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October 16, 2012 / A

Revisiting book 3

Despite having little time available over the past ten days, I have finished reviewing books 1 and 2. My memory of them is not as strong as it once was, but I can recall them rather well. Now it’s on to book 3, where I stalled last time.

As I mentioned earlier, what’s been most surprising is that although I can’t quite recall the ordering of certain rules, I can recall the rules themselves perfectly. All I need is the first syllable or so to read the whole thing off. My guess is that the first syllables themselves serve as a mnemonic for the sounds that come next.

But ordering these rules is a task too abstract for automatic mnemonics. Fortunately, I made a few when I went through 3.1 and 3.2 last time. I can recall most of them, which makes the going much smoother for now.

The chapters in book 3 are long and sometimes overwhelming. The individual rules are, too. But given that the Sanskrit verb system is one of the most arcane and complicated parts of Sanskrit, the rules here are worth knowing — at least, in the context I’ve set up for myself. A regular Sanskrit student should probably stay away from the Ashtadhyayi.

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