Jan E.M. Houben jemhouben at gmail.com
Tue Sep 14 11:41:29 UTC 2021

Dear Jim,
The suffix added last in the progressive formation (prakriyā) of the name
'Pāṇini' is in fact the taddhita suffix iÑ (AA 4.1.95 aTa iÑ), so there is
no reason to take the word as a neuter noun.
Another example would be dáaśa-rath-i in the sense of ‘descendant of
dáśa-ratha-’, one of the epithets of Rāma.
>From the point of view of *later* Brahminical culture, Pāṇini's name could
suggests some uneasiness with his lineage.
If we analyse further to find the underlying root in Pāṇini's name we may
find it in
√paṇ : DhP 466 páṇA vyavahāre stutau ca (| 467 pánA ca ; [Mādhavīya-DhV :
pṛthagnirdeśāt stutāv ity anenaivāyaṁ sambadhyate > pánA stutau]).
Next, one of the numerous primary suffixes -a is added:
páṇ-a- (m.) √paṇ + some primary suffix -a.
Which of the several primary suffixes -a/-á suffixes in Pāṇini?
An (unaccented)-a suffix seems in any case more likely than an –á suffix,
if we assume it is an action noun : ‘barter, trade’ (together with prapaṇa
(AVŚ prapaṇá), apparently used in this sense in AVP 19.49 etc.
Only then we get páṇ-a- + inI (in the sense of matUP, AA 5.2.94 etc. ).
The milieu of Pāṇini's family would seem to be commercial, which perhaps in
his time was not in conflict or contradiction with the local, north-western
Brahminical culture.
The detailed interest shown in the AA for calculation and commercial items
and conditions including taxes among the 'easterners', further confirm
Pāṇini's link with trading communities.
The fact that we find a clear derivation of his name only somewhat tucked
away in, as far as grammatical sources are concerned, KaiyaTa's commentary
and the ones given in Prakriyaa-kaumudii commentaries cited by Victor
further illustrates the somewhat uneasiness (for later Brahmins) with the
cultural implications of a straightforward derivation of Pāṇini's name.
All best,
Jan Houben

On Sun, 12 Sept 2021 at 20:01, Jim Ryan via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Hi,
> I'm curious if there are any creative etymologies or mythological
> explanations for the name “Pāṇini.” I don’t recall encountering any over
> the years. The word itself seems to be neuter in gender (if we assume an
> “in” suffix) and therefore somewhat unusual in designating a person.
> Jim Ryan
> Asian Philosophies and Cultures (Emeritus)
> California Institute of Integral Studies
> 1453 Mission St.
> San Francisco, CA 94103
> _______________________________________________
> INDOLOGY mailing list
> INDOLOGY at list.indology.info
> https://list.indology.info/mailman/listinfo/indology


*Jan E.M. Houben*

Directeur d'Études, Professor of South Asian History and Philology

*Sources et histoire de la tradition sanskrite*

École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE, Paris Sciences et Lettres)

*Sciences historiques et philologiques *

Groupe de recherches en études indiennes (EA 2120)

*johannes.houben [at] ephe.psl.eu <johannes.houben at ephe.psl.eu>*


*https://www.classicalindia.info* <https://www.classicalindia.info>

LabEx Hastec OS 2021 -- *L'Inde Classique* augmentée: construction,

et transformations d'un savoir scientifique
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