Socio-political background of the Ancient Indian Grammatical System

Binda Paranjape Professor, Department of History, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. U.P.  221005, India.

             The tradition of ancient Indian grammar is extremely rich and enigmatic; rich by variety and content and enigmatic by the intertwining of different philosophical thoughts with the language studies. Both the streams of thought by way of linguistic consciousness and the philosophical speculations owe their origin to the Vedic literature. Vedas mark the beginning of the intellectual activity in the form of linguistic expression. In the initial phase as it appears, it was an outburst of thoughts with randomly selected words. However, soon a need arose of fixing a relationship between the words and their meanings on a permanent basis. The words started getting dissected into smallest particles to reach up to the most appropriate meaning which finally developed in to specialized etymological works called Nirukta. The science of etymology has its beginning in the Brahmana texts[1]. The earliest known attempt in lexicography in India can be seen in the form of the text called Nighantu. Nothing definite is known about the author of this text or about the time when it was composed. It seems that the work is a compilation of works of many individuals of different generations. Though not with certainty but probably it is possible to say that some of the Vedic traditions seem to have preserved the memory of the name of the author of Nighantu (or a tradition marked by name) as Vrishakapi [2].  The next land mark in the grammatical studies of the Vedic tradition is Yaskas Nirukta. Even the time of Yaska cannot be fixed with certainty. Panini is placed between the 5th and the 4th century B. C. Yaska was before Panini, and between Yaska and Panini there is a long list of language experts of different types, hence, Yaskas period can be fixed at least one or two centuries before Panini. Yaska is the first etymologist in the true sense of the word, probably oldest of the whole world. Though Yaskas is the only text on etymology available from the early phase of the Indian grammatical studies (i.e. of the Vedic phase), scholars are of the opinion that there were many such texts of the pre-Yaska days which are now lost. Yaska is often found quoting the opinions of the earlier Niiruktah, Acharyah, Naidanah, Dakshinajah, Aitihasikah, Parivrajikah, Vaiyakaranah, Purve Yajnikah probably indicating various specialized fields or different ways of understanding the Vedic hymns. Certain names of Yaskas predecessors are available in the extant Nirukta. They are Agrayana, Audumbarayana, Aupamanyava, Auranavabha, Katthakya, Kautsa, Kraushtuki, Gargya, Galava, Charmashiras, Taitiki, Varshayani, Shatabalaksha Maudgalya, Shakatayana, Shakapuni, Sthaulashthivi.[3] Some of these names are found in the later texts also. Apart from these references the Brahmana texts mention some of the words which are found indicative of grammatical enquiry in to Vedic words such as Nirvachana.                     

Considerable amount of work has been done by Sanskrit scholars of our times tracing the authors of Nighantu on whose work Yaskas Nirukta is based. Yaska clearly states at the beginning of his text that it is based on the list of words called Nighantu. There were probably many such lists available during pre-Yaska times. However in subsequent ages the term Nighantu lost its specificity of being a particular list of words and came to be used for any compilation of Vedic words. Taking into account this fact some scholars feel there must have been more than one compilation of Vedic words and the one used by Yaska is mere one of those. According to some scholars Yaska is supposed to have created his own Nighantu compilation and the other compilations he has quoted as and when required. The conclusions may vary on the basis of the Sanskrit etymological studies. And such discussions are plentifully available in the Sanskrit studies of modern times. However, the questions need to be raised about the societal identity of the authors of these ancient etymological texts and their intentions behind undertaking such works.

Answers to the questions of historical identity of the authors of the above mentioned texts need to be placed in multidimensional context. Such works like Nighantu and Nirukta demand singular minded devotion especially in those early phases while the said science was still in a formative state. One dimension of these studies commonly quoted by the philologists is the association of Vedic chants with the sacrifices. The words were supposed to have specific powers and for experiencing that power it was necessary that the words were fully understood and rightly pronounced. Here consideration can be given to the Padapathas and some of the Pratishakhya texts which pre- date the Nighantu and Nirukta. . The Padapathas record each and every word of the Samhita as a separate entity. Pratishakhyas primarily meant to facilitate the correct and accented recitations of the Vedas. These texts were also important from the point of view of the preservation of the Vedic texts in their original form in absence of the written codes. In other words these texts had a specific application and the activity must have been obviously encouraged by such patrons for whom the application was a necessity. As the application was meant for sacrifices it would be essential to place the Vedic etymological studies in the context of sacrificial institution.

The institution of sacrifice presupposes a class of experts who would be well versed in the meticulous details of the rituals and their implication. The rituals have two important parts, viz. the recitation of chants and performance of certain acts. The officiating priests were to have knowledge of both, chants and the performance. Proportion-wise probably the performance part is larger in volume, however, the chanting was certainly more important. The Brahmana texts by and large go into the details of performance but it is interesting to see an emergence of linguistic consciousness in these texts. It appears that being meticulous in the performance itself was not sufficient. Retaining the awe of the sacrifice depended on the verbal act as well, probably more so. This could be made possible first by securing the existing structure intact and secondly by not letting it be lost or unduly inflected. However, since the experts of the Vedas were not a single, monolithic identity group or any formal organization exercising perfect control over all performers had not yet developed there were already certain extensions by way of pure intellectual activity.

Placing all the above mentioned details in a historical context it would become easier to see the implication of the lost texts of earlier etymological and lexical traditions. The whole exercise of trying to prove Yaska being one or many belonging to a tradition by that name on the one hand and of fixing the authorship of Nighantu with Yaska or some group of scholars of the pre-Yaska days on the other can be restructured once again. The basis of this enquiry would be more socio-political conditions that prompted such activities. Pertinent search would be in the direction of trying to understand the possible reasons of the loss of pre-Yaska texts. Pre -Yaska days probably mark the days when the experts of Vedic knowledge were not formally placed in a strict social order and bound by the codes of hierarchy. There was place for free and independent intellectual activity. Gradually that space started getting shrunk. Adherence to the institutional frame of codes started becoming a precondition of any intellectual activity. This would be evident from the fact that in Nirukta Yaska lays more emphasis on the meaning of the Vedas rather than the grammatical inquiries. There could be two reasons for this choice, one that relates with the contents of the Nirukta and the contemporary grammar texts and the second is the authority and legitimacy of Yaska in this regard. So far as the content part is concerned Yaska says his text gives the meaning and the true meaning of the Vedas, in absence of which Vedic recitation will not be effective or fruitful where as the texts of grammar merely give the origin of the Vedic words[4]. Here it is necessary to see what is the meaning which Yaska considered it to be so important. Clearly it is the meaning that would be useful for the sacrificial rituals. As Yaska states, it is hopeless task to make out the sense of Vedic Mantras without a thorough acquaintance with the Nirukta and its methods. Yaska points out the practical utility of etymology for the performance of sacrificial rites. He states that if in a stanza there is mention of more than one deity then with the help of etymology one can fix the position of the primary deity to whom the oblations would go. Same can be said in case of the choice of epithets by Yaska of the deities. He only mentions such epithets with which the oblations are to be offered[5]. The tendency of remaining within the ritualistic framework can be seen in the subject matter of the other Vedangas as well. Probably except for Vyakarana all others demand strict adherence to the sacrificial institution and the social hierarchy coming along with that. So far as the Yaskas work is concerned the function that it served for the sacrifices must have granted the required legitimacy to it. Rest of the texts on etymology were quoted at the suitable positions by Yaska and the remaining part went into oblivion either by chance or by design.

As regards to  the Vedic society from the days of the Rik-Samhita  to the period of the Brahmana texts and later on to the period of the Vedangas there is a clear indication of the process of social formation on the basis of Varna hierarchy. The subjects of Vedangas make it absolutely clear what was according to the Vedic tradition to be considered as a desirable intellectual activity. (Shiksha:phonetics, Vyakaran:grammar, Nirukta:etymology, Chhanda:prosody, Kalpa:rituals, Jyotish:asronomy). All of the six auxiliary sciences which were considered essential parts of the Vedic studies created expertise required for the recitation of the Vedas and for the performance of sacrifice. Grammar as part of Vedangas thus was expected to have an application within the framework of the Vedic texts and rituals. If placed in the temporal sequence the essence of this knowledge appears to be a fight against the possible forces of change.  What were these forces which needed to be combated with such rigor? It can be seen at two levels. One could be of the language change within the users of Vedic language and second the contact of Vedic language with other languages from other regions. The spread of Vedic Sanskrit into further interiors of India, especially into the Gangetic regions, brought the Vedic Sanskrit face to face with other local languages. Thereby maintaining the superior position of the custodians of the Vedas must have become challenging. Secondly, the Vedic lore by then had become a memory of the past and had started loosing its relevance in the contemporary times. So it was thought wise to make a permanent place for it in the then emerging social and political order. The rituals related to coronation must have played a significant role in this process. The kings were to be coronated with the Vedic chants and have the awe created thereby. Probably in return to this service the kings were to support the Vedic learning by generous gifts showered upon the custodians of the Vedas. In this scheme the role of the grammarians undertaking the objective study of the Vedic language gradually must have become more conventional than real. In this kind of situation survival of any branch of knowledge comes at stake. Probably, to meet such challenges the ancient grammarians tried to stick more and more to the institution of Vedic rituals at least till the time of strengthening themselves into an indispensable position.

The loss of a good number of texts on grammar or related subjects of the pre-Yaska days can be attributed to the times of struggle for survival when free thinking into the field of the study of Vedic language could not be encouraged. Yaskas declaration of his being the correct meaning of the Vedas appears to be an attempt in accepting one particular meaning; dispensing with even the possibilities of more or different readings of the same text. That would explain the loss of many other texts which survive only by their names that too those which Yaska chose to quote. Otherwise it would be very difficult to rationalize the preservation of volumes of texts by way of Srautasutras, Grihyasutras and Dharmasutras and the opposite for the etymological texts. In the later ages the preservationist tendency exhibited by the creation of the Padapathas, and the Nirukta took a different turn. Out of the six Vedangas the study of Shiksha, Chhanda and Nirukta seem to have remained at the level of recitation more by rote than having indulgence into the scientific aspect of etymology, phonetics, etc. In fact the subsequent ages showed a great shift in the intellectual activity related to language. By the time of sixth, fifth century BC conditions became favorable for the development of the texts on grammar.  Gradually grammar started getting a predominant place in the field of knowledge. Adherence to the Vedic language was still important but there was an acknowledgement of its archaic position. The epitome of this phase was of course Panini. This was a major shift in the language studies. The philologists and the linguists have created volumes of literature on the Paninian and post Paninian streams of grammar.  Panini seems to be a popular ancient figure amongst the linguists all over the world. What is left for the historians to do is to place the works of grammar in the contemporary cultural context. Questions to be asked are in the direction of the socio-political function of grammar. Whose purpose was it serving?

Paninis work certainly expresses the spirit of the age[6]. It was the time when Buddhism was already on a quick march spreading over almost whole of north India. Caravans of traders were traversing over vast starches of the sub- continent carrying and exchanging goods and ideas. Persians followed by the Greeks had started settling in the northwest of India. The situation in which Panini can be placed is thus much different from that of the earlier works related to linguistic studies. Buddhism not only challenged the authority of the Vedas but also the language in which the Vedic knowledge was bound. An observation by Mr. Sayce relating the spread of Buddhism to the grammatical studies is quoted by A. G. Burnell,[7] it is very possible that the Sanskrit grammarians were excited to their work by the native dialects, which quickened into activity and raised to the level of respectability by the spread of Buddhism. This must have created some kind of situation where the language codes had to be fixed for the then venerated language so as to maintain the exclusive position. In this regard K. M.eenakshi has mentioned the view of Deshpande which seems to be convincing[8]. He finds a common pattern between Panini and Dharmashastras. Paninis attempt is viewed as similar to the codification by the Smritikaras/ law-makers. This observation is extremely important from the point of view of a major discussion regarding the nature of Paninis grammar being descriptive or prescriptive. By placing Dharmashastras and Paninian grammar on the same plane it becomes possible to understand the purpose of Paninian grammar more clearly. Like the earlier works viz. Padapathas and Pratishakhyas even grammar of this phase seem to be creating a safeguard against possible contamination. As the ideals stated by the Dharmashastras became codes of behavior in the subsequent period the rules of Panini also fixed norms for the language of the learned elites of the period subsequent to Panini. The only difference between the two on the levels of execution that can be mentioned is the possibility of expiation in case of violation of the rules of Dharmashastras and the absence of such provision in Ashtadhyayi.

    As we have discussed the problem of the loss of texts of the pre- Yaska days similarly there is a need of problematizing the loss of texts composed during the pre-Paninian days. Yudhishthir Mimansak has given a long list of grammarians known from Ashtadhyayi or from other sources whose works predate Panini[9]. Out of these some like Aindra system of grammar have raised controversies regarding their date and authority in the field of grammar.  While Burnell is of the opinion that this was certainly the pre-Paninian text and is quoted by Panini and other grammarians[10]; Belvarkar with an endorsement of Kielhorn and taking into account the legends related to the Aindra Systam dates it to the post- Paninian period that too after a period of about four centuries posterior to Panini. Belvarkars argument is based on the fact that nowhere in Ashtadhyayi Aindra system is mentioned by name[11].  In this regard what is important from the historical point of view is the establishment of the relation between the Aindra system and the oldest Tamil grammar by name Tolkappiyam. The position taken by Burnell in this connection is certainly worthy of attention. In his introduction of a treatise on the Aindra system he states,[12] I have here attempted a new way of considering the problem by examining what were the systems and technical terms used before Panini wrote his great work. It is well known that he was not the first, though he was the greatest of Indian grammarians, and chance having led me to discover a treatise which is said to be of the Aindra school, I soon found that the difference between the schools of  Sanskrit grammar must depend rather on system than on matter, and applying the scanty information which the Tolkappiyam gave me, to the Sanskrit text, I found that a number of hitherto unplaced works must represent the system or systems current before Panini, though they cannot be in an intact condition. It cannot be for a moment supposed that Paninis numerous predecessors did not differ in details of system, as well as in details of doctrine, but I think that, for the reasons I have given in the monograph, they all constitute a class which may be termed the Aindra school, as they agree among themselves in a marked way and equally differ from Panini, as regards their system.

Burnells philological arguments for placing Aindra system in the pre-Paninian days  is left for the experts of various branches of Sanskrit studies to examine but for a historian what is important is the connections which he draws between social, linguistic and religious groups and texts of grammar. The Tamil grammar based on the Aindra system was probably composed by a Buddhist or a Jain. Burnell draws a lot of parallel between the Kacchayanas Pali grammar and that of Tolkapiyam. In the light of recent compilations of early Prakrit inscriptions from the south this can be further studied. Burnell quotes a tradition that the author of Tolkapiyan was a follower of some non Vedic sect, either Buddhist or Jain. If dating of the Aindra system is based on the oldest Tamil grammar presented in the then most powerful kingdom of south viz. of the Pandyas it becomes important information for understanding the nexus between the religious institutions, state and grammar. The Aindra system can not be conclusively placed in the pre-Paninian time on the basis of the arguments put forth by Burnell but it helps in establishing the role of grammar in different cultural epochs. Evidence quoted by Belvarkar in placing the Aindra system in the post Paninian days highlights the importance of popular traditions in the form of legends for the study of grammatical tradition.  A careful examination of the accounts of the lost texts would be useful in understanding the possible reasons of certain works being preferred and accepted. Undoubtedly grammar provided a strong support to the religious and political institutions of different times.

Belvarkar, more than a century ago has tried to address this issue as regards to the Chandra system of grammar. To quote Belvarkar,[13]Having once enjoyed such a vast circulation, the almost total disappearance of the system from India requires explanation. We can account for this fact, on the ground of its want of originality, such of the original matter as there was-and as it was not much-being already incorporated in the Paninian school through the Kashika. Mainly, however we must look to the cause of its disappearance in its non-secular character. Being the work of a Buddhist for the Buddhistic community, it shared the fate of Buddhism, and having obtained vogue for a few centuries it gradually ceased to be cared for, its aid being invoked in later times only for the sake of justifying an otherwise unjustifiable word, or for pointing out and rejecting such of its rules as went counter to the established system of grammar. The grammar we are told, is still exclusively studied in Tibet.

In Ceylon its fate was different. Being a Buddhist country we expect the Chandra system to be diligently studied there. As a matter of fact, the current system of Sanskrit grammar in Ceylon belongs to Chandra school, but we shall look in vein for any original Mss. either of the Chandra -sutras or of commentaries thereon.

The reason is that about 1200 A.D. a Ceylonese Buddhistic priest, Kashyapa by name, wrote a popular recast of the Chandra grammar called Balavabodha. It corresponds to Varadarajas Laghu- Kaumudi in treatment and subject matter. The work was so popular in Ceylon that it quite superseded the original Chandra text, with the result that all other works have disappeared in course of time, just as the works of the pre-Paninian grammar did after the advent of Panini.

Looking at Belvarkars arguments after a century they may sound too naive nevertheless his attempt itself is extremely worthy of commemoration.

Similar discussions are available showing how Kashikavritti of Jayaditya and Vamana possibly using arguments of Chandra Vyakaran without mentioning the text or the author presented by Kielhorn way back in 1886.  He states, Averse though I am to conjecture, I would venture to ask:- Was the Chandra Vyakaran good enough to be copied from, but too modern a work to be honourably mentioned together with the sutras of sages like Kashakritsna and others, of which Jayaditya and Vamana probably knew very little more than we do?[14] Mention also can be made of the intriguing questions with respect to the motive of Katyayanas work. Positioning of Katyayana and Patanjali as a critic and defender of Panini respectively can be placed in the context of times of each of these works. Making a reference to it a good discussion is presented by Malhar Kulkarni[15] especially giving emphasis on the philosophical appellation to grammar. This kind of study if placed on the backdrop of socio-political conditions which gave rise to different schools of thought in India would lead to better insights in grammatical studies.  

For the beginning in the direction of a historical enquiry as regards to the utility of grammar it is worth while looking into certain popular notions about grammar handed down by tradition. It is believed that the grammar is also divinely created like the Vedas. It originated in Brahma the creator God, Brahma handed it to Brihaspati, Brihaspati to Indra, Indra to Bhardwaja, Bharadwaja to the Rishis, and finally from the Rishis to the Brahmanas. Indra is considered to be the first purifier of grammar.[16] According to tradition Panini composed his grammar due to the divine grace of lord Maheshwara. Hence, his Prattyahar Sutras are also called Maheshwar sutas. The association of grammar with the divine grace is seen in the later traditions as well, e.g. the Kantar grammar is also called Kaumara grammar because it is believed that the first utterance of this system was by the God Kumar Kartikeya. Or the Saraswat system of grammar was composed due to the blessings of goddess Saraswati.  The influence of the tradition of attributing grammar to the divine was so strong that not only the followers of the Vedic system but even the non-Vedic followers also adopted it. Thus it is said that the Jainendra- Vyakarana was composed by the twenty forth Tirthankara i.s. Vardhaman Mahavir.

Besides these divine origins a probe is possible into the attitudes of the scholars of different times towards grammar. Patanjali and Bhartrihari have placed grammar at the initial position of any learning. Vyakaran understood as the science of words was considered essential by Valmiki also. The words for their meaning completely depend upon grammar hence, Vyakaran is also said to be Shabdashastra or Shabdanushasana.[17] Vyakaran is taken to be a Smriti by some scholars. Kaiyata in the Mahabhashy-Pradeep defines grammar as an attempt to study the behavior of a language at a particular time.[18] Anadavardhana in Dhvanyaloka states that the grammar constitutes the foundation of all sciences.[19] The importance of this branch of knowledge felt by the Indians can be highlighted by stating that the study of grammar never ceased in India and new texts were produced as late as the 17th century.[20] The contributors are from different walks of life, including the kings. Even the ascetics of Brahmanical, Jain and Buddhist tradition could not keep themselves away from it. Anubhutiswarupacharya was a sannyasi from Kashi who is supposed to be the originator of the Saraswat system of grammar[21].

There are a good number of legends associated with certain works of grammar.[22] In case of Kantar grammar it is said that the founder of this tradition Sharvavarma created this system to make his patron king expert in Sanskrit grammar within a record time of six months. The Chandra Vyakaran came into existence because the propitiator of this system found a work on grammar written by Naga-Shesha which was incomplete and decided to create a grammar himself. Jainendea-vyakarana is supposed to have been taught by Vardhaman Mahavir to God Indra.  In case of the Haima system of Vyakaran it is said that Siddharaj Jayasingh the king of Gujarat wanted a new work on grammar which would be more comprehensive and would include the rules of Prakrit as well. Another wish of the king was that it should bear his name. Hemachandra then composed the work titled Shrisiddhahaimashabdanushasanam, which included the name of the king along with his name. It appears from the legends associated with the works of grammar that a good work would cause rivalry among the fellow scholars. This rivalry or jealousy could be on account of the political ambitions of the kings as it appears to be the case of the work of Hemachandra. Initially Hemachandra seem to have praised the work of Paramara king Bhoja titled as Saraswatikanthabharanam on which the king of Gujarata, rival of the king of Madhyadesha for obvious reasons, expressed the wish to have a work on grammar after his name also. Some times these rival feelings were due to the religious following of the scholars. This is very much a case of the Jains and Buddhist when they drop the Vedic forms totally from their grammars.[23] The rivalry was among the students of grammar also. Thus it is said that Kramadishwar was attacked by his classmate hence to save his book Kramadishwar threw it in water. While it was recovered the King asked the author to complete it but out of despair and poor response Kramadishwara could not accept the kings request.[24] The Saraswat system of grammar was composed by Anubhutiswarupachrya, a Sanyasi from Kashi, because he was insulted by a Pandit in the court of the king on just a slip of a tongue.[25] 

If analyzed historically these legends point out towards some of the important issues related to the study of grammar in different ages. It appears that the grammar was important for the kings and for the Sanyasis. These apparently different groups had one thing in common i.e. both exercised control over masses. Grammar seems functional there. The nexus between the state authority and the religious institutions is well known. The earliest instance of an effective use and implementation of this nexus probably can be seen in case of Patanjali. The great grammarian Patanjali is supposed to have performed Ashvamedha sacrifice for the contemporary monarch Pushyamitra. An interesting observation as regards to Patanjalis work is being made by K. Meenakshi. The difference between the attitudes of Panini and Patanjali towards grammar she attributes to the shift of the time and space from Panini to Patanjali. While Panini was very much a part of the living Vedic tradition Patanjali was a representative of the post Vedic society. The Vedic society was dominated by the priests the post Vedic society was dominated by the Kshatriyas or the warriors. The religious faiths also were shifted from the Vedas to the Buddhists and Jains. The focus of the activities shifted from the northwest to the eastern regions of India. Hence the need arose to make special attempts to preserve the Vedic knowledge in its correct form and save it from corruption. The argument put forth by K. Meenakshi appears to be absolutely valid since there are historical sources to prove the revivalism of Vedic tradition under the Shungas during the time of Patanjali. In fact the emphasis on the correctness of the Vedic texts by Patanjali can really be attributed to an important historical event viz. the horse-sacrifice preformed by Pushyamitra Shunga and that was officiated by Patanjali himself as mentioned earlier. Here the discussion in Mahabhasya as regards to two classes of languages can be seen. According to this notion the language of the Vedas is superior to the Laukika language which is the language of day to day communication. Patanjalis emphasis was on maintaining the purity of Sanskrit by not accepting the contamination of the foreign words (Mleccha or Apabhrashta words).  It goes without saying that the Mlecchas mentioned by Patanjali were mainly the Yavanas i.e. the Greeks. The reservation shown by Patanjali is best observed by Venkateshwarshastri Joshi in following words[26],

It is said that the Shruti, na mlecchavati.(1.2) quoted by Patanjali is about the non acceptance of foreign words in Sanskrit. The argument given for this is that the example like gavi, goni, gota, gopatalika as the Mleccha or Apabhrashta words of the word go, should not be taken in, or mixed with the pure vocabulary of Sanskrit. It is very interesting to note that these Mleccha or Apabhrashta words convey the same meaning and they have phonetic similarities with the Sanskrit word go. They are still not acceptable in Sanskrit. It is argued therefore, that according to Patanjali, words of languages other than Sanskrit should not be accepted in Sanskrit even though the words show phonetic similarities and convey the same meaning.

The question here is whether it hints at a danger perceived by Patanjali of loosing the purity and by implication superiority of Sanskrit? What were these threats? This was a time when the Greeks were not only penetrating in the heartland of India which then was called Aryavarta politically, but they were also making headway in the fields of art and religion. A new art form was on its way of employing the Greek technique to Indian religious themes. The inscription situated at Vidisha (Besnagar, Madhya Pradesh) dated approximately to the first century A.D. of Heliodorous, an ambassador of an Indo-Greek king from the northwest frontier region shows the influence of Indian religious ideas on the Greeks which must not have been one way[27]. The Greek stagecraft and Roman wine were becoming popular among the Indian elite. Buddhism was widening its scope so as to accept there foreign currents. For Buddhists it was probably a necessity since the class which supported the faith was of merchants and traders who were more in touch with the Greco-Roman traditions. On the other hand the revivalist tendency shown by the contemporary rulers like the Shungas, the Kanvas and the support extended to the Vedic tradition of sacrifices by the Satavahanas must have put a pressure on the traditionalists to strictly guard certain areas like the Vedic language from the possible entry of foreign elements in it. The voluminous size of Mahabhashya certainly does not indicate just the scholarship of the author; it also indicates an intense effort of holding to the position of superiority.  The threat seems to be coming from two forces, one directly coming from outside and the one coming from the rival faith i.e. Buddhism that was assimilating the foreign influence and providing a respectful place to it among the elite circles. This can very well be illustrated with the help of the inscriptions of the contemporary period.

Here it wouldnt be out of place to go little in to the discussion regarding the identification of elite according to Patanjali. Madhav Deshpande[28] has shed considerable light on this aspect. He has pointed out that the Dharmashastras and the grammar texts refer to a special community viz. the Shishtas who were the social and the linguistic elites of the ancient period. He shows how the notion of the Shishtas changes from the time of Panini to Patanjali and from Patanjali to Bhartrihari. This shift has a strong bearing on the geographical spread of the Sanskrit using community. If Paninis Bhasha is taken to mean the spoken Sanskrit as is suggested by some Sanskrit scholars of our times[29] then it was the language prescribed for the Brahmin elites of northern India. In the following ages the divide between the people using the correct Sanskrit and the ones not doing so must have grown wider. Patanjali gives a specification of whose language should be taken as the correct form. Here the language of the Shishtas is prescribed and the identity of the Shishtas was also fixed. They were the residents of Aryavarta and they are not Sanskrit speaking community but they use Sanskrit in the context of rituals. Historically speaking the region mentioned here was the region ruled by the Shunga and Kanva rulers who upheld the tradition of grand Vedic sacrifices. The other contemporary rulers viz. the Satavahanas also performed the Vedic sacrifices but their land was not recognized as the land of Shishtas. This fact needs to be historically explained. Though the Satavahanas did patronize the Vedic rituals they did not show any reservation towards the Buddhists. This was probably because the traders bringing wealth to their country were by and large followers of Buddhism. Satavahan rulers claimed a Brahmin status in their inscriptions[30] but tradition calls them Andhra Bhrityas who could be any thing else but Brahmins according to the Vrana tradition. Thirdly the land they ruled was showing resistance to the rule of the northerners like the Shungas and Kanvas. (War against the Vidarbha region by Pusyamitra Shung known from the Puranas and Kalidasas famous drama Malavikagnimitram). Satavahanas seem to have given special attention to the regional culture and promoted an elite class of the region rather than subscribing to the north Indian borrowing of elite identity. This could be seen through two examples. First that highlights the preference given by the Satavahanas to Prakrit in royal use. This can be supported by two facts. All the inscriptions of the Satavahanas are in Prakrit[31] and the Prakrit text Gahasattasai is ascribed to one of the Satavahan kings named Hala[32].  The second can be that of the Satavahana ruler being insulted by his queen for being ignorant of Sanskrit grammar. As a remedy to this an easier version of Sanskrit grammar was composed by a scholar patronized by the royal court[33]. (One interesting fact about the names of some of the Satavahana rulers is that they call themselves by the name of their mother who invariably would be having a name indicative of belonging to the Vedic tradition. So the tradition of the king being ignorant about the rules of the Sanskrit grammar but the queen knowing it would not be inconsistent to the tradition, though women generally were not taught the scholarly subjects like grammar.) All these traditions point out towards the socio political conditions influencing the writing of grammar during different phases.

The political rivalry amongst the rulers following different faiths must have created the need of proving legitimacy to the rule. The grammarians patronized by the state must have contributed in the process by creating scholarly works in various religious traditions so as to suit the ruler. The role of the Vedic tradition of respecting grammar as one of the Vedangas influenced the followers of non- Vedic religious traditions as well. The works on grammar attributed to various kings would show how grammar was taken as a mark of scholarship and superior position of a person who has the knowledge of it. The story of the Satavahana king aspiring to learn grammar and the doubt expressed by one of the scholars in the court as regards to the possibility of the king having a time of twelve years at his disposal, which was considered essential to learn it, shows how grammar had become a highly specialized subject by the early centuries of Christian era.

 The class consciousness attached to the works of grammar is not exclusive to Sanskrit. The works on the Prakrit grammars also show a similar tendency. A grammar called Prakrit Prakash for the Maharashtri Prakrit (which was considered to be the Prakrit of par excellence) was written by Vararuchi, the court scholar of Vikramaditya (Chandra Gupta II of the Gupta dynasty, 376-414 A.D.). Vararuchi in his grammar recognizes only the said variety of Prakrit and ignores the regional or the tribal dialect.[34] The hegemonic tendency of the grammarians or the support of the grammarians to that act is evident from this example of Prakrit grammar. A similar tendency can be seen in the very names like Paishachi Prakrit (the language of the Paishach or Goblins) or language of lower caste in the name Chandali.  The references to the dialects like Takkadeshiya being the dialect of gamblers or a sub-dialect Shabari to be the dialect of the charcoal-burners, hunters, boatman, and woodcutters are also not simple observations. The superior feelings of the observers are quite evident in the very names with which they are recorded. One more dimension of the hegemonic relations is related to gender. Very often the language of women is said to be devoid of a strict adherence to the rules of grammar, e.g. the Magadhi is to be spoken by persons working in the kings harem.[35] The story of the Satavahana king mentioned earlier also hints at the belief that the women were not supposed to be aware of the rules of grammar. Hence the king gets specially insulted by the queen who tells him about his ignorance of grammar.  In fact it wouldnt be improper to mention here that there is not a single Indian woman grammarian of repute that the history knows[36].

As the grammatical tradition was keeping itself closely associated with the political structure it also was an integral part of the powerful religious institutions. This is more evident in case of the Jains and the Buddhists. Thus the grammarians of the said sects boast of not making any mention to the Vedic sacrifices or other rituals.[37]Grammar was found to be very useful in the philosophical speculations right from its inception. Bhartrihari used it with a great authority and zeal. The Shaivas, the Vaishnavas also made grammar as a means of propagating their religious ideology, e.g. the Harinamamrit Vyakaran of Jivagoswami or Prabodha- Prakash were written by Balaram Panchanan for the Vaishnava and Shaiva sects respectively.[38] The association of grammar with the devotional philosophy must have given sustenance to the tradition of learning grammar during the days when royal patronage ceased to be there. In case of the Buddhists and Jains, the religious institution was a more stable support than the state support.

Apart from the utility aspect of grammar from the point of view of hegemony of state or religion one more aspect was related to the systems of ancient Indian grammar. Tradition of accepting language as mystic phenomena was also very strong through out the ancient period. It shows its beginning in Rigveda by way of the hymns addressed to the speech goddesses Vak. For the sacrifices Vak is as important as fire. Fire carries the oblations and Vak carries the prayers to the Gods. Nighantu records fifty-seven names of Vak. In this oldest hymn one can see the beginning of mysticism attached to speech. It states[39], Vak has been divided into four levels Which the knowers of Brahman know;

 People speak only the fourth (of these); While the (other) three are kept in a cave.

Akalujkar describes the four levels as[40]:


1) vaikhari(speech)

2) madyama(mental/intellectual or potential speech)

3) pashyanti(latent totality of units)

4) para(pure, basic language principle)

There seems to be some problem about the exact interpretation of this verse. Because grammarians like Patanjali and Bhartrihari talk of  three levels of language[41]only.

Vak is understood as human speech but the scheme of dividing it into four levels makes it difficult to comprehend. It is indicative of a tendency of creating an awe regarding everything that is related to the Vedas. The same verse further relates speech to Brahman, an enigma of par excellence created by the Vedic composers. Relation between the human speech and different philosophical principles seems to have engaged Indian grammarians across different religious faiths of all ages. The most intriguing question regarding the human existence being real or illusory is deeply embedded in the understanding of human speech, often referred to as Shabda. The tradition of considering speech as a divine principle is common among various schools of grammar and philosophy. Historically speaking there seems to be a constant tension between the grammarians and the philosophers for defining the role of human speech in the process of acquiring the ultimate knowledge. The Vedic conception of Vak saw its culmination in the Upanishadic thought of expressing every thing that can be expressed by human speech into one phonetic symbol viz. AUM.  To put it in words of J. G. Arapura[42], The Mandukya Upanishad gives the most complete expression of language, having worked out an identification of it with Atman at four levels through the symbol of AUM. ………The symbol of AUM also has been employed by several of the Upanishads before, chiefly by the chandogya, Taittiriya and Maitri. But the Mandukya, the special AUM Upanishad, pulls all these diffuse ideas together and works out a thorough systematic correlation of them all by producing, so to say, the final symbolic equation where by language, consciousness (the psyche) and the cosmos were all coordinated under the supreme word symbol.

The grammarians have shown a deep interest in understanding the intricacies of language in relation to the ultimate reality. The guiding principle seems to be that the mystery of language must be sought so as to reach up to the highest principle of Brahman. In this regard the philosophers of the schools like that of the Purva-Mimansa and Vedanta and the grammarians come very close to each other. This affinity is aptly explained by J.G. Arapura[43]. He states, One of the most interesting features of ancient Indian thought on the subject of language is that it understood language both in its phenomenal transcendental aspects while fully studying each of its own, scientifically and philosophically. They were also joined together into single, homogeneous field where that was warranted. Detail scientific study of phonetics, semantics, etymology, etc. were at appropriate points integrated with philosophical contemplation of language (and consciousness) as reality. The skill and penetration which went into these gigantic intellectual efforts stretching over centuries are to be marveled at.

             As has been mentioned earlier a tension persist through out the ancient period between the philosophers and the grammarians; the first ones trying to go more and more into the mysterious character of word (Shabda) and the second  trying to retain it at the level of human speech. It can be well understood with an example of a Vedic chant being variously interpreted by the philosophers and the grammarians. Probably that also acted as a stimulus for the production of a vast literature related both to language and philosophy.

            Rigveda(4. 58.3.)[44] represents one of the most obscure ideas,  probably of the sacrifice and whatever that can be attached to it. 

Catvari shringa trayo asya pada dve shirshe sapta hastaso asya

Tridha baddho vrishabho roraviti maho devo martyam a vishesh.

Four are his horns, three his feet, two his heads and seven his hands. Tied with a triple bond the bull roars loudly; a magnificent God has entered into mortals.

While interpreting this text Yaska highlights the sound principle in the form of the roar of the Bull. Shabara Bhashya, a text of Purva Mimansa takes it to be a representation of the sacrifice along with the priests, oblations, sacrificer with his wife, chants, etc. The verse, however for Patanjali becomes the representation of language science. He understands it with the elements of grammar. According to his interpretation the four horns are the four parts of speech viz. noun, verb, indeclinable and preposition. Three tenses; past present and future are the three feet, two heads represent two fold words: eternal and non-eternal, seven hands stand for the seven cases of grammar, three fold bound to be understood as the three places where sound originates in human body, (breast, throat, head), and ultimately the bull represents the word Shabda. There seems to be an attempt towards decoding of the Vedic myths on the basis of grammar. The question is why was it done? Could it be for proving the legitimacy of grammatical work? It certainly shows consistency with the earlier tradition of using the language science for understanding the Vedas.

With many of such examples one can see that the language as a human speech and language as the ultimate reality both these thoughts run parallel to each other through out the ancient period. Interesting point to be noted here is that the Vedic tradition no doubt shows more enrichment in terms of volume, the contribution of the followers of non-Vedic tradition matches with it qualitatively. It wouldnt be too much to say that the intellectual fervor exhibited by the Buddhists must have acted as a motivating force for the Vedic followers to sharpen their ideas more and more so as to combat the Buddhists. The positions taken by scholars of various faiths were proving to be complimentary to each other. The biggest challenge of the post-Paninian period to the grammarians of Vedic tradition was posed by the Shunyavad of the Buddhists. The whole Vedic metaphysics related to language was based on the principle of Brahman which the Buddhists like Nagarjuna strongly denied. The arguments put forth by the Shunyavadins were firmly grounded in logic. The notion of time presented by the Shunyavadins can be cited as an example of a challenge for the grammarians to refute it with all their energy otherwise their very existence would have been endangered[45]. The grammarian who could stand on his own solid foundation of profound knowledge and understanding of both language and philosophy was Bhartrihari.  Bhartrihari is approximately placed in the fifth century of the Christian era. This was a time when the Vedic studies almost had become stagnant. The authority of the Puranic religion was fully established. Adherence to the Vedic rituals was more metaphorical than real. Vedic gods had become archaic and were replaced by various forms of Vishnu and Shiva. On the side of the institutions the Buddhists and the Jains were showing more organizational superiority than the followers of the Puranic religion. Buddhist and the Jain centers of formal learning were in the flourishing state. Some scholars are of the opinion that the grammatical treatise of Bhartrihari is a response to the theories propounded by the Buddhists, especially by Nagarjuna.  Brahamakanda, the first part of Vakyapadiyam which is also called Agamakanda makes Bhartriharis position as an upholder of the Vedic or more correctly Upanishadic tradition of metaphysics clear. Bhartrihari strongly supports the tradition of believing in the Vedas as the source of all knowledge and states that the purpose of grammar is to open the door for the path of salvation[46]. He also places himself in the line of Munityaya, viz. Panini, Patanjali and Katyayana. He favors the idea of accepting Shabda as Brahma; meaning there by such a principle which is eternal, without beginning or end. This position is totally opposite to the Anityavadin (who consider every thing in flux) Buddhists.

John D. Kelly[47] has studied the problem of identifying the Buddhist whose arguments were taken as a challenge by Bhartrihari. To quote, I am not at all sure that Nagarjuna himself is the Buddhist theorist most important to Bhartrihari. (Vasubandhu would be an obvious alternative, still to be investigated; and if Warder is right that there are two Vasubandhus, then both of them, the Vijnanavadin and the Sautantrika.)But some scholars have emphasized the Nagarjuna connection. Lindtner, a formidable Nagarjuna specialist, has declared that Nagarjunas distinction of worldly from of ultimate truths had a decisive impact on Bhartrihari, though this fact and its far-reaching implications seem to have escaped the notice of the modern interpreters of the Vakyapadiya (1982:280). Has it escaped Lindtners notice, in turn, how much of Nagarjunas theory and method Bhartrihari encompasses and overturns?

Another observation as regards to Bhartriharis connection with the Buddhist which would be relevant here is made by J. G. Arapura[48], Nagarjuna and Bhartrihari, who lived about 150 years apart, the one around 300 A.D., and the other from the middle of the fifth century the 6th as now believed, are very different kinds of thinkers. Nagarjuna was a Buddhist, the greatest of all Buddhist thinkers by common consent, while Bhartrihari was a grammarian of the Vedic Vedantic tradition, and surely one of the greatest. (the official Vedanta of Shankara, however, criticized Bhartriharis theories) In fact he was the last great thinker of a great grammatical tradition coming from hoary antiquity. Nagarjuna is an extremely subtle and original mind, while Bhartrihari, though no less subtle, is strikingly more comprehensive, and as for originality, is strikingly more under the umbrella of the three great (Munityaya) of his tradition, Panini, Katyayana and Patanjali,.

The point to be noted in this observation is the reservation that the Shankar Vedanta had regarding Bhartriharis logic. The same school also denies the Sphotavad or the theory of Sphota of Bhartrihari.  According to this theory consciousness and word are interchangeable terms. Here Reality and Language are equated. Sphota refers to the ultimate language principle. The concept of Shabdabrahman in the system of Bhartrihari thus comes within the purview of grammar. The Vedantins, probably to defend their position of Brahman being Anirvachaniya (the indefinable) had to take a stand opposite to Bhartrihari[49]. Here the Advaitavedantins seem to be in agreement with the followers of Purva-Mimansa which is otherwise criticized severely by them. Historically speaking the position taken by the Vedantins against the theory of Shabadbrahma described by Bhartrihari seems to have become a formidable barrier in the future growth of the grammatical tradition of the Bhartrihari model. Tandra, Patnaiks observation seems relevant in showing the exact point of difference between the Advaitavedantins and Bhartrihari. Bhartriharis position vis-à-vis nature of language as communicative act she summarizes in following words.

As long as we are thinking and talking about phenomenal world or the experiences of our life there is no epistemic gap between the thought, language and referent. Understood in this sense, Bhartriharis position can be summed up as, whatever is knowable is sayable, and whatever is sayable is knowable

This was taken up by the scholars of the Vedanta school, not to say to interpret it in their own way of Brahamasiddhanta and they went further away from the objective study of language of communication. The Anirvachaniyata of Brahaman principally seems opposite to any enquiry in the field of language. 

To summarize the connection between the tradition of grammar and different schools of Indian philosophy two facts can be highlighted. First, the opposition posed by the Buddhists to the Vedic tradition worked as a challenge to the Vedic studies for proving its superiority. As a result even the studies of Vedic language gained more attention. Logically then one can say that so long as the Buddhists were intellectually active in the field of philosophy the tradition of grammar rooted in the tradition of Vedas remained qualitatively Prolific.

Many more areas need to be explored having connections with the tradition of grammar. The above survey is just an attempt towards highlighting the need for contextualizing the history of grammar in ancient India with the socio-political conditions of different epochs. There are a good number of inscriptions which refer to the tradition of grammar directly or indirectly. Those would help in understanding the patronage given to grammar in different ages. For example, the Udaygiri inscription of Chandragupta II approximately dated to the end of fourth century A.D. records the name of one of the ministers of the said king along with his expertise in grammar.[50] Similarly one of the inscriptions of the Pratihar period also records one minister of king Ramadeva who was a grammarian[51].One can also study the ancient lexicons called Koshas and other such compilation for reconstructing the history of grammar[52]. The work by the early indologists, especially the philologists of the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as regards to different aspects of language presented by ancient Indians is extremely commendable. The colonial context of the study of Sanskrit language and Sanskrit grammar as a part of it also is an important aspect of the history of grammar in India. Due to the requirement of the educational system introduced by the British in India new texts on grammar were composed. For doing so the then experts of language trained in the western tradition were looking into available Indian texts on grammar and presenting their critical evaluation of those. A fresh visit to their observations in the light of the new trends in ancient Indian historiography will be fruitful in many ways. It will give stimulus even to the pure linguistic inquiries, not to mention its tremendous potential for the reconstruction of cultural history of ancient India. As stated in the beginning this tradition is enigmatic and its acquaintance would enrich every person who ever visits it at any age.





[1] Bhattachrya, Bishnupada, ‘Yaska’s Nirukta and the science of Etymology a historical and critical survey’. Firma K. L. Mukhopadhyay, Calcutta, 1958.Pp. 42-45.

[2] There is a mention of this in Mahabharat.  Acharya Vireshwar Siddhantashiromani, ‘Niruktam’.Jnanamandal limited, Varanasi, 1966. p.16.

[3] Bhattachrya, Bishnupada, op.cit. pp.62-95.

[4] Achaya Vireshwar Siddhantashiromani, op.cit.,pp.10-11.

[5] Bhattachrya, Bishnupada, op.cit.pp. 31-32.

[6] Agarwal, A.S. ‘Paninikalin Bharatvarsha(A study of the cultural Material in Panini’s Ashtadhyayi’ . Chowkhamba Vidyabhavan Varanasi, Second edition 1969. This book gives a complete socio-political background of the Paninian grammar.

[7] Burnell A. G. ‘On Aindra school of Sanskrit grammarians’, Bharat-Bharati, Varanasi, 1875. p.38.

[8] K. M.eenakshi, “Making of Panini” in Deshpande, Madhav and Peter E. Hook (eds), ‘Indian Linguistic Studies”. Motilal Banarsida., Delhi. 2002. p. 245.

[9] Yudhishthir Mimansak, ‘Sanskit Vyakaran Shastra ka Itihas’, vol.I. Ramlal Kapur trust Bahalgadh, Sonipat (Haryana), fifth edition, 1994. pp. 155-203. Similar account is available in Banerji, Sures Chandra ‘Historical survey of Ancient Indian Grammars (Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit)’ Sharada Publishing House, Delhi. 1996. Pp. 26-36.

[10] Burnell A. G.  op. cit.  pp.19-24.

[11] Belvarkar, S.K. ‘Systems of Sanskrit grammar’. The Bharatiya Book Cotporation, Delhi, edition: 1997. p.10.

[12] Burnell A. G.  op. cit.  p iv.

[13] Belvarkar, S.K, op. cit. pp.51-52.

[14] As quoted by Dash, P.C. in ‘A comparative study of the Paninian and Chandra systems of grammar’ Ramanand Vidya Bhavan, New Delhi, 1986. p.23.

[15] Malhar Kulkarni, “Contributions of Katyayana to the Paninian grammar” in Ray, Bidyut Lata,(ed), ‘Panini to Patanjali A grammatical march.’ D.K. Printworld, New Delhi, 2004. pp.115-127.

[16] Aravindra Kumar, ‘Archaic words in Panini’s Ashtadhyayi’ Parimal Prakashan,Delhi,1981..p.5

[17] ibid, p. 6.

[18]“Niyata kalah smritayah”

[19] Dhvanyaloka 1. 16.

[20] Saini,R.S. ‘ Post Paninian systems of Sanskrit grammar’.Parimal publications, Delhi, 1999.pp . 264-273. 

[21] Belvarkar, S.K. op.cit.p.79.

[22] For the legends associated with various systems of Post-Paninian Grammar see, Saini, op. cit.

[23] A commentary on the Shakatayana system of grammar boastfully remarks that, “there is neither Ishti nor are there words usud, such as neither ‘na-vyaktam’ nor ‘upasamkhyam’ laid down, apart from the sutras.” Quoted from Saini, op. cit., p.108.

[24] Saini, ibid, p. 208.

[25] Saini, ibid, p. 179.

[26] Joshi, Venkateshwarshastri, ‘Problems in Sanskrit grammar’ Dastane Ramchandra, Pune, 1980.p.5.

[27] Narain, A.K. ‘The Indo-Greeks’ Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1980. Plate VI,2,3.

[28] Madhav M. Deshpande, “The changing notion of Shishta from Patanjali to Bhartrihari” in Bhate, Saroja and Johannes Bronkhorst,(eds), ‘Bhartrihari Philosopher and Grammarian’. Motilal Banarsidas, Dehi, 1994.

[29] Joshi, Venkateshwarshastri, op.cit. pp.40-48.

[30] Nasik cave inscription of  Vasisthiputra Pulumavi:Year 19,  in  Mirashi, V. V. , ‘The history and inscriptions of the Satavahanas and the Western Khatrapas Maharashtra State Board for Literature and Culture, Bombay, 198, pp.41-47.

[31] Ibid  pp.[178-179].

[32] Ibid.pp.[179-188]

[33] Ibid, pp. [211-214].

[34] Sircar D. C., (1943), ‘A Grammar Of The Prakrit Language’ 1943. p.5.

[35] For more details on the association of various Prakrit dialects with the people who spoke them see, ibid.

[36]Exceptions could be like women studying Apishal grammar. However the exact position of women in this study is not known. Yudhishthir Mimansak, vol.I op.cit. p.160.

[37]In the Shakatayan system of grammar there no reference to Ishti, Saini, op. cit. p. 108.

[38] For more information on these sectarian schools of grammar see, Saini, op.cit. and Belvarkar, op.cit. 

[39] As quoted in J. G. Arapura, ‘Hermeneutical essays on Vedantic Topics.’ Motilal Banarsidas , Delhi,1986.p. 153.

[40] Encyclopedia of Indian philosophies, vol.V. Coward, H. G. and K. Kunjunni Raja (ed.s), Motilal Banarsidas, Delhi, 1990.p. 122.

[41] Venkatshastri Joshi, op.cit. pp.34-39.

[42] J. G. Arapura, op.cit. p. 157.

[43] Ibid, p. 150.

[44] Verse and the translation  along with different interpretations as quoted by Othmar Gachter, ‘Hermeneutics and language in Purva Mimansa’. Motilal Banarsidas, Delhi, 1983.pp.148 and 111-114..

[45] J. G. Arapura, op.cit. pp.99-108.

[46] Brahmakanda I.14.

[47] Kelly, John D. in Bhate, Saroja and Johannes Bronkhorst (ed.s) ‘Bhartrihari Philosopher and grammarian’, Motilal Banarsidas, Delhi, 1994.p. 188.

[48] J. G. Arapura, op.cit. p. 100.

[49] Patnaik, Tandra, ‘Shabda  a study of Bhartrihari’s philosophy of language’ D. K. Printworld (p)ltd .New Delhi. 1994.p. 155.

[50] Chaudhary, Radhakrishna, ‘Prachin Bharatiya Abhilekh’ Meenakshi Prakashan, New Delhi, p.119 of the text portion.

[51] E. Hultzsch, “The two inscriptions of the Vallabhattaswamin temple at Gwalior” in Epigraphia Indica vol.I.Srchaeological Survey of India, Delhi, reprint, 1983. pp.151-159.

[52] Wilson, H.H., ‘Grammars and dictionaries of the Sanskrit language’.First Indian edition by Nag Publishers, Delhi, 1979.