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  By Edwin Arnold

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  Ramanuja SriBhashya


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Ramanujacharya's Brahma Sutra Bhashya translated By George Thibaut
SriBhashya - Ramanuja's Commentary On Brahma Sutra (Vedanta Sutra)

Sri Bhashya (also spelled as Sri Bhasya) is a commentary of Ramanujacharya on the Brama Sutras (also known as Vedanta Sutras) of Badarayana. In this bhashya, Ramanuja presents the fundamental philosophical principles of Visistadvaita based on his interpretation of the Upanishads, Bhagavad-gita and other smrti texts. In his Sri-bhashya he describes the three categories of reality (tattvas): God, soul and matter, which have been used by the later Vaisnava theologians including Madhva. The principles of bhakti as a means to liberation were also developed.

17. Not the other, on account of impossibility.

The other than the highest Self, i.e. the one called gîva, even in the state of release, is not that Self which the mantra describes; for this is not possible. For to a Self of that kind unconditioned intelligence (such as is, in the mantra, ascribed to Brahman; cp. the term 'vipaskitâ') cannot belong. Unconditioned intelligence is illustrated by the power of all one's purposes realising themselves; as expressed in the text 'He desired, may I be many, may I grow forth.' Intelligence (vipaskittvam, i.e. power of insight into various things) does indeed belong to the soul in the state of release; but as in the Samsâra state the same soul is devoid of such insight, we cannot ascribe to it non-conditioned intelligence. And if the released soul is viewed as being mere non-differenced intelligence, it does not possess the capacity of seeing different things, and hence cannot of course possess vipaskittva in the sense stated above. That, however, the existence of a substance devoid of all difference cannot be proved by any means of knowledge, we have already shown before. Again, if the clause 'from whence speech returns,' &c., were meant to express that speech and mind return from Brahman, this could not mean that the Real is devoid of all difference, but only that mind and speech are not means for the knowledge of Brahman. And from this it would follow that Brahman is something altogether empty, futile. Let us examine the context. The whole section, beginning with 'He who knows Brahman reaches Brahman,' declares that Brahman is all-knowing, the cause of the world, consisting of pure bliss, the cause of bliss in others; that through its mere wish it creates the whole universe comprising matter and souls; that entering into the universe of created things it constitutes their Self; that it is the cause of fear and fearlessness; that it rules Vâyu

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[paragraph continues] Âditya and other divine beings; that its bliss is ever so much superior to all other bliss; and many other points. Now, all at once, the clause 'from whence speech returns' is said to mean that neither speech nor mind applies to Brahman, and that thus there are no means whatever of knowing Brahman! This is idle talk indeed! In the clause '(that) from which speech returns,' the relative pronoun 'from which' denotes bliss; this bliss is again explicitly referred to in the clause 'knowing the bliss of Brahman'--the genitive 'of Brahman' intimating that the bliss belongs to Brahman; what then could be the meaning of this clause which distinctly speaks of a knowledge of Brahman, if Brahman had at the same time to be conceived as transcending all thought and speech? What the clause really means rather is that if one undertakes to state the definite amount of the bliss of Brahman--the superabundance of which is illustrated by the successive multiplications with hundred--mind and speech have to turn back powerless, since no such definite amount can be assigned. He who knows the bliss of Brahman as not to be defined by any definite amount, does not fear anything.--That, moreover, the all-wise being referred to in the mantra is other than the individual soul in the state of release, is rendered perfectly clear by what--in passages such as 'it desired,' &c.--is said about its effecting, through its mere volition, the origination and subsistence of the world, its being the inner Self of the world, and so on.

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