The Metaphysics and The Mysticism of Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi (An Old and Rare Book)

Item Code: NAI145
Author: Dr. Basavaraj P. Siddhashrama
Publisher: Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, Tirupati
Language: English
Edition: 1992
Pages: 328
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
Weight 290 gm
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Book Description

About the Book


Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi was a great thinker and an exponent of Advaita Philosophy from Karnataka. He was a unique personality who contributed to many fields. He was a distinguished poet, a pioneer encyclopaedist, a gifted musicologist, a great music composer, a rare mystic and philosopher-saint. He is compared with Upanishadic sages for his vision and originality in his philosophical exposition.


This book details as a synthesis both the Metaphysical and Mystical views of Shri Nijaguna Shivayi5gi in a scholarly manner. A comprehensive review of his major works have been offered along with life and times of Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi, The book offers an insight into the Metaphysical expositions of the Advaita of Shri Nijaguna Shivaydgi by covering such concepts as Brahman, Iswara, Atman, Maya, World, Jiva, Jivanmukti etc. besides comparatively evaluating Shri Nijaguna's Advaita with Shri Sarikara. The book also throws light on the Social Concern of a Jivanmukta. As an outstanding philosopher of mysticism Shri Nijaguna's distinct and original contributions to the Indian Mysticism has been elucidated in the context of mystical traditions of both East and West.


About the Author


Dr. B.P. Siddhashrama is a graduate of Karnataka University and a post-graduate from Mysore University. As an academician he holds the distinction of earning two Doctorates, one in philosophy and the another one in Sanskrit-Darshana. He has taught at the Universities of Mysore and Bangalore (since 1976) both at Graduate and Post-Graduate level. He commands respect as a teacher and researcher in philosophy.


He has numerous research publications and books to his credit. His research book in Kannada on "The Philosophy Of Jivanmukti Viveka of Shri Vidyaranya: A critical study" has received the critical acclaim as one of the "finest research work of the century in Kannada philosophical literature". Another book, "Thus spake Ambigara Chowdayya" has won Veerasaiva award as best contribution to Veerasaiva literature. He has published over 20 major research papers and monographs in many National and International philosophical Journals and Forums. He has' travelled widely both in India and Abroad, and delivered Lectures in many Indian and American Universities and intellectual forums. He is actively associated with many Educational, Social, Professional and Spiritual bodies.




Sri Nijaguna Shivayogi. who nourished sometime between 1250-1655 A.D .. is a well . known scholar and mystic of Karnataka, who authored eight works. R.D. Ranade considered him to be a "great philosopher mystic."


In this work Dr. B.P. Siddhashrama has given a clear and quite detailed exposition of Nijaguna Shivayogi's thinking. In fixing this Yogi's time and giving an account of his life. he has been critical and objective. while in presenting his ideas he has been analytical. Moreover. he has tried to highlight what he believes to be the Yogi's "contributions" to "traditional Advaita."


Dr. Siddhashrama paints out that Nijaguna Shivayogi (i) elaborated the Svarupalakshana of Ultimate Reality. (ii) classified Iswara's functions in a five fold manner. (iii) asserted Sarvatmavada to be superior to Vivartaand Dristisristivadas (iv) synthesised the Avaccheda. Pratibimba and Abhasa -vadas, and (v) postulated an avastha even beyond Turiya. We learn that this Yogi thought Shambhulinga (as he calls the Absolute) was beyond even this avastha, analysed sravana and nididhyasana in his own peculiar way. and conceived jivanmukti in a way which. according to this author showed greater social concern. There may be no unanimity that all this refined Advaita into a more impregnable system than before.


I appreciate Dr. Siddhashrama's -efforts for critically introducting Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi to the Philosophical fraternity. I hope this book will make Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi's views more wellknown.




A galaxy of philosophers have contributed for the enrichment of Advaita Philosophy in India more so by South Indian philosophers. The philosophical heritage of Karnataka can take pride in one of its all time great philosopher-mystic's intellectual strides-Le. Shri Nijaguna Shrvayogi. He was a great thinker who has not only enriched the tradition of Advalta Philosophy, but also has exhibited a rare originality and fulfillment. He is unique in the sense that he is also a distinguished, pioneering Encyclopaedist, a great Kannada Poet, a gifted Musicologist, Music Composer, above all a Spiritual Soul.


Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi unfortunately has not been very well exposed to the outside world although he is a shining star in Kannada literary and philosophical horizons. The present work of Dr. B.P. Siddhashramaon Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi entitled "The Metaphysics and the Mysticism of Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi" is an outstanding effort in unveiling the mask on Shri Nijaguna's Philosophical Wisdom and Mystical Encounters. Scholars are familiar with the literary greatness of Shri Nijaguna but unfortunately his philosophical greatness is completely eclipsed by his literary genius. Dr. B.P. Siddhashrama has made a pioneering effort to bring to light and evalute the philosophical and Mystical greatness of this great Kannada Philosopher-Saint. Scholars who are well acquainted with the basic works of Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi have expressed their difficulty in analysing the cryptic rhetoric of Nijaguna. Added to this, it is all the more impossible a task for anyone to systematically arrange the thought process of Shri Nijaguna. His Complex, Poetic, Metaphysical and Mystical experiences are a challenge for our comprehension.


Although there are some references to Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi as part of Veerasaiva literature in Kannada, so far there is not a single work on Nijaguna which merits philosophical attention in the entire range of Indian philosophical literature. It is surprising to note that there is not a single work even in Kannada about Nijaguna's philosophical and mystical contributions. Or. B.P. Siddhashrama has done a very commendable and invaluable contribution to the Indian Philosophical literature by analysing the philosophical vision of this great Kannada Philosopher and by offering an insight into the great mystical depth of Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi.


The synthesis of Shri Nijaguna's Advaita arguments in respect of Ultimate Reality, the World, Maya, Jiva, Jivanmukti. and Avasthas bear the stamp of a very high level philosophical mind not found in many established Advaita philosophers. Or. Siddhashrama has demonstrated brilliantly and logically Nijaguna's Advaitic advancements over Sankara.


The complex personality of Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi finds its ultimate fruition in Mystical domain. It is not unusual for great philosophers of India to be involved with the mystical experiences. However, very few mystics from South India have been properly, philosophically explored. Shri Nijaguna is considered to be a very great mystic whose mystical experiences could be rated as the profound contribution to the philosophy of mysticism itself not only in India but in the whole world. His innumerable works indicate more mystical insights than the conventional mystical moorings enlisted by Philosophers.


Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi goes even beyond the four major forms of mysticism as enlisted by the Mystics the world over. Nijaguna's uniqueness is best brought out in the fact that he is the first Indian Mystic to have identified as many as 22 Yogas in his different philosophical works for the attainment of Mystical trance or Samadhi. And his adoption of the Patafijala Astangayoga to the Advaitic mystical practices is a path breaking innovation not only in the Yoga but also in the entire spectrum of Advaitic mystical lore. The traditional Indian mystics have recognised only two forms of Samadhi whereas Nijaguna has expounded Six forms of Samadhi as part of the final state of Mystical Ascent which is a distinct and unique contribution.


The merit of Dr. Siddhashrama's work lies in that he has chosen to appropriately analyse the Philosophico Mystical thought of Sri Nijaguna Shivayogi in the general Advaitic context for the first time. In this process he has also demonstrated the fact that the conception of Philosophy in Indian tradition is broad enough to justify the unity of philosophy and religion. Hindu Philosophy is in search of the ultimate, the principle of principles , on the basis of Axiological preference and Ontological priority.


Philosophical Truth is not determined by the consistency of some system with an accepted body of scripture, instead one must look for consistency between Philosophical system and human experience as well as self-consistency within the system itself. Given the profound Metaphysical, Epistemological and Mystical tnstghts found in his thought. few today, will doubt Shri Nijaguna's unique and seminal contribution to the world's philosophical enquiry. The task of referring to the original works of Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi and systematically building a philosophical and mystical exposition is not an ordinary task given the complex poetical idiom of Shri Nijaguna, Dr. Siddhashrama deserves full appreciation for his painstaking, arduous, intellectual efforts and perceptible-research with precision. This work is highly readable as it is written in' a jargon free style clarifying the fundamental concepts with philosophical precision. Or. Siddhaashrama has evaluated the Philosophico Mystical tradition of this renowned philosopher to the expectations of rigorous philosophical scholarship. This book fills the long felt gap in mystical thought and the religious history not only of Karnataka but also of Indian philosophical tradition in general. It is a highly reliable study about a very great Mystic-Saint of karnataka and a distinguished Indian philosopher who heralded a new age of philosophical renaissance and regeneration.


I recommend this book which merits the attention of scholars and students and this will prove to be an indispensable tool for every worker the vineyard of philosophy.




The present volume is the outcome of my research and study for over two decades. Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi is a great Philosopher. Mystic and Saint from Karnataka who is well known but Philosophically unexplored. My work. hence. attempts to introduce this great Saint of India to the philosophic community of the world. I have divided this book into two major parts. namely. in Part one I have offered (i) a comprehensive discussion of all aspects of the Philosophy of Shri Nijaguna Shivay6gi and (ill a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the Advaita of Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi in comparison with Sarikaracharya and the Second Part comprises a detailed discussion of Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi's multi-faceted mystical ideas in the context of comparative mystical traditions of the world. That apart, I have also discussed the problems put forth by the contemporary philosophers along with the solutions offered by Shri Nijaguna with regard to the concept of Jivanmukti and Social Concern. I have made a sincere effort for the first time to analyse meticulously the contributions made by Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi to the universal philosophical literature of mysticism in general and to the Advaita philosophy in particular.


In reality. the philosophical language of Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi is complex and poetic. Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi's mastery over Sanskrit texts and his philosophical lineage and encounters are difficult for analysis and interpretation as expounded in his works. I was highly helped by my elder brother and Guru Shri Shanthamuni Swamy, a devout Scholar of Nijaguna Shivayogi, I am highly indebted to him for his constant guidance, inspiration and encouragement throughout my study. I wish to acknowledge our beloved Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. K. Hanumanthappa for his Philosophical interest in my research and encouragement. I am also equally indebted to my senior colleague Dr. G.A. Jalihal for his whole hearted support. guidance and encouragement. I am highly obliged to the esteemed scholars Prof. Dr. K. Satchidananda Murthy. Prof. Dr. R.C. Hiremath and Prof. Dr. T.S. Devadoss for having blessed me with their profound Foreward. Prologue and Introduction respectively. I am also grateful to Dr. B.D. Jatti. Prof. Dr. C. Ramatah, Prof. Dr. J.P. Shukla and Prof. Dr. G. Srinivasan for their invaluable reflections on my work and encouragement.


I wish to record the hearty support extended to me by my friend and former Ph.D. Student Dr. K. Puttaraju, Chairman and Dean. Faculty of Communication, Bangalore University. in the publication of this book. I also wish to record my thanks to my other Ph.D. Research students Ms. Tabassum Hameed, Kiran RN. Murthy T.H. P. Ramanna, my friends Prof. B.P. Mahesh Chandra Guru, Kalmesh Malligwad and M.N. Katti for their assistance in proof-reading. I express my sincere gratitude to Sri S.G. Mysoremath and Sri Krishna Reddy. former Syndicate members. Prof. Dr. M. Shivakumara Swamy the former Dean. Faculty of Arts and Prof. Dr. V.B. Coutinho, the former Controller, Bangalore. university for their kind help in the course of my Research and Study. I remember with gratitude my parents Sri Parasappa and Smt. Nagamma, my brothers Sri Mahadeva Swamy and Dr. C.P. Siddhashrama. my Sanskrit Teacher Sri Prabhananda Pandit. my father-in-law Sri. J.M. Sunagar my friends RV. Vtswesh and T. Eswara for their timely help. My special thanks to my beloved wife Smt. Sumitra Siddhashrama for her constant support.


I thank Sri Basavaraj Jigalur of Anubhava Printers and Sri Raghuram Shenoy of 'akshar graphics' for their excellent printing work. I also thank Sri R Suri for his artistic cover page.

















Section one






Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi’s Life and Times



The Works of Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi: A Perspective



Section Two



The Metaphysics of Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi



Conception of Ultimate Reality



Conception of Maya



Conception of World



The Conception of Jiva



Jiva’s Bondage and Release



Section Three



Comparative Evaluation of Shri Nijaguna and Shri Sankara



A Comparative Study of the Advaita of Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi and the Advaita of Shri Sankaracharya



Section Four



The Mysticism of Shri Nijaguna Shivayogi



Nature and Characteristics of Mysticism in General



The Forms of Mysticism



Aspects of shri Nijaguna Shivayogi’s Mysticism



Social Concern of the Jivanmukta



Section Five






The Summing Up



Some Reflection on the Book



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