Vaisnavism: Its Philosophy, Theology and Religious Discipline (Rare Book)

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Item Code: NAB465
Author: S.M. Srinivasa Chari
Language: English
Edition: 2017
ISBN: 9788120810983
Pages: 421
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.8" X 6.0"
Weight 650 gm
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Book Description

From the Jacket:

This is a scholarly book on one of the oldest living religions of India. Tracing the basic tenets of Vaisnavism to the hymns of Rgveda, the earliest religious literature of the world, the author has shown how an ancient cult has developed itself by successive stages into a well-formulated monotheistic system in the hands of Ramanuja and his illustrious followers. In the second part of the book the fundamental philosophical theories of Visistadvaita Vedanta are presented to prove that Vaisnavism is not a mere religious cult, but has a credible philosophic foundation. In the third part of the book the distinctive theological doctrines of Vaisnavism are discussed thoroughly on the basis of original sources. Among the basic doctrines covered are: Visnu as Supreme deity, Visnu as inseparably relate to goddess Sri, Visnu and His Attributes, Visnu and His Incarnations, Visnu as the supreme goal of life and Prapatti as the means of attaining Visnu. The religious discipline and ethical values which constitute an important feature of Vaisnavism are treated in the fourth part of the book. This volume makes available for the first time in English a comprehensive account of Vaisnavism. Students of comparative religion will find in this book a valuable source of authentic information.

About the Author:

S.M. Srinivasa Chari (b. 1919 Mysore) has a brilliant academic record. He is an M.A. in Philosophy of the University of Mysore and recipient of Ph.D. from the University of Madras. He is a Sanskrit scholar trained up by eminent traditional teachers. He was a Research Scholar at the University of Madras and a Fellow of Institute of Philosophy at Amalner in Maharashtra.

Dr. Chari joined the Ministry of Education, Government of India, after the completion of his university career. He retired in 1976 as Joint Educational Adviser.

Dr. Chari has traveled widely. He has participated in International conferences and seminars abroad and lectured at University centres on aspects of Indian Philosophy and religion. He is author of Fundamentals of Visistadvaita; Vaisnavism - Its Philosophy, Theology and Religious Discipline; Philosophy and Theistic Mysticism of the Alvars; Philosophy of the Vedantasutra.




1. Historical Development of Vaisnavism
Monotheism of Rgveda 3
Visnu in the Rgveda 7
Visnu in the Upanisads 13
Vaisnavism in the Agamas 14
Vaisnavism in the Ramayana and Mahabharata 17
Vaisnavism in the Puranas 18
Vaisnavism in the Tamil Hymns of Alvars 19
Inscriptional Evidence for Antiquity of Vaisnavism 21
Development of Vaisnavism by Nathamuni, Yamuna and Ramanuja 22
Development of Vaisnavism in the Post-Ramanuja Period 26
Development of Vaisnavism during the Period of Vedanta Desika and Pillailokacarya 27
Development of Vaisnavism in the Post-Desika Period 30
Development of other Schools of Vaisnavism 31
Sourcebooks for Vaisnavism 35
1 - 45
2. The Doctrine of Ultimate Reality
Definition of Ultimate Reality 49
Proof for Existence of Reality 50
Ultimate Reality as a Sentient Being 51
Brahman as Supreme Person 52
Brahman as God of Religion 53
Nature of Brahman 54
Brahman and Its Attributes 56
Brahman as the Ground of the Universe 58
Brahman as the Inner Controller of the Universe 58
Brahman as Sariri of the Universe 58
Brahman as Visista Reality 61
3. The Doctrine of Individual Self
Jiva as Eternal 67
Jiva as the Subject of Knowledge 68
Jiva as Self-luminous 70
Jiva as Anu 71
Jiva as Karta and Bhokta 72
Freedom of the Individual 74
Plurality of Jivas 75
Jiva as an Integral Part of Brahman 76
4. The Doctrine of Cosmic Matter
The Concept of Prakrti 83
Prakrti and the three Gunas 84
Evolution of Prakrti 85
Creation of the Universe 86
Material Cause of the Universe 88
Visistadvaita Theory of Material Causality 90
The Causal Relation of Universe to Brahman 93
Universe and Brahman 94
The Theory of Time 96
5. The Doctrine of Bhakti-Yoga
Meaning of the term Bhakti 99
The Concept of Bhakti in the Upanisads 100
The Concept of Bhakti Yoga in the Bhagavad-gita 103
The Theory of Karma-yoga 104
The Theory of Jnana-yoga 108
The Theory of Bhakti-yoga 111
Stages of Bhakti-yoga 114
6. The Doctrine of Moksa
The Concept of Moksa in the Upanisads 121
The Nature of Jiva in the State of Moksa 122
Equal Status of Jiva from Bondage 123
Equal Status of Jiva with Brahman 124
Divine Service in Moksa 126
7. Visnu as Supreme Being
Visnu as the Ultimate Reality 131
Identity of Visnu with Narayana, Vasudeva and Brahman 132
Visnu as Para-devata 135
Place of Visnu Among the Trinity of Gods 139
Criticisms Against the Theory of Supremacy of Visnu 141
Evaluation of Upanisadic Statements Supporting the Supremacy of Siva 143
Visnu and Brahma 150
8. Visnu and Goddess Sri
Meaning of terms Sri and Lamsmi 157
Doctrine of Goddess Sri 159
Views of Yamuna, Ramanuja and His Immediate Successors 160
Views on the Ontological Status of Sri in Post-Desika Period 164
The Theory of Sri as Subordinate Deity 165
The Theory of Sri as on Par with Visnu 166
Scriptural Support for the Theory of Sri as Vibhu 167
Unitary Character of Reality as Sriyah-pati 170
Other Theories Regarding Goddess 175
The Status of Bhu-devi and Nila-devi 176
157 - 183
9. Visnu and His Attributes
The Concept of Svarupa and Dharma 185
Essential Attributes 186
The Six Principal Attributes 187
Secondary Attributes 191
God and His Divine Body 199
Theological Justification for the Concept of Supreme Personal Being 200
10. Visnu and His Incarnations
Vedic Origin of the Concept of Avatara 207
The Philosophy of Avatara 208
Types of Avatara 212
Para Avatara 212
Vyuha Avatara 212
Vibhava Avatara 218
Arca Avatara 222
Justification for Idol Worship 223
Antaryami Avatara 226
11. Visnu and Nitya-Vibhuti
Definition of Nitya Vibhuti 233
Proof for Existence of Nitya-vibhuti 234
Nature of Nitya-vibhuti 235
The Concept of Paramapada 237
Immutable Character of Suddha-sattva 239
12. Visnu and Jiva
Types of Jiva 245
The Concept of Sesatva 247
Implications of the Concept of Nirupadhika-sesatva 247
Jiva as Visnu-dasa 249
The Concept of Bhagavata-sesatva 250
Freedom of the Soul 251
Bondage of the Soul and Its Removal 254
Obstacles for Attainment of Supreme Goal 257
13. Prapatti as a means of Attainment of Visnu
Meaning of the Term Prapatti 261
Antiquity of the Doctrine 262
Bhakti Versus Prapatti 264
Siddhopaya and Sadhyopaya 264
Conditions of Eligibility for Prapatti 268
Components of Prapatti 269
Meaning and Significance of Atma-niksepa 272
Types of Prapatti 274
Controversial Theories regarding Prapatti 275
Justification for Prapatti as Direct Means to Moksa 277
The Theory of Nirhetuka-krpa Versus Human Effort 278
14. Visnu as Supreme Goal of Life
The Concept of Moksa as Divine Service 287
Nature of Kainkarya in the State of Moksa 290
Nature of Paramapada 292
Spiritual Ascent to Paramapada 293
15. Religious Discipline of Vaisnavism
Role of Acarya in Vaisnavism 303
Qualification of an Ideal Acarya 304
Guru-Parampara in Vaisnavism 305
Sacraments in Vaisnavism 306
Daily Religious Duties of Vaisnavas 311
Kainkarya for Bhagavan 317
Kainkarya for Bhagavata 319
Other Types of Kainkarya 321
Vaisnava Dharma 322
Universal Character of Vaisnava Ethical Values 327
16. Conclusion 333-343
Glossary 345
Bibliography 365
Index 373

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