[Advaita-l] Brahma Sutra-supreme brahman

Ramesh Badisa badisa55 at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 31 12:21:09 CST 2004

Dear respected members,


I have a question on Brahma Sutras written by Swami Shivananda. If some one 
also has Swamiji's book on Brahma Sutras, then the relevance of my question 
will be little more clear. It is interesting to read the last paragraph of 
Sutra IV.3.10. This para has only two sentences. The first sentence says, 
"The Sutra declares that at the dissolution of Brahmaloka the souls, which 
by that time have attained knowledge, along with the Saguna Brahman attain 
what is higher than the Saguna Brahman, i.e., para Brahman or the pure 
highest place of Visnu"

My question is why the highest place here is referred as place of Vishnu, 
when it is agreed that liberated souls attain nirguna brahman, who is 
superior than Saguna Brahman. Vishnu means, he has some qualities - gunas, 
where as nirgun means no qualities. I have no objection to accept Lord 
Vishnu as superior, if proven.

Interestingly enough, in second chapter of Brahma Sutras, some sutras refute 
both pasupata (the Mahesvara) II.2.37 onwards and  the Bhagavata systems, 
II.II.2.42 onwards. When both systems are refuted in the second chapter, 
then why in fourth chapter, either Swami Shivananda maharaj or Sri 
AdiShankaracharya again referring the highest place of attainment for 
liberated souls and Saguna Brahman as Lord Visnu?

It can be understood that refutation on both above systems in II chapter is 
based with respect to the nirgun aspect of divine. But how come, Sri 
AdiShankaracharya mentioned supreme brahman in the form of Vishnu in IV.3.10 
commentry, which is a Saguna form of Brahman? I cross verified this word in 
another book of Shankara Bhasyam, written by another author, and found the 
term Vishnu also. It means that this term is not something written by Sri 
Shivananda maharaj or some printing error. Although the meaning of Vishnu is 
all prervading or something similar, but the term 'Lord Vishnu indicates 
that he is the divine.

I will be grateful for your answer.


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