Śabda in the ancient Indian grammarians’ doctrines


  • Paweł Sajdek


śabda, grammarians, sphoṭa, Indian philosophy


Notwithstanding its pivotal role in the thought of Indian early grammarians, the exact mean‐ ing of the term śabda remains vague and hard to determine for an inexperienced student. The di culty is not simply due to polysemy or ambiguity. The ancient user of the term śabda seems entirely unaware of any distinctions within the semantic range of the word, taking its meaning for granted. The objective of the present paper is to investigate various contexts of the word in order to elucidate its meaning as understood by Indian grammarians, with particular emphasis laid on the followers of the śabdādvaita school.