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Here is how we should classify the rules: Most rules are like this.

I’ve listed the rules here from the most concrete to the most abstract. This rule ashtaxhyayi the term “vegetable” as a food that does not contain seeds. This sort of rule doesn’t address other rules: We must approach the work cyclically: Such a rule sometimes specifies how far it extends, but usually its extension is clear from context.

Throughout this series of lessons, I will use the Sanskrit terms.

Essentially, it contains an exception to an earlier rule. His work is not something you can understand by reading it through from beginning to end. But the Ashtadhyayi is more complicated than this: Now we talk about food. These lists have different headings, and these headings describe ashtadhhyayi behavior of the items they contain.

Index Grammar guide Resources Tools.

The Ashtadhyayi. Translated into English by Srisa Chandra Vasu

We add the property of “vegetable” to the tomato. Coincidentally, they also feature noun endings that we haven’t yet studied. This rule defines the term “fruit” as a food that contains seeds. This example is not perfect, but it should help you see how these rules interact and relate to each other. A short example For illustration’s sake, I’ve created an example. This is a good place to stop for now. This sort of rule describes the way that Sanskrit actually behaves. Rather, it essentially assumes that you’ve read some of it before you’ve ever started reading.


By doing so, we’ll learn about both the concrete realization of Panini’s system and the abstract framework that supports it. It’s important to realize transltaion we take an ordinary word and give it a new meaning. A summary in words The Ashtadhyayi is a list of rules.

The Ashtadhyayi. Translated into English by Srisa Chandra Vasu

Thus, a tomato is treated “like” a vegetable. Although the rule doesn’t say so explicitly, we should understand that it only applies in the context of this list of rules. This rule tells ashtadhyyayi that all of the rules that follow are talking about food. The examples in the next lesson are more complex.

Index Grammar guide Resources Tools Or: Today, most people learn the work by reading it, and that creates the sorts of problems and frustrations you might have had if you’ve tried to read the work on your own. Likewise, but not turnips is meaningless without a proper context. If you came to this lesson from Starting Out, you can click here to return to the review page and continue through the grammar guide.


Such a rule tells us how we should read and understand the other rules in the Ashtadhyayi. An exception to a previous rule. It specifically states an intuitive concept that we should apply to other objects from plants. This example also brings up an important point about the structure of the Ashtadhyayi. A fruit contains seeds, and a vegetable does not. This page was last edited on July 20, This is useful because the Ashtadhyayi contains complex rules that act on very specific terms. This rule tells us how we should classify the things that come from plants.

By itself, this rule means nothing. It can describe such things as word formation, the application of sandhi, and so on.


Introduction As you might have realized, Panini is difficult. Now, let’s try and understand the different kinds of rules that Panini uses in his work. Tomatoes are treated like vegetables. We must understand, however, that the Ashtadhyayi was awhtadhyayi taught orally; students learned the work by heart and could recall any individual rule at will.

So, what do we do?