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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.

46. There is injunction of other auxiliary means for him who is such, as in the case of injunction and so on; (the term mauna denoting) according to an alternative meaning a third something.

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'Therefore let a Brâhmana after he has done with learning wish to stand by a childlike state; and after having done with the childlike state and learning (he is) a Muni' (Bri. Up. III, 5). A doubt arises whether this text enjoins Muni-hood in the same way as it enjoins learning and the childlike state, or merely refers to it as something already established.--The Purvapakshin holds the latter view on the ground that as 'Muni-hood' and 'learning' both connote knowledge, the word 'Muni' merely refers back to the knowledge already enjoined in the phrase 'after he has done with learning.' For the text presents no word of injunctive force with regard to Muni-hood.--This view the Sûtra controverts. 'For him who is such,' i.e. for those who possess knowledge, 'there is an injunction of a different co-operative factor ' 'in the same way as injunctions and the rest.' By the injunctions in the last clause we have to understand the special duties of the different âsramas, i.e. sacrifices and the like, and also such qualifications as quietness of mind and the like; and by the 'and the rest' is meant the learning of and pondering on the sacred texts. Stated at length, the meaning of the Sûtra then is as follows--in the same way as texts such as 'him Brâhmanas seek to know through the reciting of the Veda, through sacrifices and charity, and so on,' and 'Quiet, subdued,' &c. (Bri. Up. IV, 4, 23) enjoin sacrifices and so on, and quietness of mind and the like, as helpful towards knowledge; and as texts such as 'the Self is to be heard, to be pondered upon' (Bri. Up. II, 4, 5) mention hearing and pondering as helpful towards knowledge; thus the text under discussion enjoins learning, a childlike state of mind, and Muni-hood as three further different auxiliaries of knowledge.--'Muni-hood' does not denote the same thing as 'learning'--this the Sûtra intimates by the clause 'alternatively a third,' i.e. as the word muni is observed alternatively to denote persons such as Vyâsa distinguished by their power of profound reflection (manana), the abstract term munihood denotes a third thing different from learning and the 'childlike state.' Hence, although the phrase 'then a Muni' does not contain a word of directly

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injunctive power, we must all the same understand it in an injunctive sense, viz. 'then let him be or become a Muni'; for Muni-hood is not something previously established. Such munihood is also something different from mere reflection (manana); it is the reiterated representation before the mind of the object of meditation, the idea of that object thus becoming more and more vivid. The meaning of the entire text therefore is as follows. A Brâhmana is at first fully to master knowledge, i.e. he is to attain, by means of hearing and pondering, to the knowledge of Brahman in all its fulness and perfection. This is to be effected through the growth of purity of mind and heart, due to the grace of the Lord; for this Smriti declares, 'Neither by the Vedas nor by austerities, and so on, can I be so seen--; but by devotion exclusive I may be known' (Bha. Gî. XI, 53-54); and Scripture also says, "Who has the highest devotion for God'(Svet. Up. VI, 23), and 'That Self cannot be gained by the study of the Veda,' &c. 'He whom the Self chooses by him the Self is to be attained' (Ka. Up. I, 2, 23). After that 'he is to stand by a childlike state'; what this means will be explained further on. And after that he is to be a Muni, i.e. he is to fix his thoughts so exclusively and persistently on Brahman as to attain to the mode of knowledge called meditation. Having by the employment of these three means reached true knowledge he--the text goes on to say--having done with amauna and mauna is a Brâhmana. Amauna, i.e. non-mauna, denotes all the auxiliaries of knowledge different from mauna: employing these and mauna as well he reaches the highest goal of knowledge. And, the text further says, there is no other means but those stated whereby to become such, i.e. a true Brâhmana. The entire text thus evidently means to enjoin on any one standing within any âsrama learning, a childlike state, and mauna as auxiliary means of knowledge, in addition to sacrifices and the other special duties of the âsramas.--But, an objection is raised, if knowledge, aided by pânditya. and so on, and thus being auxiliary to the action of the special duties of the âsramas, is thus declared to be the

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means of attaining to Brahman; how then are we to understand the Khândogya's declaring that a man. in order to attain to Brahman, is throughout his life to carry on the duties of a householder 1?--To this the next Sûtra replies.

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