Vedārthasaṅgraha

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Vedarthasangraha, VedArthasaGgraha, Vedaarthasangraha


Foundation of Vedānta Philosophy

The Vedānta philosophy is based on three basic foundation works. They are:

  1. The Upaniṣads
  2. The Bhagavadgitā
  3. The Brahmasutras

Origin of Vedarthasañgraha

Though Śaṅkara[1] and Madhva[2] wrote commentaries on all these three to expound their systems, Rāmānuja[3] wrote only on the last two. However, he chose to write an independent treatise of a different type on the Upaniṣads, called the Vedarthasañgraha. In Vedarthasañgraha, he has selected and discussed in detail those important statements of the well-known Upaniṣads like tattvamasi in the Chāndogya Upaniṣad[4] showing how they support his views.

Content of Vedarthasañgraha

The entire work is in prose. It has not been divided into sections. However, the printed texts have divided it into sections like 102 or 251, depending on their convenience. The subject matter is spread over three topics:

  1. A brief account of purvapakṣas.[5]
  2. Refutation of the schools of Śañkara, Bhāskara[6] and Yādavaprakāśa.[7]
  3. Establishing his own system on a firm foundation with plenty of quotations and logic.

Commentary on Vedarthasañgraha

Rāmānuja lays great stress on Nārāyaṇa as Parabrahman[8] and devoted meditation on him as the means of liberation. Sudarśanasuri[9] wrote a commentary named Tātparyadīpikā. It is quite exhaustive.


References

  1. He lived in A. D. 788-820.
  2. He lived in A. D. 1238-1317.
  3. Rāmānuja lived in A. D. 1017-1137.
  4. Chāndogya Upaniṣad 6.8.7
  5. Purvapakṣas means views of opponent schools.
  6. He lived in A. D. 900
  7. Yādavaprakāśa lived in 11th century A. D.
  8. Parabrahman means the Absolute.
  9. Sudarśanasuri lived in A. D. 1200-1275.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore