The form and the meaning of a sentence is subjected to the special characteristic of grammar and also the form of suffixes used in the respective language.... The literal meaning and the etymological meaning of the word Grammar is that science that analyses and studies the syntax and sentences. Grammar has been known as the mouth of the 'Veda Purush' (cosmic soul of the Vedas).
MUKHAM VYAKRANAM SMRITAM ||
Because it is constructed as the mouth, it has assumed a very significant position amongst the Vedangas. Just as the same way it is not possible to nourish the body without eating from the mouth. Similarly it is impossible to protect and facilitate the sustainability of the Veda Purush without Grammar.
One can come across the comparison between the scholars and the ignorant is one of the incantations of the Rigveda. A power who is absolutely ignorant of grammar is such a person who seeing speech cannot see it and who listening to it cannot listen to it.
Alike a woman who decorates herself with ornaments and jewellery and comes near her husband, similarly for a scholar or grammarian speech embellishes itself and presents itself in its grand and eloquent form.
In this way Acharya Vararuchi has enunciated the importance of Grammar and has enumerated 5 objectives or purposes of the study of the same.
Similarly Maharshi Patanjali has enumerated 13 purposes in very beautiful language in the beginning/overture of the Mahabhashya. Let us throw light on some of the purposes.
RAKSHOHGAM LADHVASANDEHAHA PRAYOJANAM |
AGAM (SHRUTIS/VEDIC TEXTS),
LAGHUC (CONVENIENT METHOD),
SANDEHA ((RESOLVING DOUBTS AND MITIGATION OF AMBIGUITY)
1) RAKSHA (PROTECTION) : The primary of the study of Grammar is the protection of the Vedas are used in the procedures of Religious sacrifices (Yagyas). The Mantras or incantations, which are used, are compiled in the Samhitas of the Vedas. Which mantra should be used in which religious sacrifice? What is the use of the mantra for attaining a special end or purpose?
The answers for these questions can be acquired from a grammarian. Who understand the in-depth meaning of every idiom, sentence and the total meaning of the mantras.
(2) UHA (DERIVATION): Uha basically refers to derivation of words. In the vedas the mantras are not given in both the genders and not in all inflexions. According to the requirement of the yagyas expressions of the words of these mantras in different of the words of these mantras in different genders and inflexions, is inevitable.
To carry out and execute these changes it is important that one understands 'Form' which is accepted by grammar.
3) AGAM (SHRUTIS AND VEDIC TEXTS): Shrutis itself are coveted for the study of Grammar. The Shurti says that a Brahmin, as a duty should understand and study the Dharma (religion/spirituality) and the Vedas along with its Angas (Parts). Amongst the six Angas grammar (Vyaksana) is the most important anga. Special efforts applied to the important anga iscusyally very fruitful. Therefore it is the prime duty of every dwijal (brahmin) to accept the authenticity and credibility of the Shrutis and conduct a profound study of the grammar.
4) LAGHU (CONVENIENT METHOD): Even for conciseness the study of grammar is simply inevitable. If one has to understand the in-depth meaning of every pure word in Sanskrit then there ultimately lies one and only one method. Grammar is that convenient method that helps to cross the ocean of words. Grammar is alike a key to all scriptures and sciences, with the help of which we can bring into light the secrets, inherent. Similarly these study facilities the editing of sentences and fathom the depth of the complex incantations.
5) ASANDEHA (RESOLVING DOUBTS AND MITIGATION OF AMBIGUITY): It is only grammar that can resolve doubts and mitigate ambiguity related to the words in Vedic incantations. One can come across a number of usages of compounds which posses the plausibility of many a compounds, to be replaced.
But one can construe the meaning of these words on the basis of 'tone'.
Other than the above-mentioned purpose, Patanjali has enumerated the following purposes.
1) APABHASHANA (WRONG PRONUNCIATION/DICTION): The only method to keep a check on wrong pronunciation is grammar, clear and perfect pronunciation of words and syllables in the Arya method while wrong and unclear pronunciation of words and syllabus is the Mlechcha method. Therefore for better humanity the study of grammar is a pressing need.
2) DUSHTA SHABDA (MISNOMERS AND AMBIGUITY OF WORDS): The purity or the impurity of words comes in the preview of grammar. People are aware of the pandemonium's and catastrophes created because of the use of words which are misnomers and ambiguous in meaning. Therefore to avoid embarrassment the study of grammar is undoubtedly helpful.
3) Arthajnana: (Meanings/Explanations): It is necessary to understand grammar before understanding the Vedas. Study of scriptures or Vedas is seldom beneficial if one does not understand its meaning.
For instance, it is important to bring dry wood in the contact of fire if we want it to burn.
In this way knowledge of words shall accrue only if knowledge of meanings is acquired.
4) Dharma labha: (Attainment of bliss): An intelligent person who uses pure words during conversation attains celestial bliss. But he who merely uses impure words, only inure sin.
Maharishi Shakyayana has said in the 'Rit Tantra' that initially Brahma has given the statement of grammar to Brihaspati who in turn gave it to Indra. Indra gave it to Bharadwaj who in turn gave it to the sages. The sages gave this to the Brahmins. This educational grammar therefore has discerned down to us from the Brahmins.
Before the grammar of Panini we come across a number of scriptures related to grammar. But in the present times There is only one type of grammar that can represent the vedangas and that is Paniniya Vyakrana'.
Maharishi Panini has presented a very scientific grammar of sanskrit language on basis of his 4000 short and lucid formulas and which has surprised the scholars flagrantly.
One cannot come across a scientific analysis of the etymology of a language in the entire world as that of Panini's grammar. Similarly there has been no grammarian as dominant and effectual as panini.
The texts of Panini are categorised into 8 parts or chapters. Therefore it's referred as Ashtadhyayi which was possibly written around 6th century. B.C.
Katyayana created vartikas that explain all those things used in Sanskrit, which were not explained and commented on by Panini. After this Patanjali created the Mahabhashya. Generally speaking there have been many a commentaries on this sutras or formulas but on the basis of comprehensiveness of subject, profundity of thought it is only this commentary i.e. Mahabhasya that gets the upper hand and has achieved the honour of becoming so.
It is for the first tine that one comes across the analysis of the philosophical principles, here. The prose incorporated is very literary and soft. The author has created this book in the dialogue style, which has made it very interesting. The 3 pillars of grammar (vyakrana) indeed are - Panini, Katyayana and Patanjali.