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Who inspired Panini? Reconstructing the Hindu and Buddhist counter-claims.

The tradition of Paninian Grammar as it has reached us clearly believes that Panini was inspired by Mahesvara/Siva to write his grammar, and that he received at least the first fourteen sutras, which are traditionally called Sivasutrani or Mahesvarasutrani, from Mahesvara/Siva. While for the tradition as it has survived into the present time, this belief is axiomatic, and hardly ever questioned, the history of this belief has not been fully explored in modern scholarship.(1) In this paper, I propose to bring together material that allows us to envisage the vicissitudes of this belief, which are almost entirely unknown to the Paninian tradition itself.

Panini's grammar itself gives us no indication of any particular religious belief attached to this grammar, except that the grammar was situated firmly within the Vedic culture. The grammar as it is incorporated in the Astadhyayi is integrally connected to the lists of sounds as formulated in the so-called Sivasutras. This relationship is so strong that George Cardona (1969: 3), who has "omitted any discussion connected with the question of the authorship of the sivasutras," makes it clear that "the sivasutras and the corpus of rules in which they are used definitely were composed in one school." Going a step beyond Cardona, Kiparsky (1991: 257) asserts: "It is said that god Siva revealed these fourteen classes of sounds to Panini to get him started on the Astadhyayi. We might now want to see a deeper point in this legend. Our conclusions imply that if we did not possess the text of the Astadhyayi, but merely a pretheoretical description of Sanskrit phonology, the main principles of Panini's grammar could be inferred just from the way the phonemes of Sanskrit are organized in the Sivasutras." My purpose here is not to investigate the relative differences between these claims, but simply to stress the close connection between the Sivasutras and the grammar as constituted in the Astadhyayi. Were the Sivasutras entirely a new creation of Panini? While arguing for a distinctive character for the Sivasutras, Kiparsky (1991: 256) concedes: "By this I do not mean that Panini in fact started from scratch in constructing the Sivasutras. On the contrary, it is virtually certain that he was acquainted with one or more phonetically ordered listings of sounds such as those found in the pratisakhyas, and it is even quite possible that there were previous sivasutra-style arrangements that he knew. It is also quite possible that Panini started with one of those earlier arrangements and reordered it." The modern scholarship, for its own reasons, basically sets aside the story of Panini having received either the whole grammar or the Sivasutras from Siva as nothing more than a traditional belief. However, as we shall see, the story has a long and complicated career of its own, and a study of its likely history opens for us previously uncharted regions of religious rivalries in ancient India.

When we look at Katyayana's Varttikas on the Sivasutras, we get no hint that he knew any mythology connecting these sutras with Siva or with any other divinity.(2) In fact, Katyayana questions the order of sounds listed in the Sivasutras, and the necessity of listing some sounds. For example, he questions the necessity of listing the vowel I in the sivasutra r-.l-K, and in his discussion of the sivasutra ha-ya-va-ra-T, he examines the possibility of an alternative formulation: ha-ra-ya-va-T. Similarly, Katyayana questions the necessity of listing the sound h twice, i.e., in the sivasutras ha-ya-va-ra-T and ha-L. If Katyayana had any feeling that the so-called Sivasutras were a revealed list, rather than an authored list, such questioning of the structure of these sutras would not make any sense. The introductory varttikas 15 (vrttisamavayartha upadesah) and 16 (anubandhakaranarthas ca) (Mahabhasya [MB], Kielhorn ed., I: 13) offer practical purposes of listing (upadesa) the sounds such as the arrangement of sounds to facilitate the operation of grammar (vrtti-samavaya) and the formulation of marker sounds (anubandha). For additional arguments, see Shastri (1984: 16ff.).

Patanjali's Mahabhasya seems to stand at a borderline. On the one hand, it goes along with Katyayana's discussion of the practical purposes of the lists contained in the Sivasutras. After a discussion of the purpose of listing the sound l in the sivasutra r-l-K, Patanjali finally comes out against the necessity of listing this sound in this sutra (cf. sa esa sutrabhedena lkaropadesah plutyadyarthah san pratyakhyayate [MB, I: 21]). On the other hand, at the end of the second ahnika of his Mahabhasya, Patanjali suddenly seems to hint at a revelation-like character of these lists. Here we come across an important verse (MB, I: 36):

varnajnanam vagvisayo yatra ca brahma vartate tadartham istabuddhyartham laghvartham copadisyate

Consider the translation of this verse offered by K. V. Abhyankar and J. M. Shukla (1969: 125-26): "The science of the knowledge of words forms a subject-matter of language in which abides permanently the Eternal Word-Energy. The traditional enumeration of words is made by Mahesvara for understanding the science of words, for distinguishing the correct words from the incorrect ones, as also for brevity." Besides the fact that here we have a listing of sounds, rather than of words, the translators have added "is made by Mahesvara." There is no support for this in the text of the verse, and neither Patanjali, nor even Bhartrhari, makes any reference to Mahesvara as the source of this listing. On p. 47, Abhyankar and Shukla clarify: "Some grammarians believe that the alphabet of the 14 Sutras was given by Panini himself and the statement upadista maya varnah [in the MB on the introductory varttika 15] refers to him. Nagesa ascribes the alphabet to Mahesvara as stated in the opening stanza of the Karika of Nandikesvara." This is an interesting discussion. The phrase upadista maya varnah, right after uccarya hi varnan aha, is not found in the text of the Mahabhasya as given by Kielhorn. Instead, we find a more neutral phrase, upadista ime varnah, which makes no first-person reference to the author of this listing. The phrase upadista maya varnah is a reading or a paraphrase of the original upadista ime varnah found in Bhartrhari's Mahabhasyadipika [MB-D] (Abhyankar and Limaye ed., p. 42). This is also noted by Bronkhorst (1987: 139, n. 6).

While Kielhorn's edition does not mention this as a variant reading, such a reading is not completely out of line with the rest of the Mahabhasya as found in Kielhorn's edition. For example, on the next varttika (16, anubandhakaranarthas ca [MB, I: 13]), Patanjali's text reads: anubandhan asahksyami "I will attach the marker sounds." As represented by Patanjali, it would then seem that the author of the listing and the author who wants to attach the marker sounds is the same author, i.e., Panini. However, Patanjali also seems to raise this listing to the status of holy scripture:

so 'yam aksarasamamnayo vaksamamnayah puspitah phalitas candratarakavat pratimandito veditavyo brah- marasih / sarvavedapunyaphalavaptis casya jnane bha- vati / matapitarau casya svarge loke mahiyete (MB, I: 36)

This then is the listing of sounds, a listing of speech, bearing flowers and fruit, shining like the moon and the stars, should be known as the collection of Brahman. The knowledge of this [listing] leads to the attainment of the merit identical with that of the merit from all the Vedas. And his parents attain greatness in the heavenly world.

Thus, without fully detaching this listing from the authorship of Panini, Patanjali has raised its status to that of a Vedic revelation. I have argued elsewhere (Deshpande 1993:112-13; and Deshpande, forthcoming) that Katyayana and Patanjali consider Panini to be a respected teacher (acarya), but not a seer (rsi). In the grhyasutras and dharmasutras (cf. Apastambiyadharmasutra, the term rsi refers to the ancient seers of the Vedic samhitas, who have been awarded a somewhat superhuman semi-divine status, while the term acarya refers to contemporary teachers. Panini's own usage seems to match closely that of the grhyasutras and dharmasutras. While Panini has not been strictly raised to the status of a rsi in the Mahabhasya, Patanjali feels awe toward him as a great teacher (acarya). On P. 1.1.1 (vrddhir adaic), after raising some objections, Katyayana says that the student of this rule will know that the word vrddhi is a designation of ad-aic from the behavior of the acarya (acaryacarat samjnasiddhih, vt. 4), i.e., his explicit wording of the rule. While explaining this statement of Katyayana, Patanjali

pramanabhuta acaryo darbhapavitrapanih sucav avakase pranmukha upavisya mahata yatnena sutrani pranayati sma tatrasakyam varnenapy anarthakena bhavitum kim punar iyata sutrena (MB, I: 39).

The acarya [= Panini], who is authority incarnate, with the sacred darbha grass in his hands, sitting in a pure location facing the east, produced the rules with a great mental effort. In those rules, it is impossible that even a single sound would be meaningless, let alone an entire rule.

Along with this notion of Panini's persona as an acarya and his acara 'behavior' conferring authority, there is some expectation of such a notion of authority being accepted across the board. For example, on P. 3.1.94 (vasarupo 'striyam), Patanjali says that if we accept one statement of an author as authoritative, then his other statements should also be accepted as authoritative (yady asau tatra pramanam ihapi pramanam bhavitum arhati / pramanam asau tatra ceha ca [MB, II: 79]). Patanjali also looks at Panini's wording of his rule as part of his linguistic acara and derives new rules from this behavior through implication (cf. acaryapravrttir jhapayati [MB, I: 15, et passim]) to supplement those rules which are explicitly stated.

Patanjali tries to save the wording of Panini's rule through ingenious reinterpretations as far as possible, and tries to avoid the need for rewording. This may indicate a certain predilection on his part to look at Panini's text in a sruti-like fashion. Patanjali, in fact, says that Panini's rules are like Vedic statements (cf. chandovat sutrani bhavanti [MB, I: 37]), and this analogy is used to account for certain linguistic irregularities. Thus, there is evidence in the Mahabhasya to show that Patanjali accords Veda-like respect and status to Panini's grammar and the Sivasutras, though it is clear that there is no trace of the mythology of Panini having received his grammar or the Sivasutras by the grace of Siva or any other divinity.(3)

As I have argued elsewhere, Bhartrhari has raised all the three ancient grammarians, i.e., Panini, Katyayana, and Patanjali, to the status of rsi (Deshpande 1993). As rsis, their status has indeed been raised beyond that of the mere teachers or acaryas. As rsis, these authorities indeed have some higher insight, and yet, in general terms, Bhartrhari claims that even the knowledge of the great rsis does not exceed the unbroken tradition of the Agama (cf. rsinam api yaj jnanam tad apy agamaparvakam [Vakyapadiya (VP), 1.31cd]). Again, in general terms, Bhartrhari views the ultimate principle of language as being identical with Brahman, and in that respect it is without beginning and end (cf. anadinidhanam brahma sabdatattvam yad aksaram [VP, 1.1]). Commenting on Patanjali's characterization of the listing in the Sivasutras as a collection of Brahman (brahmarasi [MB, I: 36]), Bhartrhari says:

so 'yam aksarasamamnayo vaksamamnayah / etavati- yam vak samamnata / etavan vagvyavaharah / puspitah phalitas ca / drstadrstaphalabhyam abhyudayanihsre- yasabhyam / candratarakavat pratimanditah / etad uktam bhavati - yathaivedam avyucchinnam candratar- akadi evam asya vagvyavaharasya na kascit kartasti / evam evedam paramparyena smaryamanam / brah- marasiriti / yathaiva samudbhutakramo brahmarasir iti pratipurusam vyavasthitah evam ayam pratyaharah sakyo vaktum vijnanabrahmavad upasambhrto brahmana (MB-D, 92).

This is translated by G. B. Palsule (1988: 94-95) as:

"This Aksarasamamnaya (alphabet) (is) the entire linguistic usage?" Speech is laid down to be this much, this much the linguistic usage. "Blossomed and fruitful," (viz.,) with the seen and the unseen result, (i.e.,) with the worldly prosperity and the highest good (respectively). "Adorned like the moon and the stars." This is (what is) said: just as this thing, viz. the moon and the stars etc., is uninterrupted, similarly there is no creator of this linguistic usage; this (has been) simply so, being remembered, (and) remembered. "The piled-up Brahman." Like the piled-up Brahman, in which sequence has been withdrawn (and) (Palsule's reading: samhrtakrama) which resides in every man, so also (is) this alphabet - it is possible to say so. Like the spiritual Brahman (this also) is filled with the Brahman.

The passage above leaves us with an uncertain feeling as to the question of authorship of the Sivasutras as conceived by Patanjali and Bhartrhari. It is not clear whether the high claims are made on behalf of the sounds themselves, or the specific listing as structured in the Sivasutras is also meant. Specifically important is Bhartrhari's phrase: evam evedam paramparyena smaryarnanam, lit., "Thus indeed is this remembered through the lineages." The passage remains ambiguous because the referent of idam is not immediately obvious from the context. If it refers, by any chance, to the Sivasutras, then one would have here a claim for their eternality and unbroken continuity (avyucchinna). Such, for instance, is the understanding of Nagesabhatta, who interprets the word vdgvyavahara as referring to the fourteen Sivasutras (cf. vagvyavaharasya iti / tatsamgrahakasya caturdasasutrirupasya ity arthah / yathasrute hi bhasye 'ksarasamamnayoddesena pravrttavisesananam anyaparataya yojane bhasyavirodhah [Uddyota ad MB (Nirnayasagara ed.), I: 132]). Nagesa further cites a slightly different reading of Bhartrhari's Mahabhasya-Dipika which supports his conclusion that here we have a description of the Sivasutras (cf. ata evaitat pratikam upadaya harina 'asyaksarasamamnayasya vagvyavaharajanakasya na kascit kartasty evam eva vede paramparyena smaryamanam' iti vyakhyatam [Uddyota, ibid.]). It seems to me that Bhartrhari's originally ambiguous wording has been altered in the course of its transmission, and the altered reading indeed goes in the direction of the latter-day belief in the Veda-like status of the Sivasutras. In any case, there is no notion, in the original wording of Bhartrhari, of these Sivasutras coming from Siva to Panini. Also see Bhimsen Shastri (1984: 18).

The major grammarians who come after Bhartrhari are Vamana and Jayaditya, the authors of the Kasikavrtti ([+ or -] seventh century A.D.), the commentators on the Kasikavrtti, i.e., Haradatta, the author of Padamanjari, and Jinendrabuddhi, the author of Nyasa, and Kaiyata, the author of Pradipa. What do these authors know? The Kasikavrtti and the commentary Nyasa do not offer any indication that they knew the story of Panini receiving his grammar or the so-called Sivasutras from Siva. However, Haradatta's Padamanjari (Kaskikavrtti, I: 8-9) gives us some indications. According to Haradatta, Panini, Katyayana, and Patanjali were maharsis and were capable of viewing the entire eternal language. He then refers to the story of Panini receiving his grammar - or rather the initial fourteen sutras - from Mahesvara.

At this juncture, we need to review also the historical status of an important text, the Paniniyasiksa. It has come down to us in two major forms, one versified and the other in prose. The traditional Paniniyas usually refer to the versified form by this name, while the prose form was brought to light by Swami Dayananda. Cardona (1976: 179ff.) has discussed in detail these two versions, their dates, authorship, and the different claims regarding them. Cardona (p. 182) concludes: "In sum, I think the evidence available precludes one's considering with confidence, that Panini composed either of the siksa texts which have been attributed to him." As far as any direct connection with Panini himself, I fully agree with Cardona's conclusion. However, this text and its evolution are important for our understanding of the development of the Saivite connection with the Paninian tradition. As I have already said, the later commentators like Nagesabhatta cite the following verse from this text as justification for believing that Panini received his aksarasamamnaya from Siva or Mahesvara:

yenaksarasamamnayam adhigamya mahesvarat krtsnam vyakaranam proktam tasmai paninaye namah

It is important to place this verse at least in some relative chronology. We may begin by saying that no verse of the versified Paniniyasiksa has been cited by anyone until the time of Bhartrhari.(4) Did Bhartrhari know the versified Paniniyasiksa? This is a difficult question. After citing other siksas, the Vrtti on Vakyapadiya 1.107 (Iyer ed., p. 176) says:

acaryah khalv apy aha - atma buddhya samarthyarthan mano yunkte vivaksaya / manah kayagnim ahanti sa prerayati marutam // ity evam adi -

The Acarya indeed says - "The soul, having configured the intended meanings with intelligence, enjoins the mind with a desire to speak. The mind strikes up the fire in the body, and it sends forth the wind."

Such and other -

This passage raises complex historical questions not all of which we can solve here. The first dilemma is obviously posed by the vexed question of whether Bhartrhari himself composed the Vrtti. At the very least, we need to assume that the Vrtti was composed by someone very close to Bhartrhari, if not Bhartrhari himself. For a recent review of this debate, see Ashok Aklujkar (1993). The passage is important for several reasons. This shows that the cited verse was known by the middle of the first millennium A.D. Secondly, it was attributed to Acarya. Harivrsabha identifies this Acarya with Panini: acarya iti paninih (Paddhati on VP, 176). The verse is cited in the context of the discussion of siksa passages, and it is found in all the five versions of Paniniyasiksa collected by Manomohan Ghosh (1938), who includes it in his reconstructed version. All this probably goes to prove that a version of the versified Siksa attributed to Panini was known around the middle of the first millennium A.D.

However, there is no evidence that the portions of the versified Paniniyasiksa connecting Panini to the Saivite tradition were known to Bhartrhari, or were part of the most ancient form of this text. There are, in all, three verses in the different recensions of the versified Paniniyasiksa which make reference to Panini receiving his grammar or the aksarasamamnaya from Siva:

yenaksarasamamnayam adhigamya mahesvarat krtsnam vyakaranam proktam tasmai paninaye namah

This verse is found in the Rk, Yajus, and the Panjika versions, but not in the Prakasa version or the Agnipurana version, and it has not been reconstructed for the Paniniyasiksa by Manomohan Ghosh.

sankarah sankarim pradad daksiputraya dhimate vanmayebhyah samahrtya devim vacam iti sthitih

This verse is found in all the versions of the Paniniyasiksa, except the Agnipurana version, and has not been reconstructed for the Ur-Paniniyasiksa by Ghosh.

trinayanam abhimukhanishrtam imam ya iha pathet prayatas ca sada dvijah sa bhavati dhanadhanyapasuputrakirtiman atulam ca sukham samasnute diviti diviti

This verse is found in all the versions, except the Agnipurana version, and has not been reconstructed for the Ur-Paniniyasiksa by Ghosh. It is clear that Ghosh basically views the Agnipurana version to be the oldest available version, and none of these three is found in it. It is thus likely that Bhartrhari or the author of the Vrtti on the VP, if different from Bhartrhari, may have known a version of the Paniniyasiksa which had no reference to the story of Panini receiving the aksarasamamnaya from Siva.

Within the Paninian tradition, the first author to make reference to this story is Haradatta, the author of the commentary Padamanjari on the Kasikavrtti. In the introductory section (vol. I, pp. 8-9), Haradatta says, about Panini's extraordinary ability to see the entire infinite language:

katham punar asmadadinam sarvalaksyadarsitvam? ma bhud asmadadinam, asmadvisistanam maharsinam sam- bhavati / yasya va isvaranugrahah sa sarvam pratya- ksayati / atraiva hi laukihah smaranti -

yenaksarasamamnayam adhigamya mahesvarat krtsnam vyakaranam proktam tasmai paninaye namah iti / askarasamamnayam ca vyacaksate devasutraniti

How can folks like us see all the target language? Perhaps not for folks like us, but such [an ability] is possible for the great sages who are superior to us. Or, a person who has been graced by God can directly see everything. In this context, the learned of the world remember: "Salutations to Panini, who, having acquired the aksarasamamnaya from the Great Lord [= Siva], narrated the whole grammar." They call the aksarasamamnaya by the term devasutra.

This is the first attestation within the Paninian tradition of the story of Panini being blessed by Mahesvara. Haradatta does not seem to be citing this verse from Paniniyasiksa, but from a collection of verses of worldy wisdom? In fact, his work shows no awareness of any versified Paniniyasiksa. The words atra laukikah smaranti prefacing the cited verse seem to indicate a local tradition as its source. Haradatta is a south Indian author from the Chola area. His Padamanjari begins with an express salutation to Siva [cf. sambaya sadaram ayam vihitah pranamah]. The Saivite affiliation is also clear from the names of his parents, Padmakumara and SriAmba, as well as from his own name, Haradatta = 'given by Siva.' Here we have an explicit Saivite connection for the first time.

This verse is next cited by the tenth-century Ceylonese Dharmakirti in his Rupavatara.(6) Here it appears as verse 1, the initial benediction of this reorganization of Panini's grammar, and there is no sign that it is a quotation coming from a version of the Paniniyasiksa. While its incorporation into the Paniniyasiksa may have taken place perhaps at a later time, it indicates the presence of this belief in the region of south India and Ceylon in the tenth century A.D. Another important fact must be mentioned here. Dharmakirti is a Buddhist writer, and yet his benedictory verse makes a reference to Panini having received his aksarasamamnaya from Mahesvara. It is only the second verse of the work that contains a salutation to the Buddha. It is not clear how Dharmakirti accommodated both Mahesvara and the Buddha among his objects of veneration. Minimally, it is clear that the story of Panini having received his aksarasamamnaya from Mahesvara must have been so widespread in his time and region, that it could not be overlooked even by a Buddhist author.

Kaiyata does not explicitly show any awareness of Panini receiving either his grammar or the Sivasutras from Siva. Additionally, Kaiyata's religious affiliation seems to be Vaisnavite. His Pradipa begins with a salutation to Narayana. His teacher's name is mentioned in the initial verses as Mahesvara. In any case, Kaiyata, coming from Kashmir, shows no awareness that Panini received his aksarasamamnaya or his grammar from Siva. However, he refers once to Patanjali by the term Naganatha (ad Mahabhasya ad P. 4.2.92 [Motilal Banarsidass ed.], II: 430), and this shows his awareness of the motif of Patanjali being an incarnation of Sesa. Kaiyata's principle, yathottaram hi munitrayasya pramanyam (Pradipa ad MB ad P. 1.1.29; I: 217), provides an ordered hierarchy between the three grammarian-sages.

One wonders if there is a slight difference between the attitudes of Haradatta and Kaiyata. Haradatta shows his awareness of Panini being inspired by Siva, but not that Patanjali is an incarnation of Sesa. Perhaps, this allows him to develop a more complementary view of the three great sages of grammar. On the other hand, Kaiyata knows the myth of Patanjali being an incarnation of Sesa, but not that of Panini being inspired by Siva. Perhaps this is what allows him to develop a more hierarchical view of the three grammarian-sages, placing Patanjali at the apex. This may have been further aided by his reliance on Bhartrhari, who refers to Patanjali as the foremost among the sistas (cf. ayam tv adisistah [MB-D, 108]). In any case, these are only speculative musings.

The incorporation of the verse yenaksarasamamnayam, etc., into the metrical Paniniyasiksa probably occurred by the middle of the second millennium A.D. It certainly occurred before the time of Bhattoji Diksita and Nagesabhatta. For Sivaramendrasarasvati, who lived after Bhattoji Diksita, but before Nagesabhatta, it is beyond comprehension why Kaiyata seems to call the author of the aksarasamamnaya by the title sutrakara. Sivaramendrasarasvati says, in his Mahabhasyasiddhantaratnaprakasa (Mahabhasyapradipavyakhyanani, I: 120):

mahadevenaivatrakaro vivrta upadistas tasya varttikakarena prayojanamatram anvakhyayate va, varttikakarenaiva mahadevopadistasya samvrtasya vivrtopadesah saprayojanah kartavyataya bodhyate veti prasnah / evam ca "kim sutra-karenaiva vivrtopadesah krtah" iti vadata [kaiyatena] "yenaksarasamamnayam adhigamya mahesvarat / krtsnam vyakaranam proktam tasmai paninaye namah" iti paniniyasiksadau paniniyasutrapathadau ca sarvaih sistaih pathyamanatvena puranaprasiddhatvena ca tadupeksanaucityat / astadhyayyadau kaiscit pathyamanatvamatrenaksarasamamnayasya paninikrtatvayogat / "vrddhisabdah sastradau mangalarthah prayuktah" iti bhasyavirodhat / mahadevasya sutrakaratvena vaiyakaranair avyavahriyamanatvac ca

[With reference to the sound a listed in the Sivasutra a-i-u-N], the question is whether the author of the Varttikas is merely explaining the purpose of the sound a which is taught by Mahadeva [= Siva] himself as an open (vivrta) sound, or whether Mahadeva taught it as a close (samvrta) sound and that the author of the Varttikas proposes that it should be taught, for certain purposes, as an open sound. Thus, [for Kaiyata], saying, "Was the teaching done by the author of the Sutras?" it is inappropriate to disregard [Mahadeva's agency in teaching the aksarasamamnaya], since it is known from the verse of the Paniniyasiksa i.e., yenaksara . . . etc., which is recited by all learned scholars at the beginning of the Sutras of Panini and which is well known since ancient times. Just because the aksarasamamnaya is recited at the beginning [= just before the beginning] of Panini's grammar, it is not appropriate to view it as having been authored by Panini. Such a view is contrary to Patanjali's statement in the Mahabhasya: "The word vrddhi [in P. 1.1.1, v.rddhir adaic] has been used at the beginning of the treatise for the sake of marking an auspicious beginning." Additionally, grammarians do not refer to Mahadeva by the title sutrakara, author of the Sutras.

Nagesabhatta, the last luminary in the tradition of Paninian grammar, shows the full blossoming of many of the notions which he inherited. He knows that the three sages of the Sanskrit grammar were munis. He knows the story of Panini receiving his grammar, and especially the aksarasamamnaya, from Siva. He also knows the story of Patanjali being an incarnation of Sesa. Introductory verses to many of his works refer to Patanjali in his appearance as a serpent (cf. nagesabhatto nagesabhasitarthavicaksanah, verse 2ab, at the beginning of Uddyota ad MB [Motilal Banarsidass ed., I: 1]). He is indeed aware of Kaiyata's maxim: yathottaram hi munitrayasya pramanyam. While commenting on this maxim, Nagesabhatta says that the later sage is likely to have known a wider usage of language (uttarottarasya bahulaksyadarsitvat [Uddyota ad MB (Motilal Banarsidass ed., I: 217)]; also see Uddyota ad MB ad P. 3.1.87 [dhinvikrnvyor . . .] [Motilal Banarsidass ed., II: 100]). If this progressively wider vision is purely through chronological succession, it does not explain why this process must end with Patanjali. In any case, it is clear that, among the three grammarian-munis, Nagesa shows the highest respect for Patanjali. At the very beginning of his Pradipa, Kaiyata takes up the question of why the bhasyakara (= Patanjali) should explain the purposes of studying Sanskrit grammar (bhasyakaro vivaranakaratvat vyakaranasya saksat prayojanam aha [Pradipa ad MB (Motilal Banarsidass ed., I: 3)]). Commenting on this passage of Pradipa, Nagesabhatta refers to all the three grammarians. While he refers to Panini by name, and to Katyayana as varttikakrt, he refers to Patanjali by the honorific bhagavan (paninina . . ., varttikakrta . . ., bhagavams tu . . . [Uddyota ad MB (Motilal Banarsidass ed., I: 3)]). All these factors, and especially the divine origin of Panini's grammar, are taken up by Nagega and woven into a powerful argument to explain the status and the authority of the rules of Sanskrit grammar.

Nagegabhatta seems to have explicitly introduced the distinction between the two phases of Sanskrit grammar: laksyaikacaksuska and laksanaikacaksuska grammarians (Paribhasendusekhara, 87 and 145; Uddyota ad Pradipa ad Mahabhasya ad P. 8.3.15). The term laksyaikacaksuska refers to those grammarians whose sole attention is fixed on the usage of Sanskrit to be described, and who can modify the rules of grammar in terms of their independent knowledge of the correct usage of Sanskrit. This category includes only the first three sages, i.e., Panini, Katyayana, and Patanjali. The term laksanaikacaksuska refers to those grammarians who have no independent access to the correct usage of Sanskrit and whose attention is fixed on the inherited rules of Sanskrit grammar. Thus, for the laksyaikacaksuska grammarians, the correct usage of Sanskrit, independently known, is the final authority. However, the reverse is the case for the laksanaikacaksuska grammarians. For them, the authority of the inherited rules is the most decisive principle of authority. It is within this laksanaikacaksuska phase of Sanskrit grammar that one seeks the authority of the ancient grammarian-munis, rather than of any true contemporary sistas. Nagegabhatta, more than most other grammarians, uses the reason of "being contrary to the Bhasya" to reject the views of his opponents (e.g., yat tu . . . iti abhyastasamjnasutre kaiyatah, tan na, "ha samprasarane" iti sutrasthabhasyavirodhat [Laghusabdendusekhara, 48]).

The quasi-religious argument relating to the status of the Sivasutras and the Astadhyayi is presented most explicitly by Nagesabhatta in his Laghusabdendusekhara. This is a commentary on Bhattoji Diksita's Siddhantakaumudi. There, Bhattoji himself clearly labels the Sivasutras as iti mahesvarani sutrani.(7) This indeed refers to verse 57 of the Paniniyasiksa: yenaksarasamamnayam . . ., cited above.

Nagesabhatta takes up the question of why these fourteen strings of phonemes should be called samamnaya, since the terms amnaya and samamnaya are used only to refer to Vedic texts. This is answered by saying that since these are received from Mahesvara, they are indeed a form of sruti received by Panini (cf. nanu caturdasasutryam aksarasamamnaya iti vyavaharanupapattir amnayasamamnayasabdayor vede eva prasiddher ity ata aha - mahesvaraniti / mahesvarad agatanity arthah, mahesvaraprasadalabdhaniti phalitam / evan caivamanupurvika srutir evaisa tatprasadat paninina labdha [Laghusabdendusekhara, 16-18]). Nagegabhatta cites the above verse from the Paniniyasiksa as his authority (pramana) for this view.(8) Toward this end, he interprets the word acarya in the Mahabhasya, referring to the author of the aksarasamamnaya, as referring to Mahesvara, and not to Panini (cf. lan-sutre nakaravisayacaryapravrttir jnapayati . . . vyakhyanata iti ity adav acaryapadena mahesvarah / anubandhas ca mahesvarakrta evety anupadam sphutibhavisyati [Laghusabdendusekhara, 18]).

The change in perception is even more vivid if we compare Nagegabhatta with Kaiyata. On the Mahabhasya on the sivasutra (a-i-u-N), Kaiyata says: "Is it the case that the author of the Sutras himself used an open (vowel a), and the author of the Varttikas is merely explaining the purpose, or is it that the author of the Sutras did not use an open (vowel a), but the author of the Varttikas is advocating such a use?" (kim sutrakarenaiva vivrtopadesah krto varttikakarena tu tasya prayojanam uktam, athava akrta eva vivrtopadeso varttikakrta kartavyatvenopanyasta iti prasnah [Pradipa ad MB (Motilal Banarsidass ed., I: 64)]). It is clear that Kaiyat. a believes that the author of a-i-u-.N is the satrakara, i.e., Panini. On the other hand, Nagesabhatta's Uddyota identifies this sutrakara unquestionably with Mahesvara (sutrakarah - mahesvarah vedapuruso va, yenaksarasamamnayam ity ady aitihyad ity ahuh [Uddyota ad MB (Motilal Banarsidass ed., I: 64)]; also: acaryena [Pradipa], but contrast sivo vedapuruso vatracaryah [Uddyota ad MB (Motilal Banarsidass ed., I: 74)]). It may be pointed out that what we may call a story or myth today, Nagesabhatta refers to by the word aitihya, 'traditional account.' The progression of the religious sentiment in the arena of grammar is clearly visible in these reinterpretations. We may note a few subtle differences between Kaiyata and Nagesa on this count. Kaiyata's Pradipa begins with a salutation to Narayana-Visnu, though, as informed by the fourth introductory verse, the name of his guru 'teacher' or 'father' was Mahesvara. At least, his overt religious preference is for Narayana-Visnu. On the other hand, the Uddyota of Naegabhatta begins with a salutation to Siva. Additionally, the first verse also informs us that his father's name was Siva and his mother's name was Sati. This shows a strong Saivaite family affiliation.(9)

Nagesabhatta also deals with a related problem created by the classification of the Sivasutras as a form of sruti. On the sivasutra na-ma-na-na-na-M, Patanjali rejects the necessity of having the final M (MB I: 35-36). If these sutras are indeed a form of sruti, how could one propose to remove an unnecessary element? Nagesabhatta says (Laghusabdendusekhara, 19) that this rejection of a portion of a rule is only with reference to its practical purpose, lit., 'visible purpose' (drstartha), and not with reference to its unseen purpose (adrstartha). This unseen purpose is explained by saying that the recitation of the vedangas by itself produces religious merit, and that the production of religious merit is the unseen purpose. Nagesabhatta extends the same argument to Panini's rules and their rejection by Patanjali. Nagesabhatta says that some rules have seen and unseen purposes, while some have only unseen purposes, and there are no rules which are entirely without purpose:

kincid drstadrstarthavat, kincic chuddhadrstarthavat, sarvathanarthakam na kincid iti tadarthah / vrddhisatrasthe varnenapy anarthakena na bhavitavyam iti bhasyagranthe 'narthakatvam bodhyartharahityarupam iti na nisprayojanatvarupanarthakyena tatra tatra pratyakhyanaparabhasyasahgatih (Laghusabdendusekhara, 20).

Besides quoting the verse from the Paniniyasiksa, Nagesa clearly refers to another text, i.e., the Karika (also called Kasika) of Nandikesvara (cf. Uddyota ad MB [Nirnayasagara ed., I: 132]). This is a text which comes from the tradition of Kashmir Saivism and is available with a commentary by Upamanyu. Its first verse, which is known widely in the late Paninian tradition, narrates the story of Siva playing his drum (dhakka) fourteen times at the end of his dance. Through these drum-beats, he manifested the fourteen sivasutrani in order to uplift sages like Sanaka spiritually (cf. nrttavasane natarajarajo nanada dhakkam navapancavaram / uddhartukamah sanakadisiddhan etad vimarse sivasutrajalam [MB (Nirnayasagara ed.), I: 132]). This informs us that the Sivasutras have a larger spiritual purpose than the merely grammatical use made by Panini. The second verse says that the marker sounds at the end of each of these sivasutras are there specifically to facilitate the formation of Paninian grammar (cf. atra sarvatra sutresu antyavarnacaturdasam / dhatvartham samupadistam paninyadistasiddhaye [ibid.]). The commentary of Upamanyu actually goes a step further and tries to explain even the so-called marker sounds in a non-grammatical fashion. For example, commenting on the tenth verse of Nandikesvara, Upamanyu explains the sivasutra r-l-K by paraphrasing each of the three sounds: r paramesvarah l mayakhyam manovrttim k adarsayat. Certainly the tradition of Kashmir Shaivism does not wish to let any of the sounds of the Sivasutras be without a spiritual purpose.

On shaky grounds, K. C. Pandey (1935: 592) considers Nandikesvara to be "an older contemporary of Panini." Referring to the commentary of Upamanyu, Pandey (1954: 49) narrates the following story:

The sages, Nandikesvara, Patanjali, Vyaghrapat and Vasistha, etc. contemplated on Siva for inspiration. As an act of grace to them, Siva appeared and struck his hand drum (Damaru). The sounds, produced by it, symbolically presented the fourteen Sutras. The Sutras, found at the commencement of Panini's Astadhyayi are articulate representations of the inarticulate sounds of Siva's handdrum. The sages, unable to understand the meaning of the Sutras, approached Nandikesvara for clarification. He (Nandikesvara) expounded the meaning in Twenty-six verses, which constitute the text of the Nandikesvara Kasika (cf. iha khalu sakalalokanayakah paramesvarah paramasivah sanakasanandanasanatkumaradin srotrn nandikesapatanjalivyaghrapadvasisthadin uddhartukamo damaruninadavyajena caturdasasutryatmakam tattvam upadidesa / tad anu te sarve munindravaryas cirakalam asritanam asmakam tattvam caturdasasutryatmakam upadideseti matva asya sutrajalasya tattvartham nandikesvaro janatiti nandikesvaram pranipatya prstavantas tatas tesu prstavatsu sa sadvimsatikarikarupena tattvam sutranam upadestum icchann idam acacakse).

Basing himself upon this evidence, Pandey argues:

The literary tradition, referred to in the preceding section recognizes Nandikesvara to be a contemporary of Panini. There seems to be some truth in this tradition. For, Patanjali, in his Mahabhasya, seems to refer to the interpretation of the system of sounds, represented in the fourteen Sutras, by Nandikesvara. For he talks of it as "Brahmarasih." This view seems to find support in the interpretation of Brahmarasih as Brahmatattvam by Kaiyata. But in the opinion of Nagesa Bhatta, as expressed in the course of his commentary on the above, Patanjali had Nandikesvara's view in his mind. For, Nagesa definitely quotes the fourth verse of the Nandikesvara Kasika.

As I have noted above, there is no reference to Siva or to Nandikesvara in the Mahabhasya, Bhartrhari's Mahabhasya-Dipika, or Kaiyata's Pradipa. Pandey's argument has very little value from a historical point of view. If his "literary evidence" has any historical relevance, not only Nandikesvara would be a contemporary of Panini, he would also be a contemporary of Patanjali, thus making ultimately Panini and Patanjali contemporaries of each other. This makes little historical sense.(10) The original verses of Nandikesvara make no reference to Patanjali and Vyaghrapad, etc. They refer only to Sanaka, etc., and to Panini. Upamanyu's extension of the assemblage of sages to include Patanjali and Vyaghrapad clearly refers to the stories as they are connected with the Nataraja temple in Chidambaram, where there is a shrine dedicated to Vyaghrapad and Patanjali in the courtyard. These stories are later recorded in the text of Patanjalicarita of Ramabhadradiksita. K. C. Pandey (1954: 51) dates Upamanyu to "the close of the 11th and the beginning of the 12th century A.D." The text of Nandikegvara's Kasika itself cannot predate the general appearance of the Kashmir Saiva texts, i.e., eighth century A.D. In reverse of Pandey's argument, it seems to me that it is Patanjali's characterization of the sounds of the Sivasutras as brahmarasi that allowed Nandikesvara to further connect these sounds to a Saivaite system. Professor Raffaele Torella, in a personal communication, comments: "I don't remember seeing any reference to Nandikesvara's Kasika/Karika in any Kashmir Shaiva texts (even where one might most have expected to find it, like the Paratrimsikavivarana or Tantraloka, ch. III). In fact, the only reference to it that I am aware of is that by Nagesa. My impression is that this is not an old text (a forerunner of the Kashmiri Shaiva doctrines, as Pandey thinks), but a late one which rather presupposes the doctrines of the so-called 'Kashmir Shaivism' at a postexegetical stage (e.g., the first verse of the Spandakarika is distinctly echoed by a verse of the NK." I thank Professor Torella for his suggestions.

How old is the notion that Panini was inspired by Siva? This story is already known to Haradatta and is found in relatively later texts such as Jaya(d)ratha's Haracaritacintamani (ch. 27) and Ramabhadradiksita's Patanjalicarita. The fact that the story appears in the frame of Kathasaritsagara (taranga 4, vv. 20ff.; p. 8) and is linked to the origin of Gunadhya's Brhatkatha is very significant. The same connection is seen in Jaya(d)ratha's Haracaritacintamani (early thirteenth century A.D.). If this connection to Brhatkatha is valid, then the story of Siva having inspired Panini may be as old as the Brhatkatha itself. S. N. Dasgupta (1962: 92-93) says: "to assign it [= Brhatkatha] to the fourth century A.D. would not be an unjust conjecture," and he further (p. 93) points out that both Gunadhya and Brhatkatha are closely connected to the Saivite tradition. It would thus seem that the notion of Panini having been inspired by Siva may have developed in certain Saivite communities around the middle of the first millennium A.D. It was originally, in all likelihood, independent of the Chidambaram mythology associating Siva Nataraja with Patanjali incarnated as Adisesa. David Dean Shulman (1980: 122ff.) discusses extensively the complex relationships of Adisesa with various different south Indian Saivite shrines, most of which have little to do with his character as the grammarian Patanjali. In fact, I have a suspicion that Bhartrhari, calling Patanjali adisista, may have been later [mis]understood as referring to Adisesa. However, this identification is not critical to the connection of Adisesa with Saivite shrines. Eventually, in certain quarters, the story of Patanjali/Adisesa watching Siva Nataraja's dance was extended to include Panini as a witness to the same event. This did indeed make Panini and Patanjali mythically contemporay, as seen in the Kasika/Karika of Nandikesvara. The early north Indian traditions recorded by the Chinese travelers do attest to the popular belief in the region including Salatura that Panini received his inspiration from Siva, but they do not seem to be aware of the motif of Siva Nataraja's dance. Even the verses found in the late versions of the Paniniyasiksa, which refer to Panini receiving his aksarasamamnaya from Siva, do not make any reference to Panini being a witness to the dance of Siva-Nataraja. The same may be said about the accounts found in the Kathasaritsagara, Haracaritacintamani, Bhavisyapurana, etc. (cf. passages cited in the introduction to the Nirnayasagara ed. of the Mahabhasya, vol. I).

Was this Saivite claim the only religious claim in relation to Panini, or was this even the oldest claim? In this connection, we now need to explore the materials provided by the Buddhist tradition. The Buddhist claims are essentially unknown to, or at least unrecorded by, the Paninian grammatical tradition, since none of the commentators, including the Buddhist writers, make any reference to it.(11) However, within the Buddhist tradition, there is considerable material relating to Panini and the Buddhist interaction with the Saivites and their claims.

We shall begin our consideration of the Buddhist materials with the reports from the History of Buddhism in India written by the Tibetan Lama Taranatha, who completed this work in A.D. 1608. Taranatha is aware of the Saivite claims that Panini was inspired by Siva and that Patanjali is viewed as Sesanaga (Taranatha, 203). However, he clearly opposes the first of these claims. Here is Taranatha (p. 83):

The brahmana Panini was a friend of king Nanda. He was born in the Bhirukavana in the west. He asked the palmist whether he was going to be an expert in grammar. The prediction was in the negative. With a sharp knife, he changed the lines of his own palm, studied grammar under all the grammarians of the world, worked hard and acquired great proficiency. Yet he remained dissatisfied. By intense propitiation, he received the vision of the tutelary deity. The deity appeared before him and uttered a, i, u, and he acquired knowledge of all words in the three worlds.

The "outsiders" [bahyas or tirthikas] consider him as the isvara. But the "outsiders" have no basis for this. The "insiders" [= Buddhists] consider him as Avalokitesvara. This is based on the prophecy of the Manjusri-mulatantra: "Panini, the son of a brahmana, will certainly attain the sravaka-bodhi. I have predicted that he would be the great lokesvara (Avalokitesvara) by his own words."

The same passage of the Mahjusrimulakalpa is referred to by the Tibetan historian Bu-ston, and Obermiller (vol. II, p. 167) translates the passage as:

Panini, the brahmana's son, Has been prophesied by me To attain the enlightenment of the sravakas And he shall likewise secure the charm For propitiating the High Lord of the Universe.

Here is the Sanskrit text as given by P. L. Vaidya in his edition of the Manjusrimulakalpa (Mahayanasutrasamgraha, cb. 53, vv. 404-5; II: 478):

tasyapy anyatamah sakhyah paninir nama manavah niyatam sravakatvena vyakrto me bhavisyati so 'pi siddhamantras tu lokisaya mahatmanah

Lama Chimpa and Alaka Chattopadhyaya, the translators of Taranatha's work, note (p. 83, note 10)' "Interestingly, Panini's grammar, as preserved in Tg (mDo cxxxv.1) is mentioned as being revealed by Arya Avalokitesvara to Panini." It is important to note that the Hybrid Sanskrit of the Manjusrimulakalpa uses the word lokisa[[less than] loka+ isa] as the name of the inspiring deity, which is interpreted by the Buddhist tradition as referring to Avalokitesvara. As one can begin to see, the common element of isa or isvara in the names Avalokitesvara and Mahesvara provides for a possibility of interpreting some older beliefs in two alternative ways. We shall explore this relationship between Avalokitesvara and Mahesvara later in greater detail. But first, it is important to review Hiuen Tsang's account of his travels in the northwestern part of the subcontinent, written around A.D. 629.

Hiuen Tsang provides us some invaluable information, both regarding the religious practices and beliefs relating to Avalokitesvara and Mahesvara in this region, as well as to the disputes over who inspired Panini. Referring to the region of Kapisa (in modern Afghanistan), Hiuen Tsang says (Beal 1884: 60): "At 2 or 3 li to the west of the stone chambers, above a great mountain pass, there is a figure of Kwan-tsz'-tsai Bodhisattva (= Avalokitesvara); those who with sincere faith desire to see him, to them the Bodhisattva appears coming forth from the image, his body of marvelous beauty, and he gives rest and reassurance to the travellers." In his footnote (n. 210, p. 60), Beal points out: "He is generally described as 'the god of mercy,' because he hears the cries of men. Probably a relic or revival of the old worship of hill-gods. Hence his figure placed on this mountaintop." Referring to a close-by region of Po-lu-sha (near Puskalavati), Hiuen Tsang says:

To the north-east of the city of Po-lu-sha 50 li or so, we come to a high mountain, on which is a figure of the wife of Isvara Deva carved out of green stone. This is Bhima Devi (= Durga). . . . It has the reputation of working numerous miracles, and therefore is venerated by all, so that from every part of India men come to pay their vows and seek prosperity thereby. . . . Below the mountain is the temple of Mahesvara Deva; the heretics who cover themselves with ashes come here to offer sacrifice. (Beal 1884: 113-14)

It is clear that Hiuen Tsang is referring to a prominent cult of Siva in the general vicinity of the region of Salatura, Panini's home, which he visits next. Hiuen Tsang narrates the stories he heard about Panini in the town of Salatura:

Referring to the most ancient times, letters were very numerous; but when, in the process of ages, the word was destroyed and remained as a void, the Devas of long life descended spiritually to guide the people. Such was the origin of the ancient letters and composition. From this time and after it the source (of language) spread and passed its (former) bounds. Brahma Deva and Sakra (Devendra) established rules according to the requirements. Rsis belonging to different schools each drew up forms of letters. Men in their successive generations put into use what had been delivered to them; but nevertheless students without ability were unable to make use. And now men's lives were reduced to the length of a hundred years, when the Rsi Panini was born; he was from his birth extensively informed about things. The times being dull and careless, he wished to reform the vague and false rules - to fix the rules and correct improprieties. As he wandered about asking for right ways, he encountered Igvara Deva, and recounted to him the plan of his undertaking. Isvara Deva said, "Wonderful! I will assist you in this." The Rsi, having received instruction, retired. He then laboured incessantly and put forth all his power of mind. He collected a multitude of words, and made a book on letters which contained a thousand slokas. . . . It contained everything known from the first till then, without exception, respecting letters and words. . . . And so from that time masters have received it and handed it down in its completeness for the good of the world. Hence the Brahmanas of this town are well grounded in their literary work, and are of high renown for their talents, well informed as to things, and of a vigorous understanding. (Beal 1884:114-16)

This report informs us of a belief, around A.D. 600 in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent, that it was Siva who inspired Panini. It also has echoes of Patanjali's Mahabhasya (I: 5) about the age of men having become one hundred years and the consequent necessity of an abbreviated formulation of grammar. It further indicates continuity of the study of Panini's grammar in the region of Salatura. Then comes a Buddhist response to Panini:

In the town of So-lo-tu-lo [= Salatura] is a stupa. This is the spot where an Arhat converted a disciple of Panini. Tathagata had left the world some five hundred years, when there was a great Arhat who came to the country of Kashmir, and went about converting men. Coming to this place, he saw a Brahmacarin occupied in chastising a boy whom he was instructing in letters. Then the Arhat spoke to the Brahmana thus: "Why do you cause pain to this child?" The Brahmana replied, "I am teaching him the Sabdavidya, but he makes no proper progress." The Arhat smiled significantly, . . . (and said:) ". . . No doubt you have heard of the Rsi Panini, who compiled the Sabdavidya Sastra, which he has left for the instruction of the world." The Brahmana replied, "The children of this town, who are his disciples, revere his eminent qualities, and a statue erected to his memory still exists." The Athat continued: "This little boy whom you are instructing was that very (Panini) Rsi. As he devoted his vigorous mind to investigate worldly literature, he only produced heretical treatises without any power of true reason in them. His spirit and his wisdom were dispersed, and he has run through the cycles of continued birth from then till now. Thanks to some remnant of true virtue, he has been now born as your attached child; but the literature of the world and these treatises are only cause of useless efforts to him, and are as nothing compared to the holy teaching of Tathagata, which, by its mysterious influences, procures both happiness and wisdom. . . . But now, O virtuous one! permit your pupil to leave him home. Becoming a disciple of Buddha, the merits we secure are not to be told." . . . The Brahmana was deeply affected . . . and permitted the child to become a disciple of Buddha and acquire wisdom. Moreover, he himself changed his belief, and mightily reverenced the three precious ones. The people of the village, following his example, became disciples, and till now they have remained earnest in their profession. (Beal 1884: 117-18)

This account is most interesting in indicating a localized Buddhist response to Panini. On the one hand, the Buddhists had great admiration for his accomplishments in grammar, and yet they wished he were not associated with the "heretical" Vedic/Brahmanical tradition. Here, by a belated conversion of Panini reborn as a boy, the Buddhists tried to accomplish both tasks: acceptance of Panini within Buddhism, and rejection of his Brahmanical connection. While the tradition recorded in the Manjusrimulakalpa directly attributes Panini's inspiration to Avalokitesvara (viz, Lokisa) and awards a lower form of enlightenment (= sravakabodhi) to him, it still hints at Panini's incorporation into the Buddhist tradition. A prophecy about Panini becoming a leading grammarian (paninim sabdanetaram) is also found in the Sagathaka section of the Saddharmalankavatarasutra (10.813; p. 160). While some portions of this Buddhist sutra predate A.D. 443, and perhaps even go to the "beginning of the Christian era or probably before it" (P. L. Vaidya, Lahkavatarasutra, xv), the Sagathaka section along with the Mamsabhaksana section are believed to be relatively later additions.(12)

In connection with the acceptance of and incorporation of Panini within an overall Buddhist framework, the role of the Buddhist Candragomin/Candracarya is very significant. We hear of the recovery of a lost tradition of the Mahabhasya of Patanjali by Candragomin/Candracarya as reported in the concluding verses of the second chapter of Bhartrhari's Vakyapadiya (II: 486): parvatad agamam labdhva bhasyabijanusaribhih / sa nito bahusakhatvam candracaryadibhih punah. While the specific mode of transmission of the Mahabhasya has been debated in a number of recent studies, the connection of Candragomin/Candracarya has not been questioned. This connection has also been supported by Kalhana's Rajatarahgini (1.176): candracaryadibhir labdhva desat tasmat tadagamam / pravartitam mahabhasyam svam cavygkaranam krtam. The identity of this Candracarya with the Buddhist scholar Candragomin, the author of the Candravyakarana, is supported by the accounts given by traditional Buddhist historians like Lama Taranatha (pp. 202ff.).

The second piece of evidence comes from the travel accounts left by the Chinese travelers. Nalinaksha Dutt cites Hwui-Li's life of Hiuen Tsang (rendered by Dutt as Yuan Chwang): "The priests belonging to the convent (of Nalanda) or strangers (residing therein) always number 10,000 and all study the Great Vehicle, as well as the works belonging to the eighteen sects, and not only so, but even ordinary works such as the Vedas and other books, the Hetuvidya, the Sabdavidya, the Cikitsavidya, the works on magic (Atharva Veda), and the Sankhya" (Nalinaksha Dutt 1956: 165). Dutt also cites (ibid.) the report from I-tsing: "I-tsing mentions the grammatical works a scholar was required to study. These include the following: Panini's Sutras, Dhatupatha, Astadhatu, Unadisutras, Kasikavrtti, Curni (perhaps the same as Patanjali's Mahabhasya), Bhartrhari's Sastra, Vakyapadiya and Pei-na (= Prakirnaka, Vakyapadiya Kanda III)." Referring to Edkins, Chinese Buddhism, page 289; Beal (1884:110, n. 55) says: "Now Nalanda was especially a place of study both for the Brahmanical and Buddhist books."

The third piece of evidence for the status of Paninian grammar within the Buddhist tradition comes from the use of Panini's rules by Buddhist authors, and the commentaries written by Buddhist authors on Panini. Nagarjuna's Madhyamakasastra exhibits a general familiarity with Paninian terminology, especially in the second chapter, titled Gatagatapariksa, and the eighth chapter, titled Karmakarakapariksa. Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakosabhasya also exhibits familiarity with Paninian terminology (cf. vol. I, p. 21: madhyamapadalopam krtva: p. 117: drsikriya . . . kartrkriyabhedah; p. 135: idi paramaisvarye; p. 271: uca samavaye). The commentators on these works exhibit even greater familiarity by directly citing Panini's rules. For example, on the Madhyamakakarika 8.1, Candrakirti cites P. 1.4.49 (kartur ipsitatamam karma). The commentaries, besides occasional direct quotations of Panini's rules, are also often filled with Paninian technical vocabulary (cf. pratityasabdo 'tra lyabantah praptav apeksayam vartate / samutpurvah padih pradurbhavartha iti samutpadasabdah pradurbhave vartate / . . . apare tu bruvate - itir gamanam vinasah / itau sadhava ityah /pratir vipsarthah / ity evam taddhitantam ityasabdam vyutpadya . . . / . . . taddhitante cetyasabde . . . ity atra pratityasabdasyavyayatvabhavat samasasadbhavac ca vibhaktisrutau satyam . . . iti nipatah syat / . . . / ityavyayasyaiva lyabantasya vyutpattir abhyupeya [Candrakirti's Prasannapada ad Nagarjuna's Madhyamakakarika 1.1; p. 2]). This predilection for using Paninian rules and terminology is shared by widely differing Buddhist traditions and authors, e.g., Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu, Candrakirti, and Yagomitra (cf. Abhidharmakosa, I: 4-9).

Similarly, it should be noted that many Buddhist authors contributed to the Paninian tradition by writing important commentaries. About the authors of the Kasikavrtti, i.e., Vamana and Jayaditya, there is a controversy about whether they were Buddhists. However, Jinendrabuddhi, the author of the commentary Nyasa on the Kasikavrtti was a Buddhist, and so were Dharmakirti (the author of the Rupavatara), Purusottamadeva (the author of the Bhasavrtti) and Saranadeva (the author of the Durghatavrtti). We shall discuss the attitudes of some of these commentators in some details later. Even Candragomin, who did not write a commentary on Panini as such, but is credited with saving the tradition of the Mahabhasya from extinction, expresses his great admiration for Panini, Katyayana, and Patanjali, in the grammatical examples constructed in the auto-commentary(13) on his Candravyakarana:

nayate paninir vyakarane pujam adhigacchatity arthah, "'Panini leads in the field of grammar,' means he receives honor," cited on Candravyakarana (1.4.82; vol. I, p. 145)

nayate katyayano vyakarane / prameyam niscinotity arthah, "'Katyayana leads in the field of grammar,' means he determines the subject-matter," cited on Candravyakarana (1.4.82; vol. I, p. 146)

vadate patanjalir vyakarane / jaanaparvakam vadatity arthah, "'Patanjali [authoritatively] speaks in the field of grammar,' means he speaks knowledgeably," cited on Candravyakarana (1.4.93; vol. I, p. 149)

The role of Candragomin in the history of the ninian tradition and his own Buddhist faith may have possibly something to do with the Avalokitesvara/ Mahesvara controversy as regards Panini's inspiration. Lama Taranatha (pp. 202ff.) reports:

While residing on the island (called Candravipa after him), he set up the stone images of Arya Avalokitesvara and Arya Tara. . . . Instructed by Arya Avalokitesvara, he became a gomi upasaka. The merchants took him to the Simhala island. . . . He went to Nalanda, the mine of learning. . . . [The teacher Candrakirti asked him:] "Where do you come from?" " I am coming from the south" [Candragomin] said. . . . [During his debate with Candrakirti], Candragomi used to sit in the temple of Avalokitesvara and to receive from him during the night answers to the arguments put forth by Candrakirti during the day. . . . So Candrakirti thought: "Somebody must be teaching him these arguments." Thinking thus, he followed Candragomi to the temple. From outside the door, he overheard the stone image of Arya Avalokitesvara teaching the Doctrine to Candragomin, much in the manner in which an Acarya teaches his disciples. . . . In the Dhanyakataka caitya there, he [= Candragomi] worshipped Tara and Arya Avalokitesvara and built a hundred temples for each of them. He went to the Potala hill and is still living there without renouncing his mortal body.

In this fascinating narrative, there are numerous circumstantial details that are of importance to us. Candragomin is associated closely with Avalokitesvara, especially with Avalokitesvara as the source of his knowledge of the sastras. Second, Candragomin is associated with the south, and then moves to the north. Thus, Candragomin, indeed among others, could be associated with the transmission of southern ideas to the north. Thirdly, he is reported to have gone to the Potala mountain, and settled there. If this Potala of Taranatha is the same as the Potalaka mountain referred to by Hiuen Tsang [in the northwest?], then Candragomin also gets associated with a prominent shrine of Avalokitesvara, where Avalokitesvara was popularly known to appear also in the form of Mahesvara. Thus, Candragomin and the myths associated with him probably played a significant role in the development of the notion that Avalokitesvara/Mahesvara inspired Panini, just as he inspired Candragomin himself.

Another story reported by Taranatha (p. 206) and Janakiprasad Dvivedi (1987: 109) connected with Candragomin is also of interest to us. Apparently, Candragomin saw another grammatical work called Samantabhadra, composed by Candrakirti, at Nalanda. Thinking that his own grammar was not as good as this grammar, Candragomin threw his own grammar in a well. Upon this, Arya Tara told Candragomin to pull his work out of the well and assured him of its higher qualities. Janakiprasad Dvivedi (n. 1, p. 109) reports a folk-belief (janasruti, Hindi) that a portion of Candragomin's grammar was destroyed in the process of recovering it from the well. Without offering a source for this folk-belief, which is not found in the account of Taranatha, Dvivedi says: yadi yeh sahi ho to nast hue ams me svar-vaidik prakarano ke hone ka anuman lagaya ja sakta hai, jinke candragomidvara racit hone me kuch praman uplabdh hai (If this is true, then one can advance an inference of the sections dealing with accents and Vedic usage being among the destroyed portions, since we have some evidence that he did compose such sections). Dvivedi (pp. 65ff.) has offered some important evidence to suggest that Candragomin perhaps had a section dealing with accents and Vedic usage. However, Taranatha's account does not make any reference to Candragomin having written a grammar of Vedic usage. Perhaps to remove Candragomin from the Brahmanical context altogether, Taranatha reports (pp. 199ff.) that Candragomin, in his previous birth was "a Pandita who had attained the vision of Arya Avalokitesvara," and who was later "reborn as the son of a Ksatriya Pandita called Visesaka." After saying to his mother, "I hope you did not suffer much during these ten months," the child stopped talking until he emerged suddenly at the age of seven as a fully developed Buddhist philosopher. "Thus by himself he acquired proficiency in grammar, logic and all other general branches of knowledge without studying these under anybody." Taranatha does not mention that the ksatriya child learned the Vedas. Objectively speaking, the evidence offered by Dvivedi does show a strong possibility that Candragomin wrote sections on accents and Vedic usage. Similarly, the objective evidence from the Candravrtti shows that he had great respect for Panini, Katyayana, and Patanjali. However, the Buddhist narratives reported by Taranatha (p. 203) depict him in a more sectarian light, and show him harshly criticizing Patanjali:

He then returned to the south of Jambudvipa. In the temple of Brahmana Vararuci, he came across the image of [Vararuci] listening to grammar from the Naga and the commentary on Pani grammar as expounded by Sesanaga [= Patanjali]. [He thought]: A commentary should be brief in words, profound in significance, without repetition and complete. But the naive Naga [prepared a commentary which is] verbose, poor in purport, full of repetitions and is incomplete. Thus criticizing [the Naga], he composed a commentary on Pani. It is called the Candravyakarana and is clear and complete in all the sections. "This work, though brief, is clear and 'complete," - even this comment was a harsh criticism of the Naga.

Taranatha's account clearly confuses the Candravyakarana with a commentary on Panini's grammar. The interesting point to note, however, is that this narrative suggests a negative Buddhist attitude toward Patanjali, while at the same time showing acceptance of Panini within that tradition. Another important point this narrative brings out is that Candragomin received Patanjali's Mahabhasya in the south, a point also made, with differing details, by the Vakyapadiya and the Rajatarahgini.

Returning to the relationship between the cults of Avalokitesvara and Mahesvara, we should note that this relationship, as manifested in different texts and sculptural/artistic traditions, ranged from hostility and animosity, on the one hand, to accommodation, tolerance, and even identification between the two, in some traditions. This is perhaps what accounts for the variation in the Buddhist response to Panini.

The hostility between the Avalokitesvara cult and the Mahesvara cult is manifest in several important Buddhist texts. In the Karandavyuha, a text dedicated to the exposition of the figure of Avalokitesvara, the fourth section, called Candradyutpattih, narrates a conversation between the Buddha and the disciple Sarvavarananiskambhin about Avalokitesvara's greatness. The Buddha reports to his disciple the greatness of Avalokitesvara as narrated to him by the Tathagata Vipasyin (Mahayanasutrasamgraha, I: 265):

bhagavan aha - caksuso's candradityav utpannau, lalatan Mahesvarah, skandhebhyo brahmadayah, hrdayan narayanah, damstrabhyam sarasvati, mukhato vayavo jatah, dharani padabhyam, varunas codarat / yadaite deva jata aryavalokitesvarasya kayat, atharyavalokitesvaro bodhisattvo mahasattvo mahesvaram devaputram etad avocat - bhavisyasi tvam mahesvarah kaliyuge pratipanne / kastasattvadhatusamutpanna adideva akhyayase strastaram kartaram / te sarvasattva bodhimargena viprahina bhavisyanti, ya idrsaprthagjanesu sattvesu samkathyam kurvanti

The Lord said; "From [Avalokitesvara's] eyes were born the moon and the sun. From his forehead was born Mahesvara [= Siva]. Brahma and others were born from his shoulders. Narayana was born from his heart. Sarasvati was born from his jaws. The winds were born from his mouth, and the earth from his feet. Varuna was born from his belly. When these gods were born from the body of Arya Avalokitesvara, then Arya Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, the great being, said to Mahesvara, the young god (devaputra): 'When the Kali Yuga arrives, you will become Mahesvara, the great lord. Born from the realm of beings in distress, you will be called the Adideva, the foremost among gods, the creator. All those beings, who will hold conversation with such lowly common folks (who believe in you as the foremost among gods), will be deprived of the path to enlightenment.'"

In other passages, we get indications of subordination of Vedic gods, including Mahesvara, to the Buddha or the bodhisattvas. While the beginning of the Pali Vinaya (Mahavaggo, Brahmayacanakatha 6ff.) depicts Brahms as begging the Buddha that he should not remain silent, but teach his doctrine for the benefit of the world, the Saddharmapundarika (2.115; p. 39) includes among the supplicants, besides Brahma, the gods Indra, the Lokapalas, Isvara, Mahesvara, and uncountably large groups of Maruts (brahma ca mam yacati tasmi[n] kale sakras ca catvari ca lokapalah / mahesvaro isvara eva capi marudgananam ca sahasrakotyah).

Other passages of the Karandavyuha also indicate subordination of Mahesvara. The text says (Mahayanasutrasamgraha, I: 299) that gods such as Brahma, Visnu, Mahesvara, the Moon, the Sun, the Wind, Varuna, Agni, and Yama approach Avalokitesvara to worship him (pujakarmane upasamkramanti) and beg for "the sixsyllabled queen of wisdom" (te nityakalam sadaksarim mahavidyarajnim prarthayanti). However, in the Vaineyadharmopadesa section of the Karandavyuha (ibid.; p. 268), we are told that Avalokitesvara teaches differently to different beings, assuming different forms (yena yena rupena vaineyah sattvah, tena tena rupena dharmam desayati). Among the many different forms Avalokitesvara assumes are Mahesvara, Narayana, Brahma, Indra, Aditya, and others (cf. mahesvaravaineyanam sattvanam mahesvararupena dharmam desayati). The Saddharmapundarikasutra (p. 252) contains most of the passage from the Karandavyuhasutra mentioned above.(14) The Lahkavatarasutra (3.85; p. 78) reports the Buddha as saying that he is known by different names, but people do not realize that these are only different names referring to the same Tathagata (tais cabhilapanti mam, na ca prajananti tathagatasyaite namaparyaya iti). These names include the following: Brahma, Visnu, Isvara, Pradhana, Kapila, Bhutanta, Aristanemi, Soma, Bhaskara, Rama, Vyasa, Suka, Indra, Bali, and Varuna. These are indications of the Buddhist version of "inclusivism," a term which is normally used in reference to Hinduism. The name Mahesvara is occasionally used directly as an epithet for the Buddha (cf. Saddharmapundarikasutra, 4.60; p. 83: anuvartamanas tatha nityakalam nimittacarina braviti dharmam/dharmesvaro isvaru sarvaloke mahesvaro lokavinayakendrah).

The connections between Buddhist deities like Avalokitesvara and Mahesvara are also manifest in arthistorical and numismatic materials in India and elsewhere. The depiction of Buddhist and Hindu divinities, besides Greek and Iranian ones, can be seen in Kushan coinage (cf. B. Chattopadhyay 1967: 170ff.). It is perhaps here that we see the depiction of Siva in many different forms, besides the depiction of the Buddha, supported by the same rulers. This, at the very least, allows us to infer the co-existence of both the traditions in this region. Nalinaksha Dutt (1939: 12) remarks: "The Kashmirian history shows that Asoka built temples both for Siva and Buddha and since his reign the two faiths, i.e., Buddhism and Saivism, flourished in Kashmir side by side and even claimed at times the same persons as their devotees."

Such affinity is particularly evident between Avalokitesvara and Mahesvara. The close connection of Avalokitesvara and Siva was brought out by Alice Getty in her famous work, The Gods of Northern Buddhism, Their History and Iconography (1928):

Avalokitesvara is sometimes represented with five heads, in which case he resembles Siva as Mahadeva with five heads; but his form with more than one head has usually double that number, with the head of Amitabha on top, making eleven heads in all. He is often represented in yab-yum attitude with his sakti, but there are examples where he holds the yum on his knee in archaic manner, as Siva holds Parvati. (p. 59)

She also refers to forms of Avalokitesvara with kapala (p. 60), a third eye, wearing a tiger-skin, a trident, his throat blue because of poison, a serpent, and a crescent (p. 69). These are all clearly Saivite motifs. Referring to Avalokitesvara, Dietrich Seckel (1964: 224-25) points out:

Religious speculation and popular piety invest him with immense wisdom and the power to work miracles, as a result of which, as Buddhism becomes hinduized and popularized, he becomes cosmic ruler of the world, resembling Brahma, and finally, in Tantrism, is assimilated to Shiva . . . . Like Shiva, Avalokitesvara possesses various magical powers, symbolized in many of his guises by his having several heads and arms. Like Shiva again, he could also take on a fearsome guise, and could put his arms around a sakti in mystical union.

Madanjeet Singh (1968: 104ff.) points out the conditions around the time of Harsavardhana (A.D. 606-64):

Harshavardhana inaugurated the "unification" of Hinduism and Buddhism. At the great assemblies witnessed by the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim, Hsuan Tsang, Harshavardhana had installed "images of the Buddha, Adityadeva (the sun) and Isvaradeva (Shiva) on successive days." Vajrayana Buddhism transformed many Hindu deities and incorporated them into its Mandalas, and these analogies greatly increased with the Buddhist deities abandoning human form by multiplying their heads and arms. Halahalavalokitesvara and Nilakanthavalokitesvara are remarkable derivatives of Shiva.

Referring to Avalokitesvara, Singh (p. 245) points out that "as a lord of mountains, Avalokiteshvara is sometimes represented with five heads, in which case he resembles Shiva as Pancha-anana." The resemblance between Buddhist deities and Siva was perhaps so strong, that the Vajrayanists had to create explicit stories narrating "The Bodhisattva Vajrapani's Subjugation of Siva" (Davidson 1995: 547ff.; Davidson 1991). Such accounts indeed have deeper meditational and ritual purposes as discussed in detail by Davidson, though I am merely concerned here with the close interaction of the Buddhist and the Saivite traditions.

It seems that the connection of Siva and/or Avalokitesvara with Panini's inspiration was made by competing religious traditions in northwestern India, as evidenced by the Kushan coinage and the travel accounts of Hiuen Tsang. Such competing traditions existed probably not only in northwestern India in general, but in the specific region of Salatura, which was Panini's birthplace. While we have no specific evidence going back to Panini's own times, it seems very likely that the same ancient folk-level mountaintop divinities were variously interpreted later as representing Avalokitesvara and Mahesvara. Referring to the legend of the Avalokitesvara on the Potalaka mountain in the northwest corner of the Indian subcontinent, Hiuen Tsang says: "to the people at the foot of the mountain who pray for a sight of the Bodhisattva, he appears sometimes as a Pasupata Tirthika or as Mahesvara" (Watters 1905: 229). It has been pointed out by Lokesh Chandra (1979: 502) that an instance of this syncretism is found in the Nilakantha-Lokesvara-Dharani which represents Siva as the Thousand-eyed, Thousand-armed Lokesvara Bodhisattva, and that it was translated into Chinese by Bodhiruci in A.D. 701. The word isvara shared by both the divinities and, specifically, the name lokesvara made it possible that competing claims be raised as to the true referent of the common name. The competition apparently took various different local forms, as evidenced by the different claims.

It is not clear that the Buddhists ever gave up their claims on Panini. Indeed, the Tibetan traditions found in the works of Bu-ston and Taranatha show the continuation of the Buddhist claims. However, the Paninian tradition, as it has survived, is unaware of the competing Buddhist claims. This probably has to do with the gradual weakening of Buddhist traditions in India and their ultimate disappearance from the scene.(15) With attacks on north India by Muslims at different times, there was a dispersal of Sanskrit scholars.(16) The Paninian tradition came to survive primarily in the southern part of India. Perhaps, some of this shift to the south had happened even earlier, for reasons not quite clear to us. This is indicated in the account recorded in the Vakyapadiya and Rajatarangini that the text and/or tradition of the Mahabhasya was preserved only in the south, and that Candracarya had to go to the south to recover this tradition.(17) It is very possible that the mythologies that were influential in north India were originally not identical with those in the south. It is in the south that the Paninian tradition, retroactively going back to Patanjali, gets firmly tied with Siva-Nataraja, a tradition firmly centered in the southern temple-city of Chidambaram. It is perhaps this southern connection with the survival of the later Paninian tradition that may account for the total absence of any reference to competing Buddhist claims. Here, in the land of Siva, there was perhaps no reason to entertain any doubts about who inspired Panini.

The southern connection may have several other important dimensions, which may have worked together in the transmission of certain myths. Lokesh Chandra (1979: 502) suggests that "the acculturation of Saiva into Buddhist tradition may have taken place in South India and thence it was transmitted to Indonesia where Siva-Buddha syncretism was deeply entrenched." Lokesh Chandra has further explored the connection of the Vajrayana and Mantrayana schools of Buddhism, as well as those of the Prajnaparamita, with the south, especially the city of Kanci, and the spread of these traditions from the south to the northwest and the east. Besides these movements within Buddhism, there is clear indication in the works of Abhinavagupta for the transmission of important Saiva doctrines from the southern Tamil region, referred to as Kumarikadvipa (Tantraloka, ch. 37, vv. 35ff.; XII: 403ff.). On the other hand, David Lorenzen (1972) describes the inscriptional evidence relating to the southern Saivite sects of Kapalikas the Kalamukhas which speaks of major migrations of brahmanas from Kashmir to the southern region (pp. 106, 162 ["to give a village to eighty learned Brahmanas from Kashmir"]), and the fact that many of the southern Saivite teachers are called Kasmira Panditas (pp. 105, 108, 139 [kasmiradeva], 155 [kasmirasurisvara]). The connection of the Kashmir Saiva tradition with the southern region may then help explain the appearance of the Kashmir Saiva text of Nandikesvarakasika and its commentary by Upamanyu, which seem to link the Paninian tradition to the dance of Siva Nataraja, the presiding deity of Chidambaram.

How then does one account for all those Paninian commentators who are Buddhist? It seems to me that they all belong to the post-Gupta or post-Harsavardhana period, where gradually the Buddhist tradition is on the decline, though it does not completely disappear. Buddhist commentators like Jinendrabuddhi(18) were perhaps living in a period when their Buddhist tradition was not dominant. Yet, one notices a significant difference in the introductory sections of Haradatta's Padamanjari and Jinendrabuddhi's Nyasa. Haradatta discusses at great length the Vedic connections of Panini's grammar and the eternal nature of Sanskrit usage. He also discusses at some length the purposes of Sanskrit grammar, such as the protection and preservation of the Vedas, suggested by Patanjali at the beginning of his Mahabhasya. Compare with this the Kasikavrtti itself. It starts without a benediction, and without any discussion of the Vedic purposes of Sanskrit grammar. Jinendrabuddhi sticks very closely to the pattern set by the Kasikavrtti. Without much ado, the Kasikavrtti begins with atha sabdanusasanam "thus begins the teaching of words." Haradatta, while acknowledging that the Kasikavrtti does not give any other purposes, adds a full discussion of those purposes. On the other hand, consider the comment of Jinendrabuddhi (Kasikavrtti, I: 14):

vyakaranasya cedam anvartham nama sabdanusasanam iti / atas tenaiva sucitatvat prayojanasyanabhidhanam / yena hi sabda anusisyante, tasya taduddese pravrttih / yasya ca yad uddisya pravrttih, tat tasya prayojanam bhavati / tad etad uktam bhavati - sabdanusistir asya prayojanam iti / etac ca saksat prayojanam, paramparyena tu vedaraksadini prayojanani bhasyad avadharyani

Sabdanusasana "teaching of words" is the literally significant title of grammar. Since the purpose [of grammar] is suggested directly by that [very title], it has not been expressed [overtly]. That [science] which teaches the words sets out with that as its target. When something sets out with a certain target, that is its purpose. This is what is said: The teaching of words is its purpose. This is the direct purpose. Other indirect purposes such as the protection/preservation of the Vedas should be studied from the Bhasya.

This is a significant passage, indicating perhaps the general attitude of the Buddhist Paninian commentators. They have accepted Panini, whether because of his prior acceptance by the earlier Buddhist tradition or simply because of the factual prominence and dominance of the Paninian tradition. However, they do not have to subscribe to the Vedic ideology associated with it. They have a very practical goal. This needs to be contrasted with Patanjali's Mahabhasya. Patanjali does indeed have the statement atha sabdanusasanam at the beginning of the Mahabhasya. However, for Patanjali, this is not an assertion of the purposes of grammar. That discussion specifically comes later. Kani punah sabdanusasanasya prayojanani / raksohagamalaghvasandehah prayojanam (MB, I: 1), "What are the purposes of a description of words? The cumulative purposes [represented by the singular form prayojanam] are the protection/preservation of the Vedas, modification of cases in mantras during ritual, traditional imperative (to study the Vedangas and the Vedas), economy of effort, and the necessity to remove ambiguities." It is clear that, for Patanjali, the expression atha sabdanusasanam does not explain the purposes of grammar, but is a description of what grammar does: it describes words. Beginning perhaps with the Kasikavrtti, we may then say that the Buddhist Paninians gradually dispensed with the "Vedic" ideology connected with the purposes of Paninian grammar and studied it for its very practical utility: to learn and describe the language.

This trend is very important, and needs to be looked into for its own sake. The Kasikavrtti begins with atha sabdanusasanam/kesam sabdanam laukikanam vaidikanam ca, "Thus begins the description of words. Which words? Of both the worldly and the Vedic words." Why are the Vedic words to be dealt with by grammar? Jinendrabuddhi's comments are important for us to notice his distancing himself from this purpose, without denying it:

vaidikanam laukikebhyah prthag upadanam pradhanyakhyapanartham /. . . pradhanyakhyapanam tu vaidikanam yatnena apabhramsanirasartham / tesam hy apabhramse yajne karmani mahan pratyavayo drstah - 'helayo helaya' iti / athava ye lokayatrahetavo bhasasabdas tair eva laukikatvam prasiddham iti vaidikanam prthagupadanam

The separate mention of the Vedic words apart from the worldly words is to indicate their special importance. The indication of special importance is to avoid their (grammatical) degeneration. With their degeneration in sacrificial acts, a great evil result is seen - (as suggested by Patanjali in his discussion of the Asuras' mispronunciations in) helayo helayo. Or perhaps, the worldly words are well known as only those words of common usage with which one can conduct the business of the world. Therefore, the Vedic words are separately mentioned. (Nyasa ad Kasikavrtti, I: 16)

Here, the first explanation is a repetition of the standard traditional explanation, also seen in the Padamanjari. However, the second explanation marks a departure by pointing out that only the laukika words are useful for the purpose of conducting the business of the world. Why would the Vedic words be of intimate interest to a Buddhist, who was never going to use them in rituals, in any case? Thus, Jinendrabuddhi has hinted at the secondary nature of the Vedic words from his own point of view. Is this a pure conjecture? I hope not. Consider the beginning of Purusottamadeva's Bhasavrtti: atha sabdanusasanam / laukikanam, "Here begins the description of words. Of which words? Of worldly words." With this declaration at the beginning of his work, Purusottamadeva focuses only on laukika portions of the Astadhayi, omitting the Vedic rules completely. The author may be continuing here a trend which was merely suggested by Jinendrabuddhi.(19) In any case, what Purusot-tamadeva did in eliminating the Vedic rules of Panini from his explanation is analogous to the treatment of Vedic language by Katantra, Candra, and other systems, which are typically associated with non-Brahmanical traditions.

With the Katantra, we know that a late Brahmanical commentator, Candrakanta Tarkalamkara, produced a Katantracchandahprakriya, presumably to complete the system, which did not originally have a section dealing with Vedic usage (see Kalapavyakarana, 191ff.). Candragomin's Candravyakarana as we have it does not cover Vedic usage, and yet there are references in other works to his grammar being in two separate sections, a bhasabhaga, and a chandobhaga (Dvivedi 1987: 65ff.). It may well be that the credit of introducing an element of practical concern within the Paninian grammar with the laukika language may ultimately go back to the Buddhist Paninian commentators, who were not particularly concerned either with Vedic usage, or with the ideological links of the Paninian grammar to the Vedas and with the religion of Mahesvara-Siva.

1 An important exception to this is a Hindi booklet by Bhimsen Shastri (1984). I was able to consult this booklet after my own paper was substantially complete. I am pleased to see Shastri arrive at similar conclusions regarding lateness of the motif of Siva inspring Panini. He has covered the full spectrum of grammatical texts, but his study is limited to showing the in-authenticity of this motif, rather than exploring wider historical or religious issues.

2 Srstidhara, in his commentary on Purusottamadeva's Bhasavrtti, says that the verse "yenaksarasamamnayam..." (see below, p. 447), which attributes the origin of the listing of sounds in the Sivasutras to Mahesvara, is from Katyayana (cf. katyayanavakyena, Bhasavrttyarthavivrti, p. 13). However, no other author attributes this verse to Katyayana, and there is no trace of this belief in the Varttikas or in the Mahabhasya.

3 Also see K. V. Abhyankar (1954: 155), Bhimsen Shastri (1984: 27), Harshanath Mishra (1974:231). Guruprasada Shastri is another modern Sanskrit Pandit who expresses the same critical view in his commentary Rajalaksmi on Patanjali's Mahabhasya (pt. I, p. 73).

4 The verse mantro hinah svarato varnato va . . . is found in two out of the five recensions of the Paniniyasiksa and has not been reconstructed for the original text by Manomohan Ghosh. This verse, with some difference in wording (e.g., dustah sabdab svarato varnato va...) is found in the Mahabhasya of Patanjali (I: 2), and it seems to have been adapted and included in some late versions of the Paniniyasiksa.

5 Also see Bhimsen Shastri (1984: 34).

6 Bhimsen Shastri (1984: 25) mistakenly says that Dharmakirti's Rupavatara is unfamiliar with the motif of Panini receiving the aksarasamamnaya from Siva.

7 Also see Sabdakaustubha, I: 58: iti mahesvarany aksarasamamnayasutrani. It may be noted that Ramacandra, the author of Prakriyakaumudi and Bhattoji Diksita's teacher in grammar, does not refer to these sutras as mahesvara. From all indications, Ramacandra is a Vaisnava (see K. P. Trivedi's introduction to his edition of Prakriyakaumudi, I: xlff.), and one wonders if that has anything to do with this omission. However, the commentary Prasada by Vitthala makes an explicit reference to Panini receiving the aksarasamamnaya from Mahesvara, and cites the verse yenaksara . . . in support (Prakriyakaumudi, I: 11).

8 The tradition of using this verse of the Paniniyasiksa to prove that the Sivasutras were received from Mahesvara, and are therefore Vedic, evidently goes several centuries back, and does not originate with Nagesa. This same argument is attested in Srstidhara's commentary Bhasavrttyarthavivrti (p. 13) on Purusottamadeva's Bhasavrtti (cf. iti katyayanavakyena sutranam srimahesvaramukhanihsrtatvena vaidikataya . . .).

9 This type of evidence is very important. For instance, my own family, I am told, ultimately was closely connected to the Madhva Vaisnava tradition, though this Vaisnava preference was not exclusive when I was growing up. However, note the remarkable coincidence in names. My name is Madhava. My father is Muralidhara. My grandfather was Vasudeva. My great-grandfather was Ramacandra. My great-great-grandfather was Sakharama, and his father was Hari. These are all Vaisnava names, showing, through time, a strong religious affiliation.

10 The historical attitude toward chronology is wanting not only in the above analysis given by Pandey, an almost quasipuranic attitude is shown by Shivadatta Kudala, the learned editor of the Mahabhasya published by the Nirnaya Sagara Press (1917), who cites in his introduction (p. 20) a passage from the Bhavisyapurana which makes all the three munis of grammar contemporaries of each other. Not only that, this passage makes these munis contemporary with the Nandas, Candragupta, and Pusyamitra. The learned editor says that since the munis had very long lives, such a thing is indeed possible. Additionally, he says that the account of the purana that Vyadi, Panini, and Vararuci (= Katayana) were brothers probably reflects their relationships in another cycle of ages (muninam dirghayustvena nanda-candragupta-puspamitrarajyadrastrtve ka badha / vyadipanini-vararucinam bhratrtvam tu kalpantarabhiprayena bhavet). Following the classical usage of the word itihasa, Kudala applies this word to the account given in the Bhavisyapurana. This is analogous to the use of the word aitihya by Nagegabhatta referring to the account of Panini receiving the Sivasutras from the drum-beats of Siva. While we would expect different standards of history from K. C. Pandey, I have noticed that the continued use of the word itihasa in modern Indian languages in the sense of "history" creates occasional syncretisms of its pre-modern and modern meanings. Also see Bhimsen Shastri (1984: 6) on the unhistorical statements in Upamanyu's commentary.

11 The extensive discussion in Bhimsen Shastri (1984) covers the important grammatical sources, but is unaware of the Buddhist claim.

12 As I have suggested elsewhere (Deshpande 1993: 8-9), later Sanskrit Buddhist texts like Lalitavistara show a somewhat generous attitude toward brahmanas. The brahmanas, including their caste and their Vedas, are given a place of high prominence within an overall Buddhist framework. The late portions of the Lankavatarasutra also have hints of the same phenomenon. Those people who eat meat are said to receive the punishment of being born in low-caste groups like Candala and Pukkasa (Lankavatarasutra, Mamsabhaksana-parivarta, v. 14, p. 105), but those who avoid the eating of meat are promised a birth as a brahmana, or a yogi, besides intelligence and wealth, (ibid. v. 18, p. 105: brahmanesu ca jayeta atha va yoginam kule / prajnavan dhanavams caiva mamsadyanam vivarjanat).

13 There is an ongoing controversy about whether the Candravrtti was composed by Candragomin himself. I do not wish to enter into this debate here.

14 But above and beyond assuming the forms of different gods, including Mahesvara, Arya Avalokitesvara also assumes the form of a brahmana to teach brahmana disciples (brahmanavaineyanam sattvanam brahmanarupena dharmam desayati, Saddharmapundarikasutra, 252).

15 One needs to take into account the varying strength of Buddhism in different parts of India at different times. For Kumarila, Samkara and Vacaspati, the Buddhist opponents are very real. On the other hand the disappearance of Buddhists as contemporary opponents is clearly seen in the tradition of Navyanyaya initiated by Gangesa, the tradition of Navyamimamsa reflected in the work of Khandadeva, and the school of grammar begun by Ramacandra Sesa and Bhattoji Diksita. During this late period, the debates are taking place primarily among the traditions of Vyakarana, Mimamsa, and Nyaya, with hardly any references to Jains or Buddhists.

16 David Lorenzen (1972: 108-9) discusses the evidence for this dispersal.

17 The tradition recorded in Vakyapadiya II.486 makes a reference to Candracarya having gone to the southern region and having received the tradition of the Mahabhasya from Parvata (cf. parvatad agamam labdhva). What the word parvata refers to has been debated for a long time. In his exhaustive discussion of this issue, Ashok Aklujkar (1991: 21) remarks: "In the present state of our knowledge, the strongest identification appears to be 'parvata = an ascetic or brahma-raksas belonging to Sri-parvata.' Next in strength seems to be 'parvata = Sri-parvata', with the attendant assumption that some scholar, or scholarly community, on Sri-parvata had in his, or its, possession the manuscripts in which the agama of the MB was preserved. Last in terms of acceptability is the equation 'parvata = Tri-kuta (as mountain or region)'." Again, without going into this question here at length, I would like to point to Lorenzen's study (1972) of the Saivite sects of Kapalikas and Kalamukhas. In numerous ways, Lorenzen shows that these sects looked up to Sri-parvata as a highly holy place for their sect, and that one of the important branches of these sects, recorded in numerous inscriptions, calls itself Parvatavali: a lineage connected to (Sri-)Parvata' (pp. 102, 121, 131, 132, 136, 137). Lorenzen (p. 161) points to inscriptional evidence from A.D. 810 that Sri-parvata was a major center for the study of Vedas and vedanga traditions and that "this site was already an important holy center for the Kalamukhas." Additionally, Lorenzen points to inscriptional evidence of these Saivite traditions involved in the study of Paninian grammar, among other sastras (pp. 103, 104, 113, 130-31, 154).

18 Bhimsen Shastri (1979: 13ff.) discusses the question of Jinendrabuddhi's religious affiliation. He rejects the claims that he was either a Jaina or a Buddhist, and argues for his Vaidika identity. I am not convinced of his Vaidika identity. Janaki Prasad Dvivedi (1987: 203ff.) has reviewed this question, but has included Jinendrabuddhi among Buddhist grammarians. In my opinion, his title bodhisattvadesiya places him without doubt within a Buddhist tradition.

19 There could be additional reasons as suggested by Srstidhara, namely that Laksmanasena, the patron of Purusottamadeva, had nothing to gain from the Vedic usages (vaidikaprayoganarthino laksmanasenasyajaaya prakrte karmani prasajjan [Srstidhara's commentary Bhdsavrttyarthavivrti on Bhasavrtti, 2]). Dinesh Chandra Bhattacharya (introduction to Purusottamadeva's Paribhasavrtti, etc., 32) refers to this explanation by Srstidhara and says: "The Vedic rules were omitted because the king, according to Srstidhara, did not 'seek' for them, or because of the king's 'incompetence' with regard to them according to the latter (vaidikapadasyanarhatvat). The last explanation is better and seems to suggest that the book was written for the instruction of the king when still in his pupilage." In his footnote 1, Bhattacharya further continues: "Dr. S. K. De (Hist. of Bengal, I: pp. 358-59) did not consider this explanation and declared the statement of Srstidhara as fanciful. His arguments lack soundness. Jinendra, Maitreya and many other Buddhist scholars did never omit the Vedic rules. It is one thing to have interest in Vedic writings and quite another to study them personally." I hope that the arguments I have given at least hint at the ideological possibility, as well.


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