The book deals with the metaphysical concept of materiality, termed as maya in Indian
systems, and as mayai in Saiva Siddhanta text called `Tirumandiram', authored by
Tirumular. Reading of `mayai in Tirumandiram,' is perceived from an ecological perspective
and the author of the book engages in a hermeneutical discourse of role of traditional
concepts in contemporary thinking and living.
Affirmation of the reality of the material and physical world is a dire need of our
times. A renewal and a re-visioning in line with a traditional notion of material reality
are aimed at in this book, looking for an effective change in one's conception about
nature. By highlighting particular ideology of `Tirumandiram' as a corrective notion
towards enhancing human-nature relationship, the author throws open the profound
ecological thoughts concerning inter-connectedness between humans and nature.
This scholarly work helps in understanding the theology of the body as emerging from
Tirumular's understanding of physical body and the material world, in relation to the
Christian concept of body and Christian medical ethics. Also, juxtaposing Saiva Siddhanta
and Christian understanding of the materiality sets forth both conceptual and practical
implications for contemporary approach to ecological crisis.
Scheme of Tamil Transliteration
Conceptualizing Materiality : Diverse Tradition
1. Vision of Material Reality : Gleanings from Western Traditions
2. Matter Matters : Insights of Indian Traditions
3. Human-Nature Interplay in Classical Tamil Tradition
4. Conception of Material Reality in Tamil Tradition
5. Realistic Approach to Matter and Related Issues
Construing `Mayai' in `Tirumandiram'
1. Introducing in Eco-Text : `Tirumandiram'
2. Legacy of `Tirumandiram' in Tamil Saiva Tradition
3. Reality as Plural : General Philosophy of `Tirumandiram'
4. Concept of `Mayai' in `Tirumandiram' : An Enumeration
Contextualizing the Concept :
Eco-spirituality of Tirumular
1. Tirumular's Philosophy of Body and World
2. Pluralistic Realism in `Tirumandiram'
3. Affirmation of Material Reality
4. De-Mythicising Utilitarian Value of Materiality
5. Decentralizing Anthropocentric Bias
6. Towards Harmonious Human-Nature Relationship
7. Christian Reading of `Mayai' in `Tirumandiram'
Dr. John Peter Vallabadoss is a Franciscan Capuchin belonging to Amala
Annai Province, North Tamil Nadu, with 15 years of professional teaching experience in
philosophy. He is the professor of Indian philosophy and Dean of Studies at St. Joseph's
Capuchin Philosophical College, Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu; and a visiting faculty at Jnanadeepa
Vidyapeeth (JDV), Pune. He is presently Secretary of Association of Christian Philosophers
of India. He has been a Consultant in Philosophy at Indira Gandhi National Open University
(IGNOU), for a couple of years developing MA philosophy programme. He has served as
Registrar of Vijnananilayam Institute of Philosophy and Religion, Eluru, A.P. He was a
visiting faculty to Department of Philosophy, Loyola College, Chennai, and Department of
Philosophy, Arulanandar College, Madurai. He continues to teach in many Philosophy
institutes across India. He has convened three National Seminars. To his credit, he has
published a book (Methodology for Scientific Papers), edited 2 books (Openness to the
Other, History and Historizing) and twenty research articles till date.