[INDOLOGY] New article on Sanskrit

Jan E.M. Houben jemhouben at gmail.com
Sun Sep 18 07:48:10 UTC 2016

Yes, my proposed Sanskrit translation should read:

संस्कृतं भागएव सर्वस्य योधनीयवस्तुनः,
भारतस्य नानाविधत्व-व्यापकत्व-लौकिकत्वानां च तत्साम्यलक्षितसंविधानस्य च
रक्षणार्थम् ।

One may doubt on how to interpret "secular state" : I took it in the sense
of laukika-bhāva or laukikatva, perhaps the intention was rather

Best wishes,

On 18 September 2016 at 09:19, Jan E.M. Houben <jemhouben at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear Ananya,
> Thanks for sharing this valuable argument and position, which not only
> deserves close and critical attention of Sanskritists all over the world,
> it also deserves to be translated, at least for its main outlines, into
> Hindi, Urdu and especially Sanskrit, in order to reach those most directly
> concerned.
> Let us take one out of numerous important points in your argument:
> “It's [Sanskrit is] part of everything that has to be fought over
> to protect the diversity and inclusiveness of India, its secular state and
> its
> egalitarian Constitution.”
> How to say this in Sanskrit?
> Several possibilities, here is my proposal:
> संस्कृतं भागमेव सर्वस्य योधनीयवस्तुनः,
> भारतस्य नानाविधत्व-व्यापकत्व-लौकिकत्वानां च तत्साम्यलक्षितसंविधानस्य च
> रक्षणार्थम् ।
> After all, why should we systematically refuse to speak the language of
> those about whom we are discussing ? Nevertheless, in Sanskrit studies this
> is exactly what has been going on since at least the beginning of the 19th
> century.
> And was it not precisely the exclusive focus on the archival function and
> the systematic neglect of the communicative function of Sanskrit which
> contributed significantly to its antiquarianization and to the complete
> marginalization of contemporaneous carriers of the Sanskrit tradition?
> Q: Was Sanskrit then a living language or means of communication when it
> was discovered by westerners ? R: A crucial personality is here Melputtūr
> Nārāyaṇa Bhaṭṭa : on the one hand he argued, in the beginning of the 17th
> century, for a liberal approach to Sanskrit grammar and gives a Pāṇinian
> grammar of “living” Sanskrit
> -- see “Pāṇinian grammar of living Sanskrit”: www.academia.edu/28515426 --
> on the other hand he was aware of westerners who show both lack of respect
> and curiosity for Brahmins (tantudhārin) and their teachings (C. Rajendran
> 2008: 64 referring to Prabandhamañjarī ed. N.P. Unni p. 295-296).
> In order to deal AT ONCE with the lack of awareness of Sanskrit and its
> precious heritage outside India (not counting the very small number of
> specialists dispersed over a few academic institutions) AND the danger of
> its one-sided excess within India, I propose to invoke the regulatory
> concept of “ideodiversity” (मत-विविधता, which, within cultural and
> intellectual evolution, is or could be what “biodiversity” जैव-विविधता is
> within biological evolution):
> see my article “La ideodiversidad como valor planetario”
> which recently appeared in: Eadem utraque Europa : revista de historia
> cultural e intelectual,
> Año 12, No. 17, Agosto 2016, ISSN 1885-7221, pp. 11-42, trilingual summary
> at
> www.academia.edu/28565726
> The entire article can be briefly summarized in Sanskrit by referring to
> the view of Bhartrhari
> prajñā vivekaṁ labhate bhinnair āgama-darśanaiḥ |
> kiyad vā śakyam unnetuṁ svatarkam anudhāvatā ||
> (view of Bhartrhari as formulated probably by his student: note, in
> addition to other arguments, the exceptional and unnecessary metrical
> clumsiness in pāda a ; to write a metrically more smooth pāda a would not
> have been that difficult, for instance : prajñā vivekitāṁ yāti)
> Best wishes,
> Jan
> *Jan E.M. HOUBEN*
> Directeur d’Études
> Sources et histoire de la tradition sanskrite
> *École Pratique des Hautes Études*
> *Sciences historiques et philologiques *
> 54, rue Saint-Jacques
> CS 20525 – 75005 Paris
> johannes.houben at ephe.sorbonne.fr
> https://ephe-sorbonne.academia.edu/JanEMHouben
> www.ephe.fr
> On 15 September 2016 at 14:27, Ananya Vajpeyi <vajpeyi at csds.in> wrote:
>> Dear Colleagues,
>> The fall issue of World Policy Journal, titled "History's Ghosts", is
>> just out.
>> The issue published by Duke University Press journals, is now live online
>> <http://www.worldpolicy.org/journal/fall2016>, and here is a direct link
>> <http://wpj.dukejournals.org/content/33/3/45.full> to my article in it,
>> titled "The Return of Sanskrit".
>> The Return of Sanskrit
>> How an Old Language Got Caught up in India’s New Culture Wars
>> Indian scholar Ananya Vajpeyi examines the way the ruling Bharatiya
>> Janata Party is using Sanskrit to advance a Hindu supremacist agenda. She
>> argues that academics need to step out of the ivory tower and resist the
>> government’s manipulation of this ancient language.
>> ​Thanks and all best,
>> Ananya Vajpeyi. ​
>> --
>> *Ananya Vajpeyi *
>> *Fellow*
>> *Centre for the Study of Developing Societies*
>> *29 Rajpur Road, Civil Lines*
>> *New Delhi 110054*
>> *e: vajpeyi at csds.in <vajpeyi at csds.in>*
>> *ext: 229*
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