Badarayanavyasa's 'Brahmasutra' is universally recognized as the
manual of Vedanta philosophy i.e. the quintessence of vedas. In this book Dr. Raghavendra Katti presents an objective study of Brahmasutras in the third and fourth Adhyayas, referring to the three popular principal commentaries. This is an associate of his earlier work, "Brahman, The supreme Being, in Brahmasutras", which is a study of Sutras in the first and second Adhyayas. The first two Adhyayas reveal the textual information about the nature and attributes of the Creator of this world, and His creation of sentient and insentient world. The third Adhyaya, known as Sadhanadhyaya, prescribes ways and means like meditation for attaining the direct perception of the Lord, and the resultant Release i.e. Moksha from this miserable wordly life. The fourth Adhyaya describes how a successful seeker achieves a state of eternal bliss.
Badarayanavyasa presents here the concept of meditation practised
By the Indian sages knowing Vedas, from the prehistoric antiquity. It is quite different from that prescribed by the later sages like Mahavira, Buddha, Patanjali and others. Further, the state of Kaivalya, Apavarga or Nirvana aimed at by the followers of these later saints, promises a cessation of all suffering and liberation from the bondage to repeated rebirths. But, the concept of Moksha aimed at by the Vedic seers is quite different. In addition cessation of all misery and liberation from continuous rebirths, it promises state of positive experience of enjoyment of unadulterated superhuman eternal happiness, commensurate with each one's own desert.
Whether one agrees with the Author's conclusions or not, is a matter
individual judgement and freedom of thought. But the book certainly
provides enough food for thought. And inquisitiveness is the hallmark of
students and scholars of any subject.
I really appreciate the Author's scholarly efforts and hope that this
work will be of use to the research students, scholars and all others, interested Indian Philosophy.
It is a great pleasure to go through the book 'Meditation in
Brahmasutras' written by Dr. Raghavendra Katti. Meditation is
quite a popular topic now-a-days. In India Meditation is practised
not only by the followers of Vedic traditions, but also by others
like Jains, Buddhists, Shaktas, Pashupatas etc. The concepts of
Meditation dealt with in this book are quite different from those
advocated by the followers of other traditions, in the matter of
"What to meditate upon" and "What to achieve through
meditation," and so on. The meditation described here is that
practised by the Indian sages knowing Vedas, much before Patanjali,
Buddha and Mahavira. The book deals with meditation and much
more. For, meditation is the final step in the spiritual pursuit. It
is preceded by other steps like Vairagya, Bhakti, Shravana, Manana
etc. In fact the author presents here an impartial and objective
study of Brahmasutras in Adhyayas III and IV, referring to the
three principal commentaries, namely those of Shankaracharya,
Ramanujacharya and Madhvacharya.
These Brahmasutras composed by Badarayana Vyasa constitute
the central text of Vedanta Philosophy. Badarayana Vyasa is credited
with the task of collecting, collating and editing the Vedas, the
oldest literature in the world. When different doctrines like Sankhya,
Vaisheshika etc. developed within the Vedic tradition and the
common people stood confused, Badarayana Vyasa had to give
his authoritative judgements on what exactly is the quintessence
of Vedic teachings, in his masterpiece known as Brahmasutra
or Vedantasutra. It is universally recognized as the manual of
In spite of such a systematic presentation of Vedanta thought,
a number of divergent schools have developed within Vedanta
Philosophy and the common man's confusion continues. Three of
them are important. They are (i) Shankaracharya's Advaita,
(ii) Ramanujacharya's Vishishtadvaita and (iii) Madhvacharya’s
Dvaita. Historically, Shankaracharya's commentary is the earliest
one and his doctrine has been propagated by great scholars
Vivekananda and S. Radhakrishnan. So a majority of
intelligentsia in India and abroad believes that Vedanta me
Advaita Philosophy. Recently, scholars like V.S. Ghate, B.N.K
Sharma, have tried to remove this misconception. But still, Advaita
has a dominant position in the World.
The Brahmasutras are arranged in four chapters or Adhyayas
In the first Adhyaya the author presents the nature and attributes
of Brahman, Who creates and controls this world. In the seer
he shows the flaws in the contemporary doctrines, both orthodox
and heretical, and refutes them. In addition, he removes the apparent
conflicts in Vedic statements themselves, and establishes
Vedic concepts of origination of matter and souls in the world
Dr. Raghavendra Katti has written and published in 2013, a book
'Brahman, The Supreme Being, in Brahmasutras,' in which he
presented an objective study of Sutras in these two Adhyayas
referring to the three principal commentaries mentioned above
He has shown therein that Madhvacharya's interpretations of
Sutras are more convincing. I had an occasion to glance through
the book and to record my appreciation of that book.
The aim of the seekers is to get liberated from the miserable
worldly life and to achieve eternal bliss i.e. Moksha. So, having
known the nature and attributes of the Lord, and His creation
matter and souls, the seeker is bound to ask himself what
should do next. In other words, he wants to know the mean
getting Moksha. Badarayana Vyasa has dealt with this topic in
third Adhyaya known as Sadhanadhyaya. He holds that one can attain to moksha only by means of the Lord’s grace and His direct perception i.e. Aparokshajnyana. For achieving both he prescribes the steps like Vairagya, Bhakti, Shravana, Manana, Dhyana etc. In the fourth Adhyaya, the author mentions the fruits of these Hence it is known as Phaladhyaya. He describes these fruits in four steps viz. (i) Karmakshya i.e. destruction of accumulated sins,(ii) Utkranti i.e. departure of the soul through Brahmarandhra, (iii) Marga i.e. journey to Brahmaloka through Devayanamarga and (iv) Bhoga i.e. enjoyment of bliss in Moksha. Thus, in these two Adhyayas the author has presented the practical side of vedic religion. However, people show less interest in this portion than that shown in the theoretical discussions appearing
in the first first two Adhyayas.
In this book, Dr. Raghavendra Katti has objectively analysed
All the Sutras in these two Adhyayas, referring to the same three
principaI commentaries. While making comparative study of these great
commentaries, the author seems to be aware of the fact that
competent to hold somebody's interpretation as incorrect or to opine that somebody's interpretation is correct. He has only expressed whether he is convinced by a particular interpretation or not, and has given his reasons thereof. He is within his rights thereof. He is within his rights to say so. Here, the commentators agree on the purport of some Sutras and differ on many. Wherever they differ, the author has concluded the interpretations of Shankaracharya and
Ramanujacharya as unconvincing because they are found to be stating
some isolated topics having little relevance to the theme
two Adhyayas. For example, one Sutra decides that the rinsing
of the mouth with water is enjoined by the Shruti, only after a
meal, but not both before and after a meal. Another Sutra confirms that offering five oblations to the five Pranas can be omitted on fasting days. On the other hand, Dr. Katti finds Madhvacharya's interpretations quite convincing because they add up to a clear-cut system which can be pursued by the seeker. Moreover, Madhvacharya quotes corroborative extracts from wide range of Smritis and Puranas in support of his interpretation. The extracts being the statements of knowledgeable and
credible persons, Madhvacharya's conclusions are found to
be in keeping with contemporary thinking in the days of
Dr. Raghavendra Katti has extensively quoted extracts from
other standard works on the subject in support of his views. He
has honestly expressed his findings irrespective of whether others
agree with him or not. He has clearly brought out the import,
each Sutra. The author appears to be having the knack of explaining
even difficult topics to ordinary students. At places, he has explained
some technical terms like 'Hetugarbhavisheshana', 'Pratiyogin
'Vedanga' etc. in the footnotes for the benefit of those who do
not know them. Only those who try to study Brahmasutras will
understand the value of this book. This book will surely be an
important addition to the philosophical literature.
I congratulate Dr. Raghavendra Katti for his contribution and
hope that his indepth study of Vedanta will result in many more
My first book on Brahmasutras namely 'Brahman, The
Supreme Being, in Brahmasutras', has been published in Bengaluru
in March 2013. It is my thesis submitted to and accepted by the
University of Pune for a Ph.D. degree in Sanskrit. In this
dissertation, I have considered the problem as to how the same
Brahmasutras can advocate such divergent and mutually conflicting
doctrines like Vivartavada, Vishishtadvaitavada and the so called
Dvaitavada, as claimed by the respective protagonists of these
doctrines. A Sutra by definition is expected to make an
unambiguous and exact statement. So in this book which covers
the study of the first two Adhyayas of Brahmasutra, I have tried
to understand what Badarayana Vyasa intends to convey through
these Sutras, depending on the syntax, semantics, contextual
propriety, schematic relevance etc. of the words used in the Sutras.
My objective study of these Sutras with the help of a commentary
by Shri Raghavendratirtha reveals that there is no support for or
reference to the Vivartavada of Shankaracharya and that Badarayana
Vyasa and Shankaracharya hold different views on the purport of
Vedas. Similarly, Ramanujacharya's concept of Brahman having
the insentient matter and sentient individual souls as His body,
is nowhere indicated in the Sutras.
Incidentally, a British scholar, George Thibaut remarks: I "The
Shankar-bhashya further is the authority most generally deferred
to in India as to the right understanding of the Vedanta-sutras and
ever since Shankara's time the majority of the best thinkers of
India have been men belonging to his school". In fact, to start
with I studied Advaita Vedanta sincerely for about 15 years and
I have great regard for Shankaracharya for all that he has done
for protecting the sanctity of Vedas and Vedic religion in that
hostile era. As a result I have more number of Advaita friends
than others. During the period of eight years of my research work,
the professors whom I consulted, my friends with whom I discussed
the import of the Sutras and those who helped me in proofreading, were all the followers, of Shankaracharya only. Under these circumstances my work was an exercise in swimming against
the current. So my conclusions came as a great disappointment
to all these people.
Many of these people feel that I am biassed towards
Madhvacharya because I belong to Madhva sect. Of course,
eulogizing the preceptor of one's own sect is not an offence. But,
since I have made an objective study, I feel hurt especially when
some hold me to be partial even without seeing what I have
written. For, they judge on the basis of 'who has written,' instead
of 'what is written.' Some are found to be intolerant of even
listening to a debate on whether Shankarabhashya gives the correct
import of the Sutras. George Thibaut rightly observes: "But to
the European -- or generally, modern-translator of the Vedantasutras
with Shankara's commentary another question will of course
suggest itself at once, viz. whether or not Shankara's explanations
faithfully render the intended meaning of the author of the Sutras.
To the Indain Pandit of Shankara's school this question has become
an indifferent one, or to state the case more accurately, he objects
to its being raised, as he looks on Shankara's authority as standing
above doubt and dispute.' So, naturally many feel offended when
someone even debates the validity of Shankarabhashya. Such
annoyance is clearly discernible in a review of my book in the
Journal of Oriental Research, Vols. 85-86, published by
Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute, Chennai. The scholar who
reviewed the book says : "The author even goes to the extent of
saying that Vivartavada has little relevance in the Sutras where
Shankara discusses Parinamavada and wherever Shankara
advocates the Kevaladvaita doctrine, it is based on Upanishads
and not on Brahmasutras revealing that Badarayana and Shankara
hold different views on the purport of the Vedas. To express in
a nutshell, pooh-poohing Shankara's expositions with relevant
Shruti support various concepts of creation, Jagatkarana, Nirguna
Brahman, Saguna Brahman, role of Maya, Jiva-Brahma-aikyam,
etc. in this text quoting Raghavendratirtha's commentary may not
be palatable to learned scholars, leave alone Advaitins." But, the
scholar has not brought forward any new point other than what
I have concluded, and has not provided any justification as to why
the Advaita doctrine should be accepted as being in agreement
with the Sutras.
The fact that Shankaracharya's commentary on the Sutras is
the earliest one, is not a sufficient proof of its correctness, and
it can not prevent later commentators from throwing fresh light
on the Sutras. The learned scholars may note a wise saying) which
states that, "Everything is not proper and pleasant simply because
it is old; and any scholarly knowledge also is not to be disliked
because it is new. The wise ones accept one of the two after
scrutiny; the dullards rely on another's conviction."
S. Radhakrishnan also expresses similar sentiments. He says':
"In the history of thought it has often happened that a philosophy
has been victimized by a traditional interpretation that became
established at an early date, and has thereafter prevented critics
and commentators from placing it in its proper perspective."
On the other hand, after the release of the book, the Publisher
received some complaints as well as suggestions for corrections
in the book, from some accomplished readers belonging to the
Madhva sect. The Publisher wrote to me saying that 'a review of
the said book reveals certain remarks, comments and opinions
expressed by the author which appear to be not correctly conveying
the conceptual greatness and sanctity of Sri Madhwa Bhashya".
In short, my objective and academic approach and style, my
individual judgements and opinions, my references to
Raghavendratirtha instead of Madhvacharya, my pointing out of
the difference of approach between Madhvacharya, Jayatirtha and
Raghavendratirtha, my use of the words guess-work, stunning and
prima facie unbelievable, ingenious, imaginative etc. with reference
to Madhvacharya's interpretations, are not acceptable to the.
traditional scholars. In their view, I have belittled Madhvacharya
and failed to glorify the most appropriate interpretation offered
by Madhvacharya. So, the Publisher thought it fit to paste
disclaimer below the 'Publisher's Note'. Thus, the Advaitins think
that I have belittled Shankaracharya and the Dvaitins surmise that
I have belittled Madhvacharya. When both the competing teams
in a match complain that the umpire is partial, the umpire may
feel assured that he has done a fairly good job to the best of his
Brahmasutras are the central text of Vedanta Philosopy. The Sutras are arranged in four chapters. The first one is called Saman -vayadhyaya in which Shastrasamanvaya in Brahman is achieved. In the second chapter known as Avirodhudhyaya, the views of other schools of Philosophy, Sankhya, Vaisheshika, Jaina, Bauddha, etc. are rejected. In the third chapter known as Sadhanadhyaya, Vairagya, Bhakti, and Upasana are explained. In the fourth chapter known as Phaladhyaya, Utkranti, Marga and Bhoga are explained.
The Sutras are very brief. Hence it is Difficult to comprehend the import of the Sutras. The three Bhashyakaras, Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhva have explained the import of Sutras in favour of their respective doctrines. In this book, Shri Raghavendra Katti has made an objective study of the Sutras in Chapters I and II, following the plan of Sri Madhvacaharya. He gives the details of the plan of samanvaya in the First chapter and the refutation of the doctrines of the other schools in the second.
Shri Raghavendra Katti summarizing these topics presents his conclusion. He has made use of Panini Sutras and Jaimini Sutras to fix the import of Brahmasutras. In the introduction, he has pointed out that Dr. V.S. Ghate’s analysis of Brahmasutras is quite inadequate as he disposes off five Bhashyakaras’ views in two or three sentences on each Sutra.
The present author presents a detailed study of each Sutra. This enables research scholars and students to comprehend the import of Sutras accurately.
I hereby record my appreciation of his scholarly work which is very useful for research students and scholars.
I have great pleasure in welcoming the publication of Ph.D. thesis of Dr. R.K. Katti, under the heading 'BRAHMAN, THE SUPREME BEING, IN BRAHMASUTRAS'. The author says that it is an objective study of Brahmasutras or Vedantasutras and the word Vedanta means the essence of all scriptures like Mantras, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads - of course Upanishads form the final portions of Veda - and hence Vedanta should not be confined to mere Upanishads as advocated by traditional scholars like Shankaracharya and modern scholars like Prof. S. Radhakrishnan and others. He has presented an objective study of these Sutras referring to the three great Acharyas' commentaries and subcommentaries of their great desciples like Jayatirtha, Vyasatirtha and Raghavendratirtha. But his main thrust is to find out the real import of the Sutras in the light of syntax, grammar and semantics of the very wording of the Sutras and their context, citing the quotations from Panini wherever necessary and following the Mimansa method of interpretation in case of some Sutras. Without any preconceived notion, and any bias, he has tried to judge interpretation of each commentator on the basis of certain unacceptable liberties taken by the latter, not warranted by the context of syntax and semantics of the wording of the Sutrakara himself. He cites the examples of liberties such as,
(i) commentator's disagreement with the Sutra itself,
(ii) Arbitrary treatment of some Sutras as Purvapaksha Sutras without any indicatory words therein,
(iii) Repeatedly coming to the same conclusion thereby rendering some Sutras redundant,
(iv) Adoption of secondary meaning (Iakshana) of a word even when the primary meaning has not failed to give a coherent meaning, and
(v) Ignoring the defect of 'split sentence' (vakyabhedadosha).
In support of his view, he has quoted extensively the statements of modem scholars like S. Radhakrishnan, S.N. Dasgupta, and V.S. Ghate and others, and also from various other commentaries. On the basis of this, he has concluded that the Madhvacharya's interpretations of the Sutras are more convincing and are in keeping with the import of the Sutras. One may or may not agree with all his conclusions, but one cannot deny him the credit for his critical acumen and insightful and independent judgement which are the hallmarks of real unbiassed research study. He has reviewed and criticized whenever necessary the statements of not only traditional scholars like Shankaracharya but also the extremist views and comments of modern eminent scholars like Mm. Dr. B.N.K. Sharma, V.S. Ghate and others. The author has presented a crystal clear analysis of almost every Sutra in the first two Adhyayas in the present book and made a comparative study of the commentaries of the three Acharyas, citing his own view with reasons. He has based them mainly on the commentaries viz. Raghavendratirtha's 'Tantradipika' and Vyasatirtha's 'Tatparyachandrika', which are the commentaries on Brahmasutras following Madhvacharya's interpretation.
Such research studies, based on this neglected dimension of philosophical thought as embedded in the entire Vedic literature, Itihasa and Puranas and Agamas, not confining only to the Upanishads, are to be welcomed as rightly pointed out by Prof. S.N. Dasgupta. They add to the contents of realistic philosophy in the Indian philosophical literature in contrast to the dominating view of entire universe as a mere phenomenal show or world of shadows as advocated in abstract monism as per S. Radhakrishnan's observations quoted by the author on page 566.
The present book is thus an important addition to the vast philosophical literature in India. It is a very useful study particularly for research students and all others who are interested in the subject and I hope that it will be welcomed by all.
I congratulate Dr. R.K. Katti for his contribution in this regard and look forward to many more works from his facile pen.
We have great pleasure in publishing this book, 'Bramhan, the Supreme Being, in Bramhasutras'. This is an innovative work by the learned professor, establishing the real purport of the Bramhasutras, with the help of Panini sutras and Jaimini purvamimamsa maxims. He has concluded that the Sri Madhvacarya's interpretations of the Bramhasutras are more convincing.
Sri Madhvacarya (1200-1280 A.D.) is the most erudite philosopher the world has ever seen. He commanded complete knowledge of all the sastras, languages, sciences and the arts. Apart from the Vedas and the Upanisads, he was well versed with the quintessence of epics like the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Srimad-Bhagavata and also the other Indian scriptures in accordance with the original texts. That is why he is aptly referred to as Purnaprajna, the allknower. He has written 37 books which have distilled knowledge of the absolute truth for the benefit of mankind. These works are collectively known as 'Sarvamula Granthas', which can be referred to in English as 'Comprehensive Text of Fundamental Maxims'. Another distinguishing aspect of Sri Madhvacarya is that he was endowed with all the essential thirty two physical characteristics of excellence defined in the sastras that would entitle him to be revered as 'Jagadguru' or 'Visvaguru' (Universal Teacher). He was the master of all branches of knowledge, in the truest sense.
Sri Madhvacarya's life is a fascinating picture of a perdurable philosophical peer that would appeal to all - young and old alike. He possessed excellent knowledge of music and also other forms of art.
His philosophical and literary works are sharp, short, succinct, sweet and precise to the point, with profound import and impact. He has not wasted words. Their meaning and implications are erudite, educative and enthralling. Many commentaries, criticism, explanations and queries on the Sarvamula Granthas keep on appearing from time to time even as eight centuries have elapsed after they were written, which vouch for the versatility of Sri Madhvacarya's doctrines. His works encompass many facets of life that are yet to be properly explored, evaluated and explained. Sri Madhvacarya's life story reads like a series of marvelous events. In physical terms, he was perhaps the strongest person who ever lived in Kali age. He was the embodiment of everything that is good, great, grand and graceful. The mankind is fortunate to have had him as a beacon to look forward to for leading a virtuous and blissful life. He was like a 'Chintamani', a crystal that grants anything one would wish for.
Sri Madhvacarya's legacy has enriched the culture, social mosaic, literature and philosophy of life in the context of the modern day life-style. In particular, Haridasa literature - thousands of hymns that have been composed by several saintly disciples of Sri Madhvacarya has been influenced to a great extent by his teachings and made enormous contribution to the overall betterment of society. What is of great significance is that during the last eight centuries, Sri Madhvacarya's contribution for the upliftment of society has been primordial. This great son of Karnataka has bequeathed enduring philosophical doctrines in his monumental works. It is unfortunate that this has not received proper recognition in the present literary circles. Vaisnava philosophy or Dvaita philosophy propounded by Sri Madhvacarya is the most authoritative doctrine that assures complete upliftment of man. It is the 'kalpavrksa' (a holy tree that grants one's wish) or a 'kamadhenu' (the divine cow that also grants one's wish). There is no doubt that understanding and following his teachings would ensure one's success in life. After Vedavyasa, Sri Madhvacarya's personality comes closest to an outstanding and perfect preacher. That is why he is aptly referred to as 'Abhinava Vedavyasa' (protégé of Vedavyasa].
Sumadhvavijaya of Sri Narayanapanditacarya, Sampradayapaddhati of Sri Hrsikesatirtha and other such works give fairly exhaustive information regarding life, works, disciples and teachings of Acarya Madhva.
Sri Padmanabhatirtha, one of his direct disciples, was one of the outstanding scholars of his time. Sri Naraharitirtha, another direct disciple, even as an ascetic ruled the kingdom of Orissa for over 12 years. Jayasimha, the king of Kasaragod, was one of his staunch followers. Sri Jayatirtha (1365-1388), the celebrated Tikakara of his works, Sri Vyasatirtha of the Vyasatraya-fame, Sri Vadirajatlrtha (Yuktimallika). Sri Raghavendratirtha (Parimala) are some of the prominent exponents of his philosophy.
Sri Madhva's works include commentaries on the Brahma-sutras, Bhagavadgita, Upanisads, Rgveda and Bhagavatamahapurana. His Mahabharatatatparyanirnaya, having 5108 verses, is an unparalleled work in the history of the post puranic literature. Tantrasara-sangraha, Krsnamrtamaharnava, Sadacarasmrti, Yatipranavakalpa are some of his other works dealing with spiritual conduct and rituals. Dvadasastotra and
Nakhastuti (as also Kandukastuti) are the stotras composed by him.
As evident from his works, the biographies and other sources of information available on him, Sri Madhva was a multi-faceted, unique personality. He was a scholar, a philosopher, a poet, a Vedic seer, a teacher, a preacher, an orator, a prolific writer, a researcher, a debator, a mystic, a saint, a linguist, an ascetic, a musician, an archaeologist, a logician, a geologist all rolled in one. He excelled in each of these fields. He was also an able administrator, super organiser and social reformer of the highest order. He was the perfect example of an all-rounder in the truest sense of the term. His physique was so perfect that experts in Samudrikasastra could notice all the thirty two characteristics of an ideal personality in it. A huge rock weighing over 50 tonnes lifted by him and placed across the river Bhadra stands as an evidence of his unparalleled physical might. The honourific 'AbhinavaVedavyasa' describes him most appropriately.
His works are marked by the simplicity of style, precision of thought, brevity of expression, unambiguity of presentation and clarity in narration. Profuse quotation from the ancient works is another salient feature of his works.
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