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Monday, January 18, 2010

Actions and duties

Rāmānujācārya explains the possibility of understanding a passage of the Sacred Texts referring to a duty non-conveyed through any other instrument of knowledge (and hence a-pūrva, see this post) through the fact that even in this-worldly experience we understand duties as inhering in actions to be done. From this experience we can grossly acquire a proper learning (vyutpatti) of exhortative suffixes as meaning an action to be done. In fact, these suffixes primarily mean something-to-be-done (kārya) and only secondarily its abode (namely, an action). But such worldly vyutpatti is enough to initially grasp the meaning of a Vedic sentence and initiate the "hermeneutic circle" (my terminology) that will eventually lead to one's full grasp of its exhortative significance.

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