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    Sunya Purusa...

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Sunya Purusa

Bauddha Vaisnavism of Orissa by: Tandra Patnaik

The book makes a fascinating study of the unique philosophical tradition revolving around the concept of the Sunya Purusa — the ineffable, indescribable and non-dual Reality — that originated in medieval Orissa. Examining a range of philosophies, it throws light on the theories of this rare school of Vaisnavism that was Vaisnavite in form but Buddhistic in essence.



ISBN: 9788124603451
Year Of Publication: 2005
Edition: 1st
Pages : xx, 268
Bibliographic Details : Appendices, Glossary; Bibliography; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 23 cm.
Weight: 475


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.


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)

Meet the Author
Late Dr Tandra Patnaik distinguished herself with Utkal University having become topper at the BA (Hons) and MA examinations. She combined in her the scholarship of a grammarian, a Sanskritist and a philosopher which had given her the essential interdisciplinary orientation to reinterpret Bhartrhari in terms of the recent developments in the Philosophy of Language. Her doctoral dissertation on “James’ Concept of Meaning” (1982) was spoken of very highly by Sir P.F. Strawson (of Oxford), who also happened to be her PhD examiner. An author of four books and numerous research papers, Dr Patnaik was with the P.G. Department of Philosophy, Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha.
Books of Tandra Patnaik