[Advaita-l] Theory of Language: Mimamsa, Advaita and Vyakarana - 2 of 3
Jaldhar H. Vyas
jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Dec 22 01:25:13 CST 2015
On Fri, 11 Dec 2015, Praveen R. Bhat via Advaita-l wrote:
> However, it is curious as to why Patanjali uses the word
> pada instead of shabda in the context.
pada and shabda are often used interchangably but in vyakarana pada is a
technical term. There is a sUtra supti~NantaM padam "pada is sup and
ti~Na" What is sup? Another sUtra says
"sup is su, au, jas, am, auT, shas, TA, bhyAm, bhis, ~Ne, bhyAm, bhyas,
~Nasi, bhyAm, bhyas, ~Nas, os, Am, ~Ni, os, sup" And what does all that
mean? These are algebraic symbols for the parts of a noun. Further
sUtras act on these in order to make actual nouns. Similarly
ti~Na is the base form of a verb. In other words a pada is not a shabda
but a template for producing shabdas.
I like to make fun of the kind of Hindu who breathlessly talks about how
"NASA has declared Sanskrit the best language for computers" etc. but
Paninis system is a tremendous intellectual achievement and anyone who has
a background in mathematics or computer science will find it fascinating.
I know I did. I credit reading Ballantynes English translation of the
Laghusiddhantakaumudi as a student at Columbia University for cementing my
decision to become an astika.
Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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