Ruminations on Vedic Philosophy

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Linguistics Philosophy

The Mīmāṃsā Doctrine of Arthavāda

All over Vedic texts, the world is described as “sound” or “text”. The source of this world is stated to be the original meaning, called “knowledge”. This original meaning then expands to create various other types of meanings, which are all partial knowledge. The Mīmāṃsā system of philosophy gives this doctrine a name–Arthavāda–or the doctrine …

Linguistics

On the Problem of Sanskrit Translations

There are many words in Sanskrit that do not have direct equivalents in other languages. Ardent supporters of Sanskrit, therefore, makes two controversial claims. First, that any translation into another language must distort the meaning. Second, to preserve the meaning we must either introduce the same words into the lingua franca of that language, or …

Linguistics Philosophy Religion

The Problem of Scriptural Exegesis

Exegesis, according to Wikipedia, is “a critical explanation or interpretation of a text, particularly a religious text”. In the Vedic tradition, it exists as the commentaries by previous āchāryās who have explained the scriptures in various ways according to time, place, and circumstances. Such commentaries are essential for one key reason—the meanings of the words are …

Biology Linguistics Psychology

The Phonosemantics Thesis

In earlier posts—such as here—I described the notion of space in which words are identical to their meanings, and connected it to a tree-like structure of space. In the last post, I described how this tree-like structure of space appears in all languages in trying to decode their meanings. In this post, I will briefly …