SANSKRIT, the name applied by Hindu scholars to the ancient literary language of India. The word saṃskṛita is the past participle of the verb kar(kṛ), “to make” (cognate with Latin creo), with the preposition sam, “together” (cog. ἅμα, ὁμός, Eng. “same”), and has probably to be taken here in the sense of “completely formed” or “ accurately made, polished, refined”—some noun meaning “speech” (esp. bhāshā) being either expressed or understood with it. The term was, doubtless, originally adopted by native grammarians to distinguish the literary language from the uncultivated popular dialects—the forerunners of the modern vernaculars of northern India—which had developed side by side with it, and which were called (from the same root kar, but with a different preposition) Prākṛita, i.e. either “derived” or “natural, common” forms of speech. This designation of the literary idiom, being intended to imply a language regulated by conventional rules, also involves a distinction between the grammatically fixed language of Brāhmanical India and an earlier, less settled, phase of the same language exhibited in the Vedic writings. For convenience the Vedic language is, however, usually included in the term, and scholars generally distinguish between the Vedic and the classical Sanskrit.
I. Sanskrit Language
The Sanskrit language, with its old and modern descendants, represents the easternmost branch of the great Indo-Germanic, or Aryan, stock of speech. Philological research has clearly established the fact that the Indo-Aryans must originally have immigrated into India from the north-west. In the oldest literary documents handed down by them their gradual advance can indeed be traced from the slopes of eastern Kabulistan down to the land of the five rivers (Punjab), and thence to the plains of the Yamunā (Jumna) and Gangā (Ganges). Numerous special coincidences, both of language and mythology, between the Vedic Aryans and the peoples of Iran also show that these two members of the Indo-Germanic family must have remained in close connexion for some considerable period after the others had separated from them.
The origin of comparative philology dates from the time when European scholars became accurately acquainted with the ancient language of India. Before that time classical scholars had been unable to determine the true relations between the then known languages of our stock. This fact alone shows the importance of Sanskrit for comparative research. Though its value in this respect has perhaps at times been overrated, it may still be considered the eldest daughter of the old mother-tongue. Indeed, so far as direct documentary evidence goes, it may be said to be the only surviving daughter; for none of the other six principal members of the family have left any literary monuments, and their original features have to be reproduced, as best they can, from the materials supplied by their own daughter languages: such is the case as regards the Iranic, Hellenic, Italic, Celtic, Teutonic and Letto-Slavic languages. To the Sanskrit the antiquity and extent of its literary documents, the transparency of its grammatical structure, the comparatively primitive state of its accent system, and the thorough grammatical treatment it has early received at the hand of native scholars must ever secure the foremost place in the comparative study of Indo-Germanic speech.
The Sanskrit alphabet consists of the following sounds:— Alphabet.
- (a) Fourteen vowels, viz:
- Ten simple vowels: a, ā, i, ī, u, ū, ṛ, ṝ, ḷ (ḹ); and
- Four diphthongs: ē, āi, ō, āu.
- (b) Thirty-three consonants, viz.:
- Five series of mutes and nasals:
- guttural: k kh g gh ṅ
- palatal: c ch j jh ñ
- lingual: ṭ ṭh ḍ ḍh ṇ
- dental: t th d dh n
- labial: p ph b bh m;
- Four semivowels: y r l v (w)
- Three sibilants: palatal ś (ç), lingual ṣ (sh), dental s; and
- A soft aspirate: h.
- Five series of mutes and nasals:
- (c) Three unoriginal sounds, viz.
- visarga (ḥ), a hard aspirate, standing mostly for original s or r; and
- two nasal sounds of less close contact than the mute-nasals, viz. anusvāra (ṃ) and anunāsika (ṁ).
As regards the vowels, a prominent feature of the language Vowels. is the prevalence of a-sounds, these being about twice as frequent as all the others, including diphthongs taken together (Whitney).
The absence of the short vowels ĕ and ŏ from the Sanskrit alphabet, and the fact that Sanskrit shows the a-vowel where other vowels appear in other languages—e.g. bharantam = φέροντα, ferentem; janas = γένος, genus—were formerly considered as strong evidence in favour of the more primitive state of the Sanskrit vowel system as compared with that of the sister languages. Recent research has, however, shown pretty conclusively from certain indications in the Sanskrit language itself that the latter must at one time have possessed the same, or very nearly the same, three vowel-sounds, and that the differentiation of the original a-sound must, therefore, have taken place before the separation of the languages. Thus, Sans. carati, he walks, would seem to require an original kěrĕti (Gr. πέλει = queleti, Lat. colit), as otherwise the guttural k could not have changed to the palatal c (see below); and similarly Sans. jānu, knee, seems to stand for gēnu (Lat. genu, Gr. γόνυ). Not impossibly, however, this prevalence of pure a-sounds in Sanskrit may from the very beginning have been a mere theoretical or graphic feature of the language, the difference of pronunciation having not yet been pronounced enough for the early grammarians to have felt it necessary to clearly distinguish between the different shades of a-sounds.
The vowels ē and ō, though apparently simple sounds, are classed as diphthongs, being contracted from original ăi and ău respectively, and liable to be treated as such in the phonetic modifications they have to undergo before any vowel except ă.
As regards the consonants, two of the five series of mutes, the palatal and lingual series, are of secondary (the one of Indo-Iranian, the other of purely Indian) Consonants. growth.
The palatals are, as a rule, derived from original gutturals, the modification being generally due to the influence of a neighbouring palatal sound i or y, or ĕ (ä). The surd aspirate ch, in words of Indo-Germanic origin, almost invariably goes back to original sk: e.g. chid- (chind-) = scindo, σχίζω: chāyā = σκιά (O.E. scin, shine); Sans. acchati =βάσκει.
The palatal sibilant ś (pronounced sh) likewise originated from a guttural mute k, but one of somewhat different phonetic value from that represented by Sanskrit k or c. The latter, usually designated by k² (or q), is frequently liable to labialization (or dentalization) in Greek, probably owing to an original pronunciation kw (qu): e.g. katara = πότερος, uter; while the former (k¹) shows invariably κin Greek, and a sibilant in the Letto-Slavic and the Indo-Iranian languages: e.g. śvan (śun) = κύων (κυν), canis, Ger. Hund; daśan = δέκα, decem, Goth. taihun.
The non-original nature of the palatals betrays itself even in Sanskrit by their inability to occur at the end of a word—e.g. acc. vācam = Lat. vocem, but nom. vāk = vox—and by otherwise frequently reverting to the guttural state.
The linguals differ in pronunciation from the dentals in their being uttered with the tip of the tongue turned up to the dome of the palate, while in the utterance of the dentals it is pressed against the upper teeth, not against the upper gums as is done in the English dentals, which to Hindus sound more like their own linguals. The latter, when occurring in words of Aryan origin, are, as a rule, modifications of original dentals, usually accompanied by the loss of an r or other adjoining consonant; but more commonly they occur in words of foreign, probably non-Aryan, origin. Of regular occurrence in the language, however, is the change of dental n into lingual ṇ, and of dental s into lingual ṣ, when preceded in the same word by certain other letters. The combination kṣ seems sometimes to stand for ks (? kst) as in Sans. akṣa, Gr. ἄξων, axle; Sans. dakshiṇa, Gr. δέξιος (but Lat. dexter); sometimes for kt, e.g. Sans. kshiti, Gr. κτίσις (but Sans. kshiti = Gr. φθίσις); Sans. takshan, Gr. τέκτων.
The sonant aspirate h is likewise non-original, being usually derived from original sonant aspirated mutes, especially gh, e.g. haṃsa = χήν (for χανς), anser, Ger. Gans; aham = ἐγών, ego, Goth. ik.
The contact of final and initial letters of words in the same sentence is often attended in Sanskrit with considerable euphonic modifications; Phonetic changes. and we have no means of knowing how far the practice of the vernacular language may have corresponded to these phonetic theories. There can be no doubt, however, that a good deal in this respect has to be placed to the account of grammatical reflection; and the very facilities which the primitive structure of the language offered for grammatical analysis and an insight into the principles of internal modification may have given the first impulse to external modifications of a similar kind.
None of the cognate languages exhibits in so transparent a manner as the Sanskrit the cardinal principle of Indo-Germanic word-formation by the addition of inflectional endings—either case-endings or personal terminations (themselves probably original roots)—to stems obtained, mainly by means of suffixes, from monosyllabic roots, with or without internal modifications.
There are in Sanskrit declension three numbers and seven cases, not counting the vocative, viz. nominative, accusative, instrumental Declension. (or sociative), dative, ablative, genitive and locative. As a matter of fact, all these seven cases appear, however, only in the singular of a-stems and of the pronominal declension. Other noun-stems have only one case-form for the ablative and genitive singular. In the plural, the ablative everywhere shares its form with the dative (except in the personal pronoun, where it has the same ending as in the singular), whilst the dual shows only three different case-forms—one for the nominative and accusative, another for the instrumental, dative, and ablative, and a third for the genitive and locative.
The declension of a-stems corresponding to the first and second Latin declensions is of especial interest, not so much on account of its being predominant from the earliest time, and becoming more and more so with the development of the language, but because it presents the greatest number of alternative forms, which supply a kind of test for determining the age of literary productions, a test which indeed has already been applied to some extent by Professor Lanman, in his excellent Statistical Account of Noun Inflexion in the Veda. These alternative case-forms are:—
1. āsas and ās for the nominative plural masc. and fem.: e.g. aśvāsas and aśvās = equi (equae). The forms in āsas—explained by Bopp as the sign of the plural as applied twice, and by Schleicher as the sign of the plural as added to the nominative singular—occur to those in ās (i.e. the ordinary plural sign as added to the a-stem) in the Ṛigveda in the proportion of 1 to 2, and in the peculiar parts of the Atharvaveda in that of 1 to 25, whilst the ending ās alone remains in the later language.
2. ā and āni for the nominative and accusative plural of neuters: as yugā, yugāni = ζυγά, juga. The proportion of the former ending to the latter in the Ṛik is 11 to 7, in the Atharvan 2 to 3, whilst the classical Sanskrit knows only the second form.
3. ēbhis and āis for the instrumental plural masc. and neuter, e.g. devēbhis, devāis. In the Ṛik the former forms are to the latter in the proportion of 5 to 6, in the Atharvan of 1 to 5, while in the later language only the contracted form is used. The same contraction is found in other languages; but it is doubtful whether it did not originate independently in them.
4. ā and āu for the nominative and accusative dual masc., e.g. ubhā, ubhāu = ἄμφω. In the Ṛik forms in ā outnumber those in āu more than eight times; whilst in the Atharvan, on the contrary, those in āu (the only ending used in the classical language) occur five times as often as those in ā.
5. ā and ena (enā) for the instrumental singular masc. and neut., as dānā, dānena = dono. The ending ena is the one invariably used in the later language. It is likewise the usual form in the Veda; but in a number of cases it shows a final long vowel which, though it may be entirely due to metrical requirements, is more probably a relic of the normal instrumental ending ā, preserved for prosodic reasons. For the simple ending ā, as compared with that in ena, Professor Lanman makes out a proportion of about 1 to 9 in the Ṛigveda (altogether 114 cases); while in the peculiar parts of the Atharvan he finds only 11 cases.
6. ām and ānām for the genitive plural, e.g. (aśvām), aśvānām = ἵππων, equum (equorum). The form with inserted nasal (doubtless for anām, as in Zend aśpanām), which is exclusively used in the later language, is also the prevailing one in the Ṛik. There are, however, a few genitives of a-stems in original ām (for a-ām), which also appear in Zend, Professor Lanman enumerating a dozen instances, some of which are, however, doubtful, while others are merely conjectural.
The Sanskrit verb system resembles that of the Greek in variety and completeness. While the Greek excels in nicety and definiteness Verb system. of modal distinction, the Sanskrit surpasses it in primitiveness and transparency of formation. In this part of the grammatical system there is, however, an even greater difference than in the noun inflection between the Vedic and the classical Sanskrit. While the former shows, upon the whole, the full complement of modal forms exhibited by the Greek, the later language has practically discarded the subjunctive mood. The Indo-Aryans never succeeded in working out a clear formative distinction between the subjunctive and indicative moods; and, their syntactic requirements becoming more and more limited, they at last contented themselves, for modal expression, with a present optative and imperative, in addition to the indicative tense-forms, and a little-used aorist optative with a special “precative” or “benedictine” meaning attached to it.
Another part of the verb in which the later language differs widely from Vedic usage is the infinitive. The language of the old hymns shows a considerable variety of case-forms of verbal abstract nouns with the function of infinitives, a certain number of which can still be traced back to the parent language, as, for instance, such dative forms as jīv-áse = viv-ere; sáh-adhyāi = ἔχεσθαι; dā′-mane = δόμεναι; dā′-vane = δοῦναι. Further, ji-shé, “to conquer,” for ji-sé, apparently an aorist infinitive with the dative ending (parallel to the radical forms, such as yudh-é, “to fight,” dṛs′-é, “to see”), thus corresponding to the Greek aorist infinitive λῦσαι (but cf. also Latin da-re, for dase, es-se, &c.). The classical Sanskrit, on the other hand, practically uses only one infinitive form, viz. the accusative of a verbal noun in tu, e.g. sthātum, etum, corresponding to the Latin supinum datum, itum. But, as in Latin another case, the ablative (datū), of the same abstract noun is utilized for a similar purpose, so the Vedic language makes two other cases do duty as infinitives, viz. the dative in tave (e.g. dā̇tave, and the anomalous étavā̇i) and the gen.-abl. in tos (dā̇tos). A prominent feature of the later Sanskrit syntax is the so-called gerund or indeclinable participle in tvā, apparently the instrumental of a stem in tvá (probably a derivative from that in tu), as well as the gerund in ya (or tya after a final short radical vowel) made from compound verbs. The old language knows not only such gerunds in tvā, using them, however, very sparingly, but also corresponding dative forms in tvāya (yuktvāya) and the curious contracted forms in tvī′ (kṛtvī, “to do”). And, besides those in ya and tya, it frequently uses forms with a final long vowel, as bhid-yā, i-tyā, thus showing the former to be shortened instrumentals of abstract nouns in i and ti.
The Sanskrit verb, like the Greek, has two voices, active and middle, called, after their primary functions, parasmāi-pada, “word for another,” and ātmane-pada, “word for one's self.” While in Greek the middle forms have to do duty also for the passive in all tenses except the aorist and future, the Sanskrit, on the other hand, has developed for the passive a special present-stem in ya, the other tenses being supplied by the corresponding middle forms, with the exception of the third person singular aorist, for which a special form in i is usually assigned to the passive.
The present-stem system is by far the most important part of the whole verb system, both on account of frequency of actual occurrence and of its excellent state of preservation. It is with regard to the different ways of present-stem formation that the entire stock of assumed roots has been grouped by the native grammarians under ten different classes. These classes again naturally fall under two divisions or “conjugations,” with this characteristic difference that the one (corresponding to Gr. conj. in ω) retains the same stem (ending in a) throughout the present and imperfect, only lengthening the final vowel before terminations beginning with v or m (not final); while the other (corresponding to that in μι) shows two different forms of the stem, a strong and a weak form, according as the accent falls on the stem-syllable or on the personal ending: e.g. 3 sing. bhára-ti, φέρει—2 pl. bhára-tha, φέρετε: but é-ti, εἷσι—i-thá, ἴτε (for ἰτέ): 1 sing. stṛṇó-mi, στόρνυμι—1 pl. stṛṇu-más (στόρνυμες).
As several of the personal endings show a decided similarity to personal or demonstrative pronouns, it is highly probable that, as might indeed be a priori expected, all or most of them are of pronominal origin—though, owing to their exposed position and consequent decay, their original form and identity cannot now be determined with certainty. The active singular terminations, with the exception of the second person of the imperative, are unaccented and of comparatively light appearance; while those of the dual and plural, as well as the middle terminations, have the accent, being apparently too heavy to be supported by the stem-accent, either because, as Schleicher supposed, they are composed of two different pronominal elements, or otherwise. The treatment of the personal endings in the modifying, and presumably older, conjugation may thus be said somewhat to resemble that of enclitics in Greek.
In the imperfect the present-stem is increased by the augment, consisting of a prefixed ă. Here, as in the other tenses in which it appears, it has invariably the accent, as being the distinctive element (originally probably an independent demonstrative adverb “then”) for the expression of past time. This shifting of the word-accent seems to have contributed to the further reduction of the personal endings, and thus to have caused the formation of a new, or secondary, set of terminations which came to be appropriated for secondary tenses and moods generally. As in Greek poetry, the augment is frequently omitted in Sanskrit.
The mood-sign of the subjunctive is ă, added to (the strong form of) the tense-stem. If the stem ends already in ă, the latter becomes lengthened. As regards the personal terminations, some persons take the primary, others the secondary forms, while others again may take either the one or the other. The first singular active, however, takes ni instead of mi, to distinguish it from the indicative. But besides these forms, showing the mood-sign ă, the subjunctive (both present and aorist) may take another form, without any distinctive modal sign, and with the secondary endings, being thus identical with the augment less form of the preterit.
The optative invariably takes the secondary endings, with some peculiar variations. In the active of the modifying conjugation its mood-sign is yā, affixed to the weak form of the stem: e.g. root as—syām = Lat. siem, sīm (where Gr., from analogy to ἐστί, &c., shows irregularly the strong form of the stem, εἴην, for ἐσ-ιη-ν: as in 1st sing. of verbs in ω, it also has irregularly the primary ending, λείποιμι = S. rece-y-am); while in the a-conjugation and throughout the middle the mood-sign is ī, probably a contraction of yā: e.g. bháres = φέροις.
Besides the ordinary perfect, made from a reduplicated stem, with distinction between strong (active singular) and weak forms, and a partly peculiar set of endings, the later language makes large use of a periphrastic perfect, consisting of the accusative of a feminine abstract noun in ā (-ām) with the reduplicated perfect forms of the auxiliary verbs kar, “to do,” or as (and occasionally bhū), “to be.” Though more particularly resorted to for the derivative forms of conjugation—viz. the causative (including the so-called tenth conjugational class), the desiderative, intensive and denominative—this perfect-form is also commonly used with roots beginning with prosodically long vowels, as well as with a few other isolated roots. In the Ṛigveda this formation is quite unknown, and the Atharvan offers a single instance of it, from a causative verb, with the auxiliary kar. In the Vedic prose, on the other hand, it is rather frequent, and it is quite common in the later language.
In addition to the ordinary participles, active and middle, of the reduplicated perfect—e.g. jajan-vā̇n, γεγον-ώς: bubudh-āná, πεπυσ-μένο—there is a secondary participial formation, obtained by affixing the possessive suffix vat (vant) to the passive past participle: e.g. kṛta-vant, lit. “having (that which is) done.” A secondary participle of this kind occurs once in the Atharvaveda, and it is occasionally met with in the Brāhmaṇas. In the later language, however, it not only is of rather frequent occurrence, but has assumed quite a new function, viz. that of a finite perfect-form; thus kṛtavan, kṛtavantas, without any auxiliary verb, mean, not “having done,” but “he has done,” “they have done.”
The original Indo-Germanic future-stem formation in sya, with primary endings—e.g. dāsyáti = δώσει (for δώσετι)—is the ordinary tense-form both in Vedic and classical Sanskrit—a preterit of it, with a conditional force attached to it (ádāsyat), being also common to all periods of the language.
Side by side with this future, however, an analytic tense-form makes its appearance in the Brahmaṇas, obtaining wider currency in the later language. This periphrastic future is made by means of the nominative singular of a nomen agentis in tar (dātar, nom. dātā = Lat. dator), followed by the corresponding present forms of as, “to be” (dātā-’smi, as it were, daturus sum), with the exception of the third persons, which need no auxiliary, but take the respective nominatives of the noun.
The aorist system is somewhat complicated, including as it does augment-preterites of various formations, viz. a radical aorist, sometimes with reduplicated stem—e.g. ásthām = ἔστην: śrudhí =κλῦθι; ádudrot; an a-aorist (or thematic aorist) with or without reduplication—e.g. áricas = ἔλιπες: ápaptam, cf. ἔπεφνον; and several different forms of a sibilant-aorist. In the older Vedic language the radical aorist is far more common than the a-aorist, which becomes more frequently used later on. Of the different kinds of sibilant-aorists, the most common is the one which makes its stem by the addition of s to the root, either with or without a connecting vowel i in different roots: e.g. root ji—1 sing. ájāisham, 1 pl. ájāishama; ákramisham, ákramishama. A limited number of roots take a double aorist-sign with inserted connecting vowel (sish for sis)—e.g. áyāsisham (cf. scrip-sis-ti); whilst others—very rarely in the older but more numerously in the later language—make their aorist-stem by the addition of sa—e.g. ádikshas = ἔδειξας.
As regards the syntactic functions of the three preterites—the imperfect, perfect and aorist—the classical writers make virtually no distinction between them, but use them quite indiscriminately. In the older language, on the other hand, the imperfect is chiefly used as a narrative tense, while the other two generally refer to a past action which is now complete—the aorist, however, more frequently to that which is only just done or completed. The perfect, owing doubtless to its reduplicative form, has also not infrequently the force of an iterative, or intensive, present.
The Sanskrit, like the Greek, shows at all times a considerable power and facility of noun-composition. But, while in the older Word-formation. language, as well as in the earlier literary products of the classical period, such combinations rarely exceed the limits compatible with the general economy of inflectional speech, during the later, artificial period of the language they gradually become more and more excessive, both in size and frequency of use, till at last they absorb almost the entire range of syntactic construction.
One of the most striking features of Sanskrit word-formation is that regular interchange of light and strong vowel-sounds, usually designated by the native terms of guṇa (quality) and vṛiddhi (increase). The phonetic process implied in these terms consists in the raising, under certain conditions, of a radical or thematic light vowel i, u, ṛ, l, by means of an inserted a-sound, to the diphthongal (guṇa) sounds ăi (Sans. ē), ău (Sans. ō), and the combination ar and al respectively, and, by a repetition of the same process, to the (vṛiddhi) sounds āi, āu, ār, and āl respectively. Thus from root vid, “to know,” we have véda, “knowledge,” and therefrom vāídika; from yuj, yóga, yāúgika. While the interchange of the former kind, due mainly to accentual causes, was undoubtedly a common feature of Indo-Germanic speech, the latter, or vṛiddhi-change, which chiefly occurs in secondary stems, is probably a later development. Moreover, there can be no doubt that the vṛiddhi-vowels are really due to what the term implies, viz. to a process of “increment,” or vowel-raising. The same used to be universally assumed by comparative philologists as regards the relation between the guṇa-sounds ăi (ē) and ău (ō) and the respective simple i- and u-sounds. According to a more recent theory, however, which has been very generally accepted, we have rather to look upon the heavier vowels as the original, and upon the lighter vowels as the later sounds, produced through the absence of stress and pitch. The grounds on which this theory is recommended are those of logical consistency. In the analogous cases of interchange between ṛ and ar, as well as ḷ and al, most scholars have indeed been wont to regard the syllabic ṛ and ḷ as weakened from original ar and al, while the native grammarians represent the latter as produced from the former by increment. Similarly the verb as (ĕs), “to be,” loses its vowel wherever the radical syllable is unaccented, e.g. ásti, Lat. est—smás, s(u)mus; opt. syām, Lat. siēm (sīm). On the strength of these analogous cases of vowel-modification we are, therefore, to accept some such equation as this:—
- ásmi: smás = δέρκομαι: ἔδρ(α)κον = λείπω: λιπειν
- = émi (εἷμι): imás (ἴμεν for ιμέν)
- = φεύγω: φυγειν
- = dóhmi (I milk): duhmás.
Acquiescence in this equation would seem to involve at least one important admission, viz. that original root-syllables contained no simple i- and u-vowels, except as the second element of the diphthongs ai, ei, oi; au, eu, ou. We ought no longer to speak of the roots vid, “to know,” dik, “to show, to bid,” dhugh, “to milk,” yug, “to join,” but of veid, deik, dhaugh or dheugh, yeug, &c. Nay, as the same law would apply with equal force to suffixal vowels, the suffix nu would have to be called nau or neu; and, in explaining, for instance, the irregularly formed δείκνυμι, δείκνυμεν, we might say that, by the affixion of νευ to the root δεικ, the present-stem δικνεύ was obtained (δικνεῦμι), which, as the stress was shifted forward, became 1 plur. δικνυμέσ(ι),—the subsequent modifications in the radical and formative syllables being due to the effects of “analogy” (cf. G. Meyer, Griech. Gramm., § 487). Now, if there be any truth in the “agglutination” theory, according to which the radical and formative elements of Indo-Germanic speech were at one time independent words, we would have to be prepared for a pretty liberal allowance, to the parent language, of diphthongal monosyllables such as deík neú, while simple combinations such as dik nu could only spring up after separate syllable-words had become united by the force of a common accent. But, whether the agglutinationists be right or wrong, a theory involving the priority of the diphthongal over the simple sounds can hardly be said to be one of great prima facie probability; and one may well ask whether the requirements of logical consistency might not be satisfied in some other, less improbable, way.
Now, the analogous cases which have called forth this theory turn upon the loss of a radical or suffixal a (ĕ), occasioned by the shifting of the word-accent to some other syllable, e.g. acc. mātáram, instr. mātrā̇; πέτομαι, ἐπτόμην: δέρκομαι, ἔδρ(α)κον: ásmi, smás. Might we not then assume that at an early stage of noun and verb inflection, through the giving way, under certain conditions, of the stem-a (ĕ), the habit of stem-gradation, as an element of inflection, came to establish itself and ultimately to extend its sphere over stems with i- and u-vowels, but that, on meeting here with more resistance than in the a (ĕ)-vowel, the stem-gradation then took the shape of a raising of the simple vowel, in the “strong” cases and verb-forms, by that same a-element which constituted the distinctive element of those cases in the other variable stems? In this way the above equation would still hold good, and the corresponding vowel-grades, though of somewhat different genesis, would yet be strictly analogous. At all events in the opinion of the present writer, the last word has not yet been said on the important point of Indo-Germanic vowel-gradation.
The accent of Sanskrit words is marked only in the more important Vedic texts, different systems of notation being used in different works. Our knowledge of the later accentuation of words is entirely derived from the statements of Accentuation. grammarians. As in Greek, there are three accents, the udātta (“raised,” i.e. acute), the anudātta (“not raised,” i.e. grave), and the svarita (“sounded, modulated,” i.e. circumflex). The last is a combination of the two others, its proper use being confined almost entirely to a vowel preceded by a semivowel y or v, representing an original acuted vowel. Hindu scholars, however, also include in this term the accent of a grave syllable preceded by an acuted syllable, and itself followed by a grave.
The Sanskrit and Greek accentuation's present numerous coincidences. Although the Greek rule, confining the accent within the last three syllables, has frequently obliterated the original likeness, the old features may often be traced through the later forms. Thus, though augmented verb-forms in Greek cannot always have the accent on the augment as in Sanskrit, they have it invariably as little removed from it as the accentual restrictions will allow; e.g. ábharam, ἔφερον: ábharāma, ἐφέρομεν: ábharāmahi, ἐφερόμεθα.
The most striking coincidence in noun declension is the accentual distinction made by both languages between the “strong” and “weak” cases of monosyllabic nouns—the only difference in this respect being that in Sanskrit the accusative plural, as a rule, has the accent on the case-ending, and consequently shows the weak form of the stem; e.g. stem pad, ποδ: pā̇dam, πόδα: padās, ποδός: padí, ποδί: pā̇das, πόδες: padás, πόδας: padā̇m, ποδών: patsú, ποδί. In Sanskrit a few other classes of stems (especially present participles in ant, at), accented on the last syllable, are apt to yield their accent to heavy vowel (not consonantal) terminations; compare the analogous accentuation of Sanskrit and Greek stems in tār: pitáram, πατέρα: pitré, πατρός: pitáras, πατέρες: pitṛ́shu, πατρ(ά)σι.
The vocative, when heading a sentence (or verse-division), has invariably the accent on the first syllable; otherwise it is not accented.
Finite verb-forms also, as a rule, lose their accent, except when standing at the beginning of a sentence or verse-division (a vocative not being taken into account), or in dependent (mostly relative) clauses, or in conjunction with certain particles. Of two or more co-ordinate verb-forms, however, only the first is unaccented.
In writing Sanskrit the natives, in different parts of India, generally employ the particular character used for writing their own vernacular. The character, however, most widely understood and employed by Hindu scholars, and used invariably in Written characters. European editions of Sanskrit works (unless printed in Roman letters) is the Nāgarī or “town-script,” also commonly called Devanāgarī, or nāgarī of the gods.
The origin of the Indian alphabets is still enveloped in doubt. The oldest hitherto known specimens of Indian writing are a number of rock-inscriptions, containing religious edicts in Pāli (the Prākrit used in the southern Buddhist scriptures), issued by the emperor Aśoka (Piyadasi) of the Maurya dynasty, in 253–251 B.C., and scattered over the area of northern India from the vicinity of Peshawar, on the north-west frontier, and Girnar in Gujarat, to Jaugada and Dhauli in Katak, on the eastern coast. The most western of these inscriptions—those found near Kapurdagarhi or Shāhbāzgarhi, and Mansora—are executed in a different alphabet from the others. It reads from right to left, and is usually called the Arian Pāli alphabet, it being also used on the coins of the Greek and Indo-Scythian princes of Ariana; while the other, which reads from left to right, is called the Indian Pāli alphabet. The former—also called Kharoshṭhī or Gāndhāra alphabet (lipi)—which is manifestly derived from a Semitic (probably Aramaean) source, has left no traces on the subsequent development of Indian writing. The Indo-Pāli (or Brāhmī) alphabet, on the other hand, from which the modern Indian alphabets are derived, is of more uncertain origin. The similarity, however, which several of its letters present to those of the old Phoenician alphabet (itself probably derived from the Egyptian hieroglyphics) suggests for this alphabet also the probability of a Semitic origin, though, already at Aśoka's time, the Indians had worked it up to a high degree of perfection and wonderfully adapted it to their peculiar scientific ends. The question as to the probable time and channel of its introduction can scarcely be expected ever to be placed beyond all doubt. The late Professor Bühler has, however, made it very probable that this alphabet was introduced into India by traders from Mesopotamia about 800 B.C. At all events, considering the high state of perfection it exhibits in the Maurya and Andhra inscriptions, as well as the wide area over which these are scattered, it can hardly be doubted that the art of writing must have been known to and practised by the Indians for various purposes long before the time of Aśoka. The fact that no reference to it is found in the contemporary literature has probably to be accounted for by a strong reluctance on the part of the Brāhmans to commit their sacred works to writing.
As regards the numeral signs used in India, the Kharoshṭhī inscriptions of the early centuries of our era show a numerical system in which the first three numbers are represented by as many vertical strokes, whilst 4 is marked by a slanting cross, and 5–9 by 4(+) 1, &c., to 4(+)4(+)1; then special signs for 10, 20 and 100, the intervening multiples of IO being marked in the vigesimal fashion, thus 50 = 20(+)20(+)10. This system has been proved to be of Semitic, probably Aramaic, origin. In the Brāhmī inscriptions up to the end of the 6th century of our era, another system is used in which 1–3 are denoted by as many horizontal strokes, and thereafter by special syllabic signs for 4–9, the decades 10–90, and for 100 and 1000. This system was most likely derived from hieratic sources of Egypt. The decimal system of cipher notation, on the other hand, which is first found used on a Gujarat inscription of A.D. 595, seems to be an invention of Indian astronomers or mathematicians, based on the existing syllabic (or word) signs or equivalents thereof.
The first two Sanskrit grammars published by Europeans were those of the Austrian Jesuit Wesdin, called Paulinus a Sancto Bartholomaeo (Rome, 1790–1804). These were followed by those of H. C. Colebrooke (1805; based on Pāṇini's system), Carey (1806), Wilkins (1808), Forster (1810), F. Bopp (1827), H. H. Wilson, Th. Benfey, &c. These, as well as those of Max Müller, Monier Williams and F. Kielhorn, now most widely used, deal almost exclusively with classical Sanskrit; whilst that of W. D. Whitney treats the whole language historically; as does also J. Wackernagel's not yet completed Altindische Grammatik.
The first Sanskrit dictionary was that of H. H. Wilson (1819; 2nd ed., 1832), which was followed by the great Sanskrit-German Wörterbuch, published at St Petersburg in 7 vols. by Professors Böhtlingk and Roth. Largely based on this great thesaurus are the Sanskrit-English dictionaries by Sir M. Williams (2nd ed., 1899), Th. Benfey, A. A. Macdonell, &c. On the history of the Indian alphabets, cf. G. Bühler, Indische Paläographie (1896); A. C. Burnell, Elements of South Indian Palaeography (2nd ed., 1878), R. Cust's résumé in Jour. Roy. As. Soc., N.S. vol. xvi.
II. Sanskrit Literature
The history of Sanskrit literature labours under the same disadvantage as the political history of ancient India from the total want of anything like a fixed chronology. In that vast range of literary development there is scarcely a work of importance the date of which scholars have fixed with absolute certainty. The original composition of most Sanskrit works can indeed be confidently assigned to certain general periods of literature, but as to many of them, and these among the most important, scholars have but too much reason to doubt whether they have come down to us in their original shape, or whether they have not undergone alterations and additions so serious as to make it impossible to regard them as genuine witnesses of any one phase of the development of the Indian mind. Nor can we expect many important chronological data from new materials brought to light in India. Though by such discoveries a few isolated spots may be lighted up here and there, the real task of clearing away the mist which at present obscures our view, if ever it can be cleared away, will have to be performed by patient research and a more minute critical examination of the multitudinous writings which have been handed down from the remote past. In the following sketch it is intended to take a rapid View of the more important works and writers in the several departments of literature.
In accordance with the two great phases of linguistic development referred to, the history of Sanskrit literature readily divides itself into two principal periods—the Vedic and the classical. These periods partly overlap, and some of the later Vedic work are included in that period on account of the subjects with which they deal, and for their archaic style, rather than for any just claim to a higher antiquity than may have to be assigned to the oldest works of the classical Sanskrit.
1. The Vedic Period
The term veda—i.e. “knowledge,” (sacred) “lore”—embraces a body of writings the origin of which is ascribed to divine Saṃhitās. revelation (śruti, literally “hearing”), and which forms the foundation of the Brāhmanical system of religious belief. This sacred canon is divided into three, or (according to a later scheme) four co-ordinate collections, likewise called Veda: (1) the Ṛig-veda, or lore of praise (or hymns); (2) the Sāma-veda, or lore of tunes (or chants); (3) the Yajur-veda, or lore of prayer (or sacrificial formulas); and (4) the Atharva-veda, or lore of the Atharvans. Each of these four Vedas consists primarily of a collection (saṃhitā) of sacred, mostly poetical, texts of a devotional nature, called mantra. This entire body of texts (and particularly the first three collections) is also frequently referred to as the trayīvidyā, or threefold wisdom, of hymn (ṛich), tune or chant (sāman), and prayer (yajus)—the fourth Veda, if at all included, being in that case classed together with the Ṛik.
The Brāhmanical religion finds its practical expression chiefly in sacrificial performances. The Vedic sacrifice requires for its Classes of priests. proper performance the attendance of four officiating priests, each of whom is assisted by one or more (usually three) subordinate priests, viz.: (1) the Hotar (or hotṛi, i.e. either “sacrificer,” or “invoker”), whose chief business is to invoke the gods, either in short prayers pronounced over the several oblations, or in liturgical recitations (śastra), made up of various hymns and detached verses; (2) the Udgātar (udgātṛi), or chorister, who has to perform chants (stotra) in connexion with the hotar's recitations; (3) the Adhvaryu, or offering priest par excellence, who performs all the material duties of the sacrifice, such as the kindling of the fires, the preparation of the sacrificial ground and the offerings, the making of oblations, &c.; (4) the Brahman, or chief “priest,” who has to superintend the performance and to rectify any mistakes that may be committed. Now, the first three of these priests stand in special relation to three of the Vedic Saṃhitās in this way: that the Saṃhitās of the Sāmaveda and Yajurveda form special song and prayer books, arranged for the practical use of the udgātar and adhvaryu respectively; whilst the Ṛik-saṃhitā, though not arranged for any such practical purpose, contains the entire body of sacred lyrics whence the hotar draws the material for his recitations. The brahman, however, had no special text-book assigned to him, but was expected to be familiar with all the Saṃhitās as well as with the practical details of the sacrificial performance (see Brahman and Brāhmana). It sometimes happens that verses not found in our version of the Ṛik-saṃhitā, but in the Atharvaveda-saṃhitā, are used by the hotar; but such texts, if they did not actually form part of some other version of the Ṛik—as Sāyaṇa in the introduction to his commentary on the Ṛik-saṃhitā assures us that they did—were probably inserted in the liturgy subsequent to the recognition of the fourth Veda.
The several Saṃhitās have attached to them certain theological prose works, called Brāhmaṇa, which, though subordinate in Brāhmaṇas. authority to the Mantras or Saṃhitās, are like them held to be divinely revealed and to form part of the canon. The chief works of this class are of an exegetic nature,—their purport being to supply a dogmatic exposition of the sacrificial ceremonial and to explain the mystic import of the different rites and utterances included therein (see Brāhmaṇa).
More or less closely connected with the Brāhmaṇas (and in a few exceptional cases with Saṃhitās) are two classes of treatises, called Āraṇyaka and Upanishad. The Āraṇyakas, i.e. works “relating to the forest,” being intended to be read by those who have retired from the world and lead the life of anchorites, do not greatly differ in character and style from the Brāhmaṇas, but like them are chiefly ritualistic, treating of special ceremonies not dealt with, or dealt with only imperfectly, in the Āraṇyakas and Upanishads. latter works, to which they thus stand in the relation of supplements. The Upanishads, however, are of a purely speculative nature, and must be looked upon as the first attempts at a systematic treatment of metaphysical questions. The number of Upanishads hitherto known is very considerable (about 170); but, though they nearly all profess to belong to the Atharvaveda, they have to be assigned to very different periods of Sanskrit literature—some of them being evidently quite modern productions. The oldest treatises of this kind are doubtless those which form part of the Saṃhitās, Brāhmaṇs and Āraṇyakas of the three older Vedas, though not a few others which have no such special connexion have to be classed with the later products of the Vedic age.
As the sacred texts were not committed to writing till a much later period, but were handed down orally in the Brāhmaṇical Different recensions. schools, it was inevitable that local differences of reading should spring up, which in course of time gave rise to a number of independent versions. Such different text-recensions, called śākhā (i.e. branch), were at one time very numerous, but only a limited number have survived. As regards the Saṃhitās, the poetical form of the hymns, as well as the concise style of the sacrificial formulas, would render these texts less liable to change, and the discrepancies of different versions would chiefly consist in various readings of single words or in the different arrangement of the textual matter. But the diffuse ritualistic discussions and loosely connected legendary illustrations of the Brāhmaṇas offered scope for very considerable modifications in the traditional matter, either through the ordinary processes of oral transmission or through the special influence of individual teachers.
Besides the purely ceremonial matter, the Brāhmaṇas also contained a considerable amount of matter bearing on the Vedāngas. correct interpretation of the Vedic texts; and, indeed, the sacred obligation incumbent on the Brāhmans of handing down correctly the letter and sense of those texts necessarily involved a good deal of serious grammatical and etymological study in the Brāhmaṇical schools. These literary pursuits could not but result in the accumulation of much learned material, which it would become more and more desirable to throw into a systematic form, serving at the same time as a guide for future research. These practical requirements were met by a class of treatises, grouped under six different heads or subjects, called Vedāngas, i.e. members, or limbs, of the (body of the) Veda. None of the works, however, which have come down to us under this designation can lay any just claim to being considered the original treatises on their several subjects; they evidently represent a more or less advanced stage of scientific development. Though a few of them are composed in metrical form—especially in the ordinary epic couplet, the anushṭubh śloka, consisting of two lines of sixteen syllables (or of two octosyllabic pādas) each—the majority belong to a class of writings called sūtra, i.e. “string,” consisting of strings of rules in the shape of tersely expressed aphorisms, intended to be committed to memory. The Sūtras form a connecting link between the Vedic and the classical periods of literature. But, although these treatises, so far as they deal with Vedic subjects, are included by the native authorities among the Vedic writings, and in point of language may, generally speaking, be considered as the latest products of the Vedic age, they have no share in the sacred title of śruti or revelation. They are of human, not of divine, origin. Yet, as the production of men of the highest standing, profoundly versed in Vedic lore, the Sūtras are regarded as works of great authority, second only to that of the revealed Scriptures; and their relation to the latter is expressed in the generic title of Smṛiti, or Tradition, usually applied to them.
The six branches of Vedic science, included under the term Vedanga, are as follows:—
1. Śikshā, or Phonetics.—The privileged position of representing this subject is assigned to a small treatise ascribed to the great Phonetics. grammarian Pāṇini, viz. the Pāṇinīyā śikshā, extant in two different (Ṛik and Yajus) recensions. But neither this treatise nor any other of the numerous śikshās which have recently come to light can lay claim to any very high age. Scholars, however, usually include under this head certain works, called Prātiśākhya, i.e. “belonging to a certain śākhā or recension,” which deal minutely with the phonetic peculiarities of the several Saṃhitās, and are of great importance for the textual criticism of the Vedic Saṃhitās.
2. Chhandas, or Metre.—Tradition makes the Chhandaḥ-sūtra of Pingala the starting-point of prosody. The Vedic metres, however, Metre. occupy but a small part of this treatise, and they are evidently dealt with in a more original manner in the Nidāna-sūtra of the Sāmaveda, and in a chapter of the Ṛik-prātiśākhya. For profane prosody, on the other hand, Pingala's treatise is rather valuable, no less than 160 metres being described by him.
3. Vyākaraṇa, or Grammar.—Pāṇini's famous grammar is said Grammar. to be the Vedānga; but it marks the culminating point of grammatical research rather than the beginning, and besides treats chiefly of the post-Vedic language.
4. Nirukta, or Etymology.—Yāska's Nirukta is the traditional representative of this subject, and this important work certainly Etymology. deals entirely with Vedic etymology and explanation. It consists, in the first place, of strings of words in three chapters: (1) synonymous words; (2) such as are purely or chiefly Vedic; and (3) names of deities. These lists are followed by Yāska's commentary, interspersed with numerous illustrations. Yāska, again, quotes several predecessors in the same branch of science; and it is probable that the original works on this subject consisted merely of lists of words similar to those handed down by him.
5. Jyotisha, or Astronomy.—Although astronomical calculations are frequently referred to in older works in connexion with the Astronomy. performance of sacrifices, the metrical treatise which has come down to us in two different recensions under the title of Jyotisha, ascribed to one Lagadha, or Lagata, seems indeed to be the oldest existing systematic treatise on astronomical subjects. With the exception of some apparently spurious verses of one of the recensions, it betrays no sign of the Greek influence which shows itself in Hindu astronomical works from about the 3rd century of our era; and its date may therefore be set down as probably not later than the early centuries after Christ.
6. Kalpa, or Ceremonial.—Tradition does not single out any special work as the Vedānga in this branch of Vedic science; but Ceremonial. the sacrificial practice gave rise to a large number of systematic sūtra-manuals for the several classes of priests. The most important of these works have come down to us, and they occupy by far the most prominent place among the literary productions of the sūtra-period. The Kalpa-sūtras, or rules of ceremonial, are of two kinds: (1) the Srauta-sūtras, which are based on the śruti, and teach the performance of the great sacrifices, requiring three sacrificial fires; and (2) the Smārta-sūtras, or rules based on the smṛiti or tradition. The latter class again includes two kinds of treatises: (1) the Gṛihya-sūtras, or domestic rules, treating of ordinary family rites, such as marriage, birth, name-giving, &c., connected with simple offerings in the domestic fire; and (2) the Sāmayāchārika- (or Dharma-) sūtras, which treat of customs and temporal duties, and are supposed to have formed the chief sources of the later law-books. Besides, the Śrauta-sūtras of the Yajurveda have usually attached to them a set of so-called Śulva-sūtras, i.e. “rules of the cord,” which treat of the measurement by means of cords, and the construction, of different kinds of altars required for sacrifices. These treatises are of special interest as supplying important information regarding the earliest geometrical operations in India. Along with the Sūtras may be classed a large number of supplementary treatises, usually called Pariśishṭa (παραλιπόμενα), on various subjects connected with the sacred texts and Vedic religion generally.
After this brief characterization of the various branches of Vedic literature, we proceed to take a rapid survey of the several Vedic collections.
A. Ṛigveda.—The Ṛigveda-saṃhitā has come down to us in the recension of the Śākala school. Mention is made of several other versions; and regarding one of them, that of the Bāshkalas, we Ṛigveda saṃhitā. have some further information, according to which it seems, however, to have differed but little from the Śākala text. The latter consists of 1028 hymns, including eleven so-called Vālakhilyas, which were probably introduced into the collection subsequently to its completion. The hymns are composed in a great variety of metres, and consist, on an average, of rather more than 10 verses each, or about 10,600 verses altogether. This body of sacred lyrics has been subdivided by ancient authorities in a twofold way, viz. either from a purely artificial point of view, into eight ashṭakas of about equal length, or, on a more natural principle, based on the origin of the hymns, and invariably adopted by European scholars, into ten books, or maṇḍalas, of unequal length. Tradition (not, however, always trustworthy in this respect) has handed down the names of the reputed authors, or rather inspired “seers” (ṛishi), of most hymns. These indications have enabled scholars to form some idea as to the probable way in which the Ṛik-saṃhitā originated, though much still remains to be cleared up by future research.
Maṇḍalas ii.-vii. are evidently arranged on a uniform plan. Each of them is ascribed to a different family of ṛishis, whence they are usually called the six “family-books”: ii., the Gṛitsamadas; iii., the Viśvāmitras or Kuśikas; iv., the Vāmadevyas; v., the Atris; vi., the Bharadvājas; and vii., the Vasishṭhas. Further, each of these books begins with the hymns addressed to Agni, the god of fire, which are followed by those to Indra, the Jupiter Pluvius, whereupon follow those addressed to minor deities—the Viśve Devāḥ (“all-gods”), the Maruts (storm-gods), &c. Again, the hymns addressed to each deity are arranged in a descending order, according to the number of verses of which they consist.
Maṇḍala i., the longest in the whole Saṃhitā, contains 191 hymns, ascribed, with the exception of a few isolated ones, to sixteen poets of different families, and consisting of one larger (50 hymns) and nine shorter collections. Here again the hymns of each author are arranged on precisely the same principle as the “family-books.” Maṇḍalas viii. and ix., on the other hand, have a special character of their own. To the Sāmaveda-saṃhitā, which, as we shall see, consists almost entirely of verses chosen from the Ṛik for chanting purposes, these two maṇḍalas have contributed a much larger proportion of verses than any of the others. Now, the hymns of the eighth book are ascribed to a number of different ṛishis, mostly belonging to the Kāṇva family. The productions of each poet are usually, though not always, grouped together, but no other principle of arrangement has yet been discovered. The chief peculiarity of this maṇḍala, however, consists in its metres. Many of the hymns are composed in the form of stanzas, called pragātha (from gā, “to sing”), consisting of two verses in the bṛihatī and satobṛihatī metres; whence this book is usually known under the designation of Pragāthās. The other metres met with in this book are likewise such as were evidently considered peculiarly adapted for singing, viz. the gāyatrī (from gā, “to sing”) and other chiefly octosyllabic metres. It is not yet clear how to account for these peculiarities; but further research may perhaps show either that the Kāṇvas were a family of udgātars, or chanters, or that, before the establishment of a common system of worship for the Brāhmanical community, they were accustomed to carry on their liturgical service exclusively by means of chants, instead of using the later form of mixed recitation and chant. One of the ṛishis of this family is called Pragātha Kāṇva; possibly this surname “pragātha” may be an old, or local, synonym of udgātar, or perhaps of the chief chanter, the so-called Prastotar, or precentor. Another poet of this family is Medhātithi Kāṇva, who has likewise assigned to him twelve hymns in the first and largest groups of the first book. The ninth maṇḍala, on the other hand, consists entirely of hymns (114) addressed to Soma, the deified juice of the so-called “moon-plant” (Sarcostemma viminale, or Asclepias acida), and ascribed to poets of different families. They are called pavamānī, “purificational,” because they were to be recited by the hotar while the juice expressed from the soma plants was clarifying. The first sixty of these hymns are arranged strictly according to their length, ranging from ten down to four verses; but as to the remaining hymns no such principle of arrangement is observable, except perhaps in smaller groups of hymns. One might, therefore, feel inclined to look upon that first section as the body of soma hymns set apart, at the time of the first redaction of the Saṃhitā, for the special purpose of being used as pavamānyas,—the remaining hymns having been added at subsequent redactions. It would not, however, by any means follow that all, or even any, of the latter hymns were actually later productions, as they might previously have formed part of the family collections, or might have been overlooked when the hymns were first collected. Other maṇḍalas (viz. i. viii. and x.) still contain four entire hymns addressed to Soma, consisting together of 58 verses, of which only a single one (x. 25, 1) is found in the Sāmaveda-saṃhitā, as also some 28 isolated verses to Soma, and four hymns addressed to Soma in conjunction with some other deity, which are entirely unrepresented in that collection.
Maṇḍala x. contains the same number of hymns (191) as the first, which it nearly equals in actual length. The hymns are ascribed to many ṛishis, of various families, some of whom appear already in the preceding maṇḍalas. The traditional record is, however, less to be depended upon as regards this book, many names of gods and fictitious personages appearing in the list of its ṛishis. In the latter half of the book the hymns are clearly arranged according to the number of verses, in decreasing order—occasional exceptions to this rule being easily adjusted by the removal of a few apparently added verses. A similar arrangement seems also to suggest itself in other portions of the book. This maṇḍala stands somewhat apart from the preceding books, both its language and the general character of many of its hymns betraying a more recent origin. In this respect it comes nearer to the level of the Atharvaveda-saṃhitā, with which it is otherwise closely connected. Of some 1350 Ṛik-verses found in the Atharvan, about 550, or rather more than 40%, occur in the tenth maṇḍala. In the latter we meet with the same tendencies as in the Atharvan to metaphysical speculation and abstract conceptions of the deity on the one hand, and to superstitious practices on the other. But, although in its general appearance the tenth maṇḍala is decidedly more modern than the other books, it contains not a few hymns which are little, if at all, inferior, both in respect of age and poetic quality, to the generality of Vedic hymns, being perhaps such as had escaped the attentions of the former collectors.
It has become the custom, after Roth's example, to call the Ṛik-saṃhitā (as well as the Atharvan) an historical collection, as compared with the Saṃhitās put together for purely ritualistic purposes. And indeed, though the several family collections which make up the earlier maṇḍalas may originally have served ritual ends, as the hymnals of certain clans or tribal confederacies, and although the Saṃhitā itself, in its oldest form, may have been intended as a common prayer-book, so to speak, for the whole of the Brāhmaṇical community, it is certain that in the stage in which it has been finally handed down it includes a certain portion of hymn material (and even some secular poetry) which could never have been used for purposes of religious service. It may, therefore, be assumed that the Ṛik-saṃhitā contains all of the nature of popular lyrics that was accessible to the collectors, or seemed to them worthy of being preserved. The question as to the exact period when the hymns were collected cannot be answered with any approach to accuracy. For many reasons, however, which cannot be detailed here, scholars have come to fix on the year 1000 B.C. as an approximate date for the collection of the Vedic hymns. From that time every means that human ingenuity could suggest was adopted to secure the sacred texts against the risks connected with oral transmission. But, as there is abundant evidence to show that even then not only had the text of the hymns suffered corruption, but their language had become antiquated to a considerable extent, and was only partly understood, the period during which the great mass of the hymns were actually composed must have lain considerably farther back, and may very likely have extended over the earlier half of the second millenary, or from about 2000 to 1500 B.C.
As regards the people which raised for itself this imposing monument, the hymns exhibit it as settled in the regions watered by the mighty Sindhu (Indus), with its eastern and western tributaries, the land of the five rivers thus forming the central home of the Vedic people. But, while its advanced guard has already debouched upon the plains of the upper Gangā and Yamunā, those who bring up the rear are still found loitering far behind in the narrow glens of the Kubhā (Cabul) and Gomati (Gomal). Scattered over this tract of land, in hamlets and villages, the Vedic Āryas are leading chiefly the life of herdsmen and husbandmen. The numerous clans and tribes, ruled over by chiefs and kings, have still constantly to vindicate their right to the land but lately wrung from an inferior race of darker hue; just as in these latter days their Aryan kinsmen in the Far West are ever on their guard against the fierce attacks of the dispossessed red-skin. Not infrequently, too, the light-coloured Āryas wage internecine war with one another—as when the Bharatas, with allied tribes of the Panjab, goaded on by the royal sage Viśvāmitra, invade the country of the Tṛitsu king Sudās, to be defeated in the “ten kings' battle,” through the inspired power of the priestly singer Vasishṭha. The priestly office has already become one of high social importance by the side of the political rulers, and to a large extent an hereditary profession; though it does not yet present the baneful features of an exclusive caste. The Aryan housewife shares with her husband the daily toil and joy, the privilege of worshipping the national gods and even the triumphs of song craft, some of the finest hymns being attributed to female seers.
The religious belief of the people consists in a system of natural symbolism, a worship of the elementary forces of nature, regarded as beings endowed with reason and power superior to those of man. In giving utterance to this simple belief, the priestly spokesman has, however, frequently worked into it his own speculative and mystic notions. Indra, the stout-hearted ruler of the cloud-region, receives by far the largest share of the devout attentions of the Vedic singer. His ever-renewed battle with the malicious demons of darkness and drought, for the recovery of the heavenly light and the rain-spending cows of the sky, forms an inexhaustible theme of spirited song. Next to him, in the affections of the people, stands Agni (ignis), the god of fire, invoked as the genial inmate of the Aryan household, and as the bearer of oblations, and mediator between gods and men. Indra and Agni are thus, as it were, the divine representatives of the king (or chief) and the priest of the Aryan community; and if, in the arrangement of the Saṃhitā, the Brāhmanical collectors gave precedence to Agni, it was but one of many avowals of their own hierarchical pretensions. Hence also the hymns to Indra are mostly followed, in the family collections, by those addressed to the Viśve Devāḥ (the “all-gods”) or to the Maruts, the warlike storm-gods and faithful companions of Indra, as the divine impersonations of the Aryan freemen, the viś or clan. But, while Indra and Agni are undoubtedly the favourite figures of the Vedic pantheon, there is reason to believe that these gods had but lately supplanted another group of deities who play a less prominent part in the hymns, viz. Father Heaven (Dyaus Pitar, Ζεύς πατήρ, Jupiter); Varuṇa (probably οὐρανός), the all-embracing (esp. nocturnal) heavens; Mitra (Zend. Mithra), the genial light of day; and Savitar, the quickener, and Sūrya (ἠέλιος), the vivifying sun.
Of the Brāhmaṇas that were handed down in the schools of the Bahvṛichas (i.e. “possessed of many verses”), as the followers of Brāhmaṇas of Ṛigveda. the Ṛigveda are called, two have come down to us, viz. those of the Aitareyins and the Kaushītakins. The Aitareya-brāhmaṇa and the Kaushītaki- (or Śānkhāyana-) brāhmaṇa evidently have for their groundwork the same stock of traditional exegetic matter. They differ, however, considerably as regards both the arrangement of this matter and their stylistic handling of it, with the exception of the numerous legends common to both, in which the discrepancy is comparatively slight. There is also a certain amount of material peculiar to each of them. The Kaushītaka is, upon the whole, far more concise in its style and more systematic in its arrangement—features which would lead one to infer that it is probably the more modern work of the two. It consists of thirty chapters (adhyāya); while the Aitareya has forty, divided into eight books (or pentads, panchakā), of five chapters each. The last ten adhyāyas of the latter work are, however, clearly a later addition—though they must have already formed part of it at the time of Pāṇini (c. 400 B.C.?), if, as seems probable, one of his grammatical sūtras, regulating the formation of the names of Brāhmaṇas, consisting of thirty and forty adhyāyas, refers to these two works. In this last portion occurs the well-known legend (also found in the Śānkhāyana-sūtra, but not in the Kaushītaki-brāhmaṇa) of Śunaḥśepa, whom his father Ajīgarta sells and offers to slay, the recital of which formed part of the inauguration of kings. While the Aitareya deals almost exclusively with the Soma sacrifice, the Kaushītaka, in its first six chapters, treats of the several kinds of haviryajña, or offerings of rice, milk, ghee, &c., whereupon follows the Soma sacrifice in this way, that chapters 7-10 contain the practical ceremonial and 11-30 the recitations (śastra) of the hotar. Sāyaṇa, in the introduction to his commentary on the work, ascribes the Aitareya to the sage Mahidāsa Aitareya (i.e. son of Itarā), also mentioned elsewhere as a philosopher; and it seems likely enough that this person arranged the Brāhmaṇa and founded the school of the Aitareyins. Regarding the authorship of the sister work we have no information, except that the opinion of the sage Kaushītaki is frequently referred to in it as authoritative, and generally in opposition to the Paingya—the Brāhmaṇa, it would seem, of a rival school, the Paingins. Probably, therefore, it is just what one of the manuscripts calls it—the Brāhmaṇa of Sānkhāyana (composed) in accordance with the views of Kaushītaki.
Each of these two Brāhmaṇas is supplemented by a “forest-book,” or Āraṇyaka. The Aitareyāraṇyaka is not a uniform production. It consists of five books (āraṇyaka), three of which, the first and the last two, are of a liturgical nature, treating of the ceremony called mahāvrata, or great vow. The last of these books, composed in sūtra form, is, however, doubtless of later origin, and is, indeed, ascribed by native authorities either to Śaunaka or to Āśvalāyana. The second and third books, on the other hand, are purely speculative, and are also styled the Bahvṛicha-brāhmaṇa-upanishad. Again, the last four chapters of the second book are usually singled out as the Aitareyopanishad, ascribed, like its Brāhmaṇa (and the first book), to Mahidāsa Aitareya; and the third book is also referred to as the Saṃhitā-upanishad. As regards the Kaushītaki-āraṇyaka, this work consists of fifteen adhyāyas, the first two (treating of the mahāvrata ceremony) and the seventh and eighth of which correspond to the first, fifth, and third books of the Aitareyāraṇyaka respectively, whilst the four adhyāyas usually inserted between them constitute the highly interesting Kaushītaki- (brāhmaṇa-) upanishad, of which we possess two different recensions. The remaining portions (9-15) of the Āraṇyaka treat of the vital airs, the internal Agnihotra, &c., ending with the vaṃśa, or succession of teachers. Of Kalpa-sūtras, or manuals of sacrificial Sūtras of Ṛigveda. ceremonial, composed for the use of the hotar priest, two different sets are in existence, the Āśvalāyana- and the Śānkhāyana-sūtra. Each of these works follows one of the two Brāhmaṇas of the Ṛik as its chief authority, viz. the Aitareya and Kaushītaka respectively. Both consist of a Srauta- and a Gṛihya-sūtra. Āśvalāyana seems to have lived about the same time as Pāṇini (? c. 400 B.C.)—his own teacher, Śaunaka, who completed the Ṛik-prātiśākhya, being probably intermediate between the great grammarian and Yāska, the author of the Nirukta. Śaunaka himself is said to have been the author of a Śrauta-sūtra (which was, however, more of the nature of a Brāhmaṇa) and to have destroyed it on seeing his pupil's work. A Gṛihya-sūtra is still quoted under his name by later writers. The Āśvalāyana Śrauta-sūtra consists of twelve, the Gṛihya of four, adhyāyas.
Regarding Sānkhāyana still less is known; but he, too, was doubtless a comparatively modern writer, who, like Āśvalāyana, founded a new school of ritualists. Hence the Kaushītaki-brāhmaṇa, adopted (and perhaps improved) by him, also goes under his name, just as the Aitareya is sometimes called Āśvalāyana-brāhmaṇa. The Sānkhāyana Śrauta-sūtra consists of eighteen adhyāyas. The last two chapters of the work are, however, a later addition, while the two preceding chapters, on the contrary, present a comparatively archaic, brāhmaṇa-like appearance. The Gṛihya-sūtra consists of six chapters, the last two of which are likewise later appendages. The Sāmbavya Gṛihya-sūtra, of which a single MS. is at present known, seems to be closely connected with the preceding work. Professor Bühler also refers to the Ṛigveda the Vāsishṭha-dharmaśātra, composed of mixed sūtras and couplets.
A few works remain to be noticed, bearing chiefly on the textual form and traditionary records of the Ṛik-saṃhitā. In our remarks on the Vedāngas, the Prātiśkhyas have already been referred to as the chief repositories of śikshā or Vedic phonetics. Among these works the Ṛik-prātiśākhya occupies the first place. The original composition of this important work is ascribed to the same Śākalya from whom the vulgate recension of the (Śākala) Saṃhitā takes its name. He is also said to be the author of the existing Padapāṭha (i.e. the text-form in which each word is given unconnected with those that precede and follow it), which report may well be credited, since the pada-text was doubtless prepared with a view to an examination, such as is presented in the Prātiśākhya, of the phonetic modifications undergone by words in their syntactic combination. In the Prātiśākhya itself, Śākalya's father (or Śākalya the elder) is also several times referred to as an authority on phonetics, though the younger Śākalya is evidently regarded as having improved on his father's theories. Thus both father and son probably had a share in the formulation of the rules of pronunciation and modification of Vedic sounds. The completion or final arrangement of the Ṛik-prātiśākhya, in its present form, is ascribed to Śaunaka, the reputed teacher of Āśvalāyana. Śaunaka, however, is merely a family name (“descendant of Śunaka”), which is given even to the ṛishi Gṛitsamada, to whom nearly the whole of the second maṇḍala of the Ṛik is attributed. How long after Śākalya this particular Śaunaka lived we do not know; but some generations at all events would seem to lie between them, considering that in the meantime the Śākalas, owing doubtless to minor differences on phonetic points in the Saṃhitā text, had split into several branches, to one of which, the Śaiśira (or Śaiśiriya) school, Śaunaka belonged. While Śākalya is referred to both by Yāska and Pāṇini, neither of these writers mentions Śaunaka. It seems, nevertheless, likely, for several reasons, that Pāṇini was acquainted with Śaunaka's work, though the point has by no means been definitely settled. The Ṛik-prātiśākhya is composed in mixed ślokas, or couplets of various metres, a form of composition for which Śaunaka seems to have had a special predilection. Besides the Prātiśākhya, and the Gṛihya-sūtra mentioned above, eight other works are ascribed to Śaunaka, viz. the Bṛihaddevatā, an account, in epic ślokas, of the deities of the hymns, which supplies much valuable mythological information; the Ṛig-vidhāna, a treatise, likewise in epic metre, on the magic effects of Vedic hymns and verses; the Pāda-vidhāna, a similar treatise, apparently no longer in existence; and five different indexes or catalogues (anukramaṇī) of the ṛishis, metres, deities, sections (anuvāka) and hymns of the Ṛigveda. It is, however, doubtful whether the existing version of the Bṛihaddevatā is the original one; and the Ṛigvidhāna would seem to be much more modern than Śaunaka's time. As regards the Anukramaṇīs, they seem all to have been composed in mixed ślokas; but, with the exception of the Anuvākānukramaṇī, they are only known from quotations, having been superseded by the Sarvānukramaṇī, or complete index, of Kātyāyana. Both these indexes have been commented upon by Shaḍguruśishya, towards the end of the 12th century of our era.
B. Sāma-veda.—The term sāman, of uncertain derivation, denotes a solemn tune or melody to be sung or chanted to a rich or verse. Sāmaveda-saṃhitā. The set chants (stotra) of the Soma sacrifice are as a rule performed in triplets, either actually consisting of three different verses, or of two verses which, by the repetition of certain parts, are made, as it were, to form three. The three verses are usually chanted to the same tune; but in certain cases two verses sung to the same tune had a different sāman enclosed between them. One and the same sāman or tune may thus be sung to many different verses; but, as in teaching and practising the tunes the same verse was invariably used for a certain tune, the term “sāman,” as well as the special technical names of sāmans, are not infrequently applied to the verses themselves with which they were ordinarily connected, just as one would quote the beginning of the text of an English hymn, when the tune usually sung to that hymn is meant. For a specimen of the way in which sāmans are sung, see Burnell, Ārsheyabrāhmaṇa, p. xlv. seq.
The Indian chant somewhat resembles the Gregorian or Plain Chant. Each sāman is divided into five parts or phrases (prastāva, or prelude, &c.), the first four of which are distributed between the several chanters, while the finale (nidhana) is sung in unison by all of them.
In accordance with the distinction between ṛich or text and sāman or tune, the sāman-hymnal consists of two parts, viz. the Sāmaveda-saṃhitā, or collection of texts (ṛich) used for making up sāman-hymns, and the Gāna, or tune-books, song-books. The textual matter of the Saṃhitā consists of somewhat under 1600 different verses, selected from the Ṛik-saṃhitā, with the exception of some seventy-five verses, some of which have been taken from Khila hymns, whilst others which also occur in the Atharvan or Yajurveda, as well as such not otherwise found, may perhaps have formed part of some other recension of the Ṛik. The Sāmaveda-saṃhitā is divided into two chief parts, the pūrva- (first) and the uttara- (second) ārchika. The second part contains the texts of the sāman-hymns, arranged in the order in which they are actually required for the stotras or chants of the various Soma sacrifices. The first part, on the other hand, contains the body of tune-verses, or verses used for practising the several sāmans or tunes upon—the tunes themselves being given in the Grāma-geya-gāna (i.e. songs to be sung in the village), the tune-book specially belonging to the Pūrvārchika. Hence the latter includes all the first verses of those triplets of the second part which had special tunes peculiar to them, besides the texts of detached sāmans occasionally used outside the regular ceremonial, as well as such as were perhaps no longer required but had been so used at one time or other. The verses of the Pūrvārchika are arranged on much the same plan as the family-books of the Ṛik-saṃhitā, viz. in three sections containing the verses addressed to Agni, Indra and Soma (pavamāna) respectively—each section (consisting of one, three, and one adhyāyas respectively) being again arranged according to the metres. Hence this part is also called Chhandas- (metre) ārchika. Over and above this natural arrangement of the two ārchikas, there is a purely formal division of the texts into six and nine prapāṭhakas respectively, each of which, in the first part, consists of ten decades (daśat) of verses. We have two recensions of the Saṃhitā, belonging to the Rāṇāyanīya and Kauthuma schools, the latter of which is but imperfectly known, but seems to have differed but slightly from the other. Besides the six prapāṭhakas (or five adhyāyas) of the Pūrvārchika, some schools have an additional “forest” chapter, called the Āraṇyaka-saṃhitā, the tunes of which—along with others apparently intended for being chanted by anchorites—are partly contained in the Araṇya-gāna. Besides the two tune-books belonging to the Pūrvārchika, there are two others, the Ūha-gāna (“modification-songs”) and Uhya-gāna, which follow the order of the Uttarārchika, giving the several sāman-hymns chanted at the Soma sacrifice, with the modifications the tunes undergo when applied to texts other than those for which they were originally composed. The Sāman hymnal, as it has come down to us, has evidently passed through a long course of development. The practice of chanting probably goes back to very early times; but the question whether any of the tunes, as given in the Gānas, and which of them, can lay claim to an exceptionally high antiquity will perhaps never receive a satisfactory answer.
The title of Brāhmaṇa is bestowed by the Chhandogas, or followers of the Sāmaveda, on a considerable number of treatises. In accordance Sāmaveda-brāhmaṇas. with the statements of some later writers, their number was usually fixed at eight; but within the last few years one new Brāhmaṇa has been recovered, while at least two others which are found quoted may yet be brought to light in India. The majority of the Sāmaveda-brāhmaṇas present, however, none of the characteristic features of other works of that class; but they are rather of the nature of sūtras and kindred treatises, with which they probably belong to the same period of literature. Moreover, the contents of these works—as might indeed be expected from the nature of the duties of the priests for whom they were intended—are of an extremely arid and technical character, though they all are doubtless of some importance, either for the textual criticism of the Saṃhitā or on account of the legendary and other information they supply. These works are as follows: (1) the Tāṇḍya-mahā- (or Prauḍha-) brāhmaṇa, or “great” Brāhmaṇa—usually called Panchaviṃśa-brāhmaṇa from its “consisting of twenty-five” adhyāyas—which treats of the duties of the udgātars generally, and especially of the various kinds of chants; (2) the Shaḍviṃśa, or “twenty-sixth,” being a supplement to the preceding work—its last chapter, which also bears the title of Adbhuta-brāhmaṇa, or “book of marvels,” is rather interesting, as it treats of all manner of portents and evil influences, which it teaches how to avert by certain rites and charms; (3) the Sāmavidhāna, analogous to the Ṛigvidhāna, descanting on the magic effects of the various sāmans; (4) the Ārsheya-brāhmaṇa, a mere catalogue of the technical names of the sāmans in the order of the Pūrvārchika, known in two different recensions; (5) the Devatādhyāya, which treats of the deities of the sāmans; (6) the Chhāndogya-brāhmaṇa, the last eight adhyāyas (3-10) of which constitute the important Chhāndogyopanishad; (7) the Saṃhitopanishad-brāhmaṇa, treating of various subjects connected with chants; (8) the Vaṃśa-brāhmaṇa, a mere list of the Sāmaveda teachers. To these works has to be added the Jaiminīya- or Talavakāra-brāhmaṇa, which, though as yet only known by extracts, seems to stand much on a level with the Brāhmaṇas of the Ṛik and Yajurveda. A portion of it is the well-known Kena- (or Talavakāra-) upanishad, on the nature of Brahma, as the supreme of deities.
If the Sāmaveda has thus its ample share of Brāhmaṇa-literature, though in part of a somewhat questionable character, it is not less Sāmaveda-sūtras. richly supplied with sūtra-treatises, some of which probably belong to the oldest works of that class. There are three Śrauta-sūtras, which attach themselves more or less closely to the Panchaviṃśa-brāhmaṇa: Maśaka's Ārsheya-kalpa, which gives the beginnings of the sāmans in their sacrificial order, thus supplementing the Ārsheya-brāhmaṇa, which enumerates their technical names; and the Śrauta-sūtras of Lāṭyāyana and Drāhyāyaṇa, of the Kauthuma and Rāṇāyanīya schools respectively, which differ but little from each other, and form complete manuals of the duties of the udgātars. Another sūtra, of an exegetic character, the Anupada-sūtra, likewise follows the Panchaviṃśa, the difficult passages of which it explains. Besides these, there are a considerable number of sūtras and kindred technical treatises bearing on the prosody and phonetics of the sāma-texts. The more important of them are—the Ṛiktantra, apparently intended to serve as a Prātiśākhya of the Sāmaveda; the Nidāna-sūtra, a treatise on prosody; the Pushpa- or Phulla-sūtra, ascribed either to Gobhila or to Vararuchi, and treating of the phonetic modifications of the rich in the sāmans; and the Sāmatantra, a treatise on chants of a very technical nature. Further, two Gṛihya-sūtras, belonging to the Sāmaveda, are hitherto known, viz. the Drāhyāyaṇa-gṛihya, ascribed to Khrādira, and that of Gobhila (who is also said to have composed a śrauta-sūtra), with a supplement, entitled Karmapradīpa, by Kātyāyana. To the Sāmaveda seems further to belong the Gautama-dharmaśāstra, composed in sūtras, and apparently the oldest existing compendium of Hindu law.
C. Yajur-veda.—This, the sacrificial Veda of the Adhvaryu priests, divides itself into an older and a younger branch, or, as they are Saṃhitās of Black Yajurveda. usually called, the Black (kṛishṇa) and the White (śukla) Yajurveda. Tradition ascribes the foundation of the Yajurveda to the sage Vaiśampāyana. Of his disciples three are specially named, viz. Kaṭha, Kalāpin and Yāska Paingi, the last of whom again is stated to have communicated the sacrificial science to Tittiri. How far this genealogy of teachers may be authentic cannot now be determined; but certain it is that in accordance therewith we have three old collections of Yajus-texts, viz. the Kāṭhaka, the Kālāpaka or Maitrāyaṇī Saṃhitā, and the Taittirīya-saṃhitā. The Kāṭhaka and Kālāpaka are frequently mentioned together; and the author of the “great commentary” on Pāṇini once remarks that these works were taught in every village. The Kaṭhas and Kālāpas are often referred to under the collective name of Charakas, which apparently means “wayfarers” or itinerant scholars; but according to a later writer (Hemachandra) Charaka is no other than Vaiśampāyana himself, after whom his followers would have been thus called. From the Kaṭhas proper two or three schools seem early to have branched off, the Prāchya- (eastern) Kaṭhas and the Kapishṭhala-Kaṭhas, the text-recension of the latter of whom has recently been discovered in the Kapishṭhala-kaṭha-saṃhitā, and probably also the Chārāyaṇīya-Kaṭhas. The Kālāpas also soon became subdivided into numerous different schools. Thus from one of Kalāpin's immediate disciples, Haridru, the Hāridravīyas took their origin, whose text-recension, the Hāridravika, is quoted together with the Kāṭhaka as early as in Yāska's Nirukta; but we do not know whether it differed much from the original Kālāpa texts. As regards the Taittirīya-saṃhitā, that collection, too, in course of time gave rise to a number of different schools, the text handed down being that of the Āpastambas; while the contents of another recension, that of the Ātreyas, are known from their Anukramaṇi, which has been preserved.
The four collections of old Yajus texts, so far known to us, while differing more or less considerably in arrangement and verbal points, have the main mass of their textual matter in common. This common matter consists of both sacrificial prayers (yajus) in verse and prose, and exegetic or illustrative prose portions (brāhmaṇa). A prominent feature of the old Yajus texts, as compared with the other Vedas, is the constant intermixture of textual and exegetic portions. The Charakas and Taittirīyas thus do not recognize the distinction between Saṃhitā and Brāhmaṇa in the sense of two separate collections of texts, but they have only a Saṃhitā, or collection, which includes likewise the exegetic or Brāhmaṇa portions. The Taittirīyas seem at last to have been impressed with their want of a separate Brāhmaṇa and to have set about supplying the deficiency in rather an awkward fashion: instead of separating from each other the textual and exegetic portions of their Saṃhitā, they merely added to the latter a supplement (in three books), which shows the same mixed condition, and applied to it the title of Taittirīya-brāhmaṇa. But, though the main body of this work is manifestly of a supplementary nature, a portion of it may perhaps be old, and may once have formed part of the Saṃhitā, considering that the latter consists of seven ashṭakas, instead of eight, as this term requires, and that certain essential parts of the ceremonial handled in the Brāhmaṇa are entirely wanting in the Saṃhitā. Attached to this work is the Taittirīya-āraṇyaka, in ten books, the first six of which are of a ritualistic nature, while of the remaining books the first three (7-9) form the Taittirīyopanishad (consisting of three parts, viz. the Sikshāvallī or Saṃhitopanishad, and the Ānandavallī and Bhṛiguvallī, also called together the Vāruṇiupanishad), and the last book forms the Nārāyaṇīya- (or Yājñikī-) upanishad.
The Maitrāyaṇī Saṃhitā, the identity of which with the original Kālāpaka has been proved pretty conclusively by Dr L. v. Schröder, who attributes the change of name of the Kālāpa-Maitrāyaṇīyas to Buddhist influences, consists of four books, attached to which is the Maitri- (or Maitrāyaṇī) upanishad. The Kāṭhaka, on the other hand, consists of five parts, the last two of which, however, are perhaps later additions, containing merely the prayers of the hotar priest, and those used at the horse-sacrifice. There is, moreover, the beautiful Kaṭha- or Kāṭhaka-upanishad, which is also, and more usually, ascribed to the Atharvaveda, and which seems to show a decided leaning towards Sānkhya-Yoga notions.
The defective arrangement of the Yajus texts was at last remedied by a different school of Adhvaryus, the Vājasaneyins. The reputed Saṃhitā of White Yajurveda. originator of this school and its text-recension is Yājñavalkya Vājasaneya (son of Vājasani). The result of the rearrangement of the texts was a collection of sacrificial mantras, the Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā, and a Brāhmaṇa, the Śatapatha. On account of the greater lucidity of this arrangement, the Vājasaneyins called their texts the White (or clear) Yajurveda—the name of Black (or obscure) Yajus being for opposite reasons applied to the Charaka texts. Both the Saṃhitā and Brāhmaṇa of the Vājasaneyins have come down to us in two different recensions, viz. those of the Mādhyandina and Kāṇva schools; and we find besides a considerable number of quotations from a Vājasaneyaka, from which we cannot doubt that there must have been at least one other recension of the Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa. The difference between the two extant recensions is, on the whole, but slight as regards the subject-matter; but in point of diction it is quite sufficient to make a comparison especially interesting from a philological point of view. Which of the two versions may be the more original cannot as yet be determined; but the phonetic and grammatical differences will probably have to be accounted for by a geographical separation of the two schools rather than by a difference of age. In several points of difference the Kāṇva recension agrees with the practice of the Ṛik-saṃhitā, and there probably was some connexion between the Yajus school of Kāṇvas and the famous family of ṛishis of that name to which the eighth maṇḍala of the Ṛik is attributed.
The Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā, consists of forty adhyāyas, the first eighteen of which contain the formulas of the ordinary sacrifices. The last fifteen adhyāyas are doubtless a later addition—as may also be the case as regards the preceding seven chapters. The last adhyāya is commonly known under the title of Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā (or Iśāvāsya-) upanishad. Its object seems to be to point out the fruitlessness of mere works, and to insist on the necessity of man's acquiring a knowledge of the supreme spirit. The sacrificial texts of the Adhvaryus consist, in about equal parts, of verses (rich) and prose formulas (yajus). The majority of the former occur likewise in the Ṛik-saṃhitā, from which they were doubtless extracted. Not infrequently, however, they show considerable discrepancies of reading, which may be explained partly from a difference of recension and partly as the result of the adaptation of these verses to their special sacrificial purpose. As regards the prose formulas, though only a few of them are actually referred to in the Ṛik, it is quite possible that many of them may be of high antiquity.
The Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa, or Brāhmaṇa of a hundred paths, derives its name from the fact of its consisting of 100 lectures (adhyāya), Brāhmaṇa of White Yajurveda. which are divided by the Mādhyandinas into fourteen, by the Kāṇvas into seventeen books (kāṇḍa). The first nine books of the former, corresponding to the first eleven of the Kāṇvas, and consisting of sixty adhyāyas, form a kind of running commentary on the first eighteen books of the Vāj.-Saṃhitā; and it has been plausibly suggested by Professor Weber that this portion of the Brāhmaṇa may be referred to in the Mahābhāshya on Pāṇ. iv. 2, 60, where a Śatapatha and a Shashṭi-patha (i.e. “consisting of 60 paths”) are mentioned together as objects of study, and that consequently it may at one time have formed an independent work. This view is also supported by the circumstance that of the remaining five books (10-14) of the Mādhyandinas the third is called the middle one (madhyama); while the Kāṇvas apply the same epithet to the middlemost of the five books (12-16) preceding their last one. This last book would thus seem to be treated by them as a second supplement, and not without reason, as it is of the Upanishad order, and bears the special title of Bṛihad- (great) āraṇyaka; the last six chapters of which are the Bṛihadāraṇyaka-upanishad, the most important of all Upanishads. Except in books 6-10 (M.), which treat of the construction of fire-altars, and recognize the sage Sāṇḍilya as their chief authority, Yājñavalkya's opinion is frequently referred to in the Śatapatha as authoritative. This is especially the case in the later books, part of the Bṛihad-āraṇyaka being even called Yājñavalkiya-kāṇḍa. As regards the age of the Śatapatha, the probability is that the main body of the work is considerably older than the time of Pāṇini, but that some of its latter parts were considered by Pāṇini's critic Kātyāyana to be of about the same age as, or not much older than, Pāṇini. Even those portions had probably been long in existence before they obtained recognition as part of the canon of the White Yajus.
The contemptuous manner in which the doctrines of the Charaka-adhvaryus are repeatedly animadverted upon in the Śatapatha betrays not a little of the odium theologicum on the part of the divines of the Vājasaneyins towards their brethren of the older schools. Nor was their animosity confined to mere literary warfare, but they seem to have striven by every means to gain ascendancy over their rivals. The consolidation of the Brāhmanical hierarch and the institution of a common system of ritual worship, which called forth the liturgical Vedic collections, were doubtless consummated in the so-called Madhya-deśa, or “midland,” lying between the Sarasvatī and the confluence of the Yamunā and Gangā; and more especially in its western part, the Kuru-kshetra, or land of the Kurus, with the adjoining territory of the Panchālas, between the Yamunā and Gangā. From thence the original schools of Vaidik ritualism gradually extended their sphere over the adjacent parts. The Charakas seem for a long time to have held sway in the western and north-western regions; while the Taittirīyas in course of time spread over the whole of the peninsula south of the Narmadā (Nerbudda), where their ritual has remained pre-eminently the object of study till comparatively recent times. The Vājasaneyins, on the other hand, having first gained a footing in the lands on the lower Ganges, chiefly, it would seem, through the patronage of King Janaka of Videha, thence gradually worked their way westwards, and eventually succeeded in superseding the older schools north of the Vindhya, with the exception of some isolated places where even now families of Brahmans are met with which profess to follow the old Saṃhitās.
In Kalpa-sūtras the Black Yajurveda is particularly rich; but, owing to the circumstances just indicated, they are almost entirely Sūtras of Yajurveda. confined to the Taittirīya school. The only Śrauta-sūtra of a Charaka school which has hitherto been recovered is that of the Mānavas, a subdivision of the Maitrāyaṇīyas. The Mānava-śrauta-sūtra seems to consist of eleven books, the first nine of which treat of the sacrificial ritual, while the tenth contains the Śulva-sūtra; and the eleventh is made up of a number of supplements (pari-śishṭa). The Mānava-gṛihya-sūtra is likewise in existence; but so far nothing is known, save one or two quotations, of a Mānava-dharma-sūtra, the discovery of which might be expected to solve some important questions regarding the development of Indian law. Of sūtra-works belonging to the Kaṭhas, a single treatise, the (Chārāyaṇīya-) Kāṭhaka-gṛihya-sūtra, is known; while Dr Jolly considers the Vishṇu-smṛiti, a compendium of law, composed in mixed sūtras and ślokas, to be nothing but a Vaishṇava recast of the Kaṭhaka-dharma-sūtra, which, in its original form, seems no longer to exist. As regards the Taittirīyas, the Kalpa-sūtra most widely accepted among them was that of Āpastamba, to whose school, as we have seen, was also due our existing recension of the Taittirīya-saṃhitā. The Āpastamba-kalpa-sūtra consists of thirty praśna (questions); the first twenty-five of these constitute the Śrauta-sūtra; 26 and 27 the Gṛihya-sūtra; 28 and 29 the Dharma-sūtra; and the last the Śulva-sūtra. Professor Bühler has tried to fix the date of this work somewhere between the 5th and 3rd centuries B.C.; but it can hardly yet be considered as definitely settled. Considerably more ancient than this work are the Baudhāyana-kalpa-sūtra, which consists of the same principal divisions, and the Bhāradvāja-sūtra, of which, however, only a few portions have as yet been discovered. The Hiraṇyakeśi-sūtra, which is more modern than that of Āpastamba, from which it differs but little, is likewise fragmentary, as is also the Vaikhānasa-sūtra; while several other Kalpa-sūtras, especially that of Laugākshi, are found quoted. The recognized compendium of the White Yajus ritual is the Śrauta-sūtra of Kātyāyana, in twenty-six adhyāyas. This work is supplemented by a large number of secondary treatises, likewise attributed to Kātyāyana, among which may be mentioned the Charaṇa-vyūha, a statistical account of the Vedic schools, which unfortunately has come down to us in a very unsatisfactory state of preservation. A manual of domestic rites, closely connected with Kātyāyana's work, is the Kātīya-gṛihya-sūtra, ascribed to Pāraskara. To Kātyāyana we further owe the Vājasaneyi-prātiśākhya, and a catalogue (anukramaṇī) of the White Yajus texts. As regards the former work, it is still doubtful whether (with Weber) we have to consider it as older than Pāṇini, or whether (with Goldstücker and M. Müller) we are to identify its author with Pāṇini's critic. The only existing Prātiśākhya of the Black Yajus belongs to the Taittirīyas. Its author is unknown, and it confines itself entiilely to the Taittirīya-saṃhitā, to the exclusion of the Brāhmaṇa and Āraṇyaka.
D. Atharva-veda.—The Atharvan was the latest of Vedic collections to be recognized as part of the sacred canon. That it is Atharva-veda-saṃhitā. also the youngest Veda is proved by its language, which both from a lexical and a grammatical point of view, marks an intermediate stage between the main body of the Ṛik and the Brāhmaṇa period. In regard also to the nature of its contents, and the spirit which pervades them, this Vedic collection occupies a position apart from the others. Whilst the older Vedas seem clearly to reflect the recognized religious notions and practices of the upper, and so to speak, respectable classes of the Āryan tribes, as jealously watched over by a priesthood deeply interested in the undiminished maintenance of the traditional observances, the fourth Veda, on the other hand, deals mainly with all manner of superstitious practices such as have at all times found a fertile soil in the lower strata of primitive and less advanced peoples, and are even apt, below the surface, to maintain their tenacious hold on the popular mind in comparatively civilized communities. Though the constant intermingling with the aboriginal tribes may well be believed to have exercised a deteriorating influence on the Vedic people in this respect, it can scarcely be doubted that superstitious practices of the kind revealed by the Atharvan and the tenth book of the Ṛik must at all times have obtained amongst the Āryan people, and that they only came to the surface when the received the stamp of recognized forms of popular belief by the admission of these collections of spells and incantations into the sacred canon. If in this phase of superstitious belief the old gods still find a place, their character has visibly changed so as to be more in accordance with those mystic rites and magic performances and the part they are called upon to play in them, as the promoters of the votary's cabalistic practices and the averters of the malicious designs of mortal enemies and the demoniac influences to which he would ascribe his fears and failures as well as his bodily ailments. The fourth Veda may thus be said to supplement in a remarkable manner the picture of the domestic life of the Vedic Āryan as presented in the Gṛihya-sūtras or house-rules; for whilst these deal only with the orderly aspects of the daily duties and periodic observances in the life of the respectable householder, the Atharvaveda allows us a deep insight into “the obscurer relations and emotions of human life”; and, it may with truth be said that “the literary diligence of the Hindus has in this instance preserved a document of priceless value for the institutional history of early India as well as for the ethnological history of the human race” (M. Bloomfield). It is worthy of note that the Atharvaveda is practically unknown in the south of India.
This body of spells and hymns is traditionally associated with two old mythic priestly families, the Atharvans and Angiras, their names, in the plural, serving either singly or combined (Atharvāgirasas) as the oldest appellation of the collection. The two families or classes of priests are by tradition connected with the service of the sacred fire; but whilst the Atharvans seem to have devoted themselves to the auspicious as aspects of the fire-cult and the performance of propitiatory rites, the Angiras, on the other hand, are represented as having been mainly engaged in the uncanny practices of sorcery and exorcism. Instead of the Atharvans, another mythic family, the Bhṛigus, are similarly connected with the Angiras (Bhṛigvangirasas) as the depositories of this mystic science. In course of time the lore of the Atharvans came also to have applied to it the title of Brahmaveda; a designation which was apparently meant to be understood both in the sense of the Veda of the Brahman priest or superintendent of the sacrifice, and in that of the lore of the Brahma or sacred (magic) word, and the supreme deity it is supposed to embody. The current text of the Atharva-saṃhitā—apparently the recension of the Śaunaka school—consists of some 750 different pieces, about five-sixths of which is in various metres, the remaining portion being in prose. The whole mass is divided into twenty books. The principle of distribution is for the most part a merely formal one, in books i.-xiii. pieces of the same or about the same number of verses being placed together in the same book. The next five books, xiv.-xviii., have each its own special subject: xiv. treats of marriage and sexual union; xv., in prose, of the Vrātya, or religious vagrant; xvi. consists chiefly of prose formulas of conjuration; xvii. of a lengthy mystic hymn; and xviii. contains all that relates to death and funeral rites. Of the last two books no account is taken in the Atharva-prātiśākhya, and they indeed stand clearly in the relation of supplements to the original collection. The nineteenth book evidently was the result of a subsequent gleaning of pieces similar to those of the earlier books, which had probably escaped the collectors' attention; while the last book, consisting almost entirely of hymns to Indra, taken from the Ṛik-saṃhitā, is nothing more than a liturgical manual of recitations and chants required at the Soma sacrifice; its only original portion being the, ten so-called kuntāpa hymns (127-136), consisting partly of laudatory recitals of generous patrons of sacrificial priests and partly of riddles and didactic subjects.
The Atharvan has come down to us in a much less satisfactory state of preservation than any of the other Saṃhitās, and its interpretation, which offers considerable difficulties on account of numerous popular and out-of-the-way expressions, has so far received comparatively little aid from native sources. Less help, in this respect, than might have been expected, is afforded by a recently published commentary professing to have been composed by Sāyaṇa Āchārya; serious doubts have indeed been thrown on the authenticity of its ascription to the famous Vedic exegetic. Of very considerable importance, on the other hand, was the discovery in Kashmir of a second recension of the Atharva-saṃhitā, contained in a single birch-bark MS., written in the Śāradā character, and lately made available by an excellent chromo-photographic reproduction. This new recension, ascribed in the colophons of the MS. to the Paippalāda school, consists likewise of twenty books (kāṇḍa), but both in textual matter and in its arrangement it differs very much from the current text. A considerable portion of the latter, including the whole of the eighteenth book, is wanting; while the hymns of the nineteenth book are for the most part found also in this text, though not as a separate book, but scattered over the whole collection. The twentieth book is wanting, with the exception of a few of the verses not taken from the Ṛik. As a set-off to these shortcomings the new version offers, however, a good deal of fresh matter, amounting to about one-sixth of the whole. From the Mahābhāshya and other works quoting as the beginning of the Atharva-saṃhitā a verse that coincides with the first verse of the sixth hymn of the current text, it has long been known that at least one other recension must have existed; but the first leaf of the Kashmir MS. having been lost, it cannot be determined whether the new recension (as seems all but certain) corresponds to the one referred to in those works.
The only Brāhmaṇa of the Atharvan, the Gopatha-brāhmaṇa, is doubtless one of the most modern and least important works Atharva-veda-brāhmaṇa. of its class. It consists of two parts, the first of which contains cosmogonic speculations, interspersed with legends, mostly adapted from other Brāhmaṇas, and general instructions on religious duties and observances; while the second part treats, in a very desultory manner, of various points of the sacrificial ceremonial.
The Kalpa-sūtras belonging to this Veda comprise both a manual of śrauta rites, the Vaitāna-sūtra, and a manual of domestic rites, Atharva-veda-sūtras. the Kauśika-sūtra. The latter treatise is not only the more interesting of the two, but also the more ancient, being actually quoted in the other. The teacher Kauśika is repeatedly referred to in the work on points of ceremonial doctrine. Connected with this Sūtra are upwards of seventy Pariśishtas, or supplementary treatises, mostly in metrical form, on various subjects bearing on the performance of grihya rites. The last sūtra-work to be noticed in connexion with this Veda is the Śaunakīyā Chaturādhyāyikā, being a Prātiśākhya of the Atharva-saṃhitā, so called from its consisting of four lectures (adhyāya). Although Śaunaka can hardly be credited with being the actual author of the work, considering that his opinion is rejected in the only rule where his name appears, there is no reason to doubt that it chiefly embodies the phonetic theories of that teacher, which were afterwards perfected by members of his school. Whether this Śaunaka is identical with the writer of that name to whom the final redaction of the Sākalaprātiśākhya of the Ṛik is ascribed is not known; but it is worthy of note that on at least two points where Śākalya is quoted by Pāṇini, the Chaturādhyāyikā seems to be referred to rather than the Ṛik-prātiśākhya. Śaunaka is quoted once in the Vājasaneyi-prātiśākhya; and it is possible that Kātyāyana had the Chaturādhyāyikā in view, though is reference does not quite tally with the respective rule of that work.
Another class of writings already alluded to as traditionally connected with the Atharvaveda are the numerous UpanishadsUpanishads. which do not specially attach themselves to one or other of the Saṃhitās or Brāhmaṇas of the other Vedas. The Ātharvaṇa-upanishads, mostly composed in ślokas, may be roughly divided into two classes, viz. those of a purely speculative or general pantheistic character, treating chiefly of the nature of the supreme spirit, and the means of attaining to union therewith, and those of a sectarian tendency. Of the former category, a limited number—such as the Praśna, Muṇḍaka, and Māṇḍūkya-upanishads—have probably to be assigned to the later period of Vedic literature; whilst the others presuppose more or less distinctly the existence of some fully developed system of philosophy, especially the Vedānta or the Yoga. The sectarian Upanishads, on the other hand identifying the supreme spirit either with one of the forms of Vishṇu (such as the Nārāyaṇa, Nṛisiṃha-tāpanīya, Rāma-tāpanīya, Gopāla-tāpanīya Upanishads), or with Śiva (e.g. the Rudropanishad), or with some other deity—belong to post-Vedic times.
2. The Classical Period
The Classical Literature of India is almost entirely a product of artificial growth, in the sense that its vehicle was not the language of the general body of the people, but of a small and educated class. It would scarcely be possible, even approximately, to fix the time when the literary idiom ceased to be understood by the common people. We only know that in the 3rd century B.C. there existed several dialects in different parts of northern India which differed considerably from the Sanskrit; and Buddhist tradition states that Gautama Śākyamuni himself, in the 6th century B.C., used the local dialect of Magadha (Behar) for preaching his new doctrine. Not unlikely, indeed, popular dialects, differing perhaps but slightly from one another, may have existed as early as the time of the Vedic hymns, when the Indo-Aryans, divided into clans and tribes, occupied the Land of the Seven Rivers; but such dialects must have sprung up after the extension of the Aryan sway and language over the whole breadth of northern India. But there is no reason why, even with the existence of local dialects, the literary language should not have kept in touch with the people in India, as elsewhere, save for the fact that from a certain time that language remained altogether stationary, allowing the vernacular dialects more and more to diverge from it. Although linguistic research had been successfully carried on in India for centuries, the actual grammatical fixation of Sanskrit seems to have taken place about contemporaneously with the first spread of Buddhism; and indeed that popular religious movement undoubtedly exercised a. powerful influence on the linguistic development of India.
A. Poetical Literature.
1. Epic Poems.—The Hindus, like the Greeks, possess two great national epics, the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyaṇa. The national epics. The Mahābhārata, i.e. “the great (poem or tale) of the Bhāratas,” is not so much a uniform epic poem as a miscellaneous collection of poetry, consisting of a heterogeneous mass of legendary and didactic matter, worked into and round a central heroic narrative. The authorship of this work is aptly attributed to Vyāsa, “the arranger,” the personification of Indian diaskeuasis. Only the bare outline of the leading story can here be given.
In the royal line of Hastināpura (the ancient Delhi)—claiming descent from the moon, and hence called the Lunar race (somavaṃśa), and counting among its ancestors King Bharata, after whom India is called Bhārata-varsha (land of the Bhāratas)—the succession lay between two brothers, when Dhṛitarāshṭra, the elder, being blind, had to make way for his brother Pāṇḍu. After a time the latter retired to the forest to pass the remainder of his life in hunting; and Dhṛitarāshṭra assumed the government, assisted by his uncle Bhīshma, the Nestor of the poem. After some years Pāṇḍu died, leaving five sons, viz. Yudhishṭhira, Bhīma and Arjuna by his chief wife Kuntī, and the twins Nakula and Sahadeva by Mādrī. The latter having burnt herself along with her dead husband, Kuntī returned with the five princes to Hastināpura, and was well received by the king, who offered to have his nephews brought up together with his own sons, of whom he had a hundred, Duryodhana being the eldest. From their great-grandfather Kuru both families are called Kauravas; but for distinction that name is more usually applied to the sons of Dhṛitarāshṭra, while their cousins, as the younger line, are named, after their father, Pāṇḍavas. The rivalry and varying fortunes of these two houses form the main plot of the great epopee. The Pāṇḍu princes soon proved themselves greatly superior to their cousins; and Yudhishṭhira, the eldest of them all, was to be appointed heir-apparent. But, by his son's advice, the king, good-natured but weak, induced his nephews for a time to retire from court and reside at a house where the unscrupulous Duryodhana meant to destroy them. They escaped, however, and passed some time in the forest with their mother. Here Draupadī, daughter of King Drupada of Panchāla, won by Arjuna in open contest, became the wife of the five brothers. On that occasion they also met their cousin, Kuntī's nephew, the famous Yādava prince Kṛishṇa of Dvārakā, who ever afterwards remained their faithful friend and confidential adviser. Dhṛitarāshṭra now resolved to divide the kingdom between the two houses; whereupon the Pāṇḍavas built for themselves the city of Indraprastha (on the site of the modern Delhi). After a time of great prosperity, Yudhishṭhira, in a game of dice, lost everything to Duryodhana, when it was settled that the Pāṇḍavas should retire to the forest for twelve years, but should afterwards be restored to their kingdom if they succeeded in passing an additional year in disguise, without being recognized by any one. During their forest-life they met with many adventures, among which may be mentioned their encounter with King Jayadratha of Chedi, who had carried off Draupadī from their hermitage. After the twelfth year had expired they leave the forest, and, assuming various disguises, take service at the court of King Virata of Matsya. Here all goes well for a time till the queen's brother Kīchaka, a great warrior and commander of the royal forces, falls in love with Draupadī, and is slain by Bhīma. The Kauravas, profiting by Kīchaka's death, now invade the Matsyan kingdom, when the Pāṇḍavas side with King Virāṭa, and there ensues, on the field of Kurukshetra, during eighteen days, a series of fierce battles, ending in the annihilation of the Kauravas. Yudhishṭhira now at last becomes yuva-rāja, and eventually king-Dhṛitarāshṭra having resigned and retired with his wife and Kuntī to the forest, where they soon after perish in a conflagration. Learning also the death of Kṛishṇa, Yudhishṭhira himself at last becomes tired of life and resigns his crown; and the five princes, with their faithful wife, and a dog that joins them, set out for Mount Meru, to seek admission to Indra's heaven. On the way one by one drops off, till Yudhishṭhira alone, with the dog, reaches the gate of heaven; but, the dog being refused admittance, the king declines entering without it, when the dog turns out to be no other than the god of Justice himself, having assumed that form to test Yudhishṭhira's constancy. But, finding neither his wife nor his brothers in heaven, and being told that they are in the nether world to expiate their sins, the king insists on sharing their fate, when this, too, proves a trial, and they are all reunited to enjoy perpetual bliss.
The complete work consists of upwards of 100,000 couplet—its contents thus being nearly eight times the bulk of the Iliad and Odyssey combined. It is divided into eighteen books, and a supplement, entitled Harivaṃśa, or genealogy of the god Hari (Kṛishṇa-Vishṇu). In the introduction, Vyāsa, being about to dictate the poem, is made to say (i. 81) that so far he and some of his disciples knew 8800 couplets; and farther on (i. 101) he is said to have composed the collection relating to the Bhāratas (bhārata-saṃhitā), and called the Bhāratam, which, not including the episodes, consisted of 24,000 ślokas. Now, as a matter of fact, the portion relating to the feud of the rival houses constitutes somewhere between a fourth and a fifth of the work; and it is by no means improbable that this portion once formed a separate poem, called the Bhārata. But, whether the former statement is to be understood as implying the existence, at a still earlier time, of a yet shorter version of about one-third of the present extent of the leading narrative, cannot now be determined. While some of the episodes are so loosely connected with the story as to be readily severed from it, others are so closely interwoven with it that their removal would seriously injure the very texture of the work. This, however, only shows that the original poem must have undergone some kind of revision, or perhaps repeated revisions. That such has indeed taken place, at the hand of Brāhmans, for sectarian and caste purposes, cannot be doubted. According to Lassen's opinion, which has been very generally accepted by scholars, the main story of the poem would be based on historical events, viz. on a destructive war waged between the two neighbouring peoples of the Kurus and Panchālas, who occupied the western and eastern parts of the Madhyadeśa (or “middle land” between the Ganges and Jumna) respectively, and ending in the overthrow of the Kuru dynasty. On the original accounts of these events—perhaps handed down in the form of lays or sagas—the Pāṇḍava element would subsequently have been grafted as calculated to promote the class interests of the Brāhmanical revisers. It is certainly a strange coincidence that the five Pāṇḍava princes should have taken to wife the daughter of the king of the Panchālas, and thus have linked their fortunes to a people which is represented, in accordance with its name, to have consisted of five (pancha) tribes.
The earliest direct information regarding the existence of epic poetry in India is contained in a passage of Dion Chrysostom (c. A.D. 80), according to which “even among the Indians, they say, Homer's poetry is sung, having been translated by them into their own dialect and tongue”; and “the Indians are well acquainted with the sufferings of Priam, the lamentations and wails of Andromache and Hecuba, and the prowess of Achilles and Hector.” Now, although these allusions would suit either poem, they seem to correspond best to certain incidents in the Mahābhārata, especially as no direct mention is made of a warlike expedition to a remote island for the rescue of an abducted woman, the resemblance of which to the Trojan expedition would naturally have struck a Greek becoming acquainted with the general outline of the Rāmāyaṇa. Whence Dion derived his information is not known; but as many leading names of the Mahābhārata and even the name of the poem itself are mentioned in Pāṇini's grammatical rules, not only must the Bhārata legend have been current in his time (? c. 400 B.C.), but most probably it existed already in poetical form, as undoubtedly it did at the time of Patanjali, the author of the “great commentary” on Pāṇini (c. 150 B.C.). The great epic is also mentioned, both as Bhārata and Mahābhārata, in the Gṛihya-sūtra of Āśvalāyana, whom Lassen supposes to have lived about 350 B.C. Nevertheless it must remain uncertain whether the poem was then already in the form in which we now have it, at least as far as the leading story and perhaps some of the episodes are concerned, a large portion of the episodical matter being clearly of later origin. It cannot, however, be doubted that long before that time heroic song had been diligently cultivated in India at the courts of princes and among Kshatriyas, the knightly order, generally. In the Mahābhārata itself the transmission of epic legend is in some way connected with the Sūtas, a social class which, in the caste system, is defined as resulting from the union of Kshatriya men with Brāhmaṇa Women, and which supplied the office of charioteers and heralds, as well as (along with the Māgadhas) that of professional minstrels. Be this as it may, there is reason to believe that, as Hellas had her ἀοιδοί who sang the κλέα ἀνδρῶν, and Iceland her skalds who recited favourite sagas, so India had from olden times her professional bards, who delighted to sing the praises of kings and inspire the knights with warlike feelings. If in this way a stock of heroic poetry had gradually accumulated which reflected an earlier state of society and manners, we can well understand why, after the Brāhmanical order of things had been definitely established, the priests should have deemed it desirable to subject these traditional memorials of Kshatriya chivalry and prestige to their own censorship, and adapt them to their own canons of religious and civil law. Such a revision would doubtless require considerable skill and tact; and if in the present version of the work much remains that seems contrary to the Brāhmanical code and pretensions—e.g. the polyandric union of Draupadī and the Pāṇḍu princes—the reason probably is that such features were too firmly rooted in the popular tradition to be readily eliminated; and all the revisers could do was to explain them away as best they could. Thus Draupadī's abnormal position is actually accounted for in five different ways, one of these representing it as an act of duty and filial obedience on the part of Arjuna who, on bringing home his fair prize and announcing it to his mother, is told by her, before seeing what it is, to share it with his brothers. Nay, it has even been seriously argued that the Brāhmanical editors have completely changed the traditional relations of the leading characters of the story. For, although the Pāṇḍavas and their cousin Kṛishṇa are constantly extolled as models of virtue and goodness, while the Kauravas and their friend Karṇa—a son of the sun-god, borne by Kuntī before her marriage with Pāṇḍu, and brought up secretly as the son of a Sūta—are decried as monsters of depravity, these estimates of the heroes' characters are not infrequently belied by their actions—especially the honest Karṇa and the brave Duryodhana (i.e. “the bad fighter,” but formerly called Suyodhana, “the good fighter”) contrasting not unfavourably with the wily Kṛishṇa and the cautious and somewhat effeminate Yudhishṭhira. These considerations, coupled with certain peculiarities on the part of the Kauravas, apparently suggestive of an original connexion of the latter with Buddhist institutions, have led Dr Holtzmann to devise an ingenious theory, viz. that the traditional stock of legends was first worked up into a connected narrative by some Buddhist poet—most likely at the time of the emperor Aśoka (c. 250 B.C.), whom the Kaurava hero Suyodhana might even seem to have been intended to represent—and that this poem, showing a decided predilection for the Kuru party as the representatives of Buddhist principles, was afterwards revised in a contrary sense, at the time of the Brāhmanical reaction, by votaries of Vishṇu, when the Buddhist features were generally modified into Śaivite tendencies, and prominence was given to the divine nature of Kṛishṇa, as an incarnation of Vishṇu. As this theory would, however, seem to involve the Brāhmanical revision of the poem having taken place subsequent to the decline of Buddhist predominance, it would shift the completion of the work to a considerably later date than would be consistent with other evidence. From inscriptions we know that by the end of the 5th century A.D. the Mahābhārata was appealed to as an authority on matters of law, and that its extent was practically what it now is, including its supplement, the Harivaṃśa. Indeed, everything seems to point to the probability of the work having been complete by about A.D. 200. But, whilst Bhārata and Kuru heroic lays may, and probably do, go back to a much earlier age, it seems hardly possible to assume that the Pāṇḍava epic in its present form can have been composed before the Greek invasion of India, or about 300 B.C. Moreover, it is by no means impossible that the epic narrative was originally composed—as some other portions of the works are—in prose, either continuous or mixed with snatches of verse. Nay, in the opinion of some scholars, this poem (as well as the Rāmāyaṇa) may even have been originally composed in some popular dialect, which would certainly best account for the irregular and apparently prākritic or dialectic forms in which these works abound. The leading position occupied in the existing epic by Kṛishṇa (whence it is actually called kārshṇa veda, or the veda of Kṛishṇa), and the Vaishṇava spirit pervading it, make it very probable that it assumed its final form under the influence of the Bhāgavata sect with whom Vāsudeva (Kṛishṇa), originally apparently a venerated local hero, came to be regarded as a veritable god, and incarnation of Vishṇu. Its culminating point this sectarian feature attains in the Bhagavad-gītā (i.e. the upanishad), “sung by the holy one”—the famous theosophic episode, in which Kṛishṇa, in lofty and highly poetic language, expounds the doctrine of faith (bhakti) and claims adoration as the incarnation of the supreme spirit. Of the purely legendary matter incorporated with the leading story of the poem, not a little, doubtless, is at least as old as the latter itself. Some of these episodes—especially the well-known story of Nala and Damayantī, and the touching legend of Sāvitrī—form themselves little epic gems of considerable poetic value.
The Rāmāyaṇa, i.e. poem “relating to Rāma,” is ascribed to the poet Vālmīki; and, allowance being made for some later additions, the poem indeed presents the appearance of being the work of an individual genius. In its present form it consists of some 24,000 ślokas, or 48,000 lines of sixteen syllables, divided into seven books.
(I.) King Daśaratha of Kośala, reigning at Ayodhyā (Oudh), has four sons borne him by three wives, viz. Rāma, Bharata and the twins Lakshmaṇa and Śatrughna. Rāma, by being able to bend an enormous bow, formerly the dreaded weapon of the god Rudra, wins for a wife Sitā, daughter of Janaka, king of Videha (Tirhut). (II.) On his return to Ayodhyā he is to be appointed heir-apparent (yuva-rāja, i.e. juvenis rex); but Bharata's mother persuades the king to banish his eldest son for fourteen years to the wilderness, and appoint her son instead. Separation from his favourite son soon breaks the king's heart; whereupon the ministers call on Bharata to assume the reins of government. He refuses, however, and, betaking himself to Rāma's retreat on the Chitrakūṭa mountain (in Bundelkhund), implores him to return; but, unable to shake Rāma's resolve to complete his term of exile, he consents to take charge of the kingdom in the meantime. (III.) After a ten years' residence in the forest, Rāma attracts the attention of a female demon (rākshasī); and, infuriated by the rejection of her advances, and by the wounds inflicted on her by Lakshmaṇa, who keeps Rāma company, she inspires her brother Rāvaṇa, demon king of Ceylon, with love for Sītā, in consequence of which the latter is carried off by him to his capital Lankā. While she resolutely rejects the Rākshasa's addresses, Rāma sets out with his brother to her rescue. (IV.) After numerous adventures they enter into an alliance with Sugrīva, king of the monkeys; and, with the assistance of the monkey-general Hanumān, and Rāvaṇa's own brother Vibhīshaṇa, they prepare to assault Lankā. (V.) The monkeys, tearing up rocks and trees, construct a passage across the straits—the so-called Adam's Bridge, still designated Rāma's Bridge in India. (VI.) Having crossed over with his allies, Rāma, after many hot encounters and miraculous deeds, slays the demon and captures the stronghold; whereupon he places Vibhīshaṇa on the throne of Lankā. To allay Rāma's misgivings as to any taint she might have incurred through contact with the demon, Sītā now successfully undergoes an ordeal by fire; after which they return to Ayodhyā, where, after a triumphal entry, Rāma is installed. (VII.) Rāma, however, seeing that the people are not yet satisfied of Sītā's purity, resolves to put her away; whereupon, in the forest, she falls in with Vālmīki himself, and at his hermitage gives birth to two sons. While growing up there, they are taught by the sage the use of the bow, as well as the Vedas, and the Rāmāyaṇa as far as the capture of Lankā and the royal entry into Ayodhyā. Ultimately Rāma discovers and recognizes them by their wonderful deeds and their likeness to himself, and takes his wife and sons back with him.
The last book, as will be noticed from this bare outline, presents a somewhat strange appearance. There can be little doubt that it is a later addition to the work; and the same is apparently the case as regards the first book, with the exception of certain portions which would seem to have formed the beginning of the original poem. In these two books the character of Rāma appears changed: he has become deified and identified with the god Vishṇu, whilst in the body of the poem his character is simply that of a perfect man and model hero. As regards the general idea underlying the leading story, whilst the first part of the narrative can hardly be said to differ materially from other historical and knightly romances, the second part—the expedition to Lankā—on the other hand has called forth different theories, without, however, any general agreement having so far been arrived at. Whilst Lassen and Weber would see in this warlike expedition a poetical representation of the spread of Aryan rule and civilization over southern India, Talboys Wheeler took the demons of Lankā, against whom Rāma's campaign is directed, to be intended for the Buddhists of Ceylon. More recently, again, Professor Jacobi of Bonn has endeavoured to prove that the poem has neither an allegorical nor a religious tendency, but that its background is a purely mythological one—Rama representing the god Indra, and Sītā—in accordance with the meaning of the name—the personified “Furrow,” as which she is already invoked in the Ṛigveda, and hence is a tutelary spirit of the tilled earth, wedded to Indra, the Jupiter Pluvius. Moreover, from a comparison of the narrative of the poem with a popular version of it, contained in one of the Pāli “birth-stories,” the Daśaratha-jātaka, which lacks the second part of the story, Professor Weber tried to show that the expedition of Lankā cannot have formed part of the original epic, but was probably based on some general acquaintance with the Troy legend of Greek poetry.
A remarkable feature of this poem is the great variation of its textual condition in different parts of the country, amounting in fact to at least three different recensions. The text most widely prevalent both in the north and south has been printed repeatedly, with commentary, at Bombay, and was taken by Mr R. T. H. Griffith as the basis for his beautiful poetical translation. The so-called Gauḍa or Bengal recension, on the other hand, which differs most of all, has been edited, with an Italian prose translation, by G. Gorresio; whilst the third recension, recognized chiefly in Kashmir and western India, is so far known only from manuscripts. The mutual relation of these versions will appear from the fact that about one-third of the matter of each recension is not found in the other two; whilst in the common portions, too, there are great variations both in regard to the order of verses and to textual readings. To account for this extraordinary textual diversity, it has been suggested that the poem was most likely originally composed in a popular dialect, and was thence turned into Sanskrit by different hands trying to improve on one another; whilst Professor Jacobi would rather ascribe the difference to the fact that the poem was for a long time handed down orally in Sanskrit by rhapsodists, or professional minstrels, when such variations might naturally arise in different parts of the country. Yet another version of the same story, with, however, many important variations of details, forms an episode of the Mahābhārata, the Rāmopākhyāna, the relation of which to Vālmīki's work is still a matter of uncertainty. In respect of both versification and diction the Rāmāyaṇa is of a distinctly more refined character than the larger poem; and, indeed, Vālmīki is seen already to cultivate some of that artistic style of poetry which was carried to excess in the later artificial Kāvyas, whence the title of ādi-kavi, or first poet, is commonly applied to him. Though the political conditions reflected in the older parts of the Rāmāyaṇa seem to correspond best to those of pre-Buddhistic times, this might after all only apply to the poetic material handed down orally and eventually cast into its present form. To characterize the Indian epics in a single word: though often disfigured by grotesque fancies and wild exaggerations, they are yet noble works, abounding in passages of remarkable descriptive power, intense pathos, and high poetic grace and beauty; and while, as works of art, they are far inferior to the Greek epics, in some respects they appeal far more strongly to the romantic mind of Europe, namely, by their loving appreciation of natural beauty, their exquisite delineation of womanly love and devotion, and their tender sentiment of mercy and forgiveness.
2. Purāṇas and Tantras.—The Purāṇas are partly legendary partly speculative histories of the universe, compiled for the Purāṇas. purpose of promoting some special, locally prevalent form of Brāhmanical belief. They are sometimes styled a fifth Veda, and may indeed in a certain sense be looked upon as the scriptures of Brāhmanical India. The term purāṇa, signifying “old,” applied originally to prehistoric, especially cosmogonic, legends, and then to collections of ancient traditions generally. The existing works of this class, though recognizing the Brāhmanical doctrine of the Trimūrti, or triple manifestation of the deity (in its creative, preservative and destructive activity), are all of a sectarian tendency, being intended to establish, on quasi-historic grounds, the claims of some special god, or holy place, on the devotion of the people. For this purpose the compilers have pressed into their service a mass of extraneous didactic matter on all manner of subjects, whereby these works had become a kind of popular encyclopedias of useful knowledge. It is evident, however, from a comparatively early definition given of the typical Purāṇa, as well as from numerous coincidences of the existing works, that they are based on, or enlarged from, older works of this kind, more limited in their scope and probably of a more decidedly tritheistic tendency of belief. Thus none of the Purāṇas, as now extant, is probably much above a thousand years old, though a considerable proportion of their materials is doubtless much older, and may perhaps in part go back to several centuries before the Christian era.
In legendary matter the Purāṇas have a good deal in common with the epics, especially the Mahābhārata—the compilers or revisers of both classes of works having evidently drawn their materials from the same fluctuating mass of popular traditions. They are almost entirely composed in the epic couplet, and indeed in much the same easy flowing style as the epic poems, to which they are, however, as a rule greatly inferior in poetic value.
According to the traditional classification of these works, there are said to be eighteen (Mahā-, or great) Purāṇas, and as many Upa-purāṇas, or subordinate Purāṇas. The former are by some authorities divided into three groups of six, according as one or other of the three primary qualities of external existence—goodness, darkness (ignorance), and passion—is supposed to prevail in them, viz. the Vishṇu, Nāradīya, Bhāgavata, Garuḍa, Padma, Varāha—Matsya, Kūrma, Linga, Śiva, Skanda, Agni—Brahmāṇḍa, Brahmavaivarta, Mārkaṇḍeya, Bhavishya, Vāmana and Brahma-Purāṇas. In accordance with the nature of the several forms of the Trimūrti, the first two groups chiefly devote themselves to the commendation of Vishṇu and Siva respectively, whilst the third group, which would properly belong to Brahman, has been largely appropriated for the promotion of the claims of other deities, viz. Vishṇu in his sensuous form of Kṛishṇa, Devī, Gaṇeśa, and Sūrya. As Professor Banerjea has shown in his preface to the Mārkaṇḍeya, this seems to have been chiefly effected by later additions and interpolations. The insufficiency of the above classification, however, appears even from the fact that it omits the Vāyu-purāṇa, probably one of the oldest of all, though some MSS. substitute it for one or other name of the second group. The eighteen principal Purāṇas are said to consist of together 400,000 couplets. In northern India the Vaishṇava Purāṇas, especially the Bhāgavata and Vishṇu, are by far the most popular. Th; Bhāgavata was formerly supposed to have been composed by Vopadeva, the grammarian, who lived in the 13th century. It has, however, been shown that what he wrote was a synopsis of the Purāṇa, and that the latter is already quoted in a work by Ballāla Sena of Bengal, in the 11th century. It is certainly held in the highest estimation, and, especially through the vernacular versions of its tenth book, treating of the story of Kṛishṇa, has powerfully influenced the religious belief of India.
From the little we know regarding the Upa-purāṇas, their character does not seem to differ very much from that of the principal sectarian Purāṇas. Besides these two classes of works there is a large number of so-called Sthala-purāṇas, or chronicles recounting the history and merits of some holy “place” or shrine, where their recitation usually forms an important part of the daily service. Of much the same nature are the numerous Māhātmyas (literally “relating to the great spirit”), which usually profess to be sections of one or other Purāṇa. Thus the Devī-māhātmya, which celebrates the victories of the great “goddess” over the Asuras, and is daily read at the temples of that deity, forms a section, though doubtless an interpolated one, of the Mārkaṇḍeya-purāṇa. Similarly the Adhyātma-Rāmāyaṇa, a kind of spiritualized version of Vālmīkī's poem, forms part of the Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa which (like the Skanda) seems hardly to exist in an independent form, but to be made up of a large number of Māhātmyas.
The Tantras have to be considered as partly a collateral and partly a later development of the sectarian Purāṇas; though, unlike these, they can hardly lay claim to any intrinsic poetic value. These works are looked upon as their sacred writings by the numerous Śāktas, or worshippers of the female energy (śakti) of some god, especially the wife of Śiva, in one of her many forms (Pārvatī, Devī, Kālī, Bhavānī, Durgā, &c.). This worship of a female representation of the divine power appears already in some of the Purāṇas; but in the Tantras it assumes quite a peculiar character, being largely intermixed with magic performances and mystic rites, partly, indeed, of a grossly immoral nature (see Hinduism). Of this class of writings no specimen would appear to have as yet been in existence at the time of Amarasiṃha (6th century), though they are mentioned in some of the Purāṇas. They are usually in the form of a dialogue between Śiva and his wife. The number of original Tantras is fixed at sixty-four, but they still await a critical examination at the hands of scholars. Among the best known may be mentioned the Rudrayāmala, Kulārṇava, Śyāmā-rahasya and Kālikā-tantra.
3. Artificial Epics and Romances.—In the early centuries of the Christian era a new class of epic poems begins to make its Modern epics. appearance, differing widely in character from those that had preceded it. The great national epics, composed though they were in a language different from the ordinary vernaculars, had at least been drawn from the living stream of popular tradition, and were doubtless readily understood and enjoyed by at least the educated classes of the people. The later productions, on the other hand, are of a decidedly artificial character, and must necessarily have been beyond the reach of any but the highly cultivated. They are, on the whole, singularly deficient in incident and invention, their subject matter being almost entirely derived from the old epics. Nevertheless, these works are by no means devoid of merit and interest; and a number of them display considerable descriptive power and a wealth of genuine poetic sentiment, though unfortunately often clothed in language that deprives it of half its value. The simple heroic couplet has mostly been discarded for various more or less elaborate metres; and in accordance with this change of form the diction becomes gradually more complicated—a growing taste for unwieldy compounds, a jingling kind of alliteration, or rather agnomination, and an abuse of similes marking the increasing artificiality of these productions.
The generic appellation of such works is kāvya, which, meaning “poem,” or the work of an individual poet (kavi), is, as we have seen, already applied to the Rāmāyaṇa. Six poems of this kind are singled out by native rhetoricians as standard works, under the title of Mahākāvya, or great poems. Two of these are ascribed to the famous dramatist Kālidāsa, the most prominent figure of this period of Indian literature and truly a master of the poetic art. In a comparatively modern couplet he is represented as having been one of nine literary “gems” at the court of a king Vikramāditya, who was supposed to have originated the so-called Vikrama era, dating from 56-57 B.C. Recent research has, however, shown that this name was only applied to the era from about A.D. 800, and that the latter was already used in inscriptions of the 5th century under the name of the Mālava era. Hence also Fergusson's theory that it was founded by King Vikramāditya Harsha of Ujjayinī (Ujjain or Oujein) in A.D. 544 and ante-dated by 600 years, falls to the ground; and with it Max Müller's theory of an Indian Renaissance inaugurated during the reign of that king. Though Kālidāsa's date thus remains still uncertain, the probability is that he flourished at Ujjayinī about 440–448 A.D. Of the principal poets of this class, whose works have come down to us, he appears to be one of the earliest; but there can be little doubt that he was preceded in this as in other departments of poetic composition by many lesser lights, eclipsed by the sun of his fame, and forgotten. Thus the recently discovered Buddhacharita, a Sanskrit poem on the life of the reformer, which was translated into Chinese about A.D. 420, and the author of which, Aśvaghosha, is placed by Buddhist tradition as early as the time of Kanishka (who began to reign in A.D. 78), calls itself, not without reason, a “mahākāvya”; and the panegyrics contained in some of the inscriptions of the 4th century likewise display, both in verse and ornate prose, many of the characteristic features of the kāvya style of composition. Indeed, a number of quotations in the Mahābhāshya the commentary on Pāṇini, go far to show that the kāvya style was already cultivated at the time of Patanjali, whose date can hardly be placed later than the 1st century of the Christian era, though it may, and probably does, go back to the 2nd century B.C.
Of the six universally recognized “great poems” here enumerated the first two, and doubtless the two finest, are those attributed to Kālidāsa. (1) The Raghuvaṃśa, or “race of Raghu,” celebrates the ancestry and deeds of Rāma. The work, consisting of nineteen cantos, is manifestly incomplete; but hitherto no copy has been discovered of the six additional cantos which are supposed to have completed it. (2) The Kumāra-sambhava or “the birth of (the war-god) Kumāra” (or Skanda), the son of Śiva and Pārvatī, consists of seventeen cantos, the last ten of which were, however, not commented upon by Mallinātha, and are usually omitted in the MSS.; whence they are still looked upon as spurious by many scholars, though they may only have been set aside on account of their amorous character rendering them unsuitable for educational purposes, for which the works of Kālidāsa are extensively used in India; the 8th canto, at any rate, being quoted by Vāmana (c. A.D. 700). Another poem of this class, the Nalodaya, or “rise of Nala”—describing the restoration of that king, after having lost his kingdom through gambling—is wrongly ascribed to Kālidāsa, being far inferior to the other works, and of a much more artificial character. (3) The Kirātārjunīya, or combat between the Pāṇḍava prince Arjuna and the god Śiva, in the guise of a Kirāta or wild mountaineer, is a poem in eighteen cantos, by Bhāravi, who is mentioned together with Kālidāsa in an inscription dated A.D. 634. (4) The Śiśupāla-badha, or slaying of Śiśupāla, who, being a prince of Chedi, reviled Kṛishṇa, who had carried off his intended wife, and was killed by him at the inauguration sacrifice of Yudhishṭhira, is a poem consisting of twenty cantos, attributed to Māgha, whence it is also called Māghakāvya. (5) The Rāvaṇabadha, or “slaying of Rāvaṇa,” more commonly called Bhaṭṭikāvya, to distinguish it from other poems (especially one by Pravarasena), likewise bearing the former title, was composed for the practical purpose of illustrating the less common grammatical forms and the figures of rhetoric and poetry. In its closing couplet it professes to have been written at Vallabhī, under Śridharasena, but, several princes of that name being mentioned in inscriptions as having ruled there in the 6th and 7th centuries, its exact date is still uncertain. Bhaṭṭi, apparently the author's name, is usually identified with the well-known grammarian Bhartṛihari, whose death Professor M. Müller, from a Chinese statement, fixes at A.D. 650, while others make him Bhartṛihari's son. (6) The Naishadhīya, or Naishadha-charita, the life of Nala, king of Nishadha, is ascribed to Śri-Harsha (son of Hīra), who is supposed to have lived in the latter part of the 12th century. A small portion of the simple and noble episode of the Mahābhārata is here retold in highly elaborate and polished stanzas, and with a degree of lasciviousness which (unless it be chiefly due to the poet's exuberance of fancy) gives a truly appalling picture of social corruption. Another highly esteemed poem, the Rāghava-pāṇḍavīya, composed by Kavirāja (“king of poets”)—whose date is uncertain, some scholars placing him about A.D. 800, others later than the 10th century—is characteristic of the trifling uses to which the poet's art was put. The well-turned stanzas are so ambiguously worded that the poem may be interpreted as relating to the leading story of either the Rāmāyaṇa or the Mahābhārata. Less ambitious in composition, though styling itself a mahākāvya, is the Vikramānkadevacharita, a panegyric written about A.D. 1085 by the Kashmir poet Bilhaṇa, in honour of his patron the Chālukya king Vikramāditya of Kalyāṇa, regarding the history of whose dynasty it supplies some valuable information.
In this place may also be mentioned, as composed in accordance with the Hindu poetic canon, the Rājatarangiṇī, or “river of kings,” being a chronicle of the kings of Kashmir, and the only important historical work in the Sanskrit language, though even here considerable allowance has to be made for poetic licence and fancy. The work was composed by the Kashmirian poet Kalhaṇa about 1150, and was afterwards continued by three successive supplements, bringing down the history of Kashmir to the time of the emperor Akbar. Worthy of mention, in this place, are also two works on the life of Buddha, which may go back to the 1st century of the Christian era, viz. the Lalitavistara and the Mahāvastu, written in fairly correct Sanskrit prose mixed with stanzas (gāthā) composed in a hybrid, half Prākrit, half Sanskrit form of language.
Under the general term “kāvya” Indian critics include, however, not only compositions in verse, but also certain kinds of prose works composed in choice diction richly embellished with flowers of rhetoric. The feature generally regarded by writers on poetics as the chief mark of excellence in this ornate prose style is the frequency and length of its compounds; whilst for metrical compositions the use of long compounds is expressly discouraged by some schools of rhetoric. Moreover, the best specimens of this class of prose writing are not devoid of a certain musical cadence adapting itself to the nature of the subject treated. Amongst the works of this class the most interesting are four so-called kathās (tales) or ākhyāyikās (novels). The oldest of these is the Daśakumāracharita, or “adventures of the ten princes”—a vivid, though probably exaggerated, picture of low-class city life—by Daṇḍin, the author of an excellent manual of poetics, the Kāvyādarśa, who most likely lived in the 6th century. Probably early in the 7th century, Subandhu composed his tale Vāsavadattā, taking its name from a princess of Ujjayinī (Oujein), who in a dream fell in love with Udayana, king of Vatsa, and, on the latter being decoyed to that city and kept in captivity by her father, was carried off by him from a rival suitor. The remaining two works were composed by Bāṇa, the court poet of King Harshavardhana of Ṭhānesar and Kanauj—who ruled over the whole of northern India, A.D. 606–648, and at whose court the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Thsang resided for some time during his sojourn in India (630–646)—viz. the Kādambarī, a romantic tale of a princess of that name; and the apparently never completed Harshacharita, intended as an historical novel, but practically a panegyric (praśasti) in favour of the poet's patron, supplying, however, a valuable picture of the life of the time. Whilst these tales have occasionally stanzas introduced into them, this feature of mixed (miśra) verse and prose is especially prominent in another popular class of romances, the so-called Champūs. Of such works, which seem to have been rather numerous, it must suffice to mention two specimens, viz. the Bhārata-champū, in twelve cantos, by Ananta Bhaṭṭa; and the Champū-rāmāyaṇa, or Bhoja-champū, in seven books, the first five of which are attributed, doubtless by way of compliment, to King Bhojarāja of Dhārā.
4. The Drama.—The early history of the Indian drama is enveloped in obscurity. The Hindus themselves ascribe the Drama. origin of dramatic representation to the sage Bharata, who is fabled to have lived in remote antiquity, and to have received this science directly from the god Brahman, by whom it was extracted from the Veda. The term bharata—(?) i.e. one who is kept, or one who sustains (a part)—also signifies “an actor”; but it is doubtful which of the two is the the appellative use of the word, or the notion of an old teacher of the dramatic art bearing that name. There still exists an extensive work, in epic verse, on rhetoric and dramaturgy, entitled Nā ya-śāstra, and ascribed to Bharata. Though this is probably the oldest theoretic work on the subject that has come down to us, it can hardly be referred to an earlier period than several centuries after the Christian era. Not improbably, however, this work, which presupposes a fully developed scenic art, had an origin similar to that of some of the metrical lawbooks, which are generally supposed to be popular and improved editions of older sūtra-works. We know that such treatises existed at the time of Pāṇini, as he mentions two authors of Naṭa-sūtras, or “rules for actors,” viz. Śilālin and Kṛiśāśva. Now, the words naṭa and nāṭya—as well as nāṭaka, the common term for “drama”—being derived (like the modern vernacular “Nautch” = nṛitya) from the root naṭ (nṛt) “to dance,” seem to point to a pantomimic or choral origin of the dramatic art. It might appear doubtful, therefore, in the absence of any clearer definition in Pāṇini's grammar, whether the “actors' rules” he mentions did not refer to mere pantomimic performances. Fortunately, however, Patanjali, in his “great commentary,” speaks of the actor as singing, and of people going “to hear the actor.” Nay, he even mentions two subjects, taken from the cycle of Vishṇu legends—viz. the slaying of Kaṃsa (by Kṛishṇa) and the binding of Bali (by Vishṇu)—which were represented on the stage both by mimic action and declamation. Judging from these allusions, theatrical entertainments in those days seem to have been very much on a level with the old religious spectacles or mysteries of Europe, though there may already have been some simple kinds of secular plays which Patanjali had no occasion to mention. It is not, however, till some five or six centuries later that we meet with the first real dramas, which mark at the same time the very culminating point of Indian dramatic composition. In this, as in other departments of literature, the earlier works have had to make way for later and more perfect productions; and no trace now remains of the intermediate phases of development. Thus we know of at least five predecessors of Kālidāsa from whom nothing but a few quotations have been preserved.
Here, however, the problem presents itself as to whether the existing dramatic literature has naturally grown out of such popular religious performances as are alluded to by Patanjali, or whether some foreign influence has intervened at some time or other and given a different direction to dramatic composition. The question has been argued both for and against the probability of Greek influence; but it must still be considered as sub judice; the latest investigator, M. Sylvain Lévi, having given a decided opinion against outside influence. There are doubtless some curious points of resemblance between the Indian drama and the Modern Attic (and Roman) comedy, viz. the prologue, the occasional occurrence of a token of recognition, and a certain correspondence of characteristic stage figures—especially the Vidūshaka, or jocose companion of the hero, presenting a certain analogy to the servus of the Roman stage, as does the Viṭa, the hero's dissolute, though accomplished, boon-companion, of some plays, to the Roman parasite—for which the assumption of some acquaintance with the Greek comedy on the part of the earlier Hindu writers would afford a ready explanation. On the other hand, the differences between the Indian and Greek plays are perhaps even greater than their coincidences, which, moreover, are scarcely close enough to warrant our calling in question the originality of the Hindus in this respect. Certain, however, it is that, if the Indian poets were indebted to Greek playwrights for the first impulse in dramatic composition, in the higher sense, they have known admirably how to adapt the Hellenic muse to the national genius, and have produced a dramatic literature worthy to be ranked side by side with both the classical and our own romantic drama. It is to the latter especially that the general character of the Indian play presents a striking resemblance, much more so than to the classical drama. The Hindu dramatist has little regard for the “unities” of the classical stage, though he is hardly ever guilty of extravagance in his disregard of them. Unlike the Greek dramatic theory, it is an invariable rule of Indian dramaturgy, that every play, however much of the tragic element it may contain, must have a happy ending. The dialogue is invariably carried on in prose, plentifully interspersed with those neatly turned lyrical stanzas in which the Indian poet delights to depict some natural scene, or some temporary physical or mental condition. The most striking feature of the Hindu play, however, is the mixed nature of its language. While the hero and leading male characters speak Sanskrit, women and inferior male characters use various Prākrit dialects. As regards these dialectic varieties, it can hardly be doubted that at the time when they were first employed in this way they were local vernacular dialects; but in the course of the development of the scenic art they became permanently fixed for special dramatic purposes, just as the Sanskrit had, long before that time, become fixed for general literary purposes. Thus it would happen that these Prakrit dialects, having once become stationary, soon diverged from the spoken vernaculars, until the difference between them was as great as between the Sanskrit and the Prākrits. As regards the general character of the dramatic Prākrits, they are somewhat more removed from the Sanskrit type than the Pāli, the language of the Buddhist canon, which again is in a rather more advanced state than the language of the Aśoka inscriptions (c. 250 B.C.). And, as the Buddhist sacred books were committed to writing about 80 B.C., the state of their language is attested for that period at latest; while the grammatical fixation of the scenic Prākrits has probably to be referred to the early centuries of the Christian era.
The existing dramatic literature is not very extensive. The number of plays of all kinds of any literary value will scarcely amount to fifty. The reason for this paucity of dramatic productions doubtless is that they appealed to the tastes of only a limited class of highly cultivated persons, and were in consequence but seldom acted. As regards the theatrical entertainments of the common people, their standard seems never to have risen much above the level of the religious spectacles mentioned by Patanjali. Such at least is evidently the case as regards the modern Bengālī jātrās (Skt. yātrās)—described by Wilson as exhibitions of some incidents in the youthful life of Kṛishṇa, maintained in extempore dialogue, interspersed with popular songs—as well as the similar rāsas of the western provinces, and the rough and ready performances of the bhanrs, or professional buffoons. Of the religious drama Sanskrit literature offers but one example, viz. the famous Gītagovinda, composed by Jayadeva in the 12th century. It is rather a mytho-lyrical poem, which, however, in the opinion of Lassen, may be considered as a modern and refined specimen of the early form of dramatic composition. The subject of the poem is as follows: Kṛishṇa, while leading a cowherd's life in Vṛindāvana, is in love with Rādhā, the milkmaid, but has been faithless to her for a while. Presently, however, he returns to her “whose image has all the while lingered in his breast,” and after much earnest entreaty obtains her forgiveness. The emotions appropriate to these situations are expressed by the two lovers and a friend of Rādhā in melodious and passionate, if voluptuous, stanzas of great poetic beauty. Like the Song of Solomon, the Gītagovinda, moreover, is supposed by the Hindu commentators to admit of a mystic interpretation; for, “as Kṛishṇa, faithless for a time, discovers the vanity of all other loves, and returns with sorrow and longing to his own darling Rādhā, so the human soul, after a brief and frantic attachment to objects of sense, burns to return to the God from whence it came” (Griffith).
The Mṛichchhakaṭikā, or “little clay cart,” has been usually placed at the head of the existing dramas; but, though a certain clumsiness of construction might seem to justify this distinction, the question of its relative antiquity remains far from being definitively settled. Indeed, the fact that neither Kālidāsa, who mentions three predecessors of his, or Bāṇa, in reviewing. his literary precursors, makes any allusion to the author of this play, as well as other points, seem rather to tell against the latter's priority. But seeing that Vāmana quotes from the Mṛichchhakaṭikā, this play must at any rate, have been in, existence in the latter part of the 8th century. According to seyeral stanzas in the prologue, the play was composed by a king Śūdraka, who is there stated to have, through Śiva's favour, recovered his eyesight, and, after seeing his son as king, to have died at the ripe age of a hundred years and ten days. According Śūdraka. to the same stanzas, the piece was enacted after the king's death; but it is probable that they were added for a subsequent performance. In Bāṇa's novel Kādambarī (c. A.D. 630), a king Sūdraka is represented as having resided at Biḍiśā (Bhilsa)—some 130 m. east of Ujjayinī (Ujjain), where the scene of the play is laid. Chārudatta, a Brāhman merchant, reduced to poverty, and Vasantasenā, an accomplished courtezan, meet and fall in love with each other. This forms the main plot, which is interwoven with a political underplot, resulting in a change of dynasty. The connexion between the two plots is effected by means of the king's rascally brother-in-law, who pursues Vasantasenā with his addresses, as well as by the part of the rebellious cowherd Āryaka, who, having escaped from prison, finds shelter in the hero's house. The wicked prince, on being rejected, strangles Vasantasenā, and accuses Chārudatta of having murdered her; but, just as the latter is about to be executed, his lady love appears again on the scene. Meanwhile Āryaka has succeeded in deposing the king, and, having himself mounted the throne of Ujjain, he raises Vasantasenā to the position of an honest woman, to enable her to become the wife of Chārudatta. The play is one of the longest, consisting of not less than ten acts, some of which, however, are very short. The interest of the action is, on the whole, well sustained; and, altogether, the piece presents a vivid picture of the social manners of the time, whilst the author shows himself imbued with a keen sense of humour, and a master in the delineation of character.
In Kālidāsa the dramatic art attained its highest point of perfection. From this accomplished poet we have three well-constructed Kālidāsa. plays, abounding in stanzas of exquisite tenderness and fine descriptive passages, viz. the two well-known mythopastoral dramas, Śakuntalā in seven and Vikramorvaśī in five acts, and a piece of court intrigue, distinctly inferior to the other' two, entitled Mālavikāgnimitra in five acts. King Agnimitra, who has two wives, falls in love with Mālavikā, maid to the first queen. His wives endeavour to frustrate their affection for each other, but in the end Mālavikā turns out to be a princess by birth, and is accepted by the queens as their sister.
Śri-Harshadeva—identical with the king (Śīlāditya) Harshavardhana of Kānyakubja (Kanauj) mentioned above, who ruled in the first Śri-Harshadeva. half of the 7th century—has three plays attributed to him; though possibly only dedicated to him by poets patronized by him. This at least commentators state to have been the case as regards the Ratnāvalī, the authorship of which they assign to Bāṇa. Indeed, had they been the king's own productions, one might have expected the Chinese pilgrims (especially I-tsing, who .saw one of the plays performed) to mention the fact. The Ratnāvalī, “the pearl necklace,” is a graceful comedy of genteel domestic manners, in four acts, of no great originality of invention; the author having been largely indebted to Kālidāsa's plays. A decided merit of the poet's art is the simplicity and clearness of his style. Ratnāvalī, a Ceylon princess, is sent by her father to the court of King Udayana of Vatsa to become his second wife. She suffers shipwreck, but is rescued and received into Udayana's palace under the name of Sāgarikā, as one of Queen Vāsavadattā's attendants. The king falls in love with her, and the queen tries to keep them apart from each other but, on learning the maiden's origin, she becomes reconciled, and recognizes her as a “sister.” According to H. H. Wilson, “the manners depictured are not influenced by lofty principle or profound reflection, but they are mild, affectionate and elegant. It may be doubted whether the harems of other eastern nations, either in ancient or modern times, would afford materials for as favourable a delineation.” Very similar in construction, but distinctly inferior, is the Priyadarśikā, in four acts, having for its plot another amour of the same king. The scene of the third play, the Nāgānanda, or “joy of the serpents” (in five acts), on the other hand, is laid in semi-divine regions. Jīmūtavāhana, a prince of the Vidyādharas, imbued with Buddhist principles, weds Malayavatī, daughter of the king of the Siddhas, a votary of Gaurī (Śiva's wife). But, learning that Garuḍa, the mythic bird, is in the habit of consuming one snake daily, he resolves to offer himself to the bird as a victim, and finally succeeds in converting Garuḍa to they principle of ahiṃsā, or abstention from doing injury to living beings; but he himself is about to succumb from the wounds he has received, when, through the timely intervention of the goddess Gaurī, he is restored to his former condition. The piece seems to have been intended as a compromise between Brāhmanical (Śaiva) and Buddhist doctrines, being thus in keeping with the religious views of king Harsha, who, as we know from Hiuen Thsang, favoured Buddhism, but was very tolerant to Brāhmans. It begins with a benedictory stanza to Buddha, and concludes with one to Gaurī. The author is generally believed to have been a Buddhist, but it is more likely that he was a Śaiva Brāhman, possibly Bāṇa himself. Nay, one might almost feel inclined to take the hero's self-sacrifice in favour of a Nāga as a travesty of Buddhist principles. In spite of its shortcomings of construction the Nāgānanda is a play of considerable merit, the characters being drawn with a sure hand, and the humorous element introduced into it of a very respectable order.
Bhavabhūti, surnamed Śrī-kaṇtha, “he in whose throat there is beauty (eloquence),” was a native of Padmapura in the Vidarbha Bhavabhūti. country (the Berars), being the son of the Brāhman Nīlakaṇtha and his wife Jātūkarṇī. He passed his literary life chiefly at the court of Yaśovarman of Kanauj, who must have reigned in the latter part of the 7th century, seeing that, after a successful reign, he suffered defeat at the hands of Lalāditya of Kashmir, who had mounted his throne in A.D. 695. Bhavabhūti was the author of three plays, two of which, the Mahāvīracharita (“life of the great hero”) and the Uttararāmacharita (“later life of Rāma”), in seven acts each, form together a dramatized version of the story of the Rāmāyaṇa. The third, the Mālatīmādhava, is a domestic drama in ten acts, representing the fortunes of Mādhava and Mālatī, the son and daughter of two ministers of neighbouring kings, who from childhood have been destined for each other, but, by the resolution of the maiden's royal master to marry her to an old and ugly favourite of his, are for a while threatened with permanent separation. The action of the play is full of life, and abounds in stirring, though sometimes improbable, incidents. The poet is considered by native critics to be not only not inferior to Kālidāsa, but even to have surpassed him in his Uttararāmacharita, which certainly contains many fine poetic passages instinct with pathos and genuine feeling. But, though he ranks deservedly high as a lyric poet, he is far inferior to Kālidāsa as a dramatic artist. Whilst the latter delights in depicting the gentler feelings and tender emotions of the human heart and the peaceful scenes of rural life, the younger poet finds a peculiar attraction in the sterner and more imposing aspects of nature and the human character. Bhavabhūti's language, though polished and felicitous, is elaborate and artificial compared with that of Kālidāsa, and his genius is sorely shackled by a slavish adherence to the arbitrary rules of dramatic theorists.
Bhaṭṭa Nārāyaṇa, surnamed Mṛigarāja or Siṃha, “the lion,” the author of the Veṇīsaṃhāra (“the binding up of the braid of Bhaṭṭa Nārāyaṇa. hair”), is a poet of uncertain date. Tradition makes him one of the five Kanauj Brāhmans whom king Ādisūra of Bengal, desirous of establishing the pure Vaishṇava doctrine, invited to his court, and from whom the modern Bengalī Brāhmans are supposed to be descended. But be this as it may, a copperplate grant was issued to our poet in A.D. 840; and, besides, he is quoted in Ānandavardhana's Dhvanyāloka, written in the latter part of the 9th century. The play, consisting of six acts, takes its title from an incident in the story of the Mahābharāta when Draupadī, having been lost at dice by Yudhishṭhira, has her braid of hair unloosened, and is dragged by the hair before the assembly by one of the Kauravas; this insult being subsequently avenged by Bhīma slaying the offender, whereupon Draupādī's braid is tied up again, as beseems a married woman. The piece is composed in a style similar to that of Bhavabhūti's plays, but is inferior to them in dramatic construction and poetic merit, though valued by critics for its strict adherence to the rules of the dramatic theory.
The Hanuman-nāṭaka is a dramatized version of the story of Rāma, interspersed with numerous purely descriptive poetic passages. It consists of fourteen acts, and on account of its length is also called the Mahā-nāṭaka, or great drama. Contrary to the general practice, it has no prologue, and Sanskrit alone is employed in it. Tradition relates that it was composed by Hanumān, the monkey general, and inscribed on rocks; but, Vālmīki, the author of the Rāmāyaṇa, being afraid lest it might throw his own poem into the shade, Hanumān allowed him to cast his verses into the sea. Thence fragments were ultimately picked up by a merchant, and brought to King Bhoja, who directed the poet Dāmodara Miśra to put them together and fill up the lacunae; whence the present composition originated. Whatever particle of truth there may be in this story, the “great drama” seems certainly to be the production of different hands. “The language,” as Wilson remarks, “is in general very harmonious, but the work is after all a most disjointed and nondescript composition, and the patchwork is very glaringly and clumsily put together.” It is nevertheless a work of some interest, as compositions of mixed dramatic and declamatory passages of this kind may have been common in the early stages of the dramatic art. The connexion of the poet with King Bhoja, also confirmed by the Bhoja-prabandha, would bring the composition, or final redaction, down to about the 10th or 11th century. A Mahānāṭaka is, however, already referred to by Ānandavardhana (9th century); and, besides, there are two different recensions of the work, a shorter one commented upon by Mohanadāsa, and a longer one arranged by Madhusūdana. A Dāmodara Gupta is mentioned as having lived under Jayāpīḍa of Kashmir (755-786); but this can scarcely be the same as the writer connected with this work.
The Mudrārākshasa, or “Rākshasa (the minister) with the signet,” is a drama of political intrigue, in seven acts, partly based on historical events, the plot turning on the reconciliation of Rākshasa, the minister of the murdered king Nanda, with the hostile party, consisting of Prince Chandragupta (the Greek Sandrocottus, 315-291 B.C.), who succeeded Nanda, and his minister Chāṇakya. The plot is developed with considerable dramatic skill, in vigorous, if not particularly elegant, language. The play was composed by Viśākhadatta, prior, at any rate, to the 11th century, whilst Professor Jacobi infers from astronomical indications that it was written in A.D. 860.
The Prabodha-chandrodaya, or “the moon-rise of intelligence,” composed by Kṛishṇamiśra about the 12th century, is an allegorical play, in six acts, the dramatis personae of which consist entirely of abstract ideas, divided into two conflicting hosts.
Of numerous inferior dramatic compositions we may mention as the best—the Anarghya-rāghava, by Murāri; the Bāla-rāmāyaṇa, one of six plays (four of which are known) by Rājaśekhara, and the Prasanna-rāghava, by Jayadeva, the author of the rhetorical treatise Chandrāloka. Abstracts of a number of other pieces are given in H. H. Wilson's Hindu Theatre, the standard work on this subject. The dramatic genius of the Hindus may be said to have exhausted itself about the 14th century.
5. Lyrical, Descriptive and Didactic Poetry.—Allusion has already been made to the marked predilection of the medieval Indian poet for depicting in a single stanza some peculiar physical or mental situation. The profane lyrical poetry consists chiefly of such little poetic pictures, which form a prominent feature of dramatic compositions. Numerous poets and poetesses are only known to us through such detached stanzas, preserved in native anthologies or manuals of rhetoric, and enshrining a vast amount of descriptive and contemplative poetry. Thus the Saduktikarṇāmṛita, or “ear-ambrosia of good sayings,” an anthology compiled by Śrīdhara Dāsa in 1205, contains verses by 446 different writers; while the Śārngadharapaddhati, of the 14th century, contains some 6000 verses culled from 264 different writers and works; and Vallabhadeva's Subhāshitāvalī, another such anthology, consists of some 3500 verses ascribed to some 350 poets. These verses are either of a purely descriptive or of an erotic character; or they have a didactic tendency, being intended to convey, in an attractive and easily remembered form, some moral truth or useful counsel. An excellent specimen of a longer poem, of a partly descriptive, partly erotic character, is Kālidāsa's Meghadūta, or “cloud messenger,” in which a banished Yaksha (demi-god) sends a love-message across India to his wife in the Himālaya, and describes, in verse-pictures of the stately mandākrāntā metre the various places and objects over which the messenger, a cloud, will have to sail in his airy voyage. This little masterpiece has called forth a number of more or less successful imitations, such as Lakshmīdāsa's Śuka-sandeśa, or “parrot-message,” lately edited by the mahārāja of Travancore. Another much-admired descriptive poem by Kālidāsa is the Ṛitu-saṃhāra, or “collection of the seasons,” in which the attractive features of the six seasons are successively set forth.
As regards religious lyrics, the fruit of sectarian fervour, a large collection of hymns and detached stanzas, extolling some special deity, might be made from Purāṇas and other works. Of independent productions of this kind only a few of the more important can be mentioned here. Śankara Âchārya, the great Vedāntist, who seems to have flourished about A.D. 800, is credited with several devotional poems, especially the Ānanda-laharī, or “wave of joy,” a hymn of 103 stanzas, in praise of the goddess Pārvatī. The Sūrya-śataka, or century of stanzas in praise of Sūrya, the sun, is ascribed to Mayūra, the contemporary (and, according to a tradition, the father-in-law) of Bāṇa (in the early part of the 7th century). The latter poet himself composed the Chaṇḍikāstotra, a hymn of 102 stanzas, extolling Śiva's consort. The Khaṇḍapraśasti, a poem celebrating the ten avatāras of Vishṇu, is ascribed to no other than Hanumān, the monkey general, himself. Jayadeva's beautiful poem Gītagovinda, which, like most productions concerning Kṛishṇa, is of a very sensuous character, has already been referred to.
The particular branch of didactic poetry in which India is especially rich is that of moral maxims, expressed in single Didactic poetry. stanzas or couplets, and forming the chief vehicle of the Nīti-śāstra or ethic science. Excellent collections of such aphorisms have been published—in Sanskrit and German by O. v. Böhtlingk, and in English by John Muir. Probably the oldest original collection of this kind is that ascribed to Chāṇakya,—and entitled Rājanītisamuchchaya, “collection on the conduct of kings”—traditionally connected with the Machiavellian minister of Chandragupta, but (in its present form) doubtless much later—of which there are several recensions, especially a shorter one of one hundred couplets, and a larger one of some three hundred. Another old collection is the Kāmandakīya-Nītisāra, ascribed to Kāmandaki, who is said to have been the disciple of Chāṇakya. Under the name of Bhartṛihari have been handed down three centuries of sententious couplets, one of which, the nīta-śataka, relates to ethics, whilst the other two, the śṛingāra- and vairāgya-śatakas, consist of amatory and devotional verses respectively. The Nīti-pradīpa, or “lamp of conduct,” consisting of sixteen stanzas, is ascribed to Vetālabhaṭṭa who is mentioned as one of “nine gems.” The Amarū-śataka, consisting of a hundred stanzas, ascribed to a King Amaru (sometimes wrongly to Śankara); the Bhāminī-vilāsa, or “dalliance of a fair woman,” by Jagannātha; and the Chaurasuratapanchāśikā, by Bilhaṇa (11th century), are of an entirely erotic character.
6. Fables and Narratives.—For purposes of popular instruction stanzas of an ethical import were early worked up with existing Fables and narratives. prose fables and popular stories, probably in imitation of the Buddhist jātakas, or birth-stories. A collection of this kind, intended as a manual for the guidance of princes (in usum delphini), was translated into Pahlavī in the reign of the Persian king Chosru Nushirvan, A.D. 531-579; but neither this translation nor the original is any longer extant. A Syriac translation, however, made from the Pahlavī in the same century, under the title of “Qualilag and Dimnag”—from the Sanskrit “Karataka and Damanaka,” two jackals who play an important part as the lion's counsellors—has been discovered and published. The Sanskrit original, which probably consisted of fourteen chapters, was afterwards recast—the result being the Panchatantra, or “five books” (or headings), of which several recensions exist. A popular summary of this work, in four books, the Hitopadeśa, or “Salutary Counsel,” has been shown by Peterson to have been composed by one Nārāyaṇa. Other highly popular collections of stories and fairy tales, interspersed with sententious verses, are: the Vetālapanchaviṃśati, or “twenty-five (stories) of the Vetāla, (the original of the Baitāl Pachīsī), ascribed either to Jambhala Datta, or to Śivadāsa (while Professor Weber suggests that Vetāla-bhaṭṭa may have been the author), and at all events older than the 11th century, since both Kshemendra and Somadeva have used it; the Śuka-saptati, or “seventy (stories related) by the parrot,” the author and age of which are unknown; and the Siṃhāsana-dvātriṃśikā, or “thirty-two (tales) of the throne,” being laudatory stories regarding Vikramāditya of Avantī, related by thirty-two statues, standing round the old throne of that famous monarch, to King Bhoja of Dhārā to discourage him from sitting down on it. This work is ascribed to Kshemankara, and was probably composed in the time of Bhoja (who died in 1053) from older stories in the Mahārāshṭra dialect. The original text has, however, undergone many modifications, and is now known in several different recensions. Of about the same date are two great-houses of fairy tales, composed entirely in ślokas, viz. the rather wooden and careless Bṛihat-kathā-manjarī, or “great cluster of story,” by Kshemendra, also called Kshemankara, who wrote, c. 1020-1040, under King Ananta of Kashmir; and the far superior and truly poetical Kathā-sarit-sāgara, or “ocean of the streams of story,” composed in some 21,500 couplets by Somadeva, early in the 12th century, for the recreation of Ananta's widow, Sūryavatī, grandmother of King Harshadeva. Both these works are based on an apparently lost work, viz. Guṇādhya's Bṛihat-kathā, or “great story,” which was composed in some popular dialect, perhaps as early as the 1st or 2nd century of our era, and which must have rivalled the Mahābhārata in extent, seeing that it is stated to have consisted of 100,000 ślokas (of 32 syllables each).
B. Scientific and Technical Literature
I. Law (Dharma).—Among the technical treatises of the later Vedic period, certain portions of the Kalpa-sūtras, or manuals of Law. ceremonial, peculiar to particular schools, were referred to as the earliest attempts at a systematic treatment of law subjects. These are the Dharma-sūtras, or “rules of (religious) law,” also called Sāmayāchārika-sūtras, or “rules of conventional usage (samaya-āchāra).” It is doubtful whether such treatises were at any time quite as numerous as the Gṛihyasūtras, or rules of domestic or family rites, to which they are closely allied, and of which indeed they may originally have been an outgrowth. That the number of those actually extant is comparatively small is, however, chiefly due to the fact that this class of works was supplanted by another of a more popular kind, which covered the same ground. The Dharmasūtras consist chiefly of strings of terse rules, containing the essentials of the science, and intended to be committed to memory, and to be expounded orally by the teacher—thus forming, as it were, epitomes of class lectures. These rules are interspersed with stanzas or “gāthās,” in various metres, either composed by the author himself or quoted from elsewhere, which generally give the substance of the preceding rules. One can well understand why such couplets should gradually have become more popular, and should ultimately have led to the appearance of works entirely composed in verse. Such metrical law-books did spring up in large numbers, not all at once, but over a long period of time, extending probably from about the beginning of our era, or even earlier, down to well-nigh the Mahommedan conquest; and, as at the time of their first appearance the epic impulse was particularly strong, other metres were entirely discarded for the epic śloka. These works are the metrical Dharma-śāstras, or, as they are usually called, the Smṛiti, “recollection, tradition,”—a term which, as we have seen, belonged to the whole body of Sūtras (as opposed to the Śruti, or revelation), but which has become the almost exclusive title of the versified institutes of law (and the few Dharmasūtras still extant). Of metrical Smṛitis about forty are hitherto known to exist, but their total number probably amounted to at least double that figure, though some of these, it is true, are but short and insignificant tracts, while others are only different recensions of one and the same work.
With the exception of a few of these works—such as the Agni-, Yama- and Vishṇu-Smṛitis—which are ascribed to the respective Manu. gods, the authorship of the Smṛitis is attributed to old ṛishis, such as Atri, Kaṇva, Vyāsa, Śāṇdilya, Bharadvāja. It is, however, extremely doubtful whether in most cases this attribution is not altogether fanciful, or whether, as a rule, there really existed a traditional connexion between these works and their alleged authors or schools named after them. The idea, which early suggested itself to Sanskrit scholars, that Smṛitis which passed by the names of old Vedic teachers and their schools might simply be metrical recasts of the Dharma- (or Gṛihya-) sūtras of these schools, was a very natural one, and, indeed, is still a very probable one, though the loss of the original Sūtras, and the modifications and additions which the Smṛitis doubtless underwent in course of time, make it very difficult to prove this point. One could, however, scarcely account for the disappearance of the Dharmasūtras of some of the most important schools except on the ground that they were given up in favour of other works; and it is not very likely that this should have been done, unless there was some guarantee that the new works, upon the whole, embodied the doctrines of the old authorities of the respective schools. Thus, as regards the most important of the Smṛitis, the Mānava-Dharmaśāstra, there exist both a Śrauta- and a Gṛihya-sūtra of the Mānava school of the Black Yajus, but no such Dharmasūtra has hitherto been discovered, though the former existence of such a work has been made all but certain by Professor Bühler's discovery of quotations from a Mānavam, consisting partly of prose rules, and partly of couplets, some of which occur literally in the Manusmṛiti, whilst others have been slightly altered there to suit later doctrines, or have been changed from the original trishṭubh into the epic metre. The idea of an old law-giver Manu Svāyambhuva—“sprung from the self-existent (svayam-bhū)” god Brahman (m.)—reaches far back into Vedic antiquity: he is mentioned as such in early texts; and in Yāska's Nirukta a śloka occurs giving his opinion on a point of inheritance. But whether or not the Mānava-Dharmasūtra embodied what were supposed to be the authoritative precepts of this sage on questions of sacred law we do not know; nor can it as yet be shown that the Manusmṛiti, which seems itself to have undergone considerable modifications, is the lineal descendant of that Dharmasūtra. It is, however, worthy of note that a very close connexion exists between the Manusmṛiti and the Vishṇuśāstra; and, as the latter is most likely a modern, only partially remodelled, edition of the Sūtras of the Black Yajus school of the Kaṭhas, the close relation between the two works would be easily understood, if it could be shown that the Manusmṛiti is a modern development of the Sūtras of another school of the Charaka division of the Black Yajurveda.
The Mānava Dharmaśāstra consists of twelve books, the first and last of which, treating of creation, transmigration and final beatitude, are, however, generally regarded as later additions. In them the legendary sage Bhṛigu, here called a Mānava, is introduced as Manu's disciple, through whom the great teacher has his work promulgated. Why this intermediate agent should have been considered necessary is by no means clear. Except in these two books the work shows no special relation to Manu, for, though he is occasionally referred to in it, the same is done in other Smṛitis. The question as to the probable date of the final redaction of the work cannot as yet be answered. Dr Burnell has tried to show that it was probably composed under the Chālukya king Pulakeśi, about A.D. 500, but his argumentation is anything but convincing. From several ślokas quoted from Manu by Varāhamihira, in the 6th century, it would appear that the text which the great astronomer had before him differed very considerably from our Manusmṛiti. It is, however, possible that he referred either to the Bṛihat-Manu (Great M.) or the Vṛiddha-Manu (Old M.), who are often found quoted, and apparently represent one, if not two, larger recension's of this Smṛiti. The oldest existing commentary on the Mānava-Dharmaśāstra is by Medhātithi, who is first quoted in 1200, and is usually supposed to have lived in the 9th or 10th century. He had, however, several predecessors to whom he refers as pūrve, “the former ones.” The most esteemed of the commentaries is that of Kullūka Bhaṭṭa, composed at Benares in the 15th century.
Next in importance among Smṛitis ranks the Yājñavalkya Dharmaśātra. Its origin and date are not less uncertain—except that, Yājñavalkya. in the opinion of Professor Stenzler, which has never been questioned, it is based on the Manusmṛiti, and represents a more advanced stage of legal theory and definition than that work. Yājñavalkya, as we have seen, is looked upon as the founder of the Vājasaneyins or White Yajus, and the author of the Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa. In the latter work he is represented as having passed some time at the court of King Janaka of Videha (Tirhut); and in accordance therewith he is stated, in the introductory couplets of the Dharmaśāstra, to have propounded his legal doctrines to the sages, while staying at Mithilā (the capital of Videha). Hence, if the connexion between the metrical Smṛitis and the old Vedic schools be a real one and not one of name merely, we should expect to find in the Yājñavalkya-smṛiti special coincidences of doctrine with the Kātīyasūtra, the principal Sūtra of the Vājasaneyins. Now, some sufficiently striking coincidences between this Smṛiti and Pāraskara's Kātiya-Gṛihyasūtra have indeed been pointed out; and if there ever existed a Dharmasūtra belonging to the same school, of which no trace has hitherto been found, the points of agreement between this and the Dharmaśāstra might be expected to be even more numerous. A connexion between this Smṛiti and the Mānava-gṛihyasūtra seems, however, likewise evident. As in the case of Manu, ślokas are quoted in various works from a Bṛihat- and a Vṛiddha-Yājñavalkya. The Yājñavalkya-smṛiti consists of three books, corresponding to the three great divisions of the Indian theory of law: āchāra, rule of conduct (social and caste duties); vyavahāra, civil and criminal law; and prāyaśchitta, penance or expiation. There are two important commentaries on the work: the famous Mitāksharā, by Vijñāneśvara, who lived under the Chālukya king Vikramāditya of Kalyāṇa (1076-1127); and another by Aparārka or Aparāditya, a petty Sīlāra prince of the latter half of the 12th century.
The Nāradīya-Dharmaśāstra, or Nāradasmṛiti, is a work of a more practical kind; indeed, it is probably the most systematic and businesslike Nāradasmṛiti. of all the Smṛitis. It does not concern itself with religious and moral precepts, but is strictly confined to law. Of this work again there are at least two different recensions. Besides the text translated by Dr Jolly, a portion of a larger recension has come to light in India. This version has been commented upon by Asahāya, “the peerless”—a very esteemed writer on law who is supposed to have lived before Medhātithi (? 9th century)—and it may therefore be considered as the older recension of the two. But, as it has been found to contain the word dīnāra, an adaptation of the Roman denarius, it cannot, at any rate, be older than the 2nd century; indeed, its date is probably several centuries later.
The Parāśara-smṛiti contains no chapter on jurisprudence, but treats only of religious duties and expiation's in 12 adhyāyas. The Parāśara. deficiency was, however, supplied by the famous exegete Mādhava (in the latter half of the 14th century), who made use of Parāśara's text for the compilation of a large digest of religious law, usually called Parāśara-mādhavīyam, to which he added a third chapter on vyavahāra, or law proper. Besides the ordinary text of the Parāśara-smṛiti, consisting of rather less than 600 couplets, there is also extant a Bṛihat-Parāśarasmṛiti, probably an amplification of the former, containing not less than 2980 (according to others even 3300) ślokas.
Whether any of the Dharmaśāstras were ever used In India as actual “codes of law” for the practical administration of justice is very doubtful; indeed, so far as the most prominent works of this class are concerned, it is highly improbable. No doubt these works were held to be of the highest authority as laying down the principles of religious and civil duty; but it was not so much any single text as the whole body of the Smṛiti that was looked upon as the embodiment of the divine law. Hence, the moment the actual work of codification begins in the 11th century, we find the jurists engaged in practically showing how the Smṛitis confirm and supplement each other, and in reconciling seeming contradictions between them. This new phase of Indian jurisprudence commences with Vijñāneśvara's Mitāksharā, which, though primarily a commentary on Yājñavalkya, is so rich in original matter and illustrations from other Smṛitis that it is far more adapted to serve as a code of law than the work it professes to explain. This treatise is held in high esteem all over India, with the exception of the Bengal or Gaurīya school of law, which recognizes as its chief authority the digest of its founder, Jīmūtavāhana, especially the chapter on succession, entitled Dāyabhāga. Based on the Mitāksharā are the Smṛitichandrikā, a work of great common-sense, written by Devāṇḍa Bhaṭṭa, in the 13th century, and highly esteemed in Southern India; and the Vīramitrodaya, a compilation consisting of two chapters, on āchāra and vyavahāra, made in the first half of the 17th century by Mitramiśra, for Rājā Vīrasiṃha, or Bīrsinh Deo of Orchhā, who murdered Abul Fazl, the minister of the emperor Akbar, and author of the Āīn i Akbarī. There is no need here to enumerate any more of the vast number of treatises on special points of law, of greater or less merit, the more important of which will be found mentioned in English digests of Hindu law.
II. Philosophy.—The contemplative Indian mind shows at all times a strong disposition for metaphysical speculation. In the old religious lyrics this may be detected from the very first. Not to speak of the abstract nature of some even of the oldest Vedic deities, this propensity betrays itself in a certain mystic symbolism, tending to refine and spiritualize the original purely physical character and activity of some of the more prominent gods, and to impart a deep and subtle import to the rites of the sacrifice. The primitive worship of more or less isolated elemental forces and phenomena had evidently ceased to satisfy the religious wants of the more thoughtful minds. Various syncretist tendencies show the drift of religious thought towards some kind of unity of the divine powers, be it in the direction of the pantheistic idea, or in that of an organized polytheism, or even towards monotheism. In the latter age of the hymns the pantheistic idea is rapidly gaining ground, and finds vent in various cosmogonic speculations; and in the Brāhmaṇa period we see it fully developed. The fundamental conception of this doctrine finds its expression in the two synonymous terms brahman (neutr.), probably originally “mystic effusion, devotional utterance,” then “holy impulse,” and ātman (masc.), “breath, self, soul.”
The recognition of the essential sameness of the individual souls, emanating all alike (whether really or imaginarily) from the ultimate spiritual essence (parama-brahman) “as sparks issue from the fire,” and destined to return thither, involved some important problems. Considering the infinite diversity of individual souls of the animal and vegetable world, exhibiting various degrees of perfection, is it conceivable that each of them is the immediate efflux of the Supreme Being, the All-perfect, and that each, from the lowest to the highest, could re-unite therewith directly at the close of its mundane existence? The difficulty implied in the latter question was at first met by the assumption of an intermediate state of expiation and purification, a kind of purgatory; but the whole problem found at last a more comprehensive solution in the doctrine of transmigration (saṃsāra). Some scholars have suggested that metempsychosis may have been the prevalent belief among the aboriginal tribes of India, and may have been taken over from them by the Indo-Aryans. This, no doubt, is possible; but in the absence of any positive proof it would be idle to speculate on its probability; the more so as the pantheistic notion of a universal spiritual essence would probably of itself sufficiently account for the spontaneous growth of such a belief. In any case, however, we can only assume that speculative minds seized upon it as offering the most satisfactory (if not the only possible) explanation of the great problem of phenomenal existence with its unequal distribution of weal and woe. It is certainly a significant fact that, once established in Indian thought, the doctrine of metempsychosis is never again called in question—that, like the fundamental idea on which it rests, viz. the essential sameness of the immaterial element of all sentient beings, the notion of saṃsāra has become an axiom, a universally conceded principle of Indian philosophy. Thus the latter has never quite risen to the heights of pure thought; its object is indeed jijñāsā, the search for knowledge; but it is an inquiry (mīmāṃsā) into the nature of things undertaken not solely for the attainment of the truth, but with a view to a specific object—the discontinuance of saṃsāra, the cessation of mundane existence after the present life. Every sentient being, through ignorance, being liable to sin, and destined after each existence to be born again in some new form, dependent on the actions committed during the immediately preceding life, all mundane existence thus is the source of ever-renewed suffering; and the task of the philosopher is to discover the means of attaining moksha, “release” from the bondage of material existence, and union with the Supreme Self—in fact, salvation. It is with a view to this, and to this only, that the Indian metaphysician takes up the great problems of life—the origin of man and the universe, and the relation between mind and matter.
It is not likely that these speculations were viewed with much favour by the great body of Brāhmans engaged in ritualistic practices. Not that the metaphysicians actually discountenanced the ceremonial worship of the old mythological gods as vain and nugatory. On the contrary, they expressly admitted the propriety of sacrifices, and commended them as the most meritorious of human acts, by which man could raise himself to the highest degrees of mundane existence, to the worlds of the Fathers and Devas. But, on the other hand, metaphysical speculation itself had gradually succeeded in profoundly modifying the original character of the sacrificial ritual: an allegorical meaning had come to be attached to every item of the ceremonial, in accordance with the strange monotheistic-pantheistic theory of the Brāhmaṇas which makes the performance of the sacrifice represent the building up of Prajāpati, the Purusha or “world man,” and thus the creation of reproduction of the universe. In the Śatap. Br. (vii. 3, 4, 41) he is said to be the whole Brahman (n.), and (vii. 1, 2, 7; xi. 1, 6, 17) he is represented as the breath or vital air (prāṇa), and the air being his self (ātman). It needed but the identification of the Ātman, or individual self, with the Brahman or Paramātman (supreme self), to show that the final goal lay far beyond the worlds hitherto striven after through sacrifice, a goal unattainable through aught but a perfect knowledge of the soul's nature and its identity with the Divine Spirit. “Know ye that one Self,” exhorts one of those old idealists, “and have done with other words; for that (knowledge) is the bridge to immortality!” Intense self-contemplation being, moreover, the only way of attaining the all-important knowledge, this doctrine left little or no room for those mediatorial offices of the priest, so indispensable in ceremonial worship; and indeed we actually read of Brāhman sages resorting to Kshatriya princes to hear them expound the true doctrine of salvation. But, in spite of their anti-hierarchical tendency, these speculations continued to gain ground; and in the end the body of treatises propounding the pantheistic doctrine, the Upanishads, were admitted into the sacred canon, as appendages to the ceremonial writings, the Brāhmaṇas. The Upanishads thus form literally “the end of the Veda,” the Vedānta; but their adherents claim this title for their doctrines in a metaphorical rather than in a material sense, as “the ultimate aim and consummation of the Veda.” In later times the radical distinction between these speculative appendages and the bulk of the Vedic writings was strongly accentuated in a new classification of the sacred scriptures. According to this scheme they were supposed to consist of two great divisions—the Karma-kāṇḍa, i.e. “the work-section,” or practical ceremonial (exoteric) part, consisting of the Saṃhitās and Brāhmaṇas (including the ritual portions of the Āraṇyakas), and the Jñānakāṇḍa, “the knowledge-section,” or speculative (esoteric) part. These two divisions are also called respectively the Pūrva- (“former”) and Uttara- (“latter,” or higher) kāṇḍa; and when the speculative tenets of the Upanishads came to be formulated into a regular system it was deemed desirable that there should also be a special system corresponding to the older and larger portion of the Vedic writings. Thus arose the two systems—the Pūrva- (or Karma-) mīmāṃsā, or “prior (practical) speculation,” and the Uttara- (or Brahma-) mīmāmsā, or higher inquiry (into the nature of the godhead), usually called the Vedānta philosophy.
It is not yet possible to determine, even approximately, the time when the so-called Darśanas (literally “demonstrations”), Philosophical systems. or systems of philosophy which subsequently arose, were first formulated. And, though they have certainly developed from the tenets enunciated in the Upanishads, there is some doubt as to the exact order in which these systems succeeded each other. Of all the systems the Vedānta has indeed remained most closely in touch with the speculations of the Upanishads, which it has further developed and systematized. The authoritative exposés of the systems have, however, apparently passed through several redactions; and, in their present form, these sūtra-works evidently belong to a comparatively recent period, none of them being probably older than the early centuries of our era. By far the ablest general review of the philosophical systems (except the Vedānta) produced by a native scholar is the Sarva-darśana-sangraha (“summary of all the Darśanas”), composed in the 14th century, from a Vedāntist point of view, by the great exegete Mādhava Āchārya.
Among the different systems, six are generally recognized as orthodox, as being (either wholly or for the most part) consistent with the Vedic religion—two and two of which are again more closely related to each other than to the rest, viz.:
- (1) Pūrva-mīmāṃsā (Mīmāṃsā), and (2) Uttara-mīmāṃsā (Vedānta);
- (3) Sānkhya, and (4) Yoga;
- (5) Nyāya, and (6) Vaiśeshika.
1. The (Pūrva-) Mīmāṃsā is not a system of philosophy in the proper sense of the word, but rather a system of dogmatic criticism Mīmāṃsā. and scriptural interpretation. It maintains the eternal existence of the Veda, the different parts of which are minutely classified. Its principal object, however, is to ascertain the religious (chiefly ceremonial), duties enjoined in the Veda, and to show how these duties must be performed, and what are the special merits and rewards attaching to them. Hence arises the necessity of determining the principles for rightly interpreting the Vedic texts, as also of what forms its only claim to being classed among speculative systems, viz. a philosophical examination of the means of, and the proper method for, arriving at accurate knowledge. The foundation of this school, as well as the composition of the Sūtras or aphorisms, the Mīmāṃsā-darśana, which constitute its chief doctrinal authority, is ascribed to Jaimini. The Sūtras were commented on by Śabara Svāmin; and further annotations (vārttika) thereon were supplied by the great theologian Kumārila Bhaṭṭa, who is supposed to have lived about A.D. 700 and to have worked hard for the re-establishment of Brāhmanism. The most approved general introduction to the study of the Mīmāṃsā is the metrical Jaiminīya-Nyāya-mālā-vistara, with a prose commentary, both by Mādhava Āchārya. This distinguished writer, who has already been mentioned several times, was formerly supposed, from frequent statements in MSS., to have been the brother of Sāyaṇa, the well-known interpreter of the Vedas. The late Dr Burnell has, however, made it very probable that these two are one and the same person, Sāyaṇa being his Telugu and Mādhavāchārya his Brāhmanical name. In 1331 he became the jagadguru, or spiritual head, of the Smārtas (a Vedāntist sect founded by Śankarāchārya) at the Math of Śṛingeri, where, under the patronage of Bukka, king of Vidyānagara, he composed his numerous works. He sometimes passes under a third name, Vidyāraṇya,-svāmin, adopted by him on becoming a sannyāsin, or religious mendicant.
2. The Vedānta philosophy, in the comparatively primitive form in which it presents itself in most of the older Upanishads, Vedānta. constitutes the earliest phase of sustained metaphysical speculation. In its essential features it remains to this day the prevalent belief of Indian thinkers, and enters largely into the religious life and convictions of the people. It is an idealistic monism, which derives the universe from an ultimate conscious spiritual principle, the one and only existent from eternity—the Ātman, the Self, or the Purusha, the Person, the Brahman. It is this primordial essence or Self that pervades all things, and gives life and light to them, “without being sullied by the visible outward impurities or the miseries of the world, being itself apart”—and into which all things will, through knowledge, ultimately resolve themselves. “The wise who perceive him as being within their own Self, to them belongs eternal peace, not to others.” But, while the commentators never hesitate to interpret the Upanishads as being in perfect agreement with the Vedāntic system, as elaborated in later times, there is often considerable difficulty in accepting their explanations. In these treatises only the leading features of the pantheistic theory find utterance, generally in vague and mystic, though often in singularly powerful and poetical language, from which it is not always possible to extract the author's real idea on fundamental points, such as the relation between the Supreme Spirit and the phenomenal world—whether the latter was actually evolved from the former by a power inherent in him, or whether the process is altogether a fiction, an illusion of the individual self. Thus the Kaṭha-upanishad offers the following summary: “Beyond the senses [there are the objects; beyond the objects] there is the mind (manas); beyond the mind there is the intellect (buddhi); beyond the intellect there is the Great Self. Beyond the Great One there is the Highest Undeveloped (avyaktam); beyond the Undeveloped there is the Person (purusha), the all-pervading, characterless (alinga). Whatsoever knows him is liberated, and attains immortality.” Here the Vedāntist commentator assures us that the Great Undeveloped, which the Sānkhyas would claim as their own primary material principle (pradhāna, prakṛiti), is in reality Māyā, illusion (otherwise called Avidyā, ignorance, or Śakti, power), the fictitious energy which in conjunction with the Highest Self (Ātman, Purusha) produces or constitutes the Īśvara, the Lord, or Cosmic Soul, the first emanation of the Ātman, and himself the (fictitious) cause of all that seems to exist. It must remain doubtful, however, whether the author of the Upanishad really meant this, or whether he regarded the Great Undeveloped as an actual material principle or substratum evolved from out of the Purusha, though not, as the Sānkhyas hold, coexisting with him from eternity. Besides passages such as these which seem to indicate realistic or materialistic tendencies of thought, which may well have developed into the dualistic Sānkhya and kindred systems, there are others which indicate the existence even of nihilist theories, such as the Bauddhas—the śūnya-vādins, or affirmers of a void or primordial nothingness—profess. Thus we read in the Chhāndogya-upanishad: “The existent alone, my son, was here in the beginning, one only, without a second. Others say, there was the non-existent alone here in the beginning, one only, without a second—and from the non-existent the existent was born. But how could this be, my son? How could the existent be born from the non-existent? No, my son, only the existent was here in the beginning, one only, without a second.”
The foundation of the Vedānta system, as “the completion of the Veda,” is naturally ascribed to Vyāsa, the mythic arranger of the Vedas, who is said to be identical with Bādarāyaṇa the reputed author of the Brahma- (or Śārīraka-) sūtra, the authoritative, though highly obscure, summary of the system. The most distinguished interpreter of these aphorisms is the famous Malabar theologian Śankara. Śankara Āchārya, who also commented on the principal Upanishads and the Bhagavadgītā, and is said to have spent the greater part of his life in wandering all over India, as far as Kashmir, and engaging in disputations with teachers—whether of the Śaiva, or Vaishṇava, or less orthodox persuasions—with the view of rooting out heresy and re-establishing the doctrine of the Upanishads. His controversial triumphs (doubtless largely mythical) are related in a number of treatises current, in South India, the two most important of which are the Śankara-dig-vijaya (“Śankara's world-conquest”), ascribed to his own disciple Ānandagiri, and the Śankara-vijaya, by Mādhavāchārya. In Śankara's philosophy the theory that the material world has no real existence, but is a mere illusion of the individual soul wrapt in ignorance,—that, therefore, it has only a practical or conventional (vyāvahārika) but not a transcendental or true (pāramārthika) reality,—is strictly enforced. In accordance with this distinction, a higher (parā) and a lower (aparā) form of knowledge is recognized; the former being concerned with the Brahman (n.), whilst the latter deals with the personal Brahmā, the Īśvara, or lord and creator, who, however, is a mere illusory form of the divine spirit, resulting from ignorance of the human soul. To the question why the Supreme Self (or rather his fictitious development, the Highest Lord) should have sent forth this phantasmagory this great thinker (with the author of the Sūtras) can return no better answer than that it must have been done for sport (līlā), without any special motive—since to ascribe such a motive to the Supreme Lord would be limiting his self-sufficiency—and that the process of creation has been going on from all eternity. Śankara's Sārīraka-mīmāṃsā-bhāshya has given rise to a large number of exegetic treatises, of which Vāchaspati-miśra's exposition, entitled Bhāmatī, is the most esteemed. Of numerous other commentaries Rāmānuja. on the Brahma-sūtras, the Śrī-bhāshya, by Rāmānuja, the founder of the Śri-Vaishṇava sect, is the most noteworthy. This religious teacher, who flourished in the first half of the 12th century, caused a schism in the Vedānta school. Instead of adhering to Śankara's orthodox advaita, or non-duality, doctrine, he interpreted the obscure Sūtras in accordance with his theory of viśishṭādvaita, i.e. non-duality of the (two) distinct (principles), or, as it is more commonly explained, non-duality of that which is qualified (by attributes). According to this theory the Brahman is neither devoid of form and quality, nor is it all things; but it is endowed with all good qualities, and matter is distinct from it; whilst bodies consist of souls (chit) and matter (achit); and God is the soul. On the religious side, Rāmānuja adopts the tenets of the ancient Vishnuite Pāncharātra sect, and, identifying the Brahman with Vishṇu, combines with his theory the ordinary Vaishṇava doctrine of periodical descents (avatāra) of the deity, in various forms, for the benefit of creatures; and allowing considerable play to the doctrine that faith (bhakti), not knowledge (vidyā), is the means of final emancipation. This phase of Indian religious belief, which has attached itself to the Vedānta theory more closely than to any other, makes its appearance very prominently in the Bhagavadgītā, the episode of the Mahābhārata, already referred to—where, however, it attaches itself to Sānkhya-yoga rather than to Vedānta tenets—and is even more fully developed in some of the Purāṇas, especially the Bhāgavata. Some scholars would attribute this doctrine of fervid devotion to Christian influence, but it is already alluded to by Pāṇini and in the Mahābhāshya. In the Śāṇḍilya- (Bhakti-) sūtra, the author and date of which are unknown, the doctrine is systematically propounded in one hundred aphorisms. According to this doctrine mundane existence is due to want of faith, not to ignorance; and the final liberation of the individual soul can only be effected by faith. Knowledge only contributes to this end by removing the mind's foulness, unbelief. Its highest phase of development this doctrine probably reached in the Vaishṇava sect founded, towards the end of the 15th century, by Chaitanya, whose followers subsequently grafted the Vedānta speculations on his doctrine. In opposition both to Śankara's theory of absolute unity, and to Rāmānuja's doctrine of qualified unity—though leaning more towards the latter—Madhva Āchārya, or Pūrṇaprajna (A.D. 1118-1198), started his dvaita, or duality doctrine, according to which there is a difference between God and the human soul (jīva), as well as between God and nature; whilst the individual souls, which are innumerable, eternal, and indestructible, are likewise different from one another; but, though distinct, are yet united with God, like tree and sap, in an indissoluble union. This doctrine also identifies the Brahman with Vishṇu, by the side of whom, likewise infinite, is the goddess Lakshmī, as Prakṛiti (nature), from whom inert matter (jaḍa) derives its energy. Here also bhakti, devotion to God, is the saving element. A popular summary of the Vedānta doctrine is the Vedānta-sāra by Sadānanda, which has been frequently printed and translated.
3. The Sānkhya system seems to derive its name from its systematic enumeration (sankhyā) of the twenty-five principles (tattva) Sānkhya. it recognizes—consisting of twenty-four material and an independent immaterial principle. In opposition to the Vedānta school, which maintains the eternal coexistence of a spiritual principle of reality and an unspiritual principle of unreality, the Sānkhya assumes the eternal coexistence of a material first cause, which it calls either mūla-Pṛakriti (fem.), “prime Originant” (Nature), or Pradhāna, “the principal” cause, and a plurality of spiritual elements or Selves, Purusha. The system recognizes no intelligent creator (such as the Īśvara, or demiurgus, of the Vedānta)—whence it is called nirīśvara, godless; but it conceives the Material First Cause, itself unintelligent, to have become developed, by a gradual process of evolution, into all the actual forms of the phenomenal universe, excepting the souls. Its first emanation is buddhi, intelligence; whence springs ahaṃkāra, consciousness (or “conscious mind-matter,” Davies); thence the subtle elements of material forms, viz. five elementary particles (tanmātra) and eleven organs of sense; and finally, from the elementary particles, five elements. The souls have from all eternity been connected with Nature,—having in the first place become invested with a subtle frame (linga-, or sūkshma-, śarīra), consisting of seventeen principles, viz. intelligence, consciousness, elementary particles, and organs of sense and action, including mind. To account for the spontaneous development of matter, the system assumes the latter to consist of three constituents (guṇa) which are possessed of different qualities, viz. sattva, of pleasing qualities, such as “goodness,” lightness, luminosity; rajas, of pain-giving qualities, such as “gloom,” passion, activity; and tamas, of deadening qualities, such as “darkness,” rigidity, dullness, and which, if not in a state of equipoise, cause unrest and development. Through all this course of development, the soul itself remains perfectly indifferent, its sole properties being those of purity and intelligence, and the functions usually regarded as “psychic” being due to the mechanical processes of the internal organs themselves evolved out of inanimate matter. Invested with its subtle frame, which accompanies it through the cycle of transmigration, the soul, for the sake of fruition, connects itself ever anew with Nature, thus, as it were, creating for itself ever new forms of material existence; and it is only on his attaining perfect knowledge, whereby the ever-changing modes of intelligence cease to be reflected on him, that the Purusha is liberated from the miseries of Saṃsāra, and continues to exist in a state of absolute unconsciousness and detachment from matter. The existence of God, on the other hand, is denied by this theory, or rather considered as incapable of proof; the existence of evil and misery, for one thing, being thought incompatible with the notion of a divine origin of the world.
The reputed originator of this school is the sage Kapila, to whom tradition ascribes the composition of the fundamental text-book, the (Sānkhya-sūtra, or) Sānkhya-pravachana, as well as the Tattvasamāsa, a mere catalogue of the principles. But, though the founder would seem to have promulgated his system, in some form or other, at a very early period, these works, in their present form, have been shown to be quite modern productions, going probably not farther back than the 14th century of our era. Probably the oldest existing work is Īśvarakṛishṇa's excellent Sānkhya-kārikā, which gives, in the narrow compass of sixty-nine ślokas, a lucid and complete sketch of the system. Though nothing certain is known regarding its author, this work must be of tolerable antiquity, considering that it was commented upon by Gauḍapāda, the preceptor of Govinda, who, on his part, is said to have been the teacher of Śankarāchārya. Of the commentaries on the Sūtras, the most approved are those of Aniruddha and Vijñāna Bhikshu, a writer probably of the latter part of the 16th century, who also wrote an independent treatise, the Sānkhya-sāra, consisting of a prose and a verse part, which is probably the most useful compendium of Sānkhya doctrines.
4. The Yoga system is merely a schismatic branch of the preceding school, holding the same opinions on most points treated in common Yoga. in their Sūtras, with the exception of one important point, the existence of God. To the twenty-five principles (tattva) of the Nirīśvara Sānkhya, the last of which was the Purusha, the Yoga adds, as the twenty-sixth, the Nirguṇa Purusha, or Self devoid of qualities, the Supreme God of the system. Hence the Yoga is called the Seśvara (theistical) Sānkhya. But over and above the purely speculative part of its doctrine, which it has adopted from the sister school, the theistic Sānkhya has developed a complete system of mortification of the senses—by means of prolonged apathy and abstraction, protracted rigidity of posture, and similar practices,—many of which are already alluded to in the Upanishads,—with the view of attaining to complete concentration (yoga) on, and an ecstatic vision of, the Deity, and the acquisition of miraculous powers. It is from this portion of the system that the school derives the name by which it is more generally known. The authoritative Sūtras of the Yoga, bearing the same title as those of the sister school, viz. Sānkhya-pravachana, but more commonly called Yoga-śāstra, are ascribed to Patañjali, who is perhaps identical with the author of the “great commentary” on Pāṇini. The oldest commentary on the Sūtras, the Pātañala-bhāshya, is attributed to no other than Vyāsa, the mythic arranger of the Veda and founder of the Vedānta. Both works have again been commented upon by Vāchaspati-miśra, Vijñāna-bhikshu, and other writers.
5, 6. The Nyāya and Vaiśeshika are but separate branches of
one and the same school, which supplement each other and the
Nyāya and Vaiśeshika.
doctrines of which have virtually become amalgamated
into a single system of philosophy. The special part
taken by each of the two branches in the elaboration of
the system may be briefly stated in Dr Röer's words:—“To
the Nyāya belong the logical doctrines of the forms
of syllogisms, terms and repositions; to the Vaiśeshikas the
systematical explanation of the categories (the simplest
metaphysical ideas) of the metaphysical, physical and psychical notions—which
notions are hardly touched upon in the Nyāya-sūtras. They
differ in their statement of the several modes of proof—the Nyāya
asserting four modes of proof (from perception, inference, analogy
and verbal communication), the Vaś
ieshikas admitting only the two
first ones.” The term Nyāya (ni-āya, “in-going,” entering), though
properly meaning “analytical investigation,” as applied to
philosophical inquiry generally, has come to be taken more
commonly in the narrower sense of “logic,” because this
school has entered more thoroughly than any other into the laws
and processes of thought, and has worked out a formal system of
reasoning which forms the Hindu standard of logic.
The followers of these schools generally recognize seven categories (padārtha): substance (dravya), quality (guṇa), action (karma), generality (sāmānya), particularity (viśesha), intimate relation (samavāya) and non-existence or negation (abhāva). Substances, forming the substrata of qualities and actions, are, of two kinds: eternal (without a cause), viz. space, time, ether, soul and the atoms of mind, earth, water, fire and air; and non-eternal, comprising all compounds, or the things we perceive, and which must have a cause of their existence. Causality is of three kinds: that of intimate relation (material cause); that of non-intimate relation (between parts of a compound); and instrumental causality (effecting the union of component parts). Material things are thus composed of atoms (aṇu), i.e. ultimate simple substances, or units of space, eternal, unchangeable and without dimension, characterized only by “particularity (viśesha).” It is from this predication of ultimate “particulars” that the Vaiśeshikas, the originators of the atomistic doctrine, derive their name. The Nyāya draws a clear line between matter and spirit, and has worked out a careful and ingenious system of psychology. It distinguishes between individual or living souls (jīvātman), which are numerous, infinite and eternal, and the Supreme Soul (Paramātman), which is one only, the seat of eternal knowledge, and the maker and ruler (Īśvara) of all things. It is by his will and agency that the unconscious living souls (soul-atoms, in fact) enter into union with the (material) atoms of mind, &c., and thus partake of the pleasures and sufferings of mundane existence. On the Hindu syllogism compare Professor Cowell's notes to Colebrooke's Essays, 2nd ed., i. p. 314.
The original collection of Nyāya-sūtras is ascribed to Gotama, and that of the Vaiśeshika-sūtras to Kaṇāda. The etymological meaning of the latter name seems to be “little-eater, particle-eater,” whence in works of hostile critics the synonymous terms Kaṇa-bhuj or Kaṇa-bhaksha are sometimes derisively applied to him, doubtless in allusion to his theory of atoms. He is also occasionally referred to under the name of Kāśyapa. Both sūtra-works have been interpreted and supplemented by a number of writers, the commentary of Viśvanātha on the Nyāya and that of Śankara-miśra on the Vaiśeshika-sūtras being most generally used. There are, moreover, a vast number of separate works on the doctrines of these schools, especially on logic. Of favourite elementary treatises on the subject may be mentioned Keśava-miśra's Tarka-bhāshā, the Tarka-sangraha and the Bhāshā-parichchheda. A large and important book on logic is Gangeśa's Chintāmaṇi, which formed the text-book of the celebrated Nuddea school of Bengal, founded by Raghunātha-śiromaṇi about the beginning of the 16th century. An interesting little treatise is the Kusumāñjali, in which the author, Udayana Āchārya (about the 12th century, according to Professor Cowell), attempts, in 72 couplets, to prove the existence of a Supreme Being on the principles of the Nyāya system.
As regards the different heretical systems of Hindu philosophy, there is no occasion, in a sketch of Sanskrit literature, to enter into Heretical Systems. the tenets of the two great anti-Brāhmanical sects, the Jainas and Buddhists. While the original works of the former are written mostly in a popular (the Ardhamāgadhī) dialect, the northern Buddhists, it is true, have produced a considerable body of literature, composed in a kind of hybrid Sanskrit, but only a few of their sacred books have as yet been published; and it is, moreover, admitted on all hands that for the pure and authentic Bauddha doctrines we have rather to look to the Pāli scriptures of the southern branch. Nor can we do more here than briefly allude to the theories of a few of the less prominent heterodox systems, however interesting they may be for a history of human thought.
The Chārvākas, an ancient sect of undisguised materialism, who deny the existence of the soul, and consider the human person (purusha) to be an organic body endowed with sensibility and with thought, resulting from a modification of the component material elements, ascribe their origin to Bṛihaspati; but their authoritative text-book, the Bārhaspatya-sūtra, is only known so far from a few quotations.
The Pāñcharātras, or Bhāgavatas, are an early Vaishṇava sect, in which the doctrine of faith, already alluded to, is strongly developed. Hence their tenets are defended by Rāmānuja, though they are partly condemned as heretical in the Brahma-sūtras. Their recognized text-book is the Nārada-Pāñcharātra, whilst the Bhagavadgītā is also supposed to have had some connexion with this sect. According to their theory the Supreme Being (Bhagavat, Vāsudeva, Vishṇu) became four separate persons by successive production. While the Supreme Being himself is indued with the six qualities of knowledge, power, strength, absolute sway, vigour and energy, the three divine persons successively emanating from him and from one another represent the living soul, mind and consciousness respectively.
The Pāśupatas, one of several Śaiva (Māheśvara) sects, hold the Supreme Being (Īśvara), whom they identify with Śiva (as paśu-pati, or “lord of beasts”), to be the creator and ruler of the world, but not its material cause. With the Sānkhyas they admit the notion of a plastic material cause, the Pradhāna; while they follow Patañjali in maintaining the existence of a Supreme God.
III. Grammar (Vyākaraṇa).—We found this subject enumerated as one of the six “limbs of the Veda,” or auxiliary sciences, the study of which was deemed necessary for a correct interpretation of the sacred Mantras, and the proper performance of Vedic rites. Grammar. Linguistic inquiry, phonetic as well as grammatical, was indeed early resorted to both for the purpose of elucidating the meaning of the Veda and with the view of settling its textual form. The particular work which came ultimately to be looked upon as the “vedānga” representative of grammatical science, and has Pāṇini. ever since remained the standard authority on Sanskrit grammar in India, is Pāṇini's Ashṭādhyāyī, so called from its “consisting of eight lectures (adhyāya),” of four pādas each. For a comprehensive grasp of linguistic facts, and a penetrating insight into the structure of the vernacular language, this work stands probably unrivalled in the literature of any nation—though few other languages, it is true, afford such facilities as the Sanskrit for a scientific analysis. Pāṇini's system of arrangement differs entirely from that usually adopted in our grammars, viz. according to the so-called parts of speech. As the work is composed in aphorisms intended to be learnt by heart, economy of memory-matter was the author's paramount consideration. His object was chiefly attained by the grouping together of all cases exhibiting the same phonetic or formative feature, no matter whether or not they belonged to the same part of speech. For this purpose he also makes use of a highly artificial and ingenious system of algebraic symbols, consisting of technical letters (anubandha), used chiefly with suffixes, and indicative of the changes which the roots or stems have to undergo in word-formation.
It is self-evident that so complicated and complete a system of linguistic analysis and nomenclature could not have sprung up all at once and in the infancy of grammatical science, but that many generations of scholars must have helped to bring it to that degree of perfection which it exhibits in Pāṇini's work. Accordingly we find Pāṇini himself making reference in various places to ten different grammarians, besides two schools, which he calls the “eastern (prāñchas)” and “northern (udañchas)” grammarians. Perhaps the most important of his predecessors was Śākaṭāyana, also mentioned by Yāska—the author of the Nirukta, who is likewise supposed to have preceded Pāṇini—as the only grammarian (vaiyākaraṇa) who held with the etymologists (nairukta) that all nouns are derived from verbal roots. Unfortunately there is little hope of the recovery of his grammar, which would probably have enabled us to determine somewhat more exactly to what extent Pāṇini was indebted to the labours of his predecessors. There exists indeed a grammar in South Indian MSS., entitled Śabdānuśāsana, which is ascribed to one Śākaṭāyana; but this has been proved to be the production of a modern Jaina writer, which, however, seems to be partly based on the original work, and partly on Pāṇini and others. Pāṇini is also called Dākshīputra, after his mother Dākshī. As his birthplace the village Śālātura is mentioned, which was situated some few miles north-west of the Indus, in the country of the Gandliaras, whence later writers also call him Śālāturīya, the formation of which name he himself explains in his grammar. Another name sometimes applied to him is Śālanki. In the Kathā-saritsāgara, a modern collection of popular tales mentioned above, Pāṇini is said to have been the pupil of Varsha, a teacher at Pāṭaliputra, under the reign of Nanda, the father (?) of Chandragupta (315-291 B.C.). The real date of the great grammarian is, however, still a matter of uncertainty. While Goldstücker attempted to put his date back to ante-Buddhist times (about the 7th century B.C.), Professor Weber held that Pāṇini's grammar cannot have been composed till some time after the invasion of Alexander the Great. This opinion is chiefly based on the occurrence in one of the Sūtras of the word yavanānī, in the sense of “the writing of the Yavanas (Ionians),” thus implying, it would seem, such an acquaintance with the Greek alphabet as it would be impossible to assume for any period prior to Alexander's Indian campaign (326 B.C.). But, as it is by no means certain that this term really applies to the Greek alphabet, it is scarcely expedient to make the word the corner-stone of the argument regarding Pāṇini's age. If Patañjali's “great commentary” was written, as seems most likely, about the middle of the 2nd century B.C., it is hardly possible to assign to Pāṇini a later date than about 400 B.C. Though this grammarian registers numerous words and formations as peculiar to the Vedic hymns, his chief concern is with the ordinary speech (bhāshā) of his period and its literature; and it is noteworthy, in this respect, that the rules he lays down on some important points of syntax (as pointed out by Professors Bhandarkar and Kielhorn) are in accord with the practice of the Brāhmaṇas rather than with that of the later classical literature.
Pāṇini's Sūtras continued for ages after to form the centre of grammatical activity. But, as his own work had superseded those of his predecessors, so many of the scholars who devoted themselves to the task of perfecting his system have sunk into oblivion. The earliest of his successors whose work has come down to us Kātyāyana. (though perhaps not in a separate form) is Kātyāyana, the author of a large collection of concise critical notes, called Vārttika, intended to supplement and correct the Sūtras, or give them greater precision. The exact date of this writer is likewise unknown; but there can be little doubt that he lived at least a century after Pāṇini. During the interval a new body of literature seems to have sprung up—accompanied with considerable changes of language—and the geographical knowledge of India extended over large tracts towards the south. Whether this is the same Kātyāyana to whom the Vājasaneyi-prātiśākhya (as well as the Sarvānukrama) is attributed, is still doubted by some scholars. Kātyāyana being properly a family or tribal name, meaning “the descendant of Kātya,” later works usually assign a second name Vararuchi to the writers (for there are at least two) who bear it. The Kathāsaritsāgara makes the author of the Vārttikas a fellow student of Pāṇini, and afterwards the minister of King Nanda; but, though this date might have fitted Kātyāyana well enough, it is impossible to place any reliance on the statements derived from such a source. Kātyāyana was succeeded again, doubtless Patañjali. after a considerable interval, by Patañjali, the author of the (Vyākaraṇa-) Mahā-bhāshya, or Great Commentary. For the great variety of information it incidentally supplies regarding the literature and manners of the period, this is, from an historical and antiquarian point of view, one of the most important works of the classical Sanskrit literature. Fortunately the author's date has been fairly settled by synchronisms implied in two passages of his work. In one of them the use of the imperfect—as the tense referring to an event, known to people generally, not witnessed by the speaker, and yet capable of being witnessed by him—is illustrated by the statement, “The Yavana besieged Sāketa,” which there is reason to believe can only refer to the Indo-Bactrian king Menander (144-c. 124 B.C.), who, according to Strabo, extended his rule as far as the Yamunā. In the other passage the use of the present is illustrated by the sentence, “We are sacrificing for Pushpamitra”-this prince (178-c. 142 B.C.), the founder of the Śunga dynasty, being known to have fought against the Greeks. We thus get the years 144 B.C. as the probable time when the work, or part of it, was composed. Although Patañjali probably gives not a few traditional grammatical examples mechanically repeated from his predecessors, those here mentioned are fortunately such as, from the very nature of the case, must have been made by himself. The Mahābhāshya is not a continuous commentary on Pāṇini's grammar, but deals only with those Sūtras (some 1720 out of a total of nearly 4000) on which Kātyāyana had proposed any Vārttikas, the critical discussion of which, in connexion with the respective Sūtras, and with the views of other grammarians expressed thereon, is the sole object of Patañjali's commentatorial remarks. Though doubts have been raised as to the textual condition of the work, Professor Kielhorn has clearly shown that it has probably been handed down in as good a state of preservation as any other classical Sanskrit work. Patañjali is also called Gonardīya—which name Professor Bhandarkar takes to mean “a native of Gonarda,” a place, according to the same scholar, probably identical with Goṇḍa, a town some 20 m. north-west of Oudh—and Goṇikāputra, or son of Goṇikā. Whether there is any connexion between this writer and the reputed author of the Yogaśāstra is doubtful. The Mahābhāshya has been commented upon by Kaiyaṭa, in his Bhāshyapradīpa, and the latter again b Nagojibhatta, a distinguished grammarian of the earlier part of the 18th century, in his Bhāshya-pradīpoddyota.
Of running commentaries on Pāṇini's Sūtras, the oldest extant and most important is the Kāśikā Vṛitti, or “comment of Kāśī Kāśikā Vṛitti. (Benares),” the joint production of two Jaina writers of probably the first half of the 7th century, viz. Jayāditya and Vāmana, each of whom composed one half (four adhyāyas) of the work. The chief commentaries on this work are Haradatta Miśra's Padamañjarī, which also embodies the substance of the Mahābhāshya, and Jinendra-buddhi's Nyāsa.
Educational requirements in course of time led to the appearance of grammars, chiefly of an elementary character, constructed on a more practical system of arrangement—the principal heads under which the grammatical matter was distributed usually Modern grammars. being: rules of euphony (sandhi); inflection of nouns (nāman), generally including composition and secondary derivatives; the verb (ākhyāta); and primary (kṛid-anta) derivatives. In this way a number of grammatical schools sprang up at different times, each recognizing a special set of Sūtras, round which gradually gathered a more or less numerous body of commentatorial and subsidiary treatises. As regards the grammatical material itself, these later grammars supply comparatively little that is not already contained in the older works—the difference being mainly one of method, and partly of terminology, including modifications of the system of technical letters (anubandha). Of the Chandra. grammars of this description hitherto known, the Chāndravyākaraṇa is probably the oldest—its author Chandra Āchārya having flourished under King Abhimanyu of Kashmir, who is supposed to have lived towards the end of the 2nd century, and in whose reign that grammarian is stated, along with others, to have revived the study of the Mahābhāshya in Kashmir. Only portions of this grammar, with a commentary by Ānandadatta, have, however, as yet been recovered.
The Kātantra, or Kālāpa, is ascribed to Kumāra, the god of war, whence this school is also sometimes called Kaumāra. The real Kātantra. author probably was Śarva-varman, who also wrote the original commentary (vṙitti), which was afterwards recast by Durgasiṃha, and again commented upon by the same writer, and subsequently by Trilochana-dāsa. The date of the Kātantra is unknown, but it will probably have to be assigned to about the 6th or 7th century. It is still used in many parts of India, especially in Bengal and Kashmir. Other grammars are—the Sārasvatī Prakriyā, by Anubhūti Svarūpāchārya; the Sankshipta-sāra, composed by Kramadīśvara, and corrected by Jumara-nandin, whence it is also called Jaumara; the Haima-vyākaraṇa, by the Jaina Hemachandra, &c. writer Hemachandra (1088-1172, according to Dr Bhāo Dājī); the Mugdha-bodha, composed, in the latter part of the 13th century, by Vopadeva, the court paṇḍit of King Mahādeva (Rāmarāja) of Devagiri (or Deoghar); the Siddhānta-kaumudī, the favourite text-book of Indian students, by Bhaṭṭoji Dikshita (17th century); and a clever abridgment of it, the Laghu- (Siddhānta-) kaumudī, by Varadarāja.
Several subsidiary grammatical treatises remain to be noticed. The Paribhāshās are general maxims of interpretation presupposed Subsidiary grammatical treatises. by the Sūtras. Those handed down as applicable to Pāṇini's system have been interpreted most ably by Nāgojībhaṭṭa, in his Paribāshenduśekhara. In the case of rules applying to whole groups of words, the complete lists (gaṇa) of these words are given in the Gaṇapāṭha, and only referred to in the Sūtras. Vardhamāna's Gaṇaratnamahodadhi, a comparatively modern recension of these lists (A.D. 1140), is valuable as offering the only available commentary on the Gaṇas which contain many words of unknown meaning. The Dhātupāṭhas are complete lists of the roots (dhātu) of the language, with their general meanings. The lists handed down under this title, as apparently arranged by Pāṇini himself, have been commented upon, amongst others, by Mādhava. The Uṇādi-sūtras are rules on the formation of irregular derivatives. The oldest work of this kind, commented upon by Ujjvaladatta, is by some writers ascribed to Kātyāyana Vararuchi, by others even to Śākaṭāyana. The oldest known treatise on the philosophy of grammar and syntax is the Vākya-padiya, composed in verse, by Bhartṛihari (? 7th century), whence it is also called Harikārikā. Of later works on this subject, the Vaiyākaraṇa-bhūshaṇa, by Koṇḍabhaṭṭa, and the Vaiyākaraṇa-siddhānta-mañjūshā, by Nāgojībhaṭṭa, are the most important.
IV. Lexicography.—Sanskrit dictionaries (kosha), invariably composed in verse, are either homonymous or synonymous, or partly Dictionaries. the one and partly the other. Of those hitherto published, Śāśvata's Anekārtha-samuchchaya, or “collection of homonyms,” is probably the oldest. While in the later homonymic vocabularies the words are usually arranged according to the alphabetical order of the final (or sometimes the initial) letter, and then according to the number of syllables, Śāśvata's principle of arrangement—viz. the number of meanings assignable to a word—seems to be the more primitive. The work probably next in time is the famous Amara-kosha (“immortal treasury”) by Amarasimha, one of “the nine gems,” who probably lived early in the 6th century. This dictionary consists of a synonymous and a short homonymous part; whilst in the former the words are distributed in sections according to subjects, as heaven and the gods, time and seasons, &c., in the latter they are arranged according to their final letter, without regard to the number of syllables. This Kosha has found many commentators, the oldest of those known being Kshīrasvāmin. Among the works quoted by commentators as Amara's sources are the Trikāṇḍa and Utpalinī-koshas, and the glossaries of Rabhasa, Vyāḍi, Kātyāyana, and Vararuchi. A Kosha ascribed to Vararuchi—whom tradition makes likewise one of the nine literary “gems”—consisting of ninety short sections, has been printed at Benares (1865) in a collection of twelve Koshas. The Abhidhāna-ratnamālā, by Halāyudha; the Viśvaprakāśa, by Maheśvara (1111); and the Abhidhāna-chintāmaṇi (or Haima-kosha), by the Jaina Hemachandra, seem all three to belong to the 12th century. Somewhat earlier than these probably is Ajaya Pāla, the author of the (homonymous) Nānārtha-sangraha, being quoted by Vardhamāna (A.D. 1140). Of more uncertain date is Purushottama Deva, who Wrote the Trikāṇḍa-śesha, a supplement to the Amarkosha, besides the Hārāvalī, a collection of uncommon words, and two other short glossaries. Of numerous other works of this class the most important is the Medinī, a dictionary of homonyms, arranged in the first place according to the finals and the syllabic length, and then alphabetically. Two important dictionaries, compiled by native scholars of the last century, are the Śabdakalpadruma by Rādhākānta Deva, and the Vāchaspatya, by Tārānātha Tarka-vāchaspati. A full account of Sanskrit dictionaries is contained in the preface to the first edition of H. H. Wilson's Dictionary, reprinted in his Essays on Sanskrit Literature, vol. iii.
V. Prosody (Chhandas).—The oldest treatises on prosody have already been referred to in the account of the technical branches Prosody. of the later Vedic literature. Among more modern treatises the most important are the Mṛita-sanjīvanī, a commentary on Pingala's Sūtra, by Halāyudha (perhaps identical with the author of the glossary above referred to); the Vṛitta-ratnākara, or “jewel-mine of metres,” in six chapters, composed before the 13th century by Kedāra Bhaṭṭa, with several commentaries; and the Chhando-mañjarī, likewise in six chapters, by Gangādāsa. The Śrutabodha, ascribed, probably wrongly, to the great Kālidāsa, is a comparatively insignificant treatise which deals only with the more common metres, in such a way that each stanza forms a specimen of the metre it describes. The Vṛitta-darpaṇa treats chiefly of Prākṛit metres. Sanskrit prosody, which is probably not surpassed by any other either in variety of metre or in harmoniousness of rhythm, recognizes two classes of metres, viz. such as consist of a certain number of syllables of fixed quantity, and such as are regulated by groups of breves or metrical instants, this latter class being again of two kinds, according as it is or is not bound by a fixed order of feet. A pleasant account of Sanskrit poetics is given in Colebrooke's Essays, vol. ii.; a more complete and systematic one by Professor Weber, Ind. Stud. vol. viii.
VI. Music (Sangīta).—The musical art has been practised in India from early times. The theoretic treatises on profane music Music. now extant are, however, quite modern productions. The two most highly esteemed works are the Sangīta-ratnākara (“jewel-mine of music”), by Śārngadeva, and the Sangīta-darpaṇa (“mirror of music”), by Dāmodara. Each of these works consists of seven chapters, treating respectively of—(1) sound and musical notes (svara); (2) melodies (rāga); (3) music in connexion with the human voice (prakīrṇaka); (4) musical compositions (prabandha); (5) time and measure (tāla); (6) musical instruments and instrumental music (vādya); (7) dancing and acting (nṛitta or nṛitya). The Indian octave consists like our own of seven chief notes (svara); but, while with us it is subdivided into twelve semitones, the Hindu theory distinguishes twenty-two intervals (śruti, audible sound). There is, however, some doubt as to whether these śrutis are quite equal to one another—in which case the intervals between the chief notes would be unequal, since they consist of either two or three or four śrutis,—or whether, if the intervals between the chief notes be equal, the śrutis themselves vary in duration between quarter-, third-, and semi-tones. There are three scales (grāma), differing from each other in the nature of the chief intervals (either as regards actual duration, or the number of śrutis or sub-tones). Indian music consists almost entirely in melody, instrumental accompaniment being performed in unison, and any attempt at harmony being confined to the continuation of the key-note. A number of papers, by various writers, have been reprinted with additional remarks on the subject, in Sourindro Mohun Tagore's Hindu Music (Calcutta, 1875). Compare also Bh. A. Pingle, Indian Music, 2nd ed. (Bombay 1898).
VII. Rhetoric (Alankāra-śāstra).—Treatises on the theory of literary composition are very numerous. Indeed, a subject of this Rhetoric. description—involving such nice distinctions as regards the various kinds of poetic composition, the particular subjects and characters adapted for them, and the different sentiments or mental conditions capable of being both depictured and called forth by them—could not but be congenial to the Indian mind. H. H. Wilson, in his Theatre of the Hindus, has given a detailed account of these theoretic distinctions with special reference to the drama, which, as the most perfect and varied kind of poetic production, usually takes an important place in the theory of literary composition. The Bharata-śāstra has already been alluded to as probably the oldest extant work in this department of literature. Another comparatively ancient treatise is the Kāvyādarśa, or “mirror of poetry,” in three chapters, by Daṇḍin, the author of the novel Daśakumāracharita, who probably flourished towards the end of the 6th century. The work consists of three chapters, treating—(1) of two different local styles (rīti) of poetry, the Gauḍī or eastern and the Vaidarbhī or southern (to which later critics add four others, the Pāñchālī, Māgadhī, Lāṭī, and Āvantikā); (2) of the graces and ornaments of style, as tropes, figures, similes; (3) of alliteration, literary puzzles and twelve kinds of faults to be avoided in composing poems. Another treatise on rhetoric, in Sūtras, with a commentary entitled Kāvyālankāra-vṛitti, is ascribed to Vāmana of probably the 8th century. The Kāvyālankāra, by the Kashmirian Rudraṭa, was probably composed in the 9th century, a gloss on it (by Nami), which professes to be based on older commentaries, having been written in 1068. Dhananjaya, the author of the Daśarūpa, or “ten forms (of plays),” the favourite compendium of dramaturgy, appears to have flourished in the 10th century. In the concluding stanza he is stated to have composed his work at the court of King Muñja, who is probably identical with the well known Mālava prince, the uncle and predecessor of King Bhoja of Dhārā. The Daśarūpa was early commented upon by Dhanika, possibly the author's own brother, their father's name being the same (Vishṇu). Dhanika quotes Rājaśekhara, who is supposed to have flourished about A.D. 1000, but may after all have to be put somewhat earlier. The Sarasvatī-kanṭhābharaṇa, “the neck-ornament of Sarasvatī (the goddess of eloquence),” a treatise, in five chapters, on poetics generally, remarkable for its wealth of quotations, is ascribed to King Bhoja himself (11th century), probably as a compliment by some writer patronized by him. The Kāvya-prakāśa, “the lustre of poetry,” another esteemed work of the same class, in ten sections, was probably composed in the 12th century—the author, Mammaṭa, a Kashmirian, having been the maternal uncle of Śrī-Harsha, the author of the Naishadhīya. The Sāhitya-darpaṇa, or “mirror of composition,” the standard work on literary criticism, was composed in the 15th century, on the banks of the Brahmaputra, by Viśvanātha Kavirāja. The work consists of ten chapters, treating of the following subjects:—(1) the nature of poetry; (2) the sentence; (3) poetic flavour (rasa); (4) the divisions of poetry; (5) the functions of literary suggestion; (6) visible and audible poetry (chiefly on dramatic art); (7) faults of style; (8) merits of style; (9) distinction of styles; (10) ornaments of style.
VIII. Medicine (Āyur-veda, Vaidya-śāstra).—Though the early cultivation of the healing art is amply attested by frequent allusions Medicine. in the Vedic writings, it was doubtless not till a much later period that the medical practice advanced beyond a certain degree of empirical skill and pharmaceutic routine. From the simultaneous mention of the three humours (wind, bile, phlegm) in a vārttika to Pāṇini (v. 1, 38), some kind of humoral pathology would, however, seem to have been prevalent among Indian physicians several centuries before our era. The oldest existing work is supposed to be the Charaka-saṃhitā, a bulky cyclopedia in ślokas, mixed with prose sections, which consists of eight chapters, and was probably composed for the most part in the early centuries of our era. Whether the Chinese tradition which makes Charaka the court physician of King Kanishka (c. A.D. 100) rests on fact is very doubtful. Of equal authority, but doubtless somewhat more modern, is the Suśruta (-saṃhitā), which Suśruta is said to have received from Dhanvantari, the Indian Aesculapius, whose name, however, appears also among the “nine gems.” It consists of six chapters, and is likewise composed in mixed verse and prose—the greater simplicity of arrangement, as well as some slight attention paid in it to surgery, betokening an advance upon Charaka. Both works are, however, characterized by great prolixity, and contain much matter which has little connexion with medicine. The late Professor E. Haas, in two very suggestive papers, tried to show that the work of Suśruta (identified by him with Socrates, so often confounded in the middle ages with Hippocrates) was probably not composed till after the Mohammedan conquest, and that, so far from the Arabs (as they themselves declare) having derived some of their knowledge of medical science from Indian authorities, the Indian Vaidyaśāstra was nothing but a poor copy of Greek medicine, as transmitted by the Arabs. But even though Greek influence may be traced in this as in other branches of Indian science, there can be no doubt, at any rate, that both Charaka and Suśruta were known to the Arab Rāzī (c. A.D. 932), and to the author of the Fihrist (completed A.D. 987), and that their works must therefore have existed, in some form or other, at least as early as the 9th century. Among the numerous later medical works published and greatly esteemed in India, the most important general compendiums are Vāgbhaṭa's Ashṭānga-hṛidaya, “the heart of the eight-limbed (body of medical science),” supposed to have been written in the 9th century, or still earlier; and Bhāva Miśra's Bhāva-prakāśa, probably of the early part of the 16th century;, while of special treatises may be mentioned Mādhava's system of pathology, the Rugviniśchaya, or Mādhava-Nidāna, of the 8th or 9th century; and Śārngadhara's compendium of therapeutics, the Śārngadhara-saṃhitā, composed before 1300, having been commented upon by Vopadeva. Materia medica, with which India is so lavishly endowed by nature, is a favourite subject with Hindu medical writers, the oldest treatise being apparently the Dhanvantari-nighaṇṭu, of uncertain, but not very high, age; besides which may be mentioned Madanapāla's Madanavinoda, written A.D. 1374; the more modern Rāja-nighaṇtu, by the Kashmirian Narahari; besides other, still more recent esteemed works of this class, to which may be added the valuable medical dictionary Vaidyakaśabdasindhu by Umeśachandra Gupta. A useful general view of this branch of Indian science is contained in T. A. Wise's Commentary on Hindu Medicine (1845), and in his History of Medicine, vol. i. (1867); but the subject has since then been treated in a much fuller and more critical way in Professor J. Jolly's “Medicin” in Bühler's Grundriss der indoarischen Philologie.
IX. Astronomy and Mathematics.—Hindu astronomy may be broadly divided into a pre-scientific and a scientific period. While the latter clearly presupposes a knowledge of the researches of Hipparchus and other Greek astronomers, Astronomy and Mathematics. it is still doubtful whether the earlier astronomical and astrological theories of Indian writers were entirely of home growth or partly derived from foreign sources. From very ancient (probably Indo-European) times chronological calculations were based on the synodical revolutions of the moon—the difference between twelve such revolutions (making together 354 days) and the solar year being adjusted by the insertion, at the time of the winter solstice, of twelve additional days. Besides this primitive mode the Ṛigveda also alludes to the method prevalent in post-Vedic times, according to which the year is divided into twelve (sāvana or solar) months of thirty days, with a thirteenth month intercalated every fifth year. This quinquennial cycle (yuga), is explained in the Jyotisha, regarded as the oldest astronomical treatise. An institution which occupies an important part in those early speculations is the theory of the so-called lunar zodiac, or system of lunar mansions, by which the planetary path, in accordance with the duration of the moon's rotation, is divided into twenty-seven or twenty-eight different stations, named after certain constellations (nakshatra) which are found alongside of the ecliptic, and with which the moon (masc.) was supposed to dwell successively during his circuit. The same institution is found in China and Arabia; but it is still doubtful whether the Hindus, as some scholars hold, or the Chaldaeans, as Professor Weber thinks, are to be credited with the invention of this theory. Professor G. Thibaut, who has again thoroughly investigated the problem, comes to the conclusion that it is improbable that the nakshatra-theory arose independently in India, but that it is still doubtful whence the Hindus derived it. The principal works of this period are hitherto known from quotations only, viz. the Gārgī Saṃhitā, which Professor Kern would fix at c. 50 B.C., the Nāradī Saṃhitā and others. The new era, which the same scholar dates from c. A.D. 250, is marked by the appearance of the five original Siddhāntas (partly extant in revised redactions and in quotations), the very names of two of which suggest Western influence, viz. the Paitāmaha-, Sūrya-,Vasishtha-, Romaka- (i.e. Roman) and Pauliśa-siddhāntas. Based on these are the works of the most distinguished Indian astronomers, viz. Āryabhaṭa, probably born in 476; Varāha-mihira, probably 505-587; Brahma-gupta, who completed his Brahma-siddhānta in 628; Bhaṭṭa Utpala (10th century), distinguished especially as commentator of Varāha-mihira; and Bhāskara Āchārya, who, born in 1114, finished his great course of astronomy, the Siddhānta-śiromaṇi, in 1150. In the works of several of these writers, from Āryabhaṭa onwards, special attention is paid to mathematical (especially arithmetical and algebraic) computations; and the respective chapters of Bhāskara’s compendium, viz. the Līlāvatī and Vīja-gaṇita, still form favourite text-books of these subjects. The question whether Āryabhaṭa was acquainted with the researches of the Greek algebraist Diophantus (c. A.D. 360) remains still unsettled, but, even if this was the case, algebraic science seems to have been carried by him beyond the point attained by the Greeks.
On Sanskrit literature generally may be consulted Max Müller, History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature; A. Weber, History of Indian Literature; A. A. Macdonell, History of Sanskrit Literature. (J. E.)
- It also shows occasionally other tense-forms than the perfect of the same periphrastic formation with kar.
- We might compare the different treatment in Sanskrit of an and in bases (mūrdháni-mūrdhnā̇; vādíni-vādínā); for, though the latter are doubtless of later origin, their inflection might have been expected to be influenced by that of the former. Also a comparison of such forms as (devá) devā̇nām (agní) agnīnā̇m, and (dhenú) dhenúnā̇m, tells in favour of the i- and u-vowels, as regards power of resistance, inasmuch as it does not require the accent in order to remain intact.
- J. Muir's Original Sanskrit Texts (5 vols., 2nd ed.) forms the most complete general survey of the results of Vedic research.
- The combination ch, used (in conformity with the usual English practice) in this sketch of the literature, corresponds to the simple c—as ṛi does to ṛ—in the scheme of the alphabet.
- Cf. P. Deussen, The Philosophy of the Upanishads (Edinburgh, 1906), where these treatises are classified; Jacob, A Concordance to the Principal Upanishads and Bhagavadgītā (Bombay S.S., 1891).
- The Ṛigveda has been edited, together with the commentary of Sāyaṇa (of the 14th century), by Max Müller (6 vols., London, 1849-1874; 2nd ed., 4 vols., 1890-1892). The same scholar has published an edition of the hymns, both in the connected (saṃhitā) and the disjoined (pada) texts, 1873-1877. An edition in Roman transliteration was published by Th. Aufrecht (Berlin, 1861-1863, 2nd ed. 1877). Part of an English translation (chiefly based on Sāyaṇa's interpretation) was brought out by the late Professor H. H. Wilson (vols. i.-iii., 1850-1857) and completed by Professor E. B. Cowell (vols. iv.-vi., 1866-1888). We have also the first volume of a translation, with a running commentary, by M. Müller, containing 12 hymns to the Maruts or storm-gods (1869). These were reprinted, together with the remaining hymns to the Maruts, and those addressed to Rudra, Vāyu and Vāta, Vedic Hymns I. in S.B.E., vol. xxxii. (1891); where (vol. xlvi.) H. Oldenberg has also translated the hymns to Agni, in maṇḍalas 1-5. A metrical English translation was published by R. H. T. Griffith (2 vols., Benares, 1896-1897). Complete German translations have been published, in verse, by H. Grassmann (1876-1877) and, in prose, with comm., A. Ludwig (1876-1888). Cf. also Kaegi, The Rigveda (Eng. trans. by Arrowsmith, Boston, 1886).
- Edited, with an English translation, by M. Haug (2 vols., Bombay, 1863). An edition in Roman transliteration, with extracts from the commentary, has been published by Th. Aufrecht (Bonn, 1879).
- Edited by B. Lindner (Jena, 1887).
- Edited, with Sāyaṇa's commentary, by Rājendralāla Mitra, in the Bibliotheca Indica (1875-1876). The first three books have been translated by F. Max Müller in S.B.E. vol. i. A new edition of the work was published, with translation, by A. B. Keith (Oxford, 1909).
- Edited and translated by Dr Röer, in the Bibl. Ind. The last chapter of the second book, not being commented upon by Sāyaṇa, is probably a later addition.
- Translated by A. B. Keith (1908), who has also published (as an appendix to his ed. of the Aitareyāraṇyaka) the text of adhy. 7-15; whilst W. F. Friedländer edited adhy. 1 and 2 (1900). Cf. Keith, J.R.As.S. (1908), p. 363 sqq., where the date of the first and more original portion (adhy. 1-8) is tentatively fixed at 600-550 B.C.
- Text, commentary and translation published by E. B. Cowell, in the Bibl. Ind. Also a translation by F. Max Müller in S.B.E. vol. i.
- Cf. A. Hillebrandt, “Ritual-Litteratur,” in Bühler's Gruudriss 1897).
- Both works have been published with the commentary of Gārgya Nārāyaṇa, by native scholars. in the Bibl. Ind. Also the text of the Gṛihya, with a German translation, by A. Stenzler.
- See A. Weber's analysis, Ind. Studien, ii. 288 seq. The work was edited by Hillebrandt, in Bibl. Ind.
- Edited, with a German translation, by H. Oldenberg (Ind. Stud. vol. xv.), who also gives an account of the Sāmbavya Gṛihya. An English translation in S.B.E. vol. xxix. by the same scholar, who would assign the two sūtra works to Sarvajna Śānkhāyana, whilst the Brāhmaṇa (and Āraṇyaka) seem to him to have been imparted by Kahola Kaushītaki to Guṇakhya Śānkhāyana.
- Text with Kṛishṇapaṇḍita's commentary, published at Benares; also critically edited by A. A. Führer (Bombay, 1883); translation by G. Bühler in S.B.E. vol. xiv.
- Edited, with a French translation, by A. Regnier, in the Journal Asiatique (1856-1858); also, with a German translation, by M. Müller (1869).
- Edited, with translation, by A. A. Macdonell (2 vols.), in the Harvard Or. series (1904).
- Edited R. Meyer (Berlin, 1878).
- Edited, with commentary, by A. A. Macdonell (Oxford, 1886).
- Burnell, Ārsheyabrāhmaṇa, p. xli.
- Edited and translated by J. Stevenson (1843); a critical edition, with German translation and glossary, was published by Th. Benfey (1848); also an edition, with the Gānas and Sāyaṇa's commentary, by Satyavrata Sāmāśramī, in the Bibl. Ind. in 5 vols.; and Eng. trans. by R. H. T. Griffith (Benares, 1893).
- Edited, with Sāyaṇa's commentary by Ānandachandra Vedāntavāgīśa, in the Bibl. Ind. (1869-1874).
- Ed. J. Vidyāsāgara (1881); also, with German translation, K. Klemm (1894).
- A. Weber, “Omina et Portenta,” Abhandlungen of Berlin Royal Academy of Sciences (1858).
- The works enumerated under (3), (4), (5), (7), (8) have been edited by A. Burnell; (8) also previously by A. Weber, Ind. St. vol. iv.; whilst 7 was translated by Sten Konow (Halle, 1893).
- Edited and translated by Dr Röer, Bibl. Ind.; also translated by M. Müller, S.B.E. vol. i., text, with German translation, by O. v. Böhtlingk (1889).
- Given by Burnell (1878), and (with translation) by H. Oertel, J. Am. Or. S. vol. xvi. See also Whitney's account of the work, Proceedings of Am. Or. Soc. (May 1883).
- Transl. by F. M. Müller. S.B.E. vol. i.
- Ārsheyakalpa, ed. W. Caland (1908); Lāṭyāyana-sūtra, with Agnisvamin's commentary and the vv. ll. of the Drāhyāyaṇa-sūtra, by Ānandachandra Vedāntavāgīśa, Bibl. Ind. (1872).
- Ed. and trans., A. Burnell (Mangalore, 1879).
- Two chapters published by A. Weber, Ind. St. vol. viii.
- Edited, with a commentary, by Chandrakānta Tarkālankāra, Bibl. Ind. (1880); also ed. and trans. by F. Knauer (1884-1887); Eng. trans. by H. Oldenberg, S.B.E. vol. xxx.
- Edited by A. Stenzler; translated by G. Bühler, S.B.E. vol. ii.
- Books I., II., ed. by L. v. Schröder (Leipzig, 1900, 1909).
- Ed. by L. v. Schröder (Leipzig, 1881-1886).
- With Sāyaṇa's commentary, by E. Röer, E. B. Cowell, &c., in Bibl. Ind.; also, in Roman character, by A. Weber, Ind. Stud. xi., xii.
- Edited, with Sāyaṇa's commentary, by Rājendralāla Mitra, Bibl. Ind.; N. Godabole, Ānand. Ser. (1898).
- Ed. R. Mitra, Bibl. Ind.; H. N. Apte. Anand. Ser. (1898).
- Trans. by F. M. Müller, S.B.E. vol. xv.
- Text and translation published by E. B. Cowell, Bibl. Ind. Also trans. by F. M. Müller, S.B.E. vol. xv.
- Text, commentary and translation published by E. Röer, Bibl. Ind.; also translation by F. M. Müller, S.B.E. vol. xv., and others.
- Edited in the Mādhyandina recension, with the commentary of Mahidhara, and the vv. ll. or the Kāṇva text, by A. Weber (1849); trans. by R. H. T. Griffith (Benares, 1899).
- Translation by E. Röer, Bibl. Ind.; by F. M. Müller, S.B.E. vol. i.
- Edited by A. Weber, who also translated the first chapter into German. English translation (5 vols.) by J. Eggeling, in S. B. E.
- The text, with Śankara's commentary, and an English translation, published by E. Röer, Bibl. Ind.
- Trans. by F. M. Müller, S.B.E. vol. xv., and others.
- See P. v. Bradke, Z.D.M.G. vol. xxxvi. A MS. of a portion of the Śrauta-sūtra, with the commentary of the famous Mīmāmsist Kumārila, has been photo-lithographed by the India Office, under Goldstücker's supervision.
- Edited by F. Knauer (Leipzig, 1897).
- Edited and translated by J. Jolly.
- Edited by R. Garbe, in Bibl. Ind.
- Ed. M. Winternitz (Vienna, 1887); trans. H. Oldenberg, S.B.E. vol. xxx.
- G. Bühler has published the text with extracts from Haradatta's commentary, Bombay Sansk. Ser.; also a trans. in S.B.E.
- The Śulva-sūtra has been published, with the commentary of Kapardisvāmin, and a translation by G. Thibaut, in the Benares Pandit (1875). The Dharma-sūtra has been edited by E. Hultzsch (Leipzig, 1884), and translated by G. Bühler, S.B.E. xiv.
- The H. Gṛihya-sūtra, ed. J. Kirste (Vienna, 1889); trans. H. Oldenberg, S.B.E. vol. xxx.
- An account of the Vaikh. Dharmasūtra given by T. Bloch (Vienna, 1896).
- Edited by A. Weber, 1858.
- Weber, Ind. Stud. iii.
- Text and German translation by A. Stenzler.
- Edited, with Uvaṭa's commentary, and a German translation, by A. Weber, Ind. Stud. iv.; another ed. in Benares Sansk. Ser. (1888).
- The work has been published by W. D. Whitney, with a translation and a commentary by an unknown author, called Tribhāshyaratna, i.e. “jewel of the three commentaries,” it being founded on three older commentaries by Vararuchi (? Kātyāyana), Māhisheya and Ātreya.
- A. Burnell, Classif. Index of Tanjore Sansk. MSS. p. 37.
- Edited by Professors Roth and Whitney (1856); with Sāyaṇa's commentary, by Shankar P. Pandit (4 vols., Bombay, 1895-1898). Index verborum, by Whitney, in J. Am. Or. S. vol. xii., Eng. trans. by R. H. T. Griffith (in verse) (2 vols., Benares, 1897); by W. D. Whitney (with a critical and exegetical commentary), revised and edited by Ch. R. Lanman (2 vols., Harvard Or. Ser., 1905); and (with some omissions) by M. Bloomfield, S.B.E. vol. xlii.; cf. also Bloomfield, “The Atharvaveda,” in Bühler's Encycl. (1899).
- The first account of a copy of it was given by Professor R. v. Roth, in his academic dissertation, “Der Atharvaveda in Kaschmir” (1875). The reproduction on 544 plates, edited by M. Bloomfield and R. Garbe (Baltimore, 1901).
- Edited in the Bibl. Ind. by Rājendralāla Mitra.
- Text and a German translation published by R. Garbe (1878); German trans. by W. Caland (1910).
- This difficult treatise has been published with extracts from commentaries by Professor Bloomfield. Two sections of it had been printed and translated by A. Weber, “Omina et Portenta” (1859).
- These tracts have been edited by G. M. Bolling and J. v. Negelein, part i. (1909).
- Edited and translated by W. D. Whitney.
- For a full list of existing translations of and essays on the Upanishads, see Introd. to Max Müller's “Upanishads,” S.B.E. i. Cf also P. Deussen, Sechzig Upanishads (1897).
- Three complete Indian editions, the handiest in 4 vols., including the Harivaṃśa (Calcutta, 1834-1839); a Bombay edition, with Nīlakaṇṭha's commentary (1863); and a third, in Telugu characters, containing the Southern recension (Madras, 1855-1860). Another Southern edition, in Nāgarī, is now appearing at Bombay, edited by Krishnacharya and Vyasacharya of Kumbakonam. An English translation has been brought out at Calcutta by Pratap Chundra Roy (1883-1894); and another by M. N. Dutt (5 vols., Calcutta, 1896); whilst numerous episodes have been printed and translated by European scholars. For critical analysis of this epic consult A. Holtzmann, Das Mahābhārata (4 vols., Kiel, 1892-1895); W. Hopkins, The Great Epic of India (New York, 1902).
- Lassen, Indische Altertumskunde, i. 733 sqq.
- Viz. as an adj., apparently with “war” or “poem” understood.
- Das Rāmāyaṇa (Bonn, 1893).
- London, 1870-1874; there is also an English prose translation by M. N. Dutt (Calcutta, 1894); and a condensed version in English verse by Romesh Dutt (London, 1899).
- Turin, 1843-1867.
- Cf. H. H. Wilson, Essays on the Religion of the Hindus, ii. pp. 67 sqq.
- There are several Indian editions of these two works. The Bhāgavata has been partly printed, in an édition de luxe, with a French translation at Paris, in 3 vols., by E. Burnouf, and a fourth by M. Hauvette-Besnault. Of the Vishṇu, there is a translation by H. H. Wilson, 2nd ed., enriched with valuable notes by F. Hall. This and most other Purāṇas have been printed in India, especially in the Bibl. Ind. and the “Anand. series.”
- Rājendralāla Mitra, Notices of Sansk. MSS. ii. 47.
- Cf. H. H. Wilson, Essays on the Religion of the Hindus, ii. pp. 77 sqq.
- Propounded in Note G of his India, What can it Teach Us?
- Ed. by E. B. Cowell (Oxford, 1893); trans. by the same, S.B.E.
- See G. Bühler, “Die indischen Inschriften und das Alter der indischen Kunstpoesie,” in Sitzungsber. Imp. Ac. (Vienna, 1890).
- Collected by F. Kielhorn, Ind. Ant. vol. 16.
- Edited with a Latin trans. by F. Stenzler; also text, with commentary, by S. P. Pandit; also repeatedly in India with and without translation.
- Text and Latin trans. of cantos 1-7 published by F. Stengler; an English trans. by R. T. H. Griffith; also several Indian editions, with comm.
- Text with comm. and Latin trans., edited by F. Benary; with Eng. trans., in verse, by W. Yates; also repeatedly ed. in India.
- Editions of this and the three following poems have been published in India.
- Māgha probably lived in the 9th century, though Bháo Dáji, in his paper on Kālidāsa, would make him “a contemporary of the Bhoja of the 11th century.”
- Edited by G. Bühler.
- The Calcutta edition (1835) and that of A. Troyer, with a French trans., based on insufficient material, have been superseded by M. A. Stein's ed. (Bombay, 1892), trans. by Y. C. Datta (Calcutta, 1898).
- Ed. and trans. Rāj. Mitra, Bibl. Ind.; trans. S. Lefmann.
- Ed. E. Senart.
- Ed. H. H. Wilson; again (Bombay Skt. Ser.) pt. i., G. Bühler; ii., P. Peterson; freely trans. by P. W. Jacob.
- Ed. Fitzedw. Hall (Bibl. Ind.); with comm. J. Vidyāsāgara (Calcutta, 1874).
- Ed. P. Peterson (Bomb. S.S.); with comm. M. R. Kale (1896); trans. with some omissions, C. M. Ridding.
- Ed. J. Vidyāsāgara (Calcutta, 1883; with comm. (Jammu, 1879; Bombay, 1892); trans. E. B. Cowell and F. W. Thomas (1897).
- Cf. H. H. Wilson, Select Specimens of the Theatre of the Hindus (3rd ed., 2 vols., 1871); Sylvain Lévi, Le Théâtre indien Paris, 1890).
- Ed., in Kāvyamālā (Bombay, 1894); by Grosset (Lyons, 1897).
- Edited, with a Latin translation, by C. Lassen; English translation by E. Arnold.
- Edited by F. Stenzler; with commentary, by K. P. Parab (Bombay), and several times at Calcutta; translated by H. H. Wilson; also into English prose and verse by A. W. Ryder (Harvard Or. Ser., 1905); German by O; v. Böhtlingk and L. Fritze; French by P. Regnaud.
- Both these plays are known in different recensions in different parts of India. The Bengali recension of the Śakuntalā was translated by Sir W. Jones, and into French, with the text, by Chézy, and again edited by R. Pischel, who has also advocated its greater antiquity. Editions and translations of the western (Devanāgarī) recension have been published by O. Böhtlingk and Mon. Williams. The Vikramorvaśī has been edited critically by S. P. Pandit, and the southern text by R. Pischel. It has been translated by H. H. Wilson and E. B. Cowell.
- Edited critically by S. P. Pandit; translated by C. H. Tawney (1875), and into German by A. Weber (1856), and L. Fritze (1881).
- Edited by Tārānātha Tarkavāchaspati, and by C. Capeller in Böhtlingk's Sanskrit-Chrestomathie; with commentary (Bombay, 1895); translated by H. H. Wilson.
- Edited by Mādhava Chandra Ghosha and translated by P. Boyd, with a preface by E. B. Cowell.
- This is the commentator's explanation of the name, whilst M. Lévi would render it by “the divine throat.”
- Edited by F. H. Trithen (1848); with commentary, A. Barooah (Calcutta, 1877) and Parab (Bombay, 1892); translated by J. Pickford (1871).
- Edited with commentary and translation (Nagpur, 1895); with commentary, Aiyar and Parab (1899); translation by H. H. Wilson and C. H. Tawney.
- Edited by R. G. Bhandarkar (1876); translated by H. H. Wilson. Whether, as M. S. Lévi suggests, the fact of the play consisting of ten acts points to its having been composed in imitation of the Mṛichchhakaṭikā must remain uncertain.
- Edited by J. Grill (1871); twice with commentary (Bombay); English translation by S. M. Tagore (Calcutta).
- Printed with Mohanadāsa's commentary (Bombay, 1861).
- Edited (Bombay, 1884, 1893) by K. T. Telang, who discusses the date of the work in his preface; transl. H. H. Wilson; German, L. Fritze; French, Victor Hehn.
- Translated by J. Taylor (1810); by T. Goldstücker into German (1842). Edited by H. Brockhaus (1845); also Bombay (1898).
- Another play, composed entirely in Prākṛit, by Rājaśekhara (c. A.D. 900), the Karpūramanjarī, has been critically edited by Sten Konow, with English translation by Ch. R. Lanman, Harvard Or. Ser. (1901).
- Ed. Shivarāma Raoji Khopakar (Bombay, 1894).
- Rājendralāla Mitra, Notices, iii. p. 134.
- Ed. P. Peterson (Bombay, 1888).
- Ed. P. Peterson and Durgāprasāda (Bombay, 1886).
- Text and translation by H. H. Wilson; with vocabulary by S. Johnson; with German vocabulary by Stenzler (1874); often, with commentary, in India.
- The first Sanskrit book published (by Sir W. Jones), 1792. Text and Latin translation by P. v. Bohlen, edited, with notes and translation, by S. Ayyar (Bombay, 1897); partly translated, in verse, by R. T. H. Griffith, Specimens of Old Indian Poetry.
- Ed. Klatt (1373); German transl. O. Kressler (1906).
- Edited by Rājendralāla Mitra, Bibl. Ind.; with translation and notes (Madras, 1895).
- Translation, in English verse, by C. H. Tawney.
- Ed. R. Simon (1893).
- Edited, with French translation. by A. Bergaigne (1872); with English translation, by Sheshādri Iyar (Bombay, 1894).
- Edited by P. v. Bohlen (1833); with German translation, W. Solf (1886); English translation by Edwin Arnold (1896).
- Edited by Kosegarten, by G. Bühler and F. Kielhorn; translated by Th. Benfey, E. Lancereau, L. Fritze; edited in Pūrṇabhadra's recension by J. Hertel, in Harv. Or. Ser. (1908).
- Ed. and transl. F. Johnson, ed. P. Peterson and others in India.
- Ed. H. Uhle (Leipzig, 1881); cf. R. F. Burton, Vikram and the Vampire (new ed., 1893).
- Edited, with German translation, R. Schmidt (Leipzig, 1893), and translation of some stories of a larger recension (1896).
- German translation, with introduction, A. Weber, Ind. Stud. xv.
- Edited, with translation and notes, by L. v. Mankowski (Leipzig, 1892); chapters 1-8 edited and translated by Sylvain Lévi, Journ. As. (1886); cf. F. Lacôte, Essai sur Guṇādhya et la Bṛihatkathā (1909), where part of a Nepalese version is given.
- Edited by H. Brockhaus (1839-1862); by Durgāpratāpa (Bombay, 1889); translated by C. H. Tawney, Bibl. Ind. (1880-1886).
- Cf. Jolly's exhaustive treatise, Recht und Sitte, in Bühler's Grundriss 1896).
- The standard edition is by G. C. Haughton, with Sir W. Jones's translation (1825); the latest translations by A. Burnell and G. Bühler. There is also a critical essay on the work by F. Johäntgen. On the relation between the Dharmasūtras and Smṛitis see especially West and Bühler, Digest of Hindu Law (3rd ed.), i. p. 37 seq.
- Edited, with a German translation, by F. Stenzler.
- Translated by H. T. Colebrooke.
- Ed. (Bibl. Ind., 1885) J. Jolly, trsl. S.B.E. xxxiii.
- Edited in Bombay Sansk. Ser. (1893); translated Bibl. Ind. (1887). The chapter on inheritance (dāya-vibhāga) translated by A. C. Burnell (1868).
- See West and Bühler, Digest, i. p. 55. A different view is expressed by A. Burnell, Dāyavibhāga, p. xiii.
- Translated by H. C. Colebrooke (1810).
- The section on inheritance has been translated by T. Kristnasawmy Iyer (1866).
- Cf. F. Max Müller, Six Systems of Indian Philosophy (1899); R. Garbe, Philosophy of Ancient India (Chicago, 1897).
- The etymological connexion of brahman (from root varh, vardh) with Latin verbum, English word (corresponding to a Sanskrit vardha), assumed by some scholars, though doubtful, is not impossible. The development of its meaning would be somewhat like that of λόγος.
- The derivation of ātman (Ger. Atem) from root an, to breathe (or perhaps av, to blow) seems still the most likely. A recent attempt to connect it with αὐτός can scarcely commend itself.
- See, e.g. A. E. Gough, The Philosophy of the Upanishads, p. 24; A. A. Macdonell, Hist. of Sanskrit Lit. p. 387.
- Muṇḍaka-upanishad, ii. 2, 5.
- From such allusions, or statements, in the Upanishads, some scholars have actually gone the length of claiming the origin of this cardinal doctrine of Vedānta philosophy for the Kshatriyas. It seems to us, however, very much more likely that these anecdotes were introduced by the Brahmanical sages of set purpose to win over their worldly patrons from their materialistic tendencies to their own idealistic views. Kapila, the author of the materialistic Sānkhya, is supposed to have been a Kshatriya, and so, we know, was the Śākya Muni.
- Cf. P. Deussen, The Philosophy of the Upanishads (Edinburgh, 1906).
- Cf. Muṇḍaka-upanishad, i. 4, 5, where these two divisions are called “the lower (apara) and the higher (para) knowledge.”
- These works have all been printed with commentaries in India; and they have been partly translated by Ballantyne and by K. M. Banerjea. The best general view o the systems is to be obtained from H. C. Colebrooke's account, Misc. Essays, i. (2nd ed.), with Professor Cowell's notes. Compare also the brief abstract given in Goldstücker's Literary Remains, vol. i. A very useful classified index of philosophical works was published by F. Hall (1859).
- Edited in the Bibl. Ind.; translated by E. B. Cowell and A. E. Gough (1882).
- Text and Commentary, Bibl. Ind.
- Edited by Th. Goldstücker, completed by E. B. Cowell; also ed. Āhand-Ser. (Bombay, 1892).
- Vaṃsa-brāhmaṇa, Introd.
- Kaṭha-upanishad, ii. 5, 12.
- Kaṭha-up., i. 3, 10; ii. 6, 7.
- vi. 2. 1.
- Die Sūtras des Vedānta, text and commentary translated by P. Deussen (Leipzig, 1887); English translation by G. Thibaut, S.B.E.
- P. Deussen, Das System des Vedānta (1883). A. E. Gough, The Philosophy of the Upanishads, also follows chiefly Śankara's interpretation.
- Brahmasūtra, iii. 1. 32-34.
- Translated by G. Thibaut, S.B.E.; German, P. Deussen.
- Professor Cowell assigns him to about the 10th century.
- Bibl. Ind.
- Text, with Svapneśvara's commentary, edited by J. R. Ballantyne; translated by E. B. Cowell.
- Last by G. A. Jacob.
- E. Röer, Lecture on the Sānkhya Philosophy (Calcutta, 1854); B. St Hilaire, Mémoire sur le Sānkhya (1852); R. Garbe, Sānkhya Philosophie (Leipzig, 1894); Sānkhya and Yoga (Strassburg, 1896).
- Translated by J. R. Ballantyne; 2nd ed. by F. Hall.
- Edited by C. Lassen (1832). Translations by H. T. Colebrooke and J. Davies.
- A writer makes him the pupil of Panchaśikha, whilst another even identifies him with Kālidāsa; cf. F. Hall, Sānkhyasāra, p. 29.
- Translated by H. H. Wilson. A Chinese translation of a commentary resembling that of Gauḍapāda is said (M. Müller, India, p. 360) to have been made during the Ch'en dynasty (A.D. 557-583).
- Translated by R. Garbe, Bibl. Ind.
- Edited by Garbe (Harvard, 1895); translated (Leipzig, 1889).
- Edited by F. Hall.
- Besides Colebrooke's Essay, with Cowell's notes, see Ballantyne's translation of the Tarka-sangraha and the introduction to Röer's translation of the Bhāshāparichheda, and his article, Z.D.M.G. xxi.
- Edited and translated by J. R. Ballantyne.
- Edited and translated, with commentary, by E. Röer.
- Edited and translated, with commentary, by E. B. Cowell.
- See B. H. Hodgson, The Languages, Literature and Religion of Nepal and Tibet.
- Lalita-vistara, ed. and partly transl. Rājendralāla Mitra; ed. S. Lefmann (1908); Mahāvastu, edited E. Senart; Vajra-parichchheda, edited M. Müller; Saddharma-puṇḍarīka, translated by E. Burnouf (“Lotus de la bonne loi”); and H. Kern, Sacred Books of the East.
- It consists of six Saṃhitās, one of which has been edited by K. M. Banerjea, Bibl. Ind.
- Printed, with a commentary, at Calcutta; also, with notes, indexes and an instructive introduction, by O. Böhtlingk (1839-1840); and again with a German translation (1887).
- I.e. son of Śakaṭa, whence he is also called Śakaṭāngaja.
- Compare G. Bühler's paper, Orient und Occident, p. 691 seq.
- A. Burnell, On the Aindra School of Sanskrit Grammarians.
- Pāṇini, his Place in Sanskrit Literature (1861).
- See Lassen, Ind. Alt. i. p. 723; M. Müller, Hist. of A.S. Lit. p. 521; A. Weber, Ind. Stud. v. p. 2 seq.
- F. Kielhorn, Kātyāyana und Patañjali (1876). The Sangraha, a huge metrical work on grammar, by Vyāḍi, which is frequently referred to, doubtless belonged to this period.
- E.g. A. Weber. Goldstücker and M. Müller take the opposite view.
- Part of this work was first printed by Ballantyne; followed by a lithographed edition, by two Benares pandits (1871); and a photolithographic edition of the text and commentaries, published by the India Office, under Goldstücker's supervision (1874); finally, a critical edition by F. Kielhorn. For a review, of the literary and antiquarian data supplied by the work, see A. Weber, Ind. Stud. xiii. 293 seq. The author's date has been frequently discussed, most thoroughly and successfully, by R. G. Bhandarkar in several papers. See also A. Weber, Hist. of I.L. p. 223.
- Lassen, Ind. Alt. ii. 341, 362.
- Edited by Pandit Bāla Sāstrī (Benares, 1876-1878).
- As it is quoted by Vopadeva it cannot be later than the 12th century.
- Dr Burnell, in his Aindra School, proposes to apply this term to all grammars arranged on this plan.
- Professor Bhandarkar, Early History of the Dekhan, p. 20, proposes to fix him about the end of the 3rd century.
- Edited, with commentary, by J. Eggeling.
- The Prākṛit part edited and translated by R. Pischel.
- Edited by O. Böhtlingk (1847).
- Edited and translated by J. R. Ballantyne. For other modern grammars see Colebrooke, Essays, ii. p- 44; Rājendralāla Mitra, Descriptive Catalogue, i., Grammar.
- Edited and translated by F. Kielhorn.
- Edited by J. Eggeling.
- Edited by N. L. Westergaard; also given in Böhtlingk's edition of Pāṇini.
- Text and commentary, edited by Th. Aufrecht.
- Edited, with commentaries, at Benares.
- Edited by Th. Zachariae.
- Edited by H. T. Colebrooke (1808), and by L. Deslongchamps (1839-1845).
- A grammarian of this name is mentioned as the tutor of King Jayāpīḍa of Kashmir (A.D. 755-786); but Kshīra, the commentator on Amara, is placed by Professor Aufrecht between the 11th and 12th centuries, because he quotes the Śabdānuśāsana ascribed to Bhojarāja.
- Edited by Th. Aufrecht (1861).
- Edited by O. Böhtlingk and C. Rieu (1847).
- Edited, with commentary, by Premachandra Tarkabāgīsa, Bibl. Ind.; with German translation by O. v. Böhtlingk (1890).
- Edited by Capeller (1875).
- Edited by Fitzedw. Hall, Bibl. Ind. (1865); with commentary (Bombay, 1897).
- R. Pischel, Gött. Gel. A. (1883); G. Bühler, Ind. Ant. (1884), p. 29.
- Edited by Maheśa Chandra Nyāyaratna (1866).
- Text and translation in Bibl. Ind.; edited by Jibananda Vidyasagara (1897).
- Edited by Jibananda Vidyasagara (Calcutta, 1877). Cf. A. F. R. Hoernle, “Studies in Anc. Indian Medicine” (J. Roy. As. S. 1906-9).
- Edited by Madhusūdana Gupta (1835-1837), and by Jibananda Vidyasagara (1873).
- Z.D.M.G. (1876), p. 617 seq.; (1877), p. 647 seq.
- See Professor Aug. Müller's paper, Z.D.M.G. (1880), p. 465.
- See especially Professor Whitney's essay on the Lunar Zodiac, in his Oriental and Linguistic Studies.
- G. Thibaut, “Astronomie, Astrologie und Mathematik,” in Bühler's Grundriss.
- The Sūrya-siddhānta, translated by (W. D. Whitney and) E. Burgess (1860).
- The Āryabhaṭīya, edited by H. Kern (1874).
- The Bṛihat-saṃhitā and Yogayātrā, edited and translated by H. Kern; the Laghu-jātaka, edited by A. Weber and H. Jacobi.
- A translation of both treatises, as well as of the respective chapters of Brahma-gupta’s work, was published (1817) by H. T. Colebrooke, with an important “Dissertation on the Algebra of the Hindus,” reprinted in the Misc. Essays, ii. pp. 375 seq.