[INDOLOGY] Read the Sanskrit texts: Why both Rajiv Malhotra and his critics are wrong about plagiarism

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at gmail.com
Sat Jul 25 11:43:43 UTC 2015

On 25 July 2015 at 12:22, Dean Michael Anderson via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Many other texts from this period also "cite" previous authors, such as in
> Caraka. But I will leave that to scholars more knowledgeable about those
> texts, like Dominik.

The majority of early Sanskrit authors in all śāstras and genres cited
their predecessors and understood and used​ the methods of quotation and
citation well.  Not quite as we do today, but in their own perfectly
acceptable ways.  In fact, in a manner similar to that of classical authors
in the European tradition (see, e.g., Reynolds & Wilson, *Scribes and
Scholars*, *passim*.).

Malhotra's assertion that "there are no quotation marks in Sanskrit" was a
knee-jerk "the dog ate my homework" kind of self defence.  I expect he
regrets it, and knows better, in truth.  It's nonsense and not worth
discussing further, really.

As an example of serious work, the ongoing research project "Fragments of
Indian Philosophy
of my colleague and friend Dr Ernst Prets at the Austrian Academy of
Sciences is based on the discovery and evaluation of quotations in Sanskrit
philosophical works.  In his project application, Dr Prets noted,

The main aim of the proposed project is to make an attempt at
comprehensively collecting and analyzing the quotations and paraphrases
from and allusions to the texts of the Sāṅkhya, Nyāya, Vaiśeṣika, Mīmāṃsā,
and Lokāyata traditions with special reference to early epistemology, logic
and dialectics. Another major goal of the project will be the systematic
search for fragments of texts in the philosophical Sanskrit works of the
Jainas, specifically in the works of the Digambara Jainas.

In addition, the project will investigate the Indian convention of quoting
and referring to earlier works or views as an element of composition in
other branches of scientific literature.
Dominik Wujastyk​

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