Sunday, July 12, 2009

Panini: The Great Sanskrit Grammarian

The tradition of Paninian Grammar as it has reached us clearly believes that Panini was inspired by Mahesvara/Siva to write his grammar, and that he received his major influence from himPanini was an Indian grammarian who was believed to have flourished around. c. 400 B. C. His AshtAdhyAyI [eight books] (tr. 1891) is one of the earliest works of descriptive linguistics and is also the first individually authored treatise on Sanskrit. He was born: about 520 BC in Shalatula (near Attock), now Pakistan Died: about 460 BC in India .Panini was born in Shalatula, a town near to Attock on the Indus river in present day Pakistan. The dates given for Panini are pure guesses. Experts give dates in the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th century BC and there is also no agreement among historians about the extent of the work which he undertook. What is in little doubt is that, given the period in which he worked, he is one of the most innovative people in the whole development of knowledge. We will say a little more below about how historians have gone about trying to pinpoint the date when Panini lived. Panini was a Sanskrit grammarian who gave a comprehensive and scientific theory of phonetics, phonology, and morphology. Sanskrit was the classical literary language of the Indian Hindus and Panini is considered the founder of the language and literature. It is interesting to note that the word "Sanskrit" means "complete" or "perfect" and it was thought of as the divine language, or language of the gods...source

Pāṇini (Dēvanāgarī: पाणिनि; a patronymic meaning "descendant of Paṇi") was an Ancient Indian Sanskrit grammarian from Pushkalavati, Gandhara (fl. 4th century BCE[1][2]).
He is known for his Sanskrit grammar, particularly for his formulation of the 3,959 rules[2] of Sanskrit morphology in the grammar known as Ashtadhyayi (अष्टाध्यायी Aṣṭādhyāyī, meaning "eight chapters"), the foundational text of the grammatical branch of the Vedanga, the auxiliary scholarly disciplines of Vedic religion.
The Ashtadhyayi is one of the earliest known grammars of Sanskrit, although he refers to previous texts like the Unadisutra, Dhatupatha, and Ganapatha.[2] It is the earliest known work on descriptive linguistics, generative linguistics, and together with the work of his immediate predecessors (Nirukta, Nighantu, Pratishakyas) stands at the beginning of the history of linguistics itself.
Pāṇini's comprehensive and scientific theory of grammar is conventionally taken to mark the end of the period of Vedic Sanskrit, by definition introducing Classical Sanskrit...source

Pushkalavati is an ancient site situated in Peshawar valley in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. It is located on the banks of Swat River, near its junction with Kabul River, now it is known as Charsadda. Pushkalavati meaning Lotus City was the capital of ancient kingdom Gandhara from the 6th century BC to 2nd century AD.
The ruins of Pushkalavati consist of many stupas and sites of two old cities...source


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