cribed to him. He was a Gauda Brāhmaņa whose native place was Kurukșetra. He lived in the beginning of the nineteenth cen- tury.
पतञ्जलि the reputed author of the Mahābhāșya, known as the Pātañj- ala Mahābhāșya after him. His date is determined definitely as the second century B.C. on the streng- th of the internal evidence suppli- ed by the text of the Mahābhāșya itself. The words Gonardiya and Gonikāputra which are found in the Mahābhāșya are believed to be referring to the author himself and, on their strength he is said to have been the son of Goņikā and a resident of the country called Gonarda in his days. On the strength of the internal evidence supplied by the Mahā- bhāșya, it can be said that Patañjali received his education at Takșaśila and that he was,just like Pāņini, very familiar with villages and towns in and near Vāhika and Gāndhāra countries. Nothing can definitely be said about his birth- place, and although it might be believed that his native place was Gonarda,its exact situation has not been defined so far. About his parentage too,no definite informa- tion is available. Tradition says that he was the foster-son of a childless woman named Gonikā to whom he was handed over by a sage of Gonarda, in whose hands he fell down from the sky in the evening at the time of the offering of water-handfuls to the Sun in the west; cf.पतत् + अञ्जलि, the deriva- tion of the word given by the commentators. Apart from an- ecdotes and legendary informa- tion, it can be said with certain-
ty that Patañjali was a thorough scholar of Sanskrit Grammar who had studied the available texts of the Vedic Literature and Grammar and availed himself of information gathered personally by visiting the various schools of Sanskrit Grammar and observing the methods of explanations given by teachers there. His Mahābhā- șya supplies an invaluable fund of information on the ways in which the Grammar rules of Pāņini were explained in those days in the various grammar schools. This in- formation is supplied by him in the Vārttikas which he has exhaustively given and explained. He had a remarkable mastery over Sanskrit Language which was a spoken one at his time and it can be safely said that in res- pect of style, the Mahābhāșya excels all the other Bhāșyas in the different branches of learning out of which two, those of Śabaraswā- min and Śańkarācārya,are selected for comparison. It is believed by scholars that he was equally conv- ersant with other śāstras, especi- ally Yoga and Vaidyaka, on which he has written learned treatises. He is said to be the author of the Yogasūtras which,hence are called Pātañjala Yogasūtras, and the redactor of the Carakasamhitā. There are scholars who believe that he wrote the Mahābhāșya only, and not the other two. They base their argument mainly on the supposition that it is impossible for a scholar to have an equally unmatching mastery over three different śāstras at a time. The argument has no strength, especi- ally in India where there are many instances of scholars possessing