Errata for The Battle for Sanskrit
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1. Page 7, para 3, line 7: Change ‘India Today’ to ‘India Abroad’.
2. Page 332, para 5, last line, should read ‘liberation philology’ rather than ‘liberation theology’.
3. Page 368, line 7 from bottom: Replace ‘ninth’ with ‘eighth’. (I realize the date of Adi Shankara is debated actively, but I do not wish to arbitrate this issue here.)
4. Page 371, line 9 from bottom: Replace ‘Kerala’ with ‘Tamil Nadu’.
5. p. 293, para 2: Crown jewels => crown jewels.
6. p. 294, line 2: Bharati . => Bharati.
7. p.388, line 11: natya nhastra => natya shastra
8. p.428, line 7 from bottom: Ramayaaa => Ramayana
9. p.452: note 52: php) => php).
10. Page 389, second bullet point “Pollock is also incorrect in …However, this claim is debatable.” Replace entire bullet point with: “Pollock suggests that the Valmiki Ramayana was influenced by the Jataka tales in matters of style, and by implication could suggest that its meter was sourced from Buddhist compositions. However, the Anushtubh meter used is traced back to the Vedas.”
11. On page 325, line 17 from bottom, please change ‘award-winning Hindi film’ to ‘award-winning Kannada film’
12. Page 204, line 3 from bottom: Donald Ingalls should be changed to Daniel Ingalls
Besides the above list of Errata, the following are issues raised by serious readers that require clarification but not any change (at least as of now).
1) On page 368, paras 3 and 4: The name should be Madhvacharya (not Madhavacharya) and his system was Dvaita (not Advaita)
Response: These are two different persons with names that could get mixed. We are concerned with the author of the text Sarva Darshan Sangraha that was composed in 14th c. This scholar was named Madhavacharya or Madhava Vidyaranya (not to be confused with Madhvacharya, propounder of Dwaita philosophy). His system was Advaita. See: http://www.sanskritebooks.org/2009/11/sarva-darsana-sangraha-of-madhavacharya/
2) On page 140. A well-known scholar claimed a serious error as follows: You have quoted Pollock as follows: “It is a perilous enterprise for the Western scholar to thematize the violence in the tradition of others, especially when they are others who have been the victims of violence from the West (though a culture’s failure to play by its own rules, and evidence of internal opposition to its domination, are two conditions that certainly lessen this peril). Yet can one avoid it and still practice an Indology that is critical, responsible and self-aware?”
Immediately after this quote, you have written as follows: “The parenthetical remark in the above quote is very important to understand. It says that the West is somewhat less prone to committing oppression nowadays because there is dissidence and internal opposition. In other words, according to him, the westerners revolt rather than play ‘by their rules’ whereas Indians (being fatalistic and stuck in shastras) are bound by the rigid rules of their culture and lack the initiative to rebel against injustice or move past them“.
But that is not what Pollock is saying at all: the remark in parenthesis refers not to the ex-colonizers but to the ex-colonized. What Pollock is saying amounts to: “It is a perilous enterprise for westerners (the ex-colonizers) to thematize the violence in the traditions of people (the ex-colonized) who have been the victims of violence from the West – since it would be interpreted as in a way a continuation of that colonialist Western violence. But the failure of those (ex-colonized) people to live by their own rules and the evidence of internal opposition within that culture (either in traditional texts which criticize their own traditions, or in powerful groups within that culture which stand arraigned today against their own culture) greatly lessens those perils – the enterprise now becomes an exercise to liberate those sections within the ex-colonized culture which have been victims of the violence in the traditions of that culture, rather than an aggressive attack on the culture itself“.
This is actually an admission (right from the horse’s mouth) to what you have been alleging all along and presenting with such detail and erudition: that western scholars studying India are actually part of a conspiracy to align with dissident sections within their targeted culture against that culture itself!
Response: The question is this: when he says “internal opposition”, internal to whom? Which culture is he referring to? Is it Indians or westerners? I am unable to convince myself that he refers to Indians and not westerners Either way, my overall position would be fine even as per the person raising the above issue. But I don’t want to change my interpretation of what Pollock means, until someone can convince me that he refers to Indians.
3) Date of Adi Shankara: There is a controvery concerning the date of Shankara, with Sringeri saying it was 8th or 9th century CE and Kanchi saying it was many centuries earlier in the BCE era. Rajiv does not feel qualified to take a stand on this and is waiting for the chronology project from Delhi University’s Sanskrit Department to reach it conclusions. If the date of Shankara is moved back by over a thousand years or more, it would also necessitate moving back Buddha’s date and many others. This requires a comprehensive approach to all the dates of Indian traditions. However, in the present book, the date of Shankara is unimportant as far as the book’s thesis is concerned. It is only relevant when explaining the history of the Sringeri peetham. In this context, Rajiv has used the date accepted by Sringeri. But he is open to revising it if/when required.