Academy of Sanskrit Research, Melkote is an internationally repute organization devoted to undertaking Original and Interdisciplinary Research in Vedas, Agamas and Philosophy in addition to collecting rare and old manuscripts and undertaking research works in Sanskritic and Allied Scientific Studies with focus on Visistadvaita School of thoughts and publish useful works. In this direction inits tenure of existences for over two decades has already published more that 50 Books in Sanskrit, English and Kannada Languages.
However for over a decade now the Books Publication related to the critical editions of Upanisads in Sanskrit with notable commentaries could not be published. But now for the benefit of Scholars, Students pursuing higher studies in Sanskrit and interested Readers, the present Director of the Academy, Prof. Bhashyam Swamy in a very short period of his taking over of the charges of the O/o the Director has prioritized to release critical editions of 3 more works on Upanisads viz. Mundaka, Mandukya and Taittriya along with valuable commentaries in accordance with the Visistadvaita School of Philosophy.
I deem it a great honour to pen this Preface to this publication of Academy of Sanskrit Research titled “Mundakopanisad” in Sanskrit with 4 Valuable commentaries to be dedicated to the benefit of Humanity interested in the development and propagation of the Indian Philosophy through Sanskrit.
If this publication can add to the awareness of the corpus of interpretations of Sri Ramanujacarya and his followers point of view on the Upanisads, we feel that Academy has contributed its might in line with the primary objectives of the Organizations to the readers.
The Indian Philosophy for ages has inherited under the umbrella of Vedas. Upanisads in a way has depicts the essence of the Vedas and thus are also called as Vedanta. Every human being seeks the ultimate Salvation and the reading of Vedanta/Upanisads helps him to try to attain the salvation.
The Upanisads that are available to us is vast (about108 as per certain quarters). Of these, it is accepted by all that the ten principal Upanisads viz. Isa, Kena Katha, Prasna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittariya, Aitareya, Chandogya and Brhadaranyaka are the most authoritative and ancient Upanisads. Of these ten the Academy has already brought out Isa, Kena and Aitareya in Sanskrit. Now Mundaka is being published.
The Mundkopanisad receivers elucidation under two sections of Brahma Sutras (I.2.222) & I.3.I). it may be seen that no major or enigmatic passage is left uninterrupted. Thus this is a very impressive Upanisad works. Hope the readers will benefit from this humble contribution of the Academy.
I wish to salute to all the eminent Scholars, Associates and at the same time congratulate of Staff of ASR and those who have contributed their might directly or indirectly in enabling the Academy to bring out his publication.
As already stated in the Foreword, the Indian Philosophy for ages has inherited under the umbrella of Vedas. Upanisads in a way depicts the essence of the Vedas and thus are also called as Vedanta. Every Human being seeks the ultimate Salvation and the reading of Vedanta/Upanisads helps him to try to attain the salvation.
Conventionally, the foremost basis for any study of thesis in the field of Vedanta is Upanisad, Thus Upanisads are like a Diamond Mine and one may find bright and lustrous Gems there which illuminate the caves in the hearts of seekers. That is why great scholars of various schools of Indian Philosophy have written commentaries on them. By studying these commentaries written by different 'Acharyas' with different perspectives the seeker can fathom the depth of the thoughts and experiences of the seers of yore.
Hence the attempt to present the Upanisad along with different commentaries for the benefit of seekers. The Academy of Sanskrit Research, Melkote, whose primary objective is to encourage, promote and undertake original and interdisciplinary research in Vedas, Agamas and philosophy with a primary focus on Visistadvaita and comparative study of Visistadvaita with other systems of thought, is proud of presenting rich contribution on Upanishads. In this direction I now on behalf of the Academy, take pride to present this publication on Mundakopanisad along with most valuable 4 commentaries.
Of these, the Anandabhasya by Sri Ramanandamuni, a great scholar of yester years, probably belonging to the 14th or 15th Century is considered the foremost commentary. It is also considered as written in a simplest manner and very much revered by seers following the Visisradvaita philosophy. It may be interesting to know that Tulasidas the author of the famous Ramacharitamanasa was a disciple of Sri Ramanandamuni. Sri Ramanandamuni's commentaries are studied very avidly in North India.
On the other hand, the Prakasika by Sriranga Ramanujamuni belonging to the 17th & 18th Century is the most famous commentary on the Upanisads, It is a work of high standard and requires greater understandings and background of vedantic study as it raises and at the same answers many questions related to Vedanta. Thus it is a must for all those who seek the in depth knowledge on Vedanta.
The Subodhini by Gopalanandayogi of 17th & 18th Century is a work having a yogic background befitting to the name of the author. The author is considered to be a great yogi who had acquired high standards of yogic power through penance. In fact life span was a source of inspiration to numerous followers. There are several experiences of his followers who have benefited by his mystic powers.
The Pratipadarthadipika by Sri Bharadvaja Ramanujacharya of 19th Century is the most recent commentary that we can quote from the yester years works. The title of the commentary is very apt as it presents the meanings of every word in a lucid manner. The diction is very good and the students of Upanisads get a very clear picture of the rendering of philosophical works of Rsis, of Vedic times. The author who hailed from the Mangalagiri region of Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh has several important and valuable works to his credit apart from his commentaries on all the 10 principal Upanisads.
With this introduction and by thanking all my colleagues in the Academy and others who have worked hard (directly or indirectly) to bring out this valuable publication, I wish to dedicate this valuable contribution of the Academy to the benefit of philosophical knowledge seekers and enriches.
UPANISADS are the essence of VEDAS. They are also known as
VEDANTA as they are known as a treasure house of Spiritual knowledge.
Even though, the Upanisads are composed in an orderly poetry
manner, they are difficult to digest by even Scholarly Community.
Perhaps keeping this in mind our Great Acaryas have with their intellectual
and spiritual power of fore thought have in fact delivered these poetic
works in a understandable way by giving their commentaries known as
Bhasyas. These Bhasyas form part as a valuable value addition of our
In an attempt to reach the Upanisads in original form along with
the various commentaries related to each of the different Upanisads, to
the hands of the interested Scholarly and other Interested Community,
the Academy of Sanskrit Research, Melkote, has embarked upon a
"Upanisad Project" to critically edit and release them as its publication
in Kannada, Sanskrit and English. Already the Publication of some of
the Upanisads has been released.
In this endeavor of the Academy, the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan,
(A Deemed University) New Delhi, has kindly been extending a valuable
support through part funding the Project. Thus I take this opportunity
to express our gratitude to the University in General and to its Vice
Chancellor, Dr. Kutumba Shastri, in particular.
It may be interesting to note that the commentaries presented
here in our Melkote Series belong to the School of Visistadvaita
Philosophy propounded by the Great Acarya Ramanuja,
I now take pride In presenting this edition of
"MUNDAKOPANISAD " with 4 commentaries (i.e. Pratipadarthadipika
by SrI Bharadwaja Rarnanujacarya; Prakasika by sri Rangaramanujamuni;
Anadabhasya by Ramanandamuni and Subodhini by Gopalanandayogi -
all belonging to the period from 14th to 18th Century AD). Further, it
may be noted that for the benefit of the readers, we have incorporated
the entire relevent Upanisad text at the beginning itself.
In fact for more details of the glimpse of the edition you may
please refer to the INTRODUCTION penned by me in the following
The Academy has strived hard to collect and collate as many
commentaries as feasible related to each of the Upanisads being critically
edited and published by it. It is the fervent hope that this will be well
received by the Scholarly community as an important VALUE
Vidvan S. Narayana, Sri Embar Varadacharya, Sri S. Krishnan in
particular and other in-house Scholars have painstakingly edited this
edition. I am grateful to them.
The team lead by Mr. J avare Gowda and including Mrs.
Saraswathy, Mr. Bettaswamy Gowda (in particular) and others have given
technical support ably. I wish to congratulate their team effort.
But for the thrust and encouragement given by the Deputy
Commissioner, Mandya Dist., Mandya and our respected Secretary cum
Treasurer (who is also holding the additional charge of the President of
the Academy as of date) Sri C.N. Seetharam, I.A.S. these works kept
pending for finalization and release for quite a long time (by the previous
management) would not have come to the light even now. Hence I
wish to express our gratitude to him. Our thanks are also due to him for
his ready acceptance to pen the Preface for this Edition as the General
editor of the Series.
Apart from the above I also to express our gratitude to one and
all, both in-house employees as well as out-sourced support for their
deep involvement in our efforts to present this publication.
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