Let us not forget that philosophical debate during the first half of the first millennium was almost totally confined to Nyaya, Vaisesika, Samkhya, and a number of Buddhist schools. Jnanapt ha Murtidev Jaina Granthamala: Sanskrit Grantha no. We are relatively well informed about the early history of this school. Buddhist philosophy in its various manifestations, for example, based itself ultimately on the teaching of the Buddha, which concerned the escape from suffering and rebirth and had no philosophical pretensions whatsoever. First, however, I wish to deal with a question that may cross your minds at this point. The important grammarian Patanjali ca.
Did they perhaps accept these factors simply because they had been sanctioned by their particular tradition, and because early exposure lent them a degree of plausibility that they are unlikely to acquire in the case of those who do not become acquainted with them until later in life? Most elements of its classical teachings figure in early works, such as the great epic of India, the Mahabharata, and other texts. Once again this conviction looks relatively harmless at first sight. In his effort to find a place for the Veda in the philosophical debate of his time, he read everything he could lay his hands on, and borrowed elements from practically all his sources without acknowledgments, unfortunately. The scholastic debates about this issue in later texts make one easily forget how profoundly strange this doctrine really is not only for modern Western readers! However, in their search for coherence and immunity to criticism Indian philosophers were also confronted with the question to what extent their doctrines were compatible with certain convictions shared by all, Johannes Bronkhorst 475 or practically all, of them. No doubt from Buddhist sources Bhartrhari took the idea that the phenomenal world is not ultimately real.
In the beginning this universe proceeds exclusively from Vedic verses. I am not at all inclined to draw any such conclusions, and I would like to draw attention to two factors that no doubt encouraged the thinkers of that time not to give up their position simply because it seemed to contradict everyday experience. Bronkhorst; Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. But if it does not exist, how does it come into being? Bhartrhari's conclusion is in one important respect different from the one drawn by Nagarjuna. It tried to introduce coherence and drew conclusions. All of these developments, although important, cannot be dealt with here. Words are more than their constituent sounds, and sentences are more than the words in them.
Seen in this way, Bhartrhari's ideas on language and reality, and on the relationship between these two, are really the result of a Brahmanical twist given to ideas that had been around for a while. He accepts the relative validity of those schools of thought in the realm of the phenomenal world this is his perspectivism , but adds an important element of his own: phenomenal reality is determined by the Veda. Toronto: Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Toronto. And indeed, it seems that Bhartrhari did not express, and may not have had, any preference. The E-mail message field is required.
It shows that the main currents of Indian philosophy can be understood as answers to a problem that this conviction entailed. But is this as far as we can go? I have studied the question in some detail and considered the writings of authors belonging to all currents of Indian philosophy, belonging to all three major religions of that period: Brahmanism, Buddhism, and Jainism. A Problem and its Solutions in Indian Philosophy 2000. This implies that the phenomenal world corresponds to statements, first of all Vedic statements. Buddhist systematic philosophy, when it finally arose, was based on, and continued in a way, these attempts at organizing. In doing so, they created systems of philosophy that might deviate considerably from the pre-systematic teachings that they had inherited.
By using the Web site, you confirm that you have read, understood, and agreed to be bound by the. Limaye; Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. It is true that living beings are born with impulsions bhavana or mental traces samskara , which are linguistic by nature, but it would appear that these linguistic impulsions are not, or not always, the results of instructions in an earlier life. Bhartrhari agrees with the last statement. On the exact reading of this verse, see Bronkhorst 1988, p. Since 1979, he has published over eighty articles covering topics that include Vedic recitation and tradition, the grammar of Panini, Bhartrhari's philosophy of language, Yoga, Sankhya, Mimamsa and Vaisesika philosophies, Jaina and Buddhist meditation, the philosophy of Nagarjuna, Dharma and the Abhidharma, the meaning of the term 'tantra', 'zero' and the numerical place-value system in India, and language and reality in the Indian context.
They do not exist because they are composite; they consist of constituent parts. Besides wide-ranging contributions towards a deeper understanding of Indian grammatical traditions, Bronkhorst's extensive knowledge of Indian languages and texts, a thoroughly 'logical' approach to his material, and a penchant for clear, bold and sometimes controversial hypotheses have earned him a unique place in Indological studies. For reasons that cannot be dealt with at this moment these Buddhists maintained that only the constituent parts exist, but anything that is made up of them, that is, macroscopicany of the things that fill phenomenal realitydoes not. Who induces wild animals and birds to eat, love, hate, swim, and so on, activities well known among the descendants of each species? The earliest records we have today of what the Buddha said were written down several centuries after his death, and the body of teachings attributed to him continued to evolve in India for centuries afterward across a shifting cultural and political landscape. None of these schools had any direct link with the Vedic textual corpus or with its ritual traditions. Confrontations between thinkers so radically opposed to each other were no doubt facilitated by the debates organized from time to time by kings, about which we have some firsthand information from the pen of Chinese pilgrims visiting India in the middle centuries of the first millennium. Bhartrhari solves this problem by maintaining Johannes Bronkhorst 479 that words refer to a metaphorical reality aupacarik satta , which is different from absolute reality.
One important element, however, is never mentioned in these early accounts and must have been a rather recent innovation. He joined the philosophical debate, took up the challenges that occupied the other thinkers of his time, and constructed a system that gave a place of honor to the Veda and to the way of life it represented to its followers. There can be no doubt that this problem played a central role in Bhartrhari's thinking. Individual words do not con stitute injunctions, or sastras, or rules of behavior for animals and humans. I am speaking of satkar Johannes Bronkhorst 477 yavada, the doctrine according to which the effect exists before it is produced.
Not to anything out there, one would say. Bhartrhari did not take his task lightly. The Samkhya philoso phy, to take an example, proclaims the existence of twenty-five factors which they call tattvas that somehow evolve out of each other so as to create the phenomenal world. Paris and La Haye: Mouton. After our reflections about the coming into being of the pot, it goes without saying that absolute reality for Bhartrhari does not come into being, and indeed does not change. Varuna loka, Va yuloka , but apparently only rarely, some of them perhaps not at all, in the later Puranic literature. The Veda is its creator or organizer , and this means, in the end, that only the Vedic Brahmins know its nature and are really in a position to influence it.