Primordial cause

The Brahma Sutra is held to be the most authoritative

commentary on the Upanishads, which are a record of the

mystical experiences of sages and seers steeped in

meditation. With cogent and convincing arguments, it

establishes the supremacy of Brahman as against the

Sankhya theory which holds ‘Pradana’ as the ultimate cause,

pointed out Sri Mani Dravid Sastrigal in a discourse.

It takes up the discussion of the terms Mahat, the great;

Avyakta, the unmanifested or undeveloped; and Purusha of

the Katopanishad passage to show that these do not refer to

the Sankhya categories. “Beyond the senses there are the

objects, beyond the objects there is mind, beyond the mind

there is the intellect, and the great Self, Mahat, is beyond the

intellect. Beyond the Mahat is the Avyakta, the undeveloped,

and beyond the Avyakta there is the Purusha. Beyond the

Purusha there is nothing — this is the goal, the highest path.”

The Sutra explains that Avyakta in this context denotes the

subtle body or ‘sukshma sarira’ as well as the gross body and

the term Mahat refers to Brahman or the Supreme Self. It

then quotes an earlier passage in the same Upanishad where

the Self, the body and so on are compared to a chariot,

charioteer, etc, in order to teach the spiritual discipline of

self control. “Know the soul to be the Lord of the chariot, the

body to be the chariot, the intellect the charioteer and the

mind the reins. The senses they call the horses, the objects of

the senses their roads. When the Self is in union with the

body, the senses and the mind, then wise people call him the


It is proved that the word chariot described as the body in

the metaphor is referred to as Avyakta and that “Purusha” is

the Supreme Brahman to be attained.