Author: Sengaku Mayeda
Translator(s)/ Edito: Sengaku Mayeda
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8120827716
Sankara, the eighth-century Indian philosopher, is generally regarded as the greatest thinker in the long history of Indian Philosophy as well as in the metaphysical tradition know as Vedanta. Advaita Vedanta, the school or system founded by him, stresses the Advaita or non-dualist approach to the problem of existence and ultimate reality, and has been the main current of thought in India for hundreds of years.
Most of Sankara’s works are commentaries on other classics of Indian thought, like Upanisads, the Bhagavadagita, and the Brahmasutra. The Upadesasahasri, or A Thousand Teachings, here critically edited and translated into English, is however, the only independent and non-commentary work that can safely be attributed to him; the other independent writings traditionally ascribed to him are all probably spurious.
The Upadesasahasri is the best introduction to Sankara's philosophy and to Vedanta in general. The Upadesasahasri consists of two parts, Metrical and Prose. In the Metrical part, Sankara discusses the basic philosophical problems of Advaita, at the same time refuting the teachings of other philosophical schools. In the Prose part he explains how to teach the means of final release from transmigratory existence for the benefit of students who are seeking after final release. The Prose Part is a guide for the teachers, while Metrical Part is a textbook for the students.
FOREWORD BY JOHN M KOLLER
I: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE LIFE AND THOUGHT OF SANKARA
1. The Life and Works of Sankara
2. Sankara’s Central Doctrine and His Position in the History of the Vedanta
3. Atman’s Identity with Brahman
4. Transmigration and Final Release
II: A THOUSAND TEACHINGS (TRANSLATION AND NOTES)
1. Metrical Part (Padyabandha)
2. Prose Part (Gadyabandha)