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The Structure And Meaning of Badarayana's Brahma Sutras (A Translation and Analysis of Adhyaya I)

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Item Code: UAD025
Author: George C. Adams, Jr.
Language: English
Edition: 1993
ISBN: 9788120809314
Pages: 146
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 340 gm
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Book Description
About the Book
In the Brahma Sutras of Badarayana, we find what is perhaps the most influential work in the history of Hindu theology, given that the Brahma Sutras served as the basis for the theologies of all major Hindu theologians, including Sankara, Ramanuja, Nimbarka, Vallabha, and Madhya.

Unfortunately, our access to Badarayana's work has been through the biased commentaries of these sectarian theologians, who often interpret the Brahma Sutras to support their own theological positions.

In this work Dr. Adams examines the first of the Brahma Sutras' four sections in an attempt to identify their original meaning and the theology that Badarayana attempted to express. Dr. Adams also offers a readable translation that provides the reader with the greater insight into the cryptic Sanskrit aphorisms composed by Badarayana. As such, this work provides a valuable contribution to understanding one of the seminal works in the history of Hindu theology.

About the Author
GEORGE C. ADAMS, Jr. was born in Danville, Pennsylvania in 1953. Dr. Adams holds a B.A. degree in Sociology from Susquehana University, and the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Theology from Fordham University, where he studied History of Religions and Hindu Theology under Dr. Jose Pereira. Currently Dr. Adams is an Instructor in the Evening Program at Susquehanna University, where he teaches courses in Religion and Philosophy. Dr. Adams' interests include Hindu Theology, comparative studies, and the relationship between religion and psychology.

The subject of this work, the Brahma Sutras' (also known as the Vedanta Sutras) of Badarayana, holds a position of immense significance within both the Hindu tradition and the history of world religions.

Within the Hindu tradition, the significance of the Sutras derives from the tremendous task that they purport to accomplish: summarizing and systematizing the teachings of revelation and, in particular, the Upanisads.2 The Upanisads, of course, are the most important of the many Hindu religious scriptures. Consisting of a number of separate books, which in turn appear at times to be compilations from various sources, the Upanisads, dating from as early as 600 B.C., seek to set forth teachings on the nature of the supreme deity, the Brahman, and the relationship between the Brahman, the world, and the individual soul, or jiva. They do not represent a single, coherent system of thought, but rather contain a variety of views about the same basic themes. As Hume states,

... the Upanisads are no homogeneous products, cogently presenting a philosophic theory, but they are compilations from different sources recording the 'guesses at truth' of the early Indians. A single, well articulated system cannot be deduced from them.

Hence, we find in the Upanisads a wide variety of theological doctrines: Idealism and Realism; Difference, Identity, and Difference - in-Identity; devotion and gnosis; theism and impersonal monism; cosmologies identifying a variety of 'first causes': water, space, being, non-being, and personal Lord; and all of this presented in a variety of formats, including myths, rituals, hymns, and philosophical treatises. The Brahma Sutras attempted the intimidating task of systematizing this strange compilation of varied ideas expressed in varied forms, and identifying a consistent set of doctrines running throughout the Upanisads.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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