Philosophical enquiry

Mimamsa is the enquiry or investigation into the import of

the Vedas which are encyclopaedic in nature. The Purva

Mimamsa deals with the Karma Kanda, the portion of the

Vedas pertaining to Vedic rituals and action, and the Uttara

Mimamsa with the Jnana Kanda or the knowledge portion,

which includes the Upanishads. The Upanishads hence

discuss the nature of Brahman, the status of the world and

the individual self.

The Brahma Sutra is a summary of the teaching of the

Upanishads and is also known as Vedanta Sutra. It is held

that Badarayana is the author of the Brahma Sutra and it is

his attempt to represent the teaching of the Upanishads in a

consistent and comprehensive way, pointed out Sri mani

Dravid Sastrigal in a discourse. He has consolidated the

views of earlier teachers and analysed other prevailing

systems of thought such as the Sankhya, etc.

The Brahma Sutra opens with the words “now therefore

an enquiry into Brahman.’ This cryptic statement implies

that much efort and struggle is needed to pursue this

enquiry. The sutras themselves are concise and aphoristic

where maximum thought is compressed in as few words as

possible. Their meaning can be understood only with the

help of lucid commentaries such as the bashyas of Adi

Sankara, Ramanuja and other thinkers who are also founders

of diferent schools of thought. Adi Sankara’s bhashya on the

Brahma Sutra is known for its profundity of thought and

convincing arguments. It is an exposition of the philosophy

of Advaita Vedanta. Ramanuja has interpreted the thought in

the Sutras from the standpoint of Visishtadvaita. Thus this

philosophical and metaphysical enquiry continues to inspire

the human mind to rise to higher levels of realisation.