The volume delves into Bhartrihari’s conception of Time as power (Kalashakti) as enunciated in the ninth section of the third Canto of his Vakyapadiya, entitled Kala Samuddesha. Prof. Patnaik tries to argue that Time as the “power” (Kalashakti) serves as an important conceptual tool for Bhartrihari to maintain his non-dualistic position, both in the level of ontology as well as semantics.
The book examines the Bhartriharian model of Kala as shakti in the backdrop of two other models available in the Indian philosophical tradition – Time as substance (Vaisheshika and Nyaya Darshana), on the one hand, and Time as atom (kshana/svalakshanas) of the Yoga and Sautrantika Buddhism. Whether Kala is admitted as an abstract and trans-empirical principle (Kala) or just as a measurable unit of events, no philosophical tradition has been able to discard its semantic role. This is evident from our usage of tense-words. But this double-valued nature of time as a metaphysical principle and as a semantic apparatus comes out most explicitly in Bhartrihari’s analysis of time as a power. In his unflinching non-dualistic (advaitin) stand – both in the level of metaphysics as well as semantics – Kala serves as an important conceptual link between unity and diversity; unchanged and the changing. Kala also has the point of convergence between the two streams of philosophy – metaphysics and semantics.
The book is rare in nature, both in content and accessability, as there is very little literature available on the topics discussed in the book. The paucity of materials in the area of thought makes it a scholar’s collection.