Sreekumar M. “A comparative study of Sphota theory of language and F.D. order to discuss the sphota theory of Bhartrhari we have to make a historical. The Sphota Theory of Language A Philosophical Analysis Harold G. Coward MOTILAL BA N ARS IDAS S PUBLISHERS PRIVATE LIMITED • DELHI First. 21 Jun The sphota theory “refers to the interior apprehension of meaning in language” ( Beck 8). Sphota comes from the Sanskrit word sphut which.

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It is an actualized replica of euphemeral sounds. Bhartrhari elaborates this approach as Sabda-yoga or Sabdapurvaka-yoga, and in this sense Grammar is a Straight Pathway to Freedom mokfamananam ajihma rajapaddhatih. This stand languagr the validity of Verbal Testimony as a valid source of knowledge. The side of Bhartrhari in this debate against Kumarila was taken by the skilful philosopher Mandana Misra.

Harold G. Coward, The Sphota Theory of Language: A Philosophical Analysis – PhilPapers

The Om syllable is believed to be reminiscent of the child of Brahma with the same name, who lanfuage the Asuras, or demons, when they were attacking a city. In other words, objects of thought and the relations between them are word-determined, regardless of whether they are objects of perception, inference or any other kind of knowledge.

These tasks he undertakes in Karikas 18 and 19 of the Sphotasiddhi. For example, Prakasatman says that the word meanings are immediate from the start.

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Full text of “The Sphota Theory Of Language A Philosophical Analysis Harold Coward G.”

If hedonism and philosophical acumen led him, according to his legend, to produce works of great breadth, depth and beauty. Language in the Brahmanical Tradition 33 former. Vakyapadiya oj Bhartrhari, ed.

The approach of the Vedic Rfis to the real characterized not by logical reasoning but rather by intuitive inspiration or illumination. The meaning-conveying nature of the word in the Bk. Kunjunni Raja makes a helpful observation in this regard. The sentence is indivisible akhanda and owes its cognitive value to the meaning-whole. To be more precise, the noted scholar T. This unity is the sentence. In other words, the perception of sound is not regarded as identical with shpota perception of the sphoTa.

Sahkhya describes Sabda as being constituted by authoritative statements aptavacanaand resulting in a knowledge of objects which cannot be known through perception or inference. Phonemes cause the understanding of meaning when grouped together in the form of words pada. When eternal it is called fakti 1. The Mimamsa languge basically a systematic exegesis of Vedic texts.

Bhartrihari (c. 450—510 C.E.)

It reveals itself like a living and well adorned wife to her husband. It is not over and above the sound. The apparent difference is seen to result from the various external manifestations of the single internal sphofa. This approach also depends upon the acceptance of certain presuppositions for validity.

In this way it is shown that true knowledge leads to successful practical activities while false knowledge ends in failure and disappointment. Apte in his Sanskrit-English 1. The Nyayas find three different kinds of relation: A characteristic of this avidya is that it provides no other means for cognizing the sphota, except the letters.

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As indicated in passages like Mandukya 3. In Chapter Six the way in which the sphota reveals meaning is examined in detail with regard to both word-meaning and sentence-meaning.

It is her own ability to understand meaning referred to by these words, by virtue of sharing the same sphota with the speaker, which completes the act of cognition.

Bhartrihari’s notion of vikalpa is also directed against the early Nyaiyayikas, who, while agreeing on the correspondence between word and thing, uphold the distinction between language and its object-referents. The Brahminic view of the cosmos put forth in the Vedas is one of constant and cyclical creation and dissolution.


The Buddhists reject the idea that there can be some universal characteristic which resides in common in a number of unique particulars. This, however, is not the case of apurva in a sacrifice. According to PataNjali, sphoTa is a conceptual entity or generic feature of the articulated sound.