Prostrations to Guru. Prostrations to All
Let us all offer our prostrations to Guru and start learning Vedanta Paribhasha of Dharmaraja Adhvarindra.
The Vedanta-Paribhasha is an epistemological work (Epistemology is the study of the origin, nature and validity of knowledge) on Advaita Vedanta following Vivarana school of Prakasatma Yati, the commentator on Padmapada’s Pachapadika. The name of the author of this work is Dharmaraja Adhvarindra. Dharmaraja Adhvarindra was a native of Kandramanikkam Village, Tanjavur district and seem to have flourished in seventeenth century. He was a scholar of Nyaya-Vaisheshika and Vedanta philosophy. His few works on Nyaya are Tarkachudaamani (a commentary on Gangesha's Tattvacintamani) which has a subcommentary by his son Ramakrishna Adhvarindra, Nyayaratna or Nyayasidhantadeepaprakaasha (a commentary on the Nyayasidhantadeepa of Mahamahopaadhyaaya shashadhara), in all these works of Nyaya Dharmaraja adopted Navya Nyaya introduced by Gangesha Upadhyaya in 14th century. The known Vedanta works of his are only two, Vedanta Paribhasha and Padayojanika or Padadipika, a commentary on Panchapadika.
Vedanta Paribhasha has few commentaries as well. The most notable commentary is by his son Ramakrishna Adhvarindra which has a sub-commentary called Maniprabha and another notable commentary is by his nephew Peddaa Dikshita. There is also a commentary by Narayanabhatta Sastrin called Bhushanam. There are two books with English translation one by Swami Madhavananda of Ramakrishna Mutt and other by Prof S.S.Suryanarayana Shastri. There are eight chapters in this work, and first 6 chapters explains each of 6 pramanams in the light of Vedanta.
Pramanam means valid knowledge.
Agama (Verbal testimony)
As regard to valid means of knowledge there is difference among different systems.
Charvakas – Only Prathyaksham
Buddhists and Vaiseshikas – Prathyaksha and Anumana
Sankhya and Yoga – Prathyaksham, anumanam, agama
Nyaya – prathyaksham, anumanam, agama, and upamana
Prabhakara Mimamsa – Prathyaksham, Anumanam, Agamam, Upamanam and Arthapathi
Vedanta and Bhatta Mimamsa - Prathyaksham, Anumanam, Agamam, Upamanam, Arthapathi and Anupalabdhi.
In this work, each of the six pramanams are explained in detail from Vedanta view point and also refutes other systems mainly Nyaya system. This work is in prose form except for the introduction part in which the author introduces himself.
Tam nowmi paramaathmaanam satchitaanandha vigraham
To that Supreme Self, the embodiment of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss Absolute, by the manifestation of the nescience (avidya) relating to which the projection of the (simple) elements and things made up of these elements takes place, I bow.
Any vedantic work will start by prostrating either Guru or Isvara or Brahman. Here, Dharmaraja prostartes to Brahman which is of the nature of Existence-Consciousness – Bliss Absolute. And it is because of ignorance of this Ultimate Reality, the world got manifested by the 5 elements. Avidya doesn’t have a separate existence other than Brahman, and yet it is different from Brahman. Here the author prostrates to that Ultimate Reality because of whose grace the entire manifestation of Universe is existing.
Tham pranaumi nrusimhaakyam yatheendhram paramam gurum
I salute that prince of monks, my teacher’s teacher, named Nrsimha, whose pupils have routed dualists, as lions do elephants
Shreemadh venkatanaaThaaKhyaan velaangudinivaasinah
Jagadhgurunaham vandhe sarvathanthrapravarthakaan
I salute the world-teacher named Srimad Venkatanaatha, resident of Velangudi, who was an expounder of all systems of philosophy.
Yena chinthaamanau teekaa dhashateekaaviBhanjinee
Tharkachoodaamanirnaama krthaa vidhvanmanoramaa
He who has written a commentary on the Chintamani, called Tarkacudamani, in which he has smashed ten commentaries and which has been appreciated by scholars
Tika shashaDharasyaapi baalavyuthpaththidhaayinee
Padhayojanayaa panchapaadhikaa vyaakrthaa thaThaa
Who has also written an illuminating commentary for the students on ShaShadhara (author of Nyaya-Siddhanta-dipa) and has besides expounded the Panchapadika by construing its words
Thena bhoDhaaya mandhaanaam vedaantharThaavalambinee
Dharmaraaja adhvarindrena paribhasha vithanyathe
That Dharmaraja Adhvarindra is composing this Paribhasha based on Vedantic teachings, for the enlightenment of backward students.
After these introduction verses about himself, Dharmaraja starts his explanation on what is valid knowledge, which we will see in the next day.
Prostrations to All