Brahma Sutra Shankara Bhashyam (English)Badarayana's Brahma Sutras with Shankaracharya's commentaryTranslated into English by V.M. Brahma Sutras Text, Word-to-Word Meaning, Translation, and Commentary. Båadaråayaòna & Shankara-Bhashya. Brahmå-Sutra Sha Nkara-Bhashya. Brahma Sutras - According to Sri Sankara [Sanskrit-English] Sri Sankara's Gita Bhashya The Vedanta Sutras with the Sri Bhashya of Ramanujacharya.
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His reply is as follows: It is not unusual at all that such superimposition occurs regarding atman na tAvat ayam ekAntena aviSayahfor in empirical life the atman is referred as the object of the "me" notion asmatpratyayaviSayatwAt aparoxatwAt cha.
Secondly, there is no rule that says only two perceived objects in front of one can be confused na chAyam asti niyamah puro'vasthite eva viSaye brahma sutra sankara bhashya adhyasitavyam iti.
Brahma Sutra Bhashya
For, the sky is imperceptible, yet children confuse dirt in the sky as having made the sky dirty apratyakhse'api hyAkAshe bAlAh talamalinatAt adhyasysanti. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to expect that the imperceptible atman that is the eternal subject, can be confused with objective phenomena around us.
brahma sutra sankara bhashya
Now we come to an important part of the bhashya. Shankara here explicitly defines that confusing of the real and the non real, that is adhyAsa tametam evam laxaNam adyAsamthat results in the apparently real world of duality of subjects, objects and means of knowledgeas being called avidyA in the shAstras by brahma sutra sankara bhashya learned paNDItA aviyeti manyante.
Brahma Sutras - According to Sri Sankara [Sanskrit-English] by Swami Vireswarananda - PDF Drive
In contrast, ascertaining the true nature of things though discrimination is called vidyA tadvivekena cha vastuswarUpAvadhAraNam vidyAm Ahuh. In addition, to clarify, where avidyA operates, it does not in any way affect brahma sutra sankara bhashya substrate at all as a result of the perceived acts, defects, qualities etc that avidyA may imply as being atman Tatraivam sati yatra yadadhyAsah tatkrtena doSeNa guNena vA aNumAtreNApi sa na sambadhyate.
Atman is never tainted by the effects of Ignorance We find in the vArtikAs and kArikAs numerous statements that describe avidyA as that which results in a confusion of the real and non real. There are also descriptions of subtle shades of this false knowledge mithyAjnAna that is avidyA nature of samshaya, of "I do not know" etc, but the core definition of avidyA is that given by shankara here in the bhASyam.
In upedasha sAhasrI he beautifully elaborates his definition, to directly link adhyAsa with the world of samsAra and duality: This is avidyA" Sureshwara also beautifully brahma sutra sankara bhashya shankara's bhASya so far, in an unrelated verse: This leads perfectly to the next astonishing segment of the adhyAsa bhASyam: And was certainly an epiphany for me in my early vedanta studies.
For, shankara declares without hesitation that all empirical activities where separate subjects and objects are perceived, sarve pramANa-prameya vyavahArAHboth day to day and vedic laukikAh vaidikAh cha operate in the field of avidyA brahma sutra sankara bhashya avidyAkhyam AtmAnAtmanoh iteretaram adhyAsam puraskrtya.
In other words, all discussions of injunctionsvedic ritual including pooja havan, meditation etc, even talk of liberation itself are in the field of ignorance. Why is this so? How can all brahma sutra sankara bhashya of knowledge pramANani and the shAstra's have ignorance as their locus?
The response is as follows: Since perception and other activities of such a cogniser are not possible without accepting the senses etc as belonging to him na hIndriyANyanupAdAya pratyakshAdivyavahArah sambhavati.
And, since nobody engages in any activity with a body that has not the idea of brahma sutra sankara bhashya self superimposed on it na cha anadhyasta AtmabhAvena dehena kashchit vyApriyateeven though the self it is unattached and cannot become a knower unless there are all of these above notions na cha etasmin sarvasmin asati asangasyAtmanah pramAtrtwam upapadyate.
And since the means of knowledge cannot function without a "knower" na cha pramAtrtwam antareNa, pramANa-pravrittirastiit therefore follows that all means of knowledge, such as direct perception as brahma sutra sankara bhashya as the shastras are in the field of avidyA, as they are based on the basic adhyAsa that one is a distinct knower tasmAt avidyAvadviSayAnyeva pratyakshAdIni pramANAni shAstrANi cha Put simply, for the means of knowledge to operate, it requres the notion of a doer, and the notion of a doer is the result of superimposition on the unattached Atman.
In other words, as soon as one falsely identifies the self as a pramAtr, ie an agent, or doer, then all brahma sutra sankara bhashya that operate are in the field of avidyA. ShAstra, means of knowledge etc, since they require a distinct doer, are therefore bound in the field of avidyA.
Brahma Sutra Sankara Bhashya Eng VMApte 1960
For those not familiar, the concepts of prAmtr prameya etc are defined in the nyAya shAstra as follows: Yasya prepsAjihAsAprayuktasya pravrttih sa pramAtA One brahma sutra sankara bhashya is urged to get or avoid something and therefore engages in enquiry because he wants to know things correctly is pramAtr YenArtham pramiNoti tat pramANam That by means of which he ascertains his object is prameya Yo'rthah pratIyate tat prameyam The object ascertainable is prameya YadarthavijnAnam sA pramitih The correct ascertainment of the object is pramiti These concepts are fundamental to enquiry of reality in the Indian systems of philosophy.
We are a sea of pramAtr's in a world full of objects to be known, known as pramANa-prameya vyavahAra. It is advaita, particularly as expressed in Shankara's school, where it is declared that such distinction of the world into a brahma sutra sankara bhashya of distinct subjects and objects is an illusion, driven by the innate trait of superimposing on brahma sutra sankara bhashya atman the concept of pramAtr-hood.
Gaudapada declares elsewhere"mAyAmAtram idam dvaitam, advaitam paramArthatah", this world of duality is false, the supreme reality is advaita.
This process of confusing the atman as distinct pramAtr is the subject of adhyAsa bhASyam.
Brahma Sutras - Wikipedia
When these notions have been abandoned, the world is in its true light from the standpoint of supreme reality paramArtha drSTI. It is vital always to understand in shankara's bhashyas which standpoint is being brahma sutra sankara bhashya for an argument, otherwise it can lead to massive confusion.
In the next section of adyAsa bhASyam, shankara amplifies the point brahma sutra sankara bhashya the empirical world conjured through this avidyA is a matter of common experience that we share with all living beings.