Sanskrit Debate

Sanskrit Debate : Vasubandhu's "Vimsatika" versus Kumarila's "Niralambanavada"

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Sanskrit Debate: Vasubandhu's 'Vimsatika' versus Kumarila's 'Niralambanavada' illustrates the rules and regulations of classical Indian debate literature (pramanasastra) by introducing new translations of two Sanskrit texts composed in antithesis to each other's tradition of thought and practice. In the third century CE, Vasubandhu, a Buddhist philosopher-monk, proposed that the entire world of lived experience is a matter of mind only through his Vimsatika (Twenty Verses). In the seventh century CE, Kumarila, a Hindu philosopher-priest, composed Niralambanavada (Non-Sensory Limit Debate) to establish the objective reality of objects by refuting Vasubandhu's claim that objects experienced in waking life are not different from objects experienced in dreams. Kumarila rigorously employs formal rules and regulations of Indian logic and debate to demonstrate that Vasubandhu's assertion is totally irrational and incoherent.
Vimsatika ranks among the world's most misunderstood texts but Kumarila's historic refutation allows Vimsatika to be read in its own text-historical context. This compelling, radically revolutionary re-reading of Vimsatika delineates a hermeneutic of humor indispensable to discerning its medicinal message. In Vimsatika, Vasubandhu employs the form of professional Sanskrit logic and debate as a guise and a ruse to ridicule the entire enterprise of Indian philosophy. Vasubandhu critiques all Indian theories of epistemology and ontology and claims that both how we know and what we know are acts of the imagination.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 138 pages
  • 150 x 225 x 15.24mm | 340g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 1433117584
  • 9781433117589
  • 2,285,275

Table of contents

Contents: Classical Indian Philosophy - Vimsatika and Auto-Commentary in Text-Historical Context - Translation of Vimsatika and Auto-Commentary - Niralambanavada in Text-Historical Context - Translation of Niralambanavada - The Verdict.
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About William Cully Allen

William Cully Allen studied Sanskrit at Harvard University, The University of Pennsylvania, and Banaras Hindu University before earning his PhD in South Asian religion at Temple University. Allen has taught for twenty-five years at Temple University, Austin College, Bucknell University, Muhlenberg College, and the University of the Arts.
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