Kashmir, Tamilnadu, Panini, Abhinavagupta, etc.

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Sun Jan 3 13:06:11 EST 1999

In his article "Interpreting vAkyapadIya 2.486 Historically (Part 3)", in
Paninian Studies: Professor S. D. Joshi Felicitation Volume, 1991, Ashok
Aklujkar tries to identify the location of  "parvata" from whom/where
candrAcArya and others obtained and revived the mahAbHaSya tradition.

In the course of this he says, "On the basis of rAja-taraGgiNi (RT in
abbreviation) verse 1.176, which is related in content to the VP verse we are
discussing, Varma identifies parvata with King Abhimanyu of Kashmir (and also
with the land of Kashmir; see note 2.) This is patently absurd. According to
the context of 486, vyakaraNAgamaH...dAkSiNAtyeSu vyavasthitaH, parvata must
be in the South (3.3). A king of Kashmir (or the Kashmir country) is hardly
likely to have been viewed as Southern". Here Aklujkar refers to note 3.

Note 3 reads as follows:
3. (a) Any directional adjective like dAkSiNAtya 'southern' is relative in its
application, for what is southern to one user can very well be northern to
another. However, it is reasonable to assume that in most Classical Indian
uses of dAkSiNAtya the reference would be to persons or objects of the
dakSiNa-patha unless a further specification is available in the context
(Sircar 1960:172, n.2). Another consideration one should keep in mind in the
case of VP 2.486 is that, as its author belonged to the pANinian tradition of
Sanskrit grammar, his understanding of dAkSiNAtya is not likely to be very
different from that of pataJjali (Kielhorn's ed., vol. 1, p. 8), who indicates
that the author of the vArttika yathA laukika-vaidikeSu was a dAkSiNAtya
(Cardona 1976: 268-69). The third helpful consideration in ascertaining the
common meaning of dAkSiNAtya in the Classical period is the remark by several
authors to the effect that the word cora/caura in the language of the
dAkSiNAtyas means odana 'cooked rice' not thief; cf. prabhA-candra, nyAya-
kumuda-candra, p. 547; jayantabhaTTa, nyAya-maJjarI, p. 242; and abhinava-
gupta, ttattva-viveka on parA-triMzikA 5-9ab, p. 125, who distinguishes
between saindhavas and dAkSiNAtyas. With reference to the meaning of the same
cora, vAdi-deva-sUri (syAd-vAda-ratnAkara, p. 703) distinguishes between
gurjaras and drAviDas; the latter must obviously be dAkSiNAtyas in his view.
Probably zrIdhara (nyAya-kandali, p. 215) also has a relevant observation to
offer in this case, although I cannot verify the reference at present."
Then in section (b) of note 3 Aklujkar gives references for dakSiNA-patha.

Now the word cora obviously refers to Dravidian cORu. (I have discussed the
Ta. enunciative "u" and Sanskrit "a" in another posting) Regarding cORu, DEDR
has the following entry

2897 Ta. cORu boiled rice, pith; cORRi pith of trees; con2Ri boiled rice. Ma.
cORu boiled rice, food, livelihood, brain, marrow, pith. To.twI.R cooked food.

Thus, according to DEDR, the form cORu occurs only in Tamil-Malayalam. It does
not occur in Telugu.

This fact is important from several angles. It deals with the enunciative
vowel problem. It also shows that abhinava-gupta and other Kashmirian authors
were very familiar with Tamil usages. (If I remember right rAjataraGgiNi also
mentions the presence of a Dravidian sorcerer in the court of a Kashmir king.
This has important ramifications for the relationship between Tamil and
Kashmir versions of zaivism, the history of aesthetic theory, etc.) It looks
as if, in Classical usage, dAkSiNAtyas referred to Tamil speakers and not just
south Indians in general. Also, this means that the Kashmirians believed that
the Paninian tradition was revived from a source in Tamilnadu. Why did this
belief differ from that of TIkA which Aklujkar believes refers to zrIparvata
in Andhra as the possible place from where candrAcArya obtained the

A. S. Ramanatha Ayyar, editor of South Indian Inscriptions Volume 14, says
"ten2n2avan2 tamizavEL, an officer of this king, is eulogized for his
scholarship in Sanskrit and Tamil in a fragmentary inscription in Tamil verse
(No. 87). He is described as a minister well-versed in the vEdas, vEdAGgas,
the different works in Sanskrit, Law, purANa, muttamiz (the three branches of
Tamil learning, viz., iyal or literature, izai <sic> or music and nATaka) and
pAtaJjalam (i.e. the original work of pataJjali)." Considering the fact the
officer was a non-brahmin, his mastery of mahAbhASya indicates that around
mid-10th century AD, the pANinian tradition was flourishing so much in
southern Tamilnadu that even non-brahmins were well-versed in it. I do not
know if such a tradition was prevalent in Andhra. Any information from
scholars in Telugu and Sanskrit will be appreciated.

S. Palaniappan

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