The present (third) edition of the Vyakarana Mahabhasya represents a page-to-page and line-to-line reprint of the text of the second edition of the work prepared by KIELHORN and published in 1892. However, at a few places in this edition has been substituted for especially in the verbal form of the root बाध and derivatives form it; presumably was the pronunciation instead of बाध followed by KIELHORN is many times pronounced as especially in Bengal, but the opposite case, namely, the pronunciation of as is very rare KIELHORN gives विस्त for बिस्त.
A special feature of this edition is the addition of select critical notes (pages 561 to 572) on some of the knotty passages in the text where no explanation is attempted by the commentators or the one, which is given, is not sufficient to furnish a satisfactory solution of the doubt.
An old manuscript deposited at the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, which was written more than 500 years ago, was consulted at the time of this edition, but the differences in readings were found to be unimportant. A few significant variants noticed in the Banaras Edition have, however, been given in the footnotes.
From a perusal of KIELHORN’S work, it becomes evident that he has been very scrupulous in separating the Varttikas from the text of the Mahabhasaya, following the principles laid down by him in his “Essay on Katyayana and Patanjali”. It was, however, found that, at a few places, what are given as Varttikas in the first edition (published in 1880) are reproduced a portions of the text of the Mahabhasya in the second edition (published in 1892) and vice versa. A reference to the more important of such cases is made in the appendix to this edition.
The rules of Panini (as also the Varttikas) referred to in the Mahabhasya have been indicated by KIELHORN in the footnotes by referring to the relevant Adhyaya, Pada and Sutras in the Astadhyayi. Such references are, however, found to be not quite sufficient at present. Therefore, the entire Sutras or the Varttikas or the particular passages in the Mahabhasya have now been reproduced in the footnotes. This has also obviated the difficulty, created by the fact that the Sutras have been numbered in two different ways, as, for instance, in Adhy, IV Pada 3, Adhy. VI. Padas 1 and 3 and Adhy. VIII. Pada 3.
The Vedic passages quoted in the text are traced to the original as far as practicable and printed in the present edition with the proper accent marks. Accent marks are also given at those places where the accents are discussed in the text.
In preparing the present edition of the Vyakarana-Mahabhasya I have hitherto used the following manuscripts :
G. Patanjali’s Mahabhasya, a MS. dated Samvat 1751, as reproduced by Photo-lithography, under the supervision of Professor T. H. Goldstucker, London: India Museum 1874. D. A MS. belonging to the Deccan College, undated, but apparently written from 100 to 150 years ago. It is incomplete, and portions of it, which have been pointed out in the Various Readings, are very carelessly written. C. A MS. belonging to the Asiatic Society of Calcutta, collated as far as page 238 of this edition. The portion which I have been able to use bears no date, but the greater part of it was probably written about 80 years ago. E. A MS. belonging to the Elphinstone College, written about 200 years ago. The leaves 103-156 of the first Adhyaya (pages 121, …L. 10 to 204, L. 19) are missing. g. Patanjali’s Mahabhasya with Kaiyata’s Bhasyapradipa, an undated MS. as reproduced by Photo-lithography under the supervision of Professor T. H. Goldstucker, London: India Museum, 1874. B. A MS. belonging to Dr. Buhler, dated Samvat 1844. In addition to these MSS., which are all written in the Devanagari character, I have also had the use of a modern Devanagari MS. of the Deccan College, and , while carrying my edition through the press, I have been able to compare with the MSS. above mentioned a Sarada MS. of the Mahabhasya brought by Dr. Buhler from Kasmir. With the exception of the first leaf, which is missing, this MS. (marked K) contains the text of the first two Adhyayas complete, but a few leaves are much injured, and the writer has frequently left empty spaces, where the original from which he was copying was probably either damaged or illegible.
Generally speaking, the text of the Mahabhasya is the same in all the above MSS., and the differences in reading which occur are not such as to prove the existence of two or more recensions of the work. Though numerous, they rarely affect the meaning of a passage, and they are in the majority of cases accounted for by the carelessness of individual copyists, or the desire of a student to improve on the text which he was studying. There is a marked agreement between the MSS. G and D on the one hand, and between g and B on the other, and C leans more towards the first group, while the readings of B oftener accord with those of the second. The Kasmir MS. generally agree with g B, but it contains also a few valuable readings which are not found in any of the other MSS.
In setting my text I have been guided chiefly by the MS. G. which is the best of all the MSS. of the Mahabhasya that have come under my notice, and I have indicated in the various readings all passages where I have departed from it. Of the other MSS. I have generally considered it sufficient to give only the more important readings, but I have throughout noted down anything which appeared to have reference to the text or the constitution of the Varttikas and I have also given all various readings in the examples adduced by Patanjali.
In separating the text of the Varttikas from the bulk of Patanjali’s commentary, I have strictly adhered to the principle laid down in my essay on Katyayana and Patanjali. I cannot hope that my attempt to reconstruct the work of Katyayana has in every particular been successful, and the list of corrections at the end of this volume will show that further consideration has made me change my views in one or two instances. Other cases which as yet appear doubtful I intend to discuss when the whole text of the Mahabhasya has been printed, and I hope then also to treat the question of the annotated Karikas regarding which I cannot bring myself to accept the views expressed by Professor Goldstucker in his ‘Panini’.
Where a rule of Panini is actually quoted by Patanjali, I have given the reference in the text; where a rule is only alluded to, and where one or more rules are necessary for the formation of a particular form or for the understanding of a passage, the references have been given at the foot of the page. References to the Varttikas and to Patanjali’s commentary are distinguished by an asterisk. In giving all these references I have followed Kaiyata’s Bhasyapradipa and Nagojibhatta’s Bhasyapradipoddyota where they render any assistance; in other cases I have had recourse to Jinendrabuddhi’s Kasikavivaranapancika, Bhattojidiksita’s Sabdakaustubha, and other grammatical works, or have, though rarely, followed my own judgment. I regret that I have not been able to secure in India a copy of Bhartrhari’s commentary on the Mahabhasya, and also that I could study Haradata’s Padamanjari only after the completion of the text of this volume.
The figures for Panini’s rules given in the text and in the footnotes refer to Bohtlingk’s edition. It will be apparent even from the present volume of the Mahabhasya that the text of Panini’s grammar has not been handed down to us altogether in its original shape; at the same time the alternations which it has undergone do not appear to be great, and it seems safest and most convenient to follow the current text until the whole of the Mahabhasya has been published and thoroughly examined.
In applying the rules of Samdhi to technical terms I have, I fear, not always been consistent, and especially is this the case as regards the doubling of final and before a vowel. Sanskrit scholars are aware that Prof. Goldstucker (‘Panini’ page 54, note 53) wished to extend the operation of this rule of euphony to technical terms under all circumstances and that Prof. Muller (Preface to Rgveda IV; pag. LXXIII.) proposed the adoption of a middle course. But when we find that Haradatta in his Padamanjari distinctly tells us that in terms like उणादि:, and in rules like इको यणचि न, न and ण are not doubled, that Hemacandra makcs the same remark with regard to the terms and that moreover in grammatical Karikas the final nasal remains single not only in compounds like उणादि (see Mahabhasya on P. III.3. 1.) but also in simple terms like सन (ibid. on P: III. I.7 and V. 2. 94), we may well venture to omit the doubling uniformly everywhere, and this is the course I intend to adopt in future.
Notwithstanding all the labour which this work has cost me, I am aware that it is not free from defects, and all I can hope is that I may be considered to have somewhat smoothed the way for others, and to have made some advance towards a right understanding of the Mahabhasya.
In conclusion, I have to thank Mr. Chatfield, the Director of Public Instruction in this Presidency, for the readiness with which he has undertaken the publication of this work for Government.
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