Home | First | Previous | Next - Page 4

The Brahma Sutra adopts the technique of Objection (Purva Paksha) and conclusion (Siddhatha) to expound the Vedantic truth. The aphorisms discuss contrary points of view in order to remove all possible doubts about the validity and meaning of Vedantic or Upanishadic statements. The body is taken to be the encasement (Upadhi) for the 'person', the jivatma, and the Brahma Sutra explains its Reality. Hence, the Sutra is called Vedanta Darsana.

The Sutras in the text number 555; some schools count them as 449. The word Sutra means, "that which, through a few words only, reveals vast meanings". The word Mimamsa, as used in ancient Indian Philosophy, means the conclusion arrived at after inquiry and investigation, the inference adopted as correct after deep consideration of possible doubts and alternatives.

The Vedas deal with two concepts: Dharma and Brahma. The Purva Mimansa deals with Karma, rites and rituals, as the Dharma. The Uttara Mimansa deals with Brahma; its emphasis is on Jnana, Understanding. Purva Mimansa starts with the aphorism, "Athaatho Dharma Jijnasa" (Now, the inquiry on Dharma); the Uttara Mimansa starts with "Athaatho Brahma Jijnaasa" (Now, the inquiry into Brahma).

The awareness of Brahmam cannot be won by the accumulation of wealth or even by the giving away of riches. Nor can it be achieved by reading texts, or rising to power, or acquisition of degrees and diplomas or by the performance of scriptural sacrifices and rituals.

The body is an ant-hill which has inside the cavity, the mind. And the mind has hidden in it the serpent named Ajnana (Nescience). It is not possible to kill the serpent by resorting to satisfaction-orientated works (Kaamya Karma). Jnana is the only weapon that can kill it.

"Sraddhaavaan labhathe jnaanam". That person alone who has sraddha can secure jnana. And Sraddha means steady faith in the statements laid down in scriptual texts (Sastras). Next