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श्रीशिवदृष्टि: Sri Shiva Drishti (An Old and Rare Book)

Due to the kindness of Providence the Research Department of His Highness' Government has been able after undergoing various vicissitudes to present to the Saivaistic scholars of the World the Sivadristi of Sri Somanandanatha. He is known throughout the length and breadth of Kashmir as the founder of the Idealistic Monism of the Saiva School of the Indian Philosophy. It forms the fifty-fourth volume of the Series. Although Mr. J.' C. Chatterji tried his utmost to find the work in toto during the first fourteen years of the existence of the Research Department he could not come across any complete manuscript of the work. In the year 1920 the Department came to know from the triennial catalogue of Sanskrit manuscripts in the Edmore Manuscripts Library Madras that that Library contains a manuscript of the work which, though without a commentary by Let paladeva, is complete. The Department at once opened correspondence with the officer in charge of the Library at Madras to get a transcript prepared at the cost of the Department and send the same on to this place. When after some time he was kind enough to accede to the pious wishes of the Department by forwarding the transcript on payment of the cost, the Department began working at and preparing a press copy of the work.

It was prepared with the help of the following :-

(a) A manuscript of the Research Library. Num-breed 7. Written on country paper. Measuring 10" by 64. In Sarada characters. Half a century old. Rat-eaten towards the end. With footnotes on the margin, having nine lines on an average on each side of the leaf with an average number of thirteen letters in a line. Contains 176 leaves. Is bound with Igvarapratyabhiyiavimariini, Paratri4ika and Paramadvayadvadanka. Text and gloss. Comparatively correct. Incomplete, running only upto the first portion of the fourth chapter.

(b) A transcript referred to above. Written on the ruled foolscap paper. In Devanagari characters. Measures 13" by 8k." Contains 61 leaves having 24 lines on each side with sixteen letters in a line. Text only. Mostly incorrect.

The press copy was fully prepared and sent early in the year 1924 to the Aryabhushan Press Poona. Its printing has unfortunately taken a decade of years to reach completion owing to the disastrous fire, which they said Press caught in 1926 when the whole portion of the Sivadristi printed' up-to-date was destroyed, to the amalgamation of the Archaeology and Research in 1929 and finally to their abolition in 1931.

I feel duty bound to give my thanks to Rljanaka Maheshwara of the Department for giving me assistance in preparing the press copy.

At the end, I am to crave the indulgence of readers for many mistakes that are found in the last portion of the text printed without the gloss and that could not be corrected for want of a better manuscript material.

In the pages of the fiftyfcairth volume of the Kashmir Series of Texts and studies puts in its appearance the Sivadristi of Somananda. It is so called be-cause herein he discusses and puts forth briefly his views, as the first known exponent, regarding the Idealistic Monism of the Saiva school of the Indian Philosophy. The word dristi he uses in the sense of Dargaua, a system, and thus he tries to put his own school on par with the other schools of the Indian Philosophy known till his day. The title of the work is significant enough to express clearly what he wants to bring home to his readers I. e. realization of the whole Universe as the manifestation of one absolute Reality called diva the all-blissful. The Sivadrsti is a Prakarapa, a treatise, and is regarded so by the glossator Utpaladeva. It is in verse and the meter used throughout from the beginning to the end is the Anushtup of eight syllables. The nip-ber of verses arranged in seven chapters called Ahnikas or diurnal portions total up to seven hundred. It varies in a chapter from 42 to 126.

In the second verse of the first chapter the author enunciates succinctly the purport of the body of his book. Its sense is to the following effect :-

" What constitutes the essence and identity of every being and what therefore is self-evident is Siva, as an ever-running stream of desire, as a spontaneous Mw of cognition and activity, as happiness and intelligence and as all-pervasive."

It is in tune therefore with his proposition that we find his offer of homage to the Almighty God not in the first person but in the third person in the opening verse of his treatise. In this verse he says " Let Siva who is one in substance with us offer his obeisance to Siva, who has materialised his own nature in the form of universe by his own native power, for success in overcoming the obstacles with the help of the triple agency of Mind Tongue and Body."

The agency used in offering the obeisance and the obstacles for the removal of which homage is paid are alike in the author's eyes consubstantial with Siva.

Contents of the seven chapters are :-

1. Discussion why and how the absolute Reality gradually materialises in a concrete form such as that of an animate or inanimate object.

2. Enunciation and refutation of the theory of the Grammarians.

3. Refutation of the views of the Shaktas, the Dualistic Saivites and the followers of the Yoga Philosophy.

4. Proofs in support of the Idealistic Monism.

5. Demonstration of the identity in nature of the subjective and objective phenomena of the world.

6. Illogicalness of other theories regarding the absolute Reality.

7. Secret that underlies the prophetic powers and ultimately leads a man to final beatitude.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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