Brahma Sutras
by Swami Sivananda


CHAPTER THREE: SADHANA ADHYAYA

Section 1: Introduction

Now in the Third Chapter are being determined those Sadhanas or practices which are the means of attaining the highest Brahman or the Infinite. In the First and Second Padas of this Chapter are being taught two things, viz., a strong yearning or burning desire (Mumukshutva) to realise Brahman or the final emancipation and an equally strong disgust (Vairagya) towards all objects other than Brahman; because these are the two fundamental things among all Sadhanas.

In order to induce Vairagya or dispassion, the Sutras show in the first Pada the imperfections of all mundane existences and this they base on the Panchagnividya or the doctrine of five fires of the Chhandogya Upanishad in which is taught how the soul passes after death from one condition to another.

The first Pada teaches the great doctrine of reincarnation, the departure of the soul from the physical body, its journey to the Chandraloka on the third plane and its coming back to the earth. This is done in order to create Vairagya or indifference to sensual enjoyments herein and hereafter. In the Second Pada are described all the glorious attributes of the Supreme Brahman, His Omniscience, Omnipotence, Loveliness, etc., in order to attract the soul towards Him, so that He may be the sole object of quest.

Synopsis

Adhikarana I:

(Sutras 1-7) teaches that the soul, at the dissolution of the body, departs, accompanied by the subtle material elements (Bhuta Sukshma), as well as by the Indriyas and Pranas. The subtle elements serve as an abode to the Pranas attached to the soul.

Sutra 7: Those who do sacrifice become in Chandraloka the food of the gods which means that they contribute to the enjoyment of the gods by their presence and service to them.

Adhikarana II:

(Sutras 8-11) shows that the souls after enjoying the fruits of their meritorious deeds in the Chandraloka descend to the earth with a remainder (Anusaya) of their works which determines the nature of the new body or the character of the new life.

Adhikarana III:

(Sutras 12-21) discusses the fate after death of those evil doers whom their evil deeds do not entitle to pass to the Chandraloka.

Adhikaranas IV, V, and VI:

(Sutras 22; 23; and 24 to 27) teach that the subtle bodies of the souls descending from the Chandraloka through the ether, air, etc., do not become identical with ether, air, etc., but only live there; that they descend in a short time. On entering into a corn or a plant the soul remains merely in contact with it which is already animated by another soul. The soul after having entered into a corn or a plant, gets connected with him who eats the corn or fruit of the plant and performs the act of copulation. The soul remains with him till he enters into the mother's womb with the seminal fluid injected. The soul ultimately enters the mother's womb and is brought forth as a child.