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.

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation of verse 2.436:

लक्षणाद् व्यवतिष्ठन्ते पदार्था न तु वस्तुतः ।
उपकारात् स एवार्थः कथञ्चिदनुगम्यते ॥ ४३६ ॥

lakṣaṇād vyavatiṣṭhante padārthā na tu vastutaḥ |
upakārāt sa evārthaḥ kathañcidanugamyate || 436 ||

436. Objects are presented in some capacity or other and not in their real nature. One and the same object is understood as the basis of some service or other.


[Words never present an object in its true nature. They pick on some capacity or function of it and present it in that form. So what the word presents has no fixity. It is not real. It is always relative. The Vṛtti ends its comments by bringing in the illustration of the same woman being daughter, sister, wife or mother in relation to different persons. Tad yathā ekā strī duhitā bhaginī bhāryā mātetyapekṣāviśeṣaiḥ pravibhajyate.]

It is now stated that the sentence-meaning, being always new, is real.

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