താൾ:13E3287.pdf/27

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he did not have the tools of modern linguistics to come to a breakthrough.
He concludes, "In these two, and probably even in more respects, the study
of Vedantism and Neoplatonism... seems to be of great relevance in our
time, provided we recognize the value of great tradition in general and of
metaphysics in particular.3

Anyhow, Hacker was one of the first who introduced modern
methods to German Indology. He compared texts of the same genre saying
that a legend, a myth, a tract etc. has a spiritual form. Such a form is
changeable. The changes have historical and spiritual motives. Philology
can and must strive for the proof and the description of these motives.4
Hacker's methodological understanding was adopted by various indolo-
gists. They continued to develop further the comparative method in Indian
studies, to deepen the knowledge and to broaden the horizon of Indian
philology in Europe. In the beginning of his article Some Notes on the Study
of Ancient-Indian Religious Terminology, J. Gonda says, Those students of comparative history of religions who are acquainted with the history of
research in the special field of ancient Indian Weltanschauung... will have
noticed that our knowledge of, and insight into, Vedic religion largely
depend on a correct understanding of a considerable number of Indian
words and phrases, many of which have now been debated for nearly a
century. They will have observed that not rarely opinions on the exact sense
of important religious terms continue to diverge widely, and in other cases
solutions offered with much self-confidence and suggestiveness appear to be,
sooner or later, open to justifiable criticism.5

Gonda shows the changes which have taken place in the discipline
of indological studies in Germany and the whole of Europe. He says: "Eyes
were opened to the possibility of distinguishing semantic 'structures' and
structurations... It has been found that the meanings' of the elements of
a vocabulary group themselves so as to constitute wholes which are to a
certain extent organized, the constituents maintaining mutual relations to
each other as well as to the whole. There are 'microstructures'; 'meanings'
which are complex, consisting of semantic aspects, grouped round a
kernel'; there are also macrostructures or 'fields' composed of groups of
words which are in some way or other-morphologically, notionally, etc.
-more closely associated.6

Explaining further, Gonda points out the difference between the old
and the new understanding of meaning: "We now know that 'words' do not
mean 'things'. 'Meaning is, in brief, a reciprocal relation between name...
and sense..., between symbol and 'thought' or 'reference', which enables
them to call up one another, the 'idea' or 'reference' relating to the 'thing
itself." The relation of a term, a sentence, a phrase or a text within its
context and in comparison with similar occurrences in other texts, scrip-
tures and writings broadens the interpreter's and the listener's or reader's

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