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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.

3. But as the Self; this (the ancient Devotees) acknowledge (since the texts) make (them) apprehend (in that way).

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The following point is now taken into consideration. Is Brahman to be meditated upon as something different from the meditating Devotee, or as the Self of the latter?--The Pûrvapakshin holds the former view. For, he says, the individual soul is something different from Brahman; as has been proved under II, 1, 22; III, 4, 8; I, 1, 15. And Brahman must be meditated upon as it truly is; for if it is meditated upon under an unreal aspect, the attaining to Brahman also will not be real, according to the principle expressed in the text, 'According as a man's thought is in this world, so will he be when he has departed this life' (Kh. Up. III, 14, 1). This view the Sûtra sets aside. Brahman is rather to be meditated upon as being the Self of the meditating Devotee. As the meditating individual soul is the Self of its own body, so the highest Brahman is the Self of the individual soul--this is the proper form of meditation.--Why? Because the great Devotees of olden times acknowledged this to be the true nature of meditation; compare the text 'Then I am indeed thou, holy divinity, and thou art me.'--But how can the Devotees claim that Brahman which is a different being is their 'Ego'?--Because the texts enable them to apprehend this relation as one free from contradiction. 'He who dwelling within the Self is different from the Self, whom the Self does not know, of whom the Self is the body, who rules the Self from within; he is thy Self, the inner ruler, the immortal one'(Bri. Up. III, 7, 3); 'In the True all these beings have their root, they dwell in the True, they rest in the True;--in that all that exists has its Self' (Kh. Up. VI, 8); 'All this indeed is Brahman' (Kh. Up. III, 14, 1)--all these texts teach that all sentient and non-sentient beings spring from Brahman, are merged in him, breathe through him, are ruled by him, constitute his body; so that he is the Self of all of them. In the same way therefore as, on the basis of the fact that the individual soul occupies with regard to the body the position of a Self, we form such judgments of co-ordination as 'I am a god--I am a man'; the fact of the individual Self being of the nature of Self justifies us in viewing our own Ego as belonging

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to the highest Self. On the presupposition of all ideas being finally based on Brahman and hence all words also finally denoting Brahman, the texts therefore make such statements of mutual implication as 'I am thou, O holy divinity, and thou art me.' On this view of the relation of individual soul and highest Self there is no real contradiction between two, apparently contradictory, sets of texts, viz. those on the one hand which negative the view of the soul being different from the highest Self, 'Now if a man meditates upon another divinity, thinking "the divinity is one and I another," he does not know'; 'He is incomplete, let him meditate upon Him as the Self'; 'Everything abandons him who views anything apart from the Self (Bri. Up. I, 4, 10; 7-II, 4, 6); and on the other hand those texts which set forth the view of the soul and the highest Self being different entities, 'Thinking of the (individual) Self and the Mover as different'(Svet. Up. I, 6). For our view implies a denial of difference in so far as the individual 'I' is of the nature of the Self; and it implies an acknowledgment of difference in so far as it allows the highest Self to differ from the individual soul in the same way as the latter differs from its body. The clause 'he is incomplete' (in one of the texts quoted above) refers to the fact that Brahman which is different from the soul constitutes the Self of the soul, while the soul constitutes the body of Brahman.--It thus remains a settled conclusion that Brahman is to be meditated upon as constituting the Self of the meditating Devotee.--Here terminates the adhikarana of 'meditation under the aspect of Self.'

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