In this fourteenth century text 'A Compendium of all the Philosophical Systems' (of India) the author reviews the sixteen philosophical systems current in India and gives the principal arguments by which their followers endeavour to maintain them. In the course of his sketches he frequently explains at some length obscure details in the different systems. The systems are arranged from the Advaita-point of view. They form a gradually ascending scale - the first, the Charvaka and Bauddha, being the lowest as the farthest removed from Advaita, and the last, Salikhya and Yoga being the highest as approaching most nearly to it.
The present translation was originally published serially in the Banaras Pandit between 1874 and 1878 and was carefully revised and republished in book form later and a second edition was printed in 1894.
PROFESSOR EDWARD BYLES COWELL was the first professor of Sanskrit at Cambridge University. Born in Ipswich, he became interested in Oriental languages at the age of fifteen, when he found a copy of Sir William Jones's works in the public library. He was the principal of a Sanskrit College from 1858 to 1864 in Calcutta. He returned to England to take up an appointment as the first professor of Sanskrit at Cambridge. He was made an honorary member of the German Oriental Society (DMG) in 1895, was awarded the Royal Asiatic Society's first gold medal in 1898.
Among his other works include Buddhist Mahayana Texts. Part 1, The Buddha-karika of Asvaghosha, translated from Sanskrit, in the Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 49, Oxford University Press, 1894.
I WELL remember the interest excited among the learned Hindus of Calcutta by the publication of the Sarva-dar-tiana-samgraha of Mddhava Acharya in the Bibliotheca Indica in 1858. It was originally edited by Pandit f gvara-chandra Vidyfisagara, but a subsequent edition, with no important alterations, was published in 1872 by Pandit Tiranitha Tarkavdchaspati. The work had been used by Wilson in his " Sketch of the Religious Sects of the Hin-dus " (first published in the Asiatic Researches, vol. xvi., Calcutta, 1828) ; but it does not appear to have been ever much known in India. MS. copies of it are very scarce ; and those found in the North of India, as far as I have had an opportunity of examining them, seem to be all derived from one copy, brought originally from the South, and therefore written in the Telugu character. Certain mis-takes are found in all alike, and probably arose from some illegible readings in the old Telugu original. I have noticed the same thing in the Ntigari copies of Madhava's Commentary on the Black Yajur Veda, which are current in the North of India.
As I was at that time the Oriental Secretary of the Bengal Asiatic Society, I was naturally attracted to the book; and I subsequently read it with my friend Pandit Mahega-chandra Nyayaratna, the present Principal of the Sanskrit College at Calcutta. I always hoped to translate it into English; but I was continually prevented by other en-gagements while I remained in India. Soon after my return to England, I tried to carry out my intention; but I found that several chapters, to which I had not paid the same attention as to the rest, were too difficult to be translated in England, where I could no longer enjoy the advantage of reference to my old friends the Pandits of the Sanskrit College. In despair I laid my translation aside for years, until I happened to learn that my friend, Mr. A. E. Gough, at that time a Professor in the Sanskrit College at Benares, was thinking of translating the book. I at once proposed to him that we should do it together, and he kindly consented to my proposal; and we accordingly each undertook certain chapters of the work. He had the advantage of the help of some of the Pandits of Benares, especially of Pandit Rama Mika, the assistant Professor of Sankhya, who was himself a Ramanuja; and I trust that, though we have doubtless left some things unexplained or explained wrongly, we may have been able to throw light on many of the dark say-ings with which the original abounds. Our translations were originally published at intervals in the Benares Pandit between 1874 and 1878 ; but they have been carefully revised for their present republication.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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