How much of अष्टाध्यायी should one know ? Part 1

I came to deliberate on the subject “How much of अष्टाध्यायी should one know ?” when I was studying together the following words –

  1. श्रुतिः, भूतिः, विभूतिः, आप्तिः प्राप्तिः नीतिः धृतिः स्तुतिः कृतिः सम्पत्तिः विपत्तिः वृत्तिः निवृत्तिः प्रीतिः (15)
  2. गतिः, प्रगतिः मतिः, अनुमतिः विनतिः (5)
  3. कीर्तिः स्थितिः (2)
  4. बुद्धिः ऋद्धिः सिद्धिः वृद्धिः (4)
  5. पुष्टिः वृष्टिः सृष्टिः इष्टिः (4)
  6. कीर्णिः संकीर्णिः विकीर्णिः (3)

There are some common things in all the above words.

  1. They are all feminine nouns.
  2. They are all derived from धातु-s.
  3. They seem to have been derived by affixing some common suffix प्रत्ययः, ति (?)

Whereas there are the common features as above, one can also notice in their grouping, some differentiations.

  1. In the first group, by taking away the suffix ति, we can know the धातु-s. The धातु-s are श्रु, भू, विभू, आप् प्राप् नी धृ स्तु कृ सम्पत् विपत् वृत् निवृत् प्री
  2. In the second group what we have after taking away the suffix ति, is part of the धातु. This means that in the process of affixing the suffix, some part of the धातु is lost, some part suffers लोपः. The धातु-s are – गम् प्रगम् मन् अनुमन् विनम्  
  3. In the third group the धातु undergoes a change आदेशः before affixation of the suffix ति. The धातु-s are – कॄ स्था
  4. In the fourth group, the suffix does not remain ति. It suffers a change आदेशः. But the आदेश has some sound-related relationship with the ending consonant of the धातु. The धातु-s are बुध् ऋध् सिध् वृध्
  5. In the fifth and sixth group the suffix does not remain ति. It suffers a change आदेशः. Also the आदेश does not have any direct relationship with the ending consonant of the धातु. The धातु-s are पुष् वृष् सृज् यज्

Certainly the प्रक्रिया-s of forming feminine nouns from धातु-s are of different types. The प्रक्रिया-s can be understood only by study of अष्टाध्यायी.

As such, meanings of the listed (or similar) words seem to be so straightforward, that one may ask oneself, whether study of concerned प्रक्रिया-s and study of related सूत्र-s of अष्टाध्यायी is a must.

Although as many as 33 words are listed, one cannot get such feminine nouns from all 2200-odd धातु-s. Even among the 33 above, some words are from धातु-s having prefixes i.e. उपसर्ग-s.

By the way, just for curiosity, it may be interesting to note the प्रक्रिया for deriving at least one of those 33 words, say, इष्टिः from यज्.

  1. One should start with the grammatical name of the धातु. Grammatical name of यज् is यजँ. Here the वर्ण-s are य + ज् + अँ (Note the ending अँ is nasal अनुनासिक). The ending अँ becomes इत् by उपदेशेऽजनुनासिक इत् (1’3’2). The अँ would get dropped by तस्य लोपः (1’3’9) That is how we have यज् from यजँ.
  2. On the other side we have the प्रत्ययः क्तिन् (सूत्रम् – स्त्रियां क्तिन् 3’3’94). क्तिन् is also grammatical name of the प्रत्यय. Here the वर्ण-s are क् ति न्. Of these क् is इत् (it is कित्) by लशक्वतद्धिते (1’3’8) and न् is also इत् (it is नित्) by हलन्त्यम् (1’3’3) Both कित् and नित् would get dropped by तस्य लोपः (1’3’9) That is how we have ति from क्तिन्.
    1. This प्रत्यय क्तिन् cannot be used for all धातु-s, because it is not सार्वधातुक प्रत्यय, it is आर्धधातुक by सूत्रम् आर्धधातुकं शेषः (3’4’114)
    2. Interpretation of सूत्रम् – स्त्रियां क्तिन् (3’3’94) requires taking cognizance अनुवृत्ति from previous सूत्र-s – अकर्तरि च कारके संज्ञायाम् (3’3’19) and भावे (3’3’18). This means that, the प्रत्यय क्तिन् helps to get स्त्रियां feminine संज्ञायाम् nouns, where the sense is of अकर्तरि non-active voice, inclusive of भावे non-active voice of intransitive verbs and having the sense of “action” कारके.
  3. Now सूत्रम् वचिस्वपियजादिनां किति (6’1’15) contains specific mention of धातु यज् that,  when affixing a suffix like क्तिन्, which suffers कित्, the य at the beginning आदि of the धातु, will undergo सम्प्रसारणम् (This word सम्प्रसारणम् in सूत्रम् 6’1’13 merits “carry forward” अनुवृत्ति when interpreting सूत्रम् 6’1’15). सम्प्रसारणम् means य in शिवसूत्रम् 5 – ह य व र ट् would change over to इ in शिवसूत्रम् 1 – अ इ उ ण्. We thus come to the stage इज् + तिः
  4. To proceed further from इज् + तिः one should take cognizance of the सूत्रम् – व्रश्चभ्रस्जसृजमृजयजराजभ्राजच्छशां षः ८।२।३६ By this, the ज् in इज् changes to ष्, i.e. इज् becomes इष्. Actually this change from इज् to इष् has also the condition that the ज् should be followed by झल् (brought forward from सूत्रम् – झलो झलि (8’2’26)). Here we do have ज् followed by त्, which is a झल्. That brings us to the stage इष् + तिः
  5. To proceed further the त् in तिः changes to टिः the change being caused by the ष् in इष् in accordance with सूत्रम् – ष्टुना ष्टुः (8’4’41) Interpretation of this सूत्रम् requires अनुवृत्ति i.e. bringing forward स्तोः from the previous सूत्रम् – स्तोः श्चुना श्चुः (8’4’40)
  6. All in all, deriving इष्टिः from यजँ+क्तिन् has been obtained by taking cognizance of as many as 13 सूत्र-s, viz. 1’3’2, 1’3’9, 3’3’94, 1’3’8, 1’3’9, 3’3’19, 3’3’18, 6’1’15, 6’1’13, 8’2’36, 8’2’26, 8’4’41, 8’4’40
    1. The सूत्र-s which prove relevant in this instance are from chapters 1, 3, 6 and 8 (sections 2 and 4 of chapter 8).
    2. Obviously, one would take cognizance of all these सूत्र-s, only after knowing that there are as many सूत्र-s, which are relevant and necessary. That often amounts to knowing almost the whole of अष्टाध्यायी.
  7. One may wonder, “why not just understand the word from the dictionary and be done with it ?”
    1. In Apte’s dictionary इष्टिः is detailed as इष्टिः f. [इष्-क्तिन्] 1 Wish, request, desire. -2 Seeking, striving to get. -3 Any desired object. -4 A desired rule or desideratum; (a term used with reference to Patañjali’s additions to Kātyāyana’s Vārttikas; इष्टयो भाष्यकारस्य, इति भाष्यकारेष्टया &c.; cf. उपसंख्यान). -5 Impulse, hurry. -6 Invitation, order. -7 (यज्-क्तिन्) A sacrifice. Ms.11.2.2. शबर seems to interpret the word especially in the sense of ‘a दर्शपूर्णमास sacrifice’. इष्टिराजसूयचातुर्मास्येषु । &c. MS.II.2.12. -8 An oblation consisting of butter, food &c. -9 Summary in verses (= संग्रहश्लोक). एभिर्यज्ञेभिस्तदभीष्टिमश्याम् Rv.1.166.14
    2. It may be noted that in Apte’s dictionary for the word इष्टिः, there are mentions of two derivations इष्-क्तिन् and also यज्-क्तिन्.

Certainly, there is great degree of self-satisfaction, on knowing every word as deeply as possible.

So, how much of अष्टाध्यायी one should know depends upon, what degree of self-satisfaction, one would be seeking and to what depth one would like to know every word.

शुभमस्तु !




What is गणपाठ ?

गणपाठः इति किम् ? What is गणपाठ ?

It has been on my mind that I should build up my own practice of writing my blogs in Sanskrit. But there should also be its English version. So, here I am attempting writing my thoughts first in Sanskrit followed by its English version. Nevertheless in English version I would prefer to write Sanskrit words in Devanagari. Somehow it has been my experience that the best of transliteration of Sanskrit words in Roman script may not ensure as correct a pronunciation.

(1) पाणिनेः अष्टाध्याय्यां बहुषु सूत्रेषु आदि-शब्दस्य प्रयोगेण किञ्चन अधिकं विवरणम् अभिप्रेतमस्ति | (English) In his अष्टाध्यायी, पाणिनि uses the word आदि, to indicate that much more detail is included.

(2) यथा, अस्ति सूत्रम् – सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि॥ १।१।२६ (काशिका-वृत्त्यां सर्वाऽदीनि सर्वनामानि १।१।२७) (English) For example there is a सूत्रम् – सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि॥ (१।१।२६) (which is quoted in काशिका-वृत्ति somewhat differently as सर्वाऽदीनि सर्वनामानि (१।१।२७)

(3) “सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि” अस्मिन् सूत्रे सर्वेति सर्वनाम्नः आरभ्य यानि सर्वाणि सर्वनामानि, तानि सर्वाणि | कानि तानि ? तानि गणपाठे विवृतानि | गणः इति समुच्चयः | गणपाठे अनेकानां गणानां विवरणम् | (English) In the aphorism सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि the word सर्वादीनि means starting with सर्व and the word सर्वनामानि means pronouns. So सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि means all pronouns starting with सर्व. Which are they ? They are detailed in गणपाठ. गण means a set. In गणपाठ there are details of many sets.

(4) गणपाठे सर्वनाम्नां विवरणम् पञ्चोपगणेषु – (1) सर्व विश्व उभ उभय डतर डतम अन्य अन्यतर इतर त्वत् त्व नेम सम सिम । (एतेषां व्यक्तिवैशिष्ट्यं नास्ति |) (2) पूर्वपरावरदक्षिणोत्तरापराधराणि व्यवस्थायामसंज्ञायाम्। (3) स्वमज्ञातिधनाख्यायाम्। (4) अन्तरं बहिर्योगोपसंव्यानयोः। (5) त्यद् तद् यद् एतद् इदम् अदस् एक द्वि युष्मद् अस्मद् भवतु किम् | (एतेषां व्यक्तिवैशिष्ट्यं वर्तते |) (English) In गणपाठ, 36 pronouns are listed in five sub-groups (1) 14 as listed on the left are not person-specific (2) पूर्व पर अवर दक्षिण उत्तर अपर अधर These 7 are related to व्यवस्थायाम् state or direction, when used not as nouns असंज्ञायाम् (3) स्वम् अज्ञातिधनाख्यायाम् This “self” when used not as name of ज्ञातिधन (4) अन्तरं and बहिर् when used as योग or उपसंख्यान  (5) 12 as listed in Sanskrit are person-specific

(5) अन्येऽपि केचन गणाः सामान्योपयोगिनः यथा

प्रादिः गणः | अस्मिन् गणे उपसर्गाः विवृताः, ये प्रायः धातुभिः सह प्रयुज्यन्ते | तेन कृदन्तैः सहापि | प्रादयः१.४.५८ इत्यस्मिन् सूत्रे – प्र परा अप सम् अनु अव निस् निर् दुस् दुर् वि आङ् नि अधि अपि अति सु उत् अभि प्रति परि उप (English) There are some other गण-s, which would be of more common interest and use, e.g. the गण called as प्रादिः In this गण, one finds 22 prefixes used with verbal roots, in turn with words derived from verbal roots. They should be considered to be 20 only, since निस् and निर् (also दुस् and दुर्) are different forms of the same prefix.

(6) अत्रतः प्रापणीये गणपाठे 241 गणाः विवृताः सन्ति | (English) In गणपाठ obtainable from the given link, there are 241 गण-s detailed.

(7) गणपाठः पाणिनिना एव रचितं अष्टाध्याय्याः परिशिष्टमेव | धातुपाठोऽपि कश्चित् गणपाठः इवैव धातूनां विषये | (English) गणपाठ composed by पाणिनि himself serves as an Annexure of अष्टाध्यायी. As such धातुपाठ is also a गणपाठ wherein there is compilation of धातु-s.

शुभमस्तु |


Studying अष्टाध्यायी – Why and How ?

Why to Study अष्टाध्यायी ?

When thinking of answers to this question, following श्लोक from श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता comes to mind –

चतुर्विधा भजन्ते मां जनाः सुकृतिनोऽर्जुन ।

आर्तो जिज्ञासुरर्थार्थी ज्ञानी च भरतर्षभ ।।७-१६।।

Likewise are there four types of people who would be interested in Studying अष्टाध्यायी ?

  1. Those who are आर्त struggling for gaining proficiency in Sanskrit.

  2. Those who are curious जिज्ञासु, maybe, wondering what this अष्टाध्यायी is, that so many speak so highly about.

  3. Those who would like to have recognition as a संस्कृतपण्डित. They are अर्थार्थी-s in that sense. Such recognition will not come, unless one has learnt अष्टाध्यायी.

  4. Those who have learnt and understood अष्टाध्यायी, hence ज्ञानी-s. Having done so, they are convinced that knowledge of अष्टाध्यायी is the ज्ञान !

Admittedly my own interest is of first two types आर्त and जिज्ञासु.

How to Study अष्टाध्यायी ?

When thinking of answers to this question also, another सुभाषितम् comes to mind –

आचार्यात् पादमादत्ते पादं शिष्यः स्वमेधया ।

पादं सब्रह्मचारिभ्यः पादं कालक्रमेण च ॥

This सुभाषितम् (its study detailed at suggests 4 options – आचार्यात्, स्वमेधया, सब्रह्मचारिभ्यः and कालक्रमेण.

  1. About the first option आचार्यात् I got my orientations into संस्कृत from my father. But he never gave me any orientation into अष्टाध्यायी At my present stage in life, it is not possible to go to some आचार्य. But some people with whom I interact on the internet are आचार्य-s for me. I am ever indebted to them.

  2. Second option is स्वमेधया, rather, स्वाध्यायेन by self-study.

  3. सब्रह्मचारिभ्यः I use internet extensively with the idea, that many, with whom I am able to interact on the internet are सब्रह्मचारी-s.

  4. कालक्रमेण. This is not really an option for How to Study अष्टाध्यायी. What it really means is that one needs to have patience. One should think that study will keep happening. One need not set a time-limit that study of अष्टाध्यायी will be completed by such date or in so much time. Patience in matters of study is best advocated in the सुभाषितम् – अजरामरवत्प्राज्ञः विद्यामर्थं च साधयेत् !! (Study of this सुभाषितम् is detailed at

What I learn from my आचार्य-s on the internet is not by any well-chalked out course or syllabus. Questions arise sporadically in my mind. I seek and get answers.

What I learn by self-study is also sporadic. But to keep the learning sorted out, I post them in different blogs. I am left wondering, whether it will or whether it should merge into a single stream.

What I learn from the सब्रम्हचारी-s on the internet is also sporadic. Everything would not be related to study of अष्टाध्यायी. In fact the topics and subjects vary quite far and wide. But study of अष्टाध्यायी gets often related in many contexts.

This note is an attempt to compile aspects of अष्टाध्यायी and its study.

(1) Needless to mention that there are अष्ट अध्याय-s in अष्टाध्यायी. There are four sections पाद-s in each अध्याय. None of the पाद-s or of the अध्याय-s has a title. So, it is difficult to know the logic of evolution of the अष्टाध्यायी and of placement sequence of a सूत्रम् by its अध्याय-क्रमाङ्क, पाद-क्रमाङ्क and सूत्र-क्रमाङ्क.

  • वृद्धिरादैच् (१-१-१) is the first सूत्रम् in अष्टाध्यायी. There can be a question, ‘why this is the first सूत्रम् ?” One answer I read, said, writers in olden times would start their composition with an auspicious invocation. In this सूत्रम् the word वृद्धि implies, growth, prosperity and in turn an auspicious invocation.

  • So, to get a grasp of the logic of placement of सूत्र-s in different अध्याय-s, पाद-s and to understand their sequence will be a matter of curiosity to me.

  • But some सूत्र-s are already in logical groups, which is like mathematical subsets or like subroutines in a computer program.

(2) This observation of some सूत्र-s being in logical groups, brings to mind a novel idea of paraphrasing अष्टाध्यायी in a style of indented lists, such as –

  • 1.4.23 कारके ।

    • 1.4.24 ध्रुवमपायेऽपादानम् ।

      • 1.4.25 भीत्रार्थानां भयहेतुः ।

      • 1.4.26 पराजेरसोढः ।

      • 1.4.27 वारणार्थानां ईप्सितः ।

      • 1.4.28 अन्तर्द्धौ येनादर्शनमिच्छति ।

      • 1.4.29 आख्यातोपयोगे ।

      • 1.4.30 जनिकर्तुः प्रकृतिः ।

      • 1.4.31 भुवः प्रभवः ।

    • 1.4.32 कर्मणा यमभिप्रैति स सम्प्रदानम् ।

      • 1.4.33 रुच्यर्थानां प्रीयमाणः ।

      • 1.4.34 श्लाघह्नुङ्स्थाशपां ज्ञीप्स्यमानः ।

      • 1.4.35 धारेरुत्तमर्णः ।

      • 1.4.36 स्पृहेरीप्सितः ।

      • 1.4.37 क्रुधद्रुहेर्ष्याऽसूयार्थानां यं प्रति कोपः ।

      • 1.4.38 क्रुधद्रुहोरुपसृष्टयोः कर्म ।

      • 1.4.39 राधीक्ष्योर्यस्य विप्रश्नः ।

      • 1.4.40 प्रत्याङ्भ्यां श्रुवः पूर्वस्य कर्ता ।

      • 1.4.41 अनुप्रतिगृणश्च ।

    • 1.4.42 साधकतमं करणम् ।

      • 1.4.43 दिवः कर्म च ।

      • 1.4.44 परिक्रयणे सम्प्रदानमन्यतरस्याम् ।

    • 1.4.45 आधारोऽधिकरणम् ।

      • 1.4.46 अधिशीङ्स्थाऽऽसां कर्म ।

      • 1.4.47 अभिनिविशश्च ।

      • 1.4.48 उपान्वध्याङ्वसः ।

    • 1.4.49 कर्तुरीप्सिततमं कर्म ।

      • 1.4.50 तथायुक्तं चानिप्सीतम् ।

      • 1.4.51 अकथितं च ।

      • 1.4.52 गतिबुद्धिप्रत्यवसानार्थशब्दकर्माकर्मकाणामणि कर्ता

      • 1.4.53 हृक्रोरन्यतरस्याम् ।

    • 1.4.54 स्वतन्त्रः कर्ता ।

      • 1.4.55 तत्प्रयोजको हेतुश्च ।

These indented lists bring out a good view, that, in सूत्र-s from 1.4.23 to 1.4.55 the discussion is about कारक-s, which are mentioned in books of grammar as विभक्ति-s i.e. cases.

Among these 1.4.24 to 1.4.31 discuss अपादानकारक mentioned in books of grammar as पञ्चमी विभक्ति fifth case, the ablative case. (अपादान = ablation, taking out or away from). So अपादानकारक is Sanskrit-substitute for the English preposition “from”

सूत्र-s from 1.4.32 to 1.4.41 discuss सम्प्रदानकारक mentioned in books of grammar as चतुर्थी विभक्ति fourth case, the dative case. (सम्प्रदान = offering) In English, if a transitive verb takes two objects, e.g. Laxman gave instructions to Sita, one object is non-personal or things, in this example, ‘instructions’. The other object is personal ‘to Sita’. For personal objects the case to be used is dative सम्प्रदान. The function of English preposition “for” is served by सम्प्रदानकारक. Actually all the 10 सूत्र-s from 1.4.32 to 1.4.41 specify the instances, which warrant use of सूत्र-s from 1.4.32 to 1.4.41.

सूत्र-s from 1.4.42 to 1.4.44 discuss करणकारक mentioned in books of grammar as तृतीया विभक्ति third case, the instrumental case (करण = instrument). Action is effected ‘with’ instruments. So करणकारक is Sanskrit-substitute for the English preposition “with”.

सूत्र-s from 1.4.45 to 1.4.48 discuss अधिकरणकारक mentioned in books of grammar as सप्तमी विभक्ति seventh case, the locative case. The 1.4.45 आधारोऽधिकरणम् explains the concept of location beautifully. आधारोऽधिकरणम् means lending support, accepting, receiving is “location”. अधिकरणकारक is Sanskrit-substitute for the English prepositions in, at, on, upon.

सूत्र-s from 1.4.49 to 1.4.53 discuss कर्मकारक mentioned in books of grammar as द्वितीया विभक्ति second case, the accusative case or the object case for non-personal objects.

सूत्र-s from 1.4.54 and 1.4.55 discuss कर्ताकारक mentioned in books of grammar as प्रथमा विभक्ति first case, the nominative case or the subject case.

Thus the 32 सूत्र-s from 1.4.24 and 1.4.55 discuss कारक-s or विभक्ति-s. In fact in these सूत्र-s the word विभक्ति is not used at all.

Also the विभक्ति-s are delineated in the order 5, 4, 3, 7, 2, 1. Could the सूत्र-s have been in the sequential order of विभक्ति-s ?

It comes to mind that paraphrasing अष्टाध्यायी in such style of indented lists may prove to be a good way to study अष्टाध्यायी ! Thanks to the design of Word-processing software, that it provides this facility of paraphrasing by indented lists.

(3) As an option to indented lists, there seems to have emerged a school of grammarians using a technique of अनुवृत्ति, which is basically bringing forth, word or words from previous सूत्र-s. This helps to derive interpretation of those सूत्र-s which have a connection or are extensions of previous सूत्र/सूत्र-s. Grammarians who compiled interpretation of सूत्र-s by employing the technique of अनुवृत्ति seem to be known as वार्त्तिक-s and their  compilations as वृत्ति-s. Prominent among them is कात्यायन. One famous वृत्ति is काशिकावृत्ति.

As can be seen, the सूत्रम् 1.4.23 कारके is the appropriate अनुवृत्ति for all सूत्र-s up to 1.4.55.

Among the सूत्र-s, the word अपादान from सूत्र 1.4.24 becomes appropriate अनुवृत्ति for सूत्र-s from 1.4.25 to 1.4.31, of course along with कारके from सूत्रम् 1.4.23

the word सम्प्रदान from सूत्र 1.4.32 becomes appropriate अनुवृत्ति for सूत्र-s from 1.4.33 to 1.4.44, of course along with कारके from सूत्रम् 1.4.23

the word अधिकरण from सूत्र 1.4.45 becomes appropriate अनुवृत्ति for सूत्र-s from 1.4.46 to 1.4.48, of course along with कारके from सूत्रम् 1.4.23

the word कर्म from सूत्र 1.4.49 becomes appropriate अनुवृत्ति for सूत्र-s from 1.4.49 to 1.4.53, of course along with कारके from सूत्रम् 1.4.23

the word कर्ता from सूत्र 1.4.54 becomes appropriate अनुवृत्ति for सूत्र 1.4.55, of course along with कारके from सूत्रम् 1.4.23

(4) There are some सूत्र-s in अष्टाध्यायी which imply a rather long number of elements. These सूत्र-s are in a way, names of ‘set’s of those elements. One can say that what is ‘set’ in set-theory is गण in Sanskrit. The elements of a particular set are compiled by पाणिनि in an annex, known as गणपाठ. For example,

सूत्रम् १.१.२७ – सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि ।

means सर्व .. &c (आदीनि = &c) are सर्वनामानि pronouns.

सर्वनामानि is the name of the set of pronouns. Its elements are detailed in गणपाठ –

सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि १.१.२७

सर्वादि। सर्व। विश्व। उभ। उभय। डतर। डतम। अन्य। अन्यतर। इतर। त्वत्। त्व। नेम। सम। सिम।

पूर्वपरावरदक्षिणोत्तरापराधराणि व्यवस्थायामसंज्ञायाम् । स्वमज्ञातिधनाख्यायाम् । अन्तरं बहिर्योगोपसंव्यानयोः । त्यद्। यद्। एतद्। इदम्। अदस्। एक। द्वि। युष्मद्। अस्मद्। भवतु। किम्।


सर्व। विश्व। उभ। उभय। डतर। डतम। अन्य। अन्यतर। इतर। त्वत्। त्व। नेम। सम। सिम। and त्यद्। यद्। एतद्। इदम्। अदस्। एक। द्वि। युष्मद्। अस्मद्। भवतु। किम्। are unqualified pronouns or pronouns always. These are (14 + 11 =) 25.

पूर्वपरावरदक्षिणोत्तरापराधराणि व्यवस्थायामसंज्ञायाम् 1.1.34 are lists of pronouns with some qualification of when they are to be treated as pronouns.

स्वमज्ञातिधनाख्यायाम् 1.1.35 is also a qualified list

and also अन्तरं बहिर्योगोपसंव्यानयोः 1.1.36

Obviously सूत्र-s 1.1.34, 1.1.35 and 1.1.36 have the word सर्वनामानि from 1.1.27 as their अनुवृत्ति.

(5) Another important annex of अष्टाध्यायी is धातुपाठ. पाणिनि is very charming That is also a shade of his genius in composing अष्टाध्यायी, which is often a subject of research ever after 25-odd centuries or maybe 3 millenia. In धातुपाठ he has given not only गण-wise compilation of धातु-s, but has also given meanings of verbs.

I am particularly impressed by the way, meaning is given for a धातु like नृत्. By general English translation नृत् means ‘to dance’. But पाणिनि gives the meaning as गात्रविक्षेपे. गात्र = Part of body विक्षेप = articulation, gesturing (literally, throwing this way and that) गात्रविक्षेप = articulation, gesturing by parts of body.

Usually ‘to dance’ brings to mind gestures and articulations of legs and arms.

But गात्रविक्षेप would include gestures also by eyes and even eyebrows. Is not गात्रविक्षेप the best way of narrating meaning of नृत्, at once brief, accurate and yet comprehensive ?

That is what the basic definition of a सूत्रम् is.

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.

(6) सूत्रम् 1.4.2 विप्रतिषेधे परं कार्यम् । is again an important rule, not only for studying and understanding सूत्र-s in अष्टाध्यायी, but more for applying them in a given instance. So, one cannot work with an assessment whether a given सूत्र is applicable in a given instance. If there is a later सूत्र, which also is applicable, then the later सूत्र supersedes !

For example, general rule for संधि-s with ए, ऐ, ओ, औ in पूर्ववर्ण-position is  by the सूत्रम् एचोऽयवायावः। (६/१/७८)

However for vowels, ए, ओ of गुण-character there is one more rule, of two specific applications and in those instances supersedes the general rule. The rule of specific applications is एङः पदान्तादति। (६/१/१०९).

As can be seen एङः पदान्तादति। (६/१/१०९) comes later than एचोऽयवायावः। (६/१/७८).

(7) There are also options available in certain cases. For example an option for एचोऽयवायावः। (६/१/७८) is by the सूत्रम् – लोपः शाकल्यस्य (८।३।१९). We do come across use of these in श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता –

समः सिद्धावसिद्धौ च कृत्वापि न निबध्यते (४-२२) – Here सिद्धावसिद्धौ (= सिद्धौ असिद्धौ) is by the सूत्रम् एचोऽयवायावः। (६/१/७८)

न योत्स्य इति गोविन्दं उक्त्वा तूष्णीं बभूव ह (२-९) – Here योत्स्य इति (= योत्स्ये इति) is by the सूत्रम् – लोपः शाकल्यस्य (८।३।१९)

Of course, chronologically श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता is much older than शाकल्य or पाणिनि. But even in श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता one finds use of both the options.

This gives credence to the basic fact, that books of grammar do not make the language. पाणिनि did not create the Sanskrit language. He only wrote his book on grammar explaining the rules of constructs inherent in the language.

(8) The rule विप्रतिषेधे परं कार्यम् and an option to एचोऽयवायावः। (६/१/७८) being there by the सूत्रम् – लोपः शाकल्यस्य (८।३।१९) also mean that one needs to study अष्टाध्यायी comprehensively, not just chapter-by-chapter. One would not know of सूत्रम् – लोपः शाकल्यस्य (८।३।१९) if one focuses only on Section 1 of Chapter 6.

(9) There are many words typical of अष्टाध्यायी. It seems one should compile a glossary of such typical words.

उपदेशे = in names of धातु-s as named by पाणिनि.

It needs to be noted that पाणिनि has assigned his own names for धातु-s. For example, the most commonplace धातु गम् is named as गम्लृ.

Also पाणिनि has assigned different names to the same धातु, especially when a धातु has forms in different गण-s. For example, for another commonplace  धातु कृ, in पञ्चमगण is named as कृञ् and कृ in अष्टमगण is named as डुकृञ्.

छन्दसि = In Vedic usage

विभाषा =  defined in 1-1-44 as न वेति विभाषा

= exception (not applicable, न) or option (or, वा).

(10) Having cited the instances in श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता where both एचोऽयवायावः। (६/१/७८) and लोपः शाकल्यस्य (८।३।१९) have been used, पाणिनि was not the first grammarian nor अष्टाध्यायी the first ever work on Sanskrit grammar. As in this सूत्रम् – लोपः शाकल्यस्य (८।३।१९), पाणिनि himself makes reference to many earlier or contemporary grammarians in अष्टाध्यायी itself. They are शाकल्य (1-1-16, ८।३।१९, etc.), काश्यप (1-2-25), शाकटायन (3.4.111) प्राचाम् (= as per eastern grammarians) (4.1.17) उदीचाम् (= as per northern grammarians) (4.1.153)

Interesting details of history of Sanskrit grammar are given at

(11) Even though I have this thought of an approach of paraphrasing अष्टाध्यायी by indented lists, I am also afraid that it may not work all over.

If एचोऽयवायावः is at ६/१/७८ and its option लोपः शाकल्यस्य is at ८।३।१९, it certainly would become challenging to put them in one indented list, although both are related to संधि-s with ए, ऐ, ओ, औ in पूर्ववर्ण-position.

So another approach to study of अष्टाध्यायी has been to study not अष्टाध्यायी but Sanskrit-grammar by topics in grammar, but putting together all सूत्र-s in अष्टाध्यायी related to the particular topic. This approach seems to have appealed to most studies of Sanskrit and its grammar, especially after भट्टोजी दीक्षित compiled it all by this approach in his सिद्धान्तकौमुदी sometime in 18th century.

(12) Yet another important aspect of अष्टाध्यायी is that it has inherent in it the process प्रक्रिया of formation of words. One dissuasion from learning Sanskrit is an impression that learning Sanskrit often involves quite some rote-learning. One wonders whether learning प्रक्रिया-s will equip one with skills needed for formation of words and whether that will avoid or eliminate rote-learning.

A recent discussion at makes an interesting case in this context. On 23 Sept 2013 Mr. P. K. Ramakrishnan posted a query –

maamakaah paandavaaschaiva is plural.

akurvata appears to be singular.

Is there any explanation for this?

नित्यानन्द-मिश्र-महोदय had provided elaborate procedure about derivation of अकुर्वत –

विवक्षा = कर्त्रभिप्राये क्रियाफलेऽनद्यतनभूते प्रथमपुरुषे बहुवचनम्

कृ -> 3-4-69 लः कर्मणि च भावे चाकर्मकेभ्यः -> 3-2-111 अनद्यतने लङ् -> कृ + लङ् -> 3-4-78 तिप्तस्झिसिप्थस्थमिब्वस्मस्ताताञ्झथासाथान्ध्वमिड्वहिमहिङ्, 1-4-101 तिङस्त्रीणि त्रीणि प्रथममध्यमोत्तमाः, 1-4-102 तान्येकवचनद्विवचनबहुवचनान्येकशः -> 1-3-72 स्वरितञितः कर्त्रभिप्राये क्रियाफले -> आत्मनेपदप्राप्तिः -> 1-4-100 तङानावात्मनेपदम् -> कृ + झ -> 3-1-79 तनादिकृञ्भ्य उः -> कृ उ झ -> 3-4-114 आर्धधातुकं शेषः -> “उ” इत्यस्यार्धधातुकत्वम् -> 7-3-84 सार्वधातुकार्धधातुकयोः -> गुणः -> 1-1-2 अदेङगुणः -> 1-1-50 स्थानेऽन्तरतमः -> अगुणः -> क् अ उ झ -> 1-1-51 उरण् रपरः -> रपरत्वम् -> क् अर् उ झ -> करु झ -> 3-4-113 तिङ्शित्सार्वधातुकम् -> “झ” इत्यस्य सार्वधातुकत्वम् -> 6-4-110 अत उत्सार्वधातुके -> क् उ रु झ -> कुरु झ -> 7-1-5 आत्मनेपदेष्वनतः -> कुरु अत् अ -> कुरु अत -> 6-1-77 इको यणचि -> 1-1-50 स्थानेऽन्तरतमः -> कुर्व् अत -> कुर्वत -> 6-4-71 लुङ्लङ्लृङ्क्ष्वडुदात्तः -> अडागमः -> 1-1-46 आद्यन्तौ टकितौ -> आद्यागमः -> अट् कुर्वत -> 1-3-3 हलन्त्यम् -> टकारस्येत्संज्ञा -> 1-3-9 तस्य लोपः -> अ कुर्वत -> अकुर्वत

Does not this detail of derivation of अकुर्वत and proving that it is plural only, not singular, appear like deriving or proving a proposition in Geometry and in the end, writing “Q.E.D.” ?

If learning प्रक्रिया-s is this kind, that too for deriving a single word as अकुर्वत, would a student prefer the rote-learning ?

But प्रक्रिया has itself been a subject of scholastic excellence. There have been books focusing only on प्रक्रिया, somewhat well-known among them being प्रक्रियाकौमुदी or प्रक्रियासर्वस्व. A Sanskrit scholar शास्त्री or पण्डित ought to be a good at it, right ?

(13) But can the प्रक्रिया-s be built into algorithmic procedures, such that you set the objective, here कृ-धातोः आत्मनेपदिनः लङि प्रथमपुरुषे बहुवचनम्. The algorithm should process it all through the appropriate सूत्र-s and should come out with the answer अकुर्वत ! Not necessarily a dream. I guess Dr. Amba Kulkarni has done and guided impressive work on such projects and has quite some interesting tools already developed and made available at and also at

(14) The word प्रक्रिया brings to mind, What is chemistry if not प्रक्रिया ?

(15) End-note – In this note on Studying अष्टाध्यायी I have made mention of

  1. paraphrasing by indented lists

  2. what is ‘set’ in set-theory is गण in Sanskrit.

  3. derivation of अकुर्वत appears like deriving or proving a proposition in Geometry

  4. algorithmic procedures

  5. What is chemistry if not प्रक्रिया ?

Or is अष्टाध्यायी all these and maybe much more ? If so, Studying अष्टाध्यायी just for the heck of it  seems a good idea !


आदचि सन्धयः

I came to this topic of आदचि सन्धयः as an extension of the study of आद्गुणः (6-1-87).

I coined this title आदचि सन्धयः as – आदचि = आत् + अचि.

Here आत् and अचि have the same meaning as of

  • आत् in  आद्गुणः (6-1-87) and
  • अचि in अचि (6-1-77)

Hence आत् अचि सन्धयः means those conjugations where

  • prior sound is आत् = अ-वर्णात्
  • the following sound is अचि, i.e. all vowels.

This becomes a study of 28 types of conjugations –

  • 4 types अ + अ,  अ +आ, आ + अ and आ + आ already covered under अकः सवर्णे दीर्घः
  • 8 types each in Tables 1, 2 and 3 below.

Coming to the point where this study was prompted –

“आद्गुणः (6-1-87)” अस्य सूत्रस्य विवरणे अस्ति निम्नोल्लेखितानां त्रयाणां सूत्राणां अनुवृत्तिः सूचिता –

  1. एकः पूर्वपरयोः (6-1-84)

  2. अचि (6-1-77)

  3. संहितायाम् (6-1-72)

अनुवृत्तिमनुसृत्य –

आद्गुणः = संहितायाम् आत् (परम्) अचि, पूर्वपरयोः एकः गुणः |

  • आत् – आदिति पञ्चमी न तु तपरकरणम् । आत् = अ-वर्णात् |

  • (परम्) = पश्चात्

  • अचि – “अच्”इत्यस्य प्रत्याहारस्य सप्तम्यां एकवचनम् | कस्मिन्नपि स्वरे भवति इत्यर्थः |

  • पूर्वपरयोः एकः = पूर्वं च परम् च मिलित्वा एकः एव

  • गुणः = यः एकः (आदेशः) भवति सः गुणः, गुणस्वभावी भवति |

    • गुणस्वभाविनौ द्वौ, ए च ओ च

      • अदेङ्गुणः (1-1-2) इति सूत्रात् अत् विहाय |

आद्गुणः = अ (/आ)-वर्णस्य पश्चात् कस्मिन्नपि स्वरे आगच्छति, तस्य अ (/आ)-वर्णस्य, पश्चादागच्छतः स्वरस्य च मेलनेन गुणस्वभावी एकादेशः (‘ए’ वा ‘ओ’ वा) भवति |


1. अ (/आ)-वर्णस्य पश्चात् यदि अ (/आ)-इति सवर्णः स्वरः भवति तर्हि सः संधिः

  • “अकः सवर्णे दीर्घः (6-1-101)”  अनेन सूत्रेणैव |

  • यतः “विप्रतिषेधे परम् कार्यम् (1-4-2)”

  • “आद्गुणः (6-1-87)” “अकः सवर्णे दीर्घः (6-1-101)” एतयोः द्वयोः सूत्रयोः “अकः सवर्णे दीर्घः (6-1-101)”-इति सूत्रं परम् |

  • अतः अ (/आ)-वर्णस्य पश्चात् यदि अ (/आ)-इति सवर्णः स्वरः भवति तर्हि सः संधिः “अकः सवर्णे दीर्घः (6-1-101)” अनेनैव सूत्रेण कार्यः |

2. अ (/आ)-वर्णस्य पश्चात् आगच्छतः ऋक् (‘ऋ’ वा ‘लृ’ वा)-स्वरस्य तु “उरण् रपरः (1-1-51)”-इति सूत्रेण ‘र्’ वा ‘ल्’ भवति |

3. अ (/आ)-वर्णस्य पश्चात् आगच्छतः एच् (‘ए’ वा ‘ओ’ वा ‘ऐ’ वा ‘औ’)-स्वरस्य

  • “वृद्धिरेचि (6-1-88)”-इति सूत्रेण वृद्धिः भवति |

  • वृद्धिः तु “वृद्धिरादैच् (1-1-1)” सूत्रे संज्ञप्ता |

  • तेन अ (/आ)-वर्णस्य पश्चात् आगच्छतः  एच् (‘ए’ वा ‘ओ’ वा ‘ऐ’ वा ‘औ’)-स्वरस्य ‘ऐ’ वा ‘औ’ भवति |

सारांशतः –

“आद्गुणः (6-1-87)” इति सूत्रम् केवलं अ (/आ)-वर्णस्य पश्चात् इण् (‘इ’ वा ‘ई’ वा ‘उ’ वा ‘ऊ’)-स्वरे आगच्छति एव

  • सूत्रस्य विवरणे या “अचि (6-1-77)”-सूत्रस्य अनुवृत्तिः मानीता अस्ति, सा (‘इ’ वा ‘ई’ वा ‘उ’ वा ‘ऊ’)-स्वरात् अन्ये स्वरे आगच्छति नैव |

आदचि सन्धयः –

(1) “अकः सवर्णे दीर्घः (6-1-101)”-सूत्रेण ये सन्धयः भवन्ति तेअकः सवर्णे दीर्घः/ इत्यत्र विवृताः |

(2) “आद्गुणः (6-1-87)” सूत्रेण

Table 1

कयोः स्वरयोः संधिः


कयोः स्वरयोः संधिः


अ + इ = ए

देव + इन्द्रः = देवेन्द्रः

आ + इ = ए

महा + इन्द्रः = महेन्द्रः

अ + ई = ए

गण + ईशः = गणेशः

आ + + ई = ए

महा + ईशः = महेशः

अ + उ = ओ

सूर्य + उदयः = सूर्योदयः

आ + उ = ओ

महा + उत्सवः = महोत्सवः

अ + ऊ = ओ

एक + ऊनविंशतिः = एकोनविंशतिः

आ + ऊ = ओ

महा + ऊर्मिः = महोर्मिः

(3) “उरण् रपरः (1-1-51)”-इति सूत्रेण –

Table 2

कयोः स्वरयोः संधिः


कयोः स्वरयोः संधिः


अ + ऋ = अर्

सप्त + ऋषयः = सप्तर्षयः

आ + ऋ = अर्

महा + ऋषिः = महर्षिः

अ + ॠ = अर्

अत्र + ॠकारः = अत्रर्कारः

आ + ॠ = अर्

महा + ॠकारः = महर्कारः

अ + लृ = अल्

अत्र + लृकारः = अत्रल्कारः

आ + लृ = अल्

महा + लृकारः = महल्कारः

अ + ॡ = अल्

अत्र + ॡकारः = अत्रल्कारः

आ + ॡ = अल्

महा + ॡकारः = महल्कारः

While I have shown संधि-s with ॡ, there is a contention that such vowel does not exist. I would like to note here that transcription software do recognize this vowel and provide typing this vowel. This can be seen in following pictures.

Image 1 is fromसहाय्यम्:देवनागरीलिप्याम्_कथम्_लेखनीयम्%3F

vowels at Wiki

Image 2 is from

Vowels tufs ac jp

(4) “वृद्धिरेचि (6-1-88)”-इति सूत्रेण –

Table 3

कयोः स्वरयोः संधिः


कयोः स्वरयोः संधिः


अ + ए = ऐ

एक + एकम् = एकैकम्

आ + ए = ऐ

सदा + एव = सदैव

अ + ऐ = ऐ

तव + ऐश्वर्यम् = तवैश्वर्यम्

आ + ऐ = ऐ

महा + ऐश्वर्यम् = महैश्वर्यम्

अ + ओ = औ

तस्य + ओदनः = तस्योदनः

आ + ओ = औ

गङ्गा + ओघः = गङ्गौघः

अ + औ = ओ

वन + औषधम् = वनौषधम्

आ + औ = औ

महा + औत्सुक्यम् = महौत्सुक्यम्

Study of अकः सवर्णे दीर्घः

Study of अकः  सवर्णे दीर्घः

(पाणिनि-सूत्र 6-1-101 i.e. Chapter 6, Quarter 1, No. 101)

Reason for studying this सूत्र arose when studying स्वर-संधि-s such as

  • अ + अ or अ + आ or आ + अ or आ + आ
  • इ + इ or इ + ई or ई + इ or ई + ई
  • उ + उ or उ + ऊ or ऊ + उ or ऊ + ऊ
  • ऋ + ऋ or ऋ + ऋ-दीर्घ or ऋ-दीर्घ + ऋ or ऋ-दीर्घ + ऋ-दीर्घ
  • लृ + लृ or लृ + लृ-दीर्घ or लृ-दीर्घ + लृ or लृ-दीर्घ + लृ-दीर्घ

Mathematically these are 20 संधि-s. But just three words अकः  सवर्णे दीर्घः summarize them. That is the genius of पाणिनी !

अक: सवर्णे दीर्घः

  • अक: = (in case of) अक् i.e. अ, आ, इ, ई, उ, ऊ, ऋ, ऋ-दीर्घ, लृ, लृ-दीर्घ,
    • derived from two aphorisms from a set of सूत्र-s known as शिवसूत्र-s viz.
      • अ इ उ ण्
      • ऋ लृ क्
      • अक् = starting from अ until one comes to क्. Hence अक् = अ इ उ ऋ लृ
      • अक् is a compound word सामासिक-शब्द of the type समाहार-द्वंद्व
      • Its deciphering विग्रह becomes – अ च इ च उ च रु च लृ च एतेषां समाहारः अक् इति
      • अक: then is sixth case singular षष्ठी विभक्ति, एकवचनम् of अक्
      • Commentators also write “६|१” to denote ‘sixth case singular’.
  • सवर्णे = when followed by sound वर्ण of its own class i.e.
    • अ + अ or अ + आ or आ + अ or आ + आ
    • इ + इ or इ + ई or ई + इ or ई + ई
    • उ + उ or उ + ऊ or ऊ + उ or ऊ + ऊ
    • ऋ + ऋ or ऋ + ऋ-दीर्घ or ऋ-दीर्घ + ऋ or ऋ-दीर्घ + ऋ-दीर्घ
    • लृ + लृ or लृ + लृ-दीर्घ or लृ-दीर्घ + लृ or लृ-दीर्घ + लृ-दीर्घ
    • सवर्णे = in the case of all these 20 permutations
  • दीर्घः = (the resultant sound is) long i.e. as detailed in Tables 1, 2 and 3 and notes 1 and 2 below Table 3.

Table 1

Examples of स्वर-संधि-s by अकः  सवर्णे दीर्घः

आ for the combinations अ + अ or अ + आ or आ + अ or आ + आ

अ + अ = आ

अ + आ = आ

आ + अ = आ

आ + आ = आ

कृष्ण + अर्जुन = कृष्णार्जुन

देव + आलय = देवालय

पूजा + अर्चन = पूजार्चन

विद्या + आलय = विद्यालय

Table 2

Examples of स्वर-संधि-s by अकः  सवर्णे दीर्घः

ई for the combinations इ + इ or इ + ई or ई + इ or ई + ई

इ + इ = ई

इ + ई = ई

ई + इ = ई

ई + ई = ई

पति + इच्छा = पतीच्छा

कवि + ईश्वर = कवीश्वर

देवी + इच्छा = देवीच्छा

लक्ष्मी + ईश्वर = लक्ष्मीश्वर

Table 3

Examples of स्वर-संधि-s by अकः  सवर्णे दीर्घः

ऊ for the combinations उ + उ or उ + ऊ or ऊ + उ or ऊ + ऊ

उ + उ = ऊ

उ + ऊ = ऊ

ऊ + उ = ऊ

ऊ + ऊ = ऊ

सु + उक्त = सूक्त

भानु + ऊर्जा = भानूर्जा

चमू + उन्नति = चमून्नति

चमू + ऊर्ध्व = चमूर्ध्व

Table 4

Examples of स्वर-संधि-s by अकः  सवर्णे दीर्घः

ऋ-दीर्घ for the combinations ऋ + ऋ or ऋ + ऋ-दीर्घ or ऋ-दीर्घ + ऋ or ऋ-दीर्घ + ऋ-दीर्घ

ऋ + ऋ = ऋ-दीर्घ

पितृ + ऋण = पितॄण and मातृ + ऋण = मातॄण

ऋ + ऋ-दीर्घ = ऋ-दीर्घ

ऋ-दीर्घ + ऋ = ऋ-दीर्घ

ऋ-दीर्घ + ऋ-दीर्घ = ऋ-दीर्घ

There are hardly any examples of this type. But thanks to Dr. Sampadanand Mishra of Aravindashram Puduchchery for suggesting examples पितृ + ऋण = पितॄण and मातृ + ऋण = मातॄण

Table 5

Examples of स्वर-संधि-s by अकः  सवर्णे दीर्घः

लृ-दीर्घ for the combinations लृ + लृ or लृ + लृ-दीर्घ or लृ-दीर्घ + लृ or लृ-दीर्घ + लृ-दीर्घ

लृ + लृ = -दीर्घ

लृ + लृ-दीर्घ = -दीर्घ

लृ + लृ-दीर्घ + = लृ-दीर्घ

लृ-दीर्घ + लृ-दीर्घ = लृ-दीर्घ

There are hardly any examples of this type also.
All these संधि-s qualifying अकः  सवर्णे दीर्घः also qualify conformance to एकः पूर्व-परयोः (पाणिनि-सूत्र 6-1-84) because there is one एकः resultant sound in place of the two original sounds at पूर्व and पर positions i.e. at the end of first पूर्व component and at the beginning of second पर component.


Post Script –

Dr. Avinash Sathaye of University of Kentucky has sent a very succinct comment –

“.. The कौमुदी has a different and longer discussion of the concept of सवर्ण. It points out that to get proper meaning of this सूत्र you need to invoke the अनुवृत्ति of the word अचि. In other words only vowel सवर्ण are allowed here.
That is the only way to get the list of
सवर्ण  that you gave 🙂

In fact, they suggested a shorter and better alternative अकोऽकि दीर्घः ।…”

Really अकोऽकि दीर्घः = अकः अकि  दीर्घः keeps the whole operation of अक् focused on अक् and yet it details

  • what happens ‘of’ अक् (sixth case, singular)
  • in the event of अक्  (seventh case, singular)
  • Beautiful !
Thanks Dr. Sathaye !

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 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 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