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THE ABHIHITANVAYAVADA

Dr. S. Revathy. Chennai. Sanskrit grammarians, rhetoricians and others given much attention to the problems related to word-meanings and sentence meaning. Bharthari, nandavardhana, KumrilaBhaa and Prabhkara have discussed these problems with great philosophic acumen. It goes to the credit of the Mmmsakas in particular to have made a detailed study of sentences and also to have developed elaborate rules of interpretation. It is for this reason Mmms is called Vkyastra. It is to be known that this study was chiefly based on words and word-meanings and ultimately between word-meaning and sentence meaning.

There are two major views as regards the rise of verbal cognition from a sentence. The Bha school of Mmmsakas and some Naiyyikas advocate the abhihitnvaya theory. According to it when a person hears a sentence the isolated word-meanings are recollected and later a simultaneous collective recollection gives him the same as a mutually connected whole. Thus the word-meanings that are syntactically related constitute the sentence-meaning. As opposed to this the anvitbhidhna theory of the Prbhkara Mmmsakas holds that the words themselves convey the related sentence meaning also.

The Mmmsstra 1.1.25 is interpreted by the ancient Mmmsakas in support of the anvitbhidhna theory. But the barabhya on the same seems to go against it and say that the words cease to function the moment they convey their individual meanings. The word-meanings thus conveyed produce the sentence meaning later 1. The formulation of abhihitnvayavda proceeds on the basis of the criticisms against the anvitbhidhnavda. According to the latter every sentence has a unitary meaning of its own ; its constituent words possess meaning only in as much as they are related to this unitary sentence-meaning. For example, in the sentence. Bring the Cow (gm naya) the word Cow (gm) means not only the isolated meaning of cowness but Cow as related to the action of bringing. Similarly the word bring means the action of bringing in relation to the cow.

Thus the words convey their own meaning and also the syntactic relation with the other word-meanings in the sentence so that the sentence meaning is directly conveyed by the words themselves.

The Bha school of Mmmsakas argues that if the first word or any other one in its full sense conveys the unitary sense of the sentence itself, the remaining words in the sentence will be superfluous. Further, there is the unwelcome situation of not admitting the cognition of meaning of a sentence when the words are forgotten. However, it is a matter of experience that in long sentences, we tend to forget the earlier words but remember only their meanings. Even then we are able to arrive at the verbal cognition of the sentence meaning 2.

The Mmmsakas of the Bha school therefore, hold the following view: when a sentence is heard first there arises an understanding of the individual meanings of the words one after the other ; later these meanings are put together according to the three factors of kk, yogyat and satti and then we arrive at the sentence meaning. Kumrila is of the view that the meaning of a sentence is always conveyed by the meanings of words obtained from the words themselves. But a sentence, unlike words does not have an independent meaning. It is solely from the relation among the word-meanings that there arises the cognition of the sentence-meaning. The grounds of relation happen to be the three factors of expectancy (kk) congruity (yogyat) and juxtaposition (sattih). This view is based on the views formulated by the great grammarian Vajapyayava according to whom the meaning of a sentence is the samsarga or the mutual relation of the individual word-meanings expressed by the words.

In the first place how does there arise the cognition of words? Of the several means of comprehending the power present in a word to convey a particular meaning (abdaakti), verbal usage in particular contexts is one which gives rise to the word-meanings by kindling the latent impression of such contexts, and thus, the knowledge of word meaning is only a kind of recollection and the word is one which gives rise to such recollection (smraka). Kumrila himself refers to this view when he says that a word is nothing more than a reminder of the meaning 3. The relation of the one that gives rise to recollection (smraka) and the one recollected (smrya) known as

smryasmrakabhva would hold good between two objects; say; elephant and its master. When one sees the elephant he immediately remembers the master because there exists the knowledge of the relation of the protected (plya) and the protector between these two. It is evident from the above that the smryasmrakabhva proceeds on the basis of the primal relation of plya and plaka. In the absence of any such primal relation between words and their senses there is no possibility of the subsequent relation of recollected and the recollection too.

Thus the knowledge of the meanings arising from the words cannot be of the nature of recollection. Nor could it be anubhava or experience. For, the sense conveyed by a word is known already. Thus Madhusudana Sarasvati concludes in his Advaitasiddhi, that according to abhihitnvayavda the knowledge of the meaning arising from the words is neither smiti nor anubhava, but different from both. It is said that it is similar to smriti (smtisama)4.

Now there arises a question as to how the relation among wordmeanings is conveyed?. The individual words have ceased to function after conveying their isolated meanings. and hence they cannot be considered to be capable of performing another function of conveying the mutual relation among word-meanings also in order to give rise to the cognition of sentence meaning. Further words themselves cannot directly convey this samsarga as there exists the word meanings between the words and the sentence meaning. Hence it is the word-meanings that convey the sentence meaning and it is in the form of their mutual relation (samsarga). This is the view of the abhihitnvayavdins.

This theory is supported by the following reasons. Words of a sentence without any separate meanings will render the classification of words into nouns, adjectives, verbs etc.,, meaningless. Moreover, whenever we understand the meaning of a sentence we must first understand the meanings of its component words. If the meaning of the sentence is quite independent of the meanings of its component words then any sentence can convey any meaning. This, however, is not the case. Above all when anything new is understood, it is only on the basis of the knowledge of their words and their isolated meanings. On these grounds it may be concluded that the meaning of a sentence is only a unitary sense of the isolated meanings of its words 5.

Jayantabhaa in his Nyyamajari advocated a modified form of abhihitnvayavda. According to it words express their isolated wordmeanings by the power of abhidha; they also have another power called the ttparya skti through which the mutual relation among the wordmeanings is indicated. This power reveals the meanings of the words contained in a sentence to be mutually related. This power is present in all the words and it exists till the independent judgement is produced 8. It may be added here that this ttparyaakti is the same as the samsargamaryda of the Navya nyaya school. ***** ----------- *****

References.
1. Padni hi svam svam artham abhidhya nivthavyprani, athednm padrtha avagath santo vkyrtham gamayanti. barabhya on stra I.1.25. 2. prvabhgeu vkyasya vismteu api dyate vkyrthvagatih pumsm padrthasmti linm, stradpik, p. 153 3. padam abhyadhikbhvt smrakn na viiyate lokavrttika abdasection p.432 Benares Edition, 1898 4. abhihitnvayavde padaih svaaktivat padrthh abhidhiyante, na tu smryante, smrya-smrake sambandhtiriktamlakalpanpatteh ekasambandhijnam hyaparasambandhismrakam, na tu smarakatvameva sambandhah haspakdiu tath darant ajtajpakatvbhvt na anubhvakam, sambandhntarbhvcca na smrakam, kim tu akty jtajpadamiti smrakasadram ityarthah . Advaitasiddhi p.701 5. See The Nyya Theory of knowledge, by S.C. Chatterjee University of Calcutta, 1939 6. padni anvitam pratyyayanti, nnvitam abhidadhati nbhidhtri aktir anvitaviay, kim tu anvaya vyatirekvagatanika svrtha viayaiva, ttparya aktistu tem anvitvagamaparyant abhidhtr mat aktih padnm svarthanihat ttparyaaktistu samsargvagamvadhih tem

Nyayamanjari.p. 371 Kasi Sanskrit Series, 106, 1936