Vrātya and vrātīna in Sanskrit Grammatical Sources





vrātya, vrātīna, Pāṇini, vyākaraṇa, grammatical commentaries


The present research aims at studying the derivation of vrātya- on the basis of the Aṣṭādhyāyī [A] of Pāṇini and on the relevant commentaries, to understand the Vedic usage of this lexeme and to investigate the origin of the notion of violence linked by default with the Vrātya identity. After a general overview of vrata- and vrāta- lexemes, rule A 5.2.21 vrātena jīvati is used to derive vrātīna-, and the relevant commentaries Mahābhāṣya [M], Kāśikāvṛttī [KV], and Siddhāntakaumudī [SK], turn out to be useful in understanding the many nuances of vrāta-. The derivation of vrātya- appears more complicated; the proposal advanced here resorts to A 5.3.113 vrātacphañor astriyām to explain both vrātyaḥ (nom. sg.), i.e., the outstanding ascetic mentioned in Śaunaka Atharvaveda-Saṃhitā and in Jaiminīya-Upaniṣad-Brāhmaṇa, and the more widespread vrātyāḥ (nom. pl.). Instead, other authoritative etymologies advanced over this last century interpret vrātya- as deriving from vrāta- based on vrata- (‘ritual vow’) or are influenced by the late association of Vrātyas with a violent behaviour.

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How to Cite

Ferrero, Valentina. 2024. “Vrātya and vrātīna in Sanskrit Grammatical Sources”. Cracow Indological Studies 26 (1):141-61. https://doi.org/10.12797/CIS.26.2024.01.06.