From Wikipedia:

Prasthanatrayi (Sanskrit: प्रस्थानत्रयी, IAST: Prasthānatrayī), literally, three sources (or axioms), refers to the three canonical texts of Divine philosophy, especially of the Vedanta schools. It consists of:

The Upanishads, known as Upadesha prasthana (injunctive texts), and the Śruti prasthāna (the starting point or axiom of revelation), especially the Principal Upanishads. The Brahma Sutras, known as Nyaya prasthana or Yukti prasthana (logical text or axiom of logic) The Bhagavad Gita, known as Sadhana prasthana (practical text), and the Smriti prasthāna (the starting point or axiom of remembered tradition)

The Upanishads consist of twelve or thirteen major texts, with a total of 108 texts. The Bhagavad Gītā is part of the Mahabhārata.The Brahma Sūtras (also known as the Vedānta Sūtras), systematize the doctrines taught in the Upanishads and the Gītā.

  • So, how was it decided that only those aforementioned particular scriptures (in the bold) will be part of the group and not any other?

  • And, which people were responsible for the formulation of the list? Is such a formulation already indicated in the scriptures or explicitly mentioned in them?


I am providingn partial answer from the bengali biography of Acharya Sankar by Swami Apurvananda(a direct disciple of Maa Sarada Devi), published by Udbodhan (page 31)

At Varanasi, Lord Shiva appeared in front of Acharya Sankar in form of an outcaste...When Acharya understood this, He started praising the Lord by chanting a hymn. Mahadeva was pleased and ordered Acharya to preach Advaita-vaada by writing a commentary of Brahma-Sutra.

So according to this book, one of the three was selected by Lord Shiva Himself.The author then mentions that Acharya wrote commentaries of the twelve Upanishads, Bhagabad-gita, Vishnu-sahasranama and Sanat-Sugatiya along with of the Brahma-Sutra(page 40).

  • But how Lord Shiva ordering him to write a commentary on that book imply that it is one of the prasthantrayi? Lord Shiva can order in a similar way for many such books, then are we take all those books part of a group? Sorry I could not understand the logic here – Rickross Mar 6 '19 at 6:16
  • @Rickross That Shankar accepted Brahmasutra as a part of prasthanatrayi is caued by this reason if this is true – user17294 Mar 6 '19 at 6:19
  • @Rickross Who did choose the three as trayi before Shankar BTW? – user17294 Mar 6 '19 at 6:20
  • Btw if adi shankara did create this classification, then why would his rival scholars ( the other acharyas) accept it? Isnt it normal for thm to hv their own classifications 🤞? Something like say prasthana panchaka etc? 🤔 – Rickross Mar 6 '19 at 6:46
  • @Rickross i wd enquire.but so far as i know all such formalisations started with Sankar and others wrote commentaries to point out their difference of opinion – user17294 Mar 6 '19 at 6:48

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