Name of the book written by
Baadaraayan claiming to present the entire contents of the genuine Upanishad
in the form of 555 short aphorisms in four chapters. [By comparison Shree Mad
Bhaagvat contains 18,000 full Shlok. This book is also known as
"Vedaant Sootra". The term Vedaant has
recently become more popular meaning "the Final Message of the Ved".
Ved comprise of three portions - the Karm Kaand which deals with ceremonial
rites, the Upaasanaa Kaand which treats worship and the Gyaan Kaand which
deals with the knowledge of Brahm. Karm Kaand represents the feet of the
Purush, Upaasanaa Kaand represents the heart, and the Gyaan Kaand the head.
Just as the head is the most important portion of a man, so also are the
Upanishad which treat the knowledge portion of the Ved and hence is the
head of the Ved.
The Poorv Meemaansaa deals with the Karm Kaand - the portion of the Ved comprising
of the Sanhitaa and the Braahman relates to action and sacrifices.
Uttar Meemaansaa comprises of the Gyaan Kaand. It is that part of the Ved which
deals with the Aaranyak and the Upanishad. The Brahm Sootra are also known as
Vedaant Sootra. A study of Brahm Sootra includes a study of the Upanishad.
Sootra are concise aphorisms. Several thoughts are condensed into these
Sootra, in very few words so that it becomes easy to remember. These
aphorisms are composed by great intellectuals who realized the truth. They
cannot be easily understood without a detailed commentary (Bhaashya). The
interpretations of the Sootra gave rise to various kinds of literary
writings such as Vritti (gloss) and Karikaa. The different Aachaarya -
founders of different schools of thought, have given their own interpretations
of these Sootra. The A-Dwait Bhaashya of Shankar on Brahma Sootra is known
as Shaareerik Bhaashya. The Bhasahya of Shree Raamaanuj who founded the Visisht
A-Dwait School is called Shree Bhaashya. The commentary of Shree Nimbaark is
known as Vedaant - Paarijaat Saurabh. Shree Vallabhaachaarya expounded his
system of philosophy of Shuddh A-Dwait - pure monism, and his commentary on
the Brahm Sootra is known as Anu Bhaashya.
There are more than 14 commentaries on the Brahm Sootra. Shree Appayya
Deekshith rendered the commentary of Shankar more clearly by his Parimala.
Shree Vachaspati Misra has done this by his work Bhamati and Shree Amalananda
Saraswatee by his Kalp Taru.
In order to understand Vedaant, one should study the 10 classical and principal
Upanishad and the Brahm Sootra. Most of the Aachaarya have commented on Brahm
Sootra. This is a great authority for all philosophical schools. Any Aachaarya
who wishes to establish his own school of thought and to be recognized has to
write a commentary of his own on Brahm Sootra.
Shankar Bhaashya is the oldest of all commentaries. It upholds the Supreme
Self of the Upanishad. His explanations faithfully render the intended
meaning of Shree Vyaas beyond doubt and dispute. Students of A-Dwait School
of Philosophy should study the Shaareerik Bhaashya of Shankar which is
profound, subtle and unique. It is an authority which leads to the right
understanding of the Brahm Sootra. The best thinkers of India, Germany,
America and England belong to this school. A-Dwait philosophy is the most
sublime and the grandest philosophy of Sanaatan Dharm.
Brahm Sootra is one of the Prasthaan Traya - the other two being the
Upanishad and the Bhagavad Geetaa. The work consists of 4 Adhyaaya
(chapters), 16 Pad (sections), 223 Adhikaran (topics) and 555 Sootra
(aphorisms). The first chapter (Samanvaya Adhyaaya) unifies Brahm, the
second chapter (A-Virodh Adhyaaya) refutes other philosophies, the third
chapter (Saadhanaa Adhyaaya) deals with practice (Saadhanaa) to attain
Brahm and the fourth chapter (Phal Adhyaaya) treats of fruits of