definition of sAmAnAdhikara.nya

John Dunne jdunne at
Tue Dec 3 23:59:22 UTC 1996

In her query on saamaanaadhikara.nya, Halina Marlewicz quoted the 
following definition that she encountered in a "minor vi'si.s.taadvaita 

> "saamaanaadhikara.nya" : "binnaprav.rttinimittaanaam  'sabdaanaam
> ekasminnarthe saamaanaadhikara.nyam".

Dr. Marlewicz remarks that the definition is also found in Raamaanuja. In 
addition, it is perhaps worth noting the following definition given by 
Kar.nakagomin in his .tiikaa (p.149) on Dharmakiirti's *Svopaj~nav.rtti*:

bhinnanimittayo.h 'sabdayor ekasminn v.rtti.h 

The use of the dual can probably be explained by context, since 
Kar.nakagomin is discussing the saamaanadhikara.nya of an expression for 
a single dharma (such as *'sukla*) with an expression for a dharmin (such 
as *a'sva*). This definition is clearly quite close to the one given 
above, and my impression is that, in the context of discussion on 
'sabdaartha, this type of definition was not generally disputed.

I too have found only the Kaa'sikaa's gloss to express a similar notion 
in the grammatical tradition, and I would likewise welcome any further 
references from within the grammatical tradition or from texts of other 
traditions (I have found no precise gloss in the works of 
Praaciinanaiyaayikas thus far, but I would certainly expect there to be 
such a gloss somewhere). In any case, I would be surprised to find any 
significant variance on the basic definition of saamaanaadhikara.nya when 
it is understood in the context of 'sabdaartha. Nevertheless, any further 
glosses or similar citations would be most welcome (especially any that 
contradict my claim!).

I am curious, by the way, about translations for the term in English. 
When the term implies an ontological committment (as, for example, when 
'suklatva and a'svatva are thought to be somehow instantiated in the same 
locus), "co-instantiation" seems to work fairly well. Where the notion of 
an ontological committment needs to be avoided for some reason, the 
perhaps less satisfactory "co-referentiality" might be satisfactory. Any 
thoughts or suggestions for other translations?'sabda.h abhidheyavaacii / 

> Dear Members of the indology list,
>    In one the minor Vi'si.s.taadvaaita text there appears a
> definition of "saamaanaadhikara.nya" (congruence).
> The definition is quoted as one found in "Mahaabhaa.sya" under
> suutra 3.2.124.
> I am a bit baffled to find, that no such definition can be found
> there. That is, the very word appears, but defined in a bit different
> way and as applied to a linguistic context different from that spoken
> of in the Vi'si.s.taadvaita text.
> Can anyone help me to find out, whether anywhere in
> Mahaabhaa.sya appears the following definition of
> Congruence defined in precisely the same manner can be found in
> Raamaanuja's work.
> The ony purely linguistic definition
> somehow similar to the one quoted above appears in Vaamana and
> Jayaaditya's "Kaa'sikavrtti" to suutra 2.1.49.
> with best regards,
> Halina Marlewicz
> Institute of Oriental Philology
> Indology Dept.
> Jagiellonian University
> Al.A.Mickiewicza 9/11
> Cracow, Poland
> e-mail: hmarle at

John Dunne
Study of Religion
Harvard University

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