Feyman Lectures on Physics

Jun 27, 2015

I just went through the hard bound book "Laghu Vasudeva Mananam Evam Siddhantabindu" with excellent getup published by Daxamnamurti Math (Varanashi, 2002). It is in Sanskritized Hindi, and combines the prelimiary text "Laghu Vasudeva Mananam" (LVM) and more advanced text Siddhanta Bindu (SB) in one book. It is a good choice which caters to two levels of students with differing aptitude or background. I had read both the texts earlier but separately and not in Hindi. They had some differences with the present Hindi translation.

LVM is quite interesting for following reasons: (a) It uses the concept of aggregation to define the deities, viz. Virat (Brahma), Hiranyagarbha (Vishnu), and Ishvara (Rudra). These deities have no Abhiman (technically, no subjectivity) in relation to their bodies - they are named concepts, (b) In deep sleep Jiva (soul) experiences Svarupa-Gyana; it is termed as Paramarthika state (c) LVM acknowledges four types of Muktis. Only one of them (Sayujya Mukti) leads to Moxa as the cessation of birth-rebirth cycle of the soul, (d) This Mukti leading to Videhamukti can be obtained both by Gyana as well as 8-limbs classical Yoga (p.28), (e) A 7-node causal chain of Igorance, Indiscrimination, Ego, Emotions, Karma, Birth, Sufferance is conceived, (f) Superimposition is defined as illusion of both actions and qualities (dharma) of one thing in another, (g) association of deities with subtle body, (h) LVM identifies only four main Pramanas, viz perception, inference, analogy, and word, while postulation, perception of absence, tradition, and equivalence are considered as their categories.

The translation is rather loose to simplify the things. The classification of Chetana-Achetana (page 16) is rather problematic (but traslator is not to be blamed, it is the problem of main text). However things are not simplified by adding a sentence to the last para of the page 23 which is not there in the original Sanskrit text. On page 38, "the enjoyer of objects is said to qualify for the term Atman" (problem of translation or confusion in the intepretation of Linga Purana quote?). On page 17 foot note it is said: Sanatana Mind accepts only one God - does it really? Ancient tradition accepts many gods but one Tattva - Ekam Sat (not God). Ancient tradition also sees God in nature - rivers, trees, mountains, wind, fire, and even animals. That is the ancient legacy. One (Only) Great God is praised only as eulogy, but there are many such great gods in Vedas and their King (Indra) is fallible and attributed with human traits!

In any case the production value of the book is excellent. It is a labor of love and needs to be appreciated. I will come back for SB later.