Sunday, September 15, 2013

Science of Speech

                        Science of Speech

An extract from the dialogue between King Janaka, the ruler of the Videha and a woman of the name of Sulabha, belonging to the mendicant order.

Sulabha said: O king, speech ought always to be free from the nine verbal faults and the nine faults of judgment. It should also, while setting forth the meaning with perspicuity, be possessed of the eighteen well-known merits.

Ambiguity, ascertainment of the faults and merits of premises and conclusions, the conclusion, and the element of persuasiveness or otherwise that attaches to the conclusion thus arrived at- these five characteristics appertaining to the sense- constitute the authoritativeness of what is said. Listen now o the characteristics of these requirements beginning with ambiguity, one after another, as I expound them according to the combinations

When knowledge rests on distinction in consequence of the object to be known being different from one another, and when (as regards the comprehension of the subject) the understanding rests upon many points, one after another, the combination of words (in whose case this occurs) is said to be vitiated by ambiguity. By ascertainment (of faults and merits), called Sankhya, is meant the establishment, by elimination, of faults or merits (in premises and conclusions), adopting tentative meanings. Krama or weighing the relative strength or weakness of the faults or merits (ascertained by the above process) consists in settling the propriety of the priority or subsequence of the words employed in a sentence. This is the meaning attached to the word ‘Krama’ by persons conversant with the interpretation of sentences or texts. By conclusion is meant the final determination, after this examination of what has been said on the subjects of religion, pleasure, wealth, and Emancipation, in respect of what is particularly is that has been said in the text. The sorrow born of wish or aversion increases to a great measure. The conduct, O king, that one pursues in such a matter (for dispelling the sorrow experienced) is called Prayojanam.

[Note: By occurrence of these five characteristics together is meant that when these are properly attended to by a speaker or writer, only then can his sentence be said to be complete and intelligible. In Nyaya, the five requisites are Pratijna, Hetu, Udaharana, Upanaya, and Nigamana. In the Mimansa philosophy, the five requisites have been named differently. Vishaya, Samsaya, Purvapaksha, Uttara, and Nirnaya.]

The words I shall utter will be fraught with sense, free from ambiguity (in consequence of each of them not being symbols of many things), logical, free from pleonasm or tautology, smooth, certain, free from bombast, agreeable or sweet, truthful, inconsistent with the aggregate of three, (viz., Righteousness, Wealth, and Pleasure), refined (i.e., free from Prakriti), not elliptical or imperfect, destitute of harshness or difficulty of comprehension, characterized by due order, not far fetched in respect of sense, corrected with one another as cause and effect and each having a specific object.

[Note: These characteristics, though numbering sixteen, include the four and twenty mentioned by Bhojadeva in his Rhetoric called ‘Saraswati-kanthabharana.]

I shall not tell thee anything, prompted by desire or wrath or fear or cupidity or abjectness or deceit or shame or compassion or pride. (I answer thee because it is proper for me to answer what thou hast said). When the speaker, the hearer, and the words said, thoroughly agree with one another in course of a speech, then does the sense or meaning come out very clearly. When, in the matter of what is to be said, the speaker shows disregard for the understanding of the hearer by uttering words whose meaning is understood by himself, then, however good those words may be, they become incapable of being seized by the hearer.

That speaker, again, who, abandoning all regard for his own meaning uses words that are of excellent sound and sense, awakens only erroneous impressions in the mind of the hearer. Such words in such connection become certainly faulty. That speaker, however, who employs words that are, while expressing his own meaning, intelligible to the hearer, as well, truly deserves to be called a speaker. No other man deserves the name. It behoveth thee, therefore, O king, to hear with concentrated attention these words of mine, fraught with meaning and endued with wealth of vocables.


Monday, September 9, 2013


                                                                     EMANATION OR EVOLUTION.

The Lord willed to create his creatures; from his will came out Avidya (Ignorance), the mother of this false universe.

The connotation “Pure Brahma” is applicable to Knowledge (wisdom) only; that which is not Brahma is ignorance (Avidya), from which emanated the ether (akas). 

From the ether emanated the air; from air came the fire; from fire—water; and from water came the earth. This is the order of emanation.

From the ether, air; from the air and ether combined came fire; from the triple compound of ether, air and fire came water; and from the combination of ether, air, fire and water was produced the earth.

The quality of ether is sound; of air motion and touch. Form is the quality of fire, and taste of water. And smell is the quality of the earth. There is no gain saying this.

Ether has one quality; air two, fire three, water four, and earth five qualities, viz:—sound, touch,taste, form and smell. This has been declared by the wise.

Form is perceived through the eyes, smell through the olfactory nerves, tastes through the tongue, touch through the skin and sound through the ear. These are verily the organs of perception.

From Intelligence is come out all this universe, moveable and immoveable; whether or not Its existence can be inferred, the “All Intelligence” One does exist. 


The earth becomes subtle and is dissolved in water; water in fire; fire in air; air in ether; and either in Avidya (Ignorance), which merges into the great Brahma.

There are two forces—vikshepa, (the force of creation or projection), and avarana (concealment), which are of great potentiality and power, and whose form is happiness. The great Maya, when non-intelligent and material, has three attributes satwa (good) rajas (active) and tamas (bad).

The intelligent form of Maya covered by the avarana force (concealment), manifests itself as the universe, owing to the nature of vikshepa force.

When the avidya has an excess of tamas (bad), then it manifests itself as the beautiful Lakshmi; the intelligence which presides over her is called Vishnu.

When the avidya has an excess of rajas (active), it manifests itself as the wise Saraswati; the intelligence which presides over her is known as Brahma.

Gods like Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu, etc., are all seen in the great Spirit; bodies and all material
objects are the various products of avidya.

The wise have thus explained the creation of the world—tatwas (elements) and non-tatwas (nonelements) are thus produced—not otherwise.

All things are seen as finite, etc., (endowed with qualities etc.), and there arise various distinctions merely through words and names; but there is no real difference:

Therefore the things do not exist; the great and glorious One that manifests them, alone exists; though things are false and unreal, yet, as the reflection of the real, they, for the time being, appear so.

The One Entity, blissful, full and all-pervading, alone exists, and nothing else; he who constantly realises this knowledge is freed from death and the sorrows of the world.

When through the knowledge of illusory attribution and withdrawl this universe is annihilated, there exists that One and nothing else; then this is clearly perceived by the mind.

.............Shiva Sanhita...............