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Brahma Sutras
by Swami Sivananda


Section 3: Vyatiharadhikaranam: Topic 23 (Sutra 37)

The Sruti prescribes reciprocal meditation in Ait. Ar. II.2.4.6.

Vyatiharo vishimsanti hitaravat III.3.37 (396)

There is exchange (of meditation), because the texts distinguish (two meditations); as in other cases.

Vyatiharah: exchange; reciprocity (of meditation); Visimshanti: (the scriptures) explain clearly, distinguish; Hi: because, for; Itaravat: as in other cases.

The Aitareya Aranyaka says with reference to the person in the sun, "What I am, that He is; what He is, that am I" (Ait. Ar. II.2.4.6).

A doubt arises here whether the meditation is to be of a reciprocal nature, a double one by means of exchange, i.e., identifying the worshipper with the being in the sun, and then inversely, identifying the being in the sun with the worshipper; or only in the former manner.

The Purvapakshin maintains that the meditation is to be practised in the former manner only and not in the reverse way also. He argues that the soul would be exalted by the former meditation and the Lord be lowered by the latter one! There is a meaning in the first kind of meditation but the second kind of meditation is meaningless.

The present Sutra refutes this view and declares that the meditation is to be practised in both ways because such a statement would be purportless. Exchange, or reverse meditation is expressly recorded in the Sruti for the purpose of meditation, just as other qualities of the Self such as its being the self of all, Satyasankalpa, etc., are recorded for the same purpose. For both texts make the distinctive double enunciation "I am Thou" and "Thou art I." Now the double enunciation has a sense only if a twofold meditation is to be based upon it; otherwise it would be devoid of meaning; since one statement would be all that is needed.

This will not in any way lower Brahman. Even in that way, only the unity of the Self is meditated upon. Brahman who is bodiless can be adored or meditated even as having a form. The double statement is merely meant to confirm the oneness of the Self. It gives force or emphasis to the identity.

Therefore, a twofold meditation has to be admitted, not a single one. This confirms the unity of the Self. The double relation enounced in the Sruti text has to be meditated upon, and is to be transformed to other Vidyas also which treat of the same subject.