Vasudevavijaya of Vasudeva (Study)

by Sajitha. A | 2018 | 50,171 words

This page relates ‘Mode of Illustration of Rules’ of the study on the Vasudevavijaya of Vasudeva from the 11th century A.D. The Vasudevavijayam is an educational poem belonging to the Shastra-Kavya category of technical Sanskrit literature. The Vasudevavijayam depicts in 657 verses the story of Lord Krishna while also elucidates the grammatical rules of the Ashtadhyayi of Panini (teaching the science of grammar). The subject-content of the poem was taken from the tenth Skandha of the Bhagavatapurana.

The Mode of Illustration of Rules

Grammar is one of the six auxiliary sciences which are essential for the proper understanding of the Vedas. Sanskrit grammar bears a five-fold division as it is known Pañcāṅga Vyākaraṇa [Pañcāṅgaṃ Vyākaraṇam]. The five divisions are Sūtrapāṭha, Dhātupāṭha, Gaṇapāṭha, Uṇādipāṭha and Liṅgānuśāsana. The Sūtrapāṭha forms the principal section of Sanskrit grammar and the remaining four sections are appended to it.

Being a Vyākaraṇaśāstrakāvya, it is essential to point out the grammatical peculiarities of Vāsudevavijaya In this chapter an attempt is made to study various grammatical aspects of Vāsudevavijaya.

Among the Vyākaraṇaśāstrakāvyas Bhaṭṭikāvya and Rāvaṇārjunīya are most prominent. Bhaṭṭikāvya holds wide popularity and several commentaries are composed to this work. Famous commentators like Jayāditya, Mallinātha etc. have written commentaries on Bhaṭṭikāvya. To this extent, Arjunarāvaṇīya does not bear that much of popularity. Vāsudeva is only a commentator of Arjunarāvaṇīya. He gets inspired by the style of this work and this paves the way to compose Vāsudevavijaya

The style of composition of these two works is entirely different. Bhaṭṭikāvya illustrates the rules of Pānini not in their exact order but accordingly the Prakaraṇās. The examples are given in respect of the Prakarṇās like Kṛdanta, Tiṇanta, Ṣatva, Ṇatva etc. Besides the Paninian rules, figures of speech and metres are also illustrated in the Prasannakāṇda. Thus the poetic beauty also excels in this poem.

In Arjunarāvanīya, the author composed separate cantos respectively for each and every Pādas of Aṣṭādhyāyī. It illustrates the rules in their definite order. This is the only work available during that time in this style.

Anyway, two different composing styles were presented in front of Vāsudeva to compose Vāsudevavijaya But he did not accept both styles. He adopt a unique style of his own to compose his work, accordingly the saying murārestṛtīyaḥ panthā | Vāsudeva divides the whole Aṣṭādhyayī into four sections and gives examples to the rules from each section and incorporate them in a single verse. Hence each one verse mainly illustrates four rules from each section. The division of Aṣṭādhyāyī in four parts is thus-The first and second chapters form the first section; the second section includes the whole third chapter; fourth and fifth chapters get into the third section; the remaining sixth, seventh and eighth chapters partake in the fourth section.

I, II →First Section
III →Second Section
IV, V →Third Section
VI, VII, VII→Fourth Section

The unique style of illustration of rules is mentioned in the commentary of the second verse in Padacandrikā by the author himself.

It runs as—

iha pāṇinīyasūtre catvāro bhāgāḥ parikalpitāḥ |
prathamadvitīyādhyāyātmaka ādyaḥ |
tṛtīyādhyāyātmakodvitīyaḥ |
caturthapañcamādhyāyātmakastṛtīyaḥ |
avaśiṣṭādhyāyātmakaścaturthaḥ ||

Here, a few examples from Vāsudevavijaya are going to discuss with a view to get acquainting with the style of composition of the work.

The opening verse of the poem is an invocation which does not bear illustrations of grammatical rules.

kṛtārthatā yasya padāmbujaṃ sadā niṣevamāṇaṃ vṛṇute'cirātsvayam |
hṛdā dadhattaṃ vasudevanandanaṃ punegirastaccaritāmṛtormibhiḥ ||
(Vāsudevavijaya 1.1)

In this verse the author praises Lord Vāsudeva whose story forms the theme of the poem.

From the second verse itself the author used to illustrate the Paninian rules.

samastavittāmadhijagmuṣaḥ svato yataḥ prajeśāḥ śrutimadhyagīṣata |
titikṣamāṇāpi samaṃ kṣamāpa taṃ nṛpībhavaddaityabharārditā vidhim ||
(Vāsudevavijaya 1.2)

In this verse, the author exemplifies the rules from each sections of A ṣṭādhyāyī. To illustrate the first section i.e. the first and the second chapters of Aṣṭādhyāyī the author uses the word adhyagīṣata which is the plural form of the root iṅ adhyayane in luṅlakāra. In this word the prefix adhi is added to the root iṅ as there is a rule iṅikāvadhipūrvāveva prayujyete | This means the roots iṅ and ik should be used only with the prefixing of adhi | Thus the properties in the formation of the word is adhi+ iṅ+ jha | Here an affix cli is added by the rule cli luṅi and the same is replaced by sic as per the rule cleḥ sic | Hence the form will be adhi+ iṅ+ s+ jha | Then as per the rule luṅlaṅlṛṅkṣvaḍudāttaḥ, an argument aṭ is added to the root, so adhi+ a+ i +s + jha | Now,gāṅ is optionally substituted for the root iṅ by the rule vibhāṣā luṅlṛṅoḥ | Then by the rule gāṅkuṭādibhyo'ñṇinṅit the affixes after gāṅ will be treated as if they had an indicatory i.e. ṅit | In this state, as per the rule ghumāsthagāpājahātisāṃ hali, the final letter ā will be substituted by ī as it follows a ṅit | Then, adhi+ a+ +s + jha | Thus, by the rule ādeśapratyayoḥ the s is substituted by and as per the rule ātmanepadeṣvanataḥ | The jha in this will substituted by at because it is not proceeded by a root ending in a and thus get the form adhyagīṣata |

In the word adhyagīṣata, the main rule that the author intends to illustrate is gāṅkuṭādibhyo'ñṇinṅit which is the first rule of the second pāda of the first chapter of Aṣṭādhyāyī. Hence this forms the illustration of the first section as said earlier. However, along with the main rule, it can be go through several subordinate rules by the close approach of a single word.

For the second section, the author uses more than one word to illustrate. Primarily, the word samastastavittāmsamastaṃ vettīti samastavid, tasya bhāvaḥ samastavittā | vetti iti vit One who knows: one who knows everything is samastavit. This is an example of upapada compound. These types of compounds are employed by the rule upapadamatiṅ | Another word employed in the verse to illustrate the second part is adhijagmuṣaḥ | Here the root is gamlṛ gatau and adhi is prefixed. adhi+ gam | By the application of the rule kvasuśca an affix kvasu is optionally substituted for the liṭ | The force of liṭ here is to denote the past in general. According to the opinion of the three sages viz. Pāṇini, Kātyāyana, and Patañjali, the affixes kānac and kvasu which come with the force of liṭ are Vaidika and not found in classical literature.

As it is the case, in the state adhi+ gam + vas (kvasu),+jas, the root gam will reduplicated and of the consonants of the reduplicate, only the first will be retained, the remainders are dropped as by the rule halādiḥ śeṣaḥ ||

adhi+ gam + gam + vas + jas => adhi+ ga + gam + vas + jas |

Then as per the rule kuhoścuḥ the guttural ga of the reduplicate will be substituted by a palatal ja | adhi+ ja+ gam + vas + jas | The root vowel ofgam will be elided as it is followed by an affix with an indicatory k | This is possible by the rule gamahanajanakhanaghasāṃ kṅityanaṅi | So, now the form will be adhi+ ja+ gm + vas + jas | Then the semivowel of the affix vas is vocalised to u by the rule vasoḥ saṃprasāraṇam |adhijagm+ us +jas | Now by the rule ādeśapratyayayoḥ the syllable is substituted for the letter s | Then, there works two rules sasajuṣo ruḥ and kharavasānayorvisarjanīyaḥ to form the word adhijagmuṣaḥ ||

In this example, author mainly used the rule kvasuśca and it is the seventh rule of the second pāda of the third chapter of Aṣṭādhāyī. Hence, it satisfies the second section in the division made by author.

The next word is titikṣamāṇā which is a Sannanta form of the root tija niśāne |

An affix sanis employed after the root tij by the rule guptijkidbhyaḥ san | (3.1.5) Then there acts the rule sanyaṅoḥ, by which the first syllable of the root will be reduplicated as it begins with a consonant. ti tij san | Now, by the rule coḥ kuḥ the syllable j will be substituted by the letter g and it will be transformed as k by the rule khari ca | Then titik san | The letter s will be changed into as per the rule ādeśapratyayayoḥ | Here it is used in the lakāra laṭ and an affix śānac will be substituted for laṭ | This is by the rule laṭaḥ śatṛśānacāvaprathamāsamānādhikaraṇe | and there gets an augment muk by the rule āne muk | Then in the state titikṣamāna the letter n will be changed in to ṇ by the rule aṭkupvāṅnumvyavāye'pi | Here acts the rule ajādyataṣṭāp and the feminine affix ṭāp will be added to this. After the feminine termination, the case affix su will be employed, but that will be elided by the rule halṅyābbhyo dīrghāt sutisyapṛktaṃ hal | Thus we have the form titikṣamāṇā |

This word satisfies both the third and fourth sections of Aṣṭādhyāyī. The rule ajādyataṣṭāp is the fourth rule of the first pāda of the fourth chapter and thus it is coming under the third section. In the same vein, sanyaṅoḥ is the Ninth rule of the first pāda of the sixth chapter. Hence it will be under the fourth section. So the word titikṣamāṇā is an example for the both sections i.e the third and the fourth.

Thus, by using these words in a single verse Vāsudeva introduce a new style to interpret the grammatical rules. Even though the author directly intended to illustrate the rules from four sections, it is helpful to study more Sūtras by the close approach of the words in the verse.

Another verse from Vāsudevavijaya to show the unique style of composition by the author is—

stokātpraruṣṭo'pi kaṣannavadhyān yo yātudharmākramate mumūrṣan |
kaṃsaḥkriyāṇāṃ sahasākṛtānāṃ phalāni bhoktā sa pacelimāni ||
(Vāsudevavijaya 2.10)

The verse describes the vicious deeds of Kaṃsa. In this verse, the author uses the word kramate to illustrate the first section. The verbal form kramate has formed by using Ātmanepada affixes and the Panniyan rule anupasargādvā is employed here. According to this rule, after the root kram the Ātmanepada affix (taṅ) can be optionally employed, if it is not preceded by any preposition.

kram + taanupasargādvā
+ a(śap) + takartari śap
+ a + teṭita ātmanepadānāṃ ṭere |
kramate |

Besides this, another example is given in the verse for satisfying the first part. That is stokātpraruṣṭaḥ | Here, the word stoka is used in Pañcamī i.e the fifth case by the rule karaṇe ca stokālpakṛcchrakatipayasyāsatyavacanasya | (2/3/33).Thus, when expressing an Instrument-Kāraka, after the words stoka (little), alpa (little), kṛcchra (difficulty), and katipaya (some), the third (tṛtīyā) as well as the fifth case-affix are used, when they do not denote material objects i.e they are used as adverbs and not as objectives. Hence, here the word is used in the fifth case as stokāt |

For the second sections, author uses some Vārtikas which undergo the rules of third chapter. The word pacolimā is used here as example. Here, to the root pac, an affix kelimar will be added by the Vātika kelimar upasaṃkhyānam which comes in the commentary of the rule tavyattavyānīyaraḥ (3/1/96).

This form comes under the heading of affix kṛtya which always employ is denote with bhāva or karman.

pac + kelimarkelimar upasaṃkhyānam |
(The letters k and r will be elided as they are known by the name it)
pac + elim jassvaujasamauṭ….
pacelima + i(śi) ← jaśśasoḥ śiḥ
+ i (sarvanāmasthanasaṃjñā) ← śi sarvanāmasthanam
+ n (num) + inapuṃsakasya jhalacaḥ (num)
pacelimān + isarvanāmasthane cāsambuddhau (upadhādīrghaḥ)
pacelimāni ||

The third section is exemplified with the word yātudharmā |

yātudharma anicdharmādanickevalāt
+ skṛttaddhitasamāsāśca (prātipadikasaṃjñā) svaujasamauṭ….
yātudharmān + snopadhāyāḥ (upadhādīrghaḥ)
yātudharmānhalṅyābbhyo dīrghāt sutisyapṛktaṃ hal |
yātudharmā ||
nalopaḥ prātipadikāntasya

The example given for the fourth section is sahasākṛtānām | Here, the instrumental ending after sahas | will not be elided before the second member of the compound. This is enacted by the rule ojaḥ saho'mbhastamasastṛtīyāyāḥ | (6/3/3). The word stokātpraruṣṭaḥ is also an example for the fourth part as the compound is possible by the rule pañcamyāḥ stokādibhyaḥ (6/3/2).Here, the ablative ending after stoka is not elided before the second number the compound.

In this way Vāsudeva incorporates the examples for four main rules in a verse and he keeps the respective order of the rules as seen in the Pāṇinīya. Thus from the second verse of Vāsudevavijaya, the author began to discuss the rules from the four sections of Aṣṭādhyāyī and keep their order in the forgoing verses. This new method is befitted to make brevity and comprehensiveness. In spite of composing twenty or more cantos, he can complete the illustration of the whole Aṣṭādhyāyī with 657 verses. The author fulfils his aim with this new style of presentation of rules with seven cantos. This new style enables the students to study grammatical rules and their explanations with a few efforts.

Another point to be noted here is Vāsudeva has not intended directly to illustrate the Vārtikas, Uṇādis and so on. It can be found that he would not illustrate all the Vārtikas in all sections. In certain sections some of them are illustrated but in fact most of them are avoided. The author may primarily aim to illustrate the Paninian rules only.

Prof. Vijayapal Sasti opines that Vāsudeva has introduced the Vārtikas, Uṇādis, Gaṇasūtras, Kārikās etc. along with the Paninian rules.[2] But this opinion is a factual to an extent. The Vārtikas, Uṇādis, etc. are illustrated in Vāsudevavijaya whereas they do not have comprehensiveness in illustration. The author has included some of them contextually, but not every rule. In the case of Vārtikas many of them are included. But in the case of Uṇādis only ten to twelve are given.

Here an attempt is made to bring forth some Pninian rules and their illustrations given in Vāsudevavijaya to substantiate the above mentioned observations. For convenience, the Paninian rules are arranged here in sections. The important sections like Saṃjñā, Sandhi, Strīpratyaya, Avyaya, Kāraka, Samāsa, Lakārārtha, Ātmanepada, Parasmaipada, Taddhita, Uṇādi-setc.

Footnotes and references:


Vāsudevavijaya of Vāsudeva, Prof. Vijayapal Sastri, p.1


ibid, Preface, p.18

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