Sri Devi Kamakshi Sri Sri Sri Adi Sankara Sri Sri Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi MahaSwamiji Sri Sri Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamiji Sri Sri Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Swamiji
Kamakoti.org presents several different aspects of HinduismKamakoti.org The official web site for Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, Kanchipuram, India.
   Home    |   Announcements    |   Tour Programme    |   Audio & Video    |   Image Gallery    |   Acknowledgements    |   Sitemap   
     About the Peetham    |   Origin of the Peetham    |   About this web site    |   Contact Us    |   Search   
  Use this link for a Printer Friendly version of this page   Use this link  to share this page on Facebook    Use this link  to share this page on Twitter    Use this link  to share this page on Pinterest    Use this link  to share this page on Google Plus    
!New: Sri Adi Sankara
Branches, Temples and Patasaalas
Articles
Hindu Dharma
Acharya's Call
Voice of Sankara
Personal Experiences
Sri Adi Sankara
Namo Namah
Dasoupadesam
Naamavali / Pushpaanjali
Tamil
Telugu
  
The Brahmasutra
(HinduDharma: )
 
Receive pages from Hindu Dharma in your email
News & Upcoming Events

Pujyashri Acharyas to bless programmes in Chennai tomorrow - 22 April 2017 (Saturday)

HH Pujyashri Shankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya Swamigal will bless the Akhanda Tirupugazh programme by Tirupugazh Anbargal at Hemamalini Kalyana Mandapam at 4 pm .

HH Pujyashri Jayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya Swamigal and HH Pujyashri Shankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya Swamigal will bless the Sangeeta Mummoortigal Tiruvizha at Vani Mahal, TNagar, at 6 pm.

information itemLaunched - www.kanchimuttseva.org - to facilitate online contributions for sevas
information item Shrimatam camp at Chennai Thoraipakkam - 24 April onwards
information item Anugraha Bashanam at Chennai - 19 April - Audio Added
information item Ratha Parayana Poorthi- 19 April 2017
information item Veda Parayanam held at Swamimalai - 4 Mar - 1 Apr 2017
information item  Shankara Jayanti Mahotsavam at Shrinagar, Jammu & Kashmir - 23 April - 30 April 2017
information item Sri Shankara Jayanti at Tiruvannamalai Sankara Matam - 24 - 30 April 2017
information item Sri Kamakshi Ambal on Swarna Simha Vahanam- 30 March 2017
information item Pujyashri Acharyas return to Kanchipuram - 23 March 2017
information item  श्री काँची कामकोटि पीठम - हिन्दी में समाचार
information item Read more...
              

I said that every doctrine or system has a sutra (text consisting of aphoristic statements), a bhasya (commentary) and a vartika (elucidation of the commentary). The systems founded by Sankara, Ramanuja, Madhva, Srikantha (acarya of Saiva-Sidhanta) belong to Vedanta. All these acaryas cite the authority of the Vedas in support of their respective doctrines and they have chosen the same ten Upanisads to comment upon according to their different philosophical perceptions. The Upanisads are not in the form of sutras; yet for the Vedantic system they must be regarded as having the same "place" (or force) as the sutras.

How is a sutra to be understood? It must state truths in an extremely terse form. What is expressed in the least possible number of words to convey an idea or truth is a sutra, an aphorism. According to this definition the Upanisads cannot be said to be sutras. However, there does exist a basic text for all Vedantic schools in the form of sutras. This is the Brahmasutra.

In the Brahmasutra, on which there are commentaries according to the various philosophical schools, Vyasa presents in an extremely terse form the substance of the ten (principal) Upanisads. Since he dwelt under the badari tree (jujube) he came to be called "Badarayana" and his work became well-known as "Badarayana-sutra". Who or what is man (the individual self)? What is the nature of the world (jagat) in which he lives? And what is the truth underlying all this? The Brahmasutra, which is a basic text of all Vedantic schools, seeks to answer these fundamental questions. Vyasa does not project his personal views in his work. All he does is to make a penetrating study of the science of Vedanta that is already constituted by the Upanisads. Since it is an inquiry into the Upanisads which form the latter part of the Vedas, the Brahmasutra is called "Uttaramimamsa"

There are 555 sutras in the Brahmasutra which is divided into four chapters, each consisting of four padas (or "feet"). Altogether there are 192 sections or "adhikaranas" in it. The Brahmasutra is also called "Bhiksu-sutra" since it deals with sannyasa, the final goal of the seeker. And, because it is all about the Self in the body, it has another name, "Sariraka".

"Sutra" literally means a rope or string. The word occurs in the term "mangala-sutra", the thread worn by the bride at her wedding. Keeping the meaning of thread or string in mind, our Acarya has made a pun on the word in his commentary: "Vedanta-vakya-kusuma-grathanarthatvat sutranam". If the flowers that are Upanisads in the tree called the Vedas are strewn all over the earth, how can we gather them to make a garland? Our Acarya remarks that in the Brahmasutra the flowers are the Upanisads are strung together to form a garland.

All Hindu philosophical systems are based on the Brahmasutra, but the Brahmasutra itself is based on the Upanisads. That is why it has become customary to describe all Vedic schools of thought as "Upanisadic systems". When Westerners keep extolling our philosophy, chanting, "Vedanta! Vedanta!", they have in mind the Upanisads. If a person turns against the petty pleasures of this world and makes a remark suggestive of jnana, people tell him, "Arre, are you mouthing Vedanta? "

If the Vedas were personified as Purusa, the Upanisads would be his head or crown. That is why these texts are called "Sruti-siras".

About "Hindu Dharma"
"Hindu Dharma" is a book which contains English translation of certain invaluable and engrossing speeches of Sri Sri Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi MahaSwamiji (at various times during the years 1907 to 1994).
For a general background, please see here