Kambojas of Panini

Kambojas of Panini

Pāṇini (पाणिन) was an ancient Sanskrit grammarian born in Shalātura, modern Lahur of North-West Frontier province of Pakistan. The place is situated at a distance of four miles from Ohind near Attock on the right bank of Indus River in the ancient Kambojan/Gandharan territory. Panini is believed to have flourished in 5th century BCE, (but estimates range from the 7th to the 3rd centuries) and is famous for formulating the 3,959 sutras or rules of Sanskrit morphology known as the Aṣṭādhyāyī. In his sutras (IV.1.168-177) [

:Sanskrit:: [4.01.168] Janapada.shabdat.kshatriyad aÑ : [4.01.169] Salveya. Gandhari.bhyan cha : [4.01.170] dvinaC.Magadha. Kalinga. Surama.sadn : [4.01.171] vrddhait. Kosala. Ajada.Ñyan : [4.01.172] Kuru.nadi.bhyo.rayah : [4.01.173] Salvaavayava. Pratyagratha. Kalakuta. Asmakad iÑ : [4.01.174] te tadrajah : [4.01.175] Kambojal.luK: [4.01.176] striyam Avanti. Kunti.kurubhyas.cha : [4.01.177] aTascha :— "(Panini's Ashtadhyayi, 4.1.168-177)" .] Panini references the Kamboja among other Kshatriya janapadas and notes it as one of the fifteen prominent Kshatriya monarchies of the times.

Kshatriya Janapadas of Panini

The ruling Kshatriya clans inhabiting the Paninian time janapadas, as we are also informed by Katyayana (2nd c BC), were governed by "two-fold constitutions"; some were monarchies ("Ekarjat") and others were republics ("Sanghas") [

:Sanskrit: ::Kshatriyad ekarjat Sangha-pratishedhartham | ::— "(Katyayana's vartika V.1.168.1)".] .

As monarchical kingdoms, Panini refers to the following Kshatriya clans:

#Avanti (India) and

"These kingdoms or countries were named after the Kshatriya peoples settled therein" [Hindu Civilization: (from the Earliest Times Up to the Establishment of the ..., 1936, p 121, Dr Radhakumud Mookerji - Civilization, Hindu.] [ A Grammatical Dictionary of Sanskrit (Vedic): 700 Complete Reviews of the ..., 1953, p 425, Dr Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala, Surya Kanta, Jacob Wackernagel, Arthur Anthony Macdonell, Peggy Melcher - India; India as Known to Pāṇini: A Study of the Cultural Material in the Ashṭādhyāyī, 1953, p 425, Dr Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala - India.] .

Rules for janapadas, kshatriya clans, descendants and Kshatriya rulers

Panini teaches us that the princes who ruled over these janapadas (countries ) were Kshatriyas. His Sutra [ IV.1.168 through IV.1.174.] lays down that each of these janapada word used "as such" for each of the fifteen Kshatriya janapadas denotes (1) the name of the "janapada" or "country" (2) a clan of Kshatriyas settled therein. Here the identity of janapada and the powerful Kshatriya clans settled there is emphasized. And further with appropriate affix [like , Ñyan, iÑ" etc.] added to the janapada word, the same sutra further teaches that each of the janapada word so listed ("excepting Kamboja") also denotes (3) " a descendant of Kshatriyas" i.e "a citizen of the janapada" ["Janapada śabdāt kśatriyad ".] and (4)"' the "Kshatriya prince" ruling over each of the listed janapada [India as Known to Panini, 1953, p 427, Dr V. S. Aggarwala; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p29-31, Dr J. L. Kamboj.] [Journal of the Assam Research Society, 1983, p 91, Kāmarūpa Anusandhāna Samiti - Assam (India).] [

:Sanskrit: ::Kshatriya.samana.shabdat janapadat tasya rajanyapatyavat
::— "(Katyayana's vartika V.1.168.3)".

Kshatriya Janapadas and their ruling Kshatriya clans

(i)::Panchaala = "name of Panchaala janapada or country".::Kamboja = "name of Kamboja janapada or country"

(ii)::Panchaala = "name of Panchaala Kshatriya clan".::Kamboja = "name of Kamboja Kshatriya clan".

The above nomenclature holds good for all the Kshatriya tribes so named by Panini in sutras (4.1.168 through 4.1.177) including the Kamboja.

Kshatiya descendants and the Kshatriya rulers

But Panini recommends appropriate affix (aÑ, Ñyan, iÑ etc) to be added to the janpada word for all Kshatriya janapadas (except the Kamboja Kshatriyas) to obtain derivative to denote the descendants of the ruling Kshatriyas as well as their kings. e.g:

(iii) ::Panchaala + => Paanchaala = "descendants of Panchaala Kshatriya clan".

And per Sutra 4.1.174 ("te tadrajah"), the same word shall denote the "descendant of Kshatriyas" as well as the "ruler of that Kshatriya tribe/janapada". Hence:

(iv) ::Panchaala + => Paanchaala = "the ruler of Panchaala Kshatriya tribe".

Thus, by adding appropriate affix (aÑ, Ñyan, iÑ etc.) with the janapada word, the derivative to denote the "descendants of Kshariyas" as well as "their Kshatriya rulers" can be obtained for various Kshatriya janapadas named by Panini from "sutra 168 through 177" (except the Kamboja) (India as Known to Panini, 1953, pp 426-27, Dr V. S. Aggarwala; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, p 29-31, Dr J. L. Kamboj).] [ History Of The Tamils: From the Earliest Times to 600 A.D., 2001, p 136, Dr P.T.Srinivasa Iyengar - History.] [Lectures on the Ancient History of India from 650 - 325 B. C., 1994, p 6, Dr D. R. Bhandarkar - History.] .

pecial rule for Kamboja

Panini has recommended "luk" (i.e. elimination) of an affix only with the janapada of Kamboja alone [sutra 4.1.175: Kambojal.luk.] such that the Kshatriya word Kamboja does not need any affix [like , Ñyan, iÑ" etc.] to be added to it to obtain a derivative to denote the "descendants of Kamboja Kshatriyas" or the "Kshatryia prince ruling in the Kamboja janapada". This means that the word "Kamboja" itself denotes not only the "Kamboja janapada (or country)" and the "Kamboja Kshatriya settlers therein", but, unlike other Kshatriya janapadas mentioned in the Sutras [ sutra IV.1.168 to IV.1.177.] , the same very word (i.e. "Kamboja") also denotes the "descendants of Kamboja Kshatriyas" as well as the "Kshatriya prince" of the Kamboja janapada"' [Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, p 29-31, Dr J. L. Kamboj; cf : Carmichael Lectures, 1918, pp 6-7, Dr D. R. Bhandarkar; Some Kshatriya Tribes of ancient India, p 234, Dr B. C. Law; Panini Kaleen Bharat (Hindi), 1955, p 61; India as Known to Panini, p 427, Dr V. S. Aggarwal; cf: Early East Iran and Atharvaveda, Persica, 1980, ffn 47, Dr Michael Witzel.] .

cholars' comments on special rule for Kamboja

The Kambojas were a well known republican people since Epic Age. Mahabharata refers to several Ganah (or Republics) of the Kambojas [MBH 7/91/39.] . Kautiliya’s Arthashastra [ Arthashastra 11/1/4.] and Ashoka's Edicts [ Edict No. XIII.] also attest that the Kambojas followed republican constitution. Although, Panini's sutra [IV.1.168-175.] tends to convey that Kambojas of Panini were a Kshatriya monarchy, yet "the special rule and the exceptional form of the derivative" Panini gives to denote the ruler of the Kambojas implies that the king of Kamboja was probably a titular head ("king consul"), probably a war leader or a military general only [Hindu Polity, Part I & II, p 52, Dr K. P. Jayswal; Prācīna Kamboja, jana aura janapada (Ancient Kamboja, people and country), 1981, pp 264-65, Dr Jiyālāla Kāmboja, Dr Satyavrat Śāstrī .] .

See: Republican Kambojas

Katyayana's expansion of Panini's sutra 4.1.175

Later, Katyayana (3rd c BC) had expanded the scope of Panini's sutra [sutra 4.1.175 Kambojal.luk.] by adding a vartika to the sutra [

:Sanskrit: ::Kamboj.adhibhyo-luk-vachanam chadadyartham. ::— "(Katyayana's Vartika V.1.175.1)".] .

Katyayana states that just like Kamboja, the Choda, Kadera, Kerala, Saka, Yavana also each denotes "not only the country and the Kshatriya tribe inhabiting the country, but also the Kshatriya prince ruling over it" [Carmichael Lectures, p 6-7, Dr D. R. Bhandarkar; Kshatriya Tribes of ancient India, p 234, Dr B. C. Law; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, p 30, Dr J. L. Kamboj.] .

Panini’s Ganas and the Kambojas

The word Kamboja also occurs in Panini's ganas "Kacchhadi" [Kacchadi IV.2.133.] and "Sindhvadi" [Sindhvadi IV.3.93.] [Elements of South-Indian Palæography from the Fourth to the Seventeenth ..., 1874, p 31, Arthur Coke Burnell - Inscriptions.] and Panini has recommended adding affix [like aÑ etc.] to obtain appropriate derivative (Kaamboja) to denote the ancestral homeland of the Kamboja Kshatriyas ("abhijana") as also the name of products "native to the Kamboja-land [

Kamboja + aÑ => "Kaamboja" where "Kaamboja" denotes the ancestral homeland of the Kambojas.] .

The same term "Kaamboja" may also denote a horse or an elephant native to Kamboja [See entry Kamboja in: Monier Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary.] . Similarly plants/herbs like "Mashpurni, Hingpurani, Somavalak, Punaag and minerals like silver/gold and conch/shell" native to or imported from Kamboja were also called "Kaamboja, Kaambojaka or Kaamboji" etc [ (Ancient Kamboja, People and Country, pp 29-31, 255; see entries in "Hala.yudha.kosha" & "Shabd.ratana.samanya.kosha".] .

The above referred to derivative names for animal/plant/mineral etc, native to or imported from Kamboja, are in accordance with the principles of Linguistics which teaches that a special product imported from a certain country or else native to a certain place gets named after that country/place.

But in spite of Panini's above rules for correct usage of Sanskrit, both Kamboja as well as Kaamboja have yet been used indiscriminately without any change in meaning. We frequently see word Kaamboja being used mostly in the texts like Ramayana, Mahabharata and all post-Paninian Sanskrit literature in the same sense as the standard word Kamboja.

Panini on the social customs of the Kambojas and Yavanas

Panini's Ganapatha [Ganapatha 178 on Panini's rule II.1.72 - "Mayuravyamsakad'i'.] informs us that the Kambojas and the Yavanas observed a social custom of supporting "short-cut head-hair" [

:Sanskrit: ::Kamboja-mundah Yavana-mundah i.e shaved headed Kambojas, shaved headed Yavanas.] .

This same fact is also conveyed by the Mahabharata [

:Sanskrit: ::mundanetanhanishyami danavaniva vasavah. ::pratigyam parayishyami Kambojan.eva ma vaha. ::— "(MBH 7/119/23)" .] as well as numerous Puranic literature [Sanskrit: ::Yavananam shirah sarvam Kambojanam tathaiva cha. ::— " (Brahma Purana, verse 8.48)".] .


ee also

Kambojas in Indian Literature
Republican Kambojas


*Panini’s Ashtadhyayi
*Katyayana's Vartika
*Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, Dr J. L. Kamboj
*Carmichael Lectures, 1918, Dr D. R. Bhandarkar
*Lectures on the Ancient History of India from 650 - 325 B. C., 1994, D. R. Bhandarkar - History
*Some Kshatriya Tribes of ancient India, Dr B. C. Law
*History Of The Tamils: From the Earliest Times to 600 A.D., 2001, P.T.Srinivasa Iyengar
*Hindu Civilization, 1936, Dr Radhakumud Mookerji
*A Grammatical Dictionary of Sanskrit (Vedic), 1953, Dr V.S. Agrawala, Surya Kanta, J. Wackernagel, A. A. Macdonell, Peggy Melcher
*Panini Kaleen Bharat (Hindi), 1955, , Dr V. S. Aggarwala
*India as Known to Panini, Dr V. S. Aggarwala
*Early East Iran and Atharvaveda, Persica, 1980, Dr Michael Witzel
*Elements of South-Indian Palæography from the Fourth to the Seventeenth century, 1874, Arthur Coke Burnell
*Monier Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary
*Shabd.ratana.samanya.kosha etc etc.

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