Parvata in VP 2.486-"grandhamAtrE vyvasthitaH"

Vidhyanath Rao vidynath at MATH.OHIO-STATE.EDU
Wed Mar 3 11:05:38 UTC 1999

>mAM mOdakais[mA+udakaiH] tADaya.  etc.

This is a bum rap. This is what really happened.

The king, unlike the queen, was actually well versed in Paninean
Sanskrit. He intended to point out, in a jovial way, that the queen
should have said ``maa modakena tiitaDaH.'' However the joke went over
the heads of the queen and many of the courtiers who spoke the Pali
influenced Sanskrit of Buddhists and their fellow travelers. Then the
king decided to learn this new-fangled Sanskrit so that he could
converse with them on their terms (he was quite pragmatic) and studied
Kaatantra. This explains how he could do this in six months. He had to
learn just the new bits.

This story got distorted over time, especially among those who didn't
understand that the queen's Sanskrit was faulty. But the true story was
preserved in the Potiyil tradition --- the king's original Sanskrit
teacher came from there --- and has come down (karNaparampara) to some
pandits of the area. In fact I learned the true story from one of them.


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