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Panini was instrumental in the development of Sanskrit grammar. Know more about his life in this brief biography.


There are hardly any written records or biography of Panini as such that have information on the time he was born. It is however estimated that he was born around the 4th, 5th or 6th B.C. Historians differ in these dates as well. It is also said that he was born in Shalatula, near Indus River. This place is now in the present day Pakistan. Experts and historians however, base these dates on pure guesswork. Also, there is hardly any proof regarding the extent of his work. Sanskrit is considered to be a classical language of India. Most of the languages spoken on Indian sub-continent are derived from Sanskrit. In Sanskrit language grammar is considered to be a very important part. It was thought of as a distinctive field of scientific study. It was considered as a kind of field that had its own parameters and set of rules and Panini is considered to be the creator to this language. To know more about Panini, continue to read this insightful biography on him.

Personal Life
After Panini's work Patanjali's Mahabhasya is considered as one of the most important works in the field of Sanskrit grammar. Patanjali gave Indian linguistic science a much needed development at the time. He developed the system of Shiksha and Vyakarana. Panini's grammar is considered to be the world's first formal system in language. It was invented way before Gottlob Frege's innovations in language in the 19th century.

India honored Panini by releasing a stamp of him in the year of 2004. There is also a temple with the name of Panini Smarak Mandir in the region of Kashi, which is built with the soil brought from Pakistan where Panini was born. Not much is known about Panini's personal life. It is said that his mother was called Daksi and his uncle from his mother's side was called Vyadi. Not much is known about his father but some historians say that his name was Pani but some completely refuse this assumption. His brother is known to be Pingala.

Major Work
Panini was one of the most inventive and original people who helped in the development of knowledge of Sanskrit grammar. He is considered to be the founder of literature and language. This famous Sanskrit grammarian gave a scientific analysis of Sanskrit phonetics and morphology. Being the language of Gods, Sanskrit was considered to be a complete and the perfect language. Panini analyzed the classical Sanskrit language, which was the language of all literary works, and more light was thrown on the phonology of this language.

Among Panini's works, the most famous and major one is called Ashtadhyayi. It is a thesis that consists of eight chapters and each chapter is divided into quarter chapters. This treatise basically highlights the difference between the language of holy texts and the language used for communicating in normal lives. A basic set of rules and grammar was given to describe Sanskrit grammar. He went on step by step and explained the use of nouns, vowels and verbs and divided them into classes. He then went on to explain the construction of sentences and the use of compound nouns and tenses. It is very similar to the principles of Mathematics as the construction of this grammatical pattern function mathematically.

Impact On Europe & Rest Of The World: Panini's work has had quite an impact on the modern linguistics. In the 19th century Europe got to know about Panini's work. It was mainly Franz Bopp who started taking interest in Panini's work. Later more modern time linguistics like Ferdinand de Saussure, Leonard Bloomfield, Roman Jakobson, etc. started to get influenced by his work. A European linguist called Frits Saal carefully studied and discussed the impact of Indian languages on European language. His study proved that after understanding all the aspects of the idea it was clear that Indian ideas and grammar has influenced the European language structure. Ferdinand de Saussure worked on and studies Panini's work and other important Sanskrit language work for three decades and he seemed to have been a lot influenced by Panini's grammar and Bhartrihari. He took the idea of the unity of signifier-signified from the concept of Sphota in Sanskrit. He is known as the father of the modern structural linguistics. He has himself confessed at many occasions that Indian grammar and structure had a lot of influence on his work and thinking. His published work in 1879, Memoire sur le systeme primitive des voyelles dans les langues indo-europeennes (Memoir on the Original System of Vowels in the Indo-European Languages) has many traces of Sanskrit language in it. In one of his books called De l'emploi du genitive absolu en sanscrit (On the Use of the Genitive Absolute in Sanskrit) he has mentioned the extent of Panini's impact on his work. It was published in the year of 1881.