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Sankara (The Man and His Philosophy)
Sankara (The Man and His Philosophy)
Description
Back of the Book

This booklet briefly describes how Advaita philosophy is a logical culmination of the thought process which began a long time ago and of which one gets an idea in the Vedas. The main concepts of this philosophy have found expression for the first time in a systematic manner in the Gaudapadakarikas. Sankara coming in the same line of thinkers, polished and chiselled these concepts of Gaudapada grounding them on a sure philosophical -footing by commenting on the prasthanatrayi. Sankara thus laid the methodology for all future Vedanta acaryas who had to comment on the prasthanatrayi for recognition of their school of thought.

The booklet also attempts a brief outline of Sankara's life history based on tradition. Sankara is not only the iiciirya par excellence of the advaita thought but is also considered to be , the author of a number of bhakti compositions. The apparent contradiction in allowing bhakti or devotion to a personal God while propagating an uncompromising path of knowledge (jnanamiirga) for liberation has been explained on the basis of Sankara's philosophy itself.

Whether advaita discounts the value of worldly existenceis also examined from the standpoint of Sankara's own life. Sankara himself in his personal life, upheld the highest values of truth and integrity and Sankara's own life reinforces the idea that advaita in no way makes an individual other-worldly and. disinterested In the day-to-day affairs of the world

Currently the Principal of Miranda House, University College for Women, University of Delhi, Delhi, DR T.S. RUKMANI is the author of the four volume work on Vijfianabhiksu's Yogavarttika and A Critical Study of the Bhiigavata Purana. She is also the Editor of Religious Consciousness and Life Worlds, containing the proceedings of a seminar at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. Dr Rukmani is a regular contributor. to well known Indological Journals both in India and abroad.

Foreword

The Indian Institute of Advanced Study from its very inception in 1965 encouraged its Fellows to interact among themselves and with outside scholars through weekly seminars. By now, consequently, about two hundred contributions have been made. Some of the papers discussed in these seminars were published by the Institute as 'occasional papers' in the early years of its activity. This publication programme was dis- continued till it was revived in 1984.

Dr T.S. Rukmani's Sahkara: The Man and His Philosophy is being published in the 'occasional papers' series in the hope that it will be of interest to the general reader as well as the specialist.

Preface

The fortnightly seminars at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (lIAS) where a fellow presents a working paper which is followed by a lively discussion is something one looks forward to. The discussion is invariably enriching and rewarding.

This paper on Sankara was also first presented as a working paper at one of these seminars. One takes for granted that Sankara and advaita is something which is part and parcel of the Indian ethos. I was in for a rude shock when it was apparent that beyond a vague notion of Sankara being the propounder of the advaita philosophy there was not much understanding of the rigorous logic which compelled Sankara to conclude that 'Truth' can only be one without a second, i.e., Advaita. This made me try and state the Advaita concepts in a manner which would be intelligible to those who are interested in Advaita philosophy. I do hope that this small work will help those who have no time to go into Sankara's intricate thinking, given in voluminous works like the Brahmasutrabhasya, understand the basic points of Advaita. For me it has been a unique experience summarising the philosophy of this stalwart amongst Indian thinkers. It was made possible because of my fellowship at the lIAS for which I am indeed thankful.

Sankara (The Man and His Philosophy)

Item Code:
NAE717
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
1991
ISBN:
8185425337
Language:
English
Size:
8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
Pages:
36
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 65 gms
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Back of the Book

This booklet briefly describes how Advaita philosophy is a logical culmination of the thought process which began a long time ago and of which one gets an idea in the Vedas. The main concepts of this philosophy have found expression for the first time in a systematic manner in the Gaudapadakarikas. Sankara coming in the same line of thinkers, polished and chiselled these concepts of Gaudapada grounding them on a sure philosophical -footing by commenting on the prasthanatrayi. Sankara thus laid the methodology for all future Vedanta acaryas who had to comment on the prasthanatrayi for recognition of their school of thought.

The booklet also attempts a brief outline of Sankara's life history based on tradition. Sankara is not only the iiciirya par excellence of the advaita thought but is also considered to be , the author of a number of bhakti compositions. The apparent contradiction in allowing bhakti or devotion to a personal God while propagating an uncompromising path of knowledge (jnanamiirga) for liberation has been explained on the basis of Sankara's philosophy itself.

Whether advaita discounts the value of worldly existenceis also examined from the standpoint of Sankara's own life. Sankara himself in his personal life, upheld the highest values of truth and integrity and Sankara's own life reinforces the idea that advaita in no way makes an individual other-worldly and. disinterested In the day-to-day affairs of the world

Currently the Principal of Miranda House, University College for Women, University of Delhi, Delhi, DR T.S. RUKMANI is the author of the four volume work on Vijfianabhiksu's Yogavarttika and A Critical Study of the Bhiigavata Purana. She is also the Editor of Religious Consciousness and Life Worlds, containing the proceedings of a seminar at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. Dr Rukmani is a regular contributor. to well known Indological Journals both in India and abroad.

Foreword

The Indian Institute of Advanced Study from its very inception in 1965 encouraged its Fellows to interact among themselves and with outside scholars through weekly seminars. By now, consequently, about two hundred contributions have been made. Some of the papers discussed in these seminars were published by the Institute as 'occasional papers' in the early years of its activity. This publication programme was dis- continued till it was revived in 1984.

Dr T.S. Rukmani's Sahkara: The Man and His Philosophy is being published in the 'occasional papers' series in the hope that it will be of interest to the general reader as well as the specialist.

Preface

The fortnightly seminars at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (lIAS) where a fellow presents a working paper which is followed by a lively discussion is something one looks forward to. The discussion is invariably enriching and rewarding.

This paper on Sankara was also first presented as a working paper at one of these seminars. One takes for granted that Sankara and advaita is something which is part and parcel of the Indian ethos. I was in for a rude shock when it was apparent that beyond a vague notion of Sankara being the propounder of the advaita philosophy there was not much understanding of the rigorous logic which compelled Sankara to conclude that 'Truth' can only be one without a second, i.e., Advaita. This made me try and state the Advaita concepts in a manner which would be intelligible to those who are interested in Advaita philosophy. I do hope that this small work will help those who have no time to go into Sankara's intricate thinking, given in voluminous works like the Brahmasutrabhasya, understand the basic points of Advaita. For me it has been a unique experience summarising the philosophy of this stalwart amongst Indian thinkers. It was made possible because of my fellowship at the lIAS for which I am indeed thankful.

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