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 3.14.605:

मेघाः शैल इवेत्युक्ते समस्तानां प्रतीयते ।
सादृश्यं गिरिणैकेन प्रत्येकं तेन भिद्यते ॥ ६०५ ॥

meghāḥ śaila ivetyukte samastānāṃ pratīyate |
sādṛśyaṃ giriṇaikena pratyekaṃ tena bhidyate || 605 ||

605. When one says: ‘the clouds are like a mountain’, they (the clouds) are jointly understood as resembling a single mountain. Each one is in a different position.


[A more well-known example of one standard of comparison serving several objects of comparison is now given. From the sentence: Śaila ivāmī valāhakāḥ = “These clouds are like a mountain” one understands that the clouds, taken together are like a mountain and not each one separately. Each cloud is not like a mountain, but taken together they are so. The word expressive of the standard of comparison is in the singular number and it serves several objects taken together. When the words expressive of the objects of comparison are actually used, there is not one combined object of comparison. In order that one may understand that each object of comparison is connected with a separate standard of comparison, Kāśyapa, the standard of comparison, assumes plurality, from the very beginning. That is why the word Kāśyapāḥ is put in the plural.]

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