Brahma Sutras Chapter 2. 1

Brahma Sutras 2.1

Smrityadhikaranam -  Topic 1 (Sutras 1-2) 

Refutation of Smritis not based on Srutis


Smrityanavakasadoshaprasanga iti chet na anyasmrityanavakasadoshaprasangat  |II.1.1 (135)

If it be objected that (from the doctrine of Brahman being the cause of the world) there would result the defect of there being no room for certain Smritis (we say) no, because (by the rejection of that doctrine) there would result the defect of want of room for some other Smriti.

Smriti - the Sankhya philosophy;
Anavakasa - no room;
Dosha - defect;
Prasangat - Result, chance;
Iti - thus; Chet - if; Na - not;
Anyasmriti - other Smritis;
Anavakasadoshaprasangat - because there would result the defect of want of room for other Smritis.


Itaresham chanupalabdheh  |II.1.2 (136)

And there being no mention (in the scriptures) of others (i.e., the effects of the Pradhana according to the Sankhya system), (the Sankhya system cannot be authoritative).

Itaresham - of others;
Cha - and;
Anupalabdheh - there being no mention.

Yogapratyuktyadhikaranam -  Topic 2 (Sutra 3) 

Refutation of Yoga


Etena yogah pratyuktah  |II.1.3 (137)

By this the Yoga philosophy is (also) refuted.

Etena - by this viz., by the refutation of the Sankhya Smriti;
Yogah - the Yoga philosophy;
Pratyuktah - is (also) refuted.

Na Vilakshanatvadhikaranam -  Topic 3 (Sutras 4-11)

Brahman can be the cause of the universe, although It is of a contrary nature from the universe


Na vilakshanatvadasya tathatvam cha sabdat  |II.1.4 (138)

(The objector says that) Brahman cannot be the cause of the world, because this (the world) is of a different nature (from Brahman) and its being so (different from Brahman) (is known) from the scriptures.

Na - not (i.e. Brahman is not the cause of the world);
Vilakshanatvat - because of difference in nature;
Asya - its (i.e. of this world);
Tathatvam - its being so;
Cha - and;
Sabdat - from the word, from the Sruti.


Abhimanivyapadesastu viseshanugatibhyam  |II.1.5 (139)

But the reference is to the presiding deities (of the organs) on account of the special characterisation and also from the fact of a deity so presiding.

Abhimani - the presiding deity (of the organs and the elements);
Vyapadesah - an expression, an indication, pointing out of, denotation of;
Tu - but;
Visesha - specific adjunct, on account of distinction, because of so being qualified; Anugatibhyam - the act of pervading;
Viseshanugatibhyam - from the specific adjunct as well as from the fact of pervading, on account of their entering.


Drishyate tu  |II.1.6 (140)

But it (such organisation of life from matter) is also seen.

Drishyate - is seen;
Tu - but.


Asaditi chet na pratishedhamatratvat  |II.1.7 (141)

If it be said (that the world, the effect, would then be) nonexistent (before its origination or creation), (we say) no, because it is a mere negation (without any basis).

Asat - non-existence;
Iti chet - if it be said; Na - no;
Pratishedhamatratvat - because of denial, as it simply denies.


Apitau tadvatprasangadasamanjasam  |II.1.8 (142)

On account of the consequence that at the time of Pralaya or great dissolution (the cause becomes) like that (i.e., like the effect), the doctrine maintained hitherto (that Brahman is the cause of the universe) is absurd.

Apitau - at the time of Pralaya or the great dissolution;
Tadvat - like that, like the effect;
Prasangat - on account of the consequences;
Asamanjasam - inconsistent, absurd.


Na tu drishtantabhavat  |II.1.9 (143)

But not (so) on account of the existence of illustrations.

Na - not; Tu - but;
Drishtantabhavat - on account of illustrations.


Svapakshadosacca  |II.1.10 (144)

And because the objections (raised by the Sankhya against the Vedanta doctrine) apply to his (Sankhya) view also.

Svapakshadoshat - because of the objections, to his own view;
Cha - and.


Tarkapratishthanadapi anyathanumeyamiti chet evamapyanirmoksha prasangah  |II.1.11 (145)

If it be said that in consequence of the non-finality of  reasoning we must frame our conclusions otherwise; (we reply that) thus also there would result non-release.

Tarka - reasoning, argument;
Apratishthanat - because of not having any fixity or finality;
Api - also;
Anyatha - otherwise;
Anumeyam - to be inferred, to be ascertained, by arguing;
Iti chet - if it be said, even thus in this way;
Api - even;
Anirmoksha - want of release, absence of the way out;
Prasangah - consequence.

Sishtaparigrahadhikaranam -  Topic 4 (Sutra 12)

Kanada and Gautama refuted


Etena sishtaparigraha api vyakhyatah  |II.1.12 (146)

By this (i.e. by the arguments against the Sankhyas) (those other theories) not accepted by the wise or competent persons are explained or refuted.

Etena - by this (by the above reasoning, by what has been said against Sankhya); Sishtaparigrahah - not accepted by the wise or competent persons;
Api - also;
Vyakhyatah - are explained or refuted.

Bhoktrapattyadhikaranam -  Topic 5 (Sutra 13)

The distinctions of enjoyer and enjoyed do not oppose unity


Bhoktrapatteravibhagaschet syallokavat  |II.1.13 (147)

If it be said (that if Brahman be the cause then) on account of (the objects of enjoyment) turning into the enjoyer, non-distinction (between the enjoyer and the objects enjoyed) would result, we reply that such distinction may exist nevertheless as is experienced commonly in the world.

Bhoktri - one who enjoys and suffers;
Apatteh - from the objections, if it be objected;
Avibhagah - non-distinction;
Chet - if it be said;
Syat - may exist;
Lokavat - as is experienced in the world.

Arambhanadhikaranam -  Topic 6 (Sutras 14-20) 

The world (effect) is non-different from Brahman (the cause)


Tadananyatvamarambhanasabdadibhyah  |II.1.14 (148)

The non-difference of them (i.e., of cause and effect) results from such terms as ‘origin’ and the like.

Tat - (its, of the universe);
Ananyatvam - non-difference;
Arambhana sabdadibhyah - from words like ‘origin’, etc.


Bhave chopalabdheh  |II.1.15 (149)

And (because) only on the existence (of the cause) (the effect) is experienced.

Bhave - on the existence;
Cha - and;
Upalabdheh - is experienced.


Sattvaccavarasya  |II.1.16 (150)

And on account of the posterior (i.e., the effect which comes after the cause) existing (as the cause before creation).

Sattvat - Because of the existence;
Cha - and;
Avarasya - of the posterior, i.e., of the effect as it comes after the cause, i.e., of the world.


Asadvyapadesanneti chet na dharmantarena vakyaseshat  |II.1.17 (151)

If it be said that on account of (the effect) being described as that which is not, (the effect does) not (exist before creation), we reply ‘not so’, because the term ‘that which is not’ denotes another characteristic or attribute (as is seen) from the latter part of the text.

Asadvyapadesat - on account of its being described as non-existent;
Na - not;
Iti chet - if it be said;
Na - no;
Dharmantarena - by another attribute or characteristic;
Vakyaseshat - from the latter part of the text or passage, because of the complementary passage.


Yukteh sabdantaracca  |II.1.18 (152)

From reasoning and from another Sruti text (the same is clear. This relation between cause and effect is established.)

Yukteh - from reasoning;
Sabda-antarat - from another Sruti text;
Cha - and.


Patavacca  |II.1.19 (153)

And like a piece of cloth.

Patavat - like a piece of cloth;
Cha - and.


Yatha cha pranadi  |II.1.20 (154)

And as in the case of the different Pranas or Vital airs.

Yatha - as;
Cha - and;
Pranadi - in the case of Pranas or vital airs.

Itaravyapadesadhikaranam -  Topic 7 (Sutras 21-23) 

Brahman does not create evil


Itaravyapadesaddhitakaranadidoshaprasaktih  |II.1.21 (155)

On account of the other (i.e., the individual soul) being stated (as non-different from Brahman) there would arise (in Brahman) the faults of not doing what is beneficial and the like.

Itaravypadesat - on account of the other being stated (as non-different from Brahman);
Hitakaranadidoshaprasaktih - defects of not doing what is beneficial and the like would arise.
(Itara - other than being Brahman, i.e. the individual soul; Vyapadesat - from the designation, from the expression; Hita - good, beneficial; Akaranadi - not creating, etc.; Dosha - imperfection, defect, faults; Prasaktih - result, consequence.)


Adhikam tu bhedanirdesat  | II.1.22 (156)

But (Brahman, the Creator, is) something more (than the individual soul) on account of the statement in the Srutis (of difference) between the individual soul (and Brahman).

Adhikam - something more, greater than the Jiva;
Tu - but;
Bhedanirdesat - because of the pointing out of differences on account of the statement of difference.
(Bheda - difference; Nirdesat - because of the pointing out).


Asmadivacca tadanupapattih  |II.1.23 (157)

And because the case is similar to that of stones, etc., (produced from the same earth), the objection raised is untenable.

Asmadivat - like stone, etc.;
Cha - and;
Tat anupapattih - its untenability, unreasonableness, impossibility;
(Tat - of that; Tasya - its, of the objection raised in Sutra 21).

Upasamharadarsanadhikaranam -  Topic 8 (Sutras 24-25)

Brahman is the cause of the world


Upasamharadarsananneti chenna kshiravaddhi  |II.1.24 (158)

If you object that Brahman without instruments cannot be the cause of the universe, because an agent is seen to collect materials for any construction, (we say) no, because (it is) like milk (turning into curds).

Upasamharadarsanat - because collection of materials is seen;
Na - not; Iti chet - if it be said;
Na - no; Kshiravat - like milk;
Hi - because, as.
Darsanat - because of the seeing;
Iti - thus; Chet - if;
Vat - like, has the force of an instrumental case here. (See Sutra of Panini, Tena tulyam kriya etc.)


Devadivadapi loke  |II.1.25 (159)

(The case of Brahman creating the world is) like that of gods and other beings in the world (in ordinary experience).

Devadivat - like gods and others (saints);
Api - even, also;
Loke - in the world.

Kritsnaprasaktyadhikaranam -  Topic 9 (Sutras 26-29) 

Brahman is the material cause of the universe, though He is without parts


Kritsnaprasaktirniravayavatvasabdakopo va  |II.1.26 (160)

Either the consequence of the entire (Brahman undergoing change) has to be accepted, or else a violation of the texts declaring Brahman to be without parts (if Brahman is the material cause of the world).

Kritsnaprasaktih - possibility of the entire (Brahman being modified);
Niravayavatvasabdakopat - contradiction of the scriptural statement that Brahman is without parts;
Va - or, otherwise.
(Kritsna - entire, full, total; complete; Prasaktih - exigency, employment; activity; Niravayava - without parts, without form, without members, indivisible;
Sabda - word, text, expressions in Sruti; Kopat - contradiction, violation,
incongruity, stultification; Va - or.)


Srutestu sabdamulatvat  |II.1.27 (161)

But (this is not so) on account of scriptural passages and on account of (Brahman) resting on scripture (only).

Sruteh - from Sruti, as it is stated in Sruti, on account of scriptural texts;
Tu - but;
Sabdamulatvat - on account of being based on the scripture, as Sruti is the foundation.
(Sabda - word, revelation, Sruti; Mula - foundation.)


Atmani chaivam vichitrascha hi  |II.1.28 (162)

And because in the individual soul also (as in gods, magicians, in dreams) various (creation exists). Similarly (with Brahman also).

Atmani - in the individual soul;
Cha - also, and;
Evam - thus;
Vichitrah - diverse, manifold, variegated;
Cha - and, also; Hi - because.


Svapakshadoshacca  |II.1.29 (163)

And on account of the opponent’s own view being subject to these very objections.

Svapaksha - in one’s own view;
Doshat - because of the defects;
Cha - also, and.

Sarvopetadhikaranam  -  Topic 10 (Sutras 30-31) 

Fully-equipped Brahman


Sarvopeta cha taddarsanat  |II.1.30 (164)

And (Brahman is) endowed with all (powers), because it is seen (from the scriptures).

Sarvopeta - endowed with all powers, all-powerful;
Cha - also, and;
Taddarsanat - because it is seen (from the scriptures).
(Sarva - all; Upeta - endowed with, possessed with; Tat - that, the possession of such powers.)


Vikaranatvanneti chet taduktam  |II.1.31 (165)

If it be said that because (Brahman) is devoid of organs, (it is) not (able to create), (we reply that) this has already been explained.

Vikaranatvat - because of want of organs of action and perception;
Na - not; Iti - thus;
Chet - if; Tat - that, that objection;
Uktam - has been explained or answered.

Prayojanatvadhikaranam -  Topic 11 (Sutras 32-33) 

Final end of Creation


Na prayojanavattvat  |II.1.32 (166)

(Brahman is) not (the creator of the universe) on account of (every activity) having a motive.

Na - not (i.e. Brahman cannot be the creator);
Prayojana- vattvat - on account of having motive.


Lokavattu lilakaivalyam  |II.1.33 (167)

But (Brahman’s creative activity) is mere sport, such as is seen in the world (or ordinary life).

Lokavat - as in the world, as in ordinary life;
Tu - but;
Lilakaivalyam - mere pastime.
(Lila - sport, play; Kaivalyam - merely; Lilamatram - mere pastime.)

Vaisamyanairghrinyadhikaranam -  Topic 12 (Sutras 34-36) 

Brahman is neither partial nor cruel


Vaishamyanairghrinye na sapekshatvat tatha hi darsayati  |II.1.34 (168)

Partiality and cruelty cannot (be ascribed to Brahman) on account of His taking into consideration (other reasons in that matter viz., merit and demerit of the souls), for so (scripture) declares.

Vaishamya - inequality, partiality;
Nairghrinye - cruelty, unkindness;
Na - not (cannot be ascribed to Brahman);
Sapekshatvat - because of dependence upon, as it is dependent on something else, i.e., upon the Karma of the souls;
Tatha - so; Hi - because;
Darsayati - the scripture declares.


Na karmavibhagaditi chet na anaditvat  |II.1.35 (169)

If it be objected that it (viz., the Lord’s having regard to merit and demerit) is not possible on account of the non-distinction (of merit and demerit before creation), (we say) no, because of (the world) being without a beginning.

Na - not;
Karmavibhagat - because of the non-distinction of work (before creation);
Iti chet - if it be said, if it be objected in this way;
Na - no, the objection cannot stand;
Anaditvat - because of beginninglessness.


Upapadyate chapyupalabhyate cha  |II.1.36 (170)

And (that the world - and also Karma - is without a beginning) is reasonable and is also seen (from the scriptures).

Upapadyate - is proved by reasoning, is reasonable that it should be so;
Cha - and; Api - and, also, assuredly;
Upalabhyate - is seen, is found in Sruti or Scriptures;
Cha - also, and.

Sarvadharmopapattyadhikaranam -  Topic 13 (Sutra 37) 

Saguna Brahman necessary for creation


Sarvadharmopapattescha  |II.1.37 (171)

And because all the qualities (required for the creation of the world) are reasonably found (only in Brahman) He must be admitted to be the cause of the universe.

Sarva - all;
Dharma - attributes, qualities;
Upapatteh - because of the reasonableness, because of being proved;
Cha - and, also.