अष्टाध्यायी is a cryptic, computer-program !

अष्टाध्यायी is a cryptic, computer-program !

When reacting to my mention of क्रियाक्रमकरी व्याख्या (algorithmic procedure) in my post तुमन्तसिद्धिः – ४, my friend Mr. Milind Khadilkar used a beautiful phrase ‘process of forming self-standing words’

I think Sanskrit is basically that – process of forming self-standing words. And there are primarily just 3 types of words –

  1. indeclinables – here again two patterns

    1. Those which are self-standing by themselves such as न च वा हि तु अथ इति etc.

    2. Those which do get one suffix, but do not decline after that, words with suffixes such as क्त्वा तुमुन् णुमुल् ल्यप्

  1. those which decline from प्रातिपदिक-s taking suffixes appropriate to लिङ्ग विभक्ति वचन

  1. those which decline from धातु-s taking suffixes appropriate to काल/अर्थ/प्रयोग, पुरुष, वचन

But these three processes expand and spread vast, far and wide, like the banyan tree,

because

  1. many verbal derivatives कृदन्त-विशेषणानि are obtained from धातु-s and they become new प्रातिपदिक-s which decline, taking suffixes appropriate to लिङ्ग विभक्ति वचन

  2. तद्धित-s are again new प्रातिपदिक-s which decline, taking suffixes appropriate to लिङ्ग विभक्ति वचन

  3. there would also be causatives, desideratives, frequentatives from धातु-s, and there can be (काल/अर्थ/प्रयोग पुरुष, वचन)-variants of all these ! and even कृदव्ययानि and कृदन्त-विशेषणानि from these !

  4. And the process or facility of forming compound words सामासिक-शब्दाः make more, rather innumerable प्रातिपदिक-s !

    1. the अव्ययीभाव समास brings forth many indeclinables also !

All said and done, it comes to mind that inherent to all processes fondly called as पाणिनीयाः प्रक्रियाः is an algorithm क्रियाक्रमकरी व्याख्या such as –

  1. There is a base form – a प्रातिपदिक or a धातु

  2. The base form undergoes modification(s) and one gets the अङ्गम्

  3. Then the suffix प्रत्यय gets affixed.

  4. The affixing of the suffix can be a simple संयोग or it may become a संधि-process.

  5. What one gets from संयोग or संधि is the beautiful ‘self-standing word’ !

One reason why अष्टाध्यायी has 4000 सूत्राणि is because प्रत्यय-s are many. For example detailing of उणादि-s starts with the declaration उणादयो बहुलम् (३-३-१).

Actually अष्टाध्यायी becomes more complete with धातुपाठ and गणपाठ because these are essential supplements. Details given in these could not have been included within अष्टाध्यायी. For example, the prefixes उपसर्ग-s are simple mentioned as प्रादयः (1-3-58) 20/22 of them are detailed then in गणपाठ. It seems गणपाठ was composed primarily to detail, those entities, which are referred to in अष्टाध्यायी summarily or as a group or as a गण.

If Word-formation in Sanskrit is all “algorithmic procedure”, अष्टाध्यायी is a cryptic, computer-program !

-o-O-o-

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