Hari Om! Vedas consist of three portions viz. Just as the head is the most important portion of a man, so also the Upanishads which treat of the knowledge portion of the Vedas is the head of the Vedas. Hence it is said to be the Siras head of Vedas. Mimamsa means the investigation or enquiry into the connected meaning of the sacred texts. Of this Mimamsa two branches have been recognised, the Purva Mimamsa earlier and the Uttara Mimamsa the latter.
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Hari Om! Vedas consist of three portions viz. Just as the head is the most important portion of a man, so also the Upanishads which treat of the knowledge portion of the Vedas is the head of the Vedas. Hence it is said to be the Shir head of Vedas. Mimamsa means the investigation or enquiry into the connected meaning of the sacred texts. Of this Mimamsa two branches have been recognised, the Purva Mimamsa earlier and the Uttara Mimamsa the latter. Jaimini is the author of the Purva Mimamsa.
The study of Brahma Sutras is a synthetic study of the Upanishads. It treats of the Vedanta Philosophy. The Vedas are eternal. They were not written by any individual. They came out from the breath of Hiranyagarbha Lord Brahma. Vedanta is the end or gist of the Vedas. It deals with the knowledge portion. Vedanta is not mere speculation. It is the authentic record of transcendental experiences or direct and actual realisation of the great Rishis or Seers. Brahma Sutras is the Science of the Soul.
Sutras are concise aphorisms. They give the essence of the arguments on a topic. Maximum of thought is compressed or condensed into these Sutras in as few words as possible. It is easy to remember them.
Great intellectual people only, with realisation, can compose Sutras. They are clues or aids to memory. They cannot be understood without a lucid commentary Bhashya. The commentary also is in need of further elaborate explanation. Thus the interpretations of the Sutras gave rise to various kinds of literary writings such as Vrittis gloss and Karikas. The different Acharyas founders of different schools of thought have given their own interpretations of the Sutras to establish their own doctrines.
His school of thought is Kevala Adwaita. Sri Vallabhacharya expounded his system of philosophy known as Suddhadwaita pure monism and his commentary on the Brahma Sutras is known as Anu Bhashya. Sanskrit is very elastic. It is like Kamadhenu or Kalpataru. You can milk out of it various kinds of Rasas according to your intellectual calibre and spiritual experiences.
Therefore different Acharyas have built different systems of thought or cults by interpreting the Sutras in their own ways and became founders of sects. Madhva founded his own system of Dwaita. The cults of Vishnu known as Bhagawat or Pancharatra and those of Siva, Pasupata or Maheswara have interpreted Brahma Sutras in accordance with their own tenets.
Nimbarkacharya interpreted the Vedanta system from the standpoint of Bhedabheda-Dwaitadwaita. He was largely influenced by the teachings of Bhaskara who flourished in the first half of the ninth century. The theory held by Bhaskara and Nimbarka was held by the ancient teacher Audulomi.
Badarayana himself refers to this theory in his Brahma Sutras. There are more than fourteen commentaries on the Brahma Sutras. The erroneous identification of the body with the pure Atman is the root cause for human sufferings and miseries, for births and deaths. You identify yourself with the body and say: "I am fair, dark, stout or thin. I am a Brahmin, I am a Kshatriya, I am a doctor. I know everything. I became angry.
I enjoyed a good meal. I am suffering from this disease. The Upanishads seem to be full of contradictions at first. They do not contain consistent system of thought. Sri Vyasa systematised the thoughts or philosophy of the Upanishads in his Brahma Sutras.
The Sutras reconcile the conflicting statements of the Upanishads. In reality there are no conflicts for the thinker. The different views expressed in the Upanishads represent the different stages of the development of thought. Audulomi and Asmarathya also did this work in their own way and founded their own schools of thought. All Acharyas have commented on Brahma Sutras. This is a great authority for every philosophical school in India. If any Acharya wishes to establish his own cult or sect or school of thought, he will have to write a commentary of his own on Brahma Sutras.
Then only it will be recognised. They also emphatically declare that Brahman can be known only through the scriptures and not through mere reasoning. But they differ amongst themselves as to the nature of this Brahman, the state of the soul in the state of final emancipation, the means of attaining It and Its causality with reference to this universe.
This world is unreal. This world is a Vivarta or apparent modification through Maya. Brahman is the only Reality. The individual soul has limited himself through Avidya and identification with the body and other vehicles. Through his selfish actions he enjoys the fruits of his actions. He becomes the actor and enjoyer.
He regards himself as atomic and as an agent on account of Avidya or the limiting Antahkarana. The individual soul becomes identical with Brahman when his Avidya is destroyed. In reality Jiva is all-pervading and identical with Brahman. Ishvara or Saguna Brahman is a product of Maya. Worship of Ishvara leads to Krama Mukti. The pious devotees the knowers of Saguna Brahman go to Brahma Loka and attain final release through highest knowledge.
They do not return to this world. They attain the Nirguna Brahman at the end of the cycle. Knowledge of Nirguna Brahman is the only means of liberation. The knowers of Nirguna Brahman attain immediate final release or Sadyomukti.
They need not go by the path of Gods or the Devayana. They merge themselves in Para Brahman. They do not go to any Loka or world. Brahman Impersonal Absolute without attributes. According to Sri Ramanuja Brahman is with attributes Savisesha. He is endowed with all auspicious qualities. He is not merely intelligence itself, but intelligence is also his chief attribute. He contains within Himself whatever exists. Matter and souls are called modes of Him Prakara.
The individual souls will never be entirely resolved in Brahman. According to Ramanuja Brahman is not absolutely one and homogeneous. The individual souls undergo a state of Sankocha contraction during Pralaya. They expand Vikasa during creation. The individual soul of Ramanuja is really individual.
It will remain a personality for ever. The soul remains in Vaikuntha for ever in a state of bliss and enjoys the divine Aishvarya of Lord Narayana. Bhakti is the chief means to final emancipation and not Jnana.
Sri Ramanuja follows in his Bhashya the authority of Bodhayana. According to Sri Nimbarkacharya Brahman is considered as both the efficient and material cause of the world. Brahman is both Nirguna and Saguna. The universe is not unreal or illusory but is a true manifestation or Parinama of Brahman. Sri Ramanuja also holds this view. He says, "Just as milk is transformed into curd, so also Brahman has transformed Himself as this universe.
Brahma-Sutras with Text, Word-for-Word Translation, English Rendering, Comments and Index
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The text systematizes and summarizes the philosophical and spiritual ideas in the Upanishads. Sutras were meant to assist the memory of the student who had gone through long discussions with his guru, as memory aids or clues and maximum thoughts were compressed in a few words which were unambiguous, giving the essence of the arguments on the topic. The text reviews and critiques most major orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy as well as all heterodox Indian philosophies such as Buddhism, with the exception of Samkhya and Yoga philosophies which it holds in high regards and recurrently refers to them in all its four chapters, adding in sutras 2. The first chapter is regarded in Vedanta tradition as Samanvaya Harmony , because it distills, synchronizes and brings into a harmonious whole the seemingly diverse and conflicting passages in various Sruti texts. The only source for the knowledge of this Brahman is the Sruti or the Upanishads.