The Lectio Principle and Its Relation to the Plausibility of a Kashmir Recension of the Bhagavad Gita

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Abstract:

In this paper, I explore how Otto Schrader, Krishna Belvalkar, Franklin Edgerton, and Vishwa Adluri justify the plausibility of a Kashmir recension of the Gita by employing the lectio principle. Lectio difficilior means that the more difficult reading is probably the better and older one since scribes may often simplify the difficult reading into a simple one, the lectio facilior, for the later versions of a text. The employment of the lectio principle then pervades these scholars’ discussions about the plausibility of a Kashmiri recension of the Bhagavad Gita. However, the problem with the lectio principle is that scholars may employ it to justify their interpretations of a text, although some other interpretations of the exact text may be more plausible. While Adluri calls attention to the employment of the lectio principle by the other scholars regarding the plausibility of a Kashmir Recension of the Bhagavad Gita, he employs the lectio principle himself to justify his opinions which are mainly against Schrader. The use of the lectio principle is thus problematic because of its subjective nature that leaves open the question of what interpretation is definitely, and objectively, more plausible.
Last updated on 04/26/2022