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Friday, October 28, 2011

FAQ for Indologists

Long ago, D. Wujastyk opened a FAQ section on the website

His purpose was to have a more reliable platform than wikipedia for Indological subjects, which would however still work in a cooperative manner, just like wikipedia. Since I strongly believe in cooperation and think that being selfish is just stupid (not sharing what you know will just mean that most of it will die with you), I wonder why I took so long to contribute. Today, I finally wrote a page on (surprise, surprise) Mīmāṃsā.


Jayarava said...

Nice one. There is also Scholarpedia, and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy whichhas Indology entries. I wonder if these - more reliable than Wikipedia sources - are going to proliferate? The one good thing about Wikipedia is that it is monolithic.

Vidya Jayaraman said...

A nice piece. I have a small feedback/question on the mīmāṃsa and God section. My understanding of the mīmāṃsa position on īśvara is as follows :
- The earlier mimamsakas are silent on the existence of God.
I could not locate a reference which conveys a mīmāṃsaka argument against the existence of God as such and hence the question.
Any references to the contrary?

- The arguments they develop is against the idea that God as the arbiter of karmaphala and also against the idea of God
as a kartha or creator.

- A short note on what exactly the vedic entities mean in the context of mimamsa and God would also help in enhancing this.

elisa freschi said...

I AM SO SORRY FOR BEING SO LATE IN ANSWERING. This contradicts my very raison d'etre as a blogger and I deeply apologize.
@Jayarava, I see both your points. Wikipedia is practical, because one looks for everything in it, one's Indological staff as well as the plot of a film one wants to watch at night… it seems therefore difficult that it will ever be abandoned, even by experts. I like the Stanford Encyclopedia. Thanks also for mentioning Scholarpedia, which I did not know.

@VIdya, I am not sure I understand your last point.If you mean Vedic deities, they are only one of the elements of the sacrifice, they are not worshippped by Mīmāṃsakas.
I agree with your second point (I just wrote a short post about it). As for your first point, there is a devatādhikaraṇa in the Mīmāṃsāsūtra. Several of its arguments could be used also against Īśvara. If one were to say that they only address (minor) deities, the answer could be that no Īśvara distinct from such deities was worshipped at the time of Jaimini.

elisa freschi said...

Jayarava, I had a look at Scholarpedia. It seems a great project, but chiefly for Natural Scienes. Domamge!

Vidya Jayaraman said...

Thank you for the response and clarification. As to the first point it was a question whether it is an inference by implication or if there is a direct textual statement. And, my second point was just it may be helpful for a new reader if that line about "the vedic deities are one of the elements of vedic sacrifice" is added in the faq. This was one of the first questions I had when encountering mīmāṃsa and took me a while to get my head around that idea.

elisa freschi said...

Thank you, Vidya, you are a great reader. I will improve the text.

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