Bhattoji Diksita on the Gajasutra.

Author:Rocher, Rosane
Position:Book review

Bhattoji Diksita on the Gajasutra. By S. L. P. Anjaneya Sarma and Francois Grimal with the collaboration of Luther Obrock. Regards sur l'Asie du Sud / South Asian Perspectives, vol. 1. Vyakhyanamala, vol. 1. Pondicherry: Institut Francais De Pondichery, 2013. Pp. iii + 136. Rs 450, 21 [euro].

With this volume the French Institute of Pondicherry inaugurates a new series dedicated to translations, with Sanskrit text in Roman transliteration, notes, and glossary, of commentaries in various branches of Sanskrit literature. As the lead and a model for this series, S. L. P. Anjaneya Sarma and Francois Grimal have chosen three commentaries on a single Paninian sutra, but what a sutra it is! So famous is sutra 1.3.67 ner anau yat karma cet sa kartanadhyane of Panini's Astadhyayi that it often goes by its nickname of gajasutra, from the elephant that stars in the examples that have been summoned in its discussion. It has been a subject of scrutiny and debate through the entire Paninian tradition, from Katyayana's varttikas onward. It raises complex issues of the nature of action, agency, causation, objecthood, transitivity, and reflexivity.

As an example of India's scholastic tradition, the authors selected commentaries by the great seventeenth-century Maharashtrian scholar resident of Banaras, Bhattoji Diksita. Technically, Bhattoji's Siddhantakaumudi is a reworking of, not a commentary on, the Astadhyayi, but it needed to be included in this volume--even though it had already been translated--so as to make understandable the other two texts: the Praudhamanorama, Bhattoji's own commentary on his...

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