2017-02-17 SICON02 S14 Monograph 2: Politics of Sanskrit Studies

Swadeshi Indology Conference 2 – Inaugural Session

Speaker: Manjushree Hegde

Sheldon Pollock employs a three-dimensional philology to “make sense” of Valmiki’s Ramayana i.e, he analyzes the text from three different angles/planes: a) Plane 1 — analysis of the “original nucleus” of the Ramayana; b) Plane 2 — analysis of Indian tradition’s reading of it; c) Plane 3 — analysis of the employment of the classical text in politics today. In the present monograph, I employ three angles to analyze and critique his different readings: a) Philological — analysis of the method employed to “make sense” of the text; b) Semantic — analysis of factuality of certain data, translations, interpretations, etc; c) Linguistic — analysis of language employed for sophisticated hypothesizing. I also propose an alternate model of philology that may be employed in “making sense” of texts like the Ramayana.

17-19th Feb, 2017
IGNCA, New Delhi

2017-02-17 SICON02 S9 Critique of & Rebuttal to Pollock’s Dating for epics

Swadeshi Indology Conference 2
Critique of & Rebuttal to Pollock’s Dating for epics

Speaker: Nilesh Oak

A Critique of Pollock’s “Self-Evident Claims” for the Chronology of Mahabharata & Ramayana AND Assertion
for the Dating of Mahabharata & Ramayana Events
Based on the Internal Astronomy Evidence

The presentation provides a summary of astronomy evidence that sets specific timelines for the chronology of Mahabharata and Ramayana which in turn falsifies all claims for the chronology of Mahabharata that fall after 4500 BCE and all claims for the chronology of Ramayana that fall after 10,000 BCE.

17-19th Feb, 2017
IGNCA, New Delhi

2017-02-17 SICON02 S6 Mimamsa critique of Pollock’s History Theory

Swadeshi Indology Conference 2

Speaker: Shrinivas Tilak

Professor Sheldon Pollock asserts that by declaring the Vedas ‘authorless’ and ‘timeless,’ the Purva Mimamsa thinkers deprived Indic intellectual, literary, and ritual texts of the sense of time and temporality. He calls this process ‘Vedicization,’ and holds it responsible for absence of history in ancient India (Pollock 1989). This paper disputes Prof. Pollock’s assertion by arguing that ‘history,’ as it is understood in the West, is subsumed in the broader, inclusive category of itihāsa (deemed to be the ‘fifth Veda’) in India, which acts as a storehouse of the past for what must be remembered, i.e., values (purusharthas) that guide fulfillment of the four ends of life (dharma, artha, kama, and moksha). The status of itihasa as the ‘fifth Veda’ is next discussed with reference to the Mantra Ramayana of Nilakantha Chaturdhara (Ca. 1700), which insists that the Rigveda refers to Vişņu as saguņa brahman; i.e., as Shriram, an avatara of Vishnu.
Select references
Bhattacharya, Sibesh.2010. Understanding Itihasa. Shimla: Indian Institute of Advanced Study.
Hossain, Purba. 2016. Moksha, Mimamsa and Yuga: Does philosophy account for the supposed absence of history in early India? https://www.academia.edu/8688401; accessed on Sept 23, 2016.
Mantrarāmāyaņa [of Nīlakaņţha Caturdhara]. 1998. Edited with Hindi translation by Dr Prabhunath Dwivedi. Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Sanskrit Samsthanam. https://archive.org/details/MantraRam…, accessed on August 21, 2016.
Pollock, Sheldon. 1989. Mīmāṃsā and the Problem of History in Traditional India. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 109(4): 603–610.

Inaugural Session
17-19th Feb, 2017
IGNCA, New Delhi