Post No. 8765

Date uploaded in London – –2 OCTOBER 2020   

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Panini , author of the world’s first grammar book Ashtadhyayi, gives lot of interesting information through his 4000 aphorisms (sutras) and the additional woks such as Ganapatha and Dhatupatha. It helps us the understand the life in India 2700 years ago

Tlkappian is the author of 2000 year old Tamil grammar Tolkappiam. Like Panini’s work is called Paniniyam, Tamils called Tolkappian’s work Tolkappiam.

In all cultures we see long names are shortened for day today conversation and it would be almost uniform in that area. For instance, my name is Swaminathan. All Swaminathans in Thanjavur Region are abbreviated as SAMA ( SAAMAA) English names such as Juliette and Samantha will be July , Sam etc.

Throughout Sanskrit grammar books they used Devadatta’s  name for all examples. Devadatta may be used in 11 different ways according to Panini and his commentator Patanjali.

Deva Datta’s name may be shortened in 11  different ways. It should be a Guinness book entry .

Panini says ,

Devadattaka ,Devika, Deviya , Devila, can be used. Patanjali who wrote the greatest and biggest commentary on Panini’s book adds,

Devaka , Dattika, Dattila , Dattiya , Dattaka , Deva , Datta . In total 11 forms are grammatically available.

So it is very interesting. Even if you commit some typographical errors you will be excused!!

(Devika is not feminine; in Sanskrit ‘a’ ending name is masculine. If it ends with ‘aa’ (long sound) then it is feminine. Krishna is one of the Avatars. But Krishnaa is Draupadi.)


Plan of a treatise

A book should have a plan. It is not a collection of articles written at different times on different unconnected topics. Like planning, presentation is also important. This plan is called tantra yukti.

The work of Kautilya / Chanakya has 32 tantra yuktis .

Charaka and Susruta also mentioned them, but Charaka added three more to the list .

The ancient Tamil grammar Tolkappiam , based on the tradition of the Aindra school , enumerates in its Porulatikaram section 32 principles of which 22 agree  with those of Kautilya.

The Mimamsakas with their flare for analysis have indicated the principles of a literary composition. Of these they have singled out ‘samgati’ inherent consistency or internal order and ‘mangala’ benedictory opening. These tantra yuktis were known to Panini. The first of these , ADHIKARA  is in three important Tamil works. It is Sanskrit word that is found in

Tirukkural, Silappadikaram and Tolkappiam .

Adhikara means domain heading – treatment of the matter within the purview of a work is referred to in Panini 4-3-87.i.e. A work that is composed in accordance with the principle od ‘adhikara’, or sense of the relevant. Tamil Veda Tirukkural has 133 adhikaras .  Silappadikaram has three major divisions. Tolkappiam has three adhikaras.

Panini’s own work is  model of  Vidhana or the treatment of topics in their inherent order.



Another interesting detail about Charaka . We know one Charaka associated with the great book Charaka Samhita. Charaka means one who always wander; they are wandering professors going to different places for teaching. Now almost all universities have Charakas i.e. Visiting Professors . There are followers of Vedic Charaka in three different areas. We don’t know whether the medicine man Charaka and Vedic Charaka are one and the same.


tags – Panini, Tolkappian, Charaka 

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