अष्टाध्याय्यध्ययनम् (१) – परिशिष्टम् (१)

अष्टाध्याय्यध्ययनम् (१) – परिशिष्टम् (१)
My post अष्टाध्याय्यध्ययनम् (१) received a good number of very learned critical comments. It is important to present them, because if I do not present them my post will remain full of those points which caused the criticism.

(1) श्री. नन्दूजी अभ्यंकर commented –
Don’t you need to introduce the शिवसूत्र-s before starting on aShTAdhyAyI?
I responded saying – अष्टाध्याय्याः अध्ययने शिवसूत्राणां अभ्यासः शनैः शनैः भवत्येव यथा “अष्टाध्याय्यध्ययनम् (1)”-मध्ये चतुःशिवसूत्राणाम् ।

Carrying the thought process further, now, it comes to mind that my analysis of first three सूत्र-s of अष्टाध्यायी suggests that they reveal a study of first four शिवसूत्र-s viz.
अ इ उ ण् । ऋ लृ क् । ए ओ ङ् । ऐ औ च् ।
Actually study of first three सूत्र-s of अष्टाध्यायी brings out the use of त्-ending to refer to a singular vowel and also implicit vowels आ ई ऊ दीर्घ-ऋ and दीर्घ-लृ which are not explicit in शिवसूत्र-s

(2) Possibly prompted by this study of अष्टाध्यायी Mr. Himanshu Pota put up a post about सूत्रम् at his blog http://learnsanskrit.wordpress.comgiving a well-known definition of a सूत्रम् –

अल्पाक्षरमसन्दिग्धं सारवद्विश्वतोमुखम्।
अस्तोभमनवद्यं च सूत्रं सूत्रविदो विदुः॥
अल्पाक्षरम् – concise, असन्दिग्धम् – clear, unambiguous, सारवद् – meaningful, विश्वतोमुखम् – universal, अस्तोभम् – not halting, smooth flow, अनवद्यम् – without any mistakes.

(3) Dr. H. N. Bhat gave links to many sites, where good amount of commentaries, studies, translations of अष्टाध्यायी as compiled by sages, scholars are available, many of them online. Here are the links provided by Dr. Bhat –
an English Translation of Ashtadhyayi and its commentary in English also available for download online:


Here is a lucid commentary on the selected Sutra-s in Sanskrit itself:


The dictionary of KV Abhyankar is downloadable for free from this site:


The 3rd सूत्र and its interpretation and the commentaries are at –


Actually this link presents study of sarvaaNi sootraaNi, सर्वाणि सूत्राणि, all the सूत्र-s by to and fro hyperlinks on every page.

(4) Mr. Himanshu Pota raised an interesting question –

Why didn’t अ come under 1.1.3? Should अ not have the same status as इ and उ, i.e.,
अ -> आ
इ -> ई
उ -> ऊ
Why has अ been treated differently?

My response was –

It seems अ and आ are not considered to be related to each other in a गुणवृद्धि-relationship, say, आ being वृद्धि of अ.
It can be appreciated that when pronouncing इ and ई or उ and ऊ, the organs do not experience any significant change. Only the same sound is pronounced longer. That is called as वृद्धि.
However when pronouncing आ the jaws get apart. अ is simply a guttural sound.
For years we have thought आ being वृद्धि of अ. Is it really so ?
How intelligently पाणिनी has put them into different सूत्र-s; आ in 1-1-1 and अ in 1-1-2; also not clubbing them into 1-1-3.
Science of phonetics at its minutest, best ?

On this discussion Dr. H. N. Bhat made his observation saying – “Very Strange discussion on a strange interpretation.”

He has made very detailed comments. I wish to point out that reading all the comments also should not be missed out.

(5) Mr. Vardhan raised a question –

Is not the second word of the third sutra गुणवृद्धी (which is in द्विवचनम्) and not गुणवृद्धिः (which is in एकवचनम्) ?

This was also pointed out by Dr. Avinash Sathaye in a personal message to me.

Although I had replied Mr. Vardhan saying – तृतीयं सूत्रमस्ति “इको गुणवृद्धिः = इक: गुणवृद्धिः ।” यतः “इकः”-शब्दः एकवचनेनास्ति “गुणवृद्धिः”-शब्दः अपि एकवचनेनैव साधु इति मे मतिः । कथमिदम् ?”

seeing that Dr. Sathaye also pointed out to the same, I checked again. Yes, the text (संहिता) available does read गुणवृद्धी, not गुणवृद्धिः.

Dr. Sathaye also points out that इक: is not प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनम् but षष्ठी विभक्तिः एकवचनम् इक् ।

With गुणवृद्धी being in द्विवचनम् and इक: being षष्ठी विभक्तिः the word-by-word analysis of इक: गुणवृद्धी needs be reviewed.

इक: “इक्” इति सामासिकं नपुसकलिङ्गि नाम । तस्य षष्ठी विभक्तिः एकवचनम् च ।

  • इक् = “इ उ ऋ लृ” एतेषां समुच्चयः (समाहार-द्वन्द्वः) ।
  • “(अ) इ उ ण् । ऋ लृ क् ।” एतयोः शिवसूत्रयोः आधारेण ।

गुणवृद्धी – “गुणवृद्धि” इति सामासिकं पुल्लिङ्गि नाम । तस्य प्रथमा विभक्तिः द्विवचनम् च ।

  • Since the compound word is in द्विवचनम् the compound needs to be deciphered as इतरेतर-द्वन्द्वः (both the components पद-s are separate identity, not merged into each other. It was analyzed as समाहार-द्वन्द्वः earlier । As इतरेतर-द्वन्द्वः –
  • गुण(रूपेण) वृद्धि(रूपेण) च इति गुणवृद्धि (इतरेतर-द्वन्द्वः) ।

Overall meaning derived earlier, fortunately, does not change much.
इकः गुणवृद्धी = The vowels connoted by इक् have existence both by गुणरूप and वृद्धिरूप. Thus this सूत्रम् “इको गुणवृद्धी” takes into its ambit and makes explicit the vowels इ उ ऋ लृ and also ई ऊ दीर्घ-ऋ and दीर्घ-लृ.

Even when saying so, some experts have voiced that my understanding and interpretation that the word वृद्धि as a grammatical term (संज्ञा) connotes and encompasses दीर्घत्वम् of the vowels इ उ ऋ लृ is not correct.

My simplistic interpretation of वृद्धि even in the context of first सूत्रम् १-१-१ वृद्धिरादैच् । was that वृद्धि connotes that the vowels आ ऐ औ are of stronger, longer, characteristics. I extrapolated this to be also indicative of द्विमात्रात्मक nature of these vowels for analyzing meters in poetry This also is not liked by the experts.

In fact I landed into a problem with this extrapolation when interpreting सूत्रम् १-१-२ अदेङ् गुणः । By this सूत्रम् the interpretation was “Less weightage is the Characteristics of syllables/vowels अ and ए, ओ.” But when analyzing poetry ए, ओ are not weak or एकमात्रात्मक

So, the terms गुण and वृद्धि connoting vowels being of strong or weak from the point of view of pronunciation seems okay. But to extrapolate that to be indicative of एकमात्रात्मक or द्विमात्रात्मक for analyzing meter of poetry seems over-extrapolation.

(5) In another discussion by अञ्जू नागराज” at samskrita@googlegroups.com on 29 September 2011 there was this mention –
if there is a document/book with the ashtadhyayi split sutra wise – i.e. by the 6 types of sutras

  1. संज्ञा – definition;
  2. परिभाषा – interpretation;
  3. विधि- rules;
  4. नियम – restriction;
  5. अतिदेश- extension;
  6. अधिकार – header/domain.

In response to this, a mention was made of a shloka –

संज्ञा च परिभाषा च विधिर्नियम एव च ।
अतिदेशोधिकारश्च षड्विधं सूत्रलक्षणम् ।।

The three opening sutras studied in अष्टाध्याय्यध्ययनम् (१) also merit classification in one or more of these six categories.

It seems to decide into which class(es) a सूत्रम् should be classified, a process of elimination may have to be applied. For example,

वृद्धिरादैच् – Is it a संज्ञा or परिभाषा or विधि or नियम or अतिदेश or अधिकार ?

  • If it is a संज्ञा, which संज्ञा does it define ? Does it define वृद्धि ? But the word वृद्धि also appears in इक: गुणवृद्धी. If आदैच् is definition of वृद्धि, there is no relationship between आदैच् and इक:, whereby आदैच् can be considered as definition of वृद्धि.
  • At http://sanskritdocuments.org/learning_tools/sarvanisutrani/1.1.1.htm I find a compilation of commentaries on सूत्रम् १-१-१ There it is quoted from काशिका-वृत्तिः “वृद्धिशब्दः संज्ञात्वेन विधीयते”
    • In dictionary of Sanskrit Grammar by Shree. V. K. Abhyankar, the word वृद्धि is detailed as “..(1) a technical term used by पाणिनि to denote the vowels आ ऐ औ; a vowel belonging to the third grade out of the three grades of vowels known as zero, normal and long grades, cf. वृद्धिरादैच् Pa. I-1.1 (2) lengthening completely of a vowel which is called as प्लुति in grammar; the term is used in ऋक् tantra in प्रातिशाख्य in this sense…”
      • Detail in this dictionary raises further query. If वृद्धि denotes only to the vowels आ ऐ औ, what about its mention in इक: गुणवृद्धी ?
      • If वृद्धि denotes “..lengthening completely of a vowel which is called as प्लुति”, are वृद्धि and प्लुति synonyms of each other ?
  • I am getting in a mode “नैको मुनिर्यस्य मतं प्रमाणम्” !!
  • Although I got lot of criticism about my interpretation, somehow I am getting to think that I am not too much off the mark in saying “वृद्धिरादैच् connotes that the vowels आ ऐ औ have the characteristics of being strong.” This connotation stays valid even for interpreting इको गुणवृद्धी
  • Along side an inquiry crops up, as raised by हिमांशु, whether strong character of a vowel connotes its pronunciation being long दीर्घ. So whether वृद्धि also means दीर्घ, what appears to have been detailed in the dictionary as प्लुति. If so, is or is not आ दीर्घ of अ ?
    • Even if आ is to be regarded as दीर्घ of अ, this दीर्घत्वम् is different from how ई becomes दीर्घ of इ and ऊ becomes दीर्घ of उ । The difference is in the fact that in pronouncing आ, jaws get separated. In pronouncing ई as दीर्घ of इ, no perceptible change of organs happens.
  • Since these three सूत्र-s गुण or वृद्धि character of different vowels, and give guidance on how to pronounce them, the “how to” aspect would put them into the class of विधिसूत्र-s. This also is my opinion.

(6) In the context of the order in which various सूत्र-s are compiled and classified in eight different अध्याय-s and total 32 पाद-s, there is a thought that there is some as yet unraveled programming logic. I am pleased with myself that I have been able to structure a kind of illustration based on the set-theory. I often ask myself why do I compose my own thoughts independently. I should not be reinventing the wheel. But if I am able to explore a new angle, the whole effort is very satisfying. That is how I felt when I was able to compose that set-theory based illustration !

May it be noted that what I post in my posts are my thoughts. I do very humbly submit that readers, especially learners, should not get guided (much less be misguided) by my observations. Any statement of mine should be accepted or rejected depending upon whether one feels convinced or not.
I am fallible. I do commit mistakes. I am so much indebted to all the criticisms, especially those which point out the mistakes (e.g. गुणवृद्धी being in द्विवचनम् and इक: being षष्ठी विभक्तिः).

I apply the same rule to myself, “accept  if I am convinced.” Sometimes it takes me long time to be convinced, because, admittedly,  I am slow learner. Scholars may please forgive me, if I do not seem to be subscribing to all of their view-points, immediately. Most importantly, however, every criticism prompts me to correct my mistakes and to take a more comprehensive look at the subject.

This परिशिष्टम् is primarily for expressing my indebtedness to the scholars who have showered their affection by their criticism.


अष्टाध्याय्यध्ययनम् (1)

अष्टाध्याय्यध्ययनम् (1)
सूत्रम् १-१-१ वृद्धिरादैच् ।
संधिविच्छेदान् कृत्वा वृद्धिरादैच् = वृद्धिः आत्+ऐच् ।
वृद्धिः = This is a grammatical term संज्ञा. Here वृद्धिः suggests the greater weightage being the characteristics of the vowels.

  • वृद्धिः is a noun derived from the verbal root वृध् (= to grow, to become larger, stronger, greater)

आदैच् = आत्+ऐच् ।

  • आदैच् seems to be coined as a compounded masculine noun सामासिकं पुल्लिङ्गि नाम ।
    • आत् च ऐच् च इति आदैच् । समाहार-द्वंद्वः ।
  • आत् = The vowel आ. In the aphorisms here, singular vowel is given an ending त् to denote that it is to be understood all by itself.
  • ऐच् = Vowels starting from ऐ and ending at the vowel or alphabet where one finds in शिवसूत्राणि the ending च् The शिवसूत्रम् under reference is ऐ औ च्. Hence ऐच् means the vowels ऐ and औ.

On the whole वृद्धिरादैच् means the vowels आ, ऐ and औ have the characteristics of being strong.
When analyzing meters of poetry, syllables of strong character would be counted with higher weightage. The सूत्रम् lends guidance also on analyzing syllables when analyzing meters of poetry.

सूत्रम् १-१-२ अदेङ् गुणः ।
संधिविच्छेदान् कृत्वा अदेङ् गुणः = अत्-एङ् गुणः ।

अदेङ् = अत्-एङ् ।

  • अदेङ् seems to be coined as a compounded masculine noun सामासिकं पुल्लिङ्गि नाम ।
    • अत् च एङ् च इति अदेङ् । समाहार-द्वंद्वः ।
  • अत् = The vowel अ। In the aphorisms here, singular vowel is given an ending त् to denote that it is to be understood all by itself.
  • एङ् = Vowels starting from ए and ending at the vowel or alphabet where one finds in शिवसूत्राणि the ending ङ् The शिवसूत्रम् under reference is ए ओ ङ् ।

गुणः = This is a grammatical term संज्ञा. Here गुणः suggests less weightage being the characteristics of the vowels, which are noted by अदेङ्.

  • गुणः is first case singular (प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनम् च) of masculine noun (पुल्लिङ्गि नाम) गुण.
  • In Apte’s dictionary, 28 different meanings of the word गुणः are mentioned, One of these meanings is “A secondary element, a subordinate part (opposite of मुख्य)..”
    • In the context of the previous सूत्रम् १-१-१, गुणः is ‘opposite’ of वृद्धिः.
  • In Apte’s dictionary, गुणः is also mentioned as an adjective, having the meaning “a word subordinate to another in a sentence.”
  • गुणः is obviously derived from the verbal root गुण (गुण्) चुरादि (१० दशम-गणीयः) सेट् उभयपदी धातुः । गुण चामन्त्रणे (= to invite) । (पाणिनीयात् धातुपाठात्)
    • One who invites is expected to be modest to the invitee. Being modest requires the character to be subordinate.

अदेङ् गुणः = अ and ए, ओ Less weightage is the Characteristics of syllables/vowels अ and ए, ओ.
Notes –

  1. The सूत्रम् १-१-१ was seen to be lending guidance to analyzing weightages of syllables, when analyzing meter of a poetry. The vowels of सूत्रम् १-१-१ would be given stronger count. But that logic does not seem to hold true here. Being of subordinate character, syllables/vowels अ, ए and ओ should be given less count. Syllable अ is given less count, but not the syllables ए, ओ.
    • Syllables/vowels ए and ओ in महर्षयः सप्त पूर्वे चत्वारो मनवस्तथा (गीता १०-६) are counted with stronger count.

सूत्रम् १-१-३ इको गुणवृद्धी ।
संधिविच्छेदान् कृत्वा इको गुणवृद्धी = इक: गुणवृद्धी ।
इक: is first case singular (प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनम् च) of इक ।

  • इक seems to be coined as a masculine noun पुल्लिङ्गि नाम ।
  • इक means vowels starting from इ and ending at the vowel or alphabet where one finds in शिवसूत्राणि the ending क् The शिवसूत्र-s under reference are (अ), इ उ ण् । ऋ लृ क् ।
    • इक means the set of vowels इ उ ऋ लृ

गुणवृद्धी is first case dual (प्रथमा विभक्तिः द्विवचनम् च) of “गुणवृद्धि”

  • “गुणवृद्धी” seems to be coined as a compounded masculine noun सामासिकं पुल्लिङ्गि नाम ।
    • गुण: च वृद्धि: च इति गुणवृद्धी । इतरेतर-द्वंद्वः ।

For overall meaning of इको गुणवृद्धी

  • गुण: च वृद्धि: च would imply that the vowels इ उ ऋ लृ would have both the weak and strong characteristics.
    • Actually शिवसूत्र-s (अ), इ उ ण् । ऋ लृ क् । mention only the गुणरूप-s, the weak vowels.
    • This सूत्रम् १-१-३ brings out the वृद्धिरूप-s ई, ऊ, दीर्घ-ऋ and दीर्घ-लृ of these vowels, which are not explicit in the शिवसूत्र-s.
  • The logic for analyzing meters of poetry, that vowels with weak character will get less count and vowels with strong character will get larger count is very much valid for the vowels covered by this सूत्रम् १-१-३.

Notes for these three aphorisms together.

  1. The three aphorisms together explain the strong or weak characters of all the vowels covered in the शिवसूत्र-s (अ), इ उ ण् । ऋ लृ क् । ए ओ ङ् । ऐ औ च् ।
  2. In doing this classification the mathematical concept of set-theory seems to have been applied ! It classifies the largest set of vowels स्वराः into three sub-sets
    1. those having strong character (आ) and ऐ औ च् ।
    2. Those having weak character अ and ए ओ ङ् ।
    3. Those having both weak and strong characters इ उ ण् । ऋ लृ क् ।
    4. By doing this classification, these three aphorisms together give manifestation (अभिव्यक्तिः) to आ, ई, ऊ, दीर्घ-ऋ and दीर्घ-लृ which are not explicit in the शिवसूत्र-s.

The largest set of vowels स्वराः is itself a sub-set of basic letters वर्णानि covered in all the 14 शिवसूत्र-s. It seems logical that first three aphorisms in अष्टाध्यायी explain the characteristics of the set of vowels स्वराः. Rather it is appealing that अष्टाध्यायी starts off with these three aphorisms since basic letters वर्णानि there again vowels स्वराः are the foundations of a highly phonetic and refined and well-structured language as संस्कृतम् ।


अष्टाध्याय्यध्ययनम् – प्रस्तावना Introduction to study of अष्टाध्यायी of पाणिनी

अष्टाध्याय्यध्ययनम् – प्रस्तावना ।

Introduction to study of अष्टाध्यायी of पाणिनी
अष्टाध्यायी इति पाणिनि-महाभागेन विरचितानां सूत्राणां संग्रहः । सूत्रम् = aphorism

अष्टाध्यायी is a compilation of aphorisms devised by पाणिनी

एतैः सूत्रैः पाणिनि-महाभागेन संस्कृत-भाषायाः सर्वे व्याकरण-नियमाः सूत्रबद्धाः कृताः ।

By these aphorisms पाणिनी has summarized almost all the rules governing grammar of संस्कृत.
अत्र तस्य संग्रहस्य तत्रवर्तिणां सूत्राणां च अध्ययनम् ।

At this blog there will be this category devoted to my self-study of the aphorisms. Since an aphorism is a crisp statement, its full import can be understood only by deciphering the meaning and significance.
अष्टाध्याय्यां कतिपयैः विद्वज्जनैः पूर्वमेव टीकाः संगठिताः सन्ति । तासु  पतञ्जलिमुनेः व्याकरण-महाभाष्यम् तथा सिद्धान्त-कौमुदी लघु-सिद्धान्त-कौमुदी एताः विशिष्टाः ।

Many learned people have already compiled their commentaries deciphering the meaning and significance of the aphorisms. Noteworthy among them are व्याकरण-महाभाष्यम् by पतञ्जलिमुनि and also books known as सिद्धान्त-कौमुदी and लघु-सिद्धान्त-कौमुदी. (I found these also quite difficult and challenging to understand. Hence this attempt at self-study ! There is the risk that myself being fallible, I may commit mistakes, maybe, even blunders. But can I learn anything, if I keep being shy and afraid of committing mistakes ?)
अष्टाध्याय्यां अष्ट अध्यायाः सन्ति । प्रत्येकस्मिन् अध्याये चत्वारः पादाः सन्ति । प्रत्येकस्मिन् पादे विविधानि सूत्राणि ।

There are eight chapters or sections (अध्यायाः) in अष्टाध्यायी. Each chapter or section (अध्याय) has four quarters or sub-sections (पादाः).

प्रत्येकस्मिन् पादे समाविष्टानां सूत्राणां कश्चित् विषयस्य विचारः अस्ति वा न वा एतद् अस्पष्टं यतः पादस्य वा अध्यायस्यापि न किञ्चित् शीर्षकं दृश्यते कुत्रापि ।

The logic of what aphorisms are compiled in which chapter and which quarter and in which order is not yet known. But it is known that almost all the rules governing grammar of संस्कृत are summarized in अष्टाध्यायी.
सूत्राणां एकैकशः अध्ययनं कृत्वा काचित् स्पष्टता कदाचित् संभवति । Possibly, only after studying the aphorisms, the logic may reveal !

How many सूत्राणि in अष्टाध्यायी of पाणिनी

अध्याय पाद 1 पाद 2 पाद 3 पाद 4 अध्याये सूत्राणां कुलसङ्ख्या
1 75 73 93 110 351
2 72 38 73 85 268
3 150 188 176 117 631
4  178  145  168  144  635
5  136  140  119  160  555
6  223  199  139  175  736
7  103  118  120  97  438
8  74  108  119  68  369
 अष्टाध्याय्यां कुलसङ्ख्या 3983