[Advaita-l] Anarthakya & self-consistency (changing the subject heading)

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Mon Mar 16 14:46:28 CDT 2009

On Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 2:57 PM, Sundaresan, Vidyasankar (GE Infra,
Water) <vidyasankar.sundaresan at ge.com> wrote:
>>Anarthakya is a general principle in the mImA.msA theory
>>of language and interpretation. essentially it prevents
>>data-mining the texts to come up with conclusions we are
>>comfortable with. Essentially if two different statements
>>*seem* to contradict one another, one cannot be picked
>>over the other, common ground has to be sought.
>>While the mImA.msA is strictly applied to shruti and smR^iti ,
>>this is used even in Indian jurisprudence. P.V.Kane has shown
>>how the Indian jurisprudence is largely indebted to this principle.
>>Franklin Edgerton calls this principle a "sound" way of interpreting
> As a general principle, there cannot be a legal system anywhere
> in the world, without some strict and logical method of seeking
> common ground where there appears to be contradiction. Given
> a set of source texts, one has to look for internal self-consistency
> when interpreting them, or else the entire system built upon them
> will fall.

While that's correct, my observation had to do with the legal system
built on religious texts, so it's more of a historical observation
(pre-democracy)  than anything else. At least Edgerton agrees/implies
that the old Western legal system was not based on the principles of
Anarthakya, while the Indian jurisprudence did follow the principle.
This is not to say one was better than the other, or anything like
that, only how these things were derived.


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