[Advaita-l] A chintanam on the 'Anandamayaadhikaranam' of Brahma sutra

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed May 2 23:05:06 EDT 2018

A chintanam on the 'Anandamayaadhikaranam' of Brahma sutra

Recently there was an occasion to look into the Anandamayadhikaranam 1.1.12
- 19 of the Brahma sutra and bhashya in the context of some objections
aired by a Madhva in a group on the social media.  Sharing below the write

The 'virodha' that the commentators (of Shankara bhashya) point out is not
the kind of virodha that is generally understood to be. There is a Purva
mimamsa rule for this:
   Also see Tantra Vartika:
http://www.transliteral.org/pages/z161111063035/view वैदिकं जैमिनीयं च यत्र
वाक्यं विरुध्यते ॥४७॥ यथाश्रुतगृहीतेsर्थे तत्रेदसुपदिश्यते । अध्याहारादिभिः
सूत्रं वैदिकं तु ( १ ) यथाश्रुतम् ॥४८॥ नेयं विरोधेsन्योन्यस्य वैदिकानां
भवन्तु ते । यथा धर्मावबोधस्य प्रमाणं वैद्कं वचः ॥४९॥   The purport of the
purvamimamsa position is:  when the yathaashrutaartha of the sutra is
contradictory to the shruti, the sutra and not the shruti, has to be
interpreted differently as the sutra is gauna and shruti is mukhya. It has
been reiterated that 'someone might argue: the sutra has come to
clarify/teach the purport of the shruti and hence the shruti has to be
given a different interpretation'. This is not agreed to as the shruti is
the mukhya always and sutra is to be treated as gauna.     Shankara thinks
that the sutra words, when taken literally, yathaashruta, does not agree
with the Veda, Taittiriya teaching of the Anandamaya. According to Advaita,
the Anandamaya kosha is jiva, as all other koshas are.  Ananda here is
vikara ananda, had from worldly objects: priya moda pramoda are all vikaras
of the Brahma svarupa Ananda.  This latter is what is indicated by the
puccha vaakya, brahma puccham prtishThA, where Brahman is taught as the
adhishthaanam for the laukika ananda (ananda maya kosha).

If the Sutra kara had intended the anandamaya kosha to be Brahman he would
not have used 'abhyaasaat' as hetu; he has used 'tallingaat', etc. in other
sutras to teach Brahman by giving parameshwara linga as hetu and not
abhyaasa which is one taatparya linga. For Shankara this sutra is a
teaching of Nirguna Brahman and the word 'anandamaya' is indicative,
lakshanayaa, of all the passages in the Taittiriya that culminate in the
Puccha vaakya, which alone teaches the  sarva adhishthaana/ sarvaadhaara
(puccha) Brahman.  The vrittikara has not viewed this way and taken a
different line of arguments to establish Brahman alone as the teaching in
the sutra. Shankara disagrees with the vrittikara for this and shows that
there is abhyaasa of Brahman as sva pradhaana, in its own right (and not as
a part, avayava, of anandamaya).  Thus there is absolutely no virodha
between the sutra and veda in the advaita bhashya for this (or any other
sutra) as some people obviously erroneously think nor there is any
disagreement between the sutra and the bhashya.

In fact this adhikarana was a topic of discussion long ago in the PPSM
(Vidyapitha, Bangalore) where a Dvaita-Advaita meet was organized where the
eminent scholar Sri Mani Dravid Sastrigal had stated all that needs to be
said about this adhikarana. No one needs to teach Shankara to respect the
Sutrakara, for he has expressed his supreme respect at the very beginning
of the sutra bhashya  किंलक्षणं पुनस्तद्ब्रह्मेत्यत आह
भगवान्सूत्रकारः  and at the end in 4.4.22  इत्यतः उत्तरं भगवान्बादरायण
आचार्यः पठति .  If Dvaitins or vishishtadvaitins think the Advaita bhashya
is totally sutra viruddha, well the Advaitin can also think the same with
respect to the others' bhashya. There is no end to such accusations and

Om Tat Sat

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