Is ‘ātmā vā are draṣṭavyaḥ, śrotavyaḥ…’ a vidhivākya or not? A Discussion from Appayya’s Siddhāntaleśasaṅgraha
The Siddhāntaleśasaṅgraha (SLS) written by Appayyadīkshitar (Appayya) in the seventeenth century is one of the rare texts where the author brings together the different views of Advaita present at his time. The book itself starts with the controversy surrounding whether the sentence “śrotavyaḥ…” is a vidhi-vākya or not. This paper attempts to summarize the various approaches to this question in the SLS and gives us a glimpse as to how the debate was conducted. Even though the SLS was translated by Suryanarayana Sastri in 1933 the vocabulary and the style is so out-dated that it was not of much use. I then decided to do a fresh translation of the SLS and have succeeded only in translating the first uddeśa. I have condensed the arguments presented in the SLS under some broad headings and thus tried to recreate the arguments presented in the text.
KeywordsAdvaita Appayya Dīkṣita vidhivākya
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A few years ago I had the rare opportunity of reading the Siddhāntaleśasaṅgraha (SLS) with Professor Krishnamurti Sastrigal, retired Principal of the Mylapore Sanskrit College and an eminent Advaita scholar. I am grateful to him for his help in clarifying some technical details an Advaita and some of the ritualistic (karmakāṇḍa) nuances which were unknown to me.
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