The book discusses the issues about sentence structure. The structure of the Sentence has been considered form two view points mainly in India intellectual tradition:
1. Concept of the Singleness of the Sentence (Ekavakyata)
2. Division of the Sentence (Vakyabheda).
The reference of Mahabharata has been compared with the definition of Vakya proposed by jaimini regarding the singleness of the sentence. This reference of Mahabharata is at par with the notion of adhikarana in Mimamsa and avayava and vada in Nyayadarsana.
Issues taken into account by Bhartrhari have also been discussed in first chapter.
In Indian intellectual tradition, three disciplines discussed the sentence in course of reflecting upon verbal testimony. Components of sentence structure are predominantly discussed according to Painian system. Universal category of sentence structure is another issue which is widely debate.
All this has been discussed in the book very nicely.
Thinking about language in India intellectual tradition has its roots in veda-s. The term that is often used for language in Vedic literature is Vak. Vak is situated in Sarasvati. Sarasvati means one that contains that contains flow. Sarasvati controls Vak. It is indicated in Yajurveda and Atharvaveda . Sarasvati purifies, protects intelligence and promots truth. This quality the of flow is the eternal feature of caitanya and Vak. Bhartrhari indicated it.
Vaksukta of Rgveda reflects the vedic vision of language. In this Sukta Vagambhrni has directly realized atman and described it. The special feature of this sukta is the use of first person, rarely found elsewhere in vedas. This supports the theory of self realization. Ultimate source (Yoni) of vak is intelligence. Vak created everything.
In process of creation, it creats space and then enters every created being. The notion that whole creation emerged form Vak is reiterated by Bharata and Bhartrhari. Bharata says that Sastra-s are interwoven by vak and situated in vak. There is nothing superior than vak and vak is cause of all. Bhartrhari says that scholars of Vedas know that this is the parinama old Sabda and this world emerged from Vedas. Vedas are here denoting subtle essence of vak that is in form of atoms. That is why plural number “chandobhyah” has been used. Ultimate source of vak is intelligence. This is the explanation of Sayana.
The sun holds vak by virtue of intelligence. Gandharva (Prana vayu) causes the expression of vak. Vak is expressed by seven types of tones or metres. Sayana explains them as seven metres (Gayatri etc.) Musicians can also interpret them as seven notes (Saptavara) of the gamut. Vak is situated in Rsi-s and only intelligent (Dhira) can find it. Mention of purification of speech so that quality of welfare already hidden there is revealed, is an indication of vyakarana. Vyakarana means separation of correct words from incorrect words. This is quite evident from the simple of sieve (Titau).
Patanjali quotes and explains this verse in his great work Mahabhasya in paspaoea from the grammatical perspective. There he holds the view that only meditative persons with the help of intelligence, can separate correct words from incorrect words and thus can purify the speech.
We can see from the explanation that what kind of grammarian (vaisyakarana) is intended here. Words of the same tone have been used by Patanjali for Panini where quality of contemplation, purity of the place and great care have been indicated.
Indicates that unconscious beings also speak. Sayana explains that speech (Vak) expresses some unintelligible ideas, Sayana’s explanation also hints normal speech is not being discussed in this verse.
Some type of communication has been traced in plants. Scientists have found some evidences of chemical communication among plants. Over three seasons spanning 1996 through 1998, researchers from the university of Califorina in Davis monitored wild tobacco plants growing near sagebrush. They clipped the leaves of some of the sagebrush plants to mimic the damage caused by insects. The sagebrush plants responded with a puff of a chemical called methyl jasmonate. In response, tobacco plants downwind immediately begin boosting the level of an enzyme called PPO that makes their leaves less tasty to plant-eating insects. Within minutes of the clipping of the sagebrush the plants’ PPO levels quadrupled. It worked too. Tobacco plants next to the clipped sagebrush suffered sixty percent less damage from grasshoppers and caterpillars than tobacco plants next to unclipped sagebrush.
Then, last fall, scientists at Kyoto University in Japan let spider mites loose on lima-bean plants’ responses. They found five different defense mechanisms. First, each injured plant released a chemical that changed its flavor, making themselves less tasty and warning still more lima bean plants, before the mites even reached them. Most amazingly, some of released chemicals had the effect of summoning a whole new batch of mites who preferred to eat the spider mites attacking the lima bean plants rather than eating lima been plants.
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