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Journal of Indian Philosophy 2010 - 38,5-6

Journal of Indian Philosophy
Journal of Indian philosophy / Editor-in-Chief: Phyllis Granoff. - Vol. 38,5-6. - Dordrecht [u.a.] : Springer [u.a.], 2010
ISSN 0022-1791 (Printausg.)
ISSN 1573-0395 (Online-Ausg.)
URL: Homepage
URL: Online-Ausg. (Springerlink)

Inhalt: 38,5-6 (2010)
Lawrence McCrea, Yigal Bronner and Whitney Cox: Introduction. - In: JIP. - 38,5 (2010), S. 453-455
DOI: 10.1007/s10781-010-9101-0
Without Abstract

Yigal Bronner: The Poetics of Ambivalence: Imagining and Unimagining the Political in Bilhaṇa’s Vikramāṅkadevacarita. - In: JIP. - 38,5 (2010), S. 457-483
DOI: 10.1007/s10781-010-9100-1
Abstract: There is something quite deceptive about Bilhaṇa’s Vikramāṅkadevacarita, one of the most popular and oft-quoted works of the Sanskrit canon. The poem conforms perfectly to the stipulations of the mahākāvya genre: it is replete with descriptions of bravery in battle and amorous plays with beautiful women; its language is intensified by a powerful arsenal of ornaments and images; and it portrays its main hero, King Vikramāṅka VI of the Cāḷukya dynasty (r. 1076–1126), as an equal of Rāma. At the same time, the poem subverts these very aspects of Sanskrit literary culture: the poetic language is thinned down at a series of crucial junctions; the Rāmaness of the hero is repeatedly undermined; and the poet consistently airs his ambivalence toward, if not utter resentment for his immediate cultural milieu, his own patron and subject matter, and the very task of a court poet. The article argues that Bilhaṇa’s ambivalence and alienation are the hallmark of his work, and that the poet constantly and consciously struggles with and comments on what he sees as the utter incompatibility between poetry and political reality. It also demonstrates that Bilhaṇa’s unique, personal voice resonates in his many afterlives and in several collections of poems attributed to him posthumously. I argue that it may well be a sign of recognition of what was truly innovative in his poetry that the tradition has credited Bilhaṇa with such additional lives and corpora.

Whitney Cox: Sharing a Single Seat: The Poetics and Politics of Male Intimacy in the Vikramāṅkakāvya. - In: JIP. - 38,5 (2010), S. 485-501
DOI: 10.1007/s10781-010-9099-3
Abstract: In this essay, I trace the enabling conditions for the major statement of the subversive subtext in Bilhaṇa’s Vikramāṅkadevacarita (VDC) by unpacking the operation of the work’s patent, eulogistic text. In particular, I will explore the place given to the depiction of male intimacy as a poetic substitute or simulacrum for the political alliances central to Vikramāditya’s coming to the throne, as described in the mahākāvya’s fourth through sixth sargas. My intention in focusing on the intense friendships between men is to highlight a significant rhetorical strategy of Bilhaṇa’s, which allowed the poet both to introduce and to buffer the poem’s most explicit statement of his skepticism towards royal power. It is this charged affective theme—one that occupied only a tenuous position within the regnant critical discourse of literary emotion at the time—that sets up Bilhaṇa’s most powerful and explicit denunciation of kingship. The explicit theme of royal praise and the subtext of its denunciation can thus be seen as contrapuntally related, which goes some way towards explaining how the court poet was able to successfully carry off his potentially incendiary literary project.

Lawrence McCrea: Poetry Beyond Good and Evil: Bilhaṇa and the Tradition of Patron-centered Court Epic. - In: JIP. - 38,5 (2010), S. 503-518
DOI: 10.1007/s10781-010-9098-4
Abstract: The eleventh century poet Bilhaṇa’s magnum opus, his Vikramāṅkadevacarita, quickly became one of the most admired and quoted examplars of a newly emergent genre in second millennium Sanskrit poetry, the patron-centered court epic—an extended verse composition dedicated to relating the deeds and celebrating the virtues of the pet’s own patron. But Bilhaṇa’s verse biography of his patron, the Cālukya monarch Vikramāditya VI, while ostensibly singing his praises, is colored throughout by darker suggestions that Vikramāditya may be less than the moral paragon it proclaims him to be, and that the power of poetry lies precisely in its ability to fabricate royal virtue where none exists, and to wash clean the reputation of any king, regardless of his actual deeds. He makes these insinuatons through a variety of formal and narrative techniques, most strikingly by his persistent suggestions that Vikramāditya has perhaps less in common with Rāma, the archetypal paragon of royal virtue, than with his demonic antagonist Rāvaṇa, and, even more corrosively, that Rāma’s own reputation may owe more to his panegyrist’s skill than to his own virtue.

Douglas S. Duckworth: Two Models of the Two Truths: Ontological and Phenomenological Approaches. - In: JIP. - 38,5 (2010), S. 519-527.
DOI: 10.1007/s10781-010-9102-z
Abstract: Mipam (‘ju mi pham rgya mtsho, 1846–1912), an architect of the Nyingma (rnying ma) tradition of Tibet in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, articulates two distinct models of the two truths that are respectively reflected in Madhyamaka and Yogācāra Buddhist traditions. The way he positions these two models sheds light on how levels of description are at play in his integration of these traditions. Mipam positions one kind of two-truth model as the product of an ontological analysis while another model can be seen as resulting from a phenomenological reduction. He accommodates both models into his systematic interpretation, and for him, each one has an important role to play in coming to understand the nature of the Buddhist truths of emptiness and Buddha-nature. Since each model reflects a different style of analysis, or a different perspective on truth, his presentation reveals how neither model alone has the last word on the nature of what is and how it is experienced. This paper analyzes the means by which he lays out these two models of the two truths, and explores the implications of their integration in his philosophical works. A primary concern for Mipam, and a factor that guides his attempt to integrate these two approaches to truth, is his aim to both induce authentic experience and true knowledge on the one hand, and represent reality and the experience of it on the other. These competing and complimentary objectives are a central focus around which both styles of critical reflection, and both models of the two truths, revolve.

Ramkrishna Bhattacharya: What the Cārvākas Originally Meant: More on the Commentators on the Cārvākasūtra. - In: JIP. - 38,6 (2010), S. 529-542.
DOI: 10.1007/s10781-010-9103-y
Abstract: This essay proposes to review the problems of reconstructing and interpreting ancient texts, particularly philosophical commentaries, in the context of the Cārvāka/Lokāyata system of India. Following an overview of the Indian philosophical text tradition and the ontological and epistemological positions of the Cārvākas, three cases are discussed: (1) when there is no invariance in the text and the commentary, (2) when commentators differ among themselves in their interpretations, and (3) when contradictory interpretations are offered. The paper further discusses why certain commentaries are to be treated as inconsistent with the base text and concludes that innovations inconsistent with the intention of the author should be treated differently from glosses that seek to explain the author’s original intentions.

Krishna Del Toso: The Stanzas on the Cārvāka/Lokāyata in the Skhalitapramathanayuktihetusiddhi. - In: JIP. - 38,6 (2010), S. 543-552.
DOI: 10.1007/s10781-010-9106-8
Abstract: In Āryadevapāda’s Skhalitapramathanayuktihetusiddhi we find a problematic passage in which some Cārvāka theories are expounded. The problem here lies in the fact that, according to Āryadevapāda, the Cārvākas—who did not admit rebirth—would have upheld that happiness in this life can be gained by worshipping gods and defeating demons. As the Cārvākas were materialists, the reference to gods and demons does not fit so much with their philosophical perspective. In this paper, by taking into account several passages from Pāli and Sanskrit Buddhist sources, I have tried to demonstrate that Āryadevapāda is here probably following the Laṅkāvatārasūtra, where mention is made of some Lokāyatikas who are said to have been able to infatuate gods and demons. In both the Pāli Canon and the Mahāyāna sūtras, however, the term lokāyata does not refer to “materialism”. It rather conveys the meaning of “art of disputation”, and is generally used in the description of brāhmaṇas well versed in the Vedas, in the recitation of mantras and in dialectic methods in general. It is the Laṅkāvatārasūtra that introduces the idea—corroborated also by a passage from the Mahābhārata—that these brāhmaṇas, skilled in lokāyata, would have indulged in some materialistic tenet. When the two terms, Cārvāka and Lokāyata, came both to mean “materialism”, around the IV century CE, it is highly probable that non-Cārvāka thinkers and commentators—as could be the case of Āryadevapāda—had in some occasion assimilated and integrated certain points of view, originally belonging to the ancient lokāyata perspective (for instance, the references to gods and demons), into what they believed Cārvāka philosophy had to be.

Kevin Vose: Authority in Early Prāsaṅgika Madhyamaka. - In: JIP. - 38,6 (2010), S. 553-582.
DOI: 10.1007/s10781-010-9105-9
Abstract: This paper examines the role of pramāṇa in Jayānanda’s commentary to Candrakīrti’s Madhyamakāvatāra. As the only extant Indian commentary on any of Candrakīrti’s works (available only in Tibetan translation), written in the twelfth century when Candrakīrti’s interpretation of Madhyamaka first became widely valued, Jayānanda’s Madhyamakāvatāraṭīkā is crucial to our understanding of early Prāsaṅgika thought. In the portions of his text examined here, Jayānanda offers a pointed critique of both svatantra inferences and the broader Buddhist epistemological movement. In developing this critique, he cites at length Candrakīrti’s Prasannapadā treatment of svatantra, and so comes to comment on the locus classicus for the Svātantrika-Prāsaṅgika distinction. For Jayānanda, svatantra inferences are emblematic of the Dignāga-Dharmakīrti epistemological tradition, which asserts an unwarranted validity to human cognition. As such, Nāgārjuna’s philosophy admits neither svatantra inference, nor pramāṇa (as “valid cognition”) more generally. Instead, Jayānanda argues for Nāgārjuna’s “authority” (pramāṇa) as our prime means for knowing reality. Jayānanda’s account of authority offers a helpful counterbalance to the current trend of portraying Prāsaṅgika Madhyamaka as a form of skepticism.

W. Randolph Kloetzli: Ptolemy and Purāṇa: Gods Born as Men. - In: JIP. - 38,6 (2010), S. 583-623.
DOI: 10.1007/s10781-010-9104-x
Abstract: This is an addendum to an earlier essay on the Purāṇic cosmograph interpreting it in terms of the principles of stereographic projection: Kloetzli (Hist Relig 25(2): 116–147, 1985). That essay provided an approach to understanding the broad structures of the Purāṇic cosmograph but not the central island of Jambudvīpa or its most important region (varṣa) of Bhārata. This addendum focuses on the works of Ptolemy as a resource for understanding the Purāṇic materials. It reaffirms the broad outlines of earlier conclusions, but by understanding the major concerns of Ptolemy’s Geography, is able to provide a far ranging interpretation of the Purāṇic central island of Jambudvīpa. Viewed in the light of the main features of Ptolemy’s Geography, Jambudvīpa, the central island of the Purāṇic cosmograph, can be seen as a geograph modeled on the principles of Ptolemy’s Geography embedded within a larger cosmograph modeled on the principles of Ptolemy’s Planisphaerium—the earth at the center of the universe. Parallels between the seven Ptolemaic climates and the Purāṇic varṣas, the Nile and the Ganges, and the inhabited world (oikumene) and Bhārata deepen our sense of shared tradition as do representations of Bhārata alternately as Alexandria and Babylon.

J. L. Shaw: Navya-Nyāya on Subject–Predicate and Related Pairs. - In: JIP. - 38,6 (2010), S. 625-642.
DOI: 10.1007/s10781-010-9108-6
Abstract: This paper focuses on the relevance of Indian epistemology and the philosophy of language to contemporary Western philosophy. Hence it discusses (1) how perceptual, inferential and verbal cognitions are related to the same object, (2) how to draw the distinction in meaning between transformationally equivalent sentences, such as ‘Brutus killed Caesar’ and ‘Caesar was killed by Brutus’, and (3) why the predicate-expression is to be considered as unsaturated but the subjectexpression as saturated. In order to answer these questions the Nyāya philosophers have discussed the distinction between several pairs of terms, such as ‘subject–predicate’, ‘qualificand–qualifier’ and ‘the first term–the second term’. This paper also deals with the Nyāya conception of inference for others, and the interpretations of the premise called ‘upanaya’ (‘application’) or the cognition called ‘parāmarśa’ (‘operation’).