[Advaita-l] Theory of Language: Mimamsa, Vyakarana and Advaita - 1 of 3

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Wed Dec 9 08:39:07 CST 2015

Sri Siva SenAni ji,

Namaste. Thanks for sharing the results of your study.

Your post made for very interesting reading - and you have stopped at a
tantalising point in the discussion!

Please do post the remaining sections when convenient.

On 9 Dec 2015 08:39, "Siva Senani Nori via Advaita-l" <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> श्रीगुरुभ्यो नमः।  Earlier, Imade a statement that "Mimamsa also has a
> philosophy of language so tospeak but it gets tied up in so many knots as a
> given issue is explored that itbecomes a hindrance than help" based on a
> study of Mīmāṃsā. Sri S. Venkatraghavanthen asked that the results of the
> study be shared. I propose to do so inthree parts: Part 1:Introduction: Why
> this is relevant to Advaita and introduction to the tensionbetween nityatva
> of Śabda on one hand and the apparent vikāras that Śabda undergoesin sandhi
> etc. Part 2: Mīmāṃsā'sresolution of this tension. Part 3:Problems with the
> resolution; comparison with Vyākaraṇa's proposed resolution;and a
> conclusion that Advaita is better off resorting to the Theory of
> Languagethat Vyākaraṇa has developed rather than depend on the
> Mīmāṃsā-version. This isbased, by and large, on a forthcoming paper (to be
> published in the next issueof the Sanskrit Academy Journal, Hyderabad)
> "dadhi atra is notdadhyatra" that I co-authored with my teacher Brahmaśrī
> Vedamūrtulu Prof.Korada Subrahmanyam garu. Part 1:Introduction As is
> wellknown, Śabda is held to be nitya by Mīmāṃsā (and Advaita) whereas
> Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika and Sāṃkhyahold it to be anitya. Why is this concept of
> Śabdanityatva so important? Theshort answer is to achieve pramāṇatā of
> Veda. Accordingto Mīmāṃsā valid knowledge is that which is not later
> sublated, abādhitajñānam. A bookwritten by a man could be erroneous, i.e.
> it may be bettered or sublated by alater writer and hence pauruṣeya works
> cannot be taken as valid. Veda isapauruṣeya and is therefore infallible and
> hence a Pramāṇa. To this, it isobjected that Veda cannot be apauruṣeya
> because in the beginning somebody hasto make a convention that such and
> such Śabda means such and such Artha, suchas gauḥ means the animal with
> dewlap (sāsnā) etc., and only after such aconvention is current will
> language, and hence Veda, become meaningful. Inother words, if Veda is to
> be understood by the first man, he must knowlanguage, but language was
> developed by men as a means of communication.Therefore, from the very fact
> that Veda uses language used by men, it followsthat Veda is pauruṣeya. To
> this, the Mīmāṃsaka's defence is that Śabda, Arthaand the relation between
> them (i.e. this Śabda means this Artha) occur from thetime of utpatti, i.e.
> all the three are "natural", i.e. they are beginningless(autpattikasūtra,
> 1.1.5 – it might be of interest that Bādarāyaṇa is cited as an authority in
> this sūtra). Theremaining part of the first Pāda of the first Adhyāya is
> devoted to Śabdanityatvam,1.1.6 to 1.1.25, and Vedamprāmāṇyam, 1.1.26 to
> 1.1.32). Kumārila gives the justificationfor the discussion (7,
> Śabdanityatādhikaraṇam, Ślokavārtika): "therefore, forthe sake of
> establishing the Veda as a Pramāṇa, Śabda is being proved to be
> nitya":तस्माद्वेदप्रमाणार्थं नित्यत्वमिह साध्यते ॥७, शब्दनित्यताधिकरणम्,
> श्लोकवार्तिकम्॥ Therefore Śabdanityatvais an important position for Advaita
> as well which believes in the apauruṣeyatvaof Veda. The moment we accept
> Śabda as nitya, we face a number of problems.First sandhi involves lopa,
> āgama and vikāra – all of which are modificationsof Śabda. To give an
> example, it is widely accepted that dadhi + atra = dadhyatra,wherein the
> "i" is transforming to "y". If it be so, then thequestion arises as to how
> nitya Śabda could transform like this. It is notmerely transformation,
> sometimes it is dropped (devaḥ + atra = devo'tra) and sometimes anew letter
> comes in. Not only that, in forming compound words, rājñaḥ puruṣaḥ becomes
> rājapuruṣaḥ. Indeclensions, the base "rāma" 'transforms' into twenty one
> differentforms such as rāmaḥ, rāmau, rāmāḥ . . . rāmeṣu. It similarly
> extends to conjugations (bhūtransforming into bhavati, bhavataḥ, bhavanti .
> . .), formation of kṛdantas (primarynominal bases), taddhitāntas (secondary
> nominal bases) and so on. In short,either Śabdanityatā is not valid or
> Vyākaraṇam, as explicated by Pāṇini, is notvalid. This then is the tension
> between Śabdanityatva andsandhi, samāsa etc. as seen in
> Vyākaraṇa. RegardsN. Siva Senani
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