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  • Madhusūdana Sarasvatī and the Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha

    Shankar Nair

    Chapter from the book: Nair, S. 2020. Translating Wisdom: Hindu-Muslim Intellectual Interactions in Early Modern South Asia.


    This chapter turns to the life and thought of the influential Hindu philosopher, Madhusūdana Sarasvatī (d. ca. 1630). Madhusūdana was perhaps the most famous representative in his era of the Hindu non-dualist Advaita Vedānta tradition, recognized even by the Mughal court as a leading scholar of his day. Although Madhusūdana critically engages a large swath of the Sanskrit intellectual tradition across his various treatises, his writings hardly acknowledge Islamic thought or even the existence of Muslims, a feature of his corpus this chapter attempts to explain. At the same time, Madhusūdana was actively engaged in the exegesis of the Laghu-Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha, his interpretation of which would ultimately exert some influence over its Persian translation, the Jūg Bāsisht. Accordingly, this chapter surveys some of Madhusūdana’s relevant teachings connected with the Laghu-Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha on the topic of the relationship between the individual soul (jīva) and the divine Reality (brahman/ātman).

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    Nair, S. 2020. Madhusūdana Sarasvatī and the Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha. In: Nair, S, Translating Wisdom. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.87.c

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    Published on April 28, 2020