Victor, Guy, Dan,

Thanks for your responses. I, of course, was looking for possible “pseudo-etymologies” for the name “Pāṇini,” thinking there may be one (or more) like there is for Patañjali (the yogin). But, interestingly, conditioned by my teacher some years ago, Frances Wilson, I always go first to Apte’s dictionary. Frances disdained Monier-Williams because it gave the words in transliteration and not in Devanāgarī! Apte in this case was unhelpful. I usually, anyway, always look at Monier-Williams aside Apte for things, as both dictionaries contain items the other doesn’t. But, obviously, I didn’t do my back-up work in this case. 

Still wondering if there may be mythological stories about Pāṇini and, now, his family line. A double patronymic. Would this mean then, that his grandfather is Pāṇin?

Victor, some of what you’ve posted I cant’ decipher because I don’t know Pānini well enough, his “code-words” for forms and categories. But part of it, seems to basically spell out what Guy and Dan were pointing out, it seems.


On Sep 12, 2021, at 12:30 PM, victor davella <> wrote:

Dear Jim,

I've pasted below two derivations given in commentaries to the Prakriyākaumudī or Rāmacandra; the first is by Viṭṭhala in his Prasāda (p. 3 of the first volume) and the second (spanning two portions) is by Kṛṣṇa Śeṣa in his Prakāśa (pp. 8ff. of the first volume). The former text can be downloaded here.  The latter, here. Hope that's helpful.

All the Best,



On Sun, Sep 12, 2021 at 7:00 PM Jim Ryan via INDOLOGY <> 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

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