When we started the Mahabhasya-project in 1967-eleven volumes have been printed so far, the last volume being Sthanivadbhavahnika, Part I, published in 1990, by the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute--, our idea was that we would be able to understand Panini better through studying Patanjali. But we have come to the conclusion that, apart from introducing a great deal of extraneous matter, especially from Mimamsa sources, in the interpretation of the Panini-sutras, Patanjali is often at a loss, how to construe Panini's intention. Therefore Patanjali's opinions can never replace our independent judgment regarding the interpretation of Panini, especially in the matter of anuvrtti and nivrtti, , and of conflict-solving procedures. Patanjali can only act as a guide to be critically followed, not as the final authority regarding the interpretation of the Astadhyayi. We have also come to the conclusion that to some extent, the Kasikavrtti has preserved an authentic Paninian tradition, independent of and different from the one followed by and established by Patanjali and his grammatical sources.
These and similar considerations have led us to terminate our Mahabhasya project. The last volume in this project will be Sthanivadbhavahnika, Part II, the manuscript of which was ready for publication in 1989. We have decided to undertake a new project, namely, the translation and critical explanation of the Astadhyayi. It will differ greatly from the translations published by Bohtlingk, S. C. Vasu and Renou, and from the recent works by S. M. Katre (1987) and R. N. Sharma (Volume II, 1990). We hereby offer the first installment, the translation and explanation of adhyaya I, pada 1.
S. D. JoshiJ. A. F. Roodbergen
From the Introduction:
I. The present edition and explanation of the Astadhyayi
Why publish another edition of the text of the Astadhyayi (henceforth referred to as A.) and another translation? The short answer is that the present work differs from the rest in at least seven respects, as follows:
(1) Attention is paid to the interpretation of the multi-purpose particle in Panini's sutras. This has a direct bearing on the division of the rules, and, therefore, on their interpretation.
(2) The conventions of anuvrtti and nivrtti of rules or parts of rules have been systematically applied. This also has a direct bearing on the interpretation of the rules.
(3) On the basis of (1) and (2) an attempt is made to identify interpolations and historical layers in the text of the A. as presented by the KV and followed by all Indian and Western editors.
(4) Examples for rules are checked wherever possible against attested usage outside grammatical literature. Here the work done by the Deccan College Sanskrit Dictionary project proved to be very useful.
(5) As regards conflict-solving procedures adopted in the A. tradition has both confused and multiplied conventions (paribhasas). This led to the phrasing of exceptions and counter-exceptions to the point that nearly anything goes, somewhat like what happened to Marxist doctrine. In the present work these procedures have been re-defined and provided with a clear domain of their own. They have also been simplified. Both the re-definition and the simplification have been carried out on the basis of a strict interpretation of the A. itself.
(6) In the interpretation of the A., apart from the Mahabhasya, importance has been attached to examples transmitted by the KV, different from those provided by Patanjali, and which may provide a clue as to the authentic meaning of a Paninisutra.
(7) Whenever tradition has manifestly re-interpreted a rule to accommodate usage, this has been pointed out.
One of the distinctive features of the A. is its treatment of accent. In fact, this treatment is very detailed. For instance, P. 6.1.181 says that in the bhasa, the language used for non-ritual purposes by the sistas 'learned brahmins' of Panini's days the prefinal vowel of particular endings of particular numerals should rather not be pronounced with high pitch. This raises the question whether, apart from marking section-heading rules by means of a particular accent (P. 1.3.11), Panini had originally composed his text as an accented text, although sutra-texts are handed down to us without accent-markings. Our assumption is that it was such an accented text. We hope to deal with this question in a separate publication. In the meantime, in the present work, the Paninisutras have been stated without accent.
The A, is preceded by a peculiar arrangement of the Sanskrit speech-sounds in 14 sutras generally known as the Sivasutras. The arrangement is such that from these sutras comprehensive, abbreviative names of groups of these speechsounds can be formed- pratyaharas of which Panini makes extensive use in the formulation of his grammatical sutras. The knowledge of these Sivasutras is presupposed by Panini. Generally, it is accepted that the study of phonetics (siksa) is required before the student of grammar starts on the study of grammar proper (vyakarana) .
In the present work the Sivasutras have not been included. The question of translation does not arise. As regards the working of these sutras we have nothing new to contribute. We refer to the articles on the Sivasutras listed above, on which we cannot improve at this stage.
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