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date: 23 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Sanskrit author, Nīlakaṇṭha Caturdhara, was active in the seventeenth century. His idiosyncratic works are representative of the lively intellectual scene in Benares in India’s early modern moment, the later era of the Great Mughals. In his writings, Nīlakaṇṭha sought to define an intellectually defensible boundary for the Vedic nondualist philosophy of Advaita Vedānta. His philosophical works are notable for their focus on other nondualist thinkers of the recent past, particularly the south Indian polymath, Appayya Dīkṣita. Nīlakaṇṭha’s philosophical efforts reveal the contentious theological and social context, in which philosophical and exetical arguments about the soul’s relationship to God and its final destiny were central.

Keywords: Nīlakaṇṭha, Appayya, Madhusūdana, brahman, māyā, avidyā, early modern India, nondualism

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