This book is the culmination of studies carried on under Professor D. Friedman of the University of London, Yogendra Nath Tarkatirtha and Satkari Mukherji.
The book is divided into four chapters.
The book mainly deals with the Adhyasa theory of Sankara. Adhyasa is explained as the false suprimposition of Atman on Anatman and vice versa.
The technical words 'Maya' and Avidya are used in the Vedanta philosophy to explain Adhyasa (S uperimposition) which is mithya (False).
The author has tried to trace the development of these two words in the vedanta and other Indian philosophies. There is a striking similarity between the theory of the Mahayana Buddhism and the philoiophy of Sankara regarding the concept of Maya.
The adhyasa theory has led to the concept of the vivarta vada.
In the opinion of the author, Vivarta vada can be traced to Bhartrihari the language philosopher who existed in 691 A. 0.
Mrs. Aditi De passed her matriculation (1941) 8. Intermediate (1943) examinations from the Calcutta University with distinction. After her graduation, she studied the Vedanta philosophy under the guidance of illustrious teachers like Professor Yogendranath Tarkatirtha and Professor Satkari Mukherjee and obtained the Degree of M. A. with a gold medal. In 1954 she joined the school of Oriental and African studies of the University of London and was awarded, the degree of M.A. in 1956. In 1981 she obtained the degree of D. Litt. from the Patna University. She has many research papers to her credit and has participated in National and International Conferences.
Mrs. De joined the Patna University in 1951 and is working as Head of the Department of Sanskrit.
The subject of the book has been arranged from the Vedantic point of view. I have also tried to study the subject from the angle of Mahayana Buddhism also.
When I was studying Vedanta at the Calcutta University, Dr. Satkori Mukherji then head of the Dept. of Sanskrit, Calcutta University and Mahamahopadhya Shri Yogendra Nath Tarka Tirtha asked me to delve deep into the problems of Sankara Vedanta. Dr. D. Friedmann, Head of the Dept. of Indian Philosophy at the London School of Oriental Studies suggested to me that it would be profitable to study Buddhist philosophy and to pinpoint the similarity between the problems of Sankara and Mahayana Buddhism. In this book I have expressed the views of both oriental and occidental teachers and I wish to express my gratitude to them.
This book is dedicated to the memory of my dear mother ‘Sreemati Mahamaya Sarkar', who encouraged me in my Vedanta studies. My husband the late Dr. S. C. De, though a scholar of Mathematics, corrected the text of my book and helped me immensely in other ways in the preparation of this book.
According to Vedantic cosmology, Brahman is both the efficient and the material cause of the universe-the cause of creation, preservation and dissolution. As no desire or action can be attributed to the Absolute or Pure Spirit, Vedanta points to the Saguna Brahman or Personal God as the Cause of the universe. Through association with Maya, Brahman as stated before, appears as Saguna Brahman, endowed with such activities as creation, preservation and dissolution, and also with such attributes as omniscience, omnipotence, and lordship. Since Maya has no existence independently of Brahman, the Saguna Brahman and the attribute less Absolute are in reality, not different. Only when explaining the creation does the Vedantist postulate Maya and the Saguna Brahman.
Brahman uses Maya, which belongs to it as the material to create the universe. Thus Brahman is the material cause of the universe. It is as a conscious entity that Brahman is the efficient cause. Thus it is both the material and the efficient cause, the ultimate cause. To give an example, the spider uses its silk, which belongs to it, as the material to spin its web. Thus the spider is the material cause. It is as a conscious entity that the spider is the efficient cause. The spider needs nothing else to spin its web. Likewise Brahman, both the material and the efficient cause of the universe, does not need any other external element to create.' The word 'cause' is not used here in its ordinary sense. Brahman is simply the unrelated subtraction or ground of the universe. No causal relationship as generally understood, can exist between Brahman and the physical universe of names and forms.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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