Journal of Indian Philosophy

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 189–206 | Cite as

The Brahman and the Word Principle (Śabda)

Influence of the Philosophy of Bhartṛhari on Maṇḍana’s Brahmasiddhi


The literature of Bhartṛhari and Maṇḍana attention in contemporary times. The writings of the prominent linguistic philosopher and grammarian Bhartṛhari and of Manḍana, an encyclopedic scholar of later seventh century and most likely a senior contemporary of Śaṅkara, shape Indian philosophical thinking to a great extent. On this premise, this study of the influence of Bhartṛhari on Maṇḍana’s literature, the scope of this essay, allows us to explore the significance of Bhartṛhari’s writings, not only to comprehend the philosophy of language, but also to understand the contribution of linguistic philosophy in shaping Advaita philosophy in subsequent times. This comparison is not to question originality on the part of Maṇḍana, but rather to explore the interrelationship between linguistic philosophy and the monistic philosophy of the Upaniṣadic tradition. Besides excavating the role of Bhartṛhari writings on the texts of Maṇḍana, analysis this will reveal the interrelatedness of the Advaita school of Śaṅkara often addressed as ‘pure non-dualism’ (Kevalādvaita) and the Advaita of Bhartṛhari, identified as ‘non-dualism of the word-principle’ (Śabdādvaita).


Bhartṛhari Maṇḍana Brahmasiddhi Vākyapadīya Śaṅkara Advaita śabda Brahma avidyā 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA

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