Brahma Sutras Chapter 4. 1


Brahma Sutras 4.1


Avrittyadhikaranam -  Topic 1 (Sutras 1-2)

Meditation on Brahman should be continued till knowledge is attained


Avrittirasakridupadesat  |IV.1.1 (478)

The repetition (of hearing, reflection and meditation on Brahman is necessary) on account of the repeated instruction by the scriptures.

Avrittih - repetition, practice of meditation on Brahman (is necessary);
Asakrit - not only once, many times, repeatedly;
Upadesat - because of instruction by the scriptures.


Lingaccha  |IV.1.2 (479)

And on account of the indicatory mark.

Lingat - because of the indicatory mark or sign;
Cha - and.

Atmatvopasanadhikaranam -  Topic 2 (Sutra 3)

He who meditates on the Supreme Brahman must comprehend It as identical with himself


Atmeti tupagacchanti grahayanti cha  |IV.1.3 (480)

But (the Sruti texts) acknowledge (Brahman) as the Self (of the meditator) and also teach other (to realise It as such).

Atmeti - as the Self;
Tu - but;
Upagacchanti - acknowledge, approach, realise;
Grahayanti - teach, make others comprehend, instruct;
Cha - also.

Pratikadhikaranam -  Topic 3 (Sutra 4)

The symbols of Brahman should not be meditated upon as identical with the meditator


Na pratike na hi sah   |IV.1.4 (481)

(The meditator is) not (to see the Self) in the symbol, because he is not (that).

Na - not; Pratike - in the symbol (such as Akasa, the sun, the mind, etc.);
Na - not; Hi - because;
Sah - he.

Brahmadrishtyadhikaranam -  Topic 4 (Sutra 5)

When meditating on a symbol, the symbol should be considered as Brahman and not Brahman as the symbol


Brahmadrishtirutkarshat  |IV.1.5 (482)

(The symbol) is to be viewed as Brahman (and not in the reverse way), on account of the exaltation (of the symbol thereby).

Brahmadrishtih - the view of Brahman, the view in the light of Brahman;
Utkarshat - on account of superiority, because of super-eminence.

Adityadimatyadhikaranam -  Topic 5 (Sutra 6)

In meditation on the members of sacrificial acts the idea of divinity is to be superimposed on the members and not in the reverse way


Adityadimatayaschanga upapatteh  |IV.1.6 (483)

And the ideas of the sun, etc., are to be superimposed) on the subordinate members (of sacrificial acts), because (in that way alone the statement of the scriptures would be) consistent.

Adityadimatayah - the idea of the sun, etc.;
Cha - and;
Anga - in a subordinate member (of the sacrificial acts);
Upapatteh - because of consistency, because of its reasonableness.

Asinadhikaranam -  Topic 6 (Sutras 7-10) 

One is to meditate sitting


Asinah sambhavat  |IV.1.7 (484)

Sitting (a man is to meditate) on account of the possibility.

Asinah - sitting;
Sambhavat - on account of the possibility.


Dhyanaccha  |IV.1.8 (485)

And on account of meditation.

Dhyanat - on account of meditation;
Cha - and.


Achlatvam chapekshya  |IV.1.9 (486)

And with reference to immobility (the scriptures ascribe meditativeness to the earth).

Achalatvam - immobility, stability, steadiness;
Cha - and, indeed;
Apekshya - referring to, aiming at, pointing to.


Smaranti cha  |IV.1.10 (487)

The Smriti passages also say (the same thing).

Smaranti - the Smriti texts say, it is mentioned in the Smritis;
Cha - also.

Ekagratadhikaranam -  Topic 7 (Sutra 11) 

There is no restriction of place with regard to meditation


Yatraikagrata tatraviseshat  |IV.4.11 (488)

Wherever concentration of mind (is attained), there (it is to be practised), there being no specification (as to place).

Yatra - where, wherever;
Ekagrata - concentration of mind;
Tatra - there;
Aviseshat - for want of any specification, it not being specifically mentioned, as there is no special direction in Sruti.

Aprayanadhikaranam -  Topic 8 (Sutra 12)

Meditations should be continued till death


Aa prayanat tatrapi hi drishtam  | IV.1.12 (489)

Till death (till one attains Moksha) (meditations have to be repeated); for then also it is thus seen in scripture.

Aa prayanat - till death, till Mukti;
Tatra - there, then;
Api - also, even;Hi - because;
Drishtam - is seen (in the Sruti).

Tadadhigamadhikaranam -  Topic 9 (Sutra 13)

Knowledge of Brahman frees one from all past and future sins


Tadadhigama uttarapurvaghayorasleshavinasau tadvyapadesat  |IV.1.13 (490)

On the attainment of this (viz., Brahman) (there takes place) the non-clinging and the destruction of later and earlier sins; because it is so declared by the scriptures.

Tadadhigama - when that is realised;
Uttarapurvaghayoh - of the subsequent and the previous sins;
Asleshavinasau - non-clinging and destruction;
Tadvyapadesat - because Sruti has declared so.

Itarasamsleshadhikaranam -  Topic 10 (Sutra 14)

Similarly good work does not affect the knower of Brahman


Itarasyapyevamasamsleshah pate tu   |IV.1.14 (491)

Thus in the same way, there is non-clinging of the other (i.e., Punya or virtue, good works) also; but at death (liberation, i.e., Videha-Mukti is certain).

Itarasya - of the other;
Api - also;
Evam - thus, in the same way;
Asamsleshah - non-clinging;
Pate -  at death; Tu - but, indeed.

Anarabdhadhikaranam -  Topic 11 (Sutra 15)

Works which have not begun to yield results are alone destroyed by knowledge and not those which have already begun to bear fruits


Anarabdhakarye eva tu purve tadavadheh  |IV.1.15 (492)

But only those former (works) whose effects have not yet begun (are destroyed by knowledge; because the scripture states) that (i.e., the death of the body) to be the term.

Anarabdhakarye - in the case of those works, the effects of which have not begun to operate, i.e. to yield fruits or results;
Eva - only;Tu - but;
Purve - former works;
Tadavadheh - that (death) being the limit, because of waiting till death.

Agnihotradyadhikaranam -  Topic 12 (Sutras 16-17)

Permanent obligatory works enjoined by the Vedas for different Ashramas are not to be given up


Agnihotradi tu tatkaryayaiva taddarsanat   |IV.1.16 (493)

But the Agnihotra and the like (tend) towards the same effect, knowledge (liberation), because that is seen from the scriptures.

Agnihotradi - daily Agnihotra, etc., daily offering of oblations to the perpetually maintained fire;
Tu - but;
Tatkarya - tend towards the same result as that (knowledge);
Eva - only;
Taddarsanat - that being seen from the scriptures.


Ato’nyapi hi ekeshamubhayoh   |IV.1.17 (494)

For (there is) also (a class of good works) other than this, according to some. (There is agreement) of both (teachers, Jaimini and Baadarayana) (as to the fate of those works).

Atah - from this;
Anya - different;
Api - also;Hi - because, indeed;
Ekesham - of some (Sakhas);
Ubhayoh - of both.

Vidyajnanasadhanadhikaranam -  Topic 13 (Sutra 18)

Sacrificial works not combined with knowledge or meditation also help in the origination of knowledge


Yadeva vidyayeti hi  |IV.4.18 (495)

Because the text "whatever he does with knowledge" intimates this.

Yadeva - whatever;
Vidyaya - with knowledge;
Iti - thus, this, so;Hi - because.

Itarakshapanadhikaranam -  Topic 14 (Sutra 19)

After enjoying the fruits of Prarabdha Karma the knower becomes one with Brahman


Bhogenatvitare kshapayitva sampadyate  |IV.1.19 (496)

But having exhausted by enjoyment the other two works (viz., good and evil works, that have begun to yield fruits), he becomes one with Brahman.

Bhogena - by enjoyment;
Tu - but;
Itare - of the other two works (merit and demerit);
Kshapayitva - having exhausted;
Sampadyate - becomes united with Brahman, becomes one with Brahman, obtains, joins.