Research papers by eminent pundits and scholars included in this felicitation volume in honour of Dr. Mandan Mishra are devoted mainly to analytical and critical exposition of the theories of the Mimamsa system of thought, focusing attention on its relation to other disciplines and presenting a comparative study with similar Indian and Western speculations. This is perhaps the first international intellectual adventure of its kind which is bound to generate fresh thinking and create right perspectives in the field of Mimamsa.
Studies in Mimamsa in this volume take it out of its traditionally recognised narrow confines of ritualistic interpretation of the Vedic sentences and make it part of the global philosophy of language and religion. The papers have been arranged under three sections: 1. Philosophy, Epistemology, Ethics; 2. Language, Meaning, Grammar; and 3. Hermeneutical Essays.
DR. R.C. DWIVEDI was Professor of Sanskrit and Dean, Faculty of Sanskrit Studies, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur. He was author of a number of books and research papers covering various aspects of Sanskrit Studies including Alankarasastra, Buddhism, Jainism and Kashmir Saivism. Dr. Dwivedi passed away on 27th September 1993.
Massive and unique contribution of Mimamsa to the philosophy of language, hermeneutics, exegesis and semiology, to the philosophy of religion, epistemology and above all to the philosophy of pragmatic active life affirming continuity of cultural tradition remains important for the intellectual pursuits in the world of knowledge and culture. Its influence on other branches of learning in India is formidable. No system of thought can be properly and comprehensively understood without a reference to Mimamsa.
Research papers by eminent pundits and scholars included in this felicitation volume in honour of my friend Dr. Mandan Mishra, who is known for his basic intellectual interest in Mimamsa, are devoted mainly to analytical and critical exposition of its theories, focusing attention on its relation to other disciplines and presenting a comparative study with similar Indian and Western speculations. This is perhaps the first international intellectual adventure of its kind which is bound to generate fresh thinking and create right perspectives in the field of Mimamsa. Studies in Mimamsa in this volume take it out of its traditionally recognised narrow confines of ritualistic interpretation of the Vedic sentences and make it part of the global philosophy of language and religion. It is difficult to put the papers under neat classification or watertight compartments, yet, broadly speaking, these have been arranged under three Sections: 1. Philosophy, Epistemology, Ethics; 2. Language, Meaning, Grammar; and 3. Hermeneutical Essays.
G.P. Bhatt in his article gives a brief statement of the non-ritualistic and purely philosophical ideas and doctrines found in the works of Mimamsa, more particularly its leading thinkers, Kumarila Bhatta and Prabhakara.
John A. Taber advances arguments of Kumarila against the Buddhist denial of the existence of objects outside consciousness. He emphasizes Kumarila's assertion that the reality of the external world is revealed directly by our perceptions and other cognitions. This is based on the theory of intrinsic validity of knowledge (svatahpramanya) which is a unique contribution of Mimamsa to the Theory of Knowledge.
Those interested in the philosophy of religion will find certain discussions here quite exciting. Peri Sarveswara Sharma makes a close textual study of the Sambandhapariksa section of Kumarila's g Slokavartika denying creation and dissolution of the world along with a refutation of the theories of Vaiesika, Nyaya, Samkhya and Vedanta.
A paper by Lars Gohler in comparative philosophy examining the similarities in the philosophical concepts of Kumarila and K.R. Popper regarding verification and falsity of cognition under-lines contemporary significance of Mimamsa epistemology.
The injunctive nature of the Vedic sentence presents a pragmatic paradox, argues Shlomo Biderman, which makes it possible to remain innocuous by opening new possibilities of under-standing the role that interpretation plays in religion. He distinguishes it from the 'Semantic Paradox' found in the monotheistic context.
To moyas u Takenaka explains the relation between linga (vyapya or pervaded) and lingin (vyapaka or pervader) and the sahitya-niyama of the Bhatta School which establishes this relationship. In his view this notion of the Bhatta School is larger than that of Vaisesika or Dharmakirti.
Self-revealed nature of the scriptural knowledge (Vedapauru-seyalva) which is a basic concept of the epistemology of Mimamsa is critically presented in the light of Buddhist objections in a paper by J.M. Verpoorten.
The philosophy of activism, as expounded by P.T. Raju in a paper reprinted here is a strong rebuttal of the general notion of Indian ethics as life-denying or advocacy of inaction. The paper will prove affirmation of life in Indian thought leading to the national regeneration and international co-operation for global peace.
Hajime Nakamura demonstrates that a Western notion, such as Kantian categorical imperative, could be applied to the idea of niyoga in the Prabhakara School. He suggests that anupekso vidhih or anapeksa codan found in the philosophy of Prabhakara and the Nyaykanika, a commentary by Vacaspati Misra on the Vidhiviveka of Mandana Mira, could be an Indian equivalent to the Western idea of categorical imperative. The notion of Niyoga in Prabhakara may have been influenced by the spirit of nzaitri and karuna set forth in Buddhism as a categorical imperative. This is an important contribution to the study of comparative ethics.
According to Parushottama Bilimoria, the autpattika (relation of word with the gleaning from the very beginning) thesis offers semiological insights from de Saussure's work and their extension in the writings of the contemporary French philosopher Jacques Derrida.
The problem of getting at the particular meaning of a sentence from the universal and removing incompatibility in the context, is set forth and a solution suggested by K. Kunjunni Raja by expounding two forms of Abhidha According to the Prabhakaras and two operations of Laksana according to the Bhattas. He also draws attention of the scholars to the fact that the Tatparya gakt1 is nothing more than the samsargamaryada accepted by the Navyanyaya school. The theories of abhihitanvaya held by Kamarila and anvitabhidhana are important contributions to semantics. These are variously explored in the papers. Thus, for example, the theory of prior existence of a meaning whole is comparatively brought out by Harold G. Coward. And again how a simple word Varna standing for phoneme or sound has been wrongly translated as 'Letter' is exposed by Albrecht Wezler with a penetrating and in-depth study of the texts and translations.
Sri Ramachandrudu points out that according to Kumarila grammar cannot intervene to get at the real meaning of a word of a sentence. Its usefulness is restricted to knowing the correct word to be employed in the performance of sacrifice. Purposes of Vyakarana enunciated by Patanjali in his Mahabhasya are roundly refuted by Kumarila as of no help for the interpretation of the Veda. This is a significant debate to establish independence of exegetics from grammar which is primarily concerned with the determination of correct word and its formation. It cannot govern its meaning, intention or interpretation.
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