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Idioms in Kasika (An Old Book)

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Item Code: NAP946
Publisher: Pratibha Prakashan
Author: Radha Madhab Dash
Language: English
Edition: 1996
ISBN: 8185268568
Pages: 580
Other Details 9.50 X 7.50 inch
Weight 1 kg
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Book Description
About the Book

Idioms in Kasika is a scientific study of Sanskrit expressions called Idioms which are supplied in the Kasika Vrtti illustrating the working of the sutras of Panini. These idioms bear excellence in structure and meaning producing aesthetic effects in phonology, morphology, syntax and semantic motivations and also in sociocultural spheres.

The study covers a vast area in (our main chapters with an 'Introduction' and 'A Brief Analysis' . of the Findings'. The Introduction considers the Kasikan illustrations not only in their historical perspectives, but also sets forth the nature, scope and value of such a study as well as the tools used and method adopted in the study. Chap. I titled as 'Principle is devoted" to the identification of the pure Kasikan illustrations after sorting out from them those of Panini, Katyayana, Patanjali and non-Paninian systems of Katantra, Candra, and Jainendra. Then the idiomatic aIustrations of Kasika are put to different classifications. Chap. A presents a 'Tabular Analysis' of the idiomatic illustrations containing exhaustive information’s thereon from historical, structural and semantic points of view. The table thus prepared can prove to be a referential tool for grammatical research. Chap. AI discusses certain 'theoretical stand points' related to these idioms including the phenomenon of idiom-formation. The approaches to the study of Sociolinguistics, Psycholinguistics and Stylistics are adopted to the study of idioms. Chap. IV is devoted to 'Sociocultural' study of Kasikan idioms and this forms one of the main contributions of the author to the study of Sanskrit language. The use of language in the context of varied life-situations and their bearing in Indian culture and its glory are very ably brought forth. The findings are analysed from Interpretational, Graphical, Theoretical and Application points of view. It has been rightly proved from this work that the study of languages as a behavioural characteristics of human beings has been a fundamental point of Panini's observation.

The study envisaged in this book is highly commendable for its scientific approach and neat execution.

About the Author

(Dr.) Radhamadhab Dash, M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D .. (Sanskrit), LL.B. working as Reader, Post-graduate Department of Sanskrit, Utkal University, Vani Vihar, Bhubaneswar-751004. (a) Born on D. 04.02.1957 in the village Srijang, P.S. Khantapada, Dist. Balasore-756044, Orissa; father: Sri Ramanarayana Dash, mother: Smt. Savitri Devi; (b) Education: primary level at village school, secondary level at Bahanaga High School (1969-73), College education (1973- 79) from Fakirmohan College, district head quarters, Balasore, Post-graduation (1977-79), M. Phil. (1984) and Ph.D. (1991) from Post- graduate Department of Sanskrit, Utkal University; LLB (1995) from University Law College, Vanivihar, Bhubaneswar; (c) Academic Performance: A brilliant first class academic career through out with Distinction in B.A. Honours (Sanskrit), stood 2nd from the Utkal University both in B.A and M.A., first Ph.D. holder on a topic from Paninian Grammar from Utkal University; specialization: Classical Literature and Grammar; (d) Knowledge of Foreign Language along with the certificate degrees in Russian (1980), German (1991) and spoken Japanese (1994), Advanced Course in Pali, Prakrt & Apabhramsa language and Literature (1993); (e) Research: personal research in the branch of Sanskrit Grammar, about twenty research papers published in National Journals besides the two books including the present one, another being: Bharatiya Sahityara Srsti O Vikasa: Pali 0 Apabhramsa (inOriya); (f) Guided 15 M.Phil. students for preparing their dissertations (up to 1994-95 session) and 3 Ph.D. students (now in preparatory stage); (g) Membership in a number of National Institutions for Research and propagation of Sanskrit language; (h) Participated in about 12 sessions of National Conferences with Original research papers; (i) Service: joined the P.G. Deptt. of Sanskrit, Utkal University as Lecturer in March, 1983, placed in Senior Scale in March 1990 and selected as Reader in May, 1995 having more than 13 years' teaching experience in Post-graduate and M. phil. classes in the Utkal University.


Language has been the most significant discovery of man and for him as a social being, it has been the most effective means of social communication. Throughout the world, the scholars have shown great interest in the field of language-analysis and in this respect ancient Indian linguists have contributed immensely by studying language-behaviour of human beings. Like any other ancient language of any part of the globe, Sanskrit has been the successful means of carrying reflections of the ancient Indian cultural heritage. Sanskrit grammarians too have not lagged behind in this mission. As objective recorders of facts, Indian grammarians have tried to reveal various aspects of social behaviour through their supply of examples and counter-examples. The present work 'Idioms in Kasika of Dr. Radhamadhab Dash is a worth-while endeavour in this line of thought contributing to knowledge of some evocative aspects of human behaviour.

For such a significant study Dr. Dash has based his observations on a well-coded gloss on Panini's Astadhyayi named Kasika- Vrtti of Jayaditya and Vamana of 7th century A.D. This gloss is now proved to be an objective recorder of social expressions of about 1000 years and Dr. Dash has successfully fixed the historical position of particular example and then goes on studying them from various linguistic stand-points. Although it was the primary objective of the author to study all the examples supplied in the Kasika-Vrtti later he dropped the idea in order to avoid the colossal nature of work and rightly concentrated on the idiomatic examples only. These idioms, no doubt, bear the stamp of the speech-habit of the-then contemporary Sanskrit speaking communities and thus naturally Dr. Dash has studied them in detail from various modern linguistic view-points including Historical linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Psycholinguistics, Stylistics, Semantics as well as Indian Aesthetics. Such an inter-disciplinary work is rare of its kind and for highlighting this aspect of study the author deserves all our commendations. Dr. Dash has done his best and it is now before scholars to decide to what extent he is successful.

It gives me great pleasure to write this Foreword to this book, a revised version of his Ph.D. Thesis for which he worked hard under my guidance and as a result of his long devoted persuit he gained doctorate from Utkal University. I am confident that such a work will be considered as a mile-stone on the path of knowledge and it will earn laurels from scholars for Dr. Dash. As a promising scholar of younger generation, and being well-equipped with uptodate research tools as well as with an academic brilliance to his credit Dr. Dash is sure to inspire generations of scholars in his field and naturally we expect much more from him in future. I wish him all success in his life.


This work 'Idioms in Kasika is a slightly modified version of the dissertation which I had submitted for the award of my Ph.D. degree of Utkal University in 1991 with the title "A Study of Idiomatic Examples Supplied in the Kasika Vrtti" and now published with the financial assistance from Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi.

This study is a multifaceted enquiry into the idiomatic illustrations found in Kasika in the form of examples and counter examples which are supplied by its authors Jayaditya and Vamana (7th c. A.D.) to illustrate the working of the sutras of Panini's Astadhyayi (7th-5th c. B.C.). Kasika or Kasika-Vrtti is a 'gloss' whose purpose is to presisely explain sutras without leaving any doubt in the minds of the readers as to the structural details of sutras and their meaning contents. And more specifically the working of the sutras are testified by providing examples and restricting their working by counter examples. A Vrtti work characterises vyakhyana proper. Patanjali contends that vyakhyana must contain besides carcapada (constituent words of a sutra), udaharanas and pratyudaharanas (Examples and Counter examples) and vakyadhyahara (missing elements from previous satras). (na kevlani carcapadani vyakhyanam vrddhih, at, aijiti, kimtarhi. udaharanam pratyudaharanam vakyadhyahara ityetat. samuditam vyakhyanam bhavati-Paspasahnika on Vt. 11) As Nagesa in Uddyota on P. 1.1:57 remarks: pratyudahara1J.flcinta vrttikara~m ucita na tu bhasyakrtah. 'Supplying examples and counter examples etc. is the prerogative of the authors of the Vrtti texts not of the Bhasya text. The Kasika hardly leaves any sutra unillustrated. As a stylistic symbol Kasika is observed supplying examples and counter examples generally two of each on every sutra of Panini. Moreover, The Kasika is looked upon historically for a diachronic study of materials both interpretational and illustrational as they have been compiled from the sources of Panini, Katyayana, Patanjali (Trimuni) and other non-Paninian grammatical texts of Kaiantra, Candra, and Jainendra schools. Jayaditya and Vamana have not blindly accepted them, but have incorporated materials into their text after judiciosly discriminating them. This is also seen in respect of illustrations consisting of examples and counter examples. A sizable number of illustrations are interesting ones because of their idiomatic nature as much as they represent the aspect of excellent utterances either structurally or semantically or both. Structural excellence in terms of aesthetic effects is not only observed in phonological, morphological and syntactical level of those pieces of utterances but they also enormously contribute to semantic motivations and overtones. Implications and suggestions of meaning otherwise regarded as evocative and emotive devices are more an essential consideration to assess the 'Idiomness' of idioms than the ones called expressive devices. All the three fundamental processes of language i.e., thinking, speaking and writing in their idiomatic form reflect the creativity or creative orientation of the language.

The creative thinkers, speakers and writers are instrumental in contributing to the language both natural and literary, the varitable taste of qualitative expressions what we should call 'Idioms'. The Kasika Vrtti is seen preserving such kinds of idioms developed not in any specific period of time, rather in the historical period covering over one thousand years of evolution of Sanskrit language and grammatical systems as well from Panini (from pre-Paninian sources also) up to Jayaditya and Vamana, the authors of Kasika. Hence, the present study at its outset formulates a set of principles for identifying the sources of those idiomatic illustration with different names like 'expressed', 'indicated' and 'implied', along with ensuring degrees of implication (Chapter I: Principles). This scheme of identification strives to prepare a lexicon of Kasikan idioms with their historical occurrence in grammatical texts with other numerous informations of grammatical and interpretational significance which can be used as tools of grammatical research for future research scholars (Chapter-A: Idioms in the Kasika Vrtti: A Tabular Analysis). Interdisciplinary approach has been another significant dimension of the present study. The idiomatic illustrations collected from the source of Kasika are most likely to be the popular usages believed to have occured more often in natural speech than in literatures. However, these expressions have been viewed from the modern linguistic points of view primarily that of Historical Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Psycholinguis- tics, Stylistics, Modern Semantics and Indian Aesthetics (Chapter ill: Idioms: Some Theoretical Standpoints). The interdisciplinary assessment is meant to widen the scope and utility of the study in term of bringing together the eastern and western spirit of looking things in a balance. Since idioms from the present collection can be classified into two basic categories-Structural and Informative, depending upon the excellence of structure and meaning respectively of the given usage, they are expected to convey messages of the societies and patterns of culture of the people using them. Hence 'Idioms: A Sociocultural Study' (Chapter: N) has been intended to hint the sociocultural importance of idioms. The idiomatic illustrations found in Kasika are nothing but the specimens of speech items of the people committed sometimes in response to mostly specific behavioural impulses and which are found neatly recorded by Panini in his satras. The Paninian idioms show their truly humanistic tendencies being the word-replica of the people's expressions reflecting the inherent mental state and outward behaviour in a social set-up. So also? do the idioms of Panini's successor-grammarians- Katyayana, Patanjali, Sarvavarman, Candragomin, Devanandin and finally Jayaditya and Vamana, the joint authors of Kasika. Kasikan illustrations designated as informative idioms reflect effective and vigorous expressions relating to different aspects of the society and' they are more likely to have been used in distinct spheres like education economy, morality (to include human values, personality traits etc.), agriculture (to include domesticating animals etc.) politics, religion, culture (to include different acts like dancing, singing etc., sports, pastimes, festivities.. customs and so on), style (to include different literary or ideational techniques of expressions, maxims and good sayings from literary or folk tradition etc.) and the miscellany (to include general informations not grouped in any of the above). Thus the available informative idioms from the source of Kasika have been discussed under the categories-- Educational, Economic, Moral, Agricultural, Political, Religious, Cultural, Stylistic and Miscellaneous to bring out their sociocultural import in the study.

To study all examples in the Kasika Vrtti was my primary objective while I started this study. Subsequently I had to drop the idea of working such a herculean project. I took up a fraction of them consisting only of idiomatic one for my study whose number may be around 1300. Though this study is aimed at only small number of idiomatic illustrations, it is intensive in its approach and full-fledged in its form the kind of which is not made so far except cursory references here and there by scholars in form of 'notes' or so. This desideratum, I hope, will be made with if this humble attempt is appreciated by scholars.

I, with deep sense of humility, accord the help both mental and material received from various sources, personalities and institutions for carrying on this study. During 1980-83 I had the privilege of starting collection of resource materials for the study with the scholarship made available to me from Utkal University under the scheme 'General Research scholarship' for which I am grateful to the authorities of Utkal University. Prof. Anam Charan Swain, the former Professor and Head, P.G. Department of Sanskrit and my teacher provided me the opportunity to get me attached to the Department of Sanskrit, Utkal University for my research. His inspiration all through even after his retirement, I count with a profound sense of obligation to him. It could not have been possible on my part to think in this line which I at present do, if I would not have been initiated into such an orientation by Prof. S.D. Laddu, my revered teacher's teacher, the former Professor of Centre of Advanced Study, Poona University and at present the Director, Post-graduate Studies and Research, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune. His valuable advice and training of methodical approach in grammatical studies have led me to expand the horizon of my knowledge. I am ever indebted to him for this grace.


0.0 The present enquiry with the title 'Idioms in Kasika' evinces this Vrtti text of jayaditya and Vamana (J & V : A.D. 510-650) the basis of study of the examples which, however, are termed here as 'idioms'. Idioms are expressions whose meanings are not predictable from the usual meaning of components forming the words by applying general grammatical rules of language. The peculiar expressions with the people are also designated as idioms. Stylistically they are regarded the deviant norms of natural language; aesthetically they may be considered idealised expressions of creative mind; semantically they may be deemed as possessing evocative and emotive devices of the language being stuffed with emotive overtones; and sociolinguistically they are also the deviant expressions deliberately committed by the normative speakers for effective and vivid expressions. In whichever manner are they interpreted, they are by far the excellent utterances both structurally and semantically and the above vrtti preserves a good many of the kind.


As the name shows, the Kasika Vrtti (KV) is a Vrtti text 'gloss' on P's A§!. "The grammatical literature consists of sutra 'rule', Vrtti 'gloss', varttika, 'note', bhasya 'exposition', prakriya 'derivation' and siddhanta 'theory'. A sutra, literally a thread, is a formulaic statement which presents a rule of grammar in laconic style which emphasizes brevity although certainly not at the expense of clarity, A Vrtti technically dwells upon a sutra and is rendered in the form of a statement paraphrasing a rule by supplying understood or missing elements", In fact the KV is the only extant full-fledged running commentary on P's. Ast. Though a number of pre-Kasikan Vrttis on P's Sutra Patha (SP) is available, some namesake only and others in the form of references quoted elsewhere, like Pa1Jiniya Sopajna Vrtti, (an auto-commentary by P himself), Mathuri vritti, Kuni vritti, Vyadi vrtti Svobhuti Vrtti, Cullibhatti vrtti, Nirlura Vrtti and Curni Vrtti, none of these is at our disposal to have their objective assessment. The KV also far excells all the extant Vrttis on P's Ast which are about thirty in number, and of them some six : Bhasavrtti of Purosottamadeva, Sabdakaustubha of Bhattoji, Mitaksara of Annambhatta, Vyakaranasiddhantasudhanidhi of Visvesvara Suri, Vyakaranadipika of Aurambhata, Astadhyayibhasya of Dayananda Sarasvati are either partly or fully published. In the matter of interpreting the Ast in the form of a running commentary, it also surpasses any of the extant works quoted above. It adopts all the pancanga vyakhyana. The authors of KV in the introductory verses acclaim- of the style, utility and excellence of the work which they have pursued all through.

Here rules are paraphrased and grammatical elements essentially required for the understanding of sutras are complemented by anuvrta 'recurrence-device' including the presentation of rules of definition, convention and domain-heading. More important is illustrating the application of the concerned rule by providing examples and demarcating its scope and limitation by counter examples. Particularly, out of many" aspects of the grammatical significance, this is to be counted most because both examples and counter examples underlie the sole intent, the real lakyas 'object' of grammatical activity, and sutras being la~a1Jas 'indicators' through which the object is described. This pragmatic and practical norm of grammatical enquiry has been rightly expressed by Kty in his Ve lakya-laksayas vyakara1Jam 'Instances and rules together constitute vyakarana'. And this basic principle of grammar has been favorably acknowledged by Ptj, and many more instances scattered throughout the M strengthen this conclusion.

0.1.1 The Illustrations in the Kasika 'Vrtti : Historical Perspective

The lakyas, as observed, consisting of a huge stock of examples and counter examples in the KV are cumulatively collected by its authors from the texts of P, Kty, Ptj, the trimuni, and from other non-Paninian grammatical sources flourished in the mean time before the KV. Kasika's authors have adopted usages from non-Paninian sources. These schools were developed to improve upon P's grammar towards a simpler method of language description probably befitting to the need of the time. J & V, to make their commentary up-to-date, perhaps, had no other way out but to accommodate the new laksyas 'instances' which had already been developed simultaneously with the growth of Sanskrit language.

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