Grammarians, Darsana, Puppies

More from The Philosophy of the Grammarians:

The goal of the Indian Grammarians’ philosophy, which we here call vyakarana, is not mere intellectual knowledge, but direct experience of ultimate truth. Knowledge of grammar resulting in correct speech not only conveys meaning but also enables one to “see” reality. This is the philosophical meaning of the Indian term darsana, which literally means “sight.” It is this feature that sets Indian philosophy apart from modern western perspectives on language. Vyakarana not only addresses itself to the analysis of grammatical rules (though it is certainly important) or to theorizing about the way speech conveys meaning (though that too is achieved), it also insists that one should not be satisfied with mere intellectual conviction but should transform that conviction into direct experience.

There is one aspect of traditional Indian philosophy of language that must be understood by the modern reader. Whereas the contemporary writer often thinks in terms of using language creatively, that is, to create something “original” or “new,” the vyakarana conception is quite different. The correct or insightful use of language is not seen as conveying new knowledge, but rather as uncovering ancient knowledge that has been obscured due to the accrual of ignorance. The Vedic sage does not produce something new out of his own imagination, but rather relates ordinary things to their forgotten eternal truth.


After much consideration and research, The Cop and I went to visit an American Bulldog breeder out in Queen Creek. A long, long drive out into who knows where brought us to this scene:

Actually, not quite that scene. As you can see in the picture, the pups are in a kiddie pool with carpeting on the bottom. When we went in, their Mom came out to greet us — so what I saw was a pool full of tiny, motionless dog embryos bleached out by the bright light of a heat lamp. Most surreal.

The Mom, Mia, was incredibly friendly and loving — even with her pups right there. (And she has a rocking underbite!) Once she got back in the pool with her babies, they started thrashing about and mewing and dragging themselves across the carpet, blindly making their ways back to her.

We will go back in a few weeks to see the pups and get a clearer idea of their personalities. My first impulse, though, was to like this guy best:

We’ll see what happens when we go back. Ideally, a puppy will pick us. That’s what Maxine did, when The Cop first met her. Of all the puppies in the litter, she was the one who just wouldn’t leave his side.

Hopefully the new pup will bring a little excitement into Maxine’s life, and the pup will benefit from exposure to a great role model like Maxine.


5 Responses

  1. That puppy is beautiful!

  2. Oh my gosh.

  3. PUPPIES!!!! You are so lucky!!!! And so brave! I remember when the ‘boys’ were puppies. God, they were a pain in the ass! But, really, there’s nothing like that cute puppy smell….kind of like a baby smell, nowhere else you can get it! American Bulldogs are great dogs, good choice! Seriously, I wouldn’t have been able to leave. So freaking cute.

  4. Hi Karen
    Ahh, sweet story. I forget, who is Maxine? In any case, yes, a youngster would learn from an oldster.

  5. Maxine is our dog, Arturo. She’s an American Staffordshire, and a very old lady.

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