Notes on BSB I-i-5-1A

K. Sadananda sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Mon Aug 6 07:14:24 CDT 2001

                               Notes on BSB I-i-5-1A

   sadaashiva samaarambhaa.n sha~Nkaraachaarya madhyamam.h |
    asmadaachaarya paryantaa.n vande guruparamparaam.h ||

I prostrate to the lineage of teachers starting from Lord Shiva who
is ever auspicious and with Bhagavaan Shankara in the middle and all
the way up to my own teacher.

vaatsalya ruupa.n triguNairatiitaM
aananda saandram amalairnidhaanam.h .|
shrii chinmayaananda guro praNiitaM
sadaa bhaje.aha.n tava paada pa~Nkajam.h ||

Who is the very embodiment of motherly affection who is beyond the
three guNa-s, who is  full with bliss, and who is the very source of
purity who is the best among the teachers,  Shree Chinmayaananda, to
his lotus feet I (sadaa) always prostrate.
                                                samanvaya adhyaaya - I
                        spashhTa brahma li~Nga vaakya samanvaya paada- i
                                         Suutra: iikshaternaashabdam
                                                        Suutra: 5-A


We have completed the first four suutra-s popularly known as
chatursuutrii.  In this, four main topics or adhikaraNa-s have been
discussed.  In the first adhikaraNa, it was pointed out that for
moksha one has to gain knowledge of Brahman, or Brahma j~naanam
through Vedantic inquiry. In the second adhikaraNa we learnt that
Brahman is defined as abhinna nimitta upaadaana kaaraNam or
inseparable intelligent and the material cause of the universe.  The
third adhikaraNa dealt with the jagat kaaraNam Brahman , Brahma who
is the cause of the universe, is the central theme of the Vedanta
shaastra and all other topics are converging to this particular topic
or they are subservient to this topic.  In the fourth adhikaraNa,
there is consistency with regard to the topic of Brahman.  There is a
focus with regard to Brahman alone.  When we study of these four
suutra-s along with Shankara Bhaashhya, we find that the whole of
Vedanta is comprehensively discussed.  Thus Shankara has discussed
all the essentials of Vedanta through his bhaashhya on these four
suutra-s.  The rest of Brahmasuutra is considered as the
magnification of these four suutra-s.  We are not going to get any
new knowledge, but it will help in clarity and in establishing our
conviction.  We will see several systems of philosophy and also learn
how to negate these systems on logical and/or scriptural basis.  When
we learn to negate these several systems we also learn in the process
to answer any questions on Vedanta from any angle.  No person will be
able to shake ones knowledge.  We also learn how to think.

5. iikshaternaashabdam

The fourth  suutra, "tat tu samanvayaat" is the key suutra of the
entire first chapter and it is named as samanvayaadhyaaya. The
following suutra-s 5 to 134 are only commentaries upon the fourth
suutra.  These 130 suutra-s forming 35 adhikaraNa-s will be dealing
with two main ideas,  1) establishing the chetana kaaraNa vaada, the
cause for the world is a conscious entity and 2) dismissing the
achetana kaaraNa vaada, the cause for the wold is inert entity.

All the Vedanta or upanishad-s talk about, cause of the universe or
jagat kaaraNam Brahma alone.  This Brahman is chetana
Brahman-conscious entity Brahman- and this main idea is called
chetana kaaraNa vaadaH.  This particular idea which was discussed
with reference to suutra 2, states that the material cause of the
universe is a conscious principle and not matter or jaDam.  This is
very important because in all other systems of philosophy, the
material cause happens to be an inert principle.  In saa~Nkhya and
yoga - the inert prakR^iti is the material cause.  In
Nyaaya-Vasheshika philosophy inert atoms are material cause. All
these philosophies are called achetana upaadaana kaaraNa vaadi-s,
philosophies based on inert cause for the universe, similarly the
current scientific understanding.   Puurvamiimaamsa has no problem
with this notion since they say the world is eternally there in this
form, na kadaachit aniidR^isham jagat, and hence it is beginningless
and endless.  The kaaraNam is only from the vyaavahaarika point only.
 From paaramaarthika dR^ishhTi,  Brahman is kaarya-kaaraNa
vilakshaNam, different from cause-effect relationships.  In
VivekkachuuDamani Shankara says:

         ekam eva sadaneka kaaraNam
         kaaraNaantara niraasa kaaraNam|
         kaarya kaaraNa vilakshaNam svayam
         brahma tatvamasi bhaavayaatmani||

It is that which is one that is the cause for the many, which is
cause for all but itself has no cause, which is distinct from cause
and effect and exists independently - that Brahman thou art ..
meditate on this in your mind.

Vyasa emphasizes the chetana kaaraNa (cause is conscious entity)  for
jagat and in the process refutes all achetana Vaadins (inert entity
as the cause).  Among the all achetana kaaraNa vaada-s, saa~Nkhya is
the most powerful one that Vyaasa had to deal with.  Hence the second
important topic discussed in the first chapter is achetana prakR^iti
kaaraNa vaada niraasaH, refutation of saa~Nkhya philosophy which says
that the inert prakR^iti is the material cause; and establishing
chetana Brahma kaaraNa vaada shtaapanam, establishing the conscious
entity Brahman is the material cause. In the  fourth suutra under the
meaning of the word 'tu' Shankara negated puurvamiimaamsaka as
puurvapaksha, while Vyasa will be negating achetana kaaraNa
puurvapakshii, which includes all theories and philosophies that
attribute the material cause as an  inert entity or achetanam rather
than conscious entity, chetana vastu.   This include the current
modern theories of universe evolution.  In this chapter, saa~Nkhya
matam is negated by showing that it does not have the support of the
shruti - thus it is aviadikam or veda viruddha matam.  In the second
chapter saa~Nkhya is negated by showing that it does not have yukti
support or it is illogical or has logical contradictions.

Since negation of saa~Nkhya is the main  objective of the first and
part of the second chapters,  one should have some understanding of
saa~Nkhyan   or the philosophy that we are negating.  Brief account
of Saa~Nkhyan  philosophy follows:

The second chapter of Giita contains saa~Nkhya yoga.

    eshhaa te.abhihitaa saa~Nkhye buddhiH yoge tu imaa.n shR^iNu |
    buddhyaa yuktaH yayaa paartha karmabandhaM prahaasyasi ||    2.39..

Krishna says to Arjuna, what you have heard so far is saa~Nkhya yoga.

Again in the fifth chapter -

   yat saa~NkhyaiH praapyate sthaanaM tad yogaiH api gamyate |
   ekaM  saa~Nkhya.n  cha yoga.n cha yaH pashyati sa pashyati ||    5.5..

Here in Giita, the word 'saa~Nkhya' is used in a generic sense to
indicate j~naana yoga.  Hence in Giita saa~Nkhya stands for Vedanta,
uttaramiimaamsa.  This saa~Nkhya is different from the saa~Nkhya
darshana that we are discussing here.   Why Vedanta is called
saa~Nkhya - the word saa~Nkhya stands for "samyak khyaayate aatma
tatvam yasmin tat shaastram saankhyam" - that saa~Nkhyam  or
scripture in which aatma tatvam or truth about aatma is clearly
revealed is saa~Nkhyam .  Even in Bhagavatam Kapila muni who is the
incarnation of MahavishhNu teaches saa~Nkhya yoga to his mother
Devabhuuti.  In contrast to this, the saa~Nkhya darshanam or the
philosophy of saa~Nkhya is propounded by another Kapila in the form
of Saa~Nkhya Pravachana Suutraani.   These original suutra-s are lost
in history.  The source book, saa~Nkhya kaarika, is authored by
Eswara Krishna.  Later many other books came into existence.

Saa~Nkhya darshanam talks about 25 principles - panchavimshati
tatvaani- To understand these 25 principles we need to know the
creation aspect discussed by saa~Nkhya philosophers.  According to
saa~Nkhya, before the creation, there are two principles existing
which are beginningless and nityam.  One principle is called
'purushha' which is anaadi, beginningless and antantam, infiniteness,
which is chetana tatvam, conscious entity and of the nature of
asanga, unattached or no internal or external relations.  The second
principle which is also beginningless is prakR^iti, which is called
moola prakR^itiH or pradhaanam.  Shankara uses most often pradhaanam
only.  There is no kaaraNa-kaarya sambandha, cause-effect relation,
between purushha and prakR^iti of saa~Nkhya , since both are
beginningless and eternal.  This pradhaanam is triguNaatmakam - has
three guNa-s;  satva, rajas and tamas. It may be noted that guNa-s
referred to in the saa~Nkhya philosophy does not correspond to
attributes or qualities, but are constituent substances of pradhaanam
- these three guNa-s are compared to three constituent stands
intertwined to form a single rope of pradhaanam.  The pradhaanam is
achetanam or inert in nature and it alone is the  material cause of
the universe.  There are sequence of steps involved in this
evolution.  It is said that these steps evolved from pradhaanam due
to disturbance in the equilibrium (saamyaavasta) of the guNa-s,
GuNaanaam saamyaavastaa pradhaanam.  One can see how close this
philosophy is to modern science.  At the time of creation, it is said
the pradhaanam gets disturbed or its equilibrium gets disturbed.
This disturbance in the equilibrium leads to transformation of
pradhaanam which is termed shrushhTi or creation.  guNa saamya
avastha will change into guNa vaishamya avastha.   (This in fact is
analogous to the modern theory of transformation involving
thermodynamic principles - driving force for any transformation is
caused by the disturbances in the thermodynamic equilibrium state,
which leads to its instability).

Sequentially, first pradhaanam evolves into mahat or  mahat tatvam, a
second stage in the evolution.  From mahat, ahankaara evolves.  This
ahankaara is different from ahankaara or ego at an individual level
that we are familiar with in Vedanta.  Here ahankaara refers to the
total matter or prakR^iti in the third stage, or it is in the cosmic
level.  For each step in the evolution, which  is kaaryam or effect,
the principle in the previous step is the kaaraNam or cause.  From
ahankaara three streams flow - one is manas tatvam,  second stream
gives rise to ten senses  (five sense are j~naana indriya-s and five
karma indriya-s or organs of action).  Saa~Nkhyan-s do not enumerate
praNa's separately. - From the third stream, five subtle elements
(five tanmaatra-s) evolved from which five gross elements are
created.  Thus there are total 25 principles counting from
pradhaanam.  These 25 principles are grouped into four padaartha-s or
entities- 1.prakR^iti 2. vikR^iti, 3 prakR^iti-vikR^iti, 4.
aprakR^iti-vikR^iti - in this context prakR^iti means cause or
kaaraNam.  vikR^iti means kaaryam.  The four divisions therefore are:
1. kaaraNam 2. kaaryam 3. kaaraNa-kaaryam 4. akaaraNa-kaaryam.
KaaraNam means it is only a cause and never an effect.  Kaaryam means
that which is only an effect and never a cause.  kaaraNa-karyam is
that which is both a cause (from one reference) and also a kaaryam,
an effect from a different reference.   akaaraNa-kaaryam is that
which is neither cause nor an effect.  Purushha is kaaraNam only and
is not kaaryam since it is beginningless.  Mahat, Mind, ahankaara and
subtle elements are kaaraNa-kaaryam since they are effects form one
angle and cause from another angle.  Finally mind, ten indriya-s,
gross elements are only kaaryam or vikR^iti, since they do not
undergo further modifications.  Saa~Nkhyan-s use the word 'prakR^iti'
instead of kaaraNam to denote a material cause, as in the example
that gold is the prakR^iti for ornaments.  Similarly they use the
word vikR^iti for kaaryam or effect.  Thus ornaments are vikR^iti of
prakR^iti which is gold.  prakR^iti word is used for material cause
and not for instrumental cause.  prakarshena kr^iti yogyatvaat
prakR^itiH, that which is available for molding into various forms.
VikR^iyate iti vikR^itiH, that which is molded or shaped - final
product of any modification.  This is summarized in a sloka form:

    muula prakR^itiH avikR^itiH
   mahaadaadyaaH prakR^iti vikR^itayaH saptaa|
   shhoDashha kastu vikaaraH
   na prakR^itiH na vikR^itiH purushhaH||

But the essential feature to note is that the whole creation is born
out of pradhaanam which is inert or jaDam or achetanam. - achetana
pradhaanam jagat kaaraNam.  This is in contrast to what Vedantins say
- etova imaani bhuutani jaayante...... ...- tat brahmeti | that jagat
kaaraNam Brahma which is satyam j~naanam anantam is chetanam or
conscious entity.  ( We note that among the vedantin-s Shree Madhva
does subcribe to Brahman as material cause for the universe).

Differences between Saa~Nkhya and Vedanta:  This has to be clear
since many words are commonly used by both darshhana-s - such as
purushha, prakR^iti, mahat, ahankaara, etc.,  including the word
saa~Nkhya while the intended meanings in both are not the same.  This
is one of the importance of studying Brahmasuutra.  One will have a
very firm understanding of Vedanta - what it says and what it does
not say and any new philosophy that comes along or philosophy of
so-called neo-advaitins - one will be able to see clearly the fallacy
in those if and when they claim they are new or different from
Vedanta - or if they claim they are the same as Vedanta but sound
different - words may involve new and modern jargon instead of the
old, but in essence the truth that Vedanta points out cannot be

PurushaH - in both saa~Nkhya and Vedanta it means chaitanyam,
conscious entity, asangham, unattached, triguNaatiitam, beyond the
three guNa-s, akarthaa, non-doer.  The difference is - saa~Nkhya says
purushha is bhokta-enjoyer, while in Vedanta purusha is abhokta.  On
the other hand in saa~Nkhya prakR^iti is karta.  Thus we find a
peculiar situation where kartaa and bhokta are not identical in
saa~Nkhya. This defect is called vaiyyadhikaranyam since a non-doer
is bhokta resulting in experiencing the results of actions which he
has not done. In Vedanta Purusha is both akarta and abhokta.  In
saa~Nkhya  purusha-s are many in number - aneka purushaH vartante -
in Vedanta(Advaita) PurushaH is ekaH or non-dual and plurality of
purushaH is unreal or is an adhyaasa.  Since purushaH is a bhokta,
every purushaH is a sa.nsaari or jiivaH.  In Vedanta every purushaH
is an apparent sa.nsaari but in reality he is not.  Sa.nsaara is due
to adhyaasa.  PurushaH is j~naata or pramataa or knower but in
Vedanta he is not a pramataa When purusha gains the knowledge, he
will be relieved from sa.nsaara since prakR^iti gets detached from

PrakR^iti - or Common factors -Pradhaanam is jaDam or inert,
triguNaatmika or has three guNa-s. PrakR^iti evolves to become
universe.  In Vedanta also prakR^iti evolves to become universe -
maayaantu prakR^itim vidyaat maayinantu maheswaram (Swe.. Up.) The
difference is for saa~nkhyan, prakR^iti is an independently real
entity.  prakR^iti alone becomes creation and purusha has no role
since he is akarta.  This is called swatantram pradhaanam concept of
saa~Nkhya.  In Vedanta prakR^iti cannot exist independently. It is
not a separate substance.  If purusha is like a clay, prakR^iti is
like a pot in the sense that it has no independent existence. Hence
in Vedanta prakR^iti is like a shakti of purushha - since it does not
exist independently from shakta purushha.  My seeing, speaking,
hearing, tasting, feeling, thinking powers cannot exist separate from
me - essentially I, the enlivening entity that  lend the support for
them.  Even though Krishna says - prakR^ityaiva cha karmaaNi
kriyamaaNaani sarvashaH (13. 30) - all actions are being done by
prakR^iti, He makes it clear that - mayaa adhyakshena prakR^itiH
suuyate sa charaacharm - under my governership alone the prakR^iti
manifests the plurality.  PrakR^iti becomes the creative power of the
Lord - one should therefore assume that the creation is done by the
Lord or purusha using his power of prakR^iti.  Shankara says in
VivekachuuDaamani (108)

    avyakta naamnii paramesha shaktiH
    anaadyavidyaa triguNaatmikaa paraa|
    kaaryanumeya sudhiyaiva maayaa
    yayaa jagat sarvam idam prasuuyate||

The beginningless avidya or maaya, comprising of three guNa-s  which
is also called unmanifest, is the power of the Lord, which is the
cause for the projection of the entire universe, can only be inferred
by the wise through its effects.

In addition if we say that prakR^iti is the upaadaana kaaraNam which
lends its existence to the kaaryam or effects, then it means
prakR^iti is lending its existence to the world.  According to
Vedanta it cannot because prakR^iti has no independent existence and
has only a borrowed existence.

Another difference is according to saa~Nkhya prakR^iti alone is the
cause and it is jaDam.  But for any creation one needs not only the
material cause but efficient cause or intelligent cause or nimitta
kaaraNam as well.  And that nimitta kaaraNam has to be a chetana
vastu or conscious entity.  Saa~Nkhya philosophers has no
nimittakaaraNam and do not accept Iswara.  There is no intelligent
principle to convert matter into universe.  They cannot invoke
purushha as the nimittakaaraNam since for them purushha is a jiiva
who is not omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent to create the
universe.  Hence for them prakR^iti becomes universe naturally by
itself.  (It is in a way modern scientific theory of Big Bang where
the Bang and the subsequent modifications forming galaxies and solar
systems, planetary systems occur naturally by the natural laws). Thus
according to saa~Nkhya, 1. pradhaanam exists independently and 2.
pradhaanam becomes the universe independent of any need of creator.
There are also other minor differences, particularly in the order of
creation process.  For example the ahankaara alone becomes the mind
etc, whereas according to Vedanta the mind is the product of the five
subtle elements.  Thus although Saa~Nkhya philosophers accept veda
pramaaNam or are aastika-s, their postulates are against vedic
teaching and the philosophy is called avaidikam, not consistent with
Veda-s.   (Incidentally, Dvaitins call Advaita as avaidikam and
considere it as prachchhanna or disguised Buddhism, since according
to them its teachings are contradictory to Vedic teachings and more
parallel to Buddhism and Shankara is called prachhanna-Bouddha - or
disguised Buddhist).

To establish that chetana Brahman is the material cause of the
universe and to dismiss the achetana vaada of saa~Nkhya, in the
following adhikaraNa, we will be examining the shruti vaakyam in
which chetana Brahman is presented as the material cause. In
establishing the chetana Brahman as the material cause, we have at
least proved that saa~Nkhya  does not follow veda pramaaNa or it is
avaidikam.  Thus in this chapter, shruti pramaaNa is used to dismiss
saa~Nkhya.  In the next chapter, anumaana pramaaNa will be used to do
the same thing.  We say chetana Brahman is the material cause, it is
to be understood that we are not referring to nirguNa Brahman since
nirguNa Brahman is kaarya-kaaraNa vilakshaNam or beyond the
cause-effect relationships.  We are referring to saguNa Brahma or
IswaraH.  Iswara is nothing but Brahman but (as if) with the clothing
of maaya. (Bhagavaan Ramana says -  Isha jiivayoH vishadhiibhida,
satva bhaavato vastu kevalam - the vesha or clothing is different for
Iswara and jiiva but from the point of existence or truth, they are
the same)  Hence both Shankara and Vyasa use Brahman and Iswara
interchangeably when they refer to as the material and efficient
cause of the universe.  (This is from Advaitic point but according to
Ramanuja, Brahmasuutra-s do not subscribe to the duel aspect of
Brahman, that is nirguNa and saguNa Brahman or Brahman or Iswara.
Absolute is the suguNa Brahman, who is none other Vshnu, who is the
jagat kaaraNam using maaya as His shakti.)  Hence we take from shruti
the statements that point out that the Iswara as upaadana kaaraNa of
the jagat.  There are also statements from shruti that indicate that
Iswara is the nimitta kaaraNam for jagat - those statements are also
taken since saa~Nkhya does not accept Iswara as the nimitta kaaraNam.
Thus we have provided brief synopsis of the first chapter.

These shruti statements or vishhaya vaakyaani that are taken for
analysis are broadly classified into two types of statements.  1.
spashhTa brahma linga vaakhyaani or those shruti statements in which
Brahman as the cause is revealed through clear indications; and 2.
aspashhTa brahma linga vaakyaani or those shruti statements in which
Brahman as the cause is not directly evident but needs to be
extracted by analysis.  In the first section of this chapter we are
going to analyze the first ones, the spashhTa brahma linga vaakyam-s.
In the second and third sections we will analyze the aspashhTa brahma
linga vaakyaani.  Hence the first paada or section in this chapter is
called spashhTa brahma linga samanvaya paadaH, as is pointed in the
title of the notes.  With this background we will go into the
analysis of the fifth suutra.   Following our format we will do
general analysis, word by word analysis and then conclusion.

End of the post
Notes on Brahmasuutra-s are now stored in a folder and can be accessed at
for personal study.

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K. Sadananda
Code 6323
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
Voice (202)767-2117
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