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सर्वे जनाः सुखिनो भवन्तु

सत्यं वद । धर्मं चर


अर्थावबोधे निरपेक्षतया पदजातं यत्र उक्तं तन्निरुक्तम्।

arthaavabodhe nirapekshatayaa padajaatam yatra uktam tanniruktam |

nirukta is based on pravrutti. That specifies the difference between vyaakarana and nirukta.

The origin, power, and meaning of each varna is given in nirukta.

nirukta advocates that all words are originated from dhaatu shabda with addition of pratyaya. Hence fix the meaning of dhaatu and then after adding pratyaya the meaning shall be taken according to it. This procedure of forming pada from dhaatu is called vyutpatti. If meaning of any word is not clear, identify the dhaatu in the word, then identify type of sentence and find out the position of the word with respect to other words in the sentence, then the meaning of word would be clearly known. This procedure is termed nirukta.

vyaakarana decides the nature of word based on its structure. Where as in nirukta it is decided based on its meaning. For learning meaning of veda, nirukta is important.

yaaska’s nirukta is prominent. Its first part is called nighantu kaanda where the words for which meaning is ambiguous are listed. Then using nirukta analysis, ie vyutpatti, the meaning of these nighantu words is decided.

Since paanini did not mention name of yaaska in his ashtaadhyaayee, yaaska could be later than paanini.

nirukta is of 12 chapters. First 6 chapters are termed as poorva shatkam later six are called as uttara shatkam. Every chapter is divided as khanda. No. of khandas in each chapter differs. This has an annexture of two chapters called parishishta. Since at the end of this parishishta it is mentioned as “namo paaraskaraaya namo yaaskaaya” this parishishta is considered as written by some disciple of yaaska.

In nirukta the names of shaakataayana, gaargya, kautsa, aupamanyuvu, kaushika, tittiri, vaarshyaayani, maudgalya etc. were mentioned.

In nirukta first three chapters are called vaighantuka kaanda. The difficult words from veda and their alternate words joined together and defined in one sootra, hence that name was given. Chapters 4, 5 and 6 are called naigama kaanda. In this multi meaning words are shown. The next 6 chapters of uttara shatkam are called daivata kaanda. In this, vyutpatti for various devata shabdas including indra, agni, varuna etc., were given. Many shlokas mentioned are from rugveda. upaakhyaanas, itihaasas are taken from rugveda.

nirukta nichaya with 100 shlokas was written by vararuchi. Medieval bhaashyas were written based on this yaaska’s nirukta and panini’s ashtaadhyaayee.