Scholars, not guardians

Sanskrit scholarship must not be trapped in outsider/insider dichotomy. Its task is to understand tradition, engage with other systems.

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Dhvani Workshop, New Delhi (March 4-8, 2018)

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Dhvani Workshop, New Delhi (March 4-8, 2018)

Organized by

The Abhyas Trust, New Delhi

The Abhyas Trust invites applications for a week-long Workshop on the Dhvani Theory from March 4-8, 2018,  at New Delhi.

The workshop will commence with a public lecture by Prof C Rajendran, titled Resonance Beyond: The Aesthetics of Dhvani, at the Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, on 3rd March 2018, at 7 p.m.

About the Workshop

This workshop will principally include a close textual reading of selections from the Dhvanyāloka of Ānandavardhana—the celebrated work on Indian literary theory—together with the Locana commentary of Abhinavagupta. The Dhvanyāloka deals with the entire gamut of signification in poetic language, arguing that great literature always communicates through suggestion (dhvani). Another salient feature of the work is that it offers a broad-based aesthetic theory relevant in other art forms like music, drama and painting. The workshop will focus on select passages of the text and explain its sense in English putting Ānandavardhana’s work in proper perspective. The aim of the workshop is to familiarize the participants with core themes in the text of the Dhvanyāloka so that the necessary theoretical background could be created to explore its aesthetic dimensions, which could broaden their horizons of thought and enhance their artistic sensibilities as creative artists and connoisseurs of art.

Deadline for Application:  Tuesday 30 January, 2018

Program and Faculty

Professor C. Rajendran, University of Calicut, Calicut will be the principal instructor. We are also expecting a few other experts of Indian aesthetics to join us. The morning and afternoon sessions will include the readings of the text in Sanskrit followed by special lectures in the evening by various experts in the field of Indian aesthetics. The seminar will be held in English and readings will be circulated in advance. The workshop will be preceded by a special lecture by Prof Rajendran on the topic Resonances Beyond: The Aesthetics of Dhvani on 3rd March 2018 to set the workshop in motion. This special lecture will also serve as an introduction to the workshop and all participants are mandatorily expected to attend. There will also be an evening lecture by Prof. Parul Dave Mukerji (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi) who will talk about the Indian aesthetics from the lens of comparative aesthetics. Prof. Milind Wakankar (IIT-New Delhi) and Dr. Malcolm Keating (Yale-NUS College in Singapore) will also deliver lectures. A special performance will also be organized during the workshop.

Confirmed Scholar Participants

Prof. Parul Dave Mukerji, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Dr. Mrinal Kaul, Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities, Manipal, Karnataka

Dr. Malcolm Keating, Yale-NUS College in Singapore

Prof. Milind Wakankar, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi

Selection Criteria

Though a rudimentary knowledge of the Sanskrit language on part of the participants would definitely help, the workshop does not presuppose any theoretical background of textual scholarship. We seek interested research students and scholars from across India and abroad. The selection will be made based on the strength of the application. We cannot accept more than 25 participants  and the priority will be given to the applications from research scholars in disciplines or with experience in Sanskrit, Philosophy, Aesthetics, Yoga, Performing Arts, Religion and Literature. There will be a participation fee for all participants. Applicants will be informed about the decision of selection after the deadline of application.

Location and Accommodations

The event will be held at Studio Abhyas, 112 Anand Lok (basement), New Delhi. Centrally located in South Delhi, the studio is close to all the major cultural venues of the capital and easily accessible; it is also close to the Metro line. A registration fee will be charged that includes a working lunch, tea/coffee with snacks for the five days of the workshop. Travel cost will not be reimbursed. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to offer accomodation.

Registration Fees

Registration is mandatory for attending the workshop. No participation without due registration will be allowed.

Regular Participants: Rs. 4000

Student Participants: Rs. 3000

Application Information

Applications should include the following, preferably sent as PDFs:

1. Description of research interests and their relevance to the topic of the workshop (max. 300 words)

2. Brief Curriculum Vitae / resume highlighting relevant skills, experience and training.

Applications should be sent to:

Navtej Johar

(Convenor-Workshop on the Dhvani Theory)

Studio Abhyas

F 27 Green Park, New Delhi 110016


email: <>

Tel +91-981-888-2918

For more information please contact Studio Abhyas

Call for Participation: (ICPR) Workshop on Trika Philosophy of Kashmir, Lucknow (February 15 – 28, 2018)

Workshop on Trika Philosophy of Kashmir

(Reading of Abhinavagupta’s Īśvara-pratyabhijñā-vimarśinī Jñādhikāra: Last Four Chapters)

 The Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR) is organizing a fourteen-day workshop from February 15 – 28, 2018 on Pratyabhijñā philosophy, the epistemological school of the Trika Śaivism. The workshop constitutes the Phase-II of the Level Three annual workshop as part of the four-year programme that aims at studying-in-depth the entire text of the Īśvara-pratyabhijñā-vimarśinī by the celebrated Abhinavagupta on his master Utpaladeva’s Īśvara-pratyabhijñā-kārikā, the path setting prasthāna text of the system. The sole purpose in the  phase-II is to cover the last 4 chapters of the Book on Knowledge called Jñādhikāra. In this part our masters deconstruct the established paradigms of Indian philosophical discourse (specially those of Buddhist logicians) and reconstruct a system of logic defined by life-affirming world-view via core concepts of Prakaśa, Vimarśa, Vikalpa, Vāk et al encompassing within their ambit issues of logic, language, metaphysics and aesthetics, fully underscoring the need of “bringing psychology in accord with metaphysics” (to borrow an expression from Prof. TRV Murti) as integrated within a robust system of philosophical discipline which could be construed as integral dynamic absolutism. Understood in this way, the Vimarśinī claiming to be a Samyak Vyākhyāna (proper and comprehensive exposition) of the original Pratyabhijñā-Kārīkas (a text in the āgamic tradition), offers a counter perspective to the prevalent narrative of Kashmir Śaivism as a tantra-based doctrinal school and projects Utpala and Abhinavagupta as logician-metaphysicians par excellence in their own right.

The workshop will primarily have two parts – namely, reading of the core text and concerted theme lectures covering the issues raised in the text and/or the prima facie stand-points necessary for navigating the text. The basic purpose of these workshops including the one in hand is to prepare the new generation of young Indian scholars in an area which is suffering from the acute scholarship-deficit by enabling them to have first hand exposure to the original thought structure and methodology of the masters through their primary textual articulations.

 The workshop will be conducted at the Lucknow Academic Centre of ICPR by Prof. Navjivan Rastogi, the Course Director and Coordinator, together with other eminent scholars such as Goswami Shyam Manohar ji, Professors K.D. Tripathi, Rajneesh Kr. Shukla, Mithilesh Chaturvedi, Ambikadatta Sharma, Sacchidanand Mishra, Prakash Pandey and Drs. Meera Rastogi, Balram Shukla and others. Besides participants would be encouraged to proactively interact among themselves. For this a few sessions could be exclusively earmarked.

Each day of the workshop will have two academic sessions i.e., from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. with a lunch break from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The workshop will be open to all those who are interested in Kashmir Śaivism. As such faculty members and research scholars in the departments of philosophy/Indian philosophy, departments of Sanskrit with philosophy as one of its courses (including Sanskrit Universities) and also those who are connected with academic centres and institutions operating in the similar field will be eligible to apply. However preference will be given to the participants of earlier workshops. The candidates must bear in their mind that this workshop constitutes the 2nd leg of a four-year workshop programme. Hence those candidates who have participated in earlier workshops and undertake to participate in future ones as well will claim preference.

Those interested should apply online here.

Deadline for application: 31 October 2017

Workshop on Rasa Theory in Manipal University, February 2017

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Pandit Vrajvallabh Dwivedi and Prof Alexis Sanderson in 1987


Courtesy:  Dr Tarun Dwivedi

A New Review of the ‘Linguistic Traditions of Kashmir’ by S. Bhuvaneshwari

Published in The Adyar Library Bulletin 2014-15.

About the Linguistic Traditions of Kashmir

Pandit Dinanath Yaksh (1921–2004), a humble Kashmirian scholar par excellence, rightly deserves to be honoured for his painstaking efforts to preserve and propagate the Sanskrit tradition of Kashmir in general, and the Kashmirian Grammatical tradition in particular. A brief life-sketch of this great scholar, by the editor Mrinal Kaul, should serve as an eye-opener to the condition and struggles of intellectuals in modern India and the additional responsibility of carrying the work, being a Kashmiri Pandit. This book, thoughtfully prepared by the editors, illuminates the glorious past of Kashmir and its intellectual contribution to Sanskrit studies, specifically in the field of Grammar and Linguistics. The book consists of twenty-one essays arranged alphabetically following the last name of the authors. Here, the contents are analysed in a thematic flow of topics, broadly classified as Vedic, Historical, Grammatical in relation to Linguistics, Philosophy and Poetics.

Paippalada recension of the Atharvaveda is known to be prevalent in Kashmir that constitutes several hapax legomenon and five such words are analysed by Hukam Chand Patyal in his essay titled “Some Peculiar Vocables in the Paippalada Samhita”. Rigveda has also received the attention of Kashmirian scholars and the commentarial contribution of Uvatacharya on Rigveda Pratishakhyais highlighted by Nirmala Kulkarni, which includes a revisit into the controversial historical account of Uvata.

In three independent as well as inter-connected essays, Ashok Aklujkar tries to establish Kashmir as the homeland of Patanjali in the background of the importance assigned to the study of the Mahabhashya by the royalties and the epithets associated with Patanjali, who came to be worshipped as Naga/Ananta. The Rajatarangini statements on the revival of the Mahabhashya study in three widely separated times are reinterpreted along with the Vakyapadiya II.486 by Johannes Bronkhorst in his essay titled “A Note on Kashmir and Orthodox Paninian Grammar”. In his second essay, the author gives an insight into the free thinking of Udbhata, drawing from his interpretation of rules of Ashtadhyayi and the Lokayatasutra.

About nine essays directly deal with grammatical nuances and technicalities as found in the writings of Kashmiri thinkers. George Cardona tries to show the presence of theoretical precedents to one of the earliest grammatical elementary text namely, Katantra attributed to Sarvavarman. P. Visalakshy in her paper gives a comprehensive note on the authorship and structure of Kashika with a detailed account of its influence of Candragomin’s grammatical thought. Malhar Kulkarni’s new research findings of the manuscripts of the Kashikavritti in Shrada script adds to the rich repository of grammatical literature.

The paper by M.G. Dhadphale deals with nama, akhyata, upasarga and nipata — the four basic grammatical categories that are fully treated by Kshirasvamin and also points out to the errors in his Kshiratarangini. Supporting Jayanta Bhatta’s interpretation of Panini’s aphorism namely, sadhakatamam karanam, V.N. Jha tries to gain a dual purpose of not abandoning logic and rationally explaining the said aphorism. In the explanation of iko gunavriddhi, Kaiyata cites an example referring to Panini’s sutra VI.3.108, which is misunderstood by Nagesha Bhatta as referring to Panini’s sutra VI.4.146. S.D. Joshi in his essay elucidates the position of Kaiyata and shows the unnecessary attack undertaken by Nagesha in this case.

Vincenzo Vergiani in his paper explores the procedure of language that organises the cognitive data oscillating between distinction and unification by studying the padavadhika and vakyavadhikamethods in Prakirnaprakasha of Helaraja. The essay by Oliver Hahn proposes to identify a Samanvaya grammatical tradition and hopes for a reconstruction of Kudaka’s text from the available fragments. The co-authors Estella Del Bon and Vincenzo Vergiani deal with the ninteenth-century Kashmiri Grammarian Ishvara Kaula’s Kashmirashabdamrita, a grammar of Kashmiri language in Sanskrit. This paper focusses on the treatment of the present tense in Kashmirashabdamrita.

Utpaladeva’s concealed favouritism to Bhartrihari’s Philosophy of language is succinctly brought out by Raffaele Torella in his paper titled “From an Adversary to the Main Ally: The Place of Bhartrihari in the Kashmirian Shaiva Advaita”. David Peter Lawrence draws some parallels between the Shaiva semantic concepts of action and contemporary Western theories and compares some aspects of philosophical kriyakaraka theory with grammar of motives as propounded by Kenneth Burke. Bettina Baumer highlights the relation between grammar and metaphysics based on Abhinavagupta’s Vivarana to ParatrishikaTantra and presents grammatical argument to establish the universality of Trika in which the absolute pure consciousness is said to be the One principle behind the three persons (I, You, It/He/She) and their relationships.

The essay by C. Rajendran analyses the fluctuating status of grammar in the hands of Poeticians, categorized as Pre-dhvani (Bhamaha, Vamana), Post-dhvani (Anandavardhana, Abhinavagupta) and Anti-dhvani (Mahima Bhatta). M.M. Agrawal highlights the grammatico-rhetorical question of abhidha and lakshana of Mukula Bhatta and the severe criticism that he faced in the hands of Mammata.

The book adds value by providing a list of available manuscripts related to linguistic tradition of Kashmir. Though the book may appear incomplete in terms of not venturing into the mine of information lying in the Aesthetic works of Abhinavagupta on the linguistic and grammatical traditions, it is expected to engage one’s intellectual quest in the field of grammar, linguistics, poetics and history as well. Some areas of research by Professor David Peter Lawrence listed in the introduction hopes to give a sense of direction for future research.