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Dániel Balogh

Abstract

Located in Vidisha District, Madhya Pradesh, the area of Badoh-Pathari is home to a rock shelter with a sculpted panel depicting seven mother goddesses. A weathered inscription next to the sculptures was reported as early as 1926. The inscription is dateable to the fifth century on the basis of its palaeography and the art-historical dating of the site. Though partly effaced beyond hope of decipherment, roughly half of the text can be read with confidence, while some of the rest may be restored conjecturally, and some speculatively. The epigraph pays homage to Rudra and Skanda in addition to the Mothers themselves, and is thus a key resource concerning mātṛ worship in the Gupta period. It mentions the otherwise unknown local ruler Jayatsena of Avamukta (a region also named in the Allahabad pillar inscription), and may refer to the reign of Kumāragupta (I).

John Nemec

Abstract

The present article examines Somānanda’s understanding of the denotative capacity of speech (śabda) as presented in his Śivadṛṣṭi, āhnika four. Somānanda argues that this denotative capacity is innate in words because based in a real sāmānya or universal; that a permanent connection links śabda and its object (artha), not convention (saṃketa); and that the referent of speech is an object innately imbued with linguistic capacity in the form of an ever-present, innate sāmānya. Each of these positions is also supported by the Mīmāṃsā, and Somānanda, citing both Śabara and Kumārila, assents to their positions on these points on the understanding that they may only be accepted as philosophically sound if one presumes the existence of a Śaiva non-duality of all as Śiva-as-consciousness. These positions, in turn, are all deployed as arguments against those of the Buddhist Pramāṇa Theorists, whose views in each of these three areas Somānanda contests.

Paolo Visigalli

Abstract

The essay demonstrates the longevity and pervasiveness of Indic and Indic-derived etymological analyses (nirvacana) across literary traditions, in Sanskrit, Pāli, and Chinese. To exemplify different indigenous approaches to etymology, the essay explores emic analyses of the word araṇya ‘wilderness’. It traces the analyses found in Chāndogya Upaniṣad (8.5) and in the works of the etymologists (Nirukta) and grammarians (vyākaraṇa; uṇādisūtra). It also considers Paramārtha’s nirvacana-inspired analysis of Chinese alianruo 阿練若 (araṇya), and identifies a similar analysis in Aggavaṃsa’s Saddanīti. The essay shows etymological analyses’ sophistication and variety of purposes.

Jonathan Silk and Peter Bisschop

Trans-Sectual Identity

Materials for the Study of the Praśnottararatnamālikā, a Hindu/Jaina/Buddhist Catechism (I)

Jonathan A. Silk and Péter-Dániel Szántó

Abstract

The Praśnottararatnamālikā is a small tract containing 62 questions, paired with their answers. It is extraordinary that this text has been transmitted within Hindu, Jaina and Buddhist traditions, in Sanskrit, Prakrit and Tibetan, variously attributed to different authors. The present study examines what is known of the text, which from early on drew the attention of modern scholars, and presents editions of its Sanskrit and Tibetan versions, along with a translation and annotations.

Editors’ Note

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