Brahma Sutras
by Swami Sivananda


CHAPTER THREE: SADHANA ADHYAYA

Section 3: Sabdadibhedadhikaranam: Topic 33 (Sutra 58)

Various Vidyas like the Sandilya Vidya, Dahara Vidya and so on are to be kept separate and not combined into one entire Upasana.


Nana sabdadibhedat III.3.58 (417)

(The Vidyas are) separate, on account of the difference of words and the like.

Nana: different, various; Sabdadibhedat: on account of difference of names of words, etc. (Bhedat: due to variety.)

In the previous Sutra we have arrived at the conclusion that a meditation on Vaisvanara as a whole is the pre-eminent meaning of the text, although special fruits are stated for meditations on parts such as Sutejas and so on.

The Purvapakshin follows this line of argument and says that we must combine all the different Vidyas like Sandilya Vidya, Dahara Vidya, Satya Vidya, and so on into one composite meditation or more general meditation on the Lord, as the object of meditation is the one Lord.

The present Sutra refutes this and declares that the Vidyas are separate, although the object of meditation is on the one Lord, on account of the difference of words and the like. For the text exhibits a difference of words such as "He knows."

"Let him meditate", "Let him form the idea" (Chh. Up. III.14.1). This difference of terms is acknowledged as a reason or test of difference of acts, according to Purvamimamsa Sutras, II.2.1.

"And the like" or "etc." refers to other reasons like the difference in qualities.

The Lord indeed is the only object of meditation, but according to its general purport each passage teaches different qualities of the Lord. Although one and the same Prana is the object of meditation in the other series of passages, yet one of his qualities has to be meditated upon in one place and another in another place. From difference of connection there thus follows difference of injunction and from the latter we apprehend the separateness of the Vidyas.

Though the object of meditation is the one Lord, yet He is different on account of the difference in qualities that are imagined in different Upasanas. Further it is not possible at all to combine all the various Vidyas into one.

Therefore, the different Vidyas are to be kept separate and not combined into one composite or general meditation.

Though the Vidya (what is to be known) is one, each Upasana which is described by such words as Upasita, etc., is different. In each Upasana certain special attributes of the Lord and certain special results are stated.

The forms of meditation such as the Sandilya Vidya, the Satya Vidya, the Dahara Vidya, the Vaisvanara Vidya, are different owing to difference of names and processes, the directory words and the attributes, yet, each of them teaches the worship of the same Lord; but under a particular aspect meditations have been prescribed in various names and forms so as to suit different meditators.

The Sutra, therefore, rightly declares the separateness of the Vidyas.