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.

10. And on account of the teaching of formation (i.e. creation) there is no contradiction; as in the case of the honey.

The 'and' expresses disposal of a doubt that had arisen. There is no contradiction between the Prakriti being agâ and originating from light. On account of instruction being given about the formation (kalpana), i.e. creation of the world. This interpretation of 'kalpana' is in agreement with the use of the verb klip in the text, 'as formerly the creator made (akalpayat) sun and moon.'

In our text the sloka 'from that the Lord of Mâyâ creates all this' gives instruction about the creation of the world. From that, i.e. from matter in its subtle causal state when it is not yet divided, the Lord of all creates the entire Universe. From this statement about creation we understand that Prakriti exists in a twofold state according as it is either cause or effect. During a pralaya it unites itself with Brahman and abides in its subtle state, without any distinction of names and forms; it then is called the 'Unevolved,' and by other similar names. At the time of creation, on the other hand, there reveal themselves in Prakriti Goodness and the other gunas, it divides itself according to names and forms, and then is called the 'Evolved,' and so on, and, transforming itself into fire, water, and earth, it appears as red, white, and black. In its causal condition it is agâ, i.e. unborn, in its effected condition it is 'caused by light, i.e. Brahman'; hence there is no contradiction. The case is analogous to that of the 'honey.' The sun in his causal state is one only, but in his effected state the Lord makes him into honey in so far namely as he then, for the purpose of enjoyment on the part of the Vasus

p. 369

and other gods, is the abode of nectar brought about by sacrificial works to be learned from the Rik and the other Vedas; and further makes him to rise and to set. And between these two conditions there is no contradiction. This is declared in the Madhuvidyâ (Kh. Up. III), from 'The sun is indeed the honey of the Devas,' down to 'when from thence he has risen upwards he neither rises nor sets; being one he stands in the centre'--'one' here means 'of one nature.'--The conclusion therefore is that the Svetâsvatara mantra under discussion refers to Prakriti as having her Self in Brahman, not to the Prakriti assumed by the Sânkhyas.

Others, however, are of opinion that the one agâ of which the mantra speaks has for its characteristics light, water, and earth. To them we address the following questions. Do you mean that by what the text speaks of as an agâ, consisting of fire, water, and earth, we have to understand those three elements only; or Brahman in the form of those three elements; or some power or principle which is the cause of the three elements? The first alternative is in conflict with the circumstance that, while fire, water, and earth are several things, the text explicitly refers to one Agâ. Nor may it be urged that fire, water, and earth, although several, become one, by being made tripartite (Kh. Up. VI, 3, 3); for this making them tripartite, does not take away their being several; the text clearly showing that each several element becomes tripartite, 'Let me make each of these three divine beings tripartite.'--The second alternative again divides itself into two alternatives. Is the one agâ Brahman in so far as having passed over into fire, water, and earth; or Brahman in so far as abiding within itself and not passing over into effects? The former alternative is excluded by the consideration that it does not remove plurality (which cannot be reconciled with the one agâ). The second alternative is contradicted by the text calling that agâ red, white, and black; and moreover Brahman viewed as abiding within itself cannot be characterised by fire, water, and earth. On the third alternative it has to be assumed that the text denotes by the

p. 370

term 'agâ' the three elements, and that on this basis there is imagined a causal condition of these elements; but better than this assumption it evidently is to accept the term 'agâ' as directly denoting the causal state of those three elements as known from scripture.

Nor can we admit the contention that the term 'agâ' is meant to teach that Prakriti should metaphorically be viewed as a she-goat; for such a view would be altogether purposeless. Where--in the passage 'Know the Self to be him who drives in the chariot'--the body, and so on, are compared to a chariot, and so on, the object is to set forth the means of attaining Brahman; where the sun is compared to honey, the object is to illustrate the enjoyment of the Vasus and other gods; but what similar object could possibly be attained by directing us to view Prakriti as a goat? Such a metaphorical view would in fact be not merely useless; it would be downright irrational. Prakriti is a non-intelligent principle, the causal substance of the entire material Universe, and constituting the means for the experience of pleasure and pain, and for the final release, of all intelligent souls which are connected with it from all eternity. Now it would be simply contrary to good sense, metaphorically to transfer to Prakriti such as described the nature of a she-goat--which is a sentient being that gives birth to very few creatures only, enters only occasionally into connexion with others, is of small use only, is not the cause of herself being abandoned by others, and is capable of abandoning those connected with her. Nor does it recommend itself to take the word agâ. (understood to mean 'she-goat') in a sense different from that in which we understand the term 'aga' which occurs twice in the same mantra.--Let then all three terms be taken in the same metaphorical sense (aga meaning he-goat).--It would be altogether senseless, we reply, to compare the soul which absolutely dissociates itself from Prakriti ('Another aga leaves her after having enjoyed her') to a he-goat which is able to enter again into connexion with what he has abandoned, or with anything else.--Here terminates the adhikarana of 'the cup.'

home      contact us