The sadharanikaran model and ritual model of communication: A comparative study

Taken from: Acharya, A. (2012). The sadharanikaran model and the ritual model of communication: A comparative study. A paper presented at the Young Researchers’ Conference organized by Martin Chautari, 2012 January 2-3, Kathmandu.

The sadharanikaran model and ritual model of communication: A comparative study
– Amol Acharya
Proposed by Adhikary (2003), Sadharanikaran Model of Communication (SMC) is a systematic representation of communication process from Hindu Perspective. It illustrates how the communication parties interact in a system for the attainment of commonness or oneness. Sahridayata and sahridayas are the core concepts upon which the meaning of sadharanikaran resides. When sender and receivers accomplish the process of sadharanikaran, they attain sahridayata and become sahridayas. Thus, sadharanikaran is the attainment of sahridayata by communication parties.
In case of ritual model, Carey’s work, A Cultural Approach to Communication is considered the main text which was first published in 1975.

In his article, Carey argues that the term communication, since it entered common discourse in the 19th century, has two alternative conceptions in American culture. Transmission view of communication and ritual view of communication (pp.37-38). Moving further, he critically exposes the limitations of transmission/ engineering model of communication and put forward ritual model of communication as something that can address the process of communication from cultural ground.
Carey criticizes the transmission model as something “formed off a metaphor of geography or transportation”(p.38). Transmission model of communication, according to Carey, can be defined as imparting, sending, transmitting, or giving information to others in space for the control of distance and people (p. 38). Carey in the limited-effects theories, according to S.J. Baran and D.K. Davis (2009), found that their focus is on the transmission of accurate information from a dominant source to passive receivers (p.243).
Before Carey’s work, communication was highly regarded of transmissional nature. Laying platform for ritual model of communication, in the article, he redefines communication as the basis of human fellowship which produces the social bonds that tie men together and make associated life possible. Furthermore, Carey suggests that due to the binding forces of shared information circulating in an organic system the society is possible (p.41). Carey has quoted John Dewey’s following statements while describing communication:
Men live in a community in virtue of the things which they have in common; and communication is the way in which they come to posses things in common. What they must have in common…are aims, beliefs, aspiration , knowledge- a common understanding- likemindedness as sociologists say. Such things cannot be passed physically from one to another like bricks; they cannot be shared as persons would share a pie by dividing it into physical pieces. ….Consensus demands communication (p.42).
Finally, Carey proposes the ritual definition of communication which, “is linked to terms such as sharing, participation, association, fellowship, and the possession of a common faith” (p.39). According to Carey this definition also includes the ancient identity and common roots of the term commonness, communion, community, and communication (ibid.).

SMC and Ritual model of communication, cursorily, can be said to have two similarities. Similarity of origin and similarity of concept. Both SMC and Ritual Model have their origin in Hindu and Christian religion respectively. SMC, furthermore, has philosophical root as well. In case of concept, the similarity is found in the goal of communication. SMC calls it sahridayata while it is commonness or communion in case of Ritual Model.
More rigorous comparison between these two models of communication has been presented under following four variables.

I. Structure of the Model
Both sadharanikaran and Ritual model of communication are non-linear model.
While sadharanikaran model has also been presented in diagrammatic form ritual model has no, till date, any drawings, charts, diagrams, pictograms, schematics used to represent its complex ideas (theory) to a graphic form.
The terms such as sharing, participation, association, fellowships, and the possession of a common faith used to describe ritual model of communication, by Carey, confirms ritual model as a non-liner model because such things cannot be done without two-way communication between sender and receiver.
Moreover, the highlighted role of the prayer, the chant and the ceremony downplaying the role of the sermon, the instruction and admonishment describes the non-linear nature of ritual model.
On the other hand, according to Adhikary, SMC incorporates the notion of two-way communication process which results in mutual understanding of the sahridayas (2008b, p. 280).
Explaining the non-linearity of SMC Adhikary (2011b) explains space and time are considered cyclical in Vedic philosophy. Thus, communication which is also done in space and time obviously becomes two-way process (p. 9). This is a theoretical reason.
Practically, the non-linearity in case of sadharanikaran model is because of the successful communication that been possible, since time immemorial, even between asymmetrical relations of hindu society.
Finally, since no theoretical reasons has been discussed to describe non-linearity of ritual model, it can be said that the non-linearity of ritual has just been endorsed. But, in case of SMC non-linearity has just been theoretically and practically established.

II. Scope of the Model
The ritual definition of communication, according to Carey, “is linked to terms such as sharing, participation, association, fellowship, and the possession of a common faith” (p.39). According to Carey this definition also includes the ancient identity and common roots of the term commonness, communion, community, and communication (ibid.).
On the other hand, explaining the process of sadharanikaran and its relation with sahridayata and sahridayas Adhikary (2009, p.70) explains:
When sender and receivers accomplish the process of sadharanikaran, they attain sahridayata and become sahridayas. In other words, communicating parties, for e.g., actor and audience, become sahridayas when they are engaged in a communicative relation leading to the attainment of sahridayata; and it is in this stage sadharanikaran is accomplished. Thus the essence of sadharanikaran is to achieve commonness or oneness among the people.
Starting from the definition itself both the models seem to stress on commonness between sender and receiver. However, ritual model, demands commonality in the beginning of communication itself but incase of SMC commonality, oneness is the achievement.
Also, ritual model, though has emphasized cultural communication, has not clearly explained the communication between different classes and hierarchies in the society.
The case is different for sadharanikaran model of communication. According to Adhikary (2009) sadharanikaran model, “offers an explanation of how successful communication is possible in Hindu society where complex hierarchies of castes, languages, cultures and religious practices are prevalent” (pp.72).
Thus the scope of sadharanikaran is broad. According to IGNOU (2005), sadharanikaran “is total communication and communication at its best. It is more integrated approach to communication”(p. 30).
Hindu culture though called combination of three dimensions of life: adhibhautika (physical or mundane), adhidaivika (mental), and adhyatmika (spiritual); spiritualism is at core and thus sadharanikaran model is also abide by all these three aspects along with four purushartha that is, four goals of life: Artha, Kama, Dharma and Moksha.
On sadharanikaran theory/model Adhikary(2008b) states, “it can extend from intrapersonal 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” (pp.280).
But, ritual model of communication has dealt only the physical aspect of communication. More precisely, no spiritual concern is found in ritual model of communication.

III. Human Relationships Envisioned in the Process
Ritual and the sadharanikaran models consist differing view on the human relationships in the communication process.
On the one hand, communication in ritual model demands commonness between sender and receiver for even starting the process of communication. McQuail’s description, “The ritual or expressive communication depends on shared understandings and emotions”(2005, p.71) can be taken as a proof. Thus ritual model has failed to address communication between sender and receiver of different age, languages, cultures and religious practices.
On the other hand, the communicating members are sahridayas in case of sadharanikaran model. Ideally, the term refers such persons who are not only engaged in communication but also have attained a special state: sahridayata. As such, a sahridaya is one who has attained sahridayata. But as technical term, the word refers to people with a capacity to send and receive messages. They are the parties engaged in communication, and capable of identifying each other as sender and receiver of the process. A sahridaya is a person in such state of emotional intensity which is coequal or parallel to that of other(s) engaged in communication (Adhikary, 2009, pp.74).
Thus, in case of sadharanikaran model, parties able to identify themselves as sender and receiver and having an orientation to listen each other are the only prerequisites of communication. It is only after communication commonness or oneness or even moksha is achieved, incase of sadharanikaran.
Though the sadharanikaran model is inherent of sahridayata it is an asymmetrical process. According to Yadava(1998), “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” (p.189).
Explaining Yadava’s view further Adhikary (2008b) stresses that, “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 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” (p.281).
Thus, due to common faith the relationship between parties engaged in communication is harmonious in case of ritual model but in case of SMC sahridayata prevails even in complex hierarchies of castes, languages, cultures and religious practices.

IV. Goal of Communication
These two models differ vastly for the goal of communication.
The primary goal of communication in ritual view is sharing, participation, association, fellowship, and the possession of a common faith. According to Carey, ritual model, “not see the original or highest manifestation of communication in the transmission of intelligent information but in the construction and maintenance of an ordered, meaningful cultural world which can serve as a control and container for human action” (p.39).
Thus, the main goals of ritual model of communication seems to maintain society in time, sustain equilibrium and continue fellow-feeling among common believers.
In case of SMC, there are three categories of goal viz. worldly, mental and spiritual. In worldly setting, SMC aims of harmony even in asymmetrical relationship. In case of mental affair, the goal of SMC is common sympathetic heart i.e., oneness of bhava. Physically and mentally, attaining commonness between sender and receiver seems the major concern. Spiritually, moksha is the ultimate goal of SMC.
Explaining sadharanikaran to be innate with Hinduism, Adhikary claims the goal of sadharanikaran model of communication must be to achieve purushartha chatustayas, that is, four goals of life: Artha, Kama, Dharma and Moksha.

Concluding Remarks
The two models, although, may not differ in all of the four aspects discussed above but have their own peculiar characteristics which justifies their separate individual identity.
Sadharanikaran model and ritual model both are of non-liner nature. But, sadharanikaran model has also been presented in diagrammatic form while ritual model has no, till date, any drawings, charts, diagrams, pictograms, schematics used to represent its complex ideas (theory) to a graphic form.
The scope of the sadharanikaran model is broader as compared to ritual model. Starting from the definition itself both the models seem to stress on commonness between sender and receiver. However, ritual model, though has emphasized cultural communication, has not clearly explained the communication between different classes and hierarchies in the society. But, sadharanikaran model offers an explanation of how successful communication is possible in hindu society where complex hierarchies of castes, languages, cultures and religious practices are prevalent. Sadharanikaran model can extend from intrapersonal 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. But, ritual model of communication has dealt only the physical aspect of communication. More precisely, no spiritual concern is found in ritual model of communication.
Regarding human relationship envisioned, communication in ritual model demands commonness between sender and receiver for even starting the process of communication. But, in case of Sadharanikaran model, parties able to identify themselves as sender and receiver and having an orientation to listen each other are the only prerequisites of communication. It is only after communication commonness or oneness or even moksha is achieved.
Finally, these two model differ vastly while setting the goal of communication. Thus, the main goals of ritual model of communication seems to maintain society in time, sustain equilibrium and continue fellow-feeling among common believers. In case of SMC, there are three categories of goal viz. worldly, mental and spiritual. In worldly setting, SMC aims of harmony even in asymmetrical relationship. In case of mental affair, the goal of SMC is common sympathetic heart i.e., oneness of bhava. Physically and mentally, attaining commonness between sender and receiver seems the major concern. Spiritually, moksha is the ultimate goal of SMC.
Finally, similarities and differences between the two models can be condensed and presented as follows.

Similarities
1) Perceived similarity of concepts: In case of concept, the similarity is found in the goal of communication. SMC calls it sahridayata while it is commonness or communion in case of Ritual Model.
Still the word ‘perceived’ has been used in front of ‘similarity of concepts’ because ritual model demands commonality in the beginning of communication itself but incase of SMC commonality, oneness is the achievement.
2) Similarity of origin: Both SMC and Ritual Model have their origin in religion, Hindu and Christian respectively. But, SMC has philosophical root as well.

Differences
1) Structure: Non-linearity of SMC has been theoretically established but in case of ritual model the non-linearity has just been endorsed.
2) Scope: Ritual model of communication is useful only in case of world affair but SMC also abide by all three [adhibhautika (physical or mundane), adhidaivika (mental), and adhyatmika (spiritual)] aspects along with four purushartha that is, four goals of life: Artha, Kama, Dharma and Moksha.
3) Human Relationship: Ritual model can address communication between people of common faith but SMC can address communication between one and all.
4) Goal: The main goals of ritual model of communication seems to maintain society in time, sustain equilibrium and continue fellow-feeling among common believers. In case of SMC, there are three categories of goal viz. worldly, mental and spiritual. In worldly setting, SMC aims of harmony even in asymmetrical relationship. In case of mental affair, the goal of SMC is common sympathetic heart i.e., oneness of bhava. Physically and mentally, attaining commonness between sender and receiver seems the major concern. Spiritually, moksha is the ultimate goal of SMC.
In sum, ritual model presents religious outlook of communication and its process because it can only deal communication between people of common faith.
But SMC, though having root in a religion, is an universal outlook to the communication and its process because it can deal communication between one and all.

By this comparative understanding, first, we come to the conclusion that communication varies according to culture or religion. The other variables that can also affect communication are there too. Thus, there can be no meta-model/theory of communication.
Secondly, we know that goal of communication in East and West differs. In worldly setting, both SMC and ritual model advocates harmony, oneness etc. between the sender and the receiver but the goal of SMC stretch beyond the physical world to spiritual as well and thus up to moksha which is not envisioned in case of ritual model representing the Western Christian foundation.

References
Adhikary, N.M. (2003). Hindu awadharanama sanchar prakriya (M.A. Thesis). Purvanchal University, Nepal.
Adhikary, N. M. (2004). Hindu-sanchar siddhanta: Ek adhyayan. Baha Journal, 1, 25-43.
Adhikary, N.M. (2008a). Communication, media and journalism: An integrated study. Kathmandu: Prashanti Prakashan.
Adhikary, N.M. (2008b). The Sadharanikaran model and Aristotle’s model of communication: A comparative study. Bodhi: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 2(1), 268-289.
Adhikary, N.M. (2009). An introduction to Sadharanikaran model of communication: Bodhi: An interdisciplinary Journal, 3(1), 69-91.
Adhikary, N.M. (2011a). Theorizing communication: A model from Hinduism. In Y.B. Dura (Ed.), MBM anthology of communication studies (pp. 1-22). Kathmandu: Madan Bhandari Memorial College.
Adhikary, N. M. (2011b). Sanchar mimamsa. Kathmandu: Media Educators’ Association of Nepal.
Baran, S.J. & Davis, D.K. (2009). Mass Communication Theory: Foundation , Ferment, and Future. New Delhi: Cengage Learning India Pvt Ltd.
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.
Chen, G.-M. (2006). Asian communication studies: What and where to now. The Review of Communication, 6(4), 295-311.
Chu, G. C. (1988). In search of an Asian perspective of communication theory. In W. Dissanayake (Ed.), Communication Theory: The Asian Perspective (pp. 204-210). Singapore: AMIC.
Cobley, Paul, ed. The Communication Theory Reader. London: Routledge, 1996.
Davis, L. (1988). Deep structure and communication. In W. Dissanayake (Ed.), Communication theory: The Asian perspective (pp. 20-38). Singapore: Asian Mass Communication Research and Information Center.
DeFleur, M.L., Kearney, P., & Plax, T. (1993). Fundamentals of human communication. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.
Dissanayake, W. (1988a). The need for Asian approaches to communication. In W. Dissanayake (Ed.), Communication theory: The Asian perspective (pp. 1-19). Singapore: Asian Mass Communication Research and Information Center.
Dissanayake, W. (1988b). Foundations of Indian verbal communication and phenomenology. In W. Dissanayake (Ed.), Communication theory: The Asian perspective (pp. 39-55). Singapore: Asian Mass Communication Research and Information Center.
Hall, E.T. (1959). The silent language. Garden City, NY: Douleday & Co., Inc.
IGNOU (2005). Relations between mass media and society. New Delhi.
Jayaweera, N. (1988). Some tentative thoughts on communication theory and advaita vedanta. In W. Dissanayake (Ed.), Communication theory: The Asian perspective (pp. 56-68). Singapore: Asian Mass Communication Research and Information Center.
Kumar, K. J. (2005). Mass communication in India. Mumbai: Jaico Publishing.
Kidd, M. A. (2002). Dialogue on dichotomy: The East/West dilemma in communication theory. A paper presented at the Pacific and Asian Communication Association Conference, Seoul, Korea.
Kincaid, D.L. (Ed.) (1987). Communication theory: Eastern and western perspectives. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
McQuail, Denis (2005). McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory. New Delhi: Vistaar Publications.
Miike, Y. (2007a). Asian contributions to communication theory: An introduction. China Media Research, 3(4), 1-6.
Miike, Y. (2007b). An Asiacentric reflection on Eurocentric bias in communication theory. Communication Monographs, 74(2), 272-278.
Miike, Y. (2008). Toward an alternative metatheory of human communication: An Asiacentric vision. In M. K. Asante, Y. Miike, and J. Yin (Eds.), The global intercultural communication reader (pp. 57-72). New York: Routledge.
Miike, Y. (2010). An anatomy of Eurocentrism in communication scholarship: The role of Asiacentricity in de-Westernizing theory and research. China Media Research,6(1), 1-11.
Oliver, R. T. (1971). Communication and culture in ancient India and China. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press.
Reddi, U. V. (1988). Communication theory: An Indian perspective. In W. Dissanayake (Ed.), Communication Theory: The Asian Perspective (pp. 69-78). Singapore: AMIC.
Stone, G., Singletary, M., & Richmond, V.P. (2003). Clarifying communication theories: A hands-on approach. Delhi: Surjeet Publications.
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). Eds. . New Delhi: IIMC.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: