Between Vasubandhu and Kumarila
In this essay we stage Vasubandhu's response to Kumarila. We say 'stage' to indicate the theme and method of Sanskrit thought. At least five hundred years separate Vasubandhu (2nd century C.E.) and Kumarila (7th century C.E.). It seems time separates the two only to unite them in a historical discourse. Why else would a domineering figure like Kumarila reflect on the theme and method that Vasubandhu had once raised? Vasubandhu wrote in a medlta, tional stance, tracing reflectively the genesis of the world in conscious ..ness. The objects of consciousness equals consciousness of objects, the images that consciousness posits as referents in time and space. The world is not autonomous reality, only an apparitional presence; and it tortures human beings just as well. Suffering and salvation. Buddhas and the three worlds, are conceived and sustained in self. referential consciousness. Vasubandhu announced the death of ontology, thus shaking the moral, religious and social stance that Vedic realism entails.
Bibhuti S. Yadav. "Methodic Deconstruction" in Shlomo Biderman and Ben-Ami Scharfstein (eds), Interpret,tion In Religion (Lllden - New York: E.J. Brill, 1992) pp. 129-168.
Jaimini, Mimamsa Darnam Edited by Mahaprabhulal Goswaml (Varanllli: Trlra Printing Works. 1984) Vol I, p. 20.
Kumarila "Sunyavadah" In his SlokBvBrtikam ed. by DurgadharJha (Darbhanga: Darbhanga Sanskrit Visvavidyala Press, 1979) Varsa 68.