Follow by Email

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Palmistry example in Indian philosophical texts

In Rāmānujācārya's Tantrarahasya, an example echoing palmistry runs as follows:

The being a means to realise what is desired (iṣṭasādhana) does not incite (prayuj-) [one] to undertake an action (pravṛtti), since no undertaking of action is [commonly] seen in regard to present (since one is already eating, no action needs to be undertaken) and past eating, etc., which are a means to realise satisfaction (tṛpti), [and] since even in regard to future means to realise results, such as (auspicious) bodily marks (lakṣ-), which indicate (sūc-) good fortune and are made known by the experts of palmistry (sāmudrika), no action is undertaken (pravṛtti)1, [and] since, similarly, there is no activation when the means to realise (sādhana) future results, like rain and sunshine (ātapa), depend on fate (daivika).

The same example is found in Śālikanātha's Vākyārthamātṛkā and in Prakāśātman's Śabanirṇaya. In his (still unpublished) translation of the latter, Hugo David mentions also Maṇḍana Miśra's Vidhiviveka, its commentary (Vācaspati Miśra's Nyāyakāṇikā) and Gāṅgeśa. He then refers the latter's explanation, according to which a child, to which a palm-reader has said he will become a king, does not undertake any action, though he desires this destiny and knows all means to achieve it. 

Though this is possible, the passage mentioned above does not favour this interpretation, insofar as palmistry is mentioned as in itself a future means to achieve something desired (bhaviṣyatsv api phalasādhaneṣu). It is not said that someone does not undertake an action in regard to a future result, indicated by fortune tellers. And what would this lack of action point to? Gāṅgeśa just says that one does not always undertake an action in regard to a future result, whereas here the point is the future means of a (necessarily future) result.

 The gist of the passage, opposing bhaviṣyatsu phalasādhaneṣu and bhaviṣyatphalasādhaneṣu seems to indicate that those auspicious marks will become means for the arousal of good fortune, whereas for the time being they just indicate (sūc-) it. In fact, according to the Indian study of bodily marks, bodily marks change throughout one's life according to one's being. Again (but I could not find any direct statement supporting that), those changed marks are the cause of one's good fortune, etc. Still, one does not undertake any activity in order to modify one's bodily signs.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Role of Sanskrit Studies

Several books have been recently published in Italy on the issue of the role of humanistic studies. They stress the importance of, say, Latin studies against the cultural loss the present world is allegedly experiencing. Apart from the solutions proposed, they all face an interesting challenge, one Sanskritists should, i.m.h.o., also consider. To put the point in brutal terms, Can we justify the amount of (often public) money spent for our (though low) salaries? Is preservation of the past a value by itself, that does not demand any further justification? That this is not the case is shown by the fact that I, for one, do not edit and translate a text whatsoever, but only texts I deem as valuable. But in which sense are they valuable? My personal answer, for the time being, would be that they enhance critical thinking by means of proposing unusual themes and questions, thus representing a promising stimulus for human beings' perennial quest for understanding. But again, is this a value in itself? Better: can we justify its value even without any over-worldly perspective? It seems to me that critical thinking enhances our being part of a human community, in so far as it makes us more conscious of our prejudices and, hence, more able to detect them.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Geography of Literatures


An interesting tool for the understanding and appraisal of geography (both real and imagined) as playing a role within a nation's literature and philosophy has been recently published in Italy. It focuses on geography within German culture and describes both the impact of authors' backgrounds and that of their favourite destinations and utopias (including India, in an essay which is unfortunately full of typos). Could something like that be even thought of in case of Sanskrit culture? 
On the one hand, one could start consider the idea of whether there are similarities in being, say, a Kaśmīri author (or an Indonesian one, to make it more striking) instead of a Tamili one.
On the other, one could start collecting information about rivers, sanctuaries, cities and their ritual/symbolical significance.
Thirdly, one could start considering the hypothesis of reconstructing a cultural milieu (something like that has been attempted in Oxford, may 2008, during a conference on Vāraṇasi in xvii-xviii centuries).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Translation's doubts

Although a good part of my time is spent into reading and translating Sanskrit texts, I still never faced the issue independently of a given sample. The problems I most frequently encounter are:
1. a Sanskrit text lacks punctuation, footnotes, italics, brackets, etc. Hence, a Sankrit-speaking (or Sanskrit-writing) author has to express in words what we would express through the above devises. But the border between 'words' and 'punctuation' or between 'text' and 'footnotes' is not always easy to understand.
2. often, a single English (or Italian) term seems to render various Sanskrit ones, e.g. 'to produce' (kṛ-, sampad-, prasū-, jān-, utpād-, kalp-…). 
3. often, a single Sanskrit term can to be translated by many English (or Italian) ones, e.g., eva ('very', 'just', 'precisely', 'verily', 'alone', 'only'…, notwithstanding the case in which it only indicates that emphasis is to be added to the preceding word, see n.1 above). 
4. sometimes, two Sanskrit terms can be translated with two different English (or Italian) ones, but the author may not be consistent in its use, so that they might at times coalesce into a single meaning (apekṣ- and ākāṅkṣ-, for instance, may at times by synonyms, at time not). An extreme case is karman, which may have several meanings and is at times just a synonym of kriyā. 

I do not mean to say that the same word has to be translated always in the same way. On the other hand, a single Sanskrit (English, Italian, German…) word can have different meanings, which have to be rendered in the target language by different terms. I am only claiming that as long as the meaning is the same, it would be preferable to translate it with just one and the same term in the target language, in order to convey at least a bit of the semantic richness of the term and also in order to make life easier for readers who know (a little bit of) Sanskrit and can easily think at the Sanskrit equivalent. 

4. puzzles me. Should I translate such terms in the same way or should I use different English terms, leaving to the reader the burden of understanding that they are the same, but also the chance to appreciate that, still, there is a shade of meaning I might have overlooked?

The problem boils down to this: should the translator leave the text as it is (with all its inconsistencies and ambiguities) or not? The question is easily answered by translators of Western philosophers (I happened to discuss it with a colleague who translated E. Bloch, Micaela Latini), but in their case reader and writer share much more.

Friday, May 15, 2009

On closeness to prescription and the validity of commendatory statements


Commendatory statements (arthavāda) are said by Mīmāṃsakas to be valid in so far as they are to be supplemented to a nearby prescription. Interestingly enough, a Śaiva author who wishes to prove the independent epistemic value of commendatory statements explains the role of closeness to prescriptions in a different way: the very fact that, close to a prescription they become meaningful means that they are in themselves meaningful. A collection of meaningless parts, in fact, does not produce a meaningful whole, just like a collection of grains of sand does not produce what a single grain of sand cannot produce. In the words of Jayaratha (commentary on Abhinavagupta's Tantrāloka, §IV, text out of KSS):

A [commendatory statement] does not have a true meaning only when autonomous, but even when heteronomous. Hence [Abhinavagupta] stated:

Or, although reaching the condition of member of another prescriptive sentence, |

this (commendatory statement) is not without meaning, because of closeness (sannidhi) [with the prescription] like [the phonemes] ga, ja, ḍa. etc.. || 237 ||

This commendatory statement, although reaching the condition of member of a prescriptive sentence, being a prescription or a prohibition, because of the proximity can not be without meaning. In this regard there is an example: like [the phonemes] ga, ja, ḍa, etc. Like indeed the phonemes which are close through being member of a word or [a sentence] are not without meaning, so also this [commendatory statement]. In fact, if the phonemes were meaningless, no different meaning would be understood when the phonemes are changed, like: gajaḥ (elephant), jaḍaḥ (inanimate), gaḍaḥ (screen)1. Even a collection [of meaningless phonemes] would not have any meaning, since if the parts are meaningless also the aggregate is meaningless. Like a single grain of sand (sikatā) cannot yield any oil and a collection of them, that is, a mass, is also unable [to yield it], in the same way if the commendatory statement were meaningless, in case of a prescribed or prohibited meaning there would not be an attentive initiation of action or cessation of it through its closeness. In case of [the commendatory statement] beginning with “He cried”, in fact, the silver originating out of crying is said to be so in order [for one] to despise [it], so that one would attentively give up giving it on a bed of kuśa grass (being sacred). Even ordinary people, indeed, do not become buyers just because of “this cow has to be bought”, like through such words of praise: “This [cow] gives very fat milk, is well=disciplined and has feminine, faultless progeny”. So, this meaning [of the commendatory statements] has as witness one's own experience. || 237 ||

For this very reason [Abhinavagupta] stated:

The fact that it (commendatory statement) conveys its meaning appears through one's own awareness |

[in case one would deny it], its negation would be made also in regard to prescriptions and prohibitions || 238 ||

Or, if this [conveying of a meaning by commendatory statements] is forcibly negated, then the negation of a meaning can be made also in regard to a prescriptive sentence, being a prescription or a prohibition. Hence he said its negation etc. || 238 ||

In this regard one's own awareness alone is not the only instrument of knowledge establishing it, but there is even reason (yukti). Hence [Abhinavagupta] stated:

And in case of these [commendatory] sentences, in regard to their [conveying a meaning] there is one's own awareness, non invalidated, which ascertains the reality of a ruby in all its aspects (artha), and also reason || 239 ||


1The text has “ṣoḍaḥ (?)” (sic!), my emendation is due to the fact that it would not make sense to introduce other phonemes, the argument pointing to the fact that a different order of the same phonemes conveys different meanings.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Validity of the Veda and of other Sacred Texts

The debates on the validity of the Veda and of other Sacred Texts depend either on the Mīmāṃsā or on the Nyāya approach (or on both). That is, either they employ the argument of the authorlessness of Sacred Texts in order to prove their validity, or they ground it on their author, God himself. An instance of it is the following passage of Jayaratha's commentary on Abhinavagupta's Tantrāloka (§IV) (on this theme, see also my italian blog, http://filosofiaindiana.blogspot.com/):


On the other hand there can be such a possibility in regard to a [statement] which has not been employed by an intelligent [author]. Hence [Abhinavagupta] stated:

[Such] suspicion of having a false meaning, in fact, could always occur in regard to the doctrine (nigama) which has been completed in this way without [the participation of] any intelligent [author], [and hence] bears the nature of ether [which is also uncreated but certainly not a valid instrument of knowledge just because of being uncreated] || 233 ||

Indeed, in regard to this doctrine, that is, in regard to the Vedic teaching, always, that is, at the time of hearing a prescriptive or commendatory sentence, there occurs a doubt of reflective (prekṣāpūrvakārin) [people] of having a false meaning, that is, regarding its having an untrue meaning –this is possible, since this (Veda), has been completed in this way, that is, as having the nature of prescriptions and commendatory statements according to the other opinion without [the participation of] any intelligent [author], that is, as something which has not been authored by an intelligent person, like the roar of a thunder. For this very reason it has been said [that it] bears the nature of ether, because of being almost empty [of meaning] through its having no meaning. With exactly such intention it has been said in another text:

«People have faith in the Vedic sentences relying on that very revered Lord, without beginning, who is a reliable speaker | On the other hand, no clever one at all would reach confidence because of their having no author. So has been explained before || » || 233 ||

But when the Supreme Lord alone, who is tantamount to an uninterrupted knowledge, is present in the form of an Instruction (sāstra), which suspicion of falsity could there be? Hence, [Abhinavagupta] stated:

God, who is the Instruction, quite full of the entire nature [which derives out of His] uninterrupted knowledge, abodes [in the Sacred Texts]: there cannot be anywhere [any] falsity || 234 ||

There cannot be anywhere [any] falsity: for this, the cause is the first part. || 234 ||

But we have learnt that the Lord is the author of all Instructions (śāstra). Not, on the other hand, that He alone is their essence. This never heard before (apūrva) statement, why has it been said? Having so doubted, [Abhinavagupta] stated:

Like the Lord, desirous [of it], wishes to exist in the form of the existence |

So he abodes [as the Instructions], since he wishes to exist in the form of setting forth (abhidhā-) His own nature of it || 235 ||

This means: like indeed the Supreme Lord is desirous to exist in the form of the existence of knower and knowable, etc., –which is tantamount to [everything] which can be expressed– because of the greatness of His desire, so he exists as the nature of everything which can be expressed. So, that is, in the same way, through the repetition (āvṛtti) of the word “so”, he is desirous of existing in the form of setting forth, that is, expressing, His own nature –which excludes (apavah-) everything else– of the whole expressible, being the knower and the knowable–, so he abodes as the nature of Instructions, which is the fact of being expressive. || 235 ||


Validity of commendatory statements

According to a standard Mīmāṃsā rule, commendatory statements (arthavādas) are to be understood only together with the prescription which they supplement. Hence, they have no independent meaning. However, Uttaramīmāṃsakas, i.e., Vedāntins of all sorts ground their doctrines basically on statements which are deemed to be arthavādas by (Pūrva)mīmāṃsakas. Does this mean that they altogether deny the above mentioned rule? Usually not. Rather, they acknowledge two kinds of commendatory statements, the ones which are supplementary to prescriptions and the independent ones. Interestingly enough, according to Jayaratha in his commentary on Abhinavagupta's Tantrāloka (§IV), one and the same commendatory statement can have both aspects.

Even a commendatory statement, whenever it regards another prescription or [prohibition], |

can be [in itself] untrue; in case it is independent, on the other hand, it is prescriptive || 236 ||

Whenever indeed a commendatory statement, whose nature is eulogy or despise, becomes part of another prescriptive sentence, that is, a prescription or a prohibition, then it can be untrue and there is no flaw, since it does not point to its own nature. In fact, its meaning as it is heard is not something to be known, rather it is something to be prescribed or prohibited, so that . For this very reason the experts on sentence (i.e., the Mīmāṃsakas) say that its validity (prāmāṇya) derives precisely out of its constituting a single sentence with the prescriptive sentence. As [they] stated:

«Hence those commendatory statements partake of the validity because they are a single sentence with the prescription».

To elaborate:

in regard to the commendatory statement

«He cried (rud-); what cried is the Rudra-ness of Rudra»,

which is to be supplemented to this prescription:

«silver should not be given on a bed of kuśa grass»

no roaring of Rudra should be understood, rather

«Before one year has lapsed there [will] be crying in the home of the one who gives silver on a bed of kuśa grass, hence silver should not be given on a bed of kuśa grass». Precisely this commendatory statement, on the other hand, if it would not become a part of another [prescription], would be prescriptive, i.e., it would cause one to understand [its] meaning as it has been heard. This is the meaning [of the TĀ verse]. In regard to the commendatory statement beginning with “he roared”, in fact, there is precisely this true meaning, which is the fact of letting known what has happened:

«Rudra cried. A tear of him felt out and became silver».

[The above said meaning is true] because there is [indeed] an oblation (iṣṭi) through the truth of many happenings similar to this one.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mīmāṃsā thought outside Mīmāṃsā school

Jayaratha, the author of a learned commentary on Abhinavagupta's Tantrāloka employs Mīmāṃsā hermeneutic tools in order to prove that a certain statement, found in a Śaiva Scripture and directly contradicting the Vedic mainstream, is to be followed. So, interestingly enough, Mīmāṃsā tools are implemented completely outside their precinct, in a theistic and non-Vedic (though not anti-Vedic) frame. The following discussion is excerpted from his commentary on TĀ, IV. Verses in bold are Abhinavagupta's one.

(The discussion originates out of a śaiva verse saying that there is no purity nor impurity.)

But [an objector may state]: the distinction (viniścaya) referring to pure, impure, etc., occurs because of a command (codanā) [hence, it cannot be invalidated] || 228 ||

A command is a prescriptive sentence, as it has been said:

«A command is a statement inciting [one] to undertake an action» (ŚBh ad 1.1.2)

What has been prescribed by that as being pure, is pure whereas what is [prescribed] as other [than pure], is other [than pure]. Because there is a smṛti:

The apertures which are over the navel are all fit for sacrifice |

those which are located under [the navel] are not fit for sacrifice. And from the body alone are the impurities removed ||

With the mention (grahaṇa) of “etc.” [in the TĀ verse] what it eatable and what is not, etc., is [meant]. || 228 ||

[Obj.:] «But if indeed the very command is the condition for the distinction between pure and impure, then what flaw would there be [in obeying it]?» But also in regard to the non-distinction between them this very command pronounced by Śiva is the condition: “There is in this case no purity nor impurity”. Hence [Abhinavagupta] stated:

Let it be so, nonetheless this very command has been pronounced by Śiva |

«But if there is no distinction as far as the status of command of both [prescriptions], which one shall be valid (pramāṇa), so that relying on that we can prescribe the distinction between pure and impure?» Having so doubted, [Abhinavagupta] stated:

Which one shall be true? If you ask so, [I answer] that this [argument] has been expanded in another [text] || 229 ||

In another [text], means that here, on the other hand, [this argument] will not be expanded, for fear of [composing] [too] extensive a book. Here, indeed, a word endowed with the [appropriate] convention is independent in regard to the general conveying of [its] meaning [but] [its] dependency is unavoidable in regard to the ascertainment of a meaning different from the above said (i.e., conventional) one, since [in order to do that] it [has to] refer to a person (i.e., its author). Hence, [a certain statement] becomes valid just because it has been said by a reliable [author], else, on the other hand, it is certainly invalid. So it is ascertained. And therefore, in case of this very (vā) Vedic command, the single Supreme Lord alone –who has directly perceived all elements (dharma) and has as His aim the desire to raise the whole world – is the foundation (nibandhana) of [its] validity, because all Instructions have been taught by Him. Nor is it possible to say that the Vedic command is without an author, since it is endowed with a certain arrangement [of words] [and] since all arrangements have an author. And hence, the truth does not differ in both commands. So, we do not know relying on what we have to distinguish (viveka) between pure and impure, etc. Nor is it correct [to say] that the two are reciprocally in a relation of suspender and suspended, since they have the same strength, because one does not seize the condition of a feebleness in one of the two. [PP:] But there is indeed a condition of feebleness in one of the two, because all other Sacred Texts are outside the Veda [and, hence, less reliable than it]. As it has been stated WHERE?:

«Generally, everyone follows (anuvṛt-) the Vedic path (vartman) |

A Tradition (āgama) which is external to the Veda, on the other hand, is certainly a fraud (vañcanā) ||»

And therefore the invalidation of all other Traditions has indeed the Veda as its author, hence the distinction (vibhāga) between pure and impure is correct because it relies precisely on it. || 229 ||

[S:] But if it is so, why should not also that [śaiva command] invalidate (bādha) the Vedic commands, due to [their] being external in regard to it? In fact, we do not detect (utpaś-) any strong reason in one of the two, so that the other would be necessarily invalidated. Hence (tad), [Abhinavagupta] stated:

If [you say that] the Vedic [command] invalidates [the śaiva one], then why could not it be the opposite? |

[PP:] But if it is so, both would be invalid, since they would be reciprocally hindered, so nothing would be established. [S:] It is not so, because a strong reason of validity, namely the fact of having been composed by the Lord, is present in both, [PP:] Then, this is even more a reason of invalidity, since although there is a single teacher they contradict (vyāhan-) each other. [S:] It is not so, because they have been taught in this way according to the difference of the responsible person [hearing them]. In fact, the Lord has commanded purity and [impurity] in general as referring (viṣaya) to all people, whereas as referring to specific [people] [he has commanded] this [śaiva command]. Hence, in the tswo there is no flaw amounting to invalidity. Therefore, the truth of both commands is the same, because of their [respective] situation, due to the fact that they have a different content. So it is established. ||

But how can their truth be the same, since the prescription about purity, etc., has been invalidated on a certain theme, although it was [generally] active (pravṛtti) because of its having as content all people? Having so doubted, [Abhinavagupta] stated:

If you consider correctly the invalidation [you see that] it can be made by an exceptional rule (apavāda), because of [its] having a specific content, whereas the [general] prescription has been prescribed in general | 230cd-231ab |

If indeed you understand correctly the functioning of the invalidation, then no command will loose its truth. To elaborate: the prescription of an exceptional rule, which is specific because it has no [general] occasion [of application], if there is an occasion (avakāśa) [for its application], always invalidates the universal (utsarga) prescription, which is general –so say the experts on sentences (i.e. the Mīmāṃsakas). The universal rule, in fact, although it has gained stability through applying to all contents, defines a specific content for the exceptional prescription and then remains non invalidated on [all] other contents. As has stated the author of the Cūrṇikā (possibly the Mahābhāṣya):

«Having defined the content of the exceptional [rule], then the universal [rule] remains»

For this very reason, although it is invalidated in some [cases], its invalidity cannot be suspected, since on [all] other contents it is well grounded as valid. And this invalidation is of two kinds: [invalidation] because of achieving the same effect or because of contradiction. Among them,

The offering of water with a ladle, prescribed in general [with]

«he should offer water with a ladle (camasa)»

is invalidated by the prescription of milking a cow, which is an exception, because of having a specific content, that is, one who desires cattle

«In the case of one who desires cattle, he should offer with the milking of a cow»

because it achieves the same effect, that is, offering of a liquid (ap).

The eight-edged sacrificial pole, though generally prescribed as having as content all rituals, [in]

«the sacrificial pole is eight-edged»

is invalidated with this exceptional prescription because of contradiction:

«In the case of the Vājapeya, [the sacrificial pole] is four-edged» || 230 ||

But even if it is so, what [has this to do] in regard to the [argument] we are dealing with? –Having so doubted, [Abhinavagupta] stated:

And purity and impurity, generally prescribed, are indeed invalidated in regard to the person who knows the reality. And so is it in this [verse] –so is it explained || 231cd-232ab ||

That is (arthāt): these purity and impurity, though prescribed as having as content all people, generally, through a Vedic command, in case of the one who knows the reality are indeed invalidated, that is, they are not non-invalidated, because of contradiction. In this regard the cause is And so is it in this [verse] –so is it explained. This means the prescriptive sentence pronounced [above], having as content the one who knows the reality and being exceptional:

«Here there is no purity nor impurity […]» || 231 ||

[PP:] But in this case it is not correct to say that it is a prescriptive sentence, because the distinction between pure and impure is seen in common experience without any invalidating instance, since [such an invalidating instance] would be contradicted by perception and the other instruments of knowledge. Therefore, this is certainly a commendatory statement (arthavāda) [and not a prescription, hence it has no epistemological value]. That, in fact, is usually (bhūmnā) said to exist as a single sentence together with the prescription, and for this reason it has a meaning only insofar as it aims at that and not by itself. For this very reason there is no contradiction with the other instruments of knowledge, because it does not point at its own nature. In fact, due to a commendatory statement the faith in the prescription increases, so that a person initiates an activity in its regard in an attentive way. As has been said:

«The potency of prescriptions faints, the cognition of [the prescription's] praiseworthiness enhances it» (cf. avasīdantī hi vidhiśaktiḥ prāśastyajñānenottabhyate VM II).

Therefore, is this [verse about purity and impurity] just the commendatory statement subsidiary –insofar as it excites interest through its praise– to the prescription which is directly stated in Sacred Texts,

«He should not adore the liṅga consisting of earth, minerals, jewels, etc.|

he should sacrifice to the inner liṅga, in which all created things vanish ||»

or to the one which one can deduce,

«one should become a yogin completely free of conceptualisations»?

Having so doubted, [Abhinavagupta] stated:

And there cannot be any suspicion of being a commendatory statement or [any other non prescriptive sort of statement] in case of a sentence [uttered] by the Great Lord || 232 ||

As has been said:

«This Scripture (tantra) is a prescriptive text, there are never commendatory statements |


[And], in the same way:

«The Tradition of Śiva is not a commendatory statement | »

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bhāvanā in Indian Philosophy

The theory of bhāvanā widely influenced Indian philosophy outside Mīmāṃsā. Besides Mīmāṃsā description, I read and translated Jayanta's account in Nyāyamañjarī 5 and an interesting application of arthabhāvanā and prescription as śabdabhāvanā in Jayaratha's commentary ad Abhinavagupta's Tantrāloka. Interestingly enough, the terminology implemented by Jayaratha –as within all Mīmāṃsā descriptions I am aware of– is surprisingly the same.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Signification of verbs in Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā

Prābhākaras oppose the Bhāṭṭa view that verbal endings (ākhyātas) express the objective bhāvanā and verbal roots are only used because endings cannot be employed by themselves. On the contrary, Prābhākaras maintain that these very verbal roots express the activity typical of any verb. Verbal endings express instead only the number of the subject implied by the verbal root. Is this activity (vyāpāra) the same as the Bhāṭṭa bhāvanā? At first sight not, in so far as according to the Prābhākaras verbal roots can express all kinds of vyāpāras, including instances such as "he sleeps". And, as far as I know, "he sleeps" does not express a bhāvanā, as it cannot be synonym of "he makes an effort" and so on. That is, vyāpāra seems broader than bhāvanā. 

Licenza Creative Commons
Quest' opera è distribuita con licenza Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 2.5 Italia.