The “Dravyasamuddeśa” is a chapter of Bhartṛhari’s Vākyapadīya (VP) that
considers substance (dravya) to be the referent of all words and the ultimate
essence of all phenomena. In the first kārikā of this chapter (VP 3.2.1) Bhartṛhari
lists several synonyms of dravya, with Ātman being the first among them. It
follows from Helārāja’s commentary that each member of this list is the central
concept of some philosophical tradition—Ātman in particular belongs to the
Advaitavādins. Being a traditional commentator, Helārāja could not have cared
less for the chronology, but approaching his explanation critically one may
wonder what particular form of Advaita he might have in mind and whether
Bhartṛhari, who flourished circa the fifth century C.E., could have been familiar
with this teaching. Moreover, there is another question that may arise with
respect to this kārikā and Helārāja’s explanation: what generally is the reason to
identify Ātman with substance? ...
On April 20–22, 2022, the First All-Russian Academic Conference “The Written Heritage of the Orient” in memory of M. I. Vorobyova-Desyatovskaya (1933–2021) will be held at the IOM RAS. The conference program is now available.