ABSTRACT

This article engages in a “culturally different” philosophical/narrative discourse by reading the epics of ancient India, Mahābhārata and Rāmāyana, as a narrative instantiation of philosophy. This is the result of my cross-disciplinary working relationship and friendship with Bimal Krishna Matilal (1935–1991), who was the Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford University. Combining Matilal's expertise in Indic rational critique and my own as a feminist reader animated by deconstruction, I present some of the results of this engagement before building on this to present the case of Madhusudana Saraswati, a sixteenth-century philosopher who introduced various radical elements into existing Hindu monasticism.

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