govind at ISC.TAMU.EDU
Sun Oct 5 11:02:53 CDT 1997
On Sat, 4 Oct 1997 un824 at freenet.victoria.bc.ca wrote:
> I'm not sure where to find this reference. If "athAto brahmajijnAsA" is the
> first aphorism of the Brahma Sutra, would someone be kind enough to type
> out this one passage by Sankara for me? Perhaps others might appreciate it
> as well.
A good translation of shankaraa's brahma sUtra bhAShyA is
by Swami Gambhirananda's (SG) (published by Advaita
Ashrama). Here's the relevant portion for the first sutra:
"Hence (is to be undertaken) thereafter a deliberation on
<My loose paraphrasing of SG's translation of shankarA's
shankarA interprets the word "atha" to mean a "sequence"
rather than "commencement". Since the word means a sequence,
it obviously implies that something has been (has to be)
done prior to this. shankarA says that it is not learning
the karma kAnDa portion of the vedA that is a
prerequisite, since learning the ritual portions of the
vedA will only lead one to perform virtuous
deeds and hence, secular propserity. The prerequisite
shankarA mentions are: "... discrimination between the
eternal and the non-eternal; dispassion for the enjoyment
of the fruits (of work) here and hereafter; a perfection of
practices as control of the mind, control of the senses
and organs, etc; and a hankering for liberation. Granted
the existence of these, Brahman can be deliberated on
or known even before or after an inquiry into virtuous
deeds, but not otherwise."
In this context, it is also worth noting that rAmAnujA
(shrI vaishNavA) in his shrI bhaShyA (commentary on BS),
differs from shankarA, and spends a great deal of time in
the earlier verses. I will perhaps post at a later time
his interpretation of the first sUtrA.
In this context, the following shlokA from bhagavad gItA
is also appropriate:
yAvan artha udapAne sarvatas-samplutodake
tAvAn sarveSu vadeSu brAhma.nasya vijAnata.h || (II.46)
<Again a loose translation from a book on vishiShTAdvaita>
A man uses only as much water as he needs out of a reservoir
abounding in water far beyond his demand, and not more.
In the same way does a man of discrimination choose
from the vedA only those parts that pertain
to him and that are conducive to his objectives.
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