This volume of the monumental reference series being prepared under the general editorship of Karl Potter provides summaries of the main works in the Grammarian tradition of Indian philosophy. Describing the functions of language on different levels, from ordinary empirical speech to the poetic intuition of the divine, the Grammarians sought to demonstrate that the correct grammatical use of language and the devotional chanting of mantras are ways of moving from lower to higher stages of knowledge and self-realization. This work gives special emphasis to the thought of Bhartrhari, the great systematizer of the Grammarian philosophy. For those unacquainted with Indian philosophy, the editors' introduction provides an explanation of the basic concepts found in the Grammarian texts.
Grammarian thought is based on the Vedas, and the writings of Panini, Patanjali, Bhartrhari, and others develop implicit Vedic ideas about language and its function. Their works combine a grammatical analysis of Sanskrit language with a philosophy that takes language as divine.
Originally published in 1991.
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