[Advaita-l] Naiskarmya Siddhi - 1

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Fri Nov 3 14:43:29 CST 2006

In a private email Ravi and I decided that it would be a good idea to
start a thread on the Naishkarmyasiddhi (NS). I'll get the ball
rolling by providing an introduction.

The NS consists of 4 chapters. The NS is considered one of 3 classical
advaita works whose name ends in siddhi, the other two being the
brahma siddhi by maNDana mishra and the advaita siddhi by madhusUdana
sarasvati. maNDana mishra and sureshvara were likely contemporaries or
close to each other in chronology [1].

The NS consists of 4 chapters. The NS has both prose and metrical
sections. The prose sections, called sambandhokti, serve as
introductions to the metrical parts. The author salutes shankara his
guru in 1.2 and 4.4.74-4.77. The author salutes hari, the buddhi-sAxin
in 1.1. The purpose of the book is to enable the sAdhaka to remove
ignorance (1.1). The author states that the purpose of the 4th chapter
is to summarize the first 3 chapters, in order to enable easier
understanding (4.1).

Some useful references are:

1. A. J. Alston, The Realization of the Absolute: The Naishkarmya
Siddhi of Sri Suresvara, Shanti Sadan, 1971.
2. R. Balasubramanian, The Naiskarmyasiddhi of Suresvara: Edited with
Introduction, English Translation, Annotation, and Indices, 1988.
3. Col G. A. Jacob, Naishkarmya Siddhi with notes and index and the
commentary of Jnanottama, 1992.

In the next post, I'll summarize the contents of chapters 1, 2 and 3 by topic.

[1] The majority of scholars think the two authors are different.
Sureshvara actually crticizes maNDana (though not by name) in his
works. However Prof. R. Balasubramanian thinks that there is a
possiblity that both might be the same. Refer to his "A Study of the
Brahma Siddhi of Mandana Mishra" published by Chowkamba Orientalia. A
biography of the Professor can be found in
http://www.phispc.nic.in/rb_resume.htm. Mandana Mishra provides some
unique dialectic in favor of advaita in his work.

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