Paninian Grammar through its Examples: "Paniniyavyakaranodaharanakosa"
Funding Agency(ies):
French Institute of Pondicherry ; École Française d’Extrême-Orient ; Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha of Tirupati (Andhra ...
Principal Investigator(s):
Dr. François Grimal
Axis 1. of the Indology Department /
In Sanskrit culture, Grammar (vyakarana) is given a central place. It is even considered as the first science (sastra). The Astadhyayi of Panini ( 4th century BC), codifies what we term as " classical " Sanskrit. A long series of commentaries have elucidated this over more than 2000 years old complex seminal text. Although the Paninian Grammar is still alive, its understanding is confined to a few traditional scholars (pandits) only. In addition to the interest which it generates in itelf, this astonishingly scientific grammar constitutes the first traditional tool of interpretation of the Sanskrit texts. Hence it is essential for all Sanskrit scholars, indologists, grammarians and linguists to know of it. The objective of this project is to develop a tool which will provide these end users with a general understanding of its field of application as well as the functioning of the complex system that it represents.
Materials and Methods:

A dictionary of examples, no longer based on the rules (sutra et varttika) but rather on the other aspect of grammar i.e the examples (udaharana) found in the four major commentaries of the Astadhyayi (Mahabhasya, Kasikavrtti, Bhasavrtti and Siddhantakaumudi) dating from the 2nd century BC to the end of the 16th century AD, has been conceptualised. The nearly 40.000 different examples provided by these commentaries form the substance of as many articles that can be accessed either directly or through the western and Paninian terminologies. These articles explain the pertinence of these examples as well as describe the sequel of operations necessary for arriving at a concrete form based on the given elements. Additional remarks, as and when needed, have been incorporated. This practical dictionary is conceived with the view to acquaint the targeted public with the knowledge of traditional Indian grammarians presently involved in collaborative work with western grammarians.

The dictionary will eventually be presented in the form of a series of 9 CD ROMs. The first will contain the entire corpus of examples and the remaining 8 correspond each to a section the Siddhantakaumudi.


  • École Française d’Extrême-Orient
  • Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha de Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh)

Staff ( IFP & External )

GRIMAL F., Associated researcher
ANANDAVARDHAN S., Research assistant