|Budget Amount *help
¥1,900,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,900,000)
Fiscal Year 1992 : ¥400,000 (Direct Cost : ¥400,000)
Fiscal Year 1991 : ¥600,000 (Direct Cost : ¥600,000)
Fiscal Year 1990 : ¥900,000 (Direct Cost : ¥900,000)
One of the most important characteristics of the Bhagavadgita is its attempt to combine three ways to salvation, i.e., karman (action), jnana (knowledge) and bhakti (devotion). This attempt was, however, not completely successful. It contained many inconsistencies which left room for divergent interpretations by later commentators. In the various interpretations of the Bhagavadgita by later commentators, we in fact find various combinations of those three ways to salvation which allow us to follow the historical development of salvation theories.
Among the many commentators, I select the following five commentators, because they represent the major phases in the development of salvation theories in the Vedantic interpretations of the Bhagavadgita: Sankara, Ramanuja, Madhva, Madhusudhanasarasvati and Vallabha.
Sankara interpreted the salvation theory of the Bhagavadgita within the framework of karman and jnana, that is, the performance of Vedic rites and the knowledge of the identity of B
rahman and Atman. He insisted that final liberation could be attained only by the knowledge of the identity of Brahman and Atman. With regard to bhakti also, Sankara interpreted it within the framework of karman and jnana and took it as jnana or as a means to attain jnana. Sankara thus interpreted the three ways to salvation in the Bhagavadgita within the Upanisadic tradition of jnana.
With the rise of the bhakti movement in Tamil (7-9 ct.), bhakti began to occupy the central position in the three ways to salvation. Thereafter this bhakti was absorbed into the Brahmanical tradition and spread all over India. Three stages can be distinguished in the development of the bhakti movement. During the first stage, the bhakti movement, which had originated in a non-Aryan environment (Tamil), was absorbed into the orthodox Brahmanical tradition and was reconciled with the Brahmanical tradition of knowledge (jnana) and meditation (upasana). Ramanuja and Madhva are representatives of this stage. They attempted to reconcile bhakti with the Upanisadic tradition of jnana and upasana and identified bhakti with knowledge (vedana) and meditation (upasana). Their bhakti, however, came to lose, to some extent, the originally emotional character of bhakti as a result of the reconciliation with the Upanisadic tradition of knowledge and meditation.
With the spread of the bhakti movement to North India and among the lower castes, bhakti became gradually free from the Upanisadic tradition of jnana and upasana and recovered its originally emotional character. This is the second stage in the development of the bhakti movement. I, however, did not deal with this stage in this project. I will discuss the historical development in the salvation theories of this stage in the future.
With regard to a Japanese Translation of Five Commentaries on the Bhagavadgita, I have completed it up to the end of the second chapter in this project. Less