The subject-matter of this book may seem dry to many, indeed to most, for .astra is never written to be at once accessible to an uninitiated public, but it has great value to those trained to study and appreciate it, for it is through works of §astra that we may be in contact with the philosophers and systematic thinkers of our past. Over my years of study in Pondicherry I have had the privilege of reading works of darsana regularly with Anjaneya Sarma, and I have learned to value his erudition and the care which he devotes to understanding as fully as possible all that he reads. This experience has opened unsuspected vistas of Indian thought to me.
While many pay lip-service to the vast and wide-ranging body of Sanskrit literature, there is a tendency for readers to focus on a corpus of well-recognized works of the canon. The wealth and breadth remains hidden away in manuscript libraries. Surprisingly few scholars in India today read manuscripts, and probably noone is still copying texts by hand in order to ensure that they are transmitted to the next generation. This means that many of the works of learning that the labor of scribes and scholars have handed down across the centuries to us today will not survive longer than the current generation of manuscripts to which they have been committed. In South India, that is not likely to be a long time, given how few manuscripts have survived that date back to before the closing years of the eighteenth century. Bringing hitherto unpublished literature to light is therefore an especially praiseworthy activity. All those who have themselves spent years poring over manuscripts to edit literature from the past will especially appreciate these happy results of Anjaneya Sarma's toil and be grateful to him. For, in the words sometimes attributed to the poet Bhartrhari,
Only the scholar knows the pains That fellow scholars harbor: A barren woman cannot know The heavy pain of labor.
These commentaries are:
Ner anau sutravyakhydna by Sivaramendrasarasvati,
Ner anau yat karmetyacllsutrarthasiddhi by Narayana,
Ner anau sutravyakhyana by Mannudeva, Ner anau sutravyakhyana by Venkatadasa,
Ner anau sutravyakhyana by an anonymous author,
Kaiyatoddhara by an anonymous author,
Gajasatravadartha by Ganapatitastrin (incomplete). The sutra is also known under the name of Gajasutra.
These commentaries are presented in chronological order as far as possible. As often, in the case of pre-modern Sanskrit authors, we do not know their exact dates, nor quite where they wrote.
All the readings, whether grammatically or semantically correct or incorrect, are shown in the critical apparatus. Since all the existing manuscripts were not available to the editor, the present edition hopes to serve as a basis for any future research done on grammatical commentaries on the Gajasutra.
Some of the technical terms, some of the important notions, as well as difficult examples and counter-examples are explained in the notes given at the end of each commentary.
Different indices, of sutra-s, vartika-s, karika-s, Sloka-s, etc. are given at the end of the work.
Each of these commentaries is introduced in the general Sanskrit introduction as well as in a preface before the Sanskrit text of the commentaries themselves.
Main features of the commentaries
Succinctly and simply stated, the sutra Ner anau yat karma nau cet sa karta anao'hyane prescribes the atmanepada terminations (tan) after a causative verbal form (nyanta) when certain conditions are fulfilled.
Yet, as the works collected in this volume show, defining the exact meaning of the sutra and its scope of application (especially in terms of the examples given in the Mahabhasya, see below) with certainty gave rise to more than two millennia of scholarly debate, commentary, refutation, and revision.
These commentaries are explanations and explications (vyakhyana) of the sutra, that is, they do not simply gloss the words of the sutra or the later works by the Vartikakara or the Bhasyakara.
The commentaries tend to follow a two-fold division in structure:
1. a criticism of the wrong understanding of their predecessors.
1. The commentaries must establish their definitive understanding of the sutra. They hold that the MahabhGsya represents the authoritative understanding of Parlini's sutra. As such, each commentator argues that he upholds an authentic interpretation of the Bhasyakara. In doing so, the commentators take four steps when explaining the sutra a. SOtrartha: grammatical analysis of the sutra, b. SOtrapravrttiviSaya delimitation of the field of application of the sutra among other sutras, c. Udaharanani. examples, d. Dalasarthakya: proving the validity of the parts, i.e. of the clauses or the words of the sutra, by the means of counter-examples.
2. The criticism of their predecessors may appear for instance during the dalasarthakya, or at the explanation of examples, or at other occasions. However, in the case of longer criticisms, this part tends to appear separately.
Explaining the sutra is done through examples and counter-examples. The conditions in the Nor anau sutra imply that a causative verbal form is the result of a transformation. This transformation can be explained through one of two procedures (paisa-s): the nivrtta-presanapaksa in four stages and the adhydropitapresanapaksa in three stages. Throughout the following discussions, these procedures of example generation will be referred to and illustrated. These procedures are also explained in the notes of the editor.
The commentaries presented here are not the first to deal at length with the sutra Ner anau, but rather form part of a long debate in Sanskrit grammatical literature. An understanding of these commentaries first necessitates the knowledge of the positions of the most important predecessors. So in order to facilitate understanding the texts edited in this volume, we recall briefly the positions of some of the preceding commentaries: the Mahabhasya with the PayPal of Kaiyata, the KaSikavrtti of Jayaditya with the Padamaryara of Haradatta, the Prakriyakaumuda of Ramacandra with the Prasada of Vitthala and the Parkas of Sesalcsna, the S'abdakaustubha etc, of Bhattoji Diksita.
The Mahabhasyat position
Among the three muni-s, the Bhasyakara is considered as the highest authority. As such his understanding and terminology become the cornerstone for the later commentaries presented here. Here he explains Panini's sutra through the vartika-s composed by Katyayana, which are preserved within the text of the Mahabhasya itself. In some places the opinions of the Vartikakara and Bhasyakara diverge. On the sutra in question, the Vartikakara composed 9 vartika-s. These 9 vartika-s are explained, and sometimes criticized, by the Bhasyakara. When criticizing the views of the Vartikakara, the Bhasyakara offers his own opinion. These explanations and criticisms are here called bhasya-s.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
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