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Bhattoji Diksita on the Gajasutra by S.L.P. Anjaneya Sarma, Francois Grimal with the collaboration of Luther Obrock from French Institute of Pondicherry.

The present volume intends to be the first of a series under the general title of Vyākhyānamālā (A Garland of Commentaries). The purpose of this series is to illustrate and explain the genre of commentary as an integral part of Sanskrit intellectual history. The works chosen will belong to different domains: śāstra, that is grammatical, poetic, and other technical literature as well as kāvya, the Sanskrit genre of belles lettres. In the end, this series hopes to include commentaries of different types from different regions and times.

These commentaries can be on a single source text — as in the case of the present volume — or can center around the explanation of a specific topic. The criterion for “commentary” is a deep engagement with a problematic text or concept. The prerequisite for inclusion in this series is that the commentaries must be previously untranslated. The present volume offers a glimpse into early modern commentaries in the field of vyākarana, the discipline of grammar. The selection at hand is comprised of three commentaries of Bhattoji Dīksita, the 17th century Mahārāstrian brahmin writing in Benares, on the sūtra 1.3.67 of the Astādhyāyī, often called the Gajasūtra after the elephants that feature so prominently in its examples.

The present authors have chosen these specific commentaries on this particular sūtra since they are exemplary in regard to their subject; Bhattoji’s analysis and interpretation of the sūtra both takes into account much previous scholarship on the sūtra and leads later scholars to further discussions that take up the subtleties of Bhattoji’s position — often in critical ways. Furthermore, the method and style of his commentaries here reproduced and translated are in many ways emblematic of the style of early modern Sanskrit intellectuals.

In our Literature section, Rs. 450, in paperback, iii+136 pages, ISBN: 9788184701968

An Enquiry into the Nature of Liberation: Bhatta Ramakantha's Paramoksanirasakarikavrtti, a
commentary on Sadyojyotih's refutation of twenty conceptions of the liberated state (moksa) by A Watson, D Goodall And S L P A Sarma from French Institute of Pondicherry.

This book presents a short philosophical treatise in which twenty rival theories of the liberated state (mokṣa) are introduced and countered, and a long, discursive commentary that explores and develops the arguments that the treatise advances or implies. The original treatise comprises fifty-nine Sanskrit verses composed by Sadyojyotiḥ (c. 675–725 AD), the earliest named Śaiva philosopher of the Mantramārga of whom works survive. The commentator, Bhaṭṭa Rāmakaṇṭha (c. 950–1000 AD), was a Kashmirian whose writings systematised the doctrines of the classical Śaiva Siddhānta, for some centuries the dominant school of tantric Śaivism.

Presented here is a first critical edition of these interlinked works and a richly annotated English translation. A lightly annotated introduction lays out clearly the ideas that the edited texts expound. Their study casts light not only on the history of Śaiva thought, but also on a number of religio-philosophical doctrines for which little other testimony survives. Keywords: Liberation (mokṣa), Śaiva siddhānta, Indian philosophy, Hindu theology, Śaivism, Sanskrit philology, Sadyojyotiḥ, Rāmakaṇṭha.

In our Philosophy section, Rs. 900, in paperback, 508 pages, ISBN: 9788184701951

Bilingual Discourse and Cross-Cultural Fertilisation: Sanskrit and Tamil in Medieval India from French Institute of Pondicherry.

This collection of essays aims to trace the exchanges, responses, affinities and fissures between the worlds of Sanskrit and Tamil literary cultures in the medieval period. The literati who produced the works in these languages moved freely between domains that earlier Indological scholarship has tended to compartmentalise. The eleven studies presented in this volume strive to move beyond this narrow perspective and thus do justice to the richness and complexity of the cultural synthesis that took shape in South India in this period.

By looking at the articulation of identities, practices, and discourses in texts of a range of genres composed in Tamil and Sanskrit (as well as Prakrit and Malayalam), these essays supply a picture of South India in the medieval period that is unique in its historical depth and conceptual complexity and demonstrate innovative ways to investigate and problematise cross-cultural phenomena, while suggesting how much work yet remains to be done.

In our History section, Rs. 900, in paperback, x+466 pages, ISBN: 9788184701944