New PDF release: A commentator in service of the empire: Sāyaṇa and the royal

By Cezary Galewicz

ISBN-10: 3900271410

ISBN-13: 9783900271411

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Additional info for A commentator in service of the empire: Sāyaṇa and the royal project of commenting on the whole of the Veda

Example text

However, any conclusion in that matter will have to remain a conjecture, at least for the time being. Often do we hear that in Indian intellectual history we meet time and again the widely accepted practice of attributing commentaries actually written by disciples, followers or altogether different authors to earlier acknowledged masters of the field. Attributing texts to famous authors used to be a practice not only in India; it was well known, for instance, in ancient Greece where scrolls giving a famous name as the author of the works contained in them would sell much better and reach a much wider audience.

33 This legendary image shows how iconic the figure of Sāyaňa ing of the Vijayanagara empire” [ibidem, p. 2]. The power of this legend is attested by its being referred to in almost all studies concerned with Vijayanagara. The legendary narrative about the building of the new city by king Harihara in the auspicious place indicated to him by the sage Vidyāraňya (Mādhava) is also referred to in the monograph on Sāyaňa by Modak (MODAK 1995: 6-7) who identifies the source of the legend as the Vidyāraňyakālajñāna, probably a later work attributed to Mādhava–Vidyāraňya himself.

Neither is this book meant to side with one of two broad divisions of historians who tend to give precedence either to scanty epigraphical evidence or to abundant literary sources in reconstructing such a history. If it naturally focuses on the latter, this is in an attempt to show how literary practices could have been used to influence political and socio-religious history and to identify grounds for such a use in the texts themselves. Historically and theoretically important links between the dynamics of textual practices and the emergence and success of social institutions are probably to be found in any culture at any given time.

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A commentator in service of the empire: Sāyaṇa and the royal project of commenting on the whole of the Veda by Cezary Galewicz


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