Algorithms Of Sage, Panini
   Date :23-Jun-2024

Algorithms Of Sage 
Panini was a great grammarian of India dating back to the sixth century BC. His world famous treatise on grammar and linguistics named Ashtadhyayi contains about four thousands Sutras or aphorisms.These Sutras are sets of rules for describing and creating words. They function like linguistic algorithms. Panini is considered a great descriptive linguist and the father of linguistics also. He wrote a book of grammar which is generative in nature with algebraic rules. He composed these aphorisms for the Sanskrit language, but his applications are universal in nature. Brevity is the core attribute of Panini. Panini devised a very unique system which is called Pratyahara meaning short words. These Short Words were designed to create technical words for the abbreviation purpose. These Short Words or Pratyaharas are the foundation stone of algorithmic formulas created by Panini. These Short Words are derived from the fourteen Maheshwara Sutras which contain all the vowels and consonants of Sanskrit language arranged in a very scientific manner. We find a total of forty one Pratyaharas derived from fourteen Maheshwara Sutras. For example AN is a Pratyahara. It contains three letters A E U. Similarly, AT Pratyahara contains A E U R Lr AE O AI AU H Y W R. Thus AT Pratyahara indicates thirteen letters.
Hence through the use of Pratyaharas Panini devised the maximum possible brevity in the language and its creation. The Pratyahara AL contains more than forty letters.In order to achieve this goal Panini hit upon another idea of Anubandha. Anubandhas are the letters which are placed at the beginning, middle or end of Dhatus - verb root or Pratyaya - prefix.At the time of application these Anubandhas are omitted from the verbs and prefixes. This method enables to create many algorithmic formulas which can be used on many verbs and prefixes. In this way Panini was able to cover very vast segments of grammar and language in a very compact manner. Panini has used the same algorithmic methods to create verbs, nouns , adjectives, adverbs , etc. The end numbers of words may be used by applying these methods of Panini. All the dimensions of language have been touched by Panini in his path breaking work. The premier universities of the world like Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh , Brown, etc, offer courses on Sanskrit including Paninian research and studies.
Many German universities have designated very sophisticated courses on linguistics where Panini is quoted and researched. Many rules and meta rules created by Panini are still being researched. The study of Indo- European languages is not possible without the comparative study of Sanskrit and especially Panini. Sometime back, Rishi Rajput, a Sanskrit scholar of Indian origin at Cambridge university was in the news for decoding a complex formula of Panini. The name of his thesis is- In Panini, we trust: Discovering Algorithm for Rule Conflict Resolution in the Ashtadhyayi. Even today the work of Panini has been a great subject of research and curiosity. The world famous linguist Leonard Bloomfield says that the descriptive grammar of Sanskrit, which Panini brought to its perfection, is one of the greatest monuments of human intelligence and an indispensable model for the description of languages. (The writer is Former DG Police & CG, Homeguards, Maharashtra)