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 and Tattvamuktākalāpa.
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 Yāmuna 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
- artha and anartha within the Veda: The conundrum of malefic sacrifices:Seśvaramīmāṃsā ad Pūrva Mīmāṃsā Sūtra 1.1.2.
- Is the Veda the instrument to know dharma? Seśvaramīmāṃsā ad 1.1.2.
Texts to be read and editions used
- For the Seśvaramīmāṃsā and the Mīmāṃsāpādukā: 1971 edition, Ubhaya Vedānta Granthamālā.
- For the Tattvamuktākalāpa: 1941 edition, Madras, Liberty Press.
NB: Scans of the relevant texts can be received from Elisa Freschi. Hard copies will be distributed at the beginning of the workshop.