The Bhatta-Mimamsa Model of Communication (BMC): An Overview

The Bhatta-Mimamsa Model of Communication (BMC): An Overview
By – Priyanka Jha

The Bhatta-Mimamsa Model of Communication (BMC) is constructed and developed by Dr. Nirmala Mani Adhikary. In 2013, through his doctoral dissertation “The Bhatta-Mimamsa Philosophical Study of Communication,” he theorized communication according to the Bhatta School of Mimamsa Philosophy, and presented a unique communication model – named the Bhatta-Mimamsa Model of Communication (BMC).

Dr. Adhikary’s doctoral dissertation first explores the Bhatta School of Mimamsa Philosophy from the perspective of communication and examines its relevance for the communication discipline. Then, it draws on the Pramana and Prameya, Abhihitanvayavada and Bhavana Theory as well as the Theory of Knowledge of the Bhatta-Mimamsa Philosophy in order to theorize communication thereby constructing 11 elements of communication as envisioned in the philosophy. Finally, it presents the Bhatta-Mimamsa Model of Communication, in which the 11 elements of communication can be classified under four key-themes (namely, Karta, Sadhan, Itikartavyata, and Sadhya). The model shows how the Bhavakas (communicating parties) accomplish communication and the persuasion for Karma is attained.
The model compromises of following elements:
1. Bhavakas (preshaka, i.e., sender, and Prapaka, i.e., receiver)
2. Bhavana (emotions, moods)
3. Abhidhan (encoding)
4. Prama (Message)
5. Karan (channel or media)
6. Bodha (decoding)
7. Dosha ( Noise )
8. Prakarana ( context )
9. Jijnasa (Feedback )
10. Arthi Bhavana (feeling to take an action)
Bhavakas (preshaka, i.e., sender, and Prapaka, i.e., receiver): Bhatta Mimamsa Model of Communication process consists of bhavakas as the communicating parties. They are always two parties involved in this communication process. As a ‘technical term’, the word refers to people with a capacity to send and receive message. Both the parties (sender and receiver) have active participation in the communication process. Bhavaka plays the role of sender and receiver simultaneously. According to Bhatta Mimamsa philosophy the media people can be called as bhavaka because they are involved in the Bhavana-Kriya (sharing of moods or emotions)
Bhavana (emotions, moods): Mimamsa philosophy describes bhava as a mental work or business. It is due to the bhavas that human being aims engaging in communication. Being based on the mimamsa philosophy, bhava can be categorized in two types and they are sabdi bhavana and arthi bhavana. The Bhavana of presaka (sender) is called sabdi bhavana and of prapaka (receiver) is called arthi bhavana. The arthi bhavana is the result of sabdi bhavana. Both the communicating parties or bhavakas can have both the bhavanas (sabdi bhavana and arthi bhavana) so the bhavakas plays the role of sabdi-bhavak as well as arthi- bhavak.
According to Banarsidass “ The injuctive sentence induces the hearer to perform some is type of bhavana is the sabdi bhavana. The arthi bhavana is based on it and is the activity of the agent that leads to the result (1990, p.96).”
According to Deshpande (2009) “It is enough to remember that sabdi bhavana finally terminates into arthi bhavana because the former (=means) is employed to attain the latter (=the end). The three parts of the arthi bhavana are the end, means and the measure (p.168).”
Shabdi bhavana means the commanding power that supports the word. Some natural or supernatural voice commands you to do or desist from doing a certain thing. The voice happens to be superior to you. It assures you of warding off calamities and promoting bliss and also warns of dire consequences if ignored whereas Arthi Bhavana implies the feeling or attitude that I must carry out a certain act because that act will bring me merit, i.e , “ Shreya”. The attitude of responsibility towards one’s duty and the right action of duty mean “Arthi Bhavana.” The notion of duty seen in religious men is said to be the religious Arthi Bhavana. (Josi, 1996, pp.47-48)
Abhidhan: Abhidhan can be understood as expression or encoding in English. Mimamsa philosophy believes Abhidhan is the result of mental work of bhavaka. Abhidhan can be sabdik( verbal) as well as gair sabdik(non-verbal). The bhavaka-sender has to pass through the process of abhidhan so that the message has same meaning to the bhavaka-receiver as it has to the bhavaka-sender. In BMC sabdhi bhavana is the bhavana of bhabak-sender so sabdi bhavana is also the source of Abhidhan process. Both parties in BMC can play the role of sender as well as receiver simultaneously so Abhidhan process is the activity (business) of both the communicating parties. Mimamsa Philosophy believes that the communicating parties carry out in motion both the process of abhidhan as well as bodha.
Prama (Message): Mimamsa philosophy describes prama as the second name of the real knowledge. In BMC prama has same meaning as information. With the completion of the process of Abhidhan, bhavana are manifested as prama which the bhavaka-sender wants to send to the bhavaka-receiver. It is the outcome of the Abhidhan process. It is the command or information that the bhavaka- sender wants to pass to the bhavaka-receiver. Prama can be sabdik(verbal) as well as gair sabdik(non-verbal). Mimamsa ritual has same view point for sabdik (verbal) prama and gair sabdik (non verbal) prama. The prama is always targeted by bhavaka-sender to bhavaka-receiver. Prama is related with sabdhi bhavana as well as arthi bhavana.
Karan (channel or media): For transmission of prama there is need of karan. The prama (message) sent by the bhavaka-sender is directed towards the bhavaka-receiver and the prama reaches with the help of karan. It is the means through which prama travels through the space. In BMC air is also considered as karan (medium).The intensity/ vibration of sound are directly related with the sabdha. The sabdha can only reach as far as the intensity/vibration of voice can reach. So, for communication between bhavakas(sender and receiver) the distance should be limited. If distance is long then we need karan (medium) for successful communication. Karan (medium) are of 3 types and they are environmental or mechanical objects along with human body, gyanindriya and maana (heart). The choice of karan (medium) depends on the type of message.
Bodha (decoding): sabda (word) always has artha (meaning) is the belief of mimamsa philosophy so sabda has power for artha bodha. The power is called as linga. The role of bhavaka-receiver is the most important in bodha because until the receiver does bodha the relationship of sabda and artha doesnot comes into light. To understand the artha of the sabda came from the bhavaka-sender, the receiver has to go through the process of bodha. The receiver must have the capacity of bodha. Capacity of bodha depends on the samajhik shikai( societal learning) and can also be gained by personal experiences.
Dosha (Noise): There is no perfect communication. Distortions or noises that lead to miscommunication or misrepresent the message are called doshas. Presence of doshas leads to mithya gyan and absence of doshas leads to samyak gyan. Doshas are of three kinds and they are manasik dosha (mental noise)
Prakaran: the effectiveness of message depends on the communication environment or prakarana (context). Same message can have different meaning in different context. Communication process is always related In BMC prakarana is understood as the bhautik paribesh(physical context), samajik awastha (societal condition), sanskritik pakshya( cultural aspect) and other aspects related with communication.
Jijnasa: Mimamsa philosophy does not believe in liner communication or one-sided flow of information. BMC is a non-linear communication model. It is a two-way communication model and the element jijnasa plays a vital role in the communication process. Jijnasa means pratikriya (reply or comments) which makes the communication process non-linear.
Arthi bhavana: In BMC the main aim of communication is arthi bhavana which leads the receiver to take certain action. BMC affects all there 3 aspects of human life (adhi bhautik, adhi daivik and adhyatmik) as well as the four purushartha of life.
In BMC the bhavakas share their sabdi bhavana through the Abhidhan process in the form of prama with the help of karan. The receiver goes through the process bodha for proper understanding of prama. prakarana ,jinjasa and dosha affects the process of bodha. Then the bhavaka has arthi bhavana.
The Bhatta Mimamsa Model of communication is presented in thematic form where the 11 elements are presented under four themes. The four themes are
1. Karta
2. Itikartavyata
3. Sadhan
4. Sadhya
Karta (doer): The element bhavakas fall under the theme karta. The karta of communication process are bhavakas. Bhavakas has bhavana. Bhavakas are the karta of bhavanaprakriya that is the reason they are called bhavaka. The bhavaka plays two roles and the roles are of sender and receiver.
Itikartavyata: The Itikartavyata denotes the type of kartavya prakar or kriya prakar. Elements like Abhidhana, Bodha and Jijnasa falls under the theme Itikartavayata. Mimamsa philosophy considers Abhidhana, bodha and jijnasa as byapar (business). The bhavakas are involved in byapar (work) like Abhidhana, bodha and jijnasa
Sadhan: In BMC sadhan means the channel or medium which is karan but the theme sadhan includes sabdi bhavana, prama, karan, prakaran and dosha.
Sadhya: the main purpose of communication process is understood by the term sadhya. Arthi bhavana falls under the theme sadhya. Arthi bhavana is the sadhya of the sabdi bhavana. The main purpose of bhavana byapar is arthi bhavana. According to mimamsa philosophy communication is always directed towards fulfilling a purpose and the itikartavyata of bhavakas is always determined in reaching arthi bhavana.

This post excludes references, which are given in the original report submitted to the Dept. of Languages and Mass Communication, Kathmandu University.


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