Thursday, December 11, 2008

Another possible symmetry between śabdabhāvanā and arthabhāvanā

Kei Kataoka maintains that śabdabhāvanā and arthabhāvanā ought to be symmetrical. Hence, śabde bhāvanā=śabdabhāvanā. arthe bhāvanā=arthabhāvanā. Artha ity ukte kim? puruṣaḥ.
But I am not fully satisfied by this understanding of artha. Moreover, arthātmikā bhāvanā is hardly understandable as puruṣātmikā bhāvanā. On the other hand, the proposal that Kumārila just devised two symmetrical names not thinking of any symmetry between the two is also unsatisfying, especially in so far as Kumārila painstakingly tried to develop two parallel theories for the two bhāvanās, although he had obvious problems with the karaṇa and the bhāvya (which is not at all desirable) of the śabdabhāvanā. See, e.g. Rāmānujācārya's refutation in Tantrarahasya, IV, §3.7.2. 
So, what about the next proposal:
śabdabhāvanā= bhāvanā ca śabdaś ca, sā (karmadhāraya)
arthabhāvanā=bhāvanā ca artha ca, sā (karmadhāraya).
Artha ity ukte “prayojanaṃ, śabdārthaṃ ca”. Kasya arthaḥ? śabdabhāvanāyāḥ. śabdabhāvanāyāḥ arthaḥ puruṣavyāpāraḥ iti arthabhāvanā puruṣavyāpārabhāvanā iti yāvat. ata eva kumārilabhaṭṭena “arthātmikā bhāvanā” iti, “śabdātmikā bhāvanā” iti ca uktam. ācāryaḥ “arthātmikā” iti uccaraṇasamaye “puruṣavyāpārātmikā” iti manyate. “puruṣavyāpārātmikā” ca pārthasārathimiśrasya pustake, rāmānujācāryasyāpi punaḥ punar viditam.


elisa freschi said...

I discussed this interpretation with Kei Kataoka, who made me consider the following weak points:
1) śabda in śabdabhāvanā seems to define the prayojaka (as it is glossed as prayojakavyāpāra).
2) if śabda in śabdabhāvanā is the prayojaka, then the symmetry is lost again!
I will go back to Kumārila's usage of prayojakavyāpāra, but I can only add that the interpretation of śabdabhāvanā as a karmadhāraya is proposed by Pārthasārathi Miśra.

elisa freschi said...

Kumārila on prayojakavyāpāra:
prayojakakriyām āhur bhāvanāṃ bhāvanāvidaḥ (TV ad 2.1.1, v.23cd, Kataoka 2004 p.74)
I am sure this is not the only passage where he mentions it, but this is not very significant as evidence of a direct interpretation of śabdabhāvanā as śabdaprayojaka-bhāvanā (tṛtiyātatpuruṣa). In fact, one could think of śabda-prayojakakriyā-bhāvanā, that is, “that bhāvanā which is a prayojakakriyā and which consists in language”. What I mean is that the interpretation of bhāvanā as being in need of a prayojaka does not necessarily conflict with the idea that śabdabhāvanā is a karmadhāraya.

Alessandro said...

I am not following anymore. Who glosses śabda with prayojakavyāpāra? I thought that bhāvanā is prayojakavyāpāra. On the contrary, artha is glossed in your first post as prayojakavyāpāra.

elisa freschi said...

I have been inaccurate. What I meant in the comment is:
1) śabda in śabdabhāvanā seems to define the prayojaka (as śabdabhāvanā is glossed as prayojakavyāpāra)
Since bhāvanā=vyāpāra, one might argue that śabda=prayojaka. But if prayojakavyāpāra is meant as such an analytical explanation of the compound, then it cannot be a karmadhāraya. It remains to be explained why Pārthasārathi does not see any problem in suggesting the karmadhāraya interpretation although he is a commentator of Kumārila (and hence knows his work quite well).

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