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April 21, 2012 / A

End 2.1

I am grateful to be at the end of this chapter. Although it is among the shortest chapters in the Ashtadhyayi, many of its rules are monstrous things at least as long as the longest rules I have seen so far. And the re-use of certain word groups, like पुर्वापर and प्रथमचरम्, make it difficult to keep track of which rule actually belongs in the chapter and which are from another chapter entirely.


I made the decision to try to memorize the order of these rules by way of mnemonics. Obviously, this chapter took me a long time, and not just because of its rules. I do not know how successful this approach will be in the long term. But I do note that when I was stumped during my review of 1.4, I was able to recall the rules by relying on a mnemonic from before. So perhaps I am preparing myself for the long term.

Basically, I made nonsense English sentences that loosely string together the first letters of the rules in the chapter. Sentences like “a walrus ate your toe poison,”  which are ridiculous enough to be easily remembered:

2.1.11 – 1.1.12 विभाषापपरिबहिरञ्चवः पञ्चम्या
अप, परि, बहिस्, and words ending in अञ्च् are preferably not compounded with words in case 5 (to form अव्ययीभाव compounds).
2.1.13 आङ् मर्यादाभिविध्योः
Likewise for आ in the sense of an inclusive or exclusive limit;
2.1.14 लक्षणेनाभिप्रती आभिमुख्ये
अभि and प्रति in the sense of acting toward something;
2.1.15 अनुर्यत्समया
अनु indicating nearness to the other word
2.1.16 यस्य चायामः
or the extent of the other word.
2.1.17 तिष्ठद्गुप्रभृतीनि च
And the words in the list starting with तिष्ठद्गु (are called अव्ययीभाव),
2.1.18 पारे मध्ये षष्ठ्या वा
When used with case 6, पारे and मध्ये are preferably (called अव्ययीभाव),
2.1.19 संख्या वंश्येन
as is a numeral used with a word denoting a family
2.1.20 नदीभिश्च
and (a numeral used) with a word denoting a river.

Note the combination of 2.1.11 and 2.1.12, which are traditionally treated as two rules. Tradition does not distinguish between वा (2.1.18) and विभाषा (2.1.11), so when they are used near each other, tradition makes Panini’s system more difficult than it needs to be.

Facts and tidbits

Number of rules

72, for a total of 423 so far.

Shortest rule

There are at least 4 rules of equal length. Perhaps I will detail them here later on.

Longest rule

2.1.6 अव्ययं विभक्तिसमीप-समृद्धिव्यृद्ध्यर्थाभावात्यासंप्रति-शब्दप्रादुर्भावपश्चाद्यथानुपूर्व्ययौगपद्य-सादृश्यसंपत्तिसाकल्यान्तवचनेषु
An indeclinable (used with a सुबन्त word) in the senses of a case suffix, nearness, prosperity, misfortune, the absence of something, the passing of something, times other than now, the reputation of some name, after, यथा, sequential order, simultaneity, resemblance, fittingness, totality, and the end of something (is called अव्ययीभाव).

Five important rules

I think the various rules of the Ashtadhyayi are now starting to work in the context of a larger system. Thus whereas book 1 focused mostly on definitions and rules of interpretation, this chapter (and perhaps the ones to follow) has finally started to investigate some of the more detailed parts of Sanskrit. For that reason, I will stop writing about “five important rules” and start writing more frequently about different issues brought up by the rules overall. Even with regard to compounds, this chapter is incomplete. The next chapter completes it to some extent.


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