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 3.14.623:

इत्थंभावेऽपि सादृश्यं बुद्ध्यवस्थानिबन्धनम् ।
ग्रहणे भेदमात्रस्य तत्रान्यैवाभिधीयते ॥ ६२३ ॥

itthaṃbhāve'pi sādṛśyaṃ buddhyavasthānibandhanam |
grahaṇe bhedamātrasya tatrānyaivābhidhīyate || 623 ||

623. In the attainment of a particular condition also, there is resemblance based upon what figures in the mind. Here, in the cognition, it is only a bit of difference (not real difference) which is meant to be conveyed.


[The view that everywhere prakāra means resemblance has been questioned by some as follows—P. 2.3.21. teaches the third case-ending after a word expressive of a particular state of a thing (prakāra). Thus, we can say: kamaṇḍalunā chātram = ‘student having a kamaṇḍalu’. Here the student having a particular condition is a variety of the genus ‘man.’ Thus, prakāra here obviously means variety and not resemblance, because there is nobody else to whom he is compared. But the view that prakāra everywhere means sādṛśya is justified as follows:—Even in P. 2.3.21. the particular state or prakāra involves resemblance, because an expression like kamaṇḍalunā chātram is possible only if there is resemblance between the image created in the mind by the expression and the outside object to which it refers. The correspondence between the mental image and the outside object is what is called prakāra here and it is a kind of resemblance. Similarly, in P. 5.3.42 also where the suffix dhā is taught after a numeral in the sense of vidhā or prakāra, a particular mode of action, resemblance is implied. When one says: pañcadhā bhuṅkte, what is understood from the words corresponds to outside reality. The numeral stands for mode of action. Pañcadhā bhuṅkte means: ‘he eats in five modes’. The action of eating is one but it can be performed in different ways. The numeral stands for the number of ways. What figures in the mind resembles outside reality. Thus, here also, prakāra means resemblance.]

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