Saraswati: Atomic Scientists reconfirm location (Dr. Wujastyk)

Vishal Agarwal vishalagarwal at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Mar 18 05:29:29 UTC 2000

Dr. Wujastyk said:
DD Kosambi was a fine mathematician, but it was as a fine philologist and
literary historian that he contributed so valuably to the study of
Bhartrhari's poetry.  It would be ridiculous to say that his contribution
to indology was because he was a Scientist.

Vishal responds: To collect data for concordances and publish critical texts
is one thing, and to interpret data (which is what history is most about) is
another. Dr. Kosambi's flaws lie in using his pre-conceived notions to
distort data and derive marxist interpretations of history. However, since
you have banned discussion on the works of Eminent Historians, I will take
the example of another great contemporary philologist/linguist Dr. Hans H
Hock (whose book on historical linguistics comes very strongly recommended
by Dr. George Thomspon), to demonstrate how such linguists and philologists
make a mockery of ancient texts.

Refer Pg. 145-147 of "Aryan and Non Aryan in South Asia" ed by Dr. M
Deshpande and Dr. J Bronkhorst (HOS 2; 1999) where Dr. Hock says:

"........I found that the parable is not apocryphal, but is referred to as
early as Sankaracharya;s time:

detad dhastidarsana eva jatyandhah, i.e., like people blind by birth/when
viewing an elephant.(Sankaracarya's commentary on Chhandogya Upanishad

There is however, an important difference between the interpretation of the
parable by modern scholars and Sankaracarya. The former take the parable as
emblematic of how difficult scholars to enquire into the true nature of
things; for Sankaracharya, by contrast, the true nature of things is
pre-established, but those whom he would characterise as blind fail to see
the truth."

Two pages later, after decrying the Hindu nationalists and the Dravidian
Nationalists, Dr. Hock pontificates:
"Not unlike religious thinkers such as Sankara, national or religious
zealots are convinced that the nature of truth is pre-established, while for
those operating in the tradition of scholarship the truth is something to be
sought after, something to be approximated by means of hypotheses."

I would suggest that the Indologists read the subsequent words of the
Acharya's commentary on Chhandogya Upanishad 5.18.1 to see how Dr. Hock has
terribly distorted/misunderstood the words of Sankaracarya. In fact, it
shows a lack of understanding of even the basic paradigms of Advaita Vedanta
which is the most important school of Indian philosophy, and is also a clear
slander of the Teacher. If Dr. Hock, despite being an eminent LINGUIST could
not interpret the passage correctly, he could have referred to the tippana
of Anandagiri, or even the Dipika of Sayana! Time constraints forbid me from
showing similar follies in the articles of Herr Witzel, who discovered that
the word 'sukha' meant axle holes. Considering that one eminent linguist
discovered that Rishika Apala had few pubic hair, and another found that she
actually had a small vulva, I would not be surprised on the meaning that Dr.
Witzel would attribute to the 'sukha' in his future discovery of proto-proto
IE that was spoken by delighted men before they invented chariots.

Ironically, Dr. Hock is now the vice-president of WAVES, which is composed
primarily of the 'Hindu Nationalists' like Dr. Kak, whom he criticized so
vehemently in the article quoted above.

Would Dr. Fosse now recall his comment that 'necessity makes strange

Let me stop this email here lest Dr. Witzel says with his foul-mukha that I
am indulging  hate-mongering or before Dr. George Thompson SPAKE that 'the
list, scholarly in intent, has been over-run once
again by a bunch of fundamentalists on a crusade".

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