Taisei Shida’s review of Duty, language and exegesis in Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā

This post is part of a series dedicated to a discussion of the reviews of my book Duty, language and exegesis in Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā. For more details on the series, see here. For the first post of the series, see here. As already hinted at, I welcome comments and criticism.
Among the various reviews, Taisei Shida’s one is surely the most precise. He carefully lists some typos (it is amazing how he checked page and line numbers in all references given!)* and, more interestingly, two possible mistranslations. He does not explain his reasons, but his points seem anyway well-taken and I accept them gratefully. The second case regards the following Sanskrit sentence:

tatkramas tāvad dīrghatvādivad varneṣv āropitaḥ

, which should be translated as

“their (=the phonemes’) sequence, to begin with, has been erroneously superimposed on them, like length, [shortness] and [protraction]”.

The first case is more technical and regards a tajjanakībhūtānāṃ padārthānām, which should be translated as ‘items generating it (=ritual assistance)’.

As for the Sanskrit texts cited, Shida notes that in one case I suggest an emendation of the Prakaraṇapañcikā which was already attested in two editions (I double checked and it is in fact attested at least in PrP 1961, which is the edition I mostly rely on; thus, this cannot but be listed among the various misprints, which I apologise for). Another instance is similar: I suggested to emend utpattiviniyogārthaprayogādhikrikṣātmakaḥ into utpattiviniyogārthaprayogādhikriyātmakaḥ, overlooking the fact that the same suggestion had already been made in the 1978 edition of the VV and in Stern’s PhD thesis. My blame, but a posteriori, it is nice to know that I am in so good a company with my suggestions.

Four out of the five suggestions concerning the edition of the TR itself regard “sandhi or punctuation” (p. 86). Let me review them by means of an example:

  • abhidhīyata iti instead of abhidhīyate iti (p. 243). This is a small point, but I am not convinced that sandhi should be applied at all costs and I am inclined to think that making the text understandable is more important than applying sandhi consistently. The present case would not have led to any possible misunderstanding, but consider cases of sandhi before iti such as viṣaya iti, which could mean viṣayaḥ iti or viṣaye iti. In such cases, is the non-application of sandhi not an act of well-justified kindness on the part of the editor?

The fifth suggestion regards a typo (labhate instead of labhete in case of a dual agent).

Let me close, as in the case of Ollett’s review, with a (flattering) remark highlighting my usual attempts to make complicated things easier to grasp:

In this first ever translation of Rāmānujācārya’s Tantrarahasya she (=Freschi) has unraveled the complicated inter-Mīmāṃsā argument over the prescription theory through minute philological investigation. In addition, her succint explanation of the technical terms in Mīmāṃsā hermeneutics (chap. 4.) as well as the glossary supplied in the appendix, offer readers – even non-specialists – considerable help in better understanding Rāmānujācārya thought. Furthermore, the internal cross-referencing within her book is so sound and detailed a network that readers are unlikely to lose their way, even if struggling in the highly nested structure of Rāmānujācārya’s argumentation.

*I hope Prof. Shida does not get resentful if I warn the readers of his review that (apart from some obvious misprints, such as Kumārira for Kumārila) he constantly misspelt my name (Eliza instead of Elisa).

Comments and discussions are welcome. Be sure you are making a point and contributing to the discussion.

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