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The _BRAHMA SūTRAS_ (Sanskrit : ब्रह्म सूत्र) is a Sanskrit text, attributed to Badarayana, estimated to have been completed in its surviving form some time between 450 BCE and 200 CE. The text systematizes and summarizes the philosophical and spiritual ideas in the Upanishads . It is one of the foundational texts of the Vedānta school of Hindu philosophy .

The Brahma sutras consists of 555 aphoristic verses (sutras ) in four chapters. These verses are primarily about the nature of human existence and universe, and ideas about the metaphysical concept of Ultimate Reality called Brahman . The first chapter discusses the metaphysics of Absolute Reality, the second chapter reviews and addresses the objections raised by the ideas of competing orthodox schools of Hindu philosophies as well as heterodox schools such as Buddhism and Jainism, the third chapter discusses epistemology and path to gaining spiritually liberating knowledge, and the last chapter states why such a knowledge is an important human need.

The Brahmasutra is one of three most important texts in Vedanta along with the Principal Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita . It has been influential to various schools of Indian philosophies, but interpreted differently by the non-dualistic Advaita Vedanta sub-school, the theistic Vishishtadvaita and Dvaita Vedanta sub-schools, as well as others. Several commentaries on the Brahma-sutras are lost to history or yet to be found; of the surviving ones, the most well studied commentaries on the Brahmasutra include the bhashya by Adi Shankara , Ramanuja , Madhvacharya , Bhaskara and many others.

It is also known as the VEDANTA SUTRA (Sanskrit: वेदान्त सूत्र), deriving this name from _Vedanta_ which literally means the "final aim of the Vedas ". Other names for Brahma Sutra is SARIRAKA SUTRA, wherein _Sariraka_ means "that which lives in the body (_Sarira_), or the Self, Soul", and BHIKSHU-SUTRA, which literally means "Sutras for monks or mendicants".

CONTENTS

* 1 Author and chronology * 2 Structure

* 3 Contents

* 3.1 Chapter 1: What is Brahman? * 3.2 Chapter 2: Review of competing theories * 3.3 Chapter 3: The means to spiritual knowledge * 3.4 Chapter 4: The benefits of spiritual knowledge

* 4 Commentaries

* 4.1 Exegesis * 4.2 Translations

* 5 Influence * 6 Notes * 7 References * 8 External links

AUTHOR AND CHRONOLOGY

The Brahma Sutras or Brahmasutra are attributed to Badarayana . In some texts, Badarayana is also called _Vyasa_, which literally means "one who arranges".

Bādarāyana was the Guru (teacher) of Jaimini , the latter credited with authoring Mimamsa Sutras of the Mimamsa school of Hindu philosophy. This is likely, given that both Badarayana and Jaimini quote each other as they analyze each other's theories, Badarayana emphasizing knowledge while Jaimini emphasizes rituals, sometimes agreeing with each other, sometimes disagreeing, often anti-thesis of the other.

The Brahma-sutra text is dated to centuries that followed Buddha and Mahavira , because it mentions and critiques the ideas of Buddhism and Jainism in Chapter 2. The text's relative chronology is also based on the fact that Badarayana quotes all major known orthodox Hindu schools of philosophy except Nyaya . The exact century of its composition or completion in final form is unknown, but scholars such as Lochtefeld suggest that the text was complete sometime between 500 to 200 BCE, while Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Dasgupta independently suggest the 2nd century BCE as more likely. Paul Deussen places it between 200 BCE and 400 CE.

Hermann Jacobi in early 20th century suggested that Madhyamaka Buddhist concepts such as _Sunyavada_, acknowledged in the Brahma-sutras, may be a late invention, and suggests that both Sunyavada and Brahma-sutras may therefore have emerged between 200-450 CE. Daniel Ingalls disagreed with Jacobi chronology in his 1954 paper, critiquing Jacobi's assumptions and interpretation of sutras 2.2.28-32 in dating the entire document, and stating that "the Brahma-sutra could not have been composed later than the start of the common era". According to a 2013 review by Andrew Nicholson, the Brahma Sutras were composed over many centuries by multiple authors, and likely complete in the current form between 450 to 400 BCE. The existence of earlier versions of the Brahmasutras, and multiple authors predating Badarayana, is supported by textual evidence.

Some scholars, such as Sengaku Mayeda, state Brahmasutra that has survived into the modern times may be the work of multiple authors but those who lived after Badarayana, and that these authors composed the currently surviving Brahmasutra starting about 300 BCE through about 400-450 CE. Nakamura states that the original version of Brahma sutra is likely very ancient and its inception coincides with the Kalpa Sutras period (1st-millennium BCE).

Natalia Isaeva states, "on the whole, scholars are rather unanimous, considering the most probable date for Brahmasutra sometime between the 2nd-century BCE and the 2nd-century CE.

STRUCTURE

The Brahma Sūtras consist of 555 aphorisms or sūtras, in four chapters (_adhyāya_), with each chapter divided into four parts (_pāda_). Each part is further subdivided into sections called _Adhikaraņas_ with _sutras_. Some scholars, such as Francis Clooney, call the _Adhikaraņas_ as "case studies" with a defined hermeneutic process.

Sutras distribution in the Brahma-sutra SECTION 1ST PADA 2ND PADA 3RD PADA 4TH PADA TOTAL

Adhyaya 1 31 32 43 28 134

Adhyaya 2 37 45 53 22 157

Adhyaya 3 27 41 66 52 186

Adhyaya 4 19 21 16 22 78

Total Sutras: 555

Each _Adhikaraņa_ of Brahma-sutra has varying numbers of sutras, and most sections of the text are structured to address the following:

* _Vishaya_ (विषय): subject, issue or topic * _Vismaya_ (विस्मय): doubt, uncertainty or perplexity * _Purva-paksha_ (पूर्वपक्ष): prima facie view, or prior art and arguments * _Siddhanta_ (सिद्धान्त): theory and arguments presented, proposed doctrine, or conclusions * _Sangati_ (सङ्गति): connection between sections, synthesis, or coming together of knowledge

The Brahmasutra text has 189 _Adhikaranas_. Each section (case study) in the text opens with the _Mukhya_ (chief, main) sutra that states the purpose of that section, and the various sections of the Brahma-sutras include _Vishaya-Vakyas_ (cite the text sources and evidence they use).

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 Sutras of the text, states Adi Shankara in his commentary, are structured like a string that ties together the Vedanta texts like a garland of flowers.

CONTENTS

The Brahmasutra, states Sengaku Mayeda, distills and consolidates the extensive teachings found in a variety of Upanishads of Hinduism, summarizing, arranging, unifying and systematizing the Upanishadic theories. Prior to the creation of the Brahmasutras, the Vedic literature had grown into an enormous collection of ideas and practices, ranging from practical rituals (karma-kanda) to abstract philosophy (jnana-kanda). Different and conflicting theories on metaphysical problems, diverse mutually contradicting unsystematized teachings on rituals and philosophies multiplied in the four Vedas , creating the need for consolidated and systematized content summary of the Sruti . This was achieved by Jaimini's Mimamsa -sutra which focussed on externalized rituals as the spiritual path, while Badarayana's Brahma-sutra focussed on internalized philosophy as the spiritual path. THE OPENING SUTRA

अथातो ब्रह्मजिज्ञासा Then therefore the enquiry into Brahman Brahma sutra 1.1.1

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 2.1.3 and 4.2.21 that Yoga and Samkhya are similar. The text cites and quotes from the ten Principal Upanishads often, the Kaushitaki Upanishad and the Shvetashvatara Upanishad in several sutras, but also mentions Upanishads now unknown and lost. The contents of the text also acknowledge and analyze the various Vedic schools, and mentions the existence of multiple, diverging versions of the same underlying text.

The sutras of the Brahmasutra are aphorisms, which Paul Deussen states to be "threads stretched out in weaving to form the basis of the web", and intelligible "when the woof is added" with a commentary.

CHAPTER 1: WHAT IS BRAHMAN?

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. It consists of 134 sutras, with eleven _Adhikaranas_ in the first _Pada_, seven _Adhikaranas_ in second, fourteen _Adhikaranas_ in third, and eight in the fourth _Pada_. The different sub-schools of Vedanta have interpreted the sutras in the last _Pada_ differently, and some count only seven _Adhikaranas_ in the fourth _Pada_. PERCEPTION, INFERENCE AND WORD

शब्द इतिचेन्नातः प्रभवात्प्रत्यक्षानुमानाभ्याम् If it be said that a contradiction will result in regard to Word (Vedas), we say that it is not so because the origination of everything is from perception and inference. Adi Shankara commentary: "Perception means Sruti ; for its validity it is not dependent on anything else; inference is Smriti ". — Brahma sutra 1.3.28

This Brahmasutra chapter asserts that all the Upanishads primarily aim and coherently describe the knowledge and meditation of Brahman , the ultimate reality. Brahman is the source from which the world came into existence, in whom it inheres and to which it returns. The only source for the knowledge of this Brahman is the Sruti or the Upanishads.

The sutras 1.1.5-11 quotes the Samkhya school's view that the Principle of the world is unconscious, and instead asserts that the Principle of the world is conscious and the Brahman itself. The remaining sutras in Pada 1.1, all sutras of 1.2 and 1.3 assert that Brahman is the primary focus of the Upanishads, is various aspects of empirical reality, quoting various verses in support, from Taittiriya Upanishad , Chandogya Upanishad , Kaushitaki Upanishad , Mundaka Upanishad , Katha Upanishad , Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and Prashna Upanishad .

The first chapter in sutras 1.4.1-15 presents the Samkhya theories on Prakriti, and presents its arguments that these are inconsistent and misinterpretation of the Katha, Brihadaranyaka, Shvetashvatara and Taittiriya Upanishad. Sutras 1.4.23 through 1.4.27 state that Brahman is the efficient cause and the material cause of the world. The last sutra of the first chapter states that the arguments on the refutation of Samkhya theories also apply to the atomists ( Vaisheshika school of Hindu philosophy).

CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF COMPETING THEORIES

Second chapter (_Avirodha_: non-conflict, non-contradiction): discusses and refutes the possible objections to Vedānta philosophy, and states that the central themes of Vedanta are consistent across the various Vedic texts. The Brahma sutra states, examines and dismisses the refutations raised by other schools of thoughts, those now classified under Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. The second chapter consists of 157 sutras, with thirteen _Adhikaranas_ in the first _Pada_, eight in second, seventeen _Adhikaranas_ in third, and nine in the fourth _Pada_.

The second Brahmasutra chapter has been variously interpreted by various monist, theistic and other sub-schools of Vedanta. The Advaita school for example, states Francis Clooney, asserts that the "identity of Atman and Brahman" based Advaita system is the coherent system while other systems conflict with the Upanishads, or are internally inconsistent, or incoherent with observed reality and cosmos. The theistic sub-schools interpret the text to be stating that Atman is different than Brahman, and thereafter each explains how other systems conflict with the Upanishads or are incoherent.

The Pada 2.1 opens with _Adhikarana_ on Samkhya and Vaisheshika schools arguments that Smritis should be a basis for examining the concept of Brahman, and their objections to the Vedanta theory of reflection. The Brahmasutra asserts in 2.1.13 through 2.1.20 that the subject and object are one in Brahman, that agrees with Samkhya there is an identity in cause and effect, adding that the Brahman and the empirical world are therefore one. The sutras 2.1.21 through 2.1.36 present the problem of evil , offering its own doctrine to address it, asserting that Brahman is neither unjust nor cruel, and that inequality and evil exists in the world because of will, choices and circumstances created by actions of living beings over time.

The sutras in Pada 2.1 are variously interpreted by Advaita, Dvaita, Vishishtadvaita and other sub-schools of Vedanta. The monist Advaita school holds that ignorance or _Avidya_ (wrong knowledge) is the root of "problem of evil"; in contrast, dualistic Vedanta schools hold karma and samsara to be the root.

The atomistic physico-theological theories of Vaisheshika and Samkhya school are the focus of the first seventeen sutras of Pada 2.2. The theories of Buddhism are refuted in sutras 2.2.18 through 2.2.32, while the theories of Jainism are analyzed by the text in sutras 2.2.33 through 2.2.36.

The theories of other orthodox traditions are discussed in 2.2.37 through 2.2.45. Ramanuja and Shankara disagree in their formulation as well as critique of then extant orthodox traditions, in their respective commentaries, but both agree that the theory on emergence of _Pradyumna_ (intellect) in the competing orthodox system is the primary flaw.

The first eight case studies in the third _Pada_ of chapter 2 discuss whether the world has an origin or not, whether the universe is co-eternal with Brahman or is an effect of Brahman (interpreted as dualistic God in theistic sub-schools of Vedanta), and whether the universe refunds into Brahman periodically. The last nine _Adhikaranas_ of the third _Pada_ discuss the nature of soul, whether it is eternal, is soul an agent, soul's relationship to Brahman, and states its proof that the soul exists and is immortal.

The last _Pada_ of the second chapter extracts and summarizes the theories of human body, sensory organs, action organs and their relationship to _Prana_ (vital breath) in the various Vedic Brahmanas and Upanishads. The Brahma-sutra states that the organs inside a living being are independent principles, in the seventh and eighth _Adhikarana_ of the fourth _Pada_. The various sub-schools of Vedanta interpret the sutras in the fourth _Pada_ differently.

CHAPTER 3: THE MEANS TO SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE

The Vedanta texts, state sutras 3.1.1-4 and 3.3.5-19 of Brahmasutra, describe different forms of meditation. These should be combined, merged into one and practiced, because there is nondifference of their basic import, that of Self, mind, knowledge and a state.

Third chapter (_Sādhana_: the means): describes the process by which ultimate emancipation can be achieved. The topics discussed are diverse. The third chapter is the longest and consists of 186 sutras, with six _Adhikaranas_ in its first _Pada_, eight in second, thirty six in third, and fourteen _Adhikaranas_ in the fourth _Pada_.

The third Brahmasutra chapter focuses on the nature of spiritual knowledge and epistemic paths to it. The theory of death and rebirth, karma and importance of conduct and free will, and the connection between Atman (Self, Soul) and the Brahman are discussed in sections 3.1 and 3.2 of the text.

अपि संराधने प्रत्यक्षानुमानाभ्याम् And ( Brahman is apprehended) in perfect meditation also, according to perception (Sruti, _Pratyakṣa _) and inference (Smriti, _Anumāṇa_).

प्रकाशवच्चावैशेष्यं प्रकाशश्च कर्मण्यभ्यासात् And as is the case of (physical) light and the like, there is the non-distinction (of two Selves), the light (Self) by its activity, on account of repeated declarations (in the Scripture).

अतोऽनन्तेन तथा हि लिङ्गम् Therefore (the individual soul enters into unity) with the infinite (the highest Self), for thus (is the scriptural) indication. —  Brahma sutra 3.2.24 - 3.2.26,

Sections 3.3 and 3.4 describe the need for self-study, reflection of texts read, meditation, steps as one makes progress and the role of sannyasa (monk, mendicant) in the pursuit of spiritual knowledge. Meditation

The third _pada_, states George Thibaut, opens a new section and theme in chapter 3 of the Brahma-sutras, asserting that meditation is central to the Vedic texts, and summarizing the Vedic theories, from different _Shakha_ (Vedic schools), on "how the individual soul is enabled by meditation on Brahman to obtain final release". These sutras constitute a significant part of the text, extensively refer to the oldest Upanishads, and their commentaries by different Vedanta sub-schools have been extensive, signifying the large historic tradition around meditation, and acceptance of Yoga-sutras teachings in Vedanta.

Meditation is defined in Vedanta texts commenting on the Sutras, states Klaus Witz, as "a continuous succession of comparable basic conceptions, beliefs, not interspersed with dissimilar ones, which proceeds according to the scriptures and relates to an object enjoined in the scriptures". It is described by Vedantins as a practice of concentrating on an object of meditation, states Witz, a state of "absorption or immersion into essentially a single thought" and "concentrating on it, excluding conventional notions, till one if as completely identified with it as with one's body". While this practice is discussed in Vedic texts, their formulations were differently described by different Vedic schools. The Brahma-sutra, in _Adhikaranas_ of third and fourth pada, states Thibaut, assert that there is no contradiction in these teachings and that "the different Upanishads have to be viewed as teaching the same matter, and therefore the ideas must be combined in one meditation".

सैव हि सत्यादयः For the True are so on (in different texts), are one and the same knowledge. —  Brahma sutra 3.3.38,

The most referred to texts in these sections are the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad , the Chandogya Upanishad , the Kaushitaki Upanishad , the Katha Upanishad , and the non-Upanishadic parts of Shatapatha Brahmana and _Aitereya Aranyaka_. The topic of meditation, state the Brahma-sutras, is the spiritual knowledge of Brahman; the object of this knowledge, states Thibaut, is " Brahman viewed as the inner Self of all". The Brahma Sutras, in addition to recommending meditation, suggest that rituals and rites are unnecessary because it is knowledge that achieves the purpose.

And for this very reason there is no need of the lighting of the fire and so on. —  Brahma sutra 3.4.25,

In sutras 3.4.26 and 3.4.27, the text adds that rituals, however, can spiritually prepare a mind, remove impurities within, empower calmness and distractions from sensory pursuits, and therefore assist in its ability to meditate and gain the ultimate knowledge. The text also discusses, in sutras 3.4.28 to 3.4.31 whether there are restrictions on food (meat) one can ingest, during the spiritual journey. The sutras, translates Thibaut, derive from the Vedic texts that there is "a prohibition of doing harm to any living creature", however, the scriptures state, "only in danger of life, in cases of highest need, food of any kind is permitted to be eaten".

The last three sutras of the chapter 3 assert that a person, pursuing means to spiritual knowledge, should seek a childlike state of innocence, a psychological state that is free of anger, self centeredness, pride and arrogance. The text declares that according to the Vedic literature knowledge is possible in this life, that one is one's own obstruction in this journey, that liberation and freedom is the fruit of knowledge.

CHAPTER 4: THE BENEFITS OF SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE

Fourth chapter (_Phala_: the fruit): talks of the state that is achieved in final emancipation. This is the shortest chapter with 78 sutras and 38 adhikaranas. The last chapter contains fourteen _Adhikaranas_ in its first _Pada_, eleven in second, six in third, and seven _Adhikaranas_ in the fourth. The last chapter of the Brahmasutra discusses the need and fruits of self-knowledge, the state of freedom and liberation.

The opening sutras of chapter 4 continue the discussion of meditation as means to knowledge, with sutra 4.1.3 summarizing it to be the state where the person accepts, "I am Brahman, not another being" (Adi Shankara), as "Thou indeed I am, O holy divinity, and I indeed thou art, O holy divinity" (Jabalas), and "God is to be contemplated as the Self" and the individual is as the body of God (Ramanuja).

On the Soul's having attained the Highest light, there is manifestation of its real nature, as we infer from the word own. The Self whose true nature has manifested itself is released; according to the promise (made by scripture). The light into which the soul enters is the Self, owing to the subject-matter of the chapter. The released soul abides in non-division from the highest Self (Brahman), because that is seen. —  Brahma sutra 4.4.1 - 4.4.4,

The liberated soul, asserts the Brahma-sutra, is of the nature of Brahman, with inner power and knowledge, free from evil, free from grief, free from suffering, one of bliss and "for such there is freedom in all worlds".

COMMENTARIES

Numerous commentaries have been written on the Brahma-sutra text, but many such as that of Bodhayana, Upavarsa, and eighteen out of twenty one mentioned by Narayana in _Madhvavijaya-bhava-prakashika_ are considered lost. Of the surviving commentaries, the earliest extant one is by Adi Shankara .

The diversity of Brahma-sutra commentaries by various sub-schools of Hinduism (see table) attests to the central importance of the Upanishads, that the text summarizes.

Some commentaries on Brahma-sutra SCHOLAR CENTURY SCHOOL THEME/INFLUENCE

Shankara 8th-century Advaita Idealist Monism

Bhaskara, Yadava Prakasha 10th-century Bhedabheda Bhakti movement

Ramanuja 11th-century Vishishtadvaita Qualified Advaita Vaishnavism

Madhva, also known as Purnaprajna and Ananda Teertha 13th-century Dvaita Dualism

Nimbarka 13th-century Dvaitadvaita Differential monism

Srikantha 13th-century Kashmir/Pashupata Shaivism Theistic Monism Saiva Siddhanta

Vallabha 16th-century Shuddhadvaita Pure non-dualism

Shuka 16th-century Bhedavada Revised dualism

Baladeva Vidyabhushana 16th-Century Acintyabhedābheda

(Gaudiya Vaishnavism ) Inconceivable Oneness and Difference

EXEGESIS

The sutras in the text can be, and have been read in different ways. Some commentators read each line separately, while others sometimes read two as one treating some sutras as contextually connected. Creative readers have read the last word of a sutra as the starting word for the next, some treat a given verse as _Purva-paksha_ (prior art, or opposing viewpoint) while others read the same verse as _Siddhanta_ (proposed doctrine, or conclusion). For example, states Gregory Darling, Adi Shankara in his commentary on sutra 4.3.14 considers _saguna_ Brahman mentioned therein as _Purva-paksha_, but acknowledges that some scholars interpret this sutra as a _Siddhanta_.

TRANSLATIONS

The Brahma Sutra has been translated into German by Paul Deussen, and in English by George Thibaut. The Thibaut translation is, state De Bary and Embree, "probably the best complete translation in English".

INFLUENCE

The text is part of the Prasthanatrayi , or the three starting points for the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy. The Brahma sutras constitute the _Nyāya prasthāna_ (न्याय प्रस्थान) or "starting point of reasoning canonical base", while the Principal Upanishads constitute the _Sruti prasthāna_ or "starting point of heard scriptures", and the Bhagavad Gita constitutes the _ Smriti prasthāna_ or the "starting point of remembered canonical base". The Brahma sutras they are also referred to as the _Yukti prasthāna_, since Yukti (युक्ति) also means reasoning or logic.

The nature and influence of Brahma-sutra, states Paul Deussen, "stands to the Upanishad's in the same relation as the Christian Dogmatics to the New Testament: it investigates their teaching about God, the world, the soul, in its conditions of wandering and of deliverance, removes apparent contradictions of the doctrines, binds them systematically together, and is specially concerned to defend them against the attacks of the opponents".

The Vedas, according to Vedanta, consists of two parts, states Deussen, which show "far reaching analogy with the Old and New Testaments", a Part of Works (karma-kanda) which includes the benedictory mantras , sacrifices and ceremonies like the Old Testament, and a Part of Knowledge (jnana-kanda) which focuses on metaphysical questions about the world, creator, soul, theology, morals and virtues like the New Testament. The respective influence of the two documents, of the New Testament on Christianity, and the Brahma-sutra on Hinduism has been very significant. This analogy of influence has many common elements but, states Arvind Sharma , there are differences in the role and influence of New Testament in Christianity and the Brahma-sutra in the Hindu traditions, because in Hinduism texts were never considered as closed, the means and the meaning of soteriology differed, and a diversity of ideas on duality and monism as well as God was accepted.

The impact of Brahma-sutra text on Vedanta, and in turn Hinduism, has been historic and central, states Nakamura:

The prevalence of Vedanta thought is found not only in philosophical writings but also in various forms of ( Hindu ) literature, such as the epics, lyric poetry, drama and so forth. What is especially worthy of attention is that the Hindu religious sects, the common faith of the Indian populace, looked to Vedanta philosophy for the theoretical foundations for their theology. The influence of Vedanta is prominent in the sacred literatures of Hinduism, such as the various Puranas, Samhitas, Agamas and Tantras. Many commentaries on the fundamental scripture of Vedanta, the BRAHMASUTRA, were written by the founders or leading scholars of the various sects of Hinduism, and they are transmitted to this day as documents indispensable in the respective sectarian traditions. The majority of the traditional and conservative scholars in India today, called Pandits, are students of Vedanta, and an overwhelming number belong to the lineage of Shankara – five sixths of all Pandits, according to some authorities. — Hajime Nakamura (2004), A History of Early Vedānta Philosophy, Volume 2

Frithjof Schuon states the role of Brahmasutra in Hinduism as follows,

The Vedanta contained in the Upanishads, then formulated in the _ Brahma Sutra_, and finally commented and explained by Shankara, is an invaluable key for discovering the deepest meaning of all the religious doctrines and for realizing that the _ Sanatana Dharma _ secretly penetrates all the forms of traditional spirituality. —  Frithjof Schuon (1975), One of the Great Lights of the World

NOTES

* ^ The name Sariraka Sutras is found, for example, in the works of Adi Shankara. * ^ Belvalkar suggests that there once existed Brahma-sutra style texts for all major Upanishads and Hindu texts, such as the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad , the Chandogya Upanishad and the Bhagavad Gita . The currently surviving version of Brahmasutra is a composite version, states Belvakar, with the oldest layer consisting of Chandogya-Brahmasutra; the second layer that consolidated various Brahmasutras into one document and added the _Smritis -padas_ and _Tarka-padas_; and the third stratum of the text was chronologically added last, defending the Vedanta philosophy from the new theories from opposing heterodox schools of Indian philosophies. About 15 sutras of the Brahmasutra may be very late insertions, states Belvalkar. J. A. B. van Buitenen , wrote in 1956, that Belvakar theory is plausible, but difficult to prove. * ^ The earliest known roots of this methodology is described in Jaimini's texts on Purva-Mimamsa. * ^ The monist, theist and other sub-traditions of Vedanta count the number of Adhikaranas differently. For example, Ramanuja counts sutras 2.2.28 to 2.2.32 as two Adhikaranas, while others count it as one. Thus, the total number of Adhikaranas in the Brahma sutra text varies slightly from 189 in some Vedanta sub-schools. See page li in Thibaut's Introduction. * ^ Stephen Kaplan writes (abridged): "Avidya is the fundamental existential problem and the fundamental philosophical/theological problem within Advaita Vedanta. It is the cause of the evil that exists within the world. Remove ignorance and one will realize that atman is Brahman. It is also the crucial philosophical issue within Advaita thought. Advaita need not explain why a perfect deity was motivated to create the world, nor why an all-loving God created a world with evil. Ultimately, for Advaita, there is no creation, nor any God who creates the world. The highest truth is Brahman, one without a second, the true self, atman." * ^ The sutras 2.2.18 to 2.2.27 state and refute the 'persistence of subject and substance' theory, and sutras 2.2.28 to 2.2.32 state and refute the 'everything is void' theory of Buddhism. However, the arguments offered by monist and theistic sub-schools of Vedanta differ, particularly those of Shankara, Madhva and Ramanuja, with the latter two also refuting the arguments of Shankara in this section. For a sutra by sutra analysis, by the three scholars, see Gregory Darling. * ^ Bodhayana's commentary on Brahma-sutra, along with those of Tanka, Dramida, Bhartriprapanca, Bhartrimitra, Bhartrihari (5th-century ), Brahmadatta and Shrivatsanka are mentioned by 12th-century Ramanuja and 11th-century Yamunacharya's _Siddhitraya_, all of these commentaries likely much older than Adi Shankara's commentary. * ^ Upavarsa is a revered scholar whose commentary on Brahma-sutra was possibly the earliest, and one who is revered by different and antagonistic sub-schools of Vedanta; he is mentioned by Shankara, Bhaskara and even by scholars of non- Vedanta schools of Hindu philosophies.

REFERENCES

* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ NV Isaeva (1992), Shankara and Indian Philosophy, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0-7914-1281-7 , page 36 * ^ _A_ _B_ Andrew J. Nicholson (2013). _Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History_. Columbia University Press. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-231-14987-7 . , QUOTE: "From a historical perspective, the Brahmasutras are best understood as a group of sutras composed by multiple authors over the course of hundreds of years, most likely composed in its current form between 400 and 450 BCE." * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ James Lochtefeld, Brahman, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 1: A–M, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 978-0823931798 , page 124 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ _H_ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. pp. 23–24.

* ^ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. p. 21. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Gregory Darling (2007), An Evaluation of the Vedāntic Critique of Buddhism, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120803633 , pages 161-164 * ^ _A_ _B_ James Lochtefeld, Brahman, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 1: A–M, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 978-0823931798 , page 746 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ NV Isaeva (1992), Shankara and Indian Philosophy, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0-7914-1281-7 , page 35 with footnote 30 * ^ _A_ _B_ Vedanta Hindu Philosophy Encyclopædia Britannica (2013) * ^ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. pp. 26–27. * ^ Paul Deussen, The System of the Vedanta: According to Badarayana's Brahma-Sutras and Shankara's Commentary thereon, Translator: Charles Johnston, ISBN 978-1519117786 , pages 3-4 * ^ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. p. 22 with footnote 2. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. p. 22 with footnote 3 and 4. * ^ Paul Deussen, The System of the Vedanta: According to Badarayana's Brahma-Sutras and Shankara's Commentary thereon, Translator: Charles Johnston, ISBN 978-1519117786 , page 20 * ^ _A_ _B_ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. p. 22 with footnote 6. * ^ Paul Deussen, The System of the Vedanta: According to Badarayana's Brahma-Sutras and Shankara's Commentary thereon, Translator: Charles Johnston, ISBN 978-1519117786 , page 21 * ^ Klaus K Klostermaier (2010), A Survey of Hinduism, Third Edition, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791470824 , page 501 * ^ Daniel Ingalls (1954), Sankara's Arguments Against the Buddhists, Philosophy East and West, Volume 3, Number 4, page 299 * ^ Gregory Darling (2007), An Evaluation of the Vedāntic Critique of Buddhism, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120803633 , pages 6-7 * ^ Klaus K. Klostermaier (2007). _A Survey of Hinduism: Third Edition_. State University of New York Press. p. 354. ISBN 978-0-7914-7082-4 . * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ Śaṅkarācārya; Sengaku Mayeda (2006), A Thousand Teachings: The Upadeśasāhasrī of Śaṅkara, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-8120827714 , page 12 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ SK Belvalkar (1936), Dṛṣṭāntas in The Brahmasūtras, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1, pages 30-31 * ^ J.A.B. van Buitenen (1956), Ramanuja's Vedārthasaṃgraha, Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute, OCLC 1541182 , page 28 * ^ Klaus Witz (1998), The Supreme Wisdom of the Upaniṣads: An Introduction, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120815735 , page 53 with footnote 118 * ^ Francis Clooney (1998), Scholasticism: Cross-Cultural and Comparative Perspectives (Editor: Jose Ignacio Cabezon), State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791437780 , pages 178-179 * ^ Krishna Roy (2011), Phenomenology and Indian Philosophy (Editors: DP Chattopadhyaya, LE Embree and J Mohanty), State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-1438436586 , page 293-294 * ^ SK Belvalkar (1936), Dṛṣṭāntas in The Brahmasūtras, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1, pages 28-32 * ^ Gregory Darling (2007), An Evaluation of the Vedāntic Critique of Buddhism, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120803633 , pages 7-8 * ^ Francis X Clooney (1997), What's a God? The Quest for the Right Understanding of devatā in Brāhmaṇical Ritual Theory (Mīmāṃsā), International Journal of Hindu Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2, pages 337-385 * ^ Peter M Scharf (1996), The Denotation of Generic Terms in Ancient Indian Philosophy: Grammar, Nyāya, and Mīmāṃsā, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, New Series, Vol. 86, No. 3, pages i-x * ^ _A_ _B_ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 1, _The Sacred Books of the East_ at Google Books , Volume 34 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, pages xxxii-lxxvi * ^ Sutras were memory clues * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Paul Deussen, The System of the Vedanta: According to Badarayana's Brahma-Sutras and Shankara's Commentary thereon, Translator: Charles Johnston, ISBN 978-1519117786 , pages 19-25, 6-12

* ^ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. p. 227. ORIGINAL SANSKRIT: Brahma sutra Bhasya Adi Shankara, Archive 2 * ^ George Adams (1993), The Structure and Meaning of Bādarāyaṇa's Brahma Sūtras, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120809314 , page 38 * ^ _A_ _B_ Paul Deussen, The System of the Vedanta: According to Badarayana's Brahma-Sutras and Shankara's Commentary thereon, Translator: Charles Johnston, ISBN 978-1519117786 , pages 22-23 * ^ Paul Deussen, The System of the Vedanta: According to Badarayana's Brahma-Sutras and Shankara's Commentary thereon, Translator: Charles Johnston, ISBN 978-1519117786 , page 24 * ^ Paul Deussen, The System of the Vedanta: According to Badarayana's Brahma-Sutras and Shankara's Commentary thereon, Translator: Charles Johnston, ISBN 978-1519117786 , page 26 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ Gregory Darling (2007), An Evaluation of the Vedāntic Critique of Buddhism, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120803633 , page 8 * ^ Jose Pereira (1986), Bādarāyana: Creator of Systematic Theology, Religious Studies (Cambridge University Press), Volume 22, Issue 2, pages 193-204 * ^ _A_ _B_ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 1, _The Sacred Books of the East_ at Google Books , Volume 34 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, pages xxxii-xlvi

* ^ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. pp. 301–302 with footnotes. ORIGINAL SANSKRIT: Brahma sutra Bhasya Adi Shankara, Archive 2 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ Francis X Clooney (1993), Theology After Vedanta: An Experiment in Comparative Theology, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791413654 , pages 68-71 * ^ Harshananda, Swami (2009), The Six Systems of Hindu Philosophy, A Primer, p.73 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Paul Deussen, The System of the Vedanta: According to Badarayana's Brahma-Sutras and Shankara's Commentary thereon, Translator: Charles Johnston, ISBN 978-1519117786 , pages 39-40 * ^ Brahma sutra Bhasya Adi Shankara, Archive 2 * ^ Harshananda, Swami (2009), The Six Systems of Hindu Philosophy, A Primer, p.75 * ^ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 1, _The Sacred Books of the East_ at Google Books , Volume 34 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, pages xlvii-lix * ^ _A_ _B_ Śaṅkarācārya; Sengaku Mayeda (2006), A Thousand Teachings: The Upadeśasāhasrī of Śaṅkara, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-8120827714 , pages 12-13 * ^ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. pp. 345–354 with footnotes. * ^ _A_ _B_ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. pp. 354–365 with footnotes. * ^ S Biderman (1982), A 'Constitutive' God: An Indian Suggestion, Philosophy East and West, Vol. 32, No. 4, pages 425-437 * ^ AL Herman (1971), Indian Theodicy: Śaṁkara and Rāmānuja on Brahma Sūtra II. 1. 32-36, Philosophy East and West, Vol. 21, No. 3, pages 265-281 * ^ _A_ _B_ Stephen Kaplan (2007), Vidyā and Avidyā: Simultaneous and Coterminous?: A Holographic Model to Illuminate the Advaita Debate, Philosophy East and West, Volume 57, Number 2, pages 178-203 * ^ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. pp. 366–377 with footnotes. * ^ Gregory Darling (2007), An Evaluation of the Vedāntic Critique of Buddhism, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120803633 , pages 165-368 * ^ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. pp. 378–390 with footnotes. * ^ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. pp. 391–396 with footnotes. * ^ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 1, _The Sacred Books of the East_ at Google Books , Volume 34 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, page li * ^ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. pp. 397–403. * ^ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. pp. 403–422. * ^ Paul Deussen (1993), The System of the Vedanta: According to Badarayana's Brahma-Sutras and Shankara's Commentary thereon, Translator: Charles Johnston, ISBN 978-1519117786 , pages 285-354 * ^ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 1, _The Sacred Books of the East_ at Google Books , Volume 34 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, pages lix * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 2, The Sacred Books of the East, Volume 38 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, pages 74-100 * ^ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. p. 429. * ^ Klaus Witz (1998), The Supreme Wisdom of the Upaniṣads: An Introduction, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120815735 , pages 210-212 * ^ Michael Comans (1993), The question of the importance of Samadhi in modern and classical Advaita Vedanta, Philosophy East & West, Volume 43, Number 1, pages 19-38 * ^ _A_ _B_ Harshananda, Swami (2009), The Six Systems of Hindu Philosophy, A Primer, p.77 * ^ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 1, _The Sacred Books of the East_ at Google Books , Volume 34 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, pages lix-lxxvi * ^ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 2, The Sacred Books of the East, Volume 38 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, pages 100-132 * ^ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 2, The Sacred Books of the East, Volume 38 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, pages 112-121 * ^ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 2, The Sacred Books of the East, Volume 38 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, pages 133-183 * ^ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. pp. 457–460. * ^ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 2, The Sacred Books of the East, Volume 38 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, pages 171-173 * ^ Klaus Witz (1998), The Supreme Wisdom of the Upaniṣads: An Introduction, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120815735 , pages 209-216 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 1, _The Sacred Books of the East_ at Google Books , Volume 34 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, pages lxvi-lxxv * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Klaus Witz (1998), The Supreme Wisdom of the Upaniṣads: An Introduction, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120815735 , pages 198-200; SEE ALSO, Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. pp. 528–529. * ^ Francis X Clooney (1993), Theology After Vedanta: An Experiment in Comparative Theology, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791413654 , pages 70-72 * ^ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 2, The Sacred Books of the East, Volume 38 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, pages 245-246 * ^ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. p. 490. * ^ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 1, _The Sacred Books of the East_ at Google Books , Volume 34 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, pages lxxii-lxxiii * ^ _A_ _B_ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 2, The Sacred Books of the East, Volume 38 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, page 306 * ^ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. p. 512. * ^ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 2, The Sacred Books of the East, Volume 38 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, pages 307-309 * ^ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 2, The Sacred Books of the East, Volume 38 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, pages 309-312 * ^ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. pp. 514–515. * ^ _A_ _B_ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. pp. 522–524. * ^ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 2, The Sacred Books of the East, Volume 38 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, pages 325-330 * ^ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 1, _The Sacred Books of the East_ at Google Books , Volume 34 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, pages lxxvi-lxxxv * ^ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. pp. 525–526. * ^ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 2, The Sacred Books of the East, Volume 38 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, pages 337-340 * ^ Paul Deussen, The System of the Vedanta: According to Badarayana's Brahma-Sutras and Shankara's Commentary thereon, Translator: Charles Johnston, ISBN 978-1519117786 , pages 401-417 * ^ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 2, The Sacred Books of the East, Volume 38 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, pages 405-408 * ^ _A_ _B_ Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). _ Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life_. pp. 553–555. * ^ George Thibaut, Vedanta Sutras Part 2, The Sacred Books of the East, Volume 38 (Editor: Max Muller), Oxford University Press, pages 407-411 * ^ Hajime Nakamura (2004), A History of Early Vedānta Philosophy, Part 2, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120819634 , page 25 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ Radhakrishna,