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Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, vol. 5, The Philosophy of the Grammarians.

This collaborative work--the fifth volume in the Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies under the general editorship of Karl H. Potter--contains contributions by Ashok Aklujkar, John G. Arapura, S. R. Bannerjee, S. D. Joshi, Shoryu Katsura, G. B. Palsule, Karl H. Potter, V. K. S. N. Raghavan, and K. A. Subramania Iyer as well as by the two editors. The book is divided into three major parts. The first--"Introduction to the Philosophy of the Grammarians," by Harold G. Coward and K. Kunjunni Raja--is itself divided into five sections: historical resume, metaphysics, epistemology, word meaning, sentence meaning. Part two ("Survey of the Literature of Grammarian Philosophy," pp. 101-432) begins with sections on philosophical elements in Vedic literature (John G. Arapura and K. Kunjunni Raja), Yaska's Nirukta, Panini's Astadhyayi, and Patanjali's Mahabhasya (K. Kunjunni Raja) and continues with eighty sections devoted to various authors and their works. There follows a bibliography on grammar, compiled by Karl H. Potter, which is divided into three parts: authors whose dates are (more or less) known,(1) authors and works whose dates are unknown, secondary literature on vyakarana. A section of notes and a cumulative index complete the work.

In a preface, the editors explain that their introductory essay on the philosophy of grammarians "is intended to set their school in its context and to summarize the main Grammarian teachings." As for the summaries of works, these "are intended primarily for philosophers and only secondarily for indologists," so that some sections of works--deemed repetitious or of minor interest to philosophers--are omitted.

The introductory section meets the criteria set forth by its authors: the reader is introduced to the general principles and procedures of grammarians as well as views on language and grammar held by Mimamsakas, Naiyayikas, Buddhist logicians, and Alankarikas.

The sections in the main survey vary considerably, which is only to be expected. As noted above, the first four sections survey philosophical elements in various works. In addition, this section contains summaries of the contents of grammatical texts, and these too necessarily differ in length and detail. For example, Aklujkar's summary of Bhartrhari's Vakyapadiya, S. D. Joshi's summaries of Kaundabhatta's Vaiyakaranabhusana and Vaiyakaranabhusanasara, K. Kunjunni Raja's summary of Nagesabhatta's Paramalaghumanjusa,(2) and G.B. Palusule's summaries of the Sphotatattvanirupana, Sphotasiddhi, and Sphotacandrika reflect the extent of each work dealt with. On the other hand, some very long works are dealt with quite briefly because their contents do not lend themselves to be described in the same way as the contents of the texts just mentioned. Thus, S. R. Bannerjee and K. Kunjunni Raja deal with Kaiyata's Pradipa on the Mahabhasya in less than two pages. In still other instances, the length of the summary appears to reflect a contributor's conciseness. This seems true of K. A. Subramania Iyer's treatment of the Sphotasiddhigopalika. Finally, the main section of this book includes quite a few entries--in fact, about two-thirds of the total--that consist of nothing more than brief mentions of authors, dates, and works, and each such entry is given on a separate page, with blank pages between it and the preceding and following entries. For example, the entries for P. S. Anantarnarayana Sastri (no. 74, p. 409) and Brahmadeva (no. 75, p. 411) are respectively: "A recognized scholar who wrote a work on Grammar titled Vakyatattva. His dates are 1885-1947." and "Brahmadeva wrote his Vaiyakaranasiddhantamanjusa in 1943."

In any such large collaborative effort, one is bound to find some inconsistency. For example, Aklujkar uses "signified" and "cosignified" to render vacya and dyotya, but S. D. Joshi remarks: "Konda Bhatta following Patanjali and Bhartrhari, maintains that both preverbs and particles are suggestive (dyotaka) and not independently denotative (vacaka)"; and in the index the entry dyotaka is followed by "See suggestive meaning." As the editors note in their preface, the summaries in the present volume are intended mainly for philosophers, and I think it fair to say that readers who are not intimately acquainted with the original texts could be puzzled or misled by renditions such as "suggestive meaning." To be sure, grammarians like Nagesa do indeed link their acceptance of linguistic units that are dyotaka and associated meanings that are dyotya with the acceptance of suggestion (vyanjana) in addition to a primary signifying relation (sakti) and a secondary metaphoric relation (laksana). Nevertheless, Nagesa also explicitly says that being a dyotaka consists in bringing out a primary signifying capacity that resides in a term that is uttered together with the cosignifying term (svasamabhivyahrtanisthasaktivyanjakatvam). To paraphrase the pertinent statement of the Paramalaghumanjusa, saying "the nipatas suggest the power existing in words that are uttered along with them" is, I think, not calculated to bring out clearly to a nonspecialist just what Nagesa is claiming. A verb like bhu 'be, become' is listed in Panini's Dhatupatha, which does not also include combinations such as anu-bhu 'experience'. In order to account for the syntax associated with the latter--as in anubhuyate sukham 'happiness is experienced'--without listing a separate transitive complex anu-bhu, the simple verb is treated as having also the meaning of the complex, but to have this meaning expressed requires the use of the preverb anu, which serves as a cosignifier.(3) The term "cosignifier" is, I think, preferable to "suggestive" in that it conveys what grammarians from Katyayana on intended and corresponds precisely to the definition given by Nagesa. There are other instances of terminology which, in my opinion, are less than felicitous. For example, Aklujkar uses "aspect" to render upagraha. It would, I think, have been preferable to use a term such as "diathesis," since upagraha refers to differences associated with the use of atmanepada and parasmaipada affixes.(4)

As the author of a critical bibliography on Panini, I can understand the effort which has gone into compiling the bibliographies and lists of authors in the work under review, and I think readers will profit from these. I also cannot honestly refrain from noting that this aspect of the work leaves something to be desired. For example, under "KONDA or KAUNDA BHATTA (1630), I do not find any reference to two recent editions of the Vaiyakaranabhusana: Brhadvaiyakaranabhusanam ... edited with 'Rupali' notes and appendix by Pt. Manudeva Bhattacharya (Varanasi: Chowkhamba Amarabharati Prakashan, 1985); Kaunda Bhatta's Vaiyakaranabhusanam ... vol. 1, edited by Dr. Vidya Niwas Misra (Delhi, Varanasi: Bharatiya Vidya Prakashan, 1987). Under "NAGESA or NAGOJI BHATTA (1714)", no editions of the Vaiyakaranasiddhantamanjusa are listed, although this version of the Manjusa has recently been edited twice: Vaiyakaranasiddhantamanjusa by Nagesa Bhatta, edited by Dr. Kalika Prasad Sukla (Varanasi: Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishvavidyalaya, 1977); Nagesa Bhatta's Vaiyakaranasiddhantamanjusa, edited by Kapil Der Shastri (Kurukshetra: Vishal Publications, 1985). Nor is there an entry for V. B. Bhagavat's edition and Marathi translation of the Paramalaghumanjusa: Paramalaghumanjusa (Bhasecya svarupaci tattvika bhumika mamdanara Nagesabhatta-likhita-gramtha), bhaga pahila (mula va marathi anuvada) (Pune: Poona University, 1984). Note also that a commentary by Pt. Peri Suryanarayanasastri on parts of the Laghumanjusa has appeared recently: Nagesabhavaprakasah (Nagesakrtalaghumanjusayam dhatvarthanipatarthayoh vyakhya; Nagesakrtalaghumanjusayam subarthavade prathamadvitiyarthavicarau) (Tirupati: Dr. Peri Subbarayan, 1987, 1988). Again, under "ASADHARA BHATTA (1770?)", three works are listed, with references for two editions of the Trivenika, and an article by U. P. Shah concerning Asadhara and his works is also referred to. However, no mention is made of another work on semantics, the Kovidananda, edited by Kalika Prasad Shukla--who also edited the Trivenika--in the journal Sarasvati Susama (16.3-4 |samvat 2018/19~). Some of these editions may have appeared so close to the time that the manuscript for the work under review was submitted that they could not be consulted, but this cannot excuse the absence of reference to all of them.

The information given concerning authors also reflects less than full diligence or knowledge. For example, the historical resume contains a checklist of authors and works, including dates and places for each author. Under "Sabhapati Sarman" the date given is 1963, a question mark appears under "Place," and under "Title" is listed "Paramalaghumanjusaratnaprabha." The date in question is the publication date for Pt. Sabhapati Sarma Upadhyaya's edition of part of the Vaiyakaranasiddhantalaghumanjusa (not the Paramalaghumanjusa) with Sabhapati's Ratnaprabha.(5) Moreover, Sabhapati also composed a commentary (Laksmi) on Bhattojidiksita's Vaiyakaranasiddhantamanjusa (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1966), which was edited by his student Balakrsna Pancoli. The introduction to this work (vol. I, pp. 2-4), gives information concerning the life of Sabhapati: he was born in v.s. 1937 in Ballia District and died in A.D. 1964. The practice of giving the dates on which works were published as the dates for modern authors also has some curious results. Thus, the same checklist gives 1952 and 1970 respectively as the dates for Rama Prasada Tripathi and Raghunatha Sarma, although the latter--who died in 1989 in his 90th year--was the former's teacher. In addition, part 2 of the bibliography has the following entry: "RAGHUNATHA SASTRI VAIYAKARANA Laghutika on Nagesa Bhatta's Paribhasendusekhara." In fact, however, the author in question is Raghunatha Sarma, writing under one of several names he used, so that his dates are not unknown, and the title of the work is Laghujutika.(6)

The general introduction and several of the longer summaries of works contained in this volume should be of use to nonspecialists interested in learning about the philosophy of Indian grammarians and the background for their ideas. The bibliography also can be consulted with profit, although deficiencies such as those I have noted obviously call for caution on the part of readers.

1 The parenthetical qualification is part of the original.

2 Note that neither the Laghumanjusa nor the Brhanmanjusa has been included among the texts summarized.

3 See also my Panini, His Work and its Traditions, vol. I: Background and Introduction, section 4.1.3, concerning signifiers and cosignifiers in Panini's system.

4 I may be forgiven for saying that something the editors claim in a note to their section on epistemology does not fairly represent what I have said. They remark (pp. 553-54, n. 41) that I seemed to contradict myself by "suggesting four levels" in Bhartrhari's view of language while observing in a footnote that Bhartrhari did not recognize an absolute fourth level. It is obviously correct to say that Bhartrhari did indeed recognize four entities: vaikhari vak, madhyama vak, pasyanti vak, param pasyantirupam. However, it is also patent that this scheme involves a supreme form of pasyanti and not a para vak that is absolutely separate.

5 The correct information appears on p. 502, item G1239.

6 Laghujutika, a critical note on Paribhashendu Sekhara by Pandit Raghunath Sastry Vyakaranacharya son of Pandit Sri Kashinath Sastry, edited by Ananta Sastry Phedake; Haridas Sanskrit Granthamala 19 (Benares: The Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office, 1924). I have given the title and names as they appear on the English title page.
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Author:Cardona, George
Publication:The Journal of the American Oriental Society
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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