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Tatparyajnana In Hindu Philosophy

Tatparyajnana is the knowledge of a speaker’s intention in Hindu philosophy. Tatparyajnana is often as necessary for the right understanding of a sentence as any of the three requisites, akanksha (expectancy), yogyata (compatibility) and sannidhi (juxtaposition). For instance, the sentence saindhava manaya might convey two distinct meanings ‘bring salt’ and ‘bring a horse’. Akanksha, yogyata and sannidhi, which are all satisfied here, are not in themselves able to tell us which of the two meanings is to be accepted on a particular occasion, i.e., which of the two meaning is intended by the speaker. This can be determined only by knowing the vaktrtatparya (intention of the speaker), which again is to be gathered from the circumstance under which the sentence is spoken. If the speaker is dining, he almost certainly asks for salt, and if he is dressed and going out, the orders a horse. According to Visvanatha, without this knowledge of the speaker’s intention, it will be impossible to interpret a sentence wherever a word is ambiguous or has more than one sense.

Although tatparyajnana is not mentioned by some, the reference to it is given in connection with lakshana. In fact, this tatparya may be included in the second requisite yogyata, as compatibility of a meaning must always be judged with reference to the particular occasion or the probable intention of the speaker.

Concerning the meaning of the words in Vedas, which are considered to be apauruseya (not of human origin), Vedanta Paribhasa proposes a better definition – that of fitness of the words to express a particular meaning, while there is no utterance with an intention to convey a different sense. The second clause is added to prevent doubt in examples like saindhavamanaya because the intention is always to convey only one meaning and not the other.