Re: [INDOLOGY] khyā/khyāti

Birgit Kellner birgit.kellner at
Tue Dec 20 12:39:45 UTC 2016

Lambert Schmithausen's 1965 study "Maṇḍanamiśra's Vibhramavivekaḥ. Mit 
einer Studie zur Entwicklung der indischen Irrtumslehre" (Wien: 
Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften) springs to mind. Maṇḍana 
there classifies different error theories in terms of what appears 
(ātmakhyāti, asatkhyāti, anyathākhyati, akhyāti).

That said, on a quick glance I haven't found any particular remarks 
concerning the semantics of khyāti in Schmithausen's work, but it may be 
helpful nonetheless.

With best regards,

Birgit Kellner

Am 2016-12-20 um 12:41 schrieb Matthew Kapstein:
> Dear friends,
> The verb khyā and the noun khyāti that is derived from it seem
> primarily, in early usage,
> to refer to that which is announced, made known, famed. But at some
> point philosophical
> usage takes this over in the sense of that which is known, and above all
> that which is only known apparently,
> referring to surface knowledge or mere appearance as it were. During the
> late
> first millennium, this becomes a basis for the classification of
> philosophical systems according
> to their theories of khyāti (khyātivāda), i.e. their differing
> treatments of apparent reality,
> a scheme that I know to be current in both Vedānta
> and Jaina sources. Though one can easily see how
> the various concepts involved here are closely associated, so that the
> shift of meaning is plausible,
> it is not clear to me when this may have occurred, or in which body of
> literature.
> Is anyone aware of any work that explores the semantic history of khyā
> or khyāti, with attention to
> changes of meaning and usage in differing contexts?
> thanks in advance for your responses,
> Matthew Kapstein
> Directeur d'études,
> Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes
> Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
> The University of Chicago
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Dr. Birgit Kellner
Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia
Austrian Academy of Sciences
Hollandstraße 11-13, 2. OG
A-1020 Vienna / Austria
Phone: +43-(0)1-51581-6420
Fax: +43-(0)1-51581-6410

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