History of Debate

nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Apr 15 20:54:21 UTC 1999

> >Isn't it strange that such a famous exponent of a leading school
> >of philosophy, has no other references in Indian literature?
> No, it's not: it is the rule. As a matter of fact we don't really
> anything about kAlidAsa himself.

I'm sorry I missed this in my earlier reply.

Ferenc, are you correct in saying that missing references are a rule
in Indian literature?

It is true that information is scant with regard to dating. Sometimes
even personal information is missing. But that doesn't mean that there
are no references at all.

Information can be gathered about a particular work or its author,
from other works. For Eg KAlidhAsa makes a comment about the Bauddha
logician DignAga. And information to other sources point to
DharmakIrti being the disciple of DignAga. ShankarAcharya makes a
remark about DharmakIrti in his Upadesha SAhasri.

He we can logically deduce that DignAga was either a
earlier contemporary or a peer of KAlidhAsa. DharmakIrti would have
been a peer of KAlidhAsa or probably come later than the poet. And
ShankarAcharya would have definitely come after DharmakIrti.

It's in this way that I find it strange that no mention of Ishvara
Krishna occurs anywhere (Am I right in this?). Most of the great poets
or philosophers, generally find mention in some later work, either of
their opponents or their followers. Probably the later SAmkhyan works
of VijnAnabhikshu might contain some reference to the philosopher. But
even that might not warrant much, as a millineum seperates them.
Probably SAmkhya works between Ishvara Krishna and VijnAnabhikshu
might be able to throw more light on the author of the SAmkhya

And since VAsubandhu is reputed to have been the guru of DignAga, it's
possible that KAlidhAsa may have been the contemporary of VAsubandhu
or his guru, and thus the claim to the singular identity of
KAlidhAsa and Ishvara Krishna. One thing to be noted is the relation
between the sishya and the guru, need not necessarily mean one of
generation ie even a person of the same age or slightly older one or
even somebody younger, could have been a guru of another.

I still think the best argument would come out of a difference in
their world views - as one inclines towards SAmkhya and the other
towards VedAnta. But again this may not mean much as a logical
development of SAmkhya with the aid of the shruti would lead to

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