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Brahma Sutras
by Swami Sivananda


Section 1: Antaradhikaranam: Topic 7 (Sutras 20-21)

The being or person in the Sun and the eye is Brahman.

Antastaddharmopadesat I.1.20 (20)

The being within (the Sun and the eye) is Brahman, because His attributes are taught therein.

Antah: (Antaratma, the being within the sun and the eye); Tat Dharma: His essential attribute; Upadesat: because of the teaching, as Sruti teaches.

The wonderful Purusha of Chhandogya Upanishad described in chapters 1, 6 and 7 is Brahman.

From the description in the Chhandogya Upanishad of the essential qualities belonging to the Indwelling Spirit residing in the Sun and in the human eye, it is to be understood that he is Brahman and not the individual soul. You will find in Chhandogya Upanishad I-6-6, "Now that person bright as gold who is seen within the sun, with beard bright as gold and hair bright as gold altogether to the very tips of his nails, whose eyes are like blue lotus. His name is 'Ut' because he has risen (Udita) above all evil. He transcends all limitations. He also who knows this rises above all evil. So much with reference to the Devas."

With reference to the body, "Now the person who is seen in the eye is Rik. He is Sama. He is Uktha. He is Yajus. He is Brahman. His form is the same as that of the former i.e. of the Being in the Sun. The joints of the one are the joints of the other, the name of the one is the name of the other" Chh. Up. I-7-5.

Do these texts refer to some special individual soul who by means of knowledge and pious deeds has raised himself to an exalted state; or do they refer to the eternally perfect supreme Brahman? The Purvapakshin says that the reference is to an individual soul only, as the scripture speaks of a definite shape, particular abode. Special features are attributed to the person in the Sun, such as the possession of beard as bright as gold and so on. The same characteristics belong to the being in the eye also.

On the contrary no shape can be attributed to the Supreme Lord, "That which is without sound, without touch, without form, without decay" Kau. Up. I-3-15.

Further a definite abode is stated, "He who is in the Sun. He who is in the eye". This shows that an individual soul is meant. As regards the Supreme Lord, he has no special abode, "Where does he rest? In his own glory" Chh. Up. VII-24-1. "Like the ether he is Omnipresent, Eternal".

The power of the being in question is said to be limited. "He is the Lord of the worlds beyond that and of the wishes of the Devas," shows that the power of the being in the Sun is limited. "He is the Lord of the worlds beneath that and of the wishes of men," shows that the power of the person in the eye is limited. Whereas the power of the Supreme Lord is unlimited. "He is the Lord of all, the King of all things, the Protector of all things." This indicates that the Lord is free from all limitations. Therefore the being in the Sun and in the eye cannot be the Supreme Lord.

This Sutra refutes the above objection of the Purvapakshin. The being within the Sun and within the eye is not the individual soul, but the Supreme Lord only. Why? Because His essential attributes are declared.

At first the name of the being within the Sun is stated, "His name is 'Ut'." Then it is declared, "He has risen above all evil". The same name is then transferred to the being in the eye, "the name of the one is the name of the other". Perfect freedom from sins is ascribed to the Supreme Self only, the Self which is free from sin etc., Apahatapapma Chh. Up. VIII-7. There is the passage, "He is Rik. He is Saman, Uktha, Yajus, Brahman," which declares the being in the eye to be the Self, Saman and so on. This is possible only if the being is the Lord, who as being the cause of all, is to be regarded as the Self of all.

Further it is declared, "Rik and Saman are his joints" with reference to the Devas, and "the joints of the one are the joints of the other with reference to the body". This statement can be made only with reference to that which is the Self of all.

The mention of a particular abode, viz., the Sun and the eye, of form with a beard bright as gold and of a limitation of powers is only for the purpose of meditation or Upasana. The Supreme Lord may assume through Maya any form He likes in order to please thereby his devout worshippers to save and bless them. Smriti also says, "That thou seest me O Narada, is the Maya emitted by me. Do not then look on me endowed with the qualities of all beings." The limitation of Brahman's powers which is due to the distinction of what belongs to the Devas and what to the body, has reference to devout meditation only. It is for the convenience of meditation that these limitations are imagined in Brahman. In His essential or true nature He is beyond them. It follows, therefore, that the Being which scripture states to be within the eye and the Sun is the Supreme Lord.

Bhedavyapadesachchanyah I.1.21 (21)

And there is another one (i.e. the Lord who is different from the individual souls animating the Sun etc.) on account of the declaration of distinction.

Bheda: difference; Vyapadesat: because of declaration; Cha: and, also; Anyah: is different, another, other than the Jiva or the individual soul.

An argument in support of Sutra 20 is adduced.

Anyah: (Sarirat anyah: other than the embodied individual soul). Moreover there is one who is distinct from the individual souls which animate the Sun and other bodies, viz., the Lord who rules within. The distinction between the Lord and the individual souls is declared in the following passage of the Srutis, "He who dwells in the Sun and is within the Sun, whom the Sun does not know, whose body the Sun is and who rules the Sun from within, is thy Self, the ruler within, the immortal (Bri. Up. III-7-9). Here the expression "He within the Sun whom the Sun does not know" clearly shows that the Ruler within is distinct from that cognising individual soul whose body is the sun. The text clearly indicates that the Supreme Lord is within the Sun and yet different from the individual soul identifying itself with the Sun. This confirms the view expressed in the previous Sutra. It is an established conclusion that the passage under discussion gives a description of the Supreme Lord only but not of any exalted Jiva.