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 3.7.50:

प्रकृत्युच्छेदसंभूतं किंचित् काष्ठादिभस्मवत् ।
किंचिद् गुणान्तरोत्पत्त्या सुवर्णादिविकारवत् ॥ ५० ॥

prakṛtyucchedasaṃbhūtaṃ kiṃcit kāṣṭhādibhasmavat |
kiṃcid guṇāntarotpattyā suvarṇādivikāravat || 50 ||

50. One kind of modification (vikārya) is the result of the destruction of the original material as ashes from (burnt) wood. Another kind is the result of the coming of a new property as the transformation of gold (into ornaments).


[A general definition of modification (vikārya) has been given. It is of two kinds and they are defined in this verse. When the original material is completely destroyed, we have one kind of modification. For example, ashes when the wood is completely burnt out. In the sentence: kāṣṭhāni bhasma karoti = ‘he makes the wood into ashes, if wood is not presented as identical with the ashes, the latter would be product (nirvartya) according to the previous definition and modification (vikārya) if it is so presented. According to the present definition that object (karma) is modification (vikārya) which is left behind after the original material is completely destroyed. ‘Bhasma’ is vikārya because ashes can result only when the wood is completely destroyed. According to the previous definition, in this sentence, it is the wood (kāṣṭhāni) which is primarily the vikārya and bhasma is so secondarily as it is presented as identical with kāṣṭhāni. According to the present definition, it is ‘bhasma’ which is primarily the vikārya. In kāṣṭhāni dahanti = ‘wood burns’, kāṣṭhāni is vikārya, because that is the only thing which is mentioned. Sometimes, the material remains intact, but changes shape as in the sentence: suvarṇaṃ kuṇḍale karoti = he makes the gold into ear-rings. Here also, the object is a modification (vikārya).]

The object called ‘destination’, or ‘thing to be attained’ is now explained.

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