Paishaacika Sanskrit?

Venkatraman Iyer venkatraman_iyer at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 18 16:47:39 UTC 1999

>I recently came across a reference to an astrological text said to be
>written in 'Paishaacika' Sanskrit. Monier-Williams lists 'paishaaca'
>'pishaaca-bhaa.saa' as a term used in drama for 'a corrupt dialect or
>gibberish; spoken by demons on the stage'. Does anyone have any
>on the origin of this term, and what grammatical and/or stylistic
>characteristics it may imply? (Unless it simply means 'devilishly bad
>Sanskrit', which in this case would seem a fair judgment...)

Isn't there a tradition about Brhatkatha that first it was
written in a Pishaaca-bhaa.saa? Tamil has Perungathai by Kongu VeLir.
Is it a habit to call Dravidian languages as Paishaaci languages
in Sanskrit?

V. Iyer

K. Zvelebil, Tamil literature, E. J. Brill, 1975, p.49
"However, in early historical times, Sanskrit text composed in
the North of India show a rather unfriendly, even contemptuous,
attitude towards the Dravidians, cf. MAn. X, 44. CarakasaMhitA,
IndriyasthAna V, 28 mentions draviDa and Andraka in one breath with
CaNDaalas, pizAcas, dogs, etc., ie., with beings one should not
see in one's dreams since they are highly inauspicious.
BANa, in the kAdambarI describes the draviDa dharmika very
unfavorably (Kadambari edition, K. P. Parab, Bombay, 1921, p. 398-401)
The different kAmazAstras usually deal with the women of the South
in not too flattering terms".

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