Suresvara's Vartika on Sisu and Murtamurta Brahmana

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Item Code: NAB442
Author: Shoun Hino, K.P. Jog
Language: English
ISBN: 8120813820
Cover: Hardcover
Weight 320 gm
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Book Description
About the Book:

The purport of BU (BV) 2.1 is: The Brahman alone is TRUTH and only appears as this world comprising five elements, names and forms and sense-organs (pranas) that are related as causes and their means. Consequently, BU (BV) 2.2 and 3 explain the (real) nature of the pranas and the gods superintending over them, thereby seeking to explain prana vai satyam Finally, it is shown how the Brahman obtains as the twofold world murta 'what has form' and amurta 'what has no form'. This determines the significance of the Upanisadic teaching neti neti.

About the Author:

Dr. K. P. Jog is a retired Professor Vedic Sanskrit and General Editor of Sanskrit Dictionary Project of Deccan College Research Institute, Pune.

Dr. Shoun Hino is Professor of Philosophy at Gifu Pharmaceutical University (Japan). He did his M.A. under late Prof. H. Kitagawa and Prof. Musashi Tachikawa at Nagoya University and Ph.D. studies under Prof. K. P. Jog at Poona University in 1979.


Our translation of Sisu and Murtamurta Brahmana 2.2 and 2.3 in BUBV goes to the press somewhat late and before Ajatasatru Brahmana; this is owing to the sudden and quite a prolonged illness of K. P. Jog. Consequently, our introduction to BUBV 2.2 and 3, which depends much on the earlier Brahmana, viz. Ajatasatru Brahmana is bound to be (in some measure) deficient. It takes for granted what is (or, will be) said in the introduction to that Brahmana; it relates more to the textual details than to the problems involved. That is to say, it is not clarified herein how BU (or, BUBV) 2.2 and 3 do not present any significantly positive philosophical thoughts in addition to those in BU (or, BUBV) 2.1; they merely amplify, by adding explanatory details, the thought in the latter.

A few words about our translation may not be unnecessary. There is inherent difficulty in rendering into very simple English structure the slightly ( and comparatively) truncated or complex Sanskrit structure; we have yet tried at a number of places to simplify the same by avoiding as much literal English rendering as in the earlier parts of our series.

As usual our friends and colleagues in the Deccan College, Pune have helped us in tracing some citations. We acknowledge gratefully their help. We express our special thanks also to Prof. K. Macida (ILCAA), Prof. J. Takashima (ILCAA) and Mr. N. Okaguchi. Prof. Macida is a developer of Devanagari printing software called CATUR, which has been used in preparing our books, and Mr. Okaguchi is a Devanagari font designer.

We hope to put into our readers' hands the work on BUBV 2.1 at some early date.

Caitra Suddha 2, Sake 1917
(April 2nd, 1995)

K. P. Jog
Shoun Hino


The Brhadaranyaka is the biggest and most important one among principal Upanisads and contains numerous discussions of teachers, pupils, questioners and others. It is marked by philosophical speculations not opposed to but in conformity with a vigorous performance of rituals. The Brhadaranyaka reveals to us the towering personality of the great Upanisadic thinker Yajnavalkya who affirmed neti neti, i.e. indescribability of the Brahman, the ultimate Truth. It is on this basis that Sankara built up his theory of Non-dualistic Vedanta.

Consequently, the Bhasya of Sankara on this Upanisad has assumed a very great significance in Vedantic literature. Next to his Bhasya on the Brahmasutra- nay almost on a par with it-his Bhasya on this Upanisad is a vivid picture of the (almost aggressively) vigorous philosophical acumen of the great philosopher. And this is more pronouncingly felt in his references to and the refutations of the arguments of the followers of other systems of Indian philosophy, for they were unavoidable for him while he clarified (in his way on the non-dualistic way) the thought of the Upanisad from which he was distant at least by a period of about 1000 years and since there had intervened between him and the Upanisad a number of thinkers of various systems. Yet, since he had set himself to the task of commenting on the Upanisad, he inevitably became somewhat brief, leaving quite a lot of disputations unclear (for his contemporaries).

This gave his pupil Suresvara a scope for clarifying his Guru's thought in its fullness and he wrote the Brhaddaranyakopanisad-bhasyavartika. The last member of the compound-name, vartika, refers to Suresvara's discussion of ukta, anukta and durukta portions in Sankara's writing. Suresvara has underlined every small detail in the varied arguments in the Bhasya on the Upanisad and clarified the same with characteristic skill. It is noticed that Suresvara is familiar with minute details of different philosophical systems Nyaya and Mimamsa, in particular and therefore he has in a way shaped the Tika of Anandagiri, the most read commentator of Sankara's works, thus throwing abundant light on the vigorous philosophical activity of the times which preceded his teacher Sankara and himself.

A special mention has to be made here of Suresvara's detailed discussions of the views of Bhartrprapanca, a predecessor or a senior contemporary of Sankara. It may become possible for us, now, to set up a somewhat understandable scheme of Bhartrprapanca's philosophy on the basis of these. Another significant contribution of Suresvara deserves special notice. His discussions about the interpretation of Vedantic passage (implying Mimamsa) and various means of understanding/knowledge (implying Pramanavyavahara or Nyaya) in relation to the Vedantic logic indeed deserve in-depth studies for purposes of clarifying the method of Non-dualistic Vedanta.

The Vartika os Suresvara on the Brhadaranyakopanisad is truly his magnum opus and needed to be translated in full. I feel happy that Prof. K. P. Jog and his worthy pupil Dr. Shoun Hino have undertaken this important task. I have gone through the earlier parts of this work and find that they have well attempted to secure a satisfactory translation. This translation, I cannot forget to add, is accompanied by some brief annotation on the same. For this work Dr. Hino was awarded the 1991 Eastern Study Prize by the Eastern Institute, Inc. at the Indian Embassy in Tokyo.

Hajime Nakamura


SRIMUKHAM by Sri Jagadguru Shankaracharyavii
FOREWORD by Prof. Hajime Nakamuraix
BUBV 2.2
BUBV 2.3
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