Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Action as Effort

I am changing my mind about what Kumārila meant with arthabhāvanā. In fact, he defines it as parispandarūpam ("having the nature of a movement") and never uses the term prayatna (effort). Moreover, Maṇḍana, who followed Kumārila in admitting two different forces, described the bhāvanā as meaning both effort and movement. It is only with Someśvara that the definition of bhāvanā as exclusively effort becomes current. This does not clash with Kumārila, who defined the bhāvanā as "activity of the promoting subject", thus preparing the equation with effort. Still, it is not Kumārila's own elaboration. But to detect an innovation in Someśvara makes his claim that arthabhāvanā means "the force caused by the desiring [subject]" (see previous posts) less plausible. It is easier to figure out that Someśvara (consciously or not) innovated in regard to the equation bhāvanā/effort and, consequently, interpreted arthabhāvanā as synonym of prayatnavantaḥ bhāvanā (the activity of one who makes an effort). On the other hand, the definitions of bhāvanā by Kumārila seem still less precise.

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