Visamapadavyakhya: A Commentary on Bhattoji Diksita's Sabdakaustubha Attributed to Nagesabhatta.

Author:Scharf, Peter M.
Position:Book review

Visamapadavyakhya: A Commentary on Bhattoji Diksita's Sabdakaustubha Attributed to Nagesabhatta. Edited by JAMES W. BENSON. American Oriental Series, vol. 97. New Haven: AMERICAN ORIENTAL SOCIETY, 2015. Pp. xl + 233.

The Visamapadavyakhya, "Explanation of Difficult Passages," is a short commentary presumably by Nagesa Bhatta on the first nine ahnikas of the Sabdakaustubha. Bhattoji Diksita's detailed commentary on Panini's Astadhyayi (A.). Bhattoji DTksita based his Sabdakaustubha on Patanjali's Mahabhasya but. in contrast to the latter, covered every sutra of the Astadhyayi. The Sabdakaustubha is extant on A. 1, 2, 3.1-2, and 4. The Visamapadavyakhya is one of several commentaries on the Sabdakaustubha, none of which had been previously published until Sripada Satyanarayana Murty included portions of Vaidyanatha Paiyagunde's Prabha and Krsnamitra's Bhavapradipa in his 2011 edition of the first three ahnikas of the Sabdakaustubha. Although none of the nineteen manuscripts examined by the editor bears the author's name, Benson provisionally accepts the attribution of the Visamapadavyakhya to Nages'a Bhatta made by cataloguers.

Visamapadavyakhya comments on about a thousand passages in the Navahnika section of the Sabdakaustubha, that is, the section on A. 1.1, usually offering brief clarifying statements but criticizing a number of passages as questionable (cintya). The pratikas "offer no evidence of a text significantly different from the printed version" (p. xxiii). Of the manuscripts used, eleven are complete and one dates to as early as 1755, approximately the date of Nages'a's death. All but three are in Devanagari script: two in Malayalam and one in Grantha. The one manuscript that identifies its place of copying was copied in Varanasi. The editor has included many readings found in one or only a few manuscripts in brackets in the main text in order to facilitate readers' access to...

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