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Limits of the real: A hypertext critical edition of Bhartṛhari's Dravyasamuddeśa, with the commentary of Helārāja



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Li, Charles Cheuk Him 


This dissertation is divided into two parts. The first is a critical study of the Dravyasamuddeśa, a chapter from the Vākyapadīya of Bhartṛhari, a 5th-century Sanskrit philosopher of language. It also deals with the 10th-century commentary of Helārāja, which was highly influential in shaping the interpretation of the text by later authors. Although the Vākyapadīya is a treatise on Sanskrit grammar, and this particular chapter purports to deal with the grammatical category of dravya, in the Dravyasamuddeśa, Bhartṛhari is mostly concerned with establishing a non-dual theory of reality. Helārāja, five centuries later, defends this theory and attempts to re-interpret other schools of thought, namely Buddhism and Sāṃkhya, in its terms. The second part of the dissertation is a critical edition and annotated translation of the Dravyasamuddeśa and the commentary. It also describes the making of the edition – for this project, an open source software package was developed to automatically collate diplomatic transcriptions of manuscript witnesses in order to generate an apparatus variorum. The resulting apparatus forms part of an interactive, online digital edition of the text, from which the printed edition is generated.





Vergiani, Vincenzo


Sanskrit, Philology, Philosophy, Indology, Bhartṛhari, Vākyapadīya, Helārāja, Critical Edition, Translation, Digital Humanities, Epistemology, Nondualism


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Awarding Institution

University of Cambridge