Brahma Sutras Chapter 2. 3


Brahma Sutras 2.3

Viyadadhikaranam -  Topic 1 (Sutras 1-7) 

Ether is not eternal but created


Na viyadasruteh  |II.3.1 (217)

(The Purvapakshin, i.e., the objector says that) ether (Akasa) (does) not (originate), as Sruti does not say so.

Na - not;
Viyat - ether, space, Akasa;
Asruteh - as Sruti does not say so.


Asti tu  |II.3.2 (218)

But there is (a Sruti text which states that Akasa is created).

Asti -  there is;
Tu - but.


Gaunyasambhavat  |II.3.3 (219)

(The Sruti text concerning the origination of Akasa) has a secondary sense, on account of the impossibility (of the origination of the Akasa).

Gauni - used in a secondary sense, having a metaphorical sense;
Asambhavat - because of the impossibility.


Sabdacca  |II.3.4 (220)

Also from the Sruti texts (we find that Akasa is eternal).

Sabdat - from the Sruti texts, because Sruti says so;
Cha - also, and.


Syaccaikasya Brahmasabdavat  |II.3.5 (221)

It is possible that the one word (‘sprang’ - Sambhutah) may be used in a secondary and primary sense like the word Brahman.

Syat - is possible;
Cha - also, and;
Ekasya - of the one and the same word;
Brahmasabdavat - like the word Brahman.


Pratijna’haniravyatirekacchabdebhyah  |II.3.6 (222)

The non-abandonment of the proposition (viz., by the knowledge of one everything else becomes known, can result only) from the nondifference (of the entire world from Brahman) according to the words of the Veda or the Sruti texts (which declare the non-difference of the cause and its effects).

Pratijna ahanih - non-abandonment of the proposition;
Avyatirekat - from non distinction, on account of non-difference, because of absence of exclusion;
Sabdebhyah - from the words namely from the Srutis.


Yavadvikaram tu vibhago lokavat  |II.3.7 (223)

But wherever there are effects, there are separateness as is seen in the world (as in ordinary life).

Yavat vikaram - so far as all modifications go, wherever there is an effect;
Tu - but;
Vibhagah - division, separateness, distinction, specification;
Lokavat - as in the world.
(Yavat - whatever; Vikaram - transformation.)

Matarisvadhikaranam -  Topic 2 (Sutra 8) 

Air originates from ether


Etena matarisva vyakhyatah  |II.3.8 (224)

By this i.e., the foregoing explanation about Akasa being a product, (the fact of) air (also being an effect) is explained.

Etena - by this, i.e., the foregoing explanation about Akasa being a production, by this parity of reasoning;
Matarisva - the air, the mover in mother, space;
Vyakhyatah - is explained.

Asambhavadhikaranam -  Topic 3 (Sutra 9) 

Brahman (Sat) has no origin


Asambhavstu sato’nupapatteh  |II.3.9 (225)

But there is no origin of that which is (i.e., Brahman), on account of the impossibility (of such an origin).

Asambhavah - no origination, no creation;
Tu - but;
Satah - of the Sat, of the true one, eternally existing, of Brahman;
Anupapatteh - as it does not stand to reason, on account of the impossibility of there being an origin of Brahman.

Tejo’dhikaranam -  Topic 4 (Sutra 10) 

Fire originates from air


Tejo’tah tatha hyaha  |II.3.10 (226)

Fire (is produced) from this (i.e., air), so verily (declares the Sruti).

Tejah - fire;
Atah - from this, namely from air which has been just spoken of in Sutra 8;
Tatha - thus, so; Hi - because, verily;
Aha - says (Sruti).

Abadhikaranam -  Topic 5 (Sutra 11) 

Water is produced from fire


Apah  |II.3.11 (227)

Water (is produced from fire).

Apah - water.
(Atah - from it; Tatha - thus; Hi - because; Aha - says the Sruti.)

Prithivyadhikaranam -  Topic 6 (Sutra 12) 

Earth is created from water


Prithivi adhikararupasabdantarebhya  |II.3.12 (228)

The earth (is meant by the word ‘Anna’) because of the subject matter, colour and other Sruti texts.

Prithivi - earth;
Adhikara - because of the context, because of the subject - matter;
Rupa - colour;
Sabdantarebhyah - on account of other texts (Sruti).

Tadabhidhyanadhikaranam -  Topic 7 (Sutra 13) 

Brahman abiding within the element is the creative principle


Tadabhidhyanadeva tu tallingat sah  |II.3.13 (229)

But on account of the indicating mark supplied by their reflecting, i.e., by the reflection attributed to the elements, He (i.e., the Lord is the creative principle abiding within the elements).

Tat (Tasya) - His (of Brahman);
Abhidhynat - because of the volition, reflection;
Eva - even, only; Tu - but;
Tat lingat - because of His indicating marks;
Sah - He.

Viparyayadhikaranam -  Topic 8 (Sutra 14) 

The process of dissolution of the elements is in the reverse order from that of creation


Viparyayena tu kramo’tah upapadyate cha  |II.3.14 (230)

The order (in which the elements are indeed withdrawn into Brahman during Pralaya or dissolution) is the reverse of that (i.e., the order in which they are created) and this is reasonable.

Viparyayena - in the reverse order;
Tu - indeed, but;
Kramah - order, the process of dissolution;
Atah - from that (the order of creation);
Cha - and;
Upapadyate - is reasonable.

Antaravijnanadhikaranam -  Topic 9 (Sutra 15) 

The mention of the mind and intellect does not interfere with the order of creation and reabsorption as they are the products of the elements


Antara vijnanamanasi kramena tallingaditi chet na aviseshat  |II.3.15 (231)

If it be said that between (Brahman and the elements) the intellect and the mind (are mentioned, and that therefore their origination and re-absorption are to be placed) somewhere in the series on account of their being inferential signs (whereby the order of the creation of the elements is broken), we say, not so on account of the non-difference (of the intellect and the mind from the elements).

Antara - intervening between, in between;
Vijnanamanasi - the intellect and the mind;
Kramena - in the order of succession, according to the successive order;
Tat lingat - owing to indication of that, as there is indication in Sruti to that effect, because of an inferential mark of this;
Iti - thus, this; Chet - if;
Na - not, no, not so, the objection cannot stand;
Aviseshat -  because of no speciality, as there is no speciality mentioned in Sruti about the causation of the elements, because there being no particular difference, on account of non-difference.

Characharavyapasrayadhikaranam -  Topic 10 (Sutra 16) 

Births and deaths are not of the soul


Characharavyapasrayastu syat tadvyapadeso bhaktah tadbhavabhavitvat  |II.3.16 (232)

But the mention of that (viz., birth and death of the individual soul) is apt only with reference to the bodies of beings moving and non-moving. It is secondary or metaphorical if applied to the soul, as the existence of those terms depends on the existence of that (i.e., the body).

Characharavyapasrayah - in connection with the bodies fixed and movable;
Tu - but, indeed;
Syat - may be, becomes;
Tadvyapadesah - mention of that, that expression, i.e., to popular expressions of births and deaths of the soul;
Bhaktah - secondary, metaphorical, not literal;
Tadbhavabhavitvat - on account of (those terms) depending on the existence of that. (Tadbhave - on the existence of that, i.e., the body; Bhavitvat -  depending.)

Atmadhikaranam -  Topic 11 (Sutra 17) 

The individual soul is eternal. ‘It is not produced’


Natma, asruternityatvat cha tabhyah  |II.3.17 (233)

The individual soul is not (produced), (because) it is not (so) mentioned by the scriptures, and as it is eternal according to them (the Sruti texts).

Na - not (produced);
Atma - the individual soul;
Asruteh - because of no mention in Sruti, as it is not found in Sruti;
Nityatvat - because of its permanence, as it is eternal;
Cha - also, and;
Tabhyah - from them (Srutis), according to the Srutis.

Jnadhikaranam -  Topic 12 (Sutra 18) 

The nature of the individual soul is intelligence


Jno’ta eva  |II.3.18 (234)

For this very reason (viz., that it is not created), (the individual soul is) intelligence (itself).

Jnah - intelligent, intelligence, knower;
Ata eva - for this very reason, therefore.

Utkrantigatyadhikaranam -  Topic 13 (Sutras 19-32) 

The size of the individual soul


Utkrantigatyagatinam  |II.3.19 (235)

(On account of the scriptural declarations) of (the soul’s) passing out, going, and returning (the soul is not infinite in size; it is of atomic size).

Utkranti - passing out, coming out;
Gati - going;
Agatinam - returning.


Svatmana chottarayoh  |II.3.20 (236)

And on account of the latter two (i.e., going and returning) being connected with their soul (i.e., agent), (the soul is of atomic size).

Svatmana - (being connected) directly with the agent, the soul;
Cha - and, only, also;
Uttarayoh - of the latter two, namely, of Gati and Agati, of the going away and coming back, as stated in the previous Sutra.


Nanuratacchruteriti chet, na, itaradhikarat  |II.3.21 (237)

If it be said that (the soul is) not atomic, as the scriptures state it to be otherwise, (i.e., all-pervading), (we say) not so, because (the one) other than the individual soul (i.e., the Supreme Brahman or the Highest Self) is the subject matter (of those passages).

Na - not;
Anu - minute, atomic;
Atat - not that, otherwise, namely opposite of Anu;
Sruteh - as it is stated in Sruti, because of a Sruti or scriptural text;
Iti - thus; Chet - if; Na - not;
Itara - other than the individual soul, i.e., the Supreme Self;
Adhikarat - because of the context or topic, from the subject matter of the portion in the Chapter.


Svasabdonmanabhyam cha  |II.3.22 (238)

And on account of direct statements (of the Sruti texts as to the atomic size) and infinitesimal measure (the soul is atomic).

Svasabdonmanabhyam - from direct statements (of Sruti texts) and infinitesimal measure; Cha - and.
(Svasabda -  the word itself; the word directly denoting ‘minute’; Unmanabhyam -  on account of the measure of comparison; Ut - subtle; Mana -  measure, hence subtle division; hence smaller even than the small. Svasabdonmanabhyam -  as these are the words directly denoting ‘minute’ and to expression denoting smaller than the small as measured by division.)


Avirodhaschandanavat   |II.3.23 (239)

There is no contradiction as in the case of sandal paste.

Avirodhah - non-conflict, no contradiction, no incongruity, it is not incongruous;
Chandanavat - like the sandal paste.


Avasthitivaiseshyaditi chenna, adhyupagamaddhridi hi  |II.3.24 (240)

If it be said (that the two cases are not parallel), on account of the specialisation of abode (present in the case of the sandalointment, absent in the case of the soul), we deny that, on account of the acknowledgement (by scripture, of a special place of the soul), viz., within the heart.

Avasthiti - existence, residence, abode;
Vaiseshyat - because of the speciality, on account of specialisation;
Iti - thus, this; Chet - if (if it be argued);
Na - not (so), no, the argument cannot stand;
Adhyupagamat - on account of the admission, or acknowledgment;
Hridi - in the heart;
Hi - indeed.


Gunadva alokavat  |II.3.25 (241)

Or on account of (its) quality (viz., intelligence), as in cases of ordinary experience (such as in the case of a lamp by its light).

Gunat - on account of its quality (of intelligence);
Va - or (a further example is given);
Alokavat - like a light.
(Or Lokavat - as in the world, as in cases of ordinary experience).


Vyatireko gandhavat   |II.3.26 (242)

The extension (of the quality of intelligence) beyond (the soul in which it inheres) is like the odour (which extends beyond the fragrant object).

Vyatirekah - expansion, extension beyond (the object i.e., soul);
Gandhavat - like the odour.


Tatha cha darsayati  |II.3.27 (243)

Thus also, (the Sruti) shows or declares.

Tatha - thus, in the same way;
Cha - also;
Darsayati -  (the Sruti) declares.


Prithagupadesat  |II.3.28 (244)

On account of the separate teaching (of the Sruti) (that the soul pervades the body on account of its quality of intelligence).

Prithak - separate, different;
Upadesat - because of teaching or statement.


Tadgunasaratvat tu tadvyapadesah prajnavat  |II.3.29 (245)

But that declaration (as to the atomic size of the soul) is on account of its having for its essence the qualities of that (viz., the Buddhi), as in the case of the intelligent Lord (Saguna Brahman).

Tadgunasaratvat - on account of its possessing for its essence the qualities of that (viz., the Buddhi);
Tu - but;
Tadvyapadesah - that declaration (as to its atomic size);
Prajnavat - as in the case of the Intelligent Lord.


Yavadatmabhavitvacca na doshastaddarsanat  |II.3.30 (246)

And there is no defect or fault in what has been said in the previous Sutra (as the conjunction of the soul with the intellect exists) so long as the soul (in its relative aspect) exists; because it is so seen (in the scriptures).

Yavat - so long as;
Atmabhavitvat - as the soul (in its relative aspect) exists;
Cha - also, and;
Na doshah - there is no defect or fault;
Taddarsanat - because it is so seen (in the scriptures), as Sruti also shows that.


Pumstvadivat tvasya sato’bhivyaktiyogat  |II.3.31 (247)

On account of the appropriateness of the manifestation of that (connection) which exists (potentially) like virile power, etc.

Pumstvadivat - like the virile power etc.;
Tu - verily, but;
Asya - its, i.e., of the connection with the intellect;
Satah - existing; Abhivyaktiyogat - on account of the manifestation being possible, because of appropriateness of the manifestation.


Nityopalabdhyanupalabdhiprasango’nyataraniyamo va’nyatha  |II.3.32 (248)

Otherwise (if no intellect existed) there would result either constant perception or constant non-perception, or else a limitation of either of the two (i.e., of the soul or of the senses).

Nityopalabdhyanupalabdhiprasangat - there would result perpetual perception or non-perception;
Anyatara - otherwise, either of the two;
Niyamah - restrictive rule;
Va - or;
Anyatha - otherwise.
(Upalabdhi - perception, consciousness; Anupalabdhi - non-perception, non-consciousness.)

Kartradhikaranam -  Topic 14 (Sutras 33-39) 

The individual soul is an agent


Karta sastrarthavattvat  |II.3.33 (249)

(The soul is) an agent on account of the scripture having a purport thereby.

Karta - agent;
Sastrarthavattvat - in order that the scriptures may have a meaning, on account of the scriptures having a purport.


Viharopadesat  |II.3.34 (250)

And on account of (the Sruti) teaching (its) wandering about.

Vihara - wandering at will, play, sporting about;
Upadesat - on account of declaration, as Sruti declares.


Upadanat  |II.3.35 (251)

(Also it is a doer) on account of its taking the organs.

Upadanat - on account of its taking (the organs).


Vyapadesaccha kriyayam na chennirdesaviparyayah  |II.3.36 (252)

(The soul is an agent) also because it is designated as such with regard to actions; if it were not so, there would be a change of designation.

Vyapadesat - on account of mention, from a statement of Sruti;
Cha - also, and;
Kriyayam - in respect of performance of rites;
Na chet - if it were not so, or else, otherwise;
Nirdesaviparyayah - reversal of the statement, change of designation.


Upalabdhivadaniyamah  |II.3.37 (253)

As in the case of perception (there is) no rule (here also).

Upalabdhivat - as in the case of perception;
Aniyamah - (there is) no rule.


Saktiviparyayat  |II.3.38 (254)

On account of the reversal of power (of the Buddhi).

Saktiviparyayat - on account of the reversal of power (of the Buddhi).


Samadhyabhavaccha  | II.3.39 (255)

And on account of the impossibility of Samadhi.

Samadhyabhavat - on account of the impossibility of Samadhi;
Cha - and, also.
(Samadhi - superconscious state; Abhavat - for want, for impossibility, as it becomes an impossible thing).

Takshadhikaranam -  Topic 15 (Sutra 40) 

The soul is an agent as long as it is limited by the adjuncts


Yatha cha takshobhayatha  |II.3.40 (256)

And as the carpenter is both.

Yatha - as; Cha - also, and;
Taksha - the carpenter; Ubhayatha - in both ways, is both.

Parayattadhikaranam -  Topic 16 (Sutras 41-42) 

The soul is dependent on the Lord, when he works


Parattu tat sruteh  |II.3.41 (257)

But (even) that (agency of the soul) is from the Supreme Lord, so declares the Sruti.

Parat - from the Supreme Lord;
Tu - but, indeed;
Tat - agency, agentship;
Sruteh - from Sruti, so declares the Sruti.


Kritaprayatnapekshastu vihitapratishiddhavaiyarthyadibhyah   |II.3.42 (258)

But (the Lord’s making the soul act) depends on the works done (by it), for otherwise there will be uselessness of the scriptural injunctions and prohibitions.

Kritaprayatnapekshah - depends on works done;
Tu - but;
Vihitapratishiddha-avaiyarthyadibhyah - so that the scriptural injunctions and prohibitions may not be meaningless.
(Vihita - ordained; Pratishiddha - prohibited; Avaiyarthyadibhyah - on account of non-meaninglessness.)

Amsadhikaranam -  Topic 17 (Sutras 43-53) 

Relation of the individual soul to Brahman


Amso nanavyapadesad anyatha chapi dasakitavaditvamadhiyata eke  |II.3.43 (259)

(The soul is) a part of the Lord on account of difference (between the two) being declared and otherwise also (i.e., as nondifferent from Brahman); because in some (Vedic texts) (Brahman) is spoken of as being fishermen, knaves, etc.

Amsah - part;
Nanavyapadesat - on account of difference being declared;
Anyatha - otherwise;
Cha - and; Api - also;
Dasakitavaditvam - being fisher-men, knaves, etc.;
Adhiyata - read;
Eke - some (Srutis, Sakhas of the Vedas).


Mantravarnaccha  |II.3.44 (260)

Also from the words of the Mantra (it is known that the soul is a part of the Lord).

Mantravarnat - from the words of the Mantra, from the letters in sacred verses, because of description given in the sacred Mantras;
Cha - also, and.


Api cha smaryate  |II.3.45 (261)

And it is so stated in the Smriti.

Api - also; Cha - and;
Smaryate - it is (so) stated in the Smriti.


Prakasadivannaivam parah  |II.3.46 (262)

The Supreme Lord is not (affected by pleasure and pain) like this (individual soul) just as light (is unaffected by the shaking of its reflections).

Prakasadivat - like light, etc.;
Na - is not;
Evam - thus, like this, like the individual soul;
Parah - the Supreme Lord.


Smaranti Cha  |II.3.47 (263)

The Smritis also state (that).

Smaranti - the Smritis state;
Cha - and, also.


Anujnapariharau dehasambandhajjyotiradivat  |II.3.48 (264)

Injunctions and prohibitions (are possible) on account of the connection (of the Self) with the body, as in the case of light, etc.

Anujnapariharau - injunctions and prohibitions;
Dehasamban- dhat - on account of connection with the body;
Jyotiradivat - like light etc.


Asantateschavyatikarah  |II.3.49 (265)

And on account of the non-extension (of the soul beyond its own body) there is no confusion (of results of actions).

Asantateh - on account of non-extension (beyond its own body);
Cha - and;
Avyatikarah - there is no confusion (of results of actions).


Abhasa eva cha  |II.3.50 (266)

And (the individual soul is) only a reflection (of Paramatman or the Supreme Lord).

Abhasa - a reflection;
Eva - only; Cha - and.


Adrishtaniyamat  |II.3.51 (267)

There being no fixity about the unseen principle (there would result confusion of works and their effects for those who believe in many souls, each all-pervading).

Adrishtaniyamat - There being no fixity about the unseen principle.
(Adrishta - the fate, the accumulated stock of previous actions, waiting as a latent force to bring forth fruits in future, merit or demerit acquired by the souls by thoughts, words and actions; Aniyamat - for want of any binding rule, on account of non-determinateness.)


Abhisandhyadishu api chaivam  |II.3.52 (268)

And this is also the case in resolutions, etc.

Abhisandhyadishu - in resolutions, etc.;
Api - even; Cha - and;
Evam - thus, like this, in the like manner.


Pradesaditi chenna antarbhavat  |II.3.53 (269)

If it be said (that the distinction of pleasure and pain etc., results) from (the difference of) place, (we say) not so, on account of the self being in all bodies.

Pradesat - on account of particular locality or environment, from (difference of) place;
Iti - thus; Chet - if;
Na - not so, the argument cannot stand;
Antarbhavat - on account of the self being in all bodies.