1 Vyakarana Literature.
Every system of Sanskrit Vyakarana has got the Sutra collection as the basic work (believed to have been) written by an ancient author who came to be looked upon in course of time as a revered sage with an unquestioned authority. The original rules of grammar in every system were as few as possible although the field they covered was very wide and extensive. As the art of writing was not very common and as a' result, the fundamental rules in every Sastra had to be necessarily stored up in memory, especially so in V yakarana, for mastering the Sastra, brevity, generally, was the soul of the sutra works. Naturally, in course of time, explanatory and auxiliary literature grew around the Sutra Literature which mostly consisted of works styled as vrtti, bhasya varttika and tika. Short treatises explaining all rules in their order, citing examples and counter examples were styled vrttis. The bhasya works w ere scholarly works, raising objections, giving answers, and discussing critically various connected topics.! The varttika works were more or less supplementary works, suggesting additions and corrections, while the commentary works undertook a critical explanation only.
2 Varttikas and Paribhasas. To these four classes of works, works on Paribhasas could be added as forming a fifth class in the Vyakarana sastra. These works had their origin simultaneously with the vrtti and the Varttika works within a century or two after the sutras had been written. The Vyakarana sutras of Panini, which covered the whole field of the then studied vedic and classical literature, became, by virtue of the systematic treatment of the vast subject metter, so popular that within a few years grammarians began to write explanatory glosses on them, known by the name vrtti , which made the contents of the sutras very clear by putting additional words and citing examples. Scholars of grammar, who were not satisfied with the laconic treatment of the vrttis, which were intended for an elementary study, gave full explanations of the vrtti works in class rooms and, in order that the explanations should be remembered, they summed up their arguments in short explanations of the sutra type, which. by reason of their being based upon vrtti works, came to be known as Varttikas. Those Varttikas out of the lot, which laid down general principles, useful in arriving at the right and proper explanation of the sutras, as also in to be formation of such words as could not be easily explained without any difficulty, came to be known as Paribhasas.
3 The Three Branches of Vyakaranasastra. On the analogy of the Astral Science (Jyotisa-sastra) which divided itself into three branches named Ganita, Samhita and jataka, the Vyakarana sastra also could be said to have flowed in three currents- formation of words ( Sabdasiddhi ), determination of the sense of words ( Sabdartha-niscaya ) and determination of the sense of rules (Sutrartha- nirnaya ), which originated from the single stream of the Astadhyayi of Panini. The Astadhyayi, consisting of 3983 sutras,? has a large number of sutras dealing with the formation of words as found used in the Vedic and the spoken Sanskrit Language. Very few rules in the Astadhyayi are such as lay down important principles of interpretation by taking their stand on the relation of words with their senses, The Varttikakara has given many rules in this respect, to which a very valuable addition is made by the author of the Mahabhasya by means of his assertions and statements. There are some sutras in the Astadhyayi which lay down rules of interpretation which are helpful for the right and proper interpretation of the sutras, as also for their proper application in cases of conflict.' Such rules are called Paribhasas. Some rules of this kind are given by Panini himself in his Astadhyayi, mainly in the first quarter of the first Adhyaya of it Rules helplul to decide the priority of application in cases of conflicting rules, came, to be called "balabalasutras ' later on. The Katantra paribhasa sutras are actually divided into paribhasasutras and balabalasutras, These three currents of grammar have their seeds in the Astadhyayi, sprouts in the Varttikas and growth in the Mababhasya et Patanjali.
4 Principal works in the three branchee . Later grammarians completely separated these currents which, under the names of prakriya, arthavicara and Paribhasa, became in fact, the three branches of Sanskrit Vyakarana in each of which scholars in Vyakarana wrote independent texts. The Kasikavrtti, the Prakriya-kaumudi, the Siddhanta-kaumudi and the like can be cited as some of the important prakriya granthas; the Vakyapadiya, the Vaiyakarauabhusana and the Laghumanjusa could be cited as some of the important arthagranthas, while the Paribhasasucana of Vyadi, the Paribhasavrtti of Siradeva and the Paribhasendusekhara of Nagesa can be cited as some of the principal Paribhasa works. Besides these, each one of the different systems of grammar, such as Katantra, Candra, Sakatayana, Jainendra, Haima and others have got their grammar works divisible into the three branches mentioned above. It has however, to be noted that the several systems of grammar have got the same subject matter as the Paniniya system has got, but as their technical terminology was different, the wording of the sutras and Paribhasas differed. The principal treatises in an these branches which are named as Vyakarana or Sabdanusasana, fall under the type of prakriya works; there are a few paribhasa works in- these systems, but there is. hardly any work of the type of artha-grantha in them.
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