Darsana Mala index

 

 

 

DARSANA MALA

 

 

"A Garland of Visions of the Absolute"

 

by Narayana Guru

 

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Narayana Guru

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The DARSANA MALA is a work whose form is strange for those used to the Western tradition of philosophy. It is a poem of one hundred verses, divided into ten chapters of ten verses each. This is not unusual in the Indian tradition, where aphoristic verses are often preferred to the long verbose treatises which are the only form used by Western Philosophy. Panini's Grammar and Patanjali's "Yoga Sutras" are classic examples of this terse poetic style.

The DARSANA MALA is a mala, Sanskrit for a necklace or garland, of the "darsanas". A darsana is more or less translatable as a school of philosophy or a thought-system. Traditionally in India there are six schools, but here Narayana Guru has divided the poem into ten and not six sections, which do not correspond strictly to the traditional darsanas. Perhaps the word "darsana" could be translated here as "philosophical viewpoint".

For example, the first chapter's point of view is that the world is real and has a creator.

The next chapter will suppose the opposite; a
nother will view the world as consciousness; yet another from the point of view of action etc.

Thus, he presents ten possible visions of the universe, of ourselves and of the value or purpose of life - which together comprise philosophy. These different viewpoints are often seen as contradicting or excluding each other, especially in the context of Western Philosophy. The Guru, however, links them together by a common thread of value which runs through them all. Each darsana or "vision" is thus related structurally to the others, as are the verses inside each chapter.
 
 
 
a) VERSES TRANSLATED BY NATARAJA GURU
Page 1 Chapters 1 and 2.
Page 2 Chapters 3 and 4.
Page 3 Chapters 5 and 6.
Page 4 Chapters 7 and 8.
Page 5 Chapters 9 and 10.
 
 
b) VERSES WITH A WORD-FOR-WORD TRANSLATION BY NATARAJA GURU
Page 1 Introduction and Chapters 1 and 2.
Page 2 Chapters 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.
Page 3 Chapters 8, 9 and 10.
 
 
c) A SHORT INTRODUCTORY COMMENTARY BY NATARAJA GURU
Page 1
 
 
d) NARAYANA GURU'S "DIDHITI"
 
The verses of the Darsana Mala with a short commentary directly inspired by the author, Narayana Guru:  
 
Didhiti 1: Commentary on Chapters 1 to 5
 
Didhiti 2: Commentary on Chapters 6 to 7.