Methodology for Study of a सूत्रम् in अष्टाध्यायी

Recently Mr. Kristan Stratos posted a query at samskrita@googlegroups-dot-com. His query was –

May I have a good example from the following;  

अष्टाध्यायी सूत्र १।४।१३ – सिद्धान्तकौमुदीं  १९९

यस्मात्प्रत्ययविधिस्तदादि  प्रत्ययेऽङ्गम् ।।

That was a good opportunity for me to summarize the methodology for Study of a सूत्रम् in अष्टाध्यायी. I detailed it as follows –

I understand that for understanding any सूत्रम् one should follow a sequence –

  1. Write down the सूत्रम् as given यस्मात्प्रत्ययविधिस्तदादि प्रत्ययेऽङ्गम्
  2. Do पदच्छेद – यस्मात् प्रत्यय-विधिः तत्-आदि प्रत्यये अङ्गम् |
  3. Decipher compound words –  
    1. प्रत्ययस्य विधिः इति प्रत्ययविधिः (षष्ठी-तत्पुरुषः)
    2. तत् (एव) आदि इति तदादि (कर्मधारयः)
    3. यस्मात् प्रत्ययस्य विधिः [तत् (एव) आदि] प्रत्यये अङ्गम् |
  4. Do case-number analysis of all पद-s – यस्मात् (5/1) प्रत्ययस्य (6/1) विधिः (1/1) तत् (1/1) एव (0/0) आदि (1/1) प्रत्यये (7/1) अङ्गम् (1/1)
  5. Bring forth any such word(s) or phrase(s) from previous सूत्र (or सूत्र-s), which would be essential for proper interpretation of the given सूत्र. This step called as अनुवृत्ति may be or may not be required or applicable. For this सूत्रम् no अनुवृत्ति seems necessary.
  6. Paraphrase the सूत्रम् i.e. put it in a proper syntax i.e. write the अन्वय so that the paraphrasing brings forth the meaning. Such paraphrasing is called as वृत्ति. One may do this not necessarily in संस्कृत. Concept of वृत्ति is to bring forth the interpretation. So it can be done in any language.
    1. यस्मात् = That from which
    2. प्रत्ययस्य विधिः = the process of affixing the suffix
    3. [तत् (एव) आदि] = itself (becomes) the beginning
    4. प्रत्यये = in the (instance of) a suffix
    5. अङ्गम् = (is) the अङ्गम्
    6. In a book व्यावहारिकं पाणिनीयम् by डॉ. नरेन्द्रः published by संस्कृतकार्यालयः, श्रीअरविन्दाश्रमः, पुदुच्चेरी, the वृत्ति of this सूत्रम् is given as यस्मात् [धातोः प्रातिपदिकात् वा] प्रत्ययविधिः (प्रत्ययः विधीयते, प्रत्ययस्य प्रयोगः क्रियते) तस्मात् आरभ्य प्रत्ययपर्यन्तं (प्रत्ययं विहाय) अङ्गं कथ्यते
  7. To reinforce the interpretation, one may compile examples.
    1. Suppose we want to get प्रथमाबहुवचनम् of प्रातिपदिकम् – फल
    2. The सुप्-प्रत्यय for प्रथमाबहुवचनम् is जस्. But to be a प्रत्यय for a neuter noun as फल, it would undergo some transformation and would end up becoming इ.
    3. Before affixing इ, the प्रातिपदिकम् – फल would also undergo some transformation unto फलान्. That then is the अङ्गम्
      1. How फल transforms to फलान् would itself be a विधिः, a sub-process
      2. That would be explained by some other सूत्र-s.
    4. But for interpretation of this सूत्रम्, one can say, in short अङ्गम् + प्रत्ययः = पदम्
    5. Hence फलान् + इ = फलानि
  8. One may elaborate one’s own commentary. This is what has been done by वार्तिक-s in their वार्तिका-s.
    1. For example, I would dare to add my commentary that in this सूत्रम् one may do the interpretation right, even if the सूत्रम् did not have the word प्रत्यये. At first glance, this word appeals to be superfluous.
      1. But I do acknowledge that पाणिनि would not have composed any सूत्रम् with not even a single मात्रा excessive, let alone a whole word excessive.
      2. In that case I should deliberate more to understand the significance of this word प्रत्यये. I may leave it for advanced study. For the present, let me be happy with the preliminary interpretation as above.
    2. Since this सूत्रम् sort of defines what is अङ्गम्, it can be considered as a संज्ञासूत्रम् to define the संज्ञा – अङ्गम्
    3. The summary statement अङ्गम् + प्रत्ययः = पदम् is well endorsed by the immediate next सूत्रम् – सुप्तिङन्तं पदम्

Dr. H. N. Bhat added an observation “… I understand that every case ending in a Sutra, is governed with the meta rules prescribed by Panini and used with precise meaning defining the scope of the rule. ..”. By his comment Dr. Bhat has sort of laid a preface on the topic of meta rules and the purpose of doing case-number analysis, as detailed at step (4). I understand from my friend and व्याकरणशास्त्री Dr. Nilesh Joshi that this topic involves study of परिभाषासूत्राणि. Of course this topic of meta rules परिभाषासूत्राणि is a topic by itself in the study of Sanskrit grammar and of अष्टाध्यायी.

शुभमस्तु !