Maṇḍana on the Śyena

We already discussed (here, on November the 30th 2017) Jayanta’s position on the Śyena sacrifice. In this post we will observe that Jayanta was in fact inspired by Maṇḍana and, perhaps, by Maṇḍana’s commentator Vācaspati (it is still unsure whether Vācaspati was inspired by Jayanta or the other way around).

According to Maṇḍana, there are two kinds of Vedic prescriptions, the ones regarding the person (puruṣārtha) and the ones regarding the sacrifice (kratvartha).

In the case of puruṣārtha actions, the Vedic prescriptions do not motivate people to undertake them, since one would undertake them anyway because thery lead to happiness (prīti).
Rather, the Vedic prescriptions motivate people to undertake these actions with a certain set of auxiliaries. Similarly, in the case of the Śyena, the prescription about it does not promote it, since it is in itself puruṣārtha. The Śyena remains an anartha. (Vidhiviveka, p. 279, Goswami edition)

(ef and Sudipta Munsi)

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