Brahma Sutras (Shankaracharya)

by George Thibaut | 1890 | 203,611 words

English translation of the Brahma sutras (aka. Vedanta Sutras) with commentary by Shankaracharya (Shankara Bhashya): One of the three canonical texts of the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy. The Brahma sutra is the exposition of the philosophy of the Upanishads. It is an attempt to systematise the various strands of the Upanishads which form the ...

25. (And) because that which is stated by Smṛti (i.e. the shape of the highest Lord as described by Smṛti) is an inference (i.e. an indicatory mark from which we infer the meaning of Śruti).

The highest Lord only is Vaiśvānara, for that reason also that Smṛti ascribes to the highest Lord only a shape consisting of the threefold world, the fire constituting his mouth, the heavenly world his head, &c. So, for instance, in the following passage, 'He whose mouth is fire, whose head the heavenly world, whose navel the ether, whose feet the earth, whose eye the sun, whose ears the regions, reverence to him the Self of the world.' The shape described here in Smṛti allows us to infer a Śruti passage on which the Smṛti rests, and thus constitutes an inference, i.e. a sign indicatory of the word 'Vaiśvānara' denoting the highest Lord. For, although the quoted Smṛti passage contains a glorification[1], still even a glorification in the form in which it there appears is not possible, unless it has a Vedic passage to rest on.--Other Smṛti passages also may be quoted in connexion with this Sūtra, so, for instance, the following one, 'He whose head the wise declare to be the heavenly world, whose navel the ether, whose eyes sun and moon, whose ears the regions, and whose feet the earth, he is the inscrutable leader of all beings.'

Footnotes and references:


And as such might be said not to require a basis for its statements.

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: