Vakyapadiya of Bhartrihari

by K. A. Subramania Iyer | 1965 | 391,768 words

The English translation of the Vakyapadiya by Bhartrihari including commentary extracts and notes. The Vakyapadiya is an ancient Sanskrit text dealing with the philosophy of language. Bhartrhari authored this book in three parts and propounds his theory of Sphotavada (sphota-vada) which understands language as consisting of bursts of sounds conveyi...

This book contains Sanskrit text which you should never take for granted as transcription mistakes are always possible. Always confer with the final source and/or manuscript.

Verse 2.374-375

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation of verse 2.374-375:

पाद्यवत् सा विभागेन सामर्थ्यादवतिष्ठते ।
भुजिः करोति भुज्यर्थं न तन्त्रेण प्रदीपवत् ॥ ३७४ ॥
दृश्यादिस्तु क्रियैकापि तथाभृतेषु कर्मसु ।
आवृत्तिमन्तरेणापि समुदायाश्रया भवेत् ॥ ३७५ ॥

pādyavat sā vibhāgena sāmarthyādavatiṣṭhate |
bhujiḥ karoti bhujyarthaṃ na tantreṇa pradīpavat || 374 ||
dṛśyādistu kriyaikāpi tathābhṛteṣu karmasu |
āvṛttimantareṇāpi samudāyāśrayā bhavet || 375 ||

374. It (the action of eating) is like the water for washing the feet of guests; by its very nature (sāmarthyāt) it is arranged separately for each person. The action of eating does not produce its effect (satisfaction) for several at the same time as a lamp does.

375. An action like seeing is one and without being repeated in each case it can cover all its objects which are suitably situated at the same time.


Another illustration is now given.

[Read verse 374 above]

The difference between the action of eating and the action of seeing is now pointed out.

[Read verse 375 above]

[An action like eating can cover many agents only if each agent performs that action separately. But the action of seeing can cover many objects at the same time, provided they are situated in the right place. Of course each object can be seen separately also but the point here is that they can be seen at the same time also. As the Vṛtti puts it—Vanaṃ dṛśyatām, saṅgho dṛśyatām iti dṛśirūpasyobhayathā darśanasambhavād ekaṃ vā darśanaṃ samudāyakarmakaṃ nirvartyate, pratyavayavaṃ vā krameṇa bhinnadarśanamāvartate.]

The question now arises as to whether the name ‘cooking’ is applied to one particular act or to a series of acts understood as a whole.

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