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वेदांतप्रक्रियाप्रत्यभिज्ञा: The Method of The Vedanta ( A Critical Account of the Advaita Tradition)

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The Method of the Vedanta Swami Satchidanandendra's major work represents the first large-scale critical history of Advaita Vedanta ever attempted. It seeks to establish a clear view of the traditional Advaita Vedanta based on the Upanishads, Brahma Sutras and Bhagavad Gita as systematised by Shankara and his close associates, unencumbered by the mass of conflicting theories developed by later writers of the school. Stripping back these layers of later interpretation, Swami...
The Method of the Vedanta

Swami Satchidanandendra's major work represents the first large-scale critical history of Advaita Vedanta ever attempted. It seeks to establish a clear view of the traditional Advaita Vedanta based on the Upanishads, Brahma Sutras and Bhagavad Gita as systematised by Shankara and his close associates, unencumbered by the mass of conflicting theories developed by later writers of the school. Stripping back these layers of later interpretation, Swami Satchidanandendra calls the reader back to Shankara, who never forgot that the ultimate purpose of all study and reflection is the attainment of immediate experience of one's own true nature as the 'Self of All'.

The Author

The author was born in the Karnatak in 1880, and assumed the name of Y. Subba Rau. He taught English in Bangalore as a householder till retirement in 1935. Initiated for the study of Shankara by the Jagadguru of Shringeri at about the age of 20, he devoted his life as layman and monk to the study and propagation of Shankara's interpretation of the Upanishads, in its theoretical and practical aspects.

He founded the Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya for this purpose, and published altogether 183 works in Sanskrit, Kannada and English, besides imnumerable articles. He always sought to penetrate behind the later commentators to Shankara's doctrine in its pure form, much in harmony with modern western scholarship.

Ordained a monk under the name Satchidanandendra Sarasvati in 1948, he poured forth works in old age with astonishing fertility. In 1964 he published at the age of 84 his greatest Sanskrit work, the Vedanta Prakriya Pratyabhijna, "here presented in English form. He lived on to produce many other works before his death in 1975.

The Translator

Dr. AJ. Alston was inspired to take up the study of Sanskrit and Vedanta by the late Hari Prasad Shastri. He was fortunate to receive training from Radhakrishnan and T.R.V. Murti. After a lifetime's study, he considers The Method of the Vedanta to be the finest work on Shankara ever written.

Foreword

There is a saying of those that know the tradition: That which cannot be expressed is expressed through false attribution and subsequent recantation.

Every argument has its origin in certain life-contexts, certain cultural situations. No argument starts in a vacuum because human beings are born in an already interpreted world. That world assumes a certain form of life, a form of life in which man is born and lives. Yet there is something amiss in every interpretation, some lack, some lapse, something missed and not grasped. Hence the urge to improve upon every received world view, every cultural disposition. We, sons and daughters of man are children of ontological disinheritance, we who live as perpetual displacements. This original penury we would undo through replacing one interpretation with another interpretation, one discourse with another discourse, one reality principle with another reality principle. The history of cultures is replete with such pathetic attempts. Myths gave place to theology, theology to philosophy, philosopher to science and, within each of these discourses, the less sophisticated interpretations to the more sophisticated ones. There is, as I said, something pathetic, even, I would say, tragic, about these attempts. For discoveries often turn into closures, triumphs into disasters, progress into decline. New world views often demand a heavy price in terms of practice and its decadence, even in terms of holocausts and suicidal wars. Our new world view may, sometimes one fears, end up in an unprecedented tragedy.

To repose faith in new interpretations and new discourses is to be insensitive to the enormity of our loss, to the impoverishment of our souls and the staleness of our world. It is to be asleep to the truth that we know neither ourselves, nor our world, nor the awesome majesty of the word that we so heedlessly reify into a mere utensil. Three fourths of man, say the Vedas, is lost to man and three fourths of the word. To find what he has lost of himself and of his speech, he has to give up the arrogant privilege he has appropriated for himself, the privilege of giving meaning to what is, of interpreting it in terms of concepts, received or fabricated. This, says the Vedantic tradition, is avidya, this what he would call a privilege. For all that he deems to be tragic and cursed flows from it, from this interpretive passion which resides in man as something more primordial than himself. This act of deprivileging himself he cannot accomplish through that of a leaping will, itself a child of avidya but through a sustained and careful analysis of his interpretations and, more importantly, through living the dispositions they imply. For we cannot, warns the true tradition of Vedanta, conclusively refute an interpretation in purely theoretical terms. Something in it survives all criticism, all refutation. One has to live the disposition implicit in a given interpretation to find it disown itself. Every interpretation is, to recant a little of what has been said above, redemptive, redemptive to the extent it can disown itself, find itself false. This it can but only if it is analysed in depth and lived in depth. We have to live the otherness of realism, the otherness that informs man's relationship with the world, the essential oneness that idealism has found in that relationship and the uncertainty that ambiguists reveal in it with an almost uncanny ruthlessness. One has to live this otherness, this oneness, this ambiguity to find its truth and the limitation of that truth. One has also to live as pure consciousness of Vedanta, consciousness unrelated to any object, to (see) it transform itself into what we mortals can only call reality or the ultimate truth of things. There is no interpretation that does not command our respect, and, equally, there is no interpretation that can demand our allegiance. For our allegiance is with Being and not with how man or his speech can grasp it.

There is a tendency in the scholastic and commentatorial tradition of Advaita Vedanta to confuse interpretation with truth, symbol with reality. This tradition often dogmatised the redemptive untruths of the Upanisads into truths absolute and tried to retain what it was supposed to discard or recant. The Method of the Vedanta highlights this tendency of this tradition with a remarkable depth and clarity. With the exception of the great masters of this tradition, masters like Caudapada, Sankara and SureSvara, our commentators have all but forgotten the true tradition, the tradition of false attribution and subsequent recantation, of adhyaropapavada. They did not know how to de-think their thoughts and unsay their theories.

The composition of the Vedanta-Prakriya-Pratyabhijna is indeed an important event in the long history of advaita scholarship and interpretation. The work succeeds, to a great extent, in dispelling so many misconceptions which the ingenuity of scholars, traditional as well as modem, has woven around the teachings of the Upanisads. Thinkers and only if it is analysed in depth and lived in depth. We have to live the otherness of realism, the otherness that informs man's relationship with the world, the essential oneness that ideal- ism has found in that relationship and the uncertainty that ambiguists reveal in it with an almost uncanny ruthlessness. One has to live this otherness, this oneness, this ambiguity to find its truth and the limitation of that truth. One has also to live as pure consciousness of Vedanta, consciousness unre- lated to any object, to (see) it transform itself into what we mortals can only call reality or the ultimate truth of things. There is no interpretation that does not command our respect, and, equally, there is no interpretation that can demand our allegiance. For our allegiance is with Being and not with how man or his speech can grasp it. There is a tendency in the scholastic and commentatorial tradition of Advaita Vedanta to confuse interpretation with truth, symbol with reality. This tradition often dogmatised the redemptive untruths of the Upanisads into truths absolute and tried to retain what it was supposed to discard or recant. The Method of the Vedanta highlights this tendency of this tradition with a remarkable depth and clarity. With the exception of the great masters of this tradition, masters like Caudapada, Sankara and SureSvara, our commentators have all but forgotten the true tradition, the tradition of false attribution and subsequent recantation, of adhyaropapavada. They did not know how to de-think their thoughts and unsay their theories.




Contents

FOREWORDv
TRANSLATOR'S PREFACExi
ACKNOWLEDGMENTSxiv
ABBREVIATIONSxv
SECTION HEADINGS xix
THE METIIOD OF THE VEDANTA1
SELECT INDEX OF CONCEPTS945
BIBLIOGRAPHY 971








Item Code: NAO557 Author: श्री सच्चिदानन्देन्द्र सरस्वती (Shri Satchidanandendra Saraswathi) & Translated By A.J. Alston Cover: Hardcover Edition: 2013 Publisher: Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya & Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd. ISBN: 9788120813588 Language: Sanskrit Text with English Translations Size: 9.5 inch X 5.5 inch Pages: 1533 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 2.6 kg
Price: $95.00
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