the sAkshI caitanya ...

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Sun Aug 9 18:17:07 CDT 1998

There is a wonderful book by Ms. Bina Gupta, titled "The Disinterested
Witness - A fragment of Advaita Vedanta Phenomenology" published this year
by Northwestern University Press. It is a very well-written survey of the
concept of the sAkshin, beginning with the upanishads, up to recent
writers in the 17th-18th centuries. I was impressed to see that, unlike
other modern scholars, she had made good use of some little known works,
like Sankara's AtmajnAnopadeSavidhi, and jnAnaghana's tattvaSuddhi, in
addition to the well known advaitasiddhi (madhusUdana sarasvatI) and
vedAnta-paribhAshA (dharmarAjAdhvarIndra), in her analysis. She also has
one chapter on a comparative analysis with Western philosophers. Her
approach is strictly philosophical, and based on quite rigorous textual
sources, which is a refreshing change from other authors I've read
recently. Ms. Gupta has also written an earlier book, "Perceiving in
Advaita Vedanta - Epistemological Analysis and Interpretation" (Bucknell
University Press, 1991). Anyone who is interested in such topics as the
antaHkaraNa, the nature of perception, and other epistemic issues in
Advaita Vedanta must read this book.


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