About the Author
Dharmaraja Adhvarindra, the author of Vedanta paribhasa, appears to have lived in the seventeenth century A.D. He was a native of Kandramanikkam village of Tanjavur district in Tamil Nadiu. He wrote a nubber of works on Naya and Advaita Vedanta. In Nyaya, his works are Tarkacudamani, a subcommentary on Tatvacintamani of Gangesa Upadhyaya, a commentary on Nyayasiddhantadipa of Sasadhara, and Yuktisamgraha. The first of them has been published in part from Tirupati, while the other works are yet to appear in print. In Asvaita Vedanta, part from Vedanta-paribhasa, he had composed Padayojanika, a commentary on Pancapadika of Padmapada, of which a damaged copy was found in the temple Library of Tiruvidamarudur.
Professor Gopinath Bhattacharya (1903-1910), the eldest son of Professor Krishnachandra Bhattacharya, the noted philosopher, was one of the most illustrations teacher of philosophy in Bengal, who had inspired generations of brilliant students. He began his teaching career, as a teacher of philosophy in Bengal Educational Service, and having Rajsahi College and Krishnagar College, he become Head, Department of Philosophy at Presidency College, Calcuta. Afterwards, he was the Founder-Professor and Head, Department of Philosophy, Jadavpur University, and thereafter, be became Acharya B. N. Seal Professor of Philosophy at University of Calcutta. He has prepared English translation of Tarkasmgraha with Dipika along with elucidations, which was published in 1986. Essays in Analytic Philosophy, an anthology of his essays, was published in 1989. A considerable amount of his writings are yet to be published.
Professor Prabal Kumar Sen (1946-) has retired as Professor of Philosophy from University of Calcutta in 2011. He has edited Akhyatavada of Raghunatha Siromani with Akhyatavadavyakhya of Ramabhadra Sarvabhauma (1979) and Nyayasutra-s of Gautama with Nyayarahasya of Ramabhadra Sarvabhuma and Anviksikitattvavivarana of Janaklnatha Cudamani (2003). He has also translated into Bengali the Vakyarthacinta section of Nyayamaajari by Jayanta Bhatta 2008).
Professor Gopinath Bhattacharya. A person of far-ranging scholarship, thought deeply and incisively on a wide range of issues in both Western and Indian philosophies and many related subjects. However, he put down in writing a very small fraction of his thoughts, and published an even smaller part of it during his lifetime. Although more them two decades have passed since his demise in 1990, none of his unpublished works has appeared in print so far. The deadlock is being partially broken now, with the publication of his English translation and elucidation of Vedanta Paribhasa, an important text in Vedanta Philosophy.
Professor Bhattacharya started working on this book during the last few years of his life, when he was a National Fellow of the Indian Council for Philosophical Research. Progress has been slow, partly due to his gradually failing health, and partly because of his penchant for investigating various topics at the same time and enlightening others through verbal discourses, in spite of all impediments offered by age and ailment. As a result, it was found after his demise in 1990 that the work on Vedanta Paribhasa, which was not fully finished, required some editorial work before it could be made available to the academic community at large.
The work, studded with Professor Bhattacharya's characteristic insight, also reflects his conviction that the quintessence of philosophy lies in an analytical approach. He always referred to philosophy as 'the analysis of concepts', and looked upon philosophical analyses as efforts of the intellect, dissociated from religious or spiritual consideration. It was naturally a rather challenging task to make the final version of the unfinished book look consistent with his point of view. We are grateful beyond words to professor Prabal Kumar Sen for stepping in to edit and supplement this work, we new that the manuscript was in able and dedicated hands.
The publication of this book was the cherished dream of Indira Mukherjee, Professor Bhattacharya's elder saughter and the mother of one of us (BM(). Destiny gave us rude shock when she passed away before the publication of the book. We being her younger sister and son, respectively, find it impossible to dissociate this event from her memories. Keen interest in the whole effort was also shown over the years by Late Dr. Sudhish Kumar Mukherjee and Dr. Hillol Kumar Chakrbarti, the sons-in-law of Professor Bhattacharya. We gratefully acknowledge the support and assistance extended by Prof. Uma Chattopadhyay and the Department of Philosophy, University of Calcutta, in the process of publication of this book.
We end with the hope that the remaining mass of unpublished work by Professor Gopinath Bhattacharya, not al of which can now be located due to various reasons, will also see the light of the day, through efforts such as the one pioneered by Professor Prabal Kumar Sen.
The Vedantaparibhasa of Dharmaraja Adhvarindra contains the epistemological doctrines of Adanta, largely in accordance with the Vivarana school of interpretation provided by dance Prakasatma Yati in his Pancapadikavivarana (with is a subcommentary on Samkaracarya's Bhasya on the Brahmasutras). Due to brevity and lucidity, Vedantaparibhasa is studied throughout Indian as an important text of Advaita Vedanta. Many commentaries have been written on it, and i has also been translated into a number of languages, Till date, there have been, to the best of our knowledge, three translations of this work into English that have appeared in print, The first one of them, prepared by Arthur Venis, was printed serially in The Pundit during 1882-85; though it was never published in the form of a book. Two other translations appeared in 1942 – one by Swami Madhavananda, and the other by S.S. Suryanarayana Sastri. While all these translations provide brief occasional notes to selected portions of this text, none of them contains detailed explanations that would enable readers who are ignorant of Sanskrit (and cannot, therefore, go through any of the well-known commentaries on this work) to have a through understanding of this text. The translation of Vedantaparibhasa undertaken by Professor Gopinath Bhattacharya was justifiable expected to fulfil the requirements of such readers, but unfortunately, he expired before this work could be completed. Earlier, Prof. Bhattacharya had prepared an English translation of Tarkasamgraha of Annam Bhatta along with the autocommentary Dipka, where elucidations to all the translated passages were given. Upon its publication, it was received with much acclaim by the academic community. Had the present work been completed by Prof. Bhattacharya, it would have been equally beneficial to students of Advaita Vedanta; and it is really unfortunate that although Prof. Bhattacharya had prepared the translation of the entire Yedantaparibhasa, he could add elucidations to only 20 out of the 112 sections into which he had divided the text. The situation in which this incomplete work was handed over to me has already been stated in the Foreword. While accepting the responsibility of editing and supplementing this unfinished work, I was acutely aware of the difficulties that I would have to face in carrying out my job; because the elucidations added by me could hardly be expected to match those provided by my esteemed teacher, whose capacity for lucid and yet scholarly and insightful exposition of philosophical problems was almost legendary. I would request the readers to consider my editorial work simply as a means of humbly acknowledging my indebtedness to Prof. Bhattacharya; but for whose kind interest in my well-being, my education at the post-graduate level as well as my subsequent academic career might have been adversely affected.
It may kindly be noted here that apart from correcting the typing errors and adding appropriate diacritical marks as and when necessary, I have not tampered with the translation or elucidation prepared by Prof. Bhattacharya in any way. In cases where I felt that some additional information is called for, I have provided the same in the backnotes. All the portions added by me have been marked with asterisks, so that no lapses or shortcomings on my part are imputed to my respected teacher.
I had the good fortune of reading part of Yedantaparibhasd under the tutelage of Prof. Bhattacharya; while the rest of this book was taught to me by Pandit Paficanana SastrI Tarka-Sankhya-Vedantatirtha. Subsequently, I could also attend a series of lectures on the epistemology of Advaita Vedanta by Pandit Srimohana Tarka- Vedantatirtha, I have consulted mainly two Sanskrit commentaries on Vedantaparibhasa-(i) Paribhasasamgraha by Pandit Paficanana Sastri and (ii) Arthabodhini by Pandit Srimohana Tarka- Vedantatlrtha-while preparing the elucidations added by me; and I believe that the interpretations provided by these two veteran traditional scholars would have been admitted also by Prof. Bhattacharya, since all the three of them had studied Advaita Vedanta as students of Mahamahopadhyaya Yogendra-natha Tarka-Sankhya-Vedantatirtha, a renowned scholar of Indian Philosophy.
In the annotated English translation of Tarkasamgraha and Dipikii prepared by Prof. Bhattacharya, the original Sanskrit texts were printed in Roman alphabet with appropriate diacritical marks, and were also split sectionwise, along with translations and elucidations of the respective sections. While the typescript received by me contained the sectionwise split translation of Yeddntaparibhdsii, it did not contain the romanised version of the text, and there were also no diacritical marks in many of the Sanskrit words that were retained in the translation or elucidation. In order to print the present work in a format similar to that of Tarkasamgraha translated by Prof. Bhattacharya, the addition of the text as well as of the necessary diacritical marks was absolutely essential. Besides, the typescript, which was prepared with the help of a manual typewriter (some of whose letters were partially damaged) was quite old, and had become somewhat brittle; and the last few pages, due to the faintness of letters, had become almost illegible; whence a fresh translation of the passages concerned had become necessary. I, therefore, decided to arrange for a fresh typescript with the help of a computer, so that the necessary diacritical marks could be added, and the romanised text as well as the elucidations and translations prepared by me could be inserted at proper places. I had to combine this editorial work with my academic duties like taking a considerable number of classes, supervising dissertations, evaluating answer-scripts and so on. At each stage of this work, the typescript had to be checked for correcting typing errors, and the work could proceed only at a slow pace. The elucidations initially prepared by me had to be revised repeatedly, so that they could at least remotely resemble the elucidations prepared by Prof. Bhattacharya in terms of clarity and thoroughness. Since I cannot handle computers, I had to depend on Srn. Santwana Ghosh, who agreed to prepare the typescripts of the successive drafts given by me to her; but she had also to take care of some other equally important assignments at the same time. Serious illness also caused a long interruption in my work. The resultant delay in the preparation of the final typescript had a very unfortunate consequence. Srn. Indira Mukherjee, the elder daughter of Prof. Bhattacharya, was in poor health when she requested me to take up this work; and she expired even before the arrangement for publishing this book could be finalized. It is, therefore, with a heavy heart that I offer this book to the readers, to whom I have to apologise for another reason as well. Only the first part of this work containing translation and elucidation of Sections 1-51 is being published now, since the financial grant sanctioned by the University of Calcutta would have lapsed, if there were any further, delay in its publication. I hope that the remaining part of this work, along with a proper introduction, will be published in the near future.
It is now time that I express my gratitude to the persons who have been instrumental to the publication of this book. I am extremely grateful to Late Indira Mukherjee, Prof. Bhaswati Bhattacharya Chakrabarti and Prof. Biswarup Mukhopadhyaya for entrusting this work to me for editing and supplementation. Prof. Rupa Bandyopadhyay, Dr. Joy Bhattacharya and Sri Niranjan Saha have lent me a number of rare books from their personal collections. Prasun Kr. Chakraverti has gone through the elucidations prepared by me and suggested some corrections, while Vivekananda Bhattacharya has provided the photograph of a manuscript of the Vedantaparinbhasa for the cover. The library staff of Sanskrita Sahitya Parishad have been very helpful in providing me with a number of books required for this work. My erstwhile colleagues in the Department of Philosophy, University of Calcutta, have recommended that this book be published by University of Calcutta in collaboration with some renowned publisher; and Prof. Uma Chattopadhyaya has expedited the process that resulted in the necessary financial grant being kindly sanctioned by the Vice-Chancellor, University of Calcutta. Sm. Santwana Ghosh has prepared with patience and good humour the final typescript from messy handwritten drafts that contained numerous and corrections in the margins. The proprietors of Mahabodhi Book Agency have taken necessary steps for printing this book in an elegant format. I offer m sincere thanks to all these persons.
Rina, my wife, saw to it that I get that necessary time and seclusion for properly editing and supplementing the work of Prof. Bhattacharya, and she also constantly prodded me for completing the work as soon as possible. Without her active interest and cooperation, I could not have carried out this work. My relation with her prevents me from thanking her in a formal manner.
By the grace of god and blessings of my teachers I got this opportunity in writing a short prologue as the Acting Co-ordinator of UGC-SAP-DRS-Phase-I of Philosophy, University of Calcutta in relation to the publication programme of the Department. For the present publication, I am really honoured to write this introduction as a grand student of Professor Gopinath Bhattacharya.
The Department of Philosophy, University of Calcutta has been running its SAP-DRS-Phase I Programme on Epistemology, Ethics and Religion from 2007 onward. The publication programme is a part of this research programme. Since then, we have been publishing several antythologies on the thrust areas of Epistemology, Ethics and Religion on behalf of the Department of Philosophy, University of Calcutta. The translation programme is a significant part of the publication programme. We took the responsibility of translating very important philosophical texts.
We had a great opportunity in taking the responsibility of the publication of the translation and elucidation of an important text of Vedanta Philosophy, Vedanta Paribhasa of Dharmaraja Adharindra. The importance of the book lies on the fact that the thrust of the book is no both epistemology and metaphysics of Asvaita Vedanta philosophy. This book is an important text in many post-graduate Department of Philosophy in India. The English translation and elucidation was originally done by late Professor Gopinath Bhattacharya, formerly Brajendranath Seal Professor of Philosophy, University of Calcutta and the Founder-Head of the Department of Philosophy, Jadavur University. The Work was half done due to his ill health. It was completed by his disciple professor Prabal Kumar Sen, the retired Professor of the Department of Philosophy, University of Calcutta. This is really an opportunity that we are able to publish the translation an elucidation of the very important Sanskrit text by collaboration of our two former faculty who happened to be the teacher and student in the Department. Professor Sen has done a creditable job by successfully finishing the work of Professor Bhattacharya. We are really grateful to professor Sen for his valuable contribution.
In this regard, we got immense help and co-operation from Professor Bhaswati Chakraborty (Bhattacharya). Formerly Professor of the University of North Bengal and younger daughter of Professor Gopinath Bhattacharya. We are also indebted to Professor Biswarup Mukhopadhayay, senior Professor and Head, Regional Centre for Accelerator-based Particle physics, Harish-chandra Research Institute, Allahabad grandson of professor Gopinath Bhattacharya. They submitted the manuscript of Professor Gopinath Bhattacharya to the Department of Philosophy, University of Calcutta. It is precisely for them that we got this opportunity of publishing it as part of our translation Programme. We are really obliged and grateful to both Professor Bhaswati Chakrabotrty (Bhattacharya) and Professor Biswarup Mukhopadhyaya for their fruitful Assistance.
I am extremely glad to mention here that ever since the beginning of the SAP-DRS programme of Philosophy at the University of Calcutta and particularly in the crucial publication activity of the programme, We received huge support and encouragement from Professor Suranjan Das. Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calcutta. He indeed acted as our revered friend, philosopher and guide in this challenging task. We know that he always works for the progress of research and teaching in the University. We are extremely obliged to him for his constant support, encouragement and guidance.
I need to mention also that we received immense help from Professor Mamata Roy, Pro-Vice (Chanceller (B&F) and the staff of the Accounts Department and also got great co-operation from at the University of Calcutta. We are really obliged to them.
The co-operation that we received from the publication house of Maha Bhodhi Book Agency and particularly from Mr. Jaydewa Jayawardana is really praiseworthy. We are grateful to them for publishing the work.
I believe this book, the translation and elucidation of a legendary work, will be very useful to the scholars and student of Philosophy and related subjects in India and abroad for generations to come. On behalf of the Department of Philosophy, University of Calcutta and Pranam to my grand-teacher Professor Gopinath Bhattacharya, the legendary scholar of philosophy in the country, for doing the monumental work for the academic world.
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