BRAHMA SUTRAS
by Swami Sivananda

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CHAPTER THREE: SADHANA ADHYAYA

Section 3: Sambandhadhikaranam: Topic 11 (Sutras 20-22)

The names 'Ahar' and 'Aham' of Brahman occurring in Bri. Up. V.5.1-2 cannot be combined.


Sambandhadevamanyatrapi III.3.20 (379)

Thus in other cases also, on account of the connection (of particulars with one and the same Vidya).

Sambandhat: on account of the connection; Evam: thus, like this; Anyatra: in other cases; Api: also.

An inference on the analogy of the preceding Sutra is drawn by way of objection.

This Sutra is a Purvapaksha Sutra. It sets forth the view of the opponent.

We read in the Brihadaranyaka (V.5.1-2), "Satya (the truth) is Brahman. That which is Satya is that Sun – the being who is in that orb and the being who is in the right eye". This gives the abode of the Satya Brahman with respect to the gods and the body. The text teaches the two secret names of the Satya Brahman in connection with these abodes. "Its secret name is 'Ahar' with reference to the gods, and its secret name is 'Aham' with reference to the body."

A doubt here arises whether these two secret names are both to be applied to the Deva-abode of Brahman as well as to its bodily abode, or only one name to each.

Now on the analogy of the Sandilya Vidya, the particulars must be combined as the object of meditation, viz., the Satya Brahman is one. Therefore both the names 'Ahar' and 'Aham' have to be combined with respect to Satya Brahman.

Both the secret names equally belong to the Aditya as well as to the person within the eye.


Na va viseshat III.3.21 (380)

Rather not (so) on account of the difference (of place).

Na: not, not so; Va: or, but; Viseshat: because of difference. (Na va: rather not.)

The conclusion arrived at in the preceding Sutra is set aside. This is the Siddhanta Sutra.

This Sutra refutes the view of the previous Sutra. As the solar orb and the eye-ball are too distant and distant abodes for the worship of Brahman, the two significant names 'Ahar' and 'Aham' referred to in the previous Sutra, should not both be employed in the same form of meditation. Each name refers to a different locus of Upasana.

Though the Vidya is one, still on account of difference in places the object of meditation becomes different. Therefore there are different names. Hence these cannot be exchanged or combined.

The Purvapakshin or the opponent raises an objection. He says: The person within the orb of the sun and the person within the eye are one only, because the text teaches that both are abodes of the one true Brahman.

True, we reply, but as each secret name is taught only with reference to the one Brahman and conditioned by a particular state, the name applies to Brahman only in so far as it is in that state. Here is an analogy. The teacher always remains the teacher; yet those kinds of services which the pupil has to do to the teacher when sitting have not to be done when he stands and vice versa.

The comparison given by the opponent is not well chosen as the duties of the disciple towards his teacher depend on the latter's character as teacher and that is not changed by his being either in the village or in the forest.

Therefore, the two secret names 'Ahar' and 'Aham' have to be held apart. They cannot be combined.


Darsayati cha III.3.22 (381)

(The scripture) also declares (that).

Darsayati: (Sruti) shows, indicates, declares; Cha: also, and.

An additional argument is given to refute Sutra 20.

The scripture distinctly states that the attributes are not to be combined, but kept apart; because it compares the two persons, the person in the sun and the person within the eye. If it wanted the particulars to be combined, it would not make such a comparison.

The conclusion, therefore, is that the two secret names are to be kept apart.