Vedanta Darshan or Brahma Sutra – key of Upanishads
Vedanta means "end of the Vedas". Vedanta or utter Mimansa, one of six Hindu Darshans, has four Chapters and 555 verses. Badarayana (5th BC) synthesized and systematized the various philosophies contained in the Upanishads in the Brahma Sutras, also called the Vedanta.
Inquisitiveness, diseases or miseries experienced in life, inspire people to inquire about Brahman (Almighty, Iswar, Parmatama or cosmic consciousness) who is eternal, blissful, omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. The Upanishads gave various interpretations on Brahman, Jivatma, Prakriti and Moksha. Vedanta probed various interpretations given in Upanishads and conceptualized the knowledge of Brahman and other aspects.
The salient features of Vedanta are as under;
Based on Vedanta Darshan, different schools of Vedanta developed.
The prominent Vedanta schools are following:
The chapter-wise detailed explanations are attempted as under (Verse wise):
1.1.1 – Diseases, enjoyments and miseries experienced in life, inspire to make inquiries about the Brahman which is eternal and cause never lasting happiness. True knowledge of self leads to liberation. (अथातो ब्रह्मजिज्ञासा 1/1/1)
Spiritual requisites for attaining knowledge of Brahman are as under:
1.1.3 to 1.1.6– The Rigveda etc. scriptures are the right source of knowledge. Knowledge of Brahman requires hearing, reasoning and meditation. The Brahman is the reason of the world. Word is its proof. Upanishad sages say that creation of world does not happen suddenly; but first it was made fit for knowledge. Vedas have mentioned that as the sun, moon, earth, sea-god, Goddess Parmatma had been created earlier. The creation (सृष्टि) has beginning and end. But the creation flow is eternal. In creation of the world, Atma word is referred in scriptures as first cause.
1.1.7 - Vedas preach that the one, who has the knowledge of God and have faith in Brahman, is liberated. If nature is considered to be a soul, salvation is impossible due to bondage, and tends to suffer from grief.
1.1.8 – Upanishads says, Brahman is true since it cannot be created. (हेयत्वावचनाच् च 1/1/8)
1.1.9 – The relationship of the organism with nature remains in two states - awake and dream. That time, creature is sometimes happy and sometimes sad. But when man is in deep sleep or in Turiya state, at that time, he receives happiness from within himself; the external subjects are not present due to lack of connection with the senses. That time individual souls merges with Brahman (Sat, truth) Connection of nature is only in two states whereas connection of Brahman is in all states. Hence, Brahman is true and knowledge of Brahman makes possible knowledge of all things i.e. nature and life. Brahman is the most subtle and ultimate thing to know. The effects of Samadhi, sleeping and liberation are clearly experienced in three conditions and in relation with nature, it is not known clearly.
1.1.10 – Brahman is first cause. Upanishads says, sky originated from soul, the air from sky, the fire from air, water from fire, earth from water etc. The cause of all creation is the soul. Nature is substance (उपादान) and Brahman is cause (निमित्त) for all creation.
1.1.11 – Since all Vedas mention Brahman is first cause of the world, hence it is proved. The world is created by Brahman in which different things are visible; they are due to the deeds of the soul. The reason for all the actions is Brahman and jivatma.
1.1.12 – In many scriptures, Brahman is described as Bliss (आनंद). In Tattriyopanishad, has described five sheaths viz. Annamaya (physical body), Pranamaya (physiological functions, vital energies & breath), Manomaya (mind, memory & centre of sensual feelings), Vigyanaymya (intellect), Anandamaya (blankness). Anandamaya kosh refers to jivatma and not Brahman (the experiencer, do not change, subject, exist in deep sleep & dream, eternal and inside of all koshas) since it is part of body where one feels pleasure and pain. Brahman is satchitananda and without body. These koshas are different from Brahman because they undergo changes; objects experienced, in dream & deep sleep not exist, sensuous, die and have locations) (आनन्दमयोऽभ्यासात् 1/1/12).
1.1.13 - Brahman is Anandamay. In Anandmay, “may” word have also meaning of disorder. But here, meaning is higher bliss since Brahma does not become a disorder. The six types of disorders are generate, grow, grow to a limit, change shapes, reduction and destruction. Since Brahman is creator, without the cause the disorder cannot be.
1.1.14, 1.1.15 - All Vedas, Upanishads and Shastras teach that everybody gets happiness all due to Brahman. In Samadhi, Sushupti and Mukti, Jivatma can attain bliss because of Brahman. Hence, Brahman is called as "Anandamay". Brahman gives highest bliss. In Taittiriya Upanishad (IInd chapter), it is mentioned that he who knows Brahman attains highest bliss. Brahman is Truth, knowledge and infinity.
1.1.16 - Acharya Vyasji of Vedanta said that the creature cannot be proven to be blissful; because then he cannot feel sad in any condition. And if the creature is not unhappy, then what is the need for salvation? Hence, Jivatma is not Anandamay.
1.1.17 – Shrutis & Vedas have explained difference between Jivatma (soul) and Parmatma (Brahman, God). Jivatma has two types of knowledge viz. inner knowledge and outer knowledge whereas there is only inner knowledge in Brahman. The second, Brahman is the natural work executor and Jivatma is purposeful executor. All the deeds of Brahman are regular; the actions of the organism are irregular and relative. With clear mind, knowledge of Brahman is attained.
1.1.18 – Jivatma desires to attain bliss. While Jivatma is living, it desires to have knowledge of Brahman.
1.1.19 – In case, Jivatma and Nature is blissful, everybody would have been blissful. Then there was no need of bondage and liberation. Mukti is union with Brahman. Worship of Nature is cause of bondage. Brahman is only blissful and without any sorrow and due to highest bliss, Brahman is Anadamay.
1.1.20 – Shrutis says, as the Jivatma lives in the body, which is separate from the body or is witness to its actions, like that Brahman is inside Jivatma which is separate from jivatma but Jivatma does not know it. Brahman is highest and above all evils.
1.1.21 – Brahman, Jivatma and Nature are beyond birth. Nature is substance (उपादान, jagat) and Brahman is cause (निमित्त) for all creation, greater than heavens, is knowledge and bliss, to be meditated upon. Brahman does not benefit its fruits. The organism suffers its fruits.
1.1.22 – In Chhandogya Upanishad, it is mentioned that Jagat originated from Akasha. The word Akasha on account of its characteristics is marked as Brahman.
1.1.23 – The word Prana is also referred for Brahman.
1.1.24 – Light (not physical light for vision) is also referred for Brahman (Divine). Light which is in the heart of man is light of Brahman.
The quality of nature which is suffering gets absorbed within the mind; Jivatma keeps ego in his mind. Because of this Jivatma accepts the virtues of the mind of his own. For this reason, the person who believes in ego, because of little realisation, thinks it in itself. Bliss is a secondary virtue, which is inside organism and is received from Brahman.
1.1.25 – In Gayatri Mantra, it is prayed to Brahman. That he inspires our intellect to remove it from the evil deeds and put in the good deeds and remove it from nature/material things and put in the soul. Because Brahman is cause of everything, is connected with Gayatri also, and it is Brahman which should be meditated upon.
Since Jivatma requires tools of body to work, it cannot be creator of universe. Hence, creator of universe is Brahman.
1.1.26 - Vedas writes that Brahman has four qualities i.e. sat (found in nature/substance), chit, anand and independence. These four qualities are not of Gayatri.
1.1.28, 1.1.29 – In Kaushitaki Upanishad, Prana (vital force) word is used. The word Prana here signifies intelligent self, blessed, un-decaying, and immortal. The characteristics are referring Prana as Brahman.
1.1.30 - Because in previous birth, Indra had heard that Brahman was inside the soul, because of that Brahman is not far from the organism. Similarly Bhamadev Rishi, he has called himself Brahma in the Upanishad.
1.1.31 - Many people believe in three types of worship viz. Samadhi, Sushupti and Mukti. In all the three, jivatma worships Brahman. When Prana takes action through senses, intellect thinks outside objects and Body relate to the external objects because of its protection from the body, soul is separated from the Brahman. When there is a Samadhi, Prana disconnects from the senses and the distance of soul from Prana Dharma is removed. When the egoism of intellect is lost in the state of Sushupti, then that distance is removed. When there is no dispute of body after the body is destroyed in liberation then that distance is gone.
1.2.1 – By seeing a lot of things outside, attachment and aversion develop. In case of not getting desired things, it causes misery/suffering. In case of aversion, fear is developed. For this reason when Jivatma sees the world made of nature outside, and then it remains rage-hatred which causes uneasiness/unsteadiness in the soul. But when soul is with Brahman, it brings peace i.e. sushupti. All the texts of Vedas & scriptures, Brahmam is cause of creation, blissful and to be worshipped. Hence, whatever the word, it will mean the worshiping of Brahman.
1.2.3, 1.2.4 - Manomaya etc. words are related only to Brahman. Because Brahman is the truth and therefore his knowledge is constant. Knowledge of Jivatma is not constant because it takes knowledge from outside. Knowledge of Brahman & Jivatma is different. (कर्मकर्तृव्यपदेशाच् च 1/2/4)
1.2.5 & 1.2.6 - The brahdaranyak (वृहदारण्यक) Upanishad and the Shatpadha Brahma (शतपथ ब्राह्य) have also revealed that Brahman is separate from the soul and is within soul. Simriti also indicate difference between Jivatma and Brahman. In Gita, it is also said that God has encompassed all the beings in the heart and all the creatures that are aboard on the device of maya, to give direction.
1.2.7 - Brahman is all pervasive but his vision can only be in the heart.
1.2.8 – The mere fact that Brahman is connected to individuals; it does not make him subject to pleasure and pain. Jivatma is more subtle (सूक्ष्म) than mind. Happiness and sorrow cannot enter within him. But he feels the experience of his mind within his superficial self.
1.2.9 – Brahman is the destroyer of all. At the time of dissolution of universe, Brahman destroys all the living beings but not the jivatmans.
1.2.10 – The jivatma experiences pleasure and pain but not the Brahman. Hence, Brahman is different from jivatma.
1.2.11 – Brahman & jivatma, both enter in organism. Brahman is subtle from the jivatma and the nature is gross. For this reason only Brahman can remain within jivatma.
1.2.12 – Jivatma is charioteer who travels in the body. Brahman is the destination.
12.13 – Since Brahman is formless, it cannot have image. It cannot be seen with the aid of senses. On account of attributes, it can be only Brahman inside.
1.2.14 – Brahman is vast as it exists in places like earth, sky or sun etc., and as subtle as it can be within subtle sense such as inner eye. Hence, it is revealed that it is the largest; Because of this, no one can escape from him. It is subtle that exists within the mind and the senses. So you cannot hide any karma from him. You will not get the fruits of your sins in the world; But God also gives the fruits of the deeds.
1.2.15 – Brahman is the bliss and independent. Happiness comes only from Brahman; Jivatma has pleasure–pain; because nature is dependent and without happiness. (सुखविशिष्टाभिधानाद् एव च 1/2/15)
1.2.16 - Upanishads have said that there are two paths in the world-a path of scholars, the result is salvation, from where it does not return, second path of ancestors, and the result is born again and again. (श्रुतोपनिषत्कगत्यभिधानाच् च 1/2/16)
1.2.17 - Death is the name of the separation of body and soul. For this reason it is appropriate to take Brahman as Jivatma is not all pervading.
1.2.18 – Brahman who is living within, is managing the internal affairs. No one else can manage except Brahman, as he is the most subtle and is omniscient. Although the soul is subtle than the sky; But he cannot manage within the sky; because the power of a calm body cannot be infinite; for this reason, it is possible by Brahman only.
1.2.19 – Nature is non-intelligent.
1.2.21 – Eternal, omnipresent and omniscient qualities are of Brahman and cannot be of jivatma and nature.
1.2.23 – Brahman is told to be formless. Everything has both with & without qualities (Nirgun & Saguna). Nirguna is called due to the absence of the attributes of the saguna and vice versa. Brahman is also called Nirguna as absence of attributes of nature viz. Sat-Raj-Tam and Saguna due to its attributes omniscient.
1.2.24 to 1.2.31 – Vaisvanara means (gastric) fire. Vaisvanara signifies here to Supreme Brahman as it is spread all over universe.
1.2.32 - Vyasa Muni and Upanishad have emphasized that Brahman being omnipotent, nothing is left from his knowledge. But soul can always lead to progress in his knowledge.
1.3.1, 1.3.3 – Brahman is abode of Devlok, Earth, Space, Mind, and Prana.
1.3.4-1.3.5 – Jivatma being short of knowledge cannot be abode of universe. As body cannot be taken as jivatma, likewise, jivatma cannot be taken as Brahman. Brahman is within jivatma.
1.3.6 - There are five sheaths (kosha) in this body and within the soul there is Brahman. Brahman is subtle from nature. For this reason there is Brahman within nature and Brahman is also subtle from the jivatma. As if there is an object within a house, then whatever will go to see it, it will have knowledge of the first house. Likewise, to have knowledge of Brahman, one has to pass through first five kosha, and then jivatma.
1.3.7 - The distinction between the Jivatma and Brahman is clearly shown in the Vedas. Jivatma is experiencing fruits of good and evil actions. Brahman is only witness.
1.3.8, 1.3.9 – Bhuman (infinite) is Brahman which is all pervasive, comprehensive, truthful, non-dual, immortal & blissful and resides in everything. Brahman is only blissful not vital force.
1.3.10 – Akshara (imperishable, letter, अक्षर) is Brahman. As Brahman keeps earth, water, fire, air and akash intact, like that Akshara remain intact in throat. It does not perish or undergo change. Since it is first in creation, it is Brahman.
1.3.11 - It has been proved that nature can be run according to the rules, but it cannot run. Brahman is the doer. It is not possible for knowledge less nature.
1.3.12 - The attribute of comprehensiveness of Brahman from the earth to the sky separates it from the others. There is no such power that can extend from the earth to the sky. Hence, it is proper to take the meaning of akshara here as Brahman.
1.3.14 - Just as the sun appears in every place, but a clear mirror or water is needed to see it; similarly, even though Brahman is widespread, but can see only within the mirror of his mind. For this reason the name of the body is named Brahmapur.
1.3.15 to 1.3.18 – In deep sleep, jivatma unite with Brahman. That is Brahmaloka. Brahmaloka is also termed as small akasha. Small akasha is not the ether/akasha, because latter is not blissful. Further, jivatma also is not Brahmalika as jivatma leaves one body and enters into another body. This attribute is not of Brahman.
1.3.19 to 1.3.20 - Jivatma is covered with avidya. When the covering of avidya is removed, then jivatma knows the Brahman. When jivatma attains Brahman's attributes in Samadhi, Sushupti and Mukti, the name of that state is Brahmaropata. At the time, it is free of joy and sorrow. Although happiness is present in liberation; But omniscience and omnipresence also does not exist at that time.
1.3.22 to 1.3.25 – Brahman is self-luminous. The light of sun, moon etc. is of Brahman. Brahman is also described as thumb just to signify that resides in heart.
1.3.26 to 1.3.27 – Brahman is supreme and like human beings, deities also have right to worship Brahman. Due to power, deities can assume many forms and make offerings to Brahman.
1.3.28 to 1.3.30 – It is mentioned in Vedas that deities are eternal. But if they have name & body, and then they would have birth and death. Actually, names such Indra, Varuna etc represent type of deities and individuals. Hence, Vedas are eternal and written by anybody. At the end of universe cycle, Vedas remain in dormant state and reappear in gross form in next cycle.
1.3.31 to 1.3.38 – Rishi Jamini believed that deities are not qualified for worship of Brahman. But Rishi Vyas believe they are entitled. Persons from all four ashrams whose thread & Vedas study ceremonies have been conducted, have right to study Vedas. Those who are devoid of spiritual power and humanity, does not speak truth, who cannot pronounce correctly, then he cannot have the right of Brahmavidya.
1.3.39 – Pranavayu is taken in context of Brahman. Pranvayu is not the vital force or prana.
1.3.40 – In spirituality, light is also used in context of Brahman. Because it lights everything.
1.3.41 – Akasha, if it is used in context of creator, it is Brahman.
1.3.42 – Brahman and Jivatma are different. Because in deep sleep, Jivatma only can know external things and things within deep sleep, which is knower and supremely intelligent is Brahman.
1.4.1 – In Kathoupanishad, it is mentioned that the body is cart, senses are horses, the mind is reins, intellect is charioteer and jivatma sits in it. Nature can be accepted in the place of body. It clearly shows that the body cannot do anything without the jivatma. In this way nature cannot create the world, as the dead body cannot do any work. Of course nature can be the substance of the world; but it cannot be the cause i.e. the doer.
1.4.2 – Nature (प्रक्रति, माया) is subtle, causal body, not gross. Hence, it is avyakta (undeveloped). Out of five elements, it builds body.
1.4.3 – Nature is dependent on Brahman to produce gross body. Nature is helper and Brahman is creator.
1.4.4 – Nature and Brahman cannot be one. Nature is knowledgeable due to the attributes of Sat, Raj and Tama and Brahman being devoid of virtues. The sat does light. Fire is called satogunya. The Raj does not light or cover. Moving, air, light, time and direction are Raj. Tama does cover. For this reason the earth is called tama. Nature and Brahman are separate. Nature is sat, the truth, 'Jivatma is Sat-chit'; Brahman is sat-chit-ananda.
1.4.5 – The intelligent is Brahman not nature.
1.4.6 – Nature, Jivatma and Brahman, all three are subtle.
1.4.7 – The Mahat according to Sankhyas means the cosmic intelligence; but in Vedic texts, it is associated with Supreme Being. Mahat is superior to intellect and mind. Similarly, the avyakta in Sankhyas is referred to as Supreme Being, but in Vedic text it is nature.
1.4.8 to 1.4.10– In Sankhyas, Aja refers to nature. Red, white and black refer to sat, raj and tama. In the Upanishads, water is white, fire is red and the earth is black; Therefore, Aja can mean earth, water and fire. The origin of the world is possible from water, fire and earth.
1.4.19 - Every desire is due to happiness and joy and happiness is only in Brahman. Jivatma lacks happiness. Hence atma refers to Parmatma not Jivatma.
1.4.20 to 1.4.28 – Knowledge of Jivatma gives knowledge of Brahman. When jivatma leaves the body, it has not body consciousness. It realizes that it is identical to Brahman even though there is difference between the two. Brahman is material as well as efficient cause of Jagat. Otherwise, it cannot return to Brahman at the time of dissolution, if it is not material cause.
2.1.2 – Brahman is first cause of jagat and prakriti is substance. Maya (name used in Vedanta) is another name of Prakriti (name used in Sankhya) and Parmanu (name used in Nyaya).
2.1.4 to 2.1.19 – There is contention that Brahman is intelligent and Jagat (universe) is non-intelligent, hence Brahman cannot be material cause of Jagat. This is not true as cause and effect may differ in quality. Further, it cannot be said that Jagat was non-existent before creation. Jagat existed before creation. At the time of dissolution, distinction remains in potential state of avidya or ignorance but at the time liberation, no ignorance is left, no bondage to come back. The attributes of Prakriti remain in Jagat. (पटवच् च 2/1/19).
2.1.20-2.1.21 – Five different Pranas (vita force) are controlled by Pranayama. They merge and exist as chief Prana during respiration. Like that jagat is identical to its cause, Brahman. However, Vedanta holds that if Brahman is the cause then everything would have been pleasant which is not so. (यथा च प्राणादिः 2/1/20; इतरव्यपदेशाद् धिताकरणादिदोषप्रसक्तिः 2/1/21)
2.1.33-2.1.34 - If Brahman creates the world, then there will be two doubts on it. Brahman is biased; because someone made wealthy, someone poor, someone made healthy, someone is diseased. Second, he is not merciful; because the suffering in the world is more and more. If he was kind, then the world would not have felt sad. To answer this question, He is not biased; but he distinguishes it from the cause of karma. He does not hurt anyone by his nature; but because of the actions of the creatures, they hurt them. Maharishi Patanjali has clearly stated in the yoga philosophy that three types of this world were created. Karma yoni (deed birth) is due to the grace of God where no pain. Enjoyment (भोग) yoni (animal birth) is to bear fruits of deeds (karma) of past life. Ubhay yoni (human being birth) is to bear fruits of past deeds and to do deeds for future life. Latter two feel pain due to karma.
2.1.35 – Before the creation of world, there should no distinction in deeds. Creation is without beginning. Jivatma have always previous existence.
2.2.1 to 2.2.9 – Vedanta & Sankhya doctrine - Sankhya doctrine is refuted saying that prakriti is inert and non-intelligent, so cannot alone create diverse and well-designed world. Inert prakriti cannot have tendency to create or suddenly become active without any purpose. Brahman is intelligent & indifferent and if prakriti is altogether separate & independent, unless it has connection it cannot create. This connection is mentioned in Sankhya. In Sankhya, Prakrati has three attributes (sattva, raja & tama) which are equal, independent & in equilibrium before. This equilibrium is disturbed at the time of creation which cannot happen without external force. Hence, creation will not be possible by prakrati alone.
2.2.11 to 2.2.16 – Vedanta & Vashishka doctrine - According to Vashishka, world is atomic, all things are aggregates of different kind of atoms. The atoms are eternal and cause of world. But world cannot be created without body, soul and mind and if Brahman is non-intelligent, it cannot guide atoms to be in motion. Further, if atoms are inherently active, creation will be permanent and dissolution will not be possible. As per Vashishka, atoms have colours then it must be gross and impermanent which contradicts its doctrine that they are minute & permanent. So atoms cannot be cause of world. Four gross elements (earth, water, fire and air) are produced from atoms and different in qualities in touch, taste, smell and colour. Possessing these qualities, atoms will be bigger consequently it will not be atomic. Hence, atomic doctrine is inadmissible.
2.2.18 to 2.2.32 – Vedanta & Buddhist doctrine (3 schools – Realists –outside and inside world, both are real, Idealist-only inside world is real, Nihilist-everything unreal. all three maintain everything is momentary) Realist Buddhist says external material world and internal mental world together make the universe. External world is made of four elements (water, fire, earth & air) which are mobile. Internal world is made of five skandhas (group) which are the cause. These skandhas are senses, ego, pleasure & pain etc., attachment & aversion, dharma/merit & adharma/demerit etc. without intelligent cause, aggregation of non-intelligent atoms in systematic way is not possible. If activity is eternal, there would be no dissolution. Hence, the doctrine is untenable. The doctrine says two kind of destructions viz. conscious and unconscious destruction. If it is conscious destruction due to efforts of individual – by penance and knowledge, it will counter the doctrine of momentariness. Third non-entity of destruction is Akasha. Because of attribute of sound, akasha cannot be non-entity. Since memory of past experiences, refutes momentariness as it remembers experiences. Existence develops from non-existence. Results from non-existence of two things differ; hence, they will no longer be non-entities. For Idealist, external world is non-existent, but external world is object of experience, hence cannot be altogether non-existent. Further, if nothing is external then it is useless to mention. Samskaras or impressions are impossible without external world. Further, impressions must have abode but momentariness denies any permanency. Unless permanency, there cannot be remembrance of experiences with relation to time and place. Nihilist doctrine is illogical. Hence, Buddhist doctrines are not tenable.
2.2.33 to 2.2.36 – Vedanta & Jain doctrine – The Jainism acknowledges seven categories which can be divided into two groups’ viz. soul and non-soul. Everything may be real, unreal, both real unreal, different from real & unreal, indescribable, and so on. According to Jain doctrine, we cannot arrive at any certain knowledge and this world, heaven, and this freedom will become doubtful. According to Vedantic view, world is unspeakable and fit for relative purpose. The Jainism says soul is of body size. But it is not possible due to different sizes of animals and different stages of body. Then soul will have parts of body, otherwise it will go modification and consequently will be non-eternal. If soul is non-eternal and ever changing, liberation cannot be predicted. According to Jainism, at the time of release, soul is permanent. If it is permanent, then it cannot be created and if it is not created its size will remain same. Hence Jain doctrine is untenable.
2.3.1 to 2.3.15 – First Akasha was created, then air. These are effect of Brahman. Brahman is existence in itself and is not effect of anything. Fire is created from air. Water is produced from air. Earth is produced from water. At the time of cosmic dissolution, the elements are withdrawn in order of creation i.e. in reverse order. Intellect, mind and organ are effect of elements.
2.3.16 to 2.3.53 – Bodies are born & die. Jivatmas do not die. Jivatmas are not born and are eternal. Intelligence is the nature of Jivatma being Brahman inside. Jivatma is atomic in size (part of hundredth part of tip of hair divided by hundred times) and not all pervading as it is going out of the body & coming in body. Jivatma despite atomic size pervades entire bode and experiences happiness & misery. Hence, Jivatma regulates the entire body. Jivatma has abode in heart. Buddhi (intellect) last as long as the Jivatma’s state of samskara is not destroyed by realization of supreme knowledge. Till then, intellect and Jivatma are connected. Even in sushupti state, the connections continue in potential form. Jivatma as agent sacrifices and performs all acts i.e. good and bad deeds. Jivatma is agent which is understood, as it wanders during dream and realisation is done in Samadhi. Buddhi/intellect is only instrument. By nature Jivatma is inactive and it becomes active when connected with mind, buddhi etc. Agency of Jivatma is due to Brahman. Brahman directs Jivatma according to good or bad deeds in previous births. Jivatma is part of Brahman. Brahman does not experience pleasure or pain. As Jivatma identifies itself with body and mind, it feels pleasure or pain. Each jivatma is different as they are connected with different bodies.
2.4.1 to 2.4.13 – Chief Prana (vital force), mind and senses are produced from Brahman. Mind consists of earth, the chief Prana consists of water, the vocal organ consists of fire. Since the elements are produced by Brahman, these are also in turn products of Brahman. There are five organs of knowledge (eyes, nose, ears, touch & tongue), five organs of actions (hand, feet, anus, organ of generation & speech), inner organs (mind, intellect, ego & Chitta-memory). The organs are fine, subtle (can’t be seen with eyes) and limited in size but not atomic size. Chief Prana is not air and different entity and resembles inner organs. Functions of Prana are fivefold i.e. Prana (in upper part – head, chest), Apana (in lower part – pelvic), Vyana (in whole body & blood circulation), Udana (near throat, governs speech & carries subtle body after death) & Samana (near naval and it governs areas between heart and pelvis). Pranas are minute, subtle and limited like senses.
2.4.14 to 2.4.19– Organs are inert and dependent on the presiding deities. But organs are connected with Jivatma who is the enjoyer. The relationship is permanent. When Jivatma departs, pranas departs, all other organs follows.
2.4.21 to 2.4.22 – Earth (food) when assimilated, it becomes flesh, mind etc, water becomes blood, prana etc., fire produces bone, marrow & organ of speech.
3.1.1 to 3.1.27 – while departing Jivatma, it takes subtle parts of gross elements as seed form, for the future body. Jivatma goes to other spheres for enjoying fruits of good karmas. On exhausting the good karmas which made it god in heaven, Jivatma descends to earth with remaining karmas, good or bad. Evil doers suffer in hell and then descend again on earth. Jivatma descends from moon, takes birth as plants till it get opportunity for a new birth. Other than evil doers & good karma doers, become tiny continuously rotating creatures. Those perform oblations (yajna), go to heaven.
3.2.1 to 3.2.10 – Jivatma is self-luminous and three states viz. waking, dream and deep sleep (sushupti). Jivatma creates dream. Dreams are unreal, but capable of forecasting events. In the state of meditation, ignorance is destroyed and knowledge of Brahman comes, which result in freedom. In deep sleep, Jivatma merges in Brahman. On waking, Jivatma returns to life.
3.2.11 to 3.2.37 – Brahman is intelligence, homogeneous, formless, all pervasive and without attribute. It is without touch, for, decay etc. It is said, neti, neti (not this, not this). In some scriptures, it is described having various types of forms (16 kalas/digits, with four feet, with two feet, gross & subtle etc.) which are only for the sake of Upasana. Upasana of Brahman in some form is not futile. We are not able perceive Brahman on account of being covered by ignorance. In state of Samadhi and when ignorance is destroyed, it sees as light. In meditation, Brahman is object of meditation and Jivatma is meditator and when Jivatma identifies itself as Brahman so it is not shunya or void. The difference between Brahman & Jivatma eliminates.
3.2.38 to 3.2.41 – Some views that Brahman gives fruits of actions (कर्म) while others believe actions itself can give that result in future time. Brahman directs Jivatma and causes people to act one way or other based on merits and demerits of deeds. Hence, Brahman gives fruits of actions.
3.3.1 to 3.3.66 – There are various types of Upasanas (Prana vidya – yogic practice on prana; Dahara vidya – knowledge of Brahman within; Vaisvanara vidya – universal cosmic man, Virat form; Panchagni vidya – coordination of five types of Yoga viz.Tartak-Vinduog, Suryavadan Pranayama-Pranayoga, Shakti Chalini-Kundalini Yoga, Khechari Mudra-Triad Yoga & Soham Sadhna-Hanshyog; Sandilya vidya – devotional meditation on sagun Brahman etc.). Different vidyas are not same which include meditation on Prana or Om, different sacrifices (Yajna) etc. Owing to difference in qualities, different upasnas should be kept separate and to be combined with general meditation. People doing sadhana/ vidya practice according to his liking, good or evil deeds are destroyed before he leaves the body. Upasnas enhances the result of sacrifices (yajnas). Worshippers of saguna Brahman go to Brahmanloka via Devayana. Worship of nirgun Brahman destroys ignorance. Jivatma which attains knowledge continue its corporeal existence till as long as prabadha karma last.
3.4.1 to 3.4.52 – Knowledge of Brahman is part of sacrificial acts (Yagnas). Knowledge and actions go together to produce results. Four stages of life are studentship, study of Vedas-Brahmacharya Ashram; Sacrifice, charity, austerity, etc.-Grahasth Ashram; penance-Vanaprastha Ashram and lifelong celibacy, establishing one into Brahman-Sanyasa Ashram. Former three help in attainment of virtuous world. Various duties are prescribed for different ashrams. Prohibited food (unless life in danger), drink etc. are not permitted. Sacrifice, charity etc. purifies the mind, brings calmness & self-control and knowledge of liberation is manifested in such mind. Knower of Brahman should remain like a child, free from anger, passion etc. with innate innocence & purity, without the sense of egoism. Moksha/liberation is attained by knowledge of Brahman. If knowledge reached to highest goal, did not manifest due to obstruction, it fructify in next life.
4.1.1 to 4.1.19– People involved in body and senses, gain knowledge/liberation only by practise of truth. In upasana or meditation, one has to concentrate one’s mind on single object in sitting posture without any movement of limbs. Place of meditation should be suitable to concentrate the mind. No special place is prescribed. Meditation should be done until liberation dawns or death. All evil and good deeds (karma) cease to affect knower of Brahman. Past karmas are two types, Sanchit karma (which yet to bear fruit) and Prarbdh karma (which already started yielding results). Sachit karmas are destroyed on attaining knowledge of Brahman but Prarbdh karmas are not destroyed. On exhausting prabadh karma, knower of Brahman merges with it on death. Results of Nitya karma such as daily Agnihotra, persists till death and contribute indirectly in attaining knowledge. Kamya karma (karma with desires) does not help in attaining knowledge.
4.2.1 to 4.2.21 – At the time of death, function of organs (speech) is merged in mind. Mind is merged in Prana (vital force). Prana get merged in Jivatma. Jivatma with Prana take abode in the fine essence of gross elements (panch bhoots), the seed of future body. At the time of death, Jivatma goes to another body, together with subtle body and all elements in fine form requited for future body. The departure of Jivatma of ordinary person and knower of sagun Brahman is same initially. Later, Jivatma of ordinary person enters into another body and Jivatma of knower of sagun Brahman, enters into Sushmita nerve then goes out of the body & takes path of the Brahmanloka. There is no departure of Jivatma of Nirgun Brahman and it merges with Brahman and no rebirth takes place. Until liberation is attained, dissolution of Jivatma is not possible. At the time of final dissolution (प्रलय), final merging of subtle body does not take place. Heat of living organism belongs to subtle body and not to gross body which is not felt after death. Jivatma resides in the heart and its top part illuminates to show the light in the passage. With the knowledge of Brahman and upasana, Jivatma of seeker through one hundred & first nerve or Sushmita nerve leaves. Jivatma of knower of sagun Brahman leaves through skull and of ordinary person through any other part of body. At the time of exit, consciousness is developed about the next life. Jivatma of knower of sagun Brahman follows the sun rays to reach Brahmaloka.
4.3.1 to 4.3.16 – Knower of sagun Brahman goes to Brahmaloka via devyan path (path of deities). The Jivatma of such person/upasaka goes first to agni, then the sequence to vayu, varuna, Indra, Prjapati and then to Brahmaloka. The deities guide them on the path. Those who meditate on symbols/forms cannot go to Brahmaloka.
4.4.1 – When Jivatma become free from sins, desires, sorrow, hunger, thirst etc. and realizes its true nature of pure intelligence, it loses gross, subtle and causal bodies and exists in state of liberation. Jivatma attains absolute union with the Nirgun Brahman. The Jivatma which has not attained absolute union and only Brahmaloka, does not return to the earth. These liberated jivatmas enjoy powers of enjoyment & cognition (no power of creation, preserving & destruction). Jivatma which goes to heaven, after exhausting the virtues that raised it to status of a god, returns to the earth.
3. Brahma Sutras by Swami Vireswarananda, Advaita Ashram, Mayavati, Almora.