Update: 2010-11-25 08:12 AM +0800


The Sphoṭa theory of language
as Relevation 



by Harold G. Coward, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Ltd. 1st ed. Dehli 1980, reprints Delhi 1986, 1997. ISBN:81-208-0181-4, as given in Google book preview.

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Contents of this page

06. How the Sphoṭa reveals meaning - p089
  [UKT: Chapter 06 is so large that I have to split it up as 06.01 and 06.02]

06.01.  Sphoṭa  and Word-Meaning (Pada-Sphoṭa) - p089

06.02.  Sphoṭa  and Sentence-Meaning (Vākya Sphoṭa) - p119
    (Page 119 is not part of this book preview)
  Pratibhā  - p123

07. Sphoṭa in Relation to the Levels of Language - p126

08. Summary and Conclusion - p134
  Summary of the Major Sphoṭa Tenets - p134
  Conclusion - p136

Bibliography - p138
Glossary of Sanskrit Terms - p147
Index - p155

Noteworthy passages in this file: (always check with the original section from which they are taken.)

UKT notes

Contents of this page

06. How the Sphoṭa reveals meaning


The Grammarian Sphoṭa Theory as officially expounded by Bhartṛhari attracted both opponents and supporters. [UKT Â ]

The chief opposition came, at a later time, from the Mimāṁsaka Kumārila Bhaṭṭa. Kumārila's attack focused on the way in which the Sphoṭa theory conceived of word-sounds as revealing their meanings. [UKT Â ]

The side of Bhartṛhari in this debate against Kumārila was taken by the skilful philosopher Maṇḍana Miśra. Maṇḍana's work entitled Sphoṭasiddhi, which is based on the Vākyapadiya, records the confrontation that takes place on this issue of how the word conveys meaning, and it will be the main source for the section on sphoṭa and word-meaning. For Bhartṛhari, with his assumption of the whole as being prior to the parts, it is not the individual words but the complete thought of the sentence that ultimately matters. This will be examined under the heading " Sphoṭa and Sentence-Meaning" - sphota2-6-2.htm

Contents of this page

06.01. Sphoṭa and Word-Meaning (pada-sphoṭa)

In the above definition of sphoṭa (Chapter Five) we have seen how Bhartṛhari maintains that the external word-sound should not be taken as the objective reality since it serves only to reveal the inner word-meaning which is both a unified whole and the true object. Illustrations, such as the poetic experience, have been offered to support Bhartṛhari's view that it is the whole word or idea which occasions sound and not vice versa. While such illustrations from ordinary experience can indicate that the Sphoṭa theory is not implausible, they can hardly be taken as proof of the theory's logical possibility. The latter requires that the existence of the inner word, as distinct from its sounds, be demonstrated in terms of logical necessity and consistency. This is precisely the task undertaken by Maṇḍana Miśra in his Sphoṭasiddhi. (fn089-01) Maṇḍana applies his logical analysis not only [{p089end/p090begin}] to the Sphoṭa theory but also the alternative hypothesis put forth by Kumārila. (fn090-01) As Gaurinath Sastri observes, Kumārila was the most formidable critic of the Sphoṭa theory -- later writers have offered no new criticisms but only repeat Kumārila's arguments. (fn090-02) Kumārila, arguing against Bhartṛhari, maintains that the word or śabda, whether it be the sentence or the individual word, is nothing more than a collection of word-sounds or spoken letters, and it is with this collection alone that the word-meaning is associated. When such a collection is brought to the mind of the hearer by the sounds uttered by the speaker, the hearer understands the meaning from the sounds alone. No mystical entity, such as sphoṭa, need be postulated at all. (fn090-03) According to Bhartṛhari, however, "the essence of the Sphoṭa doctrine is the idea that the word, mainly in the form of the sentence and secondarily in the form of the individual word and the phoneme [the articulated letter sound], is the entity over and above the sounds and not a mere collection of them and that it is this entity which is the bearer of the meaning." (fn090-04) This is the argument in its most general form. Let us now analyze it in detail.

The discussion begins with a statement of Pata˝jali's famous question, "What is meant by 'word'?" and his answer, "Speech or śabda." (fn090-05) Pata˝jali is defining śabda as that which has a meaning. Kumārila objects by noting that in the first place a definition in terms of meaning alone is too wide. <Smoke>, for example, signifies the meaning 'fire', but is not commonly regarded as a word for <fire>. In the second place, says Kumārila, the definition is too narrow in that it holds śabda to be that which is heard. Now, that which is perceived by the ear is only a group of phonemes or letter-sounds, each one of which (according to Pata˝jali's definition) should be regarded as a word even though they do not signify any external fact. This results in the difficulty that in the word "cow," for example, the individual phonemes "c," "o," and "w" may be heard by [{p090end/p091begin}] the ear of the young child, and therefore qualify as śabda even though the word "cow" as yet carries no meaning for him. This clearly conflicts with Pata˝jali's contention that śabda is that significant word-whole which conveys meaning. Consequently, the spoken word "cow" would at the same time be śabda and not-śabda. It would be śabda in the sense that it consists in a commonly understood spoken word, but it would not be śabda before its meaning was known -- although it would become śabda after its meaning is known. For these three reasons : (1) that smoke should not be called śabda even though it causes the cognition of fire, (2) that phonemes, even though they are audible, should not be called śabda, and (3) that the same thing shuld at one moment be called aśabda and the next moment śabda, Kumārila says that Pata˝jali's definition of śabda as interpreted by the Grammarians is not correct. (fn091-01) In Kumārila's view, it is the fact of being audible which should be taken as the criterion for śabda, and it is the phonemes alone (even though they may not convey meaning) which conform to this standard. (fn091-02) It is the phonemes which are commonly accepted as śabda. Anything which is different from the phonemes, or over and above them (e.g., sphoṭa -- even though it may have existence and expressive power), does not deserve to be called śabda since there is no such common usage in the world.

Maṇḍana rejects Kumārila's criticism as frivolous misinterpretation. Saying that the signifying power is the criterion condition for śabda does not mean that a word ceases to be a word when it fails to communicate a meaning to an unlearned child or a dunce. According to the Grammarian, the key point is that the word is capable of conveying meaning -- regardless of its being understood or not understood in specific instances. And since the phonemes or letters which constitute a word do not have this capacity individually, they cannot be called śabda. Having refuted Kumārila in this summary fashion, Maṇḍana goes on to elucidate the Grammarian interpretation of "śabda" in answer to Pata˝jali's question : "In that complex cognition expressed by the word 'cow' and which consists of many aspects [{p091end}]

[{Pages 092 to 103 is not part of this preview.}]

The above explanation makes clear the reason behind Maṇḍana's insistence that a speaker's efforts to utter the phonemes will differ according to the sphoṭa which he wants to manifest. Even though the phoneme may be the same (e.g., the <w> /w/ in <won> and <now>) [*see note immediately below] , the physical effort involved in vocalizing it will vary according to the position it occupies in the word [monosyllabic word]. Thus the overall physical effort in saying <won> will be markedly different from that involved in saying <now>, even though the same three phonemes [/w/ /o/ /n/] are involved in each case. Consequently, the Sphoṭa theorist has a basis for claiming that the sphoṭa manifested by the two vocalizations would be different, as would the meanings revealed. (fn104-01)

UKT: H. G. Coward writing in 1980s (1st ed. Dehli 1980) did not realized that the script used in India has always been an abugida and not an alphabet. The abugida is an alpha-syllabic system. The grapheme is pronounceable because of the presence of an inherent vowel likened to an English short-a /Š/ but usually represented as /a/. Thus the example <w> given in the above example is misleading. The akshara or syllable involved is व {wa.}. It is made up of two phonemes /w/ and /a/. व va = {wa.} is the onset of the monosyllabic word <won>. However, <w> in <now> is in the coda. It has lost its inherent vowel /a/ which has been killed by a viram aka {a.■űt}:

va +  ् viram  --> व् v
{wa.} + {a.■űt}-sign --> {w}

* The example chosen by H. G. Coward is not suitable on two counts. Firstly, <w> is an approximant whose sonority is close to that of a vowel. Secondly, the vowel <o> is a back mid-vowel which can be pronounced as /o/, /ɔ/ or /ɑ/. Back vowels are very to close to each other and are very confusing especially if it is not quantal. He should have chosen a front quantal vowel like <a>.
   I would have chosen <p> /p/, <a> /a/, <t> /t/. For comparison I would have taken <pat> and <tap>. These two English words can be analyzed in terms of Bur-Myan with which I am more familiar as:

<pat> : {pa.} + {ta.} + {a.■űt}-sign --> {pat} (approx. due to vowel shift}
<tap> : {ta.} + {pa.} {a.■űt}-sign --> {tap} (approx. due to vowel shift)

This last point is important in relation to the Mimāṁsaka contention that since the phonemes are changeless no mere difference in order or effort of vocalization can be important factors in the production of different meanings. [UKT Â]

UKT: I would have to contest the phrase "the phonemes are changeless". The Mimāṁsaka would probably have said "the aksharas are changeless". Alas, my knowledge of Sanskrit is next to nothing and even if I had the Mimāṁsaka text, I would be helpless.

Therefore, according to the Mimāṁsaka, were it not for the postulation of the special "apūrva-like effect, " the same meaning should result from <now> and <won>. From the Sphoṭa viewpoint, however, it is the sphoṭa which is changeless and not the phoneme, and the evident variation in the pronunciation and ordering of phonemes in speaking different words is seen to be consistent with both sphoṭa theory and the evidence of experience. <Now> and <won> are composed of the same three phonemes but do require that the vocalization of those phonemes be given different orders and intentions or efforts for the appropriate sphoṭa to be manifested and its meaning revealed.

UKT: The phrase "<now> and <won> are composed of the same three phonemes" is false, because a "live akshara" is different from a "dead akshara". The {pa.} /pa./ is not the same as {p} /p/. A living U Kyaw Tun is quite different from a dead U Kyaw Tun.

The strength of this Sphoṭa  explanation as to how the word-meaning is revealed rests not only on its concurrence with experience but also on the fact that no new kind of saṁskāra is postulated. The saṁskāra employed is the usual trace providing for the remembrance of the phoneme which originally caused it. "The weak point of the Mimāṁsaka explanation," as Iyer puts it, "was that it either postulated a new power for the ordinary kind of residual trace, or postulated a new kind of residual trace in order to explain the fact that, though caused by the cognition of the sound, it does not stop at causing a remembrance of it but causes the understanding of the meaning [{p104end/p105begin}] also." (fn105-01) In other words, the saṁskāra is supposed to have an object different from that of the cognition which deposited it in the first place, and this, says the Sphoṭa  theorist, is a logical impossibility. In his case, the original sphoṭa  (which lay behind the vocalization of the phonemes by the speaker) and the end sphoṭa  (which is the object of both the uttered phonemes and their saṁskāra ) are one and the same. Consequently, the object (i.e., the sphoṭa ) of the phonemes and the saṁskāra is identical, and there is no logical difficulty of the kind which besets the Mimāṁsaka.

Another aspect of the Sphoṭa explanation, which is emphasized both in the Vṛtti on Vākyapadiya I:89 and by Maṇḍana in his comment of Kārikā 19 of the Sphoṭasiddhi, is that the final clear perception of the sphoṭa is achieved through a series of errors. The analogy is offered of how from a distance one (if one is in India) may mistake a tree is ultimately recognized in its true form. In this situation the truth has been arrived at through a series of errors. The sense organ (in this case the eye) has been in contact with the tree throughout. The errors of perception have had the tree as their object, but the cognitions produced by the eye have had an elephant as their form. When, however, the final or true cognition takes place, it has the for of the tree itself and is one with its object. But this true cognition has been arrived at by going through the series of erroneous perceptions that preceded it. Now this change from error to true perception cannot be explained by factors such as change in distance, since simply standing in the same spot and gazing with intense concentration often produces the described result. According to Maṇḍana, "it is the previous cognitions (having tree as the object and the form of an elephant) leaving progressively clear perception of the tree. (fn105-02) There could have been no erroneous cognition of elephant had the tree not been there as an object for the sense organ to come into contact with in the first place. The error, therefore, may [{p105end/p106begin}] be described as misapprehension or vague perception. In the context of our discussion about words, the sphoṭa is similarly said to be the object of the cognitions of each of the phonemes and yet it at first appears in the form of the phoneme. Through the additional cognitions of the subsequent phonemes, however, the sphoṭa is seen with increasing clarity until with the uttering of the final phoneme the form of the phonemes has become identical with that of the sphoṭa. Here the phonemes are seen in a position which at first glance seems parallel to the snake in the famous rope-snake illusion of Advaita Vedānta. The perception of the rope as snake is error, but it is through the negating of the erroneous snake-perception that the true rope-perception is finally realized. Were it not for the prior existence of the rope, the erroneous perception would have lacked the necessary ground for its phenomenal existence. Similarly, in this case, the phonemes are seen as dependent upon the sphoṭa for their phenomenal existence, but in that phenomenal existence as being the means by which the noumenal sphoṭa may be perceived. This apparent parallelism, however, does not hold up under closer analysis. As noted previously, Advaita theory provides for only true or false cognitions and allows no progressive approximation to the real, as is the case in a series of erroneous sphoṭa perceptions. Whereas the Advaitin describes his error as being transcended via a single negation (e.g., as when it is realized "this is not snake"), the Grammarian holds that his error (e.g., the vagueness of the perception of the whole in the first phoneme) is positively overcome by the increasingly clear perception of the sphoṭa which the succeeding phonemes reveal. This analysis of how error is overcome would seem to give further weight to Sastri's suggestion, noted above, that in some ways the doctrine of reflection (ābhāsa) of the Kashmir Trika writers may provide the closest parallel to Sphoṭa theory. In the Kashmir Trika view consciousness (caitanya ) is the only reality, and all external manifestation is held to be a reflection on consciousness as on a mirror. Error, in this view, occurs not because the initial perception has no existence, but because its reflection of the object captures or includes only a part of its totality and adds in other material (saṁskāras) taken from the old stock of memory. This error is positively transcended as the form of the reflection is progressively purified of memory [{p106end}]

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the universal. To put it another way, when the cognition of the whole takes place we are also aware of the parts which make up the whole, but it is the cognition of the whole which is dominant. (fn111-01) Maṇḍana offers the example of a picture. He points out that in our cognition of a picture, although we may be aware of the different parts and colours, the picture is perceived as a whole which is over and above its parts. (fn111-02) Similarly, when we perceive a piece of cloth our cognition is of the cloth as a whole and is quite distinct from the particular threads and colours involved. (fn111-03)

In both of these examples there is a necessary perception of the parts prior to the perception of the whole. This aspect is brought out clearly by Bhartṛhari who describes the painter [{p111end/p112begin}] x as going through three stages when he paints a picture : "When a painter wishes to paint a figure having parts like that of a man, he first sees it gradually in a sequence, then as the object of a single cognition and then paints it on cloth or on a wall in sequence." (fn112-01) So also the hearer of a word perceives the word in a sequence of phonemes which manifest in him the whole word as the object of a single cognition. As a speaker, however, he utters the whole word in its differentiated appearance as a sequence of phonemes. It is in this context that the perception of the many phonemes, before the final perception of the unitary sphoṭa, is described as error, illusion or appearance. It is a unique kind of error, however, in that it has a fixed sequence and form, ultimately leads to the perception of the truth, and is thus regarded as a universal error. (fn112-02) The chief cause of this universal error is described as avidyā  or the limitation which is individual self-consciousness. A characteristic of this avidyā  is that it provides no other means for cognizing the sphoṭa, except the phonemes. That is why all individual selves universally experience the same error with regard to speech; but, it is an error which ultimately leads to cognition of truth. It is only through this error or appearance of differentiation that the individual sphoṭa comes within the range of worldly usage so that we ordinary mortals have a way to comprehending it. (fn112-03) To illustrate this point, both Bhartṛhari and Maṇḍana make reference to the Vaiśeṣika conception that when two things are brought before us we first perceive each on separately and only on the basis of these separate perceptions does the notion of two arise. This is true for all higher numbers -- their cognition and production is possible only by way of previously cognized lower numbers. So also it is by way of the lower differentiated forms of speech that the higher unities, the word-sphoṭas, may be understood. (fn112-04) [{p112end/p113begin}]

Reference has been made to the apparent parallel between the Sphoṭa and Advaita Vedānta views of error; however, a significant difference in interpretation was seen to exit. Whereas the Advaitin usually describes the error as being transcended via negation (e.g., as when it is said "this is not snake"), the Grammarian holds that the error (e.g., the vagueness of the perception of the whole in the first phoneme) is positively overcome by the increasingly clear cognition of the sphoṭa which the succeeding phonemes reveal. (fn113-01) In addition, the final clear cognition is a case of perfect perception or pratibhā which, as will be shown in Chapter Seven is seen by the Grammarian as synonymous with Veda and the third or paśyanti stage of speech. (fn113-02) At the more mundane level of psychological functioning, however, the positive process of perfecting the perception is described by Iyer as follows :

[The final] clear cognition is a case of perception. The previous cognitions also had the sphoṭa as their object, but the cognition of it was vague and that is why they had the form of the sounds... But when the final cognition reveals the sphoṭa in all its clarity and distinctness, it no longer has the form of sounds. The error has given place to truth. Such a cognition can only be perception. The object and forms of the cognition are now identical. (fn113-03)

This conformity between the object and the form of the cognition is referred to by Bhartṛhari as a certain fitness (yogyatā), between the sounds and the sphoṭa which results in the clear manifestation of the word. (fn113-04) The perfect perception in which there is identity between the object (i.e., the sphoṭa) and the form of its cognition (i.e., the phonemes or sounds) is a special kind of perception which -- the modern reader must realize-is held [{p113end/p114begin}] to be a function of the mind (fn114-01) rather than the external sense organs. It is pertinent to note in the context of this philosophical analysis that the designation of the final cognition of the sphoṭa as a case of perception rather than inference has important logical implications. (fn114-02) Maṇḍana puts the point clearly:

The revelation (of an object) clearly or vaguely is confined to direct perception. In the case of the other means of knowledge there is either apprehension (of the object) or not at all. (fn114-03)

According to almost all Schools of Indian Philosophy, the valid means of knowledge (pramāṇas), other than perception, either reveal the object completely or do not reveal it at all. There can be increasing degrees of knowledge only in the case of perception. This is most important for Sphoṭa theory in its contention that the error due to the vagueness of perception of the initial phonemes may be gradually and positively overcome, as described above. It is also crucial for the Sphoṭa theory in its contention that the existence of the sphoṭa is not a postulation, as the Mimāṁsakas maintain, but is proven by direct perception.

The above debate between Kumārila and Maṇḍana has concentrated primarily on the nature of the relationship between the parts or phonemes and the word as an uttered whole. In Maṇḍana's Sphoṭasiddhi, the way in which the external word-sounds manifest the unitary sphoṭa has been the point of focus. Throughout it has been assumed that once the sphoṭa is revealed the word-meaning is also known, due to a natural and indestructible relationship between the two. Maṇḍana seems to do [{p114end/p115begin}] little more than affirm that this is indeed the case, and that it is self-evident in our experience. (fn115-01) Here Maṇḍana seems to be depending on Bhartṛhari's argument in the Vākyapadiya. Indeed, this aspect of the Sphoṭa theory, the relation between the sphoṭa and the word-meaning, receives major attention in Chapter Three, Part One of the Vākyapadiya. Bhartṛhari begins by pointing out that unless there is a relation between the word and its meaning, any word would convey any meaning -- but that does not happen in experience. He maintains that when words are uttered three things are understood: (1) their own form (the uttered series of phonemes), (2) their meaning, and (3) the intention of the speaker. The relationship between these three he holds to be fixed and not created by man. (fn115-02) Of these three, the first can sometimes be cognized without the other two (e.g., as in the case of the child who can hear and correctly repeat or imitate the form of the word even though he has no notion of its meaning or of the meaning intended by the speaker). This own-form is said to be closest to the sphoṭa (antaraṅga); it is never apart from the sphoṭa and is distinct for each sphoṭa. The relation between the first and second aspects, the own-form and the meaning, is characterized "natural fitness" or yogyatā (referred to previously as the "fitting" of the sounds into the "frame" of the sphoṭa), and is described by Bhartṛhari as the relation of the expression and the meaning or thing expressed (vācya-vācakabhāva). (fn115-03) Iyer has drawn attertion to the fact that the relations between the own-form and the sphoṭa, and the own-form and the meaning, are both described as yogyatā or natural fitness. Thus, the own-form is also looked upon as a vācya (that which is expressed). Of course as soon as it is understood, it becomes vācya or expressive of the meaning, but in the first instance it is vācya -- the own-form which conveys the meaning, yet which is also illuminated by the meaning. (fn115-04) Between the third aspect, the speaker's intention, and the sphoṭa there is a relation of cause and effect (kāryakāraṇabhāva). (fn115-05) This relation accounts for the fact that the uttered [{p115end/p116begin}] word brings to the listener's mind the idea which the speaker intended to communicate. The speaker's initial idea, therefore, is said to be the cause of the phonemes uttered which are in turn heard by the listener and result in the arising of a similar idea in his mind. In this sense of causal relation, the word and the meaning can be alternately viewed as cause or effect. (fn116-01)

Bhartṛhari attempts to further clarify the above relations, which he finds to exist intertwined within the sphoṭa, by offering helpful illustrations. (fn116-02) Iyer paraphrases Bhartṛhari as follows:

It is not merely words which, because of a natural fitness, brings things to the mind, that is, cause knowledge. The senses also do it. Mention must be made of the signs also which cause inferential knowledge. But there is a difference between these three things. The senses are only a means in the production of knowledge. They do not form part of the knowledge itself. They are themselves not cognized while they produce cognition. They resemble words in one important aspect, namely, that they cause cognition through a natural fitness. As for signs, they do, like smoke in the inference of fire, enter into the cognition which they cause but stand apart from the thing cognized. The word, on the other hand, is not a mere cause of the cognition which it produces. The thing cognized appears to be one with the word itself. (fn116-03) (fn116-04) [{p116end}]

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of how many individual jars are destroyed. An individual jar may be destroyed, but the "jarness" which existed in it is eternal and continues to exist in other jars. The unchanging stream of continuity is its eternality. So also a sphoṭa may be manifest in a vast variety of utterances, yet the meaning-universal of that sphoṭa does not change or perish and in that sense is eternal. Nor is it necessary, for this view of eternality, that there should always exist an object corresponding to the meaning in the external world. Take, for example, the word alātacakra or "fire-wheel" ( the illusion created by quickly rotating a torch in a circle). Although there is no corresponding object in the external world, the fact that the word "fire-wheel" invariably brings its meaning to mind constitutes its eternality. "The very fact that a meaning invariably comes to the mind whether an object corresponding to it is present or not is taken as a proof that the relation between the word and the meaning is eternal." (fn118-01)

Now if the meaning is something which invariably comes to one's mind when the sphoṭa is spoken -- even though a corresponding object may not exist in the external world -- then the meaning must be primarily mental in its ontological status. Indeed Bhartrhari makes a distinction between the existence of an object in the external world (primary being), and the mental existence of a meaning in relation to a sphoṭa (secondary being). Words move in the realm of "secondary being," and within this realm may convey meaning whether they have anything corresponding to them in the outside world or not. The basic point here is that as soon as a word-meaning is cognized it has a kind of cognitive being, which must differ from primary being if a sentence such as "The tree exists" is to be intelligible. Such a sentence would mean that the tree which has cognitive being in our mind or thought also exists or has primary being in the external world as well. So also, "The tree does not exist" would mean that the tree which is cognized in thought has no primary being in the external world. This distinction between primary and secondary being, Bhartrhaṛi takes from Pata˝jali's statement in the Mahābhāṣya on Pāṇini Sūtra 5.2.94, "no meaning of a word is without this (Secondary) Being." (fn118-02) [{p118end}]

Contents of this page

Footnotes : Chapter 06.01

fn089-01. See k. A. Subramania Iyer, trans., Sphoṭasiddhi of Maṇḍana Miśra.
  All quotations from the Sphoṭasiddhi are taken from this translation.
  Hereafter cited Iyer, Sphoṭasiddhi. fn089-01b

fn090-01. The context and basis of Kumārila's argument was noted in Chapter Two
  in the summary of the Mimāṁsaka viewpoint. fn090-01b

fn090-02. See Sastri, Word, p. 103. fn090-02b

fn090-03. See Jha, Ślokavārttika, sūtra V, Section 12, pp. 261-268. fn090-03b

fn090-04. See Iyer, Sphoṭasiddhi, "Introduction," p. 3. fn090-04b

fn090-05. See Sph., Kārikā 3, p. 2. fn090-05b

fn091-01. See Sph., Kārikā 3, p. 3. fn091-01b

fn091-02. This statement is made at this point only for the sake of argument,
  since Kumārila actually believes that it is phonemes which convey the meaning. Ibid., note 3. fn091-02b

[Pages 092-103 are not part of this book preview.]

fn104-01. See Sph., p. 12. fn104-01b

fn105-01. See Sph., p. 12, Iyer's "Introduction," p. 13. fn105-01b

fn105-02. Ibid., Kārikā 19. Similar arguments are offered to show how the progressively clearer
  perception cannot be attributed to defects of the senses or memory through resemblance., p. 49. fn105-02b

[Pages 107-110 are not part of this preview.]

fn111-01. See Iyer's introduction to Sph., p. 17. fn111-01b

fn111-02. Ibid., Kārikā 24, p. 64. See also K. A. S. Iyer's article, "The Conception
  of Guṇa Among the Vaiyyākaraṇas," in which he makes clear that from the 
viewpoint whatever distinction of degree or part is made in an object
  must be done through a guṇa (quality of particular). For the Grammarians it
  is the guṇa and never the universal which serves to express degrees in objects.
  New Indian Antiquary V (6), pp. 121-130.
     It should also be noted that of the many possible ways of interpreting the universal,
  Bhartṛhari prefers the following. A movement like lifting the hand consists of
  a series of movements. As these movements are transitory they cannot co-exist
  and form a whole of which they would be the parts and in which the universal
  movement of lifting the hand would inhere. [UKT Â ]
     Now such a universal is more specific than the wider universal of movement
  in general. Although it inheres in each moment of movement, it is not capable of
  being cognized in them alone due to too much similarity between moments of
  lifting and those of the moments of other movements such as turning the hand.
  The moments of each movement are the result of a special effort to make
  that movement and they are the substrata of the universal of that movement.
  But that universal cannot be cognized until a series of moments has been cognized.
  One or two moments of movement are not enough, but after a series of moments
  is cognized the cognition of the universal inherent in each moment becomes clear.
  Lifting, for example, may be identified and other movements such as turning excluded.
  The process is similar in the manifestation of sphoṭa. Each is manifested by
  a series of special efforts to utter phonemes. One or two utterances of the series
  are not enough to eliminate other words with similar sounds. But as the complete
  series of phonemes is cognized, the cognition of the sphoṭa or universal of
  the particular word is clearly perceived and meaningful usage of it in speech becomes
  possible. See Vāk. II:20-21 as interpreted by D. A. S. Iyer in Bhartṛhari, pp. 168-169. fn111-02b

fn111-03. Ibid. fn111-03b

fn112-01. Vāk., I:52, p. 59. fn112-01b

fn112-02. If one moves beyond Sanskrit itself and into the world of languages,
  I [H.G.Coward] would take the universal error as referring to the necessity of
  going from the differentiated phonemes (the error) to the whole sphoṭa (meaning
  or ultimate reality). The fixed sequence and form of the differentiation for
  a particular word-sphoṭa would only be a constant error within each language
  (such as Sanskrit). fn112-02b

fn112-03. See Vāk., I:85, p. 86. fn112-03b

fn112-04. Ibid., I:87. p. 87, and Sph., Kārikā 21. p. 53. fn112-04b

fn113-01. See Vāk., I:87, p. 87, and Sph., Kārikā 22. pp. 58-59. fn113-01b

fn113-02. See Kaviraj, Pratibhā, p. 14. fn113-02b

fn113-03. See Iyer's introduction to Sph., p. 26. fn113-03b

fn113-04. See Vāk., I:78-I:84, pp. 81-85. Among the analogies offered
  to explain the process, Bhartṛhari's favorite seems to be that the sounds
  leave impression-seeds (saṁskāra-bija) whic, as they mature in the mind,
  are conductive to an increasingly clear perception of the sphoṭa -- to which
  they finally offer a perfect "fitness" or identity. A literal rendering of yogyatā
  could be "to fit in a frame" -- the "fit" of the "matured" series of phonemes
  into the "frame" of the sphoṭa. See also Vṛtti on Vāk., III:1:8, p. 12. fn113-04b

fn114-01. The phrase "function of the mind" here is intended to indicate
  that pratibhā is not a function of the ordinary senses (of the Buddhi stage
  of consciousness), but is characteristic of the pre-buddhi or śabdatattva stage. fn114-01b

fn114-02. It should be clearly understood here that perfect perception
  or pratibhā , however valid in itself, remains outside the realm of pramāṇa
  (which is characterized by sensory perception and discursive cognition).
  With regard to language, therefore, it is sphoṭa when manifested as speech
  that is pramāṇa  (and not sphoṭa  at the unified level of pratibhā  ). The
  point made above, however, still stands. The cognition of sphoṭa at the level
  of either śabda pramāṇa or pratibhā is via direct perception rather than inference. fn114-02b

fn114-03. See Sph., Kārikā 23, p.60. fn114-03b

fn115-01. See, for example, Sph., Kārikās 11, 18 and 19. fn115-01b

fn115-02. See Vāk., III.3.1, p. 76. fn115-02b

fn115-03. Ibid. fn115-03b

fn115-04. See Vāk., III.3.1. fn115-04b

fn115-05. See Iyer, Bhartṛhari, p. 204. fn115-05b

fn116-01. See Iyer, Bhartṛhari, p. 204. fn116-01b

fn116-02. See Vāk., III.3.2, p. 77. fn116-02b

fn116-03. Iyer, Bhartṛhari, p. 205. fn116-03b

fn116-04. It is of interest to note here that the distinction between "sign"
  and "symbol" or "sphoṭa" has relevance to much current debate. Cassirer,
  for example, also distinguishes between the two in terms of relations: a sign
  is related to the thing to which it refers in a fixed and unique way; a symbol,
  on the other hand, is extremely variable allowing, for example, the expression
  of the same meaning in various languages. See E. Cassirer, An Essay on Man,
  p. 40. Blanshard, however, opposes Cassirer by finding no basic difference
  between sign and symbol both of which he finds to be related to their object
  in a purely utilitarian fashion. The only distinction between the two is a purely
  psychological difference in the greater volume of associations amassed by
  the one so that it comes to be called "symbol." Blanshard, "Symbolism," 
  in Religious Experience and Truth, ed. S. Hook. p. 50. Yet another recent thinker,
  Tillich, disagrees with both Cassirer and Blanshard. For Tillich, the sign is
  interchangeable at will and is impotent in itself. The symbol, however, has
  a necessary character and has power and meaning inherent  [{p116end}] fn116-04

[Page 117 is not part of this book preview.]

fn118-01. Iyer, Bhartṛhari, p. 208. fn118-01

fn118-02. As quoted by Iyer in Bhartṛhari, p. 211. fn118-02

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