About the Book
This book puports to discuss the Fundamental Vedanta in the context of the Upanisads, Brahmasutra along with the Bhasyas on it.
Upanisads form the core of the Indian Philosophy and the Brahmasutra seeks to systematise the Upanisadic philosophy. Brahmasutra is one of the most intractable works of the Fundamental Vedanta. This work aims at ascertaining the relation between the Upanishads and the Brahamsutra with the assistance of the Bhasyas on the sutras.
In short it is a detailed critique of the Visayavakyas of the Brahmasutra.
Radhakrishan’s work on the Brhmasutra was of a pioneering nature in this field, though it discussed a very few Bhasyas.
This books takes into account the entire Brahmasutra and about then or eleven Bhasyas in the field and the considerable literature on it which has come into existence in the field of Vedanta, especially the Brahmasutra.
So this book is a valuable addition in the field of Upanisads, Brahmasutra and Bhasyas which are inseparable in themselves.
About the Author
Dr. Vijay Pandya has taught Sanskrit, Vedanta at the School of Languages, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
His areas of special interest are Classical Sanskrit Literature, Vedanta, Sanskrit Poetics and the Valmiki Ramayana.
He is a critic endowed with a fine literary sensibility. His works like Mrcchakatika and Bhavabhuti, and Anunaya in Gujarati bear testimony to this.
His book Sanskrit Textual Criticism, a collection of articles in English dealing with the Sanskrit text problems, combines in itself a sharp critical acumen and sound research faculty.
His research that Hanumannatakam is post-Dutangadam (a one-act-play written in Gujarat) and was composed in Gujarat is a outstanding piece of original research.
He has enriched the Gujarati language by his fine translations of the Sanskrit works like Valmiki’s Sundarakanda into Gujarati and is still at it.
His short pieces in Gujarati on the philosophical sentences from the Upanisads establish him as an original and inspired thinker and short essay writer in Gujarati.
At present he is working as an Honorary Professor at L.D. Institute of Indology, Ahmedabad and as a Shastra Chudamani Professor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, Delhi.
This book, The Fundamental Vedanta, will certainly prove to be a very essential addition to the research-field of the Vedanta. Dr. Vijaya Pandya has scholastically attempted to extract the essence from the discussions regarding the v.v. (visayavakyas) of the B.S. (Brahmasutras) made by the ancient commentators during the period of more than a millennium. Similarly he has also endeavoured to give the views in a condensed form, regarding the v.v. of the B.S., presented by the modern critics during the last century.
Dr. Pandya has not only referred to the views in regard to the v.v. presented by the five well known commentators, Sankara, Ramanuja, Nimbarka, Madhya and Vallabha, but also has referred to the views of the other Bhasyakaras, namely Bhaskara, Vijfianabhilcsu and Baladeva.
Modern critics like V.S. Ghate, S.K. Belvalkar, Srisachandra Vidyarnava (sic), P.M. Modi, S. Radhakrihnan, B.N.K. Sharma, S.M. Bhatkhande, George Adam (Jr.), all these have attempted to ascertain the v.v. of the B.S. But some of them have put more emphasis on the comparison of the interpretation of the B.S. made by the ancient Acaryas than on the search of the v.v. For instance, V.S. Ghate has said nothing in his book, 'The Vedanta,' (pp. 53,54) about the v.v. of the first four sutras. Secondly, some of these modern critics have attempted to trace out the v.v. only of the some portion of the B.S. Thirdly, some of them seem to have a some sort of proclivity towards the ancient Acarya, Madhya or Vallabha.
But Dr. Vijaya Pandya has, I think for the first time, endeavoured to trace out the v.v. of the all Brahmasutras, without any partiality, solely on the basis of reasoning. In ascertaining the v.v., sometimes, Dr. Pandya agrees with galikara, sometimes with Madhya or Vallabha. Having meticulously studied the views in regard to the v.v., held by the ancient commentators as well as by the modern critics he has given his own conclusion in his lucid English language.
I am confident that when the task of preparing the critical text of the Brahmasutra will be embarked upon, this book, 'The Fundamental Vedanta' will provide the pivotal base for the same.
I feel very much pleased to know that the task of publishing this valuable thesis has been undertaken by Parimal Publications, Delhi. I heartily congratulate the publisher Shri K.L. Joshi. At the end, I would like to suggest that this book may also be translated into Hindi and Gujarati. So that the larger class of the Vedanta-readers can have an opportunity to read it.
The book originally a thesis, presented here, has a chequered history. Dr. (Ms.) E.A. Solomon, then the Professor and Head of the Sanskrit Department, School of Languages, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, first suggested this subject, for my thesis, way back around in 1980. I took up the subject and started reading for it under the able guidance of Dr. (Ms.) E.A. Solomon. Meanwhile I got the teacher-fellowship of the University Grants Commission. But, unfortunately during the tenure of the teacher fellowships, I could not present the thesis for the Degree of Ph.D. and Dr. (Ms.) E.A. Solomon retired from the service.
The thesis remained in a state of hibernation for a long time.
Meanwhile I joined the Department of Sanskrit, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad.
And the thesis was revived by Dr. L.V. Joshi, Professor and Head of the Sanskrit Department, Gujarat University. And it is entirely due to Dr. Laxmesh V. Joshi, my respected guide and esteemed colleague, that this thesis, as the cliche goes, sees the ray of the day-light. Infect it was at his instance I undertook the publication of the thesis in a book form. Babubhai of Parshva Publications constantly provided me an impetus to complete the hard task of completing and publishing the book.
I have no words to express my gratitude to Babubhai. I also thank my Ph.D. student Prof. Rajvi Ojha for her immense help in various ways in publication of this book.
Something about the subject of the thesis.
I took up the subject because to the best of my knowledge, nobody had previously dealt with the Visayavakyas of the Brahmasutra in its entirety, though there were some scholars like Dr. P.M. Modi and B.N.K. Sharma who had treated the subject in a limited way.
`The Visayavakyas (v.v.) of the Brahmasutra' can very well be alternatively entitled as 'A Critique of the Visayavakyas of the Brahmasutra.' Here barring the 2-1 and 2-2 of the Brahmasutra for the reasons adduced there in the chapter 6, almost all the sutras have been discussed from the v.v. point of view. This can be called the raison detre of this book.
In ascertaining the v.v. I have scrupulously refrained from entering into the intricate labyrinths of the interpretation, for its own sake. Sometimes I have rest contented with merely stating the various positions taken by different scholars, sometimes, I do express my opinion with reasoning. Manytimes, I have critically oxamined the opinions put forth by different ancient commentators and modern scholars. Occasionally, I have differed from all the scholars ancient as well as modern and stated my own VV.
These few Visayavakyas discovered by us along with the critique of the v.vs. of almost all the Brahmasutras may be regarded as a distinct contribution of the book. It is for the scholars to judge its value.
We have followed Sarikara as far as the text of the sutras and its division into adhikaranas are concerned. Sankara has been our starting point or a sort of a springboard so to say, like many of our predecessors to take a plunge into the discussion. In that way, Sankara has been indispensable.
We have regularly taken into consideration the bhasyas by Satikara, Ramanuja, Madhya and Va