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

Raghav Kumar raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 14 13:07:34 CST 2015

Namaste Siva Senani garu

On shabda-nityatvaM

This has been accepted by advaitins, mImAmsaka-s and vaiyAkaraNa-s. Quite
obviously an important convergence. I have a few rather basic doubts
regarding this.

1. The shabda and artha sambandha is not nitya when it comes to proper
nouns like a  man named (who else but...) devadatta etc.. For,  in such
cases convention (sanketa)  is the basis and this is pauruSheya. He is
anitya and he was named so upon his birth. ( Because the person is anitya,
we cannot form a valid syllogism that 'all words have anitya sambandha with
their meanings, like even in the case of Devadatta '   Only in the case of
common nouns denoting classes such as the gotva jAti for cows etc., the
shabda-artha connection is said to be nitya, the jAti-s being nitya.

 For the mImAmsaka the universe is in a steady state condition and the
Earth is assumed to have always had the idyllic bovine economy, so the fact
that the jAti-s are nitya follows naturally and the words like gauh
denoting the jAti-s were always in vogue and were not born of any human
convention at some point in time.

 For the Vedantin, sRShTi is there and the powerful idea of the Uinverse
being created from the Word comes in. The shabda-prabhavatvaM of  jagat
implies that the Veda mantras encapsulate all the concepts and ideas
required to 'store'  the knowledge of all the nitya jAti-s of the Universe,
at the time of pralaya. The  jAti-s like cowness, human-ness etc., do not
change from kalpa to kalpa. yathA purvam akalpayat. Just as in the previous
cycle of creation, even so is it this time, the first-born recollects the
Vedic sentences with their meanings and thereby creates the Universe with
its denizens.

My question is  - what is the status (nitya or anitya, and pauruSheya or
apauruSheya)  of the shabdArtha sambandha for non-Vedic words, let us say,
from a non-Indo-european language like Arabic or Innuit etc.  Is the
connection between the shabda 'jamal'un' and its artha viz.,'an animal with
a humped back which takes you across the desert and drinks lots of water at
a time'  paurusheya or apauruSheya nitya? What about Sanksrit common nouns
like sangaNaka etc for a computer?

 Prima facie, there seems to be no harm is positing that, except those
words (i.e., Vedic sentences)  which are necessary to ensure jagataH
shabda-prabhavatvaM, all other (non-Vedic origin Arabic or Innuit) words or
words like sangaNaka can well be labeled pauruSheya in origin. But would
not this go against the autpattika sutra quoted by Acharya Jaimini
espcially as understood by the vaiyAkaraNa-s?

The other alternative would be to say that all words and their meanings in
all languages (except proper nouns) are apauruSheya nitya - they are all
potentially there in Brahman. (we could even give supporting logic from
satkAryavAda for this view).  So our analysis is truly language
independent. But i am not clear if the idea that many other non-Vedic words
are also apaurusheya nitya is compatible with advaita siddhAnta.

Also on a totally different note, it may be a challenge to claim
apaurusheya nitya status for onomatopoeic words like cuckoo, hoopoe,  kAka
etc., where sanketa (human convention) is the plausible origin.

 I do recognize that in the entire discussion above, I took a chronological
view of the shabdArtha sambandha being nitya or otherwise.
 The vaiyAkaraNa would  possibly trace each word backwards ontologically
along the four levels of vAk to arrive at the Sabda-tattva, and the nitya
sambandha between words and menaings inheres in the Sabda-tattva (without
changing it in any way.) All words and meanings are in shabda-brahman but
shadba-brahman is devoid of all differentiation in to words and meanings. -
Such is my present understanding.

Raghav Kumar

On Sun, Dec 13, 2015 at 11:48 PM, Siva Senani Nori via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Sir
> The one underlying reality is Brahman alone of the form of Sabda (and it
> may be noted that Brahman is not said to be of the form of Artha or the
> sambandha between Sabda and Artha), which is seen as a multiplicity of
> Sabdas, Arthas and their relation. When the three are thus seen, they all
> have the same level of Reality. It might be noted that like Advaita has two
> levels of Brahman, SabdAdvaita has four levels of Sabda. Further, Artha
> itself can refer to bauddhArtha and bAhyArtha. Now, the term bauddhArtha
> begs a question: whose buddhi? At the plane of vyavahAra, it is the
> speaker's mind, when we have the speaker as the reference; it is the
> listener's mind, if he is the reference. In the ultimate view, only one
> entity is. It is consciousness itself and a separate buddhi of this entity
> is not spoken of. So both Sabda and Artha become one entity and tAdAtmya
> becomes their sambandha. Thus, we have to pick our way carefully amongst
> these labels. Sastra's teachings are true and consistent at all levels, but
> we will get confused if we mix up the adjuncts.
> It might be interesting to note YogasUtra 3.17 here:
> शब्दार्थप्रत्ययानाम् इतरेतर-अध्यासात् सङ्करः तत्प्रविभाग-संयमात्
> सर्वभूतरुतज्ञानम्There is mixing up of Sabda, Artha and J~nAna due to
> mutual superimposition, by having the control to differentiate them one
> gets the knowledge of sounds made by all creatures.
> Here, the Yoga position is what is called भेददृष्टिः, i.e. Sabda, Artha
> and J~nAnam are different from each other. Note that even for Yoga, artha
> is bauddhArtha only (शब्दज्ञानानुपाती वस्तुशून्यो विकल्पः॥1.7, योगसूत्राणि
> - Vikalpa, the concept of artha, follows the cognition of Sabdas and does
> not have any external object as its content). Vyakarana accommodates both
> bhedavivakshA and abhedavivakshA and recognizes that speakers resort to one
> or other depending on what they want to convey. The equivalent terminology
> in Advaita is vyAvahArika view and pAramArthika view.
> RegardsN. Siva Senani
>       From: H S Chandramouli <hschandramouli at gmail.com>
>  To: Siva Senani Nori <sivasenani at yahoo.com>; A discussion group for
> Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
>  Sent: Sunday, 13 December 2015 1:17 PM
>  Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Theory of Language: Mimamsa, Advaita and
> Vyakarana 3 of 3
> Sri Siva Senani Ji,
> As a clarification to my earlier post, when it is said " being the entity
> seen as three " , do the three enjoy the same level of Reality as Brahman
> or do they enjoy a different level of Reality ?
> Regards
> Chandramouli
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