Udayana and his Philosophy (An Old & Rare Book)

Udayana and his Philosophy (An Old & Rare Book)

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Book Specification

Item Code: UAN861
Author: Dr. K. Visweswari Amma
Language: English
Edition: 1985
Pages: 220
Other Details 8.80 X 5.80 inch
Weight 310 gm

Book Description

Acharya Udayann occupies a prominent place in the history of Indian Philosophy. He was a great theistic logician of Mithila, the land of the Nyaya-Vaishesika philosophers of the eminence of Vachaspati, Jayanta & Gangesha who flourished in the early medieval period of Indian history. Udayana heralded the advent of the Neo-Nyaya system, elabo rately expounded about a century and a half later by Gangesha and paved the way for an effective synthesis of the Nyaya and Vaishesika schools of thought.

The present work attempts a critical study of the philosophy of Udayana with a comprehensive reference to the salient features of his philosophical doctrines and makes an appraisal of his con tribution to the Nyaya-Vaishesika school of Indian philosophy.

Dr. K. Visweswari Amma (b. 1929) was educated in Trivandrum. A first Class Master's Degree holder in Sanskrit, she was awarded the Ph. D. degree by the University of Kerala for her studies on Udayana.

She joined the Oriental Research Institute & Library of the University in 1962 and at present holds a senior position as a Research Officer. Her publications include editions of ancient Sanskrit texts like Acharasangraha & Udujatakodaya, treatises on Astrology issued under the banner of the Trivandrum Sanskrit Series.

Acarya Udayana (c. A. D. 1020-1050) occupies a promi nent place in the history of Indian philosophy. He was a great theistic logician of Mithila, the land of the Nyaya-Vaidesika philosophers of the eminence of Vacaspati-mlára, Jayanta bhatta and Gangela, who flourished in the early medieval period of Indian history. Udayana heralded the advent of the Neo-Nyaya system, elaborately expounded about a century and a half later by Gangesa (c. A.D. 1200), and paved the way for an effective synthesis of the Nyaya and the Vai esika schools of thought. Again, he is particularly known for his strong affirmation of the existence of God and the individual soul against the Buddhist view which denied their entity. Udayana wrote at least seven books, the most notable amongst these being the Nyaya kusumañjall and the Atma-tattvaviveka (commonly, and significantly enough, known as Bauddha dhikkara), in which he firmly established the existence of God and Atman, brilliantly parading convincing arguments in favour of his contention and vehemently refuting the premises tending to sustain the opposite view. His other works are Laksanavali, Nyaya-parisista, Tatparya-ttka-parituddhi, Kira navali and Lakṣaṇa-malá. In spite of the great importance that this writer commands, not much been written on him or his philosophy covering the various aspects of his writings. It gives me immense pleasure, therefore, to have an occasion to introduce to the world of Sanskrit learning this fine study on the celebrated writer and his philosophy.

This volume attempts a critical study of the philo sophy of Udayana with a comprehensive reference to the salient features of his philosophical doctrines and makes an appraisal of his contribution to the Nyaya-Vaišeşika school of Indian philosophy.

Dr. Visweswari Amma has planned her study in eight chapters. Devoting first two chapters to Udayana's date, nativity and life and his writings. She deals, in chapter III, with his refutation of the nibilistic views of the Carvaka school and, in chapter IV, with his forceful repudiation of the philosophical doctrines of different schools of Buddhism with a particular reference to the atomic theory; the denial of the existence of the whole apart from the parts, of the substance, and of the concept of jati or samanya; the doctrine of momen tariness; the subjective idealism; the concept of prama and pramana and of samskara; and the denial of the self or atman, The fifth chapter is devoted to the exposition of the philoso phical postulates of Udayana in relation with those of the Jainas, the Samkhyas and the Vedantins, while the sixth chapter deals with his rejection of some of the views of the Mimämsä school. The seventh chapter elaborates Udyana's stand on some important concepts such as the categories (padarthas), epistemology (pramana-mimamsa), the self (atman), theology, ethics and psychology, and liberation, against the background of the opposing views. The last chapter, which is a concluding one, makes a general estimate of Udayana as a philosopher and underlines his role as one who brought about a synthesis of different schools of thought with his firm stand on the theistic approach.

Dr.Visweswari Amma has carefully gone through the basic texts, including of course the writings of Udayana, relevant to her study, and has accorded a thorough treatment to the subject in hand in her scholarly dissertation which is eminently characterised by a critical approach to the facts and theories and also by lucidity of exposition and felicity of literary presentation. She has planned her work with meti culous care and has executed the various aspects or parts of the plan in a most methodical way. The conclusions drawn by her are based on solid evidences and convincing arguments. The various contentions have duly been authenticated by profuse references to the sources with original text cited wherever deemed necessary.

I am happy to note that this one study, which Dr. Visweswari Amma accomplished under the able guidance of Dr. N. P. Unni, Professor and Head, Department of Sanskrit, University of Kerala, adds to our clear understanding of the philosophy of the great writer in all its important aspects and details and also monitors our appreciation of his role as a philosopher who effected a consolidation to the different schools of thought prevalent in his time. This volume thus forms a distinct contribution of the modern critical literature on Indian philosophy in general and that on the Nyaya Vaiseşika school in particular, and it is legitimately hoped that it would be warmly received both by the students and scholars of the field.

Udayana is one of the greatest theistic philosophers who for the first time effectively synthesised the Nyaya and Vaile sika systems of thought. His contributions in the realm of Indian thought have acquired a rare halo. To be called as the sustainer of the Almighty from the Buddhists is no small compliment. His views are referred to by scores of writers, both ancient and modern, with due respect. The comments tors of the Nyaya-Vaišeşika texts could not ignore the con cepts and original ideas enshrined in the works of this prolific writer who composed at least seven treatises. The present attempt is to highlight some of the salient features of Udayana's philosophy.

The monograph is divided into eight chapters. The first deals with Udayana, his nativity, date, life and contempor aries The second chapter gives an account of his works. The third chapter elaborates how the theistic philosopher dealt a crushing blow on the nihilistic views of the Carvaka school. The fourth chapter shows how Udayana meets the divergent philosophy of the Buddhists who always questioned the Hindu philosophers in connection with various tenets. The fifth chapter explains Udayana's concepts in relation with those of the Jainas, Samkhyas and Vedantins. In the sixth chapter, his rejection of the several views of the Mimämsä system is dealt with. The seventh chapter discusses the features of the standpoints he has taken on the important canons of Indian philosophy.

The eighth and last chapter is an assessment of Udayana as a great philosopher who brought about a consolidation of the different schools of philosophy.

I began my studies under the able guidance of late Dr. A.G. Krishna Warrier, a benevolent teacher and a well known authority in Philosophy. But it was Dr. N. P. Unni, Professor & Head of the Dept. of Sanskrit and Dean, Faculty of Oriental Studies of the University of Kerala who supervised work in its final stages and helped me in giving the final shape. For this he deserves my sincere appreciation. The University of Kerala deserves my gratitude for the assistance I received both academic and financial. Dr. D. K. Gupta, Professor and Head of Dept. of Sanskrit & Pali, Punjabi University, Patiala acceded to my request and contributed a foreword and to him I am grateful. A special word of thanks is due to M/S Nag Publishers, Delhi for the neat production of the book. I hope the world of scholars will welcome my humble efforts and encourage me in my future studies.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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