Jan E.M. Houben
jemhouben at gmail.com
Wed Sep 15 11:05:54 UTC 2021
You are no doubt right that there are probably no traces in the works
of grammarians from Kātyāyana to Nāgeśa of any active dislike of Pāṇini’s
trader community background (i.e., 'Vedic' trader community, as I
but it remains remarkable that his students etc. went so far as to indicate
his lineage not so much by referring to his father or forefather but rather
by referring to his mother, Dākṣī, the ‘lady of the (north-west Indian)
Dakṣa-clan’ (cf. currently Ghora Dakka in north Pakistan, the "British
regiment" story about this place name could perhaps explain Ghora but not
Dakka; the Dakṣas were politically organized in a 'republic' rather than a
kingdom, cf. the dākṣaḥ saṁghaḥ Kāśikā on 4.3.127).
Other grammarians of his and preceding and successive generations do have
names more evidently (known as) Brahminical: Śākaṭāyana, Śākalya, Gārgya,
Bhāradvāja, Kāśyapa, Kātyāyana...
Incidentally, the first European to have sufficient affinity with Pāṇini to
be able to decipher his grammar had also a solid background in a trader
community: Otto Böhtlingk, whose forefathers adopted the Dutch nationality
in order to be able to settle as merchants in the Russian Empire.
The convergence-assimilation -- implying in some respects perhaps also, as
Gary suggests, a coverup -- of √paṇ (with distinctive, semantically
relevant cerebral ṇ) ‘barter, trade; gamble’ with another root known in the
Veda, √pan ‘praise’, must be a later (post-Vedic) development as reflected
in the peculiar formulation of DhP 466-467: DhP 466 páṇA vyavahāre stutau
ca | 467 pánA ca, with the latter amounting to pánA stutau (listed as such
by S.M. Katre). Other nouns derived or derivable from √paṇ such as paṇya
are predominantly in the domain of trade and commerce. The semantic and
formal separation of the two roots by Whitney is therefore entirely
justified: √pan 'admire', [RV,B] and √paṇ 'bargain' [AV,B,E; some forms,
such as paṇ-í '(non-Vedic) trader community', already in RV].
On Tue, 14 Sept 2021 at 14:52, Madhav Deshpande <mmdesh at umich.edu> wrote:
> Hello Jan,
> Your circumstantial inference about the commercial background of
> Pāṇini may be close to reality, and yet I don't see any awareness of it
> among the grammarians from Kātyāyana to Nāgeśa, and so I would not suspect
> any deliberate effort to hide this background. Historically, Brahmins have
> been engaged in various occupations including commercial, political,
> administrative and agricultural. However, the theoretical role of the
> Brahmin is always seen in his "Brahmanical" activities.
> Madhav M. Deshpande
> Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
> University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
> Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies
> Adjunct Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India
> [Residence: Campbell, California, USA]
> On Tue, Sep 14, 2021 at 4:42 AM Jan E.M. Houben via INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
>> 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:
>>> 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
>> *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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