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 3.6.4:

परापरत्वे मूर्तानां देशभेदनिबन्धने ।
तत एव प्रकल्पेते क्रमरूपे तु कालतः ॥ ४ ॥

parāparatve mūrtānāṃ deśabhedanibandhane |
tata eva prakalpete kramarūpe tu kālataḥ || 4 ||

4. The notion of ‘first’ and ‘next’ in regard to concrete limited objects is based on regional distinction. The notion of earlier and later, consisting of sequence, arises on account of time.


[Form (mūrti) means measurement of things which are limited in extent. Things having form are here referred to as concrete and limited (mūrta). The all-pervasive entities such as space (ākāśa) has no prior-posterior distinction. It is about limited objects that we use such expression as ‘first’ and ‘next’ on the basis of their contact with the first or the next region. Priority or posteriority of a region is based on Direction. The notion of ‘earlier’ and ‘later’ amounts to sequence which is an effect of the Time-Power of Brahman. Thus Direction and Time are two distinct things.]

It is now pointed out that immaterial things can also have artificial distinctions of priority and posteriority.

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