मीमांसान्याययोः शब्दविषये विवादः -१-

पूर्वमीमांसासूत्रे सू॰ १।१।६ अरभ्य सू॰ १।१।२३ पर्यन्तम् शब्दस्वरूपविषये नैयायिकानां पूर्वपक्षाः प्रदर्शिताः (१।१।६–१।१।११) प्रतिवदिताश्च ।
१।१।६ विषयं प्रतिजानाति “कर्म एके तत्र दर्शनात्” इति । एके − नैयायिकाः मन्यन्ते, शब्दः कर्मैवास्ति, प्रयत्नानन्तरदर्शनाद् इति यावत् ।
१।१।७ सूत्रे द्वितीयो हेतुरुक्तः “अस्थानात्” इति । शब्दः कर्म, यतः शीघ्रं विनश्यति, विनष्टश्च न कुत्रचिदुपलभ्यते । सन्ति तु अर्थाः, ये सन्तोऽपि नोपलभ्यन्ते, मेरुवत् इति चेन्न । मेर्वादयः व्यवधानेभ्य एव नोपलभ्यन्ते । व्यवधानं विना सर्वमुपलभ्यमिति नैयायिकः ।
१।१।८ सूत्रेऽपि हेतुरुच्यते “करोतिशब्दात्” इति । लोके “सः शब्दं करोति” इति यावत् । किमर्थं लोकव्यवहारं प्रमाणमिति चेत्, उच्यते − यथा लोके वदन्ति तथा चिन्तयन्ति, न चानुपलब्धं किंचिद्वर्तते इति सूत्रे १।१।७ उक्तम् । तस्माद् यदुपलब्धं तच्चिन्तितं, यच्चिन्तितं च तल्लोकव्यवहारे व्यक्तमिति लोकव्यवहारः प्रमाणमिति नैयायिकः । तत्र तु −संस्कृता वागपि संकेतिका इति नैयायिकाः । अत एव संभवति यत् केवलं संस्कृतायां भाषायां “शब्दं करोति” इति व्यवहारोऽस्ति । वस्तुतश्च हङ्गरीभाषायां “शब्दं प्रमुञ्चति” इत्युच्यते, न तु “करोति” ।
१।१।९ सूत्रे यौगपद्यं हेतुत्वेनोक्तम् “सत्त्वान्तरे च यौगपद्यात्” इति । नानादेशेषु “शब्द”शब्दादयः यौगपद्येन श्रुताः । यद्येक एव शब्दो भवेत्, तर्हि एतदसम्भवम् । यथाहि ममैकः पुत्रः केवलं पाटलिपुत्रे दृश्यते, न तु यौगपद्येन पाटलिपुत्रे वारणसीपूरे च ।

किम् मन्यन्ते तत्रभवन्तः, कः कः हेतुः युक्ततमः?

शब्दस्वरूप एतत् “पोस्ट्” अपि पठितव्यम्

“If you want to keep on with this work, you have to be proactive”—An interview with Chiara Barbati —Part 2

Q1 EF: In this second part of our chat, we will focus on career. How did your scholarly career start?

CB: I started by focusing on Indo-European studies and, consequently, learnt Sanskrit, Armenian… and Sogdian, which immediately interested me most [see Q2 of part 1].

What are we talking about when we speak about making philosophy more inclusive?

Due to the fact that I work in an underrepresented area of philosophy (Indian philosophy, even worse: Pūrva Mīmāṃsā) and I am a woman, I am more than interested in the general topic of “making philosophy more inclusive“. But what do we really mean by this slogan?
We might mean:

  1. Including more people from underrepresented groups (women, transsexuals, disabled people, black people, ethnic, political and religious minorities…)
  2. Including more people working on underrepresented topics (e.g., feminist philosophy, (critical) race-theory, philosophy of disability, Africana philosophy…)

At the link above you can read my thoughts on this topic.

What is unreal?

The term tuccha means in Classical Sanksrit “worthless”, “insignificant”. In Vedānta, however, it gets a more specific technical meaning, to denote the absolute unreality of chimeral entities, such as the khapuṣpa (flower in the air), which will not and cannot ever exist.

Will the journey ever come to its goal? On Clooney 2013

Several years ago I had some pain in convincing a friend working on Husserl that the “phenomenologist” J. Mohanty which he knew too well was the same as the scholar of Sanskrit Philosophy J.N. Mohanty (I had similar problems in convincing the same person that avatar is a Sanskrit word). Just like there are two Mohantys, with two different target audiences, so there are two F.X. Clooneys.

Kamaleswara Bhattacharya’s death

(the author of the following post is Gianni Pellegrini)

he akhilavidyāmūrte! śubhās te pathānaḥ santu…

It was 2002, a very humid August, perhaps near 12.00 o’clock.

I was attending my class of Nyāyabodhinī, in the glorious Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika department sitting in the old (1791) Mukhyabhavana of the Sampurnanada Sanskrita University (Varanasi). In the middle of the lesson entered a tiny aged figure, with very bright eyes and shining face.

Veṅkaṭanātha’s contribution to Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta

Veṅkaṭanātha (traditional dates 1269–1370 (see Neevel 1977 for a convincing explanation of these too long life spans) is a complex figure who can be interpreted in different ways according to the facet one is focusing on. What is sure is that what we refer to as Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta has been largely influenced by the shape he gave to it. For instance, the traditional lineage of teachers of Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta groups together teachers who bear some vague family resemblance among each other, but who are all directly linkable to Veṅkaṭanātha’s view of Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta.
The main philosophical outlines of Veṅkaṭanātha’s Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta are:

  1. the Vedāntic viewpoint
  2. the emphasis on Pūrva Mīmāṃsā
  3. the incorporation of Pāñcarātra
  4. the incorporation of the Āḻvārs’ theology

The development of Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta as a vedāntic school is clear as one looks back at Veṅkaṭanātha’s predecessors, but it is important to notice that what seems a posteriori like a clear Vedāntic school would not probably have appeared as such to its contemporaries. In fact, Yāmuna’s relation to Vedānta is complex. He quotes from the Upaniṣads in the Ātmasiddhi, and he starts it listing the Vedānta teachers he wants to refute (including Bhartṛhari and Śaṅkara), so that one might think that he is keener to “purify” Vedānta than he cares about “purifying” Nyāya. At the same time, at least in the Ātmasiddhi (see Mesquita 1971, pp. 4–13) Yāmuna accepts an anti-Vedāntic proof for the existence of God, namely the inference (whereas Pūrva and Uttara Mīmāṃsā agree that God can only be known through the Sacred Texts) and the Āgamaprāmāṇya seems to have a completely different focus. Rāmānuja is more straightforwardly part of a Vedāntic approach (this is, in my opinion, also the reason why he has been often considered the “founder” of Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta —a term which he and Yāmuna still ignore). As for Nāthamuni, his relation to Vedānta can only be presupposed out of what we know of him through his successors, given that his works have been lost. Their titles focus, however, on Nyāya and Yoga (and not on Vedānta).

As for No. 2, we know nothing about Nāthamuni’s relation to Mīmāṃsā, but we know that at least one trend within Vedānta (as testified by Śaṅkara’s commentary on the Brahmasūtra) claimed that the study of Pūrva Mīmāṃsā was not necessary. Yāmuna’s relation to Pūrva Mīmāṃsā is double-faced, but Pūrva Mīmāṃsā authors seem to be his targeted objectors in the sense that he wants to convince them of the legitimacy of the Pāñcarātra transmission (although often recurring to their same arguments) and he by and large adopts Nyāya strategies (such as the reference to God as the authoritative source of the epistemologic validity of the Pāñcarātra, or the use of inference to establish God’s existence). The situation changes, perhaps during Yāmuna’s own life, certainly with Rāmānuja, who steers in direction Vedānta and, thus, comes closer to the Pūrva Mīmāṃsā. So close that he programmatically states at the beginning of his commentary on the Brahmasūtra that not only the Brāhmaṇa part of the Veda needs to be studied, but that its study is part of the same teaching with the Vedānta. Veṅkaṭanātha takes advantage of this (perhaps causal) remark and understands its deep implications: he can thus state that the whole of Pūrva Mīmāṃsā and the whole of Uttara Mīmāṃsā constitute a single teaching (ekaśāstra).

No. 3 and 4: Furthermore, Veṅkaṭanātha used the same model, I think, to incorporate into the system further elements. He reaches back to the Pāñcarātra, which had been defended by Yāmuna but rather neglected by Rāmānuja and, more strikingly, to the hymns of the Āḻvārs. It is in this sense more than telling that Veṅkaṭanātha (as first among the first teachers of Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta) decided to write also in Tamil and to write theology also in poetical form, as the Āḻvārs had done.

Did you ever try to reconstruct what had happened in a single school within some generations of teachers and pupils? What did you find out?

On Yāmuna’s role in what came to be known as Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta, check this post, on Pāñcarātra and Vedānta, see this post. For more on Veṅkaṭanātha, check this tag.

Was Yāmuna the real founder of Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta? (On Mesquita 1971 and 1973)

Yāmuna (967–1038 according to Mesquita 1973) is one of the chief figures of the philosophy later known as Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta. In fact, to me one of the most intriguing questions regards his role in the formation of this school. It is only with Rāmānuja (who lived two generations after Yāmuna) that the school becomes clearly Vedāntic and it is not by chance that it is only Rāmānuja who decided to write a commentary on the Brahmasūtra.