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  Srimad Bhagavatam

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  Sankara Bhashya
  By Edwin Arnold

  Brahma Sutra
  Sankara Bhashya I
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  Ramanuja SriBhashya


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  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.

5. But (there is) denotation of the superintending (deities), on account of distinction and entering.

The word 'but' is meant to set aside the objection started. In texts such as 'to him the earth said,' the terms 'earth' and so on, denote the divinities presiding over earth and the rest.--How is this known?--' Through distinction and connexion.' For earth and so on are denoted by the distinctive term 'divinities'; so e.g. 'Let me enter into those three divinities' (Kh. Up. VI, 3, 2), where fire, water, and earth are called divinities; and Kau. Up. II, 14, 'All divinities contending with each other as to pre-eminence,' and 'all these divinities having recognised pre-eminence in prâna.' The 'entering' of the Sûtra refers to Ait. Ar. II, 4, 2, 4, 'Agni having become speech entered into the mouth; Aditya having become sight entered into the eyes,' &c., where the text declares that Agni and other divine beings entered into the sense-organs as their superintendents.

We therefore adhere to our conclusion that the world, being non-intelligent and hence essentially different in nature from Brahman, cannot be the effect of Brahman; and that therefore, in agreement with Smriti confirmed by reasoning, the Vedânta-texts must be held to teach that the Pradhâna is the universal material cause. This primâ facie view is met by the following Sûtra.

6. But it is seen.

The 'but' indicates the change of view (introduced in the present Sûtra). The assertion that Brahman cannot be the material cause of the world because the latter differs from it in essential nature, is unfounded; since it is a matter of observation that even things of different nature stand to each other in the relation of cause and effect. For it is observed that from honey and similar substances there originate worms and other little animals.--But it has been said above that in those cases there is sameness of nature,

p. 418

in so far as the relation of cause and effect holds good only between the non-intelligent elements in both!--This assertion was indeed made, but it does not suffice to prove that equality of character between cause and effect which you have in view. For, being apprehensive that from the demand of equality of character in some point or other only it would follow that, as all things have certain characteristics in common, anything might originate from anything, you have declared that the equality of character necessary for the relation of cause and effect is constituted by the persistence, in the effect, of those characteristic points which differentiate the cause from other things. But it is evident that this restrictive rule does not hold good in the case of the origination of worms and the like from honey and so on; and hence it is not unreasonable to assume that the world also, although differing in character from Brahman, may originate from the latter. For in the case of worms originating from honey, scorpions from dung, &c., we do not observe--what indeed we do observe in certain other cases, as of pots made of clay, ornaments made of gold--that the special characteristics distinguishing the causal substance from other things persist in the effects also.

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