ISBN 9788121501620,The Heritage Of Sankara

The Heritage Of Sankara

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ISBN 9788121501620
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ISBN 9788121501620

Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt Ltd

Publication Year 1982

ISBN 9788121501620

ISBN-10 8121501628

Hard Back

Edition 2nd
Number of Pages 258 Pages
Language (English)


This work is a study in Comparative Philosophy and Indian Metaphysics. Its starting-point is an inquiry into the validity of a charge against the heritage of Sankara-the charge that Sankara is a crypto-Buddhist. For giving the lie to this indictment of Sankara's heritage, the author has disentangled the essentials of Advaitism from the principles that determine the constitution of the Buddhist Absolute, in the traditions of Vijnana and Sunya. Possible evidences, in favour of the misconceived equation of Advayavada with the Vedantic Non-dualism, have been considered, and disposed of. A full-fledged account of the legacy of Gaudapada, and a still fuller account of Sankara, is most of the relevant aspects, justifies the title of this essay. A lively and brisk delineation of the symbolic usage of language in the Advaitavada of Sankara and his followers, helps in a considerable manner to distinguish the Advaitic heritage from the dialectic-centred philosophy of the Madhyamikas, and the unreflecting monism of some schools of Vedanta. The author has brought out very clearly the mature and status of the Dialectic in the Advaitic system of thought. Without identifying Advaitism with Buddhist Absolutism, he is prone to thinking that the dialectic of the Buddhists is a necessary link in the development of Indian philosophical disputation, they have, by their logical acumen, successfully reconstructed in theoretic consciousness, a Vision of the Absolute, only broadly indicated by Sankara. But apart from dispelling certain erroneous notions about the Advaitic heritage, of which Sankara is the architect, the author presents a delectably plausible diagnosis of the present-day allergy to metaphysics and metaphysical thinking. And he uses the Philosophy of Language itself, for showing a way out of the contemporary whirl-pool of anti-metaphysical bias. Yet, more remarkable than all this, is the way in which he attempts to stratify, ideologically, the different trends of Indian philosophical thought, and knit them together in an architectonical unity, the keystone of which is the Value-oriented Advaita. This value is Freedom. Its formulations in different systems of Indian Philosophy, are supported on different logics, built in different metaphysical moulds. They portray, in varying degrees of clarity and distinctness, the negation of the object-seeking attitude-a negation, which finds its ideal fulfillment, not in the replacement of one object by another, gross or subtle, but in the transcendence of the attitude itself, which alone is Freedom. Finally and convincingly too the author shows how this Advaita, synonymous as it is with Freedom, is the "Criterion-Concept" of Indian Culture at its meridian, functioning as the undeviating norm of our finer sensibility, expressed in our larger life, conduct and thought

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