The Upanisads, which contain lofty philosophical teachings of the great seers, constitute the most authoritative source book for the Vedanta system of philosophy. However, there is no unanimity among the ancient exponents of Vedanta regarding the nature of the philosophy adumbrated in the Upanisads.
Dr. Chari's scholarly work attempts to make a dispassionate study of the philosophical passages of the fourteen Principal Upanisads by giving due consideration to not only the comments of Samkara, Ramanuja and Madhava, but more importantly the authoritative views of Badarayana as enshrined in his classic Vedanta sutras. In the first part of the book, he presents the the important passages of the Upanisads along with English rendering indicating the variations in the interpretation by the three commentators and also discusses their philosophical implication with reference to the Vedanta doctrines developed in the post-Upanisadic period. In the second part he has attempted to consolidate the variety of philosophical thoughts scattered all over the Upanisads into coherent doctrines under five broad subjects: Brahma, jivatman, jagat, sadhana and parama-purusartha. In the final chapter he conclusively establishes on the basis of an objective evaluation of the views of the commentators that the Upanisads do not support the main tenets of Advaita such as the concept of Nirvisesa Brahman, the identity of jivatman and Brahman, the phenomenal character of the jagat and the doctrine of maya. The author maintains with sufficient textual support that the nature of the philosophy advocated by the Upanisads in Theistic Monism (savisesadvaita). This book, which is the first of its kind, presents an authentic and comprehensive exposition of the Philosophy of the Upanisads.
S.M. Srinivasa Chari is a Vedanta scholar trained up by eminent traditional teachers. He did his Ph.D. from University of Madras. His other published works are: Advaita and Visistadvaita - A study based on Vedanta Desika's Satadusani; Fundamentals of Visistadvaita Vedanta - A study based on Vedanta Desika's Tattva-mukta-kalapa; Vaisnavism-Its Philosophy, Theology and Religious Discipline; Philosophy and Theistic Mysticism of the Alvars; and The Philosophy of the Vedantasutra - A study based on the evaluation ofthe commentaries of Samkara, Ramanuja and Madhva.
My book on The Philosophy of the Vedantasutra has attempted to establish on the basis of an objective evaluation of the comments of Samkara, Ramanuja and Madhva that the system of Vedanta adumbrated by Badarayaṇa in his classic sutras is Theistic Monism (Savisesa Brahmadvaita). In this study an important question arises whether the Upanisads which constitute the foundation for the Vedanta system present the same philosophy. The ancient commentators on the Upanisads maintain divergent views on this matter. It is Idealistic Monism (Nirvisesa Brahmadvaita), according to Samkara, Theistic Monism (Savisesa Brahmadvaita) according to Ramanuja and Theistic Dualism (Dvaita), according to Madhva. Modern scholars, both European and Indian, who have written several books on the Upanisads including translations are also widely divided in their opinion, being generally influenced by the views of the ancient commentators. In order to find out the correct position, a detailed and dispassionate study of the Upanisads is undertaken in the present work.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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