Śrī Tattva Sandarbha: Vaiṣṇava Epistemology by Satyanarayana Dasa

Śrī Tattva Sandarbha: Vaiṣṇava Epistemology by Satyanarayana Dasa

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Śrī Tattva Sandarbha:
Vaiṣṇava Epistemology and Ontology
by Satyanarayana Dasa

A literary work that discloses the confidential meaning of a subject or book, incorporates its essence, explains the superiority of the subject, and elaborates its various meanings, is called a Sandarbha in Sanskrit. The Ṣaṭ Sandarbhas are six books by the great Vaiṣṇava philosopher and theologian, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī, who is one of the main proponents of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava school of bhakti.

The original name of the Ṣaṭ Sandarbhas was Bhāgavata Sandarbha, indicating that it is an exposition and analysis of the essential message of Śrīmad Bhāgavata Purāṇa and a systematic and complete synthesis of Vedānta. Consequently, the highest benefit to the reader can be had by studying these six books in consecutive order as intended by him.

The first book of Ṣaṭ Sandarbha, the Tattva Sandarbha, serves as an introduction to the complete work. This book can be divided in two parts; namely, pramāṇa and prameya. The first part deals with the highly essential topic of epistemology (pramāṇa), or the means of valid knowing, without which nothing conclusive can be determined. In this section, Jīva Gosvāmī establishes the Bhāgavata Purāṇa as the basis of discussion of Reality, for it evolved from, or is identical to, the vision of Reality disclosed in Vyāsa’s in the supra-cognitive state samādhi. This is significant, for it implies not only that the Bhāgavata Purāṇa is a textual revelation providing valid knowledge about Reality, but that it also bestows direct visioning capacity as disclosed to Vyāsa himself. Furthermore, it is not only the means of valid knowing but it is the supreme knowable (prameya), being non-different from the ultimate Truth, Svayam Bhagavān.

The second part of Tattva Sandarbha deals with the knowable (prameya). In keeping with the epistemological view already established in the first part, the determination of the knowable is not arrived at through logical analysis but through direct revelation to Vyāsa in samādhi. The knowable is thus unmistakably shown to be Svayam Bhagavān, who is inclusive of diverse potencies.

Previously this knowledge was locked in Sanskrit and thus inaccessible to most readers. Satyanarayana Dasa has translated the entire text into English with elaborate commentaries on Jīva Gosvāmī’s often terse passages.

Jīva Gosvāmī’s Sandarbhas take the beginner by the hand, guiding him or her to the ultimate goal of prīti, or divine love. They have served practitioners for centuries and represent a thoroughly tested and validated body of evidence. Jīva Gosvāmī wrote the Sandarbhas specifically for those who aspire to enter the relation of transcendental service to Bhagavān in love. Satyanarayana Dasa’s commentaries have been written with that goal in mind.

The entire book has been reorganized into topical divisions in exact accordance with Jīva Gosvāmī’s overall view. This master plan can be readily accessed from the Contents, which serves as a map to help guide the reader through the book. This edition of Tattva Sandarbha is indispensable to grasp the methodology of Jīva Gosvāmī and the map of Reality he has provided throughout the Ṣaṭ Sandarbhas.

Brand new: The book is new, unread, and unused in perfect condition. As seen in the pictures.

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