Panini – Birth of Linguistics (4)

Panini – Birth of Linguistics (4)

Consciousness and Speech Series XI.

Sacred Speech Masterclass XI, part one.

Baba Rampuri attributes to Panini the birth of linguistics, 2500 years after his time. In his introduction to Panini, discusses the enormous impact the sage Panini has had on both the ancient and modern worlds. He describes Panini’s great text, The Ashtadhyayi, the ancient grammar of the Sanskrit Language, having a profound impact on European thinkers for the past 250 years, changing the way the west looks at both language and mathematics. Pāṇini’s grammar exploits a range of brevity-enabling devices to compose what has often been described as the tersest and yet most complete grammar of any language in the world, and at the same time, a perfect mathematical system.

Baba Rampuri talks about the history of European awareness of Panini and his great text, the Ashtadhyayi. An English prisoner of war, Alexander Hamilton, taught Sanskrit in Paris at the dawn of the nineteenth century attracting the Brothers Grimm as well as the cream of European intelligentsia. Modern Linguistics was born from this exploration of Sanskrit, thought by many at the time to be the Mother of Languages.

By the end of the 19th century, Panini’s influence was strongly felt as mathematics moved closer to language. And by 1959, we have the birth of computer programming language, largely the result of increased Western understanding of Panini and his text, Ashtadhyayi.