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Brahma Sutras
by Swami Sivananda


Section 4: Muktiphaladhikaranam: Topic 17 (Sutra 52)

Liberation is a state without difference. It is only one.

Evam muktiphalaniyamastadavasthavadhrites-tadavasthavadhriteh III.4.52 (477)

No such definite rule exists with respect to emancipation, the fruit (of knowledge), because the Sruti asserts that state (to be immutable).

Evam: thus, like this; Muktiphalaniyamah: there is no rule with respect to the final emancipation, the fruit (of knowledge); Tadavasthavadhriteh: on account of the assertions by the Sruti as to that condition. (Mukti: salvation; Phala: fruit; Aniyamah: there is no rule; Tat: that; Avastha: condition; Avadhriteh: because the Sruti has ascertained so.)

In the previous Sutra it was seen that knowledge may result in this life or the next according to the absence or presence of obstructions and the intensity of the means adopted.

Similarly a doubt may arise that there may be some rule with respect to the final emancipation also, which is the fruit of knowledge. A doubt may arise whether salvation can be delayed after knowledge, and whether there are degrees of knowledge according to the qualification of the aspirant, whether there exists a similar definite difference with regard to the fruit characterised as final release, owing to the superior or inferior qualification of the persons knowing.

This Sutra declares that no such rule exists with regard to release. Because all Vedanta texts assert the state of final release to be of one kind only. The state of final release is nothing but Brahman and Brahman cannot be connected with different forms since many scriptural passages assert it to have one nature only.

"The knower of Brahman becomes Brahman." There can be no variety in it, as Brahman is without qualities.

There is no such divergence in the fruit of Mukti, because of the affirmation of its identical nature. There may be differences in the potency of the Sadhana leading to knowledge or Brahma Vidya. Brahma Vidya itself is of the same nature, though it may come early or late owing to the power of the Sadhana. There is no difference in the nature of Mukti (liberation) which is attained by Brahma Vidya. There would be difference of results in Karmas and Upasanas (Saguna Vidyas) but Nirguna Vidya is but one and its result viz., Mukti is identical in all cases.

Difference is possible only when there are qualities as in the case of the Saguna Brahman. There may be difference in the experiences according to difference in Vidyas but with regard to Nirguna Brahman it can be one only and not many.

The means of knowledge may, perhaps, according to their individual strength, impart a higher or lower degree to their result, viz., knowledge, but not to the result of knowledge, viz., Liberation. Because liberation is not something which is to be brought about, but something whose nature is permanently established, and is reached through knowledge.

Knowledge cannot admit of lower or higher degree because it is in its own nature high only and would not be knowledge at all if it were low. Although knowledge may differ in so far as it originates after a long or short time, it is impossible that liberation should be distinguished by a higher or lower degree. From the absence of difference of knowledge also there follows absence of definite distinction on the part of the result of knowledge, viz., Liberation.

There cannot be any delay in the attainment of emancipation after knowledge has dawned, because knowledge of Brahman itself is emancipation.

The repetition of the clause, "Tadavasthavadhriteh" "because the Sruti asserts that state" indicates that the Chapter ends here.

Thus ends the Fourth Pada (Section 4) of the Third Adhyaya (Chapter III) of the Brahma Sutras or the Vedanta Philosophy.

Here ends Chapter III.