Saprasang Vyakhya


Continuing on the topic of context … anyone who has studied Hindi (i know this of CBSE board in India, though i would think this would be there of other boards too) would not have been able to escape the concept of the Saprasang Vyakhya. So what is Saprasang Vyakhya? Lets translate, and try to see the significance.

Saprasang … prasang translates into context, so saprasang means within the context.

Vyakhya … vyakhya translates into definition.

So, even as students, when we interpreted poetry, or dohe (couplets), we did not just define the meaning of the poem as it occurred to us. Rather, the entire definition was within the context. And this is something important to understand. One thing that comes from here is that the definition doesnt stand outside of a context. In other words, without the context, the definition itself may not be totally clear, or, one could say that without context the same poem could be interpreted in totally different ways by different people. Or, the meaning of the poem becomes a bit obscured withou the context in which the poet has written.

This is true of most stories. the same story, seen from different contexts, or different viewpoints, may lend itself to completely different tellings, and to completely different interpretations. Take it out of its context, and its meaning either changes so completely that you would have difficulty trying to identify the story, or it completely loses its meaning.

And this is the role of context in any form of knowledge. Without it, there usually isnt knowledge. The way i see it:

Information + Context = Knowledge

In other words, context is what converts information into meaningful knowledge, something which we can understand, internalize. And yet, a lot of KM doesnt look too closely at context, or not as closely as we ought to, i suppose. What do you feel?

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