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 3.8.39:

बहूनां सम्भवेऽर्थनां केचिदेवोपकारिणः ।
संसर्गे कश्चिदेषां तु प्राधान्येन प्रतीयते ॥ ३९ ॥

bahūnāṃ sambhave'rthanāṃ kecidevopakāriṇaḥ |
saṃsarge kaścideṣāṃ tu prādhānyena pratīyate || 39 ||

39. Where many meanings are possible, there is a relation between them and some arc only secondary. One of them is understood as the primary one.


The verb expresses the accessory, number, tense, person and upagraha (aspect) also, why then has it been said to be expressive of action?

[Read verse 39 above]

[It is true that a verb expresses not only action, but also accessory, number, time, person and aspect. But they are not all expressed in the same manner. One of them is more important than the others. It is the aṅgi (primary) and the others arc its aṅga. It is action that verbs primarily express because it is that which is sādhya, something to be brought about.]

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