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Philosophy of the Upanisads
A Study based on the Evaluation of the Comments
of Samkara, Ramanuja & Madhva
By S.M. Srinivasa Chari
Forward by K.T. Pandurangi
Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers
359 pages, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
The Upanisads which contain lofty philosophical teachings of the great seers
constitute the most authoritative sourcebook for the Vedanta system of philosophy.
However, there is no unanimity among the ancient exponents of Vedanta regarding
the nature of the philosophy adumbrated in the Upanisads. Dr. Chari's scholarly
work attempts to make a dispassionate study of the philosophical passages of
the fourteen Principal Upanisads by giving due consideration to not only the
comments of Samkara, Ramanuja and Madhva, but more importantly, the authoritative
views of Badarayana as enshrined in his classic Vedantasutras. In the first
part of the book, he presents the important passages of the Upanisads along
with English rendering indicating the variations in the interpretation by the
three commentators and also discusses their philosophical implications with
reference to the Vedanta doctrines developed in the post-Upanisadic period.
In the second part he has attempted to consolidate the variety of philosophical
thoughts scattered all over the Upansads period into coherent doctrines under
five broad subjects: Brahman, jivatman, jagat, sadhana, and parama-purusartha.
In the final chapter he conclusively establishes on the basis of an objective
evaluation of the views of the commentators that the Upanisads do not support
the main tenets of Advaita such as the concept of Nirvisesa Brahman, the identity
of jivatman and Brahman, the phenomenal character of the jagat and the doctrine
of maya. The author maintains with sufficient textual support that the nature
of the philosophy advocated by the Upanisads is Theistic Monism. This book,
which is the first of its kind, presents an authentic and comprehensive exposition
of the philosophy of the Upansids.