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Brahma-sutra means

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Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Brahma-sūtra means Vedānta-sūtra.
Lecture on BG 13.5 -- Bombay, September 28, 1973:

Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, ṛṣibhir bahudhā gītam. Then which one we have to accept? We have to accept... That is stated in the Vedic literature. Nāsau ṛṣir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. Śrutayo vibhinnāḥ. Vedic literature—Sāma, Yajur, Ṛg, Artharva—they are different. They are one, but we understand differently, according to our quality of understanding. Otherwise, all Vedic literature aims to understand Kṛṣṇa. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ (BG 15.15). That is the purpose of Veda, to understand Kṛṣṇa. After many, many births of studying of Vedic literature, in the process of jñāna-mārga, when one becomes actually wise, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante (BG 7.19), when he is actually wise, jñānavān māṁ prapadyante, he understands Kṛṣṇa and surrenders unto Him. That is actually understanding. So chandobhir vividhaiḥ pṛthak.

But Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Bhagavān, is specially referring herewith, brahma-sūtra-padaiś caiva. Brahma-sūtra means Vedānta-sūtra. Vedānta-sūtra He's referring. That is approved. There are different philosophical ways: parāmaṇu-vāda, nirviśeṣa-vāda, saviśeṣavāda, māyāvāda. They are all rejected. Simply brahma-sūtra padaiś caiva hetumadbhir viniścitaiḥ (BG 13.5). Brahma-sūtra means Vedānta-sūtra. It is called Brahma-sūtra because the first aphorism of Vedānta-sūtra is athāto brahma jijñāsā: "This human life is meant for inquiry about Brahman, the Absolute Truth." That is human life. Therefore it is called Brahma-sūtra. What is Brahman. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. Janmādy asya yataḥ. Janmādy asya yataḥ: (SB 1.1.1) "Brahman is the supreme source of everything."

Brahma-sūtra means the whole Vedic knowledge is given in codes.
Lecture on BG 16.9 -- Hawaii, February 5, 1975:

He says, śāstra, evidence, Vedic evidence, must be accepted. The Vedic evidence is very chronologized in the Vedānta-sūtra. He especially mentioned, brahma-sūtra-padaiḥ. Brahma-sūtra means Vedānta-sūtra. Vedānta-sūtra means the summary of all Vedic knowledge. The Vedic knowledge is given in codes. That is called Brahma-sūtra. Sūtra means code, and Brahman means the Supreme Absolute Truth. Understanding of the absolute truth in code words, and the explanation... A code word requires explanation.

Just like in business circle there is Bentley's code. So for business facility, for saving expenditure, the telegraphic codes are there. So one who does not know what is this code, but he can refer to the book. The explanation is there: "This code means this wording." Similarly, Brahma-sūtra means the whole Vedic knowledge is given in codes. Brahma-sūtra-padaiś caiva hetumadbhiḥ. It is called nyāya-prasthāna. Nyāya means logic. Nyāya means... There are three kinds of authorities: śruti-prasthāna, smṛti-prasthāna, and nyāya-prasthāna. So the Brahma-sūtra is nyāya-prasthāna, very logically, very logically given.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Brahma-sūtra means Vedānta-sūtra.
Lecture on SB 1.2.12 -- Delhi, November 18, 1973:
As soon as the bhakti word is used, there is no question of becoming master. Bhakti is used via media between Bhagavān and bhakta. The dealings of Bhagavān and bhakta is called bhakti. Bhakti, bhaja-dhātu. Bhaja-dhātu sevāyām. Sevāyām. Sevā mean there is a sevaka and there is a master, sevya, one who is worshiped and one who serves. Then the process is called bhakti. Here it is also said, bhaktyā. What kind of bhakti? Bhaktyā śruta-gṛhītayā. Śruta, by hearing śruti, or Vedas. Completely on the basis of Vedic knowledge, that bhakti, not sentimental. Sentimental bhakti is also there, because the acceptance of Kṛṣṇa is there. Therefore there is some value. But real bhakti, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī has commented that bhakti based on understanding of Vedānta-sūtra is perfect, on the basis of jñāna, knowledge, and vairāgya. That is... And Kṛṣṇa has also said, brahma-sūtra-padaiś caiva hetumadbhir viniścitaiḥ (BG 13.5). Brahma-sūtra means Vedānta-sūtra. So actually the Vedānta-sūtra, everything is bhakti. But unfortunately, people have taken Vedānta in a different way, after the Śārīraka-bhāṣya. But all the ācāryas, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, they have all, they have commentated on the Vedānta-sūtra. So Vedantist does not mean simply the Māyāvādīs. Actually Vedantists are the devotees.
Vyāsadeva has written Brahma-sūtra, and we have to understand the meaning of Brahma... Brahma-sūtra means codes only.
Lecture on SB 3.25.4 -- Bombay, November 4, 1974:

So actually, the Absolute Truth is explained in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, or the Vedānta-sūtra's explanation, natural explanation,... Actually, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam was written by Vyāsadeva. Here it is said, dvaipāyana-sakha. Dvaipāyana means Vyāsadeva. Vyāsadeva compiled this Brahma-sūtra, and he explained it, bhāṣyaṁ brahma-sūtrāṇām **, this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. If we read some artificial comments on Brahma-sūtra, we'll misunderstand. Generally, these Māyāvādīs give prominence of the comment given by Śaṅkarācārya about Brahma-sūtra, Śārīraka-bhāṣya. But that is unnatural. The natural commentation is given by the author himself, Vyāsadeva. So we have to understand... Vyāsadeva has written Brahma-sūtra, and we have to understand the meaning of Brahma... Brahma-sūtra means codes only. So codes can be explained by the author himself. So our process is to accept the Brahma-sūtra. Brahma-sūtra-padaiś caiva hetumadbhir viniścitaiḥ (BG 13.5). Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā. So Brahma-sūtra is nyāya-prasthāna. Nyāya-prasthāna: very logically, transcendental knowledge. So brahma-sūtra-padaiś caiva hetumadbhir viniścitaiḥ (BG 13.5). So we must... Therefore, according to our Vedic system, the ācārya must understand Brahma-sūtra and explain. Then he'll be accepted as ācārya.

Brahma-sūtra means Vedānta.
Lecture on SB 6.1.21 -- Honolulu, May 21, 1976:

Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya. Everyone is executing his occupational duty. I give this meaning, "Dharma means occupational duty." It is not a sentiment, faith. Occupational duty. That is called dharma. Brahmācāri's dharma, gṛhastha's dharma, vānaprastha's dharma, occupational duty. So by discharging one's occupational duties very nicely—not as a machine regulation, no—the result will be dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ viśvaksena kathāsu yaḥ: (SB 1.2.8) he will gradually be interested to understand Kṛṣṇa. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam (BG 15.15). That is Vedic study. Not that after studying Vedas he becomes nirviśeṣavādī, impersonalist, or śūnyavādī. Then useless. Śrama eva hi kevalam. Vedas means knowledge, and Vedānta... Anta means last status or the end, end of. Everything has got some end, that "This is final, end." End means final. So Vedas means knowledge, and anta means end. So what is that end? That Vedānta is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Therefore you'll find in every, at the end of every chapter of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, brahma-sūtra-bhāṣye. Brahma-sūtra means Vedānta.

Brahma-sūtra means Vedānta-sūtra.
Lecture on SB 6.1.22 -- Indore, December 13, 1970:

When Arjuna was asked to Kṛṣṇa that "How can I accept that You taught this philosophy to sun-god? Because You are my contemporary. We are born practically on the same date." So He replied, "Yes. Both you and Me, we took many, many births. But you have forgotten. I know everything." And that is God. That is God. Abhijñaḥ. God must be cognizant of everything. And I do not know everything, and still, I claim I am God and people accept. How rascal. The Bhāgavata explains that the Absolute Truth is cognizant of everything, abhijñaḥ. "So how His knowledge is so perfect?"—the next question, because we become cognizant by taking knowledge or accepting knowledge from spiritual master. But how he has become so cognizant? The answer is svarāṭ, fully independent. He hasn't got to learn... (break) But He is God without taking knowledge from anybody. That is real God. Svarāṭ. In this way Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam has explained the Vedānta-sūtras, that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the right explanation of Vedānta-sūtra. Bhāṣyāyāṁ brahma-sūtrānām. The Brahma-sūtra means Vedānta-sūtra. And the real commentary and explanation is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, of Vedānta. But these Vedantists, so-called Vedantists, they do not read Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Even read, they make a different interpretation, because to make them popular they have to go through Bhāgavata sometimes.

Brahma-sūtra means Vedānta-sūtra.
Lecture on SB 7.12.3 -- Bombay, April 14, 1976:

So especially in this age Bhagavad-gītā is essence of Vedic literatures, and it is based on the Vedānta-sūtra. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, hetumadbhir viniścita. Brahma-sūtra padaiś caiva hetumadbhir viniścita. This Bhagavad-gītā is based on Brahma-sūtra. Brahma-sūtra means Vedānta-sūtra. Vedānta-sūtra is very important. It is the summary of Vedic study, sūtra. The janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1), this is a sūtra, a synopsis. And you can explain very nicely from the Vedas. So there are small sūtras, aphorism. From that aphorism you can expand. The Vedānta is the summary of all the Vedic literatures, anta, the supplement of the Vedic literatures. And Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the explanation of Vedānta-sūtra. Bhāṣyāyāṁ brahma-sutrāṇām. In every chapter of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam you'll find brahma-sūtra-bhāṣya: "This is real commentary on the Brahma-sūtra." So one should read daily at least one, two hours. That is human life. They are going to the libraries for reading newspaper and nonsense literature, but they will not come to hear Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the essence of Vedic literature. Nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalaṁ idam (SB 1.1.3). It is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, nigama. Nigama means Vedas. Agama, nigama. So nigama-kalpa-taru. Vedas just like desire tree. Whatever knowledge you want to get, there is perfectly there, without any mistake, without any illusion, without any cheating.

Festival Lectures

Brahma-sūtra means this Vedānta-sūtra.
Radhastami, Srimati Radharani's Appearance Day -- Montreal, August 30, 1968:

In India the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs are known as Vedāntī. Therefore my society, Vaiṣṇava society, has particularly given me this title, Bhaktivedanta. Vedānta means bhakti. It is a challenge to the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs. This particular title was given after due consideration that my humble self should be awarded this title. It is new title amongst the Vaiṣṇava society. So the Māyāvādī philosophers they are sometimes surprised that "How Swamijī is Vedanti, at the same time bhakti?" But actually they do not know Vedānta means bhakti. Real Vedānta commentary is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Bhāṣyaṁ brahma-sūtrāṇām **. Brahma-sūtra means this Vedānta-sūtra. Vedānta-vedyam. Śiva-viriñci, that Lord Śiva or Lord Brahmā, they are trying to understand the Supreme. Flickering knowledge? No. Through the Vedānta. Vedānta. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam (BG 15.15). And vibhum, vibhum means the greatest. Nobody is greater than the Supreme Lord. Rāmākhyam jagad-īśvaram. And He is Rāma.

General Lectures

Brahma-sūtra means Vedānta. This is the real bhāṣya, or commentary, on Vedānta-sūtra.
Lecture -- Vrndavana, March 14, 1974:

Simply by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya. You don't require to read Vedānta philosophy or this philosophy. Caitanya Mahāprabhu presented Himself: guru more mūrkha dekhi kahile vedānta nāhi adhikārā (CC Adi 7.71). He presented to Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī that His spiritual master saw Him a great fool. Therefore he said to Him that "You have no, I mean to say, access to understand Vedānta philosophy. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That's all." This is the position. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "He, he taught Me one śloka." What is that? Harer nāma harer nāma harer nāma eva kevalam, kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva... (CC Adi 17.21).(devotees join in, finish verse) If you chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, then you become a first-class Vedāntist. You don't require to study. Of course, if you have got intelligence, if you have got stamina, Vedānta must be studied. And what is that Vedānta? Vedānta is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Bhāṣyaṁ brahma-sūtrāṇām **. Brahma-sūtra means Vedānta. This is the real bhāṣya, or commentary, on Vedānta-sūtra. The Vedānta-sūtra begins, janmādy asya yataḥ, athāto brahma jijñāsā. And Bhāgavata says, jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā. The same thing; a little different language. And janmādy asya śloka is beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Janmādy asya yataḥ anvayād (SB 1.1.1). In the Vedānta-sūtra the sūtra is janmādy asya yataḥ: "Absolute Truth is that from which or from whom everything emanates." Janmādy asya yataḥ. And Bhāgavata is explaining... That is commentary. What is that janmādy asya yataḥ? Janmādy asya yataḥ anvayād itarataś ca artheṣu abhijñaḥ sva-rāṭ. Who is that source of knowledge? He must be abhijña. Wherefrom He got this knowledge? Svarāṭ. These things are explained.

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