The Sadharanikaran Model and Aristotle’s Model of Communication: A Comparative Study

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.

Introduction

This article seeks to study the fundamental differences between

the Sadharanikaran model and Aristotle’s model of

communication.1 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

communication.

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.

25).

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

such examples.

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

quite broader:

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

drama.

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.

(ibid.)

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

Dharma:

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

Comparative Study

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

profound consequences.

II. Scope of the Model

Aristotle’s and the Sadharanikaran models differ vastly in

terms of their scope. About the scope of rhetoric, Aristotle

himself says,

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.

595)

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

Sadharanikaran model.

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.,

p. 39).

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.

189)

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

and Moksha.

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

traditions.

Notes:

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

broader approach.

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).

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