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 ...

34. In any case the same (duties have to be performed) on account of the twofold indicatory marks.

In any case, i.e. whether viewed as duties incumbent on the āśramas or as co-operating with knowledge, the very same agnihotra and other duties have to be performed.--What, it may be asked, does the teacher wish to preclude by the emphatic expression 'the very same?'--The suspicion, we reply, that those works might be separate works[1]. In the ayana of the Kuṇḍapāyins indeed the injunctive statement,' They offer the agnihotra for a month[2],' enjoins a sacrifice different from the permanent (ordinary) agnihotra; but in our present case there is no analogous separation of works.--Why?--On account of the twofold indicatory mark; i.e. on account of both scripture and Smṛti supplying indicatory marks. In the first place, the scriptural passage, 'Him the Brāhmaṇas seek to know through the study of the Veda,' &c., directs that sacrifices and the like--as things already established and the form of which is already in existence (viz. through previous injunctions)--are to be employed as means in the search for knowledge; and does not originate a new form of those works, while the passage quoted above, 'They offer the agnihotra for a month,' does originate a new separate sacrifice.--In the second place the Smṛti-passage, 'He who performs the work to be done without aiming at the fruit of the work,' shows that the very same work which is already known as something to be performed subserves the origination of knowledge. Moreover the Smṛti-passage, 'He who is qualified by those forty-eight purifications,' &c., refers to the purifications required for Vedic works, with a view to the origination of knowledge in him who has undergone those purifications.--The Sūtrakāra therefore rightly emphasizes the non-difference of the works.

Footnotes and references:


That the works referred to in the Upaniṣads as means of knowledge, might be works altogether different from those enjoined in the karmakāṇḍa as means of bringing about certain special results such as the heavenly world.


See above, p. 250.

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: