with" as it also does in the word samvada (with+words=conversation). Therefore this sutra states that the Supreme Personality of Godhead does not enjoy with (the jiva). Why? Because there is a difference between them. This is the meaning: mere contact with a certain body does not by itself bring suffering and enjoyment. Being under the dominion of karma is the real cause of material suffering and enjoyment. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is not under the power of the law of karma. This is described in the Mundaka Upanishad (3.1.1): anashnann anyo 'bhicakashiti (Two birds sit in the metaphorical tree of the material body. One bird eats. The other bird does not eat, but only looks) and in the Bhagavad-gita (4.14), where Lord Krishna says: na mam karmani limpanti na me karma-phale spriha (There is no work that affects me; nor do I aspire for the fruits of action).

 

 

Adhikarana 2

The Eater is Brahman

 

 

Introduction by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     Vishaya: The Katha Upanishad (1.2.25) says:

 

yasya brahma ca kshatram ca

     ubhe bhavatah odanah

mrityur yasyopasecanam

     ka ittha veda yatra sah          

 

     "There is a person for whom the brahmanas and kshatriyas are food and death is the sauce. Who knows where this person is?"

 

     Samshaya: Here the words odana (food) and upasecana (sauce) indicate an eater. Who is the eater? Is it fire, the jiva, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

     Purvapaksha: Because there is nothing specific to show that of these three fire is not the eater, and because the questions and answers in this passage seem to indicate fire, and because the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (1.4.6) declares agnir annadah (Fire is the eater), therefore fire is the eater in this passage.

     Or perhaps the jiva is the eater here because eating is an action and the jiva performs actions although the Supreme does not perform any actions. This is also confirmed by the shruti-shastra (Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.1 and Katha Upanishad 3.1) which describes an eater accompanied by a non-eater who simply looks: tayor anyah pappalam (Two friendly birds sit on a tree. One eats the pippala fruit and the other does not eat but only looks). From all this it may be understood that the eater here is the jiva.

     Siddhanta: The proper understanding follows.

 

 

Sutra 9

 

 

atta caracara-grahanat

 

     atta—the eater; cara—the moving; acara—and the non-moving; grahanat—because of taking.

 

 

     The eater (is Brahman) because He takes the moving and non-moving (as His food).

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The eater is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Why? Because of the words caracara-grahanat (Because He takes the moving and non-moving as His food). In this passage (Katha Upanishad 1.2.25) the words brahma kshatram indicate the entire universe, which is then sprinkled with the sauce of death and eaten. This passage must refer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead for no one other than He can eat the entire universe. A sauce is something which, while being eaten itself is the cause of other things being eaten also. The eating of the entire universe sprinkled with the sauce of death must refer to the periodic destruction of the material universes. In this way it is proved that the eater of the universes here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is not refuted by the statement of Upanishads (na caashnan) that He does not eat. The Supreme Personality of Godhead does not eat the results of karma, but He has His own transcendental eating.

 

 

Sutra 10

 

 

     prakaranat—because of the context; ca—also.

 

 

     This is also confirmed by the context.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     That this passage refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is also confirmed by the following statement of Katha Upanishad (1.2.20):

 

     anor aniyan mahato mahiyan

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is smaller than the smallest and greater than the greatest."*

 

     This is also confirmed by the following words of smriti-shastra:

                        

 

     atasi lokasya caracarasya

 

     "You are the eater of this complete cosmic manifestation, of the moving and the non-moving."

 

 

Adhikarana 3

The Associate in the Cave is Brahman

 

 

Introduction by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     Vishaya: The Katha Upanishad (1.3.1) states:

 

ritam pibantau sukritasya loke

     guham pravishtau parame parardhe

chaya-tapau brahma-vido vadanti

     pancagnayo ye ca trinaciketah

 

     "Two persons drink the results of karma in cave of the heart. They who know Brahman, they who keep the five sacred fires, and they who perform the three naciketa sacrifices say these two persons are shade and light."

 

     Samshaya: In this passage a companion to the jiva, who experiences the results of karma, is described. This companion may be interpreted to be either intelligence, life-breath, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

     Purvapaksha: The companion here must be either intelligence or life-breath for they assist the jiva as he experiences the results of karma. The companion cannot be the Supreme Personality of Godhead for the Supreme Lord never experiences the results of karma. Therefore the companion must be either intelligence or life-breath.

     Siddhanta: The conclusion follows.

 

 

Sutra 11

 

 

guham pravishtav atmanau hi tad darshanat

 

     guham—in the cave; pravishtau—entered; atmanau—two selves; hi—indeed; tat—that; darshanat—because of being seen in other passages of Vedic literature.

 

 

     The two persons that have entered the cave of the heart are the two selves (the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the jiva because this explanation is seen in Vedic literature.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The two persons that have entered the cave of the heart are the jiva and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, not the jiva and intelligence, and not the jiva and the life-breath. Why? The sutra says tad darshanat (because this explanation is seen in Vedic literature).

Š     The Katha Upanishad (2.1.7) says that the jiva has entered the cave of the heart:

 

ya pranena sambhavaty

     aditir devatamayi

guham pravishya tishthantim

     ya bhutebhir vyajayata    

 

     "Accompanied by the life-breath and a host of powers, the jiva, who is the king of the senses, enters the cave of the heart."

 

     Another verse (Katha Upanishad 1.2.12) says that the Supreme Personality of Godhead has entered the cave of the heart:

 

tam durdarsham gudham anupravishtam

     guhahitam gahvareshtam puranam

adhyatma-yogadhigamena devam

     matva dhiro harsha-shokau jahati

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the oldest person, and who is worshiped in the jungle of this world, remains hidden in the cave of the heart. A wise man, meditating on Him in a trance of spiritual yoga, gives up all material joy and grief."

 

     The word hi (indeed) in this sutra means "This is indeed corroborated by all the Puranas." The word pibantau (they both drink) in the passage of the Upanishad is used in the same sense as the phrase "the two parasol-bearers." Although only one of the pair carries the parasol, they are still known as "the two parasol-bearers." In the same way only one of the two "drinkers" here actually drinks. The word chaya-tapau (shade and light) here means either that the knowledge of the two persons is different, or it means that one of the persons is bound to the cycle of repeated birth and death and the other is free from the cycle of repeated birth and death.

 

 

Sutra 12

 

 

visheshanac ca

 

     visheshanat—because of distinctive qualities; ca—also.

 

 

     Also because of the differences between them.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     In this section of Katha Upanishad the jiva and the Supreme Personality of Godhead are carefully distinguished, the jiva described as the meditater and the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the object of meditation. Thus is Katha Upanishad 1.2.12 quoted above they are carefully distinguished: one as the meditater and the other as the object of meditation. In Katha Upanishad 1.3.1 in the words chaya-tapau (shade and light) they are again distinguished: one being all-knowing and the other having only a small sphere of knowledge.

     Katha Upanishad 1.3.9 explains:

 

vijnana-sarathir yas tu

     manah-pragrahavan narah

so 'dhvanah param apnoti

     tad vishnoh paramam padam

 

     "A person who has transcendental knowledge as his charioteer and who carefully holds the reins of the mind reaches the end of the path: the transcendental realm of Lord Vishnu."

 

     In these words they are again distinguished: one being the goal to be attained and the other the person who attains the goal.

 

 

Adhikarana 4

The Person in the Eye is the Supreme Personality of Godhead

 

 

Introduction by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     Vishaya: Chandogya Upanishad 4.15.1-2 says:

 

ya esho 'ntar-akshini purusho drishyate sa esha atmeti hovaca. etad amritam ayam etad brahma tad yad yad asmin sarpir vodakam va sincati vartmani eva gacchati. etam sampad-dhama ity acakshate etam hi sarvani kamany abhisamyanti

 

     "He said: He who is seen in the eye is the atma. He is immortal, He is nectar. He is the greatest. Because He is present neither water nor liquid butter will stay on the eye, but both will slide from it. He is the abode of all opulences. For one who sees Him all desires are at once fulfilled."

 

     Samshaya: Is this person a reflection, a demigod, the jiva, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

     Purvapaksha: It may be the first, for the observer sees himself reflected in another's eye. It may be the second because Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (5.5.2) says: rashmibhir esho 'smin pratishthitah (With the rays of sunlight the sun-god enters the eye). It may be the third because a person sees with his eyes, so he may also be the person in the eye. In this way the person in the eye is one of these three.

     Siddhanta: The conclusion follows.

 

 

Sutra 13

 

 

antara upapatteh

 

     antarah—the person within; upapatteh—because of reason.

 

 

     The person in (the eye is the Supreme Personality of Godhead) because (that conclusion is dictated) by reason.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The person in the eye is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Why? The sutra says upapatteh (because that conclusion is dictated by reason). This is so because of the proof given (in the quote from the Chandogya Upanishad) in the description of the qualities beginning with being the Supreme Self(atma), immortality (amrita), being the greatest (brahma), being untouched by material things, and being the abode of all opulences (sampad-dhama). (These qualities can properly be attributed only to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.)

 

 

Sutra 14

 

 

sthanadi-vyapadeshac ca

 

     sthana—the place; adi—beginning with; vyapadeshat—because of the statement.

ca—also.

 

 

     And also because of the teaching (in the scriptures that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is present) in this place and in other places as well.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     That the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the controller who resides with the eye is described in Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (3.7.18):

 

     yash cakshushi tishthamsh cakshusho 'ntaro yam cakshur na veda yasya cakshur shariram yash cakshur antaro yam ayaty esha ta atmantaryamy amritah

 

     "He who stays in the eye, who is within, whom the eye does not know, who is the ultimate proprietor of the eye and the body, and who, residing within, controls the eye, is the immortal Supersoul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead who resides in the heart."

 

 

Sutra 15

 

 

sukha-vishishtabhidhanad eva

 

     sukha—by happiness; vishishta—distinguished; abhidhanat—because of the description; eva—indeed.

 

 

     Also because He is described as (full of) bliss.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     This sutra refers to Chandogya Upanishad (4.10.5), which says: prano brahma kam brahma kham brahma (the Supreme Personality of Godhead is life. the Supreme Personality of Godhead is bliss. the Supreme Personality of Godhead is sky). The discussion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead that begins with these words continues through some paragraphs up to the paragraph under discussion (Chandogya Upanishad 4.15.1), which describes the person in the eye. For this reason the person in the eye must be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The interpolation of agni-vidya between 4.10.5 and 4.15.1 does not break the context because agni-vidya is a part of the discussion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The word vishishta (distinguished) in this sutra means that the Supreme Personality of Godhead has all-knowledge and all other transcendental qualities.

 

 

Sutra 16

 

 

shrutopanishatka-gaty-abhidhanac ca

 

     shruta—heard; upanishatka—Upanishad; gati—destination; abhidhanat—because of the description; ca—also.

  

 

     And because of the description of the destination of they who hear the Upanishads.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     One who hears the Upanishads and understands the secret knowledge of the Vedas travels to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Of the person who knows the person in the eye Upakoshala Muni says arcisham abhisambhavati (He attains the realm of light). Because these two persons (he who knows the secrets of the Vedas and he who knows the person in the eye) attain the same destination it must be understood that the person in the eye is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 

 

Sutra 17

 

 

anavasthiter asambhavac ca netarah

 

     anavasthiteh—because the abode is not eternal; asambhavat—because of being impossible; ca—and; na—not; itarah—anyone else.

 

 

     (The person in the eye) is not anyone else (but the Supreme Personality of Godhead) because (the others) do not stay always in the eye and because it casnnot be them (according to the context).

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     These other persons cannot be the person in the eye because none of them stay permanently in the eye and because non of them possess immortality or any of the other qualities attributed to the person in the eye. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is therefore the person in the eye referred to in this text. 

 

 

Adhikarana 5

The Internal Ruler is the Supreme Personality of Godhead

 

 

Introduction by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     Vishaya: Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad 3.7.18 says:

 

     yah prithivyam tishthan prithivya antaro yam pritivi na veda yasya prithivi  shariram yah prithivim antaro yam ayaty esha ta atmantaryamy amritah

 

     "He who stays in the earth, who is within, whom the earth does not know, who is the ultimate proprietor of the earth and the body, and who, residing within, rules the earth, is the immortal Supersoul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead who resides in the heart."

 

     Samshaya: In this verse is the ruler who lives within the earth and other places pradhana, the jiva, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

     Purvapaksha: The ruler within may be pradhana because pradhana resides within. The cause is always woven into the effect. The cause is the controller if the effect. (Because pradhana is the cause of the earth, pradhana must therefore be the controller within the earth also.) Because it gives happiness the pradhana may be figuratively called atma (the great self), or because it is all-pervading it may also be figuratively called atma (the great self). Because it is eternal it may also be called amrita (eternal).

     Or the ruler within may be a certaim jiva who is a great yogi. With the yogic powers of entering everywhere and becoming invisible at will a great yogi may become the ruler (within) and with this ruling power, the ability to become invisible, and other yogic powers, he may be called atma (the great self), and amrita (eternal) in the direct senses of the words without resorting to figurative language.

     In this way the ruler within must be either the pradhana or a jiva.

     Siddhanta: The conclusion follows.

 

 

Sutra 18

 

 

antaryamy adhidaivadishu tad-dharma-vyapadeshat

 

     antaryami—the ruler within; adhidaiva—the elements; adishu—beginning with; tat—of Him; dharma—the nature; vyapadeshat—because of the description.

 

 

     The ruler who resides within the elements (is the Supreme Personality of Godhead) because His qualities are described (in this passage).

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The ruler within described in these words of Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Why? The sutra says tad-dharma-vyapadeshat (because His qualities are described in this passage). The Supreme Person is described here because the qualities of the person described here, which include being situated within the earth and all other material elements, being unknowable, being the supreme controller, and being all-pervading, all-knowing, all-blissful, and eternal, are all qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.   

 

 

Sutra 19

 

 

na ca smartam atad-dharmabhilapat

 

     na—not; ca—and; smartam—what is taught in the smriti; atad—not of it; dharma—the qualities; abhilapat—because of description.

 

 

     The ruler within is not (the pradhana,  which is) described in the smriti, because the qualities (mentioned in this passage) cannot be attributed (to pradhana).

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     For these reasons it may not be said that the pradhana, which is described in the smriti, is the ruler within. Why? The sutra says atad-dharmabhilapat (because the qualities mentioned in this passage cannot be attributed to it.

     The Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (3.7.23) says:

 

     adrishto drashta ashruto shrota amato manta avij{.sy 241}ato vijnata nanyato 'sti drashta nanayto 'sti shrota nanyato 'sti manta nanyato 'sti vijnataisha ta atmantaryamy amrita ito 'nyat smartam

 

     "Unobserved, He is the observer. Unheard, He is the hearer. Inconceivable, He is the thinker. Unknown, he is the knower. There is no other observer. There is no other hearer. there is no other thinker. There is no other knower. he is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the eternal ruler within. (The pradhana) described in the smriti is different from Him."

 

     The list of qualities here, beginning with being the observer, may be attributed to the Supreme Personality of Godhead only.

 

 

Sutra 20

 

 

sharirash cobhaye 'pi hi bhedenainam adhiyate

 

     sharirah—the jiva; ca—also; ubhaye—in bothe recensions; api—also; hi—indeed; bhedena—by the difference; enam—this; adhiyate—is read.

 

 

     The ruler within is not a jiva because in both (recensions of the Upanishad) the jiva is described as different from Him.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The word na (not) from the preceding sutra should be understood in this sutra also. For the reasons already given it cannot be said that a jiva who is a great yogi is the ruler within. Why? The sutra answers hi, which means "because," ubhaye  (in both), which means "in both the Kanva and Madhyandina recensions of the Upanishad," enam (He), which means "the ruler within," bhedena adhiyate (is described as different).        

     (The Kanva recension gives) yo vij{.sy 241}anam antaro yamayati (The transcendental knowledge that rules within) and (the Madhyandina recension, gives) ya atmanam antaro yamayati (The Supreme Personality of Godhead who rules within). In both readings is a clear distinction between the ruler and the ruled. Therefore the ruler within is Lord Hari, the Personality of Godhead.

     In the Subala Upanishad the Kathas say: prithivy-adinam avyaktaksharamritaantanam shri-narayano 'ntaryami (Lord Narayana is the ruler within the earth and other elements, within the unmanifested pradhana, and within the unchanging, eternal jiva).

     The Brahmanas say: antah-sharire nihito guhayam (The Supreme Personality of Godhead stays in the heart of the jiva), aja eko nityah (The Supreme Personality of Godhead is unborn, eternal, and one without a second), and yasya prithivi shariram yah prithivim antare sancaran yam prithivi na veda (The earth is His body. He stays within the earth. The earth does not understand Him, the Supreme Personality of Godhead).

 

 

Adhikarana 6

"Akshara" is the Supreme Personality of Godhead

 

 

Introduction by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

     Vishaya: The Mundaka Upanishad (1.1.5-6) says:

 

     atha para yaya tad aksharam adhigamyate. yat tad adreshyam agrahyam agotram avarnam acakshuh-shrotram tad apani-padam nityam vibhum sarva-gatam su-sukshmam tad avyayam yad bhuta-yonim paripashyanti dhirah    

 

     "Here is the transcendental knowledge by which the Supreme Personality of Godhead is known. The great sages directly see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who cannot be seen, who cannot be grasped, who has no name, who has no color, who has no eyes or ears, who has no hands or feet, who is eternal, all-powerful, all-pervading, subtle, and changeless, and who is the creater of all that is."

 

     Later the Mundaka Upanishad (2.1.2) also says:

 

     divyo hy amurtah purushah sa-bahyabhyantaro hy ajah aprano hy amanah shubhro 'ksharat paratah parah

 

     "The Supreme Person is transcendental, formless, without inside or out, unborn, unbreathing, without mind, splendid, and higher than the highest of the eternals."

 

     Samshaya: Do these two passages describe first the pradhana and then the purusha (jiva), or do they describe the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

     Purvapaksha: Because in these passages there is no mention of being the observer or any other qualities of a conscious being, and because there is mention of the word yoni (source of everything), which refers to the ingredient of which the creation is made, these passages describe the eternal pradhana, and above that eternal pradhana, the purusha (jiva). Above the eternal, ever-changing pradhana is the jiva, who is the knower of the field of activities. Therefore in these passages the pradhana and jiva should be known to be the topics of discussion.

     Siddhanta: The conclusion follows.

 

 

Sutra 21

 

 

adrishyatvadi-gunako dharmokteh

 

     adrishyatva—being invisible; adi—beginning with; gunako—qualities; dharma—qualities; ukteh—because of the statement.

 

 

     (These passages describe the Supreme Personality of Godhead,) who possesses many transcendental qualities, including invisibility, because His qualities are described here.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     In both passages the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who possesses many transcendental qualities, including invisibility, should be understood (to be the topic of discussion). Why? the sutra says dharmokteh (because His qualities are described here).

     The Mundaka Upanishad (1.1.9) says:

 

     yah sarvajnah sarvavid yasya jnanamayam tapah. tasmad etad brahma nama-rupam annam ca jayate

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead knows everything. He knows everything. He is full of knowledge. From Him is born that Brahman that is the material form of this world."

 

     Because in the pasage of Mundaka Upanishad (1.1.6) that begins divyo hy amurtah purushah (The Supreme Person is transcendental and formlesss) the akshara is described as possessing a host of transcendental qualities, which include omniscience, and because that akshara is described as the ultimate goal of all knowledge, the akshara must be the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 

 

Sutra 22

 

 

visheshana-bheda-vyapadeshabhyam ca netarau

 

     visheshana—modifiers; bheda—difference; vyapadeshabhyam—because of the description; ca—and; na—not; itarau—the other two.

 

 

     Because of the description of the qualities (of the akshara) in these two (passages, the akshara) cannot be the other two (pradhana and jiva).

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The other two, that is pradhana and jiva, should not be thought (to be the topic of discussion here). Why? the sutra says visheshana (because of the description of the qualities). Because the description in Mundaka Upanishad (1.1.9), beginning with the words yah sarvajna (The Supreme Personality of Godhead knows everything), specifically identifies the akshara as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and because the description in Mundaka Upanishad (1.1.6), beginning with the word divya (The Supreme Person is transcendental), identifies the akshara as a being different from the jiva, therefore the akshara mentioned in both passages must be understood to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the original cause of all causes.

 

 

Sutra 23

Š

 

rupopanyasac ca

 

     rupa—of a form; upanyasat—because of the mention; ca—also.

 

 

     And also because there is mention of a form.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The Mundaka Upanishad (3.1.3) says:

 

yada pashyah pashyate rukma-varnam

     kartaram isham purusham brahma-yonim

tada vidvan punya-pape vidhuya

     niranjanah paramam samyam upaiti

 

     "One who sees the golden-colored Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Lord, the supreme actor, who is the source of the Supreme Brahman, becomes free from the reactions to past pious and sinful deeds, and becomes liberated, attaining the same transcendental platform as the Lord."*

 

     Because the form of the akshara is described in this way as the original cause of all causes, the form of the akshara here must be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It cannot be either pradhana or jiva.

 

 

Sutra 24

 

 

prakaranat

 

     prakaranat—because of the context.

     (The akshara here must be the Supreme Personality of Godhead) because of the context.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The meaning of this sutra is clear.

     The smriti-shastra also confirms that this text refers to Lord Vishnu. The Vishnu Purana (6.5.65-70) says:

 

dve vidye veditavye

     iti catharvani shrutih

paraya tv akshara-praptih

     rn-vedadi-mayi apara

 

yat tad avyaktam ajaram

     acintyam ajam avyayam

anirdeshyam arupam ca

     panipadady-asamyutam

 

vibhum sarva-gatam nityam

     bhuta-yonim akaranam

vyapya-vyapyam yatah sarvam    

     tad vai pashyanti surayah

 

tad brahma paramam dhama

     tad dhyeyam moksha-kankshinam

shruti-vakypditam sukshmam

     tad vishnoh paramam padam

 

tad eva bhagavad-vacyam

     svarupam paramatmanah

vacako bhagavac-chabdas

     tasyadyasyaksharatmanah

 

evam nigaditarthasya

     sa-tattvam tasya tattvatah

jnayate yena taj-jnanam

     param anyat trayimayam

 

 

     "The Atharva Veda says there are two kinds of knowledge: superior and inferior. Superior knowledge is that which brings one to the eternal and inferior knowledge is the teaching of the Rig Veda and the other Vedas. The eternal is unmanifested, without decay, inconceivable, unborn, unchanging, without material form, without material hands or feet, all-powerful, all-pervading, eternal, the source of all living entities, causeless, present within everything, untouched by anything, and the source from which everything has come. Saintly persons see Him. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the supreme abode. He is the object of meditation for they who yearn for liberation. He is described in the words of the Vedas. He is supremely subtle. He is Lord Vishnu. He is known as Bhagavan (the Supreme Personality of Godhead). He is the Supreme Lord who has a transcendental form. He is Bhagavan. He is eternal. One who knows these truths knows the truth. He knows the real truth. The inferior truth of the three Vedas is something else."

 

 

 

Adhikarana 7

"Vaishvanara" is the Supreme Personality of Godhead

 

 

Introduction by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

     Vishaya: The Chandogya Upanishad says (5.11.1): ko nu atma kim brahmeti (Who is the atma? Who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead?), and (5.11.6) atmanam evam vaishvanaram sampraty adhyeshi tam eva no bruhi (You know about Vaishvanara. Please describe Him.) and (5.18.1) yas tv enam evam pradesha-matram abhivimanam atmanam vaishvanaram upaste sa sarveshu lokeshu sarveshu bhuteshu sarveshu atmasu annam atti (One who meditates on Vaishvanara, who is the size of the distance between the thumb and forefinger, and who is present in all worlds, in all elements, and in all hearts, eats food and is nourished.) and (5.18.2) etasya ha va etasyatmano vaishvanarasya murdhaiva su-tejash cakshur vishvarupah pranah prithag-vartma sandeho bahulo vastir eva vayih prithivy eva padav ura eva vedir lomanir bahir hridayam garhapatyo mano 'nvaharyapacana asyam ahvaniyah (Heaven is the head of Vaishvanara, the sun is His eye, the wind is His breath, the sky is His body, the oceans are His bladder, the earth is His feet, the sacrificial arena is His chest, the sacrificial grass is His head, the garhapatya fire is His heart, the anvaharyapacana fire is His mind, and the ahavaniya fire is His mouth).

     Samshaya: Is the Vaishvanara the fire of digestion, the demigod Agni, the fire element, or Lord Vishnu?      Purvapaksha: The word vaishvanara is commonly used in all these four meanings, so its meaning in this passage is unclear.

     Siddhanta: The conclusion follows.

 

 

Sutra 25

 

 

vaishvanarah sadharana-shabda-visheshat

 

     vaishvanarah—Vaishvanara; sadharana—common; shabda—word; visheshat—because of the distinction.

 

 

     The ambiguous word "vaishvanara" (in this passage of Chandogya Upanishad refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead) because the qualities described here (are appropriate for the Lord).

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The word vaishvanara here refers to Lord Vishnu. Why? The sutra says sadharana-shabda-visheshat (because the qualities described here are appropriate for the Lord). This is the meaning: Even though the word vaishvanara has many meanings, here it means "Lord Vishnu." The description beginning with the phrase "Heaven is His head" clearly show that vaishvanara here means Lord Vishnu. Also, the words atma and brahma generally refer to Lord Vishnu. The result one obtains by knowing vaishvanara is the same as the result of knowing Lord Vishnu. The scriptures say yatheshika tulam (As reeds are burned by fire, so are sins burned into nothing by Vaishvanara). This clearly shows that Vaishvanara here is Lord Vishnu (for only Lord Vishnu has the power to negate sins). The word vaishvanara is composed of the two words vishva (all) and nara (human beings), and thus means "He who is the resting place of all human beings." For these reasons the word vaishvanara here must mean "Lord Vishnu."

     Furthermore, he says:

 

 

Sutra 26

 

 

smaryamanam anumanam syad iti

 

     smaryamanam—described in the smriti-shastra; anumanam—inference; syad—is; iti—thus.

 

 

     This may also be inferred from the statements of the smriti-shastra.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The word iti here means "this is the reason." In Bhagavad-gita (15.14), Lord Krishna says:

 

aham vaishvanaro bhutva

     praninam deham ashritah          

 

     "I am the vaishvanara in the bodies of all living entities."*

 

     In these words the smriti-shastra affirms that the Vaishvanara is Lord Vishnu. From this statement it may also be understood that the vaishvanara in the Chandogya Upanishad is also Lord Vishnu.

     Now he refutes the idea that vaishvanara refers to the fire of digestion.

 

 

Sutra 27

 

 

shabdadibhyo 'ntah pratishthanac ca neti cen na tatha drishty-upadeshad asambhavat purusha-vidham api cainam adhiyate

 

     shabda—the words; adibhyah—beginning with; antah—within; pratishthanat—because of abiding; ca—and; na—not; iti—thus; cet—if; na—not; tatha—thus; drishti—sight; upadeshat—from the teaching; asambhavat—because of being impossible; purusha—a person; vidham—the nature; api—also; ca—and; enam—Him; adhiyate—is read.

 

 

     If (it is said the "vaishvanara" here) cannot (be Lord Vishnu) because many words here refute this idea and because (the "vaishvanara" is said here) to reside in the heart, (then I say) no because the teaching (of the scriptures is that one should) meditate (on Lord Vishnu in the heart) in this way, because it is not possible (to interpret the word here to mean anything else), and because (the text here describes the {.sy 168}vaishvanara") as a person with a humanlike form.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The objection may be raised: The vaishvanara here cannot be Lord Vishnu. The text says ayam agnir vaishvanarah (This is the vaishvanara fire). Because these words prove that vaishvanara here means fire, the passage hridayam garhapatyo mano 'nvaharyapacana asyam ahvaniyah (the garhapatya fire is His heart, the anvaharyapacana fire is His mind, and the ahavaniya fire is His mouth) presents the vaishvanara as a group of three fires. The vaishvanara is fire, and not Lord Vishnu, because vaishvanara is said to be the resting place of prana (breath) and again because the Vedas say vaishvanara stays within the heart of the living entity.

     Here the sutra answers this objection by saying cen na, which means "if it is said that the vaishvanara is fire, then I say no." Why? The sutra says tatha drishty-upadeshad asambhavat purusha-vidham api cainam adhiyate (because the teaching of the scriptures is that one should meditate on Lord Vishnu in the heart in this way, because it is not possible to interpret the word here to mean anything else, and because the text here describes the vaizvanara) as a person with a humanlike form). Tatha here means {.sy 168}by considering to be the fire of digestion," drishti, means "meditation on Lord Vishnu," and asambhavat means "it is not possible to interpret the word vaishvanara to mean anything but Lord Vishnu because the text of the Upanishad says that heaven is the head of the vaishvanara and the other parts of the world are other parts of the body of vaishvanara."  Furthermore, the Shatapatha Brahmana (10.6.1.11) says sa yo hy etam evagnim vaishvanaram purusha-vidham purushe 'ntah pratishtitam veda (He knows the agni vaishvanara, who has a humanlike form and who stays in the hearts of the living entities). If the word vaishvanara is interpreted to mean {.sy 168}fire," then the explanations here that the vaishvanara resides in the hearts of the living entities may be accepted but not the statement that vaishvanara has a humanlike form. If vaishvanara is interpreted to mean Lord Vishnu, then both statements may be easily accepted.

     Next he refutes the idea that vaishvanara means either the demigod Agni or the element fire.

 

 

Sutra 28

 

 

ata eva na devata bhutam ca

 

     atah eva—therefore; na—not; devata—demigod; bhutam—element; ca—and;

 

 

     For the same reasons "vaishvanara" is neither the demigod Agni nor the element fire.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The objector may say: Because the demigod Agni is very powerful and great it may indeed be said that heaven is his head and (the other parts of the world are parts of his body), and the same may also be said of the fire element. This is so because of the following description of /Rg Veda (10.88.3): yo bhanuna prithivi dyam utemam atatana rodasi antariksham (Agni, in his form of the sun, is spread through the earth, heaven, and everything between).

     Even if this be said, still I say no. Why? The sutra says ata eva (therefore), which means "for the reasons already given vaishvanara is neither the demigod Agni nor the element fire." The words of this mantra of the /Rg Veda are flattery only.

     Avataranika:In the opinion of Jaimini the word agni may also directly mean "The Supreme Personality of Godhead," just as the word vaishvanara does.

 

 

Sutra 29

 

 

sakshad apy avirodham jaiminih

 

     sakshat—directly; api—also; avirodham—without contradiction; jaiminih—Jaimini.

 

 

     Jaimini is of the opinion that the word "agni" may be interpreted to directly mean "The Supreme Personality of Godhead," and there is no inconsistency in this.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     Just as the word vaishvanara, interpreted to mean either "the leader (nara) of the world (vishva) or "the proprietor of all human beings (nara) in the universe (vishva)," is name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the original cause of all causes, in the same way the word agni, interpreted to mean "the leader of all," is also a name of Lord Vishnu. Jaimini Muni considers that there is no contradiction in these interpretations because they are based on the specific meanings of each word's component parts.    

     The objector may say: How can the limitless Supreme Personality of Godhead become the size of the distance between the thumb and forefinger, (as vaishvanara is said to be in this passage of the Upanishad)?

     To answer this question he says:

 

 

Sutra 30

 

 

abhivyakter ity ashmarathyah

 

     abhivyakteh—because of manifestation; iti—thus; ashmarathyah—Ashmarathya.

 

 

     Ashmarathya is of the opinion that the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears in this way (a size the distance between the thumb and forefinger) because He manifests Himself (in the heart of His devotee).

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     Lord Vishnu appears in this way in the hearts of His devotees, who have the eyes to see Him. This is the opinion of Ashmarathya.

 

 

Sutra 31

 

 

anusmriter iti badarih

 

     anusmriteh—because of meditation; iti—thus; badarih—Badari Muni.

 

 

     The Supreme Personality of Godhead is thought to be this small size because that conception is very convenient for meditation. This is the opinion of Badari.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     Because the Supreme Lord is meditated as residing in the heart, and because the heart itself is the size of the distance between thumb and forefinger, the Lord is thought to be the size of the distance between thumb and forefinger also.        

 

 

Sutra 32

 

 

sampatter iti jaiminis tatha hi darshayati

 

     sampatteh—because of transcendental opulences; iti—thus; jaiminih—Jaimini; tatha—in this way; hi—because; darshayati—the shruti-shastra declares.

 

 

     (The Supreme Personality of Godhead can assume this very small size) because of His transcendental powers and opulences. This is the opinion of Jaimini. (It is known that the Supreme Personality of Godhead assumes this very small size) because shruti-shastra reveals (this information).

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The Supreme Personality of Godhead can become the size of the distance between the thumb and forefinger because of His sampatti, His transcendental opulence in the form of inconceivable potencies. This action does not limit or restrict the Lord in any way. Jaimini thinks in this way. Why? He says tatha hi darshayati (It is known that the Supreme Personality of Godhead assumes this very small size because shruti-shastra reveals this information). The word hi here means "because."

 

     The shruti-shastra says tam ekam govindam sac-cid-ananda-vigraham (The Supreme Personality of Godhead is Govinda, who transcendental form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss) and eko 'pi san bahudha yo 'vabhati (Although He is one, the Supreme Personality of Godhead manifests as many). In this way the shruti-shastra teaches that by His inconceivable potencies many contradictory qualities are simultaneously present in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Some of these contradictory qualities are that even though His Himself all transcendental knowledge, he still has a body, and even though He is one, He is also many. Later in this book this will be explained in detail. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is simultaneously all-pervading and of a small size. There is no fault in saying this.

 

 

Sutra 33

 

 

amananti cainam asmin

 

     amananti—they declare; ca—also; enam—this; asmin—in Him.

   

     (The atharvanikas) say this of Him.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The atharvanikas declare that this inconceivable potency is present in the Supreme Lord. In the Kaivalya Upanishad (21) the Lord says apani-pado 'ham acintya-shaktih (Although I have no hands or feet, I still have inconceivable potencies). Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.33.3) says atmeshvaro 'tarkya-sahasra-shaktih (My dear Lord, You are self-determined and are the Supreme Personality of Godhead for all living entities. For them You created this material manifestation, and although You are one, Your diverse energies can act multifariously. This is inconceivable to us*).          

     These different opinions do not contradict each other. The Skanda Purana explains:

 

 

vyasa-citta-sthitakashad

     avicchinnani kanicit

anye vyavaharanty etad

     uri-kritya grihadivat

 

 

     "Other sages take up small portions broken from the vast sky of Vyasadeva's opinions just as houses and other enclosures take up a small portion of the vastness of space."

 

 

 

Pada 3

 

 

Adhikarana 1

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the Abode of Heaven

 

 

Introduction by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

vishvam bibharti nihsvam yah

     karunyad eva deva-rat

mamasau paramanando

     govindas tanutam ratim    

 

     I pray that Lord Govinda, the supremely blissful king of the demigods, who mercifully maintains this pathetic material world, may give me pure love for Him.   

 

     In this Third Pada will be considered some scriptural texts that may seem to describe the jiva or some other topic but in truth describe the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 

     Vishaya: Mundaka Upanishad 2.2.5 says:

 

 

yasmin dyauh prithivi cantariksham

     otam manah saha pranaish ca sarvaih

tam evaikam janatha atmanam

     anya vaco vimuncathamritasyaisha setuh

 

 

     "Know that He in whom heaven, earth, sky, mind, breath, and everything else, are woven, is the atma. Give up talking of anything else. He is the shore of the eternal."

 

     Samshaya: Is the abode of heaven described here the pradhana, jiva, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

     Purvapaksha: The abode of heaven here is the pradhana because pradhana is the cause of all material transformations and also because the words amrita-setu (the shore of the eternal) appropriately describe  pradhana, which leads the living entities to liberation just as milk brings nourishment to a calf. The word atma in this passage may refer to pradhana either because pradhana brings happiness to the living entities or because it is all-pervading. Then again the words in this passage may refer to the jiva because the jiva is the enjoyer of the the things in this world and because the j.iva possesses the mind and the breath mentioned in this passage.

     Siddhanat: Now he speaks the conclusion.

 

 

Sutra 1

 

 

dyu-bhv-ady-ayatanam sva-shabdat

 

     dyu-of heaven; bhv-and earth; adi-beginning with; ayatanam-the abode; sva-own; shabdat-because of the word.

 

     The description "the abode of heaven, earth, and other things," refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead because the words in this passage specifically describe Him.

    

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The word "the abode of heaven" here refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Why? The sutra says sva-shabdat (because the words in this passage specifically describe Him). The Supreme Personality of Godhead is referred to here because the word amritasya setuh (the shore of the eternal) can refer to Him alone and no one else. Because it comes from the verb sinoti, which means "to bind," the phrase amritasya setuh means "He who enables one to attain the eternal." Or the word setuh here may mean "like a bridge." As a bridge enables on to cross to the other side of rivers and other bodies of water, in the same way this bridge enables one to attain the liberation that lies on the other shore of the cycle of repeated birth and death. That is the meaning of this word. In this matter the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (3.8 and 6.15) says tam eva viditvati mrityum eti (One can overcome the path of birth and death only by understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead).

     Next he says:

 

 

Sutra 2

 

 

muktopashripya vyapadeshat

 

     mukta-liberated; upashripya-attaining; vyapadeshat-because of the statement.

   

 

     Because it is said that this abode of heaven is attained by the liberated souls.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     That the Supreme Personality of Giodhead is attained by the liberated souls is described in the following statement of Mundaka Upanishad (3.1.3):

 

yada pashyah pashyate rukma-varnam

     kartaram isham purusham brahma-yonim

tada vidvan punya-pape vidhuya

     niranjanah paramam samyam upaiti

 

     "One who sees that golden-colored Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Lord, the supreme actor, who is the source of the Supreme Brahman, becomes free from the reactions to past pious and sinful deeds, and becomes liberated, attaining the same transcendental platform as the Lord."*

 

 

Sutra 3

 

 

nanumanam atac-chabdat

 

     na-not; anumanam-that which is inferred; atat-not that; shabdat-because of a word.

 

 

     The "pradhana" is not the "abode of heaven and earth" here because there is no word appropriate to it in this passage.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The pradhana described in the smriti-shastras is not referred to in this passage. Why? The sutra says atac-chabdat, which means that none of the words in this passage are appropriate for the insentient pradhana.

 

 

Sutra 4

 

 

prana-bhric ca

 

     prana-bhrit-the jiva ca-and.

 

 

     For the same reason the "jiva" is not the "abode of heaven and earth."

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The word na (not) and the phrase giving the reason (tac-chabdat) should be understood here from the previous sutra. The word atma here also cannot be understood to be the jiva because the word atma, because it is derived from the verb atati (to go), must primarily refer to the all-pervading Supreme Personality of Godhead. The word sarva-vit (all-knowing) also cannot refer to the jiva. For these reasons, because the words in this passage of the Upanishad are not appropriate for such an interpretation, he says that the jiva cannot be the "abode of heaven and earth" mentioned here.

 

 

Sutra 5

 

 

bheda-vyapadeshac ca

 

     bheda-difference; vyapadeshat-because of the description; ca-and.

 

 

     And also because the difference between them is specifically described.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The jiva is not the "abode of heaven and earth" because the scriptures affirm that the jiva and the Supreme Personality of Godhead are different, as explained in the Mundaka Upanishad (2.2.5) in the words tam evaikam janathatmanam (Know Him to be the only Supreme Lord).

 

 

Sutra 6

 

 

prakaranat

 

     prakaranat-because of the context.

 

 

     And also because of the context.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

    The "abode of heaven and earth" here must be the Supreme Personality of Godhead because of the context. The opening statement of this passage under discussion (Mundaka Upanishad (1.1.3)), asks kasmin nu vijnate sarvam idam vijnatam bhavati (What is the one thing, knowing which everything becomes known?). Therefore the passage that follows must describe the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 

 

Sutra 7

 

 

sthity-adanabhyam ca

 

     sthiti-staying; adanabhyam-eating; ca-and.

 

 

     And also because one is eating and the other standing.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     After describing the "abode of heaven and earth," the Mundaka Upanishad (3.1.1) says:

 

dva suparna sayuja sakhaya

     samanam vriksham parishasvajate

tayor anyah  pippalam svady atti

     anashnann anyo 'bhicakashiti

 

     "Two friendly birds stay on the same tree. One eats the sweet pippala fruits and the other, not eating, shines with great splendor."

 

     If the "abode of heaven and earth" had not been previously mentioned then (there would be) no (reason to assume) that the splendid bird here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Otherwise (if the "abode of heaven and earth" had not been mentioned), the sudden, unannounced mention of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (in this little allegory of the birds) would not be acceptable. The jiva, who is already well known in the world, did not need to have been previously mentioned in the same way here. For these reasosn the "abode of heaven and earth" here refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 

 

Adhikarana 2

The Fullness is the Supreme Personality of Godhead

 

 

Introduction by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     Vishaya: When, after describing the Lord's holy names and qualities, he was asked a question by Shri Narada Muni, Shri Sanat-kumara said (Chandogya Upanishad 7.23.1-7.24.1):

 

bhuma tv eva vijijnasitavya iti bhumanam bhagavo vijijnasa iti. yatra nanyat pashyati nanyac chrinoti nanyad vijanati sa bhuma. atha yatranyat pashyaty anyac chrinoty anyad vijanati tad-alpam

 

     "'One should ask about Bhuma.' 'My lord, I wish to know about Bhuma.' 'When one attains Him one sees nothing else, hears nothing else, and knows nothing else. That is Bhuma. When one sees something else, hears something else, and knows something else, he knows that which is very small.'"   

 

     Here the word bhuma does not mean “many." Here it means "all-pervading." The text says yatranyat pashyati. . .tad-alpam (When one sees something else, he sees that which is very small). The Bhuma is contrasted against alpa (the small. The opposite of small is "all-pervading," not "many." Therefore Bhuma here means "all-pervading."

 

     Samshaya: Does Bhuma here mean prana (life-breath) or Lord Vishnu?

     Purvapaksha: In the passage previous to this the Chandogya Upanishad (7.15.1) says prano va ashaya bhuyan (prana is better than hope). Because prana is the topic immediately preceding Bhuma, and because no question and answer intervenes between them, therefore prana and Bhuma are the same. here the word prana (life-breath) means the jiva soul who has breath for his companion. It does not mean merely air. Because this passage begins by describing the jiva soul (7.1.3) tarati shokam atma-vit (He who knows the soul crosses beyond grief) and ends by again describing the jiva soul (7.26.1) atmana evedam sarvam (The soul is everything), therefore the description of Bhuma situated between these two statements must be a description of the jiva soul. When the Upanishad says (7.25.1) yatra nanyat pashyati (When one attains Him one sees nothing else), it means, in this interpretation, that when the jiva is rapt in deep sleep and his senses are all in the grip of prana, he cannot see anything beyond himself. When the Upanishad says (7.23.1) yo vai bhuma tat sukham (the Bhuma is bliss) it does not contradict the idea that the Bhuma is the jiva here because the shruti-shastra says tasyam sukham aham asvapsam (I slept very happily). In this way it is proved that this passage of the Upanishad describes the jiva soul. All the other portions of this passage are also very favorable to this interpretation of the jiva.

     Siddhanta: He says:

 

 

Sutra 8

 

 

bhuma samprasadad adhyupadeshat

 

     bhuma-the Bhuma; samprasadat-than the jiva, who is the object of the Lord's mercy; adhi-greater; upadeshat-because of the teaching.

 

 

     (The Bhuma here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead) because of the scriptural teaching that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is superior to the jiva soul.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The Bhuma here is Lord Vishnu and not the jiva, who has prana (life-breath) as his companion. Why? The sutra says samprasadad adhy upadeshat (because of the scriptural teaching that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is superior to the jiva soul). The Bhuma is the Supreme Personality of Godhead because the passage here in the words (Chandogya Upanishad 7.23.1) yo vai bhuma tat sukham (the Bhuma is bliss) says that the Bhuma is full of great bliss, and because the sutra here says that the Bhuma is superior to all. Or the Bhuma is the Supreme Personality of Godhead because the Chandogya Upanishad (8.3.4) in the words esha samprasado 'smac charirat samutthaya (The jiva who has attained the mercy of the Lord rises above the gross material body and attains the effulgent spiritual world) says that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is superior to the jiva, who is dependent on the Lord's mercy, and who has prana (life-breath) as his companion.      The meaning is this: After describing names and a host of other things, the Chandogya Upanishad (7.15.2) says sa va esha evam pashyan evam manvana evam vijanann ati-vadi bhavati (He who sees prana, meditates on prana, and understands prana becomes a true knower of things), and then after saying that the knower of prana becomes a true knower of things, the Upanishad then says (7.16.1) esha tu va ativadati yah satyenativadati (He who knows the Supreme Personality of Godhead is in reality the true knower of things). The word tu (but) here ends the discussion of prana. Then the greatest ativadi (wise man) is described as he who knows the satya, which here means "Lord Vishnu." In this way the Upanisad explains that the Bhuma is both different from and superior to prana. Because in this way the Bhuma is declared to be superior to prana, prana cannot be identical with the Bhuma.

     The Bhuma is here taught to be superior to the series beginning with name and culminating in prana and therefore it is clearly seen to be different from speech and the other items in this series. In this way the Bhuma is taught to be superior to prana.

     The word satya is famous as a name for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vishnu. The scriptures use the word satya in this way. For example, the Taittiriya Upanishad (2.1.2) says satyam jnanam anantam (the unlimited Supreme Personality of Godhead is full of transcendental knowledge) and the Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.1.1) says satyam param dhimahi (I meditate on the Supreme Personality of Godhead). The word satyena is in the instrumental case to show in the sense of "because." The meaning here is that one becomes an ativadi (wise man) because of the satya, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The person who meditates on prana is called an ativadi (wise man) because he is wise in comparison to they who meditate on the series of objects mentioned previously, beginning with prana and culminating in hope. But he who meditates on Lord Vishnu is superior to the person who meditates on prana. Therefore he who meditates on Lord Vishnu is the real, the best ativadi (wise man).

     For this reason the student asks (Chandogya Upanishad (7.16.1) so 'ham bhagavah satyenativadani (my lord, I will become a man wise with knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead). The guru then answers satyam tv eva vijijnasitavyam (one must yearn to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead).

     The objection that because after the description of the ativadi wise with knowledge of prana there are no further questions and answers, therefore the subject of prana continues into the next sentence, is not a valid objection. Moreover, (it may be said,) because there are no questions after the description of prana, (therefore prana is the highest). In describing the series of inanimate elements, beginning with name and culminating in hope, the guru did not say that the knower of any of these was an ativadi (wise man). However, when he described prana, which here means the jiva, he did say that the knower of prana is an ativadi. The student then assumes that prana is the highest. That is why he asks no further question. The guru, however, not accepting prana as the highest, proceeds to explain that Lord Vishnu is higher than prana. The student, however, now taught that Lord Vishnu is the highest, becomes eager to know how to meditate on Him, and asks so 'ham bhagavah satyenativadani (my lord, I will become a man wise with knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead).

     The opponent may say, "What is referred to here is the jiva, who is the companion of prana (life-breath), and who is referred to in the beginning of this passage as atma."

     The reply is: No. Here the word atma primarily means the Supreme Personality of Godhead because to interpret the word otherwise would contradict the statement at the beginning of the passage (7.26.1) atmanah pranah (from the atma prana is manifested). This view of the opponent contradicts the statement (7.24.1) yatra nanyat pashyati nanyac chrinoti nanyad vijanati sa bhuma. (When one attains Him one sees nothing else, hears nothing else, and knows nothing else. That is Bhuma). This description of the perception of Bhuma clearly refutes any idea that the word Bhuma could mean anything other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The scriptures say saushuptikam sukham alpam (the happiness of deep sleep is very slight), and therefore to say that the word Bhuma here means "the jiva who is soundly sleeping" is simply laughable. For all these reasons, therefore, the Bhuma described here is Lord Vishnu.

 

 

Sutra 9

 

 

dharmopapattesh ca

 

     dharma-qualities; upapatteh-because of the appropriateness; ca-and.

 

 

     And also because the qualities described here can be ascribed to the Supreme Personality of Godhead only.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The qualities ascribed here to the Bhuma are suitable only for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vishnu, and not for anyone else. The Upanishad says (7.24.1) yo vai bhuma tad amritam (The Bhuma is the eternal). This describes the eternalness that is a natural feature of the Supreme. The Upanishad also says sa bhagavah kasmin pratishthita iti sve mahimni (Where does the Supreme Personality of Godhead stay? He stays in His own glory). This explains that the Supreme Personality of Godhead does not depend on anyone. The scriptures also say sa evadhastat (The Supreme Person is above, below, in front, behind, to the left and to the right). This shows that the Lord is the ultimate shelter of everyone and everything. The scriptures say (Chandogya Upanishad 7.26.1) atmanah pranah (From the Supreme Personality of Godhead the life-force is manifested). This shows that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the original cause of all causes. These are some of the qualities of the Supreme described in the Vedic literatures.

 

 

Adhikarana 3

"Akshara" Refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead

 

 

Introduction by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     Vishaya: The Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (3.8.7-8) says:

 

kasmin khalu akasha otash ca protash ceti. sa hovaca. etad vai tad aksharam gargi brahmana abhivadanti asthulam ananv ahrasvam adirgham alohitam asneham acchayam

 

     "'In what is the sky woven, warp and woof?' He said: 'O Gargi, the brahmanas say it is woven in the eternal. The eternal is not large, not small, not short, not tall, not red, not liquid, without shade).

 

     Samshaya: Is the akshara (eternal) here pradhana, jiva, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

     Purvapaksha: The word Shvetashvatara Upanishadakshara here may denote any of the three. The meaning is ambiguous.

     Siddhanta: The conclusion follows.

 

 

Sutra 10

 

 

aksharam ambaranta-dhriteh

 

     aksharam-the eternal; ambara-with sky; anta-at the end; dhriteh-because of being the support.

 

     The word "akshara" here refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, because the "akshara" is described as the resting place of all the elements, beginning with the grossest and culminating in sky.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The akshara here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Why? The sutra says amabaranta-dhriteh (because the akshara is described as the resting place of all the elements, beginning with the grossest and culminating in sky). The Upanishad says etasmin khalu akshare gargy akasha otash ca protash ca (O Gargi, the sky is woven, warp and woof, in the eternal). the word akshara must refer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead because it is here described as the resting place of all the elements, which culminate in sky.

     The objection may be raised: "Akshara here may refer to pradhana because pradhana is the origin of all the changes of this world. Akshara may also refer to the jiva because the jiva is the resting place of all inanimate objects that come within its perception."

     If these objections are raised, he then says:

 

 

Sutra 11

 

 

sa ca prashasanat

 

     sa-that; ca-and; prashasanat-because of the command.

      

 

     "Akshara" here must refer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead because the text says that everything is supported by His command.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     In the previous sutra the Supreme Personality of Godhead is described as the resting place of all the elements, beginning with the grossest and culminating in sky. Why is this? The sutra says prashasanat (because the text says that everything is supported by His command). The Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (3.8.9) says etasya va aksharasya prashasane gargi dyava-prithivi vidhrite tishthatah. etasya va aksharasya prashasane gargi surya-candramasau vidhritau tishthatah (By the command of the eternal, O Gargi, heaven and earth are manifest. By the command of the eternal, O Gargi, the sun and moon are manifest). Because these words describe the order of the eternal, the eternal should be understood to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Neither the inanimate, unconscious pradhana, nor the conditioned or liberated jiva can create everything simply by their command.

 

 

Sutra 12

 

 

anya-bhava-vyavrittesh ca

 

     anya-another; bhava-nature; vyavritteh-because of the exclusion; ca-also.

 

     And also because the text describes certain qualities that specifically exclude any other being.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (3.8.11) says tad va etad aksharam gargy adrishtam drashtri ashrutam shrotri (O Gargi, this eternal sees, but is unseen. He hears, but is unheard). Because these words describe the akshara in terms that cannot be applied to anyone but the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the word akshara must refer to the Supreme Person. The pradhana is inanimate and unconscious and therefore it cannot see. Because the text here says that the akshara sees everything but cannot be seen by anyone, it cannot mean the jiva.    

 

 

Adhikarana 4

The "Purusha" Seen in Brahmaloka is the Supreme Personality of Godhead

 

 

Introduction by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     In the Prashna Upanishad (5.2.2-5) the following passage is read:

 

etad vai satyakama param caparam ca brahma yad omkaras tasmad vidvan etenaivayatanenaikataram anveti. . . yah punar etam tri-matrenom ity anenaivaksharena paramm purusham abhidhyayita sa tejasi surye sampanno yatha padodaras tvacavinirmucyate evam haiva sa papmabhir vinirmuktah sa samabhir unniyate brahmalokam sa etasmat jiva-ghanat parat param purishayam purusham vikshatet1)

 

     "O Satyakama, the syllable om is both the superior Brahman and the inferior Brahman. A wise man attains one of these two Brahmans. . .One who, reciting the eternal om of three lengths, meditates on the Supreme Person, will attain the sun-planet. As a snake sheds its skin so does he become free from all sins. By the hymns of the Vedas he is carried to Brahmaloka. There he directly sees the Supreme Soul, the Supreme Person residing in the heart."

 

     Samshaya: Is the person seen and meditated on the four-faced demigod Brahma or the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

     Purvapaksha: The text here says that the devotee who meditates on om of one length attains the world of men, the devotee who meditates on om of two lengths attains the world of heaven, and the devotee who meditates on om of one length attains the world of Brahma. The planet here is the planet of the four-faced demigod Brahma and the person seen by one who goes there is the four-faced demigod Brahma.

     Siddhanta: The conclusion follows.

 

 

Sutra 13

 

 

ikshati-karma-vyapadeshat sah

 

     ikshati-of seeing; karma-object; vyapadeshat-because of the description; sah-He.

 

 

     The person here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead because the description of the object of vision here fits the Supreme Person.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     Here the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the ikshati-karma, or object of vision. Why? the sutra says vyapadeshat (because the description of the object of vision here fits the Supreme Person). This is so because the Upanishad (5.2.7) describes the qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the following words: tam omkarenaivayatanenanveti vidvan yat tac chantam ajaram amritam abhayam param parayanam ca (By reciting om the wise man attains the supremely peaceful, ageless, eternal, fearless Supreme, the ultimate goal of life). The conclusion is that, according to the argument of nishada-sthapaty-adhikarana-nyaya, the word brahmaloka here means Vishnuloka (the planet of Lord Vishnu).

 

 

Adhikarana 5

The "Dahara" is the Supreme Personality of Godhead

 

 

Introduction by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     Vishaya: In the Chandogya Upanishad (8.1.1) is heard the following:

 

atha yad idam asmin brahma-pure daharam pundarikam veshma daharo shminn antar akashas tasmin yad antas tad anveshtavyam tad vijijnasitavyam

 

     "In a great city is a small lotus palace. In that palace is a small sky. That sky should be sought. That sky should be asked about."

 

     Samshaya: What is the small sky here in the lotus of the heart? Is it the element sky, the jiva, or Lord Vishnu?

     Purvapaksha: Because the word akasha generally means the element sky it must also have that same meaning here. Or, because the jiva is very small and also the master of the city of the body, it may mean the jiva.

     Siddhanta: The conclusion follows.

 

 

Sutra 14

 

 

dahara uttarebhyah

 

     daharah-the small; uttarebhyah-because of the descriptions that follow.

 

 

     The small sky here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead because of the description given in the remainder of the text.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The small sky here is Lord Vishnu. Why? The sutra says uttarebhyah, which means "because of the description given in the remainder of the text." The descriptions used here to describe the small sky, such as "as great as the sky," "maintaining everything," and "free from all sin," cannot be used to describe either the element sky or the jiva soul. The "great city" described in this Upanishad is the body of the devotee. The "lotus" is the heart in the body. The "palace" is the abode of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The word "small sky" is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who should be meditated upon and sought after, and who possesses a host of transcendental qualities, including being always free of all sin. The passage should be interpreted in this way. Therefore the small sky here is Lord Vishnu. Then he says-

 

 

Sutra 15

 

 

gati-shabdabhyam tatha hi drishtam lingam ca

 

     gati-because of going; shabdabhyam-and because of a certain word; tatha hi-furthermore; drishtam-seen; lingam-hinted; ca-and.

 

     This is so because of the description of going, because of the use of a certain word, and because it is both directly seen and also hinted at.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The Chandogya Upanishad (8.3.2) says:

 

yatha hiranya-nidhim nihitam akshetrajna upari sancaranto 'pi na vidus tathemah sarvah praja ahar ahar gacchantya enam brahmalokam na vidanty anritena hi pratyudhah

 

     "As people, unaware of what the ground actually holds, walk again and again over buried golden treasure, so do the people of this world day after day go to the spiritual world of Brahman without knowing it."

 

       "Enam" (this), which points to the "small sky," is the "certain word" mentioned in the sutra, and the description here of the living entities' "going to the spiritual world of Brahman" is the "going" mentioned in the sutra. Both enam and the going mentioned here show that Lord Vishnu is the "small sky."

     Furthermore, in another place the scriptures again describe the living entities' going to the Supreme in these words: sata saumya tada sampanno bhavati (O gentle one, the living entities are again and again in contact with the Supreme). This is the "directly seen" mentioned in the sutra. The use of the word brahmaloka hints that Lord Vishnu is the topic of discussion here. This is the "hint" mentioned in the sutra. The word brahmaloka here cannot refer to the Satyaloka planet because it is not possible for the living entities to go day after day to the Satyaloka planet.

 

 

Sutra 16

 

 

dhritesh ca mahimno 'syasminn upalabdheh

 

     dhriteh-because of maintaining; ca-and; mahimnah-of the glory; asya-of Him; asmin-in this; upalabdheh-because of being stated.

 

 

     This is so because of the description of His glory in maintaining all the worlds.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     In the passage beginning with the words daharo 'sminn antar akashah (in that palace is a small sky), the descriptions "as great as the sky,"  "maintaining everything," and "free from all sin," and the use of the word atma clearly, and without need to turn to any other passage, show that the "small sky" mentioned here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.    The Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (4.4.22) also says: atha ya atma sa setur vidhritir esham lokanam asambhedaya (He is the Supreme Person, the bridge, the controller who prevents the worlds from becoming broken and destroyed). Because the "small sky" is thus shown to possess the glory of maintaining all the worlds, the "small sky" here must be Lord Vishnu.

 

     The Chandogya Upanishad also says: esha setur vidharana esham lokanam asambhedaya (He is the bridge, the controller who prevents the worlds from becoming broken and destroyed). In these passages and in others also, this glory of the Supreme Personality of Godhead may be seen.

 

 

Sutra 17

 

 

prasiddhesh ca

 

     prasiddheh-because of being famous in this way; ca-and.

 

 

     And also because this is a traditional usage of the word.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     This is so because the word "sky"  is commonly used to mean "the Supreme Personality of Godhead," as may be seen in the following statement of Taittiriya Upanishad (2.7.1): ko hy evanyat kah pranyat. yad esha akasha anando na syat. (Who could breathe if the sky were not bliss?)

     Someone may raise the following objection: The Chandogya Upanishad (8.3.4) says: sa esha samprasado 'smac charirat samutthaya param jyotir upasampadya svena rupenabhinishpadyate. esha atmeti hovaca. etad amritam etad abhayam etad brahma ("The liberated jiva rises from the material body. He attains the spiritual effulgence and manifests his original form. This is the self," he said. "He is immortal. He is fearless. He is Brahman"). Because this description of the jiva appears immediately afterward, the description of the “small sky" should be understood to refer to the jiva.

     If this objection is raised, he replies:

 

 

Sutra 18

 

 

itara-paramarshat sa iti cen nasambhavat

 

     itara-the other; paramarshat-because of reference; sah-he; iti-thus; cet-if; na-not; asambhavat-because of impossibility.

 

 

     If it is said that because there is mention of something else (the jiva) in the same passage (and therefore the "small sky" here is the jiva, then I say) No, because it is impossible.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     Although in the middle of this passage there is a description of the jiva, nevertheless it is not possible to say that the beginning of this passage describes the jiva. Why? The sutra says asambhavat (because it is impossible). This is so because in the beginning of this passage there is a description of eight qualities, beginning with "being free from sin," that cannot be ascribed to the jiva.

     Now our opponent may say: So be it. Still, after the description of the "small sky," the Chandogya Upanishad (8.7.1) says ya atmapahata-papma vijaro vimrityur vishoko vijighatso 'pipasah satya-kamah satya-sankalpah so 'nveshtavyah sa vijijnasitavyah (The soul is free from sin, old-age, death, suffering, hunger, and thirst. It desires only the good. Whatever it desires is attained at once). Because these words of the Prajapati describe the jiva the qualities described in 7.7.1 and the "small sky" described before that may also refer to the jiva.

     Considering that this doubt might arise, he says:

 

 

Sutra 19

 

 

uttarac ced avirbhava-svarupas tu

 

     uttarat-because of a later passage; cet-if; avirbhava-manifestation; svarupas-form; tu-indeed.

 

 

     If it is said that a later passage (proves that the “small sky" is the jiva then I say no.) The description of the true nature of the jiva is confined to that passage alone.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The word tu (but) is used here to dispel doubt. The word na (no) should be understood from the previous sutra. In this passage spoken by the Prajapati the teaching is that the jiva manifests these qualities by engaging in spiritual activities, but otherwise these qualities are not manifested. In the passage describing the "small sky" these eight attributes are said to be eternally manifested. The statement of the Prajapati is, however, that these qualities are present in the jiva only if he engages in spiritual activities. The Chandogya Upanishad (8.3.4) clearly explains the difference between the Supreme Personality of Godhead (who possesses these eight qualities in all circumstances) and the jiva (who possesses these qualities only when he becomes liberated) in the following words: sa esha samprasado 'smac charirat samutthaya param jyotir upasampadya svena rupenabhinishpadyate. esha atmeti hovaca. etad amritam etad abhayam etad brahma ("The liberated jiva rises from the material body. He attains the spiritual effulgence and manifests his original form. This is the self," he said. "He is immortal. He is fearless. He is Brahman"). Although the jiva may manifest some of these eight qualities by engaging in spiritual activities, he still cannot manifest all of them. The qualities of being the "bridge that spans the worlds," and being the "maintainer of the worlds" are some of the qualities the jiva can never attain. This proves that the "small sky" is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

     Now our opponent says: If this is so, then why is the jiva mentioned at all in this passage?

     To answer this question he says:

 

 

Sutra 20

 

 

anyarthash ca paramarshah

 

     anya-another; arthash-meaning; ca-and; paramarshah-reference.

 

 

     The description of the jiva here has a different object.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The jiva is described here in order to teach about the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When the jiva becomes liberated and attains his original spiritual form, he also manifests these eight qualities. In this way it may be understood that the "small sky" is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

     Now our opponent says: Because the "small sky" within is described as very small it must refer to the jiva, which was previously described as also being very small.

     If this objection is given, then he says:

 

 

Sutra 21

 

 

alpa-shruter iti cet tad-uktam

 

     alpa-small; shruteh-from the shruti; iti-thus; cet-if; tat-that; uktam-said.

 

 

     If it is said that when the shruti describes the "small" it must refer to the jiva, then I say no because of what has already been said.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The Supreme Personality of Godhead manifests a very small form to facilitate meditation on Him. This has already been described in sutra 1.2.7, which says nicayyatvad evam vyomavac ca. This sutra explains that although the Supreme Personality of Godhead is all-pervading, in order to facilitate meditation on Him, He manifests a small form the size of the distance between the thumb and forefinger. He appears in this small form so He may be easily meditated upon. Of course, His glories have no limit and His size also has no limit.

     Then he gives another explanation.

 

 

Sutra 22

 

 

anukrites tasya ca

 

     anukriteh-because of imitation; tasya-of Him; ca-also.

 

     And also because (the jiva) merely resembles in some respects (the Supreme Personality of Godhead).

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     Because, according to the statement of the Prajapati, the jiva, who only manifests the eight qualities when engaged in spiritual activities, merely resembles in some respects the "small sky," who manifests the eight qualities eternally, the "small sky" must be different from the jiva. Previously the original form of the jiva is covered by illusion, and then afterwards, by worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the illusion becomes broken and the jiva, manifesting these eight qualities, becomes equal, in some respects, to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this way, as explained by the Prajapati, the jiva resembles, in some respects, the "small sky." The sentence pavanam anuharate hanuman (Hanuman resembles the wind) shows the difference between the resembled object and the thing that resembles it. That the liberated jiva resembles the Supreme Personality of Godhead may also be seen in the following words from Mundaka Upanishad (3.1.3): niranjanah paramam samyam upaiti (the liberated jiva resembles the Supreme Personality of Godhead).

 

 

Sutra 23

 

 

api smaryate

 

     api-and; smaryate-described in the smriti-shastra.

 

 

     This is also described in the smriti-shastra.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     In the Bhagavad-gita (14.2) the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna, also explains:

 

idam jnanam upashritya

     mama sadharmyam agatah

sarge 'pi nopajayante

     pralaye na vyathanti ca

 

     "By becoming fixed in this knowledge, one can attain to the transcendental nature like My own. Once established, one is not born at the time of creation or disturbed at the time of dissolution."*

 

     In this way the smriti-shastra explains that the liberated jivas attain a nature like that of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. For these reasons the "small sky" is Lord Hari and not the jiva.

 

 

Adhikarana 6

The Person the Size of a Thumb is the Supreme Personality of Godhead

 

 

Introduction by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     Vishaya: In the Katha Upanishad (2.1.12) the following words are read:

 

angushtha-matrah purusho

     madhya atmani tishthati

ishano bhuta-bhavyaysya

     tato na vijugupsate    

 

     "A person the size of a thumb stands in the heart. He is the master of the past and future. He does not fear."

 

     Samshaya: Is this person the size of a thumb the jiva or Lord Vishnu?

     Purvapaksha: The person here is the jiva because the Shvetazvatara Upanishad (5.7-8) says pranadhipah sancarati sva-karmabhir Ťangushta-matro ravi-tulya-rupah (The ruler of breath moves about, impelled by his karma. He is the size of a thumb. He is splendid as the sun).

     Siddhanta: The conclusion follows.

 

 

Sutra 24

 

 

shabdad eva pramitah

 

     shabdat-because of the word; eva-even; pramitah-limited.

 

 

     Even though (He is) very small (this person is the Supreme Lord) because of the words (in the text).

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The person here the size of a thumb is Lord Vishnu. Why? The sutra says shabdat (because of the words in the text). The Upanishad text referred to here is ishano bhuta-bhavyaysa (He is the master of the past and future). It is not possible for the jiva, who is controlled by his karma, to possess this power.

     Now it may be asked: How is it possible for the all-pervading Supreme Personality of Godhead to become limited to this very small form?

     To answer this question he says:

 

 

Sutra 25

 

 

hridy upekshaya tu manushyadhikaratvat

 

     hridi-in the heart; upekshaya-with relation; tu-indeed; manushya-of human beings; adhikaratvat-because of the qualification.

 

 

     This is so because the Supreme Personality of Godhead indeed appears in the hearts of men.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The word tu (indeed) is used here for emphasis. The all-pervading Supreme Personality of Godhead becomes the size of a thumb because He is meditated on as being the size of thumb within the heart. Another interpretation is that because He appears, by His inconceivable potency, in such a small form in the heart He is meditated on in that way, as has been already described.

 

     "Because the different species have bodies of different sizes and hearts of different sizes it is not possible that the Lord can appear in all of them in this size." If this objection is raised, to answer it he says manushyadhikaratvat (the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears in the hearts of men). Although the scriptures do not specify, he (Vyasa) singles out human beings. He does this because it is human beings who are able to meditate and therefore the measurement is given here according to the human body. For this reason there is no contradiction here. In the same way in the hearts of elephants, horses, and all other creatures the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears in a form the size of the thumb of each creature. In this way there is no contradiction. It is not possible for the jiva, however, to be present within the heart in a form the size of a thumb because the original form of the jiva is atomic in size, as explained in the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (5.9) in the words balagra-shata-bhagasya (When the upper point of a hair is divided into one hundred parts and again each of such parts is further divided into one hundred parts, each such part is the measurement of the dimension of the jiva soul). For all these reasons, therefore, the person the size of a thumb is Lord Vishnu.

 

 

Adhikarana 7

The Devas Can Meditate on the Supreme Personality of Godhead

 

 

Introduction by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     Vishaya: In order to prove that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the person the size of a thumb, the Vedic scriptures were quoted to establish that it is human beings who have the right to meditate on the Supreme Person. That evidence may lead to the belief that human beings alone have the right to meditate on the Supreme Person. Now, by refuting that false belief, the right of others to meditate on the Supreme Personality of Godhead will be proved.         

     The Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (1.4.10) says:

 

     tad yo yo devanam pratyabudhyata sa eva tad abhavat tatharshinam tatha manushyanam

 

     "Whoever among the devas meditated on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, attained Supreme Personality of Godhead. Whoever among the sages meditated on Him attained Him. Whoever among the human beings meditated on Him attained Him."

 

     The Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (4.4.16) also says:

 

     tad deva jyotisham jyotir ayur hopasate 'mritam

 

     "The devas meditate on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the splendor of all splendors, and who is eternity and life."

 

     Samshaya: Is it possible for the devas to meditate on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as human beings do, or is it not possible?

     Purvapaksha: Because the devas have no senses they are not able to meditate on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Indra and the other devas are beings created by mantras. They have no bodily senses. Because they have no senses they have neither material desires nor spiritual renunciation.

     Siddhanta: The conclusion follows.

 

 

Sutra 26

 

 

tad upary api badarayanah sambhavat

 

     tad-that; upari-above; api-also; badarayanah-Vyasadeva; sambhavat-because of being possible.

 

     Beings superior to humankind are able to meditate on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the opinion of Vyasa.

 

 

Purport by Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana

 

 

     The devas and other beings superior to humankind are able to meditate on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the opinion of Lord Vyasadeva. Why? Because according to the Upanishads, Vedic mantras, Itihasas, Puranas, and ancient tradition, they do indeed have bodies and senses. Because they have heavenly bodies and senses they are able to meditate and they are also able to become detached from their heavenly opulence and voluntarily renounce it. Because they are aware of the baseness and impermanence of their celestial opulence they are able to be detached from it and renounce it. The Vishnu Purana (6.5.50) explains: