In this first volume of An Inquiry into Indian Theories of Verbal Cognition, the author, assembling the view of different sastra-s (Nyaya Mimamsa, Vyakarana, Vedanta…) examines the following theories and subjects: the theory according to which word is a means of valid cognition, the definition of word as a mean of valid cognition, the nature of the sentence, its sense, and what makes it intelligible, the theories of anvitabhidhana and abhihitanvaya, the notions of syntactic unity and plurality, syntactic expectancy, logical consistency, phonetic contiguity and the general purport of the sentence, the sphota theory: all views and notions the knowledge of which constitutes the first step in the analysis of verbal cognition.
Professor Ramanuja Tatacharya is one of the senior authorities in the fields of Nyaya, vyakarana,Purvamimamsa and Uttaramimamsa, since retiring as Vice-Chancellor of the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha of Tirupati, he has been associated with the French Insitute of Pondichery as Honorary Professor.
Professor Ramanuja Tatacharya has published commentaries on the higher texts of Nyaya such as the Nilakanthaprakasika, the Gadadhari on the Pancalaksani, Caturdasalaksani, Paksata, and Avayaya. His commentary on the Muktavalidinakari is awaiting publication. His work entitled Pratyaksatattavacintanami of Gangesa. He has critically edited and commented on the Pratyaksakhanda and the Anumanakhanda of that work. In the field of Vyakarana he made a critical edition of the Jnapakasangraha of Nagesa with his commentary, the vivrti. He has also written an independent work entitled the Jnapakasangrasra of the Vyakarana he made a critical edition of the Jnapakasangraha of Nagesa with his commentary, the Vivrti. He has also written an independent work entitled the Bhagavadgunaratnapetika may best be characterized as a bhasya thereon.
In recognition of professor Ramanuja Tatacharya’s profound scholarship, His Excellency the president of India has conferred upon him the Certificate of Honour for proficiency in Sanskrit, and the Head of the Sri Raghavendra Swami Matha at Mantralya and the Vedantadesika Sampradaya Sabha, have bestowed on him the titles of Takavacaspati and Sastraratnakara respectively. He has also received the Ramakrishna Dalmia Srivani Alankaran of the Ramakrishna Dalmia Srivani Nyas, andVacaspati Puraskar of the Birla Foundation.
In this world, common people as well as critical thinkers utter sentences with the intention of conveying information that their listeners do not yet know but wish to know. In order to get what they want, intelligent people use language also to enquire about objects. Thus language - generally known as sabha - makes human life possible. Hence the following remark by the poet Dandin:
“All the three worlds would be engulfed in blinding darkness, unless this light called sabada had shone all around us”
“It is words that from the bases of meanings, purposes, activities and thruth”.
But intelligent insightful people do not wish to know or communicate to others over and over again things that they already know well. If they did so, their statements would not be worth heeding. They would not be respectable as oridinary or as reflective rational beings. Indded, they would be dismissed as crazy.
Thus everybody admits that it is only fresh information-information of things hitherto unknown (to the listeners)-that figures as sentence-meanings in order to convey which communicators utter words which make up intelligible sentences.
The awareness generated by such sabda-in the form of a sentence-is called “sabdabodha”, cognition of sentence meaning or awareness of the relation (of word-meanings).
We envisage a sustained work in four parts, dealing with different aspects of such knowledge-from- words or sabdabodha.
This “Discussion about sentence and sentence-meaning” (Vakya-vakyarthavicara) is the first part of that projected four volume work entitled Sabdabodhamimamsa. Herein the validity and distinction of sabda or verbal testimony, the definition of sabda, the nature of a sentence and the sentence-meaning, the cause of the cognition of the sentence-meaning, the process primary substantive in verbal cognition, the unity and division of sentence, the auxiliary causes leading to the verbal cognition i.e. expectancy (akanksa), fitness (yogyata), proximity (asatti) and import (tatparya), fitness (yogyata), Proximity (asatti) and import (tatparya)- all these topics are dealt with according to the different schools of Indian thought.
1. Validity of sabda
1.1. Refutation of the alleged invalidity of sabda
The Carvaka school considers perception (pratyaksa) alone as the source of knowledge and does not admit either inference (anumana) or verbal testimony (sabda) to be so. The way to expose the fallacy in this view is as follows. Since some sentences fail to give us knowledge, the Carvaka school holds that all sentences are unfit to serve as the means of knowledge. But this assertion of the Carvaka must be itself based on an inference which could be expressed logically in the form of an argument as follows:
A sentence that is the subject of dispute in not valid; for it is a sentence; like the sentence which is noticed to be invalid.
This inferential argument, however, will not hold good if the validity of anumana and sabda as distinct from Pratyaksa is not admitted. If the above inferential argument which seeks to establish that sabda is invalid, then the validity of sabda stands confirmed. To get over this difficulty if it is held that the inferential argument is valid, then it amounts to admitting that anumana is a valid source of cognition (pramana) disitinct from pratyaksa. Hence the Carvaka view that perception is the only pramana stands discredited.
Further, the use of the sentence “Sabda is not valid” is relevant only with reference to some listener who is either doubtful regarding the validity of sabda as such, or has the erroneous cognition that sabda is valid. Doubt and erroneous cognition present in another person do not come within the range of perception. It is only through anumana or sabda uttered by another person that one could discern the presence of doubt or srroneous cognition in him and then proceed to dispel them by employing an inferential argument to prove the invalidity of sabda. This process involves the admission of the validity of anumana and sabda.
Vedantadesika in his Nyayaparissudhi states that the sabda that is not uttered by a non- trustworthy person is valid, as neither defect at source nor any cancelling cognition of the verbal judgment is not valid, as defect and sublating cognition of the verbal judgement are noticed later on.
The Carvaka might say:
The statement not uttered by a non-trustworthy person is not valid; because it is a statement; like the one that is uttered by a non-trustworthy person.
This contention is wrong because it is contradictory to one’s own assertion. It is thus: the Carvaka when he utters a sabda is fully conscious of the fact that he is not a non-trustworthy person and the sabda he utters is vali. When such is the case, if he states that the sabda not uttered by a non-uttered is the one that is not uttered by a non-trustyworthy person and that he claims is valid. If, on the other hand, he states that the assertion that “sabda that is not non-trustworthy person is not valid” itself is not valid, then it amounts to admitting that the sabda that is not uttered by a non-trustyworthy person is valid and the contradiction with his statement that the sabda that is not uttered by a non-trustworthy person is not valid remains palpable.
The Carcaka might say that his statement that “sabda not uttered by a non-trustyworthy person is not valid” is valid; for, his statement refers only to other statements that are not uttered by non-trustyworthy persons and not to his own statement. The result of his argument is that the Carvaka is convinced of the fact that his statement (sabda) is valid, although it is the one that is not uttered by a non-trustyworthy person.
The Carvaka might say that his statement that “sabda not uttered by a non-trustyworthy person is not valid” is valid; for his statement refers only to other statements that are not uttered by non-trustyworthy persons and not to is own statement. The result of this argument is that the Carvaka is convinced of the fact that his statement (sabda) is valid, although it is the one that is not uttered by a non-trustyworthy person.
This contention too is wrong on the ground that it involves the fallacy of deviation (vyabhcara), that is the presence of the alleged ground of inferernce (hetu) in the substratum of the absence of what is to be proved (sadhya). To clarify: the statement (sabda)of the Carvaka is valid. In it, what is to be proved viz. absence of validity does not exist (because the Carvaka takes that statement to be valid). But in it, the ground of inference, viz., the state of being a sabda exists. The fallacy of vyabhicara is thus clear.
It might be said that in that case every statement might have to be considered as valid. This, however, is not that case. The sabda-s uttered by persons under delusion are infected by a fault, viz., erroneous cognition and they are not valid. And the statements uttered by others are valid.
Under the project entitled An Inquiry into Indian Theories of Verbal Cognition consisting of four volumes, the present one is the second in the series. It deals with the significance of the nominal case terminations. In this volume, Professor Ramanuja Tatacharya offers a profound and well-organized account of the views of the Naiyayikas, Vaiyakaranas and the Mimamsakas in regard to this subject. Clearness of thought, soundness, of reasoning, and freedom from bias underlie the presentation •of the view points of the authors of these schools of thought.
Professor Ramanuja Tatacharya is one of the senior authorities in the fields of Nyaya, Vyakarana, Purvamimasa and Uttaramimamsa. Since retiring as Vice-Chancellor of the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha of Tirupati, he has been associated with the French Institute of Pondicherry as Honorary Professor.
Professor Ramanuja Tatacharya has published commentaries on the higher texts of Nyaya such as theNilakanthapraksika, the Gaaidhari on the Pancalaksani Caturdasalaksani, Paksata, and Avayava. His commentary on the Mukaivalidinakari is awaiting publication. His work entitled Protyoksouittvacntaimanivimorsa is an interpretative exposition of the Pratyaksakhanda of the Tattvacintamani of Gangesa. He has critically edited and commented on the Pratyaksakhalnda and the Anumanakhanda of that work. In the field of Vyakarana he made a critical edition of the Jnapakasangraha of Nagesa with his commentary, the Vivrti. He has also written an independent work entitled the Jnapakasangrahaparisista, with an auto commentary. His commentary on the Gopalasahasranamastotra entitled the Bhagavadgunaratnapetika may best be characterized as a bhasya thereon.
In recognition of Professor Ramanuja Tatacharya's profound scholarship, His Excellency the President of India has conferred upon him the Certificate of Honour for Proficiency in Sanskrit, and the Head of the Sri Raghavendra Svami Matha at Mantralaya and the Vedantadesika Sampradaya Sabha, have bestowed on him the titles of Tarkavacaspati and Sastraratnakara respectively. He has also received the Ramakrishna Dalmia Srivani Alankaran of the Ramakrishna Dalmia Srivani Nyas, and Vacaspati Puraskar of the Birla Foundation.
This volume, third in the series under the project An Inquiry into Indian Theories of Verbal Cognition, is devoted to an analytical and critical study of nominal stems viz . . underived, ending in the krt, taddhita and feminine suffixes, compound words, and indeclinables, according to the schools of Nyaya, Vyakarana, Purvamimamsa, Advaita, Visistadvaita and Dvaita.
Among the topics dealt with in this volume are: the nature of the relationship between a word and its sense, and its subdivisions (abhidha, laksona, gaunivrtti); the significance of a word, whether denoting a universal Vati), or an individual (vyakti), or the specific configuration of an object (akrti) , or the blend of all three; the different forms of primary signification through which a word conveys the conventional sense (rudhi etymological sense (yoga), the sense which is both conventional and etymological (yoga-rudhi) and also the conventional and the etymological senses that are different from each other (yaugika-rudhi)
Since retiring as Vice-Chancellor of the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha of Tirupati, Professor Ramanuja Tatacharya has been associated with the French Institute of Pondicherry as Honorary Professor.
Professor Tatacharya's profound scholarship has earned him many awards, including the Certificate of Honour for Proficiency in Sanskrit conferred upon him by His Excellency the President of India. He was awarded the title of Darsanakalanidhi by the Madras Sanskrit College during its Centenary Celebrations.
Following on from the three preceding volumes which successively dealt with the sentence and its meaning (volume I), nominal desinences and nominal stems (volumes II and 1II), the author, in this fourth volume examines the view-points of Logic (Nyaya), Grammar (Vyakarana), and Exegesis (Purvamimamsa) on roots and verbal desinences. He ends the volume with his own commentary, entitled Tarkasamgrahasabdabodha, on Annambhatta's Tarkasamcraha.
This volume completes the Sabdabodhamimamsa (An Enquiry on Verbal Cognition), the work of Professor Ramanuja Tatacharya, an encyclopaedic work which examines, in 2623 pages, the different views expressed in more than 140 different ancient texts belonging to five sastra-s; to the three mentioned above are added Vedanta and Poetics (Alamkarasastra).
Professor Tatacharya, who is well known internationally, has earned the highest awards for his profound scholarship.
Your email address will not be published *
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend