Veṅkaṭanātha's Perspective on Mīmāṃsā

The workshop will be conducted by Larry McCrea.

Thema/ Topic

The workshop will focus on Veṅkaṭanātha's (1269–1370) approach to Mīmāṃsā through the works he dedicated to this school, i.e., Seśvaramīmāṃsā, Mīmāṃsāpādukā and, secondarily, Śatadūṣaṇī.

Veṅkaṭanātha was the foremost systematizer of the Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta and immensely contributed to its positioning within the Indian philosophical landscape, while still presenting his contribution as doing nothing more than explicating his predecessors' position. In particular, he chose to introduce the Mīmāṃsā within the Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta, notwithstanding the fact that the Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta is essentially a Vaiṣṇava school, whereas the Mīmāṃsā is usually regarded as atheistic. Veṅkaṭanātha further needed to take into account his predecessors' (chiefly Yamuna and Rāmānuja) sceptical standpoint on Mīmāṃsā.

Parallel passages dealing with selected topics in the three texts will be read in the original Sanskrit and analysed, with a particular focus on Veṅkaṭanātha's innovations in his interpretation of Mīmāṃsā and on his solutions to the problems hinted at above.

Topics to be dealt with

  • aikaśāstrya (the unity of Mīmāṃsā and Vedānta): beginning of Seśvaramīmāṃsā, section 3 of Śatadūṣaṇī, Mīmāṃsāpādukā vv. 5--14
  • (if there is enough time:) Does one study (Mīmāṃsā) out of desire? Seśvaramīmāṃsā ad 1.1.1, Mīmāṃsāpādukā v. 3

Texts to be read and editions used

  • For the Seśvaramīmāṃsā and the Mīmāṃsāpādukā: 1971 edition, Ubhaya Vedānta Granthamālā.
  • For the Śatadūṣaṇī: 2004 edition edited by Śaṭhakoparāmānuja Tātāyāryadāsa. Chennai.

NB: Scans of the relevant texts can be received from Elisa Freschi. Hard copies will be distributed at the beginning of the workshop.