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 3.6.1:

दिक् साधनं क्रिया काल इति वस्त्वभिधायिनः ।
शक्तिरूपे पदार्थानामत्यन्तमनवस्थिताः ॥ १ ॥

dik sādhanaṃ kriyā kāla iti vastvabhidhāyinaḥ |
śaktirūpe padārthānāmatyantamanavasthitāḥ || 1 ||

1. The words Direction (dik), Means (sādhanam) Action (kriyā) and Time (Kāla), (if taken) as expressive of things, would not refer to their nature as powers of things.


[Words like Direction (Dik) convey a meaning which is an attribute of things having an independent character. They do not express independent things. The four words Direction, Means, Action and Time stand for power, capacity and not for independent entities. They are dependent on something else. The Vaiśeṣikas look upon Dik as an independent entity, a dravya. That is not right. It is something to be inferred from its effect, from the service which it renders to positive entities. Words which express an accomplished thing cannot convey it directly. Its definition must be made on the basis of indications in the śāstra as in P. 5.3.27.]

The definition of Direction (Dik), based on inference, is as follows:

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