Wednesday, July 1, 2015

PALI WORKSHOP- responses set-1



8. P. Madhu:

What matters is not the identity of language vis a vis that of the other but the

semiotic/collective assemblage making that language - which determines usage

of sense making with the language. Collective assemblage that effectuate &

construct the language in question determines it's enunciative capabilities. If we

project Pali as language of 'good' Buddhists vis a vis bad Brahmins and trace a

conspiracy in the 'elimination' of Pali influence from Malayalam then that would

result in impoverished historiography and poor understanding of languages in

the making. I wish the best for the workshop. A strong pull towards identity

fetishism however may spoil it too.


7. Ajay Sekher:

It is a liberating break to learn Pali through the Brahmi script that was

introduced in South India in BC third century by Asokan missionaries.  Prof T

Pavithran who has deciphered so many Pali inscriptions from Idakal to

Pattanamwould be a vital contributor in this academic event by Prof Yojana

Bhagat. The Brahmi inscriptions and the Brahmi script in particular form the

still surviving concrete and material link of South India with Pali apart from the

vocabulary and usages that exist in disguised ways in Malayalam and other

South Indian languages.


6. M. Dasan:

There was no period in the history of India when only one system of philosophy

one culture only were n vogue. in fact various cultures languages, and

 epistemology existed  simultaneously. Then how comes Sanskrit became the

 language and HIndu/Brahminic culture became the culture of \India? Let us

explore . In order to understand  how the dominant discourse interpolated ,

translated the original Pali in which Buddha expressed his dhamma ( also

insisted not to use Chandas/sanskrit)a knowledge of Pali is essential. Any

attempt to learn Pali language would also be an attempt to learn the way of life

Buddha had shown.


5 . T. Mini:

A study of Pali is essential to understand Buddhist culture. Early literature

of Buddhism is stored through the medium of Pali. Hence to know Buddhism 

from the early period [that is from period of Buddha to  1st or Second century 

of common era] a working knowledge in Pali becomes essential.We are now 

studying and interpreting Buddhism mainly based on translations.We learn 

Sanskrit Buddhist texts of later period also through translations from Chinese, 

English or other languages. Hence to be familiar with the original Pali texts is 

imperative to  understand Buddhist cultures. It is highly appreciable that such 

an attempt is being undertaken.There are courses in some North Indian 

Institutions to teach Pali and Prakrt.


4. K. Sugathan:

A study of Pali will help us to understand many things
(1) We got hundreds of words of Magadhi through the people who came to Kerala to propagate Buddhism
(2) The word 'amma' is not a thalbhavam of sanscrit word 'amba'
(3) Members of the Viswakarma community are Buddhists who came from Bihar.
(4) Sanskrit is an artificial language .

 3. Ajay Sekher:

   The Pali Workshop is academically and politically significant in the current

conjecture. It is also a desirable follow up to the cultural buddhism workshop.

 As the scholar behind the Prakrit-Malayalam dictionary we also need to include

Prof T Pavithran's class on Brahmi script and Vattezhutu towards the end of the

Pali workshop to link it to our own cultural contexts. He could  introduce

Brahmi scripts in 2 days. That would be a further enabling and liberating break

for all of us who wants to read ancient Pali texts and Tamil texts or inscriptions

 in Brahmi scripts found all over south India.

2. K. G. Krishna Kumar:

It is very important to see the reality that it is the Pali language, which made

possible the present day Malayalam. Among the Dravidian languages, the

Malayalam has certain uniqueness due to its influence by the Pali. Unfortunately

 our linguists do not show any interest towards the Pali or give any attention to

the influence Pali had on our language. For a proper understanding of the

development of Malayalam language and the culture of Kerala requires

familiarity with the Pali. Hope the workshop on Pali would help our people to

rediscover its cultural roots.


1. K. Sugathan:

Pali is basically a language belonging to Indo-European family. But it has

borrowed freely from Moola Dravida language as well as Austric languages.

 Sanskrit was made "pure" by removing Dravida and Austric elements. Once

Prof. Sukumar Azheekode said, the language of Indian Culture is Pali and not

sanscrit. It is difficult to read Pali in Roman script. Brahmi script is quite simple

 and easy to learn.

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