Panini the most celebrated of the Sanscrit grammarians, is said to have been the grandson of the inspired legislator Devala, and lived at so remote an age that he is reckoned among the fabulous sages mentioned in the Puranas (see Colebrooke, Asiat. Res. 7:202). With regard to his death we have the following tradition in the Hitopadega: "It is related that the valuable life of Panini was destroyed by a lion." The Indians consider him as their most ancient grammarian, but his great work is confessedly derived from earlier treatises on the same subject: he often quotes his predecessors Sacalya, Gargya, and others; and it appears from a passage in the Bhagavad-Gita (unless the following line is an interpolation of a later age) that the nomenclature of grammar existed when the great epic poem, the Maha- Bharata, was composed. Panini's grammar consists of 3996 short aphorisms, or sutras, divided into eight books, in which the rules of grammar are delivered with such oracular brevity and obscurity that they need a commentary to render them intelligible even to the learned Indians. Besides the Carica of Bhartrihari, a brother of king Vicramaditya, there were the following treatises, written expressly to illustrate it: 1. the Bhattikavya, which was nominally a poem describing the adventures of Rama, but really a collection of all the defective and anomalous forms of words in the language (published at Calcutta, 1826); 2. the Maha-Bhashya, or "great commentary," by Patanjali. A new edition of Panini has been published with the following title: Panini's acht Bicher gtraimmatischer Regeln (Sanscrit, with Commentary by Dr. Otto Bohtlugk [Bonn, 1839], 2 vols. 8vo). The first volume contains the Sanscrit text of Panini's Sutras with the native scholia; the second volume contains an introduction, a German commentary, and indexes.

Definition of pan

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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