From the Jacket:
Suddhadvaita or the system of Pure Monism of Sri Vallabhacarya claims to be the most faithful an authentic exposition of the ral teachings of the upanisads as it purifies the Non-Dual Ultimate Reality of the extraneous concept of Maya introduced by Samkara under the influence of Buddhism. In this system we have the concept of Non-Dualism or Advaita in its pristine, Upanisadic sense unblemished by Samkara's Illusionism, the concept of a Concrete, Personal and determinate Ultimate Reality. In recent years many important works expounding the philosophy of Sri Vallabhacarya have been published but none of them have endeavoured a problem-wise study of this system which is essential for its proper understanding vis-à-vis the claims of other Vaisnavite schools. This book attempts to supplement this want by undertaking a problem-wise exposition of the philosophy o Sri Vallabha and his followers incorporating the views and solutions of other schools as well.
Vallabhism as philosophico-religious creed of Vaisnavism has the distinction of putting forward a novel creed and theory of Bhakti known as Pusti-bhakti which acquires a central place in the Suddhadvaita system. The author has, therefore, discussed it, at length, to distinguish it from other forms of Bhakti propagated in other schools of Vaisnavism. The author has, in this study, based himself only on Samskrta sources providing the rader with an outline of the basic philosophical and religious theories and concepts of Sri Vallabhacarya and his followers.
About The Author:
K. Narain, born and brought up at Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh, obtained degree of Doctor of Philosophy from Allahabad University in 1959. He has contributed several articles in national and international journals of Philosophy and Indology. His An Outline of Madhva Philosphy, A Critique of Madhva Refutation of the Samkara School of Vedanta, Madhva Darsan (Hindi) and The Fundamentals of Advaita Vedanta are also pioneering works.
The misunderstanding that 'Vedanta Philosophy' is identical with Samkara Vedanta, which persisted for long with the scholars of Indian Philosophy, both Eastern and Western, has been cleared with the strenuous and vigorous efforts of a host of critical treatises written by contemporary eminent scholars. Among the philosophical schools that trace their lineage to the Vedanta or the Philosophy of the Upanisads the Suddhadvaita or the system of Pure Monism of Vallabhacarya is claimed to be the most faithful and authentic exposition of the real teachings of the Upanisads or the Vedanta since it purified the Non-Dual Ultimate Reality of the extraneous concept of Maya introduced by Samkara under the influence of Buddhism. The problem with the critics and opponents of Samkara, especially of the Vaisnavite sects, has always been the reclamation and the resuscitation of the 'reality of the world order' and the establishment of the Personal and Concrete character of Absolute Reality or Brahman in the light of the Upanisadic dictum that Truth is One and Non-Dual. Yet wile seeking a rational justification for both Ultimate Truth, these philosophers provided varied interpretations to the concept of the advaita characterizing it with qualifications. It is to the credit of Sri Vallabha's intellectual acumen and philosophical genius that in the Suddhavaita system we have the concept of 'non-dualism' or advaita in its pristine Upanisadic sense and as the ground of the real manifestation of universe. Of all adversaries of Samkara, Vallabha seems to be most successful in dispelling the darkness of Illusionism while maintaining the Concrete, Personal and Determinate nature of the Ultimate Truth. Realising the worth and importance of Sri Vallabha's philosophical contribution to Vedanta, many eminent scholars, in modern times, have endeavoured to explain his system in their writings and have been successful in explaining his philosophy to the students and scholars of Indian Philosophy, both in East and West, Though their works are lucid expositions of the fundamental philosophical concepts of Vallabhism, they are wanting in a problem-wise study of this system, which in not only essential for the proper understanding of each philosophical problem but is also necessary for locating its place and raison d'etre in the light of the solutions offered by other philosophical schools. I have, therefore, ventured to supplement this want by undertaking a problem-wise exposition of the philosophy of Sri Vallabha and his followers. As a problem-wise philosophical study always demands a comparative outlook, views and solutions of other schools have also been incorporated for a correct and proper appreciation of the validity of the Vallabhite standpoint and their contribution.
Apart from fundamental philosophical questions and metaphysical problems. Vallabhism as a philosophico-religious creed of Vaisnavism, devoted to the propagation of Bhakti as a Supreme Means to the realization of the Summum Bonum of human existence, has the distinction of putting forward a novel creed and theory of Bhakti which, while excelling its earlier accounts in other systems, justifies that it is not only a means but an end in itself. The importance of Sri Vallabha's Pusti-bhakti in his philosophical system is so immense that his Suddhavaita School is identified with Pusti-marga. I have, therefore, endeavoured to discuss, a little at length, his theory and practice of Bhakti and its contribution and place in Vaisnavism.
Vallabhacarya's philosophy and religion has a wide-spread popularity in the Central and Western India with the result that there is a good deal of important literature in Indian languages, especially in Gujrati. I have, however restricted myself and based this book only on Sanskrta sources. Vallabhite literature even in Sanskrta is so vast that it would be hypocritical to claim either exhaustiveness or profundity of treatment. This book aims only at providing the reader with an outline of the basic philosophical and religious theories and concepts of Vallabhacarya and his followers.
I express my thanks and gratitude to Sri Ghanshyamdas Mukhiya of Indore, Sri Kaladhar Bhatta of Bombay, Prof. Kedar Nath Misra of Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi and Miss S. B. Lalge of Madhava College. Ujjain, for their help in providing me with valuable and rare books during the course of my study. I am grateful to Late Sri A.M. Sarkar alias Sadhu Baba of Asansol for his inspiration and guidance.
With all the joy that I feel while presenting this book to my learned readers the world-over, I conclude with a somber feeling of grief and helpless-ness at the sudden demise of my wife, Smt. Shail Srivastava, whose silent and sustained contribution to all my intellectual attainments and writings could be realized only after her death, the last year. In her absence, I have but to thank her posthumously in silence.
I am thankful to M/s Indological Research Centre, Varanasi, for having agreed to publish this work.
I am thankful to M/s. Ayushi Computers, Varanasi, for their hard labour in composing the book so gracefully. My thanks are also due to M/s. Kabra Offsets, Varanasi, for their elegant printing.
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