Indian philosophy and the concept of liberation (mokṣa) in the “Mānava-Dharmaśāstra”

Keywords: mokṣa (liberation, release), “Mānava-Dharmaśāstra”, soteriology, jīvan-mukti, videha-mukti

Abstract

The article deals with the concept of liberation (mokṣa) in the “Mānava-Dharmaśāstra” (hereinafter the MDŚ), in particular as this concept features in its sixth section (ślokas 35, 36, 37, 40, 44, 58, 78, 81). Although this text is not philosophical, the author proves its significance for the history of philosophy. Based on the research methodology developed by Vilen Gorsky, the author claims that MDŚ (1) contains a text devoted to the concept of mokṣa, which is the first in the Indian tradition, albeit a brief, but substantially clear, not aphoristic (or metaphorical) one; (2) it actually describes the states of the liberated in life (jīvan-mukti) and after life (videha-mukti), although these terms are not yet used; (3) the characteristic feature of its description of the final release is more likely to testify to the not-two understanding of the transcendental state, since the liberated is in Brahman. Thereupon, the doctrine of mokṣa from the MDŚ, which could have subsequently proved significant to the Indian philosophical tradition, has been compared with the first Indian philosophical texts (“The Brahma Sūtras”, “The Nyāya Sūtras” and “Vaiśeṣika Sūtras”) that also touch upon the topic of liberation. As a result, it has been established that the idea of mokṣa is most fully described not in the sūtras, but in the MDŚ.

Author Biography

Yurii Zavhorodnii, G. Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Doctor of sciences in Philosophy, Senior Researcher

References

Primary sources

Bühler, G. (Trans.). (1993). The Laws of Manu. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.

Gotama. (1913). The Nyāya Sutras of Gotama. (M. S. Ch. Vidyābhuṣana, Trans.). Allahabad: Sudhindranātha Vasu.

Ilyin, G. F. (Ed.). (1992). Laws of Manu. [In Russian]. Moscow: Nauka, & Ladomir.

Jolly, J. (Ed.). (1887). Mānava Dharma-Śāstra. The Code of Manu. London: Tübner.

Kaṇāda. (2003). Vaiśeṣika Sūtra of Kaṇāda. (D. Chakrabarty, Ed.). New Delhi: Printworld.

Lysenko, V. G. (Ed.). (2005). Prasastapada. Collection of characteristics of categories (“Padar-tha-dharma-sangraha”). [In Russian]. Moscow: Vostochnaya literatura.

Olivelle, P. (2005). Manu’s Code of Law. A Critical Edition and Translation of the Mānava-Dharmaśāstra. New York: Oxford UP.

Radhakrishnan, S. (1960). The Brahma Sūtra. The Philosophy of Spiritual Life. London: Allen & Unwin.

Radhakrishnan, S. (Trans.). (1953). The Principal Upaniṣads. London: George Allen & Unwin.

Sathaye, A. (Ed.). (2011, July 16). Amarakosha or Namalinganushasanam. Thesaurus (Ch. 1). Retrieved June 10, 2017 from Sanskrit Documents website: http://sanskritdocuments.org/doc_z_misc_major_works/amarfin1.pdf

Thibaut, G. (Trans.). (1994). The Vedānta-Sūtras with the commentary by Sankarâkârya (Vol. II). Delhi, & Madras: Motilal Banarsidass.

Thibaut, G. (Trans.). (1996). The Vedānta-Sūtras with the commentary by Rāmānuga (Vol. III). Delhi, & Madras: Motilal Banarsidass.

Thibaut, G. (Trans.). (1998). The Vedānta-Sūtras with the commentary by Sankarâkârya (Vol. I). Delhi, & Madras: Motilal Banarsidass.

Research, reference and encyclopaedic editions

Banerji, S. C. (1999). A Brief History of Dharmaśāstra. New Delhi: Abhinav Publications.

Betty, S. (2010). Dvaita, Advaita, and Viśiṣṭādvaita: Contrasting Views of Mokṣa. Asian Philoso-phy, 20(2), 215-224. https://doi.org/10.1080/09552367.2010.484955

Bhatt, S. R. (1976). The Concept of Moksa: An Analysis. Philosophy and Phenomenological Re-search, 36(4), 564-570. https://doi.org/10.2307/2106874

Bhatt, S. R. (1997). Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika. In B. Carr, & I. Mahalingam (Eds.), Companion Encyclope-dia of Asian Philosophy (pp. 132-154). London, & New York: Routledge.

Bhattacharyya, P. (1996). Conceptualizations in the Manusmṛti. New Delhi: Manjhar.

Buitenen, J. A. B. Van. (1957). Dharma and Mokṣa. Philosophy East and West, 7(1-2), 33-40. https://doi.org/10.2307/1396832
Burley, M. (2004). ‘Aloneness’ and the Problem of Realism in Classical Sāṃkya and Yoga. Asian Philosophy, 14(3), 223-238. https://doi.org/10.1080/1463136042000270588

Burnell, A. C. (1995). The Ordinances of Manu. Translated from the Sanskrit. New Delhi: Mun-shiram Manoharlal.

Datta, D. (1888). Moksha, or Vedántic Release. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 20(4), 513-539. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0035869X00020335

Fort, A. O. (1994). Going or Knowing? The Development of the Idea of Living Liberation in the Upaniṣads. Journal of Indian Philosophy, 22, 379-390. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01095224

Fort, A. O. (1998). Jīvanmukti in Transformation. Embodied Liberation in Advaita and Neo-Vedanta. New York: State University of New York.

Fort, A. O., & Mumme, P. Y. (Eds.). (1996). Living Liberation in Hindu Thought. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Framarin, Ch. (2009). The Problem with Pretending: Rāmānuja’s Arguments Against Jīvanmukti. Journal of Indian Philosophy, 37, 399-414. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10781-008-9058-4

Gorsky, V. (2001). Philosophy in Ukrainian culture. [In Ukrainian]. Kyiv: Center of Practical Phi-losophy.

Heimann, B. (1951). The Significance of Prefixes in Sanskrit Philosophical Terminology. [London]: The Royal Asiatic Society.

Ilyin, G. F. (1992). Preface. In G. F. Ilyin (Ed.), Laws of Manu. [In Russian]. Moscow: Nauka, & Ladomir.

Ingalls, D. H. H. (1957). Dharma and Mokṣa. Philosophy East and West, 7(1-2), 41-48. https://doi.org/10.2307/1396833

Jacob, G. A. (1963). Upanishad Vakya Kosha. A Concordance to the Principal Upanishads and Bhagavadītā. Delhi-Varanasi-Patna: Motilal Banarsidass.

Kane, P. V. (1953). History of Dharmaśāstra (Ancient and Medieval Religious and Civil Law in India) (Vol. IV). Poona: Bhandarkal Oriental Research Institute.

Kane, P. V. (1975). History of Dharmaśāstra (Ancient and Medieval Religious and Civil Law in India) (Vol. I, Part II). Poona: Bhandarkal Oriental Research Institute.

Kane, P. V. (1977). History of Dharmaśāstra (Ancient and Medieval Religious and Civil Law in India) (Vol. V, Part II). Poona: Bhandarkal Oriental Research Institute.

Kane, P. V. (1990). History of Dharmaśāstra (Ancient and Medieval Religious and Civil Law in India) (Vol. I, Part I). Poona: Bhandarkal Oriental Research Institute.

Klostermaier, K. (1985). Mokṣa and Critical Theory. Philosophy East and West, 35(1), 61-71. https://doi.org/10.2307/1398681

Krishan, Y. (1988). Evolution of the Ideal of Mokṣa or Nirvāṇa in Indian Religions. Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 69(1-4), 195-204.

Lad, A. K. (1967). A Comparative Study of the Concept of Liberation in Indian Philosophy. Burhanpur: Girdharlal Keshavdas.

Mani, B. N. (1989). Laws of Dharmaśastras. New Delhi: Nawrang.

Mehta, V. R. (2013). Foundations of Indian Political Thought (From Manu to the Present Day). New Delhi: Manohar.

Monier-Williams, M. A. (1899). Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Retrieved June 19, 2017 from Co-logne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries website: http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/MWScan/2014/web/webtc/indexcaller.php

Nakamura, H. (1990). A History of Early Vedanta Philosophy (Part I). Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.

Oberhammer, G. (1994). La délivrance, dés cette vie: Jīvanmukti (Publications de l'Institut de civilisation indienne). Paris: De Bokkard.

Olivelle, P. (1993). The Aśrama System. The History and Hermeneutics of a Religious Institution. New York-Oxford: Oxford UP.

Olivelle, P. (2005). Introduction. In P. Olivelle (Ed.). Manu’s Code of Law. A Critical Edition and Translation of the Mānava-Dharmaśāstra (pp. 3-70). New York: Oxford UP.

Pakhomov, S. V. (2011). The semantics of the verbal root muc and the problem of spiritual liberation in the Vedic Upanishads. [In Russian]. In Ya. V. Vasilkov (Ed.), The Zografian Collection (Iss. 2, pp. 5-19). St. Petersburg: MAE RAS.

Potter, K. (1958). Dharma and Mokṣa from a Conversational Point of View. Philosophy East and West, 8(1-2), 49-63. https://doi.org/10.2307/1397421

Potter, K. (2006). Indian Philosophy. In D. M. Borchert (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Vol. 4, pp. 623-634). Detroit, [etc.]: Thomson Gale.

Potter, K. (Ed.). (1995). Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies. Vol. II: Indian Metaphysics and Epis-temology: the Tradition of Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.

Prasad, R. (1971). The Consept of Mokṣa. International Phenomenological Society, 31(3), 381-393.

Radhakrishnan, S. (1948). Indian Philosophy (Vol. I). London: Allen & Unwin.

Sastri, G. (1984). Sanskrit Literature. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.

Sharma, A. (1999). Jīvanmukti in Neo-Hinduism: the case of Ramaṇa Maharṣi. Asian Philosophy, 9(2), 93-105. https://doi.org/10.1080/09552369908575492

Shokhin, V. K. (1997). Notes. [In Russian]. In V. K. Shokhin (Ed.), Sutras of the Sankhya philosophy: “Tattva-samasa”, “Krama dipika”, “Sankhya-sutra”, “Sankhya-sutra-vritti” (pp. 113-127). Moscow: Ladomir, & Janus-K.

Shokhin, V. K. (2001). Purushartha. [In Russian]. In V. S. Stepin (Ed.), New Philosophical Encyclopedia (Vol. 3, p. 389). Moscow: Mysl,

Slaje, W. (2000). Liberation from Intentionality and Involvement on the concept of Jīvanmukti ac-cording to the Mokṣopāya. Journal of Indian Philosophy, 28, 171-194. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1004742001659

Smirnov, B. L. (1968). Nirvana, kaivalya, moksha in the philosophical texts of the Mahabharata. [In Russian]. Proceedings of the Buryat Institute of Social Sciences, BF SD AS USSR, 3, 14-21.

Valiaveetil, Ch. (1980). Liberated life. Madurai: Arul Anandar College.

White, D. (1959-1960). Mokṣa as Value and Experience. Philosophy East and West, 9(3-4), 145-161. https://doi.org/10.2307/1397095
Published
2017-12-12
How to Cite
Zavhorodnii, Y. (2017). Indian philosophy and the concept of liberation (mokṣa) in the “Mānava-Dharmaśāstra”. Sententiae, 36(2), 117-132. https://doi.org/10.22240/sent36.02.117
Section
TRANSLATIONS: SUPPLEMENT