Laksanacandrika (A Commentary On The Taittiriya Pratisakaya By Mahadeva Ramacandra Gadre)

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Item Code: NAF860
Publisher: Bharatiya Kala Prakashan
Author: Nirmala Ravindra Kulkarni
Language: Sanskrit Text with Transliteration and English Translation
Edition: 2004
ISBN: 8180900460
Pages: 236
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 430 gm
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Book Description

About the Book


The tradition of the Taittirlya Pratisakhya is very much important in the field of ancient Indian phonetics. The TaittirIya Pratisakhya is survived today with nine commentaries, out of which only three are published. The Laksanacandrika is one of such unpublished commentaries on the Taittiriya Pratisakhya written by Mahadeva Ramacandra Gadre in the beginning of the 19th century. The present volume brings a critical edition of it based on four complete manuscripts. We may call Laksanacandrika as an abridged edition of another famous commentary Tribhasyaratna. Yet it shows its own peculiarities in many places. It does not accept the usual adhyaya-sutra arrangement of the text accepted by the other commentators. It follows adhyaya-anuvakasutra division. It is peculiar to Laksanacandrika that it quotes many verses from various siksa texts. Today many siksas are not available even in & form. Texts like the Laksanacandrika provide us much material for the restoration of at least fragments of some lost siksas, particularly of the Atreya Siksa and that of the Mahesvara Siksa. Besides it also quotes from the known Sanskrit texts on phonetics, uses widely the terminology of Panini, explains the sutra in brief and gives its own examples. Texts like Laksanacandrika are helpful to trace out the wide extent of ancient Indian phonetics.


About the Author


Dr. Mrs. Nirmala Ravindra Kulkarni is working as Research Scientist in the Centre' of Advanced Study in Sanskrit, University of Pune since 1988. She teaches Veda, Linguistics and Manuscriptology and has widely published on various other subjects in reputed journals.


Major Achievements :

* First Class first (with distinction) in M.A. (l980) and won the coveted B.J. Patel Gold Medal.

* Ph.D. (1984) on "A Grarnrnatical Analysis of the Taittiriya Padapatha" (Pub. in 1995, Indian Books Centre, Delhi).

. * She has completed the following projects for the fulfillment of the award of the Research Scientist :

1. Laksanacandrika : A Commentary on the Taittirlya Pratisakhya by Mahadeva Ramacandra Gadre.

2. Salvation and Women in Jainism with special reference to Strimuktivada of Prabhacandrasuri.

3. Srikarrnani in the Atharvanika Tradition.




Somewhere in 1988-89 a pair of mss caught my attention while I was casually going through the manuscript catalogue of the Vaidik Samshodhan Mandal, Pune. It was the Laksanacandrika (LC), a commentary on the Taittirlya Pratisakhya. This particular text was not recorded by the then authentic sources. I observed that it quotes many important yet lost Siksa texts. For this reason I planned to edit the text critically. I had worked on the Taittirlya Padapatha for my Ph.D. degree. Working on the Taittiriya Pratisakhya was certainly a beneficial boost for me in understanding the ancient Indian tradition of phonetics and phonology as well as methods of preserving the sacred texts. The results of the same are presented here in a book form.


1. The first part is introductory and gives general information about the development of phonetics and phonology in ancient India. The contributions of the texts like the Siksas and Pratisakhyas are spelt out in comparison to the modern phonetics. Besides, the Taittirtya tradition of the Pratisakhya and commentaries is briefed along with some notable features of the same. Peculiarities of the commentary Laksanacandrika and its relation to the other texts are discussed in detail.


2. The second part presents the critically constituted text of the Laksanacandrika. This particular edition is based on six mss. The text is appended with two appendices- sutra-index, bhasya passages quoted by the LC-besides bibliography. I did not include notes and translation of the Taittiriya Pratisakhya in this volume. These will be included in my forthcoming edition of the Vaidika- bharana, a commentary on the Taittirlya Pratisakhya.


Many persons have helped me cordially to bring this particular commentary in a book form. At the very outset, I must pay my sincere thanks to the U.G.C. authorities for selecting me for the award of Research Scientist. Because of it I got an opportunity to work tension free in my favourite field of research, besides enjoining all necessary facilities.


I would like to pay my sincere thanks to my teacher, Prof. Y.N. Jha, Director. C.A.S.S. for guiding me from time to time for my Ph.D. dissertation as well as for the present volume. I would be ever grateful to him for his valuable guidance and would like to repay his gururna by contributing in my own capacity in the field of research. I am also thankful to him for giving me an opportunity to study and to teach 'Ancient Indian Phonetics and Phonology' in the inter- disciplinary M.A. Course of Sanskrit Linguistics. It helped me in comparing the eastern concepts with those of the modern ones. Because of it I could understand the text of the Taittirlya Pratisakhya in a better manner. Many of my basic doubts are removed by Dr. Sharma and by Dr. Patyal. I am very much thankful to both of them.


I would like to acknowledge the help extended by late Prof. M.P. Rege, the then President, Prajna Pathasala, Wai, for providing me the xerox copies of the manuscripts. I am also thankful to Dr. T.N. Dharmadhikari, the then Director, Vedic Samshodhan Mandal, Pune and to Shri M.K. Kulkarni, ex-librarian, Deccan College, for allowing me to handle the original mss and for providing the xerox copies of these. It is the cooperation of all the authorities of various libraries in Pune, which has transformed these manuscripts in a book.


I would be ever grateful to my teachers Prof. S.D. Joshi (former Director, C.A.S.S.) and Prof. S.D. Laddu (Curator, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune) and Dr. Goswami, ex-librarian, C.A.S.S. I am also thankful to all my friends and staff of C.A.S.S., who always encourage a lazy person like me.


Lastly, I extend my sincere thanks to my family members, especially my in-laws who encourage me by appreciating and helping me every' now and then. I would be ever grateful to my father, Prof. D.A. Ambiye, as he has encouraged me in pursuit of Sanskrit studies in spite of many adverse situations.


At last, I must thank Mr. C.P. Gautam of Bharatiya Kala Prakashan for printing this book neatly and in time.




1.0.0. The Oral Tradition: Analysis of language appeared in Indian thinking in the samhita period itself, as the Rgvedic poets were busy analyzing the creative process of poetry. (cf. Rgveda 10.71) Later on because of the growth in the samhita material and mainly because of changes in the phonemic system of the language, preservation of these samhitas became a pressing need. Besides, such literature was a sacred heritage and cultural asset to Aryans. Therefore, it was necessary to take all possible efforts to preserve these texts. It was achieved mainly by oral transmission of the texts from one generation to the other. Learning of the Vedas was made compulsory for a Brahmin that too only with oral instruction. The learning of the Vedas without oral instruction was condemned as brahmasteya. The ancient Aryans were aware of the fact that a text may get corrupted even involuntarily. To overcome such natural limitation of human brain, they invented various modes of recitation. This was the immediate step taken towards the protection of the samhitas.


1.1.0. The Pathas : The mode of recitation is called patha. The samhitapatha (Sp) is the original text recited continuously showing word-boundary features such as euphonic combination, compounding, prolongation etc. Understanding and preservation of that was made easy by another mode of recitation called the padapatha (Pp). A Pp removes the word-boundaries and morphemic features and presents the Sp without making any change in the word order. Such an analysis enables areciter not only in remembering each word of the text in its original form and order, but it also guides him in the reconstruction of the Sp. The third step towards such an exercise is the kramapat ha in which a unit of two serial words is presented. Such a method shows the samhita as well as the pada form of the word in the same text. These three types of texts never change the word order of the text. Over and above these texts, a chain of pathas was invented using similar techniques. These are ealled vikrtipathas as the word order is changed to some extent. The purpose of all such exercise was to strengthen the intact preservation of the Vedas. This is how the text was preserved intact by using various methods based on the oral transmission of the text.


1.2.0. The Dawn of Indian Phonetics : Formation and implementation of these methods was certainly a challenging task for the Vedic priests. It gave rise to the analysis of language on various levels, especially on phonetic level. Precur ors of such analysis are found in the Sarnhita- Brahrnana period. The word "akkhalikrtya pitaram na putrah' (Rgveda 7.1.3) probably is the earliest reference to the oral tradition as well as to the prakrtised form of the word assara. The Vajasaneyi Sarnhita" uses the word avasdnya for the last syllable of pada; which is very much important from the phonological point of view. The Brahmanas use the terms aksara (syllable), varna (phoneme), and avastina and varna- saniamnyava (alphabets) in the technical sense.P The Aitareya Brahmana" refers to a special type of pronounciation called nyunkha in which a syllable has to be uttered in sixteen varieties. Thus, leaving ample room for presumption 1Jhat the oral tradition and phonetic analysis was in vogue. The Tandya-Maha-Brahmana uses the word 'aksaresthah' i.e. consisting of syllables. The Aral).yakas and the Upanisads have further developed these concepts with precise phonetic point of view. Here one cannot ignore the contributions of the Chandoya Upanisad," the Aitareya Aranyaka? and that of the Taittiriya Upanisad. The Chandogya Upanisad tries to map the differences among the vowels, consonants, and spirants.


1.2.1. The Contribution of the Aitareya - Aitareya Arayaka : The Aitareya Aral).yaka (700 b.c.) records a significant number of linguistic discussions by the first generation of linguists such as Hrasva Mandukeya, Sthavira Sakalya, Suravira Mandukeya and Kauhalcya etc. These discussions though are garbed in the mystic explanations give an idea of the depth of the linguistic thinking. The text tries to find out the relation between two subsequent words II and thereby describes the nature of Sarnhita as a unit to be uttered in duration of a single breath. This is the background for the Taittiriya Pratisakhya rule' atha satithitayam ekaprdnabluive' (TPr 5.1). It further explains the nature of the samhitdpatha, the padapatha and the kramapatha by using the oldest terminology nirbhuja, pratrnna and ubhayam antarena respectively. 12 Thereby, they arrived at the rules to form Sp on the basis of the Pp. It classifies the sounds into two main categories as vowels (svara) and consonants (vyaiijana). It further groups them as sparta (contact sounds), ghosa (voiced) usman (spirants or hissing ounds). In addition to these for the first time Hrasva Mandukeya recognizes the class of the antahsthas i.e., of the semivowels.


The main contribution of the text seems to be in identifying the similarity of human phonetic apparatus with that of the musical instrument. It calls the human phonetic apparatus as daivi vina (divine lute) and says that the manusi vina i.e., lute invented by human beings is modelled on the divine one and further shows the similarity probably by taking into consideration three factors energy, oscillation and resonance as in any musical instrument the sound is produced because of these three factor . To quote the text verbatim,











The Oral Tradition and the Pathas



The Dawn of Indian Phonetics



The Laksana Texts



The S iksas



The Pratisakhyas & Their Contributions



The TPr and its Commentaries



The Laksanacandrika



The Critical Apparatus


1 .9.

The Author



The LC and the Siksa Literature



The LC and the Atreya Siksa



The LC and the Mahesvara Siksa






Anuvaka 1



Anuvaka 2



Anuvaka 3



Anuvaka 4



Anuvaka 5



Anuvaka 6



Anuvaka 7



Anuvaka 8



Anuvaka 9



Anuvaka 10



Anuvaka 11



Anuvaka 12



Anuvaka 13



Anuvaka 14



Anuvaka 15



Anuvaka 16



Anuvaka 17



Anuvaka 18



Anuvaka 19



Anuvaka 20



Anuvaka 21



Anuvaka 22



Anuvaka 23



Anuvaka 24



Select Bibliography



Appendix I-Sutra Index



Appendix II-The LC and the Tribhasyaratna



Sample Pages

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