Religions of South Asia, Vol 9, No 3 (2015)

Tradition, Identity and Scriptural Authority: Religious Inclusivism in the Writings of an Early Modern Sanskrit Intellectual

Jonathan Duquette
Issued Date: 31 Oct 2016


It is commonly held that one of the distinguishing features of modern hinduism is its all-inclusive tolerance and comprehensive openness for religious plurality. however, this universalism contrasts in important ways with the traditional inclusivism found in the writings of classical and medieval Indian brahminical thinkers. This article focuses on the inherent complexity and modalities of religious inclusivism in the early modern period. how was inclusivism construed and defended by Sanskrit intellectuals of this period? how do inclusivist models relate to broader concepts of identity, tradition and scriptures? An attempt is here made to answer these questions through examining the work of the sixteenthcentury scholar Appaya Dīkṣita. Special attention will be paid to arguments he presents in his Śivārkamaṇidīpikā concerning the legitimacy of the Pāñcarātra tradition and the authority of Śaivāgamas.

Download Media

PDF (Price: £17.50 )

DOI: 10.1558/rosa.v9i3.28338


Clooney, Francis X. 2003. ‘Hindu Views of Religious Others: Implications for Christian Theology.’ Theological Studies 64: 306–33.

Colas-Chauhan, Usha. 2007. Umāpati’s Commentary on the Pauṣkaratantra. Chapter 7: Pramāṇa. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications.

Czerniak-Drożdżowicz, Marzenna. 2003. Pāñcarātra Scripture in the Process of Change: A Study of the Paramasaṃhitā. Vienna: De Nobili Research Library.

Duquette, Jonathan. 2014. ‘Reading Non-Dualism in Śivādvaita Vedānta: An Argument from the Śivādvaitanirṇaya in Light of the Śivārkamaṇidīpikā.’ Journal of Indian Philosophy (available online).

Freschi, Elisa, and Kei Kataoka. 2012. ‘Jayanta on the Validity of Sacred Texts (other than the Veda).’ South Asian Classical Studies 7: 1–55.

Goodall, Dominic. 1998. Bhaṭṭa Rāmakaṇṭha’s Commentary on the Kiraṇatantra, Vol. 1. Pondichery: Institut Français de Pondichéry/École Française d’Extrême-Orient.

— 2004. The Parākhyatantra: A Scripture of the Śaiva Siddhānta. Pondichery: Institut Français de Pondichéry/École Française d’Extrême-Orient.

Hacker, Paul. 1995. ‘Aspects of Neo-Hinduism as Contrasted with Surviving Traditional Hinduism.’ In Wilhelm Halbfass (ed.), Philology and Confrontation: Paul Hacker on Traditional and Modern Vedānta: 229–55. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Halbfass, Wilhelm. 1983. Studies in Kumārila and Śaṅkara. Reinbek: Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik.

— 1990. India and Europe: An Essay in Philosophical Understanding. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers.

Hanneder, Jürgen. 1998. Abhinavagupta’s Philosophy of Revelation: An Edition and Annotated Translation of Mālinīślokavārttika I: 1–399. Groningen: Egbert Forsten.

Nicholson, Andrew. 2010. Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History. New York: Columbia University Press.

Olivelle, Patrick. 1993. The Āśrama System: The History and Hermeneutics of a Religious Institution. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Radhakrishnan, Sarvepalli. 1954. The Hindu View of Life. London: Allen and Unwin.

Sanderson, Alexis. 1986. ‘Maṇḍala and Āgamic Identity in the Trika of Kashmir.’ In Mantras et Diagrammes Rituels dans l’Hindouisme: 169–207. Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.

Schmücker, Marcus. 2007. ‘The vyūha as the “State of the Lord” (bhagavadavasthā): Vedāntic Interpretation of Pāñcarātra Doctrines according to Veṅkaṭanātha.’ In Gerard Oberhammer and Marion Rastelli (eds.), Studies in Hinduism IV: On the Mutual Influences and Relationship of Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta and Pāñcarātra: 89–106. Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

Torella, Raffaele. 2013. ‘Inherited Cognitions: prasiddhi, āgama, pratibhā, śabdana. Bhartṛhari, Utpaladeva, Abhinavagupta, Kumārila and Dharmakīrti in Dialogue.’ In Vincent Eltschinger and Helmut Krasser (eds.), Scriptural Authority, Reason and Action: Proceedings of a Panel at the 14th World Sanskrit Conference, Kyoto, September 1st-5th 2009: 455–80. Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

van Buitenen, J. A. B. 1971. Yāmuna’s Āgama Prāmāṇyam or Treatise on the Validity of Pāñcarātra. Madras: Ramanuja Research Society.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email:

Privacy Policy