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Sunya Purusa

Bauddha Vaisnavism of Orissa

This pioneering study of the indigenous philosophical tradition of Orissa which evolved between the 15th -- 16read below

About This Book

This pioneering study of the indigenous philosophical tradition of Orissa which evolved between the 15th -- 16th century ce brings into limelight the wonderful syncretism of Buddhism and Vaishnavism, traditions that are generally considered philosophically antithetical. A deep metaphysical quest underlies the enquiries and analyses of this assimilative tradition and is epitomized in the works of the philosopher-poets of Orissa in the concept of the Shunya Purusha -- the ineffable, indescribable and non-dual reality. This is a unique concept that encompasses within its fold the idea of Jagannatha (the Vaishnavite deity of Puri) as Shunya. The author explores the whole range of Indian philosophical heritage including Vaishnavism, Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, Yoga, and Natha tradition to bring out the highpoints of this rare philosophical tradition. She, very competently, throws light on the philosophical theories/concepts of Bauddha Vaishnavism -- Vaishnavic in form but Buddhist in spirit.

The book is a valuable guide on this distinctive Orissan Vaishnava tradition to all students and scholars of Indian religion and philosophy.

  • Binding: : Hardbound
  • 13 Digit ISBN : 9788124603451
  • 10 Digit ISBN : 8124603456
  • Edition : 1st edition
  • Year : 2005
  • Pages : xx, 268 p.
  • Size : 23
  • Weight (approx.) : 600
  • Bibliographic Details : Appendices, Glossary; Bibliography; Index

Key to Transliteration


Classical Tradition vis-a-vis Medieval Tradition
The Fundamentals of the Santha Tradition
The Santha Tradition of Orissa
The Task Ahead

Part One
The Cultural Milieu

1. The Cultural Heritage of Orissa
2. The Jagannatha Dharma

The Iconography of Jagannatha
Origin of the Cult -- The Nature of Controversy

3. Vaishnavism in Orissa

The Origin of the Cult
Vaishnavism and Orissa
The Major Trends of Vaishnavism in Orissa
Vedantin Vaishnavism
Prema-Bhakti Tradition of Shri Caitanya

4. Buddhism in Orissa

Buddhism and Orissa
Tantric Buddhism and Orissa
Uddiyana Pitha
Tantric Buddhism as Presented in the Santha Literature 
Vajrayana and Jagannathism
An Outline of Vajrayana Philosophy

5. Orissan Santha Tradition

Bauddha Vaishnavism
The Santhas and their Works

Part Two
Philosophical Concepts

6. Shunya Purusha

The Genesis of the Concept of Shunya
The Concept of Purusha and its Implications
Shunya Purusha and Buddha-Jagannatha
The Nature of Shunya Purusha
Shunya Purusha and Jagannatha
The God as Shunya

7. Shunya Purusha, Samsara and Jiva

Shunya Purusha as the Potential Womb of the Samsara
Shunya Purusha and Jivatman
The All-Pervasive Shunya
Layers of Shunya

8. Jnanamishra Bhakti

The Concept of Bhakti : Some Clarifications
Two Alternative Models of Vaishnavism
Jnana and Bhakti : The New Perspective
Yoga and Bhakti
Theory of Navadha Bhakti : A New Scheme

9. Pinda Brahmanda Tattva

The Natha Cult
Kaya Sadhana
Ghata Yoga
Pinda-Brahmanda Tattva

10. Srishti Tattva

Shunya Purusha as Shabda Brahman
The Idea of Panca-Vishnu

11. Mana

Five Dimensions of Mind

12. Shudrabhava

The Concept of Samata
The Dream of a Casteless Society


How Vaishnavite is Bauddha Vaishnavism?
Santha Philosophy and Orissa


I. Shunya Purusha vis-a-vis the Dharma Thakura of the Dharma Cult of Bengal
II. Buddhist Archaeological Heritage of Orissa
III. Shunya Purusha -- Acyutananda Dasa (translator: Priyadarshi Patnaik)


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