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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.

7. Should it be said that (the passage does) not

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[paragraph continues] (refer to Brahman) on account of the smallness of the abode, and on account of the denotation of that (viz. minuteness of the being meditated on); we say no, because (Brahman) has thus to be meditated upon, and because (in the same passage) it is said to be like ether.

It might be contended that, as the text 'he is my Self within the heart' declares the being meditated on to dwell within a minute abode, viz. the heart; and as moreover another text--'smaller than a grain of rice,' &c., declares it to be itself of minute size, that being cannot be the highest Self, but only the embodied soul. For other passages speak of the highest Self as unlimited, and of the embodied soul as having the size of the point of a goad (cp. e.g. Mu. Up. I, 1, 6, and Svet. Up. V, 8).--This objection the Sûtra rebuts by declaring that the highest Self is spoken of as such, i.e. minute, on account of its having to be meditated upon as such. Such minuteness does not, however, belong to its true nature; for in the same section it is distinctly declared to be infinite like ether--'greater than the earth, greater than the sky, greater than heaven, greater than all these worlds' (Kh. Up. III, 14, 3). This shows that the designation of the highest Self as minute is for the purpose of meditation only.--The connexion of the whole section then is as follows. The clause 'All this is Brahman; let a man meditate with calm mind on this world as beginning, ending, and breathing in Brahman,' enjoins meditation on Brahman as being the Self of all, in so far as it is the cause of the origin and destruction of all, and entering into all beings as their soul gives life to them. The next clause, 'Man is made of thought; according as his thought is in this world, so will he be when he has departed this life,' declares the attainment of the desired object to depend on the nature of the meditation; and the following clause, 'Let him therefore form the following thought,' thereupon repeats the injunction with a view to the declaration of details. The clause 'He who consists of mind,' &c., up to 'who is never surprised,' then

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states the nature and qualities, of the being to be meditated upon, which are to be comprised in the meditation. Next, the clause 'He is my Self,' up to 'the kernel of a canary seed, 'declares that the highest Person, for the purpose of meditation, abides in the heart of the meditating devotee; representing it as being itself minute, since the heart is minute. After this the clause 'He also is my Self,' up to 'who is never surprised,' describes those aspects of the being meditated upon as within the heart, which are to be attained by the devotee. Next, the words 'this my Self within the heart is that Brahman' enjoins the reflection that the highest Brahman, as described before, is, owing to its supreme kindness, present in our hearts in order thereby to refresh and inspirit us. Then the clause 'When I shall have departed from hence I shall obtain him' suggests the idea that there is a certainty of obtaining him on the basis of devout meditation; and finally the clause 'He who has this faith has no doubt' declares that the devotee who is firmly convinced of his aim being attainable in the way described, will attain it beyond any doubt.--From all this it appears that the 'limitation of abode,' and the 'minuteness' ascribed to Brahman, are merely for the purpose of meditation.

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