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March 22, 2012 / A

Ashtadhyayi, Book 1

Now begins my study of the first book of the text. Each of the eight books is split into four chapters, yielding 32 chapters overall. When I last tried to memorize the Ashtadhyayi, I was able to complete the first and second chapter of book 1. I will use the convention of referring to the first chapter of book 1 as “1.1,” the second chapter of book 1 as “1.2,” and so on.

The first book of the text is concerned primarily with two things: definitions and rules of interpretation. These are in a rather unintuitive order, but otherwise the material here is conceptually simpler than the rest of the text — at least, that’s what I’ve gathered so far.

1.1 and 1.2 are among the easiest chapters in the Ashtadhyayi. But this time I aim to cover more ground. Since I am more familiar with these two chapters, I will spend less time on them. I will, however, discuss some of their qualities, by which you dear readers can understand what can make this text so challenging. I will also discuss the techniques I plan to use when memorizing the rest of the text.


सह नाववतु ।
सह नौ भुनक्तु ।
सह वीर्यं करवावहै ।
तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै ।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः  ॥

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