Reply To: Vedanta-Sutras-Sri Bhashya of Ramanuja [English Translation]

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Contribution of Sri Ramanuja

Sri Ramanuja, has contributed nine works in Sanskrit on the Visistadvaita philosophy. None of his Tamil works is available so far. The Sanskrit works are (1) Vedantasara, (2) Vedantadipa, (3) Sri-Bhasya (4) Gitabhasya, (5) Vedarthasamgraha, (6) Saranagatigadya, (7) Vaikunthagadya, (8) Sri-rangagadya and (9) Nityagrantha. Of these, the Sri Bhasya is an elaborate commentary on the Brahmasutras of Badarayana. Vedantasara is a very concise commentary on the same and Vedantadipa is a commentary in between these two.

 In the introduction to his Vedantadipa Sri Ramanuja summarises the teachings of Vedanta to the following effect: Of the three ultimate entities known to philosophy, the intelligent individual soul is essentially different from the non-intelligent matter and the Supreme Brahman. The essential differences thus existing between matter, soul and the Brahman, are intrinsic and natural. God, who is the same as the Supreme Brahman, is the material and efficient cause of the universe; and the universe, which is made up of matter and soul, is the effect produced by Him. Matter and soul form the body of God, and this body is capable of existing in a subtle, as well as in a gross condition. God with his subtle body constitutes the universe in His casual condition; and with His gross body, He forms the created universe itself. The individual souls enter into matter and thereby make it live. Similarly God enters into matter and soul and give them their powers and their specific characters. The universe without God is exactly analogous to matter without soul and in the world, as we know it, all things are what they are, because God has penetrated into them and rules and guides them all from within, so much so that all things are representatives of Him and all words denote Him in the main.

 Sri Ramanuja has based his commentaries on the following works: (1) Divyaprabandha of Sri Sathakopa; (2) Siddhitraya (3) Agamapramanya and (4) Stotraratna of Sri Yamuna; and (5) Nyayatattva and (6) Yogarahasya of Sri Nathamuni. Of these the Divyaprabandha is written in Tamil and the rest are all written in Sanskrit. Further Sri Nathamuni’s works are not available now. [M. B. NARASIMHA AYYANGAR]