From Encyclopedia of Pushtimarga
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Scholarship is rare, still rarer is the scholarship that enables one to comprehend the spirit of the Vedic lore. Even if it is possible, there is no consistency in the scholar's conduct with the precept. Granted that, even then, the scholar is not cognisant with the way of God-realisation. Let us admit that, such a scholar having the knowledge of God's love, is seen in the world, still his scholarship is conspicuous with the absence of the love for the Lord  Krishna. Who else except Shri Vallabhacharya is endowed with all these qualities?


Anu-bhashya is a well-known commentary by Sri Vallabhacharya on the famous Vedanta aphorisms, commonly known as "Brahma-Sutras" composed by Sage Badarayana. "The Brahma Sutras", "The Vedanta­ Sutras", "Uttar · Mimansa", ''Vyas-Sutras", "Brahma­ Mimansa", "Aupanishada Mimansa", "Badarayana­ Sutras", "Tattva-Sutras" are the various titles by which these famous aphorisms have passed into currency.

They constitute one of the six systems of Indian Philosophy of the six systems - Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Purva            Mimansa and Uttara Mimansa-the last alone has achieved utmost celebrity in the world of Indian philosophical thought. It forms such an important part of our study, that without the knowledge of this Mimansa our - knowledge of Indian religions or philosophical thought remains altogether incomplete. It is the most advanced system that has ever been launched into existence. It examines and improves the philosophical tenets of other systems. The claims of the Samkhya, the Yoga, the Nyaya and the Vaisheshika etc. are worthily weighted and considered in their true perspective and judged as wanting in efficiency. It also refers to the views of Badari, Ashmarathya, Audulomi and Jaimini. Jaimini, an Acharya of no less an eminent authority than any of his   predecessors composed Purva Mimansa or Dhrama-Sutras in which he expounded at great Iength that the truth of the Vedas lay in the performance of Dharma or a Sacrifice. This made Badarayana reexamine the teachings of the Vedas. HIs reading of the Vedas taught him new truths. He was not convinced that the main aim of Vedas was the inculcation of a sacrificial cult. No doubt         some part of the Vedas known as the Brahmanas were principally concerned with the sacrifices, yet this does not mean that the whole Veda concerned  itself with it. On the contrary, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads which also constitute the Veda, open to us, new secrets - secrets concerning Brahman, the Soul, the cosmos and the liberation etc. So Badarayana thought it desirable to clothe the results of his Vedic study in a suitable aphoristic garb, so that people may not be mistaken about the teachings of the Vedas. The Brahma-Sutras were designed by Badarayana with that object and therefore embody truths that are not incorporated into any other system.

Commentators of Brahma-Sutras

Shankaracharya was the earliest commentator of Brahma-Sutras. His commentary is called Shariraka­ Bhashya.  In writing               his  commentary,  he did not strictly follow Badarayana. In certain places, he tried to superimpose his own views upon Badarayana. He has also attributed to Badarayana that was never meant by him. He  thought that the spirit of the Vedanta lay in preaching Kevaladvaita. He deduced from the Sruti passages such doctrines as the reality of Brahman, phenomenality of cosmos, non-plurality and pervasiveness of human souls and achievement of liberation by being absorbed - into Brahman in the final state.

His successor Ramanujacharya read the sutras differently. According to him, the spirit of Vedantic teaching lay  in  the  Vishishthadvita i.e. qualified non-dualism. He did not agree with Shamkara's interpretation of the Sutras. Especially the doctrine of Maya according to which the objective world was to be looked upon as phenomenal only, did not appeal to him. He therefore severely criticized Shamkara's Kevaladvaita in his Shri-Bhashya, and showed to the world that it lacked wisdom, sagacity and what is more, even practicability.

Srikantha, an adherent of qualified non-dualism of Ramanuja also attempted the interpretation of Brahma-Sutras. He substituted "Shiva" in place of "Vasudeva" of Ramanuja \vhich embodies the highest conception of Brahman.

Bhaskaracharya was also an exponent of Vedantic philosophy. His philosophy is characterised as Dvaitadvaita, partly dualistic and partly non-dualistic. The dualism is explained by him as due to limitation. Nimbarka followed in the wake of Bhaskara, but he said that the dualism was not to limitation, but to the real state of nature.

Madhva or Anandatirtha was a strict dualist. His philosophy is therefore known as Dvaita - "Dualism".  He held that doctrine  of  Advaita propounded by his predecessors was utterly false and incredible. It could not be deduced from the Vedic passages. According to him, devotion to the Lord alone would entitle one to achieve absolution.

Vijnan Bhikshu was also one who tried, to solve the mystery of the Vedanta. His perusal of "Brahma-Sutras" made him evolve what is called Avibhagadvaita i.e. undivisible non-dualism. He thought that the division of Jada and Chetana was impossible.

Sri Vallabhacharya also attempted his interpretation of the Brahma-Sutras in his commentary called "Anu-Bhashya." He felt that his predecessors had done gross injustice to the learned author of Brahma-Sutras by misrepresenting him in what he did not mean. Not only that they have failed to fathom the real spirit of the Sutras in certain places, but also where they lacked powers of penetration into the Sutras, they made gross perversion by twisting and murdering the original sense. The duty of a commentator is not to introduce any amendment or innovation in the meaning intended by the original author. His duty is restricted only to the clearing out of the original meaning in his lucid style, so that it will be easily intelligible to the readers. Vallabhacharya had reasons    to believe that his predecessors did not explain the Brahma-Sutras as they should have been. Hence he set upon bring out the real sense of the Sutras, and betray the hollowness, or falsity of those who have purposely been led away by superimposing their own views on  the Sutrakara.

This explains the object of Vallabhacharya's writing his commentary called "Anu-Bhasya".

The Text

"Brahma-Sutras" has been principally divided into four parts, each one of which is called An Adhyaya or a chapter. Each chapter again has been split up into four padas, and the padas in turn have further divisions of Adhikaranas, which are groups of indefinite number of sutras.