Vācaspati Miśra

Philosopher, Deceased Person

0900 – 0980


Who was Vācaspati Miśra?

Vācaspati Miśra was an Indian philosopher who founded one of the main Advaita Vedanta schools, the Bhāmatī school, and whose work was an important forerunner of the Navya-Nyāya system of thought.

Vācaspati was a Maithili Brahmin who lived near the frontier between India and Nepal. The details of his life have been lost, though he is said to have named one of his works after his wife, Bhāmatī. He wrote commentaries on the main works of all the major Hindu schools of thought at the time, as well as one non-commentary, Tattvabindu.

In Tattvabindu, Vācaspati examines four competing theories of linguistic meaning:

⁕Mandana Misra's, which involves grasping the meaning of a word or sentence by perceiving a sphoṭa or single holistic sound, which is distinct from the elements that make up the word or sentence;

⁕the Nyāya theory which involves concatenating the memory traces of momentary components of a word or sentence when we hear the final momentary component;

⁕the similar Mīmāmsā theory, according to which our grasp of the meaning of a sentence lies in the memory traces created by the words; and

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Also known as
  • Vacaspati Misra
  • Vachaspati Misra

on July 23, 2013


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