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As I discuss in this question, by far the most popular school of Hindu philosophy is the Vedanta school, which bases its tenets on the doctrines laid out in the Brahma Sutras, a work by the sage Vyasa that summarizes and systematizes the philosophical teachings of the Upanishads. You can read the Brahma Sutras here; they consist of concise aphorisms, so people usually read them with the help of a commentary. The oldest surviving commentary was Adi Shankaracharya's Advaita commentary, and the next famous commentary was Ramanujacharya's Visistadvaita commentary

But there was another commentary written between these two, by the philosopher Bhaskara. He wrote his commentary shortly after the time of Adi Shankaracharya, and it was written from the point of view of Bhedabheda, a philosophy according to which the Jivatma or individual soul is simultaneously the same and different from Paramatna or the supreme soul. This may seem paradoxical, but Bhaskara believed that the individual soul was an Upadhi or limited version of the unlimited Brahman, similar to the view of the Saiva Siddhanta Church as I discuss here. In any case, most secular scholars believe that Vyasa and the other pre-Shankara Vedantic philosophers all subscribed to some kind of philosophy of Bhedabheda, probably similar to Bhaskara's philosophy given how much it seems to have been in agreement with Baudhayana's vritti (which I discuss here).

So my question is, is Bhaskara's commentary on the Brahma Sutras available online in English? It's available in Sanskrit in print form here. But has it ever been translated into English, and if so is there an online version of it?

I find it strange that no one would ever translate the second-oldest commentary on the Brahma Sutras, and yet I haven't come across any translations. By the way, for more information on Bhaskara's philosophy, see P.N. Srinivasachari's book "The Philosophy of Bhedabheda", which you can read here.

  • What exactly is the difference between Bhedhabhedha and Vishishtadvaitha? – VARUN.N RAO Jun 6 '19 at 14:08
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Takahiro KATO has written detailed notes in the critical edition of the first two chapters of Bhaskara's Brahmasutra Bhashya as part of his PhD dissertation.

You can find it here: https://opendata.uni-halle.de/bitstream/1981185920/7737/1/OnlineDissertation%28Kato%29.pdf

In that, he mentions that JAB van Buitenen (who translated the Ramanuja Gitabhashya and Vedarthsangraha among others) prepared an unpublished critical edition and translation of the Bhaskara Brahmasutrabhashya.

The manuscript of the translation is now with Walter Slaje who has obtained permission from van Buitenen's widow to edit and publish the same.

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  • Very useful information. Any idea when Walter Slaje will publish it? – user17987 Sep 7 at 12:01
  • No idea. You will have to check with him. He can be found on the Indology list. – hashable Sep 7 at 14:46

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