Dr. B.N.K. Sharma, Retired Professor of Sanskrit, Ruparel College, Eombay, has attained international renown and recognition by his scholarly contribution by his scholarly contributions to the Dvaita Vedanta literary treasure. His ‘History of Dvaita School Of Vedanta And Its Literature’ is a monumental work which brought him the highest national literary distinction of the Sahitya Academy Award in 1964. His works, dealing with the Brahma Sutras and the different commentaries on it, have brought him to the foreground of the philosophical world more prominently. He has completed his epoch making work on Brihadaranyaka upanisad which should be a very great source of instruction for research scholars and laymen as well.
Way back in March 1980, a group of persons interested in and enthusiastic about Dvaita Vedanta met under the chairmanship of Late Dr. C.N.R. Rao and decided that it was necessary to have an organization to initiate, develop and produce literature of Dvaita Vedanta which can be understood and appreciated by laymen having no knowledge of Sanskrit and directed Sri Koulagi Ramchar to prepare an outline and full-fiedged project taking the assistance of Late Dr. T.K. Lakshman and Sri P.N. Srinivas of Tehno Consult Services.
Accordingly, a project report covering the various activities, capital requirements and cost estimate there of, highlighting the necessity for such an organization with objectives such as.
a) collection and publication of works on Dvaita Vedanta
b) Initiating comparative studies and Research on philosophy—Eastern and Western and Dvaita Vedanta in Particular,
c) Training scholars for the purpose etc., Among several others of like nature submitted by him was accepted by the committee.
H.H Sri Sri Vijayanidhi Swamiji of Sri Sripadaraja Mutt, Mulbagal, was approached for assistance and he readily agreed to place 4-1/2 acres of land at Narasimha Teertha at the disposal of the foundation and consented to be its chief patron.
H.H. Sri Vishveshvara Tirtha Swamiji of Pajewar Mutt, who was approached, readily agreed to be the patron of the organization.
The project was submitted to the Government of Karnataka Seeking financial assistance. The Government communicated their approval to the project in toto, and granted Rs. 2.50 lakhs as Aid.
The foundation commenced its activities with effect from 15th September 1983 and has organised about 30 lectures by eminent philosophers. The texts of their lectures will be published in the Fundation’s ‘Dvaita Darsana Granthamala’ for the benefit of those interested in the subject.
Several important works such as Histories and expositions of the school of thought have been translated and are being published shortly.
The present volume is the first in the series. It is sincerely hoped that these publications would rouse considerable enthusiasm among laymen and scholars interested in philosophy and particularly in Dvaita Vedanta, not only in India but also all over the world.
Philonthropists and charitable Institutions have come forward to assist the Institution and it is hoped that they will continue to do so to enable the Institution to fulfil its objectives.
I am happy to see that the Dvaita Vedanta studies and Research Foundation, Bangalore, is bringing out the five lectures on Sri. Madhvacarya’s Aupanisadam Darsanam which I had delivered under its auspices last year at the Gokhale Hall, Bangalore, before a select audience of intellectuals.
Builders of the Dvaita System of Vedanta in the past though and wrote mostly in Sanskrit—the all India language of higher though and cultural vehicle in ancient India. Owing to the vicissitudes of Indian history, in the middle ages, Sanskrit receded into the background from its place of honour and has in modern times given place to the international language—the English language.
While the system of Sankara and Ramanuja in the field of Vedanta have forged ahead in respect of their publicity, the Dvaita system of Madhva is still lagging very much behind. There is a very great and pressing necessity therefore to publicize the classics of the robust system of Vedanta and its insightful solutions of the great many problem of philosophy in general and Indian philosophy in particular, as widely as possible through the medium of the English language to meet the growing needs of our times. It is highly gratifying to note that in recent years many westerners have been taking a lively interest in Madhva’s philosophy. It would thus be very useful and advantageous to establish contacts with them also in serving a common cause.
My Lectures cover important aspects of Madhva’s philosophy in general and the teachings of the Upanishads, the Brahmasutras and the Gita in particular.
The establishment of Dvaita Vedanta Studies and Research foundation in Bangalare is well-timed. Its purely academic outlook is best suited for shouldering the great responsibility of bringing about a renaissance and reawakening of this great system of Vedanta and bringing about a wider recognition and appreciation of its intrinsic value and merits irrespective of the number of its denominational followers.
My Lectures are intended to pinpoint the fundamentally Anupanisadic character of Dvaita Darsana and its philosophical ideology of the one Svatantra Tattva as the highest subject-matter of all philosophical quest and its culmination. This one Svatantra Tattva has to be necessarily conceived as a ‘Savisesa-principle’ endowed with an infinite number of philosophical attributes. The relation o this Supreme reality to the world of matter and souls has also in consequence to be accepted as a real one. The problem of the bondage of souls in this life and their transmigration and final release from it has also to be viewed from a realistic perspective. The cosmological theories of the Vedas and the Upanishads thus fall into their places in this over-all pattern in terms of a “Nimitta-Karanavada”. The Parinama and Vivartavada theories of causation call for examination in this set-up. The different interpretation of the Upanishadic texts bearing on this question such as Yathaikena Maripindena Vijnatena Sarvam Mrmayam Vijnatam Syat and the Vacarambhana have been considered in this connection.
The Lectures are designed to bring out how naturally and consistently Dvaita thought and its interpretation of the three prasthanas fit in with their spirit and letter and faithfully reflect them.
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