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  By Edwin Arnold

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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.

19. The internal Ruler (referred to) in the clauses with respect to the gods, with respect to the worlds, &c. (is the highest Self), because the attributes of that are designated.

The Vâgasaneyins, of the Kânwa as well as the Mâdhyandina branch, have the following text: 'He who

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dwelling in the earth is within the earth, whom the earth does not know, whose body the earth is, who rules the earth within, he is thy Self, the ruler within, the Immortal.' The text thereupon extends this teaching as to a being that dwells in things, is within them, is not known by them, has them for its body and rules them; in the first place to all divine beings, viz. water, fire, sky, air, sun, the regions, moon, stars, ether, darkness, light; and next to all material beings, viz. breath, speech, eye, ear, mind, skin, knowledge, seed--closing each section with the words, 'He is thy Self, the ruler within, the Immortal.' The Mâdhyandinas, however, have three additional sections, viz. 'He who dwells in all worlds,' &c.; 'he who dwells in all Vedas,' &c.; 'He who dwells in all sacrifices'; and, moreover, in place of 'He who dwells in knowledge' (vigñàna) they read 'He who dwells in the Self.'--A doubt here arises whether the inward Ruler of these texts be the individual Self or the highest Self.

The individual Self, the Pûrvapakshin maintains. For in the supplementary passage(which follows upon the text considered so far) the internal Ruler is called the 'seer' and 'hearer,' i.e. his knowledge is said to depend on the sense-organs, and this implies the view that the 'seer' only (i.e. the individual soul only) is the inward Ruler; and further the clause 'There is no other seer but he' negatives any other seer.

This view is set aside by the Sûtra. The Ruler within, who is spoken of in the clauses marked in the text by the terms 'with respect of the gods,' 'with respect of the worlds,' &c., is the highest Self free from all evil, Nârâyana. The Sûtra purposely joins the two terms 'with respect to the gods' and 'with respect to the worlds' in order to intimate that, in addition to the clauses referring to the gods and beings(bhûta) exhibited by the Kânva-text, the Mâdhyandina-text contains additional clauses referring to the worlds, Vedas, &c. The inward Ruler spoken of in both these sets of passages is the highest Self; for attributes of that Self are declared in the text. For it is a clear attribute of the highest Self that being one only

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it rules all worlds, all Vedas, all divine beings, and so on. Uddâlaka asks, 'Dost thou know that Ruler within who within rules this world and the other world and all beings? &c.--tell now that Ruler within'; and Yâavalkya replies with the long passus, 'He who dwells in the earth,' &c., describing the Ruler within as him who, abiding within all worlds, all beings, all divinities, all Vedas, and all sacrifices, rules them from within and constitutes their Self, they in turn constituting his body. Now this is a position which can belong to none else but the highest Person, who is all-knowing, and all whose purposes immediately realise themselves. That it is the highest Self only which rules over all and is the Self of all, other Upanishad-texts also declare; cp. e.g. 'Entered within, the ruler of creatures, the Self of all'; 'Having sent forth this he entered into it. Having entered it he became sat and tyat,' &c. (Taitt. Up. II, 6). Similarly the text from the Subâla-Up., which begins, 'there was not anything here in the beginning,' and extends up to 'the one God, Nârâyana,' shows that it is the highest Brahman only which rules all, is the Self of all, and has all beings for its body. Moreover, essential immortality (which the text ascribes to the Ruler within) is an attribute of the highest Self only.--Nor must it be thought that the power of seeing and so on that belongs to the highest Self is dependent on sense-organs; it rather results immediately from its essential nature, since its omniscience and power to realise its purposes are due to its own being only. In agreement herewith scripture says, 'He sees without eyes, he hears without ears, without hands and feet he grasps and hastes' (Svet. Up. III, 19). What terms such as 'seeing' and 'hearing' really denote is not knowledge in so far as produced by the eye and ear, but the intuitive presentation of colour and sound. In the case of the individual soul, whose essentially intelligising nature is obscured by karman, such intuitive knowledge arises only through the mediation of the sense-organs; in the case of the highest Self, on the other hand, it springs from its own nature.--Again, the clause 'there is no other seer but he'

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means that there is no seer other than the seer and ruler described in the preceding clauses. To explain. The clauses 'whom the earth does not know,' &c., up to 'whom the Self does not know' mean to say that the Ruler within rules without being perceived by the earth, Self, and the other beings which he rules. This is confirmed by the subsequent clauses, 'unseen but a seer', 'unheard but a hearer,' &c. And the next clauses, 'there is no other seer but he,' &c., then mean to negative that there is any other being which could be viewed as the ruler of that Ruler. Moreover, the clauses 'that is the Self of thee,' 'He is the Self of thee' exhibit the individual Self in the genitive form ('of thee'), and thus distinguish it from the Ruler within, who is declared to be their Self.

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