Sri Bhashya – Sri Ramanuja’s Commentary On Sri Brahma Sutra–Sri. U.Ve. Anantha Narasimachariar Swamy, Srirangam,–Athyaayam 2-(Avirodha )Paatham 1–(‘Smrithi pada’)Summary-

The second chapter is called Avirodha Adhyaya.
Avirodha means no objection or no opposition.
This means all objections or opposition against Lord Sriman Narayana being the cause of the universe
are over ruled and it is again established that he is the cause of the universe.
This in other words reinforces the final conclusion of the first chapter.

The second chapter has four padas or quarters.
The first pada is called Smrithi pada.
The second pada is called Tarka pada.
The third pada is called Viyath pada.
The fourth pada is called Indriya pada or Prana pada.

The first two padas reinforce the fact that Brahman who is the Lord Sriman Narayana is the cause of the universe.
The third and fourth padas deal with the objects that are created by Brahman.

From another aspect it is said that the first two padas over rule the objections raised by the opponents
against Sriman Narayana being the cause of the universe
while the latter two padas that is third and fourth settle the internal dispute or domestic quarrel in Vedas
including upanishads which are the supreme authority to us.
There are some texts which appear to be mutually contradictory in nature.
Contradictory in the sense that one text says that Sky or Akasha is eternal and not created
while another text says that Akasha is created.

Similarly there are texts which say that Jivas or the sentient beings are created
while there are texts which say that jivas are not created and they are eternal.
Likewise there are texts which say that senses which are called Indriyas are created
while there are upanishadic sayings that they are not created.
As every syllable of the Vedas including upanishads is an authority to us, the above contradictions
which are superficial in nature have to be settled and a compromise to be effected by applying reasonable and sensible logic.

In the first pada the Sutrakara who is Sri Vedavyasa also called as Sage Badarayana is on the defencive
by overruling logical objections raised by both the Nirishwara sankhyas and seshwara sankhyas
against Lord Sriman Narayana being the cause of the universe.

In the second pada the sutrakarar goes on offensive and refutes the sankhya system of philosophy,
vaiseshika system of philosophy, Buddhism, Jainism and Pasupatha system of philosophy
by pointing out fissures in them.
Finally in the second pada the sutrakarar establishes the authority of pancharatra sasthra which is called Bhagavath Sastra.

The first pada in the second chapter is called Smrithi pada because the entire pada is dominated
by the objections raised by Nirishwara sankhya based on kapila smrithi
which is the basic text for nirishwara sankhya system of philosophy.

This pada has ten adhikaranas.
The very first adhikarana in this pada is Smrithi Adhikarana.
As already said in all the ten adhikaranas the Purvapakshi or opponent is Nirishwara sankhya.
The founder and propagator of Nirishwara Sankhya system of philosophy is Sage Kapila
who is an incarnation of Lord Sriman Narayana. The work composed by the sage kapila is called Kapila Smrithi.

The word sankhya means number. The philosophy based on this number is sankhya system.
This sankhya system which does not believe in the existence of Lord Sriman Narayana
who is called Brahman or Eshwara is called Nirishwara Sankhya system which says that
there are 24 tatvas of prakrithi which is primordial matter which is also called Pradhana, Anumanika or Asabda.
Jiva is the 25th tatva. Because this philosophy is based on these 25 tatvas it is called Nirishwara Sankhya system.
In this philosophy prakrithi is the material cause for the universe and it creates the universe in the presence of the Jiva.

The other branch of the Sankhya system is Seshwara Sankhya which was founded and propagaed by Hiranya garbha or four headed Brahma.
This system believes in the existence of Eshwara or Brahman who is the 26th tatva.
In this system it is said that prakrithi is the Upadana karana and Eshwara (Narayana) is the Nimitta karana.

Both these systems are against the vedic philosophy which says that Brahman is
both the material cause and operational cause (Upadana karana and Nimitta karana).
Our Visishtadwaitha philosophy is entirely in tune with vedic philosophy.
We agree with sankhya regarding the number of tatvas which are 26 in number.

So in the first adhikarana, the Nirishwara sankhya says that interpretation of Vedas and upanishads
is impossible without the aid of Smrthees. He further says even though there are a number of Smrthees
with whose aid the interpretation of Vedas and upanishads has to be done,
Kapila Smrithi is the most suitable and acceptable one because it deals with only the thathvas of philosophy
and hence it is more powerful than the other smrthees like Manu smrthi etc., because these smrthees deal with
both tenets and performance of daily rituals. He further argues that if kapila smrithi is not considered for
interpretation of Vedas it becomes meaningless and purposeless. This should not happen.

In the sutra, the sutrakarar uses a technical term known as Anavakasha.
Anavakasha means meaning less or purposeless. A maxim is eatablished here according to which it is said that
when there is a contradiction between Vedas including upanishads and smrithis,
Vedas are more powerful than smrthees.

Poorva pakshi is further of the opinion that the Vedas themselves highlight the greatness of the sage kapila;
then the Vedas have to be interpreted with the aid of kapila smrithi only.

This argument of the poorvapakshi who is Nirishwara sankhya is refuted by the Sutrakara in the sutra
which reads as “Smrithi Anavakasha dosha prasangath Ithi cheth Naanyasmrithi Anavakasha dosha prasangath”.
The meaning of this Sutra is as follows:
If the Kapila smrithi is not made use of for the interpretation of Vedas and upanishads
it becomes meaningless and purposeless which is a serious flaw in that case a number of other smrithis
which are opposed to Kapila Smrithi will have the serious flaw of of becoming meaningless and purposeless.

It is implied from this sutra that Kapila smrithi is opposed to Vedas and upanishadss which say
Lord Sriman Narayana is the cause of the universe and this fact is whole-heartedly and unanimously
endorsed by all the other smrithis like Manu smrithi, Parasara Smrthi etc.
Manu Smrthi says, “Aponara Ithi Prokthaa: Apo vai Nara sunava:
Thaa yadasya Ayanam purvam: Thena Narayana Smruthi: ||”
This sloka clearly says that Lord Sriman Narayana is the cause of the universe.
Veda also says that whatever Manu says it is medicine for the disease of samsara.
So Manu’s sayings are of authority to us like Vedas.

When the poorvapakshi further said that sage kapila by his yogic powers was able to see all
the superhuman things by himself and his sayings have to be accpeted in toto,
the sutrakarar refuted this point and said that even the Manu and other sages who had also yogic powers
did not see the superhuman things in the manner in which kapila saw.
So the conclusion is that Kapila smrithi cannot be accepted under any circumstances.

The second adhikarana is yoga prathukthi adhikaranaa.
In this adhikarana the Sutrakara denounces the Seshwara Sankhya system of philosophy founded by
Hiranyagarbha by applying the same argument as in the previous adhikarana.
This Seshwara Sankhya system is also known as Yoga system of philosophy.
According to this system of philosophy, Lord Sriman Narayana is not upadana karana to the universe
but his only nimiththa karana –upadana karena is prakrthi itself.

The Sutra is Erthena Yoga prathyuktha:
The meaning is by the same argument the yoga system is refuted because even though
the chathur mukha Brahma was born from the Navel of Lord Sriman Narayana he is afflicted by the
Rajasa and Thamasa gunas. So his sayings cannot be taken as authority.

The third adhikarana is called Vilakshanathva adhikaranam.
From this adhikarana onwards the Nirishwara sankhya raises objections from the common sense point of view
based on Kapila smrithi and tries to destroy our edifice of Lord Sriman Narayana being the cause of the universe
that is both upadana karana and nimiththa karana. The sutrakarar by giving most fitting replies to him,
over rules his objections and establishes the stability of the edifice.

The first objection is contained in this adhikarana.
This adhikarana has nine sutras out of which the first two sutras are purva paksha sutras
which echo the view point or objection raised by the opponent
and the remaining seven sutras are siddhantha sutras which are in reply to opponent’s objection.

The first sutra is “Na vilakshanathvat Asyathathatvamcha sabdath”.
Its meaning is “For this universe which has three attributes of satva, Rajasa and Tamasa and
which is mixed and whose material is quite different from that of Brahman, Brahman cannot be
the material cause or upadana karana. In fact that the material of the universe is different
from that of Brahman is clear in the upanishads”.

The above objection is a very common sense one because we have seen the material of the mud pot is same
as that of clay which is the upadana karana.
Similarly gold which is yellow in colour is the material cause for the several ornaments.
These ornaments are also yellow in colour and the material is same as gold.
The primordial matter which is prakrithi is upadana karana for this universe which comprises of both sentient and non sentient beings.

The Brahman is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient whereas jiva is ignorant and innocent.
Some statements in the upanishads like earth spoke and water willed, etc., do not actually refer to
inanimate objects which are without any knowledge and it refers to the respective spokes persons.
It is some thing like saying India tells pakisthan in which it refers to the respective spokes persons.
So when Jiva is entirely different from Brahman and inanimate objects are also entirely different from Brahman,
the opponent asks how Brahman could be material cause for both the sentient and non sentient beings.

For this objection of the opponent the sutrakarar replies as follows.
The first sutra in his reply is “Drishyathethu”.
This means that in this world, we have seen some cases in which the cause and effect are
entirely different both in material and colour.
The scorpian is created by cow dung. Our question is whether there is any similarity between the two.
Cow dung is the cause and scorpion is the effect. So there is no strict need of any similarity between
the cause and effect that is karana and karya. If the material of the cause and effect is not one and the same
then it may be argued that any thing may be created from anything or from even nothing. It is not so.
In this context Sri Bhagavad Ramanuja in Sri Bhasya gives a beautiful illustration to explain and codify
the principle of cause and effect i.e. karana and karya. The illustration is that a child undergoes
several physical transformations right from the day of its birth.
The transformations are of childhood, boyhood, youthhood and then becoming old aged.
These transformations are possible only when the child continues to be alive throughout
that is in other words the soul is within the body.
These transformations are to the body only and not to Jiva or soul who dwells in the body.
The same illustration holds good in the case of Brahman being the cause of the universe.
The Brahman or paramatma is the inner soul or antharyami of all animate and inanimate objects
that is in other words sentient and non sentient beings.

At the stage of ‘karanathava’ or in the causal stage he is the antaryami for all sentient and non sentient beings
in Sukshma (atomic) form and this stage is at the time of deluge.
When paramatma wills to create the world, the sentient and non sentient beings which were in the sookshma form
assume definite form and name and become of big size. So the codified version of karana and karya bhava is as follows.
In the ‘karanavastha’ the paramatma is sookshma chethana achethana vishishta
(Sookshma means subtle, chethana is sentient and achethana is non sentient, and visishta means conjunction).
In the karya vastha that is at the stage of the effect the paramatma is sthula chethana achethana visishta (Sthula means big).
So the transformation is not to the antaryami or paramatma but to his bodies which are chethana and achethana.
At the causal stage the bodies are sookshma (atomic) and at the effect stage they assume definite form and name.
This is in accordance with the illustration mentioned above.
So there is no change in the material of atomic stage and definite stage.
So the objection of the opponent is overruled.

In this adhikarana Sri Bhagavad Ramanuja gives a beautiful definition to the mortal body.
This is the most appropriate definition to the body. The definition is as follows.
The substance or the material which is supported by an inpidual soul, controlled by the soul and
which is subordinate to the soul is the body of the soul.
The same definition holds good to the jiva or soul who is the body of paramatma.

The fourth adhikarana in this pada is called Sishta Aparigraha adhikaranam.
In this adhikarana, the sutrakarar says applying the reply given to Nirishwara sankhya and
overruling his objection the other systems of philosophy which do not accept of the authority of Vedas
get automatically vanquished. These systems are vaiseshika system founded by sage Kanada, Nyaya system
founded by the sage Gowthama who is called Akshapada. Buddhism and Jainism.
These systems says that the cause of the universe is not brahman, is not pradhana or prakrithi but atoms.
These systems are called para maanu karana vathies.

The fifth adhikaranam is called Bhokthrapatti Adhikaranam.
This adhikaranam has direct link with Vilakshanathvadhikarana in which it was said that
chethana and achethana objects are the bodies of the paramatma.

The opponent Nirishwara Sankhya rises up again. He says when the sentient and non sentient beings are
the bodies of paramatma both in the atomic form and definite or big form
there is not much of difference between jivatma and paramatma.
Just like jivatma undergoes the suffering and enjoyment that take place in the body,
so also paramatma should also be subject to this suffering and enjoyment that occur in his body which is the entire universe.

So the Brahman by becoming the cause for the universe which is again by virtue of his having
the entire universe as his body is subject to the sufferings and enjoyment which take place in his body.
He further says that our stand of the prakrithi or pradhana being the cause of the universe is much better.
So Brahman cannot be considered as the cause of the universe because
the possession of the body itself makes him subject to suffering.

This argument is refuted by Sutrakara in the Sutra,
“Bhokthrapaththe: Avibhaga: Cheth Syath lokavath”.
The meaning of this sutra is as follows.
The difference between jivatma and paramatma is always there.
Possession of the body is not the cause for suffering.
Suffering or enjoyment is on account of the past deeds of jiva which are punya and papa.

The Sutrakara himself gives a practical example to explain the above point.
In the prison or jail there is the Jail warden and convict undergoing the punishment for his offences.
The Jail warden supervises the convict undergoing the punishment.
So the sufferings in the prison do not affect the jail warden.
Likewise here Paramatma who is the antharyami is not subject to any misery and the jiva alone is subject to suffering.
So Brahman alone is the cause of the universe.

The next adhikarana is Arambanadhikaranam.
This has link with one of the sutras in vilakshanathwadhikararam in which it was said that the material
in karana and karya is one and the same.
The opponent says karana is different from karya on account of the following factors.
1) Names are different. For Example, clay and pot. Clay is the cause and pot is the effect.
2) Forms or shapes are different – the shape of the pot is different from that of heap of clay.
3) The work done by clay is different from that of a pot.
Pot is used for carrying water while it is not possible in the case of the clay.
4) Time is involved in making a pot from clay.
5) If clay and pot are one and the same then the effort of the pot maker becomes meaningless.

So when the karya is different from karana, and if on the same analogy
the universe which is the karya is entirely different from the karana that is brahman,
the purva pakshi says that Brahman cannot be the cause for the universe.

The above view point of the opponent is refuted by the sutrakarar who says in the first sutra
of this adhikarana as “Thath Ananyatvam Arambana sabdadibya”.
The meaning of this sutra is explained as below.
In the three illustrations given by sage uddalaka to his son svethakethu, the clay, gold and Iron,
he says that this world was only sath before creation.
When Brahman who is called sath in this context willed to create the universe he transformed himself as universe.
In other words, as already said before creation, Sath the Brahman was antaryami to the sentient and non sentient beings
in the atomic form and when he willed the transformation took place the same sath that is Brahman becomes
antaryami to the sentient and non sentient beings in a definite and big form.
This again means the Brahman provided four different types of bodies to the jivas according to the past deeds.
The four different types of bodies are Celestial beings (Deva), terestial beings (human form), animals and inanimate objects.
So paramatma enters in to each body in the four forms explained above along with jivas and gave them definite form and name.

In the illustration the heap of clay which was clay in the morning
became ghata (pot), plates or disc (plate or disc) in the afternoon. Plate or disc is called sharava.
Though the material is same in all these clay products, the names are different according to the purpose
for which they are required. Ghata or the pot is used for the purpose of carrying water and keeping the water in the same.
Even if the names and purposes of the different clayey products are different the fact remains
that all of them are made of clay only. So the karana and karya are one and the same in the aspect of
the raw material from which karya becomes into being.
In respect of the universe, the universe is the body of the paramatma and he is the supreme soul or antaryami.
As body and soul are inseparable they are called ananya which means not separable.
In some of the upanishadic texts, the same sath is called as asath and avyakrutha.,
This means asath or avyakrutha refer to the non transformed state or karana state. That is brahman himself.

The seventh adhikarana in this pada is called Ithara vyapadesadhikaranam.
The opponent rises again to state that Brahman cannot be the cause for the universe.
The logic or the reasoning applied by him is as follows.

When the karana and karya are not different and both are one and the same and when jiva is also a karya of paramatma
who is the karana and both are ananya that is not different can the brahman who is jiva could have created
the universe not favourable to him in every aspect.
So Brahman who is jiva has two points of flaw. The first flaw is creating the world most unfavourable to him
and the second flaw is not creating the world favourable to him.
So brahman cannot be the cause of the universe. This argument or reasoning echoes the advithic system
propounded by Sri Adi sankara. In the advaitic system of philosophy Brahman and jiva are one and the same.
Brahman assumes the jiva form on account of Avidya or ignorance covering him and this jiva becomes Brahman
again when he learns from guru “Tatvamasi” which means thou are Brahman.
This argument of the opponent is refuted by the sutrakarar.

In this adhikarana the first sutra is Ithara vyapadesathhitha akaranadi dosha prasakthi
and this is the poorva paksha sutra the meaning of which is as explained above.

The second sutra is the siddhantha sutra which is in reply to the above in the form of refutation of the above.
This sutra reads as “Adhikamthu Bheda nirdesath”.
This means that Brahman or Lord Sriman Narayana is much superior and above to jiva
and hence the question of Brahman assuming jiva form and creating an unfavourable world does not arise at all.

The Eight adhikarana in this pada is upasamhara adhikarana.
Tn this adhikarana the nirishwara sankhya vadi who is bent upon refuting the Brahma karanatvam,
and who is pradhana karana vadi rises up again and applies another reasoning against brahmakaranavada.
He says we have seen in this world a pot maker making use of a wheel and stick for making a mud pot.
Similarly a gold smith makes use of several tools for making an ornament.
But in respect of the universe at the time of deluge there is only Brahman and nothing else.
Of course here Brahman refers to both goddess Mahalakshmi and Lord Sriman Narayana.
His question is when there is no tool and other implements how can paramatma create the universe.

In reply to the above question the sutrakarar says in the first sutra,
“Upasamharadarshanath Naiticheth na ksheeravadhi”.
The meaning of this sutra is when in the world we have seen that to create any object
besides upadana karana, nimitta karana, there should be also sahakari karana.
When there is no sahakari karana, the Brahman cannot be the cause of the universe.
This is refuted by stating Ksheeravaddi. Sutrakara cites a practical example in this context.
For Milk to become curd no extra tool or implement is required.
Similarly Brahman does not require any tool, instrument or implement.
Just like sage viswamitra out of his acquired yogic and spiritual powers willed to create heaven for the sake of Trisanku.
Also just like celestial gods like Indra, Siva, four headed Brahman create things without the aid of any thing,
Likewise the paramatma the supreme being is capable of creating the universe without any aid.

The 9th adhikarana is known as Kritsna prasakthi Adhikarana.
In this the opponent picks up another reasoning or logic to say that Brahman cannot be the cause of the universe.
This adhikaranam has direct link with the Arambanadhikarana in which it was said that
the universe is the transformation of Brahman.
When Brahman transforms himself in to the form of universe. There is no Brahman at all.
Brahman is an object which cannot be cut or pided. He says if Brahman is there there is no world or universe.
If universe is there there is no Brahman.

The first sutra in this adhikarana is “Kritsna prasakthi: Niravayavatva sabdakopova”.
The meaning of this sutra is as mentioned above and this is purva paksha sutra.
In reply to the above the sutrakarar states the siddhantha sutra which reads as
“Sruthestu sabda moolathvath”.
The meaning is Sruthi or Upanishad says that Brahman is Niravayava which means
he has no organs like the limbs, hands etc, and that is why he cannot be cut in to parts.
At the same time paramatma has enormous superhuman powers.
On account of this he wills and transforms in to the universe and at the same time remains intact as Brahman.
The objection raised by Nirishwara sankhya based on our common experience does not apply to Brahman.

The sutrakarar himself points out certain defects in the Nirishwara Sankhya system.

The tenth or the last adhikarana is called as Prayojanatva adhikaram.
In this adhikarana, the opponent raises his last objection for brahman to be the cause of the universe.
His objection is very relevent and logical. He says the Brahman professed by you has no unfulfilled desire
and is called Avaptha samastha kama. When it is so what is the earthy benefit he derives out of the creation.
He further says that the benefit is of two types. (1) Benefit for his own self. (2) Benefit for the others.

As he is Avaptha samastha kama, there is no benefit to his own self.
As the universe he has created is causing misery to the majority of the human beings, there is no benefit to the others.
When there is no benefit either to himself or to the others, he cannot be the cause of the universe.
There is a maxim in this world without expecting any benefit even a fool will not do anything.
So on account of the above the Nirishwara Sankhya vadi says that Brahman cannot be the cause of the universe.

The first sutra is “Na prayojanatvat”.
The meaning of the sutra is as mentioned above. This is the purvap aksha sutra.
The second sutra in this adhikarana is the siddhantha sutra which reads as “Lokavattu leelakaivalyam”.
This means the creation, protection, destruction of the universe is the game of the paramatma and it is his past time.

The opponent says if the above view is accepted there will be two defects to Brahman because the creation is not even.
The defects are Bias and merciless ness. He is biassed towards those who are happy in this world
and he is merciless towards those who are in misery in this world.

The Sutrakarar says that the above two defects are not to be attributed to Brahman
because he makes the creation according to the past deeds of the jeevas.
The opponent again counters this point by saying when the Brahman was alone at the time of deluge or
before creation where was neither jiva nor his past deeds.
To this sage Vyasa who is the Sutrakarar says that jivas are eternal and they are not physically created
and therefore their past deeds are also without a beginning.

So in this pada all the objections raised by the Nirishwara sankhya were overruled and hence
the fact of the Brahman being the material, operational and instrumental cause of the universe got established and strengthened.


ஸ்ரீ கோயில் கந்தாடை அப்பன் ஸ்வாமிகள் திருவடிகளே சரணம் .
ஸ்ரீ உ. வே. ரங்கராமாநுஜ அய்யங்கார் ஸ்வாமிகள்- திருவடிகளே சரணம் .
ஸ்ரீ ஸ்ருதி பிரகாசர் ஸ்வாமிகள் திருவடிகளே சரணம் .
ஸ்ரீ போதாயனர் -வ்ருத்தி காரர் – ஸ்வாமிகள் திருவடிகளே சரணம்
ஸ்ரீ பாதராயணர் ஸ்வாமிகள் திருவடிகளே சரணம் .
ஸ்ரீ பெரிய பெருமாள் பெரிய பிராட்டியார் ஆண்டாள் ஆழ்வார் எம்பெருமானார் ஜீயர் திருவடிகளே சரணம்-

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