Mithilesh Chaturvedi, Professor, Department of Sanskrit, University of Delhi
In Bhartṛhari’s philosophy, language and thought are not two distinct entities. Before speech manifests itself, it remains identified with the meaning. Thus, thought and language exist together as one with consciousness. A single indivisible meaningful unit in language is called sphoṭa by grammarians. The unity of sphoṭa is clearly felt over and above the phonemes. This cognition of the unitary word cannot be without a basis, which shows that sphoṭa is perceptible and is not a mystic entity. The ultimately meaningful unit is the sentence that is found to give rise to the sentential meaning.