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

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

Postby shiv » 05 Aug 2017 06:15

SriJoy wrote:Nope, it was an explanation on why we should be skeptical for the whole notion of 'advanced prehistoric peoples' ideology.

The problem I have with this is that these "simple people" views have been expressed by some historians and philologists. But historians and philologists are themselves simple people who cannot know much because the entire work of history or philology represents less than 1% of all the other fields of knowledge put together.

On the other hand medical knowledge represents more than 1% of the knowledge base so medical professionals fall outside the "simple people" category. Therefore I am eminently qualified to refute the claim that the Vedas were created by simple people.

Also a large number or research studies have shown Vedic scholars graded higher than 10th grade in terms of their knowledge, with many having PhDs proving that your assertion about Vedic scholars is wrong.

You need to do more research when you deal with the kind of experts you re attempting to debate with here.

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

Postby shiv » 05 Aug 2017 06:16

The man is a troll and needs to be trolled back or checked by admins if they are kind enough to look at this thread

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

Postby Rudradev » 05 Aug 2017 06:44

The truly damning exposure of SriJoy's abjectly white-worshipping hermeneutics lies not merely in his ignorance of science or his fabrication of history... but in his choice of null hypothesis.

Forget for a moment the flawed, meagre or outright fraudulent standards by which he claims to determine whether any specific piece of evidence is valid. The default state that according to him must be true "in the absence of other evidence" is always, invariably, the subjective opinion of White Jewish or Christian Westerners.

A troll is at least being true to himself at some level. What we have here is a sepoy.

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

Postby Dipanker » 05 Aug 2017 06:57

SriJoy wrote:I support OIT because it makes more objective sense to me.


I am surprised you would say that when the existing level of knowledge, information, and evidence are heavily stacked in favor of AIT/AMT.

Now on some future date the OIT proponents can come up with evidence/proof then the opinion can change but so far I have not seen that coming, and I seriously doubt that is going to happen.

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

Postby shiv » 05 Aug 2017 07:30

Rudradev wrote:The truly damning exposure of SriJoy's abjectly white-worshipping hermeneutics lies not merely in his ignorance of science or his fabrication of history... but in his choice of null hypothesis.

Forget for a moment the flawed, meagre or outright fraudulent standards by which he claims to determine whether any specific piece of evidence is valid. The default state that according to him must be true "in the absence of other evidence" is always, invariably, the subjective opinion of White Jewish or Christian Westerners.

A troll is at least being true to himself at some level. What we have here is a sepoy.


Here's an interesting Tweet I saw today
https://twitter.com/Hiranyareta/status/ ... 3604673536
Gora Indologists and their native Sancho Panzas see Vedic texts as raw material for generating their own "Scientific/Critical" मानसतरंग​s.

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

Postby Prem Kumar » 05 Aug 2017 10:20

SriJoy: I've reported your posts to the Mods because you are derailing this thread. The last several pages have just been your arguments & counter-arguments. Its putting people off, who come to this thread to get valuable information.

Please stop trolling this thread. Take a break.

Shiv & Others: a request. Kindly stop responding to him. Enough has been said.

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

Postby sudarshan » 05 Aug 2017 19:46

Yes, I don't understand this penchant among some people, to have the last word at any cost. Does everybody in the world have to agree with your views all the time? Shiv saar, I think you too share some blame here, when it's so obvious that somebody is a troll, is it necessary to keep engaging them?

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

Postby gandharva » 06 Aug 2017 01:02

gandharva wrote:
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……..


To be Continued......



STEPS TOWARD A POSITIVIST PHILOLOGY

Oldenberg further deepened the comparison between Indology and classical philology in later writings. As he expressed it in a 1909 address to a congress of German philologists, it was not just the “existence of material relationships” between the cultures of Greek, Roman, or Christian antiquity on the one hand, and Indian antiquity on the other, that legitimated the comparison between the two. Rather, it was the fact that “from a purely formal perspective, methodologically, the tasks that the Indologist has to solve are in every way comparable to those of the classical philologists, albeit, in other respects, not identical at all.”42 Here he distinguished between two aspects: (1) the object and aims of the science; and (2) the method of treating the field. As regards the first, he argued that “for both sciences the task is to summon up the existence of past civilizations [Volkstums] from their grave, to reinvigorate their manifestation, to understand the causal processes at work in them. The doorway here, as there [in classical philology], is language, grammar, and the lexicon. . . .Then the same holds for the Indologist as for the classical philologist, to hew a trail through monstrous masses of literature, to cleanse the texts, to put the old and the new, as much as possible, in their place.” Indology specifcally was faced with the task of a “reconstruction” of “the history of India.”43 Oldenberg, however, conceded that expectations had to be set “especially low” concerning the possibility of a comprehensive and coherent account of the history of India.44 In its place, he advocated specialized investigations focusing on “the religious essence of India in its evolution, law, [and] the plastic arts.” Political, economic, or social history remained beyond the ambit of Indology. Instead, Oldenberg argued a narrower claim. Indology was to research “all areas of spiritual activity out of the texts and monuments, just as the classical study of antiquity [klassische Altertumswissenschaft] does it in its own feld with such great success.”

This narrowing of focus to what might be called the spiritual history of India (as compared to its material history) was conditioned partly by what Oldenberg called the “existential conditions” under which German scholars operated.46 As he noted, “On the one side stood those who work in India locally and on site [an Ort und Stelle], obviously mostly Englishmen, alongside them anglicized Indians: there are administrators, jurists, military ofcers, practical school-teachers, as a whole not Indologists according to the German mould [nach deutschem Zuschnitt].”47 These workers came in for high praise: Oldenberg noted that they had collected manuscripts, inscriptions, works of art, and ethnological and folkloric material. Yet, this work was only preparatory to truly critical scholarship and the latter was done (or was to be done) by German academics. Oldenberg comments: “There are fruits in Indology that only the purposeful [zielbewußt] philological and historical method is capable of picking. To these fruits the hands of the workers, of whom I have spoken, do not always reach.” He continues: “Now the others: we philologists, in particular, the German philologists. Many of us have not seen India at all; for obvious reasons we cannot come so easily to Benares as one comes to Rome or Athens. Thus, we are all too exposed to the danger that something of the ultimate vitality of life is missing from the pictures that appear to us, that what we take to be the cloud trails of the Indian sky are ultimately only the vapors of our own study-rooms.”48 Nonetheless, Oldenberg argued that there was “rich compensation” for these shortcomings:

“If we may not feel ourselves immediately certain of [possessing] a feeling for the Indian present, we nonetheless see with greater acuity in the distance of Indian antiquity, that is, in the period that is important, above all, to us. . . . We know the Hindu less well than our [British] colleagues, who live in his land and breathe his air. But to us, I declare, the opportunity has been given to know the Aryan of ancient India better than these [our colleagues].49”


It is with respect to this task that Oldenberg considered classical philology to be the science par excellence upon which Indology had to model itself. He concluded:

“Here I have reached the point at which I was aiming. My task is to speak of the relationship of our science [Wissenschaft] to classical philology. Now if we trust ourselves to be able to look back into those ancient horizons, without constantly going astray in their murky depths, then we owe this above all to that philology, the great teacher, from whom we learn to work as philologists!” 50

What made classical philology the paradigmatic science for Oldenberg? Although German successes in classical philology might have partly fuelled these—admittedly somewhat hyperbolic—claims, there is good reason to look more closely at his reasons. Partly hyperbolic as they were, his claims nonetheless expose deep shared commitments (with philology) to certain principles of scholarship.
First and foremost, there were the technical aspects of the discipline. Here Oldenberg argued that there can be “absolutely nothing humiliating for us [i.e., for the Indologists] [to learn from philology] for this is simply a self-evident state of afairs.”51 As he clarifed,

“Our science [Wissenschaft] is still too young, still too little established for us to be able to learn and to teach the techniques of the philological art in our own feld of work in their complete conformity to law [Gesetzmäßigkeit] and detail. All the experiences, through whose conscious mastery tentative refection is transformed into a skilled technique of research—we could not possibly have had them ourselves in the necessary richness and determinacy; hence, we must take them over from those who have had these experiences before us. We must observe the possessors of such experiences at work: where can this occur better than in the workshops of Lachmann or Mommsen?52”

Second, there were the concrete methodological steps to be learned from the philologists. Oldenberg argued that

“the art of inquiry that also applies to the Indologist is practiced here [that is, in the workshops of Lachmann and Mommsen]; it is here that he [the Indologist] learns to recognize the seams in the form of what has evolved historically [Gestalt des Gewordenen], through which research penetrates to the processes of becoming [Vorgängen des Werdens] lying behind it [i.e., behind the outward form]; he learns with a confdent hand to collect all the firm points and to forget none of them for each and every problem, setting out from which [points] the state of the unknown points, which we are in search of, can be determined. Are there Indologists in training among those whom I address? I do not know of any more suitable advice to give them than to take classes with the teachers of classical philology. They should not slavishly imitate them, but they should learn to apply in other felds and to other conditions what manifests in terms of universal norms in the works of these [teachers] in the most vivid form.53”

Third, there were the aims of scholarship, which once again were explicitly borrowed from philology. As Oldenberg exemplifed vis-à-vis the Ṛgveda, Indologists had adapted and further developed the tools of philology for their own needs. The kinds of questions they had raised concerning the text, too, echoed the specifc origin of their concepts and methods in philology.

“The textual transmission of the Ṛgveda, already quite firmly established in very ancient times; seemingly in many of the most minute details of an admirable faithfulness: does it nonetheless permit, and if so to what extent, free reign to the conjecture that strives beyond the old state back to the original state [of the text]? [And, further,] the explanation of the Ṛgvedic text that is laid down in imposing works handed down by the old Indian scholars; does our exegesis have to demonstrate respect before this Indian knowledge [Inderwissen] or must it on its own responsibility hew open its own paths?54”

Oldenberg also emphasized the critical potential of philology, in both correcting the transmission and in offering an alternative access to the text than the commentarial tradition:

“Whoever stands closer to my subject knows how diametrically opposed the views are. What I consider to be correct, I will indicate. . . . It can only appear correct to me to examine the text without all the literal faith in words [Buchstabenglauben] in the traditional text with the methods of classical philology, as precisely as we are able to examine this: then we learn, I declare, to recognize that the exemplary transmission is nonetheless not infallible and in some places we learn to improve it. And similarly I can only consider it correct to once again examine the traditional explanation of the Ṛgveda with the methods of classical philology: we then learn to see through it as completely untenable and in many, I hope in the most places, we learn to find better [explanations].55 “

Although the parallels between Oldenberg’s views and Roth’s views (discussed earlier in chapter 4) of tradition are striking, we ought not overlook the fact that the new philology, especially as it developed in the hands of scholars such as Heyne and Wolf, was equally skeptical of tradition.56 Oldenberg could therefore claim to be well in the mainstream of philological ideas. The new philology, with its critical methods, emphasis on a return to the sources of tradition, disdain for commentarial glosses or interpolations, and preference for literal and historical readings, held out the promise of revolutionizing the understanding of the Veda. It not only ofered to build incrementally on existing readings; it was a completely new approach, rooted in completely diferent expectations and in a completely diferent understanding of texts. Further, its aims were antithetical to those of the tradition: whereas tradition considered the Veda to be a revelation and a source of infallible knowledge concerning supersensible reality, philology would regard it as a human and historical testament. As Barbara Holdredge notes in her comparison of the Veda and the Torah, the very purpose of studying scripture underwent a sea change.57 If the Indologist could not see the antimetaphysical biases of his approach, it was because the new philology implicitly underwrote his antitraditional, antiauthoritarian refex. Indeed, Oldenberg did not think there was a signifcant diference between the critical stance espoused by philology and the criticisms of tradition advanced by Indology. As he expressed it, “the technique of interpretation” was “in both felds [i.e., Indology and philology]” “partly identical and partly closely related.” “For the scholar of the Veda, who is tempted to translate faithfully according to the Indian commentators, the contact with classical philology is like contact with fresh air. The future of Veda interpretation, this is my conviction, depends not insignifcantly upon whether we succeed in dispelling the airs of the commentators’ knowledge by such a fresh breath of air.”58

In a nutshell, then, the positivist philology advocated by Oldenberg as the foundation for Indology had the following features:

1. It drew on established methodological canons, made available to it by classical philology.

2. Under the infuence of what Sheehan has termed the “documentary impulse” it studied Indian texts as physical, historical, and cultural artifacts, but not, at any event, as literary works.

3. It focused on texts not as they functioned within the life of the community, but as reconstituted by the scholar.

4. It replaced commentary by criticism, where the salient feature of this criticism would be, as Schleiermacher has it, its suspicion.59

5. It privileged historical investigations, though, conditioned by the fact that German scholars lacked firsthand access to India, these investigations would not take the form of positive historical research, but of identifying the historical processes at work in the evolution of Indian texts.

6 . Finally, there was the claim to being Wissenschaft, legitimated not only in terms of specifc methodological precepts, but also in terms of a powerful rhetoric of scientifcity

Although presented as making contributions to a positivist, historicist philology, there were signifcant problems with Oldenberg’s conception of Indology. Oldenberg might recall the names of Gottfried Hermann and Karl Lachmann, but the German Indologists’ knowledge of philology remained tenuous at best. They neither had the secure grasp of language demanded by Hermann nor the secure grasp of critical edition demanded by Lachmann. Their reconstructions of various Ur-texts of the Mahābhārata and Bhagavadgītā (studied in the preceding chapters) were evidence that they had not grasped the basic principles of textual criticism. For the most part, their philology could be summed up as what Heyne once described as “the vanity of wanting to seem brilliant through emendations.”60 Further, their penchant for studying the Veda from a documentary perspective needs to be seen in its historical context. Although Indologists did introduce new modes of contemplation, those modes in the final analysis are also not free from suspicion. It is perhaps true that thetradition did not develop historical modes of contemplation (or, at least, not to the same extent and in the same way as modern scholarship). As Oldenberg exclaimed, “historical development tends to be more weakly, more nebulously formed in India than in the West. And it lies in a transmission before us that does everything [possible] in order to obscure its image completely: this transmission without firm dates, which often confuses old and new to a seemingly hopeless extent, which continuously presents us with illusions with the pretentious [anspruchsvoll] wisdom of its masses of commentaries that only owe their existence to the sophistry of the scholastics in place of genuine thoughts and institutions.”61 Oldenberg also wrote that, “the more we . . . know of the history of India,” the more it appeared “as an incoherent rise and fall of accidental events.” “These events lack a secure hold and the meaningful sense such as that the power of a national spirit [Volksgeistes] that wills and transforms its will into deeds lends history [Geschehen].” “Only in the history of ideas, above all of religious thought,” do we fnd “firm ground.” “One may hardly speak of history in another sense here . . . [and] a people that has no history, naturally has even less of historiography.”62

These claims of a defcient historical consciousness among Indians were, doubtless, at least partly rhetorical. By highlighting the historicist dimensions of their research, Western Orientalists could make a powerful case for their own profession. Yet, what emerged at the end of this process of divestment of the text of its traditional social contexts and meanings was not a text emptied of all religious authority, but one whose authority had, to use Sheehan’s terms, been reconstructed and recuperated elsewhere: in the academies of Western scholars

Sheehan demonstrates in painstaking detail how changes in attitudes to the Bible in the eighteenth century led to the development of “nonliterary techniques . . . for evaluating documents.”63 Once the Bible lost its source of legitimation in a single, unifed church, scholars began to undertake the “recuperation of a text whose authenticity and authority could no longer be guaranteed by . . . theology.”64 In this project, scholars turned to various domains and disciplines, especially philology. The Bible came to be seen as a document rather than as a carrier of theological truths. As Sheehan describes the process, the “idea of the textual unconscious was key to the documentary impulse. By divorcing the physical features of the manuscript from its literary content, and by using these physical features to historicize the manuscript, both Maubillon and Montfaucon successfully removed the question of literary content from the domain of serious scholarship.”65 Yet, while these methodological innovations were essential to the discovery of the academic Bible, they were also conditioned by this discovery, indeed, made possible and necessary by it. The cultural Bible became the legitimation for a positivist philology that was, in turn, tasked with the investigation of this very text qua cultural artifact. “As a tool for teaching, a subject of scholarly research, and a disseminated document, the authority and authenticity of the Bible were guaranteed—in these domains—by the exercise of philological scholarship.”66 Hence, for Sheehan, the central problem for a study of the Enlightenment Bible (and its attendant methods) cannot, following a popular narrative, be that of an overcoming and an emancipation of religious authority, but its “reconstruction and recuperation.”67

Western scholarship on Indian scriptural literature would trace a similar trajectory, first projecting and then deconstructing the category of scripture. The radically reconstituted texts that emerged at the end of this process were mere simulacra of their originals. Legaspi has elegantly defned “scripture” as a text that “functions in an authoritative and obligatory way within the context of a community shaped by a coherent economy of meaning.”68 If we accept his defnition, we can see why the Orientalists’ attempt at projecting an autonomous study of Indian texts was destined to fail. On the one hand, the Orientalists claimed justifcation for their work in the fact that they were ofering a nonconfessional take on Indian texts. On the other, the texts studied by them had lost all reference to their originating communities. They were no longer the texts they had originally been. The “knowledge” the Orientalists attained in this process was thus pertinent only for them, premised on objects that existed only for them. Yet, before we set aside the work of the Indologists, it is useful and illuminating to consider exactly what kind of knowledge it was that was attained in Indology and what the epistemic foundations of this knowledge were. These questions will lead us ineluctably into a wider question concerning the understanding of scientifc method in the nineteenth century.

To be Continued....

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

Postby A_Gupta » 06 Aug 2017 03:26

"It focused on texts not as they functioned within the life of the community, but as reconstituted by the scholar."

IMO, a text really takes on meaning from the way it functions in the life of the community.

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

Postby A_Gupta » 06 Aug 2017 04:35

Help - everyone quotes stuff like this: "Yajnavalkya for beef who said: “I for one eat it, provided it is tender (amsala)", but I've never seen a citation for this, from where exactly it comes. Anyone? Thanks in advance! Not trying to push or create a controversy here, just asking help with finding the source of a common quote.

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

Postby gandharva » 06 Aug 2017 05:43

A_Gupta wrote:"It focused on texts not as they functioned within the life of the community, but as reconstituted by the scholar."

IMO, a text really takes on meaning from the way it functions in the life of the community.


Present meaning of the text as it exists in community is conisdered distotion per fundamental assumpations of philology/Indology and it's not given any consideration per method requirements of Indology. Fiction of Ur-text is very fundamental to philology/Indology owing to its protestant origins. Identification of (at least) two distinct poles( original purer version of the text at the time of Aryan arrival and later distorted version by Brahmmins) in the text is one of the basic assumptions of the medthod used by Indologists.

Let me quote Adluri again(in italics below) on this point. This helps us understand where Wendys and Pollocks come from and why they do what they do. Last para of the quote exposes the reality of Pollock's so called post orientalism Indology.

"The fiction of an Ur-text, lying hidden behind or beneath the text as it was known in India and awaiting the tools of Western critical scholarship for its excavation and proper understanding, made it possible for scholars to ignore the Indian reception of the text entirely. Instead, they could now embark on the search for an epic that only existed for them, an epic postulated by them."

Founding father of modern Indology Oldenburg.

“ ..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.”

So, all the existing commentaries (say by Adi Sankara, Ramanuja etc) and understanding by Hindus is rejected at the outset as distorted version of the Ur-text version in any Indological endeavour.


"Since its origins German Gītā scholarship had been a theological undertaking answering to theological needs (the pantheism controversy, criticisms of the priesthood,rejection of salvation through works, historicization of faith, the attempt to refound religion on a personal experience of the divine, the search for primordial Germanic religion). Yet when scholars in the mid-twentieth century cast about for a method to continue research into the Gītā, they once again took up the pseudocritical method of the German scholars. Although Indologists from Holtzmann to Hauer had used the method as a means of critiquing Brahmanism, these theological origins of the method were not immediately apparent to most. Indeed, German scholars had so completely laid hold of the title of universal, objective, secular scholarship, it seemed inconceivable to international scholars to pursue scholarship on Indian texts in anything other than a German key.

By the mid-twentieth century, the historical-critical method had become normative not only in Germany (where it received a fresh impetus due to the evangelism of Paul Hacker554), but also in the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. Even a subsection of Indian scholars adopted it in the meanwhile, leading to the impression that it was the method of critical scholarship tout court. Yet, from the questions asked (historical rather than philosophical-soteriological), to the methods applied (deconstructive rather than integrative or exegetic), and to the attitudes embodied (antitraditional, anticlerical), at every turn this method revealed its origins in Protestant theology

One of the most striking consequences of this institutionalization of Protestant theology in Indology was the fact that those scholars who did not share the concerns of the Indologists, who rejected their solefdeanism and insisted on the exegetic tradition as the best guide to understanding these texts, now appeared as religious zealots. In order to be taken seriously as scholars, they would now have to deny their own tradition, inculcating instead the values or concerns of the German critics. There could be no more striking illustration of Levenson’s principle, “The academy must refuse everything to scholars as faithful members of religious communities, but it must give them everything as individuals; they must become critics.”555

A further consequence of this institutionalization was that the method, which had been created for certain reasons, now became autonomous. Within Indology, the method had run on two principles: the first was fundamentalism; the second, anti-Brahmanism. Thus, for authors from Holtzmann to Hauer, it was necessary to show the existence of “hidden texts” lying beneath or behind the texts of the tradition, i.e, texts that had existed in a pure state prior to their corruption and defacement at the hands of the Brahmans. Indology essentially ran on this “hidden text” principle. But by the mid-twentieth century, this assumption had become so well established within scholarship that it was no longer even necessary to defend the use of these alleged originals. Whereas Holtzmann and his successors had still needed to create complex narratives explaining why the pure texts postulated by them were no longer available—explanations that always required a recourse to the principle of Brahmanic corruption—by the mid-twentieth century scholars could simply begin working with one or more of these alleged originals without needing to justify this decision.

This is not to say that anti-Brahmanism disappeared from Indology; it merely went underground. Anti-Brahmanism, as we have seen, was a structural principle of Indology. Because Indologists had essentially defned their public mission in terms of an opposition to Brahmanism, that is, as liberators or educators of the Indian mind from its dependence on the Brahmans, they could not make a case for themselves absent this contrast.556 Thus, even as anti-Brahmanism became more firmly entrenched in Indology, it actually began to disappear from sight—the ultimate triumph of the ideology of critique. Thus, by the mid-twentieth century, we find Indology going through a process of professionalization. In place of the long narratives of Brahmanic malfeasance, the exuberant prose, the popular tone, we fnd a more sober positivist philology. Te prejudices are by no means lost: they are merely concealed within a more technical and more impenetrable style. (In fact, it would be interesting to speculate that this deliberatly complex, condensed style, so rich in abbreviations and technical symbols, was evolved precisely to make their work less accessible to public scrutiny, thus preserving its racial, antidemocratic biases.) Few “reconstructions” in the history of German Gītā scholarship demonstrate this as clearly as the “Brahmanic Gītā” of Simson."

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

Postby shiv » 06 Aug 2017 08:17

sudarshan wrote:Yes, I don't understand this penchant among some people, to have the last word at any cost. Does everybody in the world have to agree with your views all the time? Shiv saar, I think you too share some blame here, when it's so obvious that somebody is a troll, is it necessary to keep engaging them?

:D If it comes to "blame" I take 50% of that for engaging SriJoy

But let me state my case - knowing that most others had stopped responding to him (or her) for the reasons you state. In fact there were two requests from Primus and AGupta to stop engaging him. Trolls, if provoked usually err enough to earn themselves a ban. SriJoy was too smart for that. What was more fascinating was that he knew some stuff - he was regurgitating the usual AIT sources, but he was uninterested in debate. His rebuttals were trolling par excellence. I have read papers by Witzel and David Anthony's book and find that those people use the same style that SriJoy used. That is to quote "Proven or empirical scientific observation" to say something, build up on that with a bluff or two but lace rebuttals with obfuscation, while stating reasons why the rebuttal is wrong because of the mental state of the person making the rebuttal. There is one paper by Witzel in which he actually accuses an Indian researcher of wanting to attend conferences in the west causing him to make the claims he makes. Time and again Srijoy insisted that people were jealous of the west or that they were motivated by religion to oppose what he said. This was plainly not true but it shows the sort of resistance that is put up to anyone crossing the path of the "Established western viewpoint"

Later this year it appears that I might be attending a meeting of desi Indologists where I get to say a few words. Srijoy's engagement gave me an insight into the types of rhetorical arguments that people make if they do not want to accept another viewpoint, so it served as a lesson for me even if others suffered. sorry about that

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

Postby Dipanker » 06 Aug 2017 08:45

A_Gupta wrote:Help - everyone quotes stuff like this: "Yajnavalkya for beef who said: “I for one eat it, provided it is tender (amsala)", but I've never seen a citation for this, from where exactly it comes. Anyone? Thanks in advance! Not trying to push or create a controversy here, just asking help with finding the source of a common quote.


Google says it's from Satapatha Brahmana.

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

Postby shiv » 06 Aug 2017 09:10

I have a Roman text only copy of Shatapatha Brahmana and a string search for "amsala" throws up nothing. But what I have is incomplete

The quote
Yajnavalkya for beef who said: “I for one eat it, provided it is tender (amsala)
is the same one that ppears in a lot of refs suggesting that everyone has copied one original

I know that devnagri versions of Satapathat Brahmana exist online. will look But I think it is unlikely that any such thing was said.

As far as I can recall the Shatapatha Brahmana is simply extracts from the Rig Veda used for ritual purposes. If it is there in the Brahmama in should be there in the Veda.

That aside many authors point out that literal translations of the Vedas are wrong because the word meanings have mostly been forgotten and can be retrieved only via ancient authors such as Yaska. Need to remember that the Vedas are also not a chronicle or a story.

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

Postby gandharva » 06 Aug 2017 10:10

A_Gupta wrote:Help - everyone quotes stuff like this: "Yajnavalkya for beef who said: “I for one eat it, provided it is tender (amsala)", but I've never seen a citation for this, from where exactly it comes. Anyone? Thanks in advance! Not trying to push or create a controversy here, just asking help with finding the source of a common quote.


Image

Image

Image

Source: "Review Of Beef In Ancient India" by Jaidayal Dalmia, pp 212

https://archive.org/details/Review_of_B ... yal_Dalmia

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

Postby Pulikeshi » 06 Aug 2017 10:15

A_Gupta wrote:Help - everyone quotes stuff like this: "Yajnavalkya for beef who said: “I for one eat it, provided it is tender (amsala)", but I've never seen a citation for this, from where exactly it comes. Anyone? Thanks in advance! Not trying to push or create a controversy here, just asking help with finding the source of a common quote.


Saar - this topic will derail this thread even more... if you or the admins want a beef thread in the burqa, happy to give you references...
There is a long and glorious history of beef (male adult and calf), barren cows and buffalo consumption since Vedic times...
PS: The change in food habits was perhaps the start of the rift between the varna/jati folks... see people who eat similar food, congregate!

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

Postby shiv » 06 Aug 2017 11:02

Let me ask a rhetorical but serious question which I have also posed as a Tweet
https://twitter.com/bennedose/status/894067499246829569
If Vedas, as per Upanishads give Hindus the central core of spirituality, but western translations of Vedas sound like trash, who is right?

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

Postby shiv » 06 Aug 2017 11:28

As Aurobindo and Vidyarthi point out, the Vedas have two layers of meaning: One unrefined, one sublime

Western Indologists and philologists (sitting in Germany) got only the crass interpretation

https://youtu.be/ik9-GJ6a594

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

Postby Gyan » 06 Aug 2017 18:26

Beef explanation sounds right, as in lot of fasts kept by my mother, milk & fruits are allowed.

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

Postby Nilesh Oak » 06 Aug 2017 19:40

This is a question for Rudradev ji and other Genetics experts...

(We can take this offline.. my email .. first name last name at googlewala dot com)

Please see the figures to Karmin 2015 paper. I am curious how are they drawing these figures (Ne - female gene diversity, Male gene diversity vs. Time ) based on current gene data (Figure S4A and also S4B)

Specifically what is in the data that is allowing them to simulate the dips in male genetic diversity (Ne) during 8-4 KYA, for specific regions of the world (e.g. India/south asia.. most distinct and long duration before its recovery) and their absence in Siberia, Andes, or quick dip and fast recovery for Europe...etc.

Appreciate your help.

http://genome.cshlp.org/content/suppl/2 ... 84.114.DC1

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

Postby shiv » 06 Aug 2017 19:51

William Jones said:
https://ia801409.us.archive.org/26/item ... g_djvu.txt
Thus has it been proved by clear evidence and
plain reasoning, that a powerful monarchy was es-
tablished in Iran long before the Assyrian or Pish-
dadi government: that it was in. truth a Hindu mo-
narchy, though if any choose to call it Cusian, Cas-
dean, or Scythian, we shall not enter into a debate
on mere names ; that it subsisted many centuries^
and that its history has been engrafted on that of the
Hindus, who founded the monarchies of Ayodhya
and Indraprestha : that the language of the first
Persian empire was the mother of the Sanscrit, and
consequently of the Zend and Parsi, as well as of
Greek, Latin, and Grothic; that the language of the
Assyrians was the parent of Chaldaic and Pahlavi,

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

Postby shiv » 06 Aug 2017 20:07

https://hiphilangsci.net/2013/07/24/ret ... -paradigm/
‘Aryan’ (in German Arier, arisch; French aryen) is understood today as an ideologically loaded synonym for ‘white’. It is irrevocably associated with racial bigotry, white supremacism, and, above all, with anti-Semitism and Nazism. In 1907 the Aryans were hailed as ‘the most masterful, the most enduring in race vitality’ (Widney 1907, II: 352), and one could fill many volumes with similar quotations. Racist fringe organizations such as Aryan Nations and the Aryan Brotherhood testify to the continuing potency of the label.


Bryant notes that (Max) Müller made an unpopular defence of a profound form of kinship between Indians and their British rulers: ‘They would not have it, they would not believe that there could be any community of origin between the people of Athens and Rome, and the so-called Niggers of India’ (Müller 1883: 28, Bryant 2001: 22). Yet Müller is then seen as retracting this view of the common lineage or blood of the ‘English soldier’ and the ‘dark Bengali’: ‘Needless to say, his retraction went largely unnoticed, and the history books recorded the earlier Max Müller who, for a quarter of a century, had contributed to the idea of a common racial Aryan ancestry based on a common Aryan tongue’ (Bryant 2001: 33).

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

Postby A_Gupta » 06 Aug 2017 22:08

gandharva wrote:
Source: "Review Of Beef In Ancient India" by Jaidayal Dalmia, pp 212

https://archive.org/details/Review_of_B ... yal_Dalmia


Thanks much!

Folks, there is no need to derail this thread. Citation requested, citation received. It is the Shatapatha Brahmana 3.1.2.21 and the source of the translation is Keith and McDonnell. Without knowing any Sanskrit and without knowing even that it is from the Shatapatha Brahmana, I was dubious about the parroted claim because while the papers on beef-eating in ancient India all provide citations for a number of other statements, this one neither the source nor the translator seems to be mentioned. I may be mistaken, but it seems to me that the people using this Keith & McDonnell translation are either ignorant or aware that their interpretation can be readily challenged, and so they use it for rhetorical effect.

Whichever way it is, now the issue can be studied further.

As far as I'm concerned, the matter is over with, many thanks again.

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

Postby A_Gupta » 06 Aug 2017 22:13

shiv wrote:Let me ask a rhetorical but serious question which I have also posed as a Tweet
https://twitter.com/bennedose/status/894067499246829569
If Vedas, as per Upanishads give Hindus the central core of spirituality, but western translations of Vedas sound like trash, who is right?


Translations are notoriously poor in conveying even metaphors unless the source and target languages have very similar metaphors.
There is the joke about machine translation, that the English "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak" getting translated in Russian to the equivalent of "the vodka is good but the meat is rotten". It takes a rare and uncommon degree of felicity in both languages and cultures to translate a philosophically dense work from one language & culture to another language & culture without mangling it.

Even the Hebrew Bible or Aramaic newer testaments suffer from similar issues when converted to English.

PS: Shiv, on the perils of translation - this in modern times of modern works.
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2005/ ... ation-wars

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

Postby gandharva » 06 Aug 2017 23:33

A_Gupta wrote:
shiv wrote:Let me ask a rhetorical but serious question which I have also posed as a Tweet
https://twitter.com/bennedose/status/894067499246829569


Translations are notoriously poor in conveying even metaphors unless the source and target languages have very similar metaphors.
There is the joke about machine translation, that the English "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak" getting translated in Russian to the equivalent of "the vodka is good but the meat is rotten". It takes a rare and uncommon degree of felicity in both languages and cultures to translate a philosophically dense work from one language & culture to another language & culture without mangling it.

Even the Hebrew Bible or Aramaic newer testaments suffer from similar issues when converted to English.

PS: Shiv, on the perils of translation - this in modern times of modern works.
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2005/ ... ation-wars


Suppose even if there existed accurate faithful translation, Indologist discourse wouldn't have been any different. Real problem isn't translation but Protestant theology masqurading as universal, objective, secular scholarship.

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

Postby shiv » 07 Aug 2017 06:56

gandharva wrote:
Suppose even if there existed accurate faithful translation, Indologist discourse wouldn't have been any different. Real problem isn't translation but Protestant theology masqurading as universal, objective, secular scholarship.

No question about this and thanks for the series of informative posts. But there is also a need to reconvert colonized minds who jump to the translations and then start thinking like the translators did without allowing space for what could be without those translations.

I am fascinated to see nowadays "new stories" coming up where AIT is rejected by but this entire "Aryan" and "language" stuff - some of which has been cooked up is somehow "adjusted and accommodated" into a new tale. The reaction against AIT is leading to interesting and unexpected lines of thought

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

Postby gandharva » 08 Aug 2017 07:57

Adluri on Pollock's Critical Philology.

"Nineteenth-century German Indology casts a long and problematic shadow over the contemporary study of Indian texts. The German Indologists have yet to respond to Nietzsche’s challenge to philology’s episteme or to Foucault’s exposure of its collusion with power or to Said’s critique of Eurocentrism. The commonest response to Said has been to shrug off his allegations by pointing to an obvious lacuna in his argument: Germany’s lack of colonial possessions (see Gaeffke 1994, Marchand 2009, and Rabault-Feuerhahn 2013). The German Indologists themselves have brushed off post-orientalist criticisms as “meta-theorizing” (Hanneder 2001, 239) or “discourse strategy” (Grünendahl 2009–2010, 23–24). Even Sheldon Pollock, who acknowledges Indology’s enmeshment in Nazism (see Pollock 1993), fails to see that Nazism itself was merely an effect of the logic of othering enshrined in the method itself. His analysis overlooks the theological nature of the philological method of yesterday and the Christian framework of secularism today. Pollock’s work thus remains entrenched in the historicist, secularist, and positivistic rhetoric of the nineteenth century. Indeed, following philology’s “presentist [sic]” rehabilitation, the philologist reemerges as the high priest of a newly constituting “temple of disciplinarity” (Pollock 2015, 23).

Pollock’s proposed “critical philology,” which is supposed to address the problems with traditional Indology, is similarly problematic. Pollock advocates critical philology as a response to Edward Said’s Orientalism Allegedly, it enables us to “return to philology” following Said’s insight that the orientalist disciplines functioned primarily to create a discourse about the “other” (see Pollock 2009, 946–47, 959–61). But Pollock’s analysis overlooks the fact that a critical philology must primarily study the methods and axioms of philology as they developed in their European and, more specifically, German context. A critical philology is only possible as a self  -critical philology. It must trace its genealogy back to academic structures that owe their existence to nineteenth-century European thought. Pollock identifies the origins of philology with F. A. Wolf and cites names like Schlegel, Heyne, and Boeckh. He describes himself as a “secular Rankean philologist” (2014, 407; 2016, 23). But he does not critically evaluate the hagiography and historicist positivism at philology’s heart. In a perversion of Said, he transfers (to use a Saidian idiom) Said’s analysis to the Orient.  Among Sanskrit’s new found functions in the “Sanskrit cosmopolis,” Pollock now discovers its potential for othering and its imbrication with power. With this move—we shall call it “disorientalism”—he effectively neuters Said’s criticism. Rather than subject his own work or his own discipline to analysis and question its political collusions or its privilege, the philologist constitutes himself yet again    as an overseer of the natives.  Pollock’s “disorientalism” thus works to inoculate the academic community, its Eurocentric past-century pretensions and its institutional hegemony, against Said’s critique. It is no accident that Pollock never fulfilled the tentative claims and promised research raised in “Deep Orientalism?"

Theses on Indology, Vishwa Adluri and Joydeep Bagchee
http://www.academia.edu/30584186/Theses_on_Indology

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

Postby shiv » 08 Aug 2017 08:57

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

Postby sudarshan » 08 Aug 2017 09:00

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

Postby RoyG » 08 Aug 2017 09:08

CK Raju has proved that hellenists were beefed up by historians. In particular, their contributions to mathematics and science. Don't believe me? - Try doing longer arithmetic and advanced mathematics w/ ancient greek numerals. Much of their advancements came from Egypt.

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

Postby gandharva » 11 Aug 2017 05:58

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

Postby gandharva » 11 Aug 2017 05:59

gandharva wrote:
STEPS TOWARD A POSITIVIST PHILOLOGY

Oldenberg further deepened the comparison between Indology and classical philology in later writings. As he expressed it in a 1909 address to a congress of German philologists, it was not just the “existence of material relationships” between the cultures of Greek, Roman, or Christian antiquity on the one hand, and Indian antiquity on the other, that legitimated the comparison between the two.

To be Continued....



CONSTRUING THE (NATURAL) SCIENTIFIC CHARACTER OF PHILOLOGY

Oldenberg in his essay pursued two aims. Te first was to legitimate the claims of his discipline to being a form of knowledge, Wissenschaft, alongside and on par with classical philology. The second was to ground the claim to being scientifc, wissenschaftlich, in an ideal of method. We shall distinguish between these two as the claim to science (or Wissenschaftsanspruch) and the claim to scientifcity (or Wissenschaftlichkeitsanspruch).The former refers to the social and pragmatic aspects of the acceptance and integration of Indology into the university canon; the latter refers to the epistemic aspects of how the university canon in general was understood such that Indology could claim to belong to it. The former aspect has been studied in great detail elsewhere, among others by McGetchin, Sengupta, and Rabault-Feuerhahn, and we shall therefore not pursue it further here. Rather, we shall focus on the second aspect, attempting what might be called a Wissenschaftlichkeitsgeschichte rather than a Wissenschaftsgeschichte of Indology here. The question we shall pursue is: on what understanding of science can Indology claim to be Wissenschaft?

The search for an answer to this question takes us back to the problem of method in what have been called the human sciences, the so-called Geisteswissenchaften.69 Although Oldenberg did not explicitly clarify wherein the scientifc character of philology lay, it is not hard to trace the roots of his understanding of science. The supposedly scientifc character of his philology was, in essence, undewritten by three implicit claims: (1) its positivism; (2) its historicism; and (3) its empiricism. The insistence on the positive character of philology was not surprising, given the history of effect of the positivism of Auguste Comte, which largely shaped nineteenth-century attitudes and ideas of science. Positivism was the reigning intellectual current of the nineteenth century. Emerging originally as a theory of experience, Comtean positivism infuenced the felds of economics, politics, and even engendered the feld of scientifc sociology. Besides J. S. Mill, many leading intellectuals at the time made common cause with positivism. “Alexander Bain, John Morley, George Henry Lewes, George Eliot and Harriet Martineau were partial adherents of Comte’s positivist system; others (e.g. Matthew Arnold, Henry Sidgwick and Leslie Stephan) read Comte— often surprisingly sympathetically—because, given their particular moral concerns, he was a force to be reckoned with. From the mid-1850s there was an ofcial positivist movement, led by Richard Congreve, and including E. S. Beesly, J. H. Bridges and the prolifc Frederic Harrison.”70 Beyond this list of luminaries, positivism was to have wideranging efects in the three major European powers of the nineteenth century: England, France, and Germany. Even though the form of positivism that fnally established itself in these countries was diferent in each case, nineteenth-century Europe can rightly be regarded as the greatest fowering of positivism at any time in human history.71 Owen Chadwick nicely sums up the lasting infuence of Comte, when he writes: “In the mind of every one of us, even the most devout of us, is tucked away some little secret piece of Comte.”72

Oldenberg’s (re)framing of the scientifc character of philology in terms of positivism can thus be understood in terms of a general but paradigmatic intellectual constellation of the time. Let us see what led him to this understanding of philology.

The story of philology more or less follows the vicissitudes of the human sciences in their complex and problematic distinction from the natural sciences. Thus, in order to understand the identifcation of positivism with science tout court at this moment in European history, we should frst look at how the human sciences, headed by philosophy, split of from the natural sciences, and then at how the human sciences attempted to ground their methods in a torturous relationship with natural sciences: the human sciences were both distinct from the natural sciences and like them. To anticipate, the three ways in which the human sciences attempted to distinguish themselves are: (1) positivism, (2) historical and/or dialectical, and (3) phenomenological-hermeneutic.

In antiquity, there existed no separation between philosophy and science.73 Take, for example, the earliest Greek philosophers, the so-called Presocratics. Teir works, which the later doxographers uniformly titled Peri Phuseōs or “On Nature,” contained both cosmologies and ethical discussions. Plato’s Timaeus likewise contained serious discussions about mathematics, the universe, space, and physiology, alongside a theology that the entire Christian tradition of the Middle Ages found meaningful. Aristotle is even more explicitly an illustration of the unifed intellectual enterprise whereby philosophy works hand in hand with scientifc enquiry. Not only does he lecture on physics, politics, biology, the soul, God, and friendship but he also clarifes the common metaphysical grounding of all these subjects, which he articulates in his study of the frst principles or the archai.

In sharp contrast to this approach, modernity defnes itself by rapidly setting apart philosophy (and its branches, anachronistically called the “human sciences”) and the natural sciences. Indeed, we could even make an argument for seeing the preliminary gesture for this division in the philosophy of St. Tomas Aquinas, who distinguished between lumen naturale and lumen revelans or “the light of natural reason” and “the light of revelation.” Te four-faculty structure of the medieval university, encompassing, besides law and medicine, the theological faculty and the philosophical faculty (or what we today might call “arts and sciences”) can at least partly be traced back to the infuence of this division. Te philosophical faculty (which taught subjects such as arithmetic, geometry, logic, grammar, and rhetoric) was explicitly considered a lower (i.e., preparatory) faculty. One could further speculate, with much convincing evidence, that this distinction itself is theological in its innermost nature: Christian belief begins by separating belief and reason, assigning theology to the former. This precarious relationship between the sciences and philosophy is clear in the case of Descartes in the seventeenth century. Descartes is both a scientist and philosopher; he is quite at home in theorizing about optics, geometry, and the circulatory system of blood. And yet, in his Meditations, God is introduced to guarantee the reality of the perceived world. This is also the case in Leibniz; his Monadology does double duty as both a sort of atomic theory and a theology. But this tenuous relationship between philosophy and science, already distinct, does not last. Schürmann notes:

" Then progressively a shift occurs which is more than a distribution of labor: the scientist doing research and the philosopher attempting to ground scientifc discourse in the structure of the knowing subject (Kant takes Newtonian physics for granted and places it on a critical basis).
In the 19th century, the estrangement between science and philosophy is blatant: for the scientist, ‘true’ is what is empirically verifable; and Hegel’s and Schelling’s philosophical systems now appear as frightfully unscientifc. Philosophers build their concepts around such terms as ‘spirit’, ‘absolute’ etc.— before which the scientist can only shrug. Te divorce is complete. It still marks the cultural situation today. It is responsible for the sometimes desperate attempts at ‘bridging the gap’. In fact, there exist two cultures: the scientifc one and the ‘meta’–culture."74


To complicate the picture, there is a further distinction between philosophy and the human sciences. Whereas the rift between philosophy and natural sciences has been a continuous process, beginning already at the end of antiquity, the social sciences have a much more complicated relationship to the natural sciences. It is very important to understand this distinction, because we now see philologists, with no training in philosophy, who feel quite competent to assess difcult philosophical texts of antiquity. Where from their conviction of competence? In a certain sense, the subjectivity of the social scientist, founded in his method, provides an “all-encompassing method” that becomes the bedrock of human sciences. But matters are not so simple, because in the human sciences “the researcher himself is always implied in what he studies.”75 According to Schürmann, the “divorce between science and philosophy”that occurs in the nineteenth century can be traced back to this fact.76 Te scientist now “turns away” from what is “immediately given” and “constitutes a ‘world’ of research.”77 Tis world, obviously, does not replicate the world the scientist inhabits, even though it comprises the tools (for example, hypotheses and models) he uses to understand and interpret his world. Tis solution, of course, is not available to philosophy or the human sciences, for they cannot claim to constitute a “pure” world of research, as the natural sciences can. Teir models must have a relation to reality; that is, they must themselves contain some element of the real.

We can now understand the naïveté and futility implicit in Oldenberg’s (and other Indologists’) claim that their hypothetical and reconstituted texts are the real ones. Having attempted to construe the scientifc character of their discipline on the model of the natural sciences, they were caught on the horns of a dilemma: they can neither acknowledge the texts of the tradition as the authentic ones (in which case the Indologists’ task is reduced to exegesis, that is, carrying forward the commentarial tradition) nor can they acknowledge the constructed character of their own texts (in which case they are talking about literally nothing). As much as they would like to think of themselves as (natural) scientists, the notion of purely theoretical (i.e., unapplied) research available in the natural sciences was unavailable to them. Hence, they had only one way out: to maintain the model-character of their reconstructions but insist that their models contain more of reality than the originals.78 Ontologically, the tradition now appears defcient in comparison to its image, while ethically-epistemologically the popular reception appears naïve (“uncritical”) in comparison with the critics’ understanding.

The point is worth underscoring. Whereas the natural sciences speak of a world that is epistemologically and theoretically separated from the world the scientist inhabits, the social scientist is “both embedded in a social context” and has to “reconstitute it [i.e., his society] theoretically.” “More than the natural sciences, the human sciences aim at practice—at practical ‘application.’ ”79 Tis practical part is essential to their constitution, but it provokes a question: in what sense can the human sciences be considered sciences when this term primarily refers to the disinterested theoretical contemplation characteristic of the natural sciences? As Schürmann notes, “Tere is no problem with a seminar of ‘methodology in natural sciences’: that would be the inquiry into ways of producing that world of models. But there is a problem with regard to ‘social’ sciences because the ‘ways’ are directed less towards abstract knowledge than back towards social reality, towards intervention . . . ‘critique,’ frst of all. Eventually, a transformation of the society in which we live.”80 Here arises the defnitive aspect of the social scientist’s work. It is now critical not only in the weak sense that compared with the tradition the scientist appears to undertake a refection (mediated via his theoretical model) on his object but also in the stronger sense that it has an ethical-social dimension. The scientist must not only create the models that refect reality but also clarify reality back to the layperson. Practically, this took the form of Indologists trying to teach Indians how to read their own texts “critically.”

Hence the twin protestations of the Indologists: “we are scientifc” and “we are useful.” A true scientist need assert neither. One does not read a journal of physics where one reads, “We are scientifc!” Tis obsessive cry of the Indologists we have so far seen is symptomatic of the intense anxiety of the social scientist. Te anxiety stems from the unavailability of the hypothetical-deductive, experimentally verifable method in the human sciences. Tus, having adopted natural scientifc method as the prototype of true knowledge, the human sciences are caught in the bind of having to continuously justify themselves vis-à-vis (natural) science. By claiming that philology is a rigorous science, philology ultimately places itself on a dangerous and doomed ground, for it will be unable to live up to the criterion of scientifcity implicit in the natural sciences. To trace the history of attempts to legitimate the scientifc character of philology is simultaneously to trace the history of the travails of the idea of “method” in the human sciences. Let us see how the human sciences have attempted to create their own alternative method.

What is it that makes the transference of the (natural) scientifc ideal into the domain of human sciences questionable? The natural scientist, when speaking of theoretical objects, makes use of concepts or terms (e.g., mass, energy) derived from the world he inhabits. However, he is able to draw a strict line between the natural scientifc usage of such terms (e.g., in formulae or experiments) from their everyday meanings. In the human sciences, no such division is available. As Schürmann notes, the admixture of what is scientifc and not scientifc is “essentially constitutive of the domain of any discourse about society.”81 In spite of attempts by social scientists to produce formal systems analogous to those of the scientists (e.g., the search for metalanguages in analytic philosophy, Russell’s theory of types), these attempts remain illusory. Tese systems cannot be used to predict or evaluate the outcome of experiments as in the natural sciences (e.g., the formula E = mc2, which, provided one of the two variables is known, will always yield the second). Further, the discovery of the idea of universal history in Kant (more specifcally, the discovery of the historicity of all existence that occurs in Droysen and is raised to a methodological principle in Dilthey) makes it impossible henceforth for the social sciences to construe their objects naïvely on the model of the natural sciences. Schürmann attributes the break between the “two cultures . . . the scientifc and the ‘meta’-culture”82 directly to this discovery. Whereas the “scientifc modern mind” renounces the claim that “theory corresponds to invariable objective structures in the world [and] constitutes . . . a discursive world, [one] made of models,” the “critical mind” cannot renounce “the relatedness to a given world altogether.” “There is no ‘pure’ object of social sciences, but only an ‘historical’ one.”83

Thus we now turn to “historical grounding” of method. To understand the crisis brought about by the discovery of history for the human sciences, we need to take a closer look at Comte. The tension between the natural and human sciences is already present in Comte’s early work, his famous Cours de philosophie positive (six volumes, 1834–42). Volumes one through three of this work analyze the natural sciences: mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, and biology. In his fnal three volumes, Comte then deals with the social sciences, self-consciously laying the grounds for a new science. This work presupposes the “Law of the Three Stages of Humanity,” which can be summarized as follows: humanity develops via three successive stages, namely, the theological, the metaphysical, and the positive. In the first, the human mind seeks to understand phenomena in terms of supernatural causes or reasons; in the second, it moves on to seeking abstract causes or reasons. Comte emphasizes that the metaphysical stage is but a transition in the development of science from a theological to a positivist inquiry. Thus, only in the third, properly scientifc phase does the mind turn away from seeking first causes or origins and toward identifying the law underlying phenomena. Paralleling this theory of the genesis of the natural sciences, Comte also ofers an account of the material development of society: frst militaristic, then legalistic, and fnally culminating in industrialism.

This law, as can be plainly seen when stated bluntly, is hardly a law in the scientifc sense. It gains its validity not by being either logically true or through empirical verifcation, but through its application. The social scientists, especially the philologists, rest their claims regarding the scientifcity of their method on the ambiguity of this law. A reading of Mahābhārata studies, as the German Indologists have undertaken them, reveals that Comte has been thoroughly absorbed into this discipline, to the point where most Indologists do not even realize that they are Comteans! Note the correspondence of Comte’s Law and the textual history offered by Indology for the Mahābhārata: the epic’s textual history is divided up into three phases: an initial militaristic phase; followed by a second phase in which scheming, power-hungry Brahmans (Comte’s lawyers and jurists?) interpolated “abstract” ideas into the text, corrupting it; and fnally, a positive phase, marked by a critical approach, which German philology must fulfll. The critical approach “stops looking for causes of phenomena, and limits itself strictly to laws governing them; likewise, absolute notions are replaced by relative ones.”84 Comte’s hypothetical law has become the absolute law that grants scientifcity to Indology. It proceeds through an analysis of layers and identifcation of interpolations and a tireless capacity for detheologization and excision of metaphysics.

Let us now return to the third, positive stage. Comte’s sole legacy here appears to be skepticism. If this were scientifc skepticism, Indologists would be open to questioning the validity of their method; they would be able to adopt new approaches and engage in dialogue with other forms of inquiry. But this is not so. Comte’s inheritance is complex. The law brooks no suspicions; Comte endows the fnal positive stage with its own form of dogmatism. The only diference between an earlier theological dogmatism and the new dogmatism is the law of human development. Indologists are no skeptics, for they believe in the scientifc status of Comte’s hypothesis, which allows them to continue in their positivistic praxis. Comte clarifes the necessary dogmatism in his second major work. As Bourdeau writes:

“The Considerations on Spiritual Power that followed some months later presents dogmatism as the normal state of the human mind. It is not difcult to fnd behind that statement, which may seem outrageous to us, the anti-Cartesianism that Comte shares with Peirce and that brings their philosophies closer to one another. As the mind spontaneously stays with what seems true to it, the irritation of doubt ceases when belief is fxed;85 what is in need of justifcation, one might say, is not the belief but the doubt. Thus the concept of positive faith is brought out, that is to say, the necessity of a social theory of belief and its correlate, the logical theory of authority.86”

If Comte’s silencing of the critical impulse in the third, positive stage does not surprise us, it is because we have so thoroughly internalized the narrative of the apotheosis of criticism in the Enlightenment that we no longer consider it necessary to query whence comes the authority of the modern scholar. At the same time as German scholars railed against the machinations of a corrupt elite (the Brahmans), they entrenched themselves as benefciaries of an arcane method. As offcial purveyors of Indian culture to the European public, they managed to insert themselves between the text and the reader. The university ofered them a powerful bully pulpit from which to harangue theologians and philosophers, the previous occupants of the power echelon the philologists in the third and positive stage of human development wished to occupy. And yet, there is more to the story of positivism. For, as Bourdeau notes, Comte himself underwent a kind of turn after 1846:

“After Clotilde’s death in 1846, positivism was transformed into “complete positivism,” which is “continuous dominance of the heart” (la prépondérance continue du coeur). “We tire of thinking and even of acting; we never tire of loving,” as the dedication to the System put it. Positivism transformed science into philosophy; complete positivism now transforms philosophy into religion. . . . Te transformation of philosophy into religion does not yield a religion of science because, having overcome modern prejudices, Comte now unhesitatingly ranks art above science. . .. the break-up with the academic world was complete . . . . !87”

German Indology did not follow Comte down this path. It accepted a popular (and clichéd) view of positivism (even making it the basis of its “scientifc” praxis88 ), but it did not think through positivism to its end, as Comte had. As was remarked earlier in the introduction, the positivism it subscribed to was an incomplete positivism: it took the turn neither to a positivism dominated by social, emancipatory, and aesthetic concerns, as in Comte, nor to a critical positivism dominated by the rejection of a reality independent of the model-character of science, as in Mach, nor to logical positivism dominated by the verifcation principle, as in Carnap. Yet, the attempt at holding out in the third, positive stage was no solution, for Indology thereby rendered itself irrelevant to and out-of-step with wider currents in European philosophy. Indeed, it led to an irreparable crack in the very foundation of the human sciences in particular and the Enlightenment in general. On the one hand, we have a critical science coeval with “outrageous” dogmatism; a purportedly universal humanism surrendering to the narrow hegemonic claim that European self-understanding represents the fulfllment of planetary human development; and a science that brooks no criticism. On the other hand, we have the universality of the natural sciences and its powerful integration of all humans across the world through technology. It is easy to see which element of this contradiction—German Indology as a human science or natural science as the feature of all humanity—won out in the end. The attempt to construe the scientifc character of philology on analogy with that of the natural sciences thus fails. Positivism is no guarantee of the scientifcity of Indology. But what of the second of Oldenberg’s three candidates, historicism? Can it ground the scientifc character of Indology?

To be Continued.....

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

Postby shiv » 13 Aug 2017 08:58

Animal bones in Harappan sites - a useful ref link
http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitst ... er%204.pdf

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

Postby shiv » 13 Aug 2017 09:46

gandharva wrote: In his fnal three volumes, Comte then deals with the social sciences, self-consciously laying the grounds for a new science. This work presupposes the “Law of the Three Stages of Humanity,” which can be summarized as follows: humanity develops via three successive stages, namely, the theological, the metaphysical, and the positive. In the first, the human mind seeks to understand phenomena in terms of supernatural causes or reasons; in the second, it moves on to seeking abstract causes or reasons. Comte emphasizes that the metaphysical stage is but a transition in the development of science from a theological to a positivist inquiry. Thus, only in the third, properly scientifc phase does the mind turn away from seeking first causes or origins and toward identifying the law underlying phenomena. Paralleling this theory of the genesis of the natural sciences, Comte also ofers an account of the material development of society: frst militaristic, then legalistic, and fnally culminating in industrialism.

[b]This law, as can be plainly seen when stated bluntly, is hardly a law in the scientifc sense.

I see the conflict between science and religion (both in the USA and as Islamism) as a result of the implicit (and rather arrogant) assumption of the "truth" of this "law" by people of science.

Hindus have tried to argue that their acceptance of science should somehow make their explanations of metaphysics equally acceptable to science. But science has linked itself to time - unidirectional, having rejected human psychology, sociology and metaphysics as useless vestiges. This is where science begins to fail. It was failing ever since Vedanta and other texts were dismissed by Philologist-Indologists, but no one gave a rats ass because it was some alien culture of a colonized race that was being dismissed.

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

Postby ShauryaT » 14 Aug 2017 10:09

^Arun Shourie's new book "Two Saints" touches upon the subject. He looks into the experiences of Sri Ramana Maharishi and Ramakrishna Paramhansa, two revered sages of the contemporary era and critically examines their experiences using the lens of science. However, he does not stop there, he also reveals the limits of sciences and its inability to fully comprehend and appreciate the metaphysical experiences of the sages and indeed of many immersed in these systems as practitioners. Read it if you get a chance.

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

Postby Nilesh Oak » 14 Aug 2017 19:36

^^ Conversations between Dr. Ramachandran and Shri Rajiv Malhotra (Could be OT)
https://youtu.be/JB_lc00AWIE

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

Postby shiv » 18 Aug 2017 07:34

http://www.news18.com/news/india/histor ... 92723.html
news18.com
Historicism Has Collapsed, Mahabharata the Way Forward: Bagchee and Vishwa Adluri
Eram Agha | News18.comEramAghaUpdated:August 16, 2017, 4:24 PM IST
11-14 minutes

Last week Indian Council for Historical Research organised a lecture on ‘History of History’, a critique of historicism. Speakers — Joydeep Bagchee, post-doctoral fellow Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich and Vishwa Adluri, professor of Religion and Philosophy Hunter College, New York — questioned German Indology for authoring “anti-Brahmanic polemic”.

In an interview with News18’s Eram Agha they said historicism has collapsed. Hence, time for Mahabharata has come. The scholars also drew links between secularism and anti-semitism.


Edited excerpts:

How do you define historicism and what are the deficiencies you see in it?

The term historicism has many meanings. Minimally, it is the view that all phenomena are historically determined. Beyond this, historicism is associated with an epistemological and ethical relativism — the view that all knowledge is a product of its time (and hence can only be understood out of its social conditions) and that no absolute, eternal, or transcendent values exist. As a movement, historicism traces its origins to figures like Wilhelm von Humboldt and Leopold von Ranke. It emerged in the late eighteenth century as a reaction to Enlightenment Universalism.

By the nineteenth and twentieth century, it was the centerpiece of the German belief in the uniqueness and superiority of German culture. As a tradition of historical writing, historicism’s distinctive feature is the central role it accords the state. Essentially, historicism is a political theory masquerading as historical research or, rather, it is a tradition of scholarship that subsumes historical research to the needs of political rationality.

Historicism is deficient because, by denying the natural law tradition, it makes an ethical grounding impossible. The consequences are visible from recent German history. But despite its professed agnosticism towards transcendent, “metaphysical” truths, historicism has a highly determinate anthropology and a theology. It takes its departure from Luther’s view of man as hopelessly fallen and privileges an irrational faith over a rational soteriology. From the Indian perspective, one must know that historicism will always work against traditional cultures, whether Hindu or Jewish.

You have said that historicism collapsed in post war-Germany. What is the way forward?

Historicism collapsed in post-war Germany. In the 1960s several historians argued that historicism was implicated in the German intellectual and moral debacle. There is much in favor of this argument.

If we see historicism as the central concept uniting many elements of the specific course Germany pursued after the eighteenth century (including the peculiar form its academic life took), then we are only now experiencing the aftershocks of this collapse. The way forward will require a reconfiguration of academic and intellectual life given that the modern research university is a German invention.

Scholars today talk about the humanities’ decline but few see that this decline is not just related to its institutional causes. Rather, an entire approach to the humanities has ended. The way forward requires us to rethink the role of history in human life. This is where the Mahabharata becomes relevant.

How relevant are Nietzsche and Foucault in questioning historicism?

Nietzsche was the first to draw attention to historicism’s problems. He diagnosed the European and, especially, German obsession with history as a sickness. For him, the purpose of studying history ought to be life, affirmation of life, and the creation of new values rather than anodyne fact-gathering. Nietzsche was also aware of historicism’s theological dimension: he linked it with philology, and showed how historicist philology served Christianity by burying the ancients.

As Nietzsche’s greatest student after Bataille, Foucault provides a succinct distillation of Nietzsche’s critique: “The historian is insensitive to the most disgusting things; or rather, he especially enjoys those things that should be repugnant to him. His apparent serenity follows from his concerted avoidance of the exceptional and his reduction of all things to the lowest common denominator. Nothing is allowed to stand above him; and underlying his desire for total knowledge is his search for the secrets that belittle everything: ‘base curiosity’.”

While talking about the history of German Indology, you made a point about secularism and said that Secularism is the source of anti-semitism. Please explain.

No, what we said is that Secularism is linked with anti-semitism and that it has an anti-semitic component that cannot be ignored. As scholars now recognize (Anidjar, Yelle, Mufti), secular discourse often targeted Judaism as the paradigmatically “non-modern” tradition.

Hobbes, for example, combines a defense of a secular republic with explicit anti-Judaic statements in Leviathan. These criticisms were later also extended to other non-Christian traditions, especially insofar as they were thought to replicate features of rabbinic Judaism (e.g., Hinduism which had priests “just like” Judaism).

If there is one thing lacking in debates on secularism in India today, it is recognition that secularism in its inception had a strong anti-Judaic bias. When individuals in India today attack “Brahmanism” they implicitly draw on these remote German sources. As the paper “Jews and Hindus in Indology” argued we must be careful not to delegitimize, wittingly or unwittingly, entire segments of society in our pursuit of a grand narrative of progress.

Does that mean in the Indian context secularism is a misfit? If yes, then what is the alternative for a pluralistic Indian society’?

It depends on the vision. If the vision is nineteenth-century Prussia, where the state expanded to absorb the religious, communal, and pedagogic functions the church previously exercised, then secularism is an essential component, though we should be under no illusion that secularism is really secular. But this vision, besides being nostalgic, is also anachronistic. After World War II, no one seriously contemplates a return to nineteenth-century forms of government.

Philosophers and intellectual historians have critiqued the architects of nineteenth-century Prussia (e.g., Hegel). Incidentally, the real problem with secularism is not the ones usually advanced — it conflicts with people’s religious beliefs, it is a European import, it does not provide a lasting solution to the problem of religious tolerance, Indian society has always had a tradition of religious pluralism. Rather, secularism is problematic because it does not address questions of ultimate meaning, or, rather, it transfers those questions or those expectations to the state. The state now takes the place of religious visions of paradise; it becomes the center around which “religious” forms of life are organized.

Basically, a new idol. Rather than reduce violence, secularism exacerbates it. José Casanova did an interesting study, where he showed that when people blame religion for violence they are reporting not from their own experience but a seventeenth-century experience, actually, in the terms in which the Enlightenment saw the previous century when it looked back and saw “wars of religion.”

What are your views on German Indology? Could you please also talk about your book The Nay Science?

As we showed in The Nay Science, German Indology was far from secular. Most German Indologists were theologically trained Protestants. Several were pronounced anti-semites (Christian Lassen, Rudolf von Roth, Otto von Böhtlingk, Albrecht Weber, Jakob Wilhelm Hauer, Johannes Hertel). Yet others are complicit in the cover-up of the Indologists’ anti-semitism (Klaus Mylius, Eli Franco). The number is larger if we recognize that, in the Indologists’ writings, “Brahmans” was a code for “Jews.” Almost every leading German Indologist of the past two centuries authored an anti-Brahmanic polemic. Besides making explicit comparisons between “Brahmanic” Hinduism and Jewish tradition, the Indologists explicitly advocated a program of reform, entailing breaking the Brahmans’ social status, taking away their authority, and transferring custody of Sanskrit texts to the new priesthood-professoriate.

A prejudice against traditional hermeneutics and textual transmission was inscribed at the very level of the method. Consequently, regardless of whether they originally shared these prejudices, once students graduated from Indology programs they emerged as critics of Brahmanism. These students now also had a vested interest in attacking Brahmanism, since their livelihood was parasitic on replacing the Brahmans as educators. But if German Indology’s credibility is shot today, it is not merely because it pretended to be an objective, non-confessional science, when, in reality, it was a sub-discipline of Protestant theology. Rather, its credibility is shot because, other than espouse a naïve historicism, German Indologists could never explain what made their discipline scientific.

Thus, although they claim to represent the heights of European consciousness, their work has become anachronistic within the German university itself. Little wonder that their programs are in decline. From twenty-two and a half chairs in 1997, only sixteen survive. More closures are inevitable.

How do you see German Indology vis-à-vis American Indology?

American Indology is a stepchild of German Indology. Almost every leading American program at some point imported German expertise, in the form of either German professors (U. Penn, Harvard) or German-trained returnees (Yale, Bryn Mawr) or German models and ideals of study (almost every Sanskrit doctoral program in the US). Many principles of American Indology (a suspicion of traditional hermeneutics, criticism of the Brahmans, restricting works’ meaning to their sociological context, historicism and a so-called critical philology) are borrowed from German Indology. If American Indology is to survive it will have to learn from German Indology’s demise. We are hopeful American universities will grasp The Nay Science as an historic opportunity to rethink the goals of Sanskrit education. The student numbers are there; the interest is there. The only thing lacking is professors who can engage students and teach the texts with passion, rather than bait Indians and seek to justify their salaries through petitioning, provoking controversy, and inflaming an already volatile political situation.

What initiatives should be taken to promote Indology among Indians?

We are skeptical of institutional solutions. If the Indian state suddenly entered, offering to create an indigenous Indology, this would lead to similar problems as the Prussian experiment. You would suddenly get people willing to prostitute themselves to a state ideology — people disinterested in the texts except as they served them as a means to power and a fat salary. Our work is therefore fundamentally apolitical.

The texts have always survived and will survive because of individuals who care about them. That said, programs are needed to replace those that have collapsed or been discredited. A resurgence of the Indian tradition is underway as people rediscover the texts and are willing to read them with a hermeneutics of respect. The old model of suspicion, a jejune “criticism for criticism’s sake,” has exhausted itself. Forthcoming dissertations and books will be the better for it.

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

Postby shiv » 18 Aug 2017 10:06

Ok folks - being posted in public for the first time. An excerpt of my own research conclusions - will eventually publish somewhere but I lay claim to the following information . I have the necessary references

A date for the Vedas

It turns out that it it possible to get some sense of the era in which the Vedas came to be recited by humans by looking at ancient texts, paleo-archaeological and paleo-botanical evidence now available

Starting with Manu's text – called as “Manusmriti” or “Manava dharma shastra”. Since Manusmriti is taken as an authority about Hindu culture, the same text can be used to get some more information.

Let us first take a quote from a 1912 book by Macdonell and Keith, containing a comprehensive index of Vedic names and subjects in which they listed references to the river Saraswati. These give us some idea of where the Saraswati river was supposed to have existed. Here is one reference from Manusmriti:

1. Madhya-desa, the ‘Middle Country,' is, according to the Manava Dharma Sastra, the land between the Himalaya in the north, the Vindhya in the south, Vinasana in the west, and Prayaga (now Allahabad) in the east that is, between the place where the Sarasvati disappears in the desert, and the point of the confluence of the Yamuna (Jumna) and the Ganga (Ganges)


Knowing that the Saraswati river is mentioned as being a fast flowing river in the Vedas, and knowing that the river had dried up by 1800 BC we can surmise that Vedic culture existed in the area prior to 1800 BC.

Then we look at another quote from Manu Smriti:
41. Let students, according to the order of their castes, wear as upper dresses the skins of black antelopes, spotted deer, and he goats, and lower garments made of hemp, ax or wool. 42. The girdle of a Brahmana shall consist of a of a triple cord of
Munga grass, smooth and soft; that of a Kshatriya, of a bowstring, made of Murva fibres; that of a Vaisya, of hempen threads. 43. If Munga grass and so forth be not procurable, the girdles may be made of Kusa, Asmantaka, and Balbaga bres, with a single three- fold knot, or with three or ve knots according to the custom of the family. 44. The sacrificial string of a Brahmana shall be made of cotton, shall be twisted to the right, and consist of three threads, that of a Kshatriya of hempen threads, and that of a Vaisya of woollen threads.



The mention of cotton puts the era of Manusmriti sometime after 7000 BC, but the injunction that students must wear the skin of deer, a wild animal that must be hunted suggests a forest environment with wild animals. The Vedas, older than Manu smriti – also refer to a forested environment.

Paleobotanical studies of fossilized pollen have shown the type of flora in the region of the Saraswati civilization. Around 10,000 years ago this region was covered in evergreen forest but gradually changed to the subtropical, seasonal rainfed forests as seen in some parts of India today. But by about 4000 to 3000 BC the Saraswati river/Harappa area had become more arid and desert like. These facts fit in well with the forested environment suggested by Manusmriti before the aridity started. There is no mention of cotton in the Rig Veda, which was transmitted from an era earlier than 7000 BC – in which the forests were more verdant.

Further evidence comes from the archaeological finds in Harappan sites. Cotton fabric was used by then and this is in contrast with the Vedas which have ne mention even of cotton. Manusmriti mentions cotton, but not as fabric, just as string to be worn by Brahmins. Completely absent from Harappan findings are any signs of the use of animal skins like deer skins for clothing. In fact Harappan remains show evidence of sophisticated cloth making with prints. Manusmriti on the other hand recommends certain animal skins as clothing.

Further corroboration comes from bone findings in Harappa, 80% of which are domesticated animals like dogs, goats, sheep, cattle, pigs, water buffalo, horses, donkeys, camels, elephants, cats and fowl. The findings of deer bones – which would have been in demand in an earlier era that Manusmriti refers to are rare. This indicates that although the Vedas, Manusmriti and Harappa share the same geographic area, each was from a different era where the environment changed from wild forest to relatively arid scrub which was then populated by humans in cities with domesticated animals, relying less and less of wild animal skins for clothing.


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

Postby Suresh S » 19 Aug 2017 05:40

https://youtu.be/D_-kuhFnQfk

A good summary of indian contribution though limited

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

Postby kit » 19 Aug 2017 16:25

shiv wrote:As Aurobindo and Vidyarthi point out, the Vedas have two layers of meaning: One unrefined, one sublime

Western Indologists and philologists (sitting in Germany) got only the crass interpretation

https://youtu.be/ik9-GJ6a594



thats the truth sir! ..the esoteric meaning can only be understood from a preceptor sage or who has attained a level of understanding. But my thought is there is more than one level of understanding even at the esoteric level, but i digress for now. Some things are better experienced than discussed.


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