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Rule-extension Strategies in Ancient India

Ritual, Exegetical and Linguistic Considerations on the "tantra</I>- and "prasaṅga</I>-Principles

Elisa Freschi and Tiziana Pontillo

This study focuses on the devices implemented in Classical Indian texts on ritual and language in order to develop a structure of rules in an economic and systematic way. These devices presuppose a spatial approach to ritual and language, one which deals for instance with absences as substitutions within a pre-existing grid, and not as temporal disappearances. In this way, the study reveals a key feature of some among the most influential schools of Indian thought.
The sources are Kalpasūtra, Vyākaraṇa and Mīmāṃsā, three textual traditions which developed alongside each other, sharing – as the volume shows – common presuppositions and methodologies. The book will be of interest for Sanskritists, scholars of ritual exegesis and of the history of linguistics.

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Acknowledgements xi 1 General Introduction 1 1.1 Conceptual tools for dealing with continuity and discontinuity . . 2 1.2 tantra as opposed to prasaṅga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 1.3 Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 2 tantra 7 2.1 Chronology of the Śrautasūtras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 2.2 tantra in the Śrautasūtras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 2.2.1 tantra in the sense of basic procedure . . . . . . . . . . . 10 2.2.2 “Just once” vs. repeatedly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 2.2.3 tantra as a part of the basic procedure . . . . . . . . . . . 16 2.2.4 Further developments of tantra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 2.2.5 Conclusions on the meaning of tantra in the Śrautasūtras 18 2.3 The hermeneutic usage of tantra in the Śrautasūtras . . . . . . . 18 2.3.1 tantra as a principle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 2.3.1.1 Hermeneutical background . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 2.3.1.1.1 saṃsthā . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 2.3.1.1.2 pratyaya . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 2.3.1.1.3 nyāya . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 2.4 The syntactic role of tantra in the Śrautasūtras . . . . . . . . . . 24 2.4.1 tantra and āvāpa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 2.4.1.1 tantrasthāna . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 2.5 The semantic web of tantra in the Śrautasūtras . . . . . . . . . . 27 2.5.1 tantra, prakṛti and kalpa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 2.5.2 tantra and tati . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 2.5.3 prakṛti-tantra distinction: the operative value of tantra . . 32 2.5.3.1 KātyŚrSū 1.7.2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 2.5.3.2 śruti and tantra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 2.6 tantra in Mīmāṃsā . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 viii Contents 2.6.1 Jhā’s understanding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 2.6.2 tantra in its various meanings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 2.6.3 tantra in Jaimini . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 2.6.3.1 Conditions for tantra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 2.6.3.2 semantic web of tantra in Jaimini . . . . . . . . 44 2.6.3.3 tantrin and hierarchy of tantras . . . . . . . . . 45 2.6.4 What are the differences between the Mīmāṃsā and the Śrautasūtras’ usage of tantra? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 2.7...

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