[Advaita-l] Linguistics and philosophy

Sunil Bhattacharjya via Advaita-l advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Wed Jun 25 17:52:12 CDT 2014


It could be that Bhartrhari well knew that the ancient texts including the Bhagavad Gita do not allow any dismissal of the Sankhya as a testament 
for atheism. Sankhya sutra escapes any need to bring in the Ishvara by saying that Ishvara is asiddha (not provable) and it is indeed so, as Lord Krishna did not reply when Gandhari 
accused him saying that he as the almighty could have averted the 
Mahabharata war. Vedavyasa did say that Lord Krishna could have nullified the curse of Gandhrai but he did not do 
that and for the theists this may mean that God does not want to leave 
any proof of what he can do. Even in the case of reviving Parikshit in 
his mother's womb the Lord said that any pure brahmachari could do that 
and as nobody came forward, he had to revive the foetus. However the 
Lord Krishna brought the Sankhya to the main stream by showing the need 
to supplement it  with Yoga, such that Sankhya and Yoga are best 
considered together as one. It could be that the serious Monist in 
Bhartrhari did not want to let the theism to be completely obliterated 
in the Sankhyakarika, one of the the premier texts of the Sankhya 
philosophy. Whenever Bhartrhari is to be discussed a grammarian's 
background is needed and just the an ability to read and write Sanskrit 
may not suffice and that is why I did not go full steam into the 
controversy, though I raised it, hoping that the grammarians would do 
the needful. Bhartrhari is such an imposing figure among the ancient 
stalwarts that his role is best not ignored if there is the slightest 
hint at the possibility that he could have had a role in the composition of the Yuktidipika. 

The Yuktidipika is referred to as
Rajabhartika  but one may question that this Raja may not be the same
as Bhartrhari. Further no grammatical works of Bhartrhari refer to
his being a “Raja”. That means Bhartrhari and Raja Bhartrhari may
or may not be the same person as  there was no absolute necessity
that Bhartrhari himself or the commentators of his works should have
let it be known to the world in each of his writings that he was a
raja (or a king). It could also mean that he wrote the Yuktidipika or
Rajabhartika when he was the raja or king and he wrote the
Vakyapadiya later on, after he abdicated the throne.  We have also to
consider the historical fact that among the great scholar kings of
the past we can count only Raja Bhartrhari and Raja Bhoja. King
Janaka need not be considered as he was living in the Ramayana times.
Vacaspati Mishra, who mentioned Rajavartika lived before Raja Bjoja
and that helps us eliminate Raja Bhoja as the contender for the
authorship of Yuktidipika leaving Bhartrhari as the only possible
author of the Yuktidipika. 

To accommodate Bhartrhari's Monistic
feeling with the apparently dualistic language of the Sankhya-karika
he might have had to look at the very basis of the meanings of the
words and sentences. It could then be that  he could have authored
the Vakyapadiya and the Yuktifipika in parallel or he wrote the
Vakyapadiya after writing the Yuktidipika. Prof. Aklujlar seems to be
of the opinion that that YD was written later than VP (quoting
Pandeya's edition) but that does not contradict the possibility of
both the Vakyapadiya and the Yuktidipika being written by the same
author and that too their being written simultaneously. 

leanings on the interpretation of Sankhya seems to have been shown by
Johannes Bronkhorst in his paper “Studies on Bhartrhari, 8 :
prakrta dhvani and the Samkhya tanmatras” (Jour. Ind. Philosophy,
27, 1 / 2, pp. 23-33 (1999). Scholars opine that the अखण्डवाक्यार्थe
stablished in Vakyapadiyam is akin to तत्त्वमसि of अद्वैतिनः। Did
Bhartrhari try to interpret Sankhya by taking Brahman as the cause
rather than the Prakrti as the cause. Yuktidipika omitted a few
Karikas before and after the Karika - 61and this may be a pointer to
that, as these omitted verses were emphatic about Prkrti alone being
the cause. This also makes me wonder if Bhartrhari was the author of
the Vakyabhashya of the Kena Upanishad, which shows the Brahman as
the cause of everything. Many scholats have been doubting Adi
Shankara's authorship of the Vakyabhashya of the Kena-Upanishad,
though Anandagiri in his Tika says that it was the work of Adi
Shankaracharya, but written after the Padabhashya. 

Scholars have
also pointed out that the author of the Yuktidipika might be having a
similar view to Bhartrhari of the process of revelation of the Veda
(or Sankhya knowledge), and both the Yuktidipika and Vakyapadiyavrtti
quote the same description of the process of Veda revelation and
transmission from Nirukta 1.20. Prof. Aklujkar also discussed this in
his chapter /  article "Veda Revelation according to Bhartrhari"
in the book Bhartrhari:
Language, Thought and Reality.

Sunil KB

On Monday, June 23, 2014 11:02 PM, Jaldhar H. Vyas via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

On Sat, 7 Jun 2014, Sunil Bhattacharjya via Advaita-l wrote:

> Raja Bhartrhari is known to be the great scholar who wrote the
> Vakyapadiya as a treatise on the Sphotavada and he is the acknowledged
> authority on the grammar of philosophy and he is also believed by many
> to be the author of a Vartika on the Sankhyakarika, the authoritative
> text on the Sankhya philosophy. Such being the possibility, has any
> scholar come to know of any studies carried out so far, which throw
> light on the great Monist Raja Bhartrhari's appying the principles of
> Sphotavada in his Vartika of the Sankhyakarika ?

On Sun, 8 Jun 2014, Sunil Bhattacharjya via Advaita-l wrote:

> It is the belief of some (including me as well)
> that Raja Bhartrihari, who wrote the Vakyapadiya, the treatise on the
> Sphotavada, is also  the writer of the Yuktidipika, which also
> indicates that its author is a raja (king). It is known that Raja
> Bhartrihari gave up the throne in his prime of his youth to became an
> ascetic and his brother Vikramaditya succeeded him. Vacaspati Mishra
> includes two verses from the text of the Yuktidipika in  his
> Tattvakaumudi, the commentary on the Sankhyakarika,  and he calls
> that text as the Raja-Vartika. Thus, in short, the Vakyapadiya and
> the Yuktidipika could have been written by the same person,

The problem is that yuktidipika itself quotes Bhartrhari.  While it is not 
unknown for an author to refer to his other works why would he do it in 
the third person.  And anyway the context in which Bhartrhari is quoted 
has nothing to do with the the three rajavarttika shlokas.  Also there is 
the fact that the yuktidipika does not meet the dictionary definition of a 
varttika.  This is not a clincher because sometimes near-synonms are used 
lightly in Sanskrit.  However it claims in its introduction that the 
samkhyakarikAs are a comprehensive statement of samkhyashastra not merely 
a prakarana making YD a bhashya.  And it does meet the definition of a 
bhashya.  Some scholars have suggested that perhaps the rAjavarttikA in 
whole or part is embedded within the YD in the way that Katyayanas 
varttikA on vyAkaraNa is embedded within the mahAbhAshya but this is 
conjecture and also doesn't establish any link with Bhartrahari.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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