2017-02-17 SICON02 S3 Are Sanskrit Grammar & Royal Power Related

Swadeshi Indology Conference 2

Are Sanskrit Grammar & Royal Power Related – Sowmya K

Sheldon Pollock portrays grammar as a form of political power, and holds that formal grammar was developed and publicized by kings as a tool to spread their political power. He claims that all the major texts of grammar were produced under political direction, and maintains that royal power was an essential precondition for the flourishing of the grammatical tradition. On the basis of three factors – 1) celebration of grammatical learning especially in kings 2) royal patronage for the study of grammar and composition of new texts 3) competitive zeal among rulers everywhere to encourage grammatical creativity and adorn their courts with scholars who could exemplify it – Pollock claims that the mutually constitutive relationship between Grammar and political power was a fundamental feature of the Sanskrit cosmopolitan order from birth throughout its lifetime. He gives examples trying to prove these factors. This paper examines the examples individually and demonstrates that most of these examples are not valid. They are either non-specific, or interpreted out of context to support a pre-determined unwarranted conclusion.

17-19th Feb, 2017
IGNCA, New Delhi


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