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Books > Hindu > Concept of Moksa (in Advaita Vedanta with Special Reference to Jivanmuktiviveka of Shri Vidyaranyaswami)
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Concept of Moksa (in Advaita Vedanta with Special Reference to Jivanmuktiviveka of Shri Vidyaranyaswami)
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Foreword

 

I feel great pleasure in writing a foreword to 'The Concept of Moksa in Advaita Vedanta with special reference to jivanmuktiviveka of Sri Vidyaranya' by Dr. Vaishali Kamik. As a guide, I had the occasion to go through this work carefully. Certainly this is a new contribution to field of knowledge.

 

Shri Vidyaranya is one of the most important Advaita Philosophers of fourteenth century A.D. He was a great genius and versatile scholar. His contribution to Advaita Vedanta is remarkable. Though lots of research works have been done on Vidyaranya's other works, so far no independent and detailed study on his important work 'Jivanmuktiviveka' is being done. Dr. Karnik has made detailed textual study on the work and presented its essence very systematically. It is certainly first of its kind in the field of Advaita philosophy.

 

Moksa or liberation according to Advaita is realization of identity between the individual self and the universal Sek the Brahman. Sankara rightly points out that it is becoming one with Brahman [Brahma bhavasca moksah]. The release is not something which is to be newly achieved. Release [Moksa] is the eternal nature of the Self. Only this Supreme fact remains unrealized because of nescience. This nescience is removable by right knowledge [Vijnananirasya]. Religious actions only purify one's mind and it is only right knowledge leads to realization of Atman or Self. Once this ignorance is removed, one is released from bondage. This release or this state is possible in this very embodied life. This is known as state of Jivanmukti-living liberation or liberation while living. Final release is obtained after the death of the body [Videhamukti]. This Jivanmukti concept which has basis in the Upanisads is systematically developed by the Advaita Vedantins. Possibility of living liberation is accepted by the Buddhists, Jainas and Advaita Vedantins in Indian philosophical field. In Buddhism the realized person in embodied state is called Arhat [in Hinayana] and Bodhisattva [in Mahayana], Kevali in Jainism and Jivanmukta in Advaita Vedanta. Jivanmuktiviveka of Vidyaranya is milestone in providing various proofs for the possibility of Jivanmukti and the life of Jivanmukta.

 

The author Dr. Vaishali Karnik, in this book, has done commendable job, giving brief survey of concept of Moksa in Indian philosophy and Pre-Sankara, Sankara and post-Sankara Advaita Vedanta up to Vidvaranva's period [Chapters. II-III]. The fourth chapter is dedicated to describe the life and Date of Vidyaranya along with vast literature produced by this great Advaita stalwart. Fifth chapter is very important one in which proofs for the possibility of Jivanmukti are discussed in detail. Sri Vidyaranya gives his own proofs, in addition, to support his views; he gives proofs found in Upanisads and writings of earlier Advaita Vedantins. In the sixth chapter author discusses about nature of Jivanmukti and Videhamukti given in the text. Means of Jivanmukti is discussed in chapter seven. Vidyaranya mentions threefold means of liberation while living viz., Vasanaksaya, Manonasa and Jnana. This is a unique contribution made by Vidyaranya to obtain Jivanmukti. This threefold means of liberation is not found in any other works of Advaita Vedanta. The learned author analysis all the three means of liberation in detail based on original text. Chapters eight and nine deal with purpose of attainment of Jivanmukti and the state of Jivanmukta called ParamaharilsaYogi, respectively. Chapter ten describes the concept of Moksa in Vaisnava Vedanta especially in Visistadvaita of Ramanuja and Dvaita of Madhvacarya, Vaisnava Vedantins accept only Videhamukti [Liberation after death] and reject possiblity of Jivanmukti [Liberation while living]. In the conclusion, the author authentically presents a comparative study of development of concept of Jivanmukti within the Advaita Vedanta, which is a praiseworthy attempt.

 

This book displays the author's scholarship and insight in the subject. The subject matter is systematically presented in a lucid manner. The subject matter of the book has its own significance in the field of Indian philosophy. This is certainly scholarly work on the subject and I have no hesitation in recommending this work to the readers and students of Philosophy.

Preface

 

Adi Sankaracarya, a great philosopher, a saint, a mystic, a religions reformer, a poet, a savant, a stiff and intrepid debater, has always fascinated me. His Advaita Vedanta is a system of great speculative daring and logical subtalty, His philosophy stands forth complete needing neither a before nor after. It has a self-justifying wholeness. He tried to bring back the age from the Puranas to the mystic truth of the Upanisad. The Advaita Vedanta alone, in the opinion of Sankara, could do justice to the truth of the conflicting creeds and so he wrote all his works with the one purpose of helping the individual to the realization of the identity of his soul with Brahman, which is the means of liberation, from the world. He was in the true sense Sankara i.e. bestower of happiness.

 

Sankara's mayawada, his concept of Brahman, illusoriness of the world, moksa and jivanmukti, all are unique in the real sense. The knower of Brahman i.e. a brahmavid is a jivanmukta. For him the world is a mirage in the desert. A jivanmukta (a soul liberated while living) is a living God on earth, an immortal among mortals, a perfect among imperfects.

 

Sankara's concept of jlvanmukti has been elaborately discussed in the "Jivanmuktiviveka" by Shri Vidyaranyaswami. Vidyaranya also was jivanmukta like Sankara. So I was fascinated by these two concepts and chose moksa and Jivanmukti for my research work. In no other religion we find these two concepts. My thesis entitled 'The concept of Moksa in Advaita Vedanta with special reference to 'Jivanmuktiviveka' of Shri Vidyaranyaswami' was writen under the able guidance of Prof. Dr. Y.S. Shastri, who is honoured as one of the best scholars in the world, and is the Director of the Dept. of Philosophy of Gujarat University. The thesis was submitted to Gujarat University and was approved for the degree of Ph.D.in 1998.

 

This work in the book form is slightly revised version. I express my deep sense of gratitude to my guide Prof. Dr. Y.S. Shastri, who helped and encouraged me in completing this work. I owe special thanks to my friend Dr. Mrs. Sunanda Shastri, because of whom my thesis could take the book form. I also owe thanks to my dear husband Sri Sunil and sons Chi. Samir and Chi. Himanshu.

 

Contents

 

 

Foreword

ix

 

Preface

xiii

 

PART-I

 

I.

Introduction

1-21

II.

Concept of Moksa in different schools of Indian Philosophy :

22-61

(i)

Carvaka

 

(ii)

Buddhism

 

(iii)

Jainism

 

(iv)

Nyaya-Vaisesika

 

(v)

Samkhya-Yoga

 

(vi)

Purva-Mimamsa

 

III

Concept of Moksa in :

62-96

(i)

Vaisnava Vedantins

 

(ii)

Saivas

 

(iii)

Saktas

 

(iv)

Prasthanatayi

 

IV.

Concept of Moksa according to Advaita- Vedanta (Uttara-Mimamsa)

97-127

(i)

Pre-Sankara Advaitins

 

(ii)

Sankara

 

(iii)

Post-Sankara (Pre-Vidyaranya) Advaitins

 

 

PART-II

 

V.

Shri Vidyaranyaswami his life, date and works

128-142

VI.

Traditional proofs in support of the possibility of Jivanmukti given in 'Jivanmuktiviveka '

143-149

VII.

Nature of Jivanmukti (Liberation while Lining) and Videhamukti (Liberation after Death)

150-158

VIII.

Means to Jivanmukti

159-181

(i)

Vasanaksaya (Annihilation of Impressions)

 

(ii)

Manonasa and

 

(iii)

Knowledge

 

IX.

Dissolution of Mind

182-194

X.

The Purpose of the attainment of Jivanmukti

195-202

XI.

A Person Liberated during life (A Jivanmukta)

203-208

 

Conclusion

209-215

 

Bibliography

216-220

 

Glossary

221-228

 

Index

229-240

 

Sample Page


Concept of Moksa (in Advaita Vedanta with Special Reference to Jivanmuktiviveka of Shri Vidyaranyaswami)

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Foreword

 

I feel great pleasure in writing a foreword to 'The Concept of Moksa in Advaita Vedanta with special reference to jivanmuktiviveka of Sri Vidyaranya' by Dr. Vaishali Kamik. As a guide, I had the occasion to go through this work carefully. Certainly this is a new contribution to field of knowledge.

 

Shri Vidyaranya is one of the most important Advaita Philosophers of fourteenth century A.D. He was a great genius and versatile scholar. His contribution to Advaita Vedanta is remarkable. Though lots of research works have been done on Vidyaranya's other works, so far no independent and detailed study on his important work 'Jivanmuktiviveka' is being done. Dr. Karnik has made detailed textual study on the work and presented its essence very systematically. It is certainly first of its kind in the field of Advaita philosophy.

 

Moksa or liberation according to Advaita is realization of identity between the individual self and the universal Sek the Brahman. Sankara rightly points out that it is becoming one with Brahman [Brahma bhavasca moksah]. The release is not something which is to be newly achieved. Release [Moksa] is the eternal nature of the Self. Only this Supreme fact remains unrealized because of nescience. This nescience is removable by right knowledge [Vijnananirasya]. Religious actions only purify one's mind and it is only right knowledge leads to realization of Atman or Self. Once this ignorance is removed, one is released from bondage. This release or this state is possible in this very embodied life. This is known as state of Jivanmukti-living liberation or liberation while living. Final release is obtained after the death of the body [Videhamukti]. This Jivanmukti concept which has basis in the Upanisads is systematically developed by the Advaita Vedantins. Possibility of living liberation is accepted by the Buddhists, Jainas and Advaita Vedantins in Indian philosophical field. In Buddhism the realized person in embodied state is called Arhat [in Hinayana] and Bodhisattva [in Mahayana], Kevali in Jainism and Jivanmukta in Advaita Vedanta. Jivanmuktiviveka of Vidyaranya is milestone in providing various proofs for the possibility of Jivanmukti and the life of Jivanmukta.

 

The author Dr. Vaishali Karnik, in this book, has done commendable job, giving brief survey of concept of Moksa in Indian philosophy and Pre-Sankara, Sankara and post-Sankara Advaita Vedanta up to Vidvaranva's period [Chapters. II-III]. The fourth chapter is dedicated to describe the life and Date of Vidyaranya along with vast literature produced by this great Advaita stalwart. Fifth chapter is very important one in which proofs for the possibility of Jivanmukti are discussed in detail. Sri Vidyaranya gives his own proofs, in addition, to support his views; he gives proofs found in Upanisads and writings of earlier Advaita Vedantins. In the sixth chapter author discusses about nature of Jivanmukti and Videhamukti given in the text. Means of Jivanmukti is discussed in chapter seven. Vidyaranya mentions threefold means of liberation while living viz., Vasanaksaya, Manonasa and Jnana. This is a unique contribution made by Vidyaranya to obtain Jivanmukti. This threefold means of liberation is not found in any other works of Advaita Vedanta. The learned author analysis all the three means of liberation in detail based on original text. Chapters eight and nine deal with purpose of attainment of Jivanmukti and the state of Jivanmukta called ParamaharilsaYogi, respectively. Chapter ten describes the concept of Moksa in Vaisnava Vedanta especially in Visistadvaita of Ramanuja and Dvaita of Madhvacarya, Vaisnava Vedantins accept only Videhamukti [Liberation after death] and reject possiblity of Jivanmukti [Liberation while living]. In the conclusion, the author authentically presents a comparative study of development of concept of Jivanmukti within the Advaita Vedanta, which is a praiseworthy attempt.

 

This book displays the author's scholarship and insight in the subject. The subject matter is systematically presented in a lucid manner. The subject matter of the book has its own significance in the field of Indian philosophy. This is certainly scholarly work on the subject and I have no hesitation in recommending this work to the readers and students of Philosophy.

Preface

 

Adi Sankaracarya, a great philosopher, a saint, a mystic, a religions reformer, a poet, a savant, a stiff and intrepid debater, has always fascinated me. His Advaita Vedanta is a system of great speculative daring and logical subtalty, His philosophy stands forth complete needing neither a before nor after. It has a self-justifying wholeness. He tried to bring back the age from the Puranas to the mystic truth of the Upanisad. The Advaita Vedanta alone, in the opinion of Sankara, could do justice to the truth of the conflicting creeds and so he wrote all his works with the one purpose of helping the individual to the realization of the identity of his soul with Brahman, which is the means of liberation, from the world. He was in the true sense Sankara i.e. bestower of happiness.

 

Sankara's mayawada, his concept of Brahman, illusoriness of the world, moksa and jivanmukti, all are unique in the real sense. The knower of Brahman i.e. a brahmavid is a jivanmukta. For him the world is a mirage in the desert. A jivanmukta (a soul liberated while living) is a living God on earth, an immortal among mortals, a perfect among imperfects.

 

Sankara's concept of jlvanmukti has been elaborately discussed in the "Jivanmuktiviveka" by Shri Vidyaranyaswami. Vidyaranya also was jivanmukta like Sankara. So I was fascinated by these two concepts and chose moksa and Jivanmukti for my research work. In no other religion we find these two concepts. My thesis entitled 'The concept of Moksa in Advaita Vedanta with special reference to 'Jivanmuktiviveka' of Shri Vidyaranyaswami' was writen under the able guidance of Prof. Dr. Y.S. Shastri, who is honoured as one of the best scholars in the world, and is the Director of the Dept. of Philosophy of Gujarat University. The thesis was submitted to Gujarat University and was approved for the degree of Ph.D.in 1998.

 

This work in the book form is slightly revised version. I express my deep sense of gratitude to my guide Prof. Dr. Y.S. Shastri, who helped and encouraged me in completing this work. I owe special thanks to my friend Dr. Mrs. Sunanda Shastri, because of whom my thesis could take the book form. I also owe thanks to my dear husband Sri Sunil and sons Chi. Samir and Chi. Himanshu.

 

Contents

 

 

Foreword

ix

 

Preface

xiii

 

PART-I

 

I.

Introduction

1-21

II.

Concept of Moksa in different schools of Indian Philosophy :

22-61

(i)

Carvaka

 

(ii)

Buddhism

 

(iii)

Jainism

 

(iv)

Nyaya-Vaisesika

 

(v)

Samkhya-Yoga

 

(vi)

Purva-Mimamsa

 

III

Concept of Moksa in :

62-96

(i)

Vaisnava Vedantins

 

(ii)

Saivas

 

(iii)

Saktas

 

(iv)

Prasthanatayi

 

IV.

Concept of Moksa according to Advaita- Vedanta (Uttara-Mimamsa)

97-127

(i)

Pre-Sankara Advaitins

 

(ii)

Sankara

 

(iii)

Post-Sankara (Pre-Vidyaranya) Advaitins

 

 

PART-II

 

V.

Shri Vidyaranyaswami his life, date and works

128-142

VI.

Traditional proofs in support of the possibility of Jivanmukti given in 'Jivanmuktiviveka '

143-149

VII.

Nature of Jivanmukti (Liberation while Lining) and Videhamukti (Liberation after Death)

150-158

VIII.

Means to Jivanmukti

159-181

(i)

Vasanaksaya (Annihilation of Impressions)

 

(ii)

Manonasa and

 

(iii)

Knowledge

 

IX.

Dissolution of Mind

182-194

X.

The Purpose of the attainment of Jivanmukti

195-202

XI.

A Person Liberated during life (A Jivanmukta)

203-208

 

Conclusion

209-215

 

Bibliography

216-220

 

Glossary

221-228

 

Index

229-240

 

Sample Page


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