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 3.6.15:

निर्बागात्मकता तुल्या परमाणोर्घटस्य च ।
भागः शक्त्यंन्तरं तत्र परिमाणं च यत्तयोः ॥ १५ ॥

nirbāgātmakatā tulyā paramāṇorghaṭasya ca |
bhāgaḥ śaktyaṃntaraṃ tatra parimāṇaṃ ca yattayoḥ || 15 ||

15. Indivisibility is the same in an atom and in a jar. What is called their division is only a power and so is their dimension.


It is now explained how visible material wholes are really partless.

[Read verse 15 above]

[One might here ask: ‘One does see objects like jars, associated with different regions, having visible parts and magnitude. How can they be looked upon as indivisible? The answer is this: A jar and an atom are alike in that neither has any parts in its own nature. Divisions having sequence are imagined in them on the basis of the power called Dik. These parts are not different from the wholes. Because of the relation of inherence (samavaya) between the whole and the parts, they do not appear to be different from one another. If objects had parts in their own nature their unity would be destroyed. Division based on association with an external thing is not real division. Otherwise, even the atom would become divisible. Nor can one say that division is real because it is caused by dimension. Dimension is a power and it is the cause of the cognition of the ‘smallness’ or ‘bigness’ of things.]

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