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Vedanta Sutra

Vedanta Sutras go by various names, being called either Vedanta-Sutras, or Uttara Mimāmsā-sutras, or Brahma-Sutras, or Sāriraka Mimāmsā-sutras.

These sutras in this single work systematise the jńānakānda[?] of the Veda. It combines the two tasks of

  • concisely stating the teaching of the Veda and of
  • argumentatively establishing the special interpretation of the Veda adopted in the Sutras.

Given the concise, terse and sometimes unintelligible nature of the sutras, they need to be understood from their commentaries. The Vedanta-Sutras themselves supply ample evidence that at a very early time, i.e. a period before the final composition of the Vedanta-Sutras, there were differences of opinion among the various interpreters of the Vedanta. Quoted in the Vedanta-Sutras are opinions ascribed to, in addition to Badarayana[?] the author himself, Audolomi, KArshnAgni, KAsakritsna, Jaimini and Badari.

Amongst the more recent commentaries (also known as Bhasya's) are the ones by Sankara[?], Ramanuja[?] and Madhava[?].

The very first sutra offers an indication into the nature of the subject matter.

VS 1.1.1 AthyAtho BrahmAn jijńAsA - Now, therefore the enquiry into Brahman.

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