Author Topic: Prasthana-trayam  (Read 640 times)

Dr. Sadananda

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« on: March 01, 2015, 02:05:33 PM »

      Brahmasutra forms one of the three basic texts of Hinduism or more correctly to be called 'Sanatana Dharma'. The three basic texts are called 'prasthaana-trayam'- the three pillars of Vedanta. They are ShR^iti prasthaanam, smR^iti prasthaanam, and nyaaya prasthaanam. The Upanishads or uttaramiima.nsaa forms the ShR^iti prasthaanam, Bhagavad Geeta is the smR^iti prasthaanam, and Brahmasutra is the nyaaya prasthaanam. Brahmasutra discusses the essence of Upanishads or Vedanta in a concise form. It establishes the coherency or consistency in the Upanishads and shows that the central theme of the Upanishads is related to the nature of Brahman.

      Hence the sutras are called Brahmasutras. It is also called Nyaya prasthanam since it uses nyaaya or logic to establish the superiority of Vedanta over other philosophies. It is not necessary to study Brahmasutra to understand Vedanta. For most of the seekers, the study of basic Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita is sufficient. Only if one wants to understand the intricate logic involved and wants to appreciate the logical soundness of Vedanta over other systems of philosophy, one needs to study Brahmasutra. The sutras being in a concise form, they need to be studied through bhaashhya-s. There are many bhaashhya-s by many aachaarya-s each reinforcing their philosophy using Brahmasutras. There are commentaries on the Bhashyas and commentaries on these commentaries.

      Thus it is a very vast mushrooming literature, and it is very easy to get lost in these studies. Hence it is advisable to study sutras under a teacher.