[Advaita-l] Re: List of standard grammar books on Sanskrit - Software based on Ashtadhyayi

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 27 07:56:06 CST 2006

SVS wrote
>This mail is not about advaita or sAdhana per se.  But it is an ancillary
>topic namely the Sanskrit language using the Paninian system.  My teacher has
>compiled a list of good Sanskrit grammar books that one should possess in
>to be serious student of Sanskrit.

A definitive list - only, maybe some would also add Monier Williams (to be
fair, Monier Williams seems to speculate about certain meanings and
derivations; has paternalistic references to 'native' grammarians etc; but the
arrangement of words in the dictionary is brilliant and extremely useful to the

I have recently come across an implementation of the ashtaadhyaayi which seems
to be working fine with sandhis and vibakhtis
(http://www.taralabalu.org/panini). This might be a good reference to this
group because this software has

* the full text of the ashtaadhyaayi, and the corresponding articles in the
siddhaantakaumudi and laghusiddhaantakaumudi
* all the words in amarakosha
* ganapaatha and dhaatupaatha (meanings are not given for all words)
* vritti-construction for each sutra (the asthadhyaayi's scheme extends the
influence of certain words or phrases to many subsequent sutras through a
particular use of swara and vibhakti; this needs to be decoded and a meaningful
sentence needs to be constructed around each sutra [vritti] for it to become
intelligible. Srisa Chandra Vasu's and Mane's books give the full sentence in
English, but not the vritti in samskrit.
* demonstration of generative grammar w.r.t. sandhis and vibhaktis. The best
part is roopa-siddhi wherein the intermediate steps in generating each final
coalesced word are given. The only problem is that the input mechanism is not
very clear. Maybe we need to use a different editor, copy and then paste.

If somehow we manage to input the proper shabda, all the 24 declensions are
generated using the ashtaadhyaayi-rules, and what is more, these rules are
displayed. Presently, the font is so small that one can make out only the
sutras applied but not how the words are changing. Still, using this facility,
one can easily follow the generation of declensions.
Most people learn declensions using a text such as shabdamanjari which lists
the declensions of 165 types of words rather than learn the sandhi rules, and
using them combine basic word with the case terminations su-au-jas-… etc.
Standard grammar books, such as the one by M. R. Kale, skip the detailed
aplication of Paaninian sutras to generate the full set of declensions as being

I have not reviewed it fully, but in whatever portions I checked, I could not
find any obvious mistakes (actually that is not saying much given my limited
knowledge). It definitely was fun exploring most of the standard sources linked
in one resource.


P. S. - I have no interest or hidden agenda about this software. Why I am
sending this? Because I benefited from the posts in your list, and thought I
should contribute some myself. Or, more like - "hey, that was a great list of
grammar books; perfect, really. I actully understood the spirit of that list
and thought you would love this: an online, free resource that has
ashtaadhyaayi, the short and the full kaumudi, the appendices (dhaatupaatha and
ganapaatha), amarakosham, and even a demonstration of how Panini's sutras are
to be applied to something as simple as raama shabda."

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