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March 21, 2012 / A

अथ शब्दानुशासनम् ॥

Whatever people may say, no one knows Sanskrit, who does not know Panini.
— Max Mueller.

This is a record of my attempt to memorize the Ashtadhyayi. I have tried before, and I failed to complete even the first book. I failed because the text was overwhelming and because I did not have enough time. I had also lost faith that it would be worthwhile to do so. But my faith is renewed, and now I am trying again.

I will here record my struggles and failings, of which there will probably be many. I will make notes of how I am memorizing these texts, what techniques I found useful, and what insights I’ve gleaned from spending so much time with them. I will commit time to this task every day, if only a minute. And I will continue for as long as I can.

Of course, thousands of other people have memorized this text before. Nothing makes my task unique or extraordinary. But I am doing this for myself. And if the hours I spend on this make me unmarketable in this modern world we share, so be it.



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  1. Hemant / May 18 2012 8:57 am

    Really interesting!!! …..All the best!
    And regarding “And if the hours I spend on this make me unmarketable in this modern world we share…” – Nowadays every stuff is marketable, in fact if something is not marketable then it would be really unique (And what is unique is, in turn, highly marketable). 🙂

    • A / May 18 2012 11:21 am

      Thanks for your encouragement. I took a bit of a break from the text, but recently I’ve started up with it again. I hope I’ll be able to see it through.

  2. Debabrata / Jun 18 2012 7:18 pm

    प्रशंसनीय प्रयासः । सफलीभू: । भवान् सन्कल्पसिद्ध । सफलता लभ्यते ।

    • A / Jun 28 2012 7:42 pm

      त्वत् साधुवचनं श्रुत्वा मितवाचोऽपि वाङ्मयम् ।
      अनुगृहीत एवाहं देवव्रत स्तुतिव्रत ॥

  3. Subhodeep Mukhopadhyay / Jun 20 2012 10:00 pm

    An excellent initiative !

    I am sure your notes would be helpful to all aspirants (me definitely being one of them). I have tried and stopped quite a few times, never having progressed beyond the first book, the reasons being almost similar to what you have mentioned.

    Instead, to address this bottleneck, for the past few months, I have been working on an aligned exercise – developing a Sanskrit to English translator engine. Consequently I have been able to study quite a few rules, since it needs to go into my program’s logic.

    I am sure your posts would give many like us the required motivation to tackle Ashtadhyayi systematically. Wishing you all the best.

  4. alpamshu / Oct 7 2012 5:32 am

    Now I have got enough inspiration to do the same. I am following you.

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