The Mahabharata
  Srimad Bhagavatam

  Rig Veda
  Yajur Veda
  Sama Veda
  Atharva Veda

  Bhagavad Gita
  Sankara Bhashya
  By Edwin Arnold

  Brahma Sutra
  Sankara Bhashya I
  Sankara Bhashya II
  Ramanuja SriBhashya


  Agni Purana
  Brahma Purana
  Garuda Purana
  Markandeya Purana
  Varaha Purana
  Matsya Purana
  Vishnu Purana
  Linga Purana
  Narada Purana
  Padma Purana
  Shiva Purana
  Skanda Purana
  Vamana Purana

  Manu Smriti

  Vedanta Deshikar
  Appayya Dikshitar
  Samartha Ramdas

  Bhagavad Gita
  Brahma Sutras

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.

8. On account of there being no special characteristic; as in the case of the cup.

In the discussion of the following passages also we aim only at refuting the system of the Sankhyas; not at disproving the existence and nature of Prakriti, the 'great' principle, the ahamâra, and so on, viewed as dependent on Brahman. For that they exist in this latter relation is proved by Scripture as well as Smriti.--A text of the followers of the Atharvan runs as follows: 'Her who produces all effects, the non-knowing one, the unborn one, wearing eight forms, the firm one--she is known (by the Lord) and ruled by him, she is spread out and incited and ruled by him, gives birth to the world for the benefit of the souls. A cow she is without beginning and end, a mother producing all beings; white, black, and red, milking all wishes for the Lord. Many babes unknown drink her. the impartial one;

p. 364

but one God only, following his own will, drinks her submitting to him. By his own thought and work the mighty God strongly enjoys her, who is common to all, the milkgiver, who is pressed by the sacrifices. The Non-evolved when being counted by twenty-four is called the Evolved.' This passage evidently describes the nature of Prakriti, and so on, and the same Upanishad also teaches the Supreme Person who constitutes the Self of Prakriti, and so on. 'Him they call the twenty-sixth or also the twenty-seventh; as the Person devoid of all qualities of the Sânkhyas he is known by the followers of the Atharvan 1.'--Other followers of the Atharvan read in their text that there are sixteen originating principles (prakriti) and eight effected things (vikâra; Garbha Up. 3).--The Svetâsvataras again set forth the nature of Prakriti, the soul and the Lord as follows. 'The Lord supports all this together, the Perishable and the Imperishable, the Evolved and the Unevolved; the other one is in bondage, since he is an enjoyer; but having known the God he is free from all fetters. There are two unborn ones, the one knowing and a Lord, the other without knowledge and lordly power; there is the one unborn female on whom the enjoyment of all enjoyers depends; and there is the infinite Self appearing in all shapes, but itself inactive. When a man finds out these three, that is Brahman. The Perishable is the Pradhâna, the Immortal and Imperishable is Hara; the one God rules the Perishable and the Self. From meditation on him, from union with him, from becoming one with him there is in the end cessation of all Mâya' (Svet. Up. I, 8-10). And 'The sacred verses, the offerings, the sacrifices, the vows, the past, the future, and all that the Vcdas declare--from that the Ruler of Mâya creates all this; and in this the other one is bound up through Mâya. Know then Prakriti to be Mâya and the great Lord the ruler of Mâya; with his members this

p. 365

whole world is filled' (Svet. Up. V, 9-10). And, further on, 'The master of Pradhâna and the soul, the lord of the gunas, the cause of the bondage, existence, and release of worldly existence' (VI, 16). Thus likewise in Smriti, 'Do thou know both Nature and the soul to be without beginning, and know all effects and qualities to have sprung from Nature. Nature is declared to be the cause of the activity of causes and effects, whilst the soul is the cause of there being enjoyment of pleasure and pain. For the soul abiding in Nature experiences the qualities derived from Nature, the reason being its connexion with the qualities, in its births in good and evil wombs' (Bha. Gî. XIII, 19-21). And 'Goodness, Passion, and Darkness--these are the qualities which, issuing from nature, bind in the body the embodied soul, the undecaying one' (XIV, 5). And 'All beings at the end of a kalpa return into my Nature, and again, at the beginning of a kalpa, do I send them forth. Presiding over my own nature again and again do I send forth this vast body of beings which has no freedom of its own, being subject to Nature.--With me as ruler Nature brings forth all moving and non-moving things, and for this reason the world does ever go round' (Bha. Gî. IX, 7, 8, 10). What we therefore refuse to accept are a Prakriti, and so on, of the kind assumed by Kapila, i.e. not having their Self in Brahman.--We now proceed to explain the Sûtra.

We read in the Svetâsvatara-Upanishad 'There is one agâ, red, white, and black, producing manifold offspring of the same nature. One aga loves her and lies by her; another leaves her after having enjoyed her.' A doubt arises here whether this mantra declares a mere Prakriti as assumed in Kapila's system, or a Prakriti having its Self in Brahman.

The Pûrvapakshin maintains the former alternative. For, he points out, the text refers to the non-originatedness of Prakriti, calling her agâ, i.e. unborn, and further says that she by herself independently produces manifold offspring resembling herself. This view is rejected by the Sûtra, on the ground that there is no intimation of a special circumstance determining the acceptance of the Prakriti as

p. 366

assumed by the Sânkhyas, i.e. independent of Brahman; for that she is agâ, i. e. not born, is not a sufficiently special characteristic. The case is analogous to that of the 'cup.' In the mantra 'There is a cup having its mouth below and its bottom above' (Bri. Up. II, 2, 3), the word kamasa conveys to us only the idea of some implement used in eating, but we are unable to see what special kind of kamasa is meant; for in the case of words the meaning of which is ascertained on the ground of their derivation (as 'kamasa' from 'kam,' to eat or drink), the special sense of the word in any place cannot be ascertained without the help of considerations of general possibility, general subject-matter, and so on. Now in the case of the cup we are able to ascertain that the cup meant is the head, because there is a complementary passage 'What is called the cup with its mouth below and its bottom above is the head'; but if we look out for a similar help to determine the special meaning of agâ, we find nothing to convince us that the aga, i. e. the 'unborn' principle, is the Prakriti of the Sânkhyas. Nor is there anything in the text to convey the idea of that agâ having the power of independent creation; for the clause 'giving birth to manifold offspring' declares only that she creates, not that she creates unaided. The mantra does not therefore tell us about an 'unborn' principle independent of Brahman.--There moreover is a special reason for understanding by the agâ something that depends on Brahman. This the following Sûtra states.

home      contact us