You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : November 1999

The gist of Sri Bhashyam on Chatussutri by Dr.NSA.--Part 6.

From: padmini ranganathan (
Date: Sat Nov 20 1999 - 22:05:12 PST

PART 6 :-



aTHAtO Brahma JignAsA : (1-1-1)


1.      Then, therefore, an enquiry into Brahman (is
to be made)

Here, the word 'then' (atha)  signifies sequence.
'Therefore' suggests the causality of what has taken

        After one has made a detailed study of the
Veda and Vedangas, having realised the truth that
karmas have little and non-permanent fruit, a person
desires to make an enquiry  into Brahman as he will be
for a fruit which would be infinite and permanent.

        Brahma jijnasa is an enquiry of Brahman.
Enquiry has to be made bu a student about Brahman.

Meaning of the term of 'Brahman'

        Brahman denotes the highest person , ie.,
Purushothama who is by nature opposed to all that is
imperfect and who has hosts of infinite numberless
auspicious qualities.

        The word 'Brahman' signifies Brhatva
That greatness related to two things.
1.Its nature
2.Its quality
The primary meaning of the word Brahman is this.

        Meaning of the word jign~asa is JnAtum
ichhAa(desire to know). This signifies that the
desired object is the chief thing and not  mere desire
The Veda is classified into two parts. The former part
is known as 'Karma Mimansa' and the latter  is 'Brahma

One who has realised that the fruit of karma known in
 the earlier part is little and impermanent and since
the knowledge to be gained from the latter part leads
to the fruits infinite and eternal, makes an enquiry
into Brahman.

Both Poorvakanda  and Uttarakanda from one integrated

The Vrthikara declares that the earlier Mimansa and
the latter Mimansa are one body of doctrines. There is
only difference here as we find in the case of
Chapters and Shatkas.The entire Mimansa sastra
comprises of both Poorvamimansa and Uttaramimansa.

The first part expounds  the various modes of worship
of god (Aaradhana Roopa)  and the latter part expounds
the nature of Brahman that is to be worshipped by all
those various karmas. There is no contradiction
between these two.

So, it is Ramanuja's  conclusion that after the
into karma, one moves on to the enquiry into Brahman.


The objector says that what has to preceed an enquiry
into Brahman is not an enquiry into the nature of
karma, because a person may study the Vedanta text and
proceed to enquire the meanings thereof even without
an enquiry into karma. The Vedanta aims at destroying
completely wrong knowledge which is the cause of all
sorrow, and for that purpose it aims at establishing
the knowledge of the oneness of the Atman. Here, the
knowledge of karma is not at all useful, but, on the
other hand, it is opposed to all this, because it is
rooted in differences. So, the pre-requisite should be
noted as something which is absolutely required for
proceeding with the enquiry if Brahman.


Here, the followers of Bhaskara point out that
knowledge also of karma is necessary for liberation as
the sruti points out that jnana and karma are to be
combined. If we do not enquire into the nature of
karma, we cannot know what type  of karma is to be 
combined with knowledge and what should not be
combined. Therefore, knowledge of karma is a
pre-requisite for knowledge of Brahman.

THE ADVAITIN :  refutes this view. It is only the
knowledge of Brahman which is pure consciousness and
opposed to all plurality that terminates ignorance.
(nescience). The termination of nescience itself is
Moksha. How can karma which is giving room for all
kinds of differences connected with Varna, Ashrama,
Sadhana, Sadhya (phala - object) and accessories be
helpful in this ? This Sruti declares that the result
of karma is transitory and that jnana alone is a means
to Moksha. ' A knower of Brahman attains the highest,'
'a knower of Brahman becomes Brahman,' etc.

        The perforamnce of karma results in only
desire for knowledge of Brahman and after this desire
has arisen there is no use of karma. Then he has to
gain the meaning of the Upanishadic statements.

1. The process is as follows :

The mind of a man should be purified through
performance of Nishkama karma. All the impurities will
be purified by karma performed having no desire for
the fruit thereof. Then, when the mind has become
pure, the desire for knowing Brahman arises in him.

2.Through knowledge gained from the scriptural texts
such as  'ayamAtmA Brahma, tatvamasi' etc., i.e.
through Vaakyartha Jnana, Nescience will be destroyed.

Only Shravana, Manana and Nidhidyasana are useful for
gaining Vaakyartha Jnana.

SRAVANA - is listening from the Acharya the
scriptural statements with their meanings that expound
oneness of the Atman.

MANANA - is to confirm this within oneself by means of
arguments that are appropriate.

NIDHIDHYASANA - is constantly having those meanings in
one's mind.

        Therefore, only that which is absolutely
necessary for this kind of shravana, manana or
nidhidyasana should be known as the pre - requisite
for Brahma jijnasa. The four sadhanas necessary for
shravana, manana and nidhidyasana are :-


 Discriminatory knowledge between the eternal and
non eternal.


 Giving up desire for enjoyment of fruit in this
world as well as in the other world.


 Possessing cardinal virtues like calmness of mind,
self restraint and others.


Desire for Moksha or Final release.

These four are absolutely necessary for Brahma
Jignasa. So, these along are the pre - requisites and
not karma vichara.


Bondage here is due to the unreal view of plurality
and that itself is on account of avidya which conceals
the true nature of Brahman. This bondage, on the other
hand, is also unreal, that can be destroyed only by
knowledge and that knowledge which destroys this is 
the knowledge derived from the scriptural texts like
tatvamasi and others.

        In the origination of this knowledge or in the
result of this knowledge, how can karma be helpful ?
Karma is on the other hand useful only to create the
desire for life. So, as the knowledge of karma is of
no use, the four - fold sadhanas are alone the pre
requisites for Brahma JIgnasa. 


Ramanujar thiruvadihale Saranam

Do You Yahoo!?
Bid and sell for free at