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Vyakarana Mahabhasya of Patanjali

Preface to the third edition

The present ( third ) Volume of the Vyakarna-Mahabhasya completes the publication of the third edition of the work, which was commenced more than ten years ago by the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona, The first and second editions were brought out by Dr. F. Kiehorn himself between 1880-1909. As shown by his remarks in the prefaces to the first and second editions, Dr. KIELHORN took great pains in preparing the text and fixing the Varttikas. His edition of VM is looked upon as a standard one among the various editions available at present, and, hence, in this - third edition, the text of the first and second editions is faithfully reproduced (page to page and line to line). This will also facilitate reference to the "Index of Words in the Mahabhasya" by Pandits PATHAK and CHITRAV which is based upon Dr. KIELHORN'S edition. It may, however, be pointed out that, at a few places, the text of the Vedic passages as given by Kielhorn differs from the text as recited today. The special features of this edition have already been set forth in the prefaces to the first and second Volumes of this third edition.

2. The Mahabhasya of Patanjali is verily an encyclopaedic work in the field of Sanskrit grammatical literature. Patanjali has subdivided his work into 85 sections which are called ahnikas The number of Panini's Sutras, on which he has written his gloss: is only 1228 out of 3972. He has commented upon five thousand and odd Varttikas, and has given about a hundred maxims of interpretation known as Paribhasas and well-nigh three hundred illustrative maxims or Laukikanyayas. The number of topics discussed by him is about one thousand. His long scholarly comments on Sutras like समर्थ पदविधि ( II. 1. 1.), अर्थवादधातुप्रत्यय (I. 2. 4.5), सरूपाणामेंशेष एकविभक्तौ ( I. 2. 64), अनेकमान्यपदार्थे (II. 2.64 ), and others are brilliant contributions on the subject of the relation between word and sense. His discussion on general topics such as Vipratisedha (contlict of Sutras), vibhasa (option),vibhasa (jurisdiction), sthanivadbhava (originalisation), karma vadbhava ( treatment, like an object), etc. reflects his sharp intellect, and his explanations of such grammatical terms as धातु गति, कर्म प्रवचनीय, उदात्तादिस्वर , अंगसंज्ञा, आगम and the like, form independent topics by themselves. The work is flooded with quotations, which fact attests to the wide range of the author's learning. Written- in a dignified conversational style, the work fully exemplifies the remark जगत्यनुना भवति ही रुचिरा perfection is beauty casually made by him in a different context (VIII. 2. 53 ).

3. It is rather strange that Dr. KIBLHORN has not added any introduction or any indexes to his critically edited text. He has not given even a table of contents, Evidently much of his time was spent on studying the manuscripts and fixing the text. I t is, therefore, proposed to issue a separate volume consisting of a brief introduction, a summary of the eighty-five ahnikas, and a few indexes.

Preface to the First Edition, Vol -I. In preparing the present edition of the Vyakana-Mabhasya I have used the following manuscripts :-
G. Patafijali'a Mahabhasya, a MS. dated Samvat 1751, by photo-lithography, under the supervision of Prof. T. H. Goldstucker; London. India Museum, 1874. D. AMS. belonging to the Deccan College, undated, but apparently written from 100 to 150 years ago. It is incomplete, and portions of it, which have been pointed out in .the Various Readings, are very. carelessly written.
C. AMS. belonging to the Asiatic Society of Calcutta, collated as far as page 238 of this edition. The portion which I have been able to use bears no date, but the greater part of it was probably written about 80 years ago. E. AMS. belonging to the Elphinstone College, written about.200 years ago. The leaves 103-156 of the 1st Adhyaya (page 121 L 10 to page 204 L 19 of the printed present text) are missing.

G. Patanjali's Mahabbasya with Kaiyata's Bhasya- pradipa, an undated MS.; as reproduced by photolithography under the supervision or Prefessor T. H. Goldstucker; London. India. Museum, 1874. B. AMS. belonging to Dr. Buhler, dated Samvat 1844. In addition to these MSS., which are all written in the Devanagari character, I have also had the use of a modern Devanagari MS. of the Deccan College, and, while carrying my edition through the press, I have been able to compare with the MSS. above mentioned Sarada MS. of the Mahabhasya brought by Dr. Buhler from Kasmir. With the exception of the first leaf, which is missing, this MS. (marked K ) contains the. text of the first two Adhyayas complete, but a few leaves are much injured, and the writer has frequently left empty spaces, where the original from which he was copying was probably either damaged or illegible.
Generally speaking, the text of the Mahabhasya is the same in all the above MSS., and the differences of reading which occur are not such as to prove the existence of two or more recensions of the work. Though numerous, they rarely affect the meaning of a passage, and they are in the majority of cases accounted for by the carelessness of individual copyists, or the desire of a student to improve on the text which he was studying. There is a marked agreement between the MSS. G. and D on the one hand, and between g and B on the other, and C leans more towards the first group, while the readings of E oftener accord with those of the second. The Kashmir MS. generally agrees with g B, but it contains also a few valuable readings which are not found in any of the other MSS.

In settling my text, I have been guided chiefly by the MS. G. which is the best of all the MSS. of the Mahabhaysa that have come under my notice, and I have indicated in the various readings all passages where I have departed from it. Of the other MSS. I have generally considered it sufficient to give only the more important readings, but I have throughout noted down anything which appeared to have reference to the text or the constitution of the Varttikas, and I have also given all various readings in the examples adduced by Patanjali.

In separating the text of the Varttikas from the bulk of Patanjali's commentary, I have strictly adhered to the principles laid down in my essay on Katyayana and Patanjali. I cannot hope that my attempt to reconstruct the work of Katayana has in every particular been successful, and the list of corrections at the end of this volume will show that further consideration has made me change my views in one or two instances. Other cases which 88 yet appear doubtful I intend to discuss when the whole text of the Mahabhasya has been printed, and I hope then also to treat the question of the annotated Karikas regarding which I cannot bring myself to accept the views expressed by Professor Goldstucker in his Panini.

Where a rule of Panini is actually quoted by Patanjali, I have given the reference in the text; where a rule is only alluded to, and where one or more rules are necessary for the formation or. a particular form or for the understanding of a passage, the references have been given at the foot of the page. References to the Varttikas and to Patanjali's commentary are distinguished by an asterisk. In giving all these references I have followed Kaiyat's Bhasyapradipa and Nagojibhatta's Bhasyapradipoddyota wherever they render any assistance; in other cases I have had recourse, to Jinendrabuddhi's Kasikavovarama Bhattojidikshita Sabdakaustubha, and other grammatical works or have, though rarely, followed my own judgment. I regret that I have not been able- to secure in India a copy of Bhartrhari's commentary on the Mahabhasya, and also that I could study Haradatta.'s Padamajani only after the completion of the text of this volume.

The figures for Panini's rules given in the text and in the foot-notes refer to Bohtlingk's edition. It will be apparent even from the present volume of the Mahbhasya that the text of Panini's grammar has not been handed down to us altogether in its original shape; at the same time the alterations which it has undergone do not appear to be great, and it seems safest and most convenient to follow the current text until the whole of the Mahabhasya has been published and thoroughly examine .


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