From the Jacket
Sarvadarsanasamgraha ascribed to Madhavacarya was translated into English by E.B. Cowell and A.E. Gough; The last section dealing with Smkaradarsana which was not included there has now been translated by Klaus K. Klostermaier, and is being published here with the original texts. Ananthalal Thakur has shown that the real author was Cennu Bhatta, one of the Pandits in the court of Madhava.
The Sarvadarsanasamgraha, ascribed to Madhava,
deals with the different systems of philosophy in India,
and has been very popular. The last section deals with
Samkara s system. E.B. Cowell and A,E. Gough
translated the text (except the last section) into English
(London, 1892, 1894). An English translation of the
last chapter by Klaus K. Klostermaier is being
In an article published in ALB (vol. 25, 524-38)
'Canni Bhatta and the authorship of the Sarvadarsana-
samgraha' Professor Ananthalal Thakur has shown
that the Sarvadarsanasamgraha, though ascribed to
Madhava, is really the work of Canni Bhatta (Cinna
Bhatta or Cennu Bhatta), a younger contemporary of
Madhava and Sayana and son of Sarvajiiavisnu who
was also the teacher of Sayana, and Madhava. Cannu
Bhatta is the author of Prakasika commentary on the
Tarkabhasa of Kesava Misra (BORI, 1937), and the
Vivarana commentary on Varadaraja's Tarkikaraksa-
sarasamgraha. This Canna Bhatta was one of the many
Pandits in the court of Madhava, and rose to the
position of Rajapandita.
In the Vivarana, at the conclusion of the Anumana
section he says that, 'positive and negative coexistence
indubitably establishes invariable concomitance when
corroborative arguments come to their aid'. He adds
that this has been established in his own Sarvadarsana-
anukulatarkasanathayor anvayavyatirekayor avina-
bhavaniscayakatvam sarvadarsanasamgrahe ' smabhir
upapaditam iti tata evavadhatavyam. (V. p.l56)
The attribution of Sarvadarsanasamgraha of
Cannu Bhatta to Madhava may be explained on the
ground that the work was written under the patronage
of Madhava, and at his instance.
In the introduction to this English Translation Dr.
Klostermaier has taken the generally accepted view that
Madhavacarya is the author of the work. But now we
have definite evidence to show that Cennu Bhatta is
the author (see Ananthalal Thakur's paper in the ALB,
vol. 25). The translation is based on the BORI edition
of the text, keeping the line numbers to enable the
readers to check with the original without difficulty.
Professor Thangaswami Sarma who helped the
translator in understanding the text was available in the
Library for consultation wherever necessary. The
English Translation was published in the ALB, 1997. It
is reprinted in this volume. The Sanskrit text published
as an appendix retains the original number of the BORI
E.B. Cowell and A.E. Gough, in their often reprinted
translation of the Sarvadarsanasamgraha (SDS)
concluded their work after the fifteenth chapter
(Patanjaladarsanam) with the remark that the author
had dealt with the Advaita system in another of his
works and had thus left it out from the SDS.2 Vasudev
Shastri Abhyankar, whose Sanskrit text of the SDS has
become the most widely used edition, includes a
sixteenth chapter dealing with the Samkaradarsanam.
Doubts as regards the authenticity of Ch. XVI have
been expressed. Internal as well as external reasons can
be found to accept it as the work of the author of the
SDS. I agree with Hajime Nakamura" that this chapter
'is closely and consistently linked up with the
preceding chapters' and that 'the idioms and the style
of this chapter are similar to those of the preceding
chapters'. There are frequent (implicit) cross-references
to former chapters (especially in the polemics against
Samkhya and Mimamsa) and it makes use of sources
drawn upon before.
Considering the structure of the SDS it makes
eminent sense to crown the polemics against all other
systems with a statement on Advaita Vedanta, from
whose vantage point the critique was undertaken, even
if systems were eliminated with the arguments of
systems other than Advaita. Chap. XVI offers a
critique of all the major systems no longer from the
standpoint of another (objectionable) system but from
the 'ultimate' standpoint of the only true system
Finally, following a cue in the Mangalasloka
(v. 4), where Madhava describes his work as a garland
of variegated flowers, keeping in mind that garlands
normally contain multiples of 8, does it not make
better sense to have 16 (2 x 8) than 15 chapters ?
The SDS has been commonly ascribed to Madhava,
A.D. 1296-1386, the author of the Vivaranaprameya-
samgraha, the Jivanmuktiviveka, the Pancadasi, the
commentary on the Parasarasmrti and some other
works. The identity of Sayana Madhava and
Vidyaranya Bharatitirtha has been widely discussed.
This is not the place to enter into the ongoing debate
about the person and the life work of the author of the
SDS. P.V. Kane' and R. Thangaswami have ably
summarized the literature and have confirmed the
The teachings of Madhavacarya have been
expounded in a masterful way by T.M.P. Mahadevan.
The part of the SDS whose translation follows does not
substantially add to, or change, this account.
The SDS has attracted the attention of scholars
ever since its text was rediscovered: its conciseness
and its completeness as well as the method it employed
gave it a unique character. Since the early pioneers
made their translation of it, much work has been done.
Better manuscripts of the SDS were found, individual
texts of the many systems dealt with in the SDS were
published and translated and several of the chapters of
the SDS were freshly translated.
All translators of the SDS have commented on its
difficulty. The style is terse and sometimes elliptic.
The great number of works referred to or quoted
from-frequently exhibiting considerable textual
differences vis-a-vis the editions which we
possess-and the rapid changes from objection to
argument to counter-objection etc. tend to obfuscate the
line of thought.
In preparing the present translation I have had the
good fortune of expert advice and help.
Sri R. Thangaswami, Reader in Sanskrit, University of
Madras, went with me through the text while I was on
sabbatical leave from the University of Manitoba and
was associated as visiting Professor with the
S. Radhakrishnan Institute for the Advanced Study of
Philosophy at the University of Madras.
Pandit Thangaswami's mastery of Sanskrit and his
intimate knowledge of the Sastra-s made this an
educational experience for me. Back home in
Manitoba, I had the advantage of being able to revise
parts of my translation with the help of Dr. T. R. V.
Murti (Benares) and Dr. R. Balasubramaniam
(Madras), who, on a' visit to some Canadian univer-
sities, spent- some time here. I have to thank them for
many improvements and corrections. I take full
responsibility for the shortcomings of this first
V.S. Abhyankar was able to trace a fairly large
number of quotations in the Samkaradarsana chapter.
H. Nakamura added quite a few to these. I have been
able to track down a few more while admitting defeat
in about a dozen cases.
In translating this chapter I have found V.S.
Abhyankar's Sanskrit commentary to his edition helpful
and have also made use of Professor Shankar Sharma's
Hindi paraphrase. The line number in the translation
refers to that of the Sanskrit text in BORI edition.
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend