The Brahma-Sûtra-Bhâshya of Śaṅkara is the commentary by Śaṅkara of the Brahma-Sûtra.
Śaṅkara was one of the greatest Hindu philosopher.
The Brahma-Sûtra is one the greatest text on ontology of the Vedānta school of Hindu philosophy.

The original text is in Sanskrit, but there exists many translations in English by :
- Swami Sivananda
- Swami Gambhirananda
- Swami Vireswarananda

My mother tongue is French and I would like to find a French translation of the full text.
Unfortunately, I have never found one.

  • Is there one (published or not)?
  • Else, how explain that such a fundamental text does not have a (full) French translation?
  • Is there any translation work in progress?

Remark : A famous book seller on the Internet proposes a French edition here, unfortunately it's not in French but in Spanish (see the back cover).

  • All the "Swami *ananda" names appear to be that of monks of the Ramakrishna Mission. (That's not always the case, but given a string of such names, that's what I'm betting on.) I guess you are in France. I think your best option is to visit/telephone the biggest Ramakrishna Mission in France. Indian publishers are not known to have an up-to-date catalog online.
    – prash
    Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 0:21
  • Also, the book that you have linked to is Brahmasutra by Badarayana, not Sankara's commentary.
    – prash
    Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 2:27
  • @prash thank you for your comments. You're right, Swami Gambhirananda and Swami Vireswarananda are from Ramakrishna Mission, but not Swami Sivananda. I have contacted this mission in France and they have not a French translation of the Brahma-Sûtra-Bhâshya of Śaṅkara. Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 17:49
  • @prash : Bādarāyaṇa is another name of Vyāsa, the author of the Brahma-Sûtra. In fact, I don't know if this spanish edition contains the Bhâshya (commentaries) of Śaṅkara. Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 17:54
  • 1
    @prash : I did a copy-paste. Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 11:09

1 Answer 1


I would assume that the Bibliothèque nationale de France would hold a copy of such an edition, if it were to exist-- but a search of their catalogues shows nothing of the sort.

It's pretty difficult to prove a negative, but I'd doubt that there is such a translation.

Else, how explain that such a fundamental text does not have a (full) French translation?

I suggest that you'll find that translations of Indian philosophy into European languages are spotty at best, and that this is not an exceptional case.

  • Thank you for your answer. I also think that such a text is very hard to translate for western people. Indeed, the only English translations I know are of Hindu Swamis. These Swamis speaks English because India was a British colony, but a part of India was also a French colony (as Pondicherry), so perhaps there is a (unpublished) French translation of the Brahma-Sûtra-Bhâshya by a Swami living close to Pondicherry. Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 9:41
  • @SébastienPalcoux: I think it's very unlikely that the Aurobindo/Pondicherry missionaries would be interested in translating Sankara's works. As far as I can tell, Aurobindo viewed his philosophy as an improvement on Advaita (non-dualisic) philosophy.
    – prash
    Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 2:25
  • @prash : yes you're probably right, but maybe there are others āshrams at Pondicherry or around, and perhaps some French-speaking Swamis had translated the Brahma-Sûtra-Bhâshya of Śaṅkara (without publishing their works). Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 18:02

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