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After one has contemplated on upanishads and meditated the advaita way, still if there is any confusion e. AchArya who is well versed in brahma sUtra, and is capable of clearing doubts in our shAstra-s is considered as an authority. Such great AchArya-s are very few.
Not all can write commentary on brahma sUtra. Debates may take hostile turn, but this was not the case with Adi Sankara. In this debate, a female, ubhaya bhArati, wife of maNDana mishra, was chosen as a referee.
She asked both Adi Sankara and maNDana mishra to wear fresh garlands and then begin the debate, and said that the one whose garland loses its freshness would be declared as the loser!
Because if one gets angry, the body will develop heat, and, as a result, the flower garland will lose their freshness in that heat. Anger within is a sign of defeat. Commentary of vedAnta sutra brahma sUtra is of different genre, targeted to different audience, precisely to very advanced sAdhaka-s who are well versed in tradition and are sufficiently inwardly pure with strong vairAGYa and mumukshutva.
All four primary qualities - viveka, vairAGYa, SaTasampatti, mumukshtva are cultivated in their hearts to a great extend. They are uttama adhikAri-s the best amongst sAdhaka-s.
Adi Sankara didn't asked laymen or a pandit to write sub-commentary on vedAnta sUtra. An Interesting Story There is an interesting story behind composing sub-commentary in sarga Adi Sankara considered sureshvara to be sufficiently inwardly pure to write the sub-commentary vArtika on his commentary on brahma sUtra bhAshya. They further argued that unlike padmapAda who had surrendered himself at your lotus feet and as a result of thy grace his ignorance was removed is the best suited.
Disciples said that they didnt have any jealousy for anyone, but sureshvarAcArya had taken sanyAsa because he was defeated in shAShtrArtha debate , but he might not have surrendered your heart to you. It is not possible to write anything in this state.
AchArya then asked padmapAda to write sub-commentary, but not vArtika. But this doubt was needed to be uprooted. Hence AchArya asked sureshvara to write an independent grantha of advaita nature. Soon sureshvara, composed 'naishkarmya siddhi' and surrendered it at the lotus feet of his guru. This text was accepted by all and with this acceptance, doubts about sureshvara's true understanding of advaita faded away.
Importance of vArtika There are many types of sub-commentaries. Their job is to further clarify and explain the commentary. None can contradict the main commentary written by Adi Sankara.
If it happens, views explained in sub-commentary on that verse is rejected as Adi Sankara is the supreme authority and his opinion are considered as final. In this unique tradition, the only sub-commentary that can contradict the main commentator is 'vArtika'. Hence vArtika is highly revered can be critical of the views of original commentator. He alone enjoys this status and is reverentially called as 'vArtikakAra'.
For sureshvara, debate was a medium to clear doubts. The author could not find this incident in S. It must be taken from other biographies. As per the movie, Adi Sankara wished sureshvara to write a commentary. This was done when sureshvara one day observed some brAhmins performing animal sacrifice. Out of compassion, they had replaced animal meat with wheat flour. He realized that even replacing meat with floor didn't purify the mind.
Be it animal or wheat floor, the intention of killing doesn't change. Hence the purpose is not fulfilled by substituting meat with floor. He discussed this with Adi Sankara. Adi Sankara happily concluded that now the sanyAsa is cultivated within you. The reason for this change is opening and expanding 'inner eye of wisdom '.
As mind is purified, inner reflections change. With inner realization, the perception changes and so does the attitude, the way of living. A hardcore, celebrated mimAmsaka ritualist , accepted sanyAsa as he was strong and pure enough to accept the truth behind our AchArya's logical words which were in-turn backed by the power of direct experience and guru's and Ishvara's blessings.
The new life was completely opposite to that he earlier lived. But the opening of inner eye made this change possible. Second change was the incident of animal sacrifice.
MS was an adept in dvaita, navya-nyAya and was highly influenced by Sri chaitanya mahAprabhu. He wanted to refute advaita. But as he learned it, not only his doubts cleared but he realised that it is the advaita siddhAnta that is the ultimate reality.
Soon MS became a celebrated name in dvaita-advaita polemics. MS defended advaita and made it thorn-free. He defended works of other pUrvAchArya-s too. His gItA commentary also has bhakti in it. In this way, MS is a unique example of transformation.
Difference between brahma sUtra and prakaraNa grantha-s Coming back, commentary on brahma sUtra is for advanced sAdhaka-s and not for masses. On the other hand, prakaraNa grantha-s are for beginners hence they are written in different genre, in a simple way. Unlike commentary on brahma sUtra, the AchArya while composing a prakaraNa grantha does not take it for granted that the reader is well-versed in the tradition and is sufficiently inwardly pure to understand the inner meaning.
AchArya composes prakaraNa grantha-s for beginners. Hence it is not difficult to understand that the author adopts a different writing style.
Composing hymns When it comes to hymns and composing poetry, the poet can change his style of writing. Soaked in ecstasy, with heart overflowing with devotion and tears flowing from eyes and rolling on the cheeks, a poet saint in transcendental bliss, can compose hymns saturated with devotion and glory of the almighty. Ishvara puts such high-souled devotees in a blissful divine state.
Ishvara himself gives inspiration and words to compose. Such hymns have the strength to spread far and wide, and touch hearts of all those who come under it's influence. How can one person have equal reverence for more than one form of God? While it is true that a devotee can be in transcendental bliss and can sing glories of his chosen deity, question arises how can a devotee who has surrendered his heart and soul to rAma may compose hymns to Siva or even to krShNa?
A script writer, depending upon his intellectual ability, can shift gears and can write plays, drama and movie scripts which are completely different than the author's previous writings. This doubt is very genuine and needs to be addressed. It is practically possible in select few to compose hymns to more than one deity. The answer is their spiritual maturity and God's grace. As one progresses spiritually, negative emotions fade away. There is no hatred for other forms of God, hence there is no attempt to denigrate their status.
Other deities are absent for them. It is just pure devotion to one form of God. As one progresses, devotion increases. Devotion is a quality. A Siva bhakta has same intensity of devotion for Siva that a rAma bhakta has for rAma. Upon reaching certain maturity, if a rAma or a krShNa bhakta listens to Siva bhajan-s his heart will be filled with devotion. This happens spontaneously all by the grace of God. A devotee need not do anything by himself.
His life is controlled by Ishvara. Ishvara himself cultivates devotion for other deities.
A rAma bhakta may not need to worship or practice japa of Siva in order to instil devotion in his heart. Hence for a select few blessed souls, Ishvara attracts their hearts for more than one form of God. When their heart is completely filled with devotion of rAma, they compose hymns dedicated to rAma. The same Ishvara then instils devotion for Siva in his heart. Now, the heart is completely filled with devotion to Siva. A devotee will spontaneously create hymns for Siva. Composition of hymns can also be verified from historical records, local legends and from various biographies.
Works verified based on historical facts Some works can be verified on historic facts connected to his various biographies.
Sometimes, even biographies are accused of being corrupted. It may be true that some biographies written by later acharyas are corrupted, but Madhaviya Shankara Digvijaya is considered as the most authentic extant biography on Adi Shankara. Even if we take into account some interpolations here and there, not everything written about Adi Shankara is wrong.
Even if one incident like composing hymn 'kanakadhArA stotra' on Goddess Laxmi, it opens new doors to AchArya-s philosophy.
Kanchi Paramacharya has confirmed composition of various hymns by relating Adi Sankara's biography with historical facts. Paramacharya says, "We find it here upon historical fact the creation of "Sivapadadi-kesanta stotram" and "Sivakesadi-padanta stotram" and Saundarya lahiri" Paramacharya further says, "Sankara's yatra to Kailasa, the abode of Lord Siva, is one of the most notable events in the history of the Acharya.
During the course of his peregrination in the Himalayan region, Sankaracharya desired to have darshan of Sri Paramesvara having his abode in Kailas. Sankara managed to reach Kailas quickly because of His yogic power. He had darshan of Lord Paramesvara and Devi Parvati. According to tradition, Sankara adored Paramesvara by singing two hymns, known as "Sivapadadi-kesanta stotram" and "Sivakesadi-padanta stotram".
Immensely pleased with Sankara's prayers, Paramesvara blessed Sankara, presented him with five sphatika crystal lingas and instructed him to arrange for the worship of the lingas for the sake of the welfare of the universe, indicating also the mode of worship. Paramesvara also handed over to Sankara the palm-leaf manuscript of Soundarya Lahari, which is noted as Siva's own hymn in praise of the Parasakti. From available biographical information, it is learnt that Sankaracharya placed one of the five sphatika lingas got at Kailas and kept the Yoga Linga for his own personal worship and that of his successors at Kanchi.
Bhagavatpada Sankara got Kanchi city remodeled and also caused the reconstruction of the three principal temples of Kanchi, viz.
Sankara consecrated the Srichakra before Devi Kamakshi and thereby secured Her bounteous grace for devotees having Her darshan. We will now try to understand more about it. Explanation for different writing style than Brahma Sutra BhASya While genuine enquiry is welcome, the intention behind every enquiry is not always noble. Sometimes, it is the lack of intellectual understanding by scholars, as none could be compared to Adi Sankara in any terms - authority, grammar, compositions or writing style, as Adi Sankara had mastered many arts, Vedas, 14 adobes of knowledge, chandas, meter, etc.
Vivekchudamani has more than one chand. Before Ech sloka has a dedicated Chanda in which it is supposed to be sung is mentioned. From his biography, we know that Adi Sankara mastered all arts.
To interpret different shastras like Mimamsa and Nyaya, one has to think from one level. While practicing Mantra Yog, one has to adapt different philosophy.
While interpreting Advaita and Ajata Vada, one has to rise to that level and talk from that standpoint. However, this assumption is not true. Advaitains do not reject anything, it 'neglects' everything. Kanchi Paramacharya says, "Advaita or non-dualism is in agreement with Mimamsa up to a point. It accepts Vedic karma as well as the six pramanas perceptions or sources of knowledge defined by Kumarilabhatta. Sankara's non-dualism, Ramanuja's qualified non-dualism, and Madhva's dualism are all Vedantic doctrines and all three are not against Vedic rituals.
While non-dualism accepts all the six pramanas of Mimamsa, qualified non-dualism accepts only three- pratyaksa, anumana and the Vedas. I will explain these terms when I deal with Nyaya. The three leading Vedantic teachers Sankara, Ramanuja and Madhva , do not completely reject Mimamsa, but the paths they have cut out go beyond the mimamsic view: devotion in the case of Visistadvaita and Dvaita and jnana in the case of Advaita.
Mimamsa is called karmamarga since it teaches that karma is all. But karma here does not have the same meaning as in Vedanta which speaks of the three paths- karma, bhakti and jnana. In Vedanta karma is not performed for the sake of karma and is not an end in itself, but consecrated to Isvara without any expectation of reward. This is also karmamarga or karmayoga. It is this view of karma that the Lord expounds in the Gita. In the karmamarga of mimamsakas there is no bhakti.
But, all the same, the Vedic rituals create well-being in the world, lead to a disciplined and harmonious social life and bring inner purity to the performer. Mimamsa holds karma to be a goal in itself; Vedanta regards it as a means to a higher end. Lets understand this with an example of kunDalini. Upon divine command if such blessed soul shifts focus of sAdhanA from advaita to kunDalini yoga, then one will start giving importance to kunDalini, chakra-s, nADI-s and vAyu-s.
As a result of giving importance the attention shifts to kunDalini and chakra-s and one begins to have divine experiences related to kunDalini and chakra activation. We have saints who have talked on both dvaita nd advaita, on bhakti, as well as GYAna. Some have also given importance to karma kANDa.
Some names are madhusudan sarasvatI, appaya dixita dikshita and sridhara svAmI. We will talk of these AcArya-s later. Hence shifting the levels and changing thinking pattern is practically possible.
As explained earlier, the different style of writing in prakaraNa grantha-s is because their purpose is to explain basic terms and concepts of advaita, which of course should be written in easy language. Since each and every person is on dvaita on practical ground, hence neti-neti, the core philosophy and ajata vada of Gaudapadacharya cannot be explained to a beginner.
Basic concepts are to be explained in a way so that a beginner can understand. Writing style would definitely change. It is not fair or reasonable to compare the writing style of a prakarana granth with that of Brahma sutra bhasya. As far as composing hymns is concerned, we have already dealt with the topic earlier. The idea is to cover all types of people so that upon maturity, a seeker can turn towards advaita.
Advaita is not for everybody. But what about those who cannot establish themselves in GYAna-sthiti. Beginners cannot even detach themselves from their body.
For such devotees, others paths are described and propagated by the same AchArya. His job was to unite India and make people of all kinds of temperament to follow dharma.
At the same time, he has to make sure that all seekers would one day reach the same ultimate destination. Promoting a different siddhanta is reflected in his final teachings and his commentary on Tai. For this he has to take into consideration mindsets of different people and compose hymns praising deities they worship.
Without devotion, any kriyA or oblation offered in yaGYa is meaningless. All spiritual activities without bhAva emotional attachment towards God are mechanical. AchArya toured the entire length and breadth of India. Hence he was able to understand the mindsets of people of north India, south India, east and West India. He also understood the mindset and ability of laymen and scholars of different varNa-s. Hence acharya promoted panchyatna puja and shanmata to unify the whole of India.
The reason for choosing 10 upanishads to comment is unknown. As per my understanding and study, which is admittedly very limited, I can say that one of the reason is that all ten upanishads, that achArya chose to comment teaches us traditional method of adhyAropa apavAda. We have seen this in a page dedicated to this philosophy.
These ten upanishads are also mentioned as principle upanishads in muktikA upanishad. Other upanishads may focus on one thing like praising one deity like atharvashiras upanishad praising Lord Rudra. Other upanishads are dedicated to explain certain concepts like akshamAlikA upanishad, teaching us the importance of rudrAksha beeds. Ignoring the multi-talent ability of siddhA-s History has recorded that there are many prominent personalities in all kinds of fields who have good grip over more than one subject.
There are many multi-talented saints can easily change thinking patterns. Many saints are artists proficient one or more form of art like singing, playing musical instruments or painting or composing devotions hymns. Earlier, we have understood from example of our vArtikakAra that as one matures spiritually, thinking pattern changes.
We will further try to understand why a person can change his thinking pattern, change writing style and write on a topic which does not comply with his main philosophy siddhAnta. Later, we will give examples of few such saints and AchArya-s who are shining gems of sanAtana dharma. Please note that the names are picked up in random manner as writer's memory recalls. Lets understand how it is possible to adopt a different writing style. There is no contradiction among the various statements in the Upanishads dealing with subjects like creation.
This is the burden of the teaching of this chapter. The author has critically examined and dismissed the refutations raised by other schools of thoughts, such as the Sankhya, the Jainas, the Pasupatas, the Buddhists and the Bhagavatas like the Pancaratras.
This is the longest chapter with sutras spread over 67 adhikaranas. The topics discussed are diverse.
Brahma Sutra Sankara Bhashya English Translation Vasudeo Mahadeo Apte
This is the shortest chapter with 78 sutras and 38 adhikaranas. The main topic discussed is the journey of the jiva after death to Brahmaloka by the 'arciradimarga' or 'devayana', the path of light or of gods.
This is a great authority for every philosophical school in India. If any Acharya wishes to establish his own cult or sect or school of thought, he will have to write a commentary of his own on Brahma Sutras.
Then only it will be recognised. They also emphatically declare that Brahman can be known only through the scriptures and not through mere reasoning. But they differ amongst themselves as to the nature of this Brahman, the state of the soul in the state of final emancipation, the means of attaining It and Its causality with reference to this universe.
This world is unreal. This world is a Vivarta or apparent modification through Maya. Brahman is the only Reality. The individual soul has limited himself through Avidya and identification with the body and other vehicles. Through his selfish actions he enjoys the fruits of his actions. He becomes the actor and enjoyer.
He regards himself as atomic and as an agent on account of Avidya or the limiting Antahkarana. The individual soul becomes identical with Brahman when his Avidya is destroyed.
In reality Jiva is all-pervading and identical with Brahman. Ishvara or Saguna Brahman is a product of Maya.
Welcome to Brahma Sutra!
Worship of Ishvara leads to Krama Mukti. The pious devotees the knowers of Saguna Brahman go to Brahma Loka and attain final release through highest knowledge. They do not return to this world. They attain the Nirguna Brahman at the end of the cycle.
Knowledge of Nirguna Brahman is the only means of liberation. The knowers of Nirguna Brahman attain immediate final release or Sadyomukti. They need not go by the path of Gods or the Devayana. They merge themselves in Para Brahman. They do not go to any Loka or world. Brahman Impersonal Absolute without attributes. He is endowed with all auspicious qualities. He is not merely intelligence itself, but intelligence is also his chief attribute.
He contains within Himself whatever exists. Matter and souls are called modes of Him Prakara. The individual souls will never be entirely resolved in Brahman. According to Ramanuja Brahman is not absolutely one and homogeneous. The individual souls undergo a state of Sankocha contraction during Pralaya.
They expand Vikasa during creation. The individual soul of Ramanuja is really individual. It will remain a personality for ever. The soul remains in Vaikuntha for ever in a state of bliss and enjoys the divine Aishvarya of Lord Narayana. Bhakti is the chief means to final emancipation and not Jnana.
Sri Ramanuja follows in his Bhashya the authority of Bodhayana. Nimbarka According to Sri Nimbarkacharya Brahman is considered as both the efficient and material cause of the world. Brahman is both Nirguna and Saguna.
The universe is not unreal or illusory but is a true manifestation or Parinama of Brahman. Sri Ramanuja also holds this view. He says, "Just as milk is transformed into curd, so also Brahman has transformed Himself as this universe. The individual souls are parts of the Supreme Self.
They are controlled by the Supreme Being. This can be achieved by Bhakti devotion. The individuality of the finite self Jivatma is not dissolved even in the state of final emancipation. Sri Ramanuja also holds that the Jiva assumes the divine body of Sri Narayana with four hands and enjoys in Vaikuntha the divine Aishwarya of the Lord.
Vallabha The philosophy of Sri Vallabhacharya is Suddha-Advaita or pure monism, because he does not admit Maya like Sankara, and believes that the whole world of matter and souls is real and is only a subtle form of God.
Those who bring Maya for the explanation of the world are not pure Advaitins, because they admit a second to Brahman. Vallabha holds that Brahman can create the world without any connection with such a principle as Maya, but Sankara traces the universe to Brahman through the power of Maya.
Hence the philosophy of Vallabha is called pure monism or Suddhadvaita. Vallabha says that the entire universe is real and is subtly Brahman. The individual souls and the world are, in essence, one with Brahman.It is about transforming an extrovert mind into introvert mind. Both external and internal worlds are nothing but the construct of mind. He saw that in place where he left his disciple, someone has build a big house.
Attempts are made to give simple logical explanation in support of works attributed to our AchArya Adi Sankara bhagavadpAda. If it were a settled matter that Brahman is denoted by the term, 'the Self consisting of bliss,' then we could assume that in the subsequent passages, where merely the word 'bliss' is employed, the term 'consisting of bliss' is meant to be repeated; but that the Self consisting of bliss is not Brahman, we have already proved by means of the reason of joy being its head, and so on.
Thus he laid out the foundation for Tatvavaada or Dvaita tradition of Vedanta refuting all the previous commentaries on Brahma Sutras. Bhakti, or devotion, without faults, is the means of attaining Moksha.
If mind does not hanker in this world samsAra , then there is only one place after which it hankers - Ishvara or Brahman, as mind cannot stay without hankering. As one progresses spiritually, certain qualities are bound to cultivate and blossom within each one of us like faith, surrender, dispassion in worldly matters, etc.
It will remain a personality for ever.