From Pāṇini to Patañjali and Beyond

Development of religious motifs in Sanskrit grammar

Madhav Deshpande

2019 | 36 pages | ISBN 978-90-6984-729-0 | free

In this 26th Gonda Lecture, Madhav Deshpande considers the changing religious connections that developed over time within the tradition of Pāṇinian grammar. With Pāṇini's grammar being treated as a Vedāṅga-Vyākaraṇa, several religious themes permeate the works of Kātyāyana and Patañjali. Was Pāṇini an Ācārya or a R̥ṣi? Did his rules have a Veda-like status? Who are the Śiṣṭas that set the standard for Sanskrit usage?

Professor Deshpande discusses the R̥ṣification of Pāṇini and Patañjali, and the changed status of the Śiṣṭas in the works of Bhartr̥hari. He will also focus on the emergence of the notions of Patañjali as an incarnation of Śeṣa and Pāṇini receiving his Śivasūtras from Śiva.