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Pujya Dr. K.C. Varadachari - Volume -10



The word yogyata means that which is fit for connection, from yoga and yuj - that which is fit to be associated with or fit for any purpose that might be realised or needs to be realised. Thus a word or term is fit to be connected with another word or not; a particular means is fit to be used or is appropriate for realising an end; or a particular act is appropriate at and for a function. Surely the use of this word yogyata has been used in many senses. In the logic of the propositions the word yogyata is used in the sense of a word or term being fit to follow the first term. The second word that follows the first is said to be fitness (yogyata). The usual example that is given in the textbooks looks to be very odd and itself not fit to be an example of yogyata. Thus it is said that if one brings a horse when all that is asked is salt (saindhavamanaya)1, this is a case of ayogyata. But this ayogyata is an example of the ambiguous use of the word saindhava (horse:salt) rather than an unfitness to the sentence at all. In fact the unfitness in this case is the ambiguity in the word rather than the act of bringing horse instead of salt.

A clear exposition of this fact was made by me in a paper published many years ago. The three important criteria needed for a meaningful vakya (proposition in logic rather than a sentence in rhetoric or prose or even in the scripture) are akanksa (expectancy) yogyata and sannidhi (nearness). The first term evokes certain questions thus a word saindhavam evokes the questions, which, what, from where and so on. Any of the answers to these questions respectively would complete the meaning. Thus if one knows the meaning of the word saindhavam, it is easy to say what it is and do what is needed; but an ambiguous word makes any reply impossible: in fact it is not a clear case or it is a meaningless proposition. Thus the use of un-ambiguous words is almost one of the additional necessities in language and this may be stated to be not merely a case of yogyata but a different condition altogether.

1 The usual example is the fire is sprinkled. This is said to be ayogyata because it is an impossible thing – of course not impossible today.

The expectancy (akanksa) is a valuable condition which reveals the necessity for completeness of meaning in a proposition - intended statement. The language construction in respect of statements of truth, either of fact or action or meaning, is different indeed from the sentences which are definitely imperatives either categorical or hypothetical or conditional. Imperatives flow from and towards actions, ethical or political. But statements of truth are not of the same order. Thus yogyata in this sense would be different even as expectancy. A servant waiting for the command of his master or a ritualist performer waiting for the command of his priest or the regiment waiting for an order, are all cases of imperatives, and expectancy is conditioned by the situation. There can be no meaningless commands or imperatives of obligation which are not definitely action – directing. But logical propositions are not of this order. Thus expectancy is limited to the predication of the term. There cannot be any other. Similarly once the second term or the predicate is stated it is clear that this involves the concept of sannidhya or nearness. The concept of sannidhya has again suffered at the hands of the logicians in India. The concept is simply the statement that the akanksa selects the appropriate term defined by its predicate - nature. The remoteness of the term or nearness of that term wither in a long winded sentence or in time as separated by many hours as assumed in the usual description of this condition of sannidhya, seem to be utterly unintelligible as logical explanations. The first term calls up the second and this second that is called up is that which is in our experience contiguous with the former. Thus we know that among the laws of association we have contiguity, contrast, similarity or striking quality words or terms becoming associated in our consciousness. Sannidhya seems to mean just contiguity or nearness or side-by-sideness. Thus a substance will recall its quality or qualities, a cause will recall the effect which is successive to it, and the correlative terms seem to be called up. In this thus comprises the basic meaning of sannidhya. To make it mean temporal discontinuity in utterance of the words comprising the sentence or proposition is to miss the natural psychology.

The usual construction of the Sanskrit sentence is the occurrence of the verb at the end of it. Thus whilst the English sentence will be Rama is King, the Sanskrit will Rama king is. Thus the natural linkage between the two previous terms comes last. Thus akanksa, sannidhi and yogyata stand for the two terms and the copula of affirmation or denial. Yogyata thus means to express the copula between the terms. Yogyata includes ayogyata also. So too in the imperative sentences the yogyata is expressed by the vidhi and its negation by nisedha. This makes the conditions of the logical proposition clear and precise and not what the expositors of the three have done in their commentaries.

The Aristotelian analysis of the proposition reveals this strict naturalness even as the psychological naturalness of the Indian logician’s exposition of the nature of a vakya (proposition that is verbalised: vac).

There is one more point that might be referred to in this connection. The mimamsa rule of interpretation of any name is opposite. Suppose there is a hymn addressed to Agni and in the course of it there is the name Indra used to address Agni, the rule enjoins that the word Indra shall be interpreted as yoga and not a rudhi. The word yoga is usually interpreted as connotatively by root – meaning rather than any other. Similarly rudhi means that which has been inculcated as a proper name. All proper names can become connotative though their normal function is denotative. In this context of usage this connotative or root meaning should be taken. Yoga here means thus a merely appropriate to the context meaning. This is the meaning of connectable (from yuj).

Thus it can be seen that yogyata is a comprehensive analysis of the entire scope word – usage in the sentences.

There is a problem raised whether sentences are to be equated with propositions. A truth sentence is a judgment (judges pronounce sentences) and sentences must be clearly a truth statement or real proposition as contrasted with abstract or unreal or fictional propositions. Indian logic demands a real logic, a logic set towards the ascertainment of Reality (correspondence or coherence etc being but ways of this ascertainment and statement - judgment or sentence). It is therefore clear that Yogyata is precisely the expression of ascertainment.