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Books > Hindu > Sribhasyam – Ramanuja's Commentary on the Brahma Sutras (Sanskrit Only in Four Big Volumes): Old And A Rare Book
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Sribhasyam – Ramanuja's Commentary on the Brahma Sutras (Sanskrit Only in Four Big Volumes): Old And A Rare Book
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Sribhasyam – Ramanuja's Commentary on the Brahma Sutras (Sanskrit Only in Four Big Volumes): Old And A Rare Book
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Volume I

 

Foreword

The preparation and publication of critical editions of the Works of Acharya Sri Ramanuja is one of the major endeavours of the Academy. The first fruit of this project is presented in this publication, the first volume of Sribhashya. It contains the introductory portion of the Acharya’s brilliant inspired commentary on the Brahmasutras.

The Brahmasutras are an exigesis of the Upanisads explaining meanings, reconciling seeming inconsistencies and establishing basic propositions. Acharya Badarayana, the author of the Sutras is in our tradition regarded as the same as Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa. It would seem that several Acharyas before Badarayana had also compiled aphorisms. However only the Badarayana-text is available for study and not those of the earlier Acharyas, such as Audulomi, Kasakrtsna, Badari and others.

Although framed in a grand design, the Brahmasutras are difficult to comprehend. A seeker of knowledge who wishes to enter their subject—matter has necessarily to be led by the hand through its intricacies with the help of the guides’ lucid commen- taries. Many Acharyas have performed this service by virtue of their intellectual and spiritual powers. The earliest of the commentaries, among those available in the present day, is that of the most revered, Sri Shankaracharya. He refers to an earlier Acharya by name Dravida. Similarly other commentators refer to other Acharyas. Clearly, many schools of philosophy were gene_ rated by the Brahmasutras. In the days of Sri Shankaracharya the distinguished school propounded by him towered above all others. During Sri Ramanuja’s time the beginnings of the Savishesha school, which blossomed as the Visistadvaita system, were already present.

However it is Sri Ramanuja’s monumental work that con- solidated the positions of Visistadvaita School of Philosophy and provided the impetus for the advent of Srivaishnavism. It stands even today as the central pillar of support to that system. Sri Ramanuja’s commentary on the Brahmasutras utilises a dispassionate examination of Srutis, Smritis, Puranas and the Ithihasas. In the form of 156 Adhikaranas comprising 545 Sutras, it is a magnificent treatise on a vast and intricate subject.

Sri Shankara Bhashya propounds an Advaita which incorporates the concept of Nirvisesha Brahman. The Commentary of Acharya Bhaskara is basic on the concept of association of Upadhis with Brahman. Acharya Ramanuja in Sribhashya establishes a system of Advaita with the concept of Savisesha Brahman, rejecting the concept of Nirvisesha Brahman. He has based himself on a cogent appreciation of the strengths and weak- nesses of the various alternative schools of thought, and yet the comprehensive sweep of his analysis has the markings of personal religious experience. In the result he has expounded an interpretation of the Brahmasutras which is reasonable as well as appealing to the heart.

Here is the first volume of Sribhashya. The further volumes are ready for printing, and it is the Academy’s hope that they would be published very soon.

The critical edition of Sribhashya is itself the opening publication in a series which will cover all of Sri Ramanuja’s Works on Visistadvaita. The Academy hopes to follow up this series with the publication of materials brought forth by further research into other works of the Visistadvaita school- In its turn I such research will be a step in the Academy’s endeavour to build up comparative studies which would illuminate various other schools of philosophical thought prevalent in this country and. elsewhere.

One of the aims of the Academy is to bring out publications which offer the principal works of our scriptural literature to the present generation of scholars, in authoritative, well-referenced editions. We are very conscious that most of these works have already appeared in earlier editions through the dedicated efforts of learned institutions and individuals. The Academy has, with all due gratitude to them, sought to build upon these earlier works and prepare editions which are comprehensive as well as userfriendly for research scholars.

In this context it would not be out of place to mention the special features of this critical edition. This edition has taken particular care to select the most authoritative among different texts, viz. the main work itself, and the commentaries on it. The authors whose commentaries are presented are those who in our reckoning are widely known and have made significant contribution to the better understanding of Sri Ramanuja’s Work. No claim is made that the choice of commentators is universally acceptable, for it is our belief" that no choice can be completely objective. The commentaries presented with the text have also been explained in notes, wherever necessary. In writing these notes the attempt has been to use the simplest possible Sanskrit. In any such effort it is but natural that intellectual preferences come into play. The notes are not exempt from such preferences. In the main work, Sri Ramanuja, has cited many earlier commentaries and presentations by different gathers. In this edition, those works, wherever possible, have been precisely identified and complete bibliographic references given in such cases.

Sri Ramanuja’s Work is usually presented as a running text without sectional headings. In the present edition the reader is helped by giving intermediate headings. However, the most significant feature introduced here lies in the appendices. The appendices have attempted to provide in condensed form all the literary adjuncts which facilitate an understanding of the text at commentaries.

A high order of excellence has been brought to the present work by the distinguished scholar who is leading the project team,. Namely Vidwan Sri N.S. Ramabhadracharya. The team members have also contributed to its quality by their unremitting devotions and industry. The Academy is beholden to them.

Both the Government of India and the Government of Karanataka have given generous financial aid to the projects of the Academy. The Academy owes a deep debt of gratitude to them.

 

Preface

Acharya Ramanuja a great philosopher and thinker appeared on there philosophical firmament in the 11th century A.D. At that time Hinduism had become very weak by the blind following of ceremonies and petrified formalism, At this juncture Buddhism and Jainism appeared as reformative movements. But there was a nation-wide counter-revolution in the form of orthodox reaction which transfused fresh blood into the decaying limbs of the Hindu-society. The orthodox Hindu Society was not satisfied with the antivcdic-scholastic-systems of philosophy of the Buddhists and Jains as they appeared to be negative and sceptical and could not satisfy it spiritually. Hence, once again Hinduism drew inspiration from the moving hymns of the Rig Veda and the Upasana Kanda of the Upanishads and thus offered new pathways for the spiritual life and, fervid devotion to God. This movement was also preceded by the advent of the great mystics in the south who poured out their soul-stirring rhapsodies in the form of Tamil Divya Prabandhams. This Bhakti movement had its impact on the society. As a result of this there was raising importance of Alwars and a tremendous activity in temple building which laid emphasis on the worship of image as permanent incarnation of God. These Alwars rendered yeomen service to Hinduism by claiming innumerable people to the faith by their exemplary life and music of words.

These Alwars were succeeded by a different type of teachers called Acharyas, trying to organise communities of devotees for preserving the vision and ecstasies of the doctrines of the Alwars and defend theistic Vedanta Philosophy affirming the reality of the individual soul and the world, on rational grounds. Nathamuni (916 A.D.) was the foremost among these Acharyas. He was succeeded after two brief periods of apostleship by Pundarikaksha, Ramamishra, and his grandson Yamunacharya or Alavandar. Yamunacharya confined in himself the deep mystical experience of the God-e intoxicated Alwars and the prodigious knowledge of Vedanta and Agamas. In his works we and the elucidation of the cardinal principles of Visishtadvaita Vedanta, establishment of the orthodoxy of the Pancharatra system, illumination of the concept of Bhakti and Prapatti enshrined in the Bhagavadgita and also the concept of Sri, the Divine Mother. Though, Yamuna, a great Acharya anticipated most of the basic arguments of Visishtativaita in his works, for reasons unknown to us, was anxiously awaiting for the arrival of a worthy successor like Acharya Ramanuja to fulfill his long cherished desire of writing a Bhashya on the Brahmasutras strictly following the footsteps of Bodhayana and Dramidacharya and thus establish the theistic Vedanta on a firm footing.

Ramanuja’s life bears ample evidence to show that he inherited the "triple tradition of the rich Bhakti lore of the Alwars, the Samskrita Vedanta — literature in the form of Prasthana trayi.(Upanishads, Bhagavadgita and Brahmasutras), works written by Yamunacharya and his predecessors and philosophy of the Agamas. Thus equipped Ramanuja set forth to write an elaborate commentary on Brahmasutras as ordained by his spirtual Acharya, Yamuna, strictly following the Bhagavata school of thought which is retognised in his commentary on Brahmasutras even by Shankaracharya.

The Brahmasutras ascribed to Badarayana comprise of four chapters which are further divided into four padas each. Even these padas are subdivided into Adhikaranas or topics of Vedantic interest. The number of sutras vary from Acharya to Acharya and Ramanuja counts only five forty five sutras.

The first chapter called Svarupadhyaya deals with the nature of Brahman and establishes Brahman as the ultimate ground of the universe of ‘cit’ and ‘Acit’ i.e., the sentient and insentient beings, in the light of the Karana Vakyas of the Upanisads. The second chapter called Avirodhadhyaya establishes the same truth negatively by refuting all the other theories which are opposed to this Vedantic theory. The third chapter called Sadhanadhyaya deals with the means of attaining that Parabrahman which is established as the metaphysical ground of all beings in the previous two chapters. It is also established here that Brahman is the ultimate goal of all religious meditation. The last chapter viz., Phaladhyaya deals with the nature of Mukti which is the fruition of philosophical enquiry.

From all aspects, the great commentary viz., Sribhashya on these Brahmasutras written by Ramanuja is a masterpiece. In this work Ramanuja synthesises the entire teaching of Visishtadvaita in its philosophical, ethical and aesthetic aspects. As Georege Thiebout observes "Sri Ramanuja’s commentary on the Brahmasutras claims to be the fullest exposition of what may be called theistic Vedanta and supplies us with the material to penetrate into the true meaning of the Badarayana Sutras." This commentary offers a well balanced and cogent account of the development of the concept viz., Saviseshadvaita or qualified-non-dualism or the organic unity of the whole, depicting that the entire universe of men and matter forms the mode of the Supreme Brahman, which has won for this system, the name Visishtadvaita or Saviseshadviata. In his Sri Bhashya Ramanuja argues ‘e at length stating that knowledge invariably refers to a complex object (Savisesha-vastu) and that it is impossible for the mind to conceive anything in isolation without some qualitative characteristic or other being known at the same time. According to him whatever is known, is known as necessarily qualified, its Jati or generic character being inseparable from it.

Ramanuja totally rejects the possibility of knowing an unqualified object (Nirvisesha vastu). It can never be known. In fact it does not exist.

Here it may be pointed out that Ramanuja’s philosophy rose in response to the day-to—day problems of human life. "If a philosophy does not comfort us in our stress and suffering, it could at best be a mere intellectual diversion and not serious thinking". Hence, this system, took shape not as the result of any compromise but in answer to a real need for the synthesis in the views and perspectives of Vedanta. Further, it may be pointed out that Ramanuja’s writings are marked by conceptual clarity and grandeur of construction. Commenting on the Upanisadic passages he is not given to any improvisation whatsoever and gives equal importance to all the scriptural passages and offers the most natural and satisfying interpretation.

The management of the Academy has the desire to critically edit all the nine works of Ramanuja and publish them later. Critical edition of Sri Bhashya was taken up in the year 1979. The scheme underwent several changes keeping in view the long felt need of the scholars and researchers In the year 1981 Sri N. S. Ramabhadracharya took over charge as the project leader and under his able stewardship final shape was given to this project. Before preparing this edition special care was taken to see that the present edition was an improvement over all the previous editions. This edition is prepared utilising modern techniques of critical works in such matters as punctuation, foot-notes, topical-headings, distinct marking out of the Purvapaksha and Siddhanta views and idices providing useful information to the scholars interested in further research on topics of Vrsishtadvaita School of5Philosophy. It will not be out of place if it is pointed out here that Sribhashya was long out of print.

In the Sanskrit introduction the Editor has explained the position of Advaita Vedanta in contrast with that of Visishtadvaita Vedanta throwing much light on the meanings and usage of the term ‘Visishtadvaita’ used in the works of Sudarshana Suri and Vedanta Desika.

Keeping in view the need of the scholars and researchers proper material is made available here through innumerable references and glossaries, indices and lists on almost all conceivable topics of interest. Brief and succinct meanings of words as explained in Srutaprakasika, Tatvatika and such other leading commentaries are given in the Tika. Profuse care is taken to incorporate the original interpretations of the Acharyas.

This volume can claim its importance on account of its live appendices Tae; provide a vide range of information helpful to a systematic and deep study of Sribhashya as understood and explained by a line of successive Acharyas like Seneswara, Vatsya Varadacharya, Vedanta Deshika, Mahacharya and Lakshrnipuram Srinivasacharya.

Appendix I provides the relevent portions useful to the study of the chatussutri of Sribhashya, from Shariraka Nyayakalapasangraha of Seneswara. charya, Tattvasara of Vatsyavaradacharya, the Adhikaranasaravali of Vedanta. Desika along with a succinct and simple commentary on the last two by the editor, The gist of each Adhikarana is provided in the words of Mahacharya, taking the relevent portions of Adhikaranartha Sangraha which in turn, is supplemented by Srinivasacharya’s metrical work Nayasangatimalika.

Appendix II provides the purports of the passages from Upanishads, Bhagavadgita and Puranas, quoted in the course of the text.

Appendix III provides three miniature glossaries the first consisting of the meanings of technical works found in the chatussutri portion of Sribhashya as explained by Ramanuja himself. The second provides meanings of the technical words of the Sribhashya as explained in the commentaries and third explains the technical and difficult words found in the Brahmasutras in the light of Visishtadvaita tradition. Besides, a separate list of Siddhanta statements is also provided. This is followed by the list of inferential statements (Anumanaprayogas) found in the relevent portion.

Appendix IV gives word-by-word meanings of all the 545 sutras prepared with the help of Sribhashya, Vedantadipa and Vedantasara of Ramanuja. Further, the purports of the whole Bhashya, Adhyayas, Padas and Adhikaranas are also given. Sharirakadhikarana-bhagavannamavali composed by Anantarya, crystalising the essence of each Adhikarana of the Bhashya is also added.

In Appendix V relevant portions of Vishnupurana and Vedanta Karikavali of Bucci Venkatacharya are provided, which are helpful for the- study of the Bhashya.

Thus special care is taken in this work to collect and collate and present most of the important items that would help a thorough study of the Bhashya.

It is planned to bring out the remaining portions in two volumes. t This edition contains only the Chatussutri portion of the Bhashya. The Academy owes a great deal to the unswerving devotion and dedication of Sri N. S. Ramabhadracharya and his team of scholars without which this work could not have come into existence. Our special thanks are due to Sri Srirangam Narasimhacharya, the then Principal, and Sanskrit. College, Melkote, who marked the variant readings of the text with the help of his pupils. We also thank Sri M. K. Narayan Iyengar and Sri N. S. Venkatanathacharya for the initial work they did for the preparation of this text. I am indebted to the scholars of the Scrutiny Committee viz., Sri K. S. Varadachar and Sri N. S. Ramanujatatachariar and Sri S. N. C. Raghunathacharya who went through the manuscript and gave several suggestions for the further improvement of the text.

I will be failing in my duty if I do not thank our President Sri M. A. S. Rajan, and the successive Secretaries viz., Sri S. Vithal Rao and Sri S. A. Patil whose unstinted support was the source of inspiration for us no prepare this work. I am also thankful to the members of the Managing Committee for their timely suggestions and support. My special thanks are due to the Government of Karnataka and Govt. of India for their timely financial help to the Academy without which the Academy could not have• undertaken any of these projects.

Thanks are also due to M/s. Jayanti Printers and Vivek Printers of Mysore for the beautiful print and attractive get-up of this work.

 

Volume II

 

Foreword

The preparation and publication of critical editions of the works of Acharya Sri Ramanuja is one of the major undertakings of the Academy. The first fruit of this project namely, the first volume of SRIBHASHYAM. The Acharya's masterly work was published in 1985.

It gives the Academy much pleasure to offer this second volume of Sribhashyam. In the first volume the introductory portion was presented, in which Acharya Sri Ramanuja dealt with the opening four Brahmasutras of the first chapter. In this volume the remaining portion of the first chapter which is called Samanvayadhyaya has been included. The further volumes will cover the remaining three chapters.

In the foreword to the first volume a brief account of the place of Sribhashyam in Vedantic literature was given. I seek the indulgence of the reader to repeat here a few extracts from it, and to invite a perusal of that foreword for more detail.

The Brahmasutra are an exigesis of the Upanishads explaining meaning, reconciling seeming inconsistencies and establishing basic propositions. Although framed in a grand design they require the helping hand of a guide to comprehend their intricacies and inner meanings. Many Acharyas have per- formed the role of such a guide by virtue of their intellectual and spiritual powers and by means of their brilliant commentaries. The earliest of the commentaries, amongst those available in the present day, is that of the most revered Sri Shankaracharya. The outstanding school of philosophy propounded by him, one among a sequence of schools generated by the Brahmasutras towered above all others. Later, around Acharya Sri Ramanuja's time, the beginnings of the Savisesha school had emerged, which blossomed as the Visishtadvaita system after him. However it is Sri Ramanuja's monumental work that consolidated the canonical position of the Savisesha school of philosophy and provided the impetus for the progress of the Visishtadvaita system. It stands even today as the central pillar of support to that system.

Sri Ramanuja’s commentary on the Brahmasutras utilises a discerning examination of Srutis, Smritis, Puranas and the Ithihases. In the form of 156 Adhikaranas comprising 545 Sutras it is a magnificent treatise on a vast and intricate subject. What distinguishes the Acharya's interpretation from those of others is the fact that it is both rational and appealing to the heart.

The critical edition of Shribhashyam is one of a series of publications which will cover all of Acharya Sri Ramanuja’s works on Visishtadvaita. The Academy hopes to bring forth, in addition, critical editions and other research material pertaining to other works of the Visishtadvaita school. In its turn such research will be a step in the Academy's endeavour to build up comparative studies which would illuminate other schools of philosophical thought prevalent in this country and elsewhere.

A cherished goal of the Academy is to offer the principal works of our scriptural literature to the present generation of scholars and researchers in authoritative well-referenced editions. We are very conscious that most of these works have already appeared in early editions through the dedicated efforts of learned individuals and institutions. The Academy has, with all due gratitude to them, sought to build upon these earlier works and prepare editions which are comprehensive as well as user-friendly for research.

The pre—eminent contribution of this volume, as was the case with its precursor, is to be found in the appendices. Several appendices have been repeated here from the first volume. To give only one example, the word—by-word meanings of all the 545 Sutras in the entire Shribhashyam which are useful for the reader’s ready reference, are also given here. The other appendices are special to his volume. The appendices are an attempt: to provide in condensed form all the adjuncts and facilities needed by the scholarly reader.

The distinguished scholar who continues to lead the Sribhashyam Project, Vidwan N.S. Ramabhadracharya, has been redesignated as the Working Editor of the series and has continued good work at a high order of excellence. The team of scholars associated with him have worked with single—minded devotion and industry. The Academy is grateful to Vidwan Ramabhadracharya and his team. It is hoped that their joint efforts will enable the Academy to complete the publication of the remaining volumes of Sribhashyam soon.

In this connection the Academy is much beholden to the distinguished Scholar, who as members of the Scrutiny Committee, have contributed to the merits this work.

The Academy is also grateful to Prof. M. A. Lakshmithathachar, the Registrar. Who has been given the role of Chief Editor for the Sribhashyam series? In the midst of his numerous administrative duties he has bestowed much zeal and energy in seeing the publication through its various stages. The work has also benefited greatly from his academic guidance.

The Government of India and Government of Karnataka have continued to give generous financial aid to the publication work of the Academy. The Academy is deeply grateful to them.

 

Preface

Acharya Sri Ramanuja is a historic personality of 11th century A.D., who lead an exemplary life both in precept and practice. He was a social reformer and a revolutionary philosopher. He emphasized the virtue of life on earth for the sake of serving the Overlord through service to humanity in order to attain the final liberation. He showed that both the sentient and insentient beings are integral parts of the One Supreme Brahman. He enunciated that the laymen, such as farm labourers, women or harijans are as much eligible for His grace, as the learned pandits or preachers. The path of Bhakti and Prapatti at the feet of the Lord is sufficient to sublimate the surrendered soul through the kind intervention of the merciful Acharya and the graceful Mahalakshmi, he declared.

He wrought the greatest work of his lifetime SRIBHASHYANI, strictly following the footsteps of Bodhayana and Dramidacharya of the Bhagavata school. This work is a well documented commentary on Badarayana's Brahmasutras. This esoteric commentary offers a well balanced, cogent precise and comprehensive account of Saviseshadvaita school or qualified none—dualism. It is based on the organic unity of the whole, commonly referred to as Visishtadvaita Vedanta. Many of the apparent inconsistencies of the Upanishadic teachings are clarified and synthesized in this work. This text can convince any rational thinker that desireless devotion and self-surrender ‘Bhakti and Prapatti) alone lead the individual to final emancipation, rather than activities performed with desires (Sakamakarma).

As already declared in the preface to the first volume, one of the objectives of the Academy has been the in depth study of Visishtadvaita Vedanta and its comparative study with world philosophies (East and West). In continuation, this second volume of critically edited SRIBHASHYAM is now offered to the seekers of knowledge.

In the first volume the first four sutras and their commentary which form the introductory portion for the Vedantic study are dealt with. This volume deals with the rest of the sutras of the first quarter (pads) and the other three quarters of the first chapter. The remaining portions of this work will be Published in three volumes.

This chapter shows that the Supreme Brahman described by the vedantic texts is different from the insentient world of matter, which can he experienced by direct perception. This Brahman is also different from the sentient beings or individual souls, whether in the state of bondage connected with matter or in the state of liberation dissociated from matter. It is also shown that this Brahman which is the repository of infinite good qualities, free from all imperfections, is the sole cause of this sentient and insentient world and the inner self of every thing in this universe.

As with the previous volume every care is taken to present all available material connected with the text systematically and methodically. Variant readings are provided on the same page in footnotes. Headings, sub-headings and paragraph divisions are provided to facilitate easy comprehension by the readers. The editors have striven hard to present the original interpretations of the earlier commentaries as clearly as possible, giving priority to Srutapraka- sika, Tattvatika and such other leading works, Appendices on Sribhashyam have been prepared with utmost care in order to cater to the needs of modern research scholars doing comparative studies of philosophies. As far as possible all the characteristic features of the first volume are retained.

In the Appendix q that follows useful portions from i) Shariraka-nyaya-kalapa-sangraha of Seneswaracharya ii) Tattvasara of Vatsya Varadacharya iii) Adhikarana-saravali of Venkatanatha (Vedanta Desika) iv) Adhikaranartha-sangraha of Mahacharya (Doddayacharya) & v) Nayasangatimalika (poetic composition) of Lakshmipuram Srinivasacharya have been incorporated with their explanations for the readers' convenience.

Source quotations are alphabetically indexed along with notes in detail under different sub-headings such as Sruti, Smriti. Puranas, Bhagavadgita and Purvacharya sooktis in Appendix 2. Alphabetically indexed glossaries for difficult words and phrases selected from i) the portion of Sribhashyam text covered, ii) from other commentaries, and iii) from Brahmasutra text, index of literary maxims, proverbs, etc., alphabetical list of source works quoted in the text, index of names of Rishis, other reference works, index of abbreviations used for works referred to, list of vidyas found in this volume with their explanations, index of sutras, etc., are provided separately as Appendix 3.

Thus it is hoped that this work will serve all the needs of research students and scholars in philosophy studying original Sanskrit texts. We earnestly appeal to the readers and scholars to suggest desirable improvements, so that we can incorporate them in our forthcoming volumes and editions.

The Academy is deeply indebted to Sri N. S. Ramabhadracharya for his sense of devotion to duty in preparing this work and making it useful for all types of scholars interested in Sanskrit and philosophy. The Academy is equally indebted to the scholars of the scrutiny committee, viz., Dr. N. S. Anantha- rangachar, Dr. N. S. Ramanujatatacharya, Pandith K. S, Varadacharya and Vidwan S. N. C. Raghunathacharya who have thoroughly scrutinised the manu— script with untiring diligence. On behalf of the Academy l tender my sincere thanks to these senior scholars; l thank the other research assistants and staff members who have helped at various stages of production of this publication.

I am always grateful to my senior officer’s viz., Sri M. A. S. Rajan, the president, Sri S. A. Patil and Sri G. Gurucharan, the two secretaries who have been supporting me continuously in all my endeavours connected with the Academy. It is my bounden duty to pay my respectful gratitude to every member of the Managing Committee for their unstinting support to the Academy's deliberations. I remain ever indebted to the State and Central Governments for the timely financial assistance given. l earnestly hope that the Government authorities will continue their support for pursuing further the noble objectives of the Academy.

My sincere thanks are due to M/s. Vivek Printers of Mysore who have worked hard to print this work so well.

 

Volume III

 

Foreword

It gives the Academy much pleasure to offer this the third volume of SRIBHASHYAM. The preparation and publication of critical editions of the works of Acharya Sri Ramanuja is one of the major undertakings of the Academy. The critical edition of Sribhashyam, the Acharya’s masterly work, is the first project in this effort. The first volume of Sribhashyam was published in 1985 and the second in i987.

The first volume presented the introductory portion of Sribhashyam in which Acharya Sri Ramanuja dealt with the opening four Brahmasutras of the first chapter. The exigesis of the rest of the chapter was included in the second volume. This volume presents the second chapter of the text, known as Avirodhadhyaya. This is the penultimate volume. The last volume will take us to the end of the text covering the last two chapters, Sadhanadhyaha and Phaladhyaya.

Acharya Sri Ramanuja has devoted his discussion in Avirodhadhyaya to the inconsistencies that are seen in the earlier schools of thought and has put forward his thesis by meticulously resolving the contradictions seen in these schools. It is in this chapter that the Acharya has firmly argued the case for depicting Parabrahman as the creator, sustainer and destroyer of the Universe comprising both sentient and insentient beings.

In the foreword to the first volume a brief account of the place of Sribhashyam in Vedic literature was given. Some extracts from it were presented in the second volume. I wish, to take the liberty of inviting the reader to peruse the former,. instead of burdening this foreward with a repetition.

However there is one point which bears repetition here. The volumes on Sribhashyarn are the first in a series which will include critical editions of all of Sri Ramanuja’s writings on Visistadvaita. The Academy hopes to follow on with the publication of other works of the Visistadvaita School. All of this effort will have yielded research by-products. And it is the cherished hope of the Academy that such research in turn will be a step in its endeavour to build up comparative studies which would illuminate various other schools of philosophical thought prevalent in the country and elsewhere.

A basic aim of the Academy is to offer the principal works of our scriptural literature to the present generation of scholars and researchers in authoritative, well—referenced user-friendly editions. As in the case of the earlier volumes the signal contribution of this volume is in the appendices. The appendices are an attempt to provide in condensed form all the adjuncts and facilities needed by the scholarly reader. The working Editor of this series, Vidwan N. S.

Ramabhadracharya has continued his good work to produce a volume of high excellence. My thanks on behalf of the Academy are due to him. The scholars associated with him have worked with single-minded devotion and to the best of their ability. The Academy is grateful to them.

In this connection the Academy is much beholden to the distinguished scholars, who as members of the Scrutiny Committee, have contributed to the merits of this work.

The Academy is also grateful to Prof. M.A. Lakshmithathachar, the Registrar and Chief Editor of the Sribhashyam series. In the midst of his many administrative preoccupations he has intensely followed up the publication through its various stages, apart from bestowing valuable academic guidance.

This Government of India and Government of Karnataka have continued to give generous financial aid to the publication work of the Academy. The Academy is deeply grateful to them.

 

Preface

It gives me pleasure to present the THIRD VOLUME of the critically edited SRIBHASHYAM in the hands of lovers of Sanskrit and Philosophy. Volumes I and II were published in 1985 and 1987 respectively. The fourth and final volume is in the press.

Sribhashyam, a voluminous commentary written by Sri Ramanuja is the most faithful exposition of Maharshi Badarayana’s BRAHMASUTRA. Any ardent student of philosophy cannot but appreciate the vehemence and impregnability of his argumentation in support of Savisesadvaita. The text is divided into four chapters (adhyayas) of which Chapter I, called Samanvayadhyaya was covered in Volumes I & II.

In the first chapter it is conclusively proved that the Supreme Brahman is distinct from the matter (insentient) and from the individual self(sentient) both in the state of liberation and that of bondage. It is also shown that it is an epitome of perfection, the repository of infinite good qualities.

Chapter II is the subject matter of the present volume. This is called Avirodhadhyaya, since the conclusion that Brahman is the sole cause of this universe is demonstrated to be unassailable from every possible objection with powerful logic in this chapter.

In the first two sections of the second chapter the views of two respected authorities viz., Kapila & Hiranyagarbha, which are at variance with the Vedantic point of view are examined and set aside. In the other eight sections, different arguments assailing the view that Brahman alone is the cause of the universe, based on independent reasoning and logic, are examined and refused.

The Academy is thankful to Vidwan N.S. Ramabhadracharya and his assistants for their sincere and devoted work in this volume. The Academy is indebted to Panditaratnam K. S. Varadacharya and other scholars who have scrutinized the manuscript thoroughly. Thanks are due to Sri N. S. Janardanacharya who has read the press proofs.

I remain grateful to our President Sri M.A.S. Rajan for his personal guidance at all levels in the activities of the Academy. It is my duty to pay my respectful thanks to the Secretary of the Academy, Sri Gururaj, Commissioner for Religious and Charitable Endowments in Karnataka and the other members of the Managing Committee, who are whole- heartedly supporting these research and publication activities. Sincere thanks are due to M/s. Vivek Printers of Mysore who have printed this work nicely.

 

Volume IV

 

Foreword

It is with a feeling of satisfaction that the Academy is placing in the hands of the esteemed public this final volume (Volume IV) of the critical edition of Sribhashyam. The three earlier volumes were released in 1985, 87 and 90 respectively. The present volume covers chapters 3 & 4 of Sribhashyam. While chapter deals with the pathway to the goal of life (Sadhana) the concluding chapter explains the goal itself (Phala).

The exposition of the path towards, and the nature of, final emancipation (Moksha) is a sequel to the explanation of the nature of ultimate reality (tattva) which is the subject if the first two chapters; these chapters were presented in the first three volumes of the series. The present volume has followed the same mode of presentation as the earlier ones.

To say just a word about the objective of the Academy in bringing out the works of Sri Ramanuja in the present series, I may be permitted to quote from an earlier foreword (Volume III):

"The basic aim of the Academy is to offer the principal works of Visistadvaita in authoritative, well—referenced user- friendly edition. The signal contribution of these volumes are in their appendices (which) provide in condensed form all the adjuncts and facilities needed by the scholarly reader. We hope that this series has come up to their expected standards”.

It is my pleasure to congratulate Vidwan N.S. Ramabhadra- charya who has led the project throughout, for having completed • his onerous responsibility with excellence. My thanks are due to the associate scholars and proof-readers who have co-operated whole-heartedly in completing this project.

The Academy is grateful to the distinguished scholars who, as members of the scrutiny committee have contributed in maintaining the high standards of execution of critical editions.

Prof. M.A. Lakshmithathachar, the Director has guided the team of scholar of the Academy in fulfilling the task of publication this principal work of Sri Ramanuja. I am beholden to him on behalf of the Academy.

On behalf of the Academy, it is my duty tender our thanks to the State and Central Governments who have continued to provide generous financial aid for publications planned by the Academy.

My sincere thanks are also due to M/s. Vivek Printers, Mysore, who have done their work with meticulous care.

 

Preface

It gives me great pleasure and satisfaction in presenting this final volume of SRIBHASHYAM in the hands of the lovers of Indian philosophy. The first volume of this work was published in 1985 and the subsequent volumes were released later. The fourth and final volume is published in 1991.

The philosophy of Upanisads is beautifully treated by Ramanuja in his magnum opus SRIBHASHYAM which is written as a commentary on the Brahmasutras of Badarayana. This philosophy was later termed as Visistadvaita or Savisesadvaita by his followers. In the first three volumes consisting of chapter’s l and 2, the concept of Brahman is brought out in a succinct manner dispelling all the doubts regarding its nature and attributes. In this fourth volume, the third and the fourth chapters which expound the Sadhana and Phala respectively are covered.

In Sadhanadhyaya the means to attain salvation viz., Bhakti finds a clear exposition. The pathway to redemption. (Sadhana) is gaining the knowledge of Him through intense devotion (Bhakti) as illustrated in chapter 3.

Chapter 4-P/uzladhyaya exemplifies the ultimate goal of life (purusartha) stating that the path of the devout as discussed earlier leads to final emancipation-Moksha. The nature of Moksha that was propounded earlier in chapter l is elaborated in this concluding chapter. Thus, according to Ramanuja, knowledge of God which culminates in the experience off enternal ecstasy by enjoying life in Brahman here and hereafter can be attained through intense devotion (paramabhakti).

I am grateful indeed to the team of scholars who have put in sincere efforts in editing, scrutinizing and seeing the work through the press. Thanks are due to Vidwan N.S. Ramabhadracharya and Vidwan N.S. Janardanacharya for the proof reading.

I am indebted to our President Sri M.A.S. Rajan for his timely advice in running the administration and to all the members of the Managing Committee for their guidelines in running this research organization on right lines. I express my sincere thanks to the Secretary, Sri Gururaj, who worked upto March 91 and Commissioner for Religious and Charitable Endowments in Karnataka State. I am indeed thankful to M/S. Vivek Printers of Mysore for their good printing work.

 

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Sribhasyam – Ramanuja's Commentary on the Brahma Sutras (Sanskrit Only in Four Big Volumes): Old And A Rare Book

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Volume I

 

Foreword

The preparation and publication of critical editions of the Works of Acharya Sri Ramanuja is one of the major endeavours of the Academy. The first fruit of this project is presented in this publication, the first volume of Sribhashya. It contains the introductory portion of the Acharya’s brilliant inspired commentary on the Brahmasutras.

The Brahmasutras are an exigesis of the Upanisads explaining meanings, reconciling seeming inconsistencies and establishing basic propositions. Acharya Badarayana, the author of the Sutras is in our tradition regarded as the same as Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa. It would seem that several Acharyas before Badarayana had also compiled aphorisms. However only the Badarayana-text is available for study and not those of the earlier Acharyas, such as Audulomi, Kasakrtsna, Badari and others.

Although framed in a grand design, the Brahmasutras are difficult to comprehend. A seeker of knowledge who wishes to enter their subject—matter has necessarily to be led by the hand through its intricacies with the help of the guides’ lucid commen- taries. Many Acharyas have performed this service by virtue of their intellectual and spiritual powers. The earliest of the commentaries, among those available in the present day, is that of the most revered, Sri Shankaracharya. He refers to an earlier Acharya by name Dravida. Similarly other commentators refer to other Acharyas. Clearly, many schools of philosophy were gene_ rated by the Brahmasutras. In the days of Sri Shankaracharya the distinguished school propounded by him towered above all others. During Sri Ramanuja’s time the beginnings of the Savishesha school, which blossomed as the Visistadvaita system, were already present.

However it is Sri Ramanuja’s monumental work that con- solidated the positions of Visistadvaita School of Philosophy and provided the impetus for the advent of Srivaishnavism. It stands even today as the central pillar of support to that system. Sri Ramanuja’s commentary on the Brahmasutras utilises a dispassionate examination of Srutis, Smritis, Puranas and the Ithihasas. In the form of 156 Adhikaranas comprising 545 Sutras, it is a magnificent treatise on a vast and intricate subject.

Sri Shankara Bhashya propounds an Advaita which incorporates the concept of Nirvisesha Brahman. The Commentary of Acharya Bhaskara is basic on the concept of association of Upadhis with Brahman. Acharya Ramanuja in Sribhashya establishes a system of Advaita with the concept of Savisesha Brahman, rejecting the concept of Nirvisesha Brahman. He has based himself on a cogent appreciation of the strengths and weak- nesses of the various alternative schools of thought, and yet the comprehensive sweep of his analysis has the markings of personal religious experience. In the result he has expounded an interpretation of the Brahmasutras which is reasonable as well as appealing to the heart.

Here is the first volume of Sribhashya. The further volumes are ready for printing, and it is the Academy’s hope that they would be published very soon.

The critical edition of Sribhashya is itself the opening publication in a series which will cover all of Sri Ramanuja’s Works on Visistadvaita. The Academy hopes to follow up this series with the publication of materials brought forth by further research into other works of the Visistadvaita school- In its turn I such research will be a step in the Academy’s endeavour to build up comparative studies which would illuminate various other schools of philosophical thought prevalent in this country and. elsewhere.

One of the aims of the Academy is to bring out publications which offer the principal works of our scriptural literature to the present generation of scholars, in authoritative, well-referenced editions. We are very conscious that most of these works have already appeared in earlier editions through the dedicated efforts of learned institutions and individuals. The Academy has, with all due gratitude to them, sought to build upon these earlier works and prepare editions which are comprehensive as well as userfriendly for research scholars.

In this context it would not be out of place to mention the special features of this critical edition. This edition has taken particular care to select the most authoritative among different texts, viz. the main work itself, and the commentaries on it. The authors whose commentaries are presented are those who in our reckoning are widely known and have made significant contribution to the better understanding of Sri Ramanuja’s Work. No claim is made that the choice of commentators is universally acceptable, for it is our belief" that no choice can be completely objective. The commentaries presented with the text have also been explained in notes, wherever necessary. In writing these notes the attempt has been to use the simplest possible Sanskrit. In any such effort it is but natural that intellectual preferences come into play. The notes are not exempt from such preferences. In the main work, Sri Ramanuja, has cited many earlier commentaries and presentations by different gathers. In this edition, those works, wherever possible, have been precisely identified and complete bibliographic references given in such cases.

Sri Ramanuja’s Work is usually presented as a running text without sectional headings. In the present edition the reader is helped by giving intermediate headings. However, the most significant feature introduced here lies in the appendices. The appendices have attempted to provide in condensed form all the literary adjuncts which facilitate an understanding of the text at commentaries.

A high order of excellence has been brought to the present work by the distinguished scholar who is leading the project team,. Namely Vidwan Sri N.S. Ramabhadracharya. The team members have also contributed to its quality by their unremitting devotions and industry. The Academy is beholden to them.

Both the Government of India and the Government of Karanataka have given generous financial aid to the projects of the Academy. The Academy owes a deep debt of gratitude to them.

 

Preface

Acharya Ramanuja a great philosopher and thinker appeared on there philosophical firmament in the 11th century A.D. At that time Hinduism had become very weak by the blind following of ceremonies and petrified formalism, At this juncture Buddhism and Jainism appeared as reformative movements. But there was a nation-wide counter-revolution in the form of orthodox reaction which transfused fresh blood into the decaying limbs of the Hindu-society. The orthodox Hindu Society was not satisfied with the antivcdic-scholastic-systems of philosophy of the Buddhists and Jains as they appeared to be negative and sceptical and could not satisfy it spiritually. Hence, once again Hinduism drew inspiration from the moving hymns of the Rig Veda and the Upasana Kanda of the Upanishads and thus offered new pathways for the spiritual life and, fervid devotion to God. This movement was also preceded by the advent of the great mystics in the south who poured out their soul-stirring rhapsodies in the form of Tamil Divya Prabandhams. This Bhakti movement had its impact on the society. As a result of this there was raising importance of Alwars and a tremendous activity in temple building which laid emphasis on the worship of image as permanent incarnation of God. These Alwars rendered yeomen service to Hinduism by claiming innumerable people to the faith by their exemplary life and music of words.

These Alwars were succeeded by a different type of teachers called Acharyas, trying to organise communities of devotees for preserving the vision and ecstasies of the doctrines of the Alwars and defend theistic Vedanta Philosophy affirming the reality of the individual soul and the world, on rational grounds. Nathamuni (916 A.D.) was the foremost among these Acharyas. He was succeeded after two brief periods of apostleship by Pundarikaksha, Ramamishra, and his grandson Yamunacharya or Alavandar. Yamunacharya confined in himself the deep mystical experience of the God-e intoxicated Alwars and the prodigious knowledge of Vedanta and Agamas. In his works we and the elucidation of the cardinal principles of Visishtadvaita Vedanta, establishment of the orthodoxy of the Pancharatra system, illumination of the concept of Bhakti and Prapatti enshrined in the Bhagavadgita and also the concept of Sri, the Divine Mother. Though, Yamuna, a great Acharya anticipated most of the basic arguments of Visishtativaita in his works, for reasons unknown to us, was anxiously awaiting for the arrival of a worthy successor like Acharya Ramanuja to fulfill his long cherished desire of writing a Bhashya on the Brahmasutras strictly following the footsteps of Bodhayana and Dramidacharya and thus establish the theistic Vedanta on a firm footing.

Ramanuja’s life bears ample evidence to show that he inherited the "triple tradition of the rich Bhakti lore of the Alwars, the Samskrita Vedanta — literature in the form of Prasthana trayi.(Upanishads, Bhagavadgita and Brahmasutras), works written by Yamunacharya and his predecessors and philosophy of the Agamas. Thus equipped Ramanuja set forth to write an elaborate commentary on Brahmasutras as ordained by his spirtual Acharya, Yamuna, strictly following the Bhagavata school of thought which is retognised in his commentary on Brahmasutras even by Shankaracharya.

The Brahmasutras ascribed to Badarayana comprise of four chapters which are further divided into four padas each. Even these padas are subdivided into Adhikaranas or topics of Vedantic interest. The number of sutras vary from Acharya to Acharya and Ramanuja counts only five forty five sutras.

The first chapter called Svarupadhyaya deals with the nature of Brahman and establishes Brahman as the ultimate ground of the universe of ‘cit’ and ‘Acit’ i.e., the sentient and insentient beings, in the light of the Karana Vakyas of the Upanisads. The second chapter called Avirodhadhyaya establishes the same truth negatively by refuting all the other theories which are opposed to this Vedantic theory. The third chapter called Sadhanadhyaya deals with the means of attaining that Parabrahman which is established as the metaphysical ground of all beings in the previous two chapters. It is also established here that Brahman is the ultimate goal of all religious meditation. The last chapter viz., Phaladhyaya deals with the nature of Mukti which is the fruition of philosophical enquiry.

From all aspects, the great commentary viz., Sribhashya on these Brahmasutras written by Ramanuja is a masterpiece. In this work Ramanuja synthesises the entire teaching of Visishtadvaita in its philosophical, ethical and aesthetic aspects. As Georege Thiebout observes "Sri Ramanuja’s commentary on the Brahmasutras claims to be the fullest exposition of what may be called theistic Vedanta and supplies us with the material to penetrate into the true meaning of the Badarayana Sutras." This commentary offers a well balanced and cogent account of the development of the concept viz., Saviseshadvaita or qualified-non-dualism or the organic unity of the whole, depicting that the entire universe of men and matter forms the mode of the Supreme Brahman, which has won for this system, the name Visishtadvaita or Saviseshadviata. In his Sri Bhashya Ramanuja argues ‘e at length stating that knowledge invariably refers to a complex object (Savisesha-vastu) and that it is impossible for the mind to conceive anything in isolation without some qualitative characteristic or other being known at the same time. According to him whatever is known, is known as necessarily qualified, its Jati or generic character being inseparable from it.

Ramanuja totally rejects the possibility of knowing an unqualified object (Nirvisesha vastu). It can never be known. In fact it does not exist.

Here it may be pointed out that Ramanuja’s philosophy rose in response to the day-to—day problems of human life. "If a philosophy does not comfort us in our stress and suffering, it could at best be a mere intellectual diversion and not serious thinking". Hence, this system, took shape not as the result of any compromise but in answer to a real need for the synthesis in the views and perspectives of Vedanta. Further, it may be pointed out that Ramanuja’s writings are marked by conceptual clarity and grandeur of construction. Commenting on the Upanisadic passages he is not given to any improvisation whatsoever and gives equal importance to all the scriptural passages and offers the most natural and satisfying interpretation.

The management of the Academy has the desire to critically edit all the nine works of Ramanuja and publish them later. Critical edition of Sri Bhashya was taken up in the year 1979. The scheme underwent several changes keeping in view the long felt need of the scholars and researchers In the year 1981 Sri N. S. Ramabhadracharya took over charge as the project leader and under his able stewardship final shape was given to this project. Before preparing this edition special care was taken to see that the present edition was an improvement over all the previous editions. This edition is prepared utilising modern techniques of critical works in such matters as punctuation, foot-notes, topical-headings, distinct marking out of the Purvapaksha and Siddhanta views and idices providing useful information to the scholars interested in further research on topics of Vrsishtadvaita School of5Philosophy. It will not be out of place if it is pointed out here that Sribhashya was long out of print.

In the Sanskrit introduction the Editor has explained the position of Advaita Vedanta in contrast with that of Visishtadvaita Vedanta throwing much light on the meanings and usage of the term ‘Visishtadvaita’ used in the works of Sudarshana Suri and Vedanta Desika.

Keeping in view the need of the scholars and researchers proper material is made available here through innumerable references and glossaries, indices and lists on almost all conceivable topics of interest. Brief and succinct meanings of words as explained in Srutaprakasika, Tatvatika and such other leading commentaries are given in the Tika. Profuse care is taken to incorporate the original interpretations of the Acharyas.

This volume can claim its importance on account of its live appendices Tae; provide a vide range of information helpful to a systematic and deep study of Sribhashya as understood and explained by a line of successive Acharyas like Seneswara, Vatsya Varadacharya, Vedanta Deshika, Mahacharya and Lakshrnipuram Srinivasacharya.

Appendix I provides the relevent portions useful to the study of the chatussutri of Sribhashya, from Shariraka Nyayakalapasangraha of Seneswara. charya, Tattvasara of Vatsyavaradacharya, the Adhikaranasaravali of Vedanta. Desika along with a succinct and simple commentary on the last two by the editor, The gist of each Adhikarana is provided in the words of Mahacharya, taking the relevent portions of Adhikaranartha Sangraha which in turn, is supplemented by Srinivasacharya’s metrical work Nayasangatimalika.

Appendix II provides the purports of the passages from Upanishads, Bhagavadgita and Puranas, quoted in the course of the text.

Appendix III provides three miniature glossaries the first consisting of the meanings of technical works found in the chatussutri portion of Sribhashya as explained by Ramanuja himself. The second provides meanings of the technical words of the Sribhashya as explained in the commentaries and third explains the technical and difficult words found in the Brahmasutras in the light of Visishtadvaita tradition. Besides, a separate list of Siddhanta statements is also provided. This is followed by the list of inferential statements (Anumanaprayogas) found in the relevent portion.

Appendix IV gives word-by-word meanings of all the 545 sutras prepared with the help of Sribhashya, Vedantadipa and Vedantasara of Ramanuja. Further, the purports of the whole Bhashya, Adhyayas, Padas and Adhikaranas are also given. Sharirakadhikarana-bhagavannamavali composed by Anantarya, crystalising the essence of each Adhikarana of the Bhashya is also added.

In Appendix V relevant portions of Vishnupurana and Vedanta Karikavali of Bucci Venkatacharya are provided, which are helpful for the- study of the Bhashya.

Thus special care is taken in this work to collect and collate and present most of the important items that would help a thorough study of the Bhashya.

It is planned to bring out the remaining portions in two volumes. t This edition contains only the Chatussutri portion of the Bhashya. The Academy owes a great deal to the unswerving devotion and dedication of Sri N. S. Ramabhadracharya and his team of scholars without which this work could not have come into existence. Our special thanks are due to Sri Srirangam Narasimhacharya, the then Principal, and Sanskrit. College, Melkote, who marked the variant readings of the text with the help of his pupils. We also thank Sri M. K. Narayan Iyengar and Sri N. S. Venkatanathacharya for the initial work they did for the preparation of this text. I am indebted to the scholars of the Scrutiny Committee viz., Sri K. S. Varadachar and Sri N. S. Ramanujatatachariar and Sri S. N. C. Raghunathacharya who went through the manuscript and gave several suggestions for the further improvement of the text.

I will be failing in my duty if I do not thank our President Sri M. A. S. Rajan, and the successive Secretaries viz., Sri S. Vithal Rao and Sri S. A. Patil whose unstinted support was the source of inspiration for us no prepare this work. I am also thankful to the members of the Managing Committee for their timely suggestions and support. My special thanks are due to the Government of Karnataka and Govt. of India for their timely financial help to the Academy without which the Academy could not have• undertaken any of these projects.

Thanks are also due to M/s. Jayanti Printers and Vivek Printers of Mysore for the beautiful print and attractive get-up of this work.

 

Volume II

 

Foreword

The preparation and publication of critical editions of the works of Acharya Sri Ramanuja is one of the major undertakings of the Academy. The first fruit of this project namely, the first volume of SRIBHASHYAM. The Acharya's masterly work was published in 1985.

It gives the Academy much pleasure to offer this second volume of Sribhashyam. In the first volume the introductory portion was presented, in which Acharya Sri Ramanuja dealt with the opening four Brahmasutras of the first chapter. In this volume the remaining portion of the first chapter which is called Samanvayadhyaya has been included. The further volumes will cover the remaining three chapters.

In the foreword to the first volume a brief account of the place of Sribhashyam in Vedantic literature was given. I seek the indulgence of the reader to repeat here a few extracts from it, and to invite a perusal of that foreword for more detail.

The Brahmasutra are an exigesis of the Upanishads explaining meaning, reconciling seeming inconsistencies and establishing basic propositions. Although framed in a grand design they require the helping hand of a guide to comprehend their intricacies and inner meanings. Many Acharyas have per- formed the role of such a guide by virtue of their intellectual and spiritual powers and by means of their brilliant commentaries. The earliest of the commentaries, amongst those available in the present day, is that of the most revered Sri Shankaracharya. The outstanding school of philosophy propounded by him, one among a sequence of schools generated by the Brahmasutras towered above all others. Later, around Acharya Sri Ramanuja's time, the beginnings of the Savisesha school had emerged, which blossomed as the Visishtadvaita system after him. However it is Sri Ramanuja's monumental work that consolidated the canonical position of the Savisesha school of philosophy and provided the impetus for the progress of the Visishtadvaita system. It stands even today as the central pillar of support to that system.

Sri Ramanuja’s commentary on the Brahmasutras utilises a discerning examination of Srutis, Smritis, Puranas and the Ithihases. In the form of 156 Adhikaranas comprising 545 Sutras it is a magnificent treatise on a vast and intricate subject. What distinguishes the Acharya's interpretation from those of others is the fact that it is both rational and appealing to the heart.

The critical edition of Shribhashyam is one of a series of publications which will cover all of Acharya Sri Ramanuja’s works on Visishtadvaita. The Academy hopes to bring forth, in addition, critical editions and other research material pertaining to other works of the Visishtadvaita school. In its turn such research will be a step in the Academy's endeavour to build up comparative studies which would illuminate other schools of philosophical thought prevalent in this country and elsewhere.

A cherished goal of the Academy is to offer the principal works of our scriptural literature to the present generation of scholars and researchers in authoritative well-referenced editions. We are very conscious that most of these works have already appeared in early editions through the dedicated efforts of learned individuals and institutions. The Academy has, with all due gratitude to them, sought to build upon these earlier works and prepare editions which are comprehensive as well as user-friendly for research.

The pre—eminent contribution of this volume, as was the case with its precursor, is to be found in the appendices. Several appendices have been repeated here from the first volume. To give only one example, the word—by-word meanings of all the 545 Sutras in the entire Shribhashyam which are useful for the reader’s ready reference, are also given here. The other appendices are special to his volume. The appendices are an attempt: to provide in condensed form all the adjuncts and facilities needed by the scholarly reader.

The distinguished scholar who continues to lead the Sribhashyam Project, Vidwan N.S. Ramabhadracharya, has been redesignated as the Working Editor of the series and has continued good work at a high order of excellence. The team of scholars associated with him have worked with single—minded devotion and industry. The Academy is grateful to Vidwan Ramabhadracharya and his team. It is hoped that their joint efforts will enable the Academy to complete the publication of the remaining volumes of Sribhashyam soon.

In this connection the Academy is much beholden to the distinguished Scholar, who as members of the Scrutiny Committee, have contributed to the merits this work.

The Academy is also grateful to Prof. M. A. Lakshmithathachar, the Registrar. Who has been given the role of Chief Editor for the Sribhashyam series? In the midst of his numerous administrative duties he has bestowed much zeal and energy in seeing the publication through its various stages. The work has also benefited greatly from his academic guidance.

The Government of India and Government of Karnataka have continued to give generous financial aid to the publication work of the Academy. The Academy is deeply grateful to them.

 

Preface

Acharya Sri Ramanuja is a historic personality of 11th century A.D., who lead an exemplary life both in precept and practice. He was a social reformer and a revolutionary philosopher. He emphasized the virtue of life on earth for the sake of serving the Overlord through service to humanity in order to attain the final liberation. He showed that both the sentient and insentient beings are integral parts of the One Supreme Brahman. He enunciated that the laymen, such as farm labourers, women or harijans are as much eligible for His grace, as the learned pandits or preachers. The path of Bhakti and Prapatti at the feet of the Lord is sufficient to sublimate the surrendered soul through the kind intervention of the merciful Acharya and the graceful Mahalakshmi, he declared.

He wrought the greatest work of his lifetime SRIBHASHYANI, strictly following the footsteps of Bodhayana and Dramidacharya of the Bhagavata school. This work is a well documented commentary on Badarayana's Brahmasutras. This esoteric commentary offers a well balanced, cogent precise and comprehensive account of Saviseshadvaita school or qualified none—dualism. It is based on the organic unity of the whole, commonly referred to as Visishtadvaita Vedanta. Many of the apparent inconsistencies of the Upanishadic teachings are clarified and synthesized in this work. This text can convince any rational thinker that desireless devotion and self-surrender ‘Bhakti and Prapatti) alone lead the individual to final emancipation, rather than activities performed with desires (Sakamakarma).

As already declared in the preface to the first volume, one of the objectives of the Academy has been the in depth study of Visishtadvaita Vedanta and its comparative study with world philosophies (East and West). In continuation, this second volume of critically edited SRIBHASHYAM is now offered to the seekers of knowledge.

In the first volume the first four sutras and their commentary which form the introductory portion for the Vedantic study are dealt with. This volume deals with the rest of the sutras of the first quarter (pads) and the other three quarters of the first chapter. The remaining portions of this work will be Published in three volumes.

This chapter shows that the Supreme Brahman described by the vedantic texts is different from the insentient world of matter, which can he experienced by direct perception. This Brahman is also different from the sentient beings or individual souls, whether in the state of bondage connected with matter or in the state of liberation dissociated from matter. It is also shown that this Brahman which is the repository of infinite good qualities, free from all imperfections, is the sole cause of this sentient and insentient world and the inner self of every thing in this universe.

As with the previous volume every care is taken to present all available material connected with the text systematically and methodically. Variant readings are provided on the same page in footnotes. Headings, sub-headings and paragraph divisions are provided to facilitate easy comprehension by the readers. The editors have striven hard to present the original interpretations of the earlier commentaries as clearly as possible, giving priority to Srutapraka- sika, Tattvatika and such other leading works, Appendices on Sribhashyam have been prepared with utmost care in order to cater to the needs of modern research scholars doing comparative studies of philosophies. As far as possible all the characteristic features of the first volume are retained.

In the Appendix q that follows useful portions from i) Shariraka-nyaya-kalapa-sangraha of Seneswaracharya ii) Tattvasara of Vatsya Varadacharya iii) Adhikarana-saravali of Venkatanatha (Vedanta Desika) iv) Adhikaranartha-sangraha of Mahacharya (Doddayacharya) & v) Nayasangatimalika (poetic composition) of Lakshmipuram Srinivasacharya have been incorporated with their explanations for the readers' convenience.

Source quotations are alphabetically indexed along with notes in detail under different sub-headings such as Sruti, Smriti. Puranas, Bhagavadgita and Purvacharya sooktis in Appendix 2. Alphabetically indexed glossaries for difficult words and phrases selected from i) the portion of Sribhashyam text covered, ii) from other commentaries, and iii) from Brahmasutra text, index of literary maxims, proverbs, etc., alphabetical list of source works quoted in the text, index of names of Rishis, other reference works, index of abbreviations used for works referred to, list of vidyas found in this volume with their explanations, index of sutras, etc., are provided separately as Appendix 3.

Thus it is hoped that this work will serve all the needs of research students and scholars in philosophy studying original Sanskrit texts. We earnestly appeal to the readers and scholars to suggest desirable improvements, so that we can incorporate them in our forthcoming volumes and editions.

The Academy is deeply indebted to Sri N. S. Ramabhadracharya for his sense of devotion to duty in preparing this work and making it useful for all types of scholars interested in Sanskrit and philosophy. The Academy is equally indebted to the scholars of the scrutiny committee, viz., Dr. N. S. Anantha- rangachar, Dr. N. S. Ramanujatatacharya, Pandith K. S, Varadacharya and Vidwan S. N. C. Raghunathacharya who have thoroughly scrutinised the manu— script with untiring diligence. On behalf of the Academy l tender my sincere thanks to these senior scholars; l thank the other research assistants and staff members who have helped at various stages of production of this publication.

I am always grateful to my senior officer’s viz., Sri M. A. S. Rajan, the president, Sri S. A. Patil and Sri G. Gurucharan, the two secretaries who have been supporting me continuously in all my endeavours connected with the Academy. It is my bounden duty to pay my respectful gratitude to every member of the Managing Committee for their unstinting support to the Academy's deliberations. I remain ever indebted to the State and Central Governments for the timely financial assistance given. l earnestly hope that the Government authorities will continue their support for pursuing further the noble objectives of the Academy.

My sincere thanks are due to M/s. Vivek Printers of Mysore who have worked hard to print this work so well.

 

Volume III

 

Foreword

It gives the Academy much pleasure to offer this the third volume of SRIBHASHYAM. The preparation and publication of critical editions of the works of Acharya Sri Ramanuja is one of the major undertakings of the Academy. The critical edition of Sribhashyam, the Acharya’s masterly work, is the first project in this effort. The first volume of Sribhashyam was published in 1985 and the second in i987.

The first volume presented the introductory portion of Sribhashyam in which Acharya Sri Ramanuja dealt with the opening four Brahmasutras of the first chapter. The exigesis of the rest of the chapter was included in the second volume. This volume presents the second chapter of the text, known as Avirodhadhyaya. This is the penultimate volume. The last volume will take us to the end of the text covering the last two chapters, Sadhanadhyaha and Phaladhyaya.

Acharya Sri Ramanuja has devoted his discussion in Avirodhadhyaya to the inconsistencies that are seen in the earlier schools of thought and has put forward his thesis by meticulously resolving the contradictions seen in these schools. It is in this chapter that the Acharya has firmly argued the case for depicting Parabrahman as the creator, sustainer and destroyer of the Universe comprising both sentient and insentient beings.

In the foreword to the first volume a brief account of the place of Sribhashyam in Vedic literature was given. Some extracts from it were presented in the second volume. I wish, to take the liberty of inviting the reader to peruse the former,. instead of burdening this foreward with a repetition.

However there is one point which bears repetition here. The volumes on Sribhashyarn are the first in a series which will include critical editions of all of Sri Ramanuja’s writings on Visistadvaita. The Academy hopes to follow on with the publication of other works of the Visistadvaita School. All of this effort will have yielded research by-products. And it is the cherished hope of the Academy that such research in turn will be a step in its endeavour to build up comparative studies which would illuminate various other schools of philosophical thought prevalent in the country and elsewhere.

A basic aim of the Academy is to offer the principal works of our scriptural literature to the present generation of scholars and researchers in authoritative, well—referenced user-friendly editions. As in the case of the earlier volumes the signal contribution of this volume is in the appendices. The appendices are an attempt to provide in condensed form all the adjuncts and facilities needed by the scholarly reader. The working Editor of this series, Vidwan N. S.

Ramabhadracharya has continued his good work to produce a volume of high excellence. My thanks on behalf of the Academy are due to him. The scholars associated with him have worked with single-minded devotion and to the best of their ability. The Academy is grateful to them.

In this connection the Academy is much beholden to the distinguished scholars, who as members of the Scrutiny Committee, have contributed to the merits of this work.

The Academy is also grateful to Prof. M.A. Lakshmithathachar, the Registrar and Chief Editor of the Sribhashyam series. In the midst of his many administrative preoccupations he has intensely followed up the publication through its various stages, apart from bestowing valuable academic guidance.

This Government of India and Government of Karnataka have continued to give generous financial aid to the publication work of the Academy. The Academy is deeply grateful to them.

 

Preface

It gives me pleasure to present the THIRD VOLUME of the critically edited SRIBHASHYAM in the hands of lovers of Sanskrit and Philosophy. Volumes I and II were published in 1985 and 1987 respectively. The fourth and final volume is in the press.

Sribhashyam, a voluminous commentary written by Sri Ramanuja is the most faithful exposition of Maharshi Badarayana’s BRAHMASUTRA. Any ardent student of philosophy cannot but appreciate the vehemence and impregnability of his argumentation in support of Savisesadvaita. The text is divided into four chapters (adhyayas) of which Chapter I, called Samanvayadhyaya was covered in Volumes I & II.

In the first chapter it is conclusively proved that the Supreme Brahman is distinct from the matter (insentient) and from the individual self(sentient) both in the state of liberation and that of bondage. It is also shown that it is an epitome of perfection, the repository of infinite good qualities.

Chapter II is the subject matter of the present volume. This is called Avirodhadhyaya, since the conclusion that Brahman is the sole cause of this universe is demonstrated to be unassailable from every possible objection with powerful logic in this chapter.

In the first two sections of the second chapter the views of two respected authorities viz., Kapila & Hiranyagarbha, which are at variance with the Vedantic point of view are examined and set aside. In the other eight sections, different arguments assailing the view that Brahman alone is the cause of the universe, based on independent reasoning and logic, are examined and refused.

The Academy is thankful to Vidwan N.S. Ramabhadracharya and his assistants for their sincere and devoted work in this volume. The Academy is indebted to Panditaratnam K. S. Varadacharya and other scholars who have scrutinized the manuscript thoroughly. Thanks are due to Sri N. S. Janardanacharya who has read the press proofs.

I remain grateful to our President Sri M.A.S. Rajan for his personal guidance at all levels in the activities of the Academy. It is my duty to pay my respectful thanks to the Secretary of the Academy, Sri Gururaj, Commissioner for Religious and Charitable Endowments in Karnataka and the other members of the Managing Committee, who are whole- heartedly supporting these research and publication activities. Sincere thanks are due to M/s. Vivek Printers of Mysore who have printed this work nicely.

 

Volume IV

 

Foreword

It is with a feeling of satisfaction that the Academy is placing in the hands of the esteemed public this final volume (Volume IV) of the critical edition of Sribhashyam. The three earlier volumes were released in 1985, 87 and 90 respectively. The present volume covers chapters 3 & 4 of Sribhashyam. While chapter deals with the pathway to the goal of life (Sadhana) the concluding chapter explains the goal itself (Phala).

The exposition of the path towards, and the nature of, final emancipation (Moksha) is a sequel to the explanation of the nature of ultimate reality (tattva) which is the subject if the first two chapters; these chapters were presented in the first three volumes of the series. The present volume has followed the same mode of presentation as the earlier ones.

To say just a word about the objective of the Academy in bringing out the works of Sri Ramanuja in the present series, I may be permitted to quote from an earlier foreword (Volume III):

"The basic aim of the Academy is to offer the principal works of Visistadvaita in authoritative, well—referenced user- friendly edition. The signal contribution of these volumes are in their appendices (which) provide in condensed form all the adjuncts and facilities needed by the scholarly reader. We hope that this series has come up to their expected standards”.

It is my pleasure to congratulate Vidwan N.S. Ramabhadra- charya who has led the project throughout, for having completed • his onerous responsibility with excellence. My thanks are due to the associate scholars and proof-readers who have co-operated whole-heartedly in completing this project.

The Academy is grateful to the distinguished scholars who, as members of the scrutiny committee have contributed in maintaining the high standards of execution of critical editions.

Prof. M.A. Lakshmithathachar, the Director has guided the team of scholar of the Academy in fulfilling the task of publication this principal work of Sri Ramanuja. I am beholden to him on behalf of the Academy.

On behalf of the Academy, it is my duty tender our thanks to the State and Central Governments who have continued to provide generous financial aid for publications planned by the Academy.

My sincere thanks are also due to M/s. Vivek Printers, Mysore, who have done their work with meticulous care.

 

Preface

It gives me great pleasure and satisfaction in presenting this final volume of SRIBHASHYAM in the hands of the lovers of Indian philosophy. The first volume of this work was published in 1985 and the subsequent volumes were released later. The fourth and final volume is published in 1991.

The philosophy of Upanisads is beautifully treated by Ramanuja in his magnum opus SRIBHASHYAM which is written as a commentary on the Brahmasutras of Badarayana. This philosophy was later termed as Visistadvaita or Savisesadvaita by his followers. In the first three volumes consisting of chapter’s l and 2, the concept of Brahman is brought out in a succinct manner dispelling all the doubts regarding its nature and attributes. In this fourth volume, the third and the fourth chapters which expound the Sadhana and Phala respectively are covered.

In Sadhanadhyaya the means to attain salvation viz., Bhakti finds a clear exposition. The pathway to redemption. (Sadhana) is gaining the knowledge of Him through intense devotion (Bhakti) as illustrated in chapter 3.

Chapter 4-P/uzladhyaya exemplifies the ultimate goal of life (purusartha) stating that the path of the devout as discussed earlier leads to final emancipation-Moksha. The nature of Moksha that was propounded earlier in chapter l is elaborated in this concluding chapter. Thus, according to Ramanuja, knowledge of God which culminates in the experience off enternal ecstasy by enjoying life in Brahman here and hereafter can be attained through intense devotion (paramabhakti).

I am grateful indeed to the team of scholars who have put in sincere efforts in editing, scrutinizing and seeing the work through the press. Thanks are due to Vidwan N.S. Ramabhadracharya and Vidwan N.S. Janardanacharya for the proof reading.

I am indebted to our President Sri M.A.S. Rajan for his timely advice in running the administration and to all the members of the Managing Committee for their guidelines in running this research organization on right lines. I express my sincere thanks to the Secretary, Sri Gururaj, who worked upto March 91 and Commissioner for Religious and Charitable Endowments in Karnataka State. I am indeed thankful to M/S. Vivek Printers of Mysore for their good printing work.

 

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