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Alavandar's Siddhitraya - Part 1

From: Venkatesh K. Elayavalli (vke_at_cypress.com)
Date: Wed Jul 28 1999 - 21:20:48 PDT

Dear Members,

Yamuna, the spiritual perceptor of Ramanuja, composed many works of
which
Siddhitrayam is the most important one, with respect to the
Visistadvaita philosophy.
It was Yamuna who introduced the concept of Dharmabhutajnana,
sesha/seshi relationship,
and other philosophies that came to be known as Visistadviata. In the
following weeks,
I'll try to post an English translation of this great work in parts. The
translation and commentary is by Sri R. Ramanujachari and is probably
out of print at this time.

Siddhitraya At a Glance:
By R. Ramanujachari

Atma siddhi, Isvara Siddhi,a and Samvit Siddhi, collectively known as
Siddhitrayam, are not part of a
single work, but pendent treatises designed to establish the conception
of Atman (soul or jiva), Isvar
(God) and Samvit (consiousness, knowledge), after a critical
consideration of rival views. These
polemical are conceived on the model of the great siddhis of the
advaitic school, such as Brahma
Siddhi, Ishta-Siddhi and Naishkarmya Siddhi. Some of the views set forth
in these Siddhis of the
Advaitic school come in for critical examination in Siddhitraya. In
Atmasiddhi, some statements from
Ishtasiddhi are cited and criticised.

Atma Siddhi and Isvarasiddhi are written in elegant prose interoersed
with verse in the manner of early
philosophical works like Rantra-vartika; and Samvit Siddhi is wholly in
verse.

Unfortunately all these have suffered from the ravages of time and
neglect and possibly from vandalism.
All of them end abruptly. Isvara siddhi and Samit siddhi have no
beginning either and Samvit siddhi is
the worst hit., because even in the body of this work there are many
gaps. What we have now of
Siddhitraya is only a fragment of the original work. Even in this
truncated form, Siddhitraya impresses
upon its reader that the author was a master-mind who expounded all the
cardinal principals of
visistadvaita in a clear and distinct manner and that he set himself the
highest standards of logical
thinking. These three siddhis are of the greatest value to the student
of vedantic thought not only because
they are the earliest available visitadvaita classics but also because
they present an authentic
account of this system of thought and belief, having been inspired and
shaped by the rich contributions
of previous acharyas including Nathamuni, transmitted to him through an
unbroken tradition.They have furnished the basis and inspiration for
Ramanuja's brilliant
systematisation of Visistadvaitic thought and also for post-Ramanuja
dialectics.

-to be continued.

--

Venkatesh K. Elayavalli             Cypress Semiconductor
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