The Tattvasangraha or 'Compendium of True Doctrines', as Dr. Jha translates the term, throws a flood of light on Buddhist metaphysics, logic and epistemology. A remarkable feature of the work is that it reproduces the views of scholars who would otherwise have remained in perfect oblivion. The commentator Kamalasila gives the names of such authors and quotes from them. The work shows the philosophical activities and speculations of nearly three centuries from the time of Dharmakirti down to Uddyotakara. The Tattvasangraha studied along with Uddyotakara's Nyayavartika and Kumarila's Slokavartika gives a good picture of the cultural movements of the centuries. The Buddhist attack on the realism sponsored by Nyaya, particularly the refutation of the soul theories which had created a great commotion in the orthodox circles, and the Buddhist criticism of the infallibility of the Vedas which too had given a big jolt, provoked spirited counter-attacks from the orthodox thinkers and a vigorous defence of the faith which succeeded in undermining the prestige of the Buddhist Church. However, the Buddhists also reacted with vigour and the Tattvasangraha pre-eminently represents this phase of the Buddhist reaction.
Sir Gaṅgānāth Jhā (25 December 1872 – 9 November 1941) was a scholar of Sanskrit, Indian philosophy and Buddhist philosophy. He was also a paṇḍit of Nyāya-Śāstra.
Ganganath Jha was born in a Maithil Brahmin family of the Gandhara village of Madhubani district of Bihar. He was first taught using the Persian script then, when his family moved to Benares when he was aged seven, he learned Sanskrit. In 1880, he returned to his relatives in Darbhanga and was admitted to an English medium school. In 1886, after completing his school education, he returned to Benares for further studies and was admitted to the Government Sanskrit College there. He received his MA degree in Sanskrit with the first rank in 1892.
At the age of 24, he was appointed a librarian of the Darbhanga state by its Maharaja. In 1902, he was appointed a Professor of Sanskrit at Muir College in Allahabad, which he left in 1918 to become the first Indian principal of the Government Sanskrit College in Benares. Between 1920 and 1923 he served as a member of the Council of State in the Central British Government of India.
He was vice-chancellor of University of Allahabad (Prayag University) during 1923–32. The University of Allahabad established the Ganganath Jha Hostel in his honour.
Honours and awards
- D. Litt, 1900
- Mahāmahopādhyāya, 1901
- Member, Council of State (1920–1923)
- Honorary Fellow of the Asiatic Society, 1924
- Campbell Memorial Gold Medal, Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1935
- Honorary Member, Royal Asiatic Society, London
- Knight Bachelor, 1941 Birthday Honours List