Brahma Sutras (Vedanta Sutras)

With the Commentary by Śaṅkarācārya

by George Thibaut | 1890 | 203,611 words

The Brahma sūtras (aka. Vedānta Sūtras) are one of the three canonical texts of the Vedānta school of Hindu philosophy. The Brahma sūtra is the exposition of the philosophy of the Upanishads. It is an attempt to systematise the various strands of the Upanishads which form the background of the orthodox systems of thought....

52. And from the subsequent (Brāhmaṇa) it follows that being of that kind (i.e. injunction of a mere vidyā) (is the aim) of the text. The connexion (of the fanciful agnis with the real one) is due to the plurality (of details of the real agni which are imaginatively connected with the vidyā).

With regard to a subsequent Brāhmaṇa also, viz. the one beginning, 'That piled agni is this world indeed,' we apprehend that what is the purpose of the text is 'being of that kind,' i.e. injunction of a mere vidyā, not injunction of the member of a mere action. For we meet there with the following śloka,' By knowledge they ascend there where all wishes are attained. Those skilled in works do not go there, nor those who destitute of knowledge do penance.' This verse blames mere works and praises knowledge. A former Brāhmaṇa also, viz. the one beginning, 'What that orb leads' (Śat. Brā. X, 5, 2, 23), concludes with a statement of the fruit of knowledge ('Immortal becomes he whose Self is death'), and thereby indicates that works are not the chief thing.--The text connects the vidyā (of the agnis built of mind) with the real agni built of bricks, not because those agnis are members of the act of building the real agni, but because many of the elements of the real agni are imaginatively combined with the vidyā.

All this establishes the conclusion that the fire-altars built of mind and so on constitute a mere vidyā.

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