Shun Kwong-loi argues that the distinction between first- and third-person points of view does not play as explanatory a role in our moral psychology as has been supposed by contemporary philosophical discussions. He draws insightfully from the Confucian tradition to better elucidate our everyday experiences of moral emotions, arguing that it offers an alternative and more faithful perspective on our experiences of anger and compassion. However, unlike the distinction between first- and third-person points of view, Shun’s descriptions of anger and (...) compassion leave unarticulated what would be necessary to differentiate these responses from non-moral responses. Here, I make a friendly suggestion on how this explanatory gap might be filled, providing complementary grounding for Shun’s observations by way of K. C. Bhattacharyya’s phenomenological analysis of feeling. It fills the gap by means of a gradation in the possible depth of emotional responses found in the a priori structure of a feeling experience for any subject. The payoff of such a comparison between Shun’s explication of Confucian moral psychology and Bhattacharyya’s explication of rasa theory is not only a possible phenomenological grounding for the former but also a potential way to articulate a missing ethics in Bhattacharyya’s thought. (shrink)
In various philosophical, religious and mystical traditions, beauty is often related to intellectual upliftment and spiritual ascent, which suggests that besides its common aesthetic value it may also acquire an epistemic, metaphysical and spiritual meaning or value. I will examine in detail three accounts in which beauty, at times inseparable from desire and love, mediates between physical, intellectual and spiritual levels of existence. Since beauty, in all three accounts, takes on a mediatory role or function,1 I will name these mediations (...) as follows: ancient Greek Eros-mediation or Beauty-mediation (Plato: ca. 429-347 BCE), late medieval Italian Beauty and Love-mediation (Dante Alighieri: 1265-1321) and pre-modern Indian Beauty and Love-mediation (Rūpa Gosvāmi: 1470/90-1564 CE).2 In the first section, I will analyse the stages of Eros or Beauty mediation in Plato; in the second section, I will turn to Dante’s Beauty and Love-mediation and compare it with Plato’s account. In the third section, I will analyse Rūpa’s account of Beauty and Love-mediation in comparison with both Plato and Dante. I will argue that there are certain patterns of mediation mutually shared if not between all three accounts, then at least between two of them. While Plato’s account clearly influenced Dante and was well integrated into Dante’s account, there is no mention or evidence of a pre-modern Bengali theologian influenced by ancient Greek and medieval Italian philosophy and mysticism. However, a strong convergence of elements of Beauty-mediations in Plato and Dante, as well as Beauty and Love-mediations in Dante and Rūpa Gosvāmi, confirms the universality of certain features of Beauty and Love-mediation and speaks in support of an all-inclusive account of them.3 -/- 1 By Beauty-mediation I mean an aesthetic, intellectual or spiritual reconciliation between opposites, such as human and divine, mortal and immortal, particular and universal, sexual and sacred and so on. 2 Rūpa Gosvāmi was an Indian theologian. More information about him is provided in section 3. 3 I am here applying transitivity: if Plato’s account (A) shares elements with Dante’s account (B) and if Dante’s account (B) shares those same elements with Rūpa’s account (C), then Plato’s (A) and Rūpa’s (C) accounts share some elements as well. Obviously, all accounts have some different elements not mutually shared, but I will not deal with them here. (shrink)
From Physical World to Transcendent God(s): Mediatory Functions of Beauty in Plato, Dante and Rupa Gosvami -/- Dragana Jagušić -/- In various philosophical, religious and mystical traditions, beauty is often related to intellectual upliftment and spiritual ascent, which suggests that besides its common aesthetic value it may also acquire an epistemic, metaphysical and spiritual meaning or value. I will examine in detail three accounts in which beauty, at times inseparable from desire and love, mediates between physical, intellectual and spiritual levels (...) of existence. Since beauty, in all three accounts, takes on a mediatory role or function,1 I will name these mediations as follows: ancient Greek Eros-mediation or Beauty-mediation (Plato: ca. 429-347 BCE), late medieval Italian Beauty and Love-mediation (Dante Alighieri: 1265-1321) and pre-modern Indian Beauty and Love-mediation (Rūpa Gosvāmi: 1470/90-1564 CE).2 In the first section, I will analyse the stages of Eros or Beauty mediation in Plato; in the second section, I will turn to Dante’s Beauty and Love-mediation and compare it with Plato’s account. In the third section, I will analyse Rūpa’s account of Beauty and Love-mediation in comparison with both Plato and Dante. I will argue that there are certain patterns of mediation mutually shared if not between all three accounts, then at least between two of them. While Plato’s account clearly influenced Dante and was well integrated into Dante’s account, there is no mention or evidence of a pre-modern Bengali theologian influenced by ancient Greek and medieval Italian philosophy and mysticism. However, a strong convergence of elements of Beauty-mediations in Plato and Dante, as well as Beauty and Love-mediations in Dante and Rūpa Gosvāmi, confirms the universality of certain features of Beauty and Love-mediation and speaks in support of an all-inclusive account of them.3 -/- 1 By Beauty-mediation I mean an aesthetic, intellectual or spiritual reconciliation between opposites, such as human and divine, mortal and immortal, particular and universal, sexual and sacred and so on. 2 Rūpa Gosvāmi was an Indian theologian. More information about him is provided in section 3. 3 I am here applying transitivity: if Plato’s account (A) shares elements with Dante’s account (B) and if Dante’s account (B) shares those same elements with Rūpa’s account (C), then Plato’s (A) and Rūpa’s (C) accounts share some elements as well. Obviously, all accounts have some different elements not mutually shared, but I will not deal with them here. (shrink)
This introduction brings to life the main themes in Indian philosophy of language by using an accessible translation of an Indian classical text to provide an entry into the world of Indian linguistic theories. -/- Malcolm Keating draws on Mukula's Fundamentals of the Communicative Function to show the ability of language to convey a wide range of meanings and introduce ideas about testimony, pragmatics, and religious implications. Along with a complete translation of this foundational text, Keating also provides: - Clear (...) explanations of themes such as reference, figuration and sentence meaning - Commentary illuminating connections between Mukula and contemporary philosophy - Romanized text of the Sanskrit - A glossary of terms and annotated bibliography - A chronology of important figures and dates -/- By complementing a historically-informed introduction with a focused study of an influential primary text, Keating responds to the need for a reliable guide to better understand theories of language and related issues in Indian philosophy. (shrink)
A prevailing view among specialists is that Indian philosophy "proper" can only be philosophy written in Sanskrit and a few other Prakrits (any of the several Middle Indo-Aryan vernaculars formerly spoken in India), in a doxographical style, and along more or less clearly drawn scholastic lines. As such, it encompasses the entirety of speculative and systematic thought in India up to the advent of British colonial rule in the 19th Century. Minds Without Fear challenges this dominant view of the history (...) of Indian philosophy, arguing that Indian philosophy produced in English during the Raj does not mark a radical departure from its indigenous cultural forms so much as their appropriation in the service of intercultural philosophy. While necessarily politically fraught (given the status of English as the language of colonial power), the new vernacular becomes a vehicle for Enlightenment ideas of rationality and scientific progress, and serves as a new "scholarly metalanguage" in the formation of a modern Indian philosophical canon. (shrink)
The History of Indian Philosophy is a comprehensive and authoritative examination of the movements and thinkers that have shaped Indian philosophy over the last three thousand years. An outstanding team of international contributors provide fifty-eight accessible chapters, organis[=z]ed into three clear parts: knowledge, context, concepts philosophical traditions engaging and encounters: modern and postmodern. This outstanding collection is essential reading for students of Indian philosophy. It will also be of interest to those seeking to explore the lasting significance of this rich (...) and complex philosophical tradition, and to philosophers who wish to learn about Indian philosophy through western philosophical and contemporary comparative lens. For complete Contents and authors' abstracts per chapters go to title of the book under Routledge Taylor & Francis ; it is a usual http link not allowed to enter here.> Click on the External Links below . (shrink)
This paper aims at an analytical explanation of the distinctive nature of music, as it has been formulated in perhaps one of the world's very first works on the subject, namely the ‘Sangeet Ratnakar’ of Pandit Sarangadeva, a 13th century musicologist of India. He, in the first chapter of the work defines music ('sangeet' in Sanskrit and Hindi) as a composite of singing or 'Gita', instrumental music or 'vadan' and dancing or ‘nrittam’. In addition, he also holds singing to be (...) the most important component of music. These two ideas are not only unquestionably acceptable , as the analysis in the paper will show, but give to Indian music , in its difference from western music, its distinctively spiritual character, making it a path to liberation or Moksha (Muktidayakam na tu ranjakam). Sarangadeva's reason, here, is not rational but empirico-inductive. It is that mainly by virtue of its 'gitam’ (singing component), which, like the Yoga system of exercise, needing only one's body as its instrument, music too needing only one’s voice is as self-sufficient and autonomous as the ultimate Reality itself (Swayamev Rajate). In the hierarchy (a distinctively ancient Indian insistence) of arts, singing is the highest and unique because in spite of being heard by the auditory sense, it affects our 'reflective sensibility' and transports us to the virtual world of melodic and rhythmic forms. Forms, as against their particular illustrations, are abstract universals. Ultimate Reality is also a Form-all comprehensive and internally harmonious. However, pure Form, whether melodic or religious or even rational like that of triangularity, is almost impossible to concentrate on. Realizing this practical difficulty, Indian scriptures and the world's first Grammarian-linguist, Acharya Panini, framed a composite sound as the manifestation of the ultimate musical Form. This purely formal-because devoid of all meaning, sound is that of 'om', spelt, in Sanskrit as a conjunction (sandhi) of 'a'+'u'+'m'. For Indian musicologists and musicians, ‘om’ is the perfect manifestation of the Sound-God or ‘Nada-Brahman’ because, 1. Its composite nature resembles God, as a harmony of 'sat', 'chit', and 'ananda'; and 2. The composite sound is self-existent as its all three components-two vowels, i.e. ‘a’, ‘u’, and one consonant i.e. ‘m’, can be and are pronounced just as they originally are, -un-elongated and un-vitiated and therefore pure. This is the reason why every recital of Indian classical vocal music is begun with an elaborate rendering of 'om' as an invocation to Sound-God or ‘Nada-Brahman’. Scholarly and authentic, this ancient Indian approach to music, is undoubtedly the earliest and original. My observation is that its main contentions like Sharang Dev’s insistence that of the three components of music, ‘gitam’ or singing is the highest, have only been translated and never argued for. In this presentation my good intention is to provide much needed rational support for making these key statements in this unparalleled Indian text, indubitable and unquestionable. (shrink)
The paper aims at critical reconsideration of a motif popular in Indian literary, ritual, and pictorial traditions – a tree goddess (yakṣī, vṛkṣakā) or a woman embracing a tree (śālabhañjīkā, dohada), which points to a close and intimate bond between women and trees. At the outset, I present the most important phases of the evolution of this popular motif from the ancient times to present days. Then two essential characteristics of nature recognized in Indian visual arts, literature, religions and philosophy (...) will be distinguished: (1) a dynamic, creative, self-sufficient and inexhaustible power, and (2) a passive, merely reproductive or vegetative, and dependent field of potentiality. The paper is to demonstrate the interdependence of the popular concepts of nature identified with femininity, and their iconic representations circulating for centuries in Indian culture, with a specific line of argument repeatedly used in social practices and public debates. While doing so, I consider the semiotic function of a cultural topos which proves to be an effective instrument for construing and supporting the gender roles and gender identities. As a modern example illustrating vitality and persuasive power of the motif of yakṣī and śālabhañjīkā, I refer to the Chipko Movement, a group of rural women based in the Garhwal Himalayas (state Uttarakhand), who fought against the mass cut of trees in the 1970s. They were involved in the wide-spread environmental campaign which significantly affected the ecological policy of the local and state authorities. Thus, a traditional motif of the visual arts has been revived and re-elaborated by the activists of this ecofeminist movement through converting the symbolic potential of yakṣī/śālabhañjīkā into social and political power. (shrink)
This review brings to the fore the Indian philosopher Kalidas Bhattacharyya. It makes a case for Indian and Asian Studies' scholars to take up the study of Bhattacharya so that his corpus can be used to construct a clear hermeneutic for assessing and accessing Indian texts, say in English and also other English literary texts. Bhattacharyya has been neglected too long by the world.
Formalized by the tenth century, the expansive Bhāgavata Purāṇa resists easy categorization. While the narrative holds together as a coherent literary work, its language and expression compete with the best of Sanskrit poetry. The text's theological message focuses on devotion to Krishna or Vishnu, and its philosophical outlook is grounded in the classical traditions of Vedānta and Sāmkhya. This translation and detailed analysis of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa includes endnotes that explain unfamiliar concepts and essays that elucidate the rich debates found (...) in the Sanskrit commentaries. The book makes a central Hindu masterpiece more accessible to English-speaking audiences and more meaningful to scholars of Indian literature, philosophy, and religion. (shrink)
This is a small collection of proverbs with some philosophical content. I also included here are some of my favorite philosophical quotes. The quotes were collected during many years from my personal reading. I am sure that the reader will identify and enjoy proverbs and some quotes that are new and unique to this publication. A printed copy available at amazon.com. Feedback: [email protected] .
Shri Amritchandra Suri’s Purusārthasiddhyupāya is a matchless Jaina text that deals with the conduct required of the householder (śrāvaka). In no other text that deals with the conduct required of the householder we see the same treatment of complex issues such as the transcendental and the empirical points of view, cause and effect relationships, and injury and non-injury, maintaining throughout the spiritual slant. The basic tenet of Jainism – non-injury or Ahimsā – has been explained in detail in the book.
“Writings from the Margins” will be viewed in an objective way through Indian civilization and culture. The nature of the literary figure - writer, poet, fiction-writer, novelist, essay-writer, translator etc., - and their creations will be defined. The urge and compulsions for such restrictive selection of topics for literary creation will be delineated. The pros and cons of such limited horizon for creativity and patronage will be discussed. The writings by marginalized and about the marginalized will be differentiated and distinguished. (...) The psychological, aesthetic and social reasons for such tendencies and the impact of such aspects on overall literary write-ups and readership will be critically analyzed. The necessity of writings by the marginalized about all issues and not confined to marginalization; will be highlighted and use of such creations for national integration and contribution to overall Indian and world literature will be emphasized. The Sanskrit expressions “naanrushihi kurute kaavyam”, “viswasreyas kaavyaparamaartham”, “rasaatmakam vaakyam kaavyam” and “ramaneeyaartha pratipaadaka sabdaha kaavyaha” will be explained and stressed in this regard. The social, philosophical, spiritual, rational and aesthetic tendencies and implications of restricted and liberal creativity will be stressed. The need for a comprehensive and cohesive view about literary creation will be shared. (shrink)
W artykule rozważane są rozmaite semantyczne i symboliczne relacje, w jakich ujmuje się przyrodę na gruncie filozofii, kosmologii i estetyki indyjskiej. Punktem wyjścia jest charakterystyka wewnętrznej dynamiki przyrody, w którą wpisane jest nieustanne zderzanie się biegunowych jakości. Przedstawione są m.in. wedyjskie kosmogoniczne rozważania, konstatujące samorodność i substancjalną jednorodność cyklicznej natury, oraz pięć reprezentatywnych filozoficznych koncepcji przyrody. Autorka podkreśla także swoistą współzależność pomiędzy afirmowaną wizją przyrody a kulturowymi reprezentacjami natury ludzkiej.
The self evolved out of a sense of somatic motor orientation and body boundary awareness; and affective states as motivators furthered in conjunction with a sense of self evolutionary speciation. Affective states form to a greater extent than cognition the sense of experiential reality that is taken for granted. Neurophysiological and experiential culture-invariant evidence indicate the existence of eight (and possibly ten) basic affective states in mammals. These affective states have in humans found expression in mythic terms as well as (...) in the basic themes of world literature. According to classical Indian introspective analysis of aesthetics the basic emotions determine human activity and are the well- spring of literature and art, especially if the emotions become dis- sociated from a sense of egocentricity, i.e. if they become detached from a sense of self so that they no longer are in uenced by ex- istential fear. The comparatively close similarity between Indian aesthetics and the neurophysiology of the different affective states suggests the possibility that such aesthetic value judgments may be based on widespread evolutionary determinants. (shrink)
Preface. The Sanskrit Language. Sanskrit Poetry and Western Poetry. Grammar. Prolegomena to Sanskrit Poetics. Alaṅkāraḥ examples. Semasiology of denotation/abhidhā, connotation/lakṣaṇā and purport/ tātparyam, Dhvaniḥ/suggestion and categories, Rasaḥ/aesthetic perception and emotion/bhāvaḥ, Aesthetic perception of love/śṛṅgārarasaḥ. sympathy/karuṇarasaḥ, bliss/ śāntarasaḥ. Creative imagination/pratibhā. Dhvaniḥ and rasaḥ examples. Prosody. Basic Grammar. Sandhiḥ, Morphology. Co-ordinative, dependent, descriptive and possessive compounds. Syntax. Caurapañcāśikā text, translation, analysis, poetics, notes on religion, customs, history, flora and fauna. Etymological vocabulary. Distribution of lemmata. Bibliography. Index of Sanskrit first lines. General Consolidated (...) Index. Epilogue. (shrink)
This is a brief review of the Rasa theory of Indian aesthetics and the works I have done on the same. A major source of the Indian system of classification of emotional states comes from the ‘Natyasastra’, the ancient Indian treatise on the performing arts, which dates back to the 2nd Century AD (or much earlier, pg. LXXXVI: Natyasastra, Ghosh, 1951). The ‘Natyasastra’ speaks about ‘sentiments’ or ‘Rasas’ (pg.102: Natyasastra, Ghosh, 1951) which are produced when certain ‘dominant states’ (sthayi Bhava), (...) ‘transitory states’ (vyabhicari Bhava) and ‘temperamental states’ (sattvika Bhava) of emotions come together (pgs.102, 105: Natyasastra, Ghosh, 1951). This Rasa theory, which is still widely followed in classical Indian performing arts, classifies eight Rasas or sentiments which are: Sringara (erotic), Hasya (comic), Karuna (pathetic), Raudra (furious), Vira (heroic), Bhayanaka (terrible), Bibhatsa (odious) and Adbhuta (marvellous). There was a later addition of the ninth sentiment or Rasa called Santa (peace) in later Sanskrit poetics (pg.102: Natyasastra, Ghosh, 1951). According to ancient Indian aesthetics (especially in the context of Bharatas’ ‘Natyasastra’, Anandavardhana’s ‘Dhvanyaloka’ and Abhinavagupta’s ‘Abhinavabharati’), ‘Rasa’ is the relishable state of elemental human emotions called ‘Bhavas’. Bharata’s ‘Natyasastra’ originally spoke of eight Rasas. The concept of the 9th Rasa was a later interpolation by the Kashmiri Shaivist Abhinavagupta (10th Century AD) and also his predecessor Anandavardhana (9th Century AD). Abhinavagupta extends the eight Rasas by adding the concept of the Santa Rasa which he regards as the essence of all Rasas. It is this 9th Rasa which according to Abhinavagupta lets the Rasika attain the aesthetic detachment and savour the essences of all other Rasas and therefore the true aesthetic delight. The introduction of 9th Rasa integrates the concepts of Bharata’s Rasasutra and Patanjali’s Yoga theory – the detachment necessary to introspect inwards into the inherent state of freedom and bliss (aesthetic consciousness). (shrink)