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Journal of Indian Philosophy

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 1–19 | Cite as

On the Notion of Linguistic Convention (saṁketa) in the Yogasūtrabhāṣya

  • Ołena ŁucyszynaEmail author
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Abstract

The aim of this study is to clarify the meaning of the term saṁketa, which is usually translated as ‘(linguistic) convention’, in the Yogasūtrabhāṣya, the first and the most authoritative commentary to the Yogasūtras. This paper is a contribution to the reconstruction of the classical Yoga view on the relation between word and its meaning, for saṁketa is a key term used by this darśana in discussing this relation. The textual analysis of the Yogasūtrabhāṣya has led me to the conclusion that its author’s understanding of the linguistic convention (saṁketa) is different from the notion of the linguistic convention (saṁketa/samaya) of the Vaiśeṣikas and Naiyāyikas and similar to the notion of the linguistic convention (samaya/saṁketa) of the Grammarians (as presented in Houben’s article “Bhartṛhari’s samaya/Helārāja’s saṁketa. A contribution to the reconstruction of the Grammarian’s discussion with the Vaiśeṣikas on the relation between śabda and artha”, published in the “Journal of Indian Philosophy”). These are interpretations of the term saṁketa which reflect Yogasūtrabhāṣya’s understanding of the linguistic convention: the tradition of the usage of words, established (practice/custom of the) usage of words. Saṁketa of the Yogasūtrabhāṣya, unlike saṁketa/samaya of the Vaiśeṣikas and Naiyāyikas, is not an agreement established by anyone, but an agreement in the sense of tradition, established practice, or established custom. Unlike the saṁketa/samaya of these philosophers, the saṁketa of the Yogasūtrabhāṣya, having neither beginning nor end, is not re-created (re-established), but only made known (revealed) at the beginning of each cycle of existence of the world.

Keywords

ClassicalYoga Yogasūtra Yogasūtrabhāṣya Linguistic convention (saṁketaWord (śabdaMeaning (artha

References and Abbreviations

Yoga Sanskrit Texts and Abbreviations

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of Humanities and Economics in LodzŁódźPoland

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