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Samsara and Nirvana

A Unifying Vision by: V.N. Misra

A unifying vision between Samsara and Nirvana has been presented in this study by placing human beings at the centre of the universe. It draws the inferences under discussion from the different systems of Indian philosophy and the philosophy of the West.

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ISBN: 9788124608944
Year Of Publication: 2017
Edition: 1st Edition
Pages : xix + 367 p.
Bibliographic Details : Glossary; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 23
Weight: 750


A unifying vision between Samsara and Nirvana has been presented in this study by placing human beings at the centre of the universe. Once this is accepted, the role of God turns to be nothing. This fact is not acceptable to most of the schools of Indian philosophy because of their strong faith in Brahman (God) as the creator of the universe. In that, this study raises the fundamental question. Why Brahman, being the creator, sustainer and dissolver of the universe, has taken such a long time of more than three billion years after the solar system to provide the conditions for the evolution of human life? Since the first cause of universe is the most difficult question, it is suggested to see the creator on the creation itself.
An inference has been drawn that the action (karma) of human beings cannot be treated as ignorance, once it is accepted that human beings are at the centre of the universe. We human beings have nothing else except the freedom of action (karma). In fact, karma itself is freedom.
This volume, in a way, an offshoot of the author’s earlier work, Science of Consciousness draws the inferences based on the different systems of Indian philosophy and the philosophy of the West.


II. Origin and Duration of the Universe
(Based on Indian Philosophy)
III. Universe and Its Samsara (Empirical World)
Scientific Views on the Origin of Universe
Vedantic Views on the Origin of Universe and Its Status
Buddhist’s View of the Universe and Empirical World (Samsara)
Constitution of Atom
Samsara (Empirical World)
Yogacara Vijnanavada
IV. Location of Samsara (Empirical World)
Vijnanavada Buddhism
Concept “I am”
Representation and Consciousness
World in Existentialism
V. Individual Self as Centre of Samsara
Advaita Vedanta
Vivarana School of Vedanta
Bhamati School of Vedanta
Self in Disguise in Buddhism
VI. Immanent Aspect of Consciousness Involved in Samsara
Advaita Vedanta
Mind and Consciousness
VII. Manifestation of Consciousness
Advaita Vedanta
Yogacara Vijnanavada Buddhism
VIII. Time and Space
Advaita Vedanta
Yogacara Vijnanavada Buddhism
IX. Causality
Advaita Vedanta
Yogacara Vijnanavada of Buddhism
X. Nirvana and Moksha
Nirvana (liberation) in Buddhism
Moksha in Vedanta
1. Karma and Rebirth
I. Introduction
II. Defining Karma
Advaita Vedanta — Buddhism
III. Karma as Individuality
Advaita Vedanta — Buddhism
IV. Karma as Ignorance
Advaita Vedanta — Buddhism
V. Karma and Knowledge
VI. Nature of Karma
Advaita Vedanta — Buddhism
VII. Karma-Nirodha (Cessation of Action)
Advaita Vedanta — Buddhism
VIII. Only Deed Exists, but No Doer in Buddhism
IX. Karmic Impressions (Vasanas) and Dispositions (Samskaras)
Samkhya Philosophy — Advaita Vedanta: Causal Body — Karmashaya
X. Karmic Seeds and Alaya-vijnana of Yogacara Vijnanavada Buddhism
Karmic Seed — Proofs of Alaya-vijnana — Impossibility of Action — Alaya-vijnana and Momentariness — Reconciliation
XI. Karma Based on Philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre
Cause and Motive — Undetermined Choice — Freedom
2. Space and Time
I. Introduction
II. Vaisheshika Philosophy
Space — Time — Space and Time — The Atomic Theory — The Eleven Moments Theory — Functions of Different Atoms — Thought Process and Atom — Self and Atom in Vedantic Perspective
III. Philosophy of Samkhya-Yoga
Time — Space — Space and Time
IV. Advaita Vedanta
Time — Time and Space as One
V. Space and Time as Illusion
VI. Philosophy of Bauddha Dharma: Madhyamika System
Space — Time — Yogacara Vijnanavada Buddhism
VII. Time and Space (Eternity and Infinity)
VIII. Hume’s Philosophy (Time and Space)
Space — Time
IX. Kant’s Philosophy
Metaphysical Exposition of Space and Time — Priority of Time over Space
X. Scientific Views on Space and Time
XI. Consciousness and Time
Temporality of Consciousness — Non-thetic and Thetic Consciousness — The Past — The Present — The Future — The Ekstatic Unity of Consciousness
3. Substantiality and Causality
I. Introduction
II. Causality: An Overview
III. Vaisheshika Theory of Causation
Motion — Motion in Relation to its Causes — Adrishta — Concept of Vega — Causes of Pressure and of Impact
IV. Samkhya Theory of Causation
Objection — Answer — Prakriti
V. Advaita Vedanta
VI. Philosophy of Bauddha Dharma
The Causal Theory of Co-production — Nagarjuna’s View of Causality — Sautrantika’s View of Causality in Perception — Causal Aspect of Alaya-vijnana of Yogacara — Vijnanavada Buddhism
VII. Hume’s views on Causation and Causality
VIII. Kant’s Concept of Causality
IX. Scientific Views on Causality
Quantum Field Theory and Implicate Order — Implicate order and Generative Order — Consciousness and Implicate Order — Interconnection between Consciousness and Matter
4. Continuity
I. Introduction
II. Matter as Atom and Particles
III. Complementarity in Duality of Matter
IV. Energy as Basis of Universe
VI. Prakriti
VII. Consciousness
VIII. The Concept of Samskara of Samkhya-Yoga
IX. Advaita Vedanta Theory of Samskara (Disposition)
X. The Concept of Samskara in the Philosophy of Bauddha Dharma
Dependent Origination and Samskara — Samskara (Karmic Formations) and Vinnana (Consciousness)
Life, Consciousness and Knowledge
5. Life and Consciousness
I. Introduction
II. Prana as Vital Principle of Life
Individual Prana — Cosmic Prana — Nature of Life: Cosmic and Individuated
III. Convertibility of Prana into Consciousness
IV. Life as Interaction of Consciousness and Matter
V. Dualistic Philosophy of Samkhya-Yoga: Purusha and Prakriti
Prakriti — Purusha — One and Many of Consciousness
VI. Interaction between Prakriti and Purusha
VII. David Bohm’s Views on Consciousness and Matter
Awareness and Attention
VIII. Implications of Main Tendencies of Self-Consciousness for Human Life
Self-protection — Instinct of Self-procreation — Disembodied Survival of the Mental and Consciousness
IX. Consciousness as Transmigration and Buddhist Soul
Transmigration of Consciousness — Buddhist Soul — Tendency of Consciousness Getting Immortalized
X. Theory of Five Koshas
Annamaya-Kosha (Matter and Life) — Pranamaya-Kosha (Vital Sheath) — Manomaya-Kosha (Mind Sheath) — Vijnanamaya-Kosha (Intellect Sheath) — Anandamaya-Kosha (Bliss Sheath) — Five Koshas as Solution of Body–Mind Problem and Gaining Different Kinds of Knowledge
6. Autopoiesis as Systems View of Life: Some Problems and Its Reconciliation
I. Introduction
II. Autopoiesis
Self-Maintenance — Non-Localization — Emergent Properties
III. Interaction of Living Organism with Environment
Structural Coupling — Structural Determination
IV. Cognitive Function in General
The Cognitive Process
V. Cognitive Function in Particular
Nerve Cells
VI. The Observer
VII. Brain States and Cognition
VIII. Sense Perception and Cognition
IX. Consciousness and Its Coverage (Defining Consciousness)
Defining Consciousness in Buddhism
X. Mind as Process
Mind According to Vedanta
XI. Consciousness as Process
XII. Two Types of Consciousness
XIII. Consciousness as Unity
7. Problem of Knowledge and Perception in Advaita Vedanta
I. Introduction
II. Self-consciousness and Knowledge
III. Consciousness as Foundational Knowledge
Criticism of pure consciousness as a fictitious entity
IV. Consciousness as Witness
V. Mind and Consciousness
VI. Sense Organs and Objects of Perception
Contact of Sense-Organs with their Respective Objects
VII. Mental Mode of Advaita Vedanta
Cognitive Process
VIII. Perceptual Illusion
8. Concept of Nirvana in Buddhism
I. Introduction
II. Purification of Consciousness
(i) Kamavacara-citta-bhumi (Sphere)
(ii) Rupavacara-citta-bhumi
(iii) Arupavacara-citta-bhumi
(iv) Locuttara-citta-bhumi
III. Nirvana as Pure Consciousness
IV. Nirvana as Dharmakaya
V. Nirvana as the Absolute Reality
VI. Nirvana in Lankavatarasutra (Based on the Commentary of Zen Buddhism)
VII. Madhyamika View of Nirvana
Nirvana and Samsara as One
VIII. Sautrantika View of Nirvana
IX. Madhyanta-Vibhanga
9. Liberation (Moksha) in Advaita Vedanta
I. Introduction
II. Liberation as Self-Realization
III. The Locus of Ignorance
IV. Three States of Consciousness (Sleep, Dream and Waking)
Metaphysics of Sleep Consciousness — Dream Consciousness — Waking Consciousness
V. Means of Liberation

Meet the Author
V.N. Misra, PhD, retired from Indian Economic Service (IES), has worked as Economic Advisor in different ministries of Government of India. He had several consultancy assignments with the ADB, FAO, World Bank and IFPRI. Dr Misra has also to his credit more than forty research papers published in reputed journals in the field of agricultural policy and development, labour, employment, rural poverty, etc. He has also co-authored (with V.S. Vyas and D.S. Tyagi) a book, Significance of New Technology for Small Farmers. Dr Misra’s study on Terms of Trade is a published work. He has now shifted his interest from economics to philosophy and has recently published two books: Science of Consciousness: A Synthesis of Vedanta and Buddhism and Samsara and Nirvana: A Unifying Vision.
Books of V.N. Misra