About The Book
Karakas (Cases) play a significant part in a sentence in the Sanakrit language. In Sanskrit, Karakas are invariably and inseparably related to a kriya or a verb. It is for this very reason, there is no genitive case in the Sanskrit language. Sanskrit Grammarians since in the time of Panini have laid a due emphasis on the study of Karakas in their grammatical works. They have confined their study mainly to the philosophy of Karakas or cases. Some lndian Philosophers also have made a similar attempt to bring out the inner meaning of Karakas A Casual study of some of these writtings brought to my mind an idea of presenting a critical exposition of Karakas or the Sanskrit case system, which I thought, would be an excellent subject of study for future researchers.
About The Author
Dr. Apurba Chandra Barthakuria, M.A., Ph.D. (Calcutta), the author of 'The Philosophy of Sanskrit Grammar' is professor and Head of the Department. Gauhati University (Assam). His three other books, namely, 'A Critical study of the Lokayata Philosophy presented by the author of the Prabodhacandrodaya' 'The Kapalikas' & 'India in the Age of the Pancatantra' have been published from Calcutta in 1976, 1984 & 1992.
Karakas (Cases) play a significant part in a sentence in the Sanskrit language. In Sanskrit, Karakas are invariably and inseparably related to a kriya or a verb. It is for this very- reason, there is no genitive case in the Sanskrit language. Sanskrit grammarians since the time of Panini have laid a due emphasis on the study of Karakas in their grammatical, works. They have confined their study mainly to the philosophy of Karakas or cases. Some Indian philosophers also have made a similar attempt to bring out the inner meaning of Karakas. A casual study of some of these writtings brought to my mind an idea of presenting a critical exposition of Karakas or the Sanskrit case system, which I thought, would- be an excellent subject of study for future researchers. It is with this idea I prepared a thesis under the supervision of Dr. Janaki Ballabh Bhattacharyya of Calcutta University in 1972. I was rewarded with the award of the Ph. D. (Arts) degree of Calcutta University in 1975. The present book is the published form of this thesis.
I offer my deep gratitude to Dr. Bhattacharyya who is no more among us, for his untiring guidance of the thesis which I initially found an extremely difficult subject. I am also grateful to Dr. Mukunda Madhava Sarmah, Vice-Chancellor of" Dibrugarh University, and Dr. Ashok Kumar Goswami, Dr. Rajendra Nath Sarma and Dr. Nalini Devi Misra, three other eminent scholars, and teachers of Gauhati University for their constant requests and inspiration for publishing the thesis. I am extremely grateful to Sri S. K. Bhattacharyya of Punt hi- Pustak, Calcutta for kindly giving the consent to publish the thesis from his farm.
The science of grammar has been adored in India since the Vedic age. Grammar ( vyakarana) has been recognised as one of the six Vedangas or Appendices of the Veda. Grammar is the only shelter for scholars in determining the meaning of many rare Vedic passages.
According to a tradition, Indra was the first grammarian in India. After Indra, many grammarians flourished whose books are not available to us at present. Panini is the first grammarian is known history whose great Sanskrit grammar, the Astadhyayi has been handed down to us in a complete form. Panini was followed by some ancient grammarians like Katyayana, Patanjali, Bhartrhari and Jayaditya and Vamana. Patanjali was the author of the Mahabhasya or the Great Commentary written on Panini's Astadhyayi. He is popularly known as the Bhasyakara. Jayaditya and Vamana wrote a short commentary on the Astadhyayi known as the Kasika. They are commonly known as the Vrttikaras. Bhartrhari deals with the philosophy of grammar. After the departure of the above mentioned grammarians a large number of other grammarians flourished in India. Kaiyata wrote a sub-commentary on the Mahabhasya. Haradatta and Jinendrabuddhi wrote two sub-commentaries on the Kasika Helaraja and Punyaraja wrote two commentaries on the Vakyapadiya of Bhartrhari, Purusottamadeva wrote his Bhasavrtti on the Astadhyayi of Panini. Srstidhara wrote a commentary on this work which still exists in the manuscript form. Ramacandra's Prakriya- kaumudi and Bhattoji Diksita's Siddhantakaumudi are two important commentaries written on the Astadhyayi. The Siddhantakaumudi is more popular in the readers' circle than the Prakriyakaumudi of Ramacandra, Kaundabhatta and Nagoji Bhatta or Nagesa are two other great grammarians of a later period. Nagesa wrote a sub-commentary named Udyota on the Mahabhasya. He is also the author of several other books like the Laghumanjusa, the Brhaccabdendusekhara and the Laghusabdendusekhara. Harivallabha wrote a commentary on the Vaiyakaranabhusanasara of Kaundabhatta. Harivallabha displays his great originality in the commentary.
Several grammatical systems developed in India in the post-Paninian period under the title of non-Paninian systems. The authors of these grammatical systems maintained a formal difference from Panini. But in reality, they followed to a great extent Panini and some of the eminent grammarians of his school like Patanjali, Bhartrhari and the Vrttikaras. The non-Paninian grammars are the Candravyakarana of Candragomin, the Kalapa of Sarvavarman, the Srasvata of Anubhutisvarupa- carya, the Samksiptasara of Kramadisvara, the Sabdanusasana of Hemacandra, the Mugdhabodha of Vopadeva, the Supadma grammar of Padmanabhadatta, the Jainendra of Devanandi, the Prayogaratnamala of Purusottama Vidyavagisa and the Harinamamrta of Jivagoswami, Candragomin has written a commentary on his own grammar. The commentary bears the evidence of his great scholarship. There is a short commentary of Durgasimha and two other commentaries of Trilocana and Kaviraja Susena on the Kalapa, There are several commentaries on the Sarasvata, the most important among them being the commentaries of Candrakirti and Vasudeva. Jumananandi and Goyicandra have written two excellent commentaries on the Samksiptasara. Candrasagaragani wrote an elaborate commentary on the Sabdanusasana. Durgadasa -Vidyavagisa and Rama Tarkavagisa have presented two scholastic commentaries on the Mugdhabodha, There are many cryptic passages in the Mugdhabodha grammar. Durgadasa and Rama Tarkavagisa have adequately explained them. Visnumisra's commentary on the Supadma is well-known in the scholarly circle. Pajyapada Devanandi's Jainendra finds an excellent exposition in the commentary of Abhayanandi, The Prayogaratnamala was written in the court of King Naranarayana of Kochbehar, The Prabhaprakasika of Jayakrsna and the Gudharthaprakasika of Siddhana the Vidyavagisa are the best known commentaries written on the Prayogaratnamala. Jivagoswami himself wrote a vrtti on his work.
Now, a critical examination of the grammatical texts written by different authors since the age of panini shows that Karakas or the case-system enjoys a prominent place in them. In fact, in Sanskrit a sentence is dominated by the Karaka or cases which are intimately related to a verb. Every Karaka plays a part in the accomplishment of an intended action. Sanskrit grammarians and some philosophers of the Nyaya and the Mimamsa schools of philosophy have critically examined the inherent relationship which exists between the Karakas and the Kriya (Verb) and tried to define Karaka accordingly. A Karaka or a case is not exactly the same as in the English and other Western languages. A Case has been defined as a noun or a pronoun which is related to another word in a sentence in the English language. But in Sanskrit, a Karaka is invariably and exclusively related to a Kriya or a verb for which there is no genitive case in Sanskrit literature. Sanskrit grammarians like Patanjali, the Vrttikara, Bhattoji Diksita, Hemacandra and Anubhutisvarupacarya have tried to define Karaka variously. The philosophers like Bhavananda Siddhantavagisa have also made a similar attempt. Some grammarians like Bhartrhari have laid emphasis on the fact that a Karaka is a sakti, or in other words, it is the potency or the efficiency of a substance which plays its part as Karaka in the accomplishment of an action. Bhartrhari expresses the idea in the Vakyapadiya as follows:
Helaraja, the commentator, clarifies the idea contained in the above Karika as :
kriyanirvrttau dravyasya saktih sadhanam (Karakam).
Grammarians since the time of Patanjali have made a consistent and commendable attempt to present a dear picture of the underlying significance of the Karakas, Patanjali, Bhrtrhari, the Vrttikara, Kaundabhatta, Bhattoji Diksita and Nagesa have contributed their wisdom to bring home to us an appropriate idea of the six Karakas enumerated and defined by Panini. Patanjali displays his great originality in the treatment of Karakas, He has made a solitary effort to build up the philosophy of Karakas on the fibre of the Paninian rules. He deserves special credit for this, particularly because he did not receive any critical material from tradition on the subject. Patanjali possessed deep insight and practical wisdom which helped him in carrying out his project. Paninian rules were the source from which the philosophy of Karakas sprang up in different forms.
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