PALI GRAMMATICAL STUDIES

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This is not Dr. Barua’s extensive study on the subject. This article (written in 1937) appears as the ‘Introduction’ in P?li Prabe? of Ven. Jñ?nisvar Mahasthav?r. I have decided to translate it because in it I have noticed some brief but important observations of Dr. Barua on some P?li grammatical problems. Some conclusions he has arrived at, such as even to assert the invalidity of the Sandhi rule – yavamadanataralac?gama are thought-provoking, and need to be revisited by P?li scholars. Discussions on some of the issues that Dr. Barua has raised in the study of P?li grammar, comparative study of P?li and Sanskrit for example, have already been started by modern P?li scholars. Dr. Barua mainly wrote in English; this article if written in his idiomatic English, certainly, would have been something very different, a fact for which I accept my deficiency. However, I believe the essence of the original essay has not been harmed in the following translation.

THE ARTICLE HAS TO BE COPIED AND CONVERTED INTO THAMA FONTS. THEN AGAIN COULD BE READ IN TIMES NEW ROMAN.

Submitted: December 28, 2008

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Submitted: December 28, 2008

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P?li Grammatial Studies in Bengali Language: Dr. B. M. Barua’s Thoughts on P?li Grammar
 
- Edited by Ven. Upali Sramon
Introduction
Dr. B.M. Barua (full name Benimadhav Barua, 1888-1948) is one of the early Indian scholars (born in Bangladesh) who initiated Buddhist and ancient inscriptional studies according to the research methodology followed by Western scholars like Max Muller. Among his books, A Prolegomena to Early History of Buddhism, Pre-Buddhist Philosophy of India, and Pr?k?t Dharmapada (co-editor Sailendranath Mitra) are monumental contributions to the field. He also produced many academic papers in prestigious journals, and prefaces and introductions to many books. The collection of Ceylon Lectures, in two volumes, exhibit Dr. Barua’s eloquence elucidating historical, philosophical, and doctrinal points. He was also an active educationist and social reformist engaged in many social and academic institutions. During his service in Kolkata University he edited the prominent journal jagajyoti for many years.
This is not Dr. Barua’s extensive study on the subject. This article (written in 1937) appears as the ‘Introduction’ in P?li Prabe?of Ven. Jñ?nisvar Mahasthav?r. I have decided to translate it because in it I have noticed some brief but important observations of Dr. Barua on some P?li grammatical problems. Some conclusions he has arrived at, such as even to assert the invalidity of the Sandhi rule – yavamadanataralac?gama are thought-provoking, and need to be revisited by P?li scholars. Discussions on some of the issues that Dr. Barua has raised in the study of P?li grammar, comparative study of P?li and Sanskrit for example, have already been started by modern P?li scholars. Dr. Barua mainly wrote in English; this article if written in his idiomatic English, certainly, would have been something very different, a fact for which I accept my deficiency. However, I believe the essence of the original essay has not been harmed in the following translation.
 
P?li Studies in Bengali
Ven. Srimat Jñ?ni?var Mahasthavir is a prominent monk of Chittagong. He is the abbot of the La?k?r?maVih?ra, Unainpura Village. He is a knowledgeable and active promoter of education. Throughout his lifetime he has been courageously and enthusiastically contributing for the promotion of P?li language and literature. His compilation of the three books – ‘P?li prabe?[1], ‘Vuttoday’, and ‘Dh?toko?’ in one cover is a great contribution for the Bengali students of P?li. P?li prabe? is a pertinent compilation for Bengali readers. This grammar is relevant for all categories of people. In this, Ven. Jñ?ni?var has made a convivial compilation accumulating and aptly situating essential aphorisms from ‘Kacc?yana-vutti’, ‘Mah?r?pasiddhi’, ‘B?l?vat?ra’ and etc. P?li grammars
 
The ‘Vuttodaya’ of Ven. Sa?gharakkhita is the only text on P?li prosody. In ‘Vuttodaya’, the s?tras (aphorisms) of ‘V?ttaratn?kara[2] by Ked?rn?thbha??a of 12th century A.D. are emulated in concurrence to P?li language. In this, the Vedic rules of prosody are not taken into consideration; but, it follows the rules of Classical Sanskrit (ida? vuttodaya? n?ma lokiyacchanda? nissita?). Publishing this text into Bengali Ven. Jñ?ni?var has done a valuable service by uniting the V?ttaratn?kara and P?li Vuttodaya.
 
In the Dh?tuko? P?li roots have been compiled according to the classes (ga?a) as bhv?di, rudh?di, div?di, etc. and arranged according to the P?li alphabetical order (?k?r?di). Compiling the Dh?tuko? the author has used the Dh?tumañj?sa and the Dh?tum?la section of Saddan?ti. Although not exactly as ‘dh?tup??ha’ of Dh?tum?l? the Dh?tuko? answers a great need of students.  
 
Ven. Jñ?ni?var’s is not the first attempt in composing P?li grammar in Bengali language. In this matter Pa??it Nabar?j Barua is the path finder for us. With the encouragements and financial assistants of Upendral?l Barua, Pa??it Nabar?j Barua has published the first P?li grammar. But, his work did not gain prominence among students. My respectable professor Dr. Sati?candra Vidy?bh??an has published the Kacc?yanavutti in Devan?gari script and thus opened the door of P?li studies in this country.[3] Mah?mahopadhyay Prof. Vidhusekhar Bha??acary? Mah??aya has attempted to compose a P?li grammar in Bengali following modern linguistic disciplines in his ‘P?li prak??’. Mr. Lokendran?th Barua[4] has composed the first P?li grammar in Bengali language appropriating it for students. Ven. Ba??ad?pa Mahasthab?r Mahoday (lecturer, N?landa Vidhy?bhavan) has edited and translated the B?l?vat?ra into Bengali and made the approach to P?li studies easier.
 
Not exactly in accordance with modern scholastic research methodology or linguistic disciplines, but, as an apposite companion for all categories of readers P?li prabe?ranks after the P?li Prak??. With less labour but easy pursuit for obtaining proficiency in P?li aphorisms I do not remember of a better text in Bengali than P?li prabe?. P?li prosodic text Vuttodaya has not yet been published in Bengali, far from being translated. The Dh?tuko? is also very new for Bengali.
 
On P?li Grammatical Studies[5]
However, I do not agree that until now a satisfactory P?li grammar has been composed. Among the western scholars who have been studying and researching this area, names of Edward Muller and Dr. Geiger come to the forefront. Prof. Charles Duroiselle’s P?li grammar has been accepted by students, there is no doubt. In the second edition of B?l?vat?ra published from Kolkata University Prof. Sr?zuta Sailendran?th Mitra has established some new arguments.
 
Now, what is the reason for asserting that there is no Perfect grammar composed for P?li studies yet? Kacc?yana-vutti, and Moggall?na-vutti are the two main texts on P?li grammar. Both the texts were composed by scholar monks of Sri Lanka. Following the aphorisms of Kacc?yanavutti, Mah?r?pasiddhi, and B?l?vat?ra were composed later. Mukhamattad?pan? and Saddan?ti are also great P?li grammars. Saddan?ti composed by Ven. Aggava?sa of Burma is the best contribution among all the P?li grammars in P?li. Recently, this was edited in three volumes in Roman script by Helmer Smith.
 
Both the Kacc?yana-vutti and Moggall?na-vutti cannot be said as were composed before the 7th/8th century A.D. In Kacc?yana-vutti the aphorisms (s?tras) of K?tantra or Kal?pa[6] are exactly employed in P?li or the pure M?gadh?.[7] New aphorisms crept in only when the direct application of the Kal?pa s?tras proved inapt. It is, by no means, acceptable that the Buddha’s contemporary disciple Ven. Kacc?yana authored the Kacc?yana-vutti. Long before the compilation of Kacc?yanavutti, even in 6th/7th centuries Ven. Buddhaghosa and the great commentators had taken helps from the P??ini’s aphorisms. They did never use the rules of Kacc?yana. Therefore, we can see that the P?li grammar evolved only after the P?li literature was fully established. Even for that cause the main inspiration did not come from P?li. The initiation of Kacc?yana-vutti was in imitation of the Kal?pa and that, in fact, provided the basis for whole tradition of P?li grammar. Therefore, to make it appropriate for students of this country a grammar has to be composed aptly comparing with the Sanskrit and Pr?k?t grammars. It is also important to compare P?li with its contemporary languages of the rock-edicts, and Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit. Moreover it is important to observe the differences between the P?li prose and verse compositions. The form of P?li cherished during the oral tradition worthy of reciting and in what manner and how much it diverges from the time the texts were put into writing also must be considered.
 
Here, I attempt to establish the reasons for my above assertions with some examples.
Expressing the infinitives like – to go, to do, to eat etc. -tu? ending verbs are generally used in P?li irrespective of prose or verse. On the other hand, Kacc?yana has prescribed the three endings – -tave, -tuye, and -t?ye (p?.pra.p.239).[8] Instead of -tu?, -i is also used sometimes – e.g. etasi (to go). We know that -tave, -tuye, -t?ye, and -i were used only in Vedic Sanskrit. These could be observed in P?li only in metrical compositions used for the sake of prosody. In the P?li verses hessati instead of bhavissati, k?hasi instead of karissati are used; but, these terms are not found in prose passages. In the inscriptions of Asoka also these usages can be observed.
 
In declension of P?li nouns the Dative and Genitive plurals are same. In Sanskrit the plurals of these two cases have different forms. In this instance, M?gadh?, Ardha-M?gadh? and such Pr?k?t languages have similarities with P?li. In P?li declensions the Instrumental and Ablative plurals have same forms. In Pr?k?t also it is the same where influences of the Dative case are noticeable. In P?li and Pr?k?t there are no dual forms, but, the Sanskrit dual forms have occasionally crept into the plural forms (in these languages). It has yet to be researched whether there is application of dual forms anywhere in P?li. Where the P?li grammar accords Sanskrit the rules are pleasant, but where previous Pr?k?t words ferively manipulate, alterations have been increased.  During the oral transmission of P?li texts the language was rhythmical and onomatopoeic (dhvany?tmaka) appropriating it for recitation. Even the prose maintained some prosodic/metrical and phonemic harmony. There was a system of punctuating while reciting a prose passage also. For example, eve? me suta? eka? samaya? bhagav? viharati jetavane an?thapiñi?ikassa ?r?me. In this expression, following phonetic harmony can be observed - eva?/ me suta?/ eka? samaya?/ bhagav? viharati jetavane/ an?thapin?ikassa ?r?me.
 
The Sandhi-prakara?a, is full of substitutive rules, erroneous at many occasions. The main reason is that, lexical and phonemic changes of words/sounds cannot always be explained satisfactorily according to grammar. These changes have been made according to the Philology.[9] For examples, in iti + ?di = icc?di, adhi + ?r?ma = ajjh?r?ma, we cannot say that icca in place of iti, and ajjha in place of adhi are substituted. In these instances, iti + ? =ity?, and adhi + ? = adhy? according to rules of vowel combination (sara-sandhi) and changed ty? as cca, and dhy? as jjh?. According to phonetics if any letter of ta vagga is combined with ya then both change according to the corresponding letters of ca vagga; examples, satyasacca, rathy?racch?, madyamajja, madhy?majjha, kany?kaññ?.[10]
 
The Sandhi rule ‘ya-va-ma-da-na-ta-ra-la-c?gama’ is grammatically invalid (pa.pra.p13). Example, in pari + anta? = pariyanta?, ya is not (just) an insertion. According to Sandhi, pari + anta? = paryanta? and according to phonetic extension paryanta? becomes pariyanta?. In bh? + ?dayo = bhuv?dayo, ‘va’ is not (just) an insertion. According to Sandhi, bhu + ?dayo = bh?dayo, and later extending to bhuv?dayo. In eka?+eka? = ekameka? m is not insertion, because we disjoin ekameka? as eka? + eka?.[11] t?va + eva = t?vadeva, here d is not an insertion, because P?li t?va = Sanskrit t?vat, and t?vat + eva = t?vadeva.  In the same way, yasm? + iha = yasm?tiha, where t is not an insertion, because P?li yasm? = Sanskrit yasm?t. In ni + antara? = nirantara?, r is not an insertion, because P?li ni = Sanskrit nir.  In cha + abhiññ? = chalabhiññ?, here, la is not inserted, because P?li cha = Sanskrit ?a?, thus ?a? + abhiññ? = ?a?abhiññ?. In these instances the lost consonants have reappeared.
In idha + pam?do = idhappam?do, su + pasanno = suppasanno, hetu + kamo = hetukkamo etc. the aphorism ‘paradvebh?vo ?h?ne’ has been applied grammatically. It is not that the first consonant of the second word has been doubled following the last vowel of the previous word. Because, P?li pam?da = Sanskrit pram?da, pasanno = prasanna? , kamo = krama?. Therefore, pam?do is, in fact, ppam?do; pasanno is ppasanno, kamo is kkamo. The pronunciation of –pp(a)- and –kk(a)- are possible as they follow vowel sounds.
As there is no ?a sound in P?li there is no need of application of the ?atva-bidh?n.[12] But, ?atva-bidh?n[13], b?k?ra and batva-bidh?n[14] are important. In Kacc?yana-vutti there is only one s?tra for ?atva bidh?nrah?dito ?a (ka.su.4-1-26)[15]; alternatively read as rah?dito no ?a. In Mah?r?pasiddhi also the same aphorism is seen. According to Mah?mahopadhyay Sr?zuta Vidhusekhar Bha??acary?, the correct reading/version should be – rah?dito ?o, or rah?dito no ?o. For examples, rama??yo, ?pa?a, ñ??a, t??a, t??i, etc. In Saddan?ti another aphorism has been added, viz. ?o nassa pa-pari ?dito. Examples, pa?idh?na (pra?idh?na),[16] pa?ip?ta (pra?ip?ta), pari??ma (pari??ma). According to another rule in Saddan?ti, ?a becomes na (?assa ca no). Examples, taru?a = taluna, karu?a = kaluna. I do not accept that taluna and kaluna are P?li words anyway. taruna and karuna are the correct forms.
S?str? Mah??ay has rightly said that generally ‘?a’ in Sanskrit originals remains same in their corresponding P?li words. Examples, var?a = va??a, t??a = ti?a, lak?a?a = lakkha?a, graha?a = gaha?a. Again, where ?a is used in Sanskrit according to inflection into cases, in P?li na is used instead. Examples, cire?a = cirena, ?k?re?a = ?k?rena, dharme?a = dharmena, r?p??i = r?p?ni.
In the verb-conjugations, P?li is subservient to Sankrit rules. Examples, g?hn?ti = ga?h?ti, ???oti = su?oti. S?str? Mah??ay suggests that, rare examples of ñ??a (jñ??a) and o?ata(avanata) still remain due to some furtive influences from Pr?k?t. (Indian Historical Quarterly, Vol. II, pp. 192-5, vide, ‘The Cerebralization of the Dental Nasal in Pali’ by H.P. S?str?). We may discuss on batva-bidh?n shortly here. When joined with ya, both ba and va are used in P?li. Example, aby?kata, avy?kata are the same. ba doubled becomes bba; if joined with bha and ma also ba remains. Examples, caturvidha = catubbidha, sarvad? = sabbad?, garbh? = gabbh?, ambu = ambu.
 
In ?khy?ta-prakara?a of P?li prabe?, pañcam?, sattam? and k?l?tipatti are classed under Tenses. Pañcam?, sattam?, and k?l?tipatti however, are not tenses but moods. To classify them under Tenses following justification from Saddan?ti is predicable.
pañcam? sattam?vhit? ??atti-parikappik?,
sa?gayham?n? t? yanti paccuvappannamhi sa?ga?
at?t?n?gate c?pi k?l?tipatti-sambhav?
 
Translation – ‘pañcam? and sattam? are expressive of command, wish, (suppositions, instructions, advice etc). To classify them under Tenses they have to be included in Present Tense. k?l?tipatti can be included in Past and Future Tenses.’ (Saddan?ti, padam?l?, 3)
 
Conclusion
In Conclusion, Dr. Barua has expressed the need of examination and proper application of the metrical aphorisms of ‘Vuttodaya’ to P?li literature. Also, he asserts that Ven. Sangharakkhita did not concern or relate the Vedic metrical compositions whereas grammatically and prosodically P?li poems show affinities to Vedic more than Classical Sanskrit. Ven. Jñ?nisvar is also silent in this issue. Dr. Barua urges P?li students[17] also to examine and research the P?li grammars not always relying upon the ancient ?caryas and encourages exploring new perspectives in P?li studies. Finally, he expresses his gratitude to Ven. Jñ?ni?var particularly for editing and translating Vuttodaya into Bengali, and mentions that the University of Kolkata has honoured Ven. Jñ?ni?var by prescribing Vuttodaya for M.A. students.[18]
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[1] Reading the transliterated Bengali words - a to be pronounced as auin audio; ? to be pronounced as ? in father. The Bengali words used here are - P?li prabe?, ‘Vuttoday’, ‘Dh?toko?’, dhvany?tmaka, Satyadar?an, p?li b? ?uddha M?gadh?, ?atva-bidh?n, b?k?ra, batva-bidh?n, ?atva-bidh?n
and. This applies to pronunciation of the names of Bengali authors also.
[2] Sanskrit
[3] Bangladesh was included in the then undivided India.
[4] Dr. Barua has mentioned Mr. Lokendralal as P?li teacher in Higher English school, Nayapara, Gujra.
[5] Dr. Barua has mainly referred to the P?li prabe?.
[6] Also from P??ini’s A??adhy?y?
[7] From this expression – p?li b? ?uddha m?gadh? - it seems that Dr. B.M. Barua recognises P?li as pure M?gadh? (?uddha M?gadh?). p.12
[8] P?li prabe?, p. 239
[9] The words which have their origins in Sanskrit or other languages have to be understood from that perspective. In this instance P?li philological studies should be done in comparison to Sanskrit, Pr?k?t and other available resources.
[10] The comparison made here is with Sanskrit. The first word in each pair is Sanskrit.
[11] From this example and those that follow Dr. Barua seems to suggest that the words are direct liftings from Sanskrit in their combined forms. And, only later P?li grammarians formulated new rules for them while they already had some grammatical explanation. Therefore, the new aphorism pertaining to such already sandhified forms do not seem valid. To explain these terms according to grammar the Sanskrit Sandhi rule in which they fall seem more appropriate.
[12] Also, read as ?atva-vidhi, refers to the grammatical rules pertaining to the use of letter ?a, especially substituting in place of ?a, and sa.
[13]The rules for changing the dental na into cerebral ?a, and vis-à-vis.
[14] In Bengali, the sound va has been lost in ba
[15] The abbreviation indicates – Kacc?yana s?tra.
[16] The words in brackets are Sanskrit.
[17] By etadde?iya he probably means ‘(students) of this country’ may be referring to then India.
[18] Many Bengali Buddhist monks were not trained academically in the universities. But, their works have been venerated by academics for high scholastic values. Mention must be made of Ven. Bisuddhananda’s ‘Satyadar?an’ which like the Visuddhimagga of Ven. Buddhagho?a is an exegesis to whole Buddhist philosophy. In fact, the text could be duly regarded as an updated Visuddhimagga, because, in it Ven. Bisuddhananda has not only referred to the Tipi?aka and its commentaries but also has shown their application to the present world. His expressions and interpretations of philosophical points are very lucid and deep. Sadly, the text has not yet been translated into English. Ven. Jyotipala Mahathera’s (the tenth Sanghar?ja of Bangladesh) karmatava is worth mentioning in this regard beside others works by eminent scholar monks.


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