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Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby RoyG » 29 Jul 2017 20:51

The problem I see in SriJoy's argument is this:

He ignores the fact that Itihasa came AFTER the technical treaties of the Upanishads. Contrast this to the development of Christianity in Europe where a purely assumptive anthropology was cast into myth whose influence waned against technical texts discovered/developed in periods like the Renaissance, Enlightenment, Romance, etc. So essentially you have:

Subcontinent: Technical => Itihasa

ME and Europe: Myth => Technical

This is a critical distinction because you have to ask yourself the following question: If the technical texts preceded Itihasa, and Itihasa is indeed myth, why would we retard our own philosophical/scientific development? Moreover, does the evidence show this? If not, perhaps its safe to say that universalizing a western narrative isn't the best way of looking at the phenomena of Itihasa.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Pulikeshi » 29 Jul 2017 22:11

^^^You are on to something... needs more exploration... The West needed a corrective measure to save itself and adopting its convoluted framework and criticising the more formal Indian approach. It is like a company that mimics feature of a competitor (whose offering is of lower quality) mistakenly because the feature currently has higher adoption in social media... never realizing that ones own features are better and adopting the competitors is actually going to make everything one has intrinsically get devalued.
Or in Shiv's language (with apologies) - being married to a 10 and jolling for the pole dancer!
:P

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby KL Dubey » 30 Jul 2017 04:54

:mrgreen: Looks like SriJoy has fawked this thread too. BTW Sarasvati as referred in the Rgveda is not a river but represents some other kind of physical object. Howevah, there was certainly a riva in NW India that took its name from the Rgvedic sound Sarasvati.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby RoyG » 30 Jul 2017 06:17

Pulikeshi wrote:^^^You are on to something... needs more exploration... The West needed a corrective measure to save itself and adopting its convoluted framework and criticising the more formal Indian approach. It is like a company that mimics feature of a competitor (whose offering is of lower quality) mistakenly because the feature currently has higher adoption in social media... never realizing that ones own features are better and adopting the competitors is actually going to make everything one has intrinsically get devalued.
Or in Shiv's language (with apologies) - being married to a 10 and jolling for the pole dancer!
:P


Many overt thematic elements within the Itihasa literature which come directly from the Upanishads so the influence is non-debatable. Now for Pollock and others, this is a big problem. If you want to prove some sort of in-built oppression within the text, some sophistication is needed in the form of ignoring/editing the historical timeline and using the Semitic experience as a template for textual deconstruction.

Now on SriJoy's point on human conflict stemming from greed, kinship ties, etc contained within the text, I agree with him. We had all of that. It's the underlying response to these phenomena which is in question. The Semitic world used myth to transmit its solution in the form of the idea that sovereignty lie with something external and ordinary man is merely a custodian of the domain granted to it.

On the other hand, we used Itihasa to transmit something completely different which has not till date been matched by the West. Itihasa presents the cause of unhappiness within society as desire and it's effects in the form of conflict, and eventual resolution in the form victory for one side. But what's really unique is that the faculties of mind and goal of meditative techniques are encoded within the story to show how one can bring about that change at the individual level. So in other words, Itihasa gives the reader a framework to induce change within oneself and shows how this change can contribute to victory over conflict brought about by desire in society.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby shiv » 30 Jul 2017 08:45

I don't know who pointed me to this - if it was on BRF please fess up and accept my gratitude because even after the first 10-12 pages a light has come on in my mind. First the link and then my thoughts
https://archive.org/details/terminologyofved00vidy

The interesting thing here is that Aurobindo too has expressed ideas similar to what the author of this 1890s(?) book has said.

My thoughts were augmented by RoyGs posts above. I think Rudradev also posted something in this connection in 2 threads - will locate and link later)

When you look at western commentators about western civilization (for the last 100 years or more) there is this underlying theme that "man is now mor developed than ever before". This conclusion is easy to reach when you look at all the "technological" movement of the last 200 years - navigation, ships, firearms, steam and later IC engines, biochemistry, biology, mechanical and civil engineering and a long list of other notable milestones. Apart from what are acknowledged as a few token contributions from the east - like paper, gunpowder, the zero, AlJabr-a etc the "west" takes credit for everything in making this assertion.

A question that arises from this is whether man has become "more intelligent" in the recent past and if so, what is the proof that man is now more intelligent or "smart" if you like than ever before.

People speak of evolution and there are plenty of human remains from 300-400 years ago when there were no tech achievements of note and no one seems to have found any genetic "evolution" in humans.

There are western books and western literature from 500 plus years ago. Any indication that humans were "more stupid" than today? As examples of this we are usually pointed to Copernicus versus Galileo, Church versus Galileo, Darwin versus Church and many other examples. But was Copernicus and the big shots of the Church "less smart"/more stupid as humans for having lived 500 odd years ago? Were they incapable of the complex reasoning that we call "logic" and "rationality" today. The answer is no - because even from the west we have examples of super reasoning coming out from Greece - going back more than 2000 years. So if from the viewpoint of human reasoning and the ability to hold rational thought - there appears to be no difference between people of 2-3000 years ago versus people today. Go back further in time and you find that humans did have rationality and intelligence and there is nothing to suggest that they were stupid savages.

In India we go back further. In terms of memes we have the Upanishads and the epics. In the epics the human emotions and reasoning are perfectly "modern". The mathematics and astronomy again are suggestive of "modern minds". the planning and construction of Harappan sites and the furnaces that created high temperature goods like faïence date back 5000 years. There is no clear evidence that humans were "savages with less intelligence" 5000 years ago than today. Archaeologically - human remains from even 10,000 years ago do not reveal bigger brains today. What this means is that human intelligence has not evolved to become much more today than it was 5000 years ago. It is likely that 5000 years is too short for major human evolution - my guess is that 100,000 years would the lower limit for some evolutionary process to manifest. So let me come to the point.

It turns out that a "western meme" is that people were stupid savages 10,000 years ago - like the Flintsones and Stonehenge. It is exactly this thought that apparently held true for people like Max Muller and Jones when they interpreted teh Vedas and created those completely idiotic and brainless "translations". It was savages with less brains than today's people who produced the Vedas - so it is perfectly OK for the Vedas to sound phenomenally stupid in translation.

Finally let me come back to what the link above (and Aurobindo in his own way) say about the Vedas. The author (Pandit Guru Datta Vidyarthi) quotes Yaska as pointing out that the words of the Vedas are "Yaugika" - that is to say that the words consist of a root sound with a meaning and extensions that add to the meaning. This is opposed to other words that are simply words that have no complex break-up in meaning. A person who is able to read the "yaugika" sense of the words of the Vedas is able to extract the philosophy from it, but if that sense is not detected the translation of the Vedas becomes utter trash as we have seen from various people including Muller and Monier Williams

Of course the author blames Sayana (circa 1300 AD) for authoring a poor misinterpretation of the Vedas ignoring the yaugika sense that was swallowed by Max Muller and co. Aurobindo too echoes this. I will try and give examples after I have found a few good ones - but both Vidyarthi and Aurobindo have good English but are very verbose for today's readership style

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby RoyG » 30 Jul 2017 11:47

KL Dubey wrote::mrgreen: Looks like SriJoy has fawked this thread too. BTW Sarasvati as referred in the Rgveda is not a river but represents some other kind of physical object. Howevah, there was certainly a riva in NW India that took its name from the Rgvedic sound Sarasvati.


He hasn't. I'm glad he brought up Itihasa. His deep assumptions mirror that of Holzmann who used AIT to show how the subcontinental negro tainted the myths brought to them by sweaty white men on horseback. Buddhism was the product of Aryan genius revolting against mythic oppression. So you see, progress was stifled and then resumed just like when the protestants reduced the stranglehold of the catholic church.

AIT is critical to this project. It establishes conflict between groups of people and helps cast the text as some sort of myth similar to the bible which is full of superstition to put the reader victim into a state of borderline mental retardation so that he cant perceive his own oppression.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby peter » 30 Jul 2017 23:36

SriJoy wrote:
peter wrote:As we have seen earlier in the case of your assertion to the effect that no astronomy existed in Vedas IVC demise is also showing your shallow comprehension.

Have you heard of a river known as Saraswati?

How is this river described in Vedas?

How is this river described in Mahabharata?

How did this river dryup according to modern Science and what is the timeline of this river drying up? (Hint : See research from Woodshole).


1. I have not asserted that there is no astronomy in the Vedas. They had rudimentary, basic astronomy, as is true for pretty much all settled societies 4000+ years ago.

Rudimentary: Vedic people knowing heliocentric concept ? When did heliocentricity reach the western civilisation?
SriJoy wrote:2. The fact that Saraswati is described as a bountiful river, which has been shown in this very thread by others, using qualified geological & meteorological papers, existed prior to 2000 BC and the fact that Mahabharata notes Saraswati as a dying river (disappearing at Vinasana), is supportive of the conclusion that Mahabharata era is post-2000 BC.

No. Post 2000 BC the river is completely dry. Prior to that it broke up into pieces, formed lakes , and dried up in sections. This was the period from ~3000 BC to ~2000 BC. If you read Balaram's journey section of MBH it is clear the description is pre complete drying up.
SriJoy wrote:3. My assessment re: astronomical phenomena noted in a Smriti literature is simple : they are later additions, just like many other things are.

Alright here is an assignment: how can a sequence of dozens of astronomical observations be made to line up, like they exist in MBH, from the arrival of Krishna for peace negotiations to the death of Bhishma by a "later adder to MBH" say a 1000 years after the actual date of the war?

Let me repeat : say X is the date of war: At X + 1000 years how do you backfit a sequence of dozens of astronomical observations 1000 years ago?

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby peter » 31 Jul 2017 21:06

SriJoy wrote:
Rudimentary: Vedic people knowing heliocentric concept ? When did heliocentricity reach the western civilisation?


Conventional history states that western world discovered heliocentrism around 15th century. Don’t know of the vedic world. However, it is clear that during the golden age of Indian civilization, aka 300s BC-800s AD, we had a geocentric model, as evidenced by the utter dominance of Aryabhatta’s model, which is a geocentric model with epicycles.

During our earlier exchange many weeks ago I had posted verses from Rg Veda describing heliocentric knowledge amongst Rig Vedic Rishis. Did you read it?
Arybhatta was one author. There are literally hundreds of astronomical texts that have survived. To just pick on one, Arybhatta's , and think that is the only one that describes the extant Indian knowledge of astronomy is not kosher.

No. Post 2000 BC the river is completely dry. Prior to that it broke up into pieces, formed lakes , and dried up in sections. This was the period from ~3000 BC to ~2000 BC. If you read Balaram's journey section of MBH it is clear the description is pre complete drying up.


SriJoy wrote:There is some ambiguity on this- most historians tend to agree that the Saraswati dried up completely in the 2000-1500 BC period, with the subsequent ‘beginning to dry up’ phase being in the 3000-2000 BC margin. IIRC the PGW pottery found on the riverbed of the Saraswati (indicating that the river is dried up completely and people were occupying the former river-bed) dates from 1500s BC onwards. Feel free to correct me on this, however.

The consensus is post 1900 BC Saraswati was not flowing. Did you read the description of Balram's Saraswati Tirtha Yatra from MBH? What is your conclusion?

Alright here is an assignment: how can a sequence of dozens of astronomical observations be made to line up, like they exist in MBH, from the arrival of Krishna for peace negotiations to the death of Bhishma by a "later adder to MBH" say a 1000 years after the actual date of the war?

Let me repeat : say X is the date of war: At X + 1000 years how do you backfit a sequence of dozens of astronomical observations 1000 years ago?


SriJoy wrote:Multiple ways this can happen:
a) conflating other textual reference (astronomical observations) with the Mahabharata/Ramayana (since they are Smriti literature).
b) Once the periodicity of the planets and precession of the earth is known, it is simply a matter of current observation and back-calculating the conjunction dates.
c) A few random, lucky guesses: Not all the planetary conjunctions in either text can be explained.


Let me make it more specific. Here is a list:
0 Departure of Krishna to Hastinapur on peace mission on Revathi.
1 Purnima in a few days on the following Kartika nakshatra (three days from 0).
2 Lunar eclipse on Kartika Purnima.
3 Amawasya on Jyestha which is also the solar eclipse.
4 A lunar eclipse 13 days later following the Jyestha amawas.
5 Departure of Balram on Pushya after Jyestha Amawas.
6 Start of the war on Shukla Ekadasi of Mrigasira
7 On the 14 th day of the war late moon rise.
8 On the 14th day of the war moon rose in the east.
9 Last day of the war on Shravan nakshatra and Balram returns.
10 Balram is gone for 42 days.
11 Bhishma Asthami in Magha Shukplapaksh.
12 Thirty six years later Krishna sees a similar sequence
of eclipses as given in 2,3 and 4, above. These are three separate
observations at the time of Vrishni destruction viz a lunar
eclipse followed by a solar eclipse followed by a 13 day apravani
lunar eclipse!

How will you match above 13 observations if you were the author 1000 years after the war and you had to backfit the plausible sequence ?

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Primus » 02 Aug 2017 02:04

Guys, I seriously and humbly suggest we give this a rest. I am getting a big headache here. Our friend is a very clever Wikipedia Warrior as is evident from the tenor of his posts where he assumes expert level knowledge on everything including philosophy. He comes back at you too fast with a detailed rejoinder that is only possible either with superhuman knowledge and faultless retention of every fact therein, OR as is the most likely explanation here, a quick perusal of the Wiki chapter on said topic. There are too many inconsistencies and lapses in his statements, like he professes great knowledge of everything and then says 'vedas, I don't know'. He has not read Nilesh Ji's book and yet assumes everything in it is based on false premises simply because he cannot get off the 'no agriculture in that era' horse.

The hubris of the NRI who believes he knows better than those he 'left behind' is unbelievable. How unfortunate. This could have been so much more meaningful.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby gandharva » 02 Aug 2017 04:35

"Itihasa" as defined by Indians.

Image

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby SBajwa » 03 Aug 2017 02:22


Pulikeshi
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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Pulikeshi » 03 Aug 2017 08:19

^^^Bajwa thanks for the link - her sentiment is correct - the Sanskrit works are mostly what we consider Western Social Sciences today... but with a vastly different perspective and a much broader framework. When we say "sarve bavanthu..." it is not limited to humans and it does not limit to belief.
What is needed is not just Sanskrit scholars who are also computer experts, but also Sanskrit scholars who can purva paksha all the works that are tainted by singular frameworks based on individuality and belief rather than on actions their consequences and duties to oneself and others.
Thanks for sharing that link...

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby disha » 03 Aug 2017 11:37

SriJoy wrote:1. I have not asserted that there is no astronomy in the Vedas. They had rudimentary, basic astronomy, as is true for pretty much all settled societies 4000+ years ago.


How can you assert that the astronomy in vedas is rudimentary and basic? The same observations of where mars is related to say venus or sun or moon holds true even now as it was during the saraswati-vedic civilization.

Of course you are an expert in astronomy and think that discovery of black hole is the height of astronomy and since you are aware that black hole exists (it is only theorized) think that your astronomy knowledge is more than the knowledge astronomy of vedas., particularly when you do *not* understand the astronomy in vedas.

Or a simple explanation: if it is old., it is rudimentary. That is your take.

2. The fact that Saraswati is described as a bountiful river, which has been shown in this very thread by others, using qualified geological & meteorological papers, existed prior to 2000 BC and the fact that Mahabharata notes Saraswati as a dying river (disappearing at Vinasana), is supportive of the conclusion that Mahabharata era is post-2000 BC.


Are you sure that Saraswati died out in 2000 BC? What happens if Saraswati actually start dying out in 10000 BC and was reduced to a rivulet in 5000 BC and died out in 2000 BC?

It is like the human technology of wheels. The wheel was invented some 5000 BC., but was technologically perfected as carbon fiber compositesome 7000 years later in 2200 AD.

For Srijoys of the future in some 6000 AD (assuming the human kind survives the srijoys)., the wheel was invented in 2200 AD only.

3. My assessment re: astronomical phenomena noted in a Smriti literature is simple : they are later additions, just like many other things are.


My assessment re: your ability noted by your posts on BRF: they are additions of a delusional #AntiHindu mind., just like many of your posts are.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby shiv » 03 Aug 2017 18:39

SriJoy wrote:But from a historical perspective, those books are highly flawed and it is a fact that we are chasing shadows, if we want to construct a historical narrative out of those books.

the Vedas were not historical narratives either but a historical narrative has been constructed out of them by western (racist also) Indologists in a tradition that has never been refuted.

However you echo "western scholars" in getting overly uptight about the histrical value of the Itihasas. it is this chicanery that stands out in your verbose rhetoric

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby shiv » 03 Aug 2017 18:54

If you look at Western "translations" of the Vedas which read like the ramblings of half wits it is easy to "understand" that ancient Indians were half wits who recorded stuff like cooking, eating and burying horses and kicking out short nose dasyus. With such a primitive bunch of people having given Hindus their most revered literature it is easy to point out that their so called itihasas are not much better.

However if my aunt really had shown that she had a dick and had proved to be my uncle instead, and history of colonizations by racists had not happened. then the vedas would still be understood in their spiritual sense and the connection of those vedas with the Upanishads would be seen and the itihasas can be read as sociological documents of their time
Last edited by shiv on 03 Aug 2017 19:08, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby syam » 03 Aug 2017 18:55

@Srijoy.... since we are all scientists, lets explore something different.

Suppose India conquered west. Since globalisation is falling like house of cards. Lets assume Ethnic Indians somehow become the sole super power of the world.
In this scenario, Ethnic Indians need something to keep the whole order under their control.
Again lets assume we need OOI to achieve this. How do you propagate it to western folks?

I don't want you to bear the burden of truth. This is all hypothetical situation. Please share your how-to on this.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Pulikeshi » 03 Aug 2017 19:17

SriJoy wrote:You will find no arguments from me, whatsoever, if you want to conclude that the Itihasas of India- Hindu as well as Buddhist (where by the way, there are discrepancies, even in the Buddhist tellings of Mahabharata from the Hindu ones)- represent complex moral and philosophical questions- easily the most complex of its time of writing, along with Greek philosophy.


"You are not a good Muslim!" Islam is what I declare it to be - it is perfect! Now I will declare what is a Hindu, Buddhist or Jain Itihasa :mrgreen:
Only I can evaluate discrepancies and modernity of complex concepts! :rotfl:
You sire would have made Islamic and Western colonialist proud ~ and their pet sishya should you not give up English, it is so yesterday and outdated?
Time to learn Chinese - all hail the new emperor! 萬歲

SriJoy wrote:But from a historical perspective, those books are highly flawed and it is a fact that we are chasing shadows, if we want to construct a historical narrative out of those books. I've read, for eg, quiete elaborate pieces by non-western scholars, consiering 'Sarayu' as 'Harayu' of the Achaemenid era nomenclature (modern day Hari Rud, flowing through Herat, Afghanitsan).


Yes, they are all flawed, precious to some of us, but to the ideologue.... if all one sees is black and white how can u show you colors?

SriJoy wrote:A myth, atleast from historical academic perspective, is a tale that cannot be accurately dated and/or has been conflated with other stories. Homer's Illiad is a perfect example of said myth. So are Ramayana and Mahabharata. But unlike the vaunted western classics, ours is not just a tale of wanton warfare-adventure-love story but deep, philosophical analysis and constitutes the most impressive ideological leap in mankind- from absoluteness of morality to relativity of morality (particularly, in the Mahabharata).


Morality is a western term, Myth is a western term, Religion is a western term, History is a western term, Aryan is a western racist term.
I conclude that this topic and your ramblings needs to be the Western Universalism thread not in OIT thread.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby shiv » 03 Aug 2017 19:57

SriJoy wrote:The only chicanery is done by religious people here, who want to throw out the Smriti status accorded to the Ramayana/Mahabharata by OUR OWN ANCESTORS. Ie, it wasn't good enough for our own ancestors to be considered accurate, it isn't for us, either. 'Western scholars' is nothing more than knee-jerk chicanery to this simple fact.

Emotional appeals about people who want to throw out something is simply avoiding the fact that the vedas, THE shruti have been accorded the status of historical document by Max Muller. William Jones, Witzel, Anthony David and a whole lot of "scholars" from the west. the fact that you are sensitive to some of those scholars being named and shamed as being racist is not my problem, it's your.

Those Western "scholars" (some who simply had racist motives) do not accept this smriti-shruti balderdash that you seem to hold so close to your heart while copious shedding tears for loss of smriti status caused by "religious people here". That is a load of crock that is par for the course for your posts. You don't give a rat's ass for the fact that this "smriti-shruti" sentiment/status has been ignored by racist Western scholars while they glean historical meaning from the Vedas and then get all upset at anyone else who may want to glean historical information from the smritis. And you echo the latter act while obfuscating any other relevant information that you know damn well came from racist_western_"scholars".

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby shiv » 03 Aug 2017 20:01

SriJoy wrote:If Vedas are sufficiently ancient enough- ie, if it is indeed pre-neolithic revolution, it SHOULD read like a composition of half-wits to us, as would any thought of pre-agricultural society. Religious reverence, the world over, is not a function of empiricism or complexity but simply a matter of what the elites decree. I very much suspect, that if Sudas had lost the Dasaraja war, we might not even have heard of the vedas itself.

Any knowledge that is not understood by someone could look like the ramblings of half wits. So there is at least a 50% possibility that what you say is ignorance - a fact that causes you great discomfort when pointed out.


SriJoy wrote:Nobody treats Vedas as history texts. .

Rubbish. Every half assed racist or non racist western scholar does that. A shruti is not even a text but then again there is a 1:1 probability of your being ignorant of that.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby shiv » 03 Aug 2017 20:06

SriJoy wrote:If Vedas are sufficiently ancient enough- ie, if it is indeed pre-neolithic revolution, it SHOULD read like a composition of half-wits to us,

Science tells us this

SriJoy wrote:The only chicanery is done by religious people here, who want to throw out the Smriti status accorded to the Ramayana/Mahabharata by OUR OWN ANCESTORS.

No science here. Only emotion.

The possibilities are
1. Apply science to the Vedas and the smritis
2. Apply science to the Vedas and emotion to the smritis
3. Apply emotion to the Vedas and science to the smritis
4. Apply emotion to both smitis and shrutis

Srijoy has chosen option 2. Apply science to the Vedas and emotion to the smritis

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby shiv » 03 Aug 2017 20:13

SriJoy wrote:False. The Shruti and Smriti designation are from our own ancestors. Not from Euros.


Euros do not give a rat's as about what you say your ancestors thought. But you go all weepy about "religious people here" not according "smriti status" to what you claim your ancestors wanted. Do not include me. I may well have no Indian ancestry. You don't know who my ancestors are - so quit the emotional rhetoric. Where does your science disappear when you make silly emotional appeals like this?

When "Euros" do something why get your chaddis into a huge twist if "religious people here" do exactly what the Euros (who happened to be racist) did?

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby shiv » 03 Aug 2017 20:22

SriJoy wrote:
shiv wrote:Any knowledge that is not understood by someone could look like the ramblings of half wits. So there is at least a 50% possibility that what you say is ignorance - a fact that causes you great discomfort when pointed out.


Irrelevant obfuscation yet again.

Irrelevant because YOu do not want to apply simple science. There is at least a 50% probability that you are wrong. But as I said. Yo hate that possibility



SriJoy wrote:
Rubbish. Every half assed racist or non racist western scholar does that. A shruti is not even a text but then again there is a 1:1 probability of your being ignorant of that.

Rubbish from you. Historians use the prevalence of terms in the vedas as window to its historic timeframe. Mention of objects used, topography are pretty much the only relation to history. But only a religious fanatic arguing balderdash can argue that people living in huts, who don't even know the full extent of the solar system, can write text that can be translated but not understood by people with far greater knowledge at their disposal.


:D As usual the only crutch for your otherwise weak argument is a psychoanalysis of the people who disagree with you.

Toponyms have no dates and only recently has something that is likely to be the Saraswati been dated. That could still be wrong. Currently it dates back at least 6000 years. But relying on a name like Saraswati itself may be wrong for the good scientist. You did say that the Vedas could be a collection of stuff made up by half-wits - so all this reference to Saraswati as a river should be considered myth. How does Saraswati become a valid topographical name to be dated by your historians if it was cooked up by pre-neolithic half wits

Please tie yourself up in your own contradictions. It derails the thread but great fun to point them out
Last edited by shiv on 03 Aug 2017 20:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby shiv » 03 Aug 2017 20:24

SriJoy wrote: I caught you in the lie that Shruti-smriti designation is from the Euros.

You caught nothing of the sort. Apply your intelligence and do a word search and produce the quote from me. You are behaving like a desperate loser.

But here I will move on and get back at you after a few days. it's more fun to take on whole cartloads of crock from you

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby syam » 03 Aug 2017 20:45

SriJoy wrote:
At the end of the day, history of origin of culture is irrelevant to the lives of the large majority. Most white people for eg, do not give a rat's behind about whether history started in Sumer or Egypt or China. Because whether our long-dead ancestors were heroes or chumps, have ultimately very little direct bearing on our lives.

When you lose all traces of proof, only faith can carry the truth to the next generation. Lets not go into that.

I want to know how we can propagate OIT. Ever wonder why British failed to keep its crown jewel? There is no connection between normal folks and British. We can't repeat the same mistake other empires did. Money can't buy everything.
So we again come to same hypothetical situation.

How to induct our version into western academia given the constrains we have today? We want to connect with the western folks at social level.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby shiv » 03 Aug 2017 21:34

SriJoy wrote: confusing simplicity (half-wit) with lack of integrity ( unreliability). Pretty much elitist nonsense, implying that simple people are dishonest.

This is called petitio principii. Assuming the conclusion of a statement and then offering that conclusion as a premise to prove the statement as true.

First claim that pre-neolithic people were "simple" and then say that since they were simple people they should not be accused of something or other and that my mental state (diagnosed by you as usual :D ) of elitism makes me describe the people YOU assumed as simple as being something else.

Adding rubbish to nonsense does not make things better. Any scientist should know that. But you don't.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby shiv » 03 Aug 2017 22:10

SriJoy wrote:
Toponyms have no dates and only recently has something that is likely to be the Saraswati been dated.


Inconsistency in the same sentence seems to be your thing. If toponyms have no dates, then how can Saraswati be dated ?

:D
You display a plodding inability to parse precise sentences for a person who boasted of being able to parse any scientific paper.

Toponyms are names of topographical features. They are nouns and do not come with chronological information. "Saraswati" is a toponym. It has no date mentioned. A river that might refer to that toponym has been dated recently.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby gandharva » 04 Aug 2017 00:53

CHAPT ER 5 - Problems with the Critical Method
(From the book The Nay Science: A History of German Indology by Vishwa Adluri & Joydeep Bagchee)
https://www.amazon.com/Nay-Science-Hist ... 0199931364

The birth of Indology takes place at the crossroads of two great intellectual currents in German history: Romanticism, which gave rise to the search for pristine civilizations and the interest in myth, and Protestant biblical criticism (and its attendant phenomenon, historicism), which shaped ideas of what texts are and how they were to be studied. But the story of the intellectual roots of Indology cannot be told without also exploring the roots of a third intellectual current of the time: the new Wissenschaftsideologie of the nineteenth century. This ideology was to be a potent factor in the development of Indology out of the early grammatical, philosophical, and literary interests of an earlier generation of Orientalists (among them, the Schlegel brothers and the scholar-statesman Wilhelm von Humboldt).

The idea of science or scientifcity as embodying academic rigor, an attitude of skepticism (an ideal with strong moral overtones), and the development of a method tailored to the precise needs of the individual feld rapidly led to the professionalization and specialization of scholarship. Rather than undertaking broad inquiries into human existence, scholarship came to coalesce around the idea of disciplines or departments. Within Indology, there was consistent growth in the establishment of chairs and concurrent growth in eforts by scholars to distinguish their chairs from those of their colleagues.1 Yet, it was not Indology, but a related science, classical philology—“our sister science,” as Oldenberg called it in an essay from 19062—that came to epitomize the new spirit of science in Germany. It was also the discipline on which the most expectations of making a contribution to humanistic education or Bildung were placed.3 It was no surprise, then, that when Indologists sought to legitimate the wissenschaftliche character of their discipline, they turned to philology as a prototype, claiming both parallels and descent from it. By underscoring the philological nature of their researches, Indologists hoped to capitalize on the reputation of German scholarship in classical studies (Altertumswissenschaft). Although an explicit theoretical justifcation of Indology’s claim to being a science cannot be found in the writings of the period,4 we do find a broad acceptance of positivist philology as being basically synonymous with science in general.

In this chapter, we examine some of the strategies used by Indologists to make the case for their discipline as Wissenschaft and how those strategies relate to understandings of science, both historical and contemporary. Te chapter is divided into eight sections. Te frst two sections take a look at how, in the work of Hermann Oldenberg, the leading theoretician of Indology of the day, a new ideal of scientifc scholarship on India emerged, and at how this ideal was then grounded in a positivist philology. Te next three sections present a brief overview of three scientifc currents of the time—positivism, historicism, and empiricism—and show how Indologists were responding to broader movements in philosophy of science, especially the work of Auguste Comte (1798–1857), the intellectual father of positivism and historicism. In the sixth section, we look at criticisms that the positivistic notion of truth has been subject to in the twentieth century; the next section returns the discussion to Kant’s critical project and its historical infuence, already broached in the introduction. Te eighth and concluding section then presents an overview of Gadamer’s criticisms of the attempt to construe the scientifc character of the human sciences along the lines of the natural sciences. Because of the infuence of his seminal Truth and Method on the contemporary self-understanding of the human sciences, we delve especially deeply into his views. Gadamer’s criticisms of the valorization of method over truth in the humanities and of the Enlightenment’s suspicion of all traditional forms of authority are the vantage points from which we evaluate Indology’s claims to being part of the human sciences.

Rest to follow later...

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby RoyG » 04 Aug 2017 04:53

SriJoy wrote:
RoyG wrote:
He hasn't. I'm glad he brought up Itihasa. His deep assumptions mirror that of Holzmann who used AIT to show how the subcontinental negro tainted the myths brought to them by sweaty white men on horseback. Buddhism was the product of Aryan genius revolting against mythic oppression. So you see, progress was stifled and then resumed just like when the protestants reduced the stranglehold of the catholic church.

AIT is critical to this project. It establishes conflict between groups of people and helps cast the text as some sort of myth similar to the bible which is full of superstition to put the reader victim into a state of borderline mental retardation so that he cant perceive his own oppression.


The first bolded part (by me)- i do not see what that has in relation to your bolded part.
Even if one is OOI proponent, it is undeniable that the golden age of Indian learning coincided with the bulk majority of our (subcontinental) elite class being Buddhist & Jain, with Vedanta Hinduism on the rise.
As such, why can't Buddhism & Jainism be a rebellion against vedic ritualism in the first place and why does that (even if its a supposition), have to include foreign vs native ideology ?
In such a distinction, i feel like you are selling our ancestors short, by implying that the 'ancient Indian' is incapable of change and overthrow of certain systems that are out-dated, on their own, without outside interferance.

What the texts represent, is irrelevant to the Indian civilization as a whole ( or for the matter, any civilization), from a strictly historical perspective, because only a tiny, tiny fraction of Indian society (or any society pre-colonial world) was literate. As such, what those books represent, is oligarchy of knowledge- a tiny, tiny fraction of the population able to read, let alone analyze the texts, while the vast majority are illiterates who 'go by what the priest/king/powerful man is saying'.


1. Since you buy into the idea of brahmanical hinduism and its ritualistic oppression I would like to ask you the following question:

Where did such an idea come from?

2. I find similarities in the assumptions you're making about indian society and that of Holzmann, namely that of Buddhist and Jain 'rebellion' against vedic ritualism. It has its origins in the Protestant Reformation and the subsequent AIT hypothesis. You missed the point entirely.

3. Why do you keep harping back to the historicity of the text? Again, you're missing the point. Itihasa are stories which enabled it to be passed on orally. It was a way to transfer the concepts contained within the Upanishads to the illiterate masses.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby RoyG » 04 Aug 2017 05:27

SriJoy wrote:
RoyG wrote:
Many overt thematic elements within the Itihasa literature which come directly from the Upanishads so the influence is non-debatable. Now for Pollock and others, this is a big problem. If you want to prove some sort of in-built oppression within the text, some sophistication is needed in the form of ignoring/editing the historical timeline and using the Semitic experience as a template for textual deconstruction.

Now on SriJoy's point on human conflict stemming from greed, kinship ties, etc contained within the text, I agree with him. We had all of that. It's the underlying response to these phenomena which is in question. The Semitic world used myth to transmit its solution in the form of the idea that sovereignty lie with something external and ordinary man is merely a custodian of the domain granted to it.

On the other hand, we used Itihasa to transmit something completely different which has not till date been matched by the West. Itihasa presents the cause of unhappiness within society as desire and it's effects in the form of conflict, and eventual resolution in the form victory for one side. But what's really unique is that the faculties of mind and goal of meditative techniques are encoded within the story to show how one can bring about that change at the individual level. So in other words, Itihasa gives the reader a framework to induce change within oneself and shows how this change can contribute to victory over conflict brought about by desire in society.


You will find no arguments from me, whatsoever, if you want to conclude that the Itihasas of India- Hindu as well as Buddhist (where by the way, there are discrepancies, even in the Buddhist tellings of Mahabharata from the Hindu ones)- represent complex moral and philosophical questions- easily the most complex of its time of writing, along with Greek philosophy.
But from a historical perspective, those books are highly flawed and it is a fact that we are chasing shadows, if we want to construct a historical narrative out of those books. I've read, for eg, quiete elaborate pieces by non-western scholars, consiering 'Sarayu' as 'Harayu' of the Achaemenid era nomenclature (modern day Hari Rud, flowing through Herat, Afghanitsan).
A myth, atleast from historical academic perspective, is a tale that cannot be accurately dated and/or has been conflated with other stories. Homer's Illiad is a perfect example of said myth. So are Ramayana and Mahabharata. But unlike the vaunted western classics, ours is not just a tale of wanton warfare-adventure-love story but deep, philosophical analysis and constitutes the most impressive ideological leap in mankind- from absoluteness of morality to relativity of morality (particularly, in the Mahabharata).


I'm trying to think how to untangle your thought process a bit...okay lets start with this:

1. You accept the assertion that the text itself represents 'complex moral and philosophical questions'.

2. You claim that from a 'historical perspective', those books are highly flawed.

Now what I'm saying is this:

Let go of the historical perspective. There is no need for it because you accept that Itihasa is a repository for insight into the mind in story form. Those who argue otherwise are the same people who invented AIT. They didn't see what we see in the text because they themselves bought into certain assumptions codified into semitic myth. So what I'm saying is you can't buy into one and accept the other.

Now as far as myth is concerned, you can't call both a myth when the intent of the literature and what it contains (by your admission) differ. You wouldn't call a comic a myth.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby shiv » 04 Aug 2017 07:19

gandharva wrote:The idea of science or scientifcity as embodying academic rigor, an attitude of skepticism (an ideal with strong moral overtones)

scepticism itself is known from the Greeks. No one (from the west) will know or note that the arguments posed by early Greek sceptics were similar to the explorations of truth in the Vedas as expounded in the Upanishads. But all the Greek stuff I read seemed like dull ba$tardized versions of Vedic philosophy. There was likely some contact with Greece before 500 BC

But if you consider the Vedas the rant of a "simple people" then one is "branding" them with a character that goes well outside the spirit of scepticism and enquiry. This was a western failing starting the 1700s and 1800s whose effects are still being felt

The shock of finding biblical stories in deciphered Assyrian texts led to philology becoming big until it achieved orgasm with the "discovery" of Vedic Sanskrit
Read it here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3JNY4 ... sp=sharing

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Pulikeshi » 04 Aug 2017 11:13

SriJoy wrote:?! Nothing more than more chicanery. I am making no declarations- simply noting the fact that the mahabharata story differs, based on whether one wants to follow Hindu or Buddhist narrative. Just because you are a Hindu and not a Buddhist, does not give any extra credence to 'Balarama' over 'Baladeva'.


First, given the 'anonymous' nature of this discussion how do you declare that I am a Hindu and not a Buddhist? :mrgreen:
Second, it is your misunderstanding that someone "Hindu" would only follow a Hindu perspective - this is pure Abhrahamic framework thinking....
Third, there perhaps is not even one Hindu version, but now you will jump into why that it is all flawed... :rotfl:
Fourth, no one who is either a Hindu or a Buddisht cares about what you think, what they care about is your maligning them in pure idiocy!
Finally, there is no X variations of oral tradition texts which were way much later put to paper and then formed Y variations. That means we cannot now at time T3 calculate and work back towards an original source to seek fidelity for this silly concept that the Western mind invented called History. The time lag between event time - human recording of an event and processing time - human processing the impact of that event and time for reprocessing time - human retelling of the event again and again - are all part and parcel of human existence. Time is not just linear vs cyclical... Human beings perceive time in even more complex ways... for example ~ it is common in India in many languages to say, "its your bad time..." this treats time a windowed ephemeral chunks of perception, not the linear vs. cyclic simplicity of religious belief nonsense spouted by modern western scholars!
Good luck following Western frameworks that can barely handle linear time. :rotfl:

SriJoy wrote:The ideologue apparently fails to realize that a book can be both precious and flawed at the same time.

First, much of what you claim as book, happened to become book much later in time then when the event occurred and was recorded and transmitted.
Second, even in any form - consider the following statement, "I read the poem/book of by Robert Frost and concluded it both precious and flawed!" Such a statement is considered ~ your opinion ~ a rambling at best and a bhasya at worst. :P

SriJoy wrote:Correction. Morality is not a 'western term'. It is an English term. Function of language,not Philosophy. Same with History and Aryan. If you wish to dis-engange from English terms, i suggest you find a non-english medium to communicate. To trash history, simply because it doesn't align with your religious views, does no service to OIT or any thread relating to history- which, last i checked, is the entire fundamental focus of this thread. So perhaps your views belong elsewhere, not in a thread about history.


First, you know nothing about me
Second, you know nothing about my "religion"
Third, Morality ~ Please look up and read Moralia St. Gregory's work on the Book of Job where that word comes form... :eek: :evil:
Fourth, OIT is not about history... it is about identity : make no mistake about it the Western racist care to have AIT in play because of what it does to identity! History is just a tool in this self-identification of the Übermensch with the Aryan ~ which is why it is a racist term.
Fifth, I live only because my ancestors lived and weaving my identity with them is my homage to them the only reason I am alive!
Finally, since all your ancestors are foolish and dead - why do you care if it is OIT or AIT ~ you are be happy peddling HIS-story! :P

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby shiv » 04 Aug 2017 12:11

Pulikeshi wrote:Finally, since all your ancestors are foolish and dead - why do you care if it is OIT or AIT ~ you are be happy peddling HIS-story! :P

:D

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby shiv » 04 Aug 2017 16:30

SriJoy wrote:false assertion in the bolded part. We justifiably consider any people who do not know the major bodies in the solar system, who posess less than 1% of information in practically every field compared to us today, as simple people. The base-line for life in this world is simple. To deviate from this baseline, we need evidence. No evidece exists that the most educated Vedic scholar imaginable, can hold a candle to a grade 10 student today. Until such evidence comes to light, skepticism of science demand we consider any such people with such limited knowldge, as simple people.

This is trolling

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby A_Gupta » 04 Aug 2017 16:58

shiv wrote:
SriJoy wrote:false assertion in the bolded part. We justifiably consider any people who do not know the major bodies in the solar system, who posess less than 1% of information in practically every field compared to us today, as simple people. The base-line for life in this world is simple. To deviate from this baseline, we need evidence. No evidece exists that the most educated Vedic scholar imaginable, can hold a candle to a grade 10 student today. Until such evidence comes to light, skepticism of science demand we consider any such people with such limited knowldge, as simple people.

This is trolling


Not even original. I think Carl Sagan propagated some such nonsense as well.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby A_Gupta » 04 Aug 2017 17:00

shiv wrote:
SriJoy wrote:false assertion in the bolded part. We justifiably consider any people who do not know the major bodies in the solar system, who posess less than 1% of information in practically every field compared to us today, as simple people. The base-line for life in this world is simple. To deviate from this baseline, we need evidence. No evidece exists that the most educated Vedic scholar imaginable, can hold a candle to a grade 10 student today. Until such evidence comes to light, skepticism of science demand we consider any such people with such limited knowldge, as simple people.

This is trolling


The Vedic peple started something that propagated across Asia and that continues to this day. May we all be so simple!

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby peter » 04 Aug 2017 19:27

SriJoy wrote:
peter wrote:During our earlier exchange many weeks ago I had posted verses from Rg Veda describing heliocentric knowledge amongst Rig Vedic Rishis. Did you read it?
Arybhatta was one author. There are literally hundreds of astronomical texts that have survived. To just pick on one, Arybhatta's , and think that is the only one that describes the extant Indian knowledge of astronomy is not kosher.


You are 100% correct, if seeing in the context of entire Indian history. However, what subsequent writings, such as Brahmagupta, Varahamihira, etc. show, is that the geocentric epicyclic model of Aryabhatta came to utterly dominate Indian astronomy after him. The Indian (Hindu as well as Jain) Calendric calculations are also completely based on Aryabhatta. As such, i am not sure, but it'd seem that Vedic heliocentrism died in Indian civilization post Aryabhatta and probably re-introduced by either the arabs or Europeans.

Nothing dies out completely. Knowledge remains. Arabs regurgitated what they learnt in India to the Europeans and that is what ushered the age of learning in Europe.

The consensus is post 1900 BC Saraswati was not flowing. Did you read the description of Balram's Saraswati Tirtha Yatra from MBH? What is your conclusion?

SriJoy wrote:The versions i've read (translations obviously- i am not conversant in Sanskrit) is that Saraswati was a dying river, petering out to its death somewhere in the Rajasthan-Cholistan desert, called Vinasana.

The description in Mahabharata fits well with the Saraswati from ~3000 BC to ~2000 BC: viz breaking up into ponds (Khairpur lakes) etc.


How will you match above 13 observations if you were the author 1000 years after the war and you had to backfit the plausible sequence ?


SriJoy wrote:I can do it quiete easily, using math: .....


Great! Can you please help us locate which date(s) would the above 13 observations lead us to? Please use computers since you seem an expert in their use.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Nilesh Oak » 04 Aug 2017 22:36

Link to my first Facebook Live chat (FB Live) organized by Indic Book Club

https://www.facebook.com/nilesh.oak/vid ... 343957924/

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby gandharva » 05 Aug 2017 00:29

gandharva wrote:CHAPT ER 5 - Problems with the Critical Method
(From the book The Nay Science: A History of German Indology by Vishwa Adluri & Joydeep Bagchee)
https://www.amazon.com/Nay-Science-Hist ... 0199931364

The birth of Indology takes place at the crossroads of two great intellectual currents in German history: Romanticism, which gave rise to the search for pristine civilizations and the interest in myth, and Protestant biblical criticism (and its attendant phenomenon, historicism), which shaped ideas of what texts are and how they were to be studied. But the story of the intellectual roots of Indology cannot be told without also exploring the roots of a third intellectual current of the time: the new Wissenschaftsideologie of the nineteenth century. This ideology was to be a potent factor in the development of Indology out of the early grammatical, philosophical, and literary interests of an earlier generation of Orientalists (among them, the Schlegel brothers and the scholar-statesman Wilhelm von Humboldt).



Rest to follow later...


STEPS TOWARD A SCIENTIFIC INDOLOGY

Te development of a new ideal of science at German universities during the nineteenth century has been well documented.5 Scholars note that around the late eighteenth to early nineteenth centuries, the term Wissenschaft took on grand idealist associations of a system of total and comprehensive knowledge. This system integrated both the transcendental principles of knowledge with the more specialized disciplines that developed from out of these principles and carried forward the work of enabling knowledge of the objective world……..

It was not just that there was a sudden burst of intellectual efort, but a change occurred in the very meaning of knowledge, that is, in the notion of what could be studied, what was worth studying, and what counted as knowledge. Turner describes the change in attitudes as follows: “The professor of the eighteenth century had considered his main duty the transmission of established learning to certain professional groups; in addition to maintaining that goal, his nineteenth-century counterparts tried actively to expand learning in many esoteric felds. . . . Research emerged within university ideology as a fundamental duty of the scholar, and a reputation within one’s specialist community beyond the university became more and more a sine qua non for even minor university appointments.”9

This ideology of the scholar as engaged in original research was given explicit sanction in the writings of Wilhelm von Humboldt. In his essay “Über die innere und äußere Organisation der höheren wissenschaftlichen Anstalten in Berlin,” which was to be a major infuence on university reform, Humboldt argued that what was unique about the higher educational faculties was that they regarded Wissenchaft as a “never completely solved problem.” They therefore “remain ever at research, whereas the school is only concerned with finished and settled insights.”10 If knowledge was no longer a unity, a single science approximating an eternal model as it had been in the time of the ancients, if knowledge had fractured into multiple felds of inquiry, then original research became a duty of the scholar. There were potentially as many forms of knowledge as methods for discovering them. As Paulsen commented in 1901, “The 19th century first introduced the requirement of independent research in science: only he is capable of being a teacher in science, who is himself actively productive in it. And correspondingly, the task of university education is not [the handing down of] mere tradition, but rather, instruction in how to independently bring forth knowledge.”11 Among the disciplines (and objects) to be discovered in the nineteenth century, were psychology (man as the intersection and functioning of his psychological capacities), sociology (man as social being), philology (text as document), and biology (life as an organic structure embedded in a specifc environment).

Indology, the new science of the study of India, too, emerged in the nineteenth century as part of this general expansion of research into all fields of human activity. It is thus no surprise that it conformed to general ideas of science in the air. Although we do not find an explicit reflection on its status as science (which perhaps would not be undertaken until the early twentieth century), in the writings of the Indologists of the period we do find frequent (and repeated) appeals to the wissenshaftliche character of Indology. Certainly, the threshold of positivity (to use Foucault’s terminology) was crossed quite early in its history, with the thresholds of epistemologization and scientifcity being crossed a little later. Key in this process of evolution was the idea of Indology as a philological and historical preoccupation with the documents of Indian antiquity, just as the science of classical philology (Altertumswissenschaft) was preoccupied with the documents of classical antiquity.

Before the establishment of the first chair for Indology (at Bonn in 1818; the first professor to hold the chair was August Wilhelm Schlegel), German intellectuals had carried out studies into Indian literature from a number of perspectives. Johann Gottfried Herder had produced literary translations of verses of the Bhagavadgītā. Humboldt himself had written an essay on the Gītā, praising it for its philosophical as well as for its poetic qualities.13 Schlegel hoped that the discovery of Indian antiquity would provide a similar impetus for the sciences in the nineteenth century as the (re)discovery of classical antiquity had provided in the fifteenth century.14 He was to be disappointed, however. Initial excitement over Indian thought gave way to a more philological preoccupation with Indian texts. In many ways, this transformation parallels wider currents relating to German philosophy. As Howard remarks, “as the nineteenth-century wore on and under the infuence of positivism, the growth of the natural sciences, disciplinary specialization, and the exigencies of industrialization and technology, Wissenschaft gradually lost its grand, idealist associations and took on a more limited definition with reference to particular academic fields, empirical rigour, and the putative ideological neutrality of the scholar.”15 Above all, it was the new disciplines of history and classical philology that were to meet this idea of Wissenschaft. Turner notes: “The philological and historical disciplines first displayed the intense concern with research and research training. Only later—during the 1830s—were these commitments widely adopted by science professors, often in direct imitation of learned values and institutional models of the humanistic disciplines.”16 Indology’s need to establish itself as a science meant that it quickly imbibed these ideas of disciplinary rigour. In fact, its evolution traced that of philology, which always remained the science against which it measured itself. Thus, just as the “critical, analytic tendencies of the new philology clashed sharply with the philosophic program of a grand synthesis of learning [and] [a] fter 1830 . . . largely replaced the philosophical tradition,”17 so, too, did Indology see itself in a conflict with philosophical interpretation. The efforts of an earlier generation of scholars such as Herder and Humboldt were dismissed as Schwärmgeisterei.18

By the early twentieth century, we find a widespread consensus in the writings of many Indologists that Indology had to be reestablished along philological principles. Hermann Oldenberg, in an essay written in 1906, argued that Indology was concerned with the documents of Indian antiquity, a task that necessitated a historical and philological approach. With this and other publications on Indologie or, as he preferred to call it in explicit contrast to classical philology, on indische Philologie (Indian philology), Oldenberg rapidly became the foremost spokesperson for the new science. Between 1875 (the year he published his dissertation, “De sacris fratrum arvalium quaestiones”) and 1920 (the year of his death), he published six articles or speeches devoted to a theoretical clarifcation of Indology. Te earliest of these, “Über Sanskritforschung,” was written in 188619; the next to follow was “Die Erforschung der altindischen Religionen im Gesamtzusammenhang der Religionswissenschaft: Ein Vortrag” (1904),20 while the two years 1906–7 saw the publication of three of his most important contributions: “Göttergnade und Menschenkraft in den altindischen Religionen” (1906), Oldenberg’s inaugural lecture on his accession to the rectorship of the University of Kiel21; “Indische und klassische Philologie” (1906),22 his most extensive refection on the relation of Indian philology to classical philology; and “Indologie” (1907),23 a recapitulation of modern Indology’s tasks that explicitly closed the door on Indology’s Romantic and humanist heritage.

What were Oldenberg’s main points? In his 1886 text, he was at pains to contrast the more haphazard efforts of British scholars (mainly colonial ofcers such as William Jones) with the systematic eforts of German scholars. Oldenberg saw the establishment of the Asiatic Society (Calcutta, 1784) as the birth hour of Indology. He credited Wilson, Henry Tomas Colebrooke, and others with establishing this “new branch of historical research.” Yet ideas of historical research—however popular—did not suffce to defne the scientifc character of Indology; rather, what was required was a concerted efort at systematic research. Here, German scholars excelled: “Englishmen began the work; soon it was taken up by men of other nations and in the course of time it transformed itself ever more decisively, to a far greater extent than this could, for example, be said of research into hieroglyphic or cuneiform [writing], into an afair of German science [deutschen Wissenschaft].”25 “While Colebrooke still stood at the height of his [creative] powers, participation in researches on India began to awaken in that land which had done more than any other to bring these [researches] closer to a strict, frmly grounded science [Wissenschaft]: Germany.”26 Oldenberg assigned Germany pride of place in this transition from an amateur preoccupation to a formal discipline, the word being used with all its connotations of rigor, dedication, and a structured program of inquiry. Using the two great Sanskrit dictionaries of the time (Monier-Williams and Roth-Böhtlingk) as an example, he typifed the contrast between British and German scholarship as follows: “The contrast between the two great periods [of Sanskrit scholarship] could not be more clearly embodied than in these two dictionaries, in which the development of researches on India is displayed: here, the beginnings, which the English science standing directly on the shoulders of Indian pandithood had made; there, the further development, with the methods of strict philology, in terms of breadth and depth pressing incomparably ahead of these beginnings, at their head German researchers.

Paralleling the distinction Howard traces between the first and second phases of Wissenschaftsideologie, Oldenberg also identifed two distinct phases of the reception of Indian thought in Germany. In the frst phase, German literature, poetry, anid philosophy laid the ground for Indian studies in Germany. As Oldenberg notes, “There could be no more receptive ground for Jones’ and Colebrooke’s discoveries than the Germany of that period, full of enthusiastic interest for the ancient, folk [volksthümliche] poetry of all nations, flled with great movements in its own literature and philosophy; out of the distance, India’s [literature and poetry] now encountered these as though related: so to speak, an Oriental Romanticism and a poetic thought that, in its sweep, sought no less daringly than the absolute philosophy of the Germans to press forward to the formless primordial source of all forms [gestaltlosen Urquell aller Gestaltungen].”28 Yet, this Romantic heritage could, at times, also be a source of embarrassment, as Oldenberg lets out in his criticisms of Schlegel. Schlegel, hargued, had created a “highly infuential fantasy image of India.” Yet, this image was neither “sober” nor “faithful” to the truth.29 In contrast, it was “Bopp, with his researches into the grammatical structure of Sanskrit, who undertook to base the science [Wissenschaft] on the long recognized fact of the relationship of this language to Persian and to mainly European languages.”30 Bopp’s approach was more “modest”; yet, it had “penetrated incomparably deeper” into Indian language and literature.31 Oldenberg was full of fulsome praise for Bopp’s 1816 work, Conjugationsystem der Sanskritsprache in Vergleichung mit jenem der griechischen, lateinischen, persischen und germanischen Sprahe, which he considered to have laid the foundation for scientifc study of India. He wrote: “We can here only mention with one word the researches that have been carried out since the appearance of this work . . . and for which Bopp laid the foundation at the time. Seldom has more remarkable work been accomplished for science [Wissenschaft] than here.”32

Bopp’s comparative linguistic approach, however, was only part of the story. The other part, which Oldenberg considered to have divided the evolution of the “science [Wissenschaft] of India” into “two halves,” was the development of historical research, aided above all by a renewed interest in the Veda.33 Here he identifes three great names: Max Müller, Rudolf von Roth, and Albrecht Weber. Roth, above all, appears to have been a paradigm of this new historical consciousness for Oldenberg. He cites the scholar’s view that it would be a “mockery” if the “criticism and acumen” of a century that had successfully deciphered the rock inscriptions of the Perisan kings and Zarathustra’s books, did not also succeed in reading “the history of ideas [Geistesgeschichte] of this people [that is, the Indians] in this mass of writings with certitude.”34 How far did the renewed interest in researching the Veda go toward fulflling Roth’s expectations? Although Oldenberg conceded that much of what Roth had hoped for could not be attained, he argued that “what has been attained has given a completely new look to the picture, which science [Wissenschaft] had of India.” “This picture appeared to lose itself without a horizon in the misty depths of an unmeasured past; now we fnd the boundaries; an external starting point for history that can be the subject of our research is within sight. Authentic sources, originating in the oldest period of India, out of which and concerning which historical sources in the customary sense of the term can be attained, opened themselves up and, instead of the twilight traversed by uncertain, shadowy titanic fgures, in which the epic poems caused this period to appear, the Veda showed forth a reality that one could hope to understand. . . .” Even where the Veda did not succeed in enabling historical knowledge, this was nonetheless “a gain” because “one then at least knew that the information one sought had vanished and what presented itself as this [information] was now exposed as a fantasy image, one that had emerged from the arbitrariness of later creators of legend.” Scholarship into the Veda, Oldenberg concluded, had succeeded in “outlin[ing] the horizon of historical knowledge with signifcant forms.”35

In contrast to the first phase, the second phase of Indian studies in Germany (for which we properly reserve the name Indology) was also marked by increasing technicization. Whereas the Romantics had been inspired by pedagogic and philosophical considerations, such considerations were regarded as increasingly redundant by career Indologists. As we have seen, following Hegel’s review of von Humboldt’s Gītā, German scholars increasingly came to see Indian texts as raw matter for their own historical and critical researches. Hence Oldenberg could now declare, “it is the task of the philological researcher to determine these fates [which the Indian texts have undergone], so to speak, the life history [Lebensgeschichte] of the texts.” He also compared Indian texts, “as they have been handed down to us,” with “the paintings of old masters, across which destruction and attempts at restoration, both by legitimate and illegitimate persons, have alternately been at work.Our aim, Oldenberg declared, was to “know, as far as can be recognized, what the painting originally was like.”36 Here was where German scholarship came into its own. Oldenberg writes:

“We may state [with justifcation] that the most ambitious efforts [and] the most important successes in this feld are associated with the names of German researchers. If we [now] add that it could not easily have been otherwise, then this is not hubris; rather, we thereby merely give expression to a state of afairs that is grounded in the evolution of the science [Wissenschaft] itself. It was natural that the earliest impulses for the nascent research on India, the frst attempts to grasp the material that was imposing itself en masse on us and to fnd preliminary forms for it, are owed to Englishmen—men who had spent a good portion of their lives in India and stood in constant contact with the local scholars of Sanskrit there. But it is no less natural that the honors of further advances [and] deeper insights have fallen to the lot of the Germans. Te two areas of science [Wissenschaft], out of which life and strength primarily fowed to researches on India, were and remain essentially German: comparative linguistics [Sprachwissenschaft], which, one can say, was founded by Bopp, and that deepened, powerful science [Wissenschaft] or, just as rightly, art of philology, as it had been practiced by Gottfried Hermann and, alongside him, permeated by the proud spirit of Lessing, Karl Lachmann, full of astute, goal-oriented skill, precise and true [genau und wahrhaftig] in small matters just as much as in big ones.37”

Systematicity, rigor, intensifcation of research, development of autonomous methods, historical reconstruction, and comparative and philological methods—these, then, were the hallmarks of German scholarship on India according to Oldenberg. They were responsible for endowing the study of Sanskrit with its properly scientifc character. These traits, however, were not unique to Indology. They were the defning characteristic of German scholarship tout court and in particular of classical philology, which remained the science against which Indology measured itself. As Oldenberg clarifed, “even if representatives of this philology [that is, of classical philology] . . . should encounter the youthful science [Wissenschaft] of India with reserve or with more than reserve, this changes nothing about the fact that work on Indian texts, investigation into the literary monuments of India, cannot be learnt from any better teacher than those masters, who knew how to improve and to explain the classical texts with an accuracy of method as this world has never seen before.”38 Yet Oldenberg was not simply being ingenious. By the nineteenth century, it was the “new” philology that, above all, had established the reputation of German scholarship. Howard notes that classical philology and its sister discipline, Altertumswissenschaft, became “the German sciences par excellence, and [the] ones with far-reaching ramifcations for scholarship and the university system as a whole.”39 Under the stewardship of Johann Matthias Gesner (1691–1761) and Christian Gottlob Heyne (1729–1812), philological studies came to take pride of pace within the neohumanist canon of the university. It thus comes as no surprise that Oldenberg sought to construe the wissenschaftliche character of Indology along the lines of classical philology. By underscoring the connection between Indology and philology, he hoped to establish the scientifc character of Indology. He argued a direct ancestry for Indology in classical philology in that he traced its genealogy via Friedrich Max Müller (1823–1900) to Moriz Haupt (1808–74) and Gottfried Hermann (1772–1848), the latter two classical philologists at Leipzig. Indology was scientifc, wissenschaftlich, because it had imbibed ideas of methodological rigor and technical precision from philology, from “that . . . great teacher” as Oldenberg called it in his 1909 article.40 Paralleling the development of the study of ancient languages at German universities, which had gone from being ancillary to theological concerns to becoming independent disciplines in their own right,41 Indian studies in the nineteenth century also underwent a similar process of Verselbständigung, rendering themselves independent or autonomous of philosophical, literary, or theological concerns. Well might Oldenberg underscore the wissenschaftliche character of Indology, if all that was thereby implied was that it had traced the evolution of philology. And yet that is only half the story, for we must still ask wherein the scientifc character of Indology as philology lies. The answer will take us in the direction of a general critique of positivist methodology
To be Continued......

RoyG
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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby RoyG » 05 Aug 2017 01:47

SriJoy,

If you can't address critical questions posed to you, how can you expect this debate to go on? We are trying to show you that YOUR current view has its origins in the protestant reformation and german indology.

Please pick up The Nay Science by Vishwa Adluri. It shows how the questions and arguments you are using aren't born out of a true social science but instead come from a series of internal debates that took place within Christianity when it made contact w/ the so called heathen traditions of Asia.

gandharva
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Posts: 2285
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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby gandharva » 05 Aug 2017 04:45

RoyG wrote:SriJoy,

If you can't address critical questions posed to you, how can you expect this debate to go on? We are trying to show you that YOUR current view has its origins in the protestant reformation and german Indology.

Please pick up The Nay Science by Vishwa Adluri. It shows how the questions and arguments you are using aren't born out of a true social science but instead come from a series of internal debates that took place within Christianity when it made contact w/ the so called heathen traditions of Asia.


This whole claim of "Scientific" and "critical" approach to Vedas and other Hindu texts is nothing but deep down a Protestant Christian impulse. One going through Adluri's book will convince himself of that.


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