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Brahma Sutras
by Swami Sivananda


Section 3: Satyadyadhikaranam: Topic 24 (Sutra 38)

Brihadaranyaka V.4.1 and V.5.3 treat of one Vidya about Satya Brahman.

Saiva hi satyadayah III.3.38 (397)

The same (Satya Vidya is taught in both places), because (attributes like) Satya etc., (are seen in both places).

Sa eva: the same (Satya Vidya); Hi: because; Satyadayah: (attributes like) Satya etc.

We read in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad "He who knows this great, glorious, first born (Being) as the Satya Brahman, conquers these worlds" (V.4.1). Again we read "That which is Satya is that Sun the being who is in that orb and the being who is in the right eye... he destroys evils" (V.5.3).

Now a doubt arises whether these two Satya Vidyas are one or different.

The Purvapakshin holds that the Vidyas are two; because the text declares two different results, one in the earlier passage "He conquers these worlds"(V.4.1), the other one later on "He destroys evil and leaves it" (V.5.3).

The Sutra declares that they are one, because the second text refers to the Satya of the earlier text, "That which is Satya," etc.

In reality there is only one result in both cases. The statement of a second result merely has the purpose of glorifying the new instruction given about Satya or the True, viz., that its secret names are 'Ahar' and 'Aham'.

Therefore, the conclusion is that the text records only one Vidya of the True (Satyam), distinguished by such and such details and that hence all the qualities mentioned such as Truth and so on are to be comprehended in one act of meditation.

Some commentators think that the above Sutra refers not to the question whether Bri. Up. V.4,1 and V.5.3 form one Vidya or one meditation but to the question whether the Brihadaranyaka text about the persons in the sun and in the eye and the similar Chhandogya text (I.6.6), "Now that golden person who is seen within the sun" etc. constitute one Vidya or not.

They come to the conclusion that they constitute one Vidya and that hence truth and the other qualities mentioned in the Brihadaranyaka are to be combined with the Chhandogya text also.

But this interpretation of the Sutra is objectionable, because the Chhandogya Vidya refers to the Udgitha and is thus connected with sacrificial rites. The marks of this association are seen in the beginning, the middle and the end of the Vidya. We read at the beginning, "The Rik is the earth, the Saman is fire", in the middle, "Rik and Saman are his joints, and therefore he is the Udgitha," and in the end, "He who knows this sings as a Saman" (Chh. Up. I.6.1).

In the Brihadaranyaka, on the contrary, there is verily, nothing to connect the Vidya with the sacrificial rites. As the subject matter is different, the Vidyas are separate and the details of the two Vidyas are to be held separate.