Paishaacika Sanskrit?

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at UMICH.EDU
Thu Feb 18 16:56:38 UTC 1999

The term "paizaacii" is used in Prakrit grammars to refer to a specific
form of Prakrit.  The original B.rhatkathaa of Gu.naa.dhya was supposed to
have been written in this form of Prakrit.  While some features of the
northwestern Prakrits seen in Ashokan inscriptions agree with some
features of Paizaacii of the Prakrit grammarians, there is little real
Paizacii material available. See: Introduction to Prakrit, by A.C.
Woolner, pp. 67ff.  A long passage in literary paizaacii is found in the
Prakrit work Kuvalayamaalaa.  For details see, F.B.J. Kuiper: "The
Paizaacii Fragment of the Kuvalayamaalaa."  Indo-Iranian Journal, Vol. 1,
No. 3, 1957, pp. 229-40.  Could you give more specific details of this
work that is supposedly in Paizaacika Sanskrit?
                                Madhav Deshpande

On Thu, 18 Feb 1999, Martin Gansten wrote:

> Dear list members,
> I recently came across a reference to an astrological text said to be
> written in 'Paishaacika' Sanskrit. Monier-Williams lists 'paishaaca' or
> '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 information
> 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...)
> Regards,
> Martin Gansten

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