Feyman Lectures on Physics

Jun 28, 2015

The translation of Sinddanta Bindu (SB) of Madhusudana Saraswati in Hindi has been published by Daxinamurti Math of Varanasi in 2002 along with Laghu Vasudeva Mananam (LVM) in the same book. SB is supposed to be a commenatery on Dasha-Shloki attributed to Shankara Bhagavatpada (aka Adi Shankara), but in reality it a treatise built around Dasha-Shloki in which Madhusudana explains rather tersely various theories established in Advaita traditions by 16th century. The traslation and annotations are in Sanskritized Hindi. Following points make intersting reading:

(1) Laghava (Law of Parsimony) is discussed in the context of relation between knower-known (page 172); (2) Validation by the instrument of knowledge (Pramana-siddha) is differentiated from the validation by experience (Anubhava-siddha) (page 173); (3) Knower-known-knowledge triad is not always necessary for acquiring the knowledge. In fact, a state in which this triad is dissolved is conducive to the ultimate Knowledge (page 144) (Samadhi needs to be distinguished from the sleep); (4) The four categories of "absence" are not applicable to Atman (page 153); (5) Bhavarupa Agyana (causal or positive Ignorance) is expounded on page 174-175; there Ignorance is termed as Abhava-Vilaxana (other than absence); (6) According to SB, single-soul theory (SST) is the main Siddhanta for Adhikaris (advances aspirants). SB leaves its reconciliation with our experence and logic to such an advanced learner (page 187-188); (7) SB's syncretic character is obvious, when it quotes Sureshvara - "whichever theories are conducive to Self-realization, they should be considered as good" (even though they may seem to contradict each other); (8) theory of cognition and cognitive error is expounded (page 193-203); (9) Sankhya is refuted on page 293; however, it is not very convincing. Pradhana / Prakriti in association with Purusha can be the Mulakarana (primal cause) of the Jagat. It is stated that insentient Pradhana cannot combine with Jivatma (Purusha). Why? Ishvara Krishna Karika should have been quoted in support of this statement. Tattvamasi can be interpreted to point towards the unity of Purusha-Prakriti; (10) "Tattvamasi" does not result in "realization" of Brahman; it only results in Avidya-Nivritti (removal of Ignorance) (page 221); in the next page (p.222) this position is rejected and then immediately (p.223) Ajativada is quoted where there is no aspirant and no liberation; (11) Sarva-Saxi's Artha-Satta-Pradatva (giving meaning-cum-existence) to Jagat is implied (page-273); (12) Tattvamasi can produce Vritti-Vyapti aka Buddhi-Vyapti aka Akhandakara Vritti (undifferentiated intellectual cognition) of Brahman, but not Phala-Prapti (Brahman Itself) (page 276); (13) SB defines "extreme dissolution" (ED) where "primal cause" is obliterated (page 239). This is nothing but Brahman. Can ED be reconciled with SST? That is best be left to advanced aspirant as suggested by SB :-)

After Advaita-Siddhi and Gudhartha Dipika, SB is one of the most important works of Madhusudana. Daxinamurti Math has rendered a great service to the Hindi readers and Vedanta students by combining both LVM (Laghu Vasudevamanam) and SB (Siddhantabindu) in the same volume.