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....

11. There is distribution (of the work and knowledge) as in the case of the hundred.

In reply to the averment (Sūtra 5) that the passage, 'Then both his knowledge and his work take hold of him,' indicates the non-independence of knowledge, we point out that the passage must be understood in a distributed sense, knowledge taking hold of one man and work of another. The case is analogous to that of the 'hundred.' When it is said, 'Let a hundred be given to these two men,' the hundred are divided in that way that fifty are given to one man and fifty to the other.--Moreover what the text says about the laying hold does not refer to him who is about to obtain final release; for the concluding passage, 'So much for the man who desires,' indicates that the whole section refers to the soul implicated in the saṃsāra, and a new beginning is made for him who is about to be released, in the clause. 'But as to the man who does not desire.' The clause about the laying hold thus comprises all knowledge which falls within the sphere of the transmigrating soul whether it be enjoined or prohibited[1], since there is no reason for distinction, and to all action whether enjoined or prohibited, the clause embodying a reference to knowledge and work as established elsewhere. And on this interpretation there is room for the clause even without our having recourse to the distribution of knowledge and work.

The next Sūtra replies to the averment made in Sūtra 6.

Footnotes and references:


Pratishiddhā ca nagnastrīdarśanādirūpā. Ān. Gi.--Pratishiddhā ca yathāsacchāstrādhigamanalakṣaṇā (not 'yathā sacchāstra' as in the Bibhoth. Indica edition). Bhāmatī.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: