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Brahma Sutras
by Swami Sivananda


Section 3: Jyotiradhikaranam: Topic 11 (Sutra 40)

The light is Brahman.

Jyotirdarsanat I.3.40 (103)

The light (is Brahman) on account of that (Brahman) being seen (in the scriptural passage).

Jyotih: light; Darsanat: on account of (Brahman) being seen.

The argument in support of Sutra 24 is continued.

We read in the Sruti "Thus does that serene being arising from this body, appear in its own form as soon as it has approached the Highest Light" (Chh. Up. VIII-12-3).

Here the doubt arises whether the word 'light' denotes the physical light which is the object of sight and dispels darkness, or the Highest Brahman.

The Purvapakshin or the opponent says: The word light denotes the well-known physical light because that is the conventional sense of the word.

To this we have the following reply. The word 'light' can denote the Highest Brahman only. Why? Because in the whole chapter Brahman is the topic of discussion. The Highest Light is also called the 'Highest Person' in that text itself later on. Freedom from body is said to belong to that being which is one with this light. Sruti declares "When he is free from the body then neither pleasure nor pain touches him" (Chh. Up. VIII-12.1). Freedom from body is not possible outside Brahman. One can attain freedom or the bodiless state when he identifies himself with Brahman.