Aho kauśalam apūrvam. Hermeneutical wrigglings about the Īśopaniṣad

In Piotr Balcerowicz (ed.), World View and Theory in Indian Philosophy. Manohar. pp. 349-365 (2012)
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Apūrvaṃ vyākaraṇakauśalam ity āstām: “let it remain an example of unprecedented grammatical skill” — thus sarcastically remarks the Dvaitin commentator Jayatīrtha on Śaṅkarācārya’s sleight of hand to turn written saṃbhūti into asaṃbhūti at one of the many difficult turns the Īśa Upaniṣad has in store for his strictly monistic stance. But Jayatīrtha’s own master Madhva is renowned in his own right for his “unprecedented skill” in conjuring up whole unattested smṛti passages to corroborate his interpretations. Indeed, more specimens of “unprecedented skill” are displayed in turn by each of the great bhāṣyakāras of the three conflicting schools — Advaita, Dvaita and Viśiṣṭādvaita — on this Upaniṣad, which on account of its extreme pithiness is singularly suited to demonstrate the length dārśanikas are willing to go to make an authoritative text square each with his own preconceived philosophical outlook. A most telling example of the preemptive force of world-views on actual theoretical practice in the Indian context.
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