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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

The Brahmasutras is the main and basic treatise on Vedānta philosophy. It is based entirely on the major Upaniṣads. As they are in the form of terse sutras or laconic aphorisms, it cannot be understood without the help of a bhāṣya or a commentary. All the three ācāryas[1] of the major systems of Vedānta have written bhāṣyas on it. The bhāṣya by Śankara[2] is the earliest.

On Śaṅkara’s Brahmasutrabhāsya, three sub commentaries generally known as ṭīkās are very famous. They are:

  1. Bhāmati of Vācaspati[3]
  2. Nyāya-nirnaya of Ānandagiri[4]
  3. Ratnaprabhā of Rāmānanda[5]

The Ratnaprabhā is the simplest of the three and often contains the essence of the other two tīkās. It is sometimes also called as Bhāsya-ratnaprabhā. If the bhāṣya of Saṅkara is the ratna or diamond, this ṭikā is its prabhā or light, since it manifests that ‘light’ through its explanations.


  1. Ācāryas literally means teachers.
  2. He lived in A. D. 788-820.
  3. He lived in 9th century A. D.
  4. He lived in A. D. 1260.
  5. He lived in 17th century A. D.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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