Ekavākyatā

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Ekavakyata, EkavAkyatA, Ekavaakyataa


Ekavākyatā literally means ‘single sentence-ness’.

While interpreting the various passages from the Vedas and the Upaniṣads, the ancient and medieval commentators have exercised great care. One of the principles that they have adopted in their commentaries and interpretations is ‘ekavākyatā’.

A vākya or a sentence is not just an aggregate of words, grammatically or syntactically connected. It should also convey sense. If the sense is not complete and needs further clarification, which is given in one or two more sentences, all these sentences together are known as ‘ekavākyatā.’ For instance, take these sentences:

  1. Parvato vahnimān - There is fire in the hill.
  2. Dhumāt - Because smoke is seen there.
  3. Yatra yatra dhumah, tatra tatra vahnih - wherever there is smoke, there is fire.

There are three sentences here. Each one of them conveys a different idea. But if all the three are put together, it produce a single knowledge in our mind, viz., that there is fire on the hill. Thus there is ekavākyatā in all these three statements.


References

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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