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 3.14.624:

गौर्वाहीक इति द्वित्वे सादृश्यं प्रत्युदाहृतम् ।
शुक्लादौ सति निष्पन्ने बाहीकोन द्विरुच्यते ॥ ६२४ ॥

gaurvāhīka iti dvitve sādṛśyaṃ pratyudāhṛtam |
śuklādau sati niṣpanne bāhīkona dvirucyate || 624 ||

624. In the matter of repetition (taught in P. 8.1.12.), the sentence gaur vāhīkah = ‘the vāhīka is a cow’, involving resemblance, is given as the counter example. As words like śukla, well-known as quality words (guṇavacana) are available, the word ‘go’ denoting vāhīka is not repeated.


[The support of the M. Bhā, for the view that everywhere prakāra stands for resemblance is now shown. In P. 8.1.12. where repetition of a word expressive of quality is taught, agnir māṇavakaḥ =‘the student is fire’, gaur vāhīkaḥ = ‘the vāhīka is a cow’ are given as counter examples. This can be justified only if the word prakāra occurring in the sūtra stands for resemblance. The vāhīka cannot be looked upon as a variety (bheda) of go nor the student that of fire. This shows that elsewhere than in the matter of repetition also, prakāra means resemblance. In gaur vāhīkaḥ, the word gauḥ is not repeated because it is not a word expressive of quality as the rule in question requires. It is true that the word gauḥ is applied to a vāhīkaḥ because of identification based on common qualities. But it is not words like go which are meant by the word guṇavacana in the sūtra. It is words like śukla, paṭu which are so meant. The word śukla stands for the quality white and for someone who has that quality. The word ‘go’, on the other hand, first means a universal (gotra). When it is applied to a vāhīka, it is not a guṇavacana word, because primarily it denotes a universal. So P. 8.1.12. teaches the repetition of a word which denotes quality secondarily and substance primarily as in śuklaśuklaḥ = ‘a very white cloth’, paṭupatuḥ—‘very clever’ or of a word which teaches quality only as in śuklaśuklaṃ rūpam—‘very white colour’.]

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