The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Sankaracarya eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 597 pages of information about The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Sankaracarya.
release from sa/m/sara means, according to Sa@nkara, the absolute merging of the individual soul in Brahman, due to the dismissal of the erroneous notion that the soul is distinct from Brahman; according to Ramanuja it only means the soul’s passing from the troubles of earthly life into a kind of heaven or paradise where it will remain for ever in undisturbed personal bliss.—­As Ramanuja does not distinguish a higher and lower Brahman, the distinction of a higher and lower knowledge is likewise not valid for him; the teaching of the Upanishads is not twofold but essentially one, and leads the enlightened devotee to one result only [1].

I now proceed to give a conspectus of the contents of the Vedanta-sutras according to Sa@nkara in which at the same time all the more important points concerning which Ramanuja disagrees will be noted.  We shall here have to enter into details which to many may appear tedious.  But it is only on a broad substratum of accurately stated details that we can hope to establish any definite conclusions regarding the comparative value of the different modes of interpretation which have been applied to the Sutras.  The line of investigation is an entirely new one, and for the present nothing can be taken for granted or known.—­In stating the different heads of discussion (the so-called adhikara/n/as), each of which comprises one or more Sutras, I shall follow the subdivision into adhikara/n/as adopted in the Vyasadhika-ra/n/amala, the text of which is printed in the second volume of the Bibliotheca Indica edition of the Sutras.

FIRST ADHYAYA.  PADA I.

The first five adhikara/n/as lay down the fundamental positions with regard to Brahman.  Adhik.  I (1) [2] treats of what the study of the Vedanta presupposes.  Adhik.  II (2) defines Brahman as that whence the world originates, and so on.  Adhik.  III (3) declares that Brahman is the source of the Veda.  Adhik.  IV (4) proves Brahman to be the uniform topic of all Vedanta-texts.  Adhik.  V (5-11) is engaged in proving by various arguments that the Brahman, which the Vedanta-texts represent as the cause of the world, is an intelligent principle, and cannot be identified with the non-intelligent pradhana from which the world springs according to the Sa@nkhyas.

With the next adhikara/n/a there begins a series of discussions of essentially similar character, extending up to the end of the first adhyaya.  The question is throughout whether certain terms met with in the Upanishads denote Brahman or some other being, in most cases the jiva, the individual soul. Sa@nkara remarks at the outset that, as the preceding ten Sutras had settled the all-important point that all the Vedanta-texts refer to Brahman, the question now arises why the enquiry should be continued any further, and thereupon proceeds to explain that the acknowledged distinction of a higher Brahman devoid of all qualities and a lower

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The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Sankaracarya from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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