Philosophy and Theistic Mysticism of the Alvars

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Philosophy and Theistic Mysticism of the Alvars

Alvars, the twelve Vaisnava saints of South India, who lived between the fifth and eighth centuries A.D., constitute a key era of Vaisnava philosophy and religion that laid the groundwork for the development of Visistadvaita Vedanta in the hands of Ramanuja and his renowned successors. Philosophy and Theistic Mysticism of the Alvars Four thousand devotional Tamil songs, collectively known as Nalayira-Divyaprabandham, full of philosophical and theological lessons, have been left to future generations as a rich legacy. A systematic presentation of these principles is presented in this work, without the development of theological and sectarian perspectives that were formed by commentators after Ramanuja. A thorough examination of the Alvars' philosophy and mysticism based on the original source material is presented, with textual authority fully cited, under six broad headings: doctrine of ultimate reality (paratattva); god (Isvara); individual self (Jivatman); practise (Saddhana); and the supreme goal (parama-purusartha); and theistic mysticism. For the first time in English, a full and authoritative account of the Alvars' philosophy and mysticism can be found in this work. For anyone interested in learning more about Vaisnavism and the Alvar sect, this book is a must-have for comparative religion majors.

Author

S.M. Srinivasa Chari

Philosophy and Theistic Mysticism of the Alvars

Alvars, the twelve Vaisnava saints of South India, who lived between the fifth and eighth centuries A.D., constitute a key era of Vaisnava philosophy and religion that laid the groundwork for the development of Visistadvaita Vedanta in the hands of Ramanuja and his renowned successors. Philosophy and Theistic Mysticism of the Alvars Four thousand devotional Tamil songs, collectively known as Nalayira-Divyaprabandham, full of philosophical and theological lessons, have been left to future generations as a rich legacy. A systematic presentation of these principles is presented in this work, without the development of theological and sectarian perspectives that were formed by commentators after Ramanuja. A thorough examination of the Alvars’ philosophy and mysticism based on the original source material is presented, with textual authority fully cited, under six broad headings: doctrine of ultimate reality (paratattva); god (Isvara); individual self (Jivatman); practise (Saddhana); and the supreme goal (parama-purusartha); and theistic mysticism. For the first time in English, a full and authoritative account of the Alvars’ philosophy and mysticism can be found in this work. For anyone interested in learning more about Vaisnavism and the Alvar sect, this book is a must-have for comparative religion majors.

Author

S.M. Srinivasa Chari

About the Author

S.M. Srinivasa Chari was born in 1919 into an orthodox Vaisnava family in the city of Mysore in the Indian state of South India. He graduated with a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Mysore and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Madras, demonstrating a stellar academic history. He had a fellowship at the Institute of Philosophy in Amalner, Maharashtra, in addition to his position as a Research Scholar at the University of Madras. He received his education in the ancient language from some of the most renowned Sanskrit instructors alive today. He is the author of two scholarly works on Vedanta, which are as follows: Advaita and Visistadvaita – A study based on Vedanta Desika’s Satadusani and Fundamentals of Visistadvaita Vedanta – A research based on Vedanta Desika’s Tattvamukta-kalapa.

Additional information

Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 10 × 11 × 12 cm
Book Author

S. M. S. Chari

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