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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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Chapter 2 tantra


2.1 Chronology of the Śrautasūtras The relative chronology of the Śrautasūtras is still a controversial topic and its settlement lies outside the scope of the present article. As far as the absolute chronology is concerned, the upper limit of the Śrautasūtra period has been generally supposed around the 9th B.C. (cf. Staal 2010, p. 338) and the latest Śrautasūtras might date back later than Pāṇini and Kātyāyana, i.e., after the middle of 4th century B.C. (see, e.g., Gopal 1983, pp. 68–92). The following table is merely tentative and is based on previous studies (mainly Gonda 1977 and Brucker 1980, which were elaborated independently of each other). Moreover, Gonda (Gonda 1977, p. 483) himself is cautious about attempting a chronology of the Śrautasūtras and Brucker’s reviewer (Bodewitz 1984) convincingly argues that Brucker’s results are far from being conclusive. By contrast, the early date of the BaudhŚrSū is relatively sure (see also § 2.2). The BaudhŚrSū is generally considered as the earliest Śrautasūtra, as has also been recently confirmed by Parpola (Parpola 2011, p. 342). A similar conclusion also applies, according to Parpola, to the VādhŚrSū.1 Furthermore, Parpola’s studies have shown that the LāṭyŚrSū had the JŚrSū as its model (Parpola 1 Yasuke Ikari also stays with this relative chronology of VādhŚrSū, as he suggested during his presentation of the paper Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa and Vādhūla Anvākhyāna...

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