[INDOLOGY] J?ti as Caste in Ny?ya?

Donald R Davis drdj at austin.utexas.edu
Thu Jun 16 14:53:07 UTC 2016

Dear Colleagues,

I would be grateful for additional references to an argument mentioned in Jayanta Bhatta’s Āgamaḍambara 4.143-4 (in Dezso’s edition in the Clay series).  The question is whether the jāti of Brahmins, etc. is like the jāti of cow-ness, etc. in being empirically observable or directly perceivable.  Jayanta refers to those who say that verbal/textual testimony alone (śabdamātreṇa) establishes the four-varṇa system.  This prefigures an argument made in Vijñāneśvara’s Mitākṣarā (on Yaj 1.90) where the same distinction is drawn to refute an objection.

I assumed Jayanta would have made a similar argument in his Nyāyamañjarī, but I have not been able to locate it (probably because I barely know the Nyāya literature).  If anyone could point me toward other instances of this issue, whether in original sources or contemporary research, I’d appreciate it.


Don Davis
Dept of Asian Studies
University of Texas at Austin

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