As, I discuss in this question, Vishnu is said to have taught the principles of Vaishnavism to four gods: Lakshmi, Brahma, Shiva and Sanatkumara. And they in turn started the four main Sampradayas or traditions of Vaishnavism: Sri Sampradayam, Brahma Sampradayam, Rudra Sampradayam, and Kumara Sampradayam. Now the Sri Sampradayam, the one started by Lakshmi, is most famous for containing the Sri Vaishnava sect (of which I'm a member). But this is not the only sect that traces its origins to the Sri Sampradayam. There's also the Swaminarayan sect, which I discuss here. And then there is the Ramanandi sect, which is the subject of my question.

The Ramanandi or Ramavat sect was popularized by Ramananda, who believed that Rama is the supreme being. It's similar to the ISKCON worldview, where Krishna is supreme and Vishnu is an incarnation of Krishna, except Krishna is replaced by Rama. Famous devotees of Rama like Tulsidas and Kabir belonged to this sect. In any case, Ramananda was in the disciplic succession of the Sri Vaishnava Acharya Ramanujacharya, which is why the Ramanandi sect considers itself part of the Sri Sampradaya. They even subscribe to Ramanujacharya's philosophy of Visistadvaita. In fact they claim that Baudhayana, whose ancient work Ramanujacharya relied on as I discuss here, was a Visistadvaita thinker belonging to their sect.

Now the Ramanandis, like the vast majority of Hindus, subscribe to the Vedanta school of philosophy, and the defining text of the Vedanta school is the Brahma Sutras, a work by Vyasa which summarizes and systematizes the philosophical teachings of the Upanishads. You can read the Brahma Sutras here; they're usually read with the help of a commentary. So my question is, are any Ramanandi commentaries on the Brahma Sutras available in English?

There seem to be at least four Ramanandi commentaries on the Brahma Sutras, all of uncertain origin. (EDIT: Now I found about a fifth! See below.) First there is the Janaki Bhashya, which was published in the early 20th century and attributed to some earlier Ramanandi named Ramprasada. I don't know who Ramprasada is, but Hanks Bakker's book "Ayodhya" claims that the Janaki Bhashya may not be an authentic work of Ramprasada:

Ramnarayanadas seemed to have been a reluctant follower of this movement, nevertheless he and Ramavallabhasharana are known in Ayodhya as the authors of several forgeries written in the first decades of the present century, such as the Ramarchan Paddhati ascribed to Ramanand and the Shri Janakibhashya, a commentary on the Vedanta sutras ascribed to Ramprasada.... [T]he Shri Janakibhashya was never acknowledged by the Mahants of the Bara Sthan and Ramprasada’s authorship is vehemently denied.

Then there is the Ananda Bhashya, which is attributed to Ramananda. It was published in 1921 by Raghubardas under the auspices of the Ramanandi Acharya Bhagavadacharya, but Bhagavadacharya eventually admitted that it was a forgery by Raghubardas; here is what this journal paper by Purushottam Agrawal says:

Bhagwadacharya rejected all such charges [of forgery] with vehemence at this point in time but, once he fell out with Raghubardas, he started condemning this Bhashya as ‘nothing but a forgery perpetuated by Raghubardas.’ In his autobiography, he gives the fascinating details of intrigues that went into ‘transforming the Janaki Bhashya of Ram Prasad into the Ananda Bhashya and attributing it to Ramanand’. He admits quite candidly, ‘being a new and fresh recruit to the cause, I inspired this act of injustice and fraud.’

And then this excerpt from a journal paper by William Pinch says that Bhagavadacharya subsequently published two more commentaries on the Brahma Sutras, first the Janaki Kripabhashya and then the Ramananda Bhashya attributed to Ramananda:

[I]n 1958, he published the ShriJanakikripabhashyasya (discourses of Shri Janaki, or Sita on life). In 1963 Bhagavadacharya authored yet another doctrinal-cum-philosophical treatise, entitled Shri Ramanandabhashyam (the discourses of Ramanand), which created considerable consternation among major Sampraday figures in Ayodhya and Banaras.

So all the commentaries have been of uncertain origin.

But have any of these four commentaries been translated into English, and if so are there online versions of them? The reason I ask is that I want to see how the Ramanandi sect's interpretation of the Brahma Sutras differs from Ramanunacharya's, given that both of them subscribed to some version of Visistadvaita.

EDIT: I've now found out about a fifth (!) Ramanandi commentary, the Shri Raghava Kripa Bhashyam written by the poet Rambhadracharya in 1998 and released by the then-Prime Minister of India Vajpayee. This looks like the most recent Ramanandi commentary on the Brahma Sutras, and also I think it's the only one that doesn't have any controversy about forgery. It is exactly what it claims to be, a commentary written in modern times.

  • Sir your take that Srī Ramavtara Ramananda was in the disciplic succession of the Sri Ramanujacharya is debateable. Also, just because Srī Ramavats too subscribe to Vishishtadwaita doesn't mean that they borrowed it from Srī Ramanujacharya. It was from Bodhayana that both the branches of Srī Samradaya sprouted. lordrama.co.in/sri-vaishnav-parampara.html kindly have a glance for the matter of fact. And Srī Ramanandis have been mentioned by Shiva too in tantras when stating types of Vaishnavas. Thus, cancelling the fact tht Srī Ramavats branched from Ramanuja sect. Aug 8, 2022 at 2:40

1 Answer 1


What the hell? What an idiotic explanation has been given on the basis of a person whose opinion even doesn't matter in Śrī Rāmananda Samprādaya. If Same is like than your acharya has also said rubbish about Śrī Ram and Krishna mantra and has called Śrimati Randh Rani Incarnation of Supankha, do you follow that religiously?? In you sect their is a dispute of taking Maa Lakshmi as jeev or brahma. First solve your issue, I can show your many acharya who have said that current Śrī Bhāshyam is not original one, will you follow that?? At least have some sense !!

I mean your whole Sidhhant is bases on Mahārishi Bodhāyan physlosophy who was 9th Acharya of Śrī Rāmananda Samprādaya,

https://www.quora.com/Who-wrote-Anand-Bhashya-Which-philosophy-is-used-in-writing-that/answer/Ram-Rasik-2?ch=15&oid=1477743631006046&share=22b21990&srid=hzr3FR&target_type=answer Go with this answer to get clear.


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