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As you might have realized, Panini is difficult.
His work is not something you can understand by reading it through from beginning to end. Rather, it essentially assumes ashtadhyagi you’ve read some of it before you’ve ever started reading.
We must understand, however, that the Ashtadhyayi was originally taught orally; students learned the work by heart and could recall any individual rule at will. Today, most people learn the work by reading it, and that creates the sorts of problems and frustrations you might have had if you’ve tried to read the work on your own. So, what do we do? We must approach the work cyclically: By doing so, we’ll learn about both the concrete realization of Panini’s system and the abstract framework that supports it.
The Ashtadhyayi is a list of rules.
But these rules, too, are lists: These lists have different headings, and these yranslation describe aehtadhyayi behavior of the items they contain. But the Ashtadhyayi is more complicated than this: In this way, Trnaslation created a brief and immensely dense work. Thus, we have a large arrangement of different rules that we must try to understand. I’ve listed the rules here from the most concrete to the most abstract. Throughout this series of lessons, I will use the Sanskrit terms.
This rule is as basic as it gets. It’s important to realize that we take an ordinary word and give it a new meaning. This sort of rule describes the way that Sanskrit actually behaves. It can describe such things as word formation, the application of sandhi, and so on. Most rules are like this.
This sort of rule contradicts an earlier vidhi rule.
Essentially, it contains an exception to an earlier rule. This is useful because the Ashtadhyayi contains complex rules that act on very specific terms. This sort of rule specifies an idea that extends to the rules that follow it.
Such a rule sometimes specifies how far it extends, but usually its extension is clear from context. This sort of rule doesn’t address other rules: Such a rule tells us how we should read and understand the other rules in the Ashtadhyayi.
For illustration’s sake, I’ve created an example. This example is not perfect, but it should help you see how these rules interact and relate to each other. As you dnglish the list below, try to classify each rule with one of the terms above. This example also brings up an important point about the structure of the Ashtadhyayi.
If you considered rule 4 by itself, you would have no idea what it was trying to say; and a vegetable does not only has a sensible meaning when considered alongside the rule that comes before it. Likewise, but not turnips is meaningless without a proper context. In the same way, some rules in the Ashtadhyayi are meaningless if separated from the rules above them. One such rule is one syllable long: By itself, this rule means nothing. But when considered with the rules above it, we learn that it represents a vowel with a special property.
The examples in the next lesson are more complex. Coincidentally, they also feature noun endings that we haven’t yet studied. This is a good place to stop for now. If you came to this lesson from Starting Out, you can click here to return to the review page and continue through the grammar guide. Index Grammar guide Resources Tools. About Contact Ashtadhyyi Using the Site. Introduction As you might have realized, Panini is difficult. A summary in words The Ashtadhyayi is a list of rules.
Now, let’s try and understand the different kinds of rules that Panini uses in his work. The various rules I’ve listed the rules here from the most concrete to the most abstract.
A short example For illustration’s sake, I’ve created an example. Now we talk about food. Unless otherwise stated, assume that everything that comes from a plant is granslation.
Index:The Ashtadhyayi, Translated into English by Srisa Chandra Vasu.djvu
A fruit contains seeds, and a vegetable does not. Tomatoes are treated like vegetables. Here is how we should classify the rules: This rule tells us that all of the rules that follow ashtadbyayi talking about food. So, a fruit is food, and a vegetable is food as well.
The Ashtadhyayi. Translated into English by Srisa Chandra Vasu
This rule tells us how we should classify the things that come from plants. It specifically states an intuitive concept that we should apply to other objects from plants.
Although the rule doesn’t say so explicitly, we should understand that it only applies in the context of this list of rules. This rule defines the term “fruit” as a food that contains seeds. This rule defines the term “vegetable” as a food that does not contain seeds.
An exception to a previous rule. We add the property of “vegetable” to the tomato. Thus, a tomato is treated “like” a vegetable. Index Grammar guide Resources Tools Or: This page was last edited on Ashtwdhyayi 20,