From the Jacket:
Samgraha primarily means a collection but here it signifies a compendium or brief exposition in a critical manner as well as in a synthetical character. The compendium that deals with the sixteen philosophical systems current in the fourteenth century in the South of India, is the Sarvadarsana-samgraha. The work is the first attempt of its kind ever made in Sanskrit to expose all the then extant philosophical systems in India as lucidly and as scholarly as possible. It is an interesting specimen of Indian critical ability. With singular stroke of genius, Madhavacarya ransacked all possible sources ranging from the Vedas down to his contemporaries to make his work as representative as possible. In a language which is both precise and forceful, he reorganized the materials and marshaled into a logical hierarchy to lead ultimately to absolute monism, the Vedanta point of view. Hence, the systems here form a gradually ascending scale, the first, the Carvaka and Buddha, being the lowest as the furthest removed from the Vedanta, and the last, the Samkhya and Yoga, being the highest as approaching most nearly to it.
The sixteen systems here discussed attracted to their study the noblest mind in India throughout the medieval period of history. We can still catch some faint echo of the din as we read the medieval literature.
Thus, the Sarvadarsana-samgraha occupies a very significant place in the philosophical literature.
The present edition of the Sarvadarsana-samgraha is a compilation. It is now for the first time the Sarvadarsana-samgraha with its English translation and transliteration altogether is brought to light. It is hoped that it will be received well by all the students and scholars interested in Indian Philosophy.
About the Author:
M.M. Agrawal is Professor in Sanskrit at University of Delhi. He is an author of many books and has contributed several papers and articles in India and abroad. Some of his outstanding books are 'The Philosophy of Nimbarka' (awarded by Sanskrit Sahitya Parisad, Calcutta), 'Bhavaprakasana of Saradatanaya' (awarded Visesa Puraskara by Sanskrit Academy, Lucknow), 'Essence of Vaisnavism' (Sophia Indological Series No. 5), 'Aspects of Indian Philosophy', 'Srimadbhagavadgita' with the commentary Gudharthadipika of Madhusudana Sarasvati (in two Vols.), 'Brahmasutra-nimbarka-bhasya' with three commentaries, viz. Vedanta-Kaustubha, Vedanta-Kaustubhaprabha, and Bhavadipika (in four Vols.), and Six systems of Indian Philosophy.
A History of Indian Philosophy is never attempted, as
the absence of chronological data, the complete
indifference of the ancient Indian towards personal
histories, the break in tradition and the biased
orthodox colouring of interpretation - which instead
of a help often proves a hindrance, are some of the
main reasons. The most that is achieved is the
grouping of systems by reasons of their similarities,
and accounts of contending views based on the
desire to prove by this means the superiority of
some doctrine or other. The common view of six
systems, grouped in pairs, Nyaya and Vaisesika,
Samkhya and Yoga, and Mimamsa and Vedanta, and
treated as Astika. because they accept the Veda as
authoritative, is certainly not early, though a sketch
of these six is found in Siddharsi 's
Upamitibhavaprapanca-katha (A.D.436). Haribhadra's
Saddarsana-samuccaya (A.D. 478) deals with
Buddhist views, Nyaya, Samkhya, Vaisesika and
Jaiminlya as well as Jain metaphysics, and very
shortly with the Carvaka views, - thus suggesting
that the number six was traditional but not rigidly
fixed in significance. In the Sarvadarsanasiddhanta-
samgraha, which is erroneously ascribed to Sankara
(A.D. 788 to A.D. 820), we find accounts of the
Carvaka, the Jain system, the Buddhist schools
Sautrantikas, Vaibhasikas, Madhyamikas, and Y ogacaras
-Nyaya, Vaisesika, Mimamsa - according to
Kumarila and Prabhakara Samkhya, Patanjali,
Vedavyasa, that is the Mahabharata, and Vedanta.
Later probably is the well-known Sarvadarsana >
samgraha of Madhavacarya (A.D. 1302)4, which deals
with the systems arranged from the point of view
of relative error.
THE SARVADARSANA-SAMGRAHA OF MADHAVARYA
About the year 1330 A.D., the brothers Bukka
and Harihara founded the city of Vijayanagar
which is also called by poets Vidyanagar.
Madhavacarya, who became the head of Srngeri
Matha in 1329 A.D. under the name of Vidyaranya",
was their minister. He was almost the founder of
the kingdom of Vijayanagar. Kings Bukka and
Harihara were his favourite disciples whom he was
helping with his counsel in the administration. So he
was called 'Karnataka-simhasana-sthapancarya With
the advent of the Empire of Vijayanagar came a
revival of Sanskrit literature in South India. At the
instance of Bukka, a commission of learned men
was constituted under Madhava Vidyaranya and
Sayana to collect, comment and preserve all works
bearing on the Vedic religion. It is not surprising
therefore, that Sayana-Madhava contributed a lot to
the Vedic religion during this period. His works on
philosophy are well-known for enumeration.
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