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  Sankara Bhashya
  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.

p. 251

30. If it be said that (Brahman is) not (denoted) on account of the speaker denoting himself; (we say, not so), because the multitude of connexions with the inner Self (is possible only) in that (speaker if viewed as Brahman).

An objection is raised.--That the being introduced as Indra and Prâna should be the highest Brahman, for the reason that it is identical with him who, later on, is called 'blessed,' 'non-ageing, 'immortal'--this we cannot admit. 'Know me only, I am prâna, meditate on me as the intelligent Self, as life, as immortality'--the speaker of these words is Indra, and this Indra enjoins on Pratardana meditation on his own person only, the individual character of which is brought out by reference to certain deeds of strength such as the slaying of the son of Tvashtri ('I slew the three-headed son of Tvashtri,' &c.). As thus the initial part of the section clearly refers to an individual being, the terms occurring in the concluding part ('blessed,' 'non-ageing,' 'immortal') must be interpreted so as to make them agree with what precedes.--This objection the Sûtra disposes of. 'For the multitude of connexions with the Self'--i.e. the multitude of things connected with the Self as its attributes--is possible only 'in that,' i.e. in that speaker viewed as the highest Brahman. 'For, as in a car, the circumference of the wheel is placed on the spokes, and the spokes on the nave, thus are these objects placed on the subjects, and the subjects on the prâna. That prâna indeed is the intelligent Self, blessed, non-ageing, immortal.' The 'objects' (bhûtamâtrâh) here are the aggregate of non-sentient things; the 'subjects' (praâmâtrâh) are the sentient beings in which the objects are said to abide; when thereupon the texts says that of these subjects the being called Indra and Prâna is the abode, and that he is blessed, non-ageing, immortal; this qualification of being the abode of this Universe, with all its non-sentient and sentient beings, can belong to the highest Self only, which is other than all individual souls.

p. 252

The Sûtra may also be explained in a somewhat different way, viz. 'there is a multitude of connexions belonging to the highest Self, i.e. of attributes special to the highest Self, in that, viz. section.' The text at first says, 'Choose thou that boon for me which thou deemest most beneficial to man '--to which the reply is, 'Meditate on me.' Here Indra-prâna is represented as the object of a meditation which is to bring about Release; the object of such meditation can be none but the highest Self.--'He makes him whom he wishes to lead up from these worlds do a good deed; and him whom he wishes to lead down from these worlds he makes do a bad deed.' The causality with regard to all actions which is here described is again a special attribute of the highest Self.--The same has to be said with regard to the attribute of being the abode of all, in the passage about the wheel and spokes, quoted above; and with regard to the attributes of bliss, absence of old age and immortality, referred to in another passage quoted before. Also the attributes of being 'the ruler of the worlds, the lord of all,' can belong to the highest Self only.--The conclusion therefore is that the being called Indra and Prâna is none other but the highest Self.--But how then can Indra, who is known to be an individual person only, enjoin meditation on himself?--To this question the next Sûtra replies.

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