Brahma Sutras
by Swami Sivananda


Section 3: Angavabaddhadhikaranam: Topic 31 (Sutras 55-56)

Upasanas connected with sacrificial acts, i.e., Udgitha Upasana are valid for all schools.

Angavabaddhastu na sakhasu hi prativedam III.3.55 (414)

But (the Upasanas or meditations connected with parts) (of sacrificial acts are) not (restricted) to (particular) Sakhas, according to the Veda (to which they belong), (but to all its Sakhas because the same Upasana is described in all).

Angavabaddhah: (Upasanas) connected parts (of sacrificial acts); Tu: but; Na: not; Sakhasu: to (particular) Sakhas; Hi: because; Prativedam: In each Veda, according to the Veda.

There is no rule that the Angavabaddha (Karmanga) Upasana in each Sruti Sakha is separate and should be confined to it alone.

The above said intervening or occasional discussion is over. Now we pursue the main theme. In Udgitha, etc., various Karmanga Upasanas are taught. From this you could not say that each Upasana in each Sruti Sakha is different, on account of the proximity of text and the difference in Svaras or sounds. All such Upasanas may be taken together, because the Udgitha Sruti is more powerful than mere proximity of context or diversity of Svara.

There are certain Upasanas mentioned in connection with sacrificial acts, as for example the meditation on 'OM' which is connected with the Udgitha as Prana, or the meditation on the Udgitha as the earth and so on. "Let a man meditate on the syllable 'OM' as the Udgitha" (Chh. Up. I.1.1). "Let a man meditate on the five-fold Saman as the five worlds" (Chh. Up. II.2.1).

A doubt here arises whether the meditations or Vidyas are enjoined with reference to the Udgitha and so on as belonging to a certain Sakha only or as belonging to all Sakhas. The doubt arises because the Udgitha and so on are chanted differently in different Sakhas, because the accents, etc., differ. Therefore, they may be considered different.

Here the Purvapakshin holds that the Vidyas are enjoined only with reference to the Udgitha and so on which belong to the particular Sakha to which the Vidya belongs. Why? Because of proximity.

The present Sutra refutes the view that they are so restricted, because the text speaks of these Upasanas in general and so they are all one in all the branches.

The word 'tu' (but) discards the prima facie view or the view of the Purvapakshin. The Upasanas are not restricted to their own Sakhas according to the Veda to which they belong but are valid for all Sakhas, because the direct statements of the text about the Udgitha and so on enounce no specification. Direct statement has greater force or weight than proximity.

There is no reason why the Vidya should not be of general reference. We, therefore, conclude that, although the Sakhas differ as to accents and the like, the Vidyas mentioned refer to the Udgitha and so on belonging to all Sakhas, because the text speaks only of the Udgitha and so on in general.

Mantradivadvavirodhah III.3.56 (415)

Or else, there is no contradiction (here), as in the case of Mantras and the like.

Mantradivat: like Mantras, etc.; Va: or else; Avirodhah: there is no contradiction.

The discussion commenced in Sutra 33 is continued.

Just as Mantras, etc., mentioned in only one Sakha, are used in another Sakha, with respect to that particular rite, so also the Upasanas connected with particular rites in one Sakha of the Veda can be applied to the other Sakhas.

As for example the Mantra "Kutarurasi" (thou art the grinding stone), prescribed in one Branch of the Vedas for taking stone to grind rice, is acceptable in that rite everywhere; even so the Upasana (meditation) prescribed in one Branch of the Vedas may be transferred or applied to other Sakhas or Branches without apprehending any impropriety.

We find that Mantra and Guna and Karma in one Sakha are taken into another Sakha, just as the members of sacrificial actions on which certain Vidyas rest are valid everywhere, so the Vidyas themselves also which rest on those members are valid for all Sakhas and Vedas.