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Vachaspati Mishra was a 9th- or 10th-century CE Indian philosopher. He wrote so broadly that he was known as "one for whom all systems are his own", or in Sanskrit, a sarva-tantra-sva-tantra.[2] Vācaspati Miśra was a prolific scholar and his writings are extensive, including bhasya (commentaries) on key texts of almost every 9th-century school of Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy
with notes on non-Hindu or nāstika traditions such as Buddhism
Buddhism
and Carvaka.[3][4] He also wrote one non-commentary, Tattvabindu, or Drop of Truth, which focuses on Mīmāṃsā
Mīmāṃsā
theories of sentence meaning. Some of his works are lost to history or yet to be found.[4] Little is known about Vācaspati Miśra's life, and the earliest text that has been dated with certainty is from 840 CE, and he was at least one generation younger than Adi Śaṅkara.[5] However, an alternate date for the same text may be 976 CE, according to some scholars, a confusion that is based on whether Hindu Śaka or Vikrama era calendar is used for the dating purposes.[4] His scholarship is revered in the Hindu tradition, which believes that he was a Maithila Brahmin
Brahmin
from Andhra Tharhi Bihar.[4]

Contents

1 Primary works 2 Secondary works: Bhāṣya 3 References

3.1 Primary texts 3.2 Secondary texts

4 External links

Primary works[edit]

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Tattvabindu is his original work, wherein he develops principles of hermeneutics, and discusses the "Theory of Meaning" for the Mīmāṃā school of Hindu philosophy.[4] This is an influential work, and attempted to resolve some of the interpretation disputes on classical Sanskrit texts. Vācaspati examines five competing theories of linguistic meaning:[2][6]

Mandana Mira's (sphoṭavāda), which involves grasping the meaning of a word or sentence by perceiving a sphoṭa or single holistic sound, which is distinct from the elements (sounds or characters) that make up the word or sentence; the Nyāya
Nyāya
theory which involves concatenating the memory traces (saṃskāra) of momentary components of a word or sentence when we hear the final momentary component; the similar Mīmāmsā theory, according to which our grasp of the meaning of a sentence lies in the memory traces created by the words; and the Prābhākara Mīmāmsā theory, anvitābhidhānavāda, "the view on which denotation is constituted by what is connected." On this view, sentence-meaning is derived from the meanings of its words, which is fully given only by syntactic relations with the other words — no sphoṭa or memory traces are required; and the Bhāṭṭa Mīmāṃsā
Mīmāṃsā
theory, abhihitānvayavāda, or "the view on which connection (anvaya) is constituted by what has been denoted." On this view, word-meaning is denoted entirely first (abhihita) and then individual word-meanings are connected by means of lakṣaṇā (implication.

Vācaspati concurs with the Bhāṭṭa view, when he employs in other contexts, such as the Nyāya
Nyāya
sub-commentary, the Nyāya-vārttika-tātparya-ṭīkā, and the Tattva-vaiśāradī.[2] Secondary works: Bhāṣya[edit] Vācaspati Miśra
Vācaspati Miśra
is credited with influential commentaries such as Tattvakaumudi on Sāṃkhyakārika,[7] Nyāyasucinibandha on Nyāya-sūtras,[1] various important texts of Advaita Vedānta,[8] Nyāyakānika (an Advaita work on science of reason), Tattvasamikṣa (lost work), Nyāya-vārttika-tātparyaṭīkā (a subcommentary on the Nyāya-sūtras), Tattva-vaiśāradī on Yogasūtra, and others.[4] While some known works of Vācaspati Miśra
Vācaspati Miśra
are now lost, others exist in numerous numbers. Over ninety medieval era manuscripts, for example, in different parts of India
India
have been found of his Tattvakaumudi, which literally means "Moonlight on the Truth".[4] This suggests that his work was sought and influential. A critical edition of Tattvakaumudi was published by Srinivasan in 1967.[4] References[edit]

^ a b c Jeaneane Fowler (2002), Perspectives of Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Hinduism, Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 978-1898723943, page 129 ^ a b c Phillips, Stephen (2015). "Seeing From the Other's Point of View: Counter the Schismatic Interpretation of Vācaspati Miśra" (PDF). APA Newsletter: Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies. 14:2: 4––8.  ^ Jagadisha Chandra Chatterji (1912). Hindu Realism. pp. vi.  ^ a b c d e f g h Gerald James Larson and Ram Shankar Bhattacharya (1987), The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, Volume 4, Princeton University Press, pages 301-312 ^ Isaeva, Natalia (1993). Shankara and Indian Philosophy. USA: State University of New York Press. pp. 85–86. ISBN 978-0-7914-1281-7.  ^ Ranganath, S. (1999). Contribution of Vācaspati Miśra
Vācaspati Miśra
to Indian Philosoph. Delhi: Pratibha Prakashan.  ^ Isaeva, Natalia (1993). Shankara and Indian Philosophy. USA: State University of New York Press. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-7914-1281-7.  ^ Isaeva, Natalia (1993). Shankara and Indian Philosophy. USA: State University of New York Press. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-7914-1281-7. 

Primary texts[edit]

Bhāmatī
Bhāmatī
(on Śankara's Brahmasūtrabhāsya) Tattvabindu Tātparyaţīkā (on Uddyotakāra's Nyāyavārttika) Nyāyasūcīnibandha Tattvakaumudī (on Īśvarakrishna's Sāmkhyakārikās) Tattvavaiśāradī (on Patañjali's Yogasūtras and Bhāsya) Nyāyakanikā (on Maṇḍana Miśra's Vidhidviveka)

Secondary texts[edit]

S.S. Hasurkar, Vācaspati Miśra
Vācaspati Miśra
on Advaita Vedanta. Darbhanga: Mithila Institute of Post-Graduate Studies, 1958. Karl H. Potter, "Vācaspati Miśra" (in Robert L. Arrington [ed.]. A Companion to the Philosophers. Oxford: Blackwell, 2001. ISBN 0-631-22967-1) J.N. Mohanty, Classican Indian Philosophy. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000. ISBN 0-8476-8933-6 V.N. Sheshagiri Rao, Vācaspati's Contribution to Advaita. Mysore: Samvit Publishers, 1984.

External links[edit]

Bibliography of Vācaspati Mishra's works, Item 530, Karl Potter, University of Washington

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 88053445 LCCN: n81081012 ISNI: 0000 0001 2142 6738 GND: 119330172 SUDOC: 082617058 BNF:

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