Tuesday, October 5, 2021

The Critical-Philology-Paradigm and Our ādhyātmika Tradition


Sati Shankar* 

Global Synergetic Foundation, New Delhi, India 


During recent decades a lot of writings, diametrically opposed to our traditional view, have come from the West declaring Sanskrit writings devoid of any spirituality, full of internal contradictions, divisive, and above all created for power-culture manipulations, and hence oppressive, immoral and socially toxic. Our Tradition's viewpoint, however, has always been the "bliss", ānanda; vijñanam anandaṃ brahma; SB.; Br̥hU.3.9.34), of the "Cosmic Whole" through puruṣārtha, that is why it invocates, sarvé bhavantu sukhinaḥ , sarvé santu nirāmayāḥ | sarvé bhadrāṇi pashyantu , mā kashchid_duḥkhabhāg-bhavét ||. If one finds an "exploitative-power-culture-manipulation" in such a viewpoint, which assimilates sarvé, i.e., "all", into its bliss invocation, there must be something wrong in one's reasoning. Many of the mistakes are committed when we continue using mindlessly some Paradigm or methodology without really knowing if it is applicable to the subject under consideration. Every method depends on certain assumptions and the success or failure of the method depends on whether foundational assumptions are satisfied or not. In this paper, we explore the foundations of the Western literary analytics, the "Critical Theory - Philology Project - Paradigm", applied by Western practitioners to our Sanskrit Knowledge System and Scriptures, and examine their applicability to our Sanskrit Knowledge System, especially that part dealing with the ādhyātmika dimension. Causes limiting the Paradigm responsible for previously mentioned insinuating interpretations have been found and modifications are proposed to widen and generalize the foundational assumptions to enhance the applicability of the Paradigm, and so to assimilate the part, which has been assumed away so far. This dismissal of a vital aspect of our traditional paradigm may be due to conceptual handicap, technical limitation or lack of tractability or to the dominance of the leftist ideology or a combination of all these. Examination of these may be undertaken, as challenging research projects, both, by Indian and/or the Western scholars since what is proposed here would lead to methodological innovation. 

Full Paper

Sati Shankar orcid.org/0000-0003-4638-1745; The Critical-Philology-Paradigm and Our ādhyātmika Tradition, submitted for WAVES 2016,
12th International & 20th India Conference of World Association of Vedic Studies (US), held at New Delhi ,December 15 to December 18, 2016

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