Prolegomenon to Vallabha's theology of revelation

By Jeffrey R. Timm
Philosophy East and West
volume 38, number 2 (April 1988)
p 107-126

P107 Far too often, scholars who study Asian thought focus so exclusively on one tradition or thinker that they fall prey to a kind of "tunnel vision." The fact is that every moment in the history of human thought arises in the context of claims and counterclaims about the way it really is. Luckily, in the context of Indian thought, at least, the textual traditions often act as a reminder that the most creative thinking occurs in response to powerful counterclaims. One can hardly imagine an Udayana without a Buddhist to attack, or a Candrakiirti without a Saa.mkhya. All this is to say that Indian thought is intensely dialogical. It should come as no surprise, then, that the title used by Vallabha, the fifteenth-century Krishnaite philosophical theologian, for the first section of his Tattvaarthadiipanibandha means both "the meaning of teaching" and "philosophical debate." And it is even less surprising that that section, which he calls `Saastraartha, shows Vallabha fully aware of the challenge presented by alternative views in his response to schools like Advaita Vedaanta, Miimaa.msaa, Nyaaya, Vai'se.ska, Yoga, and Saa.mkhya. Any penetrating consideration of Vallabha-who in the words of one scholar "laid the philosophical foundations for a great resurgence of Krishna bhakti"(1) --must take into account the metaphysical and epistemological views which contributed to his theology. The views he endorsed as well as those that he rejected must be considered if the underlying foundation of his theological program is to be understood. One of the views he rejected--a primary object of his opposition throughout the `Saastraartha-was the Vedaantic school of Advaita originating with Sa^nkara (eighth-ninth centuries A.D.) . The ontological framework proposed by this influential school of thought was problematic for Vallabha as well as for other Vai.s.nava theologians like Maadhava and Raamaanuja. This was the case because its solution to the problem of relation between the phenomenal world and the realm of ultimate reality damaged the epistemological foundation necessary for an affirmation of transcendental knowledge in the world, and consequently undermined the path to liberation, the raison d' t re of almost all Indian speculative thought. Vallabha was also dissatisfied with Nyaaya and with Miimaa.msaa, but for different reasons. Nyaaya's philosophical pluralism, ascribing a reality to the things of the world, was not far removed from his own ontology; it was certainly closer to his view on the nature of the world than the position affirmed by Advaita Vedaanta. The Nyaaya school, however, made forceful claims about the role of perception and rationality as independent means to valid knowledge, which suggested their equality to, and perhaps even their superiority over, scriptural revelation. This Vallabha could not accept. Less of a problem, in this regard, --------------------- Jeffrey R. Timm is Assistant Professor of Religion at Wheaten College, Norton, Massachusetts. AUTHOR'S NOTE:I would be remiss if I did not thank my mentor and friend, Dr. Bibhuti S. Yadav of Temple University, for the countless hours spent discussing Vallabha's unique contribution to the history of Indian thought. P108 was the textual methodology proposed by Puurvamiimaa.msaa. As long as Miimaa.msaa occupied itself with the development of a hermeneutical theory designed to uncover the meaning of scriptural revelation, Vallabha could give his endorsement. In fact, his own hermeneutical analysis of 'sruti is directly dependent on many of the categories of textual analysis developed by Miimaa.msaa. However, along with its epistemology, Miimaa.msaa proposed an ontological scheme which argued for the eternality of both the Veda and the world by rejecting the existence of a divine creator. The suggestion that there is a divine Word in the absence of a divine speaker of that Word was anathema from the perspective of a Vai.s.nava world view. An alternate view of divine Word (vaac), a concept emerging in some of the earliest hymns of the RgVeda, was fundamental in the development of the theology of Vallabha. His application of the "divine Word" concept is implicitly dependent upon the theory of 'sabdabrahman developed by Bhart.rhari (seventh century A.D.) , associated with the Grammarian school. The concept of spho.tadhvani emerging from Bhart.rhari's Vaakyapadiiya, and its subsequent effect on the Indian philosophy of language, resonates throughout Vallabha's theology. Closely associated with the ontological dimensions of Bhart.rhari's philosophy of language are the practical implications the "divine Word" concept held for religious expression through literature and poetry. A seminal thinker in this area is Abhinavagupta (tenth century A.D.), whose theory of aesthetics laid the groundwork for the elevation of poetry as the primary mode of expressing religious-devotional sentiment. His theory of aesthetics receives an implicit endorsement in the theology of Vallabha, as well as in the subsequent literary creativity of the Vallabha tradition. No significant development in the history of thought occurs in a vacuum. Each of these schools, through the collective contributions of their individual thinkers, helped provide a shared context which emerged from the past to demand Vallabha's recognition and evaluation. But the theology of Vallabha was more than a simple response to an inherited context, for it involved a distancing from that context with the obligation to provide a better answer, a theology in a new key. Although the contours of this theology will be considered, a full exposition lies beyond the scope of this article. The present work, then, claims to reveal a context, a prolegomenon, if you will, to the theology of Vallabha. I. THE CHALLENGE OF MAADHYAMIKA Before turning to a more detailed analysis of the schools already mentioned, it is necessary to consider, at least briefly, the standing challenge to all metaphysical speculation made by the last important movement of Indian Buddhism, Maadhyamika. Although Vallabha does not explicitly respond to the critique of metaphysics made by the preeminent Indian philosopher Naagaarjuna (second century A.D.) and his commentator Candrakiirti (seventh century A.D.), the P109 theology of Vallabha is, at least implicitly, a response to the Maadhyamika challenge that all metaphysical speculation is symptomatic of a kind of "disease" and that no metaphysical assertion has a genuine claim to make about reality. The main thrust of the Maadhyamika critique rests on the perceived discontinuity between the way the world is, and what reason, while engaged in metaphysical speculation, thinks the world to be. Suspicious of any claim made about the nature of reality, and equally suspicious of any epistemology allowing such claims, Maadhyamika charges that the philosopher engaged in metaphysics is living a sick form of life, infecting others who take him seriously. The only cure for this "dis-ease" is to show the utter hollowness of all metaphysical claims by applying the logical tool of reductio ad absurdum. With the well-known technique, developed by Naagaarjuna in his Muulamadhyamikakaarikaa, called catu.sko.ti or four-cornered negation, Maadhyamika rejects the possibility of making any sort of meaningful claim involving ontological predication. According to the critique, every ontological statement rooted in a subject/predicate logic can be reduced to a tautology or a selfcontradiction. Consider, asks Candrakiirti, the statement, "the human soul is eternal." What is the relationship between the subject, " the human soul," and the predication, "is eternal"; are the two terms identical or different? If they are identical, we are left with a tautology: the eternal human soul is eternal. If they are different and distinct, what could possibly justify the claim that they are related?(2) The Maadhyamika program applies the reduction-to- absurdity technique to every sort of metaphysical claim in an effort to show the utter emptiness of ontological statements. Subject/predicate logic is useful for mundane purposes, but when it is used to make metaphysical claims it becomes a kind of deceptive referring act: saying "X exists" becomes the basis for the belief that X actually exists. The commitment to a world view or theory about the way the world is, is embraced as a shelter (d.r.sti) from the anxiety, psychological insecurity, and fear accompanying the desire of the ego to say "I am," and the ego's wish to avoid nonbeing. Such commitment, asserted in the context of ideological, religious, or metaphysical discourse, is a self-deception symptomatic of a sick form of life. Properly applied, catu.sko.ti is the medicine used to treat the "dis-ease." Once the patient is cured, the medicine becomes irrelevant.(3) The Maadhyamika school represents the final chapter in the history of Indian Buddhism. Despite the decline of Buddhism's influence in the Indian subcontinent, Maadhyamika's challenge to the enterprise of metaphysics has had an enduring effect on the character of Indian philosophy. The Vedaantic thought of both `Sa^nkara and Vallabha, although they conflict in their basic claims about the nature of reality, can be understood as attempts to justify the Hindu vision of ultimate reality in the face of Maadhyamika's challenge. Before considering P110 how this challenge was met from within Vedaanta, it is necessary to examine the logic of "God-talk"--rejected by Maadhyamika as a deceptive referring act--from the standpoint of another school in Indian thought, Nyaaya. II. NYAAYA RATIONAL THEOLOGY Nyaaya is one of the six "orthodox" schools within Hinduism and therefore affirms the spiritual authority of the Vedic scriptures. Closely associated with the school of Vai'se.sika established by Ka.naada, Nyaaya asserts a variety of pluralistic realism which, unlike Maadhyamika, takes seriously the possibility of knowing something about the metaphysical nature of reality. Through the proper application of reason within the categories of accepted, or means to valid knowledge, we can acquire knowledge about the world and about God., according to the Nyaayama~njarii, written by Jayanta Bha.t.ta (ninth century A.D.), is "the collocation of conscious as well as unconscious factors which result in producing such an apprehension of knowable objects that is different from illusion and doubt."(4) The means to valid knowledge, according to Nyaaya, are fourfold: perception (, inference (anumaana), comparison (upamaana), and testimony ('sabda). Jayanta, following the definition given by an earlier Nyaaya thinker, Gautama, the author of the Nyaayasuutra, asserts that perception is "that knowledge which arises from contact of a sense with an object; it is unnamable, uncontradicted, and determinate."(5) Unlike Gautama, Jayanta clearly distinguishes between perception as a means to knowledge and perception as knowledge itself, but in either case perception is primarily associated with illuminating a really existing multiplicity of objects which make up the world. The second category of, according to Nyaaya, is inference: the means to knowledge of that which is beyond direct perception. Knowledge of an unperceived object is achieved through the apprehension of a perceptible object of knowledge, along with the recognition of the invariable concomitance of what is perceived and that which is beyond perception. The classic example of this of inference--reasoning from the perception of smoke rising from a distant mountain to the conclusion of fire on the mountain--illustrates the five terms involved in the Nyaaya syllogism: (1) On that distant mountain is a fire (the hypothesis); because (2) smoke is rising from that distant mountain (reason based on perception); (3) whatever possesses smoke possesses fire, for example, a fireplace (an example supporting the invariable concomitance between smoke and fire); (4) smoke is rising from that distant mountain such as is invariably accompanied by fire (the statement of invariable concomitance) ; therefore,(5) on that distant mountain is a fire (the conclusion). The five terms of the syllogism function together to establish knowledge of the unseen fire burning on a distant mountain. This of inference is important in the Nyaaya program to develop a rational theology proving the existence of God. The third means to valid knowledge accepted by the Nyaaya school is called P111 upamaana, or comparison. According to Jayanta, the of comparison consists in associating an object not known before with some other well-known object through the remembrance of instruction given by an authoritative person and through the perception of resemblance between the unknown object and the known object.(6) The steps involved in reasoning on the basis of comparison are illustrated in the following example given by Jayanta in his Nyaayama~njarii. A person visiting a certain forest is told by the game warden that an animal called a gavaya, resembling a cow, lives in the forest. During his walk through the forest, this person encounters an animal resembling a cow and recalls the description of the gavaya given by the game warden. On the basis of this recollection, knowledge that this animal is a gavaya is established. In response to the objection that comparison is merely a form of inference and should not be considered a distinct, Jayanta argues that comparison is different from inference because it always involves the denotative power of words given by an authoritative person, whereas inference produces knowledge in the absence of such words. The final category of affirmed by Nyaaya is 'sabda, or verbal testimony. It is defined as the instruction of a reliable person (aapta) who knows the truth and who communicates it correctly. According to Jayanta, a reliable person should not have an imperfect knowledge of the subject he wishes to impart, but on the other hand he need not be omniscient. Thus, the value of testimony as a means to valid knowledge is dependent on the honesty and competence of the speaker. The validity of the Veda is established on this basis. God, who is all-knowing, is the author of the Veda, and consequently everything taught by this text is valid. The Vedic scripture should be accepted as an extraordinary form of testimony because of the extraordinary nature of its author. Nyaaya argues that this claim does not involve a pattern of circular reasoning because the existence of God--the author of the Veda--is not established on the basis of scriptural claims, instead, it is established through the application of rationality and inference. The systematic use of inference to prove the existence of God, as both the creator of the world and the author of the Veda, is the modus operandi in the Nyaayakusumaa~njali, written by Udayana (eleventh century A.D.) . Udayana, a staunch opponent of Buddhism in general, and Maadhyamika in particular, (7) turns his attention to the development of a rational theology in the Nyaayakusumaa~njali. In the fifth section of this work, Udayana presents two parallel series of proofs: one set for proving the existence of God, the second for proving the authorship of the Veda. In the first proof for the existence of God, Udayana (like Aquinas, who was composing the Quinque Viae at about the same time in Europe) argues for the existence of God on the basis of efficient causation. The world is an effect and, like any other effect, points to a variety of causes which must include an efficient cause possessing a nature capable of producing such an effect. Udayana writes: P112 Earth, et cetera, have a maker as their cause; because they have the nature of an effect.(8) In this abbreviated version of the five-part syllogism, Udayana is attempting to establish, on a rational basis, the existence of a creator who is capable of creating something as great as this world. Clearly rejecting the Maadhyamika claim that the use of reason in metaphysical issues is symptomatic of "disease," Udayana claims to prove the existence of God. Although Vedaanta would agree with Nyaaya's claim that God exists, it would reject the notion that a proof could be established solely on the basis of human rationality. There is a fundamental problem with Nyaaya's emphasis on inference as the basis of theological understanding. According to Vedaanta, 'sruti, or revealed scripture--that category of testimony in Nyaaya which has God as its authority (aapta)--is the incomparable, preeminent authority in all transcendental matters. Both `Sa^nkara and Vallabha emphasize the preeminence of 'sruti; but despite their mutual disagreement with Nyaaya, these two exponents of Vedaanta do not understand the nature of scripture in exactly the same way. . THE RESPONSE OF ADVAITA VEDAANTA Each school within Vedaanta stresses the importance of revealed scripture. The contents of scriptural revelation have been analyzed and interpreted by the various Vedaantic schools of thought as a primary source of transcendental knowledge capable of leading the authentic seeker to liberation. One of the most influential forms of Vedaanta, and certainly the best known in the West, is the school of Advaita Vedaanta established by `Sa^nkara. In order to make sense of its epistemology and its understanding of Vedic scripture, we must first consider the ontology it proposes. The salient points of this ontology are revealed by considering Advaita Vedaanta's solution to the fundamental metaphysical problem of "relationship." What is the nature of the relationship between ultimate reality, called Brahman in the Upani.sadic texts, and the phenomenal world of ordinary experience? How can an abiding ultimate reality, which is characterized as "Being, " have any connection with a world--marked by decay and impermanence-characterized as a process of becoming? One form of the Advaita solution to this problem is presented in a theory of causality called vivarta. According to this view, the problem of relating Brahman with the world of change is resolved by understanding Brahman as the cause of the world, which does not itself undergo any change. The world is an effect that preexists in the cause, but it does not share the reality of its cause; therefore, the phenomenal world is a mere "appearance" devoid of any ontological purchase. By denying ontological significance to the phenomenal world, the problem of relationship is resolved, because from the standpoint of reality there is no world. The only reality, in the final analysis, is a qualityless Brahman, and only through liberation does the immediate and direct realization of Brahman's nonduality arise. P113 The ontology presented by Advaita Vedaanta leads to conclusions not unlike the epistemological skepticism developed in Maadhyamika Buddhism. Brahman, according to the Advaita view, is so absolute that statements made about it, insofar as such statements are made from within the phenomenal order of becoming, can do no more than weakly point to ultimate reality. Nothing "really real" can be said about Brahman because "to say something" occurs in and through the phenonmenal world. This position leads to some interesting problems when the notion of divine revelation is considered. Although things in the world may have a practical or provisional reality--Advaita Vedaanata calls this level vyavahaarika--nothing in the phenomenal realm is really real; that is to say, nothing shares the ontological status accorded to Brahman. What, then, is the nature of divine revelation, either in the form of a text like the Veda, or in the form of a divine incarnation? A popular example in the Advaita tradition describes God's special revelations, which arise in the phenomenal world, as the roar of a dream lion which awakens the slumbering man. Revelations have provisional value because they can awaken one to the truly existent, ultimate reality of Brahman. But because such revelations are manifested within the phenomenal realm, because they fall within the category of vyavahaarika, they can never share the ontological status of Brahman. Other thinkers in the wider tradition of Vedaanta found the position of Advaita Vedaanta completely unsatisfactory. The problem with this view of revelation is expressed in a Dvaita Vedaanta critique of Advaita Vedaanta found in the Nyaayaratnaavali, written by Vaadiraaja (sixteenth century A.D.). One who is afflicted with a mania producing [conviction in] an inextinguishable "Great Illusion," who moreover declares, while posturing as one grounded on the Scriptures, a [belief in the world's] depravity based on the depraved condition of the all-assisting Scriptures, kills his own mother! I believe that he gets amusement by bringing harm to everyone.(9) Vaadiraaja is claiming that Advaita Vedaanta is involved in a fundamental self-contradiction. Like all schools of Vedaanta, Advaita claims to ground its position on ' in the form of 'sruti. But at the same time it denigrates the status of 'sruti by relegating scriptural revelation to the status of vyavahaarika, a mere "appearance" within the phenomenal realm. This, according to Vaadiraaja, is like the man who, owing his very existence to his mother, kills her. Vallabha agrees. He raises a similar objection in the `Saastraartha, accusing Advaita Vedaanta of a self-contradiction related to its refusal to accept the unsublatable reality of the divine incarnation, According to the view of Maayaavaada and so on, `, et cetera, is not considered to be Brahman due to ['s] existence in the world. But they say His [Brahman's] essential nature is being-bliss-consciousness. Therefore, on P114 account of absence of proof in their own view, they proclaim this state of affairs by following the path of devotion. This should be understood. They accept truth established by a logic opposed to their own position.(10) Vallabha is pointing out that to make a claim about Brahman is to speak in the world and to speak from the authority of scripture revealed in the world. Since the proponents of Advaita Vedaanta accord the world only a provisional reality, they claim that cannot be, in the final analysis, identified with highest Brahman. But, because they assert that Brahman is, without qualities, the only self-consistent stance for them would be silence. Yet they claim that Brahman is being-consciousness-bliss, "a truth established by a logic contrary to their own position.'' A genuine and full affirmation of God's revelation, both scriptural and incarnational, is a fundamental concern for Vallabha. And it is this concern which lies behind his program to "purify" the nondualism of Advaita Vedaanta. The positions of both Sa.nkara and Vallabha are described as advaita, or nondual. We have seen that for `Sa.nkara the problem of relationship between Brahman and the phenomenal world is resolved by denying the world's ontological significance. Reality is one, without a second, and consequently the world-because it opposes the unchanging Brahman through its character of continual becoming-is described as a mere appearance, not "really real," a state of affairs to be transcended. Curiously this attempt to reconcile the appearance of the world with the claim for Brahman's nonduality lands Advaita Vedaanta back into a kind of dualism. For those trapped in ignorance, the world "exists"; it has an existential reality, albeit provisional, and over against the dualistic experience of the world is the promise of the nondual "experience" of Brahman, the goal of spiritual striving. In the `Saastraartha, Vallabha points out that this kind of thinking establishes a soteriological non sequitur. By tacitly affirming a cosmological dualism-the gulf between the phenomenal realm, in which ordinary human beings are trapped, and the ultimate reality of Brahman--Advaita Vedaanta undermines the very possibility of liberation. For what could act as a bridge between these two realms? Nothing in the world, no scripture, no incarnation, no revelation, shares the ontological status of the "really real"; consequently, how could any of these things carry one beyond the phenomenal? Thus, following the logic of the Advaita view, human beings are hopelessly trapped in the endless rounds of sa.msaara. Vallabha's solution to this problem is implied when he calls his position `Suddhaadvaita Brahmavaada, the theory of pure, nondualistic Brahman. He is asserting a nondualist form of Vedaanta which, unlike `Sa^nkara's, does not lead to the troubling conclusions of cosmological dualism. According this view, the world is real and identical with God, having God as both its efficient and its material cause. The idea that God is the material cause, as well as the efficient cause of the P115 universe, is established on the basis of key scriptural statements cited in the `Saastraartha, but God's material causality is supported by reason as well. "Despite [it being His creation], the universe is the form of God. Otherwise existence would arise from nonexistence."(11) Through the power of maayaa, which is inherent in God, the universe arises. Vallabha distinguishes his position from Advaita Vedaanta by characterizing maayaa not as some indescribable force separable from ultimate reality, but instead as one of the principal powers of God following the statement of the Also counted among God's powers is avidyaa, the principle of ignorance. On the basis of the difference between these two powers, Vallabha develops a fundamental concept of his theology: the distinction between the real universe (prapa~nca) and the unreal process of sa.msaara-that endless round of rebirth and redeath experienced by the souls who are deluded by ignorance. Both knowledge and ignorance are powers of God which are created only through maayaa. They affect the soul alone, not any other; so also suffering and powerlessness.(13) Here Vallabha indicates an ontological priority; knowledge and ignorance are dependent on maayaa. The world is a real creation of God and shares the reality of its creator, but sa.msaara-characterized by suffering and powerlessness--is not a real creation; it results from "the ego's assertion of itself (abhimati) ... which takes the form of "I-ness" and "my-ness."(14) As soon as individualized consciousness, in the form of a soul, ceases regarding itself as distinct from the rest of creation, the process of sa.msaara is extinguished. The world, however, because it is a real creation, does not at that moment cease to exist."(15) This distinction between the real universe and the illusion of sa.msaara is supported by describing the universe as God's ontological revealment. God reveals Himself--becoming all that is--through the process of selective revealment and concealment (aavirbhaava-tirobhaava) of infinite attributes. After delighting in Himself He becomes as if hidden. This is accomplished by means of maayaa. He is veiled by this existence [which is His creation]... and it is said that the appearance of limitation everywhere is by His wish.(16) By concealing the full expression of His nature through His power of maayaa, the multiplicity of forms in creation is revealed. Phenomenal revealment is dependent upon ontological concealment. Despite the reality of the universe and its essential identity with God, Vallabha rejects a simple pantheistic identity. At the same time that God enters into the process of becoming--through concealing the fullness of His essential nature and revealing Himself as the creation-He remains unaffected by the process. Brahman indeed has endless forms and, though possessing parts, is undivided.(17) Between members of the same class (sajaatiiya), between classes (vijaatiiya) , and internally (savagata), [God] is devoid of these three types of dualism.(18) P116 God becomes the created universe through the pluralism or diversity of forms and the relationships between those forms, and yet He remains transcendent, beyond the three categories of relationships. The simultaneity of God's immanence and transcendence is explained not by denying the reality of the universe, but by recognizing each and every individual form as an incarnation through which God reveals a limited dimension of His reality, while concealing His essential and enduring fullness. All things are identical and present everywhere because everything is God. However, because God places a limitation on the attributes that are manifest in a given form, that form--viewed as distinct from all other forms--reveals only an infinitesimal portion of God's unending fullness. Why does God create in this way? After quoting the B.rhadaaraa.nyaka, "He wished for another and He became such, "(19) Vallabha comments that "ontological revealment in the form of the universe is only for the sake of delight which is impossible without diversity."(20) By creating the universe out of sheer delight, God differentiates Himself from Himself, becoming "self-forgetful" for the sake of manifesting diversity. At the same time (from the perspective of ordinary human understanding), God's glory, revealed through His capacity for unending creativity, acts as a lure drawing the created forms back to God. The universe, then, embodies the unfolding of God's cosmic autobiography. According to Vallabha, this autobiographical creativity is linguistically structured. Quoting the (10.85.4), he writes: Wherever, by whom, from whom, of whom, to whom, as whatever, whenever--all this is God directly as matter, person, and Lord.(21) Everything in creation is God, and God is the ultimate denotative locus of all words, the foundation for all relationships expressed grammatically through the seven Sanskirt cases. After "speaking" the creation into existence, God speaks again, out of compassion, providing the means for liberation. To appreciate fully the central place of "word" in Vallabha's theology, we must briefly consider the philosophy of language in two important schools of thought: Puurvamiimaa.msa and the Grammarian school. IV. MIIMAA.MSA PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE Closely associated with Vedaanta philosophies is the school called Miimaa.msaa. The relationship between Vedaanta and Miimaa.msaa is indicated by the fact that Vedaanta is also called "Uttara" Miimaa.msaa, designating its scriptural focus as the "Uttara" or "later" sections of the Veda, which are the Upani.sads. Mimaa.msaa proper, or "Puurva" Miimaa.msaa, as it is called, stresses the importance of the sections of the Vedic text, subordinating both the earlier Mantra and the later Upani.sad to the inquiry into the rituals of sacrifice. According to the Miimaa.msaa school, the proper interpretation of the Veda is by P117 no means a simple matter; consequently Miimaa.msaa has developed a theory of intepretation-principles of Vedic hermeneutics--which has subsequently been employed by thinkers outside the Miimaa.msaa tradition including Vallabha. As long as the Miimaa.msaa program remains on the level of epistemology, focusing on the development and application of the principles of Vedic interpretation, no conflict arises between Vallabha and Miimaa.msaa. However, Miimaa.msaa thinkers like `Sabara (fourth-fifth century A.D.), Prabhaakara (seventh-eighth century A.D.) , and Kumaarila (seventh century), made certain ontological claims which Vallabha was compelled to reject. The problem with Miimaa.msaa from the perspective of Vedaanta is highlighted by considering the Miimaa.msaa concept of language. The dual form of the Miimaa.msaa concept of language is evident in the distinction between two terms, 'sabda and pada. Unfortunately both terms can be translated as "word, " obscuring a fundamental distinction. The term 'sabda is more comprehensive, for it may be used to mean not only "word" in general, but also "Word" as divine revelation or as testimony from any authoritative source. We have already discussed this connotation of 'sabda in the examination of the Nyaaya theory. Pada, on the other hand, has a much more restricted meaning; it focuses on "word" as a constituent part of language. These two terms, 'sabda and pada, are at the heart of two related views of language developed by Miimaa.mmsaa: 'sabdanityatva and padanityatva.(22) From the perspective of the first view, 'sabdanityanva, language is understood metaphysically as the fundamental and necessary requirement for human existence. To be human is to have language because language provides the categories of meaning which ultimately pattern all human knowledge. It is not man who is the author of language, but it is instead language itself that speaks to man, manifesting a context in which man responds. The second view of language, padanityatva, presents language in its more pragmatic character; word and its meaning are viewed as the fundamental constituents of language, which is in turn considered as a medium of expression. From this perspective, words and sentences are understood as external forms capable of revealing their inner meaning only if the proper hermeneutical principles are applied. Responding to the demands of the padanityatva theory of language, Miimaa.msaa developed a theory of textual interpretation which provided a means for understanding the truth enshrined in the words of the Vedic scripture. The principles of the Miimaa.msaa hermeneutical program were accepted and utilized by the schools of Vedaanta, including Vallabha. However, in developing the implications of the 'sabdanityatva theory of language, Miimaa.msaa makes claims about the nature of the Vedic scripture incompatible with the Vai.s.nava theology of Vallabha. The validity of the Veda can be established beyond any doubt, according to Miimaa.msaa, only if it is agreed that the Veda has existed eternally and that it is P118 authorless. Kumaarila, for example, is not satisfied with the Nyaaya understanding of ', which bases the validity of scripture on the idea that the aapta, the authoritative person making a truth claim, is none other than God, who is omniscient and trustworthy. The problem, according to Miimaa.msaa, is this: how can someone who is not omniscient recognize that quality in another? One who accepts [validity] in the realm of the ritual that has to be performed ('sraddheya-) on the basis of statements [of those persons whose] credibility in matters connected with the objects of the senses has been experienced, will have to establish [the aapta's] credibility and competence by means of something else. Were praamaa.nyam to be intrinsic, then what is the purpose of making it depend on the senses, etc.(23) Since the quality of omniscience is not perceptible by those who are themselves not omniscient, the Nyaaya of 'sabda, or verbal testimony, breaks down when it is applied to the Veda where the aapta is supposed to be God. Kumaarila, therefore, denies the possibility of a creator of the world and argues in favor of the beginninglessness of the Vedic tradition. This is necessary in a theory which asserts the "givenness" of language and the self-validity of the special use of language in the Vedic scriptures.(24) Vallabha would agree with Miimaa.msaa's negative valuation of the Nyaaya attempt to establish the validity of the scripture on the basis of an extrascriptural appeal to logic. Miimaa.msaa goes too far, however, when it rejects the existence of God. Life depends upon language, but the "giveness" of language is not divorced from the "giveness" of the God who speaks. This commitment to the existence of God moves Vallabha away from Miimaa.msaa's 'sabdanityatva, and, even though it is not explicity mentioned by him, towards the metaphysics of language proposed by Bhart.rhari (seventh century A.D.) and the aesthetics of language developed by Abhinavagupta (tenth century A.D.). V. BHART.RHARI'S CONCEPT OF WORD In the opening verse of his Vaakyapadiiya,(25) Bhart.rhari states that Brahman is the eternal and undifferentiated reality of Word ('sabdatattva), beyond birth and death, from which arises all differentiation in the form of subject and object. This idea of 'sabdabrahman-Brahman as Word--developed by the Grammarian school reflects the concept of vaac, the potency of the divine Word through which the absolute enters into a process of becoming. Vaac is a concept expressed in some of the earliest Vedic metaphysical speculation.(26) Although 'sabdabrahman, or vaac, is one and indivisible, it functions as the world's efficient and material cause. The idea that the effect (that is, the world of constant becoming) is an actual transformation of the cause (that is, 'sabdahbrahman or vaac) appears in the opening verses of Bhart.rhari's Vaakyapadiiya. Some scholars, however, have argued that the theory of causality presented in the Grammarian school is the vivarta view of Advaita Vedaanta. If this is correct, P119 then the case for a connection between the theology of Vallabha and the Grammarian school is greatly weakened. Pradipakumar Mazumdar,in his book Philosophy of Language: An Indian Approach, asserts that Bhart.rhari affirms the view of Advaita Vedaanta: the phenomenal world is anirvacaniiya, incapable of logical determination of definition."(27) This principle of indeterminability (anirvacaniiyatva) has been ontologically hypostatized into the concept of Avidyaa or Nescience.... The phenomenal world is thus an illusory superimposition on the `Sabdabrahman through the operation of Avidyaa, the final principle of indeterminability.(28) The metaphysics of Bhart.rhari's philosophy of language is without doubt nondualistic. But Bhart.rhari's nondualism does not automatically support Mazumdar's conclusions. Mazumdar claims that the concept of causality in the Grammarian school follows the vivarta theory, but the question is open to debate. Two central ideas in the beginning of the Vaakya- padiiya, pointed out by Subramania Iyer, (29) indicate a difference from the vivarta view. First, as we have already mentioned, "ultimate reality, Brahman, which is without beginning or end, is of the nature of the word ('sabdatattva) and from it are manifested all the objects and the whole Cosmos."(30) Second, "This ultimate Reality is One, but it manifests itself as many because of its many powers. It does so, however, without losing its One-ness. It is not different from its powers but it appears to be different."(31) The Vaakyapadiiya, independent of the later v.r.t.ti, appears to suggest that the phenomenal world is not illusory; rather the illusion rests in the perception of distinction between the phenomenal world and ultimate reality. Gaurinath Sastri argues that this is the position of Bhart.rhari. In his book, A Study in the Dialectics of Spho.ta, Sastri distinguishes the concept of causality at work in Bhart.rhari's Vaakyapadiiya from the vivarta view. ...the Absolute in the system of Bhart.rhari is a dynamic principle. It produces the universe out of itself. It appears to be the material and the efficient cause of all that exists. Although `Sankara would call the Absolute the material and efficient cause in one, the concept of causality is not applicable to it in absolute reality. If the metaphysical position of `Sankara was to be expressed in exact terminology, Brahman would be said to appear as the cause and not to be the cause in absolute reality of the world. The position of the grammarians follows, of course, from the conception of the Absolute as endowed with the multiple powers which are as real as the Absolute.(32) In a footnote to this passage, Sastri expresses the idea that nothing in the P120 Vaakyapadiiya suggests that Bhart.rhari views the powers of Brahman as unreal; hence, "the objective world that owes its origin to [these powers] cannot be unreal. It is only the difference among objects which is a figment of imagination, "(33) This fundamental insight into the nature of ultimate reality is shared by Vallabha. Unlike Advaita Vedaanta, which views the world as a mere appearance of Brahman, Bhart.rhari (at least in the Vaakyapadiiya) suggests that reality--which includes the created order--is both ontologically and cosmologically nondual. Like Puurvamiimaa.msaa, the Grammarian school suggests a "two-level" theory of language. However, unlike Miimaa.msaa, this view of language did not lead to the atheistic rejection of a divine creator. For Bhart.rhari the divine Word principle ('sabdabrahman) is the cause of the phenomenal order. The relationship between the creator and the created is expressed in one of the most important contributions to the Indian philosophy of language, the concept of spho.ta. This pivotal concept is stated in the Vaakyapadiiya, I.44: In the words which are expressive the learned discern two aspects: the one [the spho.ta] is the cause of the real word [while] the other [dhvani] is used to convey the meaning.(34) Simply stated, the concept of spho.ta presents a distinction between the eternal word ('sabdatattva), which transcends all division and change, and the pluralism of sounds and letters used to convey meaning. In an ordinary process of communication the spho.ta of the speaker is "clothed" in the particular sounds or letters (dhvani) perceived by the hearer. Successful communication occurs when, through the dhvani of the speaker, the changeless spho.ta, already existing in the mind of the hearer as a potentiality, becomes manifest. Despite the apparent dualism between spho.ta and dhavni, these two are, in the final analysis, nondual. Harold Coward, in his book Sphota Theory of Language, puts the matter this way: The logic of Bhart.rhari's philosophy of language is that the whole is prior to the parts. This results in an ascending hierarchy of speech levels. The word is subsumed by the sentence, the sentence by the paragraph, the paragraph by the chapter, the chapter by book, and so on, until all speech is identified with Brahman."(35) The recognition of spho.ta's nonduality is obscured by the fact that it is always experienced in association with the dhvani. Due to the one's inability to see through the pluralism of dhvani to the underlying unity of spho.ta, human language becomes understood as a collection of discrete and mutually contradictory words designating discrete and mutually contradictory forms in the world. Hence, the underlying unity of reality, and of the divine Word which is reality, remains hidden. Bhart.rhari's philosophy of language cannot be understood apart from its metaphysical moorings. Unlike much of the linguistic analysis current among P121 contemporary Western philosophers, much of the study of language in the Hindu context is pursued for extralinguistic reasons. T.R.V. Murti, makes this point when he says, "through philosophy, Speech becomes conscious of itself. It awakens to its role as the creator and matrix of Word and Meaning which encompass the entire universe of things."(36) This sentiment is at the center of the grammarian concern with language, a concern shared by Vallabha. In an accolade to, Vallabha says, "You are the Lord of the Word (vaagii'sa)"(37) and goes on to explain that by an ontological "speech-act" the Lord of the Word enters into the process of becoming; in this process God is revealed as matter, person, and Lord. Thus, Vallabha explains that God "is present within all effects which correspond to the meaning of a Word,"(38) and is the ultimate denotative locus of each and every word, sentence, theory, and metaphysical speculation.(39) Herein lies Vallabha's radical reversal of Maadhyamika's programmatic excision of all metaphysical discourse. Replacing Maadyamika's "coming to rest of the world of named things" (prapa~ncopa'sama) with a joyous embrace of the world of named things (prapa~nca), Vallabha's theology stands as an invitation to share in God's delight, where word, object, and the relationship between them participate in the ontological reality of a God who speaks. Given Vallabha's perspective on langauge, it should not be surprising that he placed great importance on the use of words in the creative process; philosophy, mythology, revelation, poetry--all are authentic means for revealing the true nature of God. In this regard, Vallabha's theology appears shaped, at least implicitly, by one of the most influential thinkers in the arena of Indian aesthetics, Abhinavagupta. VI. ABHINAVAGUPTA'S PHILOSOPHY OF AESTHETICS Abhinavagupta, associated with the school of Kashmir `Saivism, wrote on both aesthetics and metaphysics; his greatest contribution to the Indian history of ideas is the connection he forged between these two areas of philosophy. According to J.L.Masson and M.V.Patwardhan, "Abhinava is able to restore to poets an important place in the intellectual hierarchy by showing their underlying philosophical seriousness."(40) By adapting the view of language presented in Bhart.rhari's spho.ta theory, (41) Abhinavagupta described the inner dynamics at work in the creation and appreciation of poetry and art. Unlike the relatively exclusive, rarified activity of metaphysical thinking, the wide appeal of the literary arts makes them particularly well suited to evoke a transcendental experience of special spiritual value. The process has been described like this: ...watching a play or reading a poem for the sensitive reader entails a loss of the sense of present time and space. All worldly considerations for the time being cease.... We are not directly and personally involved, so the usual medley of desires and anxieties dissolve. Our hearts respond sympathetically P122 but not selfishly. Finally the response becomes total, all-engrossing, and we identify with the situation depicted. The ego is transcended, and for the duration of the aesthetic experience, the normal waking "I" is suspended.(42) A full description and analysis of Abhinava's views on poetics and aesthetic experience is, of course, beyond the scope of this paper. Suffice it to say that central to aesthetic experience is the category of "rasa," the manifestation of a particular emotion in the mind of the audience. Like spho.ta, rasa denotes not only the experience in the mind of the audience, but also the creative experience of the poet, and finally the essence of all the factors that make the literary work what it is.(43) There are many different kinds of rasa corresponding to the spectrum of human emotions, but according to Masson/Patwardhan, the pluralism of rasa is unified in the preeminent 'saantarasa, a profound experience of tranquility and bliss. Like the spho.ta theory for Bhart.rhari, 'saantarasa provides Abhinava with the metaphysical ground for all aesthetic experience, and ultimately points to the underlying unity between the aesthetic (rasaasvaada) and the religious (brahmaasvaada). This view, however, has been forcefully challanged in an article by Edwin Gerow and Ashok Aklujkar. According to their critique far from providing a coherent philosophy of aesthetic experience, 'saantarasa remains a sort of embarrassment to Abhinava's poetics. Since the state of 'saanti, as the goal of the viraagin, involves the renunciation of emotional attachment, the 'saanta rasa... would in effect become the emotional awareness of the absence of emotion! The 'saanta rasa poses the threat of confusing the "real" world of philosophical, spiritual experience with the "transient" one of art.(44) The wedge driven between rasaasvaada and brahmaasvaada is powered by the idea that the multiplicity and transience characterizing rasa ("reflecting the inherently complex character of man's emotional life")(45) are simply incongruous with the "oneness" and permanence of "real" spiritual experience. Any attempt to reduce one to the other does damage and disservice to both. Far from making it preeminent, or giving it status as the metaphysical ground, Abhinava strove to neutralize 'saantarasa, isolating it in a special category kept distinct from the other rasa. In this way it could not desiccate the complexities of emotional coloration required by artistic expression and aesthetic experience. To its credit the Gerow/Aklujar critique stands as an important corrective to the Masson/Patwardhan elevation of 'saantarasa. However, in the final analysis, this critique is seriously compromised by its uncritical reliance upon Advaita Vedaanta categories in developing the problem of relationship between rasaasvaada and brahmaasvaada. Contrary to the basic assumption behind their critique, Abhinava did not directly adopt the ontology of Advaita Vedaanta. Even though the nondualist label is appropriate for Abhinava's Kashmir `Saiva P123 context, his advaita differs significantly from `Sa^nkara's.(46) For Abhinava, as for Vallabha, the ontological gulf between a "really real" Brahman and an illusory world is specious. Gerald Larson makes the aesthetic implications of this ontological shift clear when he says: For Abhinavagupta what appears to be important is the fullness or one might even say the "concretion" of the ultimate or absolute, which sublimates subjectivity and objectivity... and is actively present throughout the manifested world on all levels. Such an ultimate or absolute can only be suggested or evoked, and hence it was probably no accident that Abhinavagupta was preoccupied with the dimension of the vikalpa-realm which comes closest to evoking or manifesting the ultimate--namely, the aesthetic or suggestive use of language as found in poetry and drama.(47) Abhinava was not operating from within a metaphysical framework which isolates the religious from the aesthetic, nor was he suggesting a reductionism which effaces the constituent multiplicity and complexity of the aesthetic experience in some silent Other. Compare this with Vallabha's theology of revelation: the world as God's process of creative self-revealment could be said to be homologized in the aesthetic experience. Like the aesthetic, an enlightened experience of the world (prapa~nca) voids the categories "I," "me," and "mine," while delighting in the diversity which arises for the sake of delight. For Abhinava, and I believe for Vallabha as well, poetry and literature through the medium of dhvani--the words and sounds that make up the work--provide a context for a revelatory experience. Just as in the moment of realization (saayujya) the process of Becoming becomes transparent to itself, allowing its inherent unity to shine forth, so, too, at the highest level of aesthetic experience, the fundamental unity within diversity is revealed to the connoisseur of rasa. At that moment he is lifted out of the ordinary mode of consciousness which perceives the world in terms of "I," "me," and "mine, " and yet he remains conscious of the diversity through which the poet speaks; from this perspective and rigid distinction between aesthetic experience and religious experience seems superfluous. No wonder that the experiencer of 'saantarasa has been compared with the religious contemplative(48) as well as the grammarian-philosopher.(49) The practical advantage of employing poetic expression as a medium for religious revelation lies in its ready accessibility and wide appeal. Abhinava's theory of aesthetics recognizes the potential in every human being for genuine religious experience even in the absence of the radical withdrawal from the world required by the life of contemplation or the rigorous intellectual training demanded by the vocation of metaphysical thinking. One evidence that this democratizing force is supported by the theology of Vallabha is the strong literary-poetic movement emerging early on within the Vallabhite tradition. In addition to the a.s.tachaap, the eight poetic giants of the early sampraadaya, the tradition counts among its ranks the poet and philosopher Jagannaatha Pa.n.di- P124 taraaja (seventeenth century A.D.) , who was responsible for making explicit the central role of aesthetics in the theology of Vallabha through the systematic adaptation of Abhinava's thought into the Vallabhite context. VII. CONCLUDING REMARKS Much has been left unsaid in this condensed presentation of some major trends in the history of Indian thought. My effort in this article has been to provide a context for understanding not only what Vallabha has said, but also why he said it. In developing his theology Vallabha was aware of the currents in Indian thought of his time, as well as the historical and textual origins of that thought. Although Buddhism was no longer an important religious force in medieval India at the time of his writing, the legacy of the Maadhyamika challenge to any program of metaphysical speculation remained. Vallabha's response to that challenge was the unabashed affirmation of a God who first speaks to create a world and then, speaking again, draws his devotees beyond the limits of human discourse. Being honest to the Word of God, he rejected Nyaaya's rational theology, which amounted to nothing less than a divination of human logic, the Maadyamika critique notwithstanding. Advaita Vedaanta can also be viewed as a Vedaantic response to the Buddhist critique of "God-talk." Reacting to the Maadhyamika reduction of all subject/ predicate logic to absurdity, `Sa^nkara proposed a Brahman who was beyond predication, and a world which was, in the final analysis, a mere appearance. This pushes God not only beyond the domain of human logic, but also beyond the possibility of human contact. It results in a cosmological dualism--an unbridgeable gulf between man and God--precluding the possibility that God may speak and that man may hear. For Vallabha this position was unacceptable, for it denigrated the reality of a God who speaks by reducing Him to a silent "Other." Seeking to establish his theology of a speaking God--a God who is simultaneously immanent and transcendent-Vallabha adopts, modifies, and integrates ideas from various branches of Indian thought: from Miimaa.msaa he borrows a hermeneutical methodology in an attempt to reveal the absolute integrity of scriptural revelation; from the Grammarians he adopts a philosophy of language to show how God speaks and the implications of that speaking; and from the tradition of Indian aesthetics he develops the implications for language used as a medium for the expression of religious sentiment. Vallabha was more than a synthetic thinker. Responding to the inherited context, he developed a new theology rooted in scriptural realism: to take God seriously means to take the words of God seriously. Any claim to know something about God must remain honest to the words spoken by God, even when these words appear self-contradictory. Through his theology of Word, Vallabha affirmed the fundamental paradox of God's creativity. The fact that Being, nondual and absolute, chooses to become many is beyond the ken of P125 logic. Vallabha was a philosophical theologian who recognized, and masterfully engaged, both the power and the limits of human reason. In this, I believe, he has something to teach us today. NOTES 1. Diana L. Eck, Banaras: City of Light (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982), p. 223. 2. For a detailed account of the Maadhyamika view on this issue, see chapter fourteen, "Self and the Way Things Really Are," in Mervyn Sprung's Lucid Exposition of the Middle Way (Boulder, Colorado: Prajna Press, 1979), pp.165-186. 3. Ibid., p. 151. 4. C. D. Bijalwan, Indian Theory of Knowledge (New Delhi: Heritage Publishers, 1977),p. 49. 5. Ibid., p. 68. 6. Janaki Vallabha Bhattacharyya, ed., Nyaaya-Ma~njarii: The Compendium of lndian Speculative Logic (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1978), pp.295-297. 7. Karl Potter cites Udayana's AAtmatattvaviveka in this regard, in Presuppositions of India's Philosophies (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1972), p. 240. 8. George Chemparathy, An Indian Rational Theology: Introduction to Udayana's Nyaayakusumaa~njali (Vienna: The De Nobili Research Library, 1972), p.86. 9. L.Stafford Betty, Vadiraja's Refutation of `Sa^nkara's Non-Dualism (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1978), p.17. hi maayaavaadaadimate 'sriik.r.s.naadirvyava- haaryatvaad brahma bhavitum arhati te tu sadaan- andacitsvaruupam ity aahu.h ata.h svamate yathaa tathaa padaarthasiddhyab haavaac ced bhaktimaa- rgaanusaare.naiva vadantiiti j~naatavya.m tadaa te.saa.m pratitantranyaayaabhyupagamasiddhaanto bhavati (commentry to verse 100). Note: The `Saastraartha is quoted here from K.N.Mishra,ed., Tattvaarthadiipanibandha.h (Varanasi: Anand Prakashan Sansthan, 1971). All translation from Sanskrit is mine, unless otherwise noted. 11.taad.r'so'pi bhagavadruupa.h anyathaa asata.h sattaa syaat (commentary to verse 23)., 10.39.55. 13.vidyaavidye hare.h 'saktii maayayaiva vinirmite te jiivasyaiva naanyasya du.hkhitva~n caapy anii'sataa (verse 31). 14.abhimatyaatmakatvaat asattvenaasya ga.nanaat aj~naana.m bhrama.h asad ityaadi'sabdaa aha.m mametiruupe sa.msaara eva pravartante na tu prapa~nce (commentary to verse 23). layo muktau na prapa~ncasya karhicit (verse 24a). 16.aatmarama.naanantara.m tirohitam iva bhavati iti maayayaa taad.r'sabhaava.h tena ve.s.tita.m bhavati... sarvatra svecchayaa paricchedaavabhaana.m coktam (commentary to verse 25). 17.anantamuurti tadbrahma hy avibhakta.m vibhaktimat (verse 26b). 18.sajaatiiya vijaatiiya svagatadvaitarvajitam (verse 66a). 19.B.rhadaara.nyaka Upani.sad, 1.4.3. 20.rama.naartham eva prapa~ncaruupe.naavirbhaavokte.h vaicitrya.m vinaa tadasambhavo yata.h (commentary to verse 23). 21.yatra yena yato yasya yasmai yadyadyathaa yadaa syaad ida.m bhagavaan saak.saat pradhaana-'svara.h (verse 69). 22.Francis X. D'sa, `Sabdapraamaanyam in `Sabara and Kumaarila (Vienna: The De Nobili Research Library, 1980), pp. 29-30. 23.Ibid., p. 194. 24.Ibid., p. 200. 25.Satyakam Varma, Vaakyapadiiyam (Brahmakaanda) of Shri Bhart.rhari (New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1970), p.1. 26.V.S.Agrawala, The Thousand-syllabled Speech (Varanasi: N.p., 1963). 27.Pradipkumar Mazumdar, Philosophy of Language: An Indian Approach (Calcutta: Sanskrit Pustak Bhandar, 1977),p.3. 28. Ibid.,p.3. P126 29.Iyer believes that Bhart.rhari's view of causality is in agreement with the vivarta theory: he bases his view on the supposition that the v.rtti, or commentary, written on the Vaakyapadiiya was the work of Bhart.rhari. See K. A. Subramania Iyer, Bhart.rhari (Poona: Deccan College, 1969),p. 130. 30.Iyer, Bhart.rhari, pp. 98-99. 31.Ibid., p. 99. 32.Gaurinath Sastri, A Study in the Dialectics of Spho.ta (Delhi:Motilal Banarsidass, 1980), p.xii. 33.Ibid., p. 89, n. 14. 34.K. A. Subramania Iyer, trans., Vaakyapadiiyam of Bhart.rhari (Poona: Deccan College, 1966), cited in Harold G. Coward, Spho.ta Theory of Language (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1980), p. 73. 35.Coward, Sphota Theory, p. 15. 36.T. R. V. Murti, "Some Comments on the Philosophy of Language in the Indian Context," Journal of Indian Philosophy 2(1974): 325. 37.vaagii'sa ki.m te vacaniiyam asti (commentary to verse 1). ever svaya.m taany antarayati (commentary to verse 70). 39.ekaiko vaado ekaikadharmapratipaadakai- kaikavaakya' iti taan sarvaanevaa- nusarati (commenary to verse 70). 40.J. L.Masson and M.V. Patwardhan, Saantarasa and Abhinavagupta's Philosophy of Aesthetics (Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 1969), p. ix. 41.Coward,Sphota Theory, p.75. 42.Masson and Patwardhan, `Saantarasa, p. vii. 43.G.B.Mohan Thampi, "Rasa as Aesthetic Experience," Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (Fall 1965): 75-79. 44.Edwin Gerow and Ashok Aklujar, "On `Saanta Rasa in Sanskrit Poetics," Journal of the American Oriental Society 92, no. 1 (1972): 82. 45.Ibid. 46.This is one of three basis theses of Gerald Larson's "The Aesthetic (rasaasvaada) and the Religious (brahmaasvaada) in Abhinavagupta's Kashmir `Saivism," Philosophy East and West 26, no. 4 (October 1976): 371-387. 47.Ibid., p. 383. 48.Masson and Patwardhan, Saantarasa, p.viii. Coward, Sphota Theory, p.76.