The Sadharanikaran Model and Aristotle’s Model
of Communication: A Comparative Study
— Nirmala Mani Adhikary
In the print version, the article is published as: Adhikary, Nirmala Mani (2008). The Sadharanikaran Model and Aristotle’s Model of Communication: A Comparative Study. Bodhi 2 (1): 268-289.
This article seeks to study the fundamental differences between
the Sadharanikaran model and Aristotle’s model of
The effort here is aimed for having a
comparative study of the concepts of communication process
envisioned in two different models from the East and the West.
The general objective here is to comprehend the fundamental
differences between the concepts of communication process in
Aristotelian and Sadharanikaran view. The specific objectives
include having comparative understanding of the concept of
communication process from Aristotelian and Sadharanikaran
perspectives in terms of structure and scope of two models, the
human relationships in the process and the goal of
The selection of these two models for a comparative study is
purposive. On the one hand, a model of communication
developed from Aristotle’s concept of rhetoric is considered
representative of Western concept of communication, even in
the era of mass communication. On the other hand,
Sadharanikaran has been widely accepted as the Hindu theory
of communication. A unique communication model has already
been presented based on the Sadharanikaran theory and, so far,
the Sadharanikaran model is the only model of communication
in diagrammatic form proposed from the Hindu perspective. In
this background, studying these two models simultaneously is
an attempt of understanding communication from both Eastern and Western perspectives. The goal is not rejection of something Western, but a creative addition in the discipline.
The term communication is translated into Nepali (into Hindi
and other languages of Sanskrit origin too) as sanchar, which
originally is a Sanskrit word. Sanchar has number of meanings
in Sanskrit and one of them is equivalent to what is understood
as the communication in modern sense. It is to note that the
study of sanchar in the universities of Nepal and India so far is
not the study of sanchar in the Sanskrit sense but, in fact, the
study of communication as evolved in the West. As
Dissanayake (1988) acknowledges, “attention has been
confined to communication meta-theory associated with
industrially advanced Western countries” (p. 1).
However, the scene seems changing. Advocacy expressed in the
context of India as following have become common:
Since the present communication concept and
discipline has developed in the west, we do get carried
away by its Western perception and hence become
ineffective in the Indian situation. It is necessary,
therefore that we ground ourselves firmly in our
culture, beliefs and ethos. We need not copy the
western models blindly. (IGNOU, 2005, p. 24)
The problem with Western communication theories, according
to Dissanayake (1988), is that it is functionalist, mechanistic,
positivist and it regards communication as an external event,
individuals as discreet and separate, and each part of the sendermessage-
receiver process as different. The Western models and
theories of communication have been criticized as “reflective of
the biases of Western thought and culture” (Kumar, 2005, p.
Attempts have been made for the exploration of the Nepali or
Indian and/or the Hindu concept of communication. Number of
works, including Yadava’s (1987, 1998), Tewari’s (1980, 1992),
and Adhikary’s (2003a, 2003b, 2004, 2007a, 2007b, 2007c), are
Understanding the process of communication is crucial to every
society. “No field of study has more important implications for
our lives in contemporary society than that which looks
systematically at the process of human communication”
(DeFleur, Kearney, & Plax, 1993, p. 6-7). A comparative study
of different concepts of communication is a must for the
improved understanding of the process and the advancement of
the discipline. “If we are to widen our filed of inquiry
productively and to secure greater insights, we need to pay
more attention to concepts of communication formulated by
non-Western societies as well” (Dissanayake, 1988, p. 1).
Though it is argued that “unique factors characterize
communication in each context, but the process by which
people construct meanings and transmit them to others, who
then interpret and respond, is essentially similar in all contexts”
(DeFleur, Kearney, & Plax, 1993, p. 6) the discipline is
certainly enriched if the process is studied in the light of
different philosophical traditions. As it has been emphasized,
at this stage in the development of the scholarly study
of communication, it is indeed important for everybody
concerned to seek to broaden the domain of inquiry by
exploring the concepts of communication that have
been formulated in non-Western societies as a means of
promoting a greater degree of understanding of the
nature of human interaction. (Dissanayake, 1988, p. 2)
The study of comparative communication theory should be
encouraged and promoted. There are two main reasons for this:
First, it helps to widen the field of discourse and
facilitate the emergence of new insights from various
cultures that enable us to comprehend and
conceptualize better, the act of communication. Second,
communication theory has a vital link with
communication research. It is manifest that social
research is largely guided by the social context in
which it operates and is influenced by the cultural ethos
which sustains it. Therefore, in order to promote more
productive and relevant communication research in
non-Western societies rather than to encourage a
blindly servile adherence to Western research credos, it
is vital that more and more explorations in indigenous
communication theory be encouraged. (op. cit., p. 4)
The Message- or Artifact-oriented research approach has been
employed here. Specifically, it is Archival/Documentary
research using secondary sources.
Exploring Hindu Concept of Communication and
Developing a Model
There are contrasting views regarding the history of
communication theories and hence models. “Despite
communication being at least as old as the human race formal
theorizations about communication as such are a relatively
recent (twentieth-century) phenomenon” (Beck, Bennett, &
Wall, 2004, p. 35). From this point of view, “Communication,
as it is known today, has originated and evolved in the West,
particularly in the United States of America” (IGNOU 2005, p.
23). At least, “communication, as a field of academic study,
first gained recognition in the US” (Dissanayake, 1988, p. 3).
Contrastingly, it is believed that “the nature of communication
has been debated since history began” (DeFleur, Kearney, &
Plax, 1993, p. 9-10). According to Stone, Singletary, &
Richmond (2003), “One of the things people wanted to know
even 5,000 years ago was how communication works and how
they could make their own communication more effective” (p.
1). As they observe,
Although people were developing very primitive
communication theories as long as 5,000 years ago, it
was not until about 2,500 years ago that theoretical
development gained momentum. The work began in
ancient Greece and Rome. In the fifth century B.C.,
works by Corax and Tisias on rhetorical (persuasive)
communication appeared. … About a century later, the
greatest communication scholar of antiquity, Aristotle,
composed the work now known as The Rhetoric of
Aristotle. (p. 2)
Authors like Narula (2003) regard Aristotle’s model as “the
earliest communication model” (p. 47). Aristotle’s work on
rhetoric has been evaluated as “the most influential during the
next 2,300 years” (Stone, Singletary, & Richmond, 2003, p. 2).
The pervasiveness of Aristotelian concept of communication in
the West is such that it is “fully embedded” even “in the
currently influential models of Lasswell (1948) and Shannon
and Weaver (1949)” (Narula, 2003, p. 14). Observing that
“some today still consider this the greatest work on rhetoric
ever written” Stone, Singletary, & Richmond (2003) consider
the rhetorical approach to communication as “the primary
source of communication theories for people living in
democratic societies” (p. 2).
It is not unconvincing to regard that “Western theories and
models of communication have their origin in Aristotle’s
Rhetoric” (Kumar, 2005, p. 16). Moreover, as Yadava (1998)
puts it, “the Western concept of communication can be traced to
and consists of further elaborations of Aristotle’s concept of
Rhetoric, the art of persuasive speech” (p. 189). Its influence is
so broad that
Asian scholars, too, by and large, seem to adhere to this
model despite the fact that it is Western-oriented and is
in no significant sense of consonant with the cultural
configurations and epistemological underpinnings that
characterize Asian societies. (Dissanayake, 1988, p. 6)
However, there have been attempts at bringing out fundamental
theories and models from Eastern location. Such attempts are
rooted in cultural identity consciousness. Particularly, the
exploration of different models of communication relative to
different cultures and philosophies is due to communication
scholars’ orientation toward what is called intercultural
communication research. It began during the 1950s and 1960s.
Several important concepts came out of earlier efforts in this
regard. One of those germinal ideas was of Hall (1959). Hall’s
contribution in the discipline is significant since he “was the
first one to place intercultural studies directly into the
communication realm” (Kidd, 2002, p. 3). His work persuaded
scholars to study communication from different perspectives
rather than merely the Western one.
Different societies have understood and defined communication
in their own ways. Considering a universal meta-theory of
communication is not reasonable. “Each nation has its own
characteristic mentality, its particular intellectual bent”
(Radhakrishnan 2004a, p. 23), without knowing which any
reading remains superficial. Studying the communication is not
an exception rather is always within the cultural milieu.
Thus the concept of communication differs from one culture to
another. “Cultural values are a basic part of the communication
agenda” (Singh, 2002, p. 157). To understand and describe even
a simple communicative act between two persons, we have to
“take into account hundreds of social and cultural factors that
might make a difference” (DeFleur & Dennis, 1991, p. 22). It is
in this background, Robert T. Oliver concludes, “Mankind is
less separated by language barriers … than it is by cultural
differences” (qtd. in Kidd, 2002, p. 4). So philosophical,
religious as well as cultural background of the society should be
considered while studying communication. “Even now, with the
idea of ‘global village’ becoming a reality, we differ as far as
methods and process of communication are concerned”
(IGNOU, 2005, p. 23). Instead of adhering to any single
concept of communication, multiple concepts of
communication are apparent. Thus seeking theorization of
communication from Hindu perspective is also obvious.
Studying Hindu perspectives on communication at the onset
needs a broader outlook:
‘Communication’ is a word coined in the recent past to
explain a particular idea of study. Therefore, in our
ancient literature this view was not dealt with
separately. But, a lot has been said on the process and
methods of communication in our literature. (ibid.)
With such outlook, diverse and enormous sources are available
in this regard.
The Upanishads, the Gita, the Sangeet Ratnakara, the
Natyashastra, Manu Smriti, Sanskrit literature, works
onVaishnavism, Bhakti, the medieval saints and Sufism
did communicate and are still communicating valuable
thoughts to us on the subject. We need to study these
materials to find out the methods and process of
communication prevailing at that time. (ibid.)
In other words, the concept of communication seems
inextricably linked with philosophy and religion in Hindu
society. Taking religion texts as the source of communication
theories and models is convincing, as it has been observed,
“Traditionally, models of communication were found in
religious thought” (Carey, 2004, p. 43).
Probably, the first ever specific attempt to explore the Hindu
concept on communication in modern time was of Oliver
(1971). Analyzing distinctive features of the Western and
Indian and Chinese cultures, he argued for philosophical
understanding of communication. Meanwhile, in 1980, the
East-West Communication Institute in Hawaii hosted the first
International Symposium on ‘Communication Theory: Eastern
and Western Perspectives’. J.S. Yadava presented a paper in the
seminar and argued that Sadharanikaran is that concept which,
in Hindu perspective, refers to what is meant by
Communication today. Yadava’s paper has been included in a
book (Kincaid, 1987) along with other papers presented in the
seminar. Tewari (1980) also agreed with Yadava in considering
Sadharanikaran as the “Indian Communication Theory.”
The term Sadharanikaran is derived from the Sanskrit word
Sadharan and has been translated into English as “generalized
presentation” (Vedantatirtha, 1936, p. 35) and “simplification”
(Yadava, 1998, p. 187). However, the conceptual meaning is
Conceptually it means achieving oneness or
commonness through sharing and comes close to the
Latin word communis or its modern English version
communication. But the characteristics and the
philosophy behind Sadharanikaran are somewhat
different from communication concept as developed in
the Western societies. (ibid.)
The term has its root in Natyashastra of Bharat Muni.2
It “has been used for communication philosophy expounded in
this treatise on … Natya (drama) and Nritya (dance)” (ibid.). In
other words, “Bharat Muni, who is credited with the writing of
Natyashastra codified the principles of human expression. …
Besides giving practical description of various aspects of dance
and drama to the minutest details, the document is reach about
the basics of human communiation” (op. cit., p. 188).
After Bharat Muni and especially Bhattanayak, the term
Sadharanikaran has been extensively used in Sanskrit and
allied literary circles for explaining poetics, aesthetics and
Bhattanayak is credited for use of term Sadharanikaran
in his commentary on Natyashastra to explain Sutras
related to Rasa … According to Bhattanayak also, the
essence of communication is to achieve commonness or
oneness among the people. Some scholars after
Bhattanayak, like Vaman Zalkikar and Govinda Thakur
(fifteenth century A.D.) have also considered
Sadharanikaran as a concept for establishing
commonness. Later this word was extensively used for
explaining the aesthetic aspects of poetry in literary
circles. Today also, Sadharanikaran is often employed
to convey the idea of commonness and simplification.
Sadharanikaran has gained wide acceptance as the Hindu
theory of communication, at least in India, where educational
institutions including universities have already incorporated this
concept in their curricula. In case of Nepal, a unique
communication model has already been presented based on the
Sadharanikaran theory. So far, the Sadharanikaran model is
the only model of communication in diagrammatic form
proposed from the Hindu perspective.3
Sadharanikaran neither is the only possible theory/model of
communication from Hindu perspective nor is Natyashastra the
only source for theorization. Bhartrihari’s Vakyapadiya4 is
another example in this regard. The time period of Vakyapadiya
is also not free from ambiguities. For instance, Abhyankar and
Limaye (1965) put him in 450-500 A.D. where as Mimamsak
(1950) argues that the time of Bhartrihari is at least twomillenium
ago. “As with many ancient Sanskrit authors, we are
not sure when Bhartrihari lived and composed his works”
(Wood, n.d., p. 33). However, his contribution does not lose
significance due to this.
Bhartrihari is much accredited for philosophical dealing on
communication, especially the word (Vak). Dissanayake (1988)
sees “a refreshing relevance” of Vakyapadiya “to modern
communication studies” (p. 8). He claims, “Indeed, the basic
thinking reflected in the Vakyapadiya is in perfect consonance
with some of the modern conceptualizations in the field of
communication” (ibid.). From Bhartrihari’s perspective,
communication seems as the process of an inward search for
meaning. This process is supposed leading to self-awareness,
then to freedom, and finally to truth. This final achievement of
truth brings a person to Brahman. Bhartrihari “identifies
Brahman with speech” (Radhakrishanan, 2004b, p. 465).
Davis (1988) draws on Panini’s Astadhyayi for studying the
nature of intentional communication from Nyaya-Vaisheshika
perspectives. “On the basis of Panini’s description of the
categories of words in Sanskrit and the way they combined to
make up sentences, various theories of the nature of meaning
arose” (p. 22). He discusses that the members of Nyaya-
Vaisheshika school of Hindu philosophy worked on the theory
“which puts meaning closest to the syntactic form of words”
(ibid.). Further, he also discusses the nature of intentional
communication from the point of view of Bhartrihari.
Apart from above discussed sources, the cocept of Dharma has
also been drawn on for exploring Hindu concept of
communication. According to T.B. Saral, communication in
Hindu philosophical perspective is governed by natural law of
The Hindu’s concept of the universe is based on the
‘Virat Purush’ (cosmic man) view. A natural extension
of this concept is that it espouses the systems approach,
the authority of Universal law, the law of Dharma.
Dharma is the basic principle of the whole universe and
is existing eternally. This natural law of Dharma
regulates human existence and governs relations of
individual beings; communication too is governed by
the same law. (qtd. in Kumar, 2005, p. 25)
Saral’s undertaking of Dharma and communication seems
convincing for Dharma has a crucial place in Hindu life.
Dharma should not be understood as the ‘religion’ is understood
in the Western context. Rather, it should be understood at its
proper sense. In Hindu perspective, “Dharma also refers to a
whole way of life rather than to mere doctrines or moral
teachings alone” (Hindery, 2004, p. 50). Dharma here “is not
dogmatic” (Radhakrishnan, 2004a, p. 25). It “is the scheme of
right living” (Radhakrishnan, 2004b, p. 417-418).
It is in this light a typical dharmik Hindu thinks,
Religion has been pervading human life from times
immemorial. Every tiny act that a man does is looked
upon from a religious point of view. All human
institutions are more or less based on religious
sentiments. It is one of the most undeniable facts of
psychology that an average man can as little exist
without a religious element of some kind as a fish
without water. (Saraswati, 2001, p. 32)
Jayaweera (1988) draws on Adwaita Vedanta (or Advaita) in
order to trace implications for the understanding of
communication from Hindu perspective. He emphasizes on the
need to apply principles derived from Vedanta philosophy to
communication theory. He further seeks theorizing
communication “from a conjunction of John’s Gospel and Paul’s
letters with Vedanta” (p. 57).
As evident from above discussions, there are multiple sources
for theorization and modeling of communication within the
Vedic Hindu tradition. Hence, there is scope of developing
different communication theories and models from Hindu
perspective. However, Sadharanikaran has already gained
prominence as Hindu theory of communication.5
In this section, the two models have been studied comparatively
in terms of structure and scope of two models, human
relationships in the process and the goal of communication.
I. Structure of the Model
Aristotle’s model is linear, while Sadharanikarn model is nonlinear.
The mechanistic, linear views of communication stem
from rational, mathematical formulas and Aristotelian models
of persuasion and rhetorical analysis. The linear model seeks to
represent communication in oversimplified way. In Aristotle’s
model the communicator is actively transmitting messages to a
passive audience, who are not communicators, at least at
present. A linear model like Aristotle’s does not seem real
because “in reality an act of communication does not simply
start, like turning on a tape-recorded message, and go through
stages to a point where it stops and the switch is turned off”
(DeFleur, Kearney, & Plax, 1993, p. 13).
Narula (2003) quotes Kincaid’s critique, where he criticized
“linear models as treating information like a physical substance
and individual minds like separate entities” (p. 14). And, seven
biases created by these assumptions have been identified:
(i) Communication is usually a vertical, one way act
rather than cyclical, two way process over time; (ii) a
source bias is based on the dependency rather than on
the relationship of those who communicate and their
interdependency; (iii) the objects of communication are
treated as existing in a vacuum, isolated from their
context; (iv) the focus is on the message per se at the
expense of silence, punctuation and timings of the
message; (v) the primary purpose of communication is
considered as persuasion rather than mutual
understanding, agreement and collective action; (vi)
there is concentration on the psychological effects of
communication on separate individuals rather than the
social effects and the relationships among individuals;
(vii) belief in one way mechanistic causation rather
than mutual causation. (p. 14-15)
The Sadharanikaran model, being a non-linear model, is free
from the limitations of Aristotle’s model. It incorporates the
notion of two-way communication process resulting in mutual
understanding of the Sahridayas. Thus the interrelationship
between those communicating becomes unique. Its non-linear
structure and inclusion of elements such as context has
II. Scope of the Model
Aristotle’s and the Sadharanikaran models differ vastly in
terms of their scope. About the scope of rhetoric, Aristotle
Every other art can instruct or persuade about its own
particular subject-matter; … But rhetoric we look upon
as the power of observing the means of persuasion on
almost any subject presented to us; and that is why we
say that, in its technical character, it is not concerned
with any special or definite class of subjects. (1952, p.
However, its scope has been viewed quite narrower. Aristotle’s
“model is actually more applicable to public speaking than
interpersonal communication” (Narula, 2003, p. 47).
The scope of Sadharanikarn model is too broad.
Sadharanikaran “is total communication and communication at
its best. It is a more integrated approach to communication”
(IGNOU, 2005, p. 30). It can extend from intra-personal to
interpersonal to mass communication. Its scope is not confined
to human communication only, rather its scope has been
considered even in case of spiritual concerns including the
attainment of Moksha.6
III. Human Relationships Envisioned in the Process
Aristotle’s and the Sadharanikarn models consist differing
views on the human relationships in the communication
process. On the one hand, communication in Western thought
amounts to “dialogue” between “equals” (Yadava, 1998, p.
189). However, there is dominance of sender because he/she is
who persuades the receiver as per his/her goal. On the other
hand, the communicating members are Sahridayas in case of
Though the Sadharanikaran model is inherent of Sahridayata it
is an asymmetrical process.
Although the purpose of Sadharanikaran is to achieve
commonness or oneness the process itself is an
asymmetrical one. There is unequal sharing between
communicator and receiver; there is a greater flow of
communication from the former to the later. … they are
not equal. The source is viewed as ‘higher’ and the
receiver as ‘lower’. The relationship is hierarchical and
that of ‘dominance’ and ‘subordination’. However, the
source is held in high esteem by the receiver of
communication, a relationship, idealized and
romanticized in guru-chela relationship. Although the
source and the receiver are unequal but they are
Sahridayas, which makes even unequal
relationship/communication satisfying and pleasurable
to both the parties involved. (ibid.)
Thus the asymmetrical relationship does not hinder the two-way
communication and hence mutual understanding. Rather, it
coincides with the asymmetrical structure of the society, for
instance, due to the caste system, and thereby represents the real
communication environment. As such it helps those
communicating to pervade the unequal relationship prevailed in
the society and the very process of communication is facilitated.
In case of rhetorical communication, not the relationship itself
but the cause of the relationship is emphasized. Thus the
relationship would always be evaluated from functionalist
perspective. But the Sadharanikaran model emphasizes the
relationship itself too. For instance, the guru-shishya
relationship is always considered sacred in itself.
IV. Goal of Communication
These two models differ vastly for the goal of communication.
“The primary goal of communication, according to Western
communication theory, is influence through persuasion”
(Kumar, 2005, p. 17). Western communication models have
been observed as
largely unilinear, wrongly postulating a mechanical
notion of communication as the transmission of
information from active source to passive receivers.
Further, these individual-based models wrongly assume
that communication is an act, a static phenomenon
privileging the source, not a dynamic process involving
all elements in a social relationship. (op. cit., p. 20)
However, Kumar does not forget to take into consideration that
“the focus in Western communication theory has shifted from
mechanistic ‘effects’ models of communication acts to those
concerned with communication relationships and the
communication ‘experience'” (ibid.).
In fact, Aristotle’s model is inherited with the transmission view
of communication, which has been considered as the
commonest in American and “perhaps in all industrial cultures
and dominates contemporary dictionary entries under the term”
(Carey, 2004, p. 38). The transmission view of communication
“is defined by terms such as imparting, sending, transmitting, or
giving information to others” (ibid.). Here, the “basic
orientation to communication remains grounded … in the idea
of transmission: communication is a process whereby messages
are transmitted and distributed in space for the control of
distance and people” (op. cit., p. 38). And, “the archetypal case
of communication under a transmission view is the extension of
message across geography for the purpose of control” (op. cit.,
Communication here is “a process of transmission of a fixed
quantity of information – the message as determined by the
sender or source” (McQuail, 2001, p. 52). In other words, it
“generally is held to involve some kind of transfer of
information from one person to another or to a group of other
people” (Berger, 1995, p. 10). In this approach,
The basic act of communication begins when one
person decides that he or she wants to use a given
language symbol (a word or some object for which
there is a standard interpretation) to arouse a specific
set of meanings in another person. … The act of
communication is completed when the internal
responses of the receiver (the person to whom the
message has been sent) are more or less parallel to
those intended by the communicator. (DeFleur &
Dennis, 1991, p. 14)
The transmission model is “largely taken over from older
institutional contexts – education, religion, government”
(McQuail, 2001, p. 57), where the purpose of communication is
“persuasion, attitude change, behavior modification,
socialization through the transmission of information, influence
or conditioning” (Singh, 2002, p. 105). Thus, it
assumes that a message source dominates the
communication process and that its primary outcome is
some sort of effect on receivers – usually one intended
by the source. Influence moves or flows in a straight
line from source to receivers. The possibility that the
message receivers might also influence the source is
ignored. Attention is focused on whether a source
brings about intended effects or whether unintended
negative effects occur. Mutual or reciprocal influence is
not considered. (Baran & Davis, 2006, p. 213)
In Aristotelian model, “the objective of communication is to
influence or persuade the receiver in a manner that is
considered appropriate by the communicator” (Dissanayake,
1988, p. 5). But in the concept of Sadharanikaran, communication is
sharing among between “unequals” but Sahridayas with
a view to not just persuade one or the other as such but
to enjoy the very process of sharing. (Yadava, 1998, p.
In Hindu concept, communication is not mere external event.
Rather, much emphasis has been given to intrapersonal aspects.
In Hindu concept “meaning should necessarily lead to selfawareness.
… then to freedom and finally to truth. Here, by
freedom we mean the liberation of persons from ignorance,
from illusion of the world, and the web of the artificial
categories constructed all around us” (IGNOU, 2005, p. 26).
In the context of human communication, the goal of
communication in Sadharanikaran model is achieving sharing
of Bhavas and achieving mutual understanding. Here, sender
and receiver are Sahridayas in true sense. But the goal of
communication in the Hindu concept would not be limited to
just this extent. Hinduism always emphasizes to achieve all of
the purushartha chatustayas, that is, four goals of life: Artha,
Kama, Dharma and Moksha.
Any endeavor in human life should lead or, at least, be in
consonance with the attainment of the purusharthas. As such
communication is not outside the domain. In other words, any
model of communication, if it is innate with Hinduism, should
be able to describe communication as such process which is
capable of guiding even toward Moksha. As discussed earlier,
the Sadharanikaran model is able to show how the Atman can
attain Moksha through Sakshatkaraa of the Brahman.
In the highest level of communication, Atman communicates
with Brahman. The sakshatkara of Brahman is the ultimate
goal of communication here. Since Brahman is Rasa and is
aswadya, the Sahridaya human, who is Atman, finds the
Brahman also as the Sahridaya. Thus Sadharanikaran in such
situation is the attainment of the state of Aham Brhmasmi (I am
the Brahman myself).
The two models, thus, differ in all of the four aspects discussed
above. Firstly, Aristotle’s model has unrealistic linear approach
due to which number of biases were created and advancement
of the communication discipline was stained. But the
Sadharanikaran model is non-linear and hence free from the
limitations of Aristotle’s model. Secondly, The scope of the
Sadharanikaran model is broader as compared to Aristotle’s
model. The latter is applicable to public speaking merely. But
the former seems applicable for the study of all levels of
communication from intrapersonal to interpersonal to mass. Its
scope ranges even from the human communication to the
attainment of Moksha. Thus it is in consonance with the Hindu
worldview. Thirdly, In Aristotle’s model, the receiver is
vulnerable to dominance and manipulation by the sender as
he/she is passive. In the Sadharanikaran model, though the
relationship is hierarchical the sender and the receiver are
Sahridayas and thus are capable of experiencing satisfaction
and joy. This model offers explanation of how successful
communication is possible in Hindu society where complex
hierarchies of castes, languages, cultures and religious practices
are prevalent. Finally, these two models differ vastly while
setting the goal of communication. Aristotle’s model has a
highly specific and narrower goal of influencing or persuading
the receiver as intended by the sender. The Sadharanikaran
model, on the other hand, aims mutual understanding and
becoming Sahridaya. Its goal covers worldly as well as spiritual
achievements by encompassing all of Artha, Kama, Dharma
By this comparative understanding, we come to the conclusion
that Aristotle’s model cannot represent and describe the
communication theory and practice of countries like Nepal and
India. Rather communication model should be developed based
on native theories and practices. The Sadharanikaran model is
such a model. However, the Sadharanikaran model should not
be over valued. With vast diversities of cultures and
philosophies within the Hindu society, it is just one of many
models that could be developed. Many theories and models of
communication would come out if communication discipline
has enthusiasm of encountering different Hindu philosophical
1. This article is part of my earlier work:
Adhikary, N. M. (2007). Aristotle’s and the Sadharanikaran Models
of Communication: A Comparative Study (Unpublished
M.Phil. Independent Study). Pokhara University.
2. Sri Satguru Publications (2003).
3 For detailed discussion on the Sadharanikaran model, see: Adhikary
(2003b, 2004, 2007a, 2007b, 2007c).
4 Abhyankar & Limage (1965).
5 There are authors (for instace: Tewari, 1980, 1992; Yadava, 1987,
1998), who prefer to term the theory as ‘Indian’ communication
theory. But, in my view, terming Sadharanikaran as the ‘Indian’
theory is politically incorrect. Replacing it by ‘Hindu’ would be
6 The attainment of Moksha by means of verbal communication
described employing the Sadharanikaran model is the principal
subject of my earlier wor (Adhikary, 2007c).
Abhyankar, K.V., & Limaye, V.P., Eds. (1965). Vakyapadiya of
bhartrahari. Poona: University of Poona.
Adhikary, N.M. (2003a, January 13). Communication in Nepali
Perspective. Space Time Today, p. 4.
Adhikary, N.M. (2003b). Hindu awadharanama sanchar
prakriya (Unpublished M.A. Thesis). Purvanchal
Adhikary, N.M. (2004). Hindu-sanchar siddhanta: Ek
adhyayan. Baha Journal, 1, 25-43.
Adhikary, N.M. (2007a). Sancharko Hindu awadharanatmak
adhyayan. In N.M. Adhikary, Sanchar shodha ra media
paryavekshan (pp. 93-138). Kathmandu: Prashanti
Adhikary, N.M. (2007b). Aristotle’s and the Sadharanikaran
models of communication: A comparative study.
(Unpublished M.Phil. Independent Study). Pokhara
Adhikary, N.M. (2007c). Sancharyoga: Verbal communication
as a means for attaining moksha (Unpublished M.Phil.
Thesis). Pokhara University.
Aristotle (1952). Rhetoric. In R. M. Hutchins (Ed.), The works
of Aristotle Vol. II (pp. 593-675). Chicago:
Encyclopedia Britannica Inc.
Baran, S.J., and Davis, D.K. (2006). Mass communication
theory foundations, ferment and future (4th ed),
Belmont: Thomson Wadsworth.
Beck, A., Bennett, P., & Wall, P. (2004). Communication
studies: The essential resource. London: Routledge.
Berger, A.A. (1995). Essentials of mass communication theory.
New York: Sage.
Bhattarai, G. P. (1982). Bharat muniko natyashastra.
Kathmandu: Nepal Rajakiya Prajna Pratisthan.
Carey, J.W. (2004) A Cultural Approach to Communication. In
Denis McQuail (Ed.), McQuail’s reader in mass
communication theory (pp. 36-45). London: SAGE. .
Davis, L. (1988). Deep Structure and Communication. In
Wimal Dissanayake (Ed.), Communication theory: The
Asian perspective (pp. 20-38). Singapore: AMIC.
DeFleur, M.L., & Dennis, E. E. (1991). Understanding mass
communication ( 3rd ed.). Delhi: GOYL SaaB.
DeFleur, M.L., Kearney, P., & Plax, T. (1993). Fundamentals
of human communication. Mountain View, CA:
Dissanayake, W. (1988). The Need for Asian Approaches to
Communication. In W. Dissanayake (Ed.),
communication theory: The Asian perspective (pp. 1-
19). Singapore: AMIC.
Hall, E.T. (1959). The silent language. Garden City, NY:
Douleday & Co., Inc.
Hindery, R. (2004). Comparative ethics in Hindu and Buddhist
Traditions. Delhi: Motilal Banarasidass.
IGNOU (2005). Relation between mass media and society. New
Jayaweera, N. (1988). Some tentative thoughts on
communication theory and Adwaita Vedanta. In W.
Dissanayake (Ed.), Communication theory: The Asian
perspective (pp. 56-68). Singapore: AMIC.
Kidd, M.A. (2002). Dialogues on dichotomy: The east/west
dilemma in communication theory. A paper presented at
the Pacific and Asian Communication Association
Conference in Seoul, Korea.
Kincaid, D.L. (Ed.) (1987). Communication theory: Eastern
and western perspectives. San Diego, CA: Academic
Kumar, K.J. (2005). Mass communication in India (3rd ed.)
McQuail, D. (2001). McQuail’s mass communication theory. 4th
ed. London: SAGE.
Mimamsak, Y. (1950). Sanskrit-Vyakaran Shastraka Parichaya.
In H. P. Poddar & C. L. Goswami (Eds.), Kalyan Hindu
Sankriti Anka (pp. 653-662). Gorakhpur: Geeta Press.
Narula, U. (2003). Mass Communication theory and practice.
New Delhi: Har-Ananda Publications.
Oliver, R.T. (1971). Communication and culture in ancient
India and China. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University
Prasad, S.M.N. (1998). The taittiriya Upanisad. New Delhi:
Radhakrishnan, S. (2004a). Indian philosophy (Vol. 1). New
Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Radhakrishnan, S. (2004b). Indian philosophy (Vol. 2). New
Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Saraswati, S.V. (2001). Vedic concept of God. Delhi:
Vijayakumar Govindaram Hasananda.
Singh, J.K. (2002). Media, culture and communication. Jaipur:
Sri Satguru Publications (2003). The natyasastra of
Stone, G., Singletary, M., & Richmond, V. P. (2003).
Clarifying communication theories: A hands-on
approach. Delhi: Surjeet Publications.
Tewari, I.P. (1992, March). Indian theory of communication.
Tewari, I.P. (1980, June). Sadharanikaran: Indian
communication theory. Indian and Foreign Review.
Vedantatirtha, N.C. (Gen. Ed.) (1936). Mammata Bhatta’s
Kavyaprakasa. The Calcutta Sanskrit Series No. VI.
Wood, A. (n.d.). Bhartrihari’s Vakyapadiya – some excerpts.
Retrieved August 7, 2007 from
Yadava, J.S. (1987). Communication in India: The tenets of
Sadharanikaran. In D.L. Kincaid (Ed.), Communication
Theory: Eastern and Western Perspectives (pp. 161-
171). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Yadava, J.S. (1998). Communication research in India: Some
reflections. In J.S. Yadava and P. Mathur (Eds.), Issues
in mass communication: The basic concepts (pp. 177-
195). New Delhi: IIMC.