Life and Teachings of Adi Sankaracarya (Shankaracharya)

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Item Code: IDD138
Publisher: D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Author: P. George Victor
Language: English
Edition: 2008
ISBN: 8124601941, 9788124601945
Pages: 184
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.9" X 6.0"
Weight 440 gm
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Book Description

From the Jacket:

Vedanta is recognized as the leading philosophy of the Vedic tradition. A major proponent of Vedanta was Sankaracarya who laid the basis for the propagation of Vedanta before the beginning of the Middle Ages. His contribution has been so immense and significant that often Vedanta has been interpreted as synonymous with Advaita Vedanta of Sankara.

Here, Dr. George Victor attempts to study comprehensively Sankaracarya's teachings on Vedanta - his views on scripture, perception and inference as pramanas or standards of knowledges; his explanations of the relation between Brahman and atman, Brahman and Isvara, maya and the world; and his concepts of jnana marga, karma marga and moksa, among others.

The work takes a close look at the date of Sankara and his life and times before plunging into a penetrative study of Sankara's commentaries on the triple texts, the Upanisads, the Brahmasutra and the Bhagavad-Gita - the foundations of Vedantic thought. With constant references to Sankara's major and minor works and hymns, and using a simple language that reflects a unique clarity in understanding Sankara's philosophy, it also examines his methodology of philosophical interpretations and how academicians have estimated Sankara in the past.

Authored by a scholar who has for long been associated with research and teaching of Sankara's philosophy, the book will be of interest to scholars and students of Indian philosophy as well as general readers.

About the Author:

Prof. George Victor, a teacher of Sankara Vedanta and western philosophy, organized the 'First National Seminar on Teaching Philosophy' in India in 1998. He is the Editor for Andhra University Philosophical Studies Series and has some published works to his credit: Social Philosophy of Vedanta, Moral Science and Social Justice: New Hopes for a Changing India.

Currently he is Senior Professor of Philosophy and Director, Centre for Religious Studies, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam.




1. Introduction to Vedanta 1
  Study of Indian Literature 1
  What are Veda and Vedanta? 3
  The Triple Texts - Prasthanatrayi 4
  The Three Schools 6
  Advaita Vedanta and Indian Mind


2. Gaudapada, the Propounder 11
  The Mandukya Upanisad 12
  The Mandukya Karika 14
      Agama Prakarana (Chapter on Scripture) 14
      Vaitathya Prakarana (Chapter on unreality) 15
      Advaita Prakarana (Chapter on Non-Duality) 16
      Alatasanti Prakarana (Chapter on Cerssation of Burning Coal)


3. The Date of Sankaracarya 19
  The Indian Antiquary 19
      K.B. Pathak - The Source First Discovered 20
      K.T. Telang Rejects K.B. Pathak's Evidence 21
      Telang Rejects Max-Muller's Opinion 22
      Telang Proposes Different Date 23
      W. Logan's Account from Keralotpatti - Date known to Sankara's Native Land 26
      D.R. Bhandarkar Supports K.B. Pathak 27
      Narasimhachar Exchanges Views with Bhandarkar 28
      S.V. Venkateswaran Assigns Sankara to ninth century AD. 29


4. The Times of Sankaracarya 31
  Political and Social Conditions 32
  Religious Conditions


5. The Life of Sankaracarya 37
  Sources 38
  Life at Glance 39
  Encounter with an Outcast 40
  Religious Harmony and Travels


6. The Works of Sankaracarya 45
  Paul Hacker's Studies 46
  What is His Name? And Which is the Title 47
  Works Attributed to Sankaracarya


7. Sankaracarya on the Upanisads 53
  Yajnavalkya and Maitreyi Dialogue 53
      Text Summary 53
      Sankaracarya's Commentary 55
  Yajnavalkya and Gargi Dialogue 57
      Text Summary 57
        Yajnavalkya Answers the Questions 58
        Yajnavalkya Answers Gargi 59
      Sankaracarya's Commentary


8. Sankaracarya on the Bhagavad Gita 63
  Introduction 63
  Concepts of the Gita 64
      Lord Krsna 64
      Man 64
      Niskama-Karma-yoga 65
  Paths of the Gita 65
      Karma-yoga (The Discipline of Action) 65
      Jnana-yoga (The Discipline of Knowledge) 66
      Bhakti-yoga (The Discipline of Devotion) 66
      Yoga (The Discipline of Meditation) 66
  Ksetra and Ksetrajna 67
      Context 67
      Commentary 68
  Abandonment and Seeking the Lord as Shelter 72


9. Sankaracarya on the Brahma-sutra 77
  Badarayana 77
      Samanvaya (Reconciliation of different statements) 78
      Avirodha (Opponent's views criticized) 78
      Sadhana (Means) 79
      Phala (Fruit, Result) 79
  Superimposition (Adhyasa) 80
  The first Brahma Sutra 83
  The Second Brahma Sutra 85
  The Third Brahma Sutra 87
  The Fourth Brahma Sutra 88
  Scriptures are Essential 90
  Brahman-knowledge and Moksa 91
  Seeker of Brahman


10. Minor Works and Hymns of Sankaracarya 97
  Viveka-cudamani 98
  Upadesa-sahasri 101
  Atma-bodha 103
  Daksina-murti-stotra 106
  Sivananda-lahari 108


11. Teachings of Sankaracarya 113
  Scripture, Perception and Inference 113
  Brahman-atman 118
  Brahman and Isvara 119
  Maya and World 121
  Jnana Marga and Karma Marga
(Path of knowledge and path of Action)
  Vyavaharika-Satya and Paramarthika Satya
(Phenomenal Truth and Noumenal Truth)


12. Methodology of Sankaracarya 131
  Scripture as Standard (Sastra as Pramana) 131
  Writing Commentaries 134
  Missionary Travels 135
  Rejection of Opponent Views 135
  The Dualist 136


13. Social Philosophy of Sankaracarya 139
  Doctrine of Illusion (Maya-Vada) - Refuted 139
  Social Order 142


14. Interpretations on Sankaracarya 151
  Devotional Aspects 152
  Active Social Work


  Glossary 161
  Bibliography 165
  Index 169
Sample Pages

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