The theology of Vaikuṇṭha: Why should you want to be in heaven?

We all know so many clever jokes about how hell should be preferred “because of the good company” and about how boring should heaven be. Let me take the chance to focus on the Śrīvaiṣṇava heaven, i.e., Vaikuṇṭha, and see Continue reading The theology of Vaikuṇṭha: Why should you want to be in heaven?

Inert and alive substances: Alternative classifications in Veṅkaṭanātha

In the Nyāyasiddhāñjana and the Nyāyapariśuddhi, Veṅkaṭanātha discusses some fundamental ontological topics in order to distinguish his positions from the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika position. The Nyāyasūtra proposes a fundamental division of realities into dravya ‘substances’, guṇa ‘qualities’, and karman ‘actions’,1 with the Continue reading Inert and alive substances: Alternative classifications in Veṅkaṭanātha

What were the ṛṣis up to while composing the Vedas?

While commenting on PMS 1.1.4, Veṅkaṭanātha makes a long digression aimed at refuting every kind of intellectual intuition, especially as a source for knowing dharma. Dharma, he explains, can only be known through the Veda.People who claim to have directly Continue reading What were the ṛṣis up to while composing the Vedas?

The role of the prescription to learn the Veda

Why should one study Mīmāṃsā? In order to understand the meaning of the Veda, say Bhāṭṭa Mīmāṃsā authors. But why should one learn the Veda? According to Bhāṭṭa Mīmāṃsā, because a Vedic prescription itself tells you to do so. The Continue reading The role of the prescription to learn the Veda

Why is bhakti different than the other human purposes? Vīrarāghavācārya on Pūrva Mīmāṃsā Sūtra 1.1.2

Vīrarāghavācārya was a 20th c. Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedāntin whose editorial and commentarial contribution to his school will remain impressive for many generations to come. Personally, I am particularly pleased by his attempts to think along the tradition in a creative way. Continue reading Why is bhakti different than the other human purposes? Vīrarāghavācārya on Pūrva Mīmāṃsā Sūtra 1.1.2

Hyman’s analysis of atheism and some interesting Indian parallels

Gavin Hyman explains in his 2007 contribution to Martin’s Cambdride Companion to Atheism as well as in his 2010 A Short History of Atheism that atheism is always the refusal of a given form of theism. In particular, in European Continue reading Hyman’s analysis of atheism and some interesting Indian parallels

What happens when the Veda prescribes malefic actions? Vīrarāghavācārya’s take on the Śyena

To my knowledge, Veṅkaṭanātha’s Seśvaramīmāṃsā (henceforth SM) has been commented upon only once in Sanskrit, namely in the 20th c. by Abhinava Deśika Vīrarāghavācārya. Vīrarāghavācārya continues Veṅkaṭanātha’s agenda in reinterpreting Mīmāṃsā tenets in a Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta way.

Why should one study the meaning of the Veda? I.e., why studying Mīmāṃsā? (It is hard to present your research program to the public)

At a certain point in the history of Mīmāṃsā (and, consequently, of Vedānta), the discussion of the reasons for undertaking the study of Mīmāṃsā becomes a primary topic of investigation. When did this exactly happen? The space dedicated to the Continue reading Why should one study the meaning of the Veda? I.e., why studying Mīmāṃsā? (It is hard to present your research program to the public)

Dissent among a Viśiṣṭādvaitin and a Mīmāṃsaka: What do Vedic words mean?

Within his Mīmāṃsā commentary, the Seśvaramīmāṃsā, Veṅkaṭanātha explicitly dissents from Śabara (also) in his commentary on Pūrva Mīmāṃsā Sūtra (henceforth PMS) 1.1.31 on Vedic words seemingly expressing proper names, e.g., Prāvāhaṇi and Babara (which are used by opponents as an Continue reading Dissent among a Viśiṣṭādvaitin and a Mīmāṃsaka: What do Vedic words mean?

Did ṛṣis author the Veda? A Mīmāṃsā and Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta view about it

In his Seśvaramīmāṃsā (ad 1.1.29), Veṅkaṭanātha discusses the problem of the authorship of the Veda while being a Mīmāṃsaka, but also trying to condede something to theism. For instance, he is less straightforward than Mīmāṃsā authors in ruling out the Continue reading Did ṛṣis author the Veda? A Mīmāṃsā and Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta view about it