Brahma Sutras
by Swami Sivananda


CHAPTER TWO: AVIRODHA ADHYAYA

Section 1: Prayojanatvadhikaranam: Topic 11 (Sutras 32-33)

Final end of Creation.


Na prayojanavattvat II.1.32 (166)

(Brahman is) not (the creator of the universe) on account of (every activity) having a motive.

Na: not (i.e. Brahman cannot be the creator); Prayojana- vattvat: on account of having motive.

Another objection to Brahman being the cause of the world is raised.

The objector says: "In this world, everybody does a work with some motive. He does any work to satisfy his desire. There is also a scriptural passage that confirms this result of common experience, 'Verily, everything is not dear that you may love everything, but that you may love the Self, therefore everything is dear' (Bri. Up. II.4.5). But Brahman is all-full, self-sufficient and self-contained. He has nothing to gain by the creation. Therefore He cannot engage Himself in such a useless creation. Hence, Brahman cannot be the cause of the universe."

The undertaking of creating this world with all its details is indeed a weighty one. If Brahman desires creation to fulfil a wish, then He cannot be an eternally happy, perfect being with no unfulfilled desires. If He has no desire, then He will not wish to create and so there will be no creation. It cannot be said that He creates without purpose, like a senseless man in a state of frenzy. That would certainly contradict His Omniscience.

Hence the doctrine of the creation proceeding from an intelligent Being (Brahman) is untenable.


Lokavattu lilakaivalyam II.1.33 (167)

But (Brahman's creative activity) is mere sport, such as is seen in the world (or ordinary life).

Lokavat: as in the world, as in ordinary life; Tu: but; Lilakaivalyam: mere pastime.

(Lila: sport, play; Kaivalyam: merely; Lilamatram: mere pastime.)

The objection raised in Sutra 32 is replied to.

The word 'tu' (but) removes the above obejction.

Brahman has created the world not out of any desire or motive. It is simply His pastime, proceeding from His own nature, which is inherent in and inseparable from Him, as it is seen also in the world that sometimes a rich man or a prince, does some action without any motive or purpose, simply out of a sportive impulse. Just as children play out of mere fun, or just as men breathe without any motive or purpose, because it is their very nature, just as a man full of cheerfulness when awakening from sound sleep, begins to dance about without any objective, but from mere exuberance of spirit, so also Brahman engages Himself in creating this world not out of any purpose or motive, but out of sporting or Lila or play proceeding from His own nature.

Although the creation of this universe appears to us a weighty and difficult undertaking, it is mere play to the Lord, whose power is infinite or limitless.

If in ordinary life we may possibly by close scrutiny detect some subtle motive even for sportful action (playing at a game of balls is not altogether motiveless, because the prince gets some pleasure by the play), we cannot do so with regard to the actions of the Lord. The scripture declares that all wishes are fulfilled in the Lord and that He is all-full, self-contained and self-sufficient.

It should not be forgotten however that there is no creation from the standpoint of the Absolute, because name and form are due to Avidya or ignorance and because Brahman and Atman are really one.

The opponent again raises an objection. The theory that Brahman is the creator is open to the objection that He is either partial or cruel, because some men enjoy happiness and others suffer misery. Hence this theory is not a congruous one. This objection is removed by the following Sutra.