Item Code: IDE384
by Svami TapasyanandaPaperback (Edition: 2003)
Sri Ramakrishna Math
Size: 8.2" X 5.3"
Pages: 397 (Color Illus: 4)
Weight of the Book: 390 gms
Price: $16.50 Shipping Free
Vedanta is generally identified with the system of Advaita associated with Sri Sankaracarya. To remove this wrong notion by providing information to the general reader about the lives and doctrines of the other Acaryas, who have an equal status as Teachers of Vedanta, is the object.
The personages treated in this book are Sri Ramanuja, Sri Nimbarka, Sri Vallabha, Sri Madhva and Sri Caitanya. While their theo-philosophies will be of special interest to philosophically minded readers, it should not be forgotten that their lives are of equal importance. For it is the support of their lives that gives more authority to their teachings than the philosophical writings of mere arm-chair philosophers. The frame-work of their lives are mainly historical, but most of the miraculous and extraordinary incidents included in them may largely be the projections of the pious imaginations of their followers. These too are to be respectfully received and not pooh-poohed as mere cock and bull stories. It is the way of the Indian mind to convey the idea that these Acaryas were endowed with power in them, their teachings could not have survived through so many centuries influencing the lives of innumerable generations of men.
The contents of this book are not the result of the study of, and researches into, the original literature of these schools in Sanskrit. It is based on authoritative books on them in English. Ramanuja's life is based entirely on the English translation of the Bengali work of Svami Ramakrsnananda, which is the only comprehensive work on the great Acarya's life available at present. The doctrinal portions are based on the writings of Prof. P. N. Srinivasacarya, especially his books entitled 'The Philosophy of Visistadvaita' and 'The Ethical Philosophy of the Gita'; the profound exposition of the subject by Dr. J. B. Carman in his book on 'The Theology of Ramanuja'; and the lucid explanation of the doctrine as restated by Vedanta Desika by Dr. S. M. Srinivasacarya in his book entitled 'The Fundamentals of Visistadvaita.'
The section of Nimbarka is based mainly on the thesis of Dr. J. N. Sinha entitled 'Philosophy of Nimbarka'.
For the account of Sri Vallabhacarya's life and teachings, the author is indebted to Bhai Manilal Parekh's comprehensive work 'Sri Vallabhacarya Life, Teachings and Movement', as also to Dr. (Mrs.) Mrdula J. Marfatia's research thesis 'Philosophy of Vallabhacarya'.
There was a great dearth of well-written English books on the realistic dualism of Sri Madhvacarya till recent times. This has been largely remedied by the learned writings of Dr. B. N. K. Sarma. The philosophical section in this book on that school is mostly based on the following books of Dr. B.N.K. Sarma: 'Philosophy of Sri Madhvacarya' Madhva's Teachings in his own Words', and his monumental in-depth and comparative study of the commentaries of the three great Acaryas Sankara, Ramanuja and Madhva. Besides, B. A. Krishnaswamy Rao's 'Outlines of the Philosophy of Sri Madhva, and Prof. K. T. Pandurangi's writings on the theme have been very helpful in the production of this book. The life of Sri Madhva is entirely based on an English translation of Narayana Pandita's 'Madhva-vijaya' in Sanskrit.
Regarding Sri Caitanya, his life is written on the basis of the information got from Jadunath Sirkar's translation of the classical Bengali work of Krisna Das Kaviraj, 'Caitanya-caritamrta'. The incidents of the early life of Caitanya at Navadvip have been largely gathered from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's abridged edition of Sisir Kumar Ghos's Bengali work 'Lord Gauranga'. The sad incidents connected with the disappearance of Sri Caitanya are taken from the brochure of Prof. Asok Chaterjee Sastri based on his researches. The section on the Acinty a Bheda-bheda Philosophy of this school is based mainly on the learned articles on the subject in the volumes of the 'Cultural Heritage of India' published by the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, as also on the expositions in the above mentioned books on Caitanya.
By the very nature of the book, which conveys only secondhand information on the themes, it is likely to have many errors from the points of view of specialists. It may also have several repetitions, as the back-ground philosophy, which necessitated the rise of these schools, is the same. The author craves the indulgence of the readers for these failings.
About the Book:
Generally Vedants is identified with the exposition of the system by Sri Sankaracarya and the followers of his tradition. An attempt is made in this book to treat in a brief compass the life and teachings of five other Acaryas who differ from Sankara and interpret Vedanta as essentially a system concerned with a God having infinite auspicious attributes, whose grace alone can give salvation to the Jivas involved in the cycle of births and deaths (Samsara). They are in no way less deserving recognition than Sri Sankara as Acaryas of Vedanta, as they all base their teachings on the three foundational texts of the system - the Upanisads, the Vedantasutras and the Bhagavad Gita.
The teaching of these five schools have mutual differences, just as they have common differences from that of Sri Sankara. The Vedanta may as a consequence appear as a plethora of contradictions. The drift of this book in its introduction is to show that it is not so in the light of the experiences of Ramakrishna Vivekananda.
About the Author:
Swami Tapasyananda (1904-1991) was a disciple at Swami Shivanandaji, Maharaj. One of the eminent disciples of Sri Ramakrishna. The Swami was a vice-president of the Ramakrishna Order from 1985 - 1991. He was an erudite scholar in Indian and Western Philosophy. He has to his credit many books in English, including the translations of many scriptures. His translation of Srimad Bhagavatam in four volumes has been highly acclaimed in intellectual and devotional circles.
|Key to Transliteration||vi|
|The Glory of Bhakti||viii|
|1.||Sri Ramanuja: Life||1|
|2.||Sri Ramanuja: Philosophy||31|
|4.||Sri Madhvacarya: Life||107|
|5.||Sri Madhvacarya: Philosophy||127|
|6.||Sri Vallabhacarya: Life||201|
|7.||Sri Vallabhacarya: Philosophy||215|
|8.||Sri Krsna Caitanya: Life||239|
|9.||Sri Krsna Caitanya: Philosophy||309|
|Appendix I: Ramakrsna and Relativity||342|
|Appendix II: Bhava-mukha||359|