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Title: The revival of Sphoṭa in early modern Benares : Śeṣakṛṣṇa's Sphoṭattvanirūpaṇa
Author: Seneviratne, Rohana Pushpakumara
ISNI:       0000 0004 6062 4392
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis examines the revival of the sphoṭa doctrine in early modern Benares and Śeṣakṛṣṇa's Sphoṭattvanirūpaṇa as an influential work in that revival. The sphoṭa doctrine is the richest contribution of the grammarians to the philosophy of language, but its semantic significance was not highlighted until late, because its theological implication was stronger. Śeṣakṛṣṇa was a renowned Sanskrit grammarian who flourished in sixteenth-century Benares. He also wrote poetry and Dharmasastric works, and played an important role as a juridical authority. Despite his illustrious career, Śeṣakṛṣṇa encountered criticism for his works from contemporary critics. The only work he wrote solely on the philosophy of language was the Sphoṭattvanirūpaṇa. As the first discrete work on sphoṭa by a grammarian, the Sphoṭattvanirūpaṇa represented an important landmark in the later expositions of the doctrine of sphoṭa particularly because it renewed the later grammarians' interest in sphoṭa, which then resulted in a series of individual works of a similar sort. The revival of the sphoṭa doctrine in early modern Benares coincided with that of the philosophy of language, which was caused by a number of social and intellectual factors in different proportions and phases. Śeṣakṛṣṇa's Sphoṭattvanirūpaṇa emerged on the eve of that revival, and can be recognized as a pioneer work in terms of its revitalization of the grammarians' interpretation of sphoṭa after a period of dormancy, and its influence on later works on sphoṭa.
Supervisor: Benson, James W. Sponsor: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK ; Boden Fund ; Faculty of Oriental Studies ; Oxford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sanskrit language--Semantics ; Sanskrit language--Study and teaching--India--Vara?asi--History ; Language and languages--Philosophy ; Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh ; India)--Intellectual life ; Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh ; India)--History