Panini’s Amazing Auspicious Beginning: Tamils repeat it!!! (Post No.9380)


Post No. 9380

Date uploaded in London – –14 MARCH  2021     

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Amazing similarities between Panini and Tolkappiar are seen when they talk about auspicious or benedictory words or sayings. There is a convention in Hinduism that they should always begin a book or a speech with invocation to god or with some good and positive words. It will be in the beginning middle and at the end. In olden days all films, novels finished with the word “Subham”.

Tolkappiam uses the Sanskrit word ‘Mangala’, ‘Nimittam’, that is about good and auspicious times. Surprisingly , Panini’s sentence is also found in the middle.

Tolkappiar also repeated what Panini said

Panini said….‘Good be to all concerned’

Tolkappiar said ‘Ella uyirkkum inbam (Tol. Sutra.1169) , means “happiness to all living beings”. Though they wrote grammar, they deliberately inserted a sentence like this. Great commentators like Katyayana and Patanjali noted Panini’s usage and appreciated it.

Another amazing thing about Ashtadhyayi is Panini begins with the first letter “a” and finish with the same “a”. That is he garlands Sanskrit Language with Varna mala, Garland of letters. English word ‘vernacular’ came from Sanskrit ‘Varna’, that is letters in the alphabet.


Here is full detail

There is a tradition in Hindu India that all works should begin with a positive note and with a positive word. Unlike Greek dramas we have only comedies and no tragedies. Even when there is a tragedy where the hero or the heroine of the story dies in tragic circumstances something will be added about the previous birth of the person to justify it and add auspicious notes. When they put it in writing they made it a point to add invocation to god. They even prescribed a list of words with which a literary work should begin.

(even today when a family considers a wedding proposal or a property buying idea, if they hear a negative word or news from somewhere they wouldn’t pursue it any further.)

Panini was a ‘mangalika’ Acharya according to Patanjali. Panini chose to begin his treatise/work with Vriddhi, a word that ensures the growth of the work and the longevity of the readers- Bhasya 1-40.

Mangala means Auspicious Invocation or Benediction with which a treatise to be commenced. The invocation of the Divine was made to ensure the success of the undertaking.

Tamil grammar Tolkappiam used the Sanskrit word Mangala (sutra 1190)

Panini, as one of the greatest authors, has also commenced his work, the Ashtadhyayi, with a similar invocation.

Vriddhir Aadaich is the first sutra 1-1-1. The words should be Aadaich Vriddhir.

Even the Siva or Maheswara sutra is a benediction which begins with first letter in all the languages ‘A’.

Tamils used one of the 3 vowels to begin  a great work

Tirukkural begins with A-kara

Other works begin with U- lakam

Tolkappiam begins with E- zluthu

Panini’s Maheswara or Siva sutras begins with ‘A’.

Patanjali points out that even in the middle there was Mangala reference. He points out that the sutra

Siva sam arishtasya kare 4-4-143, represents Panini’s use of Mangala in the middle of his treatise. Only a few aphorisms later, sutra, ‘Tasmai hitam’ 5-1-5

,a benedictory expression is used.

‘Good be to all concerned’ seems to be deliberately used by Panini to name two of his most important chapters- fourth and fifth, viz.

Tadddhita, dealing with hundreds of grammatical formations, and Vrittis.

 Siva also meant auspicious.

Panini also uses the benedictory term ‘Udaya’ in the last but one sutra of the Ashtadhyayi. The use of ‘Udaya’ in the place of shorter ‘para’ points to his faith in the practice of Mangala (Kasika 8-4-67).

The word ‘Udaya’ of this sutra is taken from Rik Pratisakya, which uses it as a synonym of ‘Para’.

Cf.rikaara udaye 2-32

Panini concludes his book with the sutra ‘a a’ .

It is not an interpolation or deliberate addition, because Katyayana devotes four Vaarttikas/ notes to it. Patanjali also comments on it as authentic.

Both of them conclude their works with the observation

‘Bhagavtah Panine sidhdham’.

Patanjali on his comment on Siddha, the first word of the opening Varttika of Katyayana, makes that teacher also subscribes to the theory of Mangala

As a mangalika acharya Bhashya 1-7

Siddham means “success”, “accomplished”.

In all the Vedic works we see ‘Aum’ as the first word which is made up of ‘A’ ‘U’ ‘M’a

The Rigveda begins with ‘A’gnimeele with ‘a’.

Tamil Tirukkural begins with ‘A’, the first letter, and ends with ‘N’, the last letter of Tamil alphabet .

Tolkappiam also followed Mangala of Panini. He repeated exactly what Panini said in the middle.Let all living beings enjoy happiness). H wanted to say happiness is common for all living beings. But the implied meaning is Let there be happiness everywhere.

Source book : India as known to Panini, M S Agrawala, 1953 with my inputs from Tamil books


tags–mangala, auspicious, beginning, benediction