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Life and Teachings of Adi Sankaracarya

Vedanta is recognised as the leading philosophy of the Vedic tradition. A major proponent of Vedanta was Shankaracarya who laid the basis for the propagation of Vedanta before the beginning of the Middle Ages. His contribution below

About This Book

Vedanta is recognised as the leading philosophy of the Vedic tradition. A major proponent of Vedanta was Shankaracarya who laid the basis for the propagation of Vedanta before the beginning of the Middle Ages. His contribution has been so immense and significant that often Vedanta has been interpreted as synonymous with Advaita Vedanta of Shankara.

Here, Dr. George Victor attempts to study comprehensively Shankacarya's teachings on Vedanta -- his views on scripture, perception and inference as pramanas or standards of knowledges; his explanations of the relation between Brahman and atman, Brahman and Ishvara, maya and the world; and his concepts of janana marga, karma marga and moksha, among others.

The work takes a close look at the date of Shankara and his life and times before plunging into a penetrative study of Shankara's commentaries on the triple texts, the Upanishads, the Brahma-sutra and the Bhagavad-Gita -- the foundations of Vedantic thought. With constant references to Shankara's major and minor works and hymns, and using a simple language that reflects a unique clarity in understanding Shankara's philosophy, it also examines his methodology of philosophical interpretations and how academicians have estimated Shankara in the past.

Authored by a scholar who has for long been associated with research and teaching of Shankara's philosophy, the book will be of interest to scholars and students of Indian philosophy as well as general readers.

  • Binding: : Hardbound
  • 13 Digit ISBN : 9788124601945
  • 10 Digit ISBN : 8124601941
  • Edition : 2nd Impression
  • Year : 2008
  • Pages : xii, 172 p.
  • Size : 23
  • Weight (approx.) : 300
  • Bibliographic Details : Glossary; Bibliography; Index


1. Introduction to Vedanta  

Study of Indian Literature 
What are Veda and Vedanta? 
The Triple Texts -- Prasthanatrayi
The Three Schools 
Advaita Vedanta and Indian Mind 

2. Gaudapada, the Propounder

The Mandukya Upanishad 
The Mandukya Karika 

Agama Prakarana (Chapter on Scripture) -- Vaitathya Prakarana (Chapter on Unreality) -- Advaita Prakarana (Chapter on Non-Duality) -- Alatashanti Prakarana (Chapter on Cessation of Burning Coal)

3. The Date of Shankaracarya 

The Indian Antiquary 

K.B. Pathak -- The Source First Discovered -- K.T. Telang Rejects K.B. Pathak's Evidence -- Telang Rejects Max-Muller's Opinion -- Telang Proposes Different Date -- W. Logan's Account from Keralotpatti -- Date known to Shankra's Native land -- D.R. Bhandarkar Supports K.B. Pathak -- Narasimhachar Exchanges Views with Bhandarkar -- S.V. Venkateswaran Assigns Shankara to ninth century ad.


4. The Times of Shankaracarya

Political and Social Conditions 
Religious Conditions 

5. The Life of Shankaracarya 

Life at Glance 
Encounter with an Outcast 
Religious Harmony and Travels 

6. The Works of Shankaracarya 

Paul Hacker's Studies 
What is His Name? And Which is the Title 
Works Attributed to Shankaracarya 

7. Shankaracarya on the Upanishads

Yajnavalkya and Maitreya Dialogue   
Text Summary -- Shankaracarya's Commentary 
Yajnavalkya and Gargi Dialogue 
Text Summary -- Shankaracarya's Commentary

8. Shankaracarya on the Bhagavad Gita 

Concepts of the Gita 

Lord Krishna -- Man -- Nishkama-Karma-Yoga 

Paths of the Gita 

Karma-Yoga (The Discipline of Action) -- Jnana-Yoga (The Discipline of Knowledge) -- Bhakti-Yoga (The Discipline of Devotion) -- Yoga (The Discipline of Meditation) 

Kshetra and Kshetrajna 
Context -- Commentary 
Abandonment and Seeking the Lord as Shelter 

9. Shankaracarya on the Brahma Sutra 


Samanvaya (Reconciliation of Different Statements) -- Avirodha (Opponent's View Criticised) -- Sadhana (Means) -- Phala (Fruit, Result) 

Superimposition (Adhyasa) 

The First Brahma Sutra -- The Second Brahma Sutra -- The Third Brahma Sutra -- The Fourth Brahma Sutra 

Scriptures are Essential 
Brahman-Knowledge and Moksha 
Seeker of Brahman 

10. Minor Works and Hymns of Shankaracarya 


11. Teachings of Shankaracarya

Scripture, Perception and Inference
Brahman and Ishvara
Maya and World
Jnana-Marga and karma-marga (Path of Knowledge and Path of Action)
Vyavharika-Satya and Paramarthika-Satya (Phenomenal Truth and Noumeal Truth)

12. Methodology of Shankaracarya

Scriptures as Standard (Shastra as Pramana)
Writing Commentaties
Missionary Travels
Rejection of Opponent Views
The Dualist

13. Social Philosophy of Shankaracarya

Doctrine of Illusion (Maya-Vada) -- Refuted
Social Order

14. Interpretations of Shankaracarya

Devotional Aspects
Active Social Work


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