BRAHMA SUTRAS
by Swami Sivananda

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CHAPTER THREE: SADHANA ADHYAYA

Section 3: Tannirdharanadhikaranam: Topic 27 (Sutra 42)

Upasanas mentioned in connection with sacrifices are not their parts, but separate.


Tannirdharananiyamastaddrishtehprithagghyapratibandhah phalam III.3.42 (401)

There is no rule about the inviolability of that (i.e., Upasanas connected with certain sacrifices) that is seen (from the Sruti itself); for a separate fruit (belongs to the Upasanas), viz., non-obstruction (of the results of the sacrifice).

Tannirdharananiyamah: no rule, about the inviolability of that; Taddrishtih: that being seen (from the Sruti); Prithak: separate; Hi: because; Apratibandhah: non-obstruction; Phalam: fruit, reward, result.

This Sutra states that a meditation or Upasana prescribed in connection with a ceremonial rite is not compulsory.

We have the direction to make a certain Upasana as an Anga (element or limit) of Karma (Karmangavabaddhopasti). Is it an indispensable element? No. If it is performed there will be greater fruit. Even if it is not done the Karma will be complete. This is clear from the Chhandogya Upanishad.

We now enter into an enquiry whether certain Upasanas mentioned with some sacrifices are part of those sacrifices and therefore inseparable and permanently connected with them.

The present Sutra declares that Upasanas do not constitute a part of the sacrifice, because there is no rule as to their inseparability. The Sruti expressly declares that the sacrifice can be done with or without the Upasanas. "The ignorant man, as well as the wise man may both engage in the Udgitha worship; both perform the sacrifice" (Chh. Up. I.1.10). This shows that the Udgitha worship may be performed, the meditation or Upasana part being left out. That which is performed with meditation, faith and knowledge becomes all the more effective.

There is no fixed rule for compulsory performance of Udgitha meditation and the like in ceremonials, because performance of the meditation on 'OM' is left optional to the performer and also because the fruit in each case is quite distinct, if the performance of the rite is not in any way obstructed, because it is clear that the meditation is sure to produce its own effect independently of the rite but the rite is liable to interruption and obstruction. If, however, the meditation and the rite be conjoined, fruit becomes doubly effective.

The Chhandogya Sruti (I.1.10) indicates that the rite can be done even without meditation or Upasana and that to perform the rite with meditation is to make it more effective. Hence the Udgitha meditation and all others performed in connection with ceremonial rite (Karmanga Upasana), are not compulsory and are to be done by those only who wish to attain greater fruits.

The original sacrifice brings its own rewards but the Upasana increases its results. Therefore, the Upasana does not constitute a part of the sacrifice. Therefore, it may or may not be done according to the sweet will of the sacrificer.

The Upasana prevents any obstruction to the results of the sacrifice. This does not make it a part of the ceremonial rite. The rewards of the sacrifice may be delayed on account of the intervention of an evil Karma of the sacrificer. The Upasana annihilates the effect of this evil deed and hastens the attainment of the fruits of the sacrifice. That is all. The sacrifice does not rely upon the Upasana for its rewards.

Therefore, the Upasana does not form a part of the sacrifice and is, therefore, optional.