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 3.3.22:

तथान्यथा सर्वथा च यस्यावाच्यत्वमुच्यते ।
तत्रापि नैव सावस्था तैः शब्दैः प्रतिषिध्यते ॥ २२ ॥

tathānyathā sarvathā ca yasyāvācyatvamucyate |
tatrāpi naiva sāvasthā taiḥ śabdaiḥ pratiṣidhyate || 22 ||

22. If what is meant is that it is inexpressible in some aspect or other or in all aspects, even then those words would not deny that particular condition.


[If what is meant is that ‘inherence’ is not expressible in its nature as dependence (pāratantrya) it is as good as saying that it is not expressible at all. There cannot be a negation of an attribute (dharma) without there being a negation of that which has the attribute (dharmin). Therefore, even if only its dependence aspect is declared to be inexpressible, it itself becomes inexpressible. Even to deny any particular aspect of a thing, it has to become the object of verbal knowledge and if it becomes the object of verbal knowledge, it has become ‘vācya’. How can it then be said to be avācya’?]

The author now answers the casuistry employed by the Naiyāyīka by giving an example.

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