Brahma Sutras Chapter 1.1

Brahma Sutras 1.1

Jijnasadhikaranam: Topic 1 (Sutra 1)

The enquiry into Brahman and its pre-requisites

Athato Brahmajijnasa  |I.1.1 (1)

Now, therefore, the enquiry into Brahman.

Atha - now, then, afterwards;
Atah - therefore;
Brahmajijnasa - a desire for the knowledge of Brahman (the enquiry into the real nature of Brahman).

Janmadyadhikaranam: Topic 2 (Sutra 2)

Definition of Brahman

Janmadyasya yatah  |I.1.2 (2)

(Brahman is that) from which the origin etc., (i.e. the origin, sustenance and dissolution) of this (world proceed).

Janmadi - origin etc.;
Asya - of this (world);
Yatah - from which.

Sastrayonitvadhikaranam: Topic 3 (Sutra 3)

Brahman is realisable only through the scriptures

Sastrayonitvat  |I.1.3 (3)

The scripture being the source of right knowledge.

Sastra - the scripture;
Yonitvat - being the source of or the means of the right knowledge.

Samanvayadhikaranam: Topic 4 (Sutra 4)

Brahman the main purport of all Vedantic texts

Tattu Samanvayat  |I.1.4 (4)

But that (Brahman is to be known only from the Scriptures and not independently by any other means is established), because it is the main purpose (of all Vedantic texts).

Tat - that;
Tu - but;
Samanvayat - on account of agreement or harmony, because it is the main purpose.

Ikshatyadyadhikaranam: Topic 5 (Sutras 5-11)

Brahman (the intelligent principle) is the First Cause

Ikshaternasabdam  |I.1.5 (5)

On account of seeing (i.e. thinking being attributed in the Upanishads to the First Cause, the Pradhana) is not (the first cause indicated by the Upanishads; for) it (Pradhana) is not based on the scriptures.

Ikshateh - on account of seeing (thinking);
Na - is not;
Asabdam - not based on the scriptures


Gaunaschet na Atmasabdat  |I.1.6 (6)

If it be said that (the word ‘seeing’ or thinking) is used in a secondary sense, (we say) not so, because of the word Atman being applied to the cause of the world.

Gaunah - indirect, secondary, figurative;
Chet - if;
Na - not;
Atmasabdat - because of the word Atman, i.e., soul.


Tannishthasya mokshopadesat  |I.1.7 (7)

(The Pradhana cannot be designated by the term Self) because Salvation is declared to one who is devoted to that Sat.

Tat - to that;
Nishthasya - of the devoted;
Mokshopadesat - from the statement of salvation.


Heyatvavachanaccha  |I.1.8 (8)

And (the Pradhana cannot be denoted by the word ‘Self’), because it is not stated (by the scriptures) that It (Sat) has to be discarded.

Heyatva - fitness to be discarded;
Avachanat - not being stated (by the scriptures);
Cha - and.


Svapyayat  |I.1.9 (9)

On account of (the individual) merging in its own Self (the Self cannot be the Pradhana).

Svapyayat - on account of merging in one’s own self.


Gatisamanyat  |I.1.10 (10)

On account of the uniformity of view (of the Vedanta texts, Brahman is to be taken as that cause).

Gati - view;
Samanyat - on account of the uniformity.


Srutatvaccha  |I.1.11 (11)

And because it is directly stated in the Sruti (therefore the all-knowing Brahman alone is the cause of the universe).

Srutatvat - being declared by the Sruti;
Cha - also, and.

Anandamayadhikaranam: Topic 6 (Sutras 12-19)

Anandamaya is Para Brahman

Anandamayo’bhyasat  |I.1.12 (12)

Anandamaya means Para Brahman on account of the repetition (of  the word ‘bliss’ as denoting the Highest Self).

Anandamayah - full of bliss;
Abhyasat - because of repetition.


Vikarasabdanneti chet na prachuryat  |I.1.13 (13)

If (it be objected that the term Anandamaya consisting of bliss can) not (denote the supreme Self) because of its being a word denoting a modification or transformation or product (we say that the objection is) not (valid) on account of abundance, (which is denoted by the suffix ‘maya’).

Vikara sabdat - from the word ‘Anandamaya’ with the suffix ‘mayat’ denoting modification;
Na - is not;
Iti - this; thus;
Chet - if;
Na - not so;
Prachuryat -  because of abundance.


Taddhetuvyapadesaccha  |I.1.14. (14)

And because he is declared to be the cause of it (i.e. of bliss; therefore ‘maya’ denotes abundance or fulness).

Tad + Hetu - the cause of that, namely the cause of Ananda;
Vyapadesat - because of the statement of declaration;
Cha - and.


Mantravarnikameva cha giyate  | I.1.15 (15)

Moreover that very Brahman which has been re-referred to in the Mantra portion is sung (i.e. proclaimed in the Brahmana passage as the Anandamaya).

Mantra-varnikam - He who is described in the Mantra portion;
Eva - the very same;
Cha - and also, moreover;
Giyate - is sung.


Netaro’nupapatteh  |I.1.16 (16)

(Brahman and) not the other (i.e. the individual soul is meant here) on account of the impossibility (of the latter assumption).

Na - not;
Itarah - the other i.e. the Jiva;
Anupapatteh - because of the impossibility, non-reasonableness.


Bhedavyapadesaccha  |I.1.17 (17)

And on account of the declaration of the difference (between the two i.e. the one referred to in the passage ‘The Self consisting of  bliss’ etc. and the individual soul, the latter cannot be the one referred to in the passage).

Bheda - difference;
Vyapadesat - because of the declaration;
Cha - and.


Kamachcha Nanumanapeksha  |I.1.18 (18)

Because of wishing or willing in the scriptural passage we cannot say even inferentially that Anandamaya means Pradhana.

Kamat - because of desire or willing;
Cha - and;
Na - not;
Anumana - the inferred one, i. e. the Pradhana;
Apeksha - necessity.


Asminnasya cha tadyogam sasti  |I.1.19 (19)

And moreover it, i e., the scripture, teaches the joining of this, i.e., the individual soul, with that, i.e., consisting of bliss (Anandamaya) when knowledge is attained.

Asmin - in him; in the person called Anandamaya;
Asya - his, of the Jiva;
Cha - and, also;
Tat - that;
Yogam - union;
Sasti - (Sruti) teaches.

Antaradhikaranam: Topic 7 (Sutras 20-21)

The being or person in the Sun and the eye is Brahman


Antastaddharmopadesat  |I.1.20 (20)

The being within (the Sun and the eye) is Brahman, because His attributes are taught therein.

Antah - (Antaratma, the being within the sun and the eye);
Tat Dharma - His essential attribute;
Upadesat - because of the teaching, as Sruti teaches.


Bhedavyapadesachchanyah  |I.1.21 (21)

And there is another one (i.e. the Lord who is different from the individual souls animating the Sun etc.) on account of the declaration of distinction.

Bheda - difference;
Vyapadesat - because of declaration;
Cha - and, also;
Anyah - is different, another, other than the Jiva or the individual soul.

Akasadhikaranam: Topic 8 (Sutra 22)

The word Akasa must be understood as Brahman

Akasastallingat  |I.1.22 (22)

The word Akasa i.e., ether here is Brahman on account of characteristic marks (of that i.e. Brahman being mentioned).

Akasah -  the word Akasa as used here;
Tad - His, of Brahman;
Lingat - because of characteristic mark.

Pranadhikaranam: Topic 9 (Sutra 23)

The word ‘Prana’ must be understood as Brahman


Ata eva Pranah  |I.1.23 (23)

For the same reason the breath also refers to Brahman.

Ata eva - for the same reason;
Pranah - the breath (also refers to Brahman).

Jyotischaranadhikaranam: Topic 10 (Sutras 24-27)

The light is Brahman


Jyotischaranabhidhanat  |I.1.24 (24)

The ‘light’ is Brahman, on account of the mention of feet in a passage which is connected with the passage about the light.

Jyotih - the light;
Charana - feet;
Abhidhanat - because of the mention.


Chhando’bhidhananneti chet na tatha cheto’rpananigadat tatha hi darsanam  | I.1.25 (25)

If it be said that Brahman is not denoted on account of the metre  Gayatri being denoted, we reply not so, because thus i.e. by means of  the metre the application of the mind on Brahman is declared; because thus it is seen (in other passages also).

Chhandas - the metre known as Gayatri;
Abhidhanat - because of the description;
Na - not;
Iti - thus;
Chet - if;
Na - not;
Tatha - thus, like that;
Chet’orpana - application of the mind;
Nigadat - because of the teaching;
Tatha hi - like that;
Darsanam - it is seen (in other texts).


Bhutadipadavyapadesopapatteschaivam  |I.1.26 (26)

And thus also (we must conclude, viz., that Brahman is the subject or topic of the previous passage, where Gayatri occurs) because (thus only) the declaration as to the beings etc. being the feet is possible.

Bhutadi - the elements etc. i.e. the elements, the earth, the body and the heart;
Pada - (of) foot, part;
Vyapadesa - (of) mention (of) declaration or expression;
Upapatteh - because of the possibility or proof, reasonableness, as it is rightly deduced from the above reasons;
Cha - also;
Evam - thus, so.


Upadesabhedanneti chet na ubhayasminnapyavirodhat  | I.1.27 (27)

If it be said (that Brahman of the Gayatri passage cannot be recognised in the passage treating of ‘light’) on account of the difference of designation or the specification (we reply) no, because in either (designation) there is nothing contrary (to the recognition).

Upadesa - of teaching of grammatical construction or cases;
Bhedat- because of the difference;
Na - not;
Iti chet - if it be said;
Na - no;
Ubhayasmin - in both, (whether in the ablative case or in the locative case);
Api - even;
Avirodhat - because there is no contradiction.

Pratardanadhikaranam: Topic 11 (Sutras 28-31)

Prana is Brahman


Pranastathanugamat  |I.1.28 (28)

Prana is Brahman, that being so understood from a connected consideration (of the passage referring to Prana).

Pranah - the breath or life-energy;
Tatha - thus, so, likewise like that stated before; like that stated in the Sruti quoted before in connection therewith;
Anugamat - because of being understood (from the texts).


Na vakturatmopadesaditi chet adhyatmasambandhabhuma hyasmin  |I.1.29 (29)

If it be said that (Brahman is) not (denoted or referred in these passages on account of) the speaker’s instruction about himself, we reply not so, because there is abundance of reference to the Inner Self in this (chapter or Upanishad).

Na - not;
Vaktuh - of the speaker (Indra);
Atma - of the Self;
Upadesat - on account of instruction;
Iti - thus;
Chet - if;
Adhyatma sambandha bhuma - abundance of reference to the Inner Self;
Hi - because;
Asmin - in this (chapter or Upanishad).


Sastradrishtya tupadeso vamadevavat  |1.1.30 (30)

The declaration (made by Indra about himself, viz.,that he is and with Brahman) is possible through intuition as attested by Sruti, as in the case of Vamadeva.

Sastradrishtya - through insight based on scripture or as attested by Sruti;
Tu - but;
Upadesah - instruction;
Vamadevavat - like that of Vamadeva.


Jivamukhyapranalinganneti chet na upasatraividhyat asritatvadiha tadyogat  |I.1.31 (31)

If it be said that (Brahman is) not (meant) on account of characteristic marks of the individual soul and the chief vital air (being mentioned); we say no, because (such an interpretation) would enjoin threefold meditation (Upasana), because Prana has been accepted (elsewhere in the Sruti in the sense of Brahman) and because here also (words denoting Brahman) are mentioned with reference to Prana.

Jivamukhyapranalingat - on account of the characteristic marks of the individual soul and the chief vital air;
Na - not;
Iti - thus;
Chet - if;
Na - not;
Upasana - worship, meditation;
Traividhyat - because of the three ways;
Asritatvat - on account of Prana being accepted (elsewhere in Sruti in the sense of Brahman);
Iha - in the Kaushitaki passage;
Tadyogat -  because of its appropriateness; as they have been applied; because words denoting Brahman are mentioned with reference to Prana.