Process and Language A Study of the Mahabhasya ad A1.3.1 bhuvadayo dhatavah

FREE Delivery
Delivery Ships in 1-3 days
Item Code: IDF161
Author: Hideyo Ogawa
Language: English
Edition: 2005
ISBN: 8120829514
Pages: 395
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.8" X 5.6"
Weight 660 gm

Book Description

From the Jacket:

The present book is a comprehensive and detailed study of the semantics of verbs in Sanskrit as presented by Patanjali in his commentary, Mahabhasya, on Astadhyayi 1.3.1 bhuvadayo dhatavah. This portion of his commentary contain a skillfully arranged discussion of topics related to the linguistic units, known as verbal roots, or dhatu. A verbal root is the core of the derivation of any utterance in Panin's grammar. In his Vakyapadiya, Bhartrhari, a later Paniniya, defined the meaning of verb as that which is conveyed as something brought to accomplishment. The author, by producing a meticulously documented treatment of the Mahabhasya and related works, shows how this definition underpins the semantics of verbs presented by Patanjali in his Mahabhasya.

About the Author:

Hideyo Ogawa was born in Japan in 1954. He received a doctorate in letters from Hiroshima University in 2002. In India, he studied Paninian grammatical works with Saroja Bhate and K.A. Sivaramakrishna Shastri. Since 1990, he is teaching at Hiroshima University, where he is Professor on Indian Philosophy.


Panini had predecessors both in phonetics and phonology as well as grammar and he not only built upon the foundations established by these predecessors but also superceded them in major aspects. This is well known. One of the aspects of Panini’s departure from those to whom he succeeded is his increasing formalism. Thus for example there are general definitions of different kinds of compounds which are semantically based depending on what they have as their primary significands avyayibhavas the meaning associated with the first constituent tatpurusa the meaning of the second constituent bahuvrihi a meaning other than that of any constituent. Such classification is reflected in Katyayana’s and patanjali’s comments on Paninian sutras and commentators recognize that they are appropriate in general but are not fully adequate. Panini’s system is devoid of such general definitions for all compounds instead the class names avyayibhava tatpurusa, dvandva and bahuvrihi are assigned to compounds in accordance with the conditions under which they are formed and although Astadhyayi 2.2.24 brings in a meaning other than that of the padas which enter into composition the general rule assigning the class name bahuvrihi to certain compounds simply says that a compound that is residual with respect to those provided for by previous rules bears this name.

To be sure pre Paninian scholars had already taken steps in this direction. Thus for example two pratisakhyas which probably antedate Panini in their cores the Rgvedapratisakhya and the Taittiriyapratisakhya clearly distinguish the terminology used in describing the production of sounds and in naming classes of sounds with respect to phonological operations. Nevertheless at a stage reflected both in the Rgvedapratisakhya and in yaska’s Nirukta general semantic definitions of major word classes were accepted. According to the former a nominal form is one by means of which a speaker signifies a substance a thing according a verb form is one by means of which a speaker signifies an action and which includes a verbal base. In a comparable manner. Yaska notes that the characteristics which define a verbal from and a nominal respectively are said to be as follows the former has bhava as its principal meanings while nominal forms have substances as their principal meanings. In addition Yaska remarks that where both such forms occur they jointly have bhava as the principla meaning that is the principal meaning signified by an utterance such as Devadatta is cooking is the act of cooking. Yaska then proceeds to contrast two aspects of bhava which a speaker designates when using a finite verb form like vrajati goes is going or pacati cooks is cooking on the one hand and on the other hand a form of an abstract action noun such as vrajya going paktih cooking. By means of a verb form one signifies a bhava whose defining characteristic is that it is sequential starting from inception up to the termination of the act in question by means of nominal forms one signifies a bhava which is embodied has the characteristics of a thing. Yaska ends his brief presentation by nothing that adas that and the base bhu are the general referents though which one designates things and bhavas particular ones being referred to respectively by nominals like go ox, cow be seated horse hastin elephant and verbs as be seated si lie, sleep vraj go and stha come to a stop be in place.

That acts are brought together under the term bhava and verb forms are referred to by akhyata could support the thesis that at one time such terminology fit within a system that operated with subjects and predicates such that a verb was considered a predicate which tells something about a subject. This view could be buttressed with an appeal to the view which Yaska attributes to Varsyayani according to whom there are six varieties of bhava coming into being existing changing, increasing diminishing and ceasing to be. It is nevertheless patent form what Yaska himself says in Nirukta that he considered the principal meaning of a sentence like to be the act of cooking and not a subject Devadatta of whom it is predicated that he is cooking.

The definition at times substituted by continues to reverberate in later discussions not only of grammarians like Patanjali one finds no such semantic definition although Panini does continue to use both kriya and bhava with reference to what verbal bases signify. Instead Panini assigns the class name dhatu to verbal basis by two sutras which deal respectively with primitive and derived bases Astadhyayi 1.3.1 and 3.1.32. According to 1.3.1 itmes of the ordered set beginning with bhu are called dhatu. The bases in question are listed in one of the ancillaries to the Astadhyayi proper namely the dhatupatha. Astadhyayi 3.1.32 on the other hand presupposes rules introducing post verbal affixes san yan nic, as well as affixes such as kyac which serve to form denominative verbs derivates ending in san and other affixes introduced by preceding sutras are called dhatu.

The Mahabhasya on Astadhyayi 1.3.1 contains a skillfully arranged discussion of topics related to unite which should be called dhatu. The bhasya beings with a discussion of why the sutra as bhuvadayah with uv and cites the first half of slokasvartija stating that is used for the skae of auspiciousness. Patanjali goes on immediately to take up the reason for panini stating bhuvadayah using adi concluding that this shows there is a listing of bases outside the corpus of the Astadhyayi sutrapatha. This leads into Katyayana’s first two varttikas on Astadhyayi 1.3.1 with a discussion of examples and arguments associated with them. in these verttikas Katayayan argues that if the class name dhatu is assigned through such a listing two problems result that have to be resolved. First the name argues that if the class name dhatu to assigned through such a listing two problems result that have to be resolved. First the name could be assigned to items that are homophonous with ones listed in the dhatupatha but which should not be referred to by the name dhatu when this is used in rules stating operations which concern such units for example va blow go should be a dhatu but the particle va or should not. Secondly one has also to specify what particular stretches of sounds in the list constitute individual units to be called dhatu for example it is necessary to provide that bhu and edh are separate units that bhvedh is not a single unit. The problems thus brought up lead to the discussion of two alternative semantic definitions of units to be called dhatu first that a dhatu is an element signifying an action viewed in such a manner that it is designated kriya alternatively that a dhatu is an element signifying an act but now viewed in such a way that it is designated bhava. The rich and beautifully organized discussions surrounding these two possibilities involve Katyayana and patanjali in an array of issues which continue to be object of discussion through out of subsequent Paninian literature from Bhartrhari’s Vakya padiya down to Nagesa’s various works.

In the present book Prof. Hideyo Ogawa has ably treated these discussions in the Mahabhasya and related works. He has produced a meticulously documented treatment of the texts with penetrating comments and useful annotations. In addition he has summarized and critically appraised earlier scholarship dealing with the topics he has studied. The result is in my opinion an outstanding piece of careful scholarship which will take its place as a major contribution to out understanding of Panini and the long tradition of renewed discussion which arose surrounding his Astadhyayi. I commed him for his accomplishment and I hope that the scholarly community will give Prof. Orgawa’s work the favorable reception it deserves.


It has been nearly fifteen years since I adventured into a study of the MahahhJsya of Patanjali (2nd century B.C.) on the sutra bhuvuvadyo dhatavah, a grammatical rule formulated by Panini (500 B.C.) in his Astudhyayi (Al .3.1) and discussed by Katyayana (3rd century B.C.) in his varttikas. It is a genuine pleasure to publish the present work as a result of years of Laborious study.

I began my Paninian studies with treatises on semantics and philosophy of grammar in the Pininian tradition after Bhartrhari (5th century), written by later Paniniyas, i.e., Navya-Vaiyakaranas, such as Kauidabhata (17th century) and Nagea (late 17th to 18th century). In the course of my study of them I felt it absolutely necessary to go back to the Mahabhasya where questions of general linguistic and philosophical import, which were the bases for later elaborations, were already treated fairly extensively.

I had to face serious questions: What brings the later Paniniyas to develop such a theory of a verbal cognition and to get such a view of the verb meaning? It was in the course of events that I went on to the Mahabhasya on Al.3.I which was devoted to elaborating on the semantics of verbs. However once you undertake the task of reading the texdt of the Mahabhasya on any sutra you will see that a proper understanding of it requires time and effort and that you have to make a painstaking disclosure of a hidden thought of Patanjali. I find a voice in the Mahabhasya pradipa or simply the Pradipa the commentary on the Mahabhasya by kaiyata to express what was in my mind at the time I started reading the to the text.

The commentary on the Mahabhasya written by Bhartrhari which Kaiyata expresses metaphorically as a bridge to cross to the further side of the ocean of the Mahabhasya is the Mahabahasyatika or the Mahabhasyadipika whose preserved text beginning with a lacuna and ending with the seventh ahnika does not cover the text on A1.3.1 the fact that the text requires us to read between the lines reflects its depth. For acquiring a deeper understanding of the text as kaiyata resorted to the above mentioned commentary so I resorted to the Vakyapadiya of the same author the major text on semantics and philosophy of grammar in the paninian school. It is beyond question that the vakyapadiya also in great part constitutes a commentary on the Mahabhasya. The study of the Vakyopadiya also deservedly cost much time and effort.

I have taken this exposition of the argument developed by Patanjali in his Bhasya on A1.3.1 as far as I can. Readers of the present work will judge for themselves to what extent I have been successful. Regardless of what the reader’s judgement is I must say that I feel relieved to bring this project to an end.

I would like to discharge to debt of gratitude to my teachers by presenting this work.

The late Prof. Atsushi Uno from whom I learned Sanskrit and who initiated me into the Navya-Nyaya system so that I could deal with Navya Naiyayikas treatises on semantics such as the Vyutpattivada of Gadadhara.

Prof. Nobuhiko Kobayashi who introduced the world of Paninian grammar to me by his classes in Panini’s grammar where I could for the first time read a kaumudi work the Laghusiddhantakaumudi of Varadaraja and the Mahabhasya on A2.1.55.

Prof. Shoryu Katsura under whom I studied Buddhist logic and whose lectures on meta rules with the major kaumudi work the Siddhantakaumudi struck me.

Prof. Saroja bhate under whose guidance I pursued the study of Panini;s grammar in Poona from 1982 to 1983 and with whose help I could read through the Siddhantakaumudi.

The late Pt. K.A. Sivaramakrishna Sastri a traditional Pandit with a scholarly knowledge of the various traditional branches of learning to whom I am profoundly indebted for two years of instruction in Panini’s grammar and whom I asked to help me with several texts including the Vaiyakaranabhusansara of Kaundabhata and the Paramalaghunjusa of Nagesa.

Prof. George Cardona to whom also I am deeply indebted for his encouragement to continue this work on the Mahabhasya and who was generous enough with his time to read the Kriyasa muddesa of the Vakyapadiya with me.

Special thanks are due to Prof. Tom Tillemans Lausanne University for giving me a chance to be intent on carrying out the present work in Lausanne and also to Prof. Katsuar for making arrangements for me to stay there for this purpose.

I am also happy to acknowledge the help of friends who read and commented on drafts of this work. Yoshichika Honda, Yoshie Kobayashi, Koji Ezaki Yohei Kawajiri Suguru Ishimura and Sayaka Nakano.

Finally it is my special pleasure to thank Prof. Brendan S. Gillion, Prof. Shin Fujinaga, Dr. Masato Kobayashi, Dr. Mithilesh Chaturvedi, Dr. Kanshi Ram and Mr. Narendra Prakash jain for their helpful suggestions in publishing the present work.

Foreword IX
Preface XV
References and abbreviations XIX
On references and notation XXI
The Keynote of the Mahabhasya on A1.3.1 1
Section 1
Panini's views of dhatvartha - sadhya and kriya 21
Section 2
Traditional interpretations of A1.3.1 bhuvadayo dhatavah 32
Section 3
Varttikas ad A1.3.1 bhuvadayo dhatavah 45
Section 4
Part 1: Bhasya on varttikas 1-2 (dhatupatha-based definition) 67
Part 2: Bhasya on varttikas 3-7 (kriya-based definition) 101
Part 3: Bhasya on varttikas 8-11 (bhava-based definition) 128
Part 4: Bhasya on varttikas 12-13 (roles of the dhatupatha) 142
Section 5
Kriya and bhava 157
Section 6
Proof of the meaning of the verb as being an action 201
Section 7
Patanjali on A1.3.1 as a semantic definition 222
Section 8
Patanjali on the dhatupatha and its roles 246
Section 9
A roundup of Patanjali's interpretations of A1.3.1 289
Section 10
Bhartrhari and his predecessors on the verb meaning (dhatva-rtha): Concluding remarks 299
Appendix 1
A survey of previous researches on the Mahabhasya ad A1.3.1 309
Appendix 2
Analyzed text of the Mahabhasya ad A1.3.1 331
Bibliography 349
Index 363
Sample Pages

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Q. What locations do you deliver to ?
    A. Exotic India delivers orders to all countries having diplomatic relations with India.
  • Q. Do you offer free shipping ?
    A. Exotic India offers free shipping on all orders of value of $30 USD or more.
  • Q. Can I return the book?
    A. All returns must be postmarked within seven (7) days of the delivery date. All returned items must be in new and unused condition, with all original tags and labels attached. To know more please view our return policy
  • Q. Do you offer express shipping ?
    A. Yes, we do have a chargeable express shipping facility available. You can select express shipping while checking out on the website.
  • Q. I accidentally entered wrong delivery address, can I change the address ?
    A. Delivery addresses can only be changed only incase the order has not been shipped yet. Incase of an address change, you can reach us at
  • Q. How do I track my order ?
    A. You can track your orders simply entering your order number through here or through your past orders if you are signed in on the website.
  • Q. How can I cancel an order ?
    A. An order can only be cancelled if it has not been shipped. To cancel an order, kindly reach out to us through
Add a review
Have A Question

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Book Categories