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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.

18. But Gaimini thinks that it has another purport,

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on account of the question and answer; and thus some also.

The 'but' is meant to preclude the idea that the mention made of the individual soul enables us to understand the whole section as concerned with that soul.--The teacher Gaimini is of opinion that the mention made of the individual soul has another meaning, i.e. aims at conveying the idea of what is different from the individual soul, i.e. the nature of the highest Brahman. 'On account of question and answer.' According to the story told in the Upanishad, Agâtasatru leads Bâlâki to where a sleeping man is resting, and convinces him that the soul is different from breath, by addressing the sleeping person, in whom breath only is awake, with names belonging to prân1 without the sleeper being awaked thereby, and after that rousing him by a push of his staff. Then, with a view to teaching Bâlâki the difference of Brahman from the individual soul, he asks him the following questions: 'Where, O Bâlâki, did this person here sleep? Where was he? Whence did he thus come back?' To these questions he thereupon himself replies, 'When sleeping he sees no dream, then he becomes one in that prâna alone.--From that Self the organs proceed each towards its place, from the organs the gods, from the gods the worlds.' Now this reply, no less than the questions, clearly refers to the highest Self as something different from the individual Self. For that entering into which the soul, in the state of deep sleep, attains its true nature and enjoys complete serenity, being free from the disturbing experiences of pleasure and pain that accompany the states of waking and of dream; and

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that from which it again returns to the fruition of pleasure and pain; that is nothing else but the highest Self. For, as other scriptural texts testify ('Then he becomes united with the True,' Kh. Up. VI, 8, 1; 'Embraced by the intelligent Self he knows nothing that is without, nothing that is within,' Bri, Up. IV, 3, 21), the abode of deep sleep is the intelligent Self which is different from the individual Self, i.e. the highest Self. We thus conclude that the reference, in question and answer, to the individual soul subserves the end of instruction being given about what is different from that soul, i.e. the highest Self. We hence also reject the Pûrvapakshin's contention that question and answer refer to the individual soul, that the veins called hita are the abode of deep sleep, and that the well-known clause as to the prâna must be taken to mean that the aggregate of the organs becomes one in the individual soul called prâna. For the veins are the abode, not of deep sleep, but of dream, and, as we have shown above, Brahman only is the abode of deep sleep; and the text declares that the individual soul, together with all its ministering organs, becomes one with, and again proceeds from, Brahman only--which the text designates as Prâna.--Moreover some, viz. the Vâgasaneyins in this same colloquy of Bâlâki and Agâtasatru as recorded in their text, clearly distinguish from the vigñâna-maya, i.e. the individual soul in the state of deep sleep, the highest Self which then is the abode of the individual soul. 'Where was then the person, consisting of intelligence, and from whence did he thus come back?--When he was thus asleep, then the intelligent person, having through the intelligence of the senses absorbed within himself all intelligence, lies in the ether that is within the heart.' Now the word 'ether' is known to denote the highest Self; cf. the text 'there is within that the small ether'(Kh. Up. VIII, 1, 1). This shows us that the individual soul is mentioned in the Vâgasaneyin passage to the end of setting forth what is different from it, viz. the prâa Self, i.e. the highest Brahman. The general conclusion therefore is that the Kaushîtaki-text under discussion proposes as

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the object of knowledge something that is different from the individual soul, viz. the highest Brahman which is the cause of the whole world, and that hence the Vedânta-texts nowhere intimate that general causality belongs either to the individual soul or to the Pradhâna under the soul's guidance. Here terminates the adhikarana of 'denotation of the world.'

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