A translation and study of the Paninidarsana chapter of the Sarvadarsanasangraha

Jon M Yamashita, University of Pennsylvania


In the Sanskrit tradition, grammar (vyākarana ) is considered to be the principal Vedic ancillary (vedān˙ga) and its mastery essential for the proper understanding of the Vedas. Furthermore, it developed into a full-fledged philosophical system (darśana ) which was held to be a means of achieving liberation ( moksa). However, there are no independent Sanskrit texts which treat grammar as a darśana and which summarize the historical developments that it underwent. The Pāninidarśana chapter of Sāyana-mādhava's Sarvadarśanasan˙graha does this in a concise and lucid manner. This text is a doxography, a type of work which generally presents the doctrines of the philosophical systems in a selective and summary fashion. A survey of other doxographies is given to provide a context for the Sarvadarśanasan˙graha . As the authorship of this text remains a vexed problem, the different theories held by various scholars are examined and compared. The Pāninidarśana chapter has been translated into English anew, accompanied by detailed explanatory remarks. Furthermore, most of the numerous quotations and references to earlier grammatical texts—the majority being from Patañjali's Mahābhāsya and Bhartrhari's Vākyapadīya and their commentaries—have been traced to their original sources; this is lacking in E. B. Cowell's 1894 translation of the same. Sāyanamādhava's selective and syncretic style is analyzed in detail to show how he blends the different streams of thought into a unified whole which he presents as the Pāninidarśana. In doing this, he provides us with a succinct handbook of issues in the philosophy of Sanskrit grammar.

Subject Area

Ancient languages

Recommended Citation

Yamashita, Jon M, "A translation and study of the Paninidarsana chapter of the Sarvadarsanasangraha" (1998). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9913541.