Of recent Panini’s grammar has evoked a fresh interest in the minds not only of linguistsbut also of scientists in different areas such as the natural sciences and the computer science, mainly because of his refined methodology. His derivational approach to Sanskrit language is one of the prominent aspects of his descriptive technique. However, his grammar, formulated in a pithy sutra-style governed by the dictates of Anuvrtti remained beyond the reach of common students of grammar even in the past. Its study received a flow because of its concise character. It lost its position and popular school grammars which could cater to the needs of different groups of students arose in the course of time. In the 10/11th century a Buddhist Pandit, Dharmakirti undertook the task of remoulding Panini’s grammar as a reply to the classroom needs and presented it in the form of a series of formations of words entitled Rupavatara. This new appearance of Panini succeeded in popularizing and establishing, once again, the Paninian tradition in the Indian system of education. The emergence of the Rupavatara lay foundation of a new teaching methodology in Fatiinian School which culminated in the Vaiyakaraa Siddhantakaumudi of Bhattoji Diksita. The method popularly known as the Prakriyã method has been the popular method of studying Pãxini since its emergence. Since the reestablishment of Paninian tradition in the history of the study of Sanskrit grammar is due to the introduction of the prakriya method, Rupavatara which serves as a gate-way to this method occupies an important position in the study of Paninian grammatical tradition.
The present work, which is a critical study of this important text, fulfils the longfelt desideratum for a good, complete work dealing with Rupavatara, with all its aspects. The author deserves compliments for her comprehensive approach. Her study of the text reflected in this book has a wider significance than it appears to have. For instance, the variant readings in the sutrapatha as well as the Varttikapatha recorded by her as well as the comparison of the text with other important Paninian grammatical texts like the Kastki7 and the Siddhantakaumudi are very important contributions of the author which are useful for the historical study of Panini’s grammar. The scholarly and thorough approach to the text with critical acumen is reflected in the book. I strongly believe the book will be a welcome addition to the shelf of Paninian studies.
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