Panel: Adaptive Reuse of Texts, Ideas and Images


Raum: F 3, EG, Fürstenberghaus
Tag Zeit    
Mo 17:00-17:30 Freschi / Maas Adaptive Reuse of Texts, Ideas and Images – A general introduction
Mo 17:30-18:00 Klaus Intertextuality in the Śrautasūtras
Mo 18:00-18:30 Kulkarni Adaptive Reuse of the Descriptive Technique of Pāṇini in Non-pāṇinian Grammatical Traditions – With special reference to the derivation of the declension of the 1st and 2nd personal pronouns
Mo 18:30-19:00 Mucciarelli The Steadiness of a Non-steady Place – The re-adaptation of the imagery of the chariot
Di 09:00-09:30 Bignami The Chariot Festivals – The reuse of the imagery of the chariot as space in motion in different contexts and with new meanings
Di 09:30-10:00 Sellmer Originality in the Mahābhārata
Di 10:00-10:30 Hanneder The Arjunākhyāna – The Mokṣopāya’s deconstruction of the Bhagavadgītā
Di 10:30-11:00 Pause
Di 11:00-11:30 Prets Early Nyāya Fragments, Aviddhakarṇa, and Other Uncertainties
Di 11:30-12:00 Muroya On Parallel Passages in the Commentaries of Vācaspati Miśra and Bhaṭṭa Vāgīśvara
Di 12:00-12:30 Kramer Innovation and the Role of Intertextuality in Sthiramati’s Pañcaskandhakavibhāṣā
Di 12:30-13:30 Mittagspause
Di 13:30-14:00 Trikha Creativity Within Narrow Limits – Two different usages of a single passage from the Vādanyāya in the works of Vidyānandin
Di 14:00-14:30 Maas On Yoga in the Śiśupālavadha
Di 14:30-15:00 Cuneo Quotational Employment and Quotational Hoax – The aberrant cases of textual re-use in Sanskrit poetics and dramaturgy
Di 15:00-15:30 Andrijanić Traces of Older Material in Śaṅkara’s Commentary on the Brahmasūtra
Di 15:30-16:00 Pause
Di 16:00-16:30 Pellegrini On the Alleged Indebtedness of the Vedānta Paribhāṣā to the Vedānta Kaumudī
Di 16:30-17:00 Okita Revelation or Concoction? — Varying views on Madhva’s untraceable quotations in early modern Vedānta
Di 17:00-17:30 Freschi Reusing, Adapting, Distorting — Veṅkaṭanātha’s reuse of Rāmānuja’s commentary ad VS 1.1.1
Di 17:30-18:00 Galewicz If You Don’t Know the Source, Blame it on the Rudrayāmala
Di 18:00-18:30 Pause
Di 18:30-19:00 Final Discussion


Elisa Freschi, Philipp A. Maas

Beschreibung des Panels:

The purpose of the panel is to explore a specific aspect of the concept of originality in Indian knowledge systems, literature and the arts. We would like to discuss the relation of innovation and perpetuation of earlier forms and contents of knowledge and aesthetic expressions. Although within the South Asian intellectual traditions this relationship is rarely the topic of explicit reflections, it can be investigated by taking a closer look at the treatment of older materials by later authors. With a view to this, we would like to discuss, for example, the following questions.

  • What are the purposes of adaptive reuse? How are they achieved?
  • How are originality and creativity related to adaptive reuse?
  • Are different kinds of reuse (citations, paraphrase, references, re-arrangement etc.) employed for different ends?

By dealing with these and related questions on the basis of a wider range of individual case studies, the panel will contribute to a deeper understanding of various concepts of originality, innovation and authorship in South Asian cultural and intellectual history.


Indologie und Südasienkunde

Abstracts der Vorträge:

Andrijanić, Ivan: Traces of Older Material in Śaṅkara’s Commentary on the Brahmasūtra

Śaṅkara’s Brahmasūtrabhāṣya (BSBh) most likely reused a previous commentary that possibly embraced the bhedābhedavāda. This presentation will outline a potential methodology for distinguishing this older material from Śaṅkara’s new material. The main focus will be on Śaṅkara’s two different interpretations of ānandamaya (Taittirīya-Upaniṣad 2.5) in BSBh 1.1.12–1.1.19. Śaṅkara first comments on the sūtras 1.1.12–19 in one way, but then presents a completely different interpretation of the same sūtras later in his commentary on Brahmasūtra (BS) 1.1.19. The first interpretation is possibly a traditional one, or even an older, reused passage, whereas the other is surely Śaṅkara’s real interpretation, because it agrees with his interpretation of the same Upaniṣadic text in his commentary on the Taittirīya Upaniṣad. In BSBh 1.1.12–19, there is some further indication in favour of the claim that this material is older: 1) the older material is structured in a strict five-fold system of adhikaraṇas; 2) this kind of material shows a visible ambiguity in its distinction between lower Brahman and highest Brahman, in addition to 3) the presence of the well-known ambiguity in the usage of the terms Īśvara, Ātman and Brahman, which possibly belong to older strata where such a distinction was not yet made. The comparison of the BSBh with Bhāskara’s commentary on the BS (which reuses Śaṅkara’s BSBh in many cases) is another important tool, since it is plausible that Bhāskara took from Śaṅkara only material that agreed with his traditional bhedābheda view, which he possibly used with the awareness that this material belonged to a pre-Śaṅkara tradition. Accordingly, Bhāskara followed only Śaṅkara’s first interpretation of BS 1.1.12–19 and opposed his second, advaitic interpretation.

Bignami, Cristina: The Chariot Festivals – The reuse of the imagery of the chariot as space in motion in different contexts and with new meanings

This paper focuses on the reuse of the same token (the Vedic chariot as “space in motion”) to which a different meaning is attached in medieval and contemporary contexts. The chariot as one among several elements of a ceremony has had a long life in India and it is still being used in today’s big chariot-festivals (ratha yātrā). Although the object in itself seems to have preserved its ritual function throughout the centuries, the use and the significance of this vehicle has undergone many modifications that concern not only its outer form but, more interestingly, the way the chariot was interpreted. Thus, I shall discuss the reuse of the imagery of space and motion that constitutes the underlying rationale of the ratha in different periods of Indian history and compare it to its use in Vedic times. The core of the paper will be dedicated to the medieval period, and to the original reuse of the chariot as a reduplication of the temple. There, as in Vedic times, the chariot fulfils its role of “space in motion”, but with a new meaning, i.e., as an instrument to legitimize sovereignty. In closing, I will hint at the reuse of the same chariot in contemporary festivals, where the tradition is used to let brahmanical and local groups meet in the same sacred sphere of action.

Cuneo, Daniele: Quotational Employment and Quotational Hoax – The aberrant cases of textual re-use in Sanskrit poetics and dramaturgy

This talk will showcase some instances of textual reuse in selected works of alaṃkāraśāstra and nāṭyaśāstra. The material will be investigated in order to find a rationale in the what, how and why of the various kinds of quotational scenarios. The first case under scrutiny is the list of pūrvapakṣas displayed in Abhinavagupta’s commentary on the rasasūtra of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the seminal work of Sanskrit dramaturgy. Abhinavagupta weaves, so to say, a narrative of various authors’ opinions and refu­tations, at the end of which his own view is established as the only correct endpoint of a history/story of progressively improving speculations. The second case under scrutiny will be Śāradatanaya’s Bhāvaprakāśana, in which, on the one side, real citations and re-adaptations are employed to appropriate and domesticate the well-known Kashmiri version of literary theory and, on the other side, – more interestingly for the present concern – the forgery of textual passages smuggled as actual quotations is used to legitimize its whole cultural endeavour. The last work that will be considered is Hemacandra’s Kāvyānuśāsana. In his own subcommmentary, called Viveka, Hemacandra practically repeats verbatim the whole analysis of rasa brought about by Abhinavagupta in the above-mentioned commentary on the rasasūtra. This act of sheer repeat, however, camouflages small but significant changes of the quoted material, done in order for it to better fit Hemacandra’s own theoretical agenda. My working hypothesis for the proper assessment of the aberrancy of these manners of textual re-use hinges on the very peculiar nature of alaṃkāra- and nāṭyaśāstra as systems of knowledge, within the landscape of the other traditional śāstras. The meta-speculative cornerstones of such peculiarity are the absence of, and even the search for, an actual foundational text and the consequential expectancy for, and even praise of, theoretical novelty as such.

Freschi, Elisa: Reusing, Adapting, Distorting — Veṅkaṭanātha’s reuse of Rāmānuja’s commentary ad VS 1.1.1

Veṅkaṭanātha (also known as Vedānta Deśika, ca. 1269-1370) systematised the Viśiṣṭād­vaita school founded in South India by Rāmānuja. As part of this endeavour, he aimed at incorporating the lore of Sanskrit philosophy into Viśiṣṭādvaita. In particular, he dedi­cated several works to a Viśiṣṭādvaita re-evaluation of Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika and Pūrva Mī­māṃsā. His Seśvaramīmāṃsā is a commentary on the Mīmāṃsāsūtra and, accordingly, it starts with a discussion of whether the study of Mīmāṃsā has to be undertaken. This discussion closely reflects Rāmānuja’s commentary on Brahmasūtra 1.1.1 in that Veṅka­ṭanātha reuses much of Rāmānuja’s own formulations and arguments. A further element of both Rāmānuja’s and Veṅkaṭanātha’s discussions are a few short quotes from an unidentified Vṛttikāra, who must have been very influential, since his views are quoted at the beginning by both authors and are accepted as extremely authoritative. However, not­withstanding the similarities between Veṅkaṭanātha’s text and Rāmānuja’s, the final out­come of Rāmānuja’s argument is that it is important to study not only the Upaniṣads, as is apparently indisputable for a Vedāntin, but also the karmakāṇḍa part of the Veda, i.e., the Brāhmaṇas. By contrast, Veṅkaṭanātha’s argues that also the Pūrva Mīmāṃsā, i.e., the hermeneutics of the Brāhmaṇas, has to be studied by using the very same text. Thus, whereas Rāmānuja used the concept of the unity of the teaching (aikaśāstrya) in order to stress the unity of the Vedic lore, Veṅkaṭanātha reused the same programmatic ex­pression in order to highlight the existence of a single school, consisting of Pūrva Mī­māṃsā and Uttara Mīmāṃsā (i.e., Vedānta). He also adaptively reused the quotes of the Vṛttikāra. The paper will show how Veṅkaṭanātha legitimises his innovation by reusing Rāmānuja’s and the Vṛttikāra’s own words.

Freschi, Elias / Maas, Philipp A.: Adaptive Reuse of Texts, Ideas and Images – A general introduction

The term “adaptive reuse” was originally coined in the field of city planning to designate the use of old buildings for new purposes as a device to save material resources and to preserve, at least partly, the appearance of townscapes. In the context of the present panel, we apply the concept of adaptive reuse to texts, ideas and images, which resemble buildings in that over time they may become unsuitable to persist by serving their original purposes. For buildings, adaptive reuse is an alternative to demolition, whereas the adaptive reused of ideas, texts and images saves them from vanishing. As a result, the intellectual environment, like a city, preserves at least in part its traditional outlook, although, in fact, it serves new programmatic requirements. In the introduction to the present panel, we shall give a brief overview of the seventeen individual papers and their relationship to the general theme of the panel in order to provide a frame for fruitful discussions of various concepts of originality, innovation and authorship in South Asian cultural and intellectual history.

Galewicz, Cezary: If You Don’t Know the Source, Blame it on the Rudrayāmala

The hitherto unpublished Rudrayāmala – an amorphous work or a veritable ghost title – appears to have been used as a locus of ascription not only in historical Tantra works. Among the members of a brāhmaṇa community from Konkan area quite recently there still persisted a custom of giving this name in the circumstances that required a source for an authoritative quotation and one’s memory failed to recall one in time. A concept of an absent source of scriptural authority that must have been at work in such cases needs further clarification. The paper attempts at drawing the network of intertextual relationships among the early modern Sanskrit works referring to the Rudrayāmala from within both manuscript and early print cultures. The case study focuses on mutual borrowings by little known works such as the Ṛgvedakalpadruma, the Ṛgvedadaśa­grantha and the Yāmalāṣṭakatantra, and it aims at reconstructing the rationale and the modalities of function of the reuse implemented within the intertextual regional and transregional worlds by rival learned communities of Western India from the 19th century to the present days.

Hanneder, Jürgen: The Arjunākhyāna – The Mokṣopāya’s deconstruction of the Bhagavadgītā

The Arjunākhyāna is an adaptation of the Bhagavadgītā in the form of a minor episode of the Mokṣopāya that provides a reinterpretation of the Bhagavadgītā along the lines of the philosophy of the Mokṣopāya. The extent of this adaptation may not immediately become apparent to the reader, mainly because the critical edition of the Arjunākhyāna was based on manuscripts of the Yogavāsiṣṭha, while the version of the Mokṣopāya was relegated to the apparatus. When reading the older, i.e. the Mokṣopāya version of the Arjunākhyāna from the manuscripts, one sees that the author very cleverly shows the statements of Kṛṣṇa to be preliminary to his own philosophy. It is thus more radical than other reinterpretations of the Gītā, and it would have been easy to expose it as a kind of blasphemy, had it not been safeguarded through the notion that it was part of a hypothetical Ur-Rāmāyaṇa and thus written by Valmīki. It is the Kashmirian commen­tator Bhāskarakaṇṭha who divulges the secret of the text, one that – as he says – should anyway be known to the educated reader: The Mokṣopāya was written not by Valmīki, but by a human author. Apart from introducing this peculiar case of an adaptation of a classic, the lecture will examine how we can approach through it the problem of innovation and creativity in Indian literature.

Klaus, Konrad: Intertextuality in the Śrautasūtras

As is well known, the Śrautasūtras show a very high degree of intertextuality, either cit­ing or paraphrasing passages from the older Śruti texts or other Śrautasūtras, sometimes marking a citation as such, sometimes without any hint in that direction. They are – some more, some less – “essentially just excerpts from the Brāhmaṇas” (W. Caland), a fact that formerly led some scholars to assert that they “can claim […] only a very low rank as literary compositions” (A. Hillebrandt). In my talk, I shall give some examples of different categories of citations from (or paraphrases of, or allusions to) other texts in the Śrautasūtras and try to give a fair assessment of their literary value. As I see it, the authors of the Śrautasūtras are quite successful in “letting the texts speak for themselves”, a maxim that was also acted on in the western academic tradition, and their often skilful arrangement of textual material collected from different sources definitely deserves recognition.

Kramer, Jowita: Innovation and the Role of Intertextuality in Sthiramati’s Pañcaskandhakavibhāṣā

This paper will investigate the relations between innovative elements and passages taken from older sources in Sthiramati’s Pañcaskandhakavibhāṣā, a 6th-century commentary on Vasubandhu’s Pañcaskandhaka. Making use of whole sentences or even passages from older texts without marking them as quotations seems to have been common practice among Indian authors. In the Pañcaskandhakavibhāṣā only a few explicitly marked quotations from other treatises are to be found, although the text contains a significant number of obvious parallels to older works, like the Yogācārabhūmi, the Abhidharma­samuccaya, or the Abhidharmakośabhāṣya. If we accept the silent reuse of older material as the usual method of Indian authors, then the question arises why in some cases the employed wording is not identical to the wording of the original but uses synonyms or different phrases. Have all these divergences been deliberately introduced by the authors to alter the meaning, or do they result from a rather loose treatment of the sources caused by quoting from memory? Drawing on examples from the Pañcaskandhakavibhāṣā the paper will present the commentarial strategies and techniques applied by Sthiramati.

Kulkarni, Malhar: Adaptive Reuse of the Descriptive Technique of Pāṇini in Non-pāṇinian Grammatical Traditions – With special reference to the derivation of the declension of the 1st and 2nd personal pronouns

Brevity is regarded as the soul of Pāṇini’s Aṣṭādhyāyī by the later grammatical tradition. However, there are some instances where Pāṇini himself had to forego the principle of brevity because of the complexity of the data to be analyzed. The declension of the 1st and 2nd personal pronouns (asmad and yumad respectively) is such a case. Pāṇini had to compose fourteen sūtras to derive the twenty-one forms of each of these pronouns. While deriving these forms he indeed tried to use the technique of substitution (sthānivadbhāva), but he also had to introduce the restricted nature of the substituend (sthānin) by stating the rule maparyantasya (A 7.2.91). He had to state the substitutes of the root as well as of the suffixes and sometimes of the whole finished form. Even after doing this, there remained a problem with the derivation of dative and ablative plural forms that were not fully satisfactorily treated by Pāṇini. The present paper aims to study how this material from Pāṇini was adapted and reused to account for the same purpose of derivation of the same data in non-pāṇinian grammars like Kātantra, Cāndra, Haima, Śākaṭāyana, Sarasvatīkaṇṭhābharaa, Sārasvata and so on. This study will enable us to know whether these grammars were bogged down by this technique of Pāṇini or whether they tried to develop new techniques by first adapting and reusing pāṇinian techniques. It is aimed to show how different religious ideological underpinnings forced most of the authors of these grammars to adapt the technique of Pāṇini in a different way that also made them deviate from another principle, namely, exhaustiveness. We shall also show how efforts were made in these grammars to remove the lacunae in Pāṇini’s treatment by reusing Pāṇini’s own material.

Maas, Philipp A.: On Yoga in the Śiśupālavadha

Māgha’s Śiśupālavadha contains a number of allusions and references to central conceptions of Sāṅkhya-Yoga philosophy. Two stanzas of Māgha’s great poem are particularly pertinent. Stanza 4.55, that describes yogis meditating on mount Raivataka, is replete with technical Yoga terms, while stanza 14.62 employs the yogic conception of a high god (īśvara) for the praise of Kṛṣṇa. Since Bronner and McCrea (2012) challenge the existence of Yoga concepts in Māgha’s version of the Śiśupālavadha, I shall first deal with the question of the authenticity of these two stanzas by analyzing their style and their relationship to their respective contexts. Then, I shall examine their conceptual relationship to the Pātañjala Yogaśāstra (i.e., the Yogasūtra together with the so-called Yogabhāṣya). It turns out that the author of Śiśupālavadha 4.55 and 14.62 had a quite detailed knowledge of classical Yoga philosophy and the theory of practice as it is formulated in the Pātañjala Yogaśāstra, and that he assumed that his readers or listeners shared his knowledge. This result will lead to a discussion of possible authorial intentions that may have led to the adaptive reuse of ideas from the Pātañjala Yogaśāstra in a work of kāvya literature. In concluding, I shall take a look at the history of the reception of Śiśupālavadha 4.55 and 14.62, with its allusions to Yoga ideas, by its two famous commentators Vallabhadeva and Mallinātha. From the admittedly rather limited evidence at my disposal, it appears that knowledge of classical Yoga among the connoisseurs of kāvya literature may have declined in the centuries that followed the composition of Māgha’s mahākāvya.

Mucciarelli, Elena: The Steadiness of a Non-steady Place – The re-adaptation of the imagery of the chariot

The present contribution is derived from of a more comprehensive research project on the reuse of the chariot as vehicle and symbol in different periods of the Indian history, and on how its re-adaptation is linked to a change in conceiving space and movement. Already in the Vedic time, as Sparreboom stated, the “chariot was not merely a practical instrument for conveying persons, but an object vested with religious significance and symbolic values”. Along the studies on ritualised battle and the chariot as a symbol, I will concentrate on this kind of vehicle as a sacred space “in motion”: in the Ṛgvedic time the chariot, representing an image of movement, abides in the realm of allegory, linking with the semantic field of poetry. On the other side, in the late Vedic period, along a wider social and political re-casting, this vehicle undergoes a process of specialization and it plays a role within the big royal rituals already as an attribute of power. The aim of this paper is not only to point at the different values that the chariot took within the development of the Vedic texts, but also to draw a picture of the semantic fields that it evoked and that are then reused in, e.g., medieval contexts.

Muroya, Yasutaka: On Parallel Passages in the Commentaries of Vācaspati Miśra and Bhaṭṭa Vāgīśvara

Bhaṭṭa Vāgīśvara’s Nyāyasūtratātparyadīpikā, a direct commentary on the Nyāyasūtra (NS), was edited by Kishor Nath Jha and published in Allahabad in 1979. In his philological notes, the learned pandit and scholar from Mithila presented a survey of Vāgīśvara’s textual sources and adduced parallel and relevant passages found in other NS-related commentaries including Vācaspati Miśra’s Nyāyavārttikatātparyaṭīkā. According to Anantalal Thakur, who wrote an introduction to the edition, Vāgīśvara is to be dated after the period of Vācaspati on the basis of the multiple attestation of Vāgīśvara’s acquaintance with Vācaspati’s commentary. However, a closer look and analysis of references commonly made by them to the NS and Nyāyabhāṣya (NBh), the earliest extant commentary on the NS, shows that Thakur’s assumption about their chronological relationship has to be questioned and that the textual evidence on which it is based requires further historical and text-critical analysis from a wider perspective. The present paper will examine the relationship of Vācaspati and Vāgīśvara from the point of view of some of their references to and interpretations of the NS and NBh, and offer preliminary observations on the historical place of these two commentators within the commentarial tradition of the NS.

Okita, Kiyokazu: Revelation or Concoction? — Varying views on Madhva’s untraceable quotations in early modern Vedānta

In recent years more and more scholars recognise that theology, rather than philosophy, is an appropriate category to describe Vedānta (Clooney 1993, 2003; Edelmann 2012, 2013). Vedānta is theological in the sense that it is fundamentally a tradition of scriptural exegesis. The main focus of Vedānta is not a free exploration of the ultimate truth but an articulation of a coherent system of thought which is presumed to be underlying the Upaniṣads, the Brahmasūtra, and the Bhagavadgītā. If Vedānta is theological, then we naturally come to conclude that Vedāntists’ arguments must be circumscribed by the texts that are accepted to be authoritative. In other words, the texts should come first. What if, however, a Vedāntist comes up with his argument first, and then creates texts to support his argument? Such a case would challenge the fundamental nature of Vedānta as theology. The so-called untraceable quotations in the works of Madhva pose precisely such a challenge (Mesquita 2000, 2007; Okita 2011). Because of this troubling nature, Madhva’s untraceable quotations have been criticised by authors such as Appayadīkṣita, a sixteenth century Advaita. At the same time, other early modern Vedāntists such as Jīva Gosvāmī in the sixteenth century and Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa in the eighteenth century seem to accept those quotations as authoritative. In this paper, I shall consider the nature of Madhva’s untraceable quotations and its implications by examining how they are seen (1) by the Mādhvas, (2) by the Advaitin critiques, and (3) by the Gauḍīyas.

Pellegrini, Gianni: On the Alleged Indebtedness of the Vedānta Paribhāṣā to the Vedānta Kaumudī

Dharmarājādhvarīndra’s (middle of the 17th century) Vedānta Paribhāṣā (VP) is a well-known introduction to Advaita Vedānta, targeted to beginners who are already trained in Navya Nyāya. According to S.N. Dasgupta (1942), the VP is so heavily indebted to Rāmādvaya’s Vedānta Kaumudī (VK), which was composed in the middle of the 14th century and is today almost forgotten, that the VP’s “claim to originality vanishes”. The VK was, however, only edited in 1955 and then again in 1974. In the light of this improved textual basis, what is our judgement about Dasgupta’s hypercritical statement? Does the VP actually claim to be original? Was this originality somehow later super­imposed on the VP? Is the VP really so much indebted to the VK? This paper aims at a comparative analysis of the textual background of these and related questions by means of an analysis of the Advaita epistemological tenets of the VP and their comparison with the exposition of these tenets in the VK.

Prets, Ernst: Early Nyāya Fragments, Aviddhakarṇa, and Other Uncertainties

In addition to the Nyāyacaturgranthikā, we also know that Pakṣilasvāmin’s Nyāyabhāṣya was commented on by a number of early Naiyāyikas, of whom only their names, titles of works, or fragments have survived in the philosophical literature (e.g., Aviddhakarṇa and Bhāvivikta are said to have written a Nyāyabhāṣyaṭīkā, and, quite surprisingly, they also seem to have composed a commentary on the Bṛhaspatisūtra). Many important ideas of the Nyāya tradition seem to derive from these lost works. This assumption is substantiated by the fact that these works are often referred to in texts by authors from opposing schools and systems. For instance, Śāntarakṣita, at the end of his Vādanyāya­ṭīkā, mentioned Prīticandra, who seemingly was another Nyāya author of the same period whose work is lost (uddyotakaraprīticandrabhāviviktaprabhṛtiḥ). The paper aims specifically at differentiating between the various types of attestations of these Nyāya fragments in Buddhist works. In some cases, a thought from a lost work of the Nyāya tradition is merely alluded to, in other cases, the diction of the lost work is preserved as a quote or is paraphrased. Caution is however, appropriate, since “we must constantly be aware of the fact that the words and passages carrying the information for which we are searching have two preconditions: the unavailability of their original source, and the un­certainty about the reliability of the quoting author” (Ernst Steinkellner in his Keynote Lecture 2012 at the Conference in Matsumoto on ‘Transmission and Tradition’ on frag­ments in general).

Sellmer, Sven: Originality in the Mahābhārata

Questions related to originality pose themselves in a specific way for a highly traditional and formulaic work like the Mahābhārata that was composed by anonymous authors. One way to approach originality in this context is to treat it as a linguistic feature of text units, not of authors. I will make use of two notions of originality, both based on the heuristic conception of a “traditional epic language” (= TEL):

  • originality1 as a markable deviation from formal patterns of the TEL;
  • originality2 as a result of the use of words and concepts that are “imported” from traditions outside the TEL.

Both of these notions may seem quite technical, but as such they are objective, quantifiable and can be detected automatically (with the help of simple computer programs that I designed for this purpose) – which are three important assets. The procedures to identify original text units, from hemistichs to whole passages, and to measure both versions of originality will be briefly explained. Further, I shall demonstrate how the findings of this kind of textual analysis may be practically applied, and shall discuss some concrete examples of passages that can be labelled as original according to the above definitions. This will also illustrate different ways in which the authors of the Mahābhārata used and reused their linguistic resources: from practically motivated variations to purposeful originality with literary ambitions.

Trikha, Himal: Creativity Within Narrow Limits – Two different usages of a single passage from the Vādanyāya in the works of Vidyānandin

The Digambara Jaina Vidyānandin (10th century) frequently refers to passages from works of the logico-epistemological tradition of Buddhism. With regard to their function in Vidyānandin’s argumentation, these references fall into two categories. The first one comprises references that illustrate Buddhist tenets. These tenets are unfounded according to Vidyānandin’s own position and are therefore subsequently disproved. The second category comprises references that are found in the context of the refutation of philosophical positions held by brahmanical schools of thought. Here, Vidyānandin refers to the works of the logico-epistemological tradition of Buddhism in order to reinforce his own line of argumentation. In my paper, I shall first present some examples for Vidyānandin’s flexible usage of Buddhist arguments and will briefly discuss its intertextual features. In the second part, I shall focus on the different usage of one and the same passage from Dharmakīrti’s Vādanyāya in two works of Vidyānandin. The characteristic terminology of the passage in question has been coined by Dharmakīrti in an argument against the Vaiśeṣika’s concept of the avayavin. Vidyānandin cannot accept the ontological assumptions reflected in this argument and consequently rejects it in his Tattvārthaślokavārttikālakāra. In his Satyaśāsanaparīkā however, he changes the con­ceptual content of the argument by a slight modification of the text and includes it in his own line of argumentation against the Vaiśeṣika. I think the example shows that for this Jaina author only a critical reassessment of the original conceptual content allows for a creative adaptation of the opponents’ arguments.