[Advaita-l] Meaning required for a shloka on 'arthavAdaH'

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Mar 14 00:01:47 CST 2010

On Sat, Mar 13, 2010 at 11:36 PM, Br. Pranipata Chaitanya <
pranipata at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Hari Om Shri Subrahmanian ji, Pranaams!
> The quoted shloka appear as shloka no: 567 in the sambandhabhAShyavArtika
> and the meaning of the shloka as translated by Shri SV Aiyar (Chaukhamba
> Amarbharati Prakashan) is given below.
> The same verse is also quoted and explained by svAmi madhusUdana sarasvati
> ji in his work prasthAnabhedaH.
> Translation:  Explanatory remarks(arthavada) are of three kinds. In an
> impossible case it is a figure of speech. In a possible case, it is a
> praise. If it is a case of neither sort, it is an assertion of fact.


Don't you think, Chaitanya ji, that in the translation provided by you, the
'figure of speech' and the 'praise' mean one and the same?  It does not seem
to make a difference between 'guNavAdaH' and 'anuvAdaH'. It appears to me
that 'guNavAdaH' means 'praise', 'stuti', extolling something.

> As against what you have stated/quoted above, we have this explanation,
> apparently of the Kanchi Maha PeriyavAL:

// In this way in arthavada untruth is mixed with truth. The untrue part is
called "gunavada".

There is another term called "anuvada". It means stating what is already
known. For instance, the statement that "fire burns".

Mentioning the ingredients of a medicine is an example of "bhutarthavada".

"Gunarthavada" is to tell a story, even though untrue, to make it useful for
the observance of a rule. "Do not drink liquor" is an injunction (or
interdiction). To tell the "story" that a man who got drunk was ruined is
arthavada. The purpose- or moral- is that one must not drink.

To say that if a man drinks he will be intoxicated is anuvada.//

Considering the above explanation of the SwaminaH, it looks like in the
following explanation of No. 2 that I had quoted as 'received in a private
email' earlier:

// The shloka you have given is quoted in Arthasangraha of Laugakshi
Bhaskara, a classic work on purva mimamsa. The original source is not
mentioned there. The meaning of the shloka is:--

In case of contradiction, the arthavada would state a quality; in case of
ascertainment it would be a repetition; on account of the absence of both of
those it would state the real state of affairs; thus an explanatory passage
is regarded as three-fold.

(Translation of A.B.Gajendragadkar and R.D.Karmakar).

Explanatory note-

When the content of an arthavada is contradicted by another means of proof,
it is called guNavAda, e.g., Adityo yUpah—Here the yUpa, sacrificial post,
is identified with the sun. This is contrary to direct perception. So the
implied meaning is that the sentence conveys a quality, namely the
brilliance of the sun. So the meaning is that the yUpa is brilliant like the
sun. Since this conveys a quality, it is called guNavAda.//

I think the  word 'guNaH' in the compound 'guNavAdaH' is taken to be a
'quality' by the two authors.  Surely 'brilliance' is not a quality, an
attribute, of the 'yUpaH'.  The brilliance, however, belongs to Aditya,
Sun.  This guNa of the Sun is now 'attributed' by Aropa, in the yUpaH and
thereby, it appears to me that here is an instance of a 'praise', 'stuti' of
the yUpaH.  Thereby this example for 'guNavAdaH' looks justified.  Thus,
here is an instance of 'guNa-arthavAdaH'.

Clarifications, opinions, corrections, in the above views are welcome.


Om Tat Sat

> _

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