Brahma sutras (Vedanta sutras)


Adhikarana   /    Sutra


1   /   1 Then, therefore, enquiry into Brahman.

2   /   2 From which springs the origination.

3   /   3 Scripture alone is the means.

4   /   4 All the scriptures' ultimate goal is Brahman.

5   /   5-11 Non intelligent pradhana (of Sankhya) cannot be the (seeing and willing) cause of the world.

6   /   6-12 'Anandamaya' mentioned in the (Taittiriya) Upanisad is the Supreme Lord, not jiva.

7   /   20-21 The golden person seen within the sun and within the eye, mentioned in the Chandogya Upanisad (1.6) is not a jiva of high eminence, but the Supreme Lord.

8   /   22 The ether mentioned in Ch. 1.6 is not the elemental ether but the Supreme Lord.

9   /   23 The prana mentioned in Ch. 1.11.5 denotes the Supreme Lord.

10   /   24-27 The light spoken of in Ch. 3.13.7 is not physical light, but the Supreme Lord.

11   /   28-31 The prana mentioned in Kausitaki 3.2. is the Supreme Lord.


1   /   1-8 'Manomaya' and 'prana sarira' mentioned in Ch 3.14.1,2 is not jiva, but the Supreme Lord.

2   /   9-10 The Being to whom Brahmanas and Ksatriyas are food, referred to in Katha 1.2.24 is the Supreme Lord.

3   /   11-12 The two entered into the cave - Katha 1.3.1 - are the Supreme Lord and jiva. 4 13-17 The person within the eye - Ch. 4.15.1 is the Supreme Lord.

5   /   18-20 'Antaryamin' mentioned in Br. 3.7.3 is the Supreme Lord (not pradhana nor jiva).

6   /   21-23 Being described as possessed of invisibility in Mund. 1.1.56 is the Supreme Lord (not pradhana or jiva).

7   /   24-32 'Atma vaisvanarah' in Ch. 5.11.6 is the Supreme Lord.


1   /   1-7 Being within whom heaven and earth are woven, as in Mund. 2.2.5 is the Supreme Lord, because of the term 'atman' (not pradhana or jiva).

2   /   8-9 'Bhuman' (the great) in Ch. 7.23.24 is the Supreme Lord (not prana).

3   /   10-12 'Aksara' (imperishable) in Br. 3.88 is the Supreme Lord.

4   /   13 'Para purusa' to be meditated upon by 'om' in Prasna. 5.5 is the Supreme Lord (because it is described as object of realization).

5   /   14-23 'Dahara akasah' within the lotus of the heart in Ch. 8.1.1. is not elemental ether or jiva but the Supreme Lord (-grammatical arguments!-).

(22 & 23 as 6) by Sankara

7   /   24-25 The thumb size Being in Katha 2.4.13 is not jiva, but the Supreme Lord.

8   /   26-33 Gods qualified for brahmavidya? (animals already denied in 7)

9   /   34-38 Sudras denied qualification.

10   /   39 The prana before whom everything trembles as in Katha 2.6.2 is the Supreme Lord.

11   /   40 Jyoti mentioned in Ch. 8.12.3 is the Supreme Lord.

12   /   41 The ether that reveals names and forms as in Ch. 8.14.1 is neither the elemental ether, nor the jiva, but the Supreme Lord.

13   /   42-43 Vijnana maya in Br. 4.3-7 is not jiva but the Supreme Lord.


1   /   1-7 Avyakta in Katha 1.3.10,11 does not denote pradhana, but the subtle body (and gross body?).

2   /   8-10 Tri rupa aja in Svet. 4.5 cannot be pradhana or prakrti but the transcendental energy of the Supreme Lord who is the cause of all causes.

3   /   11-13 Panca panca janah in Br. 4.4.17 are not the twenty five principles but the five pranas.

4   /   14-15 The Supreme intelligent Lord is the cause of the world.

5/ot the individual soul, but the Supreme Lord.

7   /   23-27 The Supreme Lord is not only the nimitta karana (efficient cause) but upadana (material cause) as well.

8   /   28 All the passages in Vedanta are referring to the Supreme Lord only.



1   /   1-2 Sankhya rejected because it is against sruti.

2   /   3 Yoga rejected

3   /   4-11 Objection that non intelligent world cannot be caused by intelligent Supreme Lord (Brahman) is answered. By the effect produced the cause, Lord, is not contaminated.

4   /   12 Atomic theory refuted like above.

5   /   13 The enjoyer Lord and the enjoyed jiva are qualitatively one.

6   /   14-20 Vaisesika doctrine of effect as something new created from the cause is refuted. The effect is only transformation of the energies of the Lord.

7   /   21-23 Brhad 2.4.5, Ch.8.7.1, Br.4.3.35 - jiva is simultaneously one and different from the Lord

8   /   24-25 The Lord creates the world by His mere will.

9   /   26-29 The Lord creates the world without entirely passing over it, and at the same time remaining one and undivided.

10   /   30-31 The Lord, unassisted, can create the world through His variegated transcendental potencies.

11   /   32-33 He has no self interest in creating the world (lila).

12   /   34-36 The Lord is not to be blamed for the happiness and distress of the jivas - He sanctions results according to the merits - samsara is beginningless.

13   /   37 The Lord is omniscient and omnipotent and capable of creating the world.


1   /   1-10 Refutation of Sankhya; non intelligent pradhana cannot possibly create or proceed with any activity without the guidance of an intelligent being.

2   /   11-17 Refutation of Vaisesika; atoms as the cause of creation defeated.

3   /   18-32 Refutation of Bauddhas (Buddhists)

bahyarthavadins (both the material objects sarvastitvavadins and their cognitions are real) (realists) vijnanavadins (ideas only are real yogacaras external objects apart from (idealists) their cognitions have no independent existence)

sunyavadis (everything is void) (nihilists)

4   /   33-36 Refutation of Jaina

5   /   37-41 Refutation of Pasupata (refuting that Isvara is only the efficient cause)

6   /   42-45 Refutation of Sakta


1   /   1-7 Ether is not co-eternal with Lord but the first effect.

2   /   8 Air from ether

3   /   9 The Lord has no cause.

4-6 10-12 Fire from air, water from fire, earth from water

7   /   13 The Lord is the cause of these elements but He is not affected by these elements.

8   /   14 The reabsorbtion of the elements is inverse to this order.

9   /   15 This is not disturbed by the organs and senses because they are created and destroyed with the elements which they consist.

10   /   16 The birth and death belong to the body and not to the jiva.

   17 Jiva is never created.

   18 Knowledge is a constitutional character of jiva.

   19-32 Jiva is infinitesimal, has knowledge as his attribute.

   33-40 Kartrtva is a natural attribute of jiva.

   41-42 This kartrtva of the jiva depends upon the Lord.

   43-53 The relationship between jiva and the Lord


1   /   1-4 Pranas are created from the Lord.

2   /   5-6 They are eleven in number (jnana-, karma-indriyas and intelligence).

3   /   7 They are anu (subtle).

4   /   8 Attributes of pranas transferred (atidesa) to chief vital air.

5   /   9-12 Nature and character of the chief vital air

6   /   13 It is subtle (anu).

7   /   14-16 It is controlled by the Supreme Lord.

8   /   17-19 Pranas are not modifications of the chief vital air, they are independent principles.

9   /   20-22 Activity of creation belongs to the Supersoul not to the jiva.



1   /   1-7 Individual jiva in obtaining a different body continues with the same subtle body.

2   /   8-11 The souls who have enjoyed results of pious activities in the moon descend to earth - with an amsa of their previous pious karmas for which results cannot be enjoyed in the moon, but must be enjoyed in this planet only - which determines the design of the new body.

3   /   12-21 Those who have knowledge (vidya) and who perform sacrifices ascend to moon. For the rest there is the third place, Yama's abode.

4   /   22 The subtle bodies descending from moon, through the ether, air etc., do not become identical with them, but only resemble them.

5   /   23 The entire descent of the soul occupies a very short time only.

6   /   24-27 When the souls finally enter into plants and so on they do not participate in the life of the plants but are merely in external contact with them.


1   /   1-6 The creation of the dreaming state is also willed by the Supreme Lord - they are real to the extent that they are indications of future (or recollections of past).

2   /   7-8 In dreamless sleep the jiva abides with Supersoul within the heart.

3   /   9 The soul awakening from the sleep is the same as before, otherwise he won't be remembering past experiences and injunctions of sacrifices.

4   /   10 Swoon is midway between sleep and death. 5 11-21 Supreme Lord is nirvisesa because He is prakrta rupa hina. The attributes of jiva and matter do not apply to the Lord. He is not materially affected, being transcendental.

6   /   22-26 Supreme Lord possesses infinite number of transcendental attributes beyond limitations.

7   /   27-30 Matter is transformation of the Lord's energy - so it is one and in the same time different from Him.


1   /   1-4 The cognitions of the Lord, taught by all the Vedantic texts, are identical on account of the non-difference of injunctions (upasita-vidyat etc.).

2   /   5 Since the goal is the Supreme Lord wherever there are contradictions and different kinds of processes mentioned in the scriptures, upasamhara (tallying) is necessary - actually the process is one and the same.

Sandilya vidya in three passages is one and the same (though various details differ).

Vaisvanara vidya (Ch. 5.12.2, Satapatha 10.6.1-11) is identical - the process, the goal are same.

Katha 1.2.15 - that word which all the Vedas record.

Aitareya - Him only the bahvrcas consider in the great hymn, the Adhvaryus in the sacrificial fire, the Chandogas in the mahavrata ceremony.

3   /   6-8 The subject of chandogya vidya(1.1.3) is only the sacred om while the Brhad 1.3 represents the whole udgitha as goal.

4   /   9-10 Are all qualities to be included in meditation on the Lord?

5   /   11-13 Only the essential and unalterable attributes such as ananda and jnana are to be taken into account everywhere.

14-26 -----similar subject------

27-31 Regarding the soul's freeing himself on death and on liberation.

32-54 ?

58-66 Regarding the synthesis of different processes considering the goal.


1-50 The knowledge of Brahman is not subordinate to action, but independent.

The asrama karmani are obligatory for him who does not strive for mukti.

balya, panditya and mauna are three conditions enjoined for the sannyasin

51-52 Liberation is either immediately after death or gradual according to the sadhana.



1   /   1-2 Meditation on the Lord as enjoined in the scriptures is to be repeated again and again until the realization of the final goal takes place.

2   /   3 The goal of meditation is the Lord who is the soul of all.

3   /   4 Regarding pratikopasana.

4   /   5 Supreme Lord is the only object of meditation.

5   /   6 In angopasanas the Lord who is ultimately the controller of everything should be the goal.

6   /   7-10 Regarding time and place and period of meditation.

7   /   11 It should be done favorably beyond conditions.

8   /   12 Till death the process should be continued.

9   /   13 On liberation no more control by karma.

10   /   14 -same (pious karma)-

11   /   15 devotional activities prevail

12   /   16-17 They promote the origination of knowledge.

13   /   19 The realized vidvan may have to pass through several embodied existences before the arabdhakarya karmas will have their effects completely exhausted.


1-4   /   1-7 The path of liberation after death

5   /   8-11 Till total liberation the subtle body continues.

6   /   12-14 similar

7-8   /   15-16 On liberation the elements merge with elements.

9   /   17 The conditioned jiva passes from the heart out of the body.

The jiva liberated passes through the head, through susumna, the 101st vein.

10   /   18-19 The liberated soul even if departs at night passes through a ray of light through the sun.

11   /   20-21 Even if departing in daksinayana the liberated soul attains the supreme abode.


1-3   /   1-3 Reconciliation of different accounts given in the Upanisads (Ch. 5.10.1, Kaus. 1.3, Br. 6.2.15 etc.) as to the stations of this path and establish the path (deva-yana as opposed to pitr-yana). The stages are Agni, the day, the bright half of the month and uttarayana, the year, Vayu, Aditya, candramas, lightning, Varuna, Indra, Prajapati, and the Brahman.

4   /   4-6 These places mean the controlling deities.

5   /   7-16 Considering the different opinions of the philosophers regarding who is led to what goal.


1   /   1-3 The soul on liberation attains to its original nature and does not acquire new attributes.

2   /   4 The liberated soul realizes itself as qualitatively one with the Lord.

3   /   5-7 Nature of the released soul - has transcendental attributes which are constitutional.

4   /   8-9 All his desires are satisfied by exercise of his free will properly.

5   /   10-14 The released soul attains a spiritual body (attains body of its own will).

6   /   15-16 The liberated soul on attaining constitutional position can exist in many transcendental bodies.

7   /   17-22 The liberated soul participates in all the opulences of the Lord, except the power of creating and sustaining the world.

He goes back home back to Godhead and never returns.

Vedanta introduction
Six Systems of Vedic Philosophy
Vedanta-sutra in Devanagari
Vedanta-sutra (transliteration, translation)
Vedanta commentaries
Srimad Bhagavatam as the natural commentary on the Vedanta
Srimad Bhagavatam verses pertaining to Vedanta-sutras
Studying Srimad Bhagavatam From Vedanta-sutra
Four schools of Buddhism refuted by Vedanta-sutra