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 3.14.603:

यथा गरुड इत्येतद् व्यूहापेक्षं प्रयुज्यते ।
एकेन यत्र सादृश्यं वैनतेयेन हस्तिनाम् ॥ ६०३ ॥

yathā garuḍa ityetad vyūhāpekṣaṃ prayujyate |
ekena yatra sādṛśyaṃ vainateyena hastinām || 603 ||

603. Where many elephants resemble one Garuḍa, then, in regard to the particular way of arraying them (vyūha) the word Garuḍa is used.


[A particular way of arranging many elephants is called garuḍa, the name of the bird used by Viṣṇu as his transport. Similarly, a particular disposition of horses is called makara (a crocodile). A particular disposition of bricks is called śyena (hawk). In these cases the things are many and yet the word expressive of the disposition is put in the singular number. Garuḍa is the standard of comparison and it is not the elephants which are compared to it, but the way in which they are arrayed for battle. When one says: “these elephants are like garuḍas”, each elephant becomes the object of comparison and not the way of arraying them.]

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