[INDOLOGY] FW: Can this be true?

Rishi Rajpopat rishiatulrajpopat at gmail.com
Sat Dec 17 04:26:03 UTC 2022

Dear Prof Wujastyk,

Thank you very much for reading my work and for your kind words.

Dear members of Indology list,

Since Prof. Deshpande has brought up paratva, let me say a couple of

Firstly, I understand that some of you might not be well versed with the
technicalities of Pāṇinian derivations which might make it difficult for
you to read the more technical parts of my thesis. But I offer not only
'derivational' but also 'philological' evidence in support of my
interpretation of 1.4.2. As philologists, you might enjoy undertaking the
following exercise: look up all the instances of the use of the term para
in the Aṣṭādhyāyī.

Here are some relevant excerpts from my thesis (pg. 35 onwards):

*2.3 Evidence for My Interpretation of Para*

Before going further, let me provide more evidence to support my
interpretation of *para*. The meaning of *para* in 1.4.2 can be confirmed
by looking at the meaning of *para* in the rest of the *Aṣṭādhyāyī*. The
term *para* has been used by Pāṇini on many occasions. Its occurrences can
be classified into two groups:

Group A: 1.1.34, 1.4.109, 3.2.39, 3.3.138, 3.4.20, 4.3.5, 5.2.92, 5.3.29,

Group B: 1.1.47, 1.1.51, 1.1.54, 1.1.57, 1.1.70, 1.2.40, 1.4.2, 1.4.62,
1.4.81, 2.1.2, 2.2.31, 2.4.26, 3.1.2, 6.1.84, 6.1.94, 6.1.112, 6.1.115,
6.1.120, 6.2.199, 6.4.156, 7.3.22, 7.3.27, 7.4.80, 7.4.88, 7.4.93, 8.1.2,
8.1.56, 8.2.92, 8.3.4, 8.3.6, 8.3.26, 8.3.27, 8.3.35, 8.3.87, 8.3.110,
8.3.118, 8.4.28, 8.4.58.

Let us consider an example from Group A. 1.1.34
vyavasthāyām asaṁjñāyām* (*vibhāṣā jasi sarvanāmāni*) teaches that the
terms *pūrva*, *para* etc. are called *sarvanāma* optionally when followed
by *Jas*. In 1.1.34 and in the other rules belonging to Group A, *para* is
used as an ordinary word of the object language Sanskrit. In these rules,
it does not have any special technical connotation with respect to Pāṇini’s
derivational system. We are not interested in Group A, because 1.4.2
belongs to group B.

Let us consider some examples from Group B. 1.1.47 *mid aco’ntyāt
paraḥ *teaches
that an item marked with *anubandha* *M* is placed after, i.e., to the
right-hand side of, the last vowel of the item to which it is added. 1.1.51 *ur
aṇ raparaḥ* teaches that *r* is added after, i.e., to the right side of the
vowels *a*, *i*, *u* when they are substitutes of *r̥*. 1.1.54 *ādeḥ
parasya* teaches that a substitute taught for the following or right-hand
side item replaces its first sound. From these examples, it becomes clear
that in the rules I have listed under group B, *para* is used to mean
‘right-hand side’ in the context of Pāṇinian derivations.

Let us confirm this by considering some rules which contain both *pūrva*
and *para*. 6.1.84 *ekaḥ pūrvaparayoḥ* teaches that (in the following
rules) a single sound replaces both the LHS sound and the RHS sound in case
of *saṁhitā *‘immediate proximity’. Similarly, 1.1.57 *acaḥ parasmin
pūrvavidhau* teaches that a substitute for a vowel, if it is conditioned by
an RHS context, is treated like its substituendum with respect to an
operation on an LHS element.

This leads to an important question: if traditional scholars interpreted
*para* as ‘RHS item/operation’ in so many metarules as shown above, why did
they interpret it as ‘the following rule’ in 1.4.2?[1] I think this
misunderstanding possibly arose because another metarule, 8.2.1
*pūrvatrāsiddham*, uses *pūrva*, the opposite of *para*, to mean ‘preceding
rule’. 8.2.1 teaches that from 8.2.1 onwards, a preceding rule treats a
following rule as suspended. This may have led Kātyāyana, the first scholar
to comment upon Pāṇini’s *sūtra*s, to think that, in *sūtra*s dealing with
relationships between rules such as 8.2.1 and 1.4.2, *pūrva *and *para*
mean preceding rule and following rule respectively. However, upon closer
examination, one realizes that when Pāṇini wants to indicate that he is
referring to the relationship between preceding and following rules rather
than operands, he adds the affix *traL *to the base: he says *pūrva-tra* in

I discuss the suffis -tra again in chapter 5. In appendix F, I have listed
all the rules of Group A and Group B.

On Thu, Dec 15, 2022 at 5:56 PM Dominik Wujastyk via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Ever since Shefts' *Grammatical Method in Pāṇini *and Kiparsky's *Pāṇini
> as a Variationist, *there has been a scholarly interest in discovering
> features in the Aṣṭādhyāyī that were unknown to even the earliest
> commentators.  Mr Rajpopat kindly sent me his 2021 PhD thesis in February
> this year.  I cannot give a definitive judgement, because I haven't had
> time to work through all the examples.  But it is a well-written,
> thought-provoking and compelling thesis.  I have more work to do on it, but
> at present I am convinced by Rajpopat's arguments and insights.  Apart from
> right-or-wrong, it raises lots of good questions and insights into problems
> with the Aṣṭa. and it's traditional interpreters.
> It would be interesting to have Vincenzo Vergiani's opinion, since he must
> be the closest reader of this thesis so far.
> Whatever the upshot, it's great for a technical work in our field to get
> some public exposure like this.  The public needs to be told repeatedly
> that research on ancient India is exciting and innovative, which it truly
> is!
> Best,
> Dominik
> _______________________________________________
> INDOLOGY mailing list
> INDOLOGY at list.indology.info
> https://list.indology.info/mailman/listinfo/indology
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