Sunday, January 30, 2011

Introduction to Vedanta-Prakarana : VIVEKA CHUDAMANI

This is a general introduction to Vedanta emphasizing the importance of shastra-pramanya. This is not a recording of any public talk, but i have recorded it as a dialogue with myself.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Darshan sarvasvam

Darshan sarvasvam
 this is a very valuable book authored by svami shankar chaitanya bharati, whose sharda commentary on khandana khanda khadya considered to be at par with the works of ancient acharyas. No doubt darshan sarvasvam too commands same degree of respect from the world of scholars and from those of us who wish to see our knowledge free from errors. Mostly we are left lurking in dark and with a lame reply as “this is what my faith is" for our inability to refute the objections raised by the other schools of philosophies. To dismiss these objections without having understood what they have to offer is nothing more than cowardice or blind fanaticism of our views. This attitude is much against the spirit of vedantic inquiry. Therefore to acquaint ourselves  with these schools with their strengths, arguments and objections against vedanta is necessary for any alert seeker of vedanta. Thus this work along with its commentry "rajahamsa" by the author himself is a blessing to those who want be firmly grounded in advaita siddhanta.

This work has four major sections dealing with the vijnanvada, Shunyavada , svatantryavada and vivartavada.
Of the four schools of buddhist philosophy Vijnanavada and shunya vada occupy the important positions, they are covered in the first two sections.  Under the vijnanavada, the author has carefully dealt with the topics which have been hastily dismissed elsewhere. Here the Buddhists have taken nayyayikas as the opponents and have drawn kshanika vijnanavada  as the final conclusion. The Yogachara School tough is not dealt in the original work here, but the Rajhamsa commentary does deal with it at the end of the section.
The premises on which vedantins refute shunyavada are the irrefutable presence of witness and the prerequisite of substratum for the illusion. These two have to be seen from the Buddhist points of view and how have they tried to answer these refutations. This section ends with a note on asat kyati.
Svatantrya vada
The closest philosophy to vedantA and often misinterpreted as vedanta is the Kashmiri shaiva siddhanta. Svatantryavada of Kashmiri saivas employ elaborate details almost reaching mysticism and then making all the components sit together like a jigsaw puzzle as their procedure. Though very close to vedanta the sharp differences are so subtle that it makes them stand apart.
The final section of vivartavada is an exhaustive thought on answering various objections raised by the earlier school.Answering them, refuting them and dismissing them as erroneous is the bulk of this chapter.The portions of this chapter alarm us when the author shows the defects even of acharyas like Madhusudana and Gouda Brahmananda. He has adifferent way of putting Drishti Shrishti vada.
Viewing this book by its contents , it can be considered a very mature thought on the prakriyas and siddhanta of advaita vedanta.I recommend this book to all whose knowledge of Sanskrit and nyaya allows them a free access to the contents of such works.