From the Jacket
The critical investigation in Sobara's realism shows Satyam (truth) as the real coincidence between reality and language. Sabara's statement "Sabda Speaks, it makes known" is the key to language. Language by its very nature does neither objectify nor subjectify the status of reality. It presents through sabda what really is Hermeneutics sustains this intrinsic function of language. It aims at aims at overcoming the lack of understanding.
This Indian approach asserts hermeneutics as experience in which man participates fully in reality and language as one whole. Genuine hermeneutics is thus the real response to what really is and that includes also the response to actual life.
Othmar Gachter, Born 1941 in Switzerland. Philosophical and theological studies at St. Gabriel, Modling (Austria) and in Louvain (Belgium). Sanskrit Studies in London and Varanasi. He holds a Ph.D. in Indian Philosophy from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. He is a member of the staff at Ishvani Kendra, Pune, and lectures philosophy and comparative religion at the Regional Seminary, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.
"Useful for both specialists of Indian Philosophy and modern scholars of Hermeneutics, this book should take its place
as a standard source for Purva Mimamsa in English."
"Heaven is happiness, and everyone seeks for happiness", says Sabara. Certainly, at all times, it lies at the root of man's effort to master life meaningfully. But is it an impelling force for life? It is meaning that supports man, when happiness fails or is too remote from him. The desire for happiness indicates only that the source of meaning is the end.
Sabara's concern for the relevance of meaning in life is obvious in his future-oriented insight into sruti and smrti. A critical investigation into his search for meaning does not suggest 'returning to the beginning', but involves 'turning to the future' which has left its impact on the past. Meanings appear and disappear, because man's urge to know what really is, brings into focus the validity of meaning. Meaning of the whole as present in Sacred Scriptures and accepted by people through centuries gives evidence that meanings have persisted. How do we arrive at their validity? What is central in the search of understanding oral and written speech ? Early Purva Mimamsa points to hermeneutics and language. Why and how, for Sabra, hermeneutics and language form the basis for such a view is critically investigated in this study.
In the introductory chapter hermeneutics and language in Purva Mimamsa are placed within a wider context. Sabara's view of reality (chap. II) and of language (chap. III, IV) are then investigated with strict textual reference to his Bhasya. Thus the foundation is laid for the consequences of understanding meaning and its validity. These consequences are worked out with regard to hermeneutics as grounded in the Bhasya itself (chap. V, VI). Early Purva Mimamsa shows in Sabara Bhasya, though not in a systematic treatment, how man participates in satyam (truth) through hermeneutics and language. Man's search for satyam is part of the vitality and authenticity of a meaningful life. It is hermeneutics and language. Which provides a key in the search of meaning even today.
This book is a slightly revised form of my research submitted for the award of a Ph. D. in Philosophy at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. I with to thank Prof. Dr. N.S.s. Raman for his constant readiness to supervise my research. I am greatly indebted to Dr. K.D. Tripathi, Reader of Sanskrit (Banaras Hindu University) who checked most of my English translations of the relevant Sanskrit texts, and to my friend, Dr. Jayendra Soni (Varanasi, Vienna) who checked the language of the original manuscript. Grateful acknowledgement is made to the Governments of India and Switzerland who supported the research with financial assistance under their Reciprocal Fellowship Scheme.
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