From the Book
It has been my humble aspiration all along my life to complete this long-cherished task of making this sacred store-house of spiritual knowledge, Sri Siddhanta Sikhamani, the crest-jewel of all doctrines, harmonizing the concepts of duality and non-duality in the broadest vista of the cosmic sport of Siva, known to the world at large in English so that majority of the seekers of spiritual truth can understand. I made a beginning in this direction as a young and immature Lecturer in Sanskrit at the Basaveshwara College, Bagalkot, in Karnataka, in 1968, by preparing an abridged edition of Sri Siddhanta Sikhamani under the name Sri Renukagita and trying my hand at translation and notes in English. The introduction, translation and notes required much improvement as I realized later when I read that book which was published through the Jnana Guru Vidyapitha, Saddharma Simhasana Pitha, Ujjain (District: Bellary, Karnataka). Even that humble effort was appreciated and all the Pithacaryas encouraged me all along. It is that encouragement that gave me the wings to soar higher in the firmament of Virasaiva Siddhanta. The study of Vedic Samhitas (especially the Rudradhyaya of the Yajurveda) and Upanisads provided me the academic strength to apply myself to the study of Sri Siddhanta Sikhamani. I could strongly feel that the claim of the sacred text that “Veda-siddhantayoraikyam ekartha-pratipadanat” (S.S., 5.13) was conclusively borne out. The statement “alokya saivatantrani kamikadyani sadaram; vatulantani saivani purana-nyakhilani tu” (S.S., 1.25) reverberated in my mind and made me to pursue the studies of Saivagamas and available portions of Saiva Purarnas. Srimat Kasi Jagadguruji gave a gracious opportunity to me by making me the chairman of the editorial committee of the Virasaiva Anusandhana Samsthan, Bangalore, practically giving me full scope in pursuing my studies in the field of Saivagamas and bringing out the Saivagamas with Kannada translation and notes under my editorship.
The greatest gracious favour done to me by Sri Jagadguruji lies in directing me to translate Sri Siddhanta Sikhamani into English. This revived my interest in the task. This has turned out to be a “Seven Years’ Plan” due to my busy engagement as a social worker and an academician with assignments in various Universities. The delay is regretted at the feet of Sri Jagadguruji. So far as my work is concerned, the delay has been a gain in experience and thinking. I could make inroads into the vast field of study. This has resulted in the richness of material in the introduction and notes and ripeness in translation. I am astonished at the richness of the material of the Vedas, Upanisads, Agamas and puranas that is behind the doctrine of one-hundred and one sthalas so systematically and convincingly delineated in Sri Siddhanta Sikhamani. With great delight and gratification I place this work before the scholars and numerous other readers and seek their kind acceptance of this effort with an open heart.
I submit myself to the sacred feet of His Holiness the Jagadguru Kasi Jnanasimhanadhisvara Dr. Chandrasekhara Sivacarya Mahasvamiji with “Sastangapranamas” for the opportunity given to me. I offer “Pranamas” to the Jagadgurus of the Pancapithas for their encouragement at all levels. I thank my student Dr. C. Shivakumaraswamy for his valuable help in bringing out this work. He has been always there with me whenever I felt like discussing something or the other with him in order to refresh my mind and pursue my work with increased mental energy. I am grateful to Dr. G.C. Kendadamath who has taken great pains to see this work through the press. I am also thankful to Sri Satish, Sri Rajanis, Smt. Vinutha and Smt. Anjana belonging to the family of Gayathri Prints for their neat work and especially for their immense patience in putting up with this long-drawn “Seven Years’ Plan”. Last, but not the least, I thank M/s. Mittal Offset, Sundarpur, Varanasi - 221005 for their neat printing and binding work.
About the Author
Dr. M. Sivakumara Swamy is one of the bright luminaries of the Sanskrit field. A versatile scholar in Sanskrit, Kannada, English and Hindi, he started his career as a Sanskrit Lecturer at Basaveshwara College, Bagalkot (Karnatak) in 1959. Joining the P.G. Department of Sanskrit, Bangalore University, Bangalore, as a Lecturer in Sanskrit, in 1970, he rose by dint of sheet merit to the eminence of Professor and Chairman of the same Department in 1979. as a teacher for nearly four decades (1959-1998) he has not only taught generations of students but moulded them into disciplined teachers of Sanskrit literature. He had been a member of the academic bodies of Bangalore University and other prestigious universities of our country. He also served as a member of the Central Sanskrit Board, Grant-in-aid Committee and Examination Board of Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi, Academic Committee of the Institute of Advanced Studies at Simla and Visista Parisad (Senate) of Sri Lal Bahadur Shastri Central Sanskrit Vidyapitha, New Delhi. He guided successfully 18 students for Ph.D. and 20 students for M.Phil. He has published 25 research papers and nearly 25 books of which Vedabharati, Paniniyam Vaidika Vyakaranam, Samskrita Sahitya Samikse, Abhinava Paniniyam, Sad-darsana Samuccaya of Hariabhadrasuri, Sri Renuka Gita (an abridged edition of S.S. with English translation), Sri Siddhantasikhamani: A Study, Saivagamas: A Study, Post-Jagannatha Alankarasastra, are some. He is a recipient of the Rastrapati for Sanskrit in 2004.
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