This project is investigating the early history and conception of Śrīvaiṣṇava theology as seen in the works of Veṅkaṭanātha.
In particular, it involves a study of the dialectics of the conflicting epistemologies and world-views of Pūrva Mīmāṃsā and Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta as represented in Veṅkaṭanāthaʼs Seśvaramīmāṃsā (SM). How can its author, for instance, be simultaneously faithful to the Mīmāṃsā atheism and the Viśiṣṭādvaita devotion to Viṣṇu? How can he harmonize the Mīmāṃsā claim that the Sacred Texts are reliable, insofar as they have no author, with the claim of the Viśiṣṭādvaita that the Sacred Texts have been authored by Viṣṇu? How can he make sense of the conflict between the Mīmāṃsā belief in the world’s permanence and the theistic account of its creation? The project is exploring the ways in which Veṅkaṭanātha produced a new synthesis of these conflicting claims by reinterpreting some and hierarchically organizing others. For this purpose, the text of SM 1 (the epistemological section of the SM, corresponding to approximately two-thirds of the entire work) is being translated and its edition improved by means of a number of unedited manuscripts held at the Government Oriental Manuscripts Library in Chennai, the Library of the Oriental Institute in Mysore, and the Adyar Library, as well as through parallel passages in other texts by Veṅkaṭanātha.