Saturday, January 15, 2005

Aparaa vidya and dismantling the evil state in Bharat

Aparaa vidya and dismantling the Evil State in Bharat

The objective of this monograph is two-fold:
1. To state the imperative for dismantling the Evil State which is a-dharmic; and
2. To suggest methods based on bharatiya knowledge systems, ethos and traditions to reconstruct the social formations to promote dharma.


We are being ruled by an Evil State in Bharat. It is squander of our freedom to appease in the dance of evil as many sycophants are dancing to the whims of a vides’i nari with unknown antecedents, unaware of the ethos, cultural traditions of Bharat and uncertain loyalty to the sovereignty and integrity of the nation of Bharat.
It is time to dismantle this Evil State. The tradition of tolerance which is a hall-mark of dharma, cannot pretend that there is no evil. Wilful blindness to evil is amoral. I have to quote Martin Niemöller’s lines about moral failure of free society in the face of the Holocaust during the evil regime of Adolf Hitler: 'First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist, so I said nothing. Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social Democrat, so I did nothing. Then came the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist. And then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did little. Then when they came for me, there was no one left to stand up for me.'

It is time for good men to wake up and say that this evil state should go.

It is time to start a new freedom struggle, by restoring dharma in the polity, by restoring self-rule in janapada-s.

How to dismantle the Evil State

Freedom cannot be allowed to wither accommodating a criminalized polity.
The Constitution of the country, defective as it is, has been subverted by the endemic corruption in all branches of the State. The political set up has been hijacked by criminals. The polity has become so fragile that even a bunch of foreigners who are alien to the cultural ethos of the nation are able to hijack the state authority and effect a coup d’etat. Social responsibility of the citizens and age-old institutions which have been constituted to promote dharma have been seriously impaired.
Chip, by chip, the edifices of the democratic polity have been eaten into by criminal termites and the state has descended to the level of a banana republic.
In the name of modernization, a Macaulay-educated, bush-shirt aristocracy is ruling the nation unmindful of the anguish and desires of janataa janardhan. As C.S. Lewis, in his Screw tape Letters, wrote: "The greatest evil is not done now in those sordid 'dens of crime' that Dickens loved to paint. It is not even done in concentration camps and labor camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do no need to raise their voice." The nexus between the bureaucratic institutions and the criminal polity is such that corruption has become endemic with absolute disdain for meeting the aspirations of the people.

It is time to hand over power back to the people.

Good men have it in their power to begin anew for restoration of dharma.

Some of the institutions which are pillars of dharma are: extended family, mandirams, mathams and educational institutions. The ideal to work for is Rama Rajyam organizing the state as a partner with the society in furthering dharma.

The dismantlement of the Evil State has to begin by transferring power back to the people, to the institutions which are run by the people themselves at the janapada levels.
A new constituent assembly should be constituted to re-write the Constitution of Bharat based on dharma. The judicial system which has been based on Macaulay’s Penal Code which was designed to control the ‘natives’ and to loot the country should be scrapped. Justice system should be decentralized to janapada panchayats.

How to start a new freedom struggle, to free the people from the yoke of the State
We should scrap the vestiges of the Govt. of India Act, 1935 (incorporated in the Constitution of Bharat brought into effect on 26 January 1951) which was designed to subjugate the ‘natives’ of Bharat by a colonial regime which was intent only on looting the nation. The facilitating provisions for loot continue in the constitutional framework adopted hastily after attaining independence in 1947. This inequity has to be undone and a new constitution should be drawn to restore the age-old democratic polity of Bharat.

Bharat has been a remarkably decentralized, democratic society well before the concept of democracy was talked about in Greece. Republics had flourished in ancient Bharat until 400 Common Era (CE) as confirmed by the Buddhist Pali Canon which date to 400 Before Common Era (BCE) and Kautilya’s Arthas’astra. Panini calls the republics janapada-s. As urbanization flourished from around 600 BCE, Many jaati dominating vast territories made decisions in popular assemblies. There was republicanism exemplified by sanghas, ganas, organized for cooperative self-rule by members of a kula -- guild, a village, or an extended kinship-group. Kautilya refers to two types of janapada-s: ayudhiya praja, s’reni praja (kshatriya ganas and artisan/trader/agriculturist guilds, respectively). “The gana leaders should be respected as the worldly affairs (of the ganas) depend to a great extent upon them...the spy (department) and the secrecy of counsel (should be left) to the chiefs, for it is not fit that the entire body of the gana should hear those secret matters. The chiefs of gana should carry out together, in secret, works leading to the prosperity of the gana , otherwise the wealth of the gana decays and it meets with danger. “Mahabharata 12.107, S’antiparva, trans. by R.C. Majumdar, Corporate Life, 251. In the Buddha sangha, there was full participation by the monks in all activities of the sangha.

Republicanism continued into the historical periods of Bharat. This is exemplified by the Uttaramerur (near Kanchipuram) inscription of the 10th century --of Parantaka I - Thanjavur inscriptions of Rajaraja I -- which prescribed procedures for election to village assemblies which were a form of self-rule during the Cola period. This inscription which refers to adult suffrage and secret ballot, was cited during Constituent Assembly deliberations for drafting the Constitution of independent Bharat. “Shri T. Prakasam (Madras: General): The Honourable Mr. Madhava Rau said that the ballot box and ballot paper were not known to our ancestors. I would like to point out to him, Sir, that the ballot box and the ballet papers were described in an inscription on the walls of a temple in the villages of Uttaramerur, twenty miles from Conjeevaram (Kanchipuram). Every detail is given there. The ballot box was a pot with the mouth tied and placed on the ground with a hole made atthe bottom and the ballot paper was the kadjan leaf and adult franchise was exercised. The election took place not only for that village but for the whole of India. This was just a thousand years ago. It is not known to my honourable Friend and that is why he made such a wrong statement – a grievously wrong statement and I want to correct it.”

Constitution for a Developed Bharat 2020

It is clear that we need not follow the models of western nations in organizing Bharatiya society and we have only to fine-tune the traditional institutions of Bharat which had been rendered dormant by the onslaught of mediaeval barbaric invasions and the colonial regime which looted the wealth of the nation.

My Ph.D. work during the 1980’s in the University of the Philippines, resulted in the publication of a two-volume work titled: Public Administration in Asia. This was a comparative study of development administration in six Asian countries (Bharat, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand), apart from China. The work covered the basic facets of: Decision, Power, Participation and Work to cover the organizing principles which should administrative, political, social and economic aspects of a nation. The experience of the six countries in development administration during a period of four decades after attaining independence from colonial regimes and influences was reviewed. The conclusions were that a decentralized polity resulted in beneficial impacts of developmental programs, that measures of economic efficiency were inadequate indicators of the benefits delivered to the people and that when decision-making was participative, that is involved the local communities, the polity was relatively free from tensions which result from power-plays or violence perpetrated by the state apparatus due to inadequate information base and due to lack of compassion for the anxieties and aspirations of the people.

This is exemplified by the term Rama Rajyam in ancient Bharatiya wisdom.

The writing of a new Constitution of Bharat should be preceded by researches into social science traditions of Bharat and adapting those relevant for the present times and for the foreseeable future, with the imperative of achieving a Developed Bharat 2020.

Social sciences in Bharat and application to evolving appropriate systems of social organization

Let me cite from Dr. W.K. Lele’s ‘The doctrine of Tantrayukti-s’ (Varanasi, Chaukhamba Surabharati Prakashan, 1981): “Ancient Indians’ pursuit of knowledge. The ancient Indians were widely and rightly known for their phenomenal pursuit of knowledge. Their inquiring intellect explored newer and yet newer fields of investigation. They acquired the knowledge of both the inner as well as the outer world by all known and possible means and passed on to the posterity the wealth of knowledge thus amassed. They firmly believed that the continuous process of acquiring knowledge with unwavering devotion and untiring efforts was absolutely necessary for the growth and development of the human culture. Therefore, they considered the ‘learning’ to be the holiest of the holy things in the world…The almost innate propensity of the ancient Indians, described above, gave birth to scientific treatises on different subjects. The ancients, for instance, wrote on ayurveda, dhanurveda, gandharvaveda, dars’ana, vyaakarana, kosha, jyotisha, ganita, dharma, rajaniti, hastividya, as’vavidya, yoga, vanijya, citrakala, s’ilpakala, vaastukala, nr.tya, naatya, kaavya and several other vidyaa-s and kalaa-s’.”

In the context of ancient wisdom related to social sciences in Bharat, all work of preceptors is loka hita_ya, beneficial work in the universe. We can survey the traditions of Bharat in relation to social sciences:

Categories of knowledge are: para_ vidya, apara_ vidya
Acquisition of Jna_na: objective of knowledge systems
Cause or inference and effect s’ruti, yukti, anubhu_ti
Hegelian dialectic compared with nya_ya and vais’es.ika knowledge systems

In Mundaka Upanishad, S’aunaka enquires of the preceptor: "What is that divine element by which one knows everything which is animate and inanimate? How can one realize the divine element?" Rishi Angira replies defining two types of knowledge: para_, apara_. Apara_ vidya is about the pleasures of the material world and heaven and the ways to attain them. The Vedas, six angas of Veda, namely s’iks.a_, kalpa, vya_karan.a, nirukta, jyotis.a and chandas are parts of apara_ vidya. Para_ vidya is concerned with the knowledge of the self (a_tman), transcendental reality -- impeccable infinite, all pervasive Cosmic consciousness, parama_tman. Veda and six Vedanga do contain descriptions of this knowledge. Leaving apart these descriptions in vedic texts, every other branch of knowledge is categorized as apara_ vidya ( roughly translated in modern parlance as sciences and humanities).

Among dars'ana (nya_ya, vais'es.ika, yoga, sa_mkhya, pu_rma mi_ma_msa, uttara mi_ma_msa), nya_ya is often recognized as the school of Indian logic. Vais'es.ika su_tra of Kan.a_da deals with atomism. Kapila's sa_mkhya (I_s'varakr.s.n.a's a_mkhyaka_rika_) postulates duality of prakr.ti and purus.a (a_tman). Patanjali's yogasu_tra adds the principle of i_s'vara (omniscient). Utarami_ma_msa is the school of vedanta. P_rvami_ma_msa interprets the veda as vidhi (injunction). Indian logic, nya_ya dates back to 640 BCE (Gautama Nya_ya su_tra). Anvi_ks.iki - the science of analysis, Indian logic developed into the science of knowledge –'a_stra and then into the science of dialectics – Prakaran.a of Tarkas'a_stra. (cf. Mahamahopadhyaya Satis Chandra Vidyabhusana, A history of Indian Logic (Ancient, mediaeval and modern schools). Theories of knowledge emerged with the Indian schools of medicine. cf. notes on Jaina epistemology and logic at In Indian logic, 'dharma' means 'property', 'dharmin' means 'property-bearer'. In a sentence, s'abdo'nityah 'sound is impermanent', sound is the bearer of the property 'impermanence'. In a sentence, iha ghat.ah 'here, there is a pot', 'here' is the bearerof the property 'pot-existence'. Thus property and property-bearer are logical predicate and its subject-term (and NOT grammatical predicate and subject).

Objectives of apara_ vidya

Taittiri_ya A. 1.4: smr.tih aithihyam anuma_nah catus.t.ayametaih a_ditya man.d.alam sarvaireva vidha_syate ‘Memory (of past records), direct observation, anecdotes and inference form the quartet. With these, Sun's circle is understood by all.’

itiha_sa pura_n.a_bhya_m vedam samupabr.mhayet, ‘Veda has to be understood with the help of itiha_sa and pura_n.a.’

Hindu contribution to world civilization is exemplified by the importance accorded to scientific inquiry and logical reasoning within a spiritual framework of understanding a_tman and brahman, the ultimate reality and supra-consciousness. The body is merely the vehicle of the experience of the a_tman, Brahman. Cognition is an attribute of the a_tman. This is the core, unique, distinguishing, dominant feature of hindu contribution to knowledge systems which turns every inquiry into a spiritual quest.

The purpose of tattva-jna_na, the knowledge of truth, produced by Anvi_ks.iki_, is realisation of the supreme good, understood according to each discipline. Knowledge by itself is not the end; supreme good is the goal to reach.

This is the distinctive feature which distinguishes true knowledge systems from false knowledge systems.

This distinguishing characteristic provides a framework for choosing topics for national resurgence with the objective of realizing the supreme good, optimizing the welfare of the people and sustenance of the universal order—dharma.

The very word, veda, the fountain-head of hindu civilization and culture is derived from the root, vid- ‘to know’. In the ageless tradition of sana_tana dharma (eternal dharma), even dharma is an inquiry into the cosmic order that sustains (dha_ran.a_t), in a cosmic quest for satyam, modulated by vrata, yoga, r.ta, r.n.a and yajna. The very life journey is a discharge of the r.n.a owed to pitr. (ancestors), guru (preceptor), and deva (divinity). Stating a research problem and finding the means to falsify it is a segment of this life-journey, this life-cycle (cakra). Nya_ya means ‘right’ or ‘justice’; nya_yas’a_stra is a science of right judgement or true reasoning; nya_yasu_tra deals with (1) art of debate (tarka); (2) means of valid knowledge (prama_n.a); (3) doctrine of syllogism (avayava); and (4) examination of contemporaneous philosophical doctrines (anyamata-pari_ks.a_). (Vidyabhushana, 1921, History of Indian Logic, Univ. of Calcutta, p. 40, p. 497). A cognate semantics is nigama, the conclusion of a syllogism. The nya_ya-vais’es.ika systems of thought referred to as realism, were refined in arguments with Dharmottara, Sa_ntaraks.ita, Dharmaki_rti and Digna_ga, Buddhist teachers who distinguished between unique particulars (objective reality) and universals (subjective reality). The conflict is exemplified by Uddyotakara (Nya_yava_rtika) calling Digna_ga and others as pseudo-philosophers as he justifies the work ‘in order to dispel the darkness caused by pseudo-philosophers’.

Prama_n.a (right knowledge) and prameya (knowable or object of right knowledge) comprise ALL objects, governed by the reality experienced of the external world independent of its knowledge by a knower. Prayojana (purpose) prompts one to act. Inquiry, cause, knowledge, hypothesis or reasoning (hetu, anvi_ks.iki_, prama_n.a, tarka) constitute the core technical categories of the knowledge system that date to circa 640 BCE (Before Common Era). Four-fold division of prama_n.a into perception, inference, comparison and word occurs in Nandi_ Su_tra, Stha_na_nga Su_tra and Bhagavati_ Su_tra in jaina tradition. Katha_vatthuppakaran.a, a Pali text of Abhidhammapit.aka (of Moggaliputta Tissa of third Buddhist Council circ 255 BCE) refers to patina (Skt. Pratijna ‘proposition’), upanaya (application of reasons), niggaha (Skt. Nigraha ‘humiliation or defeat), which are also technical terms of nya_ya knowledge system. Mahabharata Adiparva, Adhyaya 1 refers to nya_yas’iks.a_ together with cikitsa_ (medicine); the epic also refers to sages versed in nya_ya tattva (logical truths) (ibid. adhyaya 70).
Transcendental knowledge is prajna. In the hindu thought continuum exemplified by the Buddha, prajna is a technical term roughly translated as ‘wisdom’; prajna (panna: Pali) is the sixth of six perfections (paramita); the other five are: charity (da_na), morality (s’i_la), patience (khanti), strenuousness (vi_riya), and meditation (sama_dhi). Prajna is beyond the scope of this monograph, since the focus of this monograph is related to terrestrial, materialistic knowledge systems (apara_ vidya_) as applied to research problems of sciences and humanities. Hindu contributions to mathematical sciences as a system of logic, has been documented elsewhere and will be excluded in this monograph. Hindu contributions to grammar, in particular by Panini (ca. 520 to 460 BCE) has been well attested. According to Prof. Sengupta (Ancient Indian Chronology, Calcutta, 1947), Panini is dated to circa 1000 BCE since he has been referred to by Baudhayana who composed S’rautasu_tra circa 900 BCE. “Panini's grammar has been evaluated from various points of view. After all these different evaluations, I think that the grammar merits asserting ... that it is one of the greatest monuments of human intelligence. “ (G Cardona, 1976, Panini : a survey of research, Paris, 1976). “Sanskrit's] potential for scientific use was greatly enhanced as a result of the thorough systemisation of its grammar by Panini. ... On the basis of just under 4000 sutras [rules expressed as aphorisms], he built virtually the whole structure of the Sanskrit language, whose general 'shape' hardly changed for the next two thousand years. ... An indirect consequence of Panini's efforts to increase the linguistic facility of Sanskrit soon became apparent in the character of scientific and mathematical literature. This may be brought out by comparing the grammar of Sanskrit with the geometry of Euclid - a particularly apposite comparison since, whereas mathematics grew out of philosophy in ancient Greece, it was ... partly an outcome of linguistic developments in India.” (G G Joseph, 1991, The crest of the peacock, London).
Panini was a product of his times and a cultural tradition which emphasized logical reasoning as a method of scientific analysis of a research problem. Similarly, the concept of sphot.a is a contribution of hindu grammarians to the philosophy of language. Sphot.a explains the working of the speech process; sphot.a is the process of expressing a meaning through a word. This sphot.a theory is the result of a logical process of understanding the language as a social reality, not unlike the vais’es.ika theory of knowledge representation and reasoning. Patanjali notes dhvani-s (sounds) are actualized and euphemeral elements and attributes of sphot.a.
kuto va_ nu_tanam vastu vayamutpreks.itum ks.ama_h
vaco vinya_savaicitryamatra vica_ryata_m

How is it possible to claim an originality to discover a new truth? It is only the fascinating style of presentation that deserves consideration. (Nya_yamanjari_, ka_rika_ 8)

Jna_na: objective of re-search, aim of knowledge systems

Realization of a_tman is the highest aim of knowledge systems. S’ruti notes: a_tma va_ dras.t.avyah s’rotavyah mantavyah nididhya_sitavyah, ‘O Maitreyi, this a_tman ought to be realized, heard, reflected on and meditated upon.’ (Adi S’ankara, Brahmasu_tra). Brahmasu_tra is itself called nya_ya prastha_nam, ‘logical analysis (of’. Nidhidhya_sana, meditation, is but a means to a_tma vidya, using the building blocks of what has been perceived, heard and reflected upon.

Satyam is omnipresent; it has to be realized by a quest, vijna_na, a scientific inquiry.

Taittiriya which says: satyam jna_nam anantam brahma ‘omniscience of brahman, truth and knowledge’ notes that knowledge system itself is Brahman: vijna_nam brahma iti vyaja_na_t. In the incarnation of vara_ha, the divinity is personification of jna_na. Vedanta Des’ika refers to Hayagri_va as jna_namayam devam. The quest, veda (root: vid- ‘to know’) is in itself endowed with divinity. Spiritual is the envelope, is secular and every quest is imbued with the spiritual. With the centrality of the a_tman, five sheaths envelope: physical body (annamaya kos’a), vital body (pra_n.amaya kos’a), mental body (manonmaya kos’a), knowledge body (vijna_namaya kos’a or buddhi), bliss body (a_nandamaya kos’a or anubhu_ti), At the centre of these five sheaths which constitute ji_va or prakr.ti is the eternal (a_tman or Brahman). Ji_va is subject to ahamka_ra or ego-consciousness. Transcending this alienated state is the path of jna_na.

In this spiritual framework of search for satyam, yukti is but a step in the sequence: s’ruti, yukti and anubhu_ti.

bhu_ta_rthapaks.apa_to hi buddheh svabha_vah, knowledge by its very nature is disposed to truth (Nya_yava_rtika-ta_tparyati_ka_, p. 80)

Jna_na marga is one of the paths to attain purushartha, the goal of life of every individual. Vijnana is a knowledge system, sometimes generalized as ‘science’. Science is only one of the knowledge systems, just as conscience and yoga could be other knowledge systems in a quest for truth, satyam, to be ascertained from facts,

Both vais’es.ika and nya_ya have the goal of cessation of all misery – apavarga. s’ruti, yukti, anubhu_ti

S’ruti is the guidance of preceptors. Yukti is a domain of reasoning. Anubhu_ti is personal experience and consciousness. These three sequences constitute the triad of hindu dialectical doctrine postulated by Naiya_yika (Gautama) and Vais’es.ika (Kan.a_da).

Kautilya’s Arthas’astra has been divided into three main topics: tantraadhikaara, aavaapaadhikaara and bhaagadvas’esharupa. The last topic has been further subdivided into: aupanishadikam and tantrayuktih. Tantrayuktis enumerates 32 starting with adhikaranam, vidhaanam to niyoga, vikalpah, samuccayah, u_hyam. Tantrayukti is a blemishless scientific work and relates to all aspects of para_vidya which includes governance.

Nya_ya (also called prama_n.a s’a_stra) as epistemology continues to build up a system of logic within the spiritual framework of mukti. Prama_n.a is an aid to investigation, to gain knowledge, transcending from vis’es.a (particular) to sa_ma_nya (universal). Vais’es.ika is an analytic aspect and nya_ya is an inductive aspect of reasoning used in investigation. In every means of investigation, prama_ ‘thinking’ and arthakriya_ ‘fruitful performance’ are intertwined. Prama_ is differentiated from bhrama ‘hallucination’ or ‘spurious correlation’ (e.g. a statistical correlation such as the one linking Islam and fossil fuels).

In nya_ya (logic or anvi_ks.iki_), the components of a quest may be recognized as follows:

pratijna – hypothesis or proposition
hetu – cause or reason
uda_haran.a – data or example
upanaya – correlation (subsumptive correlative)
nigamana – conclusion

Hetu as a technical term is explained further in Tarka Samgraha (5.17): savyabhica_raviruddhasatpratipaks.a_siddhaba_dhita_h panca hetva_bha_sa_h ‘the defective reasons are five (a) straying; (b) adverse; (c) antithetical; (d) unestablished; and (e) stultified.’

Caveat on s’abda

The idioms generated or metaphors used in vernacular languages of a culture have to be understood in the context of the civilizational and cultural continuity of hindu dharma (or facets such as, Buddha dhamma or Jaina dharma or Granth Saheb or S’akti Tantra.) within the trivarga (triad) of dharma, artha and ka_ma.

Hegelian dialectic compared with nya_ya and vais’es.ika knowledge systems

Georg Hegel, a 19th century German philosopher, altered the method of deductive logic into one in which truth is obtained by pitting truth against a falsehood which leads to a false truth. Replacing a simple 1 + 1 = 2 formula by a series of progressive triads, Hegel suggested that two opposite premises combine into a synthesis, and then each synthesis becomes the premise in the next triad and the endless series of conflict goes on. Frederic Engels and Karl Marx expanded the Hegelian dialectic in studying socio-political history and political economy from the viewpoint of historical materialism. Marxian historical materialism expands the concept of antithesis into ‘class conflicts’. Both Hegelian dialectc and Marxian class-conflict methods lead to arbitrary, false constructs of truth, unrelated to socio-political-economic reality. The dialectic is an aberration of deductive logic falsely and simplistically assuming that every truth has to be pitted against a falsehood. Reality is far more complex than such a simplistic assumption.

The Hegelian dialectic resulted in a totalitarian system of governance which resulted in what Ronal Reagan, a President of the United States, termed as the Evil Empire, the erstwhile Soviet Union which was later dismantled.

In contrast to the Hegelian deconstruction of deductive logic, the systems evolved circa over 2,000 years ago drew their inspiration from the thoughts of Kan.a_da (son of Ulu_ka) who propounded the theory of kan.a or atoms. Since Na_ga_rjuna and A_ryadeva (of about 3rd century) offer critical comments about vais’es.ika, it can be deduced that the vais’es.ika system was in vogue earlier than the 3rd century. Gautama (also called Medha_tithi) is said to be the author of Nya_yasu_tra. A commentary on Nya_yasu_tra was written by Va_tsya_yana (circa 4th century); it is called Nya_yasu_trabha_s.ya. In Gautama’s Nya_yasu_tra, the sixteen pada_rtha enumerated are: prama_n.a ‘proof’; prameya ‘object of knowledge’; sams’aya ‘doubt; prayojana ‘motive’; dr.s.t.a_nta ‘instance’; siddha_nta ‘demonstrated truth’; avayava ‘member of syllogism’; tarka ‘reductio ad absurdum’; nirn.aya ‘ascertainment’; va_da ‘discussion’; jalpa ‘wrangling’; vitan.d.a_ ‘cavilling’; hetva_bha_sa ‘fallacious reason’; chala ‘perversion’; ja_ti ‘futile rejoinder’; nigrahastha_na ‘unfitness to be argued with or refutation’. In this list of 16 pada_rtha, the Hegelian and Marxian adaption of the dialectical method can be categorized as ‘fallacious reason’ and ‘perversion’ – hetva_bha_sa cchala.

Annambhat.t.a’s methodology manual is truly a composition based on the thoughts of Kan.a_da and Gautama -- kan.a_dagautamatayoh, a remarkably comprehensive knowledge system which can be applied to a variety of metaphysical and dialectical research problems but founded on the abiding doctrine of purusha_rtha, leading to a salutary goal of life, say, in the case of historical studies, providing for researches for national resurgence and individual spiritual paths to understanding the a_tman and sustaining dharma. Dharmo raks.ati raks.itah ‘dharma protects the protector’.

Indian logic can be traced back to some centuries B.C. It seems to have developed independently from Greek logic, even if there are similarities and parallels. Ancient Indian logic was born in the context of debate on religious and philosophical matters. In the mediaeval period from about the 4th century on, logic evolved in dealing with problems of valid knowledge, i.e. perception and inference

Kalhana on historical method (thanks to Prof. Yashwant Malaiya)

Kalhana in his opening Taranga of Rajatarangini (1148/9 AD), presents his views on how history ought to be written.Fairness:7. That noble-minded author is alone worthy of praise whose word, like that of a judge, keeps free from love or hatred in relating the facts of the past.
Understanding r.tam is the goal of life, says the R.gveda. Let us not prejudge what r.tam means. The term itself has to be defined through researches, starting with the assumption that the term connotes ‘cosmic order of things’. The starting assumption has to be modified as the researches progress.

Pitfalls to avoid

Distorted views have occurred by assuming that there is an equivalent for the term ‘religion’ in Hindu vocabulary. There is none. Similar straight-jacketing occurs when dharma is defined as ‘righteousness’, yajn~a as ‘sacrifice’, vrata as ‘soldiery’, mleccha as ‘foreigner’, sa_gara as ‘pool of water’, sindhu as ‘Indus’, sarasvati as ‘myth’, pan~cajana_h as ‘tribes’, urbanized life as ‘civilization’, glyptic arts as ‘illiteracy’, vis.n.u as ‘sky’, lingam as ‘penis’ and so on.

The availability of and easy access to some of the resources of Bha_rata in English constitutes a pitfall. Researches take the easy path of using the secondary sources and false translations. It will also be an error to assume that only German translations (say, of Vedic texts) are true and the rest are bunk. A ‘literal’ translation is likely to be in error if it does not take into account the cultural underpinnings of semantics of the indigenous terms, of the parole, of the lingua franca. A researcher should not commit the mistake of translating vasantasena as ‘spring army’ (it is in reality the name of a person, a dancer) or giridhara gopala as ‘cowherd carrying a mountain’ (it is in reality the episode in Krishna’s life lifting up the govardhana giri to protect the inhabitants from a thunderstorm).

In translating the facets of aparaa vidya in provisions related to the new Constitution of Bharat and the enshrining of graama swarajyam in a decentralized polity, the resources of the entire nation should be used by constituting a series of peoples’ assemblies which should culminate in a Constituent Assembly as a first step in national resurgence with the solitary objective of protecting dharma. Dharmo rakshati rakshitah.

Ashok Aklujkar, 1999, "Vacaspati-misra's Tattva-samiksa and the last two verses in Yukti-dipika manuscripts," Adyar Library Bulletin. Vol. 62:125-165. 1998/1999
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Dr. S. Kalyanaraman
15 January 2005