Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 2

Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 2

सरलं संस्कृतम् – द्वितीयः पाठः ।

Sentences in the first lesson were simple. Yet simplest sentence in any language is a single-word sentence, which is often in imperative mood. For example ‘Go’. Although it is a sentence with single word, which is a verb, the subject is implicit. “Go” means “(You) go”.

In Sanskrit also, it would be a single-word sentence, गच्छ. But if one is addressing two people to go, one would say गच्छतम् and if one is addressing more than two persons, then गच्छत.

Addressing anybody in the second person is not considered good linguistic etiquette. In Sanskrit there is a respectful pronoun of the second person and it takes verbs in third person ! The pronoun is भवत्. This pronoun also has structuring according to gender and number. So the pronoun-forms become as in Table 1 below.

Table 2-1

Gender लिङ्ग

Singular एकवचनम्

Dual द्विवचनम्

Plural बहुवचनम्

Masculine पुंल्लिङ्ग




Feminine स्त्रीलिङ्ग




Neuter नपुंसकलिङ्ग




With this we have now 9 more pronoun-subjects available to make 9 more sentences for the 16 धातु-s detailed in Lesson 1 !! So, 144 more sentences !!!
All the pronouns in Table 1 will, as mentioned above take verbs in third person. So, for the धातु, गम् the 9 sentences in present tense will be as in Table 2.

Table 2-2

Present tense of गम् for pronouns in Table 1

Gender लिङ्ग

Singular एकवचनम्

Dual द्विवचनम्

Plural बहुवचनम्

Masculine पुंल्लिङ्ग

भवान् गच्छति

भवन्तौ गच्छतः

भवन्तः गच्छन्ति

Feminine स्त्रीलिङ्ग

भवती गच्छति

भवत्यौ गच्छतः

भवत्यः गच्छन्ति

Neuter नपुंसकलिङ्ग

भवत् गच्छति

भवती गच्छतः

भवन्ति गच्छन्ति

These are the sentences in present tense. Coming back to the imperative mood called as आज्ञार्थ the verbal forms in third person for the धातु, गम् are गच्छतु गच्छताम् गच्छन्तु
Having mentioned the verbal forms in imperative mood both for second person and also in third person, in Sanskrit the structure is made complete by providing forms also for first person ! This may not be needed. But poetic justice may need addressing even oneself in the imperative mood ! Sanskrit provides for that !! So the verbal forms in imperative mood for the धातु, गम् are tabulated in Table 3.

Table 2-3

Forms in Imperative mood आज्ञार्थ-रूपाणि for verbal-root गम्-धातु


Singular एकवचनम्

Dual द्विवचनम्

Plural बहुवचनम्













In Sanskrit the imperative mood also has the shade of blessing or that shade of meaning, which is implicit in the English auxiliary verb ‘may’. Elders would often bless youngsters saying शुभं भवतु. (शुभं = good, happy, pleasant, blissful भवतु = may it be) As can be appreciated, the subject here is ‘it’. Hence the Imperative, third person, singular form of धातु भू is भवतु (= may it be)

Imperative mood is also used for the meaning as of the English auxiliary verb ‘let’. To say, “Let it be” in Sanskrit we would say it in a single word अस्तु. That is imperative third person singular of the धातु अस् (= to be).

Scriptures of all religions advocate “Speak the truth, be with righteous behaviour” सत्यं वद धर्मं चर. Here वद and चर are imperative, second person, singular forms for the धातु-s वद् and चर्. The implicit subject is ‘you’ त्वम्.

It is very important and useful to learn the imperative mood.
We can add a few more new धातु-s into our diction.

 Table 2-4

Forms in Imperative mood आज्ञार्थ-रूपाणि for few more new धातु-s

No. Verbal Root Meaning Forms in Imperative mood आज्ञार्थ-रूपाणि
17 चर् to move about, to go about, to conduct oneself चराणि चराव चराम
चर चरतम् चरत
चरतु चरताम् चरन्तु
18 मिल् to meet मिलानि मिलाव मिलाम
मिल मिलतम्  मिलत
मिलतु मिलताम् मिलन्तु
19 पठ् to read पठानि पठाव पठाम
पठ पठतम् पठत
पठतु पठताम् पठन्तु
20 पत् to fall पतानि पताव पताम
पत पततम् पतत
पततु पतताम् पतन्तु
21 दृश् to see पश्यानि पश्याव पश्याम
पश्य पश्यतम् पश्यत
पश्यतु पश्यताम् पश्यन्तु
22 त्यज् to leave, to forsake, to cast off त्यजानि त्यजाव त्यजाम
त्यज त्यजतम् त्यजत
त्यजतु त्यजताम् त्यजन्तु
23 लिख् to write लिखानि लिखाव लिखाम
लिख लिखतम् लिखत
लिखतु लिखताम् लिखन्तु
24 पृच्छ to ask पृच्छानि पृच्छाव पृच्छाम
पृच्छ पृच्छतम् पृच्छत
पृच्छतु पृच्छताम् पृच्छन्तु
25 श्रु / शृ to hear, to listen to श्रुणवानि श्रुणवाव शृणवाम
शृणु शृणुतम् शृणुत
शृणोतु शृणुताम् शृण्वन्तु

With 15 pronoun-forms noted in Lesson 1 and 9 more in Table 1 here, we now have 24 pronoun-forms सर्वनाम-रूपाणि. Taking these as subjects we can make 24 sentences in imperative mood for each of the 25 धातु-s. That gives scope to practise 600 sentences in imperative mood and of course 600 sentences in present tense – total 1200 sentences !!

Of course among the 16 धातु-s in Lesson 1, there were some with peculiar forms. It should be appropriate to have their forms in imperative mood also. Forms in imperative mood for all 16 धातु-s of Lesson 1 are provided in Table 5 below.

Table 2-5

Forms in imperative mood for all 16 धातु-s of Lesson 1




Forms in Imperative mood आज्ञार्थ-रूपाणि


गम् to go गच्छानि गच्छाव गच्छाम
गच्छ गच्छतम्  गच्छत
गच्छतु गच्छताम् गच्छन्तु


वद् to say, to speak वदानि वदाव वदाम
वद वदतम् वदत
वदतु वदताम् वदन्तु


आ + गम् to come आगच्छानि आगच्छाव आगच्छाम
आगच्छ आगच्छतम्  आगच्छत
आगच्छतु आगच्छताम् आगच्छन्तु


प्रति + गम् to go towards, to go unto प्रतिगच्छानि प्रतिगच्छाव प्रतिगच्छाम
प्रतिगच्छ प्रतिगच्छतम्  प्रतिगच्छत
प्रतिगच्छतु प्रतिगच्छताम् प्रतिगच्छन्तु


प्रति + आ + गम् to return प्रत्यागच्छानि प्रत्यागच्छाव प्रत्यागच्छाम
प्रत्यागच्छ प्रत्यागच्छतम्  प्रत्यागच्छत
प्रत्यागच्छतु प्रत्यागच्छताम् प्रत्यागच्छन्तु


कृ to do करवाणि करवाव करवाम
कुरु कुरुतम् कुरुत
करोतु कुरुताम् कुर्वन्तु


खाद् to eat खादानि खादाव खादाम खाद खादतम् खादत खादतु खादताम् खादन्तु


पा to drink पिबानि पिबाव पिबाम पिब पिबतम् पिबत पिबतु पिबताम् पिबन्तु


अस् to be असानि असाव असाम
एधि स्तम् स्त
अस्तु स्ताम् सन्तु


भू to be, to become, to be present भवानि भवाव भवाम भव भवतम् भवत भवतु भवताम् भवन्तु


उप + विश् to sit उपविशानि उपविशाव उपविशाम
उपविश उपविशतम् उपविशत
उपविशतु उपविशताम् उपविशन्तु


स्था to stand, to halt, to stop तिष्ठानि तिष्ठाव तिष्ठाम
तिष्ठ तिष्ठतम् तिष्ठत
तिष्ठतु तिष्ठताम् तिष्ठन्तु


उत् + स्था to stand up उत्तिष्ठानि उत्तिष्ठाव उत्तिष्ठाम
उत्तिष्ठ उत्तिष्ठतम् उत्तिष्ठत
उत्तिष्ठतु उत्तिष्ठताम् उत्तिष्ठन्तु


दा to give ददानि ददाव ददाम
देहि दत्तम् दत्त
ददातु दत्ताम् ददतु


ग्रह् or गृह् to take, to receive, to accommodate गृह्णानि गृह्णाव गृह्णाम
गृहाण गृह्णीतम् गृह्णीत
गृह्णातु गृह्णीताम् गृह्णन्तु


ज्ञा to know, to become aware जानानि जानाव जानाम
जानीहि जानीतम् जानीत
जानातु जानीताम् जानन्तु

I am very happy that having studied Present Tense in Lesson 1 it occurred to me so good to take up Imperative mood आज्ञार्थ in the Lesson 2. There is such a close correspondence in the forms of Present Tense and आज्ञार्थ as can be seen in Table 6 below.

Table 2-6

correspondence in the forms of Present Tense and आज्ञार्थ


forms of Present Tense

forms of आज्ञार्थ


गच्छामि गच्छावः गच्छामः
गच्छसि गच्छथः गच्छथ
गच्छति गच्छतः गच्छन्ति
गच्छानि गच्छाव गच्छाम
गच्छ गच्छतम्  गच्छत
गच्छतु गच्छताम् गच्छन्तु

This observation should help anyone to have by oneself the forms in Present Tense for the new 9 धातु-s introduced in Table 4 in this Lesson.

The exercise of building all the 1200 sentences can be done only when the forms in Present Tense for the new 9 धातु-s introduced in Table 4 in this Lesson are also done.

My remark for what this blog is about is “An easy-paced approach to learn Sanskrit”. Even when saying “easy-paced approach” the exercises for lesson 1 were for 240 sentences. And now the number for lessons 1 and 2 together becomes 1200 sentences ! But they are all just two-word sentences – a pronoun-form as the subject and the corresponding verb-form. That is not difficult. It is easy-paced !! Just do it !!!

शुभमस्तु |


Go to Lesson 3 =>

7 thoughts on “Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 2

  1. On 2012/5/14 Ranganathan Ramaswamy wrote –

    Dear Sir,

    While writing exercises, I had to write भवन्ति भवन्ति ( You(neuter plural with respect) become ). Is this correct? If it is appropriate, would you mind suggesting where such a usage would make sense?


    Replied on 2012/5/15 –
    नमो नमः श्रीमन् “रंगनाथन् रामस्वामी”-महोदय !

    “भवन्ति भवन्ति” is absolutely correct.

    One भवन्ति is plural बहुवचन of second person मध्यम-पुरुष neuter नपुंसकलिङ्गि आदरार्थि सर्वनाम respectful pronoun भवत्.
    Other भवन्ति is present tense, वर्तमानकाल third person, प्रथमपुरुष plural बहुवचन of भू-धातुः ।
    Your doing the exercises sincerely has really brought out this charming point.
    You have really demonstrated the good result of true self-study स्वाध्याय.
    I am impressed and thank you !

    About such use in actual practice, there will hardly be an instance of addressing neuter things (plural) respectfully. Even when saying so, it comes to mind that in Indian culture we are groomed to respect all animate beings, even venomous cobras and even all inanimate things. That is why we are able to see God in idols of stone, in logs of wood and what not ईश्वरः जले स्थले काष्ठे पाषाणे. In रामायणम्, अहिल्या arose when श्रीराम’s toe touched a stone. We also do not like that our toe or foot should touch a book of learning or any such thing that we feel respectful about and are sensitive about. In our own mind at least, maybe, we do say भवन्ति भवन्ति, right ?

    अभ्यंकरकुलोत्पन्नः श्रीपादः ।
    “श्रीपतेः पदयुगं स्मरणीयम् ।”

  2. Honurable अभ्यंकरकुलोत्पन्नः श्रीपादः Gurujyu thanks a million for this great selfless service to the person like me who does not know Sanskrit at all. Sir, how to make sentences in first person imperative? Will it just गच्छानि for May I go (or let me go). Or, will it be अहम् गच्छानि? Like wise, would you kindly give a few examples for 2nd person imperative with different number (singular, dual, or plural)? Thank you.
    Sincerely Yours,
    Gopi Krshna

    • नमस्ते श्रीमन् गोपी-कृष्ण-महोदय !
      The subject-word of imperative first person singular is certainly अहम्. However, since is addressed to oneself, it can be kept non-manifest.
      सत्यं वद, धर्मं चर, मातृदेवो भव, पितृदेवो भव, आचार्यदेवो भव, अतिथिदेवो भव are all examples of imperative second person singular. Would you like to transform them to dual and plural ? That can be a good exercise !

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