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«Saurashtra University Re – Accredited Grade ‘B’ by NAAC (CGPA 2.93) Solanki, Harsha H., 2008, “A metaphysical exposition of Akshara Brahma in ...»

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Saurashtra University

Re – Accredited Grade ‘B’ by NAAC

(CGPA 2.93)

Solanki, Harsha H., 2008, “A metaphysical exposition of Akshara Brahma in

Swaminarayan Philosophy”, thesis PhD, Saurashtra University

http://etheses.saurashtrauniversity.edu/id/eprint/796

Copyright and moral rights for this thesis are retained by the author

A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study,

without prior permission or charge.

This thesis cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the Author.

The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the Author When referring to this work, full bibliographic details including the author, title, awarding institution and date of the thesis must be given.

Saurashtra University Theses Service http://etheses.saurashtrauniversity.edu repository@sauuni.ernet.in © The Author A THESIS

SUBMITTED TO

SAURASHTRA UNIVERSITY

FOR THE DEGREE OF

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

In Philosophy Faculty of Arts.

ON

A METAPHYSICAL EXPOSITION

OF AKSHARA BRAHMA

IN SWAMINARAYAN PHILOSOPHY.

Researcher : Guide :

Ms. Harsha H. Solanki Dr. Shilendra S. Sharma Head 2 – Bhaktinagar Society, Department of Philosophy ‘Jogi’ opp. Hemani Hospital Saurashtra University

RAJKOT RAJKOT

Reg. No. 3371 Date : 13/03/2006 December - 2008

CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that Ms. Harsha H. Solanki has completed her Ph.D. Thesis on “ A metaphysical exposition of Akshar Brahma in a Swaminarayana philosophy ” This is her original work in which she has referred to original and secondary sources in Swaminarayana philosophy and its contemporary reference. Moreover this work or its any part is neither published nor submitted to any university or any where for any other degree or diploma.

Guide :

Dr. Shilendra S. Sharma Head Place : Department of Philosophy Date : Saurashtra University Rajkot

DECLARATION

The content of this thesis which has been completed by me under the Guidance of Dr. Shilendra S. Sharma makes an original contribution in the field of Swāminārāyan≥a Vedānta and its application to current philosophical as well as scientific thoughts. Moreover this work or its any part is neither published nor submitted to any university or any where for any other degree or diploma.

–  –  –

The moment of self – expression as the introductory preface of my doctorate dissertation on “A metaphysical exposition of Aks≥ara Brahma in Swāminārāyana philosophy” fills my consciousness with the state of spiritual satisfaction in the deepest level.

I am fortunate enough to have this body of Human being in Bharata, in Indian Spiritual and cultural tradition and particularly in Swāminārāyana sect. moreover I have got the inspiration in my family and also in my society very much.

I took Sanskrit as any principle subject at graduate and post – graduate level. During this time I received the spiritual inspiration as well as imperative for the study and research in philosophy. I completed my post – graduation in philosophy and sleeked the topic of the Concept of Aks≥ara Brahma in Swāminārāyana philosophy as my doctorate dissertation.

With this background of Sanskrit and the general religious as well as spiritual atmosphere around me, I have had certain thoughts and concepts in my mind which are established and accepted on the ground of faith and, partly, realization, but they require, a systematic rational comprehension and exposition. The concept of Aks≥ara in Swāminārāyan≥a metaphysics was one of them.

During this period, we received the spiritual imperative of the study of systematic philosophy in a perfect order. In the same time, some twenty years ago, I received the spiritual instruction from personified spiritual inspirer for doing my Ph. D. I honored and accepted it and it became the seed of my present research work.

The present research work is a result of my considerations, reflections, and investigations on metaphysical issues which I started after my completion of M.A. in Philosophy. The work is neither for any type of carrier orientation, nor for any type of worldly achievement. It has a definite spiritual component and dimensions which lies in my personality and which is a definite ingredient in my spiritual development.

In this regard, I am extremely thankful, as in all aspects of my personality, to Shree Sahajanandji Swāmi Maharaja, who provided, among many other things, a rational dialogue in regional language with spiritual and metaphysical ideas and theories. The infinite universe theory is just one of the examples which is found in Vacanāmr≥ta. I cannot express my gratitude in linguistic frame work as it is a permanent part of my personality.

With spiritual and religious Hon bur and with the fullest expression of the gratitude from my consciousness, I express my grateful state to Param Pujya H.D.H. Shree Pramukha Swāmi Maharaja whose divine inspiration has provided religious and spiritual light in me as in many others.





I cannot express my state of consciousness with reference to the exposition of gratitude to my spiritual inspirer Param Pujya Sadhu Shree Keshavjivandasaji (Mahanta Swāmi) as it is a matter of unexpressible in linguistic words. His spiritual imperative has given the way in this realm as in many others.

I have been very much thankful to all Acāryās of Vedānta system, R≥s≥i’s and philosophers of Indian as well as west for their invaluable enterprise in the systematization of philosophy.

Many saints and scholars are kind enough to provide help and impart blessings for this work. To mention the names of few of them, I am thankful to Pujya Viveksagar Swāmi, Pujya Shrutiprakash Swāmi, Pujya Jnaneswara Swāmi, Pujya Rasikavihariji Swāmi, Pujya Bhadresha Swāmi and Pujya Bhaktisagar Swāmi for their direct and / or indirect help and blessings for this work.

I persuited this research work in Saurashtra University where I took my both post – graduate degrees of Sanskrit and Philosophy. The enhancement of academic atmosphere and orientation in research is very much appealing and helpful. I am thankful for this to Hońable Vice-chancellor Dr.

Kamlesh P. Joshipura and Hona’ble Pro-Vice chancellor Shree Kalpakbhai T. Trivedi.

I express the state of gratitude to My Guide Dr. Shilendra S. Sharma for providing Guidance in the rational, Comprehension and evaluative interpretation of this work together with the full – fillment of spiritual inspiration in part.

I am also thankful to Registrar, Librarian and other administrative staff of Saurashtra University for providing appropriate administrative actions in time.

I am very much thankful to Dr. Chandrika B. Vadher, who is in the role of my sister and guide both in my entire academic carrier in philosophy, for providing the anatomical systematization of ontological and cosmological issues of Swāminārāyan≥a philosophy.

I am particularly thankful to my sister Chandrika Solanki for providing a lot of help in typing proof reading of this research work. Without her help, this work could not have been completed. I am also thankful to my mother, Hemalataben, to my late father Harilalbhai for giving this type of religious and cultural heritage. Even his collected library has done great help in my work. I also express my gratitude to my sister Karnika for providing the inspiration in Bhakti – marga.

It is needless, and appears somehow formal, to express the state of gratitude to my own family which provided help and created situation which are appropriate for study and research. Yet, I express my heartiest gratitude to my husband shree Bhagavanji D. Vaghela, my beloved son Malaya and my daughter in – low Rajal.

Lastly I am also thankful to Mr. Vishal Joshi for the typing and composition of this research work.

I have heard, and believed also, that completion of Ph.D. is simply a beginning of a genuine research work. With the determination of the continuation of research work further, particularly with reference to infinite universe theory and the role of Aks≥ara as its background reality from uncultivated field of Indian philosophy and Swāminārāyan≥a metaphysics and in comparison to many universe theory in current cosmology and theoretical physics. [If it will be possible for me to a quire sufficient background in the later one] I keep the state of “Maun” at this juncture in the sense of my spiritual inspiration.

–  –  –

l.2. THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF RESEARCH.

l.3. METHODOLOGY AND RESEARCH PROJECT

COMPILATION:

1.4. SOURCES AND ORIGINAL CONTRIBUTION.

–  –  –

There is a continuous tendency in Indian metaphysics since the time of Ṛg-veda to the contemporary schools of thoughts, regarding the metaphysical exposition and explanation of universe. In entire metaphysical systembuilding programme the rational cosmology remains as an important component. It is observed and felt that in spite of various and multiple philosophical trends in Indian philosophy, there is a continuous flow of coherent philosophizing regarding the nature of ultimate reality with reference to cosmological considerations which are represented in Vaidic cosmology with the effective examples of Puruṣa Sūkta, Hiraṇyagarbha Sūkta and Nāsadiya Sūkta of Ṛg-veda and these fundamental ontic-cum-cosmic concepts and thoughts are presented, cultivated and, some time, reconstructed in contemporary Indian thoughts. One important example of the above mentioned observation is Swāminārāyaṇa philosophy which demands a reconstructive presentations of its certain important philosophical concepts with reference to classical Indian philosophy (Sanātan ~2~ Bhāratīya Darśan) and in relevance to the current philosophical position of world philosophizing.

The questions about the creation or origin of the universe are important ontological questions in the history of world philosophy. In western philosophy, these questions are the starting points of entire philosophical movement of ancient Greek philosophy. The position of Indian philosophy has remained regarding these cosmological and cosmo genetic questions is consistent with its basic spiritualistic as well as idealistic ontic commitment. This is a basic current which remains same in almost entire long philosophical tradition of Indian philosophy.

Here the point of metaphysical consideration is this that, when the question of the origin of universe is taken into account in Indian metaphysics, it is always taken as a origin with space and time. The origin is never viewed as a causal projection or result, in pre-existing temporal conditions with a well defined causal relationship. This metaphysical origin and its consideration can be seen from Ṛg-veda to contemporary Indian thoughts, and in the given context, in Swāminārāyaṇa metaphysics. The Nāsadiya Sūkta of Ṛg-veda which states, first time in the history of world a non spatiotemporal description of the origin of the cosmos is the main starting point of the present research work and is dealt with other Sūktas and concepts in the second chapter and so this forms the starting basis of the present research work. The reconstruction and re-statement of the basic arguments and ~3~ statements of Vaidic cosmology have been made and a line of continuous development has been taken from Aupaniṣadic concept of Reality through different schools of Vedānta up to Swāminārāyaṇa metaphysics. This metaphysical aspect of ultimate reality with reference to the basic theme of this research work has been critically investigated in the second chapter of this work mainly with reference to Vedās and Aupaniṣadic ontology.

With many metaphysical dimensions of the concept of Akṣara, which will be subsequently worked out in the present research work, the main emphasis is to be put on the metacosmological considerations of Vacanāmṛ̣uta. It contains the many-universe theory which is metaphysically important and at the same time it has a definite reference with cotemporary theoretical physics and cosmology. It is so felt by the researcher that the metaphysical exposition of the concept of Akṣara in Swāminārāyaṇa philosophy with ontic and cosmological reference can through some light on contemporary cosmological riddles as well as there can be a fundamental contribution in the understanding of the fundamental nature of consciousness at cosmic and metacosmic scale.

It inevitably appears that in Swāminārāyaṇa metaphysics there is a ramified form of the cosmological concept of Akṣara as it is represented in Aupaniṣadic philosophy. It strongly appears to the researcher that a systematic exposition of the concept of Akṣara in the context ~4~ of contemporary philosophizing can contribute some important philosophical clarifications in certain cosmologicalcum-metaphysical principles of Indian philosophy. Present research work attempts to make a critically investigated

exposition of Akṣara Tattva as:

–  –  –

[B] The status of transcendental consciousness in the origin and epistemic cognizer of infinite universes.

These both themes are to be worked out from Swāminārāyaṇa metaphysics.

With these reconstructed metaphysical expositions and critical estimations, there is a dimension of comparative research. This dimension does not imply simply classical metaphysical discourse but it reveals a new dimension of the philosophizing on the universe as a whole. It is generally felt, in western philosophizing that the questions regarding the origin and considerations of the universe as a whole fall generally in the realm of theology and philosophy of religion.



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