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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Rahu, Kabandha and Mīmāṃsā

I am currently translating the beginning of Veṅkaṭanātha's Seśvaramīmāṃsā, where the author tries to establish the unity of the Mīmāṃsāśāstra, including the Pūrvamīmāṃsāsūtra, the Uttaramīmāṃsāsūtra and the Saṅkarśakāṇḍa. He discusses the possibility of their having a single author and then says that anyway they have a single meaning, and that this can be achieved either through a single author or not. And even the designation "Karmamīmāṃsā" etc., he continues, hints at the fact that they are branches of the same tree. Next comes, however, something I could not really make sense of, namely:

etau rāhukabandhamīmāṃsakapakṣau praticikṣipāte 

which I first intepreted to mean something like "These two Mīmāṃsā views on the bondage by Rahu have been rejected".

The text then goes on discussing the sequence among karman, etc., within the single Mīmāṃsāśāstra.

Then, Kei Kataoka (thanks!!!!) mentioned the possibility of reading the compound as Rāhu+Kabandha.

I read in Vettam Mani's Purāṇic Encyclopedia (1975) the story of Kabandha, who was hit by Indra's thunderstroke (vajrāyudha) and made into a headless trunk. Thus, the passage might mean "The two Mīmāṃsās (i.e., the Pūrva and Uttara Mīmāṃsā, if kept apart), which are [like] Rāhu (a bodiless head, just like the UM) and Kabandha (a headless body, just like the PM), intensively reject these two points (i.e., the two points regarding the unity of Mīmāṃsā just mentioned)."

N.B. the root must be perfect and not intensive, because the reduplication is made on the basis of the weak stem (whereas the intensive uses the strong stem, and usually adopts the endings of the fourth class, including the suffix -ya).

Do you have any idea about what this Rāhukabandha could mean?

On Veṅkaṭanātha, see this post.

UPDATED!! Read the last paragraphs. And don't forget to read the additional explanation in the comments.

9 comments:

ombhurbhuva said...

Bondage by Rahu is intensively(strongly?) rejected by these Mimamsa view. This makes sense as Rahu in Hindu Astrology is the planetary deity ruling chaotic events.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rahu
The doctrine of karma reject the idea of things happening for no reason whatever i.e. pure chaos. Even Chaos Theory is more correctly described as Complexity Theory now by Western physicists.
Is that a help?

elisa freschi said...

It seems (read the updated version of the post) that I misconstrued the compound, blame on me!
Thank you so much for helping!

Vidya said...

Rāhu and Kabandha are as you have indicated in your updated post used to mean pūrvamīmāṃsa and uttaramīmāṃsa. Vedāntadeśika employs these two terms even in his Tamil work Paramatabhaṅgam (188). He says that just as we perceive the ocean as one entity his siddhanta accepts PM and UM as one shastra.

kavuntaṉaiyum rāhuvaiyum polakkaṇṭu
niṉaivuṭaṉe nilaittarumam ikantu niṟkum

Also, traditionally the headless body ie like Kabandha of the Rāmāyana is attributed to UM and Rāhu is compared to PM.
This is because the pūrvamīmāṃsaka-s focus on the karmakhanda much like Kabandha whose head was in his stomach. UM with the stress on jnānakhānda is thus compared to Rāhu (not the other way around as seen in this post)

elisa freschi said...

Thank you, Vidyā, this is a very precious piece of information. How does it come (if I might ask) that you know Vedāntadeśika's Tamil works?

In general, I am really grateful for the comments I received, either here or on my personal mail, by generous and learned readers.

windwheel said...

vide http://www.drkcv.org/Books/kcv10chap_45.htm

elisa freschi said...

Thanks a lot, windwheel. I am still "new" in Vedāntadeśika's world and there is so much I need to learn (also about online resources).
BTW: Thanks also for your other comments. I enjoyed reading them and am going to answer to each of them.

Vidya Jayaraman said...

Elisa,
I find that the theological approach of vaiṣṇavas especially in their vyākhyānams and commentaries are very rich in references.

As for Vedāntadeśika, I have only read the samudāya dośādhikāra section of paramatabhaṅga and portions of the śatadūṣaṇi.In this work, I found among other things this rāhu-kabandha comparison, his separating nyāya-vaiśeṣika-s and accepting selective tenets of naiyāyika-s interesting. It also makes one think abbout how and why the techniques of nyāya ended up as a toolset to be used across darśana-s rather than a darśana!

windwheel said...

Would it be possible for the esteemed Vidya Jayaraman to just expand a little on this? It is so interesting.
Sorry, to Scholars, for requesting this type of elucidation but compassion for lesser minds is indeed inner enjoyment of the laurel, or 'crest jewel', we with awe observe gracing your foreheads.

elisa freschi said...

Dear Vidya,

my feeling is that what you describe does not only regard, but also all other darśanas (one used the hermeneutical rules of Mīmāṃsā, the grammatical analysis of Vyākaraṇa, often the ontology of Vaiśeṣika or Sāṃkhya and so on).

Given that I now know what you read of Vedāntadeśika, I will post a further question on a passage which is found in both the Seśvaramīmāṃsā and in the Śatadūṣaṇī…

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