[Advaita-l] vyavahAre bhaTTanayaH

Venkatesh Murthy vmurthy36 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 25 23:33:35 CST 2015


Thank you for the nice explanation. But I have seen members in
Bharatiya Vidwat Parishad argue as if Vyakarana is not close to
Advaita. They are Vaishnavas. They quarrel with Vedantis over some
technical matter. They cannot tolerate any discussion on Vedanta.
Question is - Is Bhartruhari's teaching and Sphota Vada accepted by
all Vyakarana Panditas? If they are Vaishnavas they may not accept
because they may fear Vaishnava doctrine will be rejected.

On Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 9:42 PM, Siva Senani Nori via Advaita-l
<advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> Sri Sundaram Venkatraman, Namaste.
> Yes, Vyakaranam, specifically the Ashtadhyayi is indeed a Vedanga. Along with being a Vedanga, it is also a Darsana. This aspect becomes clear in the commentary of Ashtadhyayi, called Mahabhashyam. Broadly there are two streams in the commentary - what is called prakriyaa and aarthikam. Prakriyaa refers to the process through which the correct form of words is derived. Aarthikam refers to the philosophical side dealing with questions such what is the meaning of word (jaati or vyakti, i.e. universal or particular), what is the nature of external reality (according to Grammarians, Sabda refers to an entity in one's mind - there is no need for such an entity to exist outside), and so on. Later Bhartrihari wrote a book called Vakyapadiyam (apart from a Deepikaa on the Mahabhashya, which is available only on the first seven ahnikas out of 84 ahnikas in the Mahabhashya) where the "philosophy" part is set out in great detail. There are three kaaNDas in this book, called a) BrahmakaaNDa dealing with Sabdabrahman, the highest principle according to Grammarians; b) VaakyakaaNDA dealing with sentence and c) PadakaaNDa, divided into fourteen samuddeSas (some say, there were more, but no longer available) dealing with the "categories" of grammar (according to some), such as Jati, Dravya, Guna, Dik, Kaala, Saadhana (Kaarakam), Kriyaa, Purusha, Sankhya, Linga and Vritti. Here, though technically dealing with "Padas" the way in which language operates is laid out. One might ask as to why so much needs to be written (the Vakyapadiya is roughly of 2,000 verses, nearly triple of Gita). The problem is this: in reality there is no difference amongst the knower, known and knowledge - and yet language operates only with this differentiation. This is the reason why Brahman is beyond words. Language is our only tool to describe this Brahman, who is beyond language. It is to explain how language operates that Bhartrihari examines each category of word and sentence as a whole. After Bhartrihari, MaNDanamiSra wrote SphoTasiddhi. After that Grammarians like Bhattoji Dikshita wrote separately on the Prakriya (Siddhantakaumudi) and Aarthika (Sabdaratna). KoundabhaTTa (VaiyaakaranabhuushaNa, BhuushaNasaara), Hari Dishita (Sabdaratna) and NageSabhaTTa (Manjuushaa, SabdenduSekhara, ParibhaashenduSekharaa etc.). More about this tradition can be known from Vol. V of Potter's "Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies"
> What is SphoTa? स्फुटीभवति अस्मात् अर्थः इति स्फोटः अर्थप्रत्यायकः is one definition. That is, SphoTa is the one which makes meaning clear as the meaning bursts forth from this. A simpler way of expressing the same is स्फोटो वाचकः, that is that which expresses the meaning is SphoTa. Another definition is स्फुट्यते व्यज्यते वर्णैः इति स्फोटो वर्णाभिव्यङ्ग्यः, that is SphoTa is what is made manifest by Varnas (both definitions are from Paninidarsanam of Sarvadarsanasangraha). I will try to explain this in a dialectic form below:
> A: Sabda is held to be nitya by Mimaamsakas, Vedantins and VaiyaakaraNas. B: What is this nityatva? After all, the moment we say a word, it perishes immediately. A: Sabda is not the sound described in modern Physics, but that entity which is made manifest by various letters etc. B: Okay, what is that which is made manifest by the various letter?A: Let me given an instance. If I say "he has *doopa* ", what is understood?B: Oh, that he has "doopa" is what is understood.A: What is "doopa"? B: I don't know.A: So, even when a sound is uttered, meaning is not conveyed/B: Yes, because I don't know what "doopa" is. A: Precisely. Communication happens only when the speaker and listener share a common knowledge. The speaker wants to communicate an idea. This idea is an integral whole at the first stage and finds expression through SphoTa, which is then articulated and conveyed to the listener through what are called sounds by modern Physics (and Sabda by naiyaayikas etc.). Here the speaker wants to communicate that "he has thirst", or that "he is thirsty". "Doopa" is the word used in the Telangana maandalika of Telugu for thirst. However before he finds individual words in the sentence, the entire sense of the sentence flashes in his mind. The stage where this idea is not split into individual words etc. is SphoTa. Now when the listener receives the series of sounds, these manifest the exact SphoTa that had flashed in the speaker's mind. Of course, this can happen only when they share a common knowledge. The above two definitions correspond to SphoTa from the Speaker's point of view, and the Listener's point of view, respectively.B: But, how do we say that there is an integral idea in the mind which later gets expanded.A: Okay, let us examine the process by which anything is expressed. Maybe writing is a good example in modern times. When we want to write an essay, an article or anything, the first stage is that of contemplation, say over a cup of coffee. Suddenly, at some moment an idea forms, which we then quickly develop, sometimes on a paper napkin. These points on the paper napkin then are moulded into an essay etc.B: Yeah, we all have our Eureka moments.A: Yes, that is why we say that artha bursts forth, flashes - all at once. (This intuition is called Pratibhaa). Then it is articulated, i.e. expanded. This is the process of expressing it. Reverse is the process of comprehending it. We can look at a sentence or a paragraph for long and struggle to grasp it, but suddenly, in a flash, the meaning dawns upon us.
> Some people say that SphoTa is the second stage of Vaak, i.e. Madhyamaa. Others say that it applies to all stages. The four stages of Vaaak are Paraa, Pasyantee, Madhyamaa and Vaikharee. Vaikharee is the spoken language. Madhyamaa is the stage at which the meaning is clear, but not expressed in individual words or varnas and PaSyantee is the level of consciousness. Paraa is the stage accessible only to Yogins, it is the universal consicousness. Some identity Sabda = SphoTa at the level of Madhyamaa, others at PaSyantee and yet others at Paraa. By the way, it is not only Grammarians who admit the four stages of Vaak; many others like Saivas, followers of Tantra, and even many Advaitins do, but they have their own explanations.
> I hope this helps.
> RegardsN. Siva Senani
>       From: Sundaram Venkatraman <svenkat52 at gmail.com>
>  To: Siva Senani Nori <sivasenani at yahoo.com>; A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
> Cc: Venkatesh Murthy <vmurthy36 at gmail.com>
>  Sent: Tuesday, 24 November 2015 7:10 PM
>  Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] vyavahAre bhaTTanayaH
> Namaste Siva Senaniji,
> Is there a branch of philosophy called Vyaakarana? I thought Vyaakarana was a Vedanga dealing with grammar. Also what is Sphota? Sorry if my questions are too elementary.
> Many thanks and regards,
> Venkat
> Sent from my iPhone
>> On 24-Nov-2015, at 4:17 PM, Siva Senani Nori via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>> Namaste
>> Atha SabdaanuSaasanam is not particularly different from Atha ataH brahmajijñaasaa, because even Vedanta teaches Brahman, by using words, notwithstanding the fact that Brahman is beyond words. This is the reason both Saastras teach the Ultimate using the Adhyaaropa-apavaada method. Vyaakarana which is called as PadaSaastra holds that in Paramaartha level, only SphoTa is and that all the distinctions of varna, pada etc. are unreal.
>> Is SphoTa = Sabdabrahman? Many say that SphoTa is madhyamAvAk and Sabdabrahman is ParAvAk. In terms of the "world" emanating from Brahman, Advaita's position is no different. After all Brahman is established as the Nimitta and Upaadaana kaaraNa of the world. The reality of the world, and therefore the reality of its creation, is also at the level of Vyavahaara. It is exactly the same position in Sabdaadvaita. By the way, even Advaita admits that the world has emanated from Sabda. (Ref. BSB 1.3.28).
>> Sarvadarsanasangraha has been discussed at a significant level of detail and it was shown that Sphotavaada is effectively un-refuted therein. Since a refutation is not possible / desirable, maybe it was placed before Saamkhya?
>> Some people hold that the vritti on Yogasutras is not written by Bhagavatpaada. By the way, the original Yogasutras are attributed to Patanjali whose Mahabhashyam is the basis for Sphotavaada. So does that mean that Sankaracarya agrees with Patanjali? I think we should look at the subject matter and not the names involved.
>> Even after all the evidences if the dualistic Yoga is to be held nearer to Advaita, so be it. There would be a point in taking this forward only if new facts are cited.
>> RegardsN. Siva Senani
>>      From: Venkatesh Murthy <vmurthy36 at gmail.com>
>> To: Siva Senani Nori <sivasenani at yahoo.com>; A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
>> Sent: Tuesday, 24 November 2015 9:58 AM
>> Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] vyavahAre bhaTTanayaH
>> Namaste
>> The highest teaching is silence. That is why they say about Guru
>> Dakshina Murthy, 'Gurostu Maunam Vyakhanam Shishyastu Chinna
>> Samshayaaha'. In this no words are needed. But Patanjali's commentary
>> is starting  Atha Shabdaanushaasanam . It is about words. Secondly in
>> Vedanta itself we have Yato Vaacho Nivartante Apraapya Manasaa Saha.
>> Words or Mind cannot reach Brahman. In Sravana, Manana and
>> Nididhyasana only Sravana is using words. Manana and Nididhyasana are
>> done without words. If Grammarians are saying Shabda is Brahman it
>> cannot be Nirguna Brahma of Vedanta but only Saguna Brahman.
>> Bhartruhari has said in Brahma Kanda - Brahman is without beginning or
>> end is the indestructible essence of speech. Which is developed in the
>> form of things and whence springs the creation of the world.
>> Reference in Sarva Darshana Samgraha.
>> This Brahman is the Sphota of the Grammarians. But in Advaita Vedanta
>> the Brahman is not even Creator of the World. The Whole Creation is an
>> illusion only. There is no Creation. How can the Shabda Brahman the
>> Cause of Creation be the  Brahman of Vedanta? It can be taken as
>> Saguna Brahma only.
>> In the Sarva Darshana Samgraha the Yoga Darshana is placed last before
>> Vedanta. It is the closest neighbor of Vedanta in this text.
>> Another point is Adi Sankara wrote one detailed Vrtti on Yoga Sutras
>> but he did not write anything on Vyakarana or Sphota.
>> You can find it on Amazon.
>> http://www.amazon.in/gp/product/8120829891/ref=ox_sc_imb_mini_detail?ie=UTF8&psc=1∣=A3RWP0QS4LMKI0
>> On Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 8:35 PM, Siva Senani Nori via Advaita-l
>> <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>>> From: Venkatesh Murthy <vmurthy36 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I heard some people say Yoga System is close to Advaita but not Vyakarana. Adi Sankara has said "Nahi Nahi Rakshati Dukrun Karane" in Bhaja Govindam seeing a old man memorizing Panini Sutras like a fool. Adi Sankara has also rejected Sphota Vada of Sanskrit Grammarians. Nirvikalpa Samadhi of Yoga is close to Advaita Brahma Jnana.
>>> ------------------------
>>> Namaste
>>> First about डुकृञ् करणे। The intention there is to promote Bhakti (amongst those Adhikaaris, for whom Bhakti is the best path), but we would be mistaken if we think that Bhagavatpada is against Vyakarana or Jnana in general. The meaning of the injunction स्वाध्यायो अध्येतव्यः is that Veda, along with all its angas including Vyakarana, should be studied. Bhagavatpada himself reserves the highest praise for Panini. In the Bhashya under 1.1.3 शास्त्रयोनित्वात् in order to portray Brahman as the source of Sastra, he gives the example of Panini: Just like Panini is known to know much more than Vyakarana, the author of a Sastra would know much more and only Brahman can know much more than all the Sastra that emanated from It. Here, if we ponder as to what is that Panini knew more than Ashtadhyayi, we realize that it refers to Philosophy.
>>> This brings to the question: is sphotavada not refuted by Acaryapada in 1.3.28 (Devatadhikaranam)? At least one scholar, Prof. M. Srimannarayana Murthy, believes that Sankaracarya is agreeable with both doctrines (Sphotavada and Varnavada), but it is the later commentators like Vacaspati Misra, who introduced a refutation of Sphota. Much as I would like that to be true, from a careful study of the Devatadhikaranam, that view has to be rejected. So, unless the text we currently have is corrupted, refutal of Sphotavada by Adisankara cannot be denied. Those in the sampradaya say that, in reality there is no element of the refutation which is essential to uphold the tenets of Advaita, and that the refutation is done with a desire to avoid confusion. If VaiyaakaraNas propose Sabdabrahman as the ultimate, Alaankaarikas would propose Rasabrahman, and somebody else, Gandhabrahman, Sparsabrahman etc. and the saadhaka might be confused. (Is the Naadabrahman of Tyaagaraaya Swami different from Parabrahman, for instance?) If we examine their argument that the refutation is not essential, we find that it is indeed so. The only reason offered in the entire Devatadhikaranam, is that there is gaurava in conceptualizing Sphota, whereas varNaanupuurvI is sufficient to explain (how meaning is expressed). If Sphota is admitted, a Vedantin has no baadhaa to any of his positions. There is no other refutation anywhere else by Bhagavatpada. Among later Advaitins, Vimuktatman does criticize Sphota in his Ishtasiddhi [1], but apart from that I could not find refutation of Sphotavada at other places. (I request learned members to let me know if they came across Sphotakhandana by Advaita scholars before twentieth century anywhere else).For instance, in Sarvadarsanasangraha, every preceding Darsana is criticized and refuted by the next Darsana presented, but this is done very curiously with respect to Sphota - Vyakarana's Vivartavaada stands refuted by the Parinamavada of Sankhya. Now, ultimately Parinamavada does not stand and once it stands refuted by Advaita (the last Darsana), it obtains that Sphotavada is not effectively refuted in Sarvadarsanasangraha.
>>> In comparison, there is disagreement with respect to the ultimate between Yoga and Advaita. The ISvara of Yoga is an emasculated one, who does not create, sustain or dissolve the world unto himself, who is a कश्चन पुरुषविशेषः. In fact, Pradhaana remains the highest principle of Yoga as well, that is why in Sarvadarsanasangraha refutation of Paata~njaladarSana consists of refutation of pariNAmavAda and refutation of PradhAna. This of course, follows the Brahmasutras and Saankarabhaashya. Under 2.1.3 (एतेन योगः प्रत्युक्तः), PradhAna as the highest principle, and the fact that they (Sankhya and Yoga) are dualist systems is cited as the reason for their rejection.
>>> In summary, those who say that "Yoga System is close to Advaita but not Vyakarana", are not evaluating the available textual evidence appropriately. Yoga is a dualist school, avaidika (not my words, but that of Vidyaranya muni in his Vaiyaasikanyaayamaalaa), refuted clearly by the Sutrakara himself, and differs from Advaita in most important aspects. On the other hand, VyaakaraNa is an Advaitic school, is an anga of the Veda, not refuted by the Sutrakara, and does not differ from Advaita in any manner. Even the bhashyakara refutes Sphota not in the section (2nd Adhyaya) devoted to Khandana, but elsewhere.
>>> The only reason for the perceived closeness of Yoga is that Yoga is definitely most useful in Saadhanaa. Its practical utility must not be confused as doctrinal similarity. On the other hand, Sphotavada is so close to Advaita, that it could plausibly be said that it differs no more from the teachings of Sankaracarya than Bhamatiprasthana or Vivaranaprasthana do. If we treat Sphotasiddhi+Brahmasiddhi-minus-jnanakarmasamuccaya (as jnanakarmasamuccaya weakens Advaita and is incorporated by Mandana Misra to accommodate Purvamimamsa) as a third prasthana within Advaita tradition, this claim can be examined and found plausible.
>>> RegardsN. Siva Senani
>>> [1] Ishtasiddhi is an early prakaranagrantha, from which Ramanujacarya took the summary of Advaita. This summary in Sribhashyam is called Mahapurvapaksha and is sometimes cited as the best summary of Advaita! (by those not familiar with Ishtasiddhi). The refutation of Sphotavada by Vimuktatman follows the path of Jayanta Bhatta (of Nyayamanjari fame), which deliberately understands the word Sabda differently. If the same understanding is applied to 1.3.28, then the sentence of Bhashyakara - अतः प्रभवात् । अत एव हि वैदिकात् शब्दात् देवादिकं जगत् प्रभवति। - would stand negated. Let me demonstrate. One ridicule, opponents of Sphota (including Vimuktatman, but Jayanta Bhatta is the one who has done it first, if not the author of SivadRshTi) throw at VaiyaakaraNas is: since you do not differentiate the Sabda "annam" and the corresponding external entity, i.e. food which is eaten, when you are hungry, simply eat the Sabda "annam". In 1.3.28, Sankaracarya is saying the world emanated from Sabda because Sabda primarily denotes Jati, Jati is nitya, and the origination is of only the individuals (that is cowness is always there, and it is only the individual cows which are born). If origin of Vyaktis from the nitya Jatis is not accepted, the words "अतः प्रभवात्" cannot be explained. It follows that the Sabda and the external entity represented by it are not different and the result is that either Acarya Vimuktatman's refutation is wrong, or he does not agree with Sutrakara and Bhashyakara.
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>> --
>> Regards
>> -Venkatesh
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