An Introduction to Vedantic Hermeneutics: Vedānta Deśika's commentary on the Īśā Upaniṣad (Session One)
Hindu theology, and particularly Vedānta, is grounded in the reading of sacred texts and has been largely developed in commentaries on those texts. This Sanskrit reading class will explore the way Vaiṣṇava Vedānta develops its theology through a careful reading of the Upaniṣads. We will read the commentary on the Īśā Upaniṣad by Vedānta Deśika (1269–1370), the most prominent Viśiṣṭādvaita theologian after Rāmānuja, paying particular attention to the way he formulates his theology and develops his hermeneutics. This reading class aims to introduce students with an intermediate knowledge of Sanskrit to the style and reasoning of Sanskrit commentaries as well as the fundamentals of Vaiṣṇava Vedānta.