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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bhāvanā: Mīmāṃsā theories of action outside Mīmāṃsā


Frauwallner (Bhāvanā und Vidhiḥ bei Maṇḍanamiśra, WZKM 1938 p.215) writes that Mīmāṃsā epistemology is of significance for the whole Indian philosophy. On the other hand, the bhāvanā theory's significance were restricted to Mīmāṃsā alone, because of its direct link to Mīmāṃsā exegesis of Vedic sacrifices. But, first, Mīmāṃsā sacrificial exegesis influenced other schools having to do with sacrifices (such as several Śaiva and Vaiṣṇava ones). Secondly, the theory of bhāvanā is, within Mīmāṃsā, directly linked to the meaning of verbs and is, in this way, relevant to all other linguistic theories. It is hence depicted in Jayanta Bhaṭṭa's Nyāyamañjarī in book 5, one of the ones dedicated to śabda. The importance of the bhāvanā theory outside Mīmāṃsā is testified by: Jayaratha's commentary on Abhinavagupta's Tantrāloka, Jayanta Bhaṭṭa's Nyāyamañjarī (book 5), Prakāśātman's Śabdanirṇaya and Ānandapūrṇa's commentary thereon, Ānandapūrṇa's Nyāyacandrikā. But this seems to have not lasted so long, since no one of these texts dates after the xiii century.
Nāvyanyāya seems to have neglected the bhāvanā theory and the fact that there is just a cursory reference to it in Gāṅgeśa seems to hint at the possibility that it was already out of fashion.

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