Brahma Sutras
by Swami Sivananda

  A- A+


Section 4: Stutimatradhikaranam: Topic 3 (Sutras 21-22)

Sannyasa is prescribed by the scriptures.

Stutimatramupadanaditi chennapurvatvat III.4.21 (446)

If it be said that (texts such as the one about the Udgitha are) mere glorifications on account of their reference (to parts of sacrifices), (we say) not so, on account of the newness (of what they teach, if viewed as injunctions).

Stutimatram: mere praise; Upadanat: on account of their reference (to parts of sacrificial acts); Iti: thus, so; Chet: if; Na: not so; Apurvatvat: on account of its newness. (Iti chet: if it be said).

This Sutra consists ot two parts, namely an objection and its reply. The objection portion is: 'Stutimatramupadanaditi chet', and the reply portion is: 'Na apurvatvat'.

"That Udgitha (OM) is the best of all essences, the highest, holding the highest place, the eighth" (Chh. Up. I.1.3). "This earth is the Rik, the fire is Saman" (Chh. Up. I.6.1). "This world in truth is that piled up fire-altar" (Sat. Br. X.1.2.2). "That hymn is truly that earth" (Ait. Ar. II.1.2.1).

A doubt arises whether these passages are meant to glorify the Udgitha or to enjoin devout meditations.

The Purvapakshin maintains that these are mere praise and no injunction to meditate on 'OM' and so on. These passages are analogous to passages such as "This earth is the ladle". "The sun is the tortoise." "The heavenly world is the Ahavaniya" which simply glorify the ladle and so on.

The latter half of the present Sutra refutes the view of the opponent.

In the Sruti passage "That Udgitha (OM) is the best essence of the essences" etc., the description is not mere praise but is a Vidhi, and it tells us something which is new.

The analogy is incorrect. Glorificatory passages are of use in so far as entering into a complimentary relation to injunctive passages, but the passages under discussion are not capable of entering into such a relation to the Udgitha and so on which are enjoined in altogether different places of the Vedas and would be purposeless as far as the glorification is concerned. Passages such as "This earth is the ladle" are not analogous because they stand in proximity to injunctive passages, and so they can be taken as praise.

Therefore, the texts such as those under discussion have an injunctive purpose. On account of the newness, these are not mere praise but an injunction.

Bhavasabdaccha III.4.22 (447)

And there being words expressive of injunction.

Bhavasabaat: from words indicative of existence of injunction in Sruti; Cha: and, also, moreover.

The argument commenced in Sutra 21 is concluded.

"Let one meditate on OM or the Udgitha" (Chh. Up. I.1.1). We have a very clear injunction to meditate on OM in this passage. On the face of this we cannot interpret the text quoted in the last Sutra as mere praise of OM. The expression "This is the best of all the essences" in the passage cited under the preceding Sutra is not a mere glorificatory expression, but it amounts to an injunction for the Udgitha meditation.