Siddhanta Sangraha of Sri Sailacharya

by E. Sowmya Narayanan | 2008 | 30,562 words

Siddhanta Sangraha Chapter 32 (English translation), entitled “the validity of verbal testimony” as included in the critical edition and study. The Siddhanta Samgraha is a Sanskrit philosophical text dealing with Vishishtadvaita in five hundred Sanskrit verses. It was written by Shri Shailacarya (18th century) and closely follows the philosophy of Vedanta Deshika (13th century).

Chapter 32 - The Validity of Verbal Testimony

343. The knowledge of the word depends on the capability to express a sense. That is the cause of verbal testimony and is the instrument for the knowledge about the verbal testimony.

344. vṛtti (function of the word) is classified as smārikā and ānubhāvikā. According to pūrva-mīmāṃsakas the words or sentences gain their validity only by prompting a person towards an activity. This is expressed by the ‘ling’ factor in the word. But this view has been criticized and rejected by Śrī Rāmānuja.

345-346. The meaning of the sentence is derived only through a word and it is not necessary that the word should be related to an activity only. It may not be connected with work. Śrī Vedānta Deśikā while establishing his principle in Nyāya Pariśuddhi, states that the same has been established by Śrī Bhāṣyakāra in Vedārtha Saṅgraha.

347. According to Śrī Bhāṣyakāra the grasping of the actual import of the word (śaktigraha) in the case of the children is possible only by listening to the conversational practice of the seniors.[1] Later it is accomplished by them in their practical usages.

348. Vṛtti is classified into two by the learned as śakti and lakṣaṇā. śakti is the primary sense of the word and the lakṣaṇā is secondary wherein the primary sense is contradicted.

Footnotes and references:


Vedārtha Saṅgraha, pp.207-208.


Rasasastra category This concludes The Validity of Verbal Testimony according to Vishishtadvaita philosophy explained by Shri Shailacarya. This book follows the model of Vedanta Deshika although the Vishishta Advaita school was originally expounded by Shri Ramanuja. Vishishta-Advaita is one of the various sub-schools of Vedanta which itself represents one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu Philosophy. They highlight the importance of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras.

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