Beginningless time and a nice whish from Veṅkaṭanātha

“[Obj.:] Then, let it be that there is a beginning in the liberated beings (i.e., that there is a point in time in which conscious beings started achieving liberation). Before that, there would be no liberated one.
[R:] There is no contradiction in the idea of a continuous and beginningless succession of liberated [beings]. For, it is not the case that someone who was ab initio liberated is then bound. In this case the liberation (and not the bondage) would be something to be realised, which is contradictory. Rather, all beings, bound ab initio liberate themselves, the one after the other, when they get the way”.

(atha mukteṣv ādiḥ, sa kathaṃ tvayā viditaḥ? tataḥ pūrvaṃ muktābhāvād iti cet, tam api kathaṃ vettha? anādimuktau vyāghātād iti cen na; muktapravāhe vyāghātābhāvāt | na hy anādimuktaḥ kaścid badhyate, sādhyamokṣo vā bhavet, yena vyāghātas syāt; kiṃ tu, anādibaddhās sarve ´pi labdhopāyāḥ krameṇa mucyante |, autocommentary on TMK 2.25)

The permanence of time and the radical alterity of mokṣa seem to create a tension here.
Does it entail that each one of today’s beings will be liberated, sooner or later? In other words, do all possiblities need to actualise themselves sooner or later in an endless time?

PhD positions in Poznan, Poland

Open call for six doctoral student positions in a research project on narrative modes of classical, medieval and modern historiography in India, China, and Tibet. The project, which is funded by the European Research Council, is running at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. The positions are in classical Indology, modern Indian studies, medieval Indo-Persian studies, medieval Tibetan Studies, classical-medieval Sinology, and modern Chinese studies. The three-year positions are tuition-free and come with a small stipend.  The application deadline is March 31.

Please find additional information in the attached pdf (Call for Six PhD Positions at the University of Adam Mickiewicz).

The poet and the philosopher: chameleon and beetle

As readers know, I side with the latter. That’s why I force myself into reading the reasons of the former. Sometimes, I find them convincing and appealing:

Der Künstler hat ja auch Ideen, doch selten hat er die systematisch geordnet, hat er sich dermaßen koleoptisiert, daß der Widerspruch beseitigt wurde, wie das die philosophischen oder politischen Koleopteren tun, die sich dafür all das entgehen lassen oder ignorieren, was jenseits ihrer Chitinflügel und ihrer starren, abgezählten, präzisen Beinchen sich regt.

(Julio Cortázar, La vuelta el dia en ochenta mundos, beginning of the last chapter).

Sometimes small typos can be an obstacle: Beware authors! (and readers)

In his Around the Day in Eighty Worlds, Julio Cortázar asks himself why a great author like Lezama Lima has not been recognised and acknowledged as such. Among other

Julio Cortázar (from

reasons, he notices that the editions of his works are so full of typos, “that it is no wonder, that the  school’s teacher —who lives in each of us— takes offense at them”*.

Readers —continues Cortázar— use his insistent transcription errors as alibi, as part of a defense-mechanism to remain on this side of Lezama, without having to take his visions seriously.

A few pages later, with perhaps some implicit sexism, Cortázar elaborates further on the sort of engagement required by great books comparing it with Jacob’s wrestling with the angel (Genesis 32:22-32). I am sorry to admit that I could not find the book neither in Spanish nor in English but that I enjoyed the text passage so much that I will have to quote it in German nonetheless:

In Rayuela habe ich das Leser-Weibchen definiert und attackiert, weil es den echten liebevollen Ringens mit einem Werk, das für den Leser wie der

André L. Leloir

Engel für Jakob ist, nicht fähig ist.

*my translation, C’s style is much more evocative.



Short-term Post-doc at the EFEO

The École française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO) in Paris awards short-term postdoctoral fellowships for four to six months to outstanding early career researchers. Applicants must be French or EU nationals and have obtained a PhD following a viva voce examination held in or after 2010.
This funding is intended to enable Humanities and Social Science researchers specializing in Asian Studies to carry out work in the field or in libraries and archives. Interdisciplinary projects, and/or associating EFEO scholars and Centres are encouraged. Mobility is not required.

Duration of contract: 4-6 months
Deadline for applications: 1 March 2016
Period of funding: Between June and December 2016.
Total number of salaried months available for this call: 16
Benefits: The proposed monthly net salary is 1 600 €

All application materials should be sent by email no later than March 1st, 2016. We will then notify all applicants of the Selection Committee’s decisions no later than the end of April. Please visit our website ( ) for more detailed information.

Should you have any questions concerning this programme, please feel free to contact us via email at or by phone (+33 1 53 70 18 60).

Dialog between Science and Philosophy: a new event

The event, sponsored by the Indian council of Philosophical Research, Delhi,  is scheduled to be held as a Discussion meeting  in the Poornaprajna Institute of Scientific Research, Bangalore from 25th Oct to 27th October.

The event is an outgrowth  of the ongoing Dialog between Science and Philosophy started  nearly a decade back in Nava Nalanda Mahavihara ‘Nalanda’ Bihar (for the past Nalanda Dialogs, please visit this link).

This Bangalore Event is actually a part of a current  project  motivated by  the lessons of the Nalanda Dialogs — a project entitled “Dialog across Traditions – Modern science and traditional Indian insight about Reality”.


In this event the organisers will  try to engage Indian philosophers of different schools  in a Dialog with science, will try to get the philosophers response to questions pertaining to different areas of difficulties related to foundation of science issues. Sample questions are already being distributed among the  philosophers after locating them mainly in places of traditional importance like Mithila, Varanasi and places in South India .

The process of locating scholars interested to respond to the issues are still going on.

For almost all details related to this Project as well as many events prior to the October Dialog, check this link. This site is being regularly updated to help keep track of the prior events that will lead to the Bangalore Dialog. The organisers will really appreciate suggestions  from readers about Areas of Indian Philosophy which can be better extended to meet the epistemological criteria of modern science (particularly Physical science, since the organisers come themselves from Physics).

Sanskrit lecturer at the University of Texas

The Department of Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin is seeking a full-time lecturer in the Sanskrit language, to begin September 1st, 2016.  The successful candidate will be responsible for teaching three courses per semester (one each at the elementary and intermediate levels, plus a content course in an appropriate discipline, preferably in the fields of literature, religious studies, or cultural history).  The ability to teach courses in a modern South Asian vernacular at the advanced level will be considered a plus.  Located at the flagship campus of the University of Texas System, the Department of Asian Studies provides an excellent and exciting context for teaching and research in the classical and modern languages of the South Asian region.