Brahma Sutras
by Swami Sivananda


CHAPTER FOUR: PHALA ADHYAYA

Section 4: Abhavadhikaranam: Topic 5 (Sutras 10-14)

A liberated soul who has attained Brahmaloka can exist with or without a body according to his liking.


Abhavam baadariraha hyevam IV.4.10 (543)

There is absence (of body and organs, in the case of the liberated souls) (asserts) Baadari, for thus scripture says.

Abhavam: absence (of body and organs); Baadarih: the sage Baadari (asserts); Aha: (the Sruti) says; Hi: because; Evam: thus.

There follows a discussion whether the liberated soul possesses a body or not.

The passage "By his mere will the fathers rise" shows that the liberated soul possesses a mind, whereby he wills. A doubt arises whether he possesses a body and the organs.

The teacher Baadari says that he does not, because the scripture declares so, "And it is by means of the mind that he sees the desires and rejoices" (Chh. Up. VIII.12.5). This clearly indicates that he possesses only the mind and not the organs, etc. There are neither body nor sense-organs in the state of emancipation.


Bhavam jaiminirvikalpamananat IV.4.11 (544)

Jaimini (asserts that the liberated soul) possesses (a body and the organs) because the scriptures declare (the capacity on the part of such a soul to assume) various forms.

Bhavam: existence; Jaiminih: Jaimini (holds); Vikalpa- mananat: because the scripture declares (the capacity to assume) divine forms. (Vikalpa: option, diversity in manifestation; Amananat: from statement in Sruti.)

A contrary view to Sutra 10 is adduced.

The teacher Jaimini is of the opinion that the liberated soul possesses a body and organs as well as a mind. the Chhandogya Upanishad declares "He being one becomes three, five, seven, nine" (Chh. Up. VII.26.2). This text says that a liberated soul can assume more than one form. This indicates that the released soul possesses besides the mind, a body and the organs.


Dvadasahavadubhayavidham baadarayano’tah IV.4.12 (545)

For this reason Baadarayana opines that the released person is of both kinds as in the case of the twelve days’ sacrifice.

Dvadasahavat: like the twelve days’ sacrifice; Ubhayavidham: (is) of both kinds; Baadarayanah: Baadarayana (thinks); Atah: so, therefore, from this, from this very reason.

A decision is given on the conflicting views noted above.

Baadarayana affirms from the twofold declarations of the two scriptures that a liberated soul who has attained Brahmaloka can exist both ways, with or without a body, according to his liking. It is like the twelve days’ sacrifice, which is called a Satra as well as an Ahina sacrifice.


Tanvabhave sandhyavadupapatteh IV.4.13 (546)

In the absence of a body (the fulfilment of desires is possible) as in dreams, as this is reasonable.

Tanvabhave: in the absence of a body; Sandhyavad: just as in dreams (which stand midway between waking and deep sleep); Upapatteh: this being reasonable.

An inference is drawn from the conclusion arrived at in Sutra 12.

When there is no body or sense-organs, the wished for objects are experienced by the liberated souls just as embodied persons experience joy in dreams.


Bhave jagradvat IV.4.14 (547)

When the body exists (the fulfilment of desires is) as in the waking state.

Bhave: when the body exists; Jagradvat: just as in the waking state.

When there are the body and sense-organs, the wished for objects are experienced by the liberated souls, just as embodied persons experience joys in the waking state.