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From Kātantra to Kāśikā, the Development of the Indigenous Indian Grammar

A great deal of work is done in the area of pāninian grammar and the related aspects. Despite this fact, history of the indigenous Indian grammar doesn’t seem to overcome the dark . This is true especially with regards to the period following Patañjali, the au-thor of the Mahābhāṣya (second century BC). This continued till first eight centuries af-ter the turning-point in the history, lasting almost the entire millennium.

As per research, a chronological sequence of currently available works from this period could be ditermined as follows: Kātantra, Jainendravyākaraṇa, Cāndrasūtra, Cāndravṛtti, Kāśika. However, a detailed account marking interdependence amongst these texts re-mains an object of further research. For my Ph.D. thesis I would like to focus on such a study, thereby devoting my attention to two significant questions:

The first one is concerned with the text of the pāninian Sūtras. What is the vulgete text found in Kāśikā based on? What is the relationship between vulgate, Sūtra text of Jainendra and Cāndravyākarana? What could be the reasons behind radical changes made by the Grammarians in Aṣṭādhyāyī? What roll does Kātantra and its various ver-sions play in this process?

The second question deals with the deviating opinions concerning Kātantra, Jainendravyākaraṇa, Cāndravṛtti and Kāśikā. The frequently use pronominal forms such as eke ‘ [taught by some]’ and apare ‘others [ taught by others]’ and various forms of de-viations are hereby brought into light. The question here is , whether the sources of such diverse opinions could be traced back, and why their authenticity has been denied?

Through answering these 2 questions, an attempt would be made to outline devel-opment of Indian grammar with reference to fundamental discussions in Mahābhāṣya with its crucial characteristic features.


S. K. BELVALKAR. An account of the different existing systems of Sanskrit grammar. Poona 1915.
R. BIRWÉ. Introduction. In: SHAMHUNATH TRIPATHI (ed.). Śākaṭāyana-Vyākaraṇam of Ācārya Śākaṭāyana. Benares 1971, 1-109.
J. BRONKHORST. On the history of Pāṇinian grammar in the early centuries following Patañjali. Journal of Indian Philosophy 11 (1983) 357-413.
TH. OBERLIES. Das zeitliche und ideengeschichtliche Verhältnis der Cāndra-Vṛtti zu anderen V(ai)yākaraṇas (Studien zum Cāndravyākaraṇa III). Festschrift Paul Thieme, StII 20 (1996) 265-317.