Philosophy of Bhartrhari (An Old and Rare Book)
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Philosophy of Bhartrhari (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: NAP912
Author: Gaurinath Sastri
Publisher: Bharatiya Vidya Prakashan
Language: English
Edition: 1991
ISBN: 812170099X
Pages: 228
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 330 gm
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About the Author

Gaurinath Sastri's stature as one of the doyens of Indian Sanskrit scholars is well Known to the academic world at large. Throught his life he dedicated himself to the promotion of Indological studies and to the preservation of India's heritage. As dynamic educator, he has been associated with some of the prestigious institutions of the country. As an active researcher, he brought an original contribution to the field of the Philosophy of Sanskrit Grammar and to that of Indian Neo-Logic and his numerous publications made him an authority in these disciplines, His works bear eloquent testimony to his love for modem methodology and to his respect for the tradition in which he was born and brought lip. Gifted with a sharp intellect he did not limit his interests to the field of Sanskrit Studies only but he applied his talent to other branches of Indian Culture of Which he may be regarded as a genuine and mature exponent.

About the Book

In this book the author has concentrated on the three fundamental points that are the prerequisites of any system of philosophy namely-

The nature of the ultimate reality. The reality of the embodied soul and the final destination or the radiant summit to be reached by a mortal being in persuance of a rigorous discipline in life.

The book proposes to review the cardinal points of Bhartrhari's unique system of thoughts whose sparkling originality of thought coupled with an amazingly compelling power of logic secured for him a position of great eminence with host of outstanding philosophers belonging to rival schools of thought.

The book puts forth by weighty arguements that ultimate reality is word and word is consciousness. Consciousness minus word is an absurdity.

M.M. KAVIRAJ JI-A TRIBUTE -Gaurinatb Sastri It is indeed a great honour and a deep cause of satisfac- tion to have been invited to deliver a course of lectures on the Philosophy of Grammar before this distinguished gather- ing. But for me, it is more in spirit of reverent duty to the late Gopinath Kaviraj that I have accepted to share with you all some of the fundamental thoughts on a subject to which I have dedicated many years of intense study and research. The brilliant personality of late Kaviraj has been a rich source of inspiration both for scholars and spiritual seekers in our country and abroad. Even now, ten years after his death, his spirit continues to stimulate research in the various fields of philosophy and yoga to which his sharp intellect and his pure soul had been entirely dedicated during his physical presence amongst us. It is not for me to draw a picture of his outstanding achievements his encyclopaedic knowledge and his deep insight into the essence of the questions he studied are well known to everyone and his own inspired writings his nume- rous contribution to the development of our educational institutions and above all his own life are a striking testimony of th~ spirit that breathed throughout his existence. All those who have had the good fortune of coming into contact with him, have undoubtedly been struck by the perfect and quiet harmony he had achieved between his spiritual aspira- tion and his intellectual exigencies. In him, the scholar and the saint continuously interacted to give to his life the stamp of true spirituality which is the golden heritage of our country. Several books have been written by those who used to live near him, books in which one may find priceless informa- tion about the great personality that he was. I for myself \ A I was not amongst those who gravitated around him; our contacts were more of a sporadic character but of ever- lasting value. It is precisely because of the particular nature of our relationship that I would like to limit myself to high- light one important fact of his personality before coming to the core of the subject for which I have been called here today, namely the Philosophy of Grammar. By doing so, I fervently hope that all of us here will be able to feel the very sipirit that should animate our sessions in the next five even- ings, so that the relevance and importance that a subject like this one should have for the spiritual advancement of man, may be understood in full. For this reason, allow me to introduce my talk with a brief account of my own relationship with Kaviraj ji. The name of Kaviraj ji will he linked for ever in our memory with that of the holiest city in India. Benares and it was in Benares that I met him for the first time in January 1932. I had heard quite a lot about his vast erudition and his spiritual attainments from my teachers at the University of Calcutta, most of whom came from East Bengal, the birthplace of Kaviraj ji himself. During the first encounter, he enquired from me about the field of Sanskrit I was parti- -cularly interested in. The meeting was a very short one as, on that occasion, I found him busy talking to other persons, presumably scholars of repute. Our second meeting took place at his Sigra residence in 1935. At that time. I had completed my thesis for which I was awarded the Premchand Roy Chand scholarship of the University of Calcutta. As Kaviraj ji himself had been the examiner of my thesis, he advised me on that occasion to go deeper into the subject and he suggested that should specialize in Bhartrhari's works. But, he did not limit himself to advice only, he united action to thought and he himself drew out a scheme of research on the philosophy of Bhatrhari for my own benefit. In the meantime, I came to know that he was leading a life of sadhana, since the days he had been initiated by Pararnahamsa Visudhanandaj i. This kindled my interest even more and would have been very happy to hear about it from Kaviraj ji himself. But he never spoke about his own spiritual life. In those days, I would go regularly to his residence in all absorption to a young brahmacari who would relate to him his spiritual experiences and to hear Kaviraj ji ask me to come back on the following day. With the same eagerness, I would go home and concentrate on my research. This went on for quite some time and days passed, my work was pro- gressing but practically no verbal exchange would pass bet- ween Kaviraj ji and myself and still he would give quite a lot of care and thought to my thesis. In later years, my connection with him continued to grow and he always commanded my respect and admiration as a versatile genius with matchless qualities of head and heart. But, today it is that earlier period of our contact that I remember with reverence and devotion for the great per- sonality that he was. Indeed, Kavirajj's attitude towards life was one of self-abnegation and unselfishness. This gave him such a transparency that he became a perfect instrument through whom the current of spiritual inspiration would flow uninterruptedly. It was not necessary to spend long hours with him: it was enough to be touched even briefly by his presence for one to be immersed in this powerful current. He never spared his time nor his energy to help others but, at the same time, he knew what was necessary for each one and the form in which this current of inspiration would best he allowed to flow. He was like a touchstone enlightening those who were eager to lead a spiritual life . I do not think that I am exaggerating when I say that the nature of our contact had an undeniable part to play in encouraging me in my research. If I am allowed to express myself address this gathering today, it should never be for- gotten that it is due to the workings of the Surpreme Power. And this Power can only be allowed to act freely and har-


The grammar of any language is usually preoccupied with a dry-as-dust exercise on its linguistic forms. But. Sanskrit grammarians do not remain satisfied with intellectual speculations on the physical problems and niceties of the language. As we are aware, the goal of philosophy in India has never been rationalization alone but spiritualization, a glorious expansion of spiritual life deemed to be worthy of human allegiance. Both Patanjali and following him Bhartrhari have found an Eternal Word which runs through each and every ephemeral verbal identity. It is, therefore, that Bhattojidiksita in his Sabdakaustubha observes that the grammarian has in the course of his quest of an insignificant coin. been rewarded with the discovery of a priceless gem when he chances to adumbrate a unique system of thought while engaged in speculations on the physical structures of linguistic forms:

Varatikdvesanaya pravrttas cintamanim Iabdhavan

The discovery of the priceless gem is the discovery of the Eternal Word an undying (amrta) and sequenceless (akrama) identity which Bhartrhari calls 'Sobdatattva', the Transcendent or Absolute Reality, the Eternal Verbum. The grammarian asks a student to study the technical devices at the start of his career and to make sure that he has acquainted himself with correct forms with the result that he develops some moralpower which draws him closer to the goal of life. A study of the discipline of grammar is, in the initial stage, aimed at the understanding of correct expressions but culminates in the experience of an enriched life, in the fulness of spiritual outlook. Every system of Indian philosophy aims at this exalted state of experience and the grammarian has 110t failed to lay emphasis on this ultimate objective of life:

tasmad yes sabdasamskaras sa siddhih paramatmanah

In the beginning of the introductory chapter to his magnum opus the Vyakarana-Mahabhasva Patanjali tells us that the science of grammar which is called Sabdanuiasana treats of both profane (laukika) and Vedic words. But, when he proceeds to elaborate the manifold uses of the science of grammar he illustrates them by confining his reference to the texts of the Vedas only. This is meaningful. Among all the six branches of literature auxiliary to the study of the Vedas Vedangas), grammar deserves a most important place as it -is indispensable to the understanding of its meaning. So, it is said that grammar is the very mouth of the Vedas: mukham vyakaranam smttam

prathamam ca satsv angesu vyckaranam

prathamam chandasam angam prdhur vyakaranam budhdham

The revealed literature of the Vedas is looked upon not only as the instrument for the realization of the Supreme Reality but also as Its very image:

praptyupayo 'nukaras ca tasya vedo maharsibhih

And, in that case, it rests with the grammarian whose avowed mission is to help us in the acquisition of Vedic knowledge, to see that discipline becomes a pointer the ultimate goal of human life as envisaged in the Vedas:

(i) tad dvaram apavargasya.

(ii) idam cdyapadasthanam siddhisoponaparvanam.

In this context one may ask : As the grammarian aims at an exalted state of blissful experience, it is not expected of him in the fitness of things, to formulate a well-defined course of esoteric exercise which, if and when, regularly and rigidly practiced, will inevitably yield the coveted result? It is, therefore, that one may wonder why the grammarian spends so much Energy over the introduction of a highly technical and complicated scheme of analytical study that bewilders the optimistic spirit of a young beginner, Needless to say, the grammarian has anticipated the problem and makes bold to offer a solution to meet the grounds of the query posed above. The grammarian does not hesitate to admit that the scheme of technical devices takes long years of patient study to obtain mastery over it. He admits as well that the scheme has no intrinsic value of its own. But, he believes that the scheme has a far-reaching value and importance as it offers a most substantial aid so necessary for the subsequent progress in the direction of the realization of the summum bonum of life.


M.M. Kaviraji-A Tribute ix
Short Life Sketch & Selected Bibilography of the Works of Professor Gaurinath Sastri … xv
Abbreviation xix
Preface xxi
Chapter One: Word-What It Is 12055
Chapter Two: The Embodied Self (Jiva) and the Cosmos (Jagat) 34-55
Chapter Three: The Goal 56-95
Annexure I: Sphota : The 'Real' Word 99-131
Annexure A : Pratibha : The Real Meaning 132-152
Chapter One 155-162
Chapter Two 163-166
Chapter Three 167-171
Annexure I 172-77
Annexure II 178-179
Word-Index 181-184
Index of Authors and Works 185-186


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