Hermeneutics and Language in Purva Mimamsa: A Study in Sabara Bhasya

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  • Book Name Hermeneutics and Language in Purva Mimamsa: A Study in Sabara Bhasya
  • Author Othmar Gachter
  • Language, Pages English, 174 Pgs. (HB)
  • Upload Date 2022 / 07 / 27
  • ISBN 9788120806924, 8120806921
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Hermeneutics and Language in Purva Mimamsa: A Study in Sabara Bhasya
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This critical investigation into Sabara's realism shows Satyam as the real coincidence between reality and language. Sabara's statement: Sabda speaks, it makes known is the key to language. Language by its very nature neither objectifies nor subjectifies the status of reality. It presents through Sabda what it really is. Hermeneutics sustains this intrinsic function of language. It aims at overcoming the lack of understanding.

This Indian approach asserts hermeneutics as an experience in which man participates fully in reality and language as one whole. Genuine hermeneutics is thus the real response to what really is and that includes also the response to actual life.

About the Author(s)

OTHMAR GACHTER holds a PhD in Indian Philosophy from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. He is a member of the staff at Ishvani Kendra, Pune, and lectures philosophy and comparative religion at the Regional Seminary, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.

 

Foreword

"Heaven is happiness, and everyone seeks happiness", says Sabara. Certainly, at all times, it lies at the root of man's effort to master life meaningfully. But is it an impelling force for life? It is meaning that supports man when happiness fails or is too remote from him. The desire for happiness indicates only that the source of meaning is the end.

Sabara's concern for the relevance of meaning in life is obvious in his future-oriented insight into sruti and smrti. A critical investigation into his search for meaning does not suggest 'returning to the beginning', but involves 'turning to the future' which has left its impact on the past. Meanings appear and disappear, because man's urge to know what really is, brings into focus the validity of meaning. Meaning of the whole as present in Sacred Scriptures and accepted by people through centuries gives evidence that meanings have persisted. How do we arrive at their validity? What is central in the search of understanding oral and written speech? Early Purva Mimamsa points to hermeneutics and language. Why and how, for Sabra, hermeneutics and language form the basis for such a view is critically investigated in this study.

In the introductory chapter hermeneutics and language in Purva Mimamsa are placed within a wider context. Sabara's view of reality (chap. II) and of language (chap. III, IV) are then investigated with strict textual reference to his Bhasya. Thus the foundation is laid for the consequences of understanding the meaning and its validity. These consequences are worked out with regard to hermeneutics as grounded in the Bhasya itself (chap. V, VI). Early Purva Mimamsa shows in Sabara Bhasya, though not in a systematic treatment, how man participates in Satyam (truth) through hermeneutics and language. Man's search for Satyam is part of the vitality and authenticity of a meaningful life. It is hermeneutics and language. Which provides a key in the search for meaning even today.

This book is a slightly revised form of my research submitted for the award of a Ph. D. in Philosophy at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. I wish to thank Prof. Dr N.S.s. Raman for his constant readiness to supervise my research. I am greatly indebted to Dr. K.D. Tripathi, a Reader of Sanskrit (Banaras Hindu University) who checked most of my English translations of the relevant Sanskrit texts, and my friend, Dr Jayendra Soni (Varanasi, Vienna) who checked the language of the original manuscript. Grateful acknowledgement is made to the Governments of India and Switzerland who supported the research with financial assistance under their Reciprocal Fellowship Scheme.

 

Contents

 

  Foreword v
  Abbreviations vii
  Chapters  
I HERMENEUTICS AND LANGUAGE IN PURVA MIMAMSA: SABARA BHASYA 1
II SABARA'S VIEW OF REALITY 12
  1. The drsta or the Visible 14
  2. The adrsta or the Invisible 19
  i svarga 21
  ii devata 23
  iii apurva 28
  3 Assessment of the drsta and the adrsta 35
III SABRA'S VIEW OF LANGUAGE; SABDA AND ITS CHARACTERISTICS 38
  1. Sabda 39
  2. The autpattika, nitya, apauruseya Characteristics 42
  3. The role of akrti and of the Specific Set of Phonemes 47
  4. Nityatva, aikarupya, niravayavatva Characteristics 60
IV SABARA'S VIEW OF LANGUAGE : SABDA IN VEDIC AND NON-VEDIC SPEECH 70
  1. Meaningful Speech 71
  2. Valid Speech 73
V. LANGUAGE AS THE CORE OF HERMENEUTICS 85
  1. The Hermeneutical Concern in Sabara Bhasya 85
  2. Language and Reality 87
  3. Hermeneutics through Language 93
VI MAN'S EXPERIENCE WITH LANGUAGE THROUGH HERMENEUTICS 109
APPENDIX : (a) Textual Sources 125
  (b) Glossary of Sanskrit Terms 149
BIBLIOGRAPHY ; (a) Primary Sources 156
  (b) Secondary Literature 156
INDEX   161

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