History of Logic from Aristotle to Gödel (www.historyoflogic.com)

by Raul Corazzon | e-mail: rc@ontology.co

Bibliography on Bhartrhari, grammarian-philosopher (Third part)


Bibliography (Studies in English) Hou-Oet

  1. Houben, Jan E. M. 1990. "The Sequencelessness of the Signifier in Bhartṛhari's Theory of Language." Indologica Taurinensia: Official Organ of the International Association of Sanskrit Studies no. 15-16:119-129.

    "Since J. Brough's article Theories of General Linguistics in the Sanskrit Grammarians, TPS, 1951, pp. 27-46 and K. Kunjunni Raja's, Indian Theories of Meaning, Madras, 1963, it is habitual in the study and interpretation of the concept of śabda in Bhartṛhari's Vākyapadīya (short: VP) or Trikāṇḍī(1) to refer to de Saussure's theory of the sign, or to use a saussurean terminology(2). But what we still miss is a systematic comparison between the two philosophies of language. In this paper I want to give a small contribution to such a comparison.

    A systematic comparison of Bhartṛhari with especially de Saussure is useful, because de Saussure expresses by way of the Cours de Linguistique Générale (Course in General Linguistics) many ideas that still form to a considerable extent the methodological basis of modern linguistics." (p. 119)

    (1) I. Aklujkar, 1969.

    2. Ruegg, 1959: 55-56; Joshi, 1967: 49; Aklujkar; 1970; R. Herzberger; 1986: 10, 21, repeats what Brough has said in this context.


    Aklujkar, A., «Two textual studies of Bhartrhari», Journal of the American Oriental Society, 89, 1969 547-63.

    -- «Ancient Indian Semantics», Annals of the Bandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 51, 1970, 11-29.

    Brough, J., «Theories of General Linguistics in the Sanskrit Grammarians», Transactions of the Philological Society (1951, 27-46). Also in: Staal: A reader on the Sanskrit Grammarians (MIT press, 1972): 402-414.

    Herzberger, R., Bhartṛhari and the Buddhists, Dordrecht/Boston/Lancaster/Tokyo, 1980.

    Joshi, S., Sphoṭanirṇaya; edited with Introduction, Translation and Critical Notes. Publications of the Centre of Advanced Study in Sanskrit, Class C, no. 2, University of Poona, 1967.

    Ruegg, D., Contributions à l'histoire de la Philosophie Linguistique Indienne, Pub!. de l'institut de Civilisation Indienne, Serie in-8, fasc. 7, Paris, 1959.

  2. ———. 1992. "Bhartṛhari's Samaya / Helārāja Samketa: A Contribution to the Reconstruction of the Grammarians' Discussion with the Vaiśeṣikas on the Relation between 'śabda' and 'artha'." Journal of Indian Philosophy no. 20:219-242.

    "In the Saṃbandhasamuddeśa (VP book 3, chapter 3) Bhartṛhari uses the word samaya in a discussion of the relation between śabda (word) and artha (meaning or object)(1) (VP 3.3.31cd). It is used by the Vaiśeṣikas and Naiyāyikas to explain that an artha is understood from a śabda, and it may usually be translated as 'convention'. The relevant sūtra of the Vaiśeṣikas(2) is sāmayikaḥ śabdād arthapratyayaḥ according to two of the three main recensions of the Vaiśeṣika Sūtra (VS (1) 7.2.24 and (3) 7.2.20) corresponding to sāmayikaḥ śabdārthapratyayaḥ in the other recension (VS (2) 7.2.24). Both versions of the sūtra may be translated as: "The understanding of an artha from a śabda is based on samaya, 'convention'."

    (1) The fact that artha may mean 'linguistic meaning' as well as 'concrete object' makes it impossible to adopt a single translation for this word. In general, Bhartṛhari and the grammarians would tend to accept artha in the first place as 'linguistic meaning' and the Vaiśeṣikas in the first place as a 'concrete object' or 'really existing entity', but for both groups the other meaning cannot be neglected. Similarly, it is not without importance that śabda is for the Vaiśeṣikas also 'sound' in general, thought of mainly as a guna 'quality' of ākāśa 'space' (at least since the classical period inaugurated by Praśastapāda). In the context of language śabda may refer to a sentence, a word, or a phoneme. Since the third book of the VP is devoted to problems relating to words and their meanings, the translation 'word' for śabda is here quite appropriate.

    (2) In the course of this article several ideas will be attributed to the Vaiśeṣikas on the basis of some of their sūtras. Because the origins of the Vaiśeṣika-system and its sūtras are so much shrouded in darkness (e.g. Matilal, 1977: 53—62), this should imply no more than that the Vaiśeṣikas (or some of them) apparently supported these ideas at some stage in their evolution, but in any case at the time of Bhartṛhari's literary activity. It should be noted, however, that the sūtras referred to here do not seem to belong to the oldest kernel of the Vaiśeṣika Sūtra. They belong to a passage (sūtras 7.2.14—20 in VS (3)) which looks very much like an insertion, as was already noted by Faddegon, 1918: 29. Faddegon (loc. cit.) described the passage as: "Polemics on the relation between word and meaning against the Mīmāṃsākas," and added that "this passage is inserted, in a forced way . . ." Finally, the date of Bhartṛhari ("Bhartṛhari lived no later than the fifth century A.D.", Cardona, 1976: 299) makes it very likely that several important old Vaiśeṣika-texts of which we know only the names (cf. Matilal, 1977: 59—62) were still available to him.


    Cardona, George (1976). Pânini. A survey of research. The Hague — Paris: Mouton, 1976.

    Faddegon, Barend (1918). The Vaisesika-System. Described with the help of the oldest texts. Amsterdam, Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen. (Reprint: Liechtenstein: Saendig Reprint Verlag, 1969.)

    Matilal, Bimal K. (1977). Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika (A Flistory of Indian Literature, vol. 6 fasc. 2). Wiesbaden: Harassowitz.

  3. ———. 1993. "Bhartṛhari's Perspectivism (3): on the structure of the third Kāṇḍa of the Vâkyapadîya." Sambodhi:1-32.

    Abstract: "The present article is part 3 in a series on “perspectivism” in the philosophy of language of the grammarian-philosopher Bhartṛhari (India, early fifth century C.E.). It is part 3 in the sequence in which the series is meant to be read, although it is the one which was published before all others, in 1993, in volume XVIII of the journal Sambodhi of the L.D. Institute of Indology, Ahmedabad (edited by J.B. Shah and N.M.Kansara) pertaining to 1992-1993. The discussion in this article is parallel to pp. 81-122 and pp. 132-134 ofThe Saṁbandha-samuddeśa (chapter on relation) and Bhartṛhari's philosophy of language (Houben 1995b). Parallel means: the discussion in this article contains less and more, it is more compact and more focused on“perspectivism” as the guiding principle in the structuring of the Third Kāṇḍa of the Vākyapadīya, esp. regarding the 13 Samuddeśas preceding the final Vṛtti-samuddeśa (on the structure of which see pp. 123-131 in Houben 1995b). Other articles in the series of studies on “perspectivism” in the philosopy of language of Bhartṛhari appeared in 1994, 1995 and 1997."

  4. ———. 1994. "[Bhartṛhari's Perspectivism (4):] Bhartṛhari's familiarity with Jainism." Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute no. 75:1-24.

    "In comparison with many authors of Indian philosophical texts, is remarkably non-polemic. His attitude, both in the Mahābhāṣya-Dipikā and in the Vākyapadīya, may be described not only as 'encyclopedic' in the sense that he seems to be eager to discuss all important views on a certain subject, but also as 'perspectivistic' in the sense that he seems to acknowledge that each view represents a possible and in its own theoretical context valid perspective.(1) Different views are enumerated and contrasted, and sometimes positively or negatively reassessed, but hardly ever fully rejected.(2) Bhartṛhari refers to the different views in a very concise way, and for modern students of his works the precise identity of those who held the views remains often unclear. Of those (apart from grammarians, and authors of Šikṣā and Nirukta) whose views Bhartrhari frequently takes up for discussion, K. A. Subramania Iyer has mentioned Vaiśeṣikas, Mīmāṃsākas, Sāṃkhyas and Buddhists ( Iyer, 1969 : 72). Iyer has not mentioned the Jainas, and one may wonder whether they remained outside the scope of Bhartṛhari's encyclopedic approach. This, however, is not the case. Bhartṛhari is aware of Jaina philosophers and refers to them explicitly in at least one place ia the Mahãbhãsya-Dípikã. Other passages in the Mahãbhãsya-Dípikã and Vākyapadīya are remarkably well compatible with Jaina ideas. They may have been intended as references to their views, although their name is not explicitly mentioned." (pp. 1-2)


    "In this paper, without aiming completeness, I will discuss a few indications and possible indications of Bhartṛhari's familiarity with Jainism in the Mahābhāṣya-Dipikā (MBhD) and Vākyapadīya (VP), including two places in VP Kāṇḍa 2 which seem to refer to a technicality in Jainendra-vyākaraṇa. This would show that Bhartṛhari was not only familiar with the Jaina doctrines, but also with their literature in the field of grammar. Finally, in the concluding section I will mention some possible implications of Bhartṛhari's familiarity with Jainism for our understanding of Bhartṛhari's perspectivism and his philosophy of language."

    1 See my article, "Bhartṛhari's Perspectivism (1) : The Vṝtti and Bhartṛhari's Perspectivism in the first Kãnja of the Vākyapadīya" for a provisionary discussion of Bhartṛhari's perspectivism. I hope to discuss it in a philosophically more comprehensive way in a future article.

    2 Cf. Houben, 1992 : 23-24. K. A. S. Iyer speaks of Bhartrhari's "spirit of accommodation "(K. A. S. Iyer, Bhartṛhari, a Study of the Vākyapadīya in the light of the ancient commentaries, Poona, 1969; 75-82).

  5. ———. 1994. "Early Indian Authors and Linguistic Change (Postscript ot Bhartrhari's Familiarity With Jainism)." Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute no. 75:255-279.

    "I am very gratrful to Professor A. Wezler (Hamburg) and Dr. Ch. Werba (Vienna) to have pointed out to me that the problems discussed in sections 1. 2. 1 - 1. 2. 6 of my article " Bhartrhari's perspectivism (4) ; Bhartrhari's familiarity with Jainism " have also been addressed, in a different context, by Eivind Kahrs in an article entitled "What is a tadbhava word?" (Indo-Iranian Journal 35 (1992 : 225-249). The passages cited by me in these sections are also cited by Kahrs. It is Kahrs' purpose to find out what the term tadbhava (usually referring to Prakrit words derived from Sanskrit words, as opposed to those similar to them, tatsama, and regional or deśī words) must have originally meant in the context of Indian thought about language." (p. 255)

  6. ———. 1995. "Bhartṛhari's Solution to the Liar and Some Other Paradoxes." Journal of Indian Philosophy no. 23:381-401.

    "Fully aware of these modern developments and inspired Bhartṛhari's treatment of paradoxes in Bhartṛhari's Vākyapadīya (VP), especially in the Saṁbandha-samuddeśa,(2) Hans and Herzberger have presented a lucid exposition of what ''Bhartṛhari's paradox' (Herzberger and Herzberger, 1981), special kind of paradox involving self-reference. But the under discussion contains also (see kārikā 25) nothing than the classical 'Liar paradox' ("everything I am saying otherwise known as the paradox of Epimenides the Cretan "All Cretans are liars"). In our view, what is of special the Saṁbandha-samuddeśa, passage, is not so much that adds a new member to a well-known family of paradoxes, he provides us with the key to an interesting and elegant to them. It would probably prove worthwhile to go deeper implications for modern treatments of these paradoxes, place we will focus on the interpretation of the relevant their own context. Before turning to the kārikās themselves, review some discussions and interpretations of the passage previous works and articles.(3)" (p. 382, a note omitted)

    (2) The Saṁbandha-samuddeśa is the third Samuddeśa of the third Kānda of Bhartrhari's Vàkyapadïya (short: VP). I will refer mainly to Wilhelm Rau's edition for the kārikās (Rau, 1977), and to Iyer's edition for Helâràja's commen tary Prakïrnaka-Prakâsa (Iyer, 1963).

  7. ———. 1995. The Sambandha-samuddeśa (Chapter on Relation) and Bhartṛhari's Philosophy of Language. Groningen: Egbert Forsten.

    "The themes of the Sambandha-samuddeśa pervade the entire third Kāṇḍa and even the whole of the VP. Because of Bhartṛhari's perspectivism, and his awareness of the limits of philosophical and theoretical discourse (cf. above, section 2), it is of the utmost importance never to lose sight of the place a certain passage occupies in a larger argumentative complex. To provide material for this, much more is needed than just a translation of the kārikās with Helārāja's commentary. Moreover, a very critical attitude towards Helārāja's commentary is indispensible. By taking other parts of the VP into account, it is to some extent possible to check Helārāja's interpretations. Usually this leads to a justitication of Helārāja's views, occasionally they turn out to be questionable.

    The approach sketched above determines the form of the present work.

    After this introduction about Bhartṛhari and the Vākyapadīya, the body of the work is formed by three parts: (1) A discussion of sambandha in some early Indian traditions and in Bhartṛhari's philosophy of language; (2) A discussion of the third Kāṇḍa and the immediate context of the Sambandha-samuddeśa; (3) The Sambandha-samuddeśa, translation and discussion of the kārikās. Finally, in an appendix, Helārāja's commentary on the Sambandha-samuddeśa will be given in translation. (In this organisation of the work it was unavoidable that the kārikās of the Sambandha-samuddeśa be given (at least) twice: once in part 3 with my own discussion, once in the appendix with Helārāja's comments.)" (p. 27)

  8. ———. 1995. "Bhartṛhari's Perspectivism (2): Bhartṛhari on the Primary Unit of Language." In History and Rationality: the Skoevde Papers in the Historiography of Linguistics, edited by Dutz, Klaus D. and Forsgren, Kjell-Åke, 29-62. Münster: Nodus Publikationen.

    "As for its subject matter, the present article is to be studied in tandem with the conceptual and theoretical introduction to the Sanskrit tradition of linguistic and semantic thought in J.E.M. Houben, "The Sanskrit Tradition," in: The Emergence of Semantics in Four Linguistic Traditions (by W. van Bekkum, J.E.M. Houben, I. Sluiter, and K. Versteegh): 49-145. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1997, esp. section 2 "Terminology" (pp. 56-61)." Additional note (30 January 2018).

    "According to Saussure, "the linguistic entity is not accurately defined until it is delimited, i.e. separated from everything that surrounds it on the phonic chain" (Saussure 1916: 145 [103]). However, what are the units to be isolated? The question is important, pragmatically, for anyone trying to learn an entirely new language from the speakers of that language. And it is of crucial theoretical importance for anyone setting out to describe, analyse and study a language." (pp. 29-30)


    "The view of the grammarian-philosopher Bhartrhari (India, ca. 5th century C.E.) on this problem has been described in 1951 by John Brough in a pioneering article as follows: "In Bhartrhari's view, then, the primary linguistic fact is the undivided sentence-sphoṭa. Just as a bare root has no meaning in the world, so also the meanings of individual words are merely hints or stepping stones to the meaning of the sentence." (Brough 1951: 45-46)." (p. 30)


    "Unfortunately for the lovers of pure and simple, well-defined ideas, and fortunately for the lovers of major intellectual challenges, the Vākyapadīya is a difficult work with an extremely complex argumentative structure."


    Those who expect on the basis of the indications by Punyaraja, Brough, Robins, Siderits and others to find in the VP a straightforward exposition and defence of the idea that the sentence is the indivisible unit of language will be somewhat surprised when they are confronted with the text of the VP." (p. 32)


    "Yet, there is perhaps another way to make Bhartṛhari's exposition more perspicuous and I will attempt to follow this way in the present paper. I will focus not on the details of the exposition and description of theories in the sequence in which we find them in the text, but I will try to see what arguments Bhartṛhari uses to evaluate different theories on the sentence and the word. We will see that the types of argument used are very limited in number and by focusing on these we can perceive, in spite of all difficulties, a comparatively clear plan at the basis of the extremely complex exposition in the second book of the VP." (p. 33)


    Brough, John 1951 "Theories of General Linguistics in the Sanskrit Grammarians". Transactions of the Philological Society. 45-46.

    Saussure, Ferdinand de 1916 Cours de Linguistique Générale. Geneva.

  9. ———. 1996. "Socio-linguistic Attitudes Reflected in the Work of Bhartṛhari and later Grammarians." In Ideology and Status of Sanskrit: Contributions to the History of the Sanskrit Language, edited by Houben, Jan E. M., 157-193. Leiden: Brill.

    "In this paper I will first discuss some aspects of the sociolinguistic context in which the Sanskrit grammarians, and especially Bhartṛhari, the grammarian-philosopher of ca. the 5th century C.E., were working, and

    next study in the light of this context the statements Bhartṛhari and some of his interpreters made regarding Sanskrit and its relation to non-Sanskrit. Although, as someone with a philological training, I believe

    that one should let the texts speak for themselves as much as possible, I also agree with Popper that all knowledge is theory-impregnated.(1)

    At some point it is always necessary to reflect on the scope and limits ofthe theories with which we approach a text. Acts and utterances to which our texts refer are understood in a social and sociolinguistic

    context. This context is to be reconstructed on the basis of (1) the incomplete and often problematic data available for the period; and (2) unavoidably, either intuitively or methodicaly, some theories and concepts

    are brought in to organize the data and to predict aspects of the situation about which no direct information is available." (pp. 157-158)

    (1) Popper [Objective Knowledge. An Evolutionary Approach. London: Oxford University Press] 1972:104-105: "Since all knowledge is theory-impregnated, it is all built on sand; but its foundations can be improved by critically digging deeper; and by not taking any alleged 'data' for granted."

  10. ———. 1997. "Bhartṛhari's Perspectivism (1): The Vṛtti and Bhartṛhari's perspectivism in the first Kānda of the Vâkyapadîya." In Beyond Orientalism: the Impact of the work of W. Halbfass on Indian and Cross-cultural Studies, edited by Preisendanz, Karl and Franco, Eli, 317-358. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

    [Bhartṛhari's Perspectivism (6) is in French].

    "The present article is part 1 in a series on "perspectivism" in the philosophy of language of the grammarian-philosopher Bhartṛhari (India, early fifth century C.E.). It is part 1 in the sequence in which the series is meant to be read, although it appeared later than the other articles which appeared in 1995, 1993 and 1994.

    These articles are to be studied in tandem with another series of articles, on "Bhartṛhari's Vākyapadīya and the Ancient Vṛtti", of which three parts appeared between 1997 and 1999.! Additional note (22 December 2017)."

    "There is a simple principle which pervades the whole of the Vākyapadīya (short: VP, which will usually mean in this article: the Vākyapadīya-kārlkās, or VP-kārlkās).1t is reflected in its structure from beginning to end, and finds sometimes more explicit expression in specific kārlkāss, The principle is that, in a very fundamental way, the validity of different perspectives is accepted. Throughout the Vakyapadiya, different viewpoints are discussed in their mutual opposition and complementariness. Sometimes the viewpoints are simply enumerated.

    Sometimes Bhartṛhari adds a statement of what would be acceptable from two opposed points of view. Sometimes he has an undeniable preference for one view or the other. And sometimes he seems to develop his own view by integrating the opposed views of other thinkers. But even if he prefers one view or develops a new synthesis, others are not totally discarded. His preferences are generally pronounced against the background of a relativizing attitude. With this approach Bhartrhari differs from the familiar, more openly polemic approach in Indian philosophical works in which other systems are unequivocally refuted and one's own system is defended." (pp. 317-318, notes omitted)

  11. ———. 1997. "Bhartṛhari's Vākyapadīya and the Ancient Vṛtti (2): The Vedic background of the author of the Vākyapadīya-Vṛtti " Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik no. 21:71-77.

  12. ———. 1997. "Bhartṛhari's Vākyapadīya and the Ancient Vṛtti (3): On syntactic and stylistic evidence regarding the authorship of the Vākyapadīya-Vṛtti " Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens no. 43:167-197.

    "With Iyer (1965 and 1969) and Aklujkar (1972 and 1993b) arguing for the identity of the Vākyapadīya (VP)-Kārikā-author and the Vṝtti-author (the 'single authorship thesis'), and Biardeau (1964) and Bronkhorst (1988 and 1991a) for différent authors (the 'separate authorship thesis'), the issue of the authorship of the VP-Vṝtti can be considered to be still open.(1)" (p. 167)


    "In what follows we will discuss fïrst (sections 2-4) the arguments brought forward by A. Aklujkar in 1972 and refer to Bronkhorsts criticism and Aklujkar's answers. Next, we will discuss a few other stylistic arguments which have played a rôle in the discussion so far, and draw attention to some aspects and additional points which have been largely neglected so far. These may give a décisive turn to our final judgment." (p. 169)


    "While the argument developed in this article is greatly the discussions in the main studies referred to, we had to reject especially some of the conclusions of Aklujkar 1972. In a future article in this séries, I hope to demonstrate that this study was nevertheless right in rejecting the great différence in time and doctrine Biardeau 1964 suspected to exist between the VP-kārikās (even if there are indeed some diverging trends in these two works; cf. Houben 1996 and 1997a). Without claiming that it can be proven beyond any doubt, I contend that all this suits perfectly and naturally the historical hypothesis (HH) which has been formulated in the first article of this series,(45 but which may be repeated here for the convenience of the reader:

    HH The Vṝtti on the first two Kārikās was written by a close follower of Bhartṛhari (author of BhD [Mahābhāṣya-Dīpikā] and VP-kārikās), e.g. a direct pupil of his, who finalized his commentary not long after Bhartṛhari finished the VP-kārikās (three Kārikās), and who explained Bhartṛhari quite honestly and faithfully, although hedoes have his own intellectual character which shows in a few diverging trends in the Vṝtti as compared to the kārikās (and MBhD)." (p. 192)

    (1) Cf. Torella 1994: XXV n. 36, who "provisionally accept[s] the thesis of identity". The most important early formulation of the VP-Vṝtti-authorship issue can be found in Shastri 1934: Introduction (cf. also id. 1930).


    Aklujkar 1972 Ashok N. Aklulkar, The Authorship of the Vākyapadīya-Vṝtti. WZKS 16 (1972) 181-198.

    Aklujkar 1993b Id., Once Again on the Authorship of the Trikāṇḍi-Vṛtti AsSt 47,1 (1993 [= Bhate 1994]) 45-57.

    Bhate 1994 Saroja Bhate - Johannes Bronkhorst (ed.), Bhartṛharii: Philosopher and Grammarian. Proceedings of the First International Conference on Bhartrhari (University of Poona, January 6-8, 1992). Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1994.

    Biardeau 1964 Madeleine Biardeau, Bhartṛhari. Vākyapadīya Brahmakāṇḍa avec la Vṛtti de Harivṛṣabha. Traduction, Introductionet Notes. [Publications de l'Institut de Civilisation Indienne, Fasc. 24]. Paris: E. de Boccard, 1964.

    Bronkhorst 1988 JJohannes Bronkhorst, Patañjali and the Yoga Sūtras. StII 10 (1985) 191-212

    Bronkhorst 1991a Two Literary Conventions of Classical India. AsSt 45 (1991) 210-227.

    Houben 1996 Socio-linguistic Attitudes Reflected in the Work of Bhartṛhari aμd Later Grammarians. In: Ideology and Status of Sanskrit. Contributions to the History of the Sanskrit Language, ed. J.E.M. Houben. Leiden 1996, p. 157-193.

    Houben 1997a Bhartrhari's Perspectivism (1): The Vṝtti and Bhartṛhari's Perspectivism in the First kāṇḍa of the Vākyapadīya. In: Beyond Orientalism. The Work of Wilhelm Halbfass and its Impact on Indian and Cross-Cultural Studies, ed. E. Franco - K. Preisendanz. Amsterdam 1997, p. 317-358.

    Iyer 1965 Subramania Iyer, The Vākyapadīya of Bhartṛhari with the Vṝtti. Chapter I. English Translation. [Deccan College Building Centenary and Silver Jubilee Series 26]. Poona: Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute, 1965.

    Iyer 1969 Id., Bhartrhari. A Study of the Vākyapadīya in the light of the Ancient Commentaries. [Deccan College Building Centenary and Silver Jubilee Series 68]. lb. 1969.

    Shastri 1930 Charudev A. Shastri, Bhartṛhari. A Critical Study with special references to the Vākyapadīya and its Commentaries. In: Proceedings and Transactions of the Fifth Indian Oriental Conference. Lahore 1930, 1/630-655.

    Shastri 134 Bhagavadbhartṛhariviracitaṃ Vākyapadīyam. Lahore 1934.

    Torella 1994 The Iśvarapratyabhijñākārikā of Utpaladeva with the Author's Vṝtti. Critical Edition and Annotated Translation. [Serie Orientale Roma LXXI]. Roma: ISMEO, 1994.

  13. ———. 1997. "The Sanskrit Tradition." In The Emergence of Semantics in Four Linguistic Traditions, edited by Van Bekkum, Wout, Houben, Jan E. M., Sluiter, Ineke and Versteegh, Kees, 49-145. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

    9: Bhartṛhari’s discussion of linguistic and semantic theories: major issues and parameters, pp. 110-119.

    "Bhartṛhari, who became famous with his Vākyapadīya, has also been credited with another work, viz. the Mahābhāṣya-Dīpikā or ‘‘light on the Mahābhāṣya’’. It is a subcommentary on Patañjali’s Mahābhāṣya (Great Commentary) on Pāṇini’s grammar. Because it is the earliest commentary (partly) available on Patañjali’s Mahābhāṣya which has greatly influenced later major exponents of the Pāṇninian tradition like Kaiyaṭa and Nāgeśa, this text is of considerable importance. Unfortunately, the work is available only in a single, incomplete manuscript." (p. 110)

  14. ———. 1998. "Bhartṛhari's Vākyapadīya and the Ancient Vṛtti (1): The Vṛtti and Vṛṣabhadeva's Paddhati on Vākyapadīya 1.46a atmabhedam / atmabhedas ..." Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute no. 78:177-198.

    "I first started to doubt siagle authorship of kãrikãs and Vṛtti in 1987, when I discovered a passage in the Vṛtti which rather clearly refers to two different versions of the kãrikã (VP. 1. 46a ãtmabhedam / ãtmabhedah). For Charudeva Shartri, a strong argument to accept the Vṛtti as the work of Bhartṛhari in spite of some difficulties was that there would be no mention of different readings of the kãrikãs. As other commentaries which are known to stem from a later period frequently do mention different readings, a mention of a different reading would have been a strong indication that the Vṛtti was indeed written after the kãrikãs and by a different author.(6) Because two recent references to this small but important Vṛtti-passage have not yet taken into account all relevant material (Vrṣabhadeva, for instance, has been largely neglected(7) ), and because the evaluation of the passage was quite divergent - Bronkhorst (1988) accepted it as an argument for the 'separate authorship' thesis(8) ; Aklujkar (1993) has sought to explain according to the "single authorship" thesis(9) - it deserves to be studied here in some detail.

    This should form the beginning of a series of articles, in which I plan to discuss all main arguments used so far in support of either one of the two theses." (p. 179)

    (6) Charudeva Shastri in the introduction (Upodghātah) to his edition of the first Kāṇḍa of the Vākyapadīya and Vṛtti: etasmin vrttigranthe naikam apt kārikāsu pāthāntaram upāttam / tad api nāma balīyah pramānaṁ tasya ca kārikānāṁ ca samānakartṝkatāyām // (Upodghātahh P. 17). Biardeau (1964:4) accepts Charudeva Shastri's statement that the Vṛtti does not refer to different readings for the kãrikãs but does not consider it a sufficiently strong argument to accept 'single authorship' Iyer 1969 : 19 mentions the point again as an argument in support of 'single authorship'.

    (7) Only Aklujkar 1993 : 49 note 9 briefly refers to this subcommentator on kãrikãs and Vṛtti of Kāṇḍa 1.

    (8) Bronkhorst 1988 : 115 and 139 note 13.

    (9) Aklujkar 1993 : 46, section 2, 6.


    Aklujkar, A. N. 1993 "Once again on the authorship of the Trikāndl-Vṛtti." Proceedings of the Bhartṛhari Conference (see Bhate and Bronkhorst, 1993, 1994) : 45-57.

    Bhate, S., and J. Bronkhorst (eds.) 1993 Proceedings of the First International Conference on Bhartṛhari (University of Poona, January 6-8, 1992), Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques ( Bern, Switzerland ), vol. 47.1. -- 1994 Bhartṛhari: Philosopher and Grammarian. Proceedings of the First International Conference on Bhartṛhari (University of Poona, January 6-8, 1992 ). Delhi : Motilal Banarsidass. ( First Indian edition of the preceding).

    Biardeau 1964 Madeleine Biardeau, Bhartṛhari. Vākyapadīya Brahmakāṇḍa avec la Vṛtti de Harivṛṣabha. Traduction, Introductionet Notes. [Publications de l'Institut de Civilisation Indienne, Fasc. 24]. Paris: E. de Boccard, 1964.

    Bronkhorst, Johannes 1988 "Études sur Bhartṛhari, 1 ; L 'auteur et la date de la Vṛtti." Bulletin ď Études Indiennes 6 : 105-143.

    Iyer 1969 Id., Bhartrhari. A Study of the Vākyapadīya in the light of the Ancient Commentaries. [Deccan College Building Centenary and Silver Jubilee Series 68]. lb. 1969.

  15. ———. 1999. "The Theoretical Positions of Bhartṛhari and the Respectable Grammarian." Rivista degli Studi Orientali no. 72:101-142.

    [= Bhartṛhari's Vākyapadīya and the Ancient Vṛtti (4) = Vākyapadīya's Perspectivism (5)].

    "The (Vâkyapadïya) VP, as well as the other important work by Bhartṛhari (ca. 5th cent. C.E.), the MBhD (Mahãbhãsya-Dlpikã), testify to a rich and mature tradition of reflection on language, meaning and grammar. The same can said of the ancient commentary on the first two books of the VP, the Vṛtti, which is very close to both the VP and the MBhD in the treatment of its subject. The MBhD, the VP, as well as the Vṛtti, frequently refer to the views of different thinkers or groups of thinkers with regard to the numerous issues that are taken up for discussion. Scholars generally agree on the monumental importance Bhartrhari as a grammarian and philosopher. However, it is possible to estimate his real place in Indian philosophy of grammar and language, his own contributions and possibly the developments in his thought, only against the background of his contemporaries, near contemporaries and immediate predecessors. Not only the grammarians are to be taken into account, but also the representatives of different schools of thought in Bhartrhari's time, such as Vaiśeṣika (cfr. Bronkhorst 1993, Houben 1992), Mīmāṁsā (cfr. Bronkhorst 1989), the Jainas (cfr. Houben 1994), and Buddhist schools (cfr. Ruegg 1959:57-93, Lindtner 1993).

    Unfortunately, it is often very difficult to decide precisely which persons and texts precede Bhartṛhari and which follow. Some important texts which we know existed and were probably known to Bhartrhari are now irretrievably lost. In the present article, the focus will be on Bhartrhari's predecessors and contemporaries among the grammarians, especially on one «respectable grammarian» to whom Bhartrhari sometimes refers. For information about this respectable grammarian and his colleagues we depend largely on Bhartrhari's own works, and on the Vṛtti." (pp. 101-102, two notes omitted)


    Bronkhost, J.

    1989 «Studies on Bhartṛhari, 2: Bhartrhari and Mimiiqlsa», Studien zur Indologie und lranistik, 15:101-117.

    1993 «Bhartṛhari and Vaiśeṣika». Asiatische Studien / Etudes Asiatiques, 47.1 (Proceedings of the Bhartṛhari Conference, Poona University, January 6-8, 1992):75-94.

    Houben, JAN E.M.

    1992 «Bhartrhari's samaya / Helārāja's saṃketa», Journal of Indian Philosophy, 20: 219-242.

    1994 «Bhartrhari's familiarity with Jainism» Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 75, pts. 1-4:1-24.

    Lindtner, Chr..

    1993 «Linking up Bhartrhari and the Bauddhas», Asiatische Studien / Etudes Asiatiques, 47.1 (Proceedings of the Bhartrhari Conference, Poona University, January 6-8, 1992): 195-213.

    Rueg, David Seyfort

    1959 Contributions à l'histoire de la philosophie linguistique indienne. (Publications de l'Institut de Civilisation Indienne, Fascicule 7.) Paris: de Boccard.

  16. ———. 2000. "Language and Thought in the Sanskrit Tradition." In History of the Language Sciences / Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaften / Histoire des sciences du langage: An International Handbook on the Evolution of the Study of Language from the Beginnings to the Present. Vol. 1, 146-157. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

    § 5. Bhartṛhari on language and thought, pp. 149-150.

    "Thus, in numerous philosophical schools (not only Buddhist, but also Jaina and Brahminical), problems concerning language and thought posed themselves, but the first extensive treatise in which language and its relation with thought is not a side issue but a major one, can be found not earlier than in the Vākyapadīya , the mature and comprehensive work on semantics, linguistics, and philosophy of language, of the Brahminical grammarian-philosopher Bhartṛhari (5th century CE).

    Bhartṛhari’s work can be seen as a systematic investigation of the presuppositions and basic notions and categories of the grammar composed by Pāṇini (ca. 4th century BCE) and amended and annotated by later grammarians, notably Patanjali (ca. 2nd century BCE). In his investigation, Bhartṛhari takesa grammatical category, for instance ‘time’, ‘gender’, ‘number’ etc., and confronts it with the diverging conceptions of time etc. in the major philosophical schools with which he was familiar. Bhartṛhari’s attitude to the various views is generally non-committal: we find him often engaged in demonstrations of the compatibility of Pāṇinian notions, categories and presuppositions with those of quite diverging philosophical schools and systems.

    At the same time, we do see arise certain ‘own’ philosophical positions, or at least preferences, from Bhartṛhari’s careful discussions of the views of different schools." (p. 149)

  17. ———. 2007. "Ṛgveda 1.164.23-24 and Bhartṛhari's Philosophy of Language." In Expanding and Merging Horizons: Contributions to South Asian and Cross-Cultural Studies in Commemoration of Wilhelm Halbfass, edited by Preisendanz, Karl, 711-719. Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

    "In a rich and insightful paragraph on Bhartṛhari and the Veda, Wilhelm Halbfass remarked that "Bhartṛhari oes not draw a strict border between the uncreated Veda and the traditions of human thought and exegesis" (Halbfass 1991:37). Nevertheless, we find that there is a significant contrast between the way the grammarian and philosopher Bhartṛhari deals with these two types of texts. He frequently supports his discussion with precise references to the traditions of human thought and exegesis – first of all the Pāṇinian grammatical tradition, but also various philosophical schools in his time (Mīmāṁsā, Vaiśeṣika, buddhist schools). However, it is only to exemplify grammatical points and not on account of the thoughts expressed that he gives quotations from Vedic texts.(1) Bhartṛhari's own work, as is well known, has a direct exegetical relationship with the Pāṇinian tradition: his Mahābhāṣya-Dīpikā (MBhD), to the extent it is available, is a running commentary on Patañjali's Vyākaraṇa-Mahābhāṣya, while his magnum opus the Vākyapadīya (VP) is a topical commentary on major philosophical issues in the same text of Patañjali. Apart from the occasions where the Veda is a transcendent "entity" nearly identical with Brahman,(2) and apart from Vedic expressions cited only by way of grammatical example or illustration, are there any direct links with Vedic texts, and especially with the oldest and in several respects most important Vedic text, the Ṛgveda?"

    (1) That is, Vedic texts in the strict sense: the Saṁhiās and Brāhmaṇas of the various Śākhās (cf. the dictum mantra-brāhmaṇayor veda-nāmadheyam, ĀpŚs 24.1.31, and mantrāś ca brāhmaṇaṁ ca vedaḥ, Śabara on Mīmāṁsā-Sūtra 2.1.33). Such quotations are predominantly from Yajurvedic texts, and among these especially from the Maitrāyaṇīya-Saṁhitā: cf. Rau 1980 and Bronkhorst 1981, 1987.

    (2) VPā1.5ab: prāptyupāyo 'nukāraś ca tasya (viz., brahmaṇaḥ) vedo ... "Of this (Brahman) the Veda is the means of attainment and the image"; VP 1.172ab anādim anavacchinnāṁ śrutim āhur akartṛkām "It is said that the authorless Śruti (revealed text, i.e., the Veda) is beginningless and uninterrupted"; cf. also VP 1.173 avibhāgād virṛttānām abhikhyā svapnavac chrutau "Those evolved from the undivided (i.e., the primeval ṛṣis evolved from brahman), (had) a perception with regard to the Śruti as in a dream." See further Houben 1997: 331-336 and cf. Aklujkar 1991.


    ĀpŚS = Āpastamba-Śrauta-Sūtra, ed. R. Garbe (Bibl. Indica 92), Calcutta 1882-1902.

    Aklujkar, Ashok N.

    1991 "Bhartṛhari's concept of the Veda." Pāṇini and the Veda. (Panels of the VIIth World Sanskrit Conference: Kern Institute, Leiden: August 23-29, 1987, Vol. V, ed. by M. Deshpande): 1-18. Leiden: E.J. Brill.

    Bronkhorst, Johannes

    1987 "Further remarks on Bhartṛhari's Vedic affiliation." Studies in Indian Culture (S. Ramachandra Rao Felicitation Volume): 216-223. Bangalore: Prof. Ramachandra Rao Felicitation Committee.

    1998 "Les éléments linguistiques porteurs du sens dans la tradition grammaticale du sanskrit." Histoire – Épistémologie – Langage: Journal published by the SHSL and the PUV (Paris), Tome 20, fasc. 1: 29-38.

    Halbfass, Wilhelm

    1991 Tradition and Reflection: Explorations in Indian Thought. Albany: State University of New York Press.

    Houben, Jan E.M.

    1997 "Bhartṛhari's Perspectivism (1): The Vṝtti and Bhartrhari's perspectivism in the first Kāṇḍa of the Vākyapadīya." Beyond Orientalism: the impact of the work of W. Halbfass on Indian and cross-cultural studies (ed. by K. Preisendanz and E. Franco): 317-358. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1997.

  18. ———. 2009. "Bhartṛhari as a "Cognitive Linguist"." In Bhartṛhari: Language, Thought and Reality, edited by Chaturvedi, Mithilesh, 523-543. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.

    "The 5th century Sanskrit grammarian and philosopher Bhartṛhari has often been seen as the one who elaborates language-philosophical speculations hinted at in Patañjali’s commentary on the grammar (Aṣṭādhyāyī) of Pāṇini.

    In such a view Bhartṛhari would carry us away from grammar to philosophy, and he would be introducing his own peculiar viewpoints, for instance the view that the sentence is the main unit in language. Is it possible that Bhartṛhari is in fact all the time focusing on the actual starting points and presuppositions of Panini’s Aṣṭādhyāyī, taking into account Patañjali's commentary? Can we see Bhartṛhari as an author offering a very convincing interpretation and exposition of the basic axioms and procedures of Pāṇini's Aṣṭādhyāyī? Can it be that a simple point has been overlooked by most scholars of Pāṇini’s Astadhyayi, namely, that there too the starting point and final aim of the user of grammar has always been the sentence and never a word in isolation, that the starting point is a preliminary sentence that needs to be checked or that needs some little extra refinement? If the latter applies, a fresh look is required, at Bhartṛhari’s work, at the Aṣṭādhyāyī, and also at our ideas of what a good grammar should be. At present I start with Bhartṛhari - elsewhere I addressed the Aṣṭādhyāyī and its context, purpose and formal structure (Houben 1999). At crucial points [ will have to refer to the Aṣṭādhyāyī, its basic features and current interpretations and representations." (pp. 523-524, a note omitted)


    Houben, Jan E.M. ‘“Meaning statements’ in Pāṇinian grammar: on the purpose and context of the Aṣṭādhyāyī,” Studien zur Indologre und Iranistik 22: 23-54.

  19. ———. 2009. "Bhartṛhari and the Jainas." In Bhartṛhari: Language, Thought and Reality, edited by Chaturvedi, Mithilesh, 383-413. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.

    Updated version of Bhartṛhari's familiarity with Jainism (1994).

    "Bhartṛhari refers to the different views in a very concise way, and for modern students of his works the precise identity of those who held the views often remains unclear. Of those (apart from grammarians, and authors of Śikṣā-texts and the Nirukta) whose views Bhartṛhari frequently takes up for discussion, K.A. Subramania Iyer has mentioned Vaiśeṣikas,(3) Mīmāṃsākas,(4) Sāṃkhyas(5) and Buddhists(6) (Iyer 1969: 72). Iyer has not mentioned the Jainas, and one may wonder whether they remained outside the scope of Bhartṛhari's encyclopedic approach. This, however, is not the case. Bhartṛhari is very well aware of Jaina authors and refers to them explicitly in at least one place in the Mahābhāṣya Dīpikā. Other passages in the Mahābhāṣya Dīpikā and Vakyapadiya are remarkably well compatible with Jaina ideas. These passages were no doubt intended as references to their views, although their name is not explicitly mentioned." (p. 384)

    (3) Cf. also Houben 1992 and Houben 1995a: 48-53.

    (4) Cf. Bronkhorst 1989; Houben 1997b: 278.

    (5) Cf. Houben 1995a: 58-63.

    (6) Cf. Herzberger 1986; Houben 1995a: 53-58.


    Bronkhorst, Johannes (1989): “Studies on Bhartṛhari, 2: Bhartṛhari and Mīmāṃsā,” Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik 15: 101-117.

    Herzberger, Radhika (1986): BBhartṛhari and the Buddhists, An Essay in the Development of Fifth and Sixth Century Indian Thought, Dordrecht: D. Reidel.

    Houben, Jan E.M. (1992): “Bhartṛhari’s samaya / Helārāja’s saṁketa contribution to the reconstruction of the grammarian’s discussion with the Vaiśeṣikas on the relation between śabda and artha,” Journal of Indian

    Philosophy 20: 219-249.

    -—— (1995a): The Saṃbandha-Samuddeśa (Chapter on Relation) and Bhartṛhari's Philosophy of Language, Groningen: Egbert Forsten.

    -—— (1997b): “sūtra and bhāṣyasūtra in Bhartṛhari’s Mahābhāṣya Dīpikā: on the theory and practice of a scientific and philosophical genre,” India and beyond: essays in honour of Frits Staal (ed. by D. van der Meij), pp. 271-305, London: Kegan Paul.

    Iyer, K.A.S. (ed.) (1969): Bhartṛhari, a Study of the Vākyapadīya in the light of the ancient commentaries, Poona: Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute.

  20. Hyung, Yi Jae. 2009. "Bhartṛhari on the Action Referred to the Present (vartamānakriyā)." Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies no. 57:1172-1176.

    "In his Mahābhāṣya on P3.2.123, Patañjali cites the following verse to answer the argumentsagainst accepting present time:

    Ślokavārttika on P3.2.123: kriyāpravṛttau yo hetus tadarthaṃ yad viceṣṭitam / tat samikṣya prayuñjīta

    gacchatīty avicāyaran //

    "There is a thing which serves as a reason (hetu) for which one enters into an action (kriyāpravṛttau). One performs an activity (viceṣṭita) for the purpose of attaining such a thing. Having in view (samīkṣya) such an activity, one should use the finite verb form gacchati ' ... is going' without considering (avicārayan) something about what one says."

    The point to be noted here is that this verse says that one should use the verb form gacchati (3rd sg. pres.) without considering something about what one says. The verb form gacchati, which is in the present tense (vartamāna), signifies the action of going currently taking place. Consequently, it follows that the statement intends to imply that once the action signified by a verb form in the present tense is considered, there occur difficulties in accounting for the use of such a verb form. In VP 3.9.85-90 Bhartṛhari discusses the difficulties.

    The aim of this paper is to show how he deals with them in the discussion." (p. 1172)

  21. Isayeva, Natalia. 1995. From Early Vedānta to Kashmir Shaivism. Gauḍapāda, Bhartṛhari and Abhinavagupta. Albany: State University of New York Press.

    Part II: Bhartṛhari. Speech and the World: Creation or Expression?, pp. 69-87.

    "As it was already said, Bhartṛhari's principal work is his metrical treatise Vākyapadīya, that is, "[The Treatise] on theSaying and the Word." It is composed of three chapters (kaṇḍa); hence another name by which it became known, Trikāṇḍī ("[The Work] in Three Chapters"). The first chapter, ''The Chapter on Brahman" ("Brahma-kaṇḍa"), is devoted to the philosophical investigation of the nature of Brahman and the universe. The second chapter ("Vākya-kaṇḍa," or ''The Chapter on the Sentence") deals with the sentences that manifest the meaning of a statement, while the third chapter ("Pada-kaṇḍa, or "The Chapter on the Word") deals with the separate words that are brought together to form the sentence. Besides treating purely linguistical matters, the second and the third chapters include discussions on the nature of time, space, the function and origin of general categories, and so forth. Most of the present essay is based on the material of the first chapter of Vākyapadīya, which offers the most concentrated exposition of Bhartṛhari's main ideas." (p. 77)

  22. Jha, Vashishtha Narayan. 1985. "Problem of Error: the views of the Grammarians." Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute:231-238.

    Reprinted in V. N. Jha, Studies in Language, Logic, and Epistemology, Delhi: Pratibha Prakashan, 1986, pp. 92-100.

    "Long before Mādhavācārya (1350 - 75 A. D.)(1) put the label of darśana on Pāṇinian System there was, it sems, a conscious effort to establish a philosophy of Grammar(2) till it got established at the hands of Bhartṛhari.(3) Once it was agreed upon that any śāstra leads a man to achieve the final aim of his life (niḥśreyasa), how is it that the Vyākaraṇaśāstra should remain behind? This seems to be the logic behind such an attempt. attempt. But ancient Indian Philosophers cannot close their eyes to such an activity. Thus we find Somānandanātha in his Śivadṛṣṭi(4) questioning the propriety on the part of Bhartṛhari to dabble with philosophy. He asks : "You are a grammarian and your job is already defined. Why should you give up that and hunt for vijñāna which does not come under your sphere of analysis?" (p. 231)


    "To me it seems that Somānanda is not cent per cent correct in holding such a view. Because so far as the description of a language is concerned it is true that a grammarian need not dabble in the question of yathārthajñāna and ayathārthajñāna, which will settle reality and non-reality respectively. But if a grammarian is interested in knowing the relation between language and worldly behaviour and in searching out the truth in it on the background of logic, ontology and metaphysics, one can hardly question his propriety of discussing the question of pramā (correct cognition) and apramā (erroneous cognition). It is in this light that we should look at the Pāṇinīyadarśana literature from Bhartṛhari onwards upto Nāgeśa." (p. 232)

    (1) Sarvadarśanasamgraha includes the Philosophy of grammar under the name of Pāṇinīyadarśanam.

    (2) There must have been a long tradition. Today some of the works are known only by name like Saṁgraha etc. which are lost.

    (3) In his Vākyapadīya and its Vṛtti.

    (4) Ed. by Pdt. Madhusudan Kaul Shastri. Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies, No. 54.

  23. Joshi, Narayan R. 2007. "Sphota Doctrine in Sanskrit Semantics Demystified." Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute no. 88:183-197.

    Abstract: "From the time of the great grammarian Pāṇini (about 400 B. C.E.) to this day, Indian Sanskrit scholars are preoccupied with language on one hand and with philosophy on the other. In the past 2500 years of known history Indian linguists are discussing the semantics of Sanskrit. In this discussion on the philosophy of word and meaning all schools of thought belonging to Vedic, Buddhist and Jain-traditions have participated. The problem of meaning in Indian linguistic philosophy revolves around the ancient Sphoṭa doctrine discussed by Patañjali. Different authors have interpreted Sphoṭa in various ways from the high level mystic concept down to the physical property of articulated sounds. In this paper the ancient Sphoṭa doctrine in Sanskrit semantics is revisited and demystified by using Physics of sound. This step leads us next to the study of Varnavāda freeing us from confusion generated by unnecessary mysticism associated with Sphoṭa doctrine."


    "Bhartṛhari on Sphoṭa

    According to the observations of Dr. S.D. Joshi(4), Bhartrhari has used the term Sphoṭa only nine times in Vākyapadīya and that too occurs in the first chapter of it. Like Patañjali, Bhartrhari has also invariably used the term Sphoṭa in its relation with the Dhvani. Without referring to Dhvanis, he has nowhere used the term Sphota. Bhartṛhari has nowhere clearly stated in his work Vākyapadīya that Sphoṭa is over and above the sounds, it is indivisible and without any inner sequence, and it is meaning bearing unit of language' . He stated that Sphoṭa did not involve the difference in the speed of utterance (vṛttibheda). Bhartṛhari differentiated between the 'form' of the word and its 'object'. According to him it is the 'form' of the word which changes, while its object remains the same. And this unity of 'object' is carried by the Buddhist concept of Śabda, which is mentally retained 'self' of the word." (p. 189)

  24. Kahrs, Eivind. 2012. "Bhartṛhari and the Tradition: karmapravacanīya." In Devadattīyam. Johannes Bronkhorst Felicitation Volume, edited by Voegeli, François, Eltschinger, Vincent, Feller, Danielle, Candotti, Maria Piera, Diaconescu, Bogdan and Kulkarni, Malhar, 107-122. Bern: Peter Lang.

    "The statement nāmākhyātayos tu karmopasaṃyogadyotakā bhavanti, then, I take to mean: “But they indicate (dyotakā bhavanti) that a noun or a verb has a specific connection with an action.” If we are talking about upasargas that indicate a specific connection with an action, it seems to me possible to put forward the hypothesis that what Śākaṭāyana and Yāska are talking about in the Nirukta is precisely what the Pāṇinīan tradition calls karmapravacanīya, and that it is this link back to Śākaṭāyana and Yāska that is reflected in the Vākyapadīya and its surrounding literature. This also goes some way to illustrate how and why the Vākyapadīya puts forward certain views only to discard them later on. The text serves as a kind of reference point or origo reflecting the earlier grammatical tradition, bridging over into the works of later authors as if through a looking glass." (p. 120)

  25. Kapoor, Kapil. 2000. "Reality and Its Representation: The Verbal Image in Indian Thought and Bhartrhari." In Signs and Signification. Vol. II, edited by Gill, Harjeet Singh and Manetti, Giovanni, 9-28. New Delhi: Bahri Publications.

  26. Kelkar, Ashok R. 1999. "What Has Bhartṛhari Got to Say on Language?" In The Yearbook of South Asian Languages and Linguistics, edited by Singh, Rajendra, 37-52. London: Sage Publications.

    Abstract: "Bhartṛhari has not received due attention for a variety of reasons. After a word about Bhartṛhari and his works, a sketch of the Indian intellectual tradition in which to place him is presented in terms of its key questions, the resulting affiliations, and broad periodization. The difficulties in presenting Bhartṛhari to the modern reader need to be overcome. Thus, no citations; Sanskrit terms are parenthesized; the risk of tidying up his thought is taken.

    A conspectus of Bhartṛhari's thought on language is best presented under three headings in a certain order. Language as communication: Bhartrhari's conceptual framework and ideas of related causal dependencies are touched upon. Language as human practice: For Bhartṛhari it is human practice that sustains speech power and its acquisition and the power of the speech bond.

    Language as cognition: All cognition, even seemingly non-linguistic cognition, is sustained by specific and generalized language competence. Bhartṛhari's position on the interpretative element and on the presence of chains of signation was well-motivated.

    Bhartṛhari's thought on language is considered in the perspective of Indian and Western thought on language."

  27. Li, Chalres. 2018. "Sounding out Différance: Derrida, Saussure, and Bhartṛhari." Philosophy East and West no. 68:447-459.

    "Saussure’s explication of the arbitrary and differential nature of the sign, that it articulates its own category rather than naming an independently existing concept,(14) is almost identical to Bhartṛhari’s, except that it is not grounded in his non-dual metaphysics.

    The overarching thesis in Bhartṛhari’s Vākyapadīya is structured by his concept of śabdādvaita, or word non-dualism, which posits a monistic, eternal, and undifferentiated Reality from which all differences — all words — issue forth. Change is an illusion due to the power of śabdatattva, the linguistic potential that prefigures language, to organize the phenomenal world in terms of space (dik) and time (kāla).(15)

    Bhartṛhari’s non-dualism is intimately related to one of the main tenets of the grammarians: the eternality or ahistoricity of the Sanskrit language. The grammarians understood Sanskrit as the eternal, divine language, not subject to change, and thus their method of studying the language was purely ahistorical, or synchronic.

    Bhartṛhari neatly intertwines this notion with that of an unchanging, underlying Reality at the very beginning of the Vākyapadīya, where he qualifies brahman as both śabdatattva and akṣara, which is an adjective meaning “imperishable” as well as a noun meaning a “syllable” or a “sound.”(16) For him, the eternality of the Sanskrit language is equivalent to the eternality of non-dual Reality. (p. 449)

    (14) Culler 1976, p. 22.

    (15) Subramania Iyer 1969, pp. 125–126.

    (16) anādinidhanaṃ brahma śabadatattvaṃ yad akṣaram (I.1, p. 1).


    Culler, Jonathan. 1976. Saussure. London: Fontana.

    Subramania Iyer, K. A. 1969. Bhartṛhari: A Study of the Vākyapadīya in Light of the Ancient Commentaries. Poona: Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute.

  28. Lindtner, Christian. 1993. "Linking up Bhartrhari and the Bauddhas." Asiatische Studien : Zeitschrift der Schweizerischen Asiengesellschaft = Études asiatiques : revue de la Société Suisse-Asie no. 47:195-213.

    "There is, as will be recalled, a good tradition (Punyarāja and Siṃhasūri) to the effect that Vasurāta was at one time the guru of Bhartṛhari.

    According to another source (Paramārtha), the Bauddha teacher Vasubandhu was attacked by Vasurāta, the grammarian, i.e. Bhartṛhari's teacher.(1)

    On the basis of these pieces of independent external evidence only, it would be natural to conclude that Bhartṛhari cannot have been absolutely ignorant about at least some of the writings of "the master of 1000 śāstra-s", as the Chinese sources occasionally speak of Vasubandhu (thus, probably, not implying more than that Vasubandhu was an extremely prolific author). When I here speak of Vasubandhu, I am, to be sure, speaking of the author of Abhidharmakośa, Karmasiddhi, Pañcaskandhaka, Vimśatikā, Triṃśikā, Vyākhyāyukti, etc. - to mention only the most important of his authentic works.

    Naturally, the question then arises, whether we can detect any palpable pieces of influence from Vasubandhu in Bhartṛhari's magnum opus, the Vākyapadīya (VP). We might then find ourselves in a position to understand what I-ching had in mind when he reported that Bhartṛhari was "intimately acquainted with the doctrine of vijnaptimätratä (Chinese: weishih)"?" (p. 195, two notesd omitted)

    (1) For the references, see E. Frauwallner, Kleine Schriften, Wiesbaden 1982, p. 857 "Landmarks in the History of Indian Logic", in WZKSO [Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens] 5 (1961), pp. 125-148).

  29. Loundo, Dilip. 2015. "Bhartṛhari’s Linguistic Ontology and the Semantics of Ātmanepada." Sophia no. 54:165-180.

    Abstract: "The distinct function of ātmanepada in Sanskrit language remains a sort of linguist mystery in Sanskrit studies. In this article, I analyze the larger implications and subliminal meaning of ātmanepada by moving beyond the realm of linguistics, which has been the dominant approach, and entering the territory of philosophy and, more specifically, the purportful approach of traditional Indian philosophy of language represented by Bhartṛhari's Vākyapadīya. Bhartṛhari's analytical procedure seeks to unveil the ontological interdependence that binds together the constituent elements of linguistic sentences, understood as modal appearances of the ever present foundational ground of the world/word—Brahman as Vāc. This is our referential guide to the semantic reconstruction of ātmanepada’s teleology."

  30. Matilal, Bimal Krishna. 1992. "The Sphota doctrine of the Indian Grammarians." In Sprachphilosophie / Philosophy of Language / La philosophie du langage. Vol. 1, edited by Dascal, Marcelo, Gerhardus, Dietfried, Lorenz, Kuno and Meggle, Georg, 609-620. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

    3. Bhartṛhari view, pp. 612-616.

    "Bhartṛhari’s philosophy of language is ultimately grounded in a monistic and idealistic metaphysical theory. He speaks of a transcendental word-essence (śabdatattva) as the first principle of the universe. His sphoṭa doctrine is finally aligned with the ultimate reality called ‘śabda-brahman’. A self-realized person attains unity with the word-principle — a man of perfect knowledge. There is no thought without language, no knowledge without word in it. Consciousness vibrates through words, and such vibrating consciousness or a particular cognitive mode motivates us to act and obtain results. Hence language offers the substratum upon which human activity is based. Language and meaning are not two separate realities such that one conveys the other. They are in essence the two sides of the same coin. The ›sphoṭa‹ is this unitary principle where the symbol and what is signified are one. To understand each other’s speech and to communicate, we do separate the inseparable, the sound and its sense.

    This is only instrumental to our mutual understanding.

    At the ultimate level, they are one. Bhartṛhari talks about three kinds of ›sphoṭa‹: sound-sphoṭa (letter), word-sphoṭa and sentence-sphoṭa, but his primary interest lies with the sentence-sphoṭa. He underlines the importance and primacy of sentence (s. art. 63) in the language analysis, in the second kāṇḍa of Vākyapadīya." (p. 616)

  31. ———. 2002. "What Bhartrhari Would Have Said about Quine's Indeterminacy Thesis." In The Collected Essays of Bimal Krishna Matilal: Mind, Language and World, edited by Ganeri, Jonardon, 333-342. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

    "Since Quine's thesis of indeterminacy of translation was formulated and defended in his Word and Object (1960) about twenty-five years ago, it has generated various sorts of reactions and responses from philosophers." (p. 333)

    "I wish to describe here an old theory of language prevalent in classical Indian writing, which from a slightly different point of view and on different grounds found the notion of meanings as separate and distinct entities unsuitable and superfluous. On the same theory one could have conceded the possibility of the indeterminacy of translation, not on the ground that even when everything is taken into account alternative ways of translating the native's sentence remain open, but on the ground that each translator's linguistic disposition is stimulated in some unique way and one need not match with the other. This theory was championed by Bhartṛhari in AD sixth-century India. In giving an outline of this theory of language and meaning, I shall try to show how this can be seen as a critique of Quine's theory by emphasizing that the elimination of the separate and distinct meaning-entities can be achieved even from a different set of hypotheses.

    There are many ways to skin a cat or a rabbit or a Gavagai." (p. 334)

  32. Mishra, K. K. . 1986. "Bhartṛhari's Theory of Sphoṭa." Indologica Taurinensia: Official Organ of the International Association of Sanskrit Studies no. 13:115-121.

    "The theory of sphoṭa is one of the important contributions of Indian grammarians to the problem of Semantics in General Linguistics.

    Its first mention has been traced as early as Mahābhāṣya of Patañjali (2nd Cent. B.C.), though the word sphoṭa has been referred to by earlier grammarians like Pāṇini in his pioneer work Aṣṭādhyāyī.(1) But it is the Vākyapadīya of the great grammarian Bhartṛhari (5th Cent. A.D.) where we get a fully developed and systematized description of the sphoṭa-doctrine." (p. 114)

    (1) Avan sphoṭayanasya, Aṣṭādhyāyī VI, 1, 123.

  33. Murti, Srimannarayana. 1997. Bhartrhari, the Grammarian. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi.

    Contents: Date and Works of Bhartṛhari; Language, Grammar and Culture; Scope and Scheme of the Vākyapadīya; Communicative and Analytic Language; Sentence; Indivisibility of Sentence; Theory of Sphota; Sentence Sense Pratibha Word; Intention of the Speaker; Referent of the Word; Substance and Universal; The Qualifier and the Qualificant; Basal and Contextual Referents; Negative Particle; Yugapadadhikaranavacana; Abhedaikatvasamkhya; Time Sabdadvaita Philosophy; Epilogue; Bibliography.

    "Bhartṛhari, the celebrated grammarian philosopher, is believed to have lived in the 5th century. This monograph presents the linguistic and philosophical theories connecting the analysis of the sentence with the ultimate reality-Sabdabrahman. The linguistic principles dealt with here are applicable not only to Sanskrit but to any language. His magnum opus the Vākyapadīya, even though partly incomplete, is the only extant work comprehensively dealing with the linguistic features of the Sanskrit language and the philosophy of grammar. It contains three kandas-Brahma-kanda or Agama-kanda, Vakya-Kanda and Prakirna-Kanda. The first two kandas together consist of 635 slokas, and deal with the Sabdabrahman, the creation of the world, jiva, world and language. The Prakirna-kanda running into 1300 slokas, divided into 14 sections called samuddesas, deals with the linguistic categories and semantic speculations prevalent in the Indian grammatical tradition. The other extant works of Bhartrhari are his fragmentary commentary of the Mahabhasya of Patanjali and auto-commentary on the kandas I and II of the Vākyapadīya."

  34. Nakamura, Hajime. 1955. "Tibetan Citations of Bhartṛhari’s Verses and the Problem of His Date." In Studies in Indology and Buddhology presented in Honour of Professor Susumu Yamaguchi on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday, edited by Nagao, Gajin, 122-136. Kyōto: Hozokan.

    "About twenty years ago, the illustrious scholar to whom we are dedicating this commemoration volume pointed out the fact that some verses of a Vedantin called Bhadrahari (?) is mentioned in the Tibetan version of some philosophical works of later Mahayana Buddhism. The author of the present article wants to elaborate on the problem, gathering Tibetan verses ascribed to him, and collating some of them with Sanskrit originals which have been identified by the author." (p. 122)

  35. ———. 1960. "Bhartṛhari the Scholar." Indo-Iranian Journal no. 4:282-305.

    "Bhartrhari declared himself to be a grammarian, and contemporary scholars of India looked upon him as one. But the study of grammar originated in the interpretation of the Vedas; orthodox Brahmanic scholars had included grammar in the six angas which were supplementary to the Vedas, and from ancient times it had held an important and revered place. Bhartṛhari was also held in high esteem as a Vedänta philosopher and since this philosophy was founded on various orthodox Brahmanic sacred books, the Upanisad in particular, it clearly follows that Bhar trhari, in addition to being a grammarian and a Vedänta philosopher, was also a believer in those sacred books. The question arises as to whether he really believed in the authority of those sacred books. The historical fact that grammar originally developed out of the Vedāngas, prejudiced his thinking, so that he was obliged to declare that the grammar which he taught was based on the Vedas and that he himself was a follower of the Vedic lore." (p. 282)

  36. ———. 1981. "The Concept of Brahman in Bhartṛhari's Philosophy." Journal of Oriental Research no. 40-41:135-150.

  37. Nicholson, Andrew J. 2018. "Early Vedānta." In History of Indian Philosophy, edited by Bilimoria, Purushottama, 223-232. New York: Routledge.

    Bhartṛhari, pp. 228-230.

    "We can shed more light on the question of the reality or unreality of the world by returning to Bhartṛhari’s conception of Word (śabda), the essence of Brahman, and its intimate involvement with the process of creation. Word is the energy (kratu) that exists within Brahman, just as the yolk exists within the peacock’s egg. In its latent state, Word is undifferentiated, just as the yolk is a uniform color (VP 1.51). Yet the yolk contains within itself all of the variegated colors of the peacock, just as Word contains within itself all sentences and words. For Bhartṛhari, as for other grammarians concerned with Vedic exegesis, words and their meanings are eternal (VP 1.23).

    The relations between words and their meanings are also eternal, not arbitrary and variable as taught by Saussurean linguistics (as well as Buddhist linguistic philosophy).

    According to Bhartṛhari’s ontology of Word, Word in its absolute state is the ground of all words, meanings, and indeed all knowledge: “There is no cognition in the world n which Word does not figure. All knowledge is, as it were, intertwined with Word” (VP 1.123).(12)" (p. 229)

    (12) Bhartṛhari (1965, 110).


    Bhartṛhari. 1965. The Vākyapadīya (= VP) of Bhartṛhari with the Vṛtti, ch. 1. K. A. Subramania Iyer (trans.).

    Poona: Deccan College.

  38. Oetke, Claus. 2013. "Inconsistency, Paradox and Linguistic Content. Did Bhartṛhari offer a solution for Truth-Paradoxes?" Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad de Costa Rica no. 52:9-39.

    Abstract: "The article attempts to clarify the nature of truth-paradoxes by demonstrating why it cannot be maintained that a particular philosophical treatise offers a way to their solution. In the light of objective qualities of statements leading to paradoxes of truth it emerges that the question of the nature of the content to which properties of (absolute) truth can be ascribed possesses critical relevance. This supports the dismissal of a claim made by some scholars with respect to the pertinent text."

  39. ———. 2016. "Is the section of verses 1-29 in Vākyapadīya III.3 based on a sound theoretical motivation?" Revista Científica Guillermo de Ockham no. 14:2-21.

    Abstract: "The present article attempts to establish the following propositions: The remarks to be found in the initial segment of the so-called Saṃbandha-Samuddeśa of Bhartṛharti’s Vākyapadīya, or Trikāṇḍī, can be interpreted in a way which permits to regard them as the expression of a valid theoretical view. It is important to investigate the possible existence of a sound theoretical motivation in philosophical treatises not only under the perspective of philosophical analysis but even in the framework of traditional textual exegesis irrespective of whether the textual sources represent a Western or a non-Western tradition of thought."

  40. Ogawa, Hideyo. 1999. "Bhartṛhari on Śakti: the Vaiśeṣika Categories as Śaktis." Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies no. 47:15-26.

    Abstract: "According to Bhartṛhari, the phenomenal world is a manifold appearance of śaktis which Śabdabrahman, the seed of all (sarvabija), is assumed to have and which in themselves are not susceptible of modification (aparināminī). In his Vākyapadīya [VP] Bhartrhari describes śaktis in the framework where the Vaiśeṣika categories (padārtha) are taken up and equated with them. The aim of this paper is to present, by examining VP III, sādhana, kk, 9(-)l 5 where s·uch a framework is observed, a few aspects of the śakti Bhartṛhari conceives of. The ontological status of the śakti in relation to the ultimately real, that is, its unreality (asatyatā) the equivalents for which are avicāritaramanīyatā) iyatii ('the state of being beloved without having been well-considered') and bhedavicārānarhatā ('the incapability of predicating the difference and non-difference'), shall be kept aside in this paper."

  41. ———. 1999. Bhartṛhari on the Non-distinction between Reality and Unreality.

    Paper read at the XIIth conference of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Lausanne, August 26th, 1999.

    "In view of Bhartṛhari's fundamental thesis that the ultimate reality, the undelimited, appears as delimited, we have to say that the one permanent reality appears as being of the nature of existence and non-existence and not that what is of the nature of existence and non-existence appears as something. For Bhartṛhari, the ultimate reality Brahman is beyond relativization and cannot involve a contradiction in it. Therefore, against the interpretations by Iyer and Houben who understand that Bhartrhari considers Brahman to have the two aspects of sat and ā2 I would like to argue that taking sadasadātmaka as qualifying the appearances of Brahman (bahurūpa) is more consistent with Bhartrhari's thesis. As will be seen later, Helārāja interprets it in that manner. We must give his views careful consideration. To my understanding, his interpretation faithfully reflects the core of Bhartṛhari's linguistic thought.

    The question of the sadasadātmaka-interpretation is related to the questions of the verbalization of Brahman, the relativism holding in the domain of the things in the phenomenal world, and the capacities of Brahman underlying its verbalizations.

    In this paper, examining these questions, I shall propose a new interpretation of the kārikāunder consideration." (pp. 6-7)

  42. ———. 1999. "Bhartṛhari on Representation (buddhyākāra)." In Dharmakīrti’s thought and Its impact on Indian and Tibetan Philosophy: Proceedings of the Third International Dharmakīrti Conference, Hiroshima, November 4-6, 1997, 267-286. Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

    "As is well known, Buddhist epistemologists posited as the śabdārtha a conceptual representation (buddhyākāra) from the viewpoint of appearance (pratibhāsa), an external individual (svalakṣaṇa) from the viewpoint of reification or judgement (adhyavasāya), and the exclusion of others (anyāpoha), where others are either other conceptual representations or other external individuals. This is succinctly summed up by Jñānaśrīmita in his Apohaprakaraṇa as follows:

    [sanskrit text omitted]

    "First of all, an object (artha) is primarily conveyed by the word. In that case, apoha (,exclusion'), being subordinate to it [i.e., the object] (tadguṇatvena), is to be understood. And the object [is twofold]: One is posited as a denotatum (vācya) from the viewpoint of reification or judgement (adhyāsa = adhyavasya) and the other from the viewpoint of appearance (bhāsa = pratibhāsa).

    [But] in reality (tattvataḥ) neither [of them] are [the denotatum of the word]." (p. 267)


    "In this paper I shall demonstrate that Bhartṛhari posits a buddhyākāra and an external individual as śabdārthas from the same points of view as Jñānaśrīmita mentions. Such a semantic position of Bhartṛhari is taken for granted by later Pāṇinīyas like Kaiyaṭa, Helārāja and Puṇyarāja but has not yet been traced back to Bhartṛhari's words themselves so far. As is well known, Dignāga, who is believed to have first advocated the apoha theory, is well acquainted with Bhartṛhari's linguistic thought. And moreover, he is a representationalist, as is shown by his theory of 'appearance' (ābhāsa). Naturally, Dignāga did know that the conceptual representation and the external individual were involved in verbal behavior. It is certain, therefore, that clearing up the situation in which Dignāga had to propound the apoha theory will give a new perspective of the so-called historical development of the apoha theory and stimulate Buddhists scholars to re-examine it." (p. 269)

  43. ———. 2001. "Bhartṛhari on A.1.1.68." Journal of Indian Philosophy no. 29:531-543.

    "Bhartr.hari’s interpretation of A.1.1.68 in VP 1.60–68 leads to the following conclusion:

    A.1.1.68 is the general rule from which a particular definitional rule such as agner agniḥ saṃjñā bhavati is deduced. By this rule, the item in use whose form is equal to that of the item which is uttered in the sūtra is brought in and the relationship of name and the named is established between their own forms. In other words, the rule provides that the form which is understood from the item uttered in the sūtra refers to the form which is differentiated from the item in use when the latter is uttered.


    In addition, if we accept that whatever item is uttered has its own form differentiated from it and denotes the form, it will make no sense to say that when a linguistic item is mentioned, its own form is to be understood from it. A.1.1.68 never describes the self-referring nature of the linguistic item, which nature is not determined without the conceptual discrimination between a linguistic item and its form; rather, it makes use of such a nature for building a bridge between the grammar and the practical use of the linguistic item." (p. 536, notes omitted)

  44. ———. 2012. "Patañjali’s View of a Sentence Meaning and Its Acceptance by Bhartṛhari." In Devadattīyam. Johannes Bronkhorst Felicitation Volume, edited by Voegeli, François, Eltschinger, Vincent, Feller, Danielle, Candotti, Maria Piera, Diaconeswcu, Bogdan and Kulkarni, Malhar, 159-188. Bern: Peter Lang.

    "In his Bhāṣya on A 1.2.45, Patañjali advances his view of a sentence meaning as follows:

    MBh on A 1.2.45 (I.218.10) eteṣāṃ padānāṃ sāmānye vartamānānāṃ yadviśeṣe ’vasthānaṃ sa vākyārthaḥ.

    A particular meaning (viśeṣa), as a conveyer of which these words conveying a general meaning (sāmānya) are established, is a sentence meaning.(1)

    In this Bhāṣya Patañjali intends to say that a sentence meaning is a qualifier-qualificand relation (viśeṣaṇaviśeṣyabhāva) among the meanings of words in a sentence. Here Patañjali assumes that a sentence is a composite of independently meaningful words and that a sentence is an independent unit which has a sentential meaning separate from word meanings. This is natural, considering that grammarians operate with words as constituents of sentences. Studies of Bhartṛhari’s philosophy of language, however, reveal that Bhartṛhari maintains that an impartite sentence is the real unit of actual communication and that he still accepts that through analysis one can and should abstract words and word meanings. It is interesting in this regard to consider how Bhartṛhari deals with Patañjali’s view of a sentence meaning in the Bhāṣya. The Bhāṣya is quoted and discussed in the Vṝtti on VP 2.15, 246, 441 and in Helārāja’s commentary on VP 3.1.74." (p. 159)

    (1) See Ogawa (2004–5). In short, according to this Bhāṣya, the meaning of a sentence is the particular meaning which the words of the sentence, denoting general meanings, convey.


    Ogawa, Hideyo 2004–2005: “Approaching the sentence meaning in the Mahābhāṣya: the Vṛtti and the Ṭīkā.” Journal of Indological Studies 16/17, pp. 109–152.

  45. ———. 2013. "Bhartṛhari on Three Types of Linguistic Unit-meaning Relations." In Vyākarana Across the Ages: Prtoceedings of the 15th World Sanskrit Conference. Vol. II, edited by Cardona, George, 217-279. New Delhi: Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan.

    "To summarize the main points Bhartṛhari makes about the relation of ‘this-is-that’ between a linguistic unit and a meaning:

    First, this relation is taught and learned through an utterance of the type so ‘yam ‘this-is-that’. Secondly, the relation is established by the identification of the linguistic unit and the meaning. Once the relation is established, the linguistic unit and the meaning appear respectively as identical with the meaning and the linguistic unit.

    Thirdly, the identification comes to the restriction on the linguistic units and meanings which can be related to each other.

    All this gives the answer to the second question mentioned earlier in §0. Therefore we may be justified in arguing that Helārāja’s understanding of the relation between linguistic unit and meaning is thoroughly founded on Bhartṛhari's theory on it." (p. 274)

  46. ———. 2016. "Bhartṛhari on Unnameable Things." In Logic and Belief in Indian Philosophy, edited by Balcerowicz, Piotr, 415-430. Warsaw: Indological Studies.

    "In his Mahā-bhāṣya Patañjali declares that for grammarians what words express is their authority. Later Pāṇinîyas from Bhartṛhari onwards illustrate this principle by stating that grammarians are not concerned with things as they are (vastv-artha) but as they are spoken of (śabdārtha). It is interesting that they recognise that there are things which are unnameable, beyond verbalisation. In his Vṝtti on the Vākyapadīya Bhartṛhari calls them asaṁvijñāna-padas—‘those which have not words to convey themselves’. In this paper I shall show how Bhartṛhari accounts for the existence of a thing defined as asaôvijñâna-pada and what philosophical significance he attaches to the issue of whether a certain thing has a word defined as saṁvijñāna-pada." (p. 415, a note omitted)

  47. ———. 2016. "Bhartrhari on A 3.2.60 tyadādisu drśo ’nālocane kan ca." In Vyākaraṇaparipr̥cchā: Proceedings of the Vyākaraṇa Section of the 16th World Sanskrit Conference, edited by Cardona, George and Ogawa, Hideyo, 237-264. New Delhi: DK Publishers.

    Abstract: "In his Bhāṣya on A 3.2.60 Patañjali proposes that in an upapada compound such as tāḍṛś ‘such-like’ the kt affix to be introduced after the verb dṝs ‘see’ be taken to denote an agent-object (karmakartṝ). In VP 3.7.64 Bhartṛhari observes that some Pāṇiniyas try to explain the agent-object construction proposed by Patañjali, on the basis of a logical construction (parikalpana) that would attribute to this verb as a meaning the act of becoming the object of seeing (viṣayatāpatti). According to Bhartṛhari, however, the logical construction has undesirable consequences in Pāṇini’s derivational system. The present paper shows how Pāṇiniyas, accepting that a meaning (artha) serves as a cause (nimitta) of the explanation (anvākhyāna) of a correct speech form, put a limit on semantics.

    For Pāṇiniyas, the meaning which serves as such a cause must be the meaning to convey which a linguistic item is found to be used in actual usage, since their fundamental position is that the denotation of meanings by linguistic items (abhidhāna) is a natural thing (svābhāvika)."

  48. ———. 2019. "Two Truths Theory: What is vyavahāra? Language as a Pointer to the Truth." Journal of Indian Philosophy no. 47:613-633.

    Abstract: "Mādhyamikas argue that ultimate reality, which is without any delimitation and hence cannot be verbalized in itself (anakṣara), can be expressed in words on the basis of the attribution o rsuperimposition (samāropa) of the basis for the application of the word (pravṛttinimitta). The denotation theory of ultimate reality Bhartṛhari advances in the Dravyasamuddeśa of his Vākyapadīya convincingly explains that, insofar as ultimate reality is spoken of, we must say that it is denoted by the word; ultimate reality is said to be ineffable only in the sense that it is far from what is conveyed as somethingby the word; language is a pointer to the ultimate reality. The point that the application of a word to ultimate reality depends on the attribution of the basis for the application of the word to it naturally leads to an idea that one should not hypostatize the basis, although without resorting to it any word cannot be used to convey the ultimate reality; otherwise, it would have to be said that the ultimate reality to which the word isapplied has in essence the property which serves asthe basis. Such a property is precisely what theMādhyamikas consider to be the svabhāva ‘intrinsic nature’. What they understand by the term śūnyatā is precisely that everything has no real basis for the application of the word to it."