Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 15

Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 15

सरलं संस्कृतम् – पञ्चदशः पाठः |

Towards the end of Lesson 9, it was suggested that संधि or संहिता is an important topic.

In simple terms संधि or संहिता is the concept of ‘resultant sound’ most of which happens naturally.

Actually examples of संधि or संहिता have been there right from first lesson. For example

  • in Table 1-8 प्रत्यागच्छामि … etc. are प्रति + आगच्छामि …. All the nine forms प्रत्यागच्छामि … etc. are ‘resultant sounds, i.e. संधि or संहिता.
  • शुभमस्तु at the end of every chapter is शुभम् + अस्तु
    • किञ्चित् , कस्माच्चित् are examples from Lesson 8.
  • कश्चित् = कः + चित् is an example, where the ending of the first word is a विसर्ग denoted by “:”

There is sort of a rule saying when it is compulsory to do संधि or संहिता –

संहितैकपदे नित्या नित्या धातूपसर्गयोः ।

नित्या समासे वाक्ये तु सा विवक्षामपेक्षते ॥

In Sanskrit, a rule about संधि or संहिता is also put in a verse !
It means

  1. संहितैकपदे नित्या = संहिता एकपदे नित्या  when a word is quoted as a single word, it is mandatory to do संधि or संहिता  e.g. कश्चित्
  2. नित्या धातूपसर्गयोः = when there is a prefix with a verbal root, it is mandatory to do संधि or संहिता  e.g. प्रत्यागच्छामि
  3. नित्या समासे = in compound word it is mandatory to do संधि or संहिता  e.g. शिरश्चन्द्रिका
  4. वाक्ये तु सा विवक्षामपेक्षते = In a sentence, it is discretionary. e.g. शुभमस्तु

First three statements above denote three broad classifications of संधि or संहिता. As can be seen –

Table 15-1

Three broad classifications of संधि or संहिता


Combined word


Ending sound of first omponent and beginning sound of second

Class of

संधि or संहिता



प्रति + आगच्छामि

Vowel इ + vowel आ




शुभम् + अस्तु

Consonant म् + vowel अ




किम् + चित्

Nasal Consonant म् + consonant च्




कस्मात् + चित्

Consonant त् + consonant च्




कः + चित्

विसर्ग “:” + consonant च्


Although there are just three broad classifications of संधि or संहिता, there would be many permutations in each class.

Before proceeding, it would be interesting to know why

  1. स्वर-संधि-s are also called as अच्-संधि-s and
  2. व्यञ्जन-संधि-s are also called as हल्-संधि-s.

Most of the स्वर-s and व्यञ्जन-s are set into 14 सूत्र -s known as शिवसूत्राणि or माहेश्वरसूत्राणि
1. अइउण् 2. ऋलृक् 3. एओङ् 4. ऐऔच् 5. हयवरट् 6. लण् 7. ञमङ्णनम् 8. झभञ्
9. घढधष् 10. जबगडदश् 11. खफछठथचटतव् 12. कपय् 13. शषसर् 14. हल्

It is said that when concluding his dance, Lord Shiva struck his Damru 14 times. Those 14 sounds were realized by the sages – Sanaka and others – as divine aphorisms, summarizing all the basic sounds, the vowels and consonants. The event is narrated in a shloka as follows –

नृत्तावसाने नटराजराजो ननाद ढक्कां नवपञ्चवारम्।

उद्धर्त्तुकाम: सनकादिसिद्धानेतद्विमर्शे शिवसूत्रजालम्॥

These are also called as प्रत्याहारसूत्राणि, because of some 43 प्रत्याहार-s that can be derived or extracted from the 14 शिवसूत्राणि.

As can be seen, the first four सूत्र -s – with first सूत्र starting with अ and the fourth सूत्र ending with च् – contain all the vowels अ, इ, उ, ऋ, लृ, ए, ओ, ऐ, औ if we neglect the ending consonants ण्, क् and ङ् of the first to third सूत्र-s. So, अच् is a प्रत्याहार and it means all the vowels स्वर-s. In turn अच्-संधि-s means all स्वर-संधि-s.

In like manner the प्रत्याहार हल्-, starting from ह of fifth सूत्र and ending with ल् of the fourteenth सूत्र contains all consonants. In turn हल्-संधि-s means व्यञ्जन-संधि-s.

For more practice with प्रत्याहार-s –

  1. अक् means स्वर-s अ, इ, उ, ऋ, लृ
  2. इक् means स्वर-s इ, उ, ऋ, लृ
  3. एच् means स्वर-s ए, ओ, ऐ, औ



Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 14

Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 14

सरलं संस्कृतम् – चतुर्दशः पाठः |

We are presently studying, how one gets क्रियापदानि the verbs, conjugations of a verbal root धातु. It should be borne in mind that conjugations of a धातु are influenced by the गण to which a धातु belongs and also by the पद-characteristics of the धातु, i.e. whether  परस्मैपद or आत्मनेपद or उभयपद.

Actually the गण of a धातु is mentioned either by its serial order प्रथमगण, द्वितीयगण, … दशमगण or by given a name of the गण Names for गण-s are –
१ भ्वादि (भू + आदि) २ अदादि (अद् + आदि) ३ जुहोत्यादि (जुहोति + आदि) ४ दिवादि (दिव् + आदि)
५ स्वादि (सु + आदि) ६ तुदादि (तुद् + आदि) ७ रुधादि (रुध् + आदि) ८ तनादि (तन् + आदि)
९ क्र्यादि (क्री + आदि) १० चुरादि (चुर् + आदि)

  • आदि = starting from. भू + आदि = starting from भू or with भू as the foremost.
  • Only for the third गण the name has the inflection of the root verb जुह् in वर्तमानकाले, प्रथम-पुरुषे एकवचनम्
  • This may also provoke a deliberation as to, why a particular धातु is considered as the foremost for a particular गण. But this will get into the realm of grammarians’ logic. That would be beyond the scope of ‘Simple Sanskrit’,

 The ten commonly used लकार-s are

(1) लट् = वर्तमानकाल = Present Tense
(2) लङ् = अनद्यतन-भूतकाल = Past tense
(3) लुङ् = तृतीय-(अथवा सामान्य)-भूतकाल = Aorist Past tense
(4) लिट् = परोक्ष-भूतकाल = Past unseen by the speaker
(5) विधिलिङ् = विध्यर्थ = Mood equivalent to “should” in English
(6) लोट् = आज्ञार्थ = Imperative Mood
(7) आशीर्लिङ् = आशीर्वादार्थ = Benedictine Mood, as in “May God bless you !”
(8) लृट् = द्वितीय-(अथवा स्य)-भविष्यत्काल = Future Tense
(9) लुट् = प्रथमभविष्यत्काल = Future Tense not in common use
(10) लृङ् = भविष्यत्काल = Future Tense not in common use

Out of the ten लकार-s, we have studied the following four.
(1) लट् = वर्तमानकाल = Present Tense – See Lesson 1 for परस्मैपदी Lesson 10 for आत्मनेपदी धातु-s
(2) लङ् = अनद्यतन-भूतकाल = Past tense – See Lessons 9 and 10
(4) लिट् = परोक्ष-भूतकाल = Past action, unseen by the speaker – See Lessons 9 and 10
(6) लोट् = आज्ञार्थ = Imperative Mood – See Lesson 2 for परस्मैपदी Lesson 10 for आत्मनेपदी धातु-s

Mr. Neelesh Bodas has done tremendous work in giving conjugations of various धातु-s in different लकार-s. For example, one gets conjugations of धातु कृ (८ उ) at <>

An interesting example of use of लट्-भविष्यत्काल of various धातु-s is found in the सुभाषितम्

रात्रिर्गमिष्यति भविष्यति सुप्रभातम् !

भास्वानुदेष्यति हसिष्यति पन्कजश्रीः !

इत्थं विचारयति कोषगते द्विरेफे !

हा हन्त हन्त नलिनीं गज उज्जहार !!

Detailed study of this सुभाषितम् can be seen in Lesson No. 8 of “Learning Sanskrit by fresh Approach” at संस्कृताध्ययनम् ।

It can be seen that study of all conjugations of even one धातु becomes quite an involving study. A bookseller Mr. T. R. Krishnachar once spent his time in compiling forms/inflections of a large number (662) धातु-s. It became a book with the title बृहद्धातुरूपावलिः ! Recently the book has been re-published by शारदा-पीठम्, शृङ्गेरी. An on-line version is available. For example details for धातु भू are at the page linked.