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February 23, 2013 / A

Humor and human voices

Sometimes I forget that the commentators were humans too. This is a quote from Rama Nath Sharma’s commentary on Ashtadhyayi 6.1.137 (or 139 elsewhere). The context is that three rules that seem as if they could have been combined were written separately:

Why was the rule not formulated as saṃparibhyāṃ karotau bhūṣaṇasamavāyayoḥ upāt pratiyatnavākyādhyāhāreṣu ca ? Answers Haradatta, go ask the maker of the sūtras (PM: sūtrakāraṃ pṛccha).

I can imagine Haradatta writing down this “answer” out of frustration. Or perhaps he had a student who kept asking about why the rules weren’t as organized as we would expect.

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