[Advaita-l] What is abhitaanvaya-vaada and anvitaayabhidhaana-vada ?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Nov 19 20:01:00 CST 2010

> Namaste.

Just before I made my first  response to this thread, I had had a talk with
the eminent scholar Dr.Sri Mani Dravid SastrigaL.

In the abhihita-anvaya vAda, the words convey just their word-meanings.  And
the listener is the one who processes  these and gets the meaning of the
sentence as a whole.  When I volunteered with the explanation of this
theory: 'pUrvam vaktrA abhihitAni padAni pashchAt vAkyatayA anvitAni
bhavanti shrotari' , Sri Sastrigal agreed and said it is so.

Whereas, in the other theory, the words themselves convey the anivita
/anvaya, even as they are uttered as a sentence.

Sastrigal said there is a sentence in the Brahmasutra bhashyam (mostly,
according to him, in the vAkyAnvayaadhikaraNam) which reads thus:

//padAni asminnarthe samanugatAni bhavanti//  People see this as the
Bhashyakara's approval of the anvitaabhidhAna theory.  However, it seems
there is another reading of this sentence, from very old times, where the
word 'padAni' is replaced by 'padArthaH' with suitable changes in the entire
sentence of the bhashyam.  This reading,says Sastrigal, some poeple take as
the Bhashyakara's preference to the other theory: abhihitAnvaya.

Sastrigal also said that in the SankshepashAriiraka, a novel attempt has
been made to give a 'mixed' presentation of the two theories as perhaps a
unified one.

Upon my request that it would be beneficial to many if he delivers a special
lecture on this topic, Sastrigal happily agreed.  If and when such an
occasion comes, he may speak in Tamil or Sanskrit and we can get to hear it
when it is made available by Sri Sundararaman of Chennai.


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list