Contribution of Vacaspati Misra to Indian Philosophy
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Contribution of Vacaspati Misra to Indian Philosophy

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Item Code: NAR327
Author: S. Ranganath
Publisher: Pratibha Prakashan
Language: English
Edition: 1999
ISBN: 8177020021
Pages: 426
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 550 gm
About the Book

Vacaspati Misra is an extraordinary model of intellectual objectivity. He is at his best as an erudite commentator of each of the majoo Indian Schools of thought he deals with. Udyotakara’s Nyayavartika on Vatsyayana would have perhaps become obscene but for Misra’s Tatparyatika. Similarly Samkhyatattvakaumudi represents the very soul of the various concepts of Samkhya philosophy. We cannot fully appreciate vyasa’s contribution to Patanjala yogasutras without Misra’s Tattvavaisaradi. As regards his Bhamati on brahmasutra-Sankarabhasya this is not merely a commentary but is an indipeusable thesaurus of all that is embodied in the Sankar school of Nirvisesadvaita. It has rather taken the invaluable shape of a separate prashthana Bhamati-prasthana as distinct from the Vivarana prashthana.

It goes without saying, that this type of sarvatantrasvatantra model of scholarship a source of inspiration for all of us. Vacaspati Misra is, in fact a model of intellectual intergration. We may also look at him as an exponent of "yo mam pasyati sarvatra sarvam ca mayi pasyati…….."

It is quite in the fitness of things that a young scholar like Dr. Ranganath should have thought of bringing out a comprehensive and critical study of Vacaspati Misra’s Contribution to Indian Philosophy. A well-organised and duly documented presentation like this will, certainly gave the way for further research on the distinct contributions made by this doyen of Indian Philosophy from Mithila.

About the Author

S. Ranganath secured First Class, First Rank in M.A. Sanskrit from Bangalore University in the year 1984. He is the recipient of Hiriyanna Gold Medal and Hebbar Sri Vaishnava Sabha Gold Medal. The title Veda Bhusana was conferred on him by Veda Dharma Paripalana Sabha. American Biographical Institute, Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A. has nominated him as the "Man of the Year 1996". He has a Vidvan Degree in Advaita Vedanta from Sri Chamarajendra Sanskrit College. He was awarded Diploma in Indology from R.V. Institute of Sanskrit Studies. He obtained his Ph.D. in Sanskrit from the Bangalore University in the year 1990 for the Topic Contribution of Vacaspati Misra to Indian Philosophy. He has studied Rigveda traditionally for eight years. He has eighty Research Papers to his credit in Sanskrit, English, Kannada and Telugu. He is a Reader in Sanskrit in the NMKRV College for Women, in Bangalore.

At present he is working for his post Doctoral Research on the Topic Post Independence Sanskrit Literature. some of his important books are Pursuits in Indian Philosophy, Post Independence Sanskrit Drama, Post Independence Duta Kavyas, Contribution of Women to Post Independence Sanskrit Epics etc. His Kannada translation of Ramakirti Mahakavyam written by Prof. Satya Vrat Shastri has been published in Bangkok (Thailand).

Foreword
<<p> Vacaspati Mira is an extraordinary model of intellectual objectivity. He is at his best as an erudite commentator of each of the majoo Indian Schools of thought he deals with. Udyotakara's Nyayavartika on Vatsyayana would have perhaps become obscene but for Miira's Tatparyatika. Similarly Samkhyatattvakaumudi represents the very soul of the various concepts of Samkhya philosophy. We cannot fully appreciate Vyasa's contribution to Patanjala yogasiltras without Milra's Tattvavaisaradi. As regards his Bhamati on Brahmasutra Sasnkarabhasya this is not merely a commentary but is an indispeusable thesaurus of all that is embodied in the §-Ankara school of Nirvisesadvaita. It has rather taken the invaluable shape of a separate prasthana Bhamati-prasthana as distinct from the Vivarana prasthana.

It goes without saying, that this type of sarvatantrasvatantra model of scholarship a source of inspiration for all of us. Vacaspati Mira is, in fact a model of intellectual integration. We may also look at him as an exponent of "yo mam pasyati sarvatra sarvam ca mayi pasyati…….."

It is quite in the fitness of things that a young scholar like Dr. Ranganath should have thought of bringing out a comprehensive and critical study of Vacaspati Misra's Contribution to Indian Philosophy. A well-organised and duly documented presentation like this will, certainly gave the way for further research on the distinct contributions made by this doyen of Indian Philosophy from Mithila.

I congratulate the distinguished author Dr. Ranganath and the proprietor of M/s Pratibha Prakashan Dr. Radhey Shyam Shukla on this commendable publication.

Introduction

Vacaspati Misra: Life, Date and Works

Though Vacaspati Mira is a person of wide repute his personal life is not very well known. His works also do not give anything by way of information regarding his personal life. Hence, about his personal life we know next to nothing.

His own works furnish us a clue for the determination of his date:

  1. Vacaspati Mira himself makes a statement that he completed the work Nyayasucinibandha, a short work on the arrangement of Nyeiyasatras, in the year 898.
  2. The name of King Nrga is mentioned in Bhamati. This helps us to determine the chronological relation between Vacaspati Misra and King Nrga.
  3. From the reference of Udayana (984 A.D.) who has commented upon Vacaspati Misra's Nyayavartikatatparyatika under the name nyayavartikatatparyatika-parisuddhi, it is clear that Vacaspati Mira must have lived before Udayana.
With these evidences we can say that Vacaspati Mira mist have lived in 9th century A.D. This is further substantiated by the following statement of Prof. Stcherbatsky: "In the 9th century, the school of Naiyayikas produced in the person of Vacaspati Mira a man who is perhaps the most distinguished among the scholarly philosophers of Brahminical India. His knowledge is overwhelming, his information always first hand, his exposition even of the most difficult and obstruse theories very lucid, his impartiality exemplary."

Vacaspati Misra is considered to be one of the great literary geniuses that India has ever produced. His name is associated with the title `Sarvatantrasvatantra', a rare honour conferred on literary prodigies.

He is said to be a rare scholar who has written authoritative commentaries on all the orthodox systems of Indian philosophy. His 'Nyayavartikatatparyatika’ is an authoritative commentary on Udyotakara's ‘Nyayavartika’. In the Nyaya literature he is generally know as 'Tatparyatikacarya'. His contribution to Samkhya system is the work `Samkhyatattvakaumudi' on Isvarakrsna's 'Samkhyakarika’. ‘Tattvavaisaradi’ is a work concerning Yoga system and it is a lucid commentary on 'Vyasabhasya'. On Mimamsa system he has written the work Tattvabindu'. This is a short treatise wherein the author in powerful language elucidates three main and two subordinate views which were current among the scholars in Philosophy on the important question - What actually constitutes the Karana, the efficient cause in Sabdabodha. His other work in the Mimamsa system is ‘Nyayakanika’, a commentary on Mandana's `Vidhiviveka'. ‘Nyayakanika’ is an important treatise which discusses the philosophical doctrines such as different Khyativadas.

His Vedanta work is ‘Bhamati’, a lucid commentary on ‘Brahmasutrasankarabhasya’. Since he refers to his works on Nyaya and Mimamsa in ‘Bhamati’ it is possible to say that `Bhamati' was his last work. He seems to rise above requirements of the work on other systems and finds his ultimate fruit of knowledge in Vedanta through his ‘Bhamati’. The work became so famous as it established a new school of thought Advaita Vedanta. As against the Vivarana school of Prakasatman, this school set by Vacaspati Misra became famous as the Bhamati School'.

**Contents and Sample Pages**












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