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Tantrayukti – Indic Method of Thesis Construction

By

Dr. Jayaraman Mahadevan

Introduction

Research methodology is an important subject for any research scholar. India has its own homegrown methodologies and techniques of research including specialized textual structures, coding and interpretation of content in large-volume texts and strict conventions of discourse. The present course, in the current day context, gives an insight into India’s systematic approach to thesis/text construction through an ancient set of devices called Tantrayukti, in terms of its content, structure and the language.

Overview

  • Course Name : Tantrayukti - Indic Method of Thesis Construction
  • Designer and Instructor: Dr. Jayaraman Mahadevan, Director, Krishnamachari Yoga Mandiram, Chennai.
  • Course Delivery : Online recorded sessions for offline viewing and course material is provided
  • Schedule:  As per the participant's time and schedule
  • Credits: 2; 30 Hours
  • Course fee:
    • Current Students (valid student id required) : Rs 1200/-
    • Others: Rs 2400/-
  • Final Certification Exam (optional):
    • Current Students (valid student id required) : Rs 500/-
    • Others: Rs 1000/-
  • Language of Instruction: English
  • Minimum Eligibility: Bachelors degree in any discipline
  • Preferred: Knowledge of Samskrta

Objectives

  • Develop a basic understanding of building blocks of a thesis/text.
  • Empower to decode the blueprint of any text - ancient or contemporary
  • Enable to evaluate the merits and demerits of any given text - ancient or contemporary
  • Exposure to classical Indian systematic approach to organize thoughts of any subject
  • Encourage to attempt a direct application of ancient mode of thinking in current context and verify its efficacy

Beneficiaries

  • Any domain which involves knowledge, creation/content generation
  • Authors, bloggers, journalists, academicians and other writers working with non-fictional content
  • Professionals such as engineers, theoreticians, statisticians, psychologists, lawyers, judges and researchers

Course Delivery

  • Video recordings of the presentation includes theoretical guidance and sessions describing the application of Tantrayukti tools to modern articles, blogs, discourses etc.
  • Handouts, references and memory aids will be provided.
  • Quizzes, assignments and practice home work (total of 15 hours) will be provided. They will be administered online using an LMS platform.
  • Final certification exam: open-book, online exam.
  • Course completion certificate will be issued by Indic Academy after the final certification examination.

Topics of Study

Unit – 1: Introduction to Textual wealth and the need to Organize Knowledge in Sanskrit Tradition  

Intellectual climate for knowledge creation – The Upanishads.  Knowledge Explosion - Textual Wealth of Ancient India

  • The Vedic Literature
  • Fourteen Vidyasthanas
  • Six Vedangas
  • Darshanas – Six orthodox and three heterodox
  • Itihasas – Two Epics
  • Puranas – 18 Mahapuranas
  • Poetry – Literature
  • Technical-scientific literature

Organizing knowledge for preservation of knowledge. Major Varieties of Texts of Sanskrit Traditions and their definitions

  • Sutra – An aphoristic treatise
  • Bhashya – A commentary
  • Varttika – A text of revisions and rejoinder
  • Karika - A versified technical treatise
  • Vyakhya - A gloss

Scattered Hints for construction of various components of Texts/thesis

  • Thoughts as seeds and it varieties - Vrittis and their definitions
  • Definition of Question - Prashna lakshanam
  • Definition of Answer – Uttara-lakshanam
  • Definition of a segment – Adhikarana-lakshanam
  • Creating a Hypothesis and systematically addressing it – Panca-avayava-vakya
  • Conveying a single theme throughout a text – Tatparyanirnayaka-lings
  • Defining the scope of a Work – Avoiding Avyapti and the other two Doshas

Unit – 2: Tantrayukti – Comprehensive text Construction Manual – Introduction, History and Components

  • Definitions and derivations of Tantrayukti
  • Component of Tantrayukti
    • Tantrayukti/ Tantrasampat
    • Tantraguna
    • Tantradosha
  • History of Utilization
    • In Sanskrit Literature – 1500 years
      • Texts of philosophy
      • Text of Polity
      • Ayurvedic Texts
      • Puranic text
      • Tantrasastra Texts
      • Works on Tantrayukti
    • In Tamil Literature - 1900 years
  • Functions of Tantrayukti as has been discussed in the texts
    • Discover and Understand concepts/texts
    • To connect sentences and meanings
    • A set of methods that can be generalized across disciplines
    • Customizable

Unit – 3: Tantrayukti – the tools with definitions based on Arthashastra and illustrations from texts of diverse disciplines 

  • The number of Devices – 32/36
  • The Yuktis/Devices of Thesis Construction with Definition and Illustration
    • For Content creation – 11 yuktis
    • To structure the text/thesis - 12 Yuktis
    • To refine Language – 9 Yuktis
  • Tantragunas and Tantradoshas – A few Illustrations
  • Scope of further work: In consolidating the Tantrayukti as a Trans-discipline, Trans-lingual methodology of construction and interpretation of Texts of past and contemporary times

About the Instructor

A doctorate in Sanskrit from the University of Madras. He is a Gold Medallist in MA(Sanskrit) and has a bachelors in English. He is a recognized guide to students in the field of Yoga from Kanchipuram University.

References

  • Vidyabhushana, Dr. Satish Chandra (1921), A History of Indian Logic, Motilal Banarsidas, Calcutta
  • Lele, W.K, (2006), Methodology of Ancient Indian Sciences, Chaukhamba Surabharati Prakashan, Varanasi.
  • Muthuswamy, N.E., (1974), Tantrayuktivicāra, Publication Division, Government Ayurveda College, Trivandrum.
  • Online Resource: https://dharmawiki.org/index.php/Tantrayukti

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Abhinav is a technology professional with over twenty years in the software industry, the technical editor of a book published by McGraw-Hill, a prolific writer on areas on technology and Indology. He is a computer engineer and holds a post graduate diploma from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

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Ram is an IT Management professional with a Big4 background. A devotee of Ilaiyaraja songs, non-fiction reader, former cricketer, traveler, photographer, Indic learner and an evolving writer. He usually brags about the Chicago Bulls & the Michael Jordan era.