| |

Brahma sutras (Vedanta sutras)


source: Suhotra Swami - Studying Srimad Bhagavatam From Vedanta-sutra

adhyaya.pada.sutra: 1.1.1-31

adhikarana (topic): 1. Inquiry into Brahman.

2. The origin of everything.

3. Brahman is to be understood by the revelation of the Vedic scriptures.

4. This is confirmed by the Vedic scriptures.

5. Brahman is knowable.

6. Brahman is full of bliss.

7. The nature of the Person within.

8. The word 'Akasa' refers to Brahman.

9. The word 'Prana' refers to Brahman.

10. The word 'Jyotis' refers to Brahman.


1. The word 'Manomaya' refers to Brahman.

2. The Eater is Brahman.

3. The Associate in the cave of the heart is Brahman.

4. The Person in the eye is Brahman.

5. The Antaryami is Brahman.

6. 'Aksara' is Brahman.

7. 'Vaisvanara' is Brahman.


1. Brahman is the abode of heaven.

2. 'Bhuman' is Brahman.

3. 'Aksara' refers to Brahman.

4. The Purusa seen in Brahmaloka is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

5. The 'Dahara' is Brahman.

6. He who is measured by a thumb is Brahman.

7. The Devas can meditate upon Brahman.

8. Sudras are not qualified for Vedic meditation.

9. The thunderbolt in the Katha Upanisad 2.3.2 is Brahman.

10. The 'Akasa' in Chhandogya Upanisad 8.14.1 is Brahman.

11. At both the time of dreamless sleep and the time of the jiva's liberation from the material world, the jiva and the Supreme Brahman are different.


1. The word 'Avyakta' in Katha Upanisad 1.3.11 refers to the subtle body and not pradhana.

2. The 'Aja' of Svetasvatara Upanisad 4.5 does not mean pradhana.

3. The phrase 'panca-panca-janah' in Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad 4.4.7 does not refer to the 25 elements of atheistic Sankhya philosophy.

4. Brahman is the only original cause.

5. The Purusa of the Kausitaki Upanisad is Brahman.

6. The 'Atma' of Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad 4.5. is the Supreme Brahman and not the jiva.

7. Brahman is both the efficient and material cause.

8. All names are names of Brahman.


1. The atheistic Sankhya philosophy refuted.

2. Yoga refuted.

3. The Vedas are eternal and infallible.

4. The words 'fire' and 'earth' refer to the Devas.

5. That Brahman is the original creator is proved by logic.

6. Nothingness is not the first cause.

7. Kanada (the atomic theorist) and Gautama (the logician) refuted.

8. The material world is not different from Brahman.

9. The Supreme Brahman is the creator of the material world.

10. Brahman is neither cruel nor unjust.

11. Brahman is impartial.


1. Atheistic Sankhya refuted.

2. Refutation of atomic theory.

3. Vaibhasika and Sautrantika Buddhism refuted.

4. Refutation of Yogacara Buddhism.

5. Madhyamika or Sunyavada Buddhism refuted.

6. Jainism refuted.

7. Pasupata Saivism refuted.

8. The Sakta doctrine refuted.


1. Ether (sky) is created.

2. Air is created.

3. The Eternal (Sat) is not created.

4-6. Fire originates from air; water originates from fire; earth originates from water, and the word 'anna' in the Chandogya Upanisad means 'earth.'

7. The elements originate from the Brahman.

8. Brahman is the cause of the transformations of matter.

9. Brahman is the cause of mind and intelligence.

10. All words are primarily names of Brahman; secondarily they indicate other things.

11. The individual souls are not created, but are beginningless and eternal.

12. The jivas are both knowledge and knowers.

13. The individual souls are atomic.

14. The individual spirit soul performs actions.

15. Activity is the nature of the spirit soul.

16. The activities of the spirit soul are always dependent upon Brahman.

17. The individual soul is part and parcel of Brahman.

18. The avataras of Brahman are not like the jivas, for the avataras are Brahman.

19. The individual spirit souls are not identically the same.


1. Brahman is the origin of the vital prana.

2. The senses are eleven.

3. The senses are atomic in size.

4. The vital prana, the life-force, has an origin.

5. The vital prana is not air.

6. The vital prana is an instrument of the soul.

7. The vital prana is the primary agent of the soul.

8. The vital prana has five functions.

9. The vital prana is atomic.

10. Brahman is the motive force behind the pranas.

11. The vital prana is not a sense.

12. The forms of the material world are created by Brahman.

13. The vehicles of the soul are made from earth.


1. The soul's departure.

2. Is karma exhausted in heaven?

3. Do the impious also go to Candraloka?

4. The soul does not become ether, etc.

5. The soul's descent from ether to rain is quick.

6. The descending souls do not take birth among the plants.


1. Brahman creates dreams.

2. Not all dreams are illusions.

3. Brahman creates the waking state.

4. Brahman creates the state of deep sleep.

5. The same person returns to the body upon waking.

6. The condition of fainting.

7. Although one, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is manifest in many forms.

8. The form of Brahman.

9. The worshiped is different from the worshiper.

10. The individual spirit souls are not reflections of Brahman.

11. The 'neti-neti' text explained.

12. The form of the Supreme Lord.

13. Brahman can be seen.

14. The Supreme Lord's qualities are not different from His Own Self.

15. The bliss of the Supreme Lord is paramount.

16. Brahman is not nirvisesa (without particular features).

17. The Supreme Lord is the highest.

18. The Supreme Lord is all-pervading.

19. The Supreme Lord awards the fruits of action.


1. The Supreme Lord is sought in the Vedas.

2. Brahman's qualities may be collated from the different branches of the Vedic scriptures.

3. The exception to the principle given in Adhikarana 2 is seen in the worship performed by the ekanti (unalloyed) devotees.

4. The Supreme Lord's birth and infancy.

5. The activities of the Supreme Lord are eternal.

6. Meditation on the Supreme Lord's attributes.

7. The Supreme Lord is full of bliss.

8. The Supreme Lord is the father.

9. The personal form of the Supreme Lord is to be meditated upon.

10. The destructive attributes of the Supreme Lord.

11. Philosophical meditation upon the Supreme Lord.

12. Both vaidhi-and ruci-bhakti-yoga award liberation.

13. Of the two forms of bhakti-yoga, ruci-bhakti is superior.

14. The processes of bhakti-yoga.

15. The form of the Supreme Lord is inconceivable.

16. The transcendental abode of the Supreme Lord.

17. The potency by which the Supreme Lord manifests His variegatedness.

18. The Goddess of Fortune.

19. Lord Krsna is worshipable in all of His forms.

20. The spiritual master.

21. The mercy of the spiritual master.

22. The individual soul never becomes Lord Krsna.

23. Full realization of the Absolute Truth is the only means to liberation.

24. Worshiping the saintly devotees.

25. Liberated souls have different relationships with Sri Krsna.

26. How to attain pure Krsna consciousness.

27. The Supreme Lord resides within the bodies of the living entities.

28. A devotee attains the object of his devotion.

29. The multiple forms and pastimes of the one Supreme Lord.

30. The different forms of the Supreme Lord are to be worshiped each in their own particular way.

31. Ekanta bhakti, or steadfast devotion.

32. Kamya-puja, or worship for material benefit.

33. How to meditate upon the form of the Supreme Lord.


1. Vidya (the goddess of divine knowledge and beloved of Visnu) is the fulfiller of all desire.

2. Sage Jaimini's objections.

3. Srila Vyasadeva's reply.

4. One graced by Vidya is liberated.

5. Qualifications for attaining Vidya.

6. A devotee illuminated by Vidya does not commit sins, though he is independent.

7. The svanistha devotee.

8. The parinistha devotee.

9. The nirapeksa devotee.

10. Why the nirapeksa devotee is the best.

11. The Supreme Lord provides the nirapeksa-bhakta with all necessities.

12. The duty of one who has attained Vidya.

13. How to become fixed in Vidya.

14. Vidya is most confidential.

15. When does Vidya manifest?

16. Liberation is the fruit of Vidya.


1. The sadhana for attaining Vidya requires repetition.

2. The Supreme Lord is to be worshiped as the Self of all selves.

3. His symbolic expansions should not be worshiped as His own Self.

4. That Supreme Self is the Isvara, the Supreme Controller. The Isvara is to be known as Brahman.

5. The personal form of the Supreme Lord is the origin of all material manifestations.

6. How to perform dhyana (meditation).

7. Time, place, and circumstances for meditation.

8. The worship of the Supreme Lord continues even after liberation.

9. By attainment of Vidya, karma from the present life is not binding, and karma accumulated from past lives is destroyed.

10. The same applies to punya-karma (good karma).

11. The prarabdha-karma, manifest as the present body, is destroyed with the demise of the body of a liberated soul.

12. Vidya does not destroy the nitya-kriyas of a devotee.

13. Some pure devotees throw off all karma and leave the material world immediately upon attaining Vidya.


1. When the soul departs the body, the senses and their functions merge into the mind.

2. The mind merges into the prana.

3. The prana merges into the individual self.

4. The self merges into the subtle elements.

5. Thus do all souls--ignorant and enlightened alike--meet with death.

6-7. The subtle elements surrounding the soul illumined by Vidya then merge into the acit-sakti of Brahman.

8. The enlightened soul departs by way of the susumna-nadi.

9. Regardless of the time of departure, the enlightened soul follows the rays of the sun.

10. Regardless of the time of departure, the enlightened soul ascends to the spiritual world.


1. The first stage of the soul's journey to the spiritual world is called arcis.

2. Therefore all stages of the journey are called arciradi.

3. Each stage indicates an ativahika-devata (guide of the soul).

4. The amanava-purusa.

5. The amanava-purusa leads the soul to the planet of Caturmukha Brahma, declares Sage Badari.

6. The amanava-purusa leads the soul to the Supreme Brahman, declares Sage Jaimini.

7. The judgement of Srila Vyasadeva.

8. Certain nirapeksa devotees are conducted by the Supreme Lord Himself.


1. The form of the souls in the liberated state.

2. The liberated soul is united with the Supreme Lord.

3. The attributes of the liberated soul.

4. The liberated soul is satya-sankalpa.

5. The liberated soul is under the control of the Supreme Lord, and no one else.

6. Does the liberated soul have a body?

7. The liberated soul is an enjoyer.

8. The liberated soul is all-knowing.

9. The liberated soul cannot create a universe.

10. The liberated soul never returns to the material world.

Major commentaries
Sariraka Bhasya (Adi Sankaracarya - advaita)
Sri Bhasya (Ramanujacarya - visistadvaita)
Govinda Bhasya (Baladeva Vidyabhusana - acintya bhedabheda)


Adhikarana   /    Sutra


1   /   1 Then, therefore, enquiry into Brahman.

2   /   2 From which springs the origination.

3   /   3 Scripture alone is the means.

4   /   4 All the scriptures' ultimate goal is Brahman.

5   /   5-11 Non intelligent pradhana (of Sankhya) cannot be the (seeing and willing) cause of the world.

6   /   6-12 'Anandamaya' mentioned in the (Taittiriya) Upanisad is the Supreme Lord, not jiva.

7   /   20-21 The golden person seen within the sun and within the eye, mentioned in the Chandogya Upanisad (1.6) is not a jiva of high eminence, but the Supreme Lord.

8   /   22 The ether mentioned in Ch. 1.6 is not the elemental ether but the Supreme Lord.

9   /   23 The prana mentioned in Ch. 1.11.5 denotes the Supreme Lord.

10   /   24-27 The light spoken of in Ch. 3.13.7 is not physical light, but the Supreme Lord.

11   /   28-31 The prana mentioned in Kausitaki 3.2. is the Supreme Lord.


1   /   1-8 'Manomaya' and 'prana sarira' mentioned in Ch 3.14.1,2 is not jiva, but the Supreme Lord.

2   /   9-10 The Being to whom Brahmanas and Ksatriyas are food, referred to in Katha 1.2.24 is the Supreme Lord.

3   /   11-12 The two entered into the cave - Katha 1.3.1 - are the Supreme Lord and jiva. 4 13-17 The person within the eye - Ch. 4.15.1 is the Supreme Lord.

5   /   18-20 'Antaryamin' mentioned in Br. 3.7.3 is the Supreme Lord (not pradhana nor jiva).

6   /   21-23 Being described as possessed of invisibility in Mund. 1.1.56 is the Supreme Lord (not pradhana or jiva).

7   /   24-32 'Atma vaisvanarah' in Ch. 5.11.6 is the Supreme Lord.


1   /   1-7 Being within whom heaven and earth are woven, as in Mund. 2.2.5 is the Supreme Lord, because of the term 'atman' (not pradhana or jiva).

2   /   8-9 'Bhuman' (the great) in Ch. 7.23.24 is the Supreme Lord (not prana).

3   /   10-12 'Aksara' (imperishable) in Br. 3.88 is the Supreme Lord.

4   /   13 'Para purusa' to be meditated upon by 'om' in Prasna. 5.5 is the Supreme Lord (because it is described as object of realization).

5   /   14-23 'Dahara akasah' within the lotus of the heart in Ch. 8.1.1. is not elemental ether or jiva but the Supreme Lord (-grammatical arguments!-).

(22 & 23 as 6) by Sankara

7   /   24-25 The thumb size Being in Katha 2.4.13 is not jiva, but the Supreme Lord.

8   /   26-33 Gods qualified for brahmavidya? (animals already denied in 7)

9   /   34-38 Sudras denied qualification.

10   /   39 The prana before whom everything trembles as in Katha 2.6.2 is the Supreme Lord.

11   /   40 Jyoti mentioned in Ch. 8.12.3 is the Supreme Lord.

12   /   41 The ether that reveals names and forms as in Ch. 8.14.1 is neither the elemental ether, nor the jiva, but the Supreme Lord.

13   /   42-43 Vijnana maya in Br. 4.3-7 is not jiva but the Supreme Lord.


1   /   1-7 Avyakta in Katha 1.3.10,11 does not denote pradhana, but the subtle body (and gross body?).

2   /   8-10 Tri rupa aja in Svet. 4.5 cannot be pradhana or prakrti but the transcendental energy of the Supreme Lord who is the cause of all causes.

3   /   11-13 Panca panca janah in Br. 4.4.17 are not the twenty five principles but the five pranas.

4   /   14-15 The Supreme intelligent Lord is the cause of the world.

5/ot the individual soul, but the Supreme Lord.

7   /   23-27 The Supreme Lord is not only the nimitta karana (efficient cause) but upadana (material cause) as well.

8   /   28 All the passages in Vedanta are referring to the Supreme Lord only.



1   /   1-2 Sankhya rejected because it is against sruti.

2   /   3 Yoga rejected

3   /   4-11 Objection that non intelligent world cannot be caused by intelligent Supreme Lord (Brahman) is answered. By the effect produced the cause, Lord, is not contaminated.

4   /   12 Atomic theory refuted like above.

5   /   13 The enjoyer Lord and the enjoyed jiva are qualitatively one.

6   /   14-20 Vaisesika doctrine of effect as something new created from the cause is refuted. The effect is only transformation of the energies of the Lord.

7   /   21-23 Brhad 2.4.5, Ch.8.7.1, Br.4.3.35 - jiva is simultaneously one and different from the Lord

8   /   24-25 The Lord creates the world by His mere will.

9   /   26-29 The Lord creates the world without entirely passing over it, and at the same time remaining one and undivided.

10   /   30-31 The Lord, unassisted, can create the world through His variegated transcendental potencies.

11   /   32-33 He has no self interest in creating the world (lila).

12   /   34-36 The Lord is not to be blamed for the happiness and distress of the jivas - He sanctions results according to the merits - samsara is beginningless.

13   /   37 The Lord is omniscient and omnipotent and capable of creating the world.


1   /   1-10 Refutation of Sankhya; non intelligent pradhana cannot possibly create or proceed with any activity without the guidance of an intelligent being.

2   /   11-17 Refutation of Vaisesika; atoms as the cause of creation defeated.

3   /   18-32 Refutation of Bauddhas (Buddhists)

bahyarthavadins (both the material objects sarvastitvavadins and their cognitions are real) (realists) vijnanavadins (ideas only are real yogacaras external objects apart from (idealists) their cognitions have no independent existence)

sunyavadis (everything is void) (nihilists)

4   /   33-36 Refutation of Jaina

5   /   37-41 Refutation of Pasupata (refuting that Isvara is only the efficient cause)

6   /   42-45 Refutation of Sakta


1   /   1-7 Ether is not co-eternal with Lord but the first effect.

2   /   8 Air from ether

3   /   9 The Lord has no cause.

4-6 10-12 Fire from air, water from fire, earth from water

7   /   13 The Lord is the cause of these elements but He is not affected by these elements.

8   /   14 The reabsorbtion of the elements is inverse to this order.

9   /   15 This is not disturbed by the organs and senses because they are created and destroyed with the elements which they consist.

10   /   16 The birth and death belong to the body and not to the jiva.

   17 Jiva is never created.

   18 Knowledge is a constitutional character of jiva.

   19-32 Jiva is infinitesimal, has knowledge as his attribute.

   33-40 Kartrtva is a natural attribute of jiva.

   41-42 This kartrtva of the jiva depends upon the Lord.

   43-53 The relationship between jiva and the Lord


1   /   1-4 Pranas are created from the Lord.

2   /   5-6 They are eleven in number (jnana-, karma-indriyas and intelligence).

3   /   7 They are anu (subtle).

4   /   8 Attributes of pranas transferred (atidesa) to chief vital air.

5   /   9-12 Nature and character of the chief vital air

6   /   13 It is subtle (anu).

7   /   14-16 It is controlled by the Supreme Lord.

8   /   17-19 Pranas are not modifications of the chief vital air, they are independent principles.

9   /   20-22 Activity of creation belongs to the Supersoul not to the jiva.



1   /   1-7 Individual jiva in obtaining a different body continues with the same subtle body.

2   /   8-11 The souls who have enjoyed results of pious activities in the moon descend to earth - with an amsa of their previous pious karmas for which results cannot be enjoyed in the moon, but must be enjoyed in this planet only - which determines the design of the new body.

3   /   12-21 Those who have knowledge (vidya) and who perform sacrifices ascend to moon. For the rest there is the third place, Yama's abode.

4   /   22 The subtle bodies descending from moon, through the ether, air etc., do not become identical with them, but only resemble them.

5   /   23 The entire descent of the soul occupies a very short time only.

6   /   24-27 When the souls finally enter into plants and so on they do not participate in the life of the plants but are merely in external contact with them.


1   /   1-6 The creation of the dreaming state is also willed by the Supreme Lord - they are real to the extent that they are indications of future (or recollections of past).

2   /   7-8 In dreamless sleep the jiva abides with Supersoul within the heart.

3   /   9 The soul awakening from the sleep is the same as before, otherwise he won't be remembering past experiences and injunctions of sacrifices.

4   /   10 Swoon is midway between sleep and death. 5 11-21 Supreme Lord is nirvisesa because He is prakrta rupa hina. The attributes of jiva and matter do not apply to the Lord. He is not materially affected, being transcendental.

6   /   22-26 Supreme Lord possesses infinite number of transcendental attributes beyond limitations.

7   /   27-30 Matter is transformation of the Lord's energy - so it is one and in the same time different from Him.


1   /   1-4 The cognitions of the Lord, taught by all the Vedantic texts, are identical on account of the non-difference of injunctions (upasita-vidyat etc.).

2   /   5 Since the goal is the Supreme Lord wherever there are contradictions and different kinds of processes mentioned in the scriptures, upasamhara (tallying) is necessary - actually the process is one and the same.

Sandilya vidya in three passages is one and the same (though various details differ).

Vaisvanara vidya (Ch. 5.12.2, Satapatha 10.6.1-11) is identical - the process, the goal are same.

Katha 1.2.15 - that word which all the Vedas record.

Aitareya - Him only the bahvrcas consider in the great hymn, the Adhvaryus in the sacrificial fire, the Chandogas in the mahavrata ceremony.

3   /   6-8 The subject of chandogya vidya(1.1.3) is only the sacred om while the Brhad 1.3 represents the whole udgitha as goal.

4   /   9-10 Are all qualities to be included in meditation on the Lord?

5   /   11-13 Only the essential and unalterable attributes such as ananda and jnana are to be taken into account everywhere.

14-26 -----similar subject------

27-31 Regarding the soul's freeing himself on death and on liberation.

32-54 ?

58-66 Regarding the synthesis of different processes considering the goal.


1-50 The knowledge of Brahman is not subordinate to action, but independent.

The asrama karmani are obligatory for him who does not strive for mukti.

balya, panditya and mauna are three conditions enjoined for the sannyasin

51-52 Liberation is either immediately after death or gradual according to the sadhana.



1   /   1-2 Meditation on the Lord as enjoined in the scriptures is to be repeated again and again until the realization of the final goal takes place.

2   /   3 The goal of meditation is the Lord who is the soul of all.

3   /   4 Regarding pratikopasana.

4   /   5 Supreme Lord is the only object of meditation.

5   /   6 In angopasanas the Lord who is ultimately the controller of everything should be the goal.

6   /   7-10 Regarding time and place and period of meditation.

7   /   11 It should be done favorably beyond conditions.

8   /   12 Till death the process should be continued.

9   /   13 On liberation no more control by karma.

10   /   14 -same (pious karma)-

11   /   15 devotional activities prevail

12   /   16-17 They promote the origination of knowledge.

13   /   19 The realized vidvan may have to pass through several embodied existences before the arabdhakarya karmas will have their effects completely exhausted.


1-4   /   1-7 The path of liberation after death

5   /   8-11 Till total liberation the subtle body continues.

6   /   12-14 similar

7-8   /   15-16 On liberation the elements merge with elements.

9   /   17 The conditioned jiva passes from the heart out of the body.

The jiva liberated passes through the head, through susumna, the 101st vein.

10   /   18-19 The liberated soul even if departs at night passes through a ray of light through the sun.

11   /   20-21 Even if departing in daksinayana the liberated soul attains the supreme abode.


1-3   /   1-3 Reconciliation of different accounts given in the Upanisads (Ch. 5.10.1, Kaus. 1.3, Br. 6.2.15 etc.) as to the stations of this path and establish the path (deva-yana as opposed to pitr-yana). The stages are Agni, the day, the bright half of the month and uttarayana, the year, Vayu, Aditya, candramas, lightning, Varuna, Indra, Prajapati, and the Brahman.

4   /   4-6 These places mean the controlling deities.

5   /   7-16 Considering the different opinions of the philosophers regarding who is led to what goal.


1   /   1-3 The soul on liberation attains to its original nature and does not acquire new attributes.

2   /   4 The liberated soul realizes itself as qualitatively one with the Lord.

3   /   5-7 Nature of the released soul - has transcendental attributes which are constitutional.

4   /   8-9 All his desires are satisfied by exercise of his free will properly.

5   /   10-14 The released soul attains a spiritual body (attains body of its own will).

6   /   15-16 The liberated soul on attaining constitutional position can exist in many transcendental bodies.

7   /   17-22 The liberated soul participates in all the opulences of the Lord, except the power of creating and sustaining the world.

He goes back home back to Godhead and never returns.

Short introduction to Vedanta according to Gaudiya Vaishnavas By Jahnudvipa das, 2004
Six Systems of Vedic Philosophy
Vedanta-sutra in Devanagari
Vedanta commentaries
Srimad Bhagavatam as the natural commentary on the Vedanta
Srimad Bhagavatam verses pertaining to Vedanta-sutras
Studying Srimad Bhagavatam From Vedanta-sutra
Four schools of Buddhism refuted by Vedanta-sutra

page url:
Please support us:  
© 2001 - 2024 VEDA - Bhaktivedanta Book Trust -, authors. CC-BY-SA J. Mares (contact)