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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Patanjali

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is the name of two celebrated authors of ancient India, who are generally looked upon as the same personage, but apparently for no other reason than that they bear the same name. The one is the author of the system of philosophy called Yoga (q.v.), the other the great critic of Katyayana (q.v.) and Panini (q.v.). Of the former, nothing is known beyond his work-for which see the article YOGA (See YOGA) . The few historical facts relating to the latter, as at present ascertained, may be gathered from his great work, the Mahabhdshya, or "the great commentary." The name of his mother was Gonik; his birthplace was Gonarda, situated in the east of India, and he resided temporarily in Cashmere; where his work was especially patronized. From circumstantial evidence, Prof. Goldsticker has, moreover, proved that he wrote between B.C. 140 and 120 (Panini, his Place in Sanscrit Literature, p. 235 sq.). The Mabhbhashya of Patanjali is not a full commentary on Panini, but, with a few exceptions, only a commentary on the Vartikas, or critical remarks of Katyayana on Panini. "Its method is analogous to that of other classical commentaries: it establishes, usually by repetition, the correct reading of the text, in explaining every important or doubtful word, in showing the connection of the principal parts of the sentence, and in adding such observations as may be required for a better understanding of the author. But frequently Patanjali also attaches his own critical remarks to the emendations of Katyayana, often in support of the views of the latter, but not seldom, too, in order to refute his criticisms, and to defend Panini; while again, at other times, he completes the statement of one of them by his own additional rules." Patanjali being the third of the grammatical triad of India, (See PANINI), and his work, therefore, having the advantage of profiting by the scholarship of his predecessors, he is looked upon as a paramount authority in all matters relating to classical Sanscrit grammar; and very justly so, for, as to learning, ingenuity, and conscientiousness, there is no grammatical author of India who can be held superior to him. The Mahabhashya has been commented upon by Kaiyyata, in a work called the Bhashya-Pradipa; and the latter has been annotated by Nagojibhatta, in a work called the Bhashya-Pradipodyota. So much of these three latter works as relates to the first chapter of the first book of Panini, together with the Vartikas connected with them, has been edited at Mirzapore (1856) by the late. Dr. J. R. Ballantyne, who also gave a valuable literal translation of the first forty pages of the text.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Patanjali'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/p/patanjali.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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