Workshop on Rasa Theory in Manipal University, February 2017

Rasa wrkshop poster.jpg

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.

Photo of Pandit Mukund Ram Shastri

Pandit Mukund Ram ShastriFrom Aurel Stein, Eugen Hultzsch, John Marshal, Alfred Stratton to George Grierson, all of them were helped in their studies of Kashmir by a man in Srinagar named Pandit Mukund Ram Shastri. In early 1900s, 23 of the 29 books of “Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies” were brought out by Research Department of Jammu and Kashmir under his editorship. Books that are still read and shared in academic circles. And yet, if you Google Image Search, you will find no photograph of Mukund Ram Shastri. You can easily find Stein, Hultzsch, Marshal, Stratton and George Grierson, but no Mukund Ram Shastri. Given here is a photograph of Mahamahopadhyaya Pandit Mukund Ram Shastri, found in the biography of Stratton, ‘Letters from India, by Alfred William Stratton, with a memoir by his wife Anna Booth Stratton and an introductory note by Professor Bloomfield’ (1908).


(This post is reproduced from Search Kashmir with due permission from its owner).

Two Sanskrit Letters of Pandit Dinanath Yacch

Thanks to Mr Chetan Pandey. Here are the two letters (one written in 1965 and another in 1971) Pandit Dinanath Yacch (1921-2004) wrote to Srī Amritvāgbhavācārya. Just note the eloquent Sanskrit written by Pandit Yacch.


Dinanath Yaksha Letters In Skt to Swamiji (dragged) 2Dinanath Yaksha Letters In Skt to Swamiji (dragged)






Dinanath Yaksha Letters In Skt to Swamiji (dragged) 1

Encyclopaedia Iranica on ‘Persian in Kashmir’.


Persian was the basis of administrations all over western Asia and the highly prestigious language at the courts. Hence, Persian learning radiated into Kashmir and found a fertile soil after the initial impulse.

Read the full text:

New Release: Kashmir’s Contested Pasts by Chitralekha Zutshi

Kashmir’s Contested Pasts: Narratives, Geographies, and the Historical Imagination

This is an extended chronicle of the historical imagination in Kashmir. It explores the conversations between the ideas of Kashmir and the ideas of history taking place within Kashmir’s multilingual historical tradition. Contrary to the notion that the Indian subcontinent did not produce histories in the pre-colonial period, the book uncovers the production, circulation, and consumption of a vibrant regional tradition of historical composition in its textual, oral, and performance forms, from the late sixteenth century to the present.

History and history-writing, as the book illustrates, were defined in multiple ways—as tradition, facts, memories, stories, common sense, and spiritual practice. Analysing the deep linkages among Sanskrit, Persian, and Kashmiri narratives, this book contends that these traditions drew on and influenced each other to define Kashmir as a sacred landscape and polity. Within this interconnected narrative tradition, Kashmir was, and continues to be, imagined as far more than simply an unsettled territory or a tourist paradise.

Offering a historically grounded reflection on the memories, narrative practices, and institutional contexts that have informed imaginings of Kashmir and its past, this book depicts how Kashmir’s history and its territory seem especially embattled in its present political culture. It thus places these contemporary debates over territory, identity, and sovereignty in a much longer historical context.

Follow the links for more details.

New Book by Navjivan Rastogi

“Kāśmīra śivādvayavāda meṃ pramāṇa-cintana”: “epistemological speculation in the monistic Śaivism of Kashmir” (pp.14+264) published by LD Institute, Ahmedabad.

About the Book:

The present monograph opens up a virtually hitherto unexplored area of fertile intellectual tradition of the Trika namely the epistemological. The foremost motivation for the author has been to seek an identifiable Trika model of philosophical enquiry, if there is one. The model, so envisaged, is theorized by him as the Dynamic Theory of Knowledge pivoted on the notion of re- cognition (pratyabhijñā) conceptualized as a rudimentary generalized mode of cognition per se. Spread over seven chapters under two sections plus a large thematic appendix the work seeks to reconstruct system’s precise formulations along the nature and definition of source of knowing and its specific modes, integral instrumentalities and the process mechanisms at work graphically recaptured and represented by seven tabular charts. The whole presentation is contextualized within the Trika ontology and against the inherited traditions of logical discourse.


Part One

Chapter One : Metaphysical sub-stratum

(i) Introduction

(ii) Ontological framework

Chapter Two : Epistemological theorizing

(i) Textual sources

(ii) Meaning of knowledge

(iii) Major concerns of epistemological enquiry

(a) Knowledge of knowledge: self-luminosity

(b) Knowledge not an object of another knowledge

(c) Validity and invalidity of knowledge

Chapter Three : Ingredients of knowing

(i) Knower

(a) Sub-notions of subjectivity

(b) Permanence and apriority

(c) Aesthetic dimension

(ii) Source of valid knowledge

(a) Pramāṇa-dependent establishment of an object (meya-siddhi) and the pragmatic role of epistemological functioning (vyavahàra-sàdhanatà)

(b) Definition of pramāṇa

(c) Dhārāvāhika jñāna (unitary flow of knowledge), pramāṇasaṃplava vis-à-vis pramāṇa-definition

(iii) Valid knowledge

(a) Non-difference between pramāṇa and its result (pramāṇa-phala)

(b) Divergence from the Buddhist view

(iv) The object of valid knowledge

(a) Principle of viṣayatāpatti (objectfication)

(b) Epistemic object intrinsically a universal (ābhāsa)

(c) ābhāsavāda : the sole object of pramāṇa-activity= an ābhāsa (manifestation)

(v) Abādhitatva (non-contradictedness)

(a) non-contradictedness: an essential component of pramāṇa-definition

(b) saṃvāda(“coherence”) and pramāṇa-definition

(c) pramāṇa and purposive action (pravṛtti)

(vi) Original insights of the śaivas

(a) Instrumentalization of the indeterminate perception (prakāśa : luminous immediacy)

(b) Pramā is bāhyatādhyavasāya (determinate apprehension of the externality)

(vii) The meta-epistemological nature of pramāṇa

Part Two (Kinds of sources of knowing)

Chapter Four: Statement of the problem

Chapter Five: Perception

(i) Definition of perception

(ii) Object of perception

(iii) Indeterminate-determinate perception : a dynamic concept

(iv) Types of perception

(a) Sensory perception a. Process of sensory perception

(b) Mental perception

(c) Yogic perception a. Immediacy of awareness : shining of manifestational vividity in awareness

b. The gateway to cognition of an other’s mind is through identification with the other

c. Impact of the Buddhist notion of bhāvaāprakarṣa

Chapter Six: Inference

(i) Inference : dependent and indirect cognition

(ii) Inference as reasoning (yukti)

(iii) Definition of inference

(a) Deterministic causation underlining vyāpti (relation of necessary dependent concomitance) : logical reason (hetu : middle term) redefined

(iv) Constituent parts of inference

Chapter Seven: āgama

(i) Context and background

(ii) āgama as prasiddhi (inherited cognition) (I)

(iii) āgama as prasiddhi (inherited cognition) (II)

(a) Essential unity of all scriptures: sarvāgamaprāmāṇya

(b) Two-fold variety of prasiddhi : the composed and the non- composed

(c) Source of scriptural validity:firm rooting of conviction (vimarśanirūḍhi)

(iv) āgama as śabdana (verbalizing)/pratibhāna (intuitive reflecting)

(a) Triple contextualization of śabdana

(v) āgama as āpti (verbal testimony : authenticity of the perfected being)

(a) Different kinds of the perfected authority

(b) āpti morphosized into prasiddhi

(vi) Investigating the epistemological structure of āgama

(vii) Epilogue

Appendix Manas and Jñānendriyas in Kashmir Śaivism