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  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.

40. But the former, Bâdarâyana (thinks), on account of the designation (of deities) as the cause.

The reverend Bâdarâyana maintains the previously declared awarding of rewards by the Supreme Person since the scriptural texts referring to the different sacrifices declare that the deities only, Agni, Vâyu, and so on, who are propitiated by the sacrifices--which are nothing else but means to propitiate deities--are the cause of the rewards attached to the sacrifices. Compare texts such as 'Let him who is desirous of prosperity offer a white animal to Vâyu. For Vâyu is the swiftest god. The man thus approaches Vâyu with his proper share, and Vâyu leads him to prosperity.' And the whole instruction which the texts give, as to the means by which men desirous of certain results are to effect those results, is required on account of the injunctions only, and hence it cannot be doubted that

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it has reference to the injunctions. The apparatus of means to bring about the results thus being learnt from the text only, no person acquainted with the force of the means of proof will assent to that apparatus, as stated by the text, being set aside and an apûrva about which the text says nothing being fancifully assumed. And that the imperative verbal forms of the injunctions denote as the thing to be effected by the effort of the sacrificer, only that which on the basis of the usage of language and grammatical science is recognised as the meaning of the root-element of such words as ' yageta,' viz. the sacrifice (yâga), which consists in the propitiation of a divine being, and not some additional supersensuous thing such as the apûrva, we have already proved above (p. 153 ff.). Texts such as 'Vâyu is the swiftest god' teach that Vâyu and other deities are the bestowers of rewards. And that it is fundamentally the highest Self--as constituting the inner Self of Vâyu and other deities--which is pleased by offerings, and bestows rewards for them is declared by texts such as 'Offerings and pious works, all this he bears who is the nave of the Universe. He is Agni and Vâyu, he is Sun and Moon' (Mahânâr. Up. I, 6, 7). Similarly in the antaryâmin-brâhmana, 'He who dwells in Vâyu, of whom Vâyu is the body'; 'He who dwells in Agni,' &c. Smriti expresses itself similarly, 'Whatsoever devotee wishes to worship with faith whatsoever divine form, of him do I make that faith unshakable. Endued with such faith he endeavours to propitiate him and obtains from him his desires--those indeed being ordained by me' (Bha. Gî. VII, 21-22); 'For I am the enjoyer and the Lord of all sacrifices' (IX, 24)--where Lord means him who bestows the reward for the sacrifices. 'To the gods go the worshippers of the gods, and those devoted to me go to me' (VII, 23). In ordinary life men, by agriculture and the like, acquire wealth in various forms, and by means of this propitiate their king, either directly or through his officials and servants; and the king thereupon is seen to reward them in a manner corresponding to the measure of their services and presents. The Vedânta-texts, on the other hand, give

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instruction on a subject which transcends the sphere of all the other means of knowledge, viz. the highest Person who is free from all shadow even of imperfection, and a treasure-house as it were of all exalted qualities in their highest state of perfection; on sacrifices, gifts, oblations, which are helpful towards the propitiation of that Person; on praise, worship, and meditation, which directly propitiate him; and on the rewards which he, thus propitiated, bestows, viz. temporal happiness and final Release.--Here terminates the adhikarana of 'reward.'

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