Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 8

Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 8

सरलं संस्कृतम् – अष्टमः पाठः|

Having discussed numerals extensively in the previous Lesson No. 7, some discussion about interrogatives with numerals is yet left out.

“How much ?” and “How many ?” are the common interrogatives that yield numerical answers. Sanskrit interrogative is कति.

  • When we go to a shop, we would ask,
    • “How much does this thing cost ?” कति मूल्यं अस्य ? (** Note – As detailed below, कति is always plural. Hence using it with मूल्यं, which is singular, becomes wrong. Thanks to Mr. Dhananjay Nanivadekar for pointing this error. The question can rather be कियद् मूल्यम् अस्य ? or किम् मूल्यम् अस्य ?)
    • The shopkeeper may say “Ten Rupees” दश रूप्यकाणि.
  • Since coinage-systems will be different at different places, we will have to adapt in Sanskrit-speaking same names, as they prevail. These are proper nouns. Proper Nouns are never to be translated.
  • The other day I could not go to a meeting. But was curious to know how many people turned out.
    • I asked my friend, “How many people were there ? कति जनाः आसन् ? Note, आसन् is भूतकाल प्रथमपुरुष बहुवचन inflection of verb अस् (= to be) Hence आसन् = were. We shall discuss past tense separately in another chapter.
    • Surprisingly, he told, “Only two of us, Mr. Ramesh and Myself” केवलं आवां द्वौ रमेशवर्यः अहं च |
    • Some people think it good to do inflections of proper-nouns also. In रामायणम् महाभारतम् भागवतम् there are inflections of large number of proper nouns. But proper nouns in many countries around the world may not be easy to make their inflections. Mr. John may rather be called as जॉन्-वर्यः It would sound odd to say जॉन:, right ? Actually जॉन् is a consonant-ending word. So जॉन: would not be grammatically correct. That becomes the problem to do inflections of proper nouns.
      • In fact Hindi-speaking people who also follow Devanagari script for Hindi may write and pronounce the name as जोन्
      • In Marathi writing, which also uses Devanagari script, writing the pronunciation as जॉन् with a crescent above जा is accepted almost as a norm.
      • Likewise “Ann” may be called एन्-महोदया ऐन्-महोदया.

Anyway, these are digressions from the main subject of “Numbers”.

By the way, the interrogative कति is by convention “always plural”. And it has identical inflections for all genders. Its inflections in different cases are – कति (प्रथमा), कति (द्वितीया), कतिभिः (तृतीया), कतिभ्यः (चतुर्थी), कतिभ्यः (पञ्चमी), कतीनाम् (षष्ठी), कतिषु (सप्तमी).

Answers of questions asked using कति could be vague or uncertain. In Lesson 5 towards its end, there was the mention of the suffix चित् and its usage with all inflections of the pronoun किम्. The suffix चित् can as well be used with all inflections of कति to obtain a meaning “some” or “few”. For example –

  • The proposal was accepted by some people = प्रस्तावः (proposal) कतिभिश्चित् (by some or few) जनैः (people) स्वीकृतः (was accepted).
  • “It is useful for some” = कतिभ्यश्चित् उपयोगि इदम् Note –
    • कतिभ्यश्चित् (= कतीभ्यः+चित् = for some)
    • उपयोगि (useful)
    • इदम् (= this)
  • This phrase कतिभ्यश्चित् उपयोगि इदम् could as well be a question, “Is it useful for (at least) a few ?” Right at the beginning of Lesson 3, there was introduction to making interrogatives from simple sentences by using pronoun किम्. However, since  some interrogative sense is implicit in कति,  a question can be formed even without using any other obvious or clear interrogative.
    • कतिभ्यश्चित् उपयोगि इदम् is a good example of this. Just a change in intonation would make it affirmative or interrogative.

In Apte’s dictionary many more interesting details about कति are given.

  • Meaning 1 of कति – ‘How many’
  • Meaning 2 of कति – ‘some’
  • When followed by चित् चन अपि the pronoun कति loses its interrogative force and becomes indefinite in sense, meaning ‘some’, ‘several’, ‘a few’
    • This detail in Apte’s dictionary puts in doubt usage of कति in the interrogative, as shown above in the phrase कतिभ्यश्चित् उपयोगि इदम् as a question, “Is it useful for (at least) a few ?” Sanskrit-experts may please comment.
  • In the dictionary, some more words derived from कति are detailed separately.
  • कतिकृत्वस् or कतिकृत्व: an indeclinable अव्यय meaning ‘how many times’
    • Here I would like to thankfully acknowledge an important comment posted by Dr. H. N. Bhat. To ensure that the comment may not be missed out, I am editing this Lesson 8 itself.
    • The point is that कृत्वस् or कृत्व: is a suffix which makes an adverb from a numeral nominal. कति is a numeral nominal, similar to other numeral nominals such as एक द्वि त्रि चतुर् सहस्र
    • A good example of derivation of an indeclinable अव्यय by affixing a suffix कृत्वस् or कृत्व: to a numeral nominal is in नमो नमस्तेऽस्तु सहस्रकृत्वः पुनश्च भूयोऽपि नमो नमस्ते (गीता, ११-३९)
    • Meaning of नमो नमस्तेऽस्तु सहस्रकृत्वः पुनश्च भूयोऽपि नमो नमस्ते (गीता, ११-३९) is “May my obeisances be a thousand times, again and again
    • Note पुनश्च means ‘again’ भूयोऽपि also means ‘again’. Arjuna is so overwhelmed that he wants to pay obeisances be a thousand times and again and again !
  • कतिधा an indeclinable अव्यय meaning ‘how often’, ‘in how many places or parts’
    • A good example of this is possibly the quotation विष्णुः त्रेधा निदधे पदम् (= ViShNu put his foot at three places). This quotation can prompt a question विष्णुः कतिधा निदधे पदम् ? (= At how many places did ViShNu put his foot ?)
      • This quotation विष्णुः त्रेधा निदधे पदम् has the context of वामनावतार when Lord विष्णु asks of दैत्य-king बलि land enough for just four steps. Although विष्णु appears as वामन, as a small boy, in three steps विष्णु pervades all three worlds – the heaven, the earth and also the netherworld. True to his offer of land of four steps, बलि kneels before विष्णु for विष्णु to put the fourth step on his own head.
  • कतिपय an adjective विशेषणम्, hence would have inflections in all three genders, all seven cases and in all three numbers. कतिपय means ‘some, ‘several’, ‘a certain number of’ (Here ‘a certain’ has indefinite sense)
    • Comes to mind an example from बाण-भट्ट’s  कादंबरी where, वैशंपायन is narrating of early days of his second birth as a parrot with human tongue. He says – एवं च अवहितचेतसा हारीतेन संवर्ध्यमानः कतिपयैः एव दिवसैः संजातपक्षः अभवम्  Here एवं च (= Thus) being lovingly tended by हारीत (the son of Rishi Jaabaala) अवहितचेतसा हारीतेन संवर्ध्यमानः, in a few कतिपयैः days दिवसैः I had wings grown on me संजातपक्षः अभवम्.
    • Note, कतिपयैः as adjective of दिवसैः has identical (masculine) gender, (third) case and (plural) number.
  • कतिविध, an adjective, विशेषणम् hence declinable in all three genders, all seven cases and in all three numbers. Its meaning ‘of how many kinds’. For example, कतिविधानि भूतानि Living beings are of how many kinds ? – द्विपदा: (= bipeds) चतुष्पदा: (= quadrupeds) खगाः (= birds) मत्स्याः (= aquatic) सर्पाः (= reptiles) जन्तवः (= insects and microbes)
    • Here also I would like to thankfully acknowledge an important comment posted by Dr. H. N. Bhat. To ensure that the comment may not be missed out, I am editing this Lesson 8 itself here also.
    • The point is that विध is a suffix, which makes an adjecttive from a numeral nominal. कति is a numeral nominal, similar to other numeral nominals such as एक द्वि त्रि चतुर् सहस्र
    • So adjectives derived from एक द्वि त्रि चतुर् सहस्र by affixing the suffix विध are एकविध द्विविध त्रिविध चतुर्विध सहस्रविध also कतिविध.
    • A few examples of these in different genders and numbers will be –
      • Volunteers have a common uniform स्वयंसेवकानां एकविधः गणवेशः
        • स्वयंसेवकानां = of volunteers
        • एकविधः = of one type, common, identical
        • गणवेशः = uniform
      • A mind dwelling on this or that is not good for decision-making द्विविधस्य मनसः न निर्णयः
        • द्विविधस्य = of two types (of thoughts)
        • मनसः = of mind
        • न निर्णयः = no decision
        • द्विविधस्य मनसः न निर्णयः = no decision (happens) of mind of two types of thoughts
      • Of people who become my devotees, there are four types, i.e. Four types of people become my devotees चतुर्विधा भजन्ते मां जनाः सुकृतिनोऽर्जुन (गीता, ७-१६). Note चतुर्विधा is actually चतुर्विधाः
  • कतिशस् or कतिशः an indeclinable अव्यय, meaning ‘how many at a time’ Say, for example, “In how many pieces did the wood-cutter break the log ?” दारुकर्मिणा दारुः कतिशः विभक्तः ?
    • दारुकर्मिणा = by the wood-worker (i.e. wood-cutter)
    • दारुः = log
    • कतिशः = in how many pieces
    • विभक्तः = was cut

As mentioned above from Apte’s dictionary, कति may be followed by another suffix चन. There it was also mentioned, “… When followed by चित् चन अपि the pronoun कति loses its interrogative force and becomes indefinite in sense, meaning ‘some’, ‘several’, ‘a few’…” By that कतिचन would mean ‘few’, ‘some’. For example, नेतुः स्वागताय कार्यकर्तारः कतिचन मालाः अर्पयन्ति meaning नेतुः (= of the leader) स्वागताय (= for welcome) कार्यकर्तारः (= workers) कतिचन (a few) मालाः (= garlands) अर्पयन्ति (= offer) i.e. Workers offer a few garlands for welcome of the leader.

By the way, it is to be noted that चित्, चन and अपि can as well be affixed to interrogative adverbs such as कदा कुत्र कथम्. With these suffixes the adverbs also will lose their interrogative force. They may get some negative shade of meaning !

In fact some people contend that चन has the derivation च + न = and not. By that token use of चन lends some different shade of meaning than use of चित्. Use of अपि also has an effect similar to that of चन. For example –
Is it possible any time ? कदाचन शक्यं इदम् ?
May be possible शक्यं कदाचित्

  • It may be noted that here कदाचित् has the meaning of ‘may be’ and not just as ‘some time’

Never possible न कदापि शक्यम्

  • Here suffix अपि makes the negative न so much more forceful !

Instead of the question कदाचन शक्यं इदम् ? one could as well say कदाचित् शक्यं इदम् ? or कदापि शक्यं इदम् ? But conventionally the force becomes different.

  • कदाचन शक्यं इदम् ? = Is it any time possible ? Here the questioner could just be inquisitive.
  • कदाचित् शक्यं इदम् ? = Is there a possibility that this would be possible ? Here the questioner implies some positive possibility.
  • कदापि शक्यं इदम् ? = Is it ever possible ? The questioner is almost implying that it is never possible.

The difference in force in use of चित्, चन and अपि is substantially conventional.

Just see how the interrogative कदाचन can also become affirmative कदाचन or negative कदाचन —
कदाचन शक्यं इदम् ? = Is it any time possible ?
कदाचन तु शक्यं | किं न ? = Some time or other possible, why not ? or
कदाचन न शक्यम् = Not possible any time, i.e. never possible.

Here is another example of कदापि.

Two and two will be four always. Never otherwise. द्व्यधिके द्वे चत्वारि सर्वदा | न अन्यथा कदापि |

  • द्व्यधिके द्वे = two added to two Note, द्व्यधिके is द्वि + अधिके
  • चत्वारि सर्वदा = four always
  • न अन्यथा कदापि = not otherwise ever.

Note in द्व्यधिके द्वे चत्वारि they are all in neuter gender, again by convention. When speaking of numbers as numbers they will be by neuter gender.

शुभमस्तु |

-o-O-o-

7 thoughts on “Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 8

  1. In the dictionary, some more words derived from कति are detailed separately.
    कतिकृत्वस् or कतिकृत्व: an indeclinable अव्यय meaning ‘how many times’
    कतिधा an indeclinable अव्यय meaning ‘how often’, ‘in how many places or parts’
    =======================
    It is very simple suffixes added to the numerals in general and here it is added to the interrogative कति which is considered as interrogative pronoun referring either to numbers. Hence considered as संख्या and will take all the suffixes that a संख्या word would take.

    कतिकृत्वः – कतिधा are different in usage. How many times is the firs is intended, and the reply is expected त्रिःकृत्वः, चतुःकृत्वः, द्विःकृत्वः, पञ्चकृत्वः three, four, two, five times respectively.

    The other is put in other way कतिविधः? कतिविधा? कतिविधम्? as declinable interrogative of indefinite number कतिधा – in how many ways/types of any genre referred to by the pronoun. This will not change according to the gender. Here it is used as adverb in practice. – त्रेधा निदधे पदम् etc.

    The same is used with the numeral एक also. एकधा, uniformly, or एऐकध्यम्. द्विधा, द्वेधा, त्रिधा – त्रेधा are forms. अनेकधा in many ways, is the same as नैकधा. The same could be expressed with

    एकविधः, द्विविधः, त्रिविधः … etc. as adjective qualifying the noun, changing in form according the gender of the noun qualified it in declension. बहुविधः, बहुधा, बहुशः, बहुकृत्वः is also possible to denote of many kinds, many in numbers, many times etc.

    And कतिपय is declined as a pronoun in nominative plural and as a numeral also in meaning.as:

    तत्र सन्ति कतिपये/कतिपयाः जनाः, कतिपयथः तेषां रामः? – There are many people. Which one of them (number in order 5th, 6th or 2nd in the row) is Rama. along with कतिथः? with the same interrogative regarding the position of Rama in the group.

    बहुतिथेषु दिवसेषु, गणकृत्वः, बहुकृत्वः also possible forms with the same meaning.

    • Many many thanks Dr. Bhat !

      I have edited the related portion of the Lesson which now reads –
      In Apte’s dictionary many more interesting details about कति are given.

      Meaning 1 of कति – ‘How many’
      Meaning 2 of कति – ‘some’
      When followed by चित् चन अपि the pronoun कति loses its interrogative force and becomes indefinite in sense, meaning ‘some’, ‘several’, ‘a few’
      This detail in Apte’s dictionary puts in doubt usage of कति in the interrogative, as shown above in the phrase कतिभ्यश्चित् उपयोगि इदम् as a question, “Is it useful for (at least) a few ?” Sanskrit-experts may please comment.
      In the dictionary, some more words derived from कति are detailed separately.
      कतिकृत्वस् or कतिकृत्व: an indeclinable अव्यय meaning ‘how many times’
      Here I would like to thankfully acknowledge an important comment posted by Dr. H. N. Bhat. To ensure that the comment may not be missed out, I am editing this Lesson 8 itself.
      The point is that कृत्वस् or कृत्व: is a suffix which makes an adverb from a numeral nominal. कति is a numeral nominal, similar to other numeral nominals such as एक द्वि त्रि चत्वारि सहस्र
      A good example of derivation of an indeclinable अव्यय by affixing a suffix कृत्वस् or कृत्व: to a numeral nominal is in नमो नमस्तेऽस्तु सहस्रकृत्वः पुनश्च भूयोऽपि नमो नमस्ते (गीता, ११-३९)
      कतिधा an indeclinable अव्यय meaning ‘how often’, ‘in how many places or parts’
      A good example of this is possibly the quotation विष्णुः त्रेधा निदधे पदम् (= ViShNu put his foot at three places). This quotation can prompt a question विष्णुः कतिधा निदधे पदम् ? (= At how many places did ViShNu put his foot ?)
      This quotation विष्णुः त्रेधा निदधे पदम् has the context of वामनावतार when Lord विष्णु asks of दैत्य-king बलि land enough for just four steps. Although विष्णु appears as वामन, as a small boy, in three steps विष्णु pervades all three worlds – the heaven, the earth and also the netherworld. True to his offer of land of four steps, बलि kneels before विष्णु for विष्णु to put the fourth step on his own head.
      कतिपय an adjective विशेषणम्, hence would have inflections in all three genders, all seven cases and in all three numbers. कतिपय means ‘some, ‘several’, ‘a certain number of’ (Here ‘a certain’ has indefinite sense)
      Comes to mind an example from बाण-भट्ट’s कादंबरी where, वैशंपायन is narrating of early days of his second birth as a parrot with human tongue. He says – एवं च अवहितचेतसा हारीतेन संवर्ध्यमानः कतिपयैः एव दिवसैः संजातपक्षः अभवम् Here एवं च (= Thus) being lovingly tended by हारीत (the son of Rishi Jaabaala) अवहितचेतसा हारीतेन संवर्ध्यमानः, in a few कतिपयैः days दिवसैः I had wings grown on me संजातपक्षः अभवम्.
      Note, कतिपयैः as adjective of दिवसैः has identical (masculine) gender, (third) case and (plural) number.
      कतिविध, an adjective, विशेषणम् hence declinable in all three genders, all seven cases and in all three numbers. Its meaning ‘of how many kinds’. For example, कतिविधानि भूतानि Living beings are of how many kinds ? – द्विपदा: (= bipeds) चतुष्पदा: (= quadrupeds) खगाः (= birds) मत्स्याः (= aquatic) सर्पाः (= reptiles) जन्तवः (= insects and microbes)
      Here also I would like to thankfully acknowledge an important comment posted by Dr. H. N. Bhat. To ensure that the comment may not be missed out, I am editing this Lesson 8 itself here also.
      The point is that विध is a suffix, which makes an adjective from a numeral nominal. कति is a numeral nominal, similar to other numeral nominals such as एक द्वि त्रि चत्वारि सहस्र
      So adjectives derived from एक द्वि त्रि चत्वारि सहस्र by affixing the suffix विध are एकविध द्विविध त्रिविध चतुर्विध सहस्रविध also कतिविध.
      A few examples of these in different genders and numbers will be –
      Volunteers have a common uniform स्वयंसेवकानां एकविधः गणवेशः
      स्वयंसेवकानां = of volunteers
      एकविधः = of one type, common, identical
      गणवेशः = uniform
      A mind dwelling on this or that is not good for decision-making द्विविधस्य मनसः न निर्णयः
      द्विविधस्य = of two types (of thoughts)
      मनसः = of mind
      न निर्णयः = no decision
      द्विविधस्य मनसः न निर्णयः = no decision (happens) of mind of two types of thoughts
      Of people who become my devotees, there are four types, i.e. Four types of people become my devotees चतुर्विधा भजन्ते मां जनाः सुकृतिनोऽर्जुन (गीता, ७-१६). Note चतुर्विधा is actually चतुर्विधाः
      कतिशस् or कतिशः an indeclinable अव्यय, meaning ‘how many at a time’ Say, for example, “In how many pieces did the wood-cutter break the log ?” दारुकर्मिणा दारुः कतिशः विभक्तः ?
      दारुकर्मिणा = by the wood-worker (i.e. wood-cutter)
      दारुः = log
      कतिशः = in how many pieces
      विभक्तः = was cut

      Hope, you would like this

      • Only one more thing to be corrected. विध is not an suffix, but it is the form of the word विधा meaning class, kind, manner or division in a बहुव्रीहि compound. Independent usage is in feminine gender as in the following:

        Hitop, 1, 186.11
        sthale gacchato ‘sya kā vidhā ? स्थले गच्छतो ऽस्य का विधा ?

        What will be his possition when he going on land?

        STKau zu SāṃKār, 3.2, 1.1
        saṃkṣepato hi śāstrārthasya catasro vidhāḥ / संक्षेपतो हि शास्त्रार्थस्य चतस्रो विधाः |
        Briefly there are four types of the meaning of any शास्त्र.

        STKau zu SāṃKār, 4.2, 1.5
        tisro vidhā asya pramāṇasāmānyasyeti trividhaṃ na nyūnaṃ nāpyadhikam ityarthaḥ ।

        तिस्रो विधा अस्य प्रमाणसामान्यस्येति त्रिविधं न न्यूनं नाप्यधिकम् इत्यर्थः ।

        The above is the विग्रहवाक्य of त्रिविधम्in the context qualifying the प्रमाण in neuter gender.

        You can use कति विधाः जन्तूनाम्? or कतिविधाः जन्तवः – just difference in the shade of meaning?

        How many types of living beings are there? or how many kinds of animals (are there/here?).

        The same with all the examples you had quoted. तिस्रो विधाः मनुष्याणाम्, उत्तमाधममध्यमभेदेन।
        or मनुष्यास्त्रिविधाः – the same difference with compound and non-compound usage.

        STKau zu SāṃKār, 4.2, 1.7
        katamās tā vidhā iti? कतमास् ता विधा इति? Which are those types/kinds? – (it is explained)

      • धन्यवादाः भट-महोदय ! भवतः टिप्पणिम् अनुसृत्य आपटे-महाभागस्य शब्दकोषे अपि अपश्यम् । तत्र “विधः” (पुं) तथा विधा (स्त्री) द्वावपि शब्दौ विवृतौ स्तः । तेन कुतूहलं संजातं, “विविध”-शब्दस्य व्युत्पत्तिः का ? भवता लिखितमस्ति “विध is not an suffix, but it is the form of the word विधा” । तेनापि कुतूहलमस्ति, कथम् भवति “विधा”-शब्दस्य “विध”-इति रूपम् । भवति कदाचित् “विधा”-शब्दतः “विध”-इति उपपदम् ? यदि “विध”-इति उपपदम् तर्हि उपपदमपि suffix-वदेव युज्यते खलु ? यद्यपि suffix-इति उल्लेखः असाधु तथापि न तत्र गभीरः दोषः इति दृश्यते । अस्तु । सस्नेहम्, अभ्यंकरकुलोत्पन्नः श्रीपादः | “श्रीपतेः पदयुगं स्मरणीयम् ।”

      • I have just offered explanation as offered in the traditional texts for the formation. Linguists may differ just as taking adverb क्रियाविशेषण as अव्यय.

        If it is masculine, one need not to say as suffix also. It can be used independently also either in feminine or masculine. Anyhow choice is up to you.

        There is another suffix also विध which is used in restricted sense भौरिक्यविधम् etc. in restricted usages as the native place of भैरिक्य people. That is the reason, why it was not considered as suffix who follow traditional grammar. The texts I cited all follow the tradition of Grammar and I have seen everywhere the same explanation for such commentaries. You are free to name it any how. Just I wanted to make it clear.

  2. the reply is expected त्रिःकृत्वः, चतुःकृत्वः, द्विःकृत्वः, पञ्चकृत्वः – Please read corrected version for these:

    द्विः, त्रिः, चतुः – द्विवारम्, त्रिवारम्, चतुर्वारम्, पञ्चकृत्वः, etc. though

    चतुःकृत्वः श्रुतं येन कथितं मुनिसत्तमाः ।
    स लभेत् परमं पुण्यं अग्निष्टोमाष्टसम्भवम् ॥ २९ ||

    the archaic usage of कृत्वसुच् is available for चतुः and चतुःकृत्वः,

  3. Mr. John may rather be called as जॉन्-वर्यः It would sound odd to say जॉन:, right ? Actually जॉन् is a consonant-ending word. So जॉन: would not be grammatically correct. That becomes the problem to do inflections of proper nouns.
    —————–

    It is not more odd than trying to apply the grammar of some language to the words/names of another alien language and trying to justify the forms according to another language. The problem is not in adopting foreign words, but they should be naturally adopted as the part of the target language and then only the inflectional rules of inflectional language could be applied to the words only regularized by usage as the word of the target language. This is the common principle of borrowing words from another language. Otherwise it would be not only odd, but look artificial language than natural.

    John is English name and it could not be applied inflectional rules of Sanskrit Grammar which is an inflectional language and applicable to the words accepted as Sanskrit language words while English is non-inflectional language.

    But this doesn’t create any special problem in the declension of the proper nouns accepted as Sanskrit words or many nouns borrowed during the evolution of the language. There are many others दीनार etc. and many more of doubtful origin in Sanskrit. For example, fanas – is Arabic word meaning jack-fruit, and it is Sanskritized as पनस which could not have any independent etymology than it is borrowed from Arabic. There are similar words used in astronomy and astrology which could not possibly traced to Sanskrit origin by etymology but give and take of the languages Sanskrit had come into contact during the last centuries. Allopanishat is an excellent example of borrowing in Sanskrit.

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