As a compendium of Advaita Philosophy. The Naisakarmyasiddhi touches on all the salient features of that system. Consisting partly of verse and partly of prose, it presents a clear, brief, and simple account of the Advaita doctrine. Its style is charming and Suresvara handles the philosophical arguments with ease. The central question that the book deals with is literation from transmigratory existence and the means thereto. Ignorance of the Self (Atman) is the cause of bondage and it can be removed only by right knowledge of the Self which is obtainable from sruti texts. The Naiskarmyasiddhi consists of four chapters, the fourth being a summary of the first three. The first chapter deals primarily with action versus knowledge as the means to liberation. The second chapter focuses on the distinction between the Self and the not Self. The third chapter discusses the locus and content of ignorance as well as subjecting the sruti mahavakyas to a rigours analysis. Finally the concluding chapter summarises the first three chapters and quoted illustrative passages from the Upadesasahsri and Mandukyakarika in support of what he has previously stated. Grimes book is an attempt to present a lucid account of The Naiskarmyasiddhi by grouping the dialectics from various parts of the work into topical sections. These topics consist mainly of: action (karma) versus knowledge (jnana), distinctions between self (atman) and not-self (maya) and various interpretations concerning the Great Saying (mahavakya): aham brahmasmi and tat tvamasi.
About the Author:
John A. Grimes earned his B.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his Master's and Ph.D. degrees from the Radhakrishnan Institute for Advanced Study in Philosophy, University of Madras. His major area of specialization is Advaita Vedanta. His publications include: A concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy (State University of Neew York and Oxford), Sapta Vidha Anupapatti: The Seven Great Untenables (Motilal Banarsidass), and Quest for Certainly: A Comparative Study of Heidegger and Sankara (Peter Lang). At present Grimes is an Assistant Professor at the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.