Sri Vyasa (Badarayana or Krishna Dvaipayana) the Guru of Jaimini is the author of the Brahma Sutras otherwise known as Vedanta Sutras. Brahma Sutra belongs to ‘Uttara Mimamsa’. ‘Uttara’ means ’late’r. ‘Mimamsa’ means the investigation or enquiry into the connected meaning of the sacred texts.
Brahma Sutra consists of 4 Adhyayas (chapters), 16 Padas (sections), 223 Adhikaranas (topics) and 555 Sutras (aphorisms).
Chapter I : Sec 1 : 31, Sec 2 : 32, Sec 3 : 43, Sec 4 : 28 Total = 134
Chapter II : Sec 1 : 37, Sec 2 : 45, Sec 3 : 53, Sec 4 : 22 Total = 157
Chapter III : Sec 1 : 27, Sec 2 : 41, Sec 3 : 66, Sec 4 : 52 Total = 186
Chapter IV : Sec 1 : 19, Sec 2 : 21, Sec 3 : 16, Sec 4 : 22 Total = 78
Grand total = 555
Sutras: Meaning ‘clues’. They are concise Aphorisms, which gives the essence of the arguments on a topic.
In the Brahma-Sutras we find the names of Audulomi, Kasha-krishna, Badari, and others, whose views have been either accepted or rejected by the author.
Sankaracharya, Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Vallabacharya, Nimbarkacharya and others have written commentaries on the Brahma Sutras.
Sankaracharya’s commentary was commented on by Vachaspati Mishra, Padmapada and Sureshwaracharya.
Brahma Sutra refutes vehemently Sankhya philosophy, the duality of consciousness and matter, known as Purusha and Prakriti.
o Sutra 1.1. 1-“Now, therefore, the enquiry into Brahman”: Those who have got an earnest desire for the knowledge of Brahman only are fit for the study of Vedanta Philosophy or Brahma Sutras.
o Sutra 1.1. 2-“From which proceed the origin”: That which is the cause of the world is Brahman (Self or Consciousness).
o Sutra 1.1.7 – “Salvation is declared to one who is devoted to that Self (Sat)”: The final liberation is declared to him who is devoted to the Self(Sat), who has his being in Self (Sat).
o Sutra I.1.12 – “full of bliss, because of repetition”: The word ‘Bliss’ is repeatedly applied to the highest Self. ‘He the Highest Self is Bliss in itself. The individual soul becomes blissful after attaining that Bliss’ (Taittiriya Upanishad).
o Sutra I.2.18 – “The internal ruler over the gods and so on (is Self/Brahman) because the attributes of that (Self/Brahman) are mentioned”. “He who within rules this world and the other world and all beings” (Bri. Up. III-7-1). “He who dwells in the earth and within the earth, whom the earth does not know, whose body the earth is, who rules the earth from within, he is thy Self, the ruler within, the im mor tal” etc., (Br. Up.III-7-3).
o Sutra 1.3.22 – “Because of the shining (acting) after Its and”: It shining, everything else shines after it. By its light all this is lighted.
o Sutra 1.4.27 – “Because Self is called the source” : That (Self/ Brahman) which wise regard as the origin of all beings. (Mun. Up. I-1-6).
o Sutra 2.3.9 – “There can be no origin of ‘That’ (Self), as it does not stand reason”: Self (Brahman) which is existence itself, cannot be an effect, as it can have no cause. So it is eternal.
o Sutra 2.3.18 – “Intelligence for this very reason”: It is ‘Self’ (Brahman) itself which appears as individual soul limited by the senses. Therefore the nature of the soul is intelligence.
o Sutra 3.2.26 – “Therefore with infinite thus for indicates”: The individual soul realises it is the Self (Brahman) when the ignorance disappears. ‘He who knows Brahman becomes Brahman itself’ (Mu. 3.2.9).
o Sutra 3.3.15 – “On account of the word ‘self’ and”: “that self is hidden in all beings and does not shine forth” (Kath; 1.3.12).
o Sutra 4.1.4 – “Not in the symbol, because he is not (that)”: Self is not in the symbols. When the identification with the symbols cease then Self is there.
o Sutra 4.4.1 – “has attained, there is manifestation, from the word ‘own’”: “Now this serene and happy being, after having risen out of this body and having attained the highest light, manifests itself by its own nature” (Chh. Up. VII.12.3).
o Sutra 4.4.6 – “solely as pure consciousness or Intelligence, that being its true nature or essence; thus Audulomi”: Audulomi says that it is the realisation of the soul’s essential nature as pure consciousness or intelligence. It exists as such in the state of release.
“That from where these beings are born, that by which, when born they live, that into which they enter at their death, try to know That. That is Brahman.” --------- Taittiriya Upanishad (III-i)
1. Brahma Sutras – Tr. & com. by Swami Vireswrananda.
2. Brahma Sutras – Tr. & com. by Sri Swami Sivananda.
3. A Comparative Study of the Commentaries on the Brahma-sutras by Swami Vireshwarananda.
4. An Analysis of Brahma Sutra by Swami Krishnananda