Bhart hari’s Ontology
by Sudhakar Jatavallabhula

Bhart hari’s Ontology
by Sudhakar Jatavallabhula

Editor’s Preface Introduction I. COMPLEXITY Ontological synthesis Potentiality, Complexity and Processuality Retrospect and Prospect II. OBJECTS Introduction The referent of “this” and “that” Activity: an interlude Language connections Number Naming the substance III. SPECIES Species as quality Retrospect and Prospect The Status of Substance and Species in the Logic of Being Ontological synthesis revisited: an interlude The Reality of Species IV. CAPACITIES Species is the Capacities The Object of Intentionality or Restoring Ontology Retrospect and Prospect A glance at the theoretical aspects of relation Bibliography Index of kārikās ii 1 2 8 12 18 19 19 22 28 29 31 37 41 41 43 44 47 49 58 58 68 74 75 77 80


Editor’s preface The following essay is almost unknown to the public. I sent a copy to very few scholars some years ago. I let my “editor’s note” on page one as it was in 2001. Now that I can benefit of this website at Osaka Gai’ Dai’, I’m glad to present it to the scholarly community, to the “philosophers and students of philosophy”, as Sudhakar said. For he was a true philosopher: this essay is not on Indian philosophy, it is Indian philosophy, by an Indian author. Besides its great style, I hold Sudhakar’s contribution as a major one. Strange, it is enough. Dense and deep too. But it could also be very helpful for microscopic studies on the Vākyapadīya, providing a layout of the whole architecture of the Vākyapadīya, at least on the ontological level, which, according to Sudhakar, comes first. Nonetheless, it ends up quite abruptly. And the annonced heading “difference and non-difference” (p.58) is not there, though the topic is largely dealt with troughout the text. The author also wrote “I shall close this paper with a re-presentation of the concept of relation” (p.74), which suggests that the unwritten part is quite a small one. It was of course out of question for me to fill the gap: although we had lots of talks on the Vākyapadīya (and on other topics as well!), we never worked as a team: the style (and which style!) is his, as well as the genuine approach. He used to laugh at “philology” and “philologists”. As I was during that period (1992-1999), among other activities, preparing a critical edition of the Kāśikāv tti on Pā ini, I have been laughed at more than once. Still, our discussions were not limited to that, hopefully. We used to submit eachother drafts of our studies – I was also at the same time involved in a dissertation on the Jātisamuddeśa. But unfortunately, the whole essay has been known to me only after he left. And I have to confess that I was not aware of an insight of that caliber. We were often on the same tone about what Bhart hari’s philosophy is not. Now, were have a glimpse on what it is: somehow actual, through Sudhakar’s hermeneutics. He refers to postmodernism (fn 85) where I would have rather referred to Hans-Georg Gadamer, but this does not generate any conflict whatsoever. As I wrote in my 2001 editor’s note, the text is as it was. I just made a new presentation, a kārikā index, the summary, corrected some misspellings, added some bibliographical references, and very few comments in footnotes. Special thanks are due to prof. Ashok Aklujkar (UBC, Vancouver), who encouraged me to make it public, and also to prof. Nagasaki Hiroko, Dr. Kobayashi Masato and prof. George Cardona, without whom this site would not have existed. February 13th, 2004 Yves Ramseier

Bhart hari’s Ontology*
by Sudhakar Jatavallabhula Introduction Bhart hari’s Vākyapadīyam consists of at least three intrinsically interwoven systems. These are, ontology, epistemology and philosophy of language. The present paper is an attempt to extract the ontological system from the text. I assume that the author’s ontological commitments determine and govern to a significant extent his world-view in general and hence his epistemological and language-related pronouncements. Having precisely this in mind, I do not hesitate to say that the following is a first step towards an understanding of Bhart hari’s metaphysics.
The numbers in braces preceding the quotations are for the internal division of my text and all the references within this paper are to those numbers. The references following the verses are to Bhart hari’s Vākyapadīyam in Wilhelm R AU’s edition. Read || Jāti 21 || as Jātisamuddeśa, kārikā 21. For the description of Bhart hari’s ontology, I shall base myself on and derive the links only from the kārikā text of the Vākyapadīyam. Although all the ontological issues are entirely derived from and explained on this basis, needless to add that I do take aids from the commentators: V ttikāra, V abhadeva, Pu yarāja, Helārāja and Phullarāja. As for the systems of epistemology and the philosophy of śabda, I shall merely summarize the issues without always giving the textual evidence. These issues are mostly presented as being enveloped within the ontological problematic. In this paper my attempt is not to represent these systems. It is simply an attempt at a philosophical re-construction of ontology on the topical basis. My intended readers are philosophers and students of philosophy. Perhaps I should add that I shall usually quote and discuss only those writers from whom I learnt something. (An updated and exhaustive bibliography of studies of the Vākyapadīyam is available.) I could learn something only from those Sanskritists who ingeniously blended the original Sanskrit texts with their understanding of Western philosophy and the philological method. To make myself clearer, while understanding Bhart hari, I do learn a lot from LARSON (whose writings betray a profound understanding that will be a guide-line for future researches), MOHANTY (more as a phenomenologist, for it is impossible to understand any branch of Indian Philosophy without Husserl * [Editor’s note: The present paper is to be taken with caution; Dr J. Sudhakar did not allow me to put it into circulation, for he died in 2000, and I came to know the present version of the text only recently. But it happens that we were good friends, and that we had had a lot of discussions on Bhart hari for many years in Poona as well as in Lausanne, and many aspects of his dissertation reflect our talks. It appears to me that his treatment of what he calls the “ontological synthesis” is the most accurate one I have come across on what for instance Prof. AKLUJKAR calls “inflated ontology” in his 1970 unpublished (but well known to Bhart arian scholars) dissertation (p.109, § 6.2), or Radhika HERZBERGER “realm of Possible Being (upacārasattā)” (Bhart hari and the Buddhists, Dordrecht: Reidel 1986, p. 13). I believe that the interest of his contribution goes far further this particular point, and I am glad to present it to scholar’s judgement. There is no evidence that this investigation was considered by J. Sudhakar as achieved, there rather would be one that it is not. Except some rearrangements and corrections of obvious mistakes, I let the text as it was. Yves Ramseier (, February 13th, 2001].



and his disciples), HALBFASS (whose scholarship is evidenced by his way of posing the questions), C ARDONA (more as a Pā inian, for Bhart hari was a Pā inian), and MATILAL (who associated himself with analytical philosophy and brought along with him Indian philosophy – a reconstructive destruction). These thinkers have nothing in common, excepting that they are thinkers.

I. COMPLEXITY [1] naikatva na ca nānātva na sattva na ca nāstitā | ātmatattve u bhāvānām asa s e u vidyate || Jāti 21 || There is neither oneness nor manyness, neither existence nor non-existence within the true or real natures of the entities when they are not together.1 The main reason for beginning over the question “What there is”2 with an apparent negative statement, is that once we pose the question “what is there?” and start with an answer in the fashion of “there is this or that” we assume that there is / are thing(s), and thus that either there is one and only one thing, or there is more than one thing and so their existence. But according to Bhart hari, the above question can be raised and dealt with only if the reference is to an entity which is already a part of “sa s i = an assemblage or a complex” of various entities and not to any entity in and by itself. The same logic applies to the hypothetical answers: “there isn’t this or that,” “there are entities,” and “there are no entities” (one may also add: “there are these entities” and “there aren’t these entities”). Thus an analysis of [1] could be as follows: 1) The entities have a real self or rather the truth of their self. More precisely, each entity has a nature of its own. 2) These natures come together and are commingled. 3) The real nature of the entities and any entity as such cannot be either identically or differently ascertained, say, through enumeration. 4) We cannot attribute existence or nonexistence to them3 – as they exist or do not exist. This verse is one among many such verses on the basis of which a re-construction and re-presentation of Bhart hari’s ontology is possible. I consider this particular verse as a most convenient starting-point because it contains almost all important tenets of Bhart hari’s ontology. Needless to

1. For the dichotomous thinking with pairs of opposites that constitutes this verse, see GONDA (1991:120-36). In a characteristic way, he exhausts the most important occurrences from Upani ads and Brāhma as. See also ORGAN 1976. ORGAN’s distinction between non-polar and polar dualisms is illuminating. In a way, the following is precisely what we have in [1]: “... in polar dualism the two fundamental realities are both joined and disjoined. Polar entities are harmonious discords or contrasting concords. They are the extremities of a single whole.” (ORGAN 1976: 34). 2. See MORA (1963-64) for the earliest original Latin definitions of Ontology. 3. Or, nor can any entity be a subject of either positive or negative existential predication – considering that existence is a predicate. We consider that in [1] the topical subject is anyone of the entities listed below. [1] concerns possible answers to questions such as: 1) Are there many substances or is there only one substance? 2) Does substance exist or not? Apparently there is no grammatical substance in Sanskrit language. Here, taking a clue from J.L. Shaw (1976: esp. 160-61) on the topical substance, we can say that to be one or many, and to exist or not to exist, are predicates.



add that there are indeed many other verses in the Vākyapadīyam which are of a similar nature and perhaps serve similar purposes. In the present paper, I shall proceed to explicate Bhart hari’s conception of Being, Entities and their interrelationship, etc., ignoring as much as possible the often intervening discourse of epistemology and that of śabda. I take [1] for a guide-line, in that the elements of the above verse are expected to enable us to pose textually relevant questions in search of whose answers we encounter the entire problematic of Bhart hari’s ontology. At present, I shall take up the first two points of the analysis of [1]. Namely, the reality of the entities and their togetherness, and then dedicate a sequel for the other two points together: the problems of difference and non-difference and existence and non-existence. Let us first of all see what are the entities and what constitutes their real nature. There is no explicit enumeration of the “padārthas = Categories” in the Vākyapadīyam. To begin with, we shall say along with Bhart hari that they are nothing but substance etc. They are “dravyam = substance” and “sa bandha = relation” and the chapter-headings beginning from “bhūyo dravyasamuddheśa = once again [a chapter] concerning substance”4 of the third kā a of the Vākypadīyam. These are padārthas in the sense of ontological categories and as such they are to be distinguished from the padārthas in the sense of the basic objectivities that figure in the list of topics of the Vākyapadīyam.5 The padārthas in the latter sense include the categories. Thus the text Vākypadīyam is not only a “padārthaśāstram = ontology” in that sense. These entities are padārthas in another literal and important sense which does not immediately concern us here, that is, “pada + artha = word-meaning”.

4. To tackle the question of the ‘list’ of categories I chose this way to ‘identify’ them as what Bhart hari understands by padārthas. It is not necessarily the case that “Bhūyodravyasamuddeśa = once again a chapter concerning substance”, which is a chapter-heading, or v tti , another chapter-heading are also padārthas on the same level as substance, quality, etc. The former, as the title itself indicates, is an avatar of substance and the latter is a grammatical concept standing for complex formations. But in order not to have to resort to other systems of philosophy, and since there does not exist a list of ontological categories in the text, which deals exhaustively with the topics I listed under padārthas, to identify the referent of the expression ‘substance, etc.’ of Bhart hari, I tentatively identify them with the chapter-headings. However, what matters is not so much what are the padārthas (we can know nothing by merely listing them), nor how one identifies them (in this exercise one necessarily gets lost in pseudo-scienticism, by creating meaningless phrases like “Bhart hari knows”, “Bhart hari is aware of”, “Bhart hari is familiar with”, “Bhart hari borrowed from”, and so on. What the padārthas signify, how they are defined, and how they are related to each other is my subject matter. Yet, the most important criterion here is evidenced by the very treatment they receive in the Vākyapadīyam, which I shall try to re-present here and in the sequel. 5. The topics of Vākyapadīyam are listed by Bhart hari himself in the Brahmakā a. A representation of the Vākyapadīyam in the lines of these topics could be highly fruitful. An outline of such an approach can be found in Peri Sarveswara S HARMA (1987).



Let us note that within the framework of the Vākyapadīyam, these concepts have a system-specific signification.6 While dealing with the various concepts employed in the Vākyapadīyam and attempting to clarify their mutual relationship, I shall keep the relevant literature on the Vākyapadīyam constantly in view. I shall, however, refrain from accounting for the origins and various avatars of concepts and their economical aspect – such as lending and borrowing of concepts and phrases, or exchange of concepts and phrases. This information is perhaps valuable for different purposes, but more initiated scholars have been supplying us with it. My task is different and very limited. It consists in explicating and elucidating the problematic of Bhart hari’s metaphysics. I shall try to clarify the nature of the grid of concepts so as to understand of what kind of problems they are the possible explanations and how various concepts are mutually related within the text of Vākyapadīyam. Let us now turn to [2] and see what constitutes the truth or reality of an entity and what are the entities: [2] satyāsatyau tu yau bhāvau pratibhāva vyavasthitau | satya yat tatra sā jātir asatyā vyaktaya sm tā || Jāti 32 || Between the two parts or / and7 two entities that are situated in each entity, (i.e.) real / truth and unreal / untruth, the species is the real / truth and the individuals are known as unreal / untruth. “Jāti = species” is the real part and the real existent in any given entity.. Here we have two equally tenable readings of the fourth word of the “kārikā = verse, aphorism.” It reads as bhāvau and also as bhāgau.. Bhāva refers to an entity, thing, being, becoming, etc. Bhāgau refers to parts or components. In the former lines of thinking, there is a division within the entities and the bifurcation is between two entities, one real and the other unreal. In the latter lines of thinking, when we consider that each entity involved in Complexity has, or is constituted of, two parts, then one is a species part and the other is an individual part. Before we see what is this species, one most important
6. System-specificity means that a set of concepts in identical terms is used and therefore shared by a number of disciplines at one and the same historical period or at different periods of history. The appearance of sameness is but at the formal level. After unquestioningly granting to various systems the invention of a certain number of concepts (i.e., that they imbibed certain words with certain special significations which constitute these respective systems and that they are so established by the thinkers to be as such significant in their respective systems), it is prerogative to recognize that a thinker’s thoughts are not only, and in a sense not at all, what resembles those thoughts. Especially when the thinker in question is somebody like Bhart hari, Nāgārjuna or Śa kara, the thinker’s conceptual framework itself is a system. See for example GOKHALE (1982) for the system-specific signification of the term padārtha, as well as the expression substance, etc., with reference to Vaiśe ika contra Nyāya. See also LARSON (1980) who makes certain important observations on the nature of Indian philosophical systems. 7. By the device of “or / and” I mean that a given word or phrase should be read in both meanings. The technique of conveying more than one sense with a single expression is called tantram by Bhart hari. From the point of view of the recipient, the same expression is read or heard twice or more to get at more than one meaning. This process is called repetition = āv tti .



distinction to be made is between the fundamental categories of Bhart hari’s ontology which I chose to call entities and the objects of the world, both being referred to by the word bhāva. The former include (let us note that the following list is not exhaustive): — “dravyam = substance” is the primordial material basis of the world and the stuff all things are made out of, let that be “a ava = atoms” or / and “mahābhūtāni = the great elements: earth, water, fire air and space”, and / or “prak ti or pradhānam = the primordial materiality or the Primary one”. — “gu a = quality” (properties and attributes) that causes formal and qualitative difference within the substance so that various objects of different forms are constituted. — “sa khyā = number” is the fundamental differenciator that individuates the entities and the objects thus creating singularity and plurality of the entities and objects. (In fact, differentiating is a common characteristic of all these entities and what they differentiate, divide, split, is nothing but each other. This is an important implication of the statement that there is neither oneness nor manyness in itself for any entity. Because all the entities are divided from without by the possession of other forces.)8 — “dik = direction” is the substratum, the locus of objects and activities and the foundation for part-whole relation.89 — “sādhanam = (lit. the means) capacities of the objects”, by virtue of which they participate in the activities. — “kriyā = activity” of any kind (including continuous flux, and the ultimately discernible9 elements of activities, and events, i.e., not directly agent-based activities and also complex activities), and hence a realization of the capacities of the objects. — “kāla = time” is the the primary instigator and mover of objects in realizing their capacities.10
8. In fact, the real locus of the objects is “space = ākāśa”, and direction determines the boundaries of all that is located in space. 9. Technically, the definition of kriyā implies that it has a sequence and parts. But since the last part of an activity is an “atomic, partless moment”, it cannot be a kriyā. See also C ARDONA (1991: 454) for the non-applicability of the word “action” to the “last indivisible moment”. This is also a part of the problem of the limitations of language, which I will consider below. In other words, the ultimately describable elements, such as, rising upwards, stretching forward, are covered by the terms kriyā and karman. Those which are still subtler movements are not covered because there are no words from them. 10. Here I have left unlisted “ākāśa = space”, which does not figure as a chapter head in the Vākyapadīyam part III, but is directly relevant to ontology. Neither did I list “li ga = the mark indicative of continuous flux”, “puru a = person or self”, “upagraha = aspect”, and “v tti = complex words”; though they are chapter-heads, they are not directly relevant to ontology as entities. However, these chapters contain enormous information about the entities, which I will use wherever necessary. Expressions such as “fundamental” and “primordial” are meant to stress the difference between metaphysical issues and empirical phenomena. For certain technical reasons, I list activity under entities, and activities under things.



— “sa bandha = relation” is the mutual, inseparable relationship among all the entities listed above. These are highly simplified working definitions. They are inadequate for they do not cover all the nuances of the things defined. Still, they are true to Bhart hari’s exposition of these entities and, most importantly, they are not too vague to start with. They clearly demonstrate a fact that concerns us in this paper: the entities have to be understood only with reference to each other. The other meaning of bhāva is the things of the world referring to cow(s) and Brahmin(s) and tree(s) and jar(s) and reciting text(s), utterance (of sentence(s)) and cooking, walking, and their innumerable parts. In short, on the one hand objects and on the other, the accomplished and in the process of being accomplished activities, for example, the cooked food and the act of cooking are equally the referents of the word bhāva . In Vākypadīyam, there are two chapters with the heading of “substance,” one explaining the above mentioned primordial material basis of the world and the other its manifestation as objects which are referred to as “this” and “that” in a prepredicative state. Therefore, in the second stage, substance is objectifiable and yet not directly in touch with quality, but is about to be so; in the final stage it becomes the content of cognition, and also substantives and adjectives in sentences. For this last stage of substance I shall reserve the word object: a cow, a Brahmin, Devadatta, a pot, the colour white, etc. This is the stage at which the substance and the activities in the divided form, or rather their divided forms are called “vyaktaya = revelation, individuals”. In general, following Bhart hari’s method, I shall take “dravyam = substance” in both the above mentioned senses of the first two stages while reserving the expression substances for the objects and occasionally use the word ‘things’ for objects and activities together. In order for the species to be the real part of the entities, it must reside in them and in order for it to be an entity in itself it must have a determinable ontological status. Now that we know what are the entities and what are the individuals, let us see what is species. [3] sa bandhibhedāt sattaiva bhidyamānā gavādi u | jātir ity ucyate ...11 || Jāti 33 || Being itself is called species, being divided among cows etc. due to the differences in the relata... Here we have the fundamental ontological trio of “Sattā = Being”, species and objects. Being is the truth or reality of entities for Being itself is named species in its dispersion. First of all, species too is to be understood as a quality in the above defined sense of “gu a = quality”, a divider or a splitter of the substance, by virtue of which there are
11. Half-quotes are considered only if either part of the verse is totally meaningful in itself or if the unmentioned part is more problematic at a given context than representing the issue under consideration.



cows and pots, but neither a single cow nor one and only one pot. Though it shares this characteristic with the quality, species is not an existentially dependent entity, i.e., it is not an entity which cannot exist subsisting by itself, but exists as a part of the already existing entity without which it cannot exist, which “gu a = secondary” by definition is.12 Nor is the concept of species restricted to the objects. Whereas the species’ ontological priority implies that it is not only the essence of the entities and objects by being their real part, but also that it is their cause, and hence an independent entityhood. That is why, to be of anything is the referent of the expressions “tva and tal = ...ness or ...ity” that stand for Being and species. Since species resides in them as the true part, the objects are partially real. That is, cows, Brahmins, etc. are not illusions and unreal. A problem in Bhart hari’s ontology, and in his metaphysics in general, is the distinction between the real and unreal in connection with ontological categories, and truth and untruth13 in connection with what we state about them. This distinction is basically adopted on the basis of the transience of the forms of substance.14 Although it is made explicit in so many words, the non-difference between them (the inseparability of real from unreal and vice-versa), is also stated in so many words.15 Thus we may say that the distinction between “nityatva and anityatva = permanence and impermanence” is in a way the only criterion for, and closely connected with, “satya and asatya = real and unreal and truth and untruth”. In this dialectic, let us call it material dialectic, substance, while being the primordial material basis of the world, is the permanent material cause of the world of objects. The objects are impermanent effects of substance and impermanent causes of impermanent effects. Here there is no doubt that the latter are the revealed and therefore unreal, as [3] made it clear. Therefore, what I said above about them, namely that they are neither illusions nor unreal, is incorrect. But since species resides precisely in cows and Brahmins, and pots and trees, therefore cow-ness and

12. “But it is also doubtful whether the possibility or impossibility of representing A without B and the possibility and impossibility of A’s existing without B always go hand-in-hand, that is to say, it is uncertain whether the classes of contents of representations derived from the divisions based on these two criteria are identical. For there is firstly no necessary connection between the psychological possibility or impossibility of representing something separately and the ontological possibility or impossibility of something existing separately. Further, there are cases such that A cannot exist without B but where they can be separately represented in imagination...” GINSBERG (1982: 268). 13. Truth in this sense is predicable to utterances (satya vada) and also to things, that is, to matters of fact or states of affairs. When truth is predicated to cognitions ( jñāna), it refers to pramā, a true cognition. Still, I render satyam also as “true” and “truth” in the former sense of the word “true”. For here it is predicated to bhāva (an object). See MOHANTY (1980: 439 et passim) for truth in the latter logico-epistemological sense. I must admit that I have no clue as to why MOHANTY did not consider satyam. 14. What B ROOKS (1969: 394) mentions as his criteria of application of Reality in Indian Thought perfectly concords with those of the Vākyapadīyam. The criteria in question are permanent and stable. 15. na tattvātattvayor bheda iti v ddhebhya āgama | atattvam iti manyante tattvam evāvicāritam || Dravya 7 ||



Brahminhood, etc., are the real elements in them. It is just the same reality as that of earthness, waterness, etc. (= the essence of substance), and also that of species, of space and time. That is, they too are made real by the fact that species resides in them.16 It is also the same reality as that of the individual substances in the form of species called “distinguishingness = vyāv ttidharmasāmānyam” of “particularities = viśe a”. These are the distinguishing elements of a given object that exclude the properties of other objects. While residing in these, species particularizes an object as “that object”, on the basis of those elements, although on the basis of resemblance and causal efficacy it subsumes the same under a class. These particularities can again be equated with the essences of substance, i.e., substance as the substances.17 Basically, therefore, species is a permanent but non-material entity, and it is neither identical with substance, nor is it produced by it. While it is thus distinguished from substance, any enquiry into species avoids many of the intricacies that crop up with that of substance, etc. It does not have two aspects called the real part and the unreal part. Most importantly, it is not a potentiality of substance, whereas all the other entities are somehow or other said to be potentialities of the substances. For, as we know through [3], species is Being itself. Its inclusion as an entity within the ontological synthesis can be granted only after these initial considerations. The ontological synthesis is spelt out in [4] and [5]. Ontological synthesis [4] tasmād dravyādaya sarvā śaktayo bhinnalak a ā | sa s ā puru ārthasya sādhakā na tu kevalā || Jāti 23 || Therefore, substance, etc., are all potentialities having different characteristics (or / and: all potentialities, starting with substance, have different characteristics). Together, they accomplish the ultimate purposes of men, but not singly. The entities that are mentioned under [2] are the potentialities to meet the ends of men, that is, in virtue and vice, in the affairs of the world, in the desires of the flesh and in their quest for the absolute release. They are the potentialities of Being. This approach to the ontological categories, which consists in considering it impossible to assign existence and non-existence to the entities, and insists on a transcendence of the identitydifference paradigm for them, is to clarify the complex, unified and the “purposive” nature of the entities and to account for the human goals. (Over and above this, as we

16. Why should this reasoning arise at all if substance is permanent just like species? Since the manifestation of water or earth, as we see them, is not what is meant by the elements, and since everything that we perceive is a mixture of all five elements, the elements are not directly the entities of categorization of what there is, but are included in the concept of substance: what the world of objects is constituted of. 17. It is not a self-contradiction. Nor, for that matter, the destruction of a fundamental distinction between the particular and the universal. For what is clearly meant here is simply that all the particularities share a property: distinguishingness. This common property is not actually identical to “jāti = the universal or the species”. But it works like a universal. See below for commonness and species relation.



shall see, there is the logical reason of ānarthakya, parsimony). There are two domains of causality here that need not be confused. The entities are the means towards human ends and the human ends themselves motivate the humans to act. The first causality is a teleology without any particular beginning or end, and without necessarily implying any conscious aim on the part of the entities. For the entities called substance, quality, time, direction, etc., do not together decide to act and then set forth towards an action, and their priority is a logical priority rather than an ontological priority. Nor is it the case that the thing in relation to which they act is different from them; we too are substances, and entities such as time are an integral part of our being. But the teleology here is meant to indicate the inadequacy, if not the impossibility, of the analytical enquiry into the nature of entities without this primordial ontological synthesis. This system-specific foundationism must be constantly kept in mind, especially before confronting the realist as well as anti-realist tendencies of the Vākyapadīyam. And the second causality is the culturally specified explanatory principle wherein human beings act in a manner that results in the accumulation of virtue and vice, wealth and fame, satisfaction of their bodily and psychological drives and both æsthetic and spiritual needs. Here sometimes one, but often more than one, motive can instigate an individual action. Before we go further, a few comments on the concept of the ends of men: the Bhart harian metaphysics is not aimed at merely classifying the entities, unifying them within Being and discussing them. But this teleological aspect is an integral part of the Vākyapadīyam. And let us be reminded that the concept of puru ārthas,18 the principle of cultural explanation, is designed to exhaust any and all activities of human beings. Therefore, the coming together of the entities to act towards the human goals is called the entities’ “upakāra = rendering service, help.” Thus this help is the very nature of the entity called relation. Among the four puru ārhas, Bhart hari is immensely concerned with ethics. On the other hand, he is concerned with the issues of the philosophy of grammar which I understand as artha. That is, here we are dealing with a discipline that explains how the cognitions arise due to language and how language instigates actions in various spheres of cultural life, and also that which makes clear what are the necessarily presupposed realities of human interaction, not simply in terms of the beliefs of the people, but also in terms of the visions of the seers. Indeed, Bhart hari repeatedly states that various metaphysical postulates are for the sake of “vyavahāra = day-to-day intercourse.” The consequence of this is not only that the metaphysical discourse betrays a direct bearing on the cultural ethos, but also that an overwhelmingly totalizing theoretical stance is made immediately accessible in the rhetoric of everyday living and the usage of classical Sanskrit. Finally, certain claims towards mok a are not less pertinent. (The question of ethics in the Vākyapadīyam is closely connected with the philosophy of śabda.)
18. See KOLLER’S short but illuminating discussion (1968) for puru ārthas in general and the special status of mok a and dharma.



[5] sarvaśaktyātmabhūtatvam ekasyaiveti nir aye | bhāvānām ātmabhedasya kalpanā syād anarthikā || Jāti 22 || With the ascertainment that the real nature of all the potentialities belongs to one, that is, to Being only, let the postulation of difference among the essence and / or soul of the entities be purposeless. There are, therefore, two explanations of ontological synthesis, represented in [4] and [5] respectively: one is a reason for the adaptation of a thesis of “Complexity = the necessary togetherness of all the entities,” that only in this manner the entities are accessible for the purposes of men; and the other that expresses itself as an epistemic modality of “certainty = nir aya ” yielding logical concision. Here it is relevant to mention – although further elaborations are beyond the present paper – that certainty is unlike the other mental acts, because it is the true nature of the intellect itself. It is also relevant to remind ourselves that the certainty here is not the conclusion of a syllogistic or any other form of argumentation (this misunderstanding might be strengthed by the word “therefore”): no argumentation is needed to prove one’s own self.19 These two verses [4 & 5] seem to reduce the status of entities to the potentialities of one single Being. This thesis is more of a unification than a simplification or reduction, for reasons that will become clearer in the course of our enquiry. One remarkable theoretical advantage of the so-called ontological synthesis is that it saves us from getting lost in some issues of antinomies that characterize any metaphysical discourse. And a remarkable theoretical implication of the same is that since there exists one single principle common to all the entities and objects, it renders all relations including causality internal. It is necessary to note that Being is not discussed in itself as an entity, and this decisive principle called sattā in the sense of Being or Brahman does not often figure in the text of the Vākyapadīyam. Yet Being, as well as the consequences of the ontological synthesis, are invoked at almost all crucial junctures of ontological discussions. Being’s dispersed form, species, is constantly functional and a central issue in Bhart hari’s metaphysics for it is situated in each entity as its truth and reality. In effect, in spite of the advantages, the ontological synthesis is not a simplification for it does state that “everything is Being” (a statement whose purport might even render it as good as stating nothing), but does not stop at that. However, what is unreal is individuals, and since individuals are the individual instances of the revelation of species, Bhart hari repeatedly reminds his readers that there is no difference or non-difference

19. Therefore, nir aya here should not be understood as a kind of transcendental argument either. (See R OSEN (1980: 216-260) for a critical treatment of the question of certitude through the ages and its status in the history of philosophy). For the net result here is not a subjective certitude: it rather concerns the soul-of-all but not Bhart hari’s alone. See also Śa kara for the same logic of the impossibility of logic in this case. His criticism against “bulls without horns and tail” on this very issue finds its counterpart in Bhart hari’s discussion of ātman. The latter’s discussions too involve a couple of bulls, but neither one is a logician!



between real and unreal. In this connection, his cautionary slogan is not to misconceive the real as unreal, the reverse of certain Vedāntins. In other words, the fact that the entities have different characteristics, as it is mentioned in [4], does not amount to their having different identities, but it does amount to their having different roles and different “definitions = lak a a.” The “characteristics = lak a a” of one entity differ from those of the others in such a way that the entities’ entityhood as participants in the overall teleology, as well as each entity’s uniqueness, is kept intact. Since the real nature of the entities is not only their togetherness but also their uniqueness, i.e., the fact that one entity differs from the other entities by virtue of its singular characteristics in this restricted sense, Bhart hari uses the plural expression while talking of the nature of the entities in [1]: “ātmatattve u = within their real natures.” And the same logic has made possible a few inadequate definitions of the entities under [2]. Since in their togetherness the entities divide each other, there is no difference or non-difference in them. To be precise, the question of difference and nondifference arises concerning the relation between Being / Brahman and the entities, between one entity and the other and in relation to each entity and its divisions. Nevertheless, for theoretical purposes, each one of the entities is one, to begin with. It appears that we already have the answer to our first query. Namely, what is “the real nature of the entities = bhāvānām ātmatattvam.” Thus we have expressions such as: “dravyātmā = soul of the substance,” “kālātmā = the time-soul,” “śabdatattvam = reality of śabda,” “ātmatattvam = reality of the self,” with a specification of the Beingnature of the entities; and we also have expressions such as “śuddham = pure,” “kevalam = unique”, referring precisely to this nature of theirs. Apart from the other connotations, as a consequence of the ontological synthesis that all entities are but the powers or potentialities of Being, the last two terms refer to the partlessness of the entities, i.e., pure and unique designate the self-sameness and indivisibility of all the entities and objects taken separately. In effect, the same meaning holds for the former set of concepts. Within the so-called material dialectic, however, the real is always the substance and the unreal forms of the substance where the criterion is permanence and impermanence. And hence, with reference to the things of the world, the objects are real as the species, and as the substance in the sense of that which they are made out of. But as quality, in the specific sense that we shall shortly see, they are unreal. Other pertinent aspects of this problem are closely related with Epistemology. I shall shortly elaborate upon one main aspect in order to clarify the concept of pure entities with special reference to the concept of substance. What now becomes imperative is to understand the idea of the second point of the analysis of [1], or the import of the ontological synthesis: the togetherness of the entities, in the sense of the internal relationships of entities. Since their togetherness is the essential requirement for the worldly behavior of men, it is essential to discern their mutual relationship which is the ground for their difference and non-difference, and existence and non-existence. The key for this issue is the



concept of potentiality itself. Presently we shall note why and how this concept is a leading one. Potentiality, Complexity and Processuality The entities mentioned under [2] are nothing but “śaktaya = potentialities.” Bhart hari in [4] and [5] includes all the entities under the concept of potentialities. Substance, quality and all others are potentialities with regard to Being. With regard to substances too there are said to be potentialities, viz., direction, capacities, activity and time. The latter are dependent on the objects, and hence they are potentialities, and substances are the primary ones. Within the potentialities there are again śaktis, for instance time has past, present and future as śaktis. Bhart hari does use the word “śakti = in general, where there is a plurality of manifestation and functioning, but there is only one entity that manifests them or accomplishes them.” When such an aspect is meant, I shall translate śakti as capacity (retaining the same translation for sādhanam, which is the model of all instrumentality), for the sake of convenience. The potentialities of substances are not only potentialities but also entities in themselves, for any further hierarchies are redundant after the ontological synthesis (“relation” is a special exception to this rule). When they are understood as potentialities, they are subordinate to the objects. This means that the capacities of the objects are existentially dependent on the objects; direction and time are representationally dependent on the objects; and the activities are existentially dependent on the objects, whereas the objects are existentially dependent on time, and so on. Let me paraphrase these relations somewhat more precisely, in order to make clearer the mutual relationships among these entities in terms of dependence and independence. Substance is the primordial material basis of the world, it is permanent and unchangeable, and although it does not have any form, it can be possessed by all the forms. All the forms that possess the substance are of the nature of quality. These are impermanent and therefore perishable material manifestations, all things animate and inanimate that have ever existed, exist or will come to exist. Out of these, “existing” is the essential and inescapable activity that any object that can be conceived of and spoken about is participating in. Participation in any kind of activity is possible by virtue of each object’s powers, natures (in at least one sense of that word), dispositions, susceptibilities, tendencies, etc. These are the capacities of the objects in generating activities. Out of these, the concept of the “six transformations” is of special importance for the ontology of things. But in order for the objects to realize their capacities, they need the permission of time. That is, the time, so to say, must be ripe for something to come into being, to exist, to perish, and for something to produce, to be produced, or for something to possess some other object, etc. The objects are situated somewhere or other and sometime or other; either in the past or in the future or in the present. Thus the situatedness is relative to direction and time, whereas the latter two are “all pervading = vibhu ”. And in turn, direction and time are relative to the situatedness of the objects: East is where the sun rises and West is where the sun sets, behind is



behind myself or behind that big building. Time is either 5101 years after Yudhi hira went to heaven or 1999 years after the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. And the other units of time are based on the movements of the celestial objects. In turn, all activities are measured on the well-known basis of time-spans. While being in existence, each object occupies only a certain amount of space, whereas space itself is all-pervasive. Thus the extension of material objects is delimited by space and space is represented as though it is delimited by the extended bodies. Here I have left the concepts of species, number and others unmentioned because this simplified fragment of the whole story of Complexity is directly relevant to the following verse. [6] dik sādhana kriyā kāla iti vastvabhidhāyina | śaktirūpe padārthānām atyantam anavasthitā || Dik 1 || Direction, means, activity and time are expressive of the substances. They are not at all stably situated in the form of the objects’ Potentiality. And / Or (The words) direction, means, activity and time are expressive of substances. They (i.e., these substances) are extremely unstable when situated in the objects in the form of their (i.e., as the objects’) potentialities. Here we have the second major grouping of the entities, again in terms of potentiality. The Potentiality-approach realized here belongs to the ontology of objects. Among the four potentialities mentioned in [6], the capacities of substances represent only one of the potentialities belonging to the objects. This point needs to be mentioned, not due to the formal similarity between potentiality and capacity (which are at times interchangeable in English as well as in the Sanskrit original), but to draw our attention to the fact that the concept of potentiality is an extended capacity-concept, and Bhart hari often uses the word śakti , as I mentioned earlier, while referring to the capacities of the objects20 and various functions of the entities. The capacities represent substances such as: agent, destination, the object under production, object of perception or of recollection, instrument, source, point of origin, goal, proprietor, locus, etc. These are the ontological counterparts of the semantics of the Sanskrit cases.21 These cases are normally translated, within the sentences, as follows: — Nominative: Rāma goes. — Accusative: He sees a horse. He goes to the village. He remembers his mother. — Instrumental: He was killed by the enemy. He strikes with the mace. He goes along with his son. — Dative: He gives money to the servant. He leaves for the sake of money. — Ablative: He comes from the village. He was killed due to weakness.
20. See C HATTERJEE (1987) for a defence of the realist view of śakti (in our context, capacities) and also for other philosophical positions in connection with the ontological status of śakti. See LARSON (1974) for a comprehensive bibliography on śakti. 21. For a concise division of kāraka rules, the things that are kārakas, particular actions, verbs or classes of verbs that are associated with the kārakas, and a kāraka categorization, see C ARDONA (1974: 232). It is essential to recognize that kārakas are syntactico-semantic categories of Pā inian grammar. (See C ARDONA 1974: 279-80).



— Genitive: The boy’s mother. This book belongs to Devadatta. — Locative: He is standing on the mountain, in the village. — Vocative: Hey, Rāma, come here. However, “sādhakā = those which accomplish, the means, the entities”, that are so designated in unison in [4], have the same logical status in relation to Being as the “capacities of objects = sādhanam” by virtue of which the objects participate in specific activities, have in relation to substances. The resemblance stops here. One must remember that Being is not merely an “entity or object = bhāva ”, whereas substances are,22 and that the mode in which the entities are together is not the way in which the capacities are situated in the objects, nor are they functional in the same way. The potentialities of Being are a unified set of all entities, whereas the capacities are temporally determined, and the capacities of the objects are limited with reference to a given object. For instance, fire does not (have the capacity to) soak. (Though a conception that transgresses this fact is called “ala kāra = a beautifier, a figure of speech”, or, for instance “utprek ā = poetic fancy”, we know that the discoveries of various sciences are mostly grounded in the findings of what things can do, how they react under certain given conditions, apart from what things exist.) And as for the ontological status of the capacities, they are mostly, but not solely, dealt with by Bhart hari as being dependent upon the knower-speaker. Whereas the teleology of potentiality is independent of intentionality and encompasses all the entities. The unstability of the above-mentioned entities is not to be understood as impermanence (which is only the nature of the quality). Nor, more importantly, should it be understood as the nature of theirs. The ontology of unstability, in this context, is of four entities: 1) direction, 2) capacities, 3) activity and 4) time. They are unstable with reference to a given object: 1) Near or far, ahead or behind, is only with respect to the objects: near to.., far from.., ahead of.., behind.., etc. In this way, direction in relational terms, as it were, becomes even a quality of the object. 2) It is one and the same Harry who is jumping, from whom a letter came or to whom a letter is sent, or to whom these shoes belong, in his various capacities as agent, source, destination, possessor. 3) As individuals we do not always do one and the same thing, though we sometimes jump, send letters, receive letters and possess shoes. 4) Though it is the same paper you are reading at this hour it has not been written at this your reading hour. I become a past and lost author and you are the present reader-author, but the object is more or less “the same.” That is how, simply put, the potentialities called
22. bhāva and abhāva in all the senses of these words are Brahman / Being together. When bhāva is translated as Entity, it becomes an object of enquiry precisely in the lines we are following here. When the same word is translated as a thing, an object or an activity, it is that which undergoes the six transformations. When bhāva is contrasted with a-bhāva , the existence and non-existence of a particular object and sometimes of the whole world is an issue. When the same contrast is carried on in epistemology, since the cognitions arise only while being mediated by the language, the issues are many. Finally, when bhāva is simply a bhāvapratyaya, i.e., that which is translated as ‘ness’ or ‘ity,’ it stands for the species.



direction, capacities, activity and time are unstably situated in the objects or substances. As for them: [7] na śaktīnā tathā bhedo yathā śaktimatā sthiti | na ca laukikam ekatva tāsām ātmasu vidyate || Dik 27 || The differences among the potentialities (within themselves) are unlike what is in the case of (or / and unlike the stability of) the objects that have potentialities. There is no worldly oneness in their selves. Only a philosopher or a physicist is interested in potentialities for and in themselves. In our commonsensical understanding and day-to-day interactions, we have to deal with times, like what time it is, or at the time of..., but certainly not with the question of what time is. Thus the differences within the potentialities of substances are quite unlike the differences among the objects. (For the oneness as much as plurality of the objects is an empirical reality in that each of them has a determinable existence called oneness in the sense of unity. We shall examine this point upto a certain detail below.) To repeat an important point, the subordination of the entities called direction, capacities, activity and time to the objects is purely for the representational purposes but not in reality. They are entities in their own right and the effects of their characteristics are displayed in relation to the objects. That is, the deduction of their various characteristics is possible on the basis of their functionality, which is evidenced with respect to various substances but nowhere else. Let me note in passing that the method most commonly employed by Bhart hari in the deduction of the essential characteristics of the entities is the inference of cause out of the effect. As per our commonsensical understanding, the activity is not separable from the actor and there is nothing like activity which is not this or that particular activity. This is but one instance of the contrast that repeatedly appears as the one between vyavahāra and tattva. What is a matter of every day social relations with special reference and appeal to the Sanskrit language and what is the case in reality, philosophically speaking, is a necessary distinction not only in the Vākyapadīyam but in Indian philosophy in general. Therefore, the potentialities of substances are unstably situated in the latter. This status of the potentialities primarily implies the internal relation among the entities and also the representational dependence of the four potentialities on the objects, i.e., that they can be cognized only as being situated in the substances. As a consequence of this fact, right from the moment of the division and formation of the substance into objects, and all through the stages of the objects’ constitution and in the accomplishment of the potentialities in their task of becoming accessible to cognitions and functional in the ends of men, the substance-approach in the Bhart hari’s metaphysics, although never abandoned, is dominated by the process-approach or Processuality. The philosophy of Potentiality is therefore one of the three central approaches in Bhart hari’s ontology. It is also a most distinguishing approach. The other approach is Complexity, which we have been trying to understand right from [1], and the third approach is Processuality. However, these three are neither contradictory to each other



nor are they totally unrelated. The notion of complexity implies a necessary togetherness and mutual, inseparable interrelationship among the substance, etc.: in effect, the system of ontology23 . The Potentiality-approach of the ontological-synthesis [4 & 5] helps to reduce the complexity of the Complexity approach by subordinating the entities to Being, from which point of view the entities must lose further hierarchies and refer back to their necessary togetherness = Complexity. In this sense, Complexity itself is Being. Because all the entities are situated in it as its potentialities, although to be related to each other belongs to all the entities as their common characteristic. Both these aspects are paraphrased here: [8] yathaiva cendriyādīnām ātmabhūtā samagratā | tathā sa bandhisa bandhasa sarge ’pi pratīyate || Jāti 24 || Just as the nature of being a cluster of causes is nothing but its own self in the case of sense organs, etc., in the same way, the togetherness of those entities that are related to Being as its potentialities appears to be their own self or / and Being’s own self.24 For perception to take place, an aggregate of causes is required, starting with the sense organs and ending with consciousness, involving an internal chain of causality. In the case of perception, as well as in the case of the coming together of the potentialities, the relationships that a number of items come to have are their own potentiality or capacity, as per the above convention. In the case of potentialities, we know that they are together the means, a cluster of causes, to meet the ends of men. Let us look at that nature of relation as their capacity. [9] upakārāt sa yatrāsti dharmas tatrānugamyate | śaktīnām api sā śaktir gu ānām apy asau gu a || Sa bandha 5 || Where there is relation to serve (the potentialities), there its characteristics are understood. It is the capacity of the potentialities and secondary to the qualities. This description encompasses two most important domains in which relation’s effects are visible; namely, the entities’ togetherness and the substance’s relation with quality. Relation, in other words, is dependent on those that are either already situated in a substratum, i.e., all the entities in Being/Brahman, and the four entities that are unstably situated in the substances. Relation is also secondarily understood when the primary one gets influenced by quality. Here, as we shall shortly see, quality is secondary (= paratantra, a definition of quality) and substance is the primary one. Accordingly,
23. This thesis rules out the hypothesis that any avatars of idealism, such as psychologism, mentalism, phenomenalism, imagisms of various kinds, some forms of phenomenology, etc., are primary in Bhart hari’s metaphysics. Among the three poles of Bhart hari’s philosophy, i.e., ontology, epistemology and śabda, none is more important than the others. 24. In this second interpretation of the words sa bandha and sa bandhi, I quote Iyer’s translation of the same verse which highlights the point that relation is a power of Brahman: “Just as the collocation of the senses etc. is not an entity over and above the things composing it, in the same way, the connection between the different powers of the Supreme is not a separate entity.” (IYER 1971: 21).



the relation is an entity that is described as “extremely dependent25 = atyantaparatantra.” We shall have a closer look at the effects of relation, or rather the effects of its characteristics called conjunction and inherence in the present paper. Thus in both their modes of being as members of the Complexity, and as the unique individual potentialities of Being, the entities are identical to Being. Being is Brahman and Brahman is Being and this remains a meta-philosophical principle as such, simply because Bhart hari’s text is not a Vedānta-manual. A consolidated working definition of potentialities both with reference to Being and substances could be as follows: potentialities are inseparably linked to those which possess them in a substratumsubordinate relation and they are the possibilities and conditions of revelations and expressions of those which possess them. In the case of species, the revelation is called abhivyakti (see [28], [42] and [43]). In the case of substances, the expression is called abhidhāna [6]. The former is Being’s presence as the species in all entities, and the latter the presence of the second set of potentialities within objects, by virtue of which the substance becomes accessible. By Processuality, the third significant approach of Bhart hari, I mean mainly change. For instance, the “transformation / revolution = vivartanam” of Brahman as the being of the objects and entities, the six transformations of objects and activities (namely, coming into being, existing, growing, changing, decaying and perishing) and the continuous flux: the non-stability of all the forms of objects, wherein stability itself is a great wonder. This approach is realized in a number of concepts that are involved in the ontological synthesis as well as in the ontology of the objects,26 and in particular in the concept of “anavashitav tti = the state of being in continuous flux” itself, not to mention the very idea of mutual relationship among the entities. These concepts will be explained where and when the context demands.27 The inherent relationship of this
25. This description can also be interpreted as follows: due to its simultaneous existential dependence on at least two entities or objects, relation is extremely dependent, whereas quality is primarily dependent only on substance. See ARMSTRONG (1978: 76) from whom I got this interpretation. This is made possible because: “Pā inians conceive of a relation (sambandha) as obtaining between two relata (sambandhin); the relation is a composite (samūha) of two properties, distinct from the relata but located in both.” (C ARDONA 1974: 247). 26. Although the entities called time, direction, capacities and activities are involved in both cases, the ontological synthesis is not to be reduced to the ontology of the objects. Therefore, the instability that these entities assume when situated within the objects is not to be wholly identified with their status as the potentiality of Being / Brahman. 27. The history of philosophy, Indian as well as Western, can be understood in terms of substancemetaphysics or process-metaphysics. In the former, the predominance and primacy is to substance, and in the latter, it is to change. The relation between them and their relative significance is made clear all through the present work. I take R ESCHER’s presentation of this approach to philosophy in general as the guideline and proceed. Needless to add that what interests us most is Bhart hari’s Vākyapadīyam is how the processuality operates therein. A general definition of processuality is as follows: “The philosophy of process is a venture in metaphysics, the general theory of reality. Its concern is with what exists in the world and with the terms of reference by which this reality is to be understood and explained. The guiding idea of this approach is that natural existence consists in and is best understood in terms of



approach with Complexity and Potentiality is twofold: 1) The presence of species in the entities and the objects is explained in specific terms of Processuality. 2) All the potentialities of substances are as such situated in the latter as functional and unstable conditions. In other words, both instances of the definition of Potentiality involve Processuality. Thus, the interrelation of the entities as the potentialities of Being and as the potentialities of substances, wherein they are represented in two modes of Processuality, is expected to exhaust the second point of [1], namely, “sa s i = the togetherness of the entities.” The first mode is the ontological synthesis and the second mode is the ontology of the objects or substances. This is how the system-specific concept of potentiality is a leading one. Technically speaking, the concept of potentiality is opposed to that of part. Those which have potentiality are not the wholes of which the potentialities are parts. In effect, neither Being / Brahman nor individual substances should be considered as wholes. An elaboration of this logic is the topic of difference and non-difference, which is a part of the defintion of the relation between them. Finally, potentialities are realities in this system but not simply possibilities. Retrospect and Prospect Let me recapitulate: so far I have represented two fundamental modes in which the entities of Bhart harian ontology are related. Substance, species, quality, direction, space, capacities, activity, time, number etc., are the fundamental categories of ontology. All these are potentialities of Being. This is their primordial nature. Some of these entities are related to the objects or substances as the latters’ potentialities. By their own capacity called relation, all potentialities get related to each other. While introducing these two modes of relations, I have pointed out three organizing principles called approaches. These are Complexity, Potentiality and Processuality. Complexity is the necessary togetherness of all the entities. Potentiality is of two types: 1) the togetherness of all the entities belonging to Being as its potentialities28 and 2) the togetherness of direction, capacities, activity and time with regard to substances, in as much as they are the potentialities of the objects. Processuality is of many types. But at least two domains of processuality concern us in here: revelation and expression. Revelation is the manifestation of species in all the entities and objects, and expression is the mode of existence and the givenness of substance and substances. Let me add in passing that these three approaches are relevant to all three systems of Bhart hari’s metaphysics: ontology, epistemology and the philosophy of śabda.

processes rather than things – of modes of change rather than fixed stabilities. For processists, change of every sort – physical, organic, psychological – is the pervasive and predominant feature of the real.” (R ESCHER 1996: 7). 28. The complex nature of the text in its literal sense of texture, “grantha = that which has been knit together”, is impressive at the etymological and theoretical level. But when one re-presents the same as a new text while plucking out each thread to re-structure it, a redistribution with a re-designing also creeps in, for a simple duplication is redundant, although there is a high risk of deconstruction in this exercise. I am ready to run the risk.



In the remaining portion of this paper I shall take up a comprehensive enunciation of two major issues. One of them concerns the nature of objects: for only by examining this point we shall be in a position to know what is meant by the objects with whose potentialities we are already acquainted, and go on into the details of the other issues. The other issue which has already been introduced but not fully represented so far, is that Being as species resides in all entities. This major claim needs justification and clarification, for it is the heart of the ontological synthesis. To be more precise, every potentiality of Being inherits species as a part which is nothing but Being, and this fact is made clear in [2], with special emphasis on the objects. But a representation of the exact nature of species and the other entities’ relationship with species in these terms is due. Another major issue which needs clarification concerns the nature of the modes of relationship among the entities; that is, those aspects of relation that enable, in all possible ways, the various entities to get related to each other. This is accomplished in practice at every instance of our enquiry and at the introduction of every concept. The theory-part of relation will be taken up once again after we have become accustomed to its applications. While dealing with these issues, I will try to clarify the main features of the concepts of quality, the flux-theory, direction, space, activity, time and number, with an emphasis on their ontological status. II. OBJECTS Introduction Objects are substances and the concept of substances is closely related to quality. Just like species, space, gender and number, quality is not a potentiality of the substances either. “Gu a = quality” means the secondary one. Thus any enquiry into it demands that we know also of the primary one in relation to which it is secondary. It is primarily in relation to substance that quality is called secondary. Substance, which is the most celebrated concept in the history of Indo-European philosophies, has three modes of being according to Bhart hari.29 First and foremost as the materiality of the world, secondly as the referent of the prepredicative “this” or “that”, and thirdly as the objects. In all these modes it is identical with Being: it is a potentiality in terms of ontological synthesis. Still in the first mode its characteristics are primordial materiality, permanence and omnipotence. In the second mode it is a part of the indicative gesture, being the referent therein. In the third mode it is the objects that we are acquainted with, think about, live with and live as. In all these three modes it somehow or other retains its purity. Its purity consists in aloofness or seclusion and oneness. Thus its impurity consists in relatedness and manyness. This is the state in which we are situated and thus it is also the starting point of our enquiry.

29. It is possible, with all the ifs and buts, to translate these three modes into the ontological, perceptual and linguistic levels of being of substance.



Since our objective here is to go into the details of interrelations, I postpone the discussion of one and many and concentrate on relatedness. In this connection, a fundamental principle should be recalled, which is that “all the entities get influenced by all the other entities.” The purport of this principle is that all the entities come into close relationship with each other and impose their respective characteristics on each other. The relata in question here are quality and activity. Therefore, understanding the nature of substance would involve understanding its various relations with these entities.30 The following two verses depict the nature of substance in its third mode, namely, as the objects. [10] kevalānā tu bhāvānā na rūpam avadhāryate | anirūpitarūpe u te u śabdo na vartate || V tti 475 || The form of the objects in their seclusion is not cognized. When and since [the concept of] their form is not formed, language does not operate there. [11] yat pradhāna na tasyāsti svarūpam anirūpa āt | gu asya cātmanā dravya tadbhāvenopalak yate || V tti 351 || That which is primary (i.e., substance) does not have a form, for the concept of it cannot be formed, and substance is perceived in the being of quality as quality’s own being. Our conceptuality operates with those things of which concepts can be formed, and concepts of pure entities cannot be formed31 . For example, substance in its uniqueness does not have any form and it can be conceptualized only as having a form, i.e., as and in quality. Certainly it is a dependence. This dependence is not to be understood as an existential dependence defined under [3], but as a representational dependence or conceptual dependence: all the formless entities are representationally dependent on forms, so as to become objects of cognitions, and the objects (substances) are representationally dependent on activities, for they cannot be conceptualized otherwise than being involved in an activity. The latter part of this definition has a direct bearing on “quality’s own being.” For the nature of quality is to involve in continuous flux. One
30. Hereafter, we shall have more than a little digression from ontology proper to an excursus within the problems involving epistemological issues. This is necessary and proves the point that my part-wise division of the text is but for re-presentational purposes, and that there are no such distinctions as Ontology, Epistemology and the philosophy of śabda in the Vākyapadīyam. I shall try to skip over many ontological issues after the immediately necessary clarifications for the sake of continuity and the convenience of reading, and not out of my stubborn adherence to my own division of the text into three different systems. 31. Here one might ask the following question: what about substance, time, activity, etc.? Have we not been describing, following Bhart hari, that “the primordial materiality is the pure nature of substance”? This is a methodological question. These characteristics of the pure entities are abstracted from the sentences on the basis of the conceptualizations of the enlightened ones and through the deduction from the usage of language to which in turn they are connected. Since the word-meanings seem to “constitute” the sentence-meaning, these pure entities are padārthas. I cannot go any further into this topic here. I can simply say that just as it is possible to abstract the ontological system from the Vākyapadīyam, it was possible to abstract the pure entities and their characteristics on the basis of the sentences.



requires a way in order to philosophize about those entities which transcend normal perceptions and conceptions. Working through the objects is the path to reach the nonconceptualizable for the sake of our enlightenment. There are various means for valid cognitions of the entities’ nature, and while “working through” in this sense, Bhart hari gives different criteria depending upon the differences in the natures of the conceptualizable aspect of various entities. Therefore, in anticipation of a fitting answer, and following the above description of pure entities, there need not be any doubt here that quality too must have a pure form, while being an entity itself. How can that form be conceptualized, since all entities have a pure form and the pure forms of the entities cannot be conceptualized? In general, among all the entities (not only with reference to substance), only quality has a nature which is conceptualizable, simply because only quality is and has the perceivable and conceptualizable form. Most importantly, activities are real while their parts are unreal, for they are “secondary = gu a .” For example, cooking consists of parts which are secondary, and cooking is conceptualized due to its identification with them. (The end resultant, food in this instance, is a substance. This extended meaning of quality does not immediately concern us). To repeat, to say that only quality has form means that none of the entities (substance, direction, capacities, activity, time, and number, etc.) have form, and that they all are dependent on quality to be represented. For that matter, cognitions too are dependent in the same way on forms. Though the logical structures of the intentional acts are not so dependent, cognitions are describable only as the cognitions of something, wherein their content is the forms of the objects involved in activities. We shall shortly see how, and out of what operation, substances are named and conceptualized, so that our language becomes operative there. It has now become clear that quality has and is form, and in that being of quality, substances are cognized. Another point closely connected with this is a conditionality imposed on the objects by activity. As I have pointed out above, purity consists of inactivity and seclusion (or uniqueness). But: [12] kriyānu a ge a vinā na padārtha pratīyate | satyo vā viparīto vā vyavahāre na so ’sty ata || Vākyakā a 428 || No object can be cognized without being related to activity. That is why, whether it is real or unreal, such an object does not exist in usage and in day-to-day intercourse. Since, in this way, there is a relation of representational dependence between the objects and activities,32 the objects cannot retain their purity. However, one must not overlook the fact that Bhart hari uses the word “dravya = substance” for all three modes of its being. Therefore, though substance qua substances loses its purity, substances qua substance are still pure.

32. This move is to be essentially understood as a drift from substance-philosophy towards processuality.



The referent of “this” and “that” Let us now look at the second and, in a way, intermediary mode of being of substance, through which it is possible to understand these points in detail. Whereas the second mode of being of substance, the prepredicative “this” and “that”, is the “purest singling” out of substance, say, as a proto-object, after which any contact with the objects at the conceptual and linguistic level is with quality, the quality-infused substance, or an object. [13] vastūpalak a a yatra sarvanāma prayujyate | dravyam ity ucyate so ’rtho bhedyatvena vivak ita || Bhūyodravya 3 || Where a pronoun is employed, indicating an object (or / and at the sight of an object), that object is called substance, while being intended to be distinguished (or / and while being intended to be spoken about) as a distinguished object. Thus, the designating as “this” and “that” is not only an egocentric deictic gesture, but it also has an ontologically real entity for its object. That object is nothing but substance in its pure form, and it is yet to be distinguished as a particular object with a specific name. By its very definition, it is quality that so distinguishes. Thus the singled out non-conceptualizable substance as a referent of the pronoun is not in impurity, a matter of participating in activity. Because impurity does not emerge from the mere existence of a substance, at which level that object is identical with substance itself. Or, as the ontological synthesis made it clear, it is a potentiality of, and therefore identical with, Being itself. Here existence and non-existence, and identity and difference are transcended, for these problems arise with reference to the entities when they are understood in their togetherness, but not within their uniqueness; the uniqueness has only one point of reference, that is, Being. This meaning of Being as existence is not merely the outcome of interpretation, but has its basis in etymology which prompted the practice of translating sattā as existence. But impurity emerges from existing as a determinate object, which is but one of the moments of the “six transformations = a bhāvavikārā .” These are the becoming, existing, growing, changing, decaying and dissolving or perishing of the objects to which they are destined, and, therefore, the determinate existing is an activity. And in effect, purity is “untouchedness with the activity = kriyānālī hatvam”, as V abha succinctly defines it. The V tti on Brahmakā a 23 gives the following defintion: “kevala vastu tyadādīnā vastūpalak a ānā vi ayamātram = the unique object is simply the referent of ‘this’ and ‘that’ which indicate the object.” The difference between substance and the referent of “this” and “that” is that substance is a shapeless, formless, birthless, destructionless and also nameless entity which is the soul of living beings (whereas the latter are but a type of objects, say, subjects), and the real material of all the objects. Hence the referent of ‘this’ and ‘that’ is a given object which is about to be conceived as having form, birth and destruction, and, therefore, activity and designation. Then, what kind of cognition expresses itself in the pronoun will depend upon what is its referent. For no objects can be conceived without being related to activity, and pure substance is untouched by it.



As we shall shortly see, the distance from, and the proximity to, quality is inherent in the pronoun itself, and this fact also answers the question: ‘why, after all, a pronoun?’ We know that the referent of the prepredicative “this” and “that” is not involved in activity. We understand through the above quote [12] the relationship of representational dependence between objects and activity. Thus arises the necessity of an insertion of form and of activity in the substance. Let us be reminded that activity as a potentiality resides in substances, and that there is no need of quality to insert it. But in the first place the objects have to be established. Then it is possible that the objects, having various forms, do possess potentialities. To be more explicit, quality is not a potentiality of substance, simply because only objects endowed with forms have potentialities, or only substances have potentialities, but not substance; therefore quality cannot be a potentiality of itself. Here two facts become relevant: that quality is understood only along with activity and that substance can be conceptualized only in the being of qualities. Hence, while formatting the objects, quality certainly exerts its influence. Further gaps in this representation will be filled in the following paragraphs. Firstly, we have three modes of being of substance: as the primordial materiality, as the referent of “this” and “that”, and as the objects. We have three dimensions of the substance-quality relation. 1) As form, quality makes possible the conceptuality of substance. 2) As an entity participating in activity, quality makes possible the concept of substance. 3) As the distinguisher, it makes possible the naming. [14] sa sargi bhedaka yad yat savyāpāra pratīyate | gu atva paratantratvāt tasya śāstra udāh tam || Gu a 1 || That entity which is, in close contact, a distinguisher and understood along with activity, is considered within the discipline as possessing qualityness due to its dependence on the other. [15] dravyasyāvyapadeśasya ya upādīyate gu a | bhedako vyapadeśāya tatprakar o ’bhidhīyate || Gu a 2 || That quality attached to the unnameable substance is the distinguisher = bhedaka = (also) divider, splitter etc., of the latter, for the sake of naming, and it is called degree. The first verse gives a definition of quality which is an extension of the one given in [15]. We know that all the entities are in close contact with each other and all of them divide the others. From this point of view, number, the divider par excellence, is primarily a quality. And with the epithet, that quality is associated with activity, Bhart hari indicates the relation between activity and the capacities. The latter are associated with the activities, and they are secondary to activity, whereas activity is the primary one. From an epistemological point of view, quality, as it were, delimits substance by causing a concept and a name of the objects. Ontologically speaking, though it contributes to the constitution of the object, it does not do it alone, since form alone is not an object. It divides substance from the enormous mass of the world which is substance or primordial materiality, as the object, and designates it. And it restrains it



as the referent of a particular word, for word is a quality. But the words ‘this’ and ‘that’ are special, as we shall shortly see. In this procedure, quality is defined as “prakar ahetu = that which causes degree, excellence, etc.,” of substance. Why is quality an enhancement, making more of the primordial material, that which constitutes the world? This ‘making more’ is nothing but depriving substance of its uniqueness. After the formation as an object, substance is, from this point of view, no longer ‘unique’ or ‘aloof’. We are led to the following tentative conclusion out of the preceding discussions about the quality: in material dialectic, substance is not an object if substance is understood to refer to Devadatta, a bull by name Bāhuleya, a tree, a Brahmin, etc., but it is the material basis, the raw material out of which those objects are made, which Bhart hari variously calls primordial materiality, “the primary one = pradhānam,” atoms and “p thivyādaya = earth, (water, fire, air and space) etc,” adhering to an essentialist re-view of substance-metaphysics.33 Thus substance in the Vākyapadīyam is the most generalizable element out of the philosophical speculations over the question about the nature of the primordial material out of which is constituted all the visible and experienceable world. And quality is neither simply property, permanently accompanying attributes of substances, nor the accident, contingent attributes of substances. Nor is it therefore simply what we predicate to substances: Brahminhood, treeness, cowness, white-cow, tall-tree, greedy-Brahmin, etc. But quality is that which causes our conception, in the sense of form + word,34 of the objects. If and since that itself is understood as the accident that seems to happen to substance, that is, thinking of the unconceptualizable and naming the unnameable (cf. [10] & [11]), then, within the material dialectic, quality is considered as an “external” (with due attention to ontological synthesis) contingency. Thus, the model of “external contingency = upādhi ” as quality is primarily derived from the fundamental material basis of the world versus form + word or image + word, and is extended to accidents, for there are no properties in the above-defined sense, excepting species as property; that is, cowness and Brahminhood, whiteness and the state of being fragrant. Though properties too are external contingencies, they do continue to be, for they are not existentially dependent on substances, even when accidents like a particular color (which necessarily is of a particular hue and shade), a fragrance residing in a particular species of flower, a specific constitution, a body, cease to exist. It is, therefore, in the accidents that the properties are manifested. That is, the revelation of the permanent
33. By essentialism I mean an understanding of the entities which extracts, notwithstanding the differences among the conceptions of the metaphysical entities, the most common element to redefine the entities. 34. The concept of rūpa ā or nirūpa a , the epistemic counterpart of form, is closer to ‘concept’ and the mental representation of forms. But bhāvanā, the epistemic counterpart of bhāva , is almost equivalent to imagination. The other important meanings of these terms are at the heart of the philosophy of śabda, where nirūpa a is also description and bhāvanā also has Mīmā sic overtones.



species is dependent on quality as much as the expression of the permanent substance, because there is no whiteness which is not of a particular hue and shade, etc., and quality by definition is the degree. We shall shortly see the other criteria of the distinction between “gu a = quality” and species. Quality, therefore, by inserting activity in substance makes it accessible to the cognitions and also names the unnameable. What makes quality so close to activity involves the concept of continuous flux, which is the very nature of quality. But let me add that “rūpam = form” is just a name for all these qualities. It is not the shape, but the whitecolor (of a cow), the smell (of a jasmine flower), etc. If and since by quality are meant the continuously changing, but still somehow perceived objects like the color white, there is nothing over and above them that can be termed as ‘form.’ [16] sa khyānāma na sa khyāsti sa jñai eti yathocyate | rūpa na rūpam apy eva sa jñā sā hi sitādi u || Sa khyā 25 || Just as there is no number by name number, for it is just a name [for one, two, etc.], in the same way, there is no form called form, for it is a name applicable to white, etc. Let me first of all list certain distinct, but closely related phenomena, that we shall encounter in the following highly mixed-up representation: 1) form; it is not an entity in itself but always stands for 2) qualities; i.e., a white color, jasmine-smell, a wordsound. 3) masculinity, femininity and neutrality; these are also species of objects like cowness. 4) genders; the masculine, feminine and neutral genders of Sanskrit nouns. 5) “sattva = stability,” “rajas = activity” and “tamas = obscurity”; according to Sā khya philosophy, these are independent metaphysical phenomena that inhere in everything excepting the Puru a, and they are the constituents of 6) the tripartite process = prav tti .35 But for us now, they have a direct correspondence with 7) coming into being, retreating or disappearing, and staying still, which happens to indiscernible elements within qualities, and is in a sense what qualities do. 8) the subtle elements; sound, touch, form, taste and smell: these are not actual sound, etc., but the prerequisites for the latter. 9) the referent of ‘this’ and ‘that’; the second mode of being of substance. 10) the pronouns-in-neutral gender; ‘this’ and ‘that.’

35. “It is submitted here that somehow the use of the words “constituent” and “component” imply the notion of “a part and a whole,” which is exactly the meaning we should avoid, when we consider the gu as as forming prak ti. It is the relationship neither of the “sum total of the parts” nor of “more than the sum total of the parts,” but of an absolute identity. Gu as are themselves prak ti.” (R AMAKRISHNA R AO 1963: 63). And “…, it may be said that, according to the Sā khya conception, the gu as are the “functional modes” of prak ti, the ways which prak ti takes to manifest itself. They are not “qualities” in the Nyāya-Vaiśe ika sense, but have ontological significance; they are not different from prak ti, because they are the functional or operational forms of prak ti itself.” (R AMAKRISHNA R AO 1963:6 3). “Sā khyas are no less old a school, but their “gu as” bear a radically different meaning. It is almost synonymous with the category “dravya” (substance) postulated by the aforesaid three schools.” (NARAIN 1961:45).



According to Bhart hari, all the forms are incessantly undergoing modifications and those modifications, in short, are of such a nature that within any given quality certain indiscernible elements constantly cease to be and certain new ones come to be: [17] rūpasya cātmamātrā ā śuklādīnā pratik a am | kā cit pralīyate kā cit katha cid abhivardhate || Li ga 15 || At every moment, in the white color, etc., which are the nature of form, something of them is diminishing, and somehow something is increasing. So that these are not apparent, but still inherent, changes, to the extent that the nature of change, “anavasthitav ttitā = instability,” is compared to that of “kvathitodakam = boiling water.” Whereas the apparent “sthiti = stability” is the process itself. To start with, qualities are stably and incessantly undergoing change like a movie image, or / and, while undergoing change there is an element of stable commonness ever remaining in them, or / and, at every instant, quality emerges anew with the diminution or addition of a shade, and that is stability: [18] prav tter ekarūpatva sāmya vā sthitir ucyate | āvirbhāvatirobhāvaprav tyā vāvati hate || Li ga 17 || The identity of process or / and homogeneity is called stability. Or / and it is established by the behavior of appearance and disappearance. There need not be a confusion between the last two positions. The former is about the quality-species and the latter is about the imperceptibly ever-renewed and so momentarily-existing quality. More interpretations of the same following Helarāja’s commentary: 1) The identity of process, in which the process of coming-into-being and the process of ceasing-to-be or retreating, taken in terms of their own nature, that is, considering either one as a single flow, stability can be achieved. 2) Commonness or homogeneity: both these modes of transformations share a characteristic while being processes, and that is stability. And a summary of Helarāja by Subrahamanya Iyer might add stability to instability: “1) when there is a stream of development, there is increase at every moment and when the increases of many moments are looked upon as one whole, there is what is called sthiti. Similarly the decreases of many moments are looked upon as one and the same that is also sthiti. 2) Increase and decrease or development and decay are both changes. Change, then, is the common point in both and this common point is looked upon as sthiti. 3) When something disappears, something else comes at once in it place. Thus disappearance is never final. The non-finality (tirobhāvāparyavasānam) is the third view.” (IYER, 1974:113).36 However, getting to be possessed by the ever-changing quality is the very first step in the formation of a substance, though its participation in other activities is due to the capacities. In other words, the activities in which the objects seem to participate are not accomplished by qualities, but the capacities are by definition “the means = sādhanam” in generating the activities. ‘Its own nature’ of the form is exactly that aspect of
36. See also DESHPANDE (1992) for Patañjali’s view on this.



qualities in all the above-mentioned positions that causes the conception of the forms, because what we have here is the real issue but not a truth-functional dimension of formal logic: [19] gu ā ity eva buddher vā nimittattva sthitir matā | sthiteś ca sarvali gānā sarvanāmatvam ucyate || Li ga 18 || Or else, it is acceptable that stability is the cause of the cognition37 ‘qualities.’ And stability is said to be [like] the pronoun of all genders. This, in short is the significance of the pronoun, that which is employed to refer to a pure substance. The substance is the first mode, a pure substance is the second mode of being of one and the same entity. The question is why after all is a pronoun intrinsically connected with the process-nature of qualities. Because, what is meant here is not merely a noun-substitute, but necessarily the neutral gender. The genders that the substantives possess are the “signs or marks = li ga”, of the tripartite process-nature of the qualities, i.e., form. Taking the implied comparison [like] into account, we must say that, just as the pronoun-in-neutral-gender, while referring to stability, neutralizes the masculinity and femininity that are the marks of coming-into-being and retreating, in the same way, stability in all the possible interpretations neutralizes the continuous flux. Again, without taking the square brackets into account, we must say that though the three genders respectively refer to the three moments of the tripartite process, it is stability itself that pervades all three genders. Thus we are told by the commentator that the masculine gender is marked by coming-into-being and the feminine gender by retreating-from-being. Whereas the neutral gender, by implication, arthāt, is marked by stability. The following agrees with this kind of division: [20] prav ttir iti sāmānya lak a a tasya kathyate | āvirbhāvas tirobhāva sthitiś cety atha bhidyate || V tti 322 || A general definition of gender is said to be ‘process.’ Then, that is divided into emergence, disappearance and stability. There is no contradiction in considering stability as the process itself (cf.[17]) and also as one of the states in the process. Because ‘to be a process’ is what is meant in the former quotation, where the process itself, by being a thing, is characterized by stability. Here in [20], it is a general definition of which the particulars are the process of emergence, etc. However, the question is whether the process is only of cominginto-being and retreating-from-being or whether it includes stability as well. In other words, the question is whether stability is the process or one moment of the process. The appropriate answer is that stability is both that which is included in the process as one of its moments, and that which stands out as the process itself. The other points of

37. It must be noted that, as a general method, Bhart hari resorts to cognitions within the descriptions of the ontological phenomena. Although it is through the cognitions as the means that the entities are described, it does not follow that the means themselves are the object of description. Rather, such descriptions bring the entities closest to the readers.



stability will appear now and again in this paper, since how the stability of an entity is achieved differs from case to case, though the phenomenon remains the same, because stability is closely connected with the mode of being of Brahman. Moreover, the concept of stability should appear in a more proper setting in the topic called existence and non-existence along with the six transformations. The primordial materiality and all of its involutes are of the nature of a tripartite process. Namely, that of the three qualities called sattva, rajas and tamas of Sā khya and Yoga philosophies.38 The “enumeration = Sā hkya,” of their origins, various characteristics and combinations, is beyond the range of the Vākyapadīyam and therefore of our representation of the same. What is important for our purpose is that this tripartite process is also of what are called “gu as = qualities” in a system-specific sense in Sā khya and Yoga philosophies, and these qualities are the inherent nature of the subtle elements that are the prerequisites for any experience of the forms, i.e., the various sensations of the perceptible qualities. The subtle elements are the causes of gross elements or the great-beings: earth, water, fire, air and space. Thus produced, the gross elements together constitute the perceptible world. To remind ourselves, the tripartite process is present in all these categories. Its presence is responsible for the continuous flux within the forms which we call the qualities of all the embodied objects. Activity: an interlude Before we go further with the ontology of objects, an important point should be recognized. Namely, the identification of the process as activity. Let us remember that “activity = kriyā” is an entity by itself. The process is an activity, the most primary and pure activity, untouched by the other entities, which does not require objects to operate with, which does not reside as a secondary thing, as a potentiality, in substances: [21] prav ttir eva prathama kva cid apy anapāśritā | śaktīr ekādhikara e srotovad apakar ati || Sādhana 33 || At first there was process itself without any particular substratum. Like a stream, it pulls along the various capacities into a particular substratum. Needless to add here that what is meant is the logical primacy and temporal priority. It is true that the entity called activity of such a nature comes to reside in individual objects and gets revelation. To get revelation, it brings the capacities along with it into the objects. For the capacities too are not ontologically dependent on the objects,
38. See R AMAKRISHNA R AO (1963), where both questions of constituents of prak ti and sāmya are tackled in a system-specific perspective. “Not that the gu as “constitute” prak ti as its “composite parts”, but that they are: (1) the ontological ways in which prak ti is realized, and, (2) the functional ways in which prak ti “moves” or “acts” ( pravartate)...” (1963: 69). Now, “since prak ti is a manifestation of the gu as”... “when they are in a perfect equipoise (gu asāmya), it is the unmanifest or primal or noumenal condition of prak ti called “avyakta”, but, when they vary in their functional proportion, it is the manifest or the phenomenal condition called “vyakta.” (1963: 71).



though in this particular way they are existentially dependent on the activities. They are “gu a = secondary” to the activities for whose revelation they exist and during which they are understood. This is also why they can be called quality: the capacities are to activity what quality is to substance. All activities are repetitions of the process of coming-into-being and disappearing. They are initiated by the capacities when the activities are situated in the objects and are somehow stabilized in the revelation. The issues related to the capacities would include their relation with the objects, activities, and, most importantly, with time and species. What the movie-image analogy suggested is authenticated in the following quote: [22] … alātacakravad rūpa kriyā ā parikalpyate || kriyā 8 || The form of activities is imagined like a fire-wheel. The so-called fire-wheel, a speedily rotating lighted torch, acquires and reveals the species-nature only in mobility. In the same way, not only the stability of the qualities that we know of, but the recognition of all the activities is possible on the basis of the mobility. Or rather, the stability of the objects and activities is their stable mobility. The imagination is necessarily involved in cognizing and, in particular, perceiving the activities, and in due course I shall represent these various areas as per the context. Language connections Let me get back to the remaining aspects of the flux theory within the substance-quality relation, after noting the nature of activity. The other side of the coin is that Bhart hari invokes these aspects of ontology to account for the gender of Sanskrit substantives. The question in context is whether the genders along with which the nouns are expressed have an ontological basis or not? The answer is in affirmative. They refer to the qualities of the tripartite process. Although there appears to be some objective “li ga = probans of inference,” to account for the attribution of specific “genders = li ga” to nouns, Bhart hari brushes aside this exercise (which of course consists in giving a criterion as to how to identify a human male and female and other livingbeings, and how that can be extended to non-living beings as well), saying that one cannot go on in this way because if one requires a probans for the understanding of this nature of the words, then inference turns out to be inoperative where there is no visible probans, and, as a result, the genders that are the linguistically established qualities of the objects, femininity, masculinity and neutrality, are bereft of ontological status. But when it is claimed that there are ontological phenomena that stand for femininity, masculinity and neutrality, if it is also claimed simultaneously that those phenomena are invisible, then, what is never visible, a really non-existent object, too, can be claimed to exist on the same grounds that it exists but is never visible, and, for that matter, the non-existence of anything cannot be ascertained: [23] astitva ca pratijñāya sadādarśanam icchata | atyantādarśane na syād asattva prati niścaya || Li ga 11 ||


BHART HARI’S ONTOLOGY For the one who accepts absolute the invisibility of something while having stated39 its existence, there cannot be certainty about the non-existence of that which is never visible.40

Whereas the counterfactual is invoked, because such eventuality will finally hamper the word-meaning relationship, which does not depend on the intentionality of the language-users, but that relation reveals itself in the “vision = darśana”40 of the perpetuators of the analytical exposition of words. (This reasoning rules out empiricism). One thing, however, is that here the question of “non-existence” is about the absolutely non-existent, ontologically non-existent. This needs to be noted not only because the forms are unreal = impermanent and words are also forms, but words can, as it were, create the objects for the mind, and these objects sometimes really do not exist. That is why, all mental objects are of a different category of Being and our language operates with this Being. Therefore, the “gender = li ga41 = mark” is the mark of the tripartite process that is taking place in the manifested substances or visible forms. Though all three qualities of the tripartite process necessarily presuppose each other, a perceptibility of forms is achieved. And although none of these processes are meant by the language users42 of nouns, it is claimed that the gender element in words does stand for the abovementioned metaphysical entities and processes. This is so not because the content determines the form, nor the reverse. But the words are not different from the objects they refer to. I must postpone the discussion of his claim and its further consequences for the word-object relation. But one essential point to keep in mind – a point that forces me to withdraw from further discussion – is that nouns are constituted of “prak ti = nominal stems” and “pratyaya = affixes.” Accordingly, the referents of nouns are substance as “prak ti =
39. pratijñā is the first member of the syllogism in rhetoric. While making an argument on an inferential basis, one starts with the conclusion and finally comes back to the same with a “therefore”. 40. It happens to be an essential feature of all the systems of Indian philosophy that their categories have been ‘seen’ and that the repetition of this event gives them the privilege of true cognition, of knowledge proper. This defining feature of theirs’, i.e., Darśana as seeing in Indian philosophies, is realized through various concepts in all the Brahminical traditions of Indian philosophy, which claim that the entities they postulate and the systems they propagate have been seen. And it is not only that conceptions preceded the system, but that they are repeatable in these very forms, a claim which becomes highly effective in the very being of the practice. This understanding, thus, must take into consideration the meaning of darśana from the point of view of a “grasp” of a given philosophical system as a whole. Here we must note the importance of LARSON’s suggestion, that “Indian philosophizing... is best translated... as a chart or a diagram or a network of symbolic notations which one can “see” as a whole and upon which one can reflect or meditate.” (1980: 376). I entirely agree with this position, for his scepticism about the “discursive representation” of these systems is simultaneously sublated to a cautionary approach. 41. I skip the concept of li ga and li gaśarīra in Sā khya, for obvious reasons. 42. See S CHARF (1995) where he represents Patañjali’s views that it is convention which determines the usage of genders.



primordial materiality” and the elements that are the means of “pratyaya = cognition” of the former. The nouns include gender, number and case. For instance, Rāma = rāma = rāma + masculine + singular + nominative. Correspondingly, as the referents of the words, substances include stability in the above mentioned sense, oneness, which we shall subsequently deal with, and the capacities for activity (in this case of rāma , the agenthood. For, as we know, the capacities as well as the activities are situated in the substances as their potentialities). However, I would not delve here into the parallelism or what is once called by Pu yarāja the “parallel order = krama .” The reason is simply that to do so would involve technical aspects of the formation of words, whereas the task I set myself does not force me to go into these details of Sanskrit grammar. Let me once again clarify the nature of parallel order: the objects are formatted by quality so as to have an individuated existence.43 In this procedure, form, number and the capacities are operative. On the other hand, there are nouns in the Sanskrit language. These necessarily have gender, number and case. These two sets correspond to each other in the sense that the sequence of the analysis of the formation (or derivation) of words out of nominal stems is concordant with the sequence in which the objects are formatted and individuated. Yet the continuous flux is the first step in the formation of the objects. As we have seen, the forms make possible the cognitions of the objects; forms are in continuous flux and their processuality is marked by the gender of the words. Since the three entities, namely, form, number and capacities together cause the cognitions of the objects and since quality is that which does that job, they are qualities. They all contribute to dividing the substance. This designation of quality in its extension is applicable more appropriately to number and, in a different but related way, to capacities. For in the case of the latter, the quality-infused substance has capacities, but not substance, and quality cannot be a capacity of itself. And the secondary nature of capacities is in relation to activity. We shall presently consider number for the same reason. Number As a matter of fact, according to Bhart hari, pure substance, the referent of “this” and “that”, has at least one predication, that is oneness. There will arise further complications within the ontology of the objects once we introduce the number-problem here. However, this sequence is essential to know what is always meant by quality.
43. “The term ‘individuation’ is used in the literature for two things: (1) the process by which an individual acquires the feature or features which make it the individual it is, or (2) the very feature or features which render it such. In terms of the morphology of the term and its etymology, ‘individuation’ is used only in sense (1). For ‘individuation’, like ‘universalization’, ‘externalization’, and many other substantives derived from verbs, refers primarily to the process which is carried out by the action expressed by the verb”. (GRACIA 1984: 19).



[24] ekattvam eka ity atra śuddhadravyaviśe a am | sagu as tu prak tyartho vibhaktyarthena bhidyate || Sa khyā 31 || In the case of the expression ‘one’, the oneness referred to is a qualification of pure substance. But the quality-infused referent of the nominal stem, substance, is divided by the referents of the case-ending, the capacities. We are by now familiar with the major part of the presuppositions of this verse. I shall take up the question of referents and meanings of case-endings = capacities, per se. Their dividing nature, however, is made clear by their very designation as “vibhakti = division, separation, etc.” The qualification of being a quality is more appropriate to number, because the division called capacities occurs or becomes operative only after form and number have individuated the objects. A remarkable implication of individuation by number is that the number one is the source of all other numbers, and, as and when it is attributed as a quality to the numerables, it refers necessarily to the pure entities and objects, and, for that matter, incidentally but not accidentally, to the pure principle Brahman, just as the neutral gender refers to the objects in their pure substanceness. Not accidentally again, the word Brahman has the neutral gender. This is not an uncomplicated position. Because, within the framework of the Vākyapadīyam, One, i.e., when that word one is used for ‘1’, it necessarily presupposes many. But at times, something is said to be one simply meaning that it is “one and the same = abheda = non-different”, and in that case one does not necessarily presuppose many (i.e., in this case the problem deserves to be described as “many in one”) and also, conversely, sometimes the expression non-different or “one and the same” does mean ‘One.’ Incidentally, the word “tattvam = thatness or suchness” is at times synonymous with One, and at times with non-difference, and still most of the times it transcends them by implying the ontological synthesis and its implications from [1] above.44 Anyhow, it is precisely the reason why an entity can be called a pure substance when it is said to be one in its uniqueness. The significance of this implication cannot be ignored while understanding and distinguishing time from the capacities of time, the number one from its proliferation as numbers, etc. Since all the entities necessarily get divided by the others, they come to display their species. Species, however, is present in the number one as oneness. The entire metaphysics of one-and-many has to be understood on this premise and it will be further worked out as applied to various concepts below, under the heading of difference and non-difference. Apart from, or rather including, oneness, the objects are made of properties and accidents. I say “including”, because oneness is a matter of species. Before we see how substance comes to have the nature of activity, let me derive some links of the chain: if and when we understand the referent of the prepredicative
44. In fact, the word tattvam came to mean philosophy on the grounds that it refers to the basic tenets of a given system. See for example, the Sā khya tattvas, or the concept of tattvam in Nyāya philosophy, which is exhausted or brought to completion through the fundamental postulates of the system.



“this” and “that” as participating in the series of activities, in the order of things called the six transformations, we admit the impermanence of that referent. Or, in the other way, if we accept that the prepredicative “this” and “that” refers to an object, then it is susceptible to destruction. But since impermanence is a part of the nature of quality but not of substance, we cannot identify that mode of being of substance as the referent of “this” and “that” with existence. Here the question whether the referent of “this” and “that” is the primordial material basis or a particularized object does not arise, for a particular material object in itself is identical to the former. Bhart hari throughout uses the word “dravya = substance” indistinguishably (implying that substance has all forms and no form). Therefore, substance as the material basis of the world of objects has neither form, nor name, nor does it display any of its capacities. In other words, it is not participating in any activity either. In its second mode of existence too, as a part of the indicative gesture, substance is devoid of any activity. However, it is not a logical concept equatable with some mental thing like the variable of formal logic, for it is a mode of being of substance. In essence, in the second mode of its being as the referent of “this” and “that”, substance is simply conceptualizable and nameable so that it is distinguishable as a participant in an activity, but not a distinguished, though conceptualized but unnamed object. Quality by definition is degrees, because it is in continuous flux and in this way it is always in contact with activity. In the act of splitting off an object from substance which by itself is not conceptualized, and therefore in making it accessible to cognitions and language, in distinguishing it and naming it, quality comes to inhere in pure substance. As for the activity-nature of quality [14], substance as objects does participate (in a specific sense that we shall examine) in the activities, although the referent of “this” and “that” preserves its purity, just as the stability that the pronoun of the neutral gender stands for preserves its purity in spite of the continuous flux. The objects, or rather substance, in the third mode of its being as substances, is always necessarily understood as being accompanied by activity. That is, substance appears and is dealt with as though it is having the nature of quality, for otherwise it cannot be conceptualized. In the process of the objects’ formation, quality infuses this nature into it. [25] savyāpāro gu as tasmāt svaprakar anibandhana | dravyātmāna bhinatty eva svaprakar a niveśayan || Gu a 8 || Quality is bound by its own degrees and is accompanied by activity. That is why it certainly divides and breaks substance by inserting its own degrees. Here the degrees refer to the “more” or “less” aspect, and the distinguisher also stands for number and capacities. Before we see the capacities’ role in the functionality of objects, let me introduce one more dimension: how can something which does not have a form [10] that includes extension, i.e., “quantity”, have degree, i.e., “quality?” This question leads us to examine some features of the concepts of space and direction. Extension, or physical expansion, according to Bhart hari, involves the concepts of direction, space and time.



Extension, Direction and Space Two details concerning the involvement of the concepts of space and direction are relevant in this connection: spatial deixis and the aspects of the interface between direction and quality. The objects, the embodied, are extended in space and are divided by the space in their extension. Space virtually holds the “this” and “that”, thus rendering the further deixis of localization as “this-here.” [26] idam atreti bhāvānām abhāvān na prakalpate | vyapadeśas tam ākāśanimitta sa pracak ate || Sādhana 152 || The usage ‘this here’ in the case of the objects, does not take place due to the non-existence of a locus, and it is said that this usage is caused by space. Direction, on the other hand, causes (among other things) the concepts of: 1) spatial relations among the objects in terms of measurements, like in the case of distances and priority and posteriority; 2) the manner in which the objects are extended in space, like a straight line, i.e., geometrical figures and 3) in terms of the quantitative aspects of parts-whole. The characteristics that are bound to direction are very much like quality itself. That is, they are also constituents of objects, but not parts like color or smell. That is also why direction resides in the objects as a potentiality, unlike quality, while making them potential candidates for ‘to be on the left of,’ ‘in the front of,’ ‘in the middle-east,’ etc., that are objective features. They are relational by nature, but not relative to the viewers’ or speakers’ situatedness. [27] vyatirekasya yo hetur avadhipratipādyayo | jv ity eva yato ’nyena vinā buddhi pravartate || Dik 2 || [28] karma o jātibhedānām abhivyaktir yadāśrayā | sā svair upādhibhir bhinnā śaktir dig iti kathyate || Dik 3 || That potentiality is called direction which, while being divided by its own conditions, is: 1) the cause of the opposition between the object to be explained and the terms or limits in which it is explained; 2) that due to which cognitions such as ‘it is straight’ arise without there being any other object; 3) the substratum of different species of activities. One must recognize this difference between the Western philosophical usage of spatial relation and Bhart hari’s division of the concept of ‘spatial’ into that of space and direction. To exemplify, in the case of the cognition and expression: from the foot of the mountain to the edge of the river, the cognition of the extrinsic qualities is caused by direction.45 These are the “upādhi = external contingencies or conditions” of the entity called direction. (Let us remember that all the entities are divided by the others).
45. Without a concept of this kind, which accounts for measurement, private property cannot survive. This point about the adoption of the principles of śāstras in day-to-day behavior is very crucial, because Helārāja always says that Bhart hari operates on the principles of the usage of words. Whereas there is no such method at all in the text. Within the kārikā-text, there is always a contrast between what is real in the metaphysical sense, what is the case in our day-today living, and what is necessarily implied in language.



Though it is a relational concept, direction is not a relative concept. That is, the cognitions of the intrinsic qualities too are caused by direction, or else a straight line and a triangle would become relative notions.46 This point is stressed by the phrase “anyena vinā = without there being any other object.” Also, in the other important sense of “dik = direction,” i.e., quarters: east, west, south, north, etc., the concept in question is a fixed one. For the quarters are identified on the basis of the movements of the celestial objects and those movements are regulated by time: [29] ayanapravibhāgaś ca gatīś ca jyoti ā dhruvā | niv ttiprabhavāś caiva bhūtānā tannibandhanā || Kāla 43 || The division of the year into [two on the basis of] the course of the sun, the fixed movement of celestial objects, the retreating and emergence of beings, are governed by time. In essence, in spite of direction, there is only a vast, undivided space. Since all the objects that are situated in space are not static, it is said that the activities take place in direction. That is, the ultimately discernible elements of activities, movements such as rising upwards, moving downwards, stretching forward, etc., which is what activities are constituted of, are the expansions of bodies. Thus these movements are nothing but the various ways in which objects are extended in the directions. It should be noted here that the individual parts of activities can appear as if they were separate species. For instance, travelling is constituted of a number of subspecies such as packing or walking, which are themselves distinct species. They are also the revelation of the activity-species that takes place in the above-mentioned discernible movements. How there can be a division, quantitatively in the case of objects, ostensibly and nameably in the case of activities, and numerically in the case of both objects and activities, will be a major topic of difference and non-difference. Here it is necessary to note the fact that there are certain aspects, or even constituents of the objects, which are a matter of quantity and cause the cognitions of the objects, and that the concept of direction is postulated in-between quality and space to account for this phenomenon. I say in-between quality and space, because the effects of direction turn out to be like qualities: being in a particular city or country or direction, being short, or long; but what is not so apparently divided in this respect is the undivided space. Therefore, the concept in question is nothing but various “regions = dik” of space, whereas the regions are postulated on the basis of the objects situated therein. For this very reason, direction comes into this picture only when the substance is objects, substances. Let me simply enumerate once again all that is expressly related to the concept of dik: 1) Directions: from, to, ahead of, behind, etc. 2) Quarters: these are ten in number, starting with East. 3) Parts and whole: various parts of a whole differ

46. This is a mathematical aspect and beyond this paper.



from each other by being located in different regions. 4) The revelation of the activityspecies: all activities are extensions of the bodies in various ways in space.47 Direction is a potentiality of substances and not of the substance. And therefore the entity in question is dependent on substance, which is already dependent on quality in the restricted sense, for once the extension is taken into account, it too becomes a quality. This is exactly where space differs from direction: as a potentiality, space is not contained in substances,48 for everything is contained in space. In other words, one might wonder why, after all, a separate entity called “dik = direction” exists, when one could pretty well apply the same characteristic divisions to space itself, just as Bhart hari does with time? [30] ākāśam eva ke ā cid deśabhedaprakalpanāt | ādhāraśakti prathamā sarvasa yoginā matā || Sādhana 151 || According to some, since differences are postulated in direction, space itself is the primordial substratum-potentiality for all those that are in contact with it. There need not be a confusion between constituting and containing.49 I.e., substance is an aggregate of five elements, earth, water, fire, air and space, and in this sense the world of objects is constituted of space. It is also the container par excellence, in the sense that in the case of any cognition that there is something ‘in’ or ‘on’ something else, it is first of all necessarily understood that this something is in space, and that the container in question is a “region = dik.” It is not that direction itself has parts. It is substance that appears to have divisions called objects which are situated in various regions of space, and they too appear to have parts. Accordingly, divisions arise in direction and in turn these divisions are attributed to space. However, since it is the primordial container, space is not a potentiality of the objects, for it cannot be a potentiality of itself. Needless to add that the potentiality referred to in the verse belongs to
47. The ultimately describable activities are avadhikas (the delimited): here, the conditioning is on the basis of the regions, the upper and the lower. These regions are the avadhis (the delimiting areas). When one is “rising”, it means coming into contact with the upper region from the lower region. Therefore, motions too must be described on the basis of “from which direction to which direction” a movement is made. (See also IYER (1966: 52-53), both V tti and Paddhati). 48. We need not wonder here why space is not internal, whereas, being an element, it is already in substance. Here we are talking of the space which is not representationally affected by objects, for when it gets so affected, then it becomes a “region = dik”. 49. The nature of the entities that a “metaphysics” explores is not totally distinct from the physics of the nature of the entities. For instance, the Newtonian “absolute space” is functionally identical to Bhart hari’s “container space” (ākāśa). It is of course the methodology that precedes a postulate and the uses that it is put to which make a given system metaphysics or physics. See JOHANSSON (1989) on the relation between philosophical and scientific views on the categories. The following is relevant in connection with space as the primordial container (the “holder”, ādhāra, this definition of the locative case is normally translated in sentences as ‘in’ or ‘on’. The “holder” status of space too has “scientific” implications that we shall examine in the sequel): “No development within physics is in conflict with the category of container space.” (JOHANSSON 1989: 160).



Being. The comparison with time cannot hold. For space is related to the external bodies of the objects, whereas time is related to the activities which are being performed by the capacities that are internal to the objects. The other topics in this context include, on the one hand, the further elaboration on the relation between space and direction and time, and, on the other hand, continuity versus discontinuity, divided versus undivided. The latter topics will engage us under difference and non-difference. Tentatively,50 we can say at this moment that what comes into being as any particular substance is substance, what exists is substance (in its Being-nature as the constituent of the world of object), and what retreats is substance as that particular object. What becomes of and what befalls substance in-between is quality, including coming into being and retreating. This is so because, so to say, (for there are no substances which are not substance + ), substances are representationally dependent on forms. This formatting, as we know, is intrinsically connected with the concepts of continuous flux, number, capacities and direction. Naming the substance What remains in the present context, after having seen the various paradigms of relation of substance, is to have a quick glance at the concept of naming. Only a few remarks about naming the unnameable substance ([15]: avyapadeśa and vyapadeśāya and [10]: śabda na vartate) are due, since my division of the text Vākyapadīyam does not allow me to go into the details of, and a total deviation towards, padārtha as word-meaning here. Let us consider the following verse as a preamble. [31] ātmā vastu svabhāvaś ca śarīra tattvam ity api | dravyam ity asya paryāyās tac ca nityam iti sm tam || Dravya 1 || Soul, the self, object, the embodied, nature, body, self-sameness, thatness and suchness are synonyms of substance, and it is traditionally understood as permanent. It appears that substance not only has a name, dravyam, but many synonyms as well. But these are not really names, but descriptions of the unnameable entity by the
50. I say “tentatively” because it is in fact Being itself, but in the form of a species which comes into being. This process will be represented in detail under existence and non-existence. But let us note that the problem of sattāsambandha (see HALBFASS (1989) for an illuminating discussion on this problem), that is, the question of the moment of connection between an object and the “(universal) reality”. (Being, in our translation, needs to be understood in an inverted process in our framework: vyakti or individual is simply a shadow of jāti or universal in our framework. That is why, as it is indicated in [44], the production of any substance is preceded by its jāti (sattā). Thus the closest position to this is one which is described by HALBFASS (1989: 556): “…Praśastapāda, elsewhere ascribes sattāsambandha to the eternal substances which are not effects.” See also MATILAL (e.g. 1977: 93) for the Nyāya-Vaiśe ika (restricted) concept of sattā. Finally, this question is part of a major topic which can be described (following the V tti: IYER 1966: 56) as jātyabhivyaktiprakriyā: “a procedure of the revelation of species”, and this procedure is highly significant all through the Vākyapadīyam. If one wants to insert the concept in what one already knows, Bhart hari’s jātis are, just like the Platonic e¬dh, at once the efficient as well as the ultimate causes of revelations.



infusion of the qualities. More precisely, these are the clues on the basis of which one must identify all the essential characteristics of substance. I shall not do this step by step, because I chose a different path. Needless to add that I do identify these characteristics while treading on different lines. “S tam = traditionally understood” has a direct bearing on the disciplinary praxis, a special concept of memory, and lots more that we shall encounter while investigating into śabda. In the operation of naming, quality restricts substance by condensing (whose ontological counterpart is “sa mūrchana = congealing”) it into a particular word (because “śabda = word” is “gu a = quality”). Thus, words such as Devadatta, pot, tree, Brahmin, are constrained to one particular individual endowed with its species. It is so, after all that we know of the substance-quality relation, because the real nature of substance is known only through the unreal forms: [32] satya vastu tadākārair asatyair avadhāryate | asatyopādhibhi śabdai satyam evābhidhīyate || Dravya 2 || Through unreal forms, it is the real which is cognized. By words which are unreal contingencies, the real itself is expressed. Or / and by words, through unreal contingencies, the real itself is expressed. This is the reason why there is no difference between the real and unreal as such. The impermanent appearance of the real is unreal, whereas the nature of the real appears impermanently. It may seem that once substance is restricted to a form and has become an object, the word comes to designate it. But as I have made it clear above, the parallelism in the formation does not involve the priority either of things or of words. Let me add that, from an epistemological point of view, words first occur to us as speakers, and we insert them in their conventional meanings; and as hearers, we receive words first, before we understand their meaning; here too the priority is to the words. (One more point is that, in cosmogony, the priority is to the word. This sense of śabda does not concern us here.) In that case, what exactly do the words designate? Since word is also a quality, how does it restrict the substance to a particular word? [33] ākāraiś ca vyavacchedāt sārvārthyam avarudhyate | yathaiva cak urādīnā sāmarthya nā ikādibhi || Dravya 5 || Due to the delimitation through forms, all-contentness is obstructed. It is just like the capacity of vision, etc. that is restricted by a tube etc. This does not mean that substance cannot be denoted by any and all words. That is, the unnameability is also all-nameability, in that all the names come to mean substance, since in practice the naming is possible. But on the contrary, they mean the objects and activities. In this case, all the qualifications of form, species, gender, number and capacities are meant by words. (That is, nouns, in this case. Excluding the capacities and gender, and by replacing the form by parts, the verbs are of the same nature.) In this case, substance itself still remains unnamed. That is why, conversely, any word cannot denote any object or any species either. For if and since word is a quality, all the above-described attributes of quality are applicable to the word. It splits substance. It is



involved in the continuous flux and it is unreal. This means that, since unreal mainly means impermanent, and since the word is impermanent in a precise sense which we shall presently see, the word is unreal. It imposes its activity-nature on substance. It creates a particular image of the object. While looking through a tube, one’s vision gets restricted as per the focus. And the restriction takes place on the part of the speaker, in practice in the acts of “abhi-dhāna (or) abhi-dhā (or) pra idhāna = directedness” and “prayoga (or) niyoga = employment, insertion of a word in an object”. (Henceforth, I shall call intentionality the acts of directedness and employment together). Since the words are learnt along with their conventional meanings, that is where one’s understanding of a word gets focused, and that is responsible in both speaker’s directedness and hearer’s reception. Of course, they both simply re-cognize the originary relation between the word and meaning, but do not create that relation during the intentional acts. Over and above these, the quality-nature of the word is its existential dependence on the sentence in any speech-situation. Here, what is at once intended by the speaker is the sentence-form and sentence-meaning. What is at once cognized by the hearer is the sentence-form and sentence-meaning. And word-forms physically, and wordmeanings mentally, are transitory. The word-forms vanish into the thin air as they are spoken, and the word-meanings are abandoned for the sake of the sentence-meanings as soon as they are grasped. In this, the word is exactly [like] the forms of substance. Let us note a most important point here: the question of ‘how long,’ the measure of the duration of existence, does not at all delete or add reality or unreality to anything.51 Because, from the point of view of undivided and permanent time, the utterance of a word that takes half a second or less is not different from the survival of a house for a hundred years. Whereas “śabda = sentence and its meaning” is permanent. Hence, sentence and sentence-meaning are conceived but in silence. But one more aspect of the philosophy of śabda is directly relevant here: when the objects are cognized on the basis of language, that is, within the “verbal-understanding” or “language-filled-cognition” of the sentence-meaning, the objects’ form is hardly important. Although a semblance of their form, i.e., a semblance of perceptual cognition of those word-meanings (i.e., when words refer to things and those referents have a form52 ) might arise as a memory within the sentence-understanding, such a cognition is subsumed under the heading of cognition of the ‘relations among word-meanings’. This is but a way of describing the indescribable experience of sentence-meaning, or rather, an analytical device employed in the case of the ‘notion’ śabda in terms of an equally formless entity called relation. Let the reader remember that at present we are considering the ontological status of words, and that there is a full-fledged system of
51. However, there is a basic difference between objects such as a pot, and words. In the case of the former, wholes as well as parts are simultaneously present, whereas in the case of words, only parts of them exist at any given time. (Let us be clear that we are always concerned with speech, not with written words). See the V tti on Brahmakā a 15 (IYER 1966: 53, lines 4-6). 52. There are varieties of formless objects, such as a a or śakti.



philosophy of śabda in the Vākyapadīyam, within which semantic issues are considered. This entire summary of the aspects of śabda is full of technicalities which I shall not attempt to clarify here. The restriction of one particular word to refer only to a particular object is closely connected with major concepts such as the relation between word and meaning, literal versus metaphorical meaning, and “abhidhāniyama = restriction of the denoted-meaning at the level of the intentionality of the speaker.” Quality as substance As a natural result of this operation of formatting substance, i.e., dividing substance, bestowing activity to substance and naming substance, quality too, as it were, becomes the substance right from the second mode of substance’s being. That is, quality too comes to acquire certain characteristics of substance. Primarily, this is made possible because quality is an existentially-dependent entity and so it is subsequent to, and an external contingency of, substance. Quality comes to exist as the quality of one particular object only after that object has come in to being, and this characteristic gives it the name secondary, whereas substance exists permanently. Let us examine the acquired substance-nature of quality and its origins: [34] asvatantre svatantratva paradharmo yathā gu e | abhedye bhedyabhāvo ’pi dravyadharmas tathā gu e || Sa khyā 5 || Just as independence, which is a property of substance, is attributed to quality which is not independent, in the same way, the property of being differentiated, which belongs to substance, is attributed to quality which is not so. (IYER 1974: 81). In other words, the characteristics of being independent, pure, and getting divided by number, the capacity of being a point of reference as a distinguishable thing through the pronouns “this” and “that”, etc., are applicable to quality and also to words. Thus, quality is also a substance and expressions such as “the white,” can refer to objects endowed with those qualities, just as the word cow refers to a particular cow endowed with a white color. Therefore, “that which is primary” [10] can also be the secondary one when spoken about with reference to itself. For example, in Sanskrit one can say “bring the white = śuklām ānaya”, meaning that the white cow is to be brought. This is possible because in the Sanskrit language the substantives and adjectives belong to the same grammatical category or parts-of-speech. To say that quality is also a substance does not mean permanence, but, as a result of the entire coalescence, it means the objectivity which follows from the prepredicative “this” and “that” to the substantives of utterances. And of course, the ostensibility of words is achieved by the same operation, like this or that word. Though it can be referred to in that manner, its essential nature of being dependent on the other always keeps quality in a secondary position in opposition to the things that are its substratum. The exception to this rule that is exemplified in the expression ‘bring the white’, where a substance, that which has whiteness, is made secondary to quality,



actually results into someone bringing the cow which is white. In other words, the dependence of quality on substance is that “white” cannot exist independently of “that which is white.” III. SPECIES Species as quality What of the other type of quality, quality as property, species? Let me first of all elaborate on this most celebrated entity in its status as quality. Since species is an existentially independent and permanent entity, pots with various forms and cows with various colors can continue to come into being. For the superordinate as well as the basic-level categories, or both determinables and determinates, such as, colorness and the species of smell on the one hand, and the species of red and fragrance on the other, are permanent entities. (Whereas this particular color which has a more pronounced shade of white, or the smell of a jasmine-flower, is quality53 ). These are qualityspecies, but not species as quality, that is, they are unlike Brahminhood or humanness, which are the substances’ species and reside within a substance as qualifications, though in the sense of permanently accompanying attributes. This distinction is not thematized, but it is convenient for the exposition of certain entities. If we continue this distinction, the substance-species are to be distinguished from the substances’ species (let us call them object-species) for the same reasons. The former is substanceness, where the subspecies could be the species of earth, i.e., earthness, of water, fire, air and space. And the object-species are potness, Brahminhood, etc. This-object-species such as “bāhuleyatva = the nature of being a bull named Bāhuleya” or Devadatta-tva are border cases. Since quality in the sense of accident is an existentially dependent entity, the form of a cow, the color of a pot, etc., cease to be. Whereas if we talk of species in general, then whiteness, just as the Brahminhood that exists in all living beings, exists in all objects. (See below for a further elaboration on this topic). An expression such as “a white cow” has for its referent a relatively white and “cow-ish” manifestation of whiteness and cowness, and notions like size and parts, which are normally understood as qualities, are all relational notions. Does this mean that species too is a matter of degrees? No, but species is revealed through the “vyaktaya = individuals (substances and individuated actions), or revelations,” which are endowed with qualities, such as “the more” or “the less”. And since they are merely the differentiated Being, the species do not fluctuate incessantly, but in their revelation they necessarily fluctuate within a given substance. For they too are dependent on quality for their revelation. The following verse will clarify the situation a little further with reference to the species in their status of being the properties (i.e., quality) in their (non-)relation wtih substance:

53. Qualities, precisely coinciding with Bhart hari’s concept of gu a, are abstract particulars or tropes. Their existence presupposes species. In this connection, LANDESMAN rightly remarks: “No theory which accepts qualities and denies universals can be true.” (1972-73: 333).



[35] prāk ca jātyabhisa bandhāt sarvanāmābhidheyatā | vastūpalak a a sattve prayujyante tyadādaya || V tti 343 || Before the relation with the species, substance is referred to by the pronoun. Indicating the existence of an [embodied] object, pronouns such as ‘this’ and ‘that’ are used. In other words, since we already know in essence what “existence” means in this context, properties but not accidents, are to be discarded from the definition of the purity of an object or of pure substance.54 That is, when we consider, as we do here, that species is an entity that resides in the objects (what I termed as the substances’ species or object-species), then, since substance as such has no other species than its own, the object-species are to be discarded from it. The basic reason for this is that only in the third stage of the formation of the objects (considering the infusion of qualities as the first stage, and number as the second stage), the names along with the respective species and the appropriate capacities come to be associated with substance. The differences in the form are contingencies and degrees, for “the more” or “the less of that” does not hamper the property of a given object. “Arthajāti = the objectspecies,” e.g., a cow, need not necessarily be a white cow, and the lack of a horn does not make a cow a non-cow. Or, for that matter, a given activity “karmajāti = actionspecies,” e.g., not keeping salt in the food, does not make cooking non-cooking. The reason for discarding species from the pure object is not only because the former is a quality in the above defined sense of a delimiter and divider, but because the species too express (“abhivyakti = revelation”) themselves only in activity. The various aspects of the existential priority and posteriority will need consideration under existence and non-existence. The essential implications to be remembered from the ontological synthesis in this context are that the species are not merely quality-species, but that they are permanent entities, and also that species already subsist in substance as substanceness, although as “this-object-ness”, e.g. Devadattaness, Brahminhood and humanness, which are susceptible to be revealed through these particular objects, the species do hamper the purity of substance. Species cannot be a potentiality of substance, simply because substance is a potentiality of Being which is nothing but species. Again we may ask what is left of substance as ‘this’ or ‘that’ object after taking into account the properties? According to Bhart hari, the individual qua individual is only the referent of “this” and “that” without even the proper name, but individuality is attached to it (them) through oneness. By residing in substrata such as the process ‘one’, white and direction, as the species of process, as oneness and whiteness, and as the species of direction, of oneness, which in turn comes to reside in the numerables, species makes possible the division of objects and activities. For as we know, there is no entity called form over and above white, etc., and there is no number apart from one, two, etc.
54. According to V abhadeva (on the V tti on Brahmakā a 13): kaivalya is jātyupadhānarahitaśuddhavastu (cf. IYER 1966: 45, line 9).

SPECIES [36] sa khyānajātiyogāt tu sa khyā sa khyeti kathyate | rūpatvajātiyogāc ca rūpe rūpam iti s tam || Sa khyā 26 ||


By being in relation with the species of numberness, number is called number. By being in relation with the species of formness, form is called form. This is the tradition. Numbers as well as forms must be known in terms of their manifesting features.55 They themselves are simply the symbols (sa jñā) of oneness, twoness, whiteness, etc. For there is no number called number, or form called form. In other words, while selfreferring for their own functions (that is, white comes to be established as white in spite of the constant changes while being one of them as a constancy of change, or as a species of change, etc., and number divides itself in order to be number), they are linguistic symbols for the white and number one, etc. The reason for this analytical mode of thinking is nothing but the above-mentioned parallelism – although it is not really contradictory to the Bhart harian mode of thinking, where the aim is to articulate synthesis and the interrelations among the entities, rather than to get at the so-called ontological simples. Anyhow, from within the ontological synthesis, only two entities, namely, quality and number, are by nature immune to their own dividing nature. Oneness makes possible the division of the qualities and of the numbers as if they were objects themselves. Retrospect and Prospect The description of all that is normally, as well as system-specifically, understood as the objects, is completed with the introduction of the concept of extension, a short description of naming, and finally a description of species as quality. The representations are at times made with adequate descriptions, at times with mere mentioning, and still at times they are most elongated as per the relative pertinence. (Relative, that is, to the topics under consideration in my re-presentation). The restriction and delimitation of the things, i.e., the division of substances and activities as individuals bearing one particularity and sharing one class-characteristics, but not others, is determined at the moment of the constitution of the objects and the emergence of the activities. This part of ontology is a topic of the six transformations of the objects, which I will deal with under existence and non-existence. Now that we know the formatting stage of substance as objects, and also some insufficient information about the potentialities, my next task in this paper is to represent the features of the remaining entities out of the potentialities of the objects: capacities, activity and time. Investigations into the essentials of the nature of species will have to be carried on along with the exposition of these so-called potentialities. The reason is simply that species is the all-pervading

55. Let us note that number as well as capacities are border cases between independent entityhood and qualities. This is so because, by definition, quality is that which creates divisions, differences among the objects, whereas entities, species, direction, time and number also do so.



entity and understanding its influence on the entities is essential for the understanding of the concept of potentialities.56 In other words, what is represented within the question of the mutual relationship between the entities is in essence the relationship between substance, substances, quality, number, species, direction, space, etc., with special reference to the ontology of objects. The description of these entities is not completed by this. Although the relationship among these entities is explicated with special reference to substance and qualities, it is but a part of the main topic. Here by main topic I mean the necessary togetherness of all the entities which complexity is all about and which, in essence, is the ontological synthesis. I have divided the complexity-problem into the topics of material dialectic, or the ontology of objects and the ontological synthesis itself, taking my cue from system-specific approaches called Potentiality and Processuality. And I have shown the main features of the nature of substance, quality, etc., under the former topic. Now, first of all, I shall invoke the ontological synthesis from a different angle of the text, where it is presented in different terms, and proceed towards the set objective: namely, to put all the entities together in their respective positions and mutual relationships. In this attempt, by shifting our center-stage from substance to species, I hope to gather together almost all entities. The following is a preamble to that. The Status of Substance and Species in the Logic of Being In this connection, two theoretical points are of immediate importance. One is a thesis concerning Brahman / Being which is called by Helārāja (while introducing [45], cf. IYER 1963:50, line 3) as “sarvasarvagatattvam = existence of all the species in all objects”; “there is every species in every object.” This is an echo of what is propounded in the V tti on Brahmakā a 9 (cf. IYER 1966:36, lines 3-4). The crux of

56. “For the substance metaphysician, a universal is a second-order property, a higher-level feature that various thing-properties have in common … Thus, the universal redness is what is common and shared by this apple’s redness, your sunset’s redness, and that rose’s redness, and so on. For the process metaphysician, by contrast, all the processes of a given type constitute a field or realm; even as all economic processes constitute the economic realm and all biological processes constitute the biological realm, all physical processes constitute the physical realm. And from the angle of a process metaphysics, the conceptually advantageous fact is that realms are composed of their subdomains by way of straightforward inclusion… Realms are megaprocesses, as it were. And such megaprocesses need not necessarily be continuous in space and time; it makes perfect sense to see all processes of the same sort (all pencil sharpenings, for example) as constituting not merely a processual thing-kind but also as thereby constituting a spatiotemporally distributed megaprocess.” R ESCHER (1996: 72). “Processes, seen abstractly, are inherently structural and programmatic – and, in consequence, universal and repeatable. To be a process is to be a process of a certain structural sort, a certain specifiable make-up. What concretizes processes of a given abstract characterization – a rain shower, for example – is simply their spatiotemporal emplacement within the wider matrix of natural process, their positioning by way of concrete realizations or instantiations in the framework of reality. And so a particular instance of a process is, by its very nature, a concrete universal – any actually occurring process is at once concrete (contextspecific) and universal (type-instantiating). R ESCHER (1996: 74).



a quote from unknown sources (IYER 1965: 14, note 2), is that: “gha a pa o vā... sakalapadārtharūpatām... anatīta ”: “either a pot or a cloth is of the nature of all objects.” (V abhadeva on above the V tti (cf. IYER 1966: 36, lines 17-18). In other words, since there is nothing that is different from, or the “other” of Being / Brahman, and also since the same is not distributed, as it were, in the objects, every object has all the species, that is, Being / Brahman in the full form. (That means, it is not the case that a pot has little Brahman whereas a Brahmin has lots of it.). Since Being / Brahman is transforming as the objects and activities, then everything has to be itself. To begin with, we can say that Being / Brahman is neither different nor non-different from the so-called everything. The other point is the following: the presentation of the principle Being / Brahman follows a peculiar logic which I choose to call “double determination”.57 This logic is constituted in two moves: firstly, in assigning a number of entities to Being / Brahman as its potentialities, and secondly, in taking into account only two of them, namely, species and substance, as the central ones, and treating these two as if they are more really the potentialities or more importantly the representatives of Being / Brahman.58 This same logic is repeated in the case of almost all the entities. But here one must be sufficiently cautious about the content. In the case of the entities, the same logic, namely that there is an entity with various capacities, or having variations within, but only one of them becoming prominent, operates in the following way. First of all, let us be reminded of the familiar examples of quality and number. There it is stability that stands out as the representative of the qualities in general, and number ‘1’ stands out in
57. I undertake this definition partly on the inspiration of the gestaltist double representation and the Freudian overdetermination, and partly from the Indian scene. From within the Indian context, at least two concepts are relevant. One is the concept of “vyañjaka = that which reveals something else even while revealing itself = svarūpa prakāśayann eva parāvabhāsako vyañjaka ” (Anandavardhana’s definition). Here an expression gives rise to a cognition, but once again the same expression appears as a part of the whole. That is, in the second cognition of the suggested meaning, the word and the denoted meaning are also equally present. Secondly, I venture a definition of this kind while representing Bhart hari, (who is an expert theoretician), because he recognized an important semantical relation among the word-meanings as a subspecies of an operation called “viśe ātideśa = adding the particular”. Here examples will suffice: one says after having brought a Brahmin, ‘treat this one as a Brahmin.’ Or the sage Ka va sends a message to the king Du yanta along with Śakuntalā: “sāmānyapratipattipūrvakam iya dāre u d śyā tvayā = Treat her with the same respect among your other wives”. (That is, we do not need to make a negative statement sā mā anyapratipattipūrvakam, nor sā mānyapratipattipūrvakam, because the special status is brought out by the mere saying itself, which includes a particular in the general, which need not be specified.) 58. What is operative here is not a metonymy because a potentiality, even if it is understood – in a superficial understanding – as a part that stands for the whole, (the substratum of the potentialities; but let us be clear that there is no part-whole relation between the potentialities and Brahman), it is always in terms of the other parts of the whole that it is presented, but never as a representative of the totality of the whole by itself. And the prominence of that potentiality is elucidated necessarily in terms of its identity with the others, but without ever suppressing the others as it happens in metonymy. The circle is completed – to use a Derridian criterion – therefore there is no question of metonymy.



the same way as the representative of all the numbers as if it is most really the number. As we shall shortly see, in the case of the concept of the capacities, the agent and the instrument are the central ones. In the case of time, what else but the present is the special one. In the case of activity, speaking is central for our text. In the case of speech-acts, it is the commissive. In epistemological issues, certainty is the real nature of the intellect. Yet, let me note that not only this aspect, but the entire network of the logic of Being / Brahman is necessarily repeated in case of all the entities. As per its applications in its originality, that is, as it is applied to Being / Brahman and species / substance, in which connection it appeared at first: very briefly, let us note that one mode of existence of the entities and objects is species. Not the uniqueness but the multiplicity, not as and how they are situated as the potentialities of Being / Brahman, unique in themselves, but as and how they get diversified in their togetherness while preserving their uniqueness. We know that with reference to themselves the entities are neither one nor many and they are neither different nor nondifferent from each other, for the reason that they are all potentialities of one single Being. But when they are together the position is altered. It is altered because the entity by name time determines, governs, controls, etc., many other entities, and, in particular, the objects and activities. Once it has become clear that Being / Brahman is the processuality in transforming itself, its divisions and the causes of its divisions are immediately explained by Bhart hari. That is how the following is necessarily the third verse of the Vākyapadīyam: [37] adhyāhitakalā yasya kālaśaktim upāśritā | janmādayo vikārā a bhāvabhedasya yonaya || Brahmakā a 3 ||

The six transformations are the source of the changes in being and becoming, i.e., in objects and activities, and they are dependent on the time-potentiality of the Brahman who has attributed differences. Since Being / Brahman is “vivartate = rotating and / or transforming” “arthabhāvena = as the being of the entities and that of the objects,” then the principal role of the potentiality called time is to bring about the changes in objects and activities; that is, to govern these transformations in an orderly way. Due to its logical priority and organizing nature, time is a totally independent potentiality. (This is also why I repeatedly stress the fact that the instability of the potentialities of the objects is merely for the purpose of representation.) Moreover, while they are themselves dependent on the objects, since they are the potentialities of the substances, time and direction do not transgress the alteration either. That is, we do not forget our own situatedness as a starting point of the enquiry into the nature of the entities. While being among them and one of them, we philosophize over them, and the way in which they are accessible to us then is only inasmuch as they are potentiality of the objects. Whereas the Being-nature of the entities has neither beginning nor end, for Brahman / Being does not have them either. The entities have oneness and manyness, and they have different characteristics which distinguish substance from time, and direction from quality, etc. For the



ontological synthesis implies, as I have already suggested, oneness in the essence of the entities, at the same time admitting their differences in functions and definitions.59 Since problems concerning their respective existence and non-existence and identity and non-identity arise in that only mode of their being in which the entities are accessible to us as the dispersed forms of Being, species becomes a necessary entity. Processuality becomes more dominant. According to the ontological synthesis, all entities are the potentialities of Being. The principle Being / Brahman has two dimensions. One is that all the entities, including ourselves, are itself. The other is that it is continuously undergoing a transformation or revolution of sorts, as the being of everything: the process approach. These two issues are not as different as they appear to be. The entities called direction, capacities, activities and time are situated in the objects as their potentialities. The objects are situated in the primary container space. And any object to be conceived even in its pure form requires the number one: ‘1’. This is the role of substance metaphysics. And the species are everywhere responsible while excluding an object from other objects, and while including the same in different classes of objects, in subjects acquiring merit and demerit. On the other hand, in the case of substance, species is present as earth-ness, air-ness, etc. In the case of gender, gender-ness is spread around all three genders. In the case of quality, the process itself is species. In the case of number, it is present as numberness. In the case of capacities, they are identical to species itself. And in the case of direction, time and space too, species exists. Some of these revelations are already represented in detail, and we shall come across the remainng ones in what follows. First of all, I shall clarify the ontological status of species. Here the problems will include on the one hand what is species in relation to Being / Brahman, substance and number, and, on the other, the epistemological status of species. This last point will directly lead us to the continuation of the ontology of objects and the interfaces among the three systems of the Vākyapadīyam. Ontological synthesis revisited: an interlude [38] ekasya sarvabījasya yasya ceyam anekadhā | bhokt bhoktavyarūpe a bhogarūpe a ca sthiti || Brahmakā da 4 || The being of that unique one, who is the seed of everything, is stable as the nature of the subject, object and cognition. I quote this verse here to emphasize the fact that if we take one or two out of the entities, substance or species, to represent Being / Brahman, it is merely for our convenience and that there are other categories, for instance subject-object-cognition, that
59. This function and definition lead us to the entities which are not unfamiliar to the students of Plato, where they are called e¬doq, or to the students of Husserl, where they are called generalities. Whether we like it or not, we have here a Hegelian variety of synthesis involving the ontologically real entities and the phenomenologically describable generalities. This complicated nature of the text has to be grasped on the basis of Bhart hari’s own method of “apoddhāra = abstraction.”



could very well have served as guiding categories for a philosophical representation of the ontological synthesis of the Vākyapadīyam. The word ‘seed’ in the above-quoted verse is significant at least in two ways: as ‘OM’ and as the primordial form of that which manifests itself later in cosmogony and in the six transformations of the things, say, in a philosophical ontogenesis. And related to this is “sthiti = stability.” Stability is therefore the primordial state of being of Brahman / Being and that state remains as the own nature of all the entities and objects. [39] ātmarūpa tu bhāvānā sthitir ity apadiśyate || Li ga 27 || The subject-object-cognition trio is represented in the Vākyapadīyam both in terms of “bhoktā, bhoktavyam and bhoga = experiencer, object of experience, [the act of] experiencing,” which literally means, “eater-eatable-eating” and in terms of “dra ād śyam-darśanam = seer-seen-seeing.” At times, “prayojanam = the result” is added to this; “phalam = the fruit of experience or of seeing.” This result is the category of the purposes or ends of men to which the relationship among the entities renders service. The four-fold division embraces the so-called everything at least from one point of view.60 However, the trilogy is always invoked without anthropocentrism in order to emphasize the ontological synthesis. The subject-object-cognition is therefore the fundamental apparent diversification of Being / Brahman. Out of these, I shall shortly represent where Bhart hari situates the role of species with reference to subject and objects. But the term ‘Object’ in this context also stands for all the entities, not only for the objects. They are also equally, but in various different ways, the objects of our experience. The act of seeing or experiencing is a matter of philosophy of mind and epistemology which does not concern us here. However, the fact remains that when the topic is the plurality of the capacity of the entities and of the objects, then species is operative; and when one and only one entity is at issue, which is the substratum of many capacities, it can be called a substance by taking substance as the model. This terminological convention is also duly influenced by the fact that oneness is the most appropriate adjunct only of substance.61

60. “Tattvam = the nature of things in general”, the ‘thatness’ of things is exhaustively contained in three categories of Nyāya Philosophy, namely, pramā a, prameya and pramiti. 61. It is therefore necessary to draw attention once again to a very frequently repeated formula concerning all the senses of the word ‘substance’ in its extension. 1) Substance as the substratum: an entity is a substance if it is a locus wherein various other entities reside. This definition also clarifies a little confusion that might arise in connection with the substratum-dependent relations. A good example of the possible confusion in question is connected with the ontological synthesis versus the ontology of the objects. If all entities, i.e., substance, etc., are the potentialities of Being / Brahman, then the latter is the substratum of these, and Brahman is the substance. Once we have this definition, namely, that substance is where various other entities reside, then, on this basis, Being / Brahman is also substance. And of course, this definition should be kept at a reasonable distance from substance as the material cause, referent of “this” and “that”, etc. And it is in the latter sense that



By the very fact that there are variations, differences in their being, all the entities are endowed with species. For in [3] it is said that Being itself is divided as the real element of objects such as cow-ness, etc., and in that divided form it is called species. In this connection, it is essential to note that though it is often stated that species “resides in” substances, it is not as a “part” that it exists in them. But it exists in them because it produces them for its own revelation. Because, for that matter, and by definition, they are the “revelation = vyakti ” of species, and species is Being, and substance, etc., are its potentialities. From this point of view, it is a misrepresentaion of Bhart hari to say that Brahman / Being is substance. For in this case we would be restricting it to the Primordial materiality alone. However, there need not be a confusion between species and number on the basis of this interpretation, i.e., on the basis of the criterion of plurality. Being is necessarily understood as a self-differentiator, and since it differentiates, divides, splits, etc., by means of its potentiality called number, species differentiates the entities. Number is what is primarily meant by ‘its own potentialities’, when Bhart hari enumerates in what all manners Being gets diversified. The Reality of Species Species – the universal, idea, generality – is not an ideal entity, nor is it something underlying reality, nor the underlying reality of the apparent, etc. It is real in all the senses of the word. Although it is perceivable to us as the similarity and causal efficacy, which are but some of its revelations, it is directly perceivable for those who are superior to us. [40] jñāna tv asmadviśi ānā tāsu sarvendriya vidu | ābhyāsān ma irūpyādiviśe e v iva tadvidām || Jāti 46 || The knowledge of those who are superior to us is all the senses, in the case of the perception of species, is like the experts’ knowledge, derived from practice, of specific differences among precious stones and coins, etc. Here we have the prior margins of philosophy. These need not temporally precede philosophy, which also has its own margins within the pragmatic-verbal intercourse of the people. That is, philosophy, which takes for granted the utterances of enlightened
Bhart hari once defines: “dravyadharmāśrayād dravyam = a substance is such, because it is the substratum of such and such properties”. (2) Substance as substantive. This is the widest definition. Any entity whose cognition can be expressed in the nominative case, with one or more genders and numbers, is a substance. In this sense, qualities as well as accomplished activities are substances; like white and cooking, for instance. (3) Substance as the referent of one. An entity is a substance in our system if it can be expressed in a singular form, but with the specification that this entity is one, in the sense of ‘1'. In this sense the entities called space, direction, time, and capacities are also substance(s). This is the reason for which the alternative second translation of [6] should be maintained. 4) Finally, substance as understood in its etymology; it is associated with the word “dh tvam = stable, firm”, etc. Patañjali’s etymological definition becomes relevant here.



ones as the most reliable and valid means of knowledge with regard to the entities, also takes into account the understanding of the people of the same phenomena, while building a continuous but potentially misleading bridge of sorts between the extremes of margins. It should be added here that the bridge in question is the disciplinary practice of different varieties, or the traditions themselves, and that the traditions are a continuity of consciousness rather than breached bridges. Therefore they are the means, and the royal means, we are told, is the very disciplinary practice that we are trying to understand. The potential or even the necessary “vinipāta = fall-out” from truth or reality is due to the methods employed in the disciplines. Thus, in general, an enquiry into truth or reality is full of untruth and unreal, due to the situation itself, and, over and above this, if we employ the methods of reasoning alone to arrive at truth, without any foundational principles like the ontological synthesis, then we are doomed to failure. For reality does not submit itself to the postulated theoretical frameworks of philosophical systems. Since all the disciplines employ reasoning, and thus perpetuate discursive thinking in the form of various disciplinary practices, even those who have understood this fact become bound to discursive thinking for the same reason in that very practice. However, in essence, the disciplines’ contribution is to polish the mind to arrive at truth, to make the mind-stuff congenial to the appreciation of truth. Since we are on the royal road towards it, we come upon various visions of truth throughout the Vākyapadīyam.62 This claim, this appeal to the direct perception of superior beings, obviously the “ is = sage-like individuals,” endows the given system of philosophy with legitimacy, and it also implies philosophy as the “darśana = seeing” nature of this system.63 Yet, the above-quoted verse makes it clear that the cognitions of superior beings are not only equatable to vision, but to the other senses as well. The reason for this is the following. For instance, the shape can be apprehended fully only by vision accompanied by touch. To illustrate, we can give the example of the so-called fire-wheel, a speedily revolving lighted torch: its sight alone does not reveal its objectivity (namely, that it is a torch), but the touch does so (of course, by touching the handle, or else one gets an entirely different revelation!). Likewise, the other senses have fixed objects but without any
62. The disciplinary practice in the Indian context and particularly the one that Bhart hari practises, is rightly termed “orthopraxis” by C ARPENTER (1982: 26). The religious overtones can be grasped by the information provided by GONDA (1975) about the terms denoting the “ways” (in Bhart hari, “mārga” “paddhati” and “panthā”). See also P OLLOCK (1985) for the selfunderstanding and assessment of the Indian “śāstra (theory)”. Whereas P OLLOCK here contrasts theory with practice ( prayoga), I am thinking more in terms of śāstra as a disciplinary practice. In this case, the “way” is the method that we have been discerning. The nature of practice in this system-specific sense is a special type of memory = s ti . Finally, the therapeutic claims made by Bhart hari must to be considered to understand the question: “why to practice?” 63. The word i does not refer to some unknown creatures like dwarfs or other mythical beings, but to individuals who are understood to have gained knowledge of worldly and extra-worldly realities by means not totally unknown to all others, that is, through disciplinary practice.



total fulfilment of the cognitions. The maximum capacity of the special cognitions in question is that they are comparable to all the sense perceptions together. There would arise further questions concerning the epistemological status of the superiors’ cognitions and the homogeneity of a particular sense-organ with a particular objective feature.64 But the fact is that in this discipline these cognitions are not grounded on the contact between sense and object, but on the relationship between word and object. Further elaborations on this topic would involve the relation between word and shape, and object and shape. Therefore, the species exist and they are in principle (re)cognizable, albeit with the disciplinary practice that intuitively reveals the object in the constant repetition of that practice, in toto, as an object endowed with species. If similarity or resemblance (that is, by considering as essential certain features of the objects, such as the dewlap of a cow, and others as features also shared by other objects), lead us to a concept of identity through inference, these objective features are not the only indices to identify the species and classify the objects. On the one hand, their reality is evidenced in direct perception, and on the other hand there is the criterion of causal efficacy. Causal efficacy is nothing but the capacity in general, called sāmarthyam, that any object can act and react in one or more fixed ways, but not in others. And this capacity of the objects is revealed in the shape. But the example of the fire-wheel is what is normally termed as a common perceptual illusion. This phenomenon, as well other common, everyday perceptions of the shape of the sky as a flat surface, or a dome,65 or the changing perspectives of the forms of objects described from Du yanta’s speeding chariot in Kālidāsa’s Śākuntalam, fall under the ontological question of the relation between direction and shape, and, in epistemological terms, the question of ‘objectively appearing as’, or, ‘seeing as this or that.’ From an ontological point of view, since all objects necessarily participate in activities (not immobile objects like a house, which of course participates in the activity of existing, for it is a form, and as a locus, as an object of destination, etc., but not as an agent in the movements, i.e., it is not a “gatimān = mobile object”), that are constituted of a number of movements, and since these movements take place in fixed regions of space (see [58] where it is said that ‘direction is the locus of the revelation of the activity-species’), then, if shapes are prone to be distorted during the activities, how is it possible to have shape as the criterion for categorizing the objects? Simply put, how to account for the shape in motion in the categorization of objects? It is true that shapes are necessarily conceived
64. I.e., the elements that reside in the eye and light, in the ear and space, etc., are of the same genus (species in our present usage). This correspondence is one of the most unanimously accepted presuppositions of Indian philosophies, with variations as to the exact nature of those elements. 65. (talavad d śyate vyoma... ||Vākyakā a 140 ||). Further epistemological enquiries that are directly related to this are beyond the present paper. Let us note that the Heideggerian “asstructure” is more akin to the cognition of objects ‘as’ agents, direct objects, instruments, etc., than to what is being illustrated here.



while involved in activities, especially in the case of mobile objects. That is why the categorization is necessarily based on repetition: [41] anuprav ttirūpā yā prakhyā tām āk ti vidu | ke cid vyāv ttirūpā tu dravyatvena pracak ate || Jāti 19 || The manifestation or / and the cognition which recurs is known as shape, and an exclusive form is said to be substance. This repeated shape, as we shall shortly see, makes the capacities synonymous with the species, for the capacities are revealed in that shape. It is also time to make certain points clear on this important issue. To begin with, it can be said without hesitation that “sād śya jāti = species is similarity,” “sāmānya jāti = species is commonness,” “āk ti jāti = species is shape,” etc. But when we identify species with all these things, we mean only that these are the effects of the species that make us identify them, and, on the basis of this identification, group different objects under one class or category. Because, unlike our superiors, we do not have direct access to them. (Here the transcendental (Platonic) realism66 of the species is not at all ruled out.) Therefore, as Deleuze points out at the very outset of his work on Difference and Repetition, “Generality is not repetition.” Nor is there a total identification of shape, generic property and resemblance with the species. The often stressed “identification” should be understood in the sense that these phenomena are the clues and the marks to identify the real species: cow-ness, Brahminhood, tree-ness, the species of cooking, walking, and so on. That is, the superordinate and basic level categories. Or, in a different terminology, the species are both the determinables and the determinates. Whereas the common property of all the species is that they reside in many individuals at once. “Let this common property of theirs (since it is a common property of many things at once, it is a species), be their species (that is, the species of species),” says Bhart hari67 . This makes the concept of species a most elastic one.
66. The above description does presuppose that over and above the instanciations, there are Universals. A number of paradigms of relationship between Platonic forms and instances can undoubtedly be read in the Vākyapadīyam. Besides, the immanent realism – a most important stance of which is that “Everything that exists has to have both a particularity aspect and a universality aspect” (JOHANSSON 1980: 147) – is best illustrated in Bhart hari’s attributing sāmānya (universality) even to space and time. (JOHANSSON (1980: 147) quotes ARMSTRONG, who makes the position of immanent realism clearer: “Universals are nothing without particulars and particulars are nothing without Universals.”). In my opinion, the Sanskritists’ all-time favourite, namely, analytical philosophy, is most remotely connected with Indian philosophy in general and Bhart hari in particular. I do not mean to underestimate the comparative perspectives handled by the likes of Prof. B.K. MATILAL. But the entire history of Western metaphysics cannot be – though technically it has to be – overlooked if one valorizes analytical philosophy. In the case of our text, it is always necessarily the synthesis which is supposed to precede the analysis. Therefore, here, any form of philosophy that concentrates on analysis is subordinated to the general method. 67. [The author probably refers to Jāti 14: : anuprav ttidharmo vā jāti syāt sarvajāti u | vyāv ttidharmasāmānya viśe e jātir i yate || (ed.)]



Now the question is: how does the primordial material basis of the objects come to have not only its own species, but the object-species, so that the shape can determine the categorization. Or rather, we are going to see the foundations of the philosophical ontogenesis in terms of the fundamental move within ontology, and also in the process approach, namely, species “stepping into” the material basis of objects that constitute the world, or, as it is formulated in the first verse of the Vākyapadīyam, Brahman’s “transformation and / or rotation” as “the being of the things = arthabhāva.” The objects are called “vyaktaya = revelations or individuals.” What they reveal and what is revealed through them is “jāti = Being in its dispersed form, species.” The process is called “abhivyakti = revelation or manifestation.” The act is called “prayoga = employment.” Species itself is the “employer = prayojikā.” The individuals are the employed. We shall presently see what kind of material causes exist, and their relation to species. [42] kāra e u pada k tvā nityānitye u jātaya | kva cit kārye v abhivyaktim upayānti puna puna || Jāti 26 || The species, having stepped inside the permanent and impermanent causes, get revelation again and again in specific productions. [43] p thivyādi v abhivyaktau na sa sthānam apek ate| anucchinnāśrayāj jātir anitye ’py āśraye sthitā || Jāti 41 || Species does not require any particular constitution while revealing itself in earth, etc. Species’ abode is not restricted even when it resides in an impermanent object. Let us first of all take note of “puna puna = again and again, or, repeatedly.” This repeated revelation is but the objects’ participation in activities as the already accomplished objects (siddha) called agents (kartā), but not simply the emergence of the objects. The material basis of the objects includes five elements: earth, water, fire, air and space. These are the permanent causes of the objects, and causes like potter, clay, pot, and goldsmith, gold, golden-necklace, are impermanent. The revelation of the species in the elements is categorically different from the revelation called objects as “individuals = vyaktaya .” The latter are of course their products. The individuals are individuated as such by number. Number as applied to the elements does not refer to them in the same way that it refers to objects. In the case of the latter, there is countability since there is individuation in the sense of division, whereas the elements are representationally dependent and there is no worldly oneness in them. An ontological reason for this – since this problem is not simply a matter of massnouns versus count-nouns – is that when for instance a cup of water taken from the lake is broken into parts, the elements still retain their respective elemental species,



unlike a hand broken from a body, or a feather fallen from a bird.68 From this point of view, the fact of the species’ distinctive relation with the elements is indicated by the word “kvacit = specific” in quote [42] and is made clearer in [43]. The import of these verses includes that since some productions of the species are revelatory of the species, some other productions, that is, earth, water and fire, space and air, on the one hand, i.e., the substance and the revelation of species in time and direction on the other, are not individuated for they are all pervasive and are also internal to the objects. As per the former, the reason is clear that unlike pot-ness which reveals itself in the overall shape of a pot, which in turn reflects its capacity to hold water, etc., earth, water, fire, air and space do not require a whole with a particular constitution. (However, I am sometimes tempted to keep the elements called air and space in brackets while listing the elements. In the case of material objects, their absence rather than their presence is experienced. For by the presence of physical objects, the air appears to be abstracted and space appears to be occupied.) Thus the differences in such constitutions is the individuation of these entities with which we have already become acquainted as the representational dependence of substance on quality. Thus, another important reason why there must be a particular constitution for the revelation of species in the elements, is that the elements, earth, water, etc., are together the substance and these are metaphysical entities, but not what we know as two acres of land and a glass of water, etc., in which the prevalence of one element makes the division possible. This part of the ontology of elements is realized to the fullest available form in the works of later non-dualist philosophy. Hence, the fact that we are dealing with them = arthakriyā, as though they are individuated objects, for instance in the act of donating a piece of land, is possible not on the basis of their real individualized objectivity, but on the basis of their representationally dependent, their unevenly distributed and constituted, and therefore quality-infused substanceness. Yet, they do differ in all the above-mentioned ways from other objects on different parameters. Species resides in all the entities and objects. There is no exception to this general principle. But what are the individual parts and what are the species parts of a given entity depends upon the substratum of manifestation of the species. Objects, as opposed to the above-mentioned entities, are individuated and that operation, as we know, includes the non-individuated primordial causes of the objects. They are the
68. But the concept of “completion” also embraces the completion of a species in the whole individual as well as its parts. So that the cognition that “it is a cow” can arise simply by looking at the tail. ( pratyāśraya ca sarvātmanā parisamāpti sādhāra o jātidharma | yadi bhāgaśo jātir vartate tadā bhāgaśv eva gotvādipratyaya syāt | sa pūr aś ca vi ā ādyavayavadarśane ’pi jha iti gotvākāra pratyaya prasūyate | [Helārāja 45b ad Jāti 14 (ed.)]) In other words, from a semiotic point of view, the isolated organs too must stand for the original possessors – considering the reconstructions of animals and the Mahābhāratam’s Strīparvan examples. This question is at the heart of the problem of the part-whole relation, which in turn is at the heart of the Vākyapadīyam. However, the issue here is that number refers to the elements in a different way than it refers to the productions.



material causes, the substance, of the objects. Though the objects are not always brought into existence by one and the same means of manipulation of the primordial material, their existence is preceded by their species in whatever way they come into existence. [44] na tad utpadyate ki cid yasya jātir na vidyate | ātmābhivyaktaye jāti kāra ānā prayojikā || Jāti 25 || That does not take birth whose species does not exist. Species is the employer of the causes for the sake of its own revelation. This “stepping inside” the causes of production is the most fundamental gesture in ontology, in that the “relation” between objects and species is to be understood on these premises, and any object’s becoming is preceded by species. This is what gives the name of “āk ti = shape” to species. This word is applicable both to the shape as a general outline, as well to the species of the objects, by the fact that the capacities of the objects are an integral part of the shape itself of the objects, and by the fact that species resides in the objects while revealing as the “species of capacities = sādhanatvam”, which make the objects functional in various activities and in various capacities. This verse talks of those which have birth, and hence destruction, and therefore of forms, objects and substances. As we know, the objects can be cognized only as participating in the activities. The objects are but the “shape or image = āk ti ” of species, their mark, made by “stepping in the causes of the objects’ production.” (See [47], for the capacities as the “own-self” of the species, and [12] for the relation of representational dependence between objects and activities). Let me reiterate here a thesis of the ontology of objects, which has been made sufficiently clear within our discussions on the relationship between substance-objects-species above, from [10] to [36], so as to relate it with the species’ relationship with the capacities: quality is degrees of differences among the forms of the objects. As a particular given form with its degrees, substance is impermanent and in that state of its being it is called substances. Species, like substance, is permanent. So that, as long as an object with degrees exists, species too exists in it, endowing it with various formal features and a shape, e.g., a sharp edge which in turn reveals the sharpness of the knife, by virtue of which that object can participate as an agent in the activity of cutting. Here species reveals itself in the object knife as sharpness in the form of that object and in the activity of cutting in which that object participates as an agent, although all such capacities are not necessarily visible in the form itself. But still the general “sādhanatvam = instrumentality” or “sāmarthyam = causal efficacy” are revealed in the shape and they cause the respective objects’ participation in restricted roles in activities, and, by definition, the revelation is revelation in various activities ([42] “kārye v abhivyakti = revelation in productions or through activities.” And [45] “svakāryā ām = respective activities”). And of course, the more or the less of sharpness is a quality as accident, which is a matter of degree and a contingent attribute of that particular knife, without which that knife cannot be conceived and used, but which can be “modified = samskāra” for usage. There is this



technical difference between shape and form, namely that shape stands for an overall outline of the objects, and form is a transient constituent of the objects. Though both involve species (for sharpness is a quality-species), form is a determinable structure69 of the objects and shape is a “functionally revealed aspect = āk ti ” of the objects. As a loose technical clarification, we might say, but not without first noting the fact that these words are interchangeable, that forms are substance + species + quality, and shape is substance + species. Species endows a given object or substance with distinctness as a particular, i.e., not just oneness but “Devadattatva = Devadattaness,”70 as well as the membership of a particular class, e.g., Brahminhood. Let us see the connection between these two. The presence of species in a given object as a distinguishing particularity makes Devadatta cultivate the good and bad results of his actions, and, as an individual, not be satiated of his hunger when other Brahmins have eaten but not himself. Eating is an example used by Bhart hari to emphasize the unshareable individuality, and its implications must be extended to the “experiencer-experienced = bhoktā-bhoktavyam”. (Literally, the eater and the edible. This is concept, not merely a metaphor, and it is closely connected with “pākam = cooked food or ripening” and therefore with the stages of perfection: “time for...”, and on the other hand, the resultant effects). In other words, the so-called subject-object dichotomy. That is why, since species resides in those objects which have life as a specific individuality or subjectivity (let us remember that the soul of everything is Being71 ), Bhart hati says: [45] brāhma atvādayo bhāvā sarvaprā i v avasthitā | abhivyaktā svakāryā ā sādhakā ity api sm ti || Jāti 44 || The states of being a Brahmin etc., exist in all living beings. It is also a tradition where it is said that once they are revealed they accomplish their respective activities. [46] citrādi v apy abhivyaktir jātīnā kaiścid i yate | prā yāśritās tu tā prāptau nimitta pu yapāpayo || Jāti 45 || The revelation of species in portraits, etc., is accepted by some. However, when the species are situated in living-beings, they are the efficient cause in obtaining positive and negative results of actions. The variety, humanness, Brahminhood, potness, etc., is what we see as the similarity among the objects on which any cognitive classification is based. It is also what reflects as the causal efficacy that makes a given object a member of certain class(es) of objects, but not others, for as we know, the participation in activity means participation in an
69. See R OSEN’s (1980) interpretation of form and structure. 70. One criterion to determine and delimit is subjecthood and the other is origin. 71. Let there be no misunderstanding on this issue following the logic that ātmā is a synonym of substance. This so happens because the essence of an individual object is physically constituted of substance. But in the case of living beings, their species of being a cow or a Brahmin only determines their soul.



activity as an agent, or as a destination, or as an instrument, etc.72 There are a few additional contributions from the above quotes to the interconnections among quality as contingency and species on the one hand, and to the constitution of the objects and the revelation of species, on the other. As per the former, this beingness of one species of living-beings is exclusive of the others. The fact that the species of Brahminhood exists in a cow should not lead to any confusion. That is, the thesis that there is every species in every object does not lead either to a necessary fusion of the objects, or to a resultant confusion among them – to employ a K.C. BHATTACHARYA’s distinction. Because form in the sense of a specific constitution in which species reveals itself has three distinguishable dimensions, namely, substance, quality and species. As we know, substance is the material base. Quality is a matter of degrees. Species is the species of substance, the species of quality (like whiteness, etc.), the species of a particular object, and, finally, the species of a larger, basic level category into which the objects fall (like Brahminhood, etc.). On the other hand, the basic level species is the shape of the objects. This shape has certain features that give rise to our conception of the similarity among objects and our comprehension of the causal efficacy of various objects. Yet shape is tinged with quality, the impermanent but stable form. For the distinguisheability of the three entities, namely, substance, quality and species, does not mean separability; and the instances, the individuals, are but the revelations of species. As we know, our intentionality has a restricting potency or deficiency, so that there is no necessary confusion either. However, the causal efficacy or the capacities of the objects is a potentiality of the objects. Thus, although a portrayed horse bears some similarity with a real horse, it has no causal efficacy: one cannot ride on it, nor can it produce foals, nor, most importantly, can there be any accumulation of the results of actions.

72. Due to this all-determining nature of species, species and substance are higher-level concretions out of which abstractions such as substance-predicate emerge, and the chapters on Jāti and Dravya precede all the other chapters. The first abstraction, according to Bhart hari, starts from substance as substances-quality in ontological terms, and substance-predicate in logical terms. We must take into consideration all three systems, i.e., ontology, epistemology and the philosophy of language, to arrive at any adequate understanding of his concept of abstraction.



IV. CAPACITIES Species is the Capacities Since it is a day-to-day experience of sight, taste, etc., that certain common features of the objects give rise to the precedent cognition that ‘it is the same as the other’, making possible the categorization of the spatially and temporally different objects under one head, it is said: [47] abhedarūpa sād śyam ātmabhūtāś ca śaktaya | jātiparyāyavācitvam e ām apy upavar yate || Jāti 92 || The similarity is non-distinct from the species. And the capacities are its own self. That is why they can also be synonymous with the species. The above mentioned phenomena, i.e., similarity73 and capacities, are the two major criteria of categorization. Similarity is commonness, and capacities are by definition the capacities that (while residing in substances) generate activities. The nature of similarity is realized in the cognitions of identity: ‘it is one and the same’ or ‘it is the same as the other(s)’. (I am not confusing the cognitions of ‘identity’ with that of similarity. The latter is supposed to involve a ‘like’. This problem will be partly considered under the head of difference and non-difference.74 ) Whereas the capacities are both the objectspecies and the quality-species. That is why it is said that they are “as good as species itself = ātmabhūtā .” [48] kudyasyāvara e śaktir asyādīnā vidāra e | sarvadā sa tu san dharma kriyākāle nirūpyate || Sādhana 29 || The capacity of a wall to enclose and that of a knife, etc., to cut, that property, while being permanent in those objects, is evidenced at the time of the activity. These are what I have called object-species, for they are the constituents of the definition of a given object. The other themes of the verse will get clearer in the following paragraphs. Thus characterized objects have to have the following species as well: [49] taik yagauravakā hinyasa sthānai svair asir yadā | chedya prati vyāpriyate śaktimān g hyate tadā || Sādhana 31 ||

73. The concept of similarity is of a great importance in the Vākyapadīyam. The reason for its importance is that the cognition of this similarity among the objects and activities gives rise to simile. The upamāna is an accepted means of valid cognition in some Indian philosophies. (It is made into the basic figure of speech by Appayya Dīk ita, who convincingly shows that it underlies all the ala kāras. This theoretical stance is always presupposed, but finds its fullest articulation in citramīmā sā.) This is the general importance of the concept of similitude or resemblance. In our text, its function is to indicate the involvement of the degrees, quality. In other words, upamāna just like pramā a, has an often overlooked connotation of “measurement”, and Bhart hari takes this aspect into account. 74. [As there is no such a heading in the text, it is to be inferred that it has not been achieved (ed.)].



When a knife becomes operative in respect to an object to be cut, by virtue of its characteristics of sharpness, weight, hardness and constitution, then it is understood as the possessor of capacity. These are quality-species. The last one of them, the constitution or the configuration of the components of objects, deserves to be distinguished from the others. Because, as I have pointed out above, there is a concept called āk ti which at times is called ākāra and at times rūpam. Whether the shape is an entity by itself, while being a conglomeration of the qualitative and the quantitative aspect of the embodied objects, or is simply a cognition, appears to be a significant question. The logic of the text and the usage of the words involved in this question point towards a definition of shape as ‘that which is a mark of species in individual objects and is revealed in the over-all structure of the same while indicating the functionality of objects.’ The basic thrust here comes from the statement that the capacities are species itself as it is authenticated by and under [42]. I have been emphasizing further evidences for this position as per the context instead of readily supplying them at one place. All the subcategories of the two types of species are “born along = saha-jā” with that particular substance itself. What we find here does not contradict what I said while introducing [34]: “quality comes to exist as the quality of one object or the other only after that object has come into being…” It is a problem involving the causes of the birth of objects and the sequence of the emergence of things that we should identify and classify in detail in the next part of ontology. The question arising at present is how the object-species and quality-species are related to the entity called “capacities = sādhanam”. First of all, although these two species are born along with a given substance, the primacy is given to the object-species: [50] vyaktiśakte samāsannā jātayo na tathā gu ā | sāk ād dravya kriyāyogi gu as tasmād vikalpate || Jāti 79 || The species, but not the qualities, are closer to an individual endowed with capacities. Substance is apparently associated with activity. That is why there can be a substitute for quality. This problem of substitution arises, for instance, in a ritual context. There, the species as capacities must be considered, and, with that consideration, a prescribed wood, for instance, can be replaced by another species of wood. That is, since the prescribed species of wood does not seem to have the capacity to perform a prescribed activity, that of arresting the sacrificial animal, then, since “the capacity to arrest the sacrificial animal” is nothing but the species, another individual of a different species of wood can function as a substitute.75 Because the latter has that capacity. Here, the species is not
75. [Sudhakar referred obviously to 3.1. jāti 4-5: asvātantryaphalo bandhi pramā ād eva śi yate | ato jātyabhidhāne ’pi śaktihīna na g hyate || (4) sa śle amātra badhnātir yadi syāt tu vivak ita | śaktyāśraye tato li ga pramā ādyanuśāsanam || (5) Pramā ād eva (4b) is the reading of the s knot in R AU’s stemma, besides pramā ādīva, which



actually substituted. For that meaning of the species as capacities still gets carried over to the apparently substituted species of wood. Whereas, as I have pointed out earlier, “the white” for instance cannot be brought without there being something which is white; in theory the qualities are the degrees, and in practice they are substitutable. In other words, the capacities are the own self of the species. One more point is that “vyaktiśakti = the powerful individual substance” is expressed in that particular way because, as a matter of fact, substance is not ‘directly’ associated with activity, but only its capacities are so associated. (That is why, I have translated sāk āt as “apparently” instead of “directly”, which would have been a better word). We shall presently touch upon this problem. I have been rendering “sādhanam = the means” as capacities, because they are the “causal efficacy or capacity = sāmarthyam” in generating activities. Both the abovementioned species are identical to it. And the different varieties of capacities, i.e., agent, etc., are the generalization of the object-species. These are wall-ness which embodies the enclosing nature, knifeness, Devadattaness, Brahminhood, etc., and quality-species, i.e., sharpness, tallness, teacherhood, etc., and also, the overall configuration or the constitution of various limbs of the embodied objects: “shape = āk ti .” The capacities are seven in number. In other words, the species are classified under seven heads. This interpretation of the concept of capacities has certain “ifs”, not because it goes beyond my self-imposed task of re-presentation, but because it might seem to interfere with the grammarians or with Pā ini-studies. First of all, I do not reduce the concept of capacities to the species. Because they are independent ontological phenomena (this statement holds only after understanding the special nature of species) and all the seven capacities together are an entity. But what Bhart hari says in the following about the instrumental is also true for all the cases: [51] vastutas tad anirdeśya na hi vastu vyavasthitam | sthālyā pacyata ity e ā vivak ā d śyate yata || Sādhana 91|| It is not possible to point out the capacity like an objet can be. For they are not a stable object. That is why, in the case of the expression ‘the food is being cooked by the vessel,’ the intention of the speaker is evidenced. They are not stable because species reveals itself only in activities, and the activities are unstably situated in the objects. In saying that the capacities are the species, I imply a generalization that is operative therein, but not a reduction. Let me note a few theoretical problems in equating the species with the capacities: the capacities are by definition
could make sense too: “is taught as well as means of knowledge etc.,” so far as one accepts that a pramā a can be taught (śāsyate, or even anuśāsyate, as in (5)). This points to a problem that I have discussed with Sudhakar, along with Helārāja’s interpretation of pramā ā as derived from Dhātup. 9.4: mīñ hi sāyām, with lyu ; gu a because lyu is an ārdhadhātuka affix (7.3.84 sārvadhātukārdhadhātukayo [gu a 82]): mī yu > me yu; eca 6.1.45 now applies: 7.1.1 “Yuvor anākau”: me yu > me ana, 6.1.50 “Mīnātiminotidī ām lyapi ca” [ād eca aśiti 45]: me ana > mā ana. 6.1.101: mā ana > māna. Sorry for those technical intricacies, I may come back on this problem elsewhere (ed.)]



representatively dependent on the objects. Here one might sense a theoretical hazard; namely, transgressing the above repeated principle that only objects, substances, have potentialities, but not the substance. Therefore, the species that are partly the qualities and the species of qualities cannot be potentialities of themselves. This holds true even if one tries to retain the species as species simply by postulating two different modes of being of the species. In this case one should be careful to describe the phenomenon in question while trying to interpret the same, i.e., as an entity, the unique characteristics of the concept of sādhanam are to be accounted for in order to situate it among the other entities. One more apparent contradiction is with my own statement that species is not a capacity or a potentiality of substance. These precautions are absolutely essential and would need clarification only if we understand that the species are also entities on par with the other potentialities of Brahman. This is not the case. All the entities are potentialities of Brahman, but species is more than that. It is Brahman itself in its divided self, or in its self-dividing. And the capacities are nothing but the object-species and quality-species in their ontological status.76 In other words, the properties as such of various objects are real. E.g., fire has a capacity to burn. Or, more precisely, fire-ness is realized in the activity of burning. These “properties” are the species, the universals, that generate activities after having generated themselves as and in the objects such as fire, wall, knife, Brahmin. The properties such as agenthood, direct object-ness, are also real. These are are the generalizations of the former. The need for a generalization of species is obviously that no ontology can list all the objects and enumerate all their species independently, along with various conditions that give rise to their revelations, and those that obstruct them, and those that counteract the obstruction, and so on. The logic of generalization, which also includes why the generalization of the species is made in terms of the capacities of substances, is elaborated in the following paragraphs and the same is hinted at above in the verse: “the intention of the speaker.” In any given activity, there are many substances involved. How they are involved is that as the capacities to accomplish the activity in question, they are associated with the activities wherein one of them is the agent and all others are accessories. The latter are, as it were, employed by the agent. That is, all activities are done by one object, and the other objects are made to function by the object that does the act. Here, the substance in its third avatar is not meant by object, as it should normally be meant. For that matter, while distinguishing substance in its three modes of being, namely, as the primordial material basis of the world, as the referent of the pronoun in the neutral gender and as an object formatted by the qualities in all the senses of form, extension, number, and species of all these things, I have pointed out that in this third state of its being too
76. The question that arises repeatedly is the following: “If all the entities are the capacities of Being / Brahman, they reside in it. But how is it that species, which is Being itself, resides in the objects?” The logic of the expression that there is species ‘in’ the objects will be taken up under the topic of difference and non-difference [see footnote 75 (ed.)].



“substance retains its purity by not being [‘directly’] involved with activity”. The first two modes of substance are familiar to us. [52] dravya tu yad yathābhūta tad atyanta tathā bhavet | kriyāyoge ’pi tasyāsau dravyātmā nāpahīyate || Sādhana 166 || Whereas substance remains as it has been, till the end. Even with the association of activity, its substance-nature is not affected. Therefore, let us take it for granted that we are not talking of substance as such when we talk of objects participating in the activities. While talking of the capacities, Bhart hari uses both the substantives and what is called as the substantives with bhāvapratyayās, or, in English, abstract nouns, like “agenthood” for instance. That is, kartā, karman, etc., as well as kart tva and karmatva are equally acceptable terminology with reference to the capacities,77 for the reason that the former set refers to the substantivated species, and the latter to the species. As we know, the species are revealed at the time of activities, and a substance is necessarily accompanied by activities. We also know that the capacities as well as activities are situated in objects. The capacities are generalizable as follows: [53] nityā a śaktayo ’nye ā bhedābhedasamanvitā | kriyāsa siddhaye ’rthe u jātivatsamavasthitā || Sādhana 35 || According to some others, there are six permanent capacities situated in the objects, just like the species, in order to realize or to accomplish the activities. They are endowed with difference and non-difference. [54] dravyākārādibhedena tāś cāparimitā iva | d śyante tattvam āsā tu a śaktīr nātivartate || Sādhana 36 || Due to the difference in the form, etc., of substances, the capacities appear to be innumerable. But their real nature does not exceed the six capacities. The similarity [“just like”] with the species is on the grounds of permanence and inherence in the substance. (Let me note in passing that Bhart hari’s upamās are not mere similitudes – they are mostly identities.) The list is already given. One that is left uncounted here is the genitive-case. This case means three types of relations, between: source of origin and originated, part and whole, and possessor and possessed. Its speciality lies in its being a separate entity (for it supposedly connects entities and objects, but not objects and activities). We are already familiar with it as an entity and also with many instances of its applications, and we shall again come across the concept of relation. We know that the reason why substance cannot be denoted by any word is that, as it were, it gets arrested by shape, i.e., the object-species; number; the qualitative features (color and smell, etc., and thus within the continuous flux); and the quantitative features (caused by direction, by the objects’ manner of occupation of
77. “All kārakas are said to be possessed of the property (dharma) kāraka-ness (kārakatva) and each particular kāraka is the possessor of a particular property agency (kart tva), objectness (karmatva), etc.” (C ARDONA 1974: 246; see also 249 & passim).



space). All the entities of Bhart harian ontology are independently one, as we already know. Following this, the capacities of the objects are all one. The relation of difference and non-difference exists between them, and we shall see this logic in detail under the same head. But the species are not one. The paradigms of ontological synthesis do not apply to them. Not without reason, they are distributed in the world among the objects; thus it is not only the knife that cuts, or the wall that encloses, but the axe also cuts and the veil also encloses. This distributedness is primary in the logic of generalization. The Nexus of Time-Activity-Capacities-Objects The capacities’ species is “kārakam = that which does.” It is their common characteristic to “do.” That “species = sāmānyam” of doing – for any activity is a species – is “to generate the activities = kriyājanakatvam”. Let us note that “generating” has a special meaning here. Activity is permanent, so it does not need to be generated by anything. It has always been there. For, as we know, the process has always been there, and, for that matter, Brahman has already been “transforming and / or rotating = vivartate.” That activity, having been in existence as its potentiality, has neither beginning nor end. That is why the capacities are called permanent as well. Here we must take into account the concept of time to fill up the gaps. It is in fact time, by its very definition, that sets the objects in motion by inciting their capacities. [55] jalayantrabhramāveśasad śībhi prav ttibhi | sa kalā kalayan sarvā kālākhyā labhate vibhu || Kāla 14 || This all-pervading entity gets the name time = kāla by causing and impelling all properties with its [recurrent] activities similar to [those of] the turbulence of a rotating water-wheel. Let us at first note that time’s relation is directly with the capacities but not with substances as such, and the reason is familiar to us. In the activity-capacity-timesubstance nexus, time is the divider of the activities and the activator of the capacities. Thus it is distanced from substances as such, for the latter do not get affected by activity; i.e., substance always retains its purity. A number of pots, mostly big bowls, attached to a rope which is rotated by rotating its hook, plunge into the well to fetch water and rotate towards the surface where they are emptied. In this activity, there is no calmness of the water in the well, nor of the water fetched. (However, the machine analogy here – because the connection between time and machinery is as old and as new as philosophy itself – needs to be combined with the concept of dharma and adharma to obtain a complete picture of the mechanism). It does not mean that time itself is, or is in, the turbulence. In this aspect, time and direction are quite unlike number, in that the latter divides the objects while dividing itself. Let me clarify. Number, as defined at the beginning, is the differentiator par excellence. Any inconsistencies of dependence are overcome by the fact that number is the self-divider: [56] samavetā paricchedye kva cid anyatra sā sthitā | prakalpayati bhāvānā sa khyā bheda tathātmana || Sa khyā 3 ||


BHART HARI’S ONTOLOGY While inhering in a substance that is being delimited, or somewhere else, number creates a division of the things as well as within itself.

We have already come across what is meant by ‘somewhere else,’ as part of the idea of the assumed substance-ness of quality. For this phrase refers to the qualities that are already in a substance. And number operates with them as if they themselves were also objects, like two whites and one black in a game of chess. And by being a quality itself, number makes possible mathematical calculations, as if “one”, etc., were objects themselves.78 As per the dividing nature of number and its relation to the species’ exclusion and inclusion, (i.e., categorization), of nature, we know that species resides in the number ‘1’ as oneness. It is in fact on the basis of the self-differentiating character of number, that we understand that Being divides itself. Whereas time, being the source of changes in the numerically distinct objects and activities, is changeless in itself, in the same way that direction does not get affected by the divisions that it causes in things. Time, space and direction have no divisions, not only because they are representable only as the potentialities of the objects, but also because they are immune to division by number in and by themselves. That is why Bhart hari often says that the three main divisions of time are rather division-like (this expression has to be understood as a duplication, reflection and repetition of the logic of the rotating transformation of Brahman as “as if rotating, transforming = vivartata iva”). For instance: [57] tasyābhinnasya kālasya vyavahāre kriyāk tā | bhedā iva traya siddhā yā l loko nātivartate || Kāla 48 || Of that undivided time, there are, so to say, three well-established divisions due to the activities in day-to-day behavior and language. The world cannot transgress these divisions. However, it is due to time that the properties, i.e., the species as the capacities, are activated. Whereas in turn, due to the activities, there are divisions in time. This is the most crucial relation between objects and time. It is time that sets the objects in motion by inciting their capacities. Its divisions are due to the activities themselves. For all entities are divided by the others. Time is the unmoved mover of everything, what the Greeks called the Ω r x ¸ . Just as space is the proto-container, time is the proto-agent in our present framework. But in time itself the reflection of the future and past objects exists. That is, time is also a primordial container and it is very close to space which has been represented above in that status. I shall take up this aspect in the sequel. In the present context, we need to understand that the “siddha = the objects” are connected to and contained in space, and the “sādhyā = activities” are connected to and contained in time. All the capacities have agenthood in generating the activities. The causal efficacy of the

78. Let me simply notify that measurements, calculations and geometry are integral parts of various entities of Bhart hari. I wish I knew more about these subjects. Yet, I hope I can at least identify what I do not know.



objects is their capacities as agents in the broader sense of that word, that encompasses all the other roles of objects described briefly under [6]. [58] ni pattimātre kart tva sarvatraivāsti kārake | … || Sādhana 18 || The agenthood in generating the activities is present in all the capacities.… This agenthood is, in that sense, the causal efficacy to bring about certain effects but not others, or to participate in fixed types of activities in fixed roles. In this way, the concept of capacity comes to be doubly determined by two of its own varieties, namely, agency and instrumentality.79 The latter because the capacities are all instruments, means, in generating activities. The agency, as I mentioned it earlier, becomes significant when there is more than one object involved in a given activity, the object denoted by the nominative case is the one that sets all others into that activity and the latter are subservient to it. But, since it is time that really sets them in any act, time is the primordial agent, an independent entity on the basis of whose powers, or divisions-like capacities, the objects can be conceived to be agents, etc. In this status, the commentators call time the “svatantra = independent” power of Brahman. This is an epithet used only for the “kartā = agent.” Thus they also called it “kart śakti = agent-power.” This agenthood itself has various “capacities = śaktaya ,” like past, present and future. It is on the basis of these that capacities are activated, and this operation is described as follows: [59] t apar alatādīni yathā sroto ’nukar ati | pravartayati kālo ’pi mātrā mātrāvatā tathā || Kāla 41 || Just as a stream pulls along grass, leaves, creepers, etc., in the same way, time makes the properties of the objects function. This quote is meant to emphasize the point already made above, namely, that the capacities of the objects are activated primarily by time. But, don’t we know that the same analogy is used for the activities themselves? The difference is to be explained in the most simplified terms, such as: that there is no difference between time and activities in their primordial nature. Still, taking the difference into account, to make the objects function is the characteristic of time, and that function itself is activity and what is activated in this operation are the capacities that reside in the objects. [60] pratyavastha tu kālasya vyāpāro ’tra vyavasthita | kāla eva hi viśvātmā vyāpāra iti kathyate || Kāla 12 || During the six transformations, in all the stages there is a fixed operation of time. Time itself is called activity by being the essence of objects.

79. There is in fact another very special case, namely the dative. The relation between the direct object (karma) and the process (kriyā) can be found in GEROW’s (1982) brilliant articulation on karma.



Yet, the activity is eternally understood as something that is yet “to be accomplished = sādhyam,” that is, “something still due to come into being.” “Sādhanam = means” are the means to accomplish the activities and they are permanently understood as “siddham = already accomplished,” but not only as the means. This trichotomy is important in understanding the difference between activity and capacities. But: [61] etāvat sādhana sādhyam etāvad iti kalpanā | śāstra eva na vākye ’sti vibhāga paramārthata || Kriyā 46 || As a matter of fact, the postulation that the means to accomplish (capacities) are of such a nature, and the yet to be accomplished (activity) is of such a nature, is only within the disciplinary practice. This distinction is not in the sentence. This distinction is necessitated by the fact that the objects are ‘facts’ that are already there, and the activities are things that one performs with, and on, these objects, or / and, one conceives as they are being performed by the objects. This blurring of the distinction is possible because in sentences one can simply refer to the species of capacities, i.e., to do, and make the activity itself a capacity; for example, ‘do the cooking,’ where cooking is not an activity but an object aimed at, a noun in accusative case. Incidentally, one does sometimes refer to the capacities themselves, eg., ‘he hits with might’, where the intrumentality of the capacity is evident. As we shall presently see, the concept of capacities is intrinsically related to the intentionality of the speaker. In the situation of the utterance of a sentence and the understanding of that sentence, the objects that are intended and the activities to which they are connected are one single whole, and the philosophical analysis of them is for our enlightenment. Whereas these terms are necessary in understanding the discipline. Our question here is that, since activity has always existed, why and how it is yet to be accomplished? [62] sāmānyabhūtā sā pūrva bhāgaśa pravibhajyate | tato vyāpārarūpe a sādhyeva vyavati hate || Kriyā 38 || While previously being of the nature of species, activity gets divided into parts. And then as a function or / and as a specific activity it exists as it is yet to be accomplished. [63] prak ti sādhanānā sā prathama tac ca kārakam | vyāpārā ā tato ’nyatvam aparair upavar yate || Kriyā 39 || Activity is the primordial nature of the capacities and it is the primary thing that does or / and generates activities. Its difference from individual activities is described by others. We already know the species-nature of activity in its primordial form, as the process. The idea of the parts of the activities too is familiar to us, just as the activity-species, in connection with the definition of the direction in which they take place. As I have said earlier, the capacities are for the activities what the qualities are for the substances. That is, they are secondary to them. (Their ontological status amounts to nati (readiness or distposition to help) and āvarjanam (submission). That is, the capacities submit them-



selves to activity and are secondary to those for whose realization they exist.) That is how it is most appropriate to say of activity that it is the primordial nature. Not only that, prak ti , when understood in this sense, is the real cause and nature of the world into which it is transforming, where the act and the actor are not distinct. In other words, most accurately, Being shows itself in various activities. [64] prāptakramāviśe e u kriyā saivābhidhīyate | kramarūpasya sa hāre tat sattvam iti kathyate || Jāti 35 || Being itself is called ‘activity’ having acquired sequence in particulars (that constitute the activities). That itself is called existent or substance when the form of sequence is withdrawn. In a way, this quote sums-up the main aspects of the three concepts that are essential in understanding the concept of “sādhanam = the means.” The concepts in question are: 1) Activity. It is to the activity that the means are the means and generators of the same in a special sense, and they are secondary to it in that they serve its individual instances and also in the sense that the primary element of a sentence-meaning is that which is expressed by the verb where the other elements are secondary to it. 2) Species. Being as the species of the various capacities of the objects is what is activated and what takes the form of a sequence, as the activities. When it is not so activated it is simply an existent, the this or that, the object simply endowed with stability, a pure substance. 3) Time, as the sequence and as the determining force behind it – one cannot attempt to undersand the concept of capacities = kārakas without relating them to the species, activity and time. Time exists and is represented only in and as a sequence. Time or / and its capacities are directly relevant here in the following way: the activities take place not haphazardly but in a fixed sequence (now we are talking of the occurrence of the individual activities). This fixed sequence is called “krama = order,” an authoritative act and a regulation. The order80 in the first sense is impelling and forcing the objects (let us inaccurately call them objects though, as we know, we are talking of the properties that are the capacities of the objects) into activity where time is the controlling power, and, in the second sense, it is the determining, organizing force behind what precedes what, and what should be preceded by what, i.e., sequence. These two aspects together are brilliantly paraphrased as follows: [65] yadi na pratibadhnīyāt pratibandha ca nots jet | avasthā vyatikīryeran paurvāparyavināk tā || Kāla 5 || If time did not restrain and did not release its restraint, various stages of the world would get mixed up, and / or, would be chaotic, being bereft of priority and posteriority.

80. Order in a Foucaultian sense is most relevant here. So are the other contemporary French philosophers who are obsessively interested in questions of difference and non-difference: Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas and Gilles Deleuze.



In fact, the very postulation of the concept of time is to account for the order in both these senses. We shall come across the other aspects of time in the sequel. What interests us now is that the capacities are impelled and organized to produce the activities, and that the dictator is time.81 But, before going further, we must invoke once again the ontological synthesis to accommodate the main characteristics of time: [66] ātmabhūta kramo ’py asyā yatreda kāladarśanam | paurvāparyādirūpe a pravibhaktam iva sthitam || Jāti 37 || The sequence itself is nothing but Being’s own self. Here time appears as though it is divided into priority and posteriority, etc. This emphasis is necessary not simply to reiterate the division-like nature of time. It is essential to grasp the point of species’ involvement in all the entities. The third division of time, namely the present, is encompassed by the very concept of appearance itself. The present, in other words, is a special division. However, the past, present and the future are the revelation of the species called time. The activities are already situated in the objects just as the capacities which generate them are situated therein. That mode of their situated-ness is instability. The Object of Intentionality or Restoring Ontology As I have said earlier, the instability of the activities means that one object does not always do one and only one activity, and even if it does, as for instance a wall, it is not necessarily conceived as such. I.e., it can be an object in any one of the senses of the kāraka-terms. It can be conceived as the Kafkaesque moral wall, or as the Berlin wall in its posterior non-existence ( praddhva sābhāva), or it is an object on which a lizard is sunbathing, and so on. More explicitly: [67] prayoktaivābhisa dhatte sādhyasādhanarūpatām | arthasya cābhisa bandhakalpanā prasamīhate || Vākyakā da 432 || The speaker himself attaches or / and postulates the forms of the thing to be accomplished and the means. And he himself intends to postulate relation among the objects. The technical sense of the “prayoga = employment, conjoining” is familiar to us. It is on the basis of the intentionality that includes the insertion of a word in a particular object that the speaker gets his name as the “prayoktā = the employer.” This technical meaning is the source for the usage of the word prayoga in the sense of “usage.” We also know, partly, on what grounds the relation, although also expressed as a caseending, is to be differentiated from the others. (But in the sequel I will consider the relations among: the relation as the sixth case, the relation that is reflected in terms of
81. In this sense, one can very well say, as Bhart hari does, that the capacities are themselves activities, or time itself, or an invisible force that operates as a result of the positive or negative results of actions which are “accumulated = sa citam” (this concept does not figure in the Vākyapadīyam, but without it, it is not possible to talk of “ad am = the invisible one” or of “apūrva = the remote one, the unforeseen consequence of an act”).



direction, space, time and degrees, and two types of relation that we shall examine at the end of this paper.) There need not be any confusion between the freedom of the speaker in conceiving two things together and his lack of freedom in inventing the relation between word and meaning. The transition from the real, ontological objectivity of the capacities of the objects to the representational mode is mediated by language. Thus the celebrated aphorism: [68] na so ’sti pratyayo loke ya śabdānugamād te | anuviddham iva jñāna sarva śabdena bhāsate || Brahmakā a 131 ||

There is no cognition in this world which is not accompanied by language. All cognition appears along with language as if it is filled with it. That is, all the capacities, which are but the species of objects including the species of qualities, are realizeable at the time of the activities of the objects; and also, when they are formalized and generalized as agents of an activity, or as points of departure, locus, etc., in their respective status as the capacities, they are conceived as per what the imagination and language permits. In other words, the criterion of the generalization of the species is not their own objective existence, but it is the intentionality of the viewer / speaker.82 Because, as we know, according to Bhart hari, there cannot be any cognition which is not being accompanied by language and language is permeated by the understanding of the objects only as they are involved in activities, and to be involved in activities amounts to the fact that the objects are conceived as an agent or as an object to be reached, as a locus, etc. Needless to add that “language” is not cognized in exclusion of the objects and activities: the cognitions are of the objects as they are involved in the activities, and also of the words that refer to them. In this sense, the words as it were “put around themselves” the objects. But, the properties in particular objects by virtue of which the objects can participate in those activities may or may not in fact exist in objects. That is why, after defining the nominative case, Bhart hari reminds us of what is an agent: [69] dharmair abhyuditai śabde niyamo na tu vastuni | kart dharmavivak āyā śabdāt kartā pratīyate || Sādhana 103|| The necessity of the existence of the above-mentioned characteristics is with reference to words but not the object. When the characteristics of the agent are intended, there, by the word, the agent is understood. With a stroke like this, it becomes necessary to have a separate realm of intentionalexistents into which the words can be inserted at will. But let us be cautious about falling into any extremist, world-denying idealist trap here.83 The postulation of this intentional existent, further details of which lie beyond the present paper, does not
82. “Things are kārakas when they play certain roles in the accomplishment of an action.” C ARDONA (1974: 231). Still: “A kāraka is not a thing in itself; it is, however, a thing viewed as it participates in an action.” C ARDONA (1974: 251). 83. By idealism, I mean what Karl Marx repeatedly warned us against in that form of philosophy.



cancel out the ontological realities that we have been exploring. That is, simply because there is a possibility and, in fact, the actuality of our thinking and talking about the nonexistent objects and about the non-existent capacities of the objects, does not at all mean that there are no ontological phenomena such as substance, species, time, space, direction, continuous flux, etc. [70] śaktimātrāsamūhasya viśvasyānekadharma a | sarvadā sarvathā bhāvāt kva cit ki cid vivak yate || Sādhana 2 || Out of the world of objects, which is nothing but a collection of capacities and has a number a characteristics, always, from all points of view, one particular capacity or characteristic is intended to be spoken of at a particular moment. Thus, it is in the world, or rather, in the objects that are in the world, that capacities are located.84 These capacities, such as agenthood, are just as real as the species themselves. Every speech-act presupposes that the speaker intends to convey one particular capacity of one object within a single utterance. To avoid any further misunderstanding once for all, let us be clear that the ontological categorization has its basis in Brahman’s revolution / transformation. This, as well as Being’s potentialities, have a direct bearing on the “bhoga = enjoyment, experience, cognition” of the subject. The intellect or mind is an entity in itself. It is formless but its divisions are various cognitions. Out of these, the certainty is its purest nature. And the śabda, in all the senses, is nothing but the revelation of Being / Brahman. I have been treating ontology as a system in itself, while distinguishing it from epistemological problems and from the philosophy of śabda, simply for the re-presentation of a complicated and undivided text.85 The world is not unreal. The ontological categories are not myths or fantasies or fictions.86 They have been witnessed by the seers of the real nature of the world and their reality is argued for by Bhart hari. The circularity
84. viśvaśabdena. We must keep in mind that C ARDONA emphasized “... that Pā ini’s kāraka classifications are not principally ontological. Pā inīyas stress that the kāraka rules class things not as they are but as they are spoken of.” (C ARDONA 1974: 238). But we must also keep in mind that we are precisely interested in the ontological status of the powers of things. 85. The Vākyapadīyam is an “udgrantha = a closely knitted text” in its own right. “The essential and synthesizing statement = mahāvākya” of this text is ontological synthesis. Any reader who is acquainted with postmodernism will understand the intellectual background of this particular way of interpreting Bhart hari. What P OLLOCK neatly paraphrazed about the state of Rāmāya a scholarship is precisely applicable here, as far as certain studies of Bhart hari are concerned: “The need to develop a unitary understanding of the poem was eliminated by eliminating the perception of the poem as a unitary work.” P OLLOCK (1991: 4-5). 86. See GANGULI (1963), in particular chapter VII, Part II, for an interpretation of Bhart hari. Many views that favour a kind of reading of Bhart hari which can be called “constructivist views”, are based on the interpretation of a particular word, namely kalpanā. One might add another term, adhyāropa. This question is beyond the purview of the present paper. But let me note in haste that GANGULI is an important thinker. His work can be described as the first good attempt to synthesize Indian and Western philosophies in the area of Bhart harian studies, and also as “a critical-creative research”, a term MATILAL once uses in the preface to a similarly spirited work of Gradinarov’s.



within the comprehension of these categories is characterized on the one hand by their modes of representation: the cognitions themselves are influenced by the forms of the object that are involved in activities. On the other hand, the entities are embedded in the usage of language. To be precise, the theoretical discourse proceeds from cognitions, and they are filled with language, while speech itself is subject to the effects of the characteristics of the categories. That is, to begin with, as GEROW (1982: 90) points out: “In the Indian grammar, the sentence or assertion is both an act (in its own right) and takes an act (kriyā / karma) for its content.” The activity of sentence production takes a certain amount of time, it has a sequence, there are numerically distinct words in it. In effect, it is no wonder that the entire metaphysics of śabda operates exclusively in terms of: inside-outside, distant-proximal, one versus many, and sequencelessness versus sequentiality, which are but the various characteristics and definitions of ontological categories such as space, direction, time, number, and activity. It is precisely for this reason that I claimed that ontology is the first step. In fact, the possibility of the postulation of the secondary Being or an intentional object simply arises because there is the primary Being. Words cannot touch this Being. Otherwise, merely by uttering the word “fire” one would burn one’s tongue or create fire. But let me emphasize in haste that the identity of word and object, which prompted the analytical exposition of words and the correspondence that we have seen above, is not to be confused with the ordinary usage of Sanskrit language. At that level, the words are not different from the objects they refer to and that fact is related to the word-species or word-shape and object-species or object-shape identity. This identity is recognized by the seers and used in evolving the discipline. The same is also evidenced in the sacred speech. There, without that identity, the curses or blessings of the sages and their cognitions irrespective of time would have been meaningless, and the Mantras would have been powerless. This identity is one meaning of Brahman as “śabdatattvam = the word-principle.” The intentionality itself is possible on the following grounds. Basically, the intellect is identical with the subject himself. (In this context, the subject himself is of the nature of the intellect and its various cognitions. See the V tti under Brahmakā a 10 for a clear articulation of this position (IYER 1966: 39, line 6).) Thus in our framework there is no so-called duality. Yet, even considering that there is some such duality, the intentionality is possible only on ontological grounds. Let us remember that all the species are present in all the objects. (The claim that “there is everything everywhere” is an accurate paraphrasing of the Bhart harian position). This fact makes the objects omnipotent and in this very important sense, the so-called non-existent capacities can be conceived and within a given intentional act they can be restrained. Thus, the words do refer to the substance, the material basis of all the objects,87 as much as to the
87. However, from the point of view of the philosophy of śabda, it is meaningless to pose a question like: “what do the words refer to?” They do not either refer to or mean anything whatsoever. There, only sentences are real.



“objects = the formatted substances.” Because, as we know, there is no difference between real and unreal. These two ideas are respectively present in the following quotes: [71] yo ’ śo yenopakāre a prayokt ā vivak ita | arthasya sarvaśaktitvāt sa tathaiva vyavasthita || Vākyakā a 434 || A particular aspect of a given object, in the status of a particular capacity, gets established as it is intended by the speakers, because of the omnipotence of the objects. [72] te v ākāre u ya śabdas tathābhūte u vartate | tattvātmakatvāt tenāpi nityam evābhidhīyate || Dravya 6 || As for the word which conveys such (impermanent) forms, since these are essentially one with it (the Substance), it also conveys the eternal. (IYER 1971: 68). These points are represented here to restore the ontology and to highlighten the areas of transition from the ontological to the representational mode and to introduce the necessity of the postulation of intentional objects, the “upacārasattā = secondary Being or metaphorical Being.” In connection with the concept of upacārasattā, one should not think that this concept of metaphor is transported to a quasi ontological realm from the philosophical semantics. For within the latter, there is no such thing as metaphor. We have already seen in detail the necessity of upacārasattā. It is nothing but the objects as they are cognized. They are cognized not as objects pure and simple but as agents, direct objects, instruments and so on. Here, there need not be any doubt whether the intentional objects are meant by the expression upacārasattā, or whether it is not a metaphorical substance, say, “upacāradravya”. Because it is only Being that appears to undergo the six tranformations, and it is Being itself as species which is meant by the objects as well as activities. As I said, there is no possibility of accepting metaphor in the philosophical semantics of this system, because in that case it would amount to the metaphor of a metaphor. (There would only be lak a ā-lak a ā.) Or, a secondary Being of the secondary Being. A simple answer for the question why the intentional object is so designated – why it is secondary – is that the real being of the objects is not in the words used in normal speech, nor are these objects agents, etc., in reality (for substance is untouched by activities). The other reason is that Being’s transformation / revolution too is described at times in terms of ‘as if’ and ‘as though’ to explicate the question of difference. One last decisive reason is that the words in normal speech appropriate Being only along with and within the paradigms of difference and non-difference (one object is different from the other on the following bases: numerically, qualitatively, quantitatively, temporally and spatially), and existence and non-existence (intentional objects, like characters in a novel or things in dreams can die and take birth). What interests us here is also that the agenthood in accomplishing the activities will not have to be bestowed necessarily only on conscious agents, but onto these intentional-existents. The question of consciousness unavoidably arises in this context,



for the reason of the possibility of the very conceptions; e.g.: “the fire is cooking…,” “the chariot is driving.” The fire and the chariot are not conscious agents to perform these actions. For in our present framework, consciousness is only a referent of, and identical with, I and Thou.88 Nevertheless, on the above-mentioned ontological grounds, they are conceived as such; the most important criterion among them being the omnipresence of the species which renders the objects omnipotent. An important point here is that the concept of upacārasattā has got nothing to do with the philosophical semantics of metaphor. Nor has it got anything to do with the denial of the world. I cannot go into the details of śabda here. Yet I shall once again attempt to give a simple reason why metaphor is not acceptable in this framework, by way of paraphrasing the conclusions of certain complicated discussions: upacāra or lak a ā is a relation between word and object. In our framework, the relation between word and object is established once for all within the intentionality of the speaker. After he uses a sentence – in which words occur, and before the utterance of which he has inserted a word in a particular object – it is a matter of derivation (I hesitate to say “inference” for technical reasons89 ) on the part of the recipient to understand the meaning of a word on the basis of the sentence-structure, meaning, context, etc. But fundamentally, the relation is established in the speaker’s mind. That is, his directedness and insertion of a word in a particular meaning = speaker’s intentionality. Here obviously there is no secondary relation. From the recipient’s point of view, it is only a matter of his capacity that he derives certain meanings from the sentence on the basis of who is speaking, to whom, when, what are the antecedents and precedents, and so on. Here too, therefore, there is no question of a secondary relation between word and object. (Nor is there any move to infer the intention of the speaker.) The ontological background is that any word can denote any object, and all objects are endowed with all the species, and each object is all the kāraka terms,90 albeit instably.
88. Martin Buber and Emile Benveniste, studying the subject from perspectives similar to that of Bhart hari – one from the anthropological-dialogical point of view and the other from the point of view of the parole – arrive at the same conclusion. 89. In the Vākyapadīyam, the vicious circle (or rather the fantastic exercise) of “inferring” the speaker’s intention in order to determine the meanings is successfully avoided by bestowing the power to reveal the meanings to speech itself. After the essential condition that “the hearer heard what the speaker uttered”, all the other conditions of understanding are intrinsic to the language itself. In other words, all Grice’s conditions, and also the Nyāya conditions that MOHANTY systematically categorized, are language-bound, according to Bhart hari. My description is based on the assumption that besides the cause and effect relationship (kāryakāra abhāva) and the suitability conditions ( yogyatā, which in turn presupposes the convention), there is an identity relation between words and objects. These are not independent relations, but together they constitute what can be called “the conditions intrinsic to language.” 90. There are at least two major theoretical problems here. 1) The seeming impossibility of transcending the intentional object: if all the cognitions deal with this “Being”, then what of the “outside” objects, and what kind of relation holds between them? 2) Related to the previous one is the question of falsity and error: if everything is each and every other thing, then how to distinguish a true cognition from an illusion, and a true statement from a falsehood? (For any philosophy relies and feeds upon this distinction). There exists a solution, or even a plurality



We have considered the agenthood, the meaning of the nominative case as special case to represent the speaker-dependent nature of the capacities, for the reason that all those that generate the activities are agents. Here is a generalization to a similar effect about all the capacities: [73] sādhanavyavahāraś ca buddhyavasthānibandhana | sann asan vā ’rtharūpe u bhedo buddhyā prakalpyate || Sādhana 3 || The usage of capacities, however, is conditioned by the states of mind. The difference, whether it exists or not in the objects’ forms, is postulated by mind. That is, the formatted substances have capacities, and substance as such remains throughout. When a particular object is intended to be spoken about, substance is not being spoken about, but the referents of all nominals of our speech are the same as the capacities. (This topic is at the heart of a semantic, non-existent – so far as Bhart hari is concerned (but not because he is neutral on this issue) – controversy.) As we know, the capacities are identical to species in that they are common to a particular class of individuals. A cow, a Brahmin, or a particular shade of white, activities and the countable and nameable parts of the activities, are all individuals in which their species are revealed in specific activities, by virtue of their capacities. Within the problem of the transition from ontology to thought-language, certain restrictions of thought and also of language are relevant. I shall simply paraphraze these limitations. One is that word can by nature refer to anything only inasmuch as it is related to everything else. By definition the word is incapable of refering or meaning the pure objects and pure entities. The second one is that there are no words that can exhaust all the differences among a given species: only a shepherd recognizes his sheep, this particular spot on my computerscreen has no name, and this particular way of flying of a piece of paper has no name. Retrospect and Prospect I shall close this paper with a re-presentation of the concept of relation. In a sequel to this paper, the last two topics of [1] will be considered in detail. In a way, what I have represented of Bhart hari’s ontology is the foundation and elementary for all the three systems of his metaphysics. Still the elementary elucidation of the topics of Complexity, Objects, Species and Capacities is incomplete without the questions about difference and existence. These two topics, I hope, will complete the story of ontology. More specifically, I will start with number, the divider par excellence, and go into the divisions of substance, time, activity, space, direction, capacities, etc. There I will try to show the nature of the problem of difference and non-difference.91 The next thing that I propose to do in the following paper is to go into the details of the question of exisof solutions within the Vākyapadīyam. The details of the solutions are a part of the philosophy of śabda. However, here a major criterion is the requirement that one given form can reveal only a restricted number of species. 91. The most often used word “bheda”, and its almost opposite “abheda”, are very tricky in that they refer to various types of divisions and unities.



tence. Here the concept of a bhāvavikāras, the six transformations, or rather the sixfold tranformations of the objects and activities, will be the leading one.92 A glance at the theoretical aspects of relation [74] taddharma os tu tācchabdya sa yogasamavāyayo | tayor apy upakārārthā niyatās tadupādhaya || Sa bandha 6 || The word ‘relation’ refers to its characteristics: inherence and conjunction. In turn, these are assisted by various definite conditions. Let us call them two types of relation for the sake of convenience. A common element between the two types of relation is that of “contact” between two distinct things. The difference between them is that in the case of conjunction, the difference between the the two relata is maintained, cognized, etc., and in the case of inherence that difference is neither maintained nor comprehended. Another common element between the two types of relation is that they both come into being only in fixed relata. That is, anything cannot come into conjunction or inherence randomly with another thing. It is by virtue of the capacities of the respective objects or entities that the relation maintains itself. It is also a capacity of those which are already dependent on the forms. One last point is that the relation resides in the relata and nowhere else. It does not have a form, and unlike the other entities that are representationally dependent on the forms, relation does not have any entityhood as such that can be so characterized. It is extremely dependent. In practice, this qualification makes possible the metaphysical discourse, in the sense that most of the categories of ontology are already representationally dependent on the forms, and yet certain enquiries into their natures are possible. It is made possible on the basis of inherence. This capacity of theirs indeed renders service to the potentialities (and to us), so that they come together to make the human aims fulfilled: thus we can see the display of the imperceptible entities. One major topic in relation to the concept of relation is between the word and its meaning. This is a special type of relation, let us call it an originary relation: word is the source and the meaning is the offspring. This relation is called “yoga = joined together,” like a mother and her son. They are not immediatedly joined together, but, unlike a cat on a mat, and unlike the quality in a substance, they are neither in conjunction, nor in inherence with each other. These are aspects of the philosohy of śabda. Let us have a look at the following, longest, sentence of the Vākyapadīyam defining inherence: [75] nirātmakānām utpattau niyama kvacid eva ya | tenaivāvyapavargaś ca prāptyabhede sa yatk ta || Sa bandha 8 || ātmāntarasya yenātmā tadātmevāvadhāryate | yataś caikatvanānātva tattva nādhyavasīyate || Sa bandha 9 ||

92. There are not less than a hundred verses in the Vākyapadīyam dealing with this topic. Needless to add that I will be selective in this fascinating topic.



tā śakti samavāyākhyā śaktīnām upakāri īm | bhedābhedāv atikrāntām anyathaiva vyavasthitām || Sa bandha 10 || dharma sarvapadārthānām atīta sarvalak a a anug h āti sa bandha iti pūrvebhya āgama || Sa bandha 11 || It is the tradition [transmitted] from the elders that relation, while transcending all characteristics, governs a characteristic of all the entities, namely, the capacity called inherence. Inherence: 1) assists the potentialities while existing separately, having transcended difference and non-difference. 2) is the regularity that underlies in the emergence of the formless objects only in a particular locus. 3) is that by which non-difference is produced, though there is the common element of contact. 4) is that by which the nature of everything is understood as that of the other. 5) is that due to which there is no certainty as to the exact nature of anything as one or as many. Relation is an extremely dependent entity; it is the capacity of the potentialities of Being. By virtue of this capacity, the potentialities “come close to each other = upakāra = help.” A synonym of this event is prāpti. Therefore, discerning the characteristics of this characteristic of all the entities is highly complex, for they are the source of complexity as such. It is the capacity of the entities to “come close to each other and to come into contact with each other = sa yoga ” and more importantly, to “inhere = samavāya ” in each other. The above description concerns inherence. As [74] makes it clear, inherence is a characteristic of relation. In other words, if relation’s general characteristics are that it is a capacity of the entities and that its effects are of the “coming together = upakāra = prāpti ”, its particular characteristics are conjunction and inherence. The points within 1) of [75] are familar to us: inherence is a helper, and there is neither difference nor non-difference within relation in itself. Point 2) is a general law of causality: it is not arbitrarily that the productions of new objects occur. An elaboration of this point is a sub-topic called the six transformations of the things within existence and non-existence. Point 3), concerning non-difference, indicates the relation among all the entities we have considered in the present paper: they are so commingled that the result is 4) and 5). The example of 4) can be gleaned from the relation between substance and quality.



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Index of kārikās I. Brahmakā da: 3 4 131 II. Vākyakā da: 140 428 432 434 51 fn 21 68 72 46 47 69 Sa bandhasamuddeśa 10-11 5 6, 8-9 76 16 75 Kālasamuddeśa 5 12 14 41 43 48 Sa khyāsamuddeśa 23 33 3 5 25 26 31 Li gasamuddeśa 11 15 17 18 27 V ttisamuddeśa 322 343 351 475 27 42 20 20 29 26 26 27 48 63 40 25 43 32 67 65 63 65 35 64

Bhūyodravyasamuddeśa 3 Gu asamuddeśa 1-2 8 Diksamuddeśa 22

III. Prakīr akakā a: Jātisamuddeśa: 4-5 14 19 21 22 23 24 25 26 32 33 35 37 41 44-45 46 79 92 75 fn 59 fn 52 2 10 8 16 55 53 4 6 67 68 53 56 49 59 58

1 2-3 27 Sādhanasamuddeśa 2 3 18 29 31 33 35-36 91 103 151 152 166 Kriyāsamuddeśa 38-39 46

13 34 15

70 74 65 58 58 28 62 60 69 36 34 62

Dravyasamuddeśa: 1 2 5 6 7 37 38 38 72 7 fn

66 66

the end