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Title: The nature and function of Vaiśeṣika Soteriology, with particular reference to Candrānanda's Vṛtti
Author: Moise, Ionut
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 5313
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis describes and examines, from a theological and comparative philosophical perspective, one of the most important topics in Indian philosophy: the nature and function of liberation; the topic is centred on Candrānanda's Vṛtti (VSc), the oldest available Sanskrit commentary on the Vaiśeṣika system to date, a system which represents a quasi-empirical, proto-scientific philosophical school that engaged in making a synthesis between both ontology and metaphysics, religion and science. The method the Vaiśeṣika system employs is to offer a clear-cut picture of the world in six categories; by that it aims to offer a response to human liberation (niḥśreyasa), a major issue with ontological, existential, philosophical, and religious implications. As to its significance and originality, Vaiśeṣika has been hailed by scholars as an old and influential philosophical system, an influence comparable to Pāṇini's grammar (Thakur, 1961). It has been regarded as beneficial for the study of other śāstras. Its worldview is holistic, pluralistic, proto-scientific, yet metaphysical, in that it acknowledges both the permanence and impermanence of matter and substance. This view lies at the interface of the discourse between religion and science. The current thesis is comparative philosophical, and has the advantage of rendering into English major portions of a fundamental text not fully translated before. It also looks at a major topic (niḥśreyasa), marginalised by Western scholars of Indology who accepted too easily Frauwallner's sweeping remarks on Vaiśeṣika's lack of original metaphysics and soteriology. During my research, I came across another major Vaiśeṣika commentary, not translated into English (Vādīndra's Vyākhyā) which presents an accurate view of the Vaiśeṣika tenets. Since its publication (Darbhanga 1957), as well as that of VSc (Baroda 1961), our understanding of Vaiśeṣika has changed considerably, and for the benefit of Vaiśeṣika students, their translation into English is increasingly a must.
Supervisor: Flood, Gavin D. ; Minkowski, Christopher Sponsor: Spalding Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available