pada-vākya-pramāṇa… Since when? (with updated reference)

If you have read post-Classical śāstra, you will have certainly encountered the formulation above, describing the three foundational disciplines as focusing on words (pada), i.e., grammatical analysis in Vyākaraṇa sentences (vākya), i.e., textual linguistics in Mīmāṃsā means of knowledge (pramāṇa), Continue reading

The making of Śrīvaiṣṇavism: A tentative hypothesis about its reconstruction

It is difficult to disentangle the different roots of what is now known as Śrīvaiṣṇavism, since this term is usually the label attributed to the religious counterpart of the philosophical-theological school of Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta. However, Vaiṣṇavism was apparently an important Continue reading

Ontology is a moot point if you are a theist

A philosopher might end up having a double affiliation, to the philosophical standpoints shared by one’s fellow philosophers, and to the religious program of one’s faith. This can lead to difficult reinterpretations (such as that of Christ with the Neoplatonic Continue reading

What is a body? Veṅkaṭanātha on plants, rocks, and deities

In general, classical Indian philosophers tend to define śarīra ‘body’ as a tool for experience (bhogasādhana). Thus, most philosophers state that plants only seem to have bodies because of our anthropomorphic tendencies, which make us believe that they function like Continue reading

Veṅkaṭanātha’s epistemology, ontology and theology

In the world-view of a fundamental Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta teacher like Vedānta Deśika (1269–1370, aka Veṅkaṭanātha), theology is the center of the system and epistemology and ontology assume their role and significance only through their relationship with this center.

One God, one Śāstra — A panel for the WSC 2015

One God, one śāstra: philosophical developments towards and within Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta between Nāthamuni and Veṅkaṭanātha In the case of the Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta school, one has the advantage of having some basic historical elements to judge about the development of the Continue reading

What is unreal?

The term tuccha means in Classical Sanksrit “worthless”, “insignificant”. In Vedānta, however, it gets a more specific technical meaning, to denote the absolute unreality of chimeral entities, such as the khapuṣpa (flower in the air), which will not and cannot Continue reading

Veṅkaṭanātha’s contribution to Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta

Veṅkaṭanātha (traditional dates 1269–1370 (see Neevel 1977 for a convincing explanation of these too long life spans) is a complex figure who can be interpreted in different ways according to the facet one is focusing on. What is sure is Continue reading

Was Yāmuna the real founder of Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta? (On Mesquita 1971 and 1973)

Yāmuna (967–1038 according to Mesquita 1973) is one of the chief figures of the philosophy later known as Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta. In fact, to me one of the most intriguing questions regards his role in the formation of this school. It Continue reading

Doing research on free will in Indian Philosophy

As a scholar trained in Western Academia, one has at least three choices while dealing with Sanskrit Philosophy: One can treat it as if it were Western philosophy and discuss, e.g., of monotonic or non-monotonic logic in Nyāya, One can Continue reading