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Friday, June 14, 2013

Aikaśāstrya: what does it mean?

I am still puzzled by the details of the problem of  एेकशास्त्र्य (aikaśāstrya). It literally means 'unity of the teaching', but what does 'teaching' (śāstra) refer to? And how close is the unity spoken of?

Rāmānuja mentions the unity of Pūrva and Uttara Mīmāṃsā, but then seems to care more for the unity of the Veda, which would mean the unity of Upaniṣad and Brāhmaṇa parts. And the unity of the Veda seems to be his chief argument in favour of the unity of Pūrva and Uttara Mīmāṃsā. Veṅkaṭanātha stresses much more the unity of Pūrva and Uttara Mīmāṃsā for their own sake, with the addition of the Saṅkarṣa Khaṇḍa, four supplementary chapters of the Mīmāṃsāsūtra about which I do not know whether they were considered as distinct from the Mīmāṃsāsūtra also by Veṅkaṭanātha's predecessors (the Vṛttikāra speaks of the 16 chapters of the Mīmāṃsāsūtra, thus including in it the Saṅkarṣa Khaṇḍa).

Further, should aikaśāstrya be a single "school of thought" (darśana) or a single text? In other words, do Rāmānuja and Veṅkaṭanātha aim at the unity of Jaimini's Mīmāṃsāsūtra and Bādarāyaṇa's Vedāntasūtra or at the unity of Mīmāṃsā and Vedānta, or both? Veṅkaṭanātha's works contain indications for both theses, since they mention the examples of single texts (e.g., the Kāśikā Vṛtti on the Aṣṭādhyāyī in Śatadūṣaṇī 3), but also of systems (Vyākaraṇa, again in ŚD 3).

Do you know of other instances of aikaśāstrya, referring to a text or to a system?

For further posts on Veṅkaṭanātha see this one (and its links).

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