Brahmasūtra. An ancient Indian work which systematizes the teachings of the Upaniṣȧds concerning Brahman, Ultimate Reality, in 555 elliptic verses or sūtras. It is attributed to Bādarāyaṇa, a sage of the 1st cent. BCE, but may have been compiled in its final form several centuries later. Other names for the Brahmasūtra are encountered in Indian literature: the Vedāntasūtra or Uttaramīmāṃsāsūtra, because it outlines the philosophy of Vedānta; the Bādarāvaṇasūtra, named after its supposed author; the Vyāsasūtra, so-named by another tradition which credits its authorship to the sage Vyāsa; and the Śārīrakasūtra, because it is an investigation of ‘that which is embodied’, i.e. the individual self according to Śaṅkara, or Brahman according to Rāmānuja. See also BRAHMAJIJÑĀSĀ.
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