Brahma Sutras
by Swami Sivananda


Section 4: Brahmadhikaranam: Topic 3 (Sutras 5-7)

Characteristics of the soul that has attained the Nirguna Brahman.

Brahmena jaiminirupanyasadibhyah IV.4.5 (538)

(The released soul exists) as possessed of (the attributes of) Brahman; (thus) Jaimini (opines) on account of the reference etc.

Brahmena: as possessed of the attributes of Brahman; Jaiminih: Jaimini (holds); Upanyasadibhyah: on account of the reference etc.

The view of the sage Jaimini is stated in this connection.

It has been stated that the released soul attains Brahman. Brahman has two aspects, viz., one the unconditioned aspect as pure consciousness and the other as described in the Chhandogya Upanishad VIII.7.1: "The Atman which is free from evil, undecaying, undying, free from sorrow, hunger and thirst, with true desires (Satyakama) and true volitions (Satyasankalpa)."

A doubt arises now, which aspect does the released soul attain? Jaimini maintains that the liberated soul attains the conditioned aspect. Why? Because this is known from reference to the nature of the self as being such in the text cited. The qualities of Omniscience and Omnipotence are mentioned. Hence Jaimini opines that the released soul attains the conditioned aspect of Brahman.

Chititanmatrena tadatmakatvadityaudulomih IV.4.6 (539)

(The released soul exists) solely as pure consciousness or Intelligence, that being its true nature or essence; thus Audulomi (thinks).

Chititanmatrena: solely as pure consciousness (Tanmatrena: solely); Tadatmakatvat: that being its true nature or essence; Iti: thus, so; Audulomih: Audulomi (thinks).

The view of sage Audulomi is stated in this connection.

This Sutra gives another view about the state of emancipation. This is the view of the sage Audulomi. Audulomi says that it is the realisation of the soul’s essential nature as pure Chaitanya (knowledge, consciousness or intelligence). The soul is solely of the nature of Pure Consciousness. It exists as such in the state of release.

This conclusion will also agree with other scriptural texts such as Bri. Up. IV.5.13: "Thus this Self has neither inside nor outside, but is altogether a mass of knowledge".

Although the text enumerates different qualities such as freedom from sin, etc., these qualities rest only on fanciful conceptions due to difference of words; because what the text intimates is only absence in general of all qualities such as sin and the rest.

Evamapyupanyasat purvabhavadavirodham baadarayanah IV.4.7 (540)

Thus also, on account of the existence of the former qualities admitted owing to reference and so on, there is no contradiction (between the two); (so thinks) Baadarayana.

Evam: thus; Api: even; Upanyasat: on account of reference; Purvabhavat: owing to attribution of properties mentioned before; Avirodham: there is no contradiction; Baadarayanah: Baadarayana (thinks).

The author’s own view is now stated.

Baadarayana reconciles both and says that the affirmation of the divine attributes of Omniscience and Omnipotence is from the point of view of God’s nature when the soul is bound, while the affirmation of the soul’s nature as pure knowledge is from the point of view of its released state.

Although it is admitted that intelligence constitutes the true nature of the Self, also the former nature, i.e., lordly power like that of Brahman, which is intimated by reference and the rest is with a view to the world of appearances not rejected. Hence there is no contradiction. This is the opinion of the teacher Baadarayana.