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

Raghav Kumar raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Thu Dec 17 04:01:42 CST 2015

Namaste Siva Senani garu
Thank you for the explanation...
A few follow-up points ....

1.   I remember reading a tract from mahAmahopAdhyAya Ganganatha Jha that
 the prabhAkara-mImAmsA  work 'prakaraNa-panchikA'  holds that for proper
nouns, convention (sanketa) is the basis for the shabda-artha sambandha.
Eg., we name a baby Devadatta. So the denotative power of the word
Devadatta to denote that particular baby began at a point in time. So the
shabdArtha-sambandha in this case is anitya. While for nitya-jAti-s,  which
are all of Vedic origin, the connection between gauH and cowness is nitya.
Nothing new here to what i already said before. Is this the Gurumatam while
the other view you expressed (given in the next para)  is the  BhATTa view?

 You wrote that  mImAmsA examines even words representing proper nouns and
says that we can view even them as a class e.g., Devadattvam as a class
consisting of innumerable individual instances viz., Devadatta1,
Devadatta2, Devadatta3 and so on representing Devadatta as he grew up, aged
and grew old etc. (if i understand you correctly).

With this position, would not the class called Devadattvam have begun at
some point in time (viz., with the birth of the child named Devadatta.)?
What would be the status of the Devadattvam jAti before the birth of the
child? Are we to take it that the mImAmsaka also says that even before
birth the denotative power of the word Devadutta to denote its artha was
existent but latent (in the mind)  and afterwards it manifests and connects
with an external referrent when the child is born ? (like even gotvaM was
latent for some time after sRShTi until suitable conditions emerged for the
manifestation of individuals of the gotva class) This would be identical
 to the vyAkaraNa position.

2.   A very remarkable thing you wrote is -
 "All other words, whether mere mis-pronunciations or Arabic or Innuit
words might work for communication but they started off as corruptions of
Sanskrit words. As to proof of transformation, we might have it or not, but
simply assumed that they are transformations. "

In other words can we say that even a language such as Tamil is but a
transformation of the deva-bhAShA Sanskrit?
 This sounds strange but is the necessary corollary which follows from the
inevitable force of  logic. (shruti-matas-tarka ofcourse)
1. The autpattika sUtraof Jaimini saying that shabdArtha-sambandha is nitya
accepted by bhAShyakAra and all other advaitins, mImAmsaka-s and
2. The jagat has  (as though) been created and  evolved through Vedic
shabda-s is the siddhAnta of vyAsa in the Brahma Sutra .(through
shabda-prabhavatvaM explained by bhAshyakAra in devatAdhikaraNaM BSB 1.3.28)

>From 1 and 2 , it follows that if bhAshyakAra is right then, Tamil has to
be a transformation of Sanskrit. (I repeat these words since they seem hard
to imagine.) If I have missed any steps which can give rise to an
alternative conclusion, kindly indicate...

(I understand the words pika, nema etc to be authentic Vedic words which
are extant among mleccha-s and became extinct among shishTa-s. So we merely
figure out the meaning of some Vedic words with a little help from mleccha
usages. We need not say that Veda contains mlechha words. I suppose that is
why you wrote that certain Vedic words are (merely) 'categorized' as
mleccha words. )

Raghav Kumar

On Wed, Dec 16, 2015 at 11:36 AM, Siva Senani Nori <sivasenani at yahoo.com>

> Sri Raghav Kumar garu, Namaste.
> You raise some very interesting questions. I will attempt to respond, in
> line, to the best of my abilities.
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Raghav Kumar <raghavkumar00 at gmail.com>
> 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.
> --- The classification of nouns into proper, common, abstract etc. has an
> underlying assumption about the nautre of the world. What if that
> assumption is challenged? As it turns out, Mimamsa does that. It asks as to
> what is common amongst Devadatta as a one-day old baby, as a boy, a young
> person, a middle-aged man, an old man, and on his death bed? His body, mind
> and his possessions - all underwent too much of a change. The only constant
> is the jati if Devadattatvam. By the Nyaaya does not accept this as jati,
> but let us digress. Coming back to the VaiyAkaraNa, he can accommodate all
> kinds of alledge sanketas - proper nouns, new elements being named,
> pratyAhAras and so on - by removing them one level lower from nityatva of
> Sabda, Artha and their relation. In that view, the Sabda Devadatta(S)
> always indicates a concept called Devadatta(A) and when a boy is named
> Devadatta, the Sanket is between the conceptual artha Devadatta(A) and the
> boy being named.
> 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?
> --- At the level of Vaikharee, only Sanskrit Sabdas give rise to dharma.
> All other words, whether mere mis-pronunciations or Arabic or Innuit words
> might work for communication but they started off as corruptions of
> Sanskrit words. As to proof of transformation, we might have it or not, but
> simply assumed that they are transformations.
>  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?
> --- In fact Mimamsakas say words like pika, nema etc. should be treated as
> nitya (these words are categorized as "mleccha" but are found in the Veda
> and the meaning is decided based on mleccha usage), because these early
> usages were retained in their usage by mlecchas (who are the progeny of
> those excommunicated from the Vedic fold) but not by SishTas.
> 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.
> --- Advaita would have no problem, I think, in agreeing with the Mimamsa's
> view about mleccha-sabdas.
> 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.
> --- For these and others, we may club them with gestures (or emoticons on
> today's world) and say that these and gestures are jnApakas of words,
> through which the denotation process occurs.
> Regards
> N Siva Senani

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