[Advaita-l] Theory of Language: Mimamsa, Advaita and Vyakarana - 2 of 3

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Tue Dec 22 07:08:57 CST 2015

Namaste Jaldharji.

On Tue, Dec 22, 2015 at 12:55 PM, Jaldhar H. Vyas via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> 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.

Precisely why I asked the question. vaiyyAkaraNas would usually not use the
word पद unless it fits the definition of one of the 4 sutras, main ones
being १.४.१४ सुप्तिङन्तम् पदम् as you mention below and १.४.१७
स्वादिष्वसर्वनामस्थाने, latter being the pada-derivation stage jargon with
specifics. So I wanted to know if there was something more to it, because
in the context of grammar, unless the word gets a पदसंज्ञा that word will
not fall in the संज्ञाप्रदेश of anything that operates on a पद।

> Similarly ti~Na is the base form of a verb.

A small correction, you mean ti~N, तिङ्।

> In other words a pada is not a shabda but a template for producing shabdas.

In fact, technically, any sound can be categorized as a शब्द; e.g., bee's
buzzing is called अव्यक्त-शब्दः and unclear speech is अव्यक्तायां वाचि
शब्दः। However, a pada is mostly a declined shabda. So रामः is a पद but राम
is not (unless in vocative case, of course) and that is why we have
रामशब्दवत् and not रामपदवत्।

> 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.

True, it looks like an impossibility, captured in mere 4000 sutras!

> I know I did.

First time I started studying the mAheshvara sutras, not even Panini sutras
then, I was thinking that all the headers, packets, and what have you in
today's networking or data compression world, has all been done in the best
possible way by Maharshi Panini already. Our teacher, a programmer in his
pUrvAshrama, told us that every object-oriented language programmer should
learn Panini sutras. :)

> I credit reading Ballantynes English translation of the
> Laghusiddhantakaumudi as a student at Columbia University for cementing my
> decision to become an astika.

Thats quite a credit!

Kind rgds,
--Praveen R. Bhat
/* Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known!
[Br.Up. 4.5.15] */

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