by Swami Sivananda
Sri Vyasa Bhagavan
Sri Jagadguru Sankaracharya
and Srimad Appayya Dikshitar
It need not be over-emphasised that the Brahma Sutras, or the Nyaya-Prasthana of the triad of Indian Philosophical treatises hold supreme sway over the later rationalistic and scholastic developments. Right from the mighty brain of Sankara down to the master-intellects like Sriharsha, Chitsukha and Madhusudana, the main polemics have been occupied with the task of establishing the doctrine of Absolute Monism and refuting the views contrary to it, by appeal to logic as well as authority alike, which find their seeds already sown in the Brahma Sutras. The founder of a new religious and philosophical school had simply to write a new commentary on the Brahma Sutras so that his view may be accepted by the mass of people. Such is the authority of the Brahma Sutras, the work of Baadarayana.
Commentaries there have been many on the Brahma Sutras, but either they are too short and insufficient to be useful for a comprehensive study of the Sutras, or are extremely tough and abstruse to be utilised by men of ordinary understanding. This work of Swami Sivananda is of a Unique type in itself, unrivalled by any other. This commentary is neither too short to be useless, nor too verbose to be unintelligible, but follows a via media course, useful to one and all, mainly the spiritual aspirants, who want thought, not mere word.
Swamiji has got his own inimitable way of writing, which is a boon to the inquisitive student on the spiritual path. All real aspirants after Truth should possess this book, for it is a guide-light that is capable of steering them across the sea of ignorance and doubt.
Swamiji has left nothing unsaid that may be useful to the student of the Brahma Sutras, and in addition has given useful information which will not be found in other notes and commentaries. The division of each Pada into the relevant Adhikaranas marking at the same time the number of Sutras they contain, the subject matter they treat of, and the accompaniment of each Sutra by the serial number from the very beginning is for the use and guidance of the student. An elaborate introduction precedes the work in addition to a short introduction and a summary of the different Adhikaranas preceding each Pada. These are all a boon to the student of the Brahma Sutras for which the incomparable Swamiji has to be eulogised. Each Sutra also contains a word-by-word meaning and a running translation.
More need not be said than that the production is a marvellous one. Swamiji has completed his annotations on the Prasthanatraya with his Brahma Sutras. His writings are too famous to necessitate further introduction.
The text of the Brahma Sutras has been included herein to enable the readers to do Svadhyaya and get them by heart for purposes of meditation.
—THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
Sri Vyasa Purnima
28th July, 1999