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Books > Hindu > The Naiskarmya Siddhi of Suresvara: A Monograph
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The Naiskarmya Siddhi of Suresvara: A Monograph
The Naiskarmya Siddhi of Suresvara: A Monograph
Description

From the Jacket

As a compendium of Advaita Philosophy. The Naisakarmyasiddhi touches on all the salient features of that system. Consisting partly of verse and partly of prose, it presents a clear, brief, and simple account of the Advaita doctrine. Its style is charming and Suresvara handles the philosophical arguments with ease. The central question that the book deals with is 'liberation from transmigratory existence and the means thereto'. Ignorance of the Self (Atman) is the cause of bondage and it can be removed only by right knowledge of the Self which is obtainable from sruti texts.

The Naiskarmyasiddhi consists of four chapters, the fourth being a summary of the first three. The first chapter deals primarily with 'action versus knowledge' as the means to liberation. The second chapter focuses on the distinction between the Self and the not Self. The third chapter discusses the locus and content of ignorance as well as subjecting the sruti Mahavakyas to a rigours analysis. Finally the concluding chapter summarises the first three chapters and quoted illustrative passages from the Upadesasahsri and Mandukyakarika in support of hat he has previously stated.

Grimes' book is an attempt to present a lucid account of the Naiskarmyadiddhi by grouping the dialectics from various parts of the work into topical sections. These topics consist mainly of : action (karma) versus knowledge (atman) and not-self (maya) and various interpretations concerning the Great Saying (mahavakya): aham Brahmasmi and tat tvamasi.

John Grimes earned his B. A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his Master's and Ph. D. degrees from the Radhakrishnan Institute for Advanced Study in Philosophy, University of Madras. His major area of specialization is Advaita Vedanta. His publications include: A concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy (State University o New York ; Oxford, and University of Madras), Sapta Vidha Anupapatti. The Seven Great Untenables (Motilal Banarasidass), Quest for Certainity. A Comparative Study of Heidegger and Sankara (Peter Lang) and An Advaita Vedanta Perspective of Loanguage. Implications for Religious Discourse (Indian Books Centre). At present Grimes is an Assistant Professor at the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridgei, Alberta, Canada.

Preface

The Advaita Vedanta sourcebook sampradya a (lineage) includes a class of independent expository works known as the siddhi-literature. These works differ from Advaita's primary source-books prasthana-traya) in that they set forth not only the essentials of Advaita but also present new facets by way of dialectics with other schools. Four works in this group have attracted more reknown than the others by virtue of their authoritative character as well as their polemics. These four are: Mandana's Brahmasiddhi, Suresvara's Naiskarmyasiddhi, Vimuk- tatman's lstasiddhi, and Madhusudana Sarasvati's Advaitasiddhi.

Advaita Vedanta tradition also acknowledges the Naiskarmyasiddhi for a second reason. As a com- pendium of Advaita philosophy, it touches on all the salient features of that system." Consisting partly of verse and partly of prose, it presents a clear, brief, and simple account of the Advaita doctrine. Its style is charming and Suresv ara handles the philosophical arguments with ease. The work is divided into 423 stanzas connected by a prose commentary and is divided into tour chapters (of roughly 100 stanzas each). As well, it is important to the Advaita tradition for two additional reasons First, it was written by Suresvara (who was allegedly a Mimamsaka before his conversion to Advaita). As a defence of Advaita doctrine against Mimamsaka doctrine, it is a classic. Second, Suresvara is known, respected, and honored in the Advaita tradition as part of the authoritative triumvirate: Vyasa, Sankara, and Suresvara. This gives him and his works an importance as an authority which cannot be overlooked or overvalued.

The central question that the book deals with is 'liberation from transmigratory existence and the means thereto'. Ignorance of the Self (Atman) is the cause f bondage and it can be removed only by right knowledge of the Self which is obtainable from sruti texts. The first chaper deals primarily with 'action versus knowledge' as the means to liberation. The second chaper focuses on the distinction between the Self and the not-Self. The third chapter discusses the locus and content of ignorance as well as subjecting the sruti mahavakyas to a rigorous analysis. Finally, the concluding chapter summarises the first three chapters and quotes illustrative passages from the Upadesasahasri and Mandukyakarika in support of what he has previously stated.

There are a number of translations of the Naiskarmyasiddhi: M. Hiriyanna's Naiskarmyasiddhi of Suresvara with the Candrika of Jnanottama, A.J. Alston's The Realization of the Absolute, R. Balasubramanian's The Naiskarmyasiddhi of Suresvara. This monograph differs from those in that it is an attempt to present a lucid account of Suresvara's work by grouping the dialectics from various parts of the work into topical sections.

CONTENTS
  Preface xi
I CHAPTER ONE-NAISKARMYASIDDHI  
I.i 'The Title "NAISKARMYASIDDHI" 1
I.ii Opening Prose Portion 2
I.iii The Essence of the Work 8
I.iv Main Purpose of the Work - verses 2-8 15
II CHAPTER TOW-KNOWLEDGE VERSUS ACTION  
II.i Introduction 25
II.ii Bhatta Mimamsa 31
II.iii Prabhakara Mimamsa 35
II.iv Argument by Reasoning 38
II.iv.1 Objection 38
II.v Argument by Authority 40
II.v.1 Objection 41
II.vi Argument by Scripture 42
II.vi.1 Objection 43
II.vii Nature of Scripture 45
II.vii.1 Objection 47
II.viii Advaita Vedanta's Rebuttal 52
II.ix Advaita Vedanta's Thesis 56
II.x Action Involves 'Doership' 64
II.xi Action is an aid to Liberation 66
III CHAPTER THREE-SAMUCCAYA  
III.i Introduction 71
III.ii Action is Primary 73
III.iii Action and Knowledge are Equal 73
III.iv A Knower's Relation to Action 74
III.v Grounds for Rejecting Conjunction of Action and Knowledge 76
III.vi Brahmadatta 77
III.vii Mandana 79
III.viii Role of Sadhana 81
IV. CHAPTER FOUR - NATURE OF THE SELF  
IV.i Introduction 83
IV.ii Scripture Only Means to Convey Knowledge of the Self 83
IV.ii.1 Scripture only means to convey knowledge of Self 83
IV.ii.2 Objection - Heard text yet not understood of Self 83
IV.ii.3 Reply - I 85
IV.ii.4 Objection - Heard text yet not understood - I 85
IV.ii.5 Reply - II 86
IV.ii.6 Objection - sruti not necessary 87
IV.ii.7 Reply 88
IV.iii Pramana (Valid Means of Knowledge) 88
IV.iii.1 Objection - Self not within scope of pramana 89
IV.iii.2 Reply 90
IV.iv Distinction Between the Self and not-Self -Inference 92
IV.iv.1 Body is the not-Self - Product of food 92
IV.iv.2 Body is the not-Self - Nature of food 92
IV.iv.3 Body is the not-Self - It ceases to be 93
IV.iv.4 Body is the not-Self - It is seen 94
IV.iv.5 Body is the not-Self - It does not persist 95
IV.v Distinction Between the Self and not-Self - Scripture 95
IV.v.1 Body is the not-Self - Chandogya Upanisad 95
IV.vi Discriminate Self from not-Self 96
IV.vi.1 Desire and aversion 96
IV.vi.2 Objection - Self is both Subject and object - I 98
IV.vi.3 Reply - I 98
IV.vi.4 Objection - Self is both subject and object - II 99
IV.vi.5 Reply - II 99
IV.vi.6 Reply - III 100
IV.vi.7 Reply - IV 103
IV.vi.8 Reply - V 103
IV.vi.9 Reply - VI 104
IV.vi.10 Objection - Self is both subject and object - III 104
IV.vi.11 Reply - III 105
IV.vi.12 The One and the many 107
IV.vii The Self 108
IV.vii.1 Self as saksin (witness) 108
IV.vii.2 Objection - Self is not unchanging 109
IV.vii.3 Reply - Sky and smoke 110
IV.vii.4 Reply - Boat and trees 110
IV.vii.5 Reply - Diamond 111
IV.vii.6 Reply - Advaita is not Sankhya 112
IV.vii.7 Why the mind is subject to change 113
IV.vii.8 Self is One 115
IV.vii.9 Nature of the Self 116
IV.vii.10 Why not-Self is not real 118
IV.viii Summary -Self and not-Self 119
V. CHAPTER FIVE-INTERPRETATION OF MAHA VAKYA  
V.i Introduction 121
V.ii Aham Brahmasmi 124
V.ii.1 Aham Brahmasmi - I 124
V.ii.2 Aham Brahmasmi -II 126
V.ii.3 Aham Brahmasmi - III 126
V.ii.4 Aham Brahmasmi - IV 127
V.iii Tat Tuam Asi 128
V.iii.1 Tat Tuam Asi - I 128
VI. CHAPTER SIX-SCRIPTURE  
VI.i Introduction 135
VI.ii Definition and scope 135
VI.iii Work (How sruti conveys knowledge) 139
VI.iv Relation (to other pramanas) 141
VI.v Relation of Scripture to Reason 143
VI.vi Status of Scripture 145
VII. CHAPTER SEVEN - THE LOCUS OF AVIDYA  
VII.i Introduction 149
VII.ii Key-concept 151
VII.iii Nature of avidya 152
VII.iv Locus of avidya - I 152
VII.v Locus of avidya - ii 157
VIII CHAPTER EIGHT - TRANSLITERATION OF THE NAISKARMYASIDDHI  
  Chapter One - Chapter Four 163-246

Sample Pages













The Naiskarmya Siddhi of Suresvara: A Monograph

Item Code:
IDI577
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
1992
ISBN:
8170303176
Language:
English
Size:
8.7"X 5.6
Pages:
260
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 420 gms
Price:
$22.50
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From the Jacket

As a compendium of Advaita Philosophy. The Naisakarmyasiddhi touches on all the salient features of that system. Consisting partly of verse and partly of prose, it presents a clear, brief, and simple account of the Advaita doctrine. Its style is charming and Suresvara handles the philosophical arguments with ease. The central question that the book deals with is 'liberation from transmigratory existence and the means thereto'. Ignorance of the Self (Atman) is the cause of bondage and it can be removed only by right knowledge of the Self which is obtainable from sruti texts.

The Naiskarmyasiddhi consists of four chapters, the fourth being a summary of the first three. The first chapter deals primarily with 'action versus knowledge' as the means to liberation. The second chapter focuses on the distinction between the Self and the not Self. The third chapter discusses the locus and content of ignorance as well as subjecting the sruti Mahavakyas to a rigours analysis. Finally the concluding chapter summarises the first three chapters and quoted illustrative passages from the Upadesasahsri and Mandukyakarika in support of hat he has previously stated.

Grimes' book is an attempt to present a lucid account of the Naiskarmyadiddhi by grouping the dialectics from various parts of the work into topical sections. These topics consist mainly of : action (karma) versus knowledge (atman) and not-self (maya) and various interpretations concerning the Great Saying (mahavakya): aham Brahmasmi and tat tvamasi.

John Grimes earned his B. A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his Master's and Ph. D. degrees from the Radhakrishnan Institute for Advanced Study in Philosophy, University of Madras. His major area of specialization is Advaita Vedanta. His publications include: A concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy (State University o New York ; Oxford, and University of Madras), Sapta Vidha Anupapatti. The Seven Great Untenables (Motilal Banarasidass), Quest for Certainity. A Comparative Study of Heidegger and Sankara (Peter Lang) and An Advaita Vedanta Perspective of Loanguage. Implications for Religious Discourse (Indian Books Centre). At present Grimes is an Assistant Professor at the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridgei, Alberta, Canada.

Preface

The Advaita Vedanta sourcebook sampradya a (lineage) includes a class of independent expository works known as the siddhi-literature. These works differ from Advaita's primary source-books prasthana-traya) in that they set forth not only the essentials of Advaita but also present new facets by way of dialectics with other schools. Four works in this group have attracted more reknown than the others by virtue of their authoritative character as well as their polemics. These four are: Mandana's Brahmasiddhi, Suresvara's Naiskarmyasiddhi, Vimuk- tatman's lstasiddhi, and Madhusudana Sarasvati's Advaitasiddhi.

Advaita Vedanta tradition also acknowledges the Naiskarmyasiddhi for a second reason. As a com- pendium of Advaita philosophy, it touches on all the salient features of that system." Consisting partly of verse and partly of prose, it presents a clear, brief, and simple account of the Advaita doctrine. Its style is charming and Suresv ara handles the philosophical arguments with ease. The work is divided into 423 stanzas connected by a prose commentary and is divided into tour chapters (of roughly 100 stanzas each). As well, it is important to the Advaita tradition for two additional reasons First, it was written by Suresvara (who was allegedly a Mimamsaka before his conversion to Advaita). As a defence of Advaita doctrine against Mimamsaka doctrine, it is a classic. Second, Suresvara is known, respected, and honored in the Advaita tradition as part of the authoritative triumvirate: Vyasa, Sankara, and Suresvara. This gives him and his works an importance as an authority which cannot be overlooked or overvalued.

The central question that the book deals with is 'liberation from transmigratory existence and the means thereto'. Ignorance of the Self (Atman) is the cause f bondage and it can be removed only by right knowledge of the Self which is obtainable from sruti texts. The first chaper deals primarily with 'action versus knowledge' as the means to liberation. The second chaper focuses on the distinction between the Self and the not-Self. The third chapter discusses the locus and content of ignorance as well as subjecting the sruti mahavakyas to a rigorous analysis. Finally, the concluding chapter summarises the first three chapters and quotes illustrative passages from the Upadesasahasri and Mandukyakarika in support of what he has previously stated.

There are a number of translations of the Naiskarmyasiddhi: M. Hiriyanna's Naiskarmyasiddhi of Suresvara with the Candrika of Jnanottama, A.J. Alston's The Realization of the Absolute, R. Balasubramanian's The Naiskarmyasiddhi of Suresvara. This monograph differs from those in that it is an attempt to present a lucid account of Suresvara's work by grouping the dialectics from various parts of the work into topical sections.

CONTENTS
  Preface xi
I CHAPTER ONE-NAISKARMYASIDDHI  
I.i 'The Title "NAISKARMYASIDDHI" 1
I.ii Opening Prose Portion 2
I.iii The Essence of the Work 8
I.iv Main Purpose of the Work - verses 2-8 15
II CHAPTER TOW-KNOWLEDGE VERSUS ACTION  
II.i Introduction 25
II.ii Bhatta Mimamsa 31
II.iii Prabhakara Mimamsa 35
II.iv Argument by Reasoning 38
II.iv.1 Objection 38
II.v Argument by Authority 40
II.v.1 Objection 41
II.vi Argument by Scripture 42
II.vi.1 Objection 43
II.vii Nature of Scripture 45
II.vii.1 Objection 47
II.viii Advaita Vedanta's Rebuttal 52
II.ix Advaita Vedanta's Thesis 56
II.x Action Involves 'Doership' 64
II.xi Action is an aid to Liberation 66
III CHAPTER THREE-SAMUCCAYA  
III.i Introduction 71
III.ii Action is Primary 73
III.iii Action and Knowledge are Equal 73
III.iv A Knower's Relation to Action 74
III.v Grounds for Rejecting Conjunction of Action and Knowledge 76
III.vi Brahmadatta 77
III.vii Mandana 79
III.viii Role of Sadhana 81
IV. CHAPTER FOUR - NATURE OF THE SELF  
IV.i Introduction 83
IV.ii Scripture Only Means to Convey Knowledge of the Self 83
IV.ii.1 Scripture only means to convey knowledge of Self 83
IV.ii.2 Objection - Heard text yet not understood of Self 83
IV.ii.3 Reply - I 85
IV.ii.4 Objection - Heard text yet not understood - I 85
IV.ii.5 Reply - II 86
IV.ii.6 Objection - sruti not necessary 87
IV.ii.7 Reply 88
IV.iii Pramana (Valid Means of Knowledge) 88
IV.iii.1 Objection - Self not within scope of pramana 89
IV.iii.2 Reply 90
IV.iv Distinction Between the Self and not-Self -Inference 92
IV.iv.1 Body is the not-Self - Product of food 92
IV.iv.2 Body is the not-Self - Nature of food 92
IV.iv.3 Body is the not-Self - It ceases to be 93
IV.iv.4 Body is the not-Self - It is seen 94
IV.iv.5 Body is the not-Self - It does not persist 95
IV.v Distinction Between the Self and not-Self - Scripture 95
IV.v.1 Body is the not-Self - Chandogya Upanisad 95
IV.vi Discriminate Self from not-Self 96
IV.vi.1 Desire and aversion 96
IV.vi.2 Objection - Self is both Subject and object - I 98
IV.vi.3 Reply - I 98
IV.vi.4 Objection - Self is both subject and object - II 99
IV.vi.5 Reply - II 99
IV.vi.6 Reply - III 100
IV.vi.7 Reply - IV 103
IV.vi.8 Reply - V 103
IV.vi.9 Reply - VI 104
IV.vi.10 Objection - Self is both subject and object - III 104
IV.vi.11 Reply - III 105
IV.vi.12 The One and the many 107
IV.vii The Self 108
IV.vii.1 Self as saksin (witness) 108
IV.vii.2 Objection - Self is not unchanging 109
IV.vii.3 Reply - Sky and smoke 110
IV.vii.4 Reply - Boat and trees 110
IV.vii.5 Reply - Diamond 111
IV.vii.6 Reply - Advaita is not Sankhya 112
IV.vii.7 Why the mind is subject to change 113
IV.vii.8 Self is One 115
IV.vii.9 Nature of the Self 116
IV.vii.10 Why not-Self is not real 118
IV.viii Summary -Self and not-Self 119
V. CHAPTER FIVE-INTERPRETATION OF MAHA VAKYA  
V.i Introduction 121
V.ii Aham Brahmasmi 124
V.ii.1 Aham Brahmasmi - I 124
V.ii.2 Aham Brahmasmi -II 126
V.ii.3 Aham Brahmasmi - III 126
V.ii.4 Aham Brahmasmi - IV 127
V.iii Tat Tuam Asi 128
V.iii.1 Tat Tuam Asi - I 128
VI. CHAPTER SIX-SCRIPTURE  
VI.i Introduction 135
VI.ii Definition and scope 135
VI.iii Work (How sruti conveys knowledge) 139
VI.iv Relation (to other pramanas) 141
VI.v Relation of Scripture to Reason 143
VI.vi Status of Scripture 145
VII. CHAPTER SEVEN - THE LOCUS OF AVIDYA  
VII.i Introduction 149
VII.ii Key-concept 151
VII.iii Nature of avidya 152
VII.iv Locus of avidya - I 152
VII.v Locus of avidya - ii 157
VIII CHAPTER EIGHT - TRANSLITERATION OF THE NAISKARMYASIDDHI  
  Chapter One - Chapter Four 163-246

Sample Pages













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