Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Jul 13 13:04:30 CDT 2000

S. V. Subrahmanian <svs_shankara at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:

>I am reading Vidyaranya's introduction to Upanishads, as translated by Sri
>Alladi Mahadeva* Shastry.  He indulges in a discussion of the pramanAs.  I

Is this from his translation of taittirIya upanishad with commentaries?
To make a clarification, although he gives the author's name as
Vidyaranya, what he has translated seems to be a portion of Sayana's
commentary on the entire taittirIya AraNyaka. If you notice, once in a
while, Mahadeva Sastri uses the name Sayana too.

Secondly, in that very introduction, quotations are found from chapters
of pancadaSI and vArtikasAra, both well known works of Vidyaranya and
Bharati Tirtha. The quotations are made in a reverential manner, and not
as a reference to a previous work written by the same author.

>and 'Agama'.  Is 'Agama' the same as 'sabda' pramanA (doesn't seem like) ?

Agama is used in a generic sense here. It is a word like "SAstra". For
Advaitins, Agama or SAstra is also Sabda pramANa, with the important
qualification that anything that is not directly part of Sruti is to be
rejected if it conflicts with Sruti.

>Also the author seems (not sure) to have the influence of Theosophical
>Society.  Is their (Theosophical Society's) conception/understanding of
>sacred texts considered generally authoritative/authentic ?

Complicated question! In general, no. But that does not take away from
Mahadeva Sastri's translation. Every translation is limited, by the very
nature of language. My only major comment is that his style is rather
outmoded, and may be difficult to understand today. Sometimes, he also
uses inexact translations, perhaps to render things more easily in
English. But he doesn't let his affiliation with the Theosophists or
with Aurobindo compromise the integrity of his translation.

>"...Accordingly, the mind, proceeding towards the insentient external
>objects, first causes the thing to flash and then thinks of the appropriate
>word to be used; and then man speaks...."
>I think he is talking of the concept of "ghatadeSa." as opposed to "ghata"
>itself (with regard to the mind 'proceeding towards the insentient external
>objects').  Again, which text takes up the argument in a detailed manner ?

I'm puzzled why you refer to ghaTa and ghaTadeSa (ghaTAkASa??) here.
The above comment is a generic one about the process of perception, and
the role of the mind (internal organ) in comprehending external objects.
For a detailed examination of these matters in an independent manner, the
famous vedAntaparibhAshA and vedAntasAra are highly recommended.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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