The aim of this seminar is to clearly describe the Sphot.a theory of language by compnopfasasimp.ml & views of other grammarians. It includes ancient saints to mod- ern. This presentation is on Theory of Sphota. Share; Like; Download Sphota theory originally found in Sanskrit language. • This term is used in. sanskrit, english, sound, theory, sphot, sphota. Collection: opensource. Language: English. Book: Vakyapadiya (Cantos 1 and 2) with English.
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Sreekumar M. “A comparative study of Sphota theory of language and F.D. review of Indian Language philosophy beginning from the Vedas. Such an. Sphoṭa is an important concept in the Indian grammatical tradition of Vyakarana, relating to the problem of speech production, how the mind orders linguistic units into coherent discourse and meaning. The theory of sphoṭa is associated with Bhartṛhari (c. . Sphoṭa theory remained widely influential in Indian philosophy of language. Study of some linguistic considerations in Sanskrit grammar and Hindu philosophy.
Continued from Part Three. It is now generally accepted that though Vakyapadiya is composed of two distinct parts, it essentially is a single text having three Cantos Trikandi. I n its second sense, it is something that is made explicit by letters or sounds meaning. Obviously, Sphota is viewed here as a changeless element of speech, the inner unity which holds together the meaning. According to him, the two states are mere appearances; and, are not the true positions from the Absolute point of view.
Sarasvathi as goddess in the later texts and traditions. Just as a single homogeneous picture is described through various features as being blue green, etc. While brushing aside the Sphota concept, Upavarsha had remarked: How can a word which is recollected convey a meaning? As creative power, Time is responsible for birth, continuity and fading away of everything.
The Mimamsa method is generally followed by the other Schools as well. And, not much is known about Punyaraja either. Even the rumbling of the clouds, the thunder of the lightening and the rippling sounds of the streams are said to be the forms of Vac praite vadantu pravayam vadama gravabhyo vacam vadata vadadbhyah — RV.
These are but super-impositions. Those audible sounds through their divisions and time sequence, produced one after another by the speech organs, act as means upaya or as vehicles to transport the intent of the speaker. But, Chandragomin, on the other hand, would take his time to answer — sometimes he would wait until the next day. The variation in the quality of light does not alter the very nature or the status of the pot.
Thus, the inward form of the word is its thought intentwhile the articulated sound is its outward form. The Time in its own nature, as one with Sabda Brahman, is beyond change; and its cause. Of these, the first two goddesses are said to be personifications of vakyapxdiya sound of thunder, whereas the goddess Vac is a deity of speech or sounds uttered or produced by vakyapadiga beings.
In m odern Biblical studies, for example, the aim of the scholar is to get back to the earliest available w ritten m anuscript and then to use th a t as a criterion against which to check the text th at is in use today.
O f p a ra m o u n t im portance to this ap p ro ach is the belief that, due to h u m a n failings, errors, such as mistakes in copying m ay have crept in over the years, which it is held, would not be present in the earlier manuscript.
In additio n the modern school of Form Criticism has argued that before m any of the scriptures e. T hus the period of oral transmission is judged to have been unreliable due to its inability to carry forward the original sayings in a pure and unchanged form.
T he survey of Form Criticism is found on pp. W hen India achieved independence in one of the first acts of the new government was to establish a commission of senior scholars to go from place to place and listen to the assembled Brahmins reciting the Vedas. T h ey would listen for errors in metre, accent, sandhi a n d for any loss or change in words.
I t was the rigorous practice of the Pratisakhyas th a t was being checked by the senior scholars. T hey had mastered the PrdtiSakhyas and pure presentation of the Vedas through m any years of careful oral practice a n d checking with their teachers.
T h e teachers o f the present senior scholars had received it, not from books, b u t from oral practice with the best teachers of the generation before them, and so on in an unbroken oral tradition back to the Vedas. It is n ot the dead or entombed m anuscript but the correct and clear speaking of the word in the here and now that makes for a living language and scripture.
O nly when a passage is so well learned th a t it is with one wherever one goes, is the word really known. Books and all w ritten forms are not knowledge in this sense of the word, and represent, for the Indian, a lower, inferior, second o rder of language suitable only for the dull or the uneducated. T h e Pratisakhyas are the training rules for the oral learning of language and the preservation of the vedic word in its pure form.
Indian Grammarians and Philosophers o f Language From the Vedas upto the present, the study of gram m ar and the philosophy o f language has occupied a central place in In d ia n thought.
Before the time of Buddha i. From this early period upto a. Sanskrit dominated and rapidly became the national language of In d ia. This g ram m ar was not an artificial construct of the scholars but rath e r developed directly and naturally from the spoken language.
Space does not allow a detailed recounting of this development. Concise surveys are available in the literature.
Among the m any excellent Indian philosophers o f language e. B hartrhari5 a. Apte in his Sanskrit-English 1.
See, e. Dasgupta argues for their identity, J. Woods argues against it. Staal, pp. See Nirukta, 2. Coward, Bhartrhari. Vak or speech was taken as a manifestation of the all-pervading Brahman. T h e mantra A U M was regarded as the primordial speech-sound from which all forms of vak are thought to have evolved.
At the very beginning of the Vakyapadiya, B hartrhari restates these very teachings as the foundation for his own thinking. Although the various manifestations of the one Veda may vary in form and style of expression dhvam from poet to poet and from region to region, it is the same truth dharma th at is being expressed throughout. Although B hartrh ari may have based his theory' of language on the vedic A U M , his method of appro ach was strikingly different.
R ath e r than just immersing himself in the mystical chanting of A U M , he sets out to analyze the meanings of words and the means by which such word knowledge is manifested and com m unicated in ordinary experience.
T h e dhvanis, the a p p a re n t external differences, are simply various 1. Vakyapadiya o f Bhartrhari, ed. S ubram ania Iyer, All quotations from the Vakyapadiya are taken from this translation. Staal, p. T he process o f ordinary communication is explained as follows. At first the word exists in the mind of the speaker as a unity or sphota. W hen he utters it, he produces a sequence of different sounds so that it appears to have differentiation.
At the first m oment of its revelation the poet is completely caught up into this unitary idea or sphota. But when he starts to examine the idea with an eye to its comm unication he has w ithdraw n himself from the first intim ate unity with the idea or inspiration itself, and now experiences it in a twofold fashion. O n the one hand there is the objective m eaning artha , which he is seeking to com m unicate, and on the other are the words a n d phrases dhvanis he will utter.
For B hartrhari these two aspects of word-sound dhvani and the word-meaning artha , differentiated in the mind and yet integrated like two sides of the same coin, constitute the sphota. B hartrhari emphasizes the m eaning-bearing or revelatory function of this two-sided unity, the sphota, which he m aintains is eternal2 and inherent in consciousness.
Staal, Language, Its Nature and Function 13 different words in attem pting to com m unicate the same idea, there arises a progressively clearer cognition of the sphota. Finally there is a completely clear cognition of the whole sphota an d its two-sided aspect. This B hartrhari describes as a case o f special perception or intuition pratibhd. E ach cognition leaves its samskara or com m on memory trace.
T h e last cognition, helped by the samskara of the previous one, fully perceives the genuineness of the stone; bu t for the samskdras of the intervening cognitions, there would be no difference between the last one and the first one.
H e points out that in our cognition of a picture, although we m ay be aw are of the different parts and colours, the picture is perceived as a whole which is over an d above its parts. Similarly, when we perceive a piece o f cloth our cognition is of the cloth as a whole and is quite distinct from the various threads and colours involved.
The Sphofasiddhi o f Mandana Misra trans. S u bram an ia Iyer, karikd 18 fF, pp.
All quotations from Sph. As a speaker, however, he utters the whole word in its differentiated appearance as a sequence of letters. It is in this context that the perception of the m any letters, before the final perception of the un itary sphota, is described as error, illusion, or appearance. But it is a unique kind of error in that it has a fixed sequence and form, it ultimately leads to the perception of the truth, and is thus regarded as a universal e rro r.
A characteristic of this avidya is that it provides no other means for cognizing the sphota, except the letters.
O n one level there is pratibha or the intuitive flashlike understanding o f the meaning of the sentence, book or poem as a whole. O n the other level there are the uttered sounds which go together to make up the sentence, book or poem.
B hartrhari calls the latter vaikhari vak or outer speech, while the former is aptly designated as pasyanti vak or inner speech that directly sees or perceives reality.