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Critical edition of the Kāśikāvṛtti. Dr Eivind Kahrs

The research project ‘Towards a Critical Edition of the Kāśikāvṛtti’ is a collaborative project involving Dr Eivind Kahrs, Dr Anuja Ajotikar, Dr Tanuja Ajotikar, and Malhar Kulkarni, Professor of Sanskrit in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India. From 2011 to 2014 the project was funded by a research grant from the British Academy. It is currently supported by funds from the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge.

The project aims at preparing a critical edition of the Kāśikāvṛtti, the oldest extant complete commentary on the Aṣṭādhyāyī, Pāṇini’s famous grammar of Sanskrit, probably dating from around 500 BCE. Composed in the 7th century CE, the Kāśikāvṛtti is our earliest testimony for all those rules of Pāṇini’s grammar that are not cited, used or referred to in Patañjali’s ‘Great Commentary’, the Mahābhāṣya (ca. 150 BCE). Being the earliest text of its kind that has survived, the Kāśikāvṛtti is an indispensable tool for all historical research into indigenous Sanskrit linguistics, Pāṇinian and non-Pāṇinian.

Building on the fruits of earlier efforts (particularly from the University of Lausanne in the mid-1990s), the project has succeeded in obtaining copies of more than 300 original manuscripts of the text, from all over India and Europe, in all possible scripts used on the Indian subcontinent. Not all cover the entire text. For section 1.1, for example, there are 67 manuscripts. Since its inception in 2010, the project is making good progress, and has resulted in two publications so far. 

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