Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 20

Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 20

सरलं संस्कृतम् – विंशतितमः पाठः |


It should be appropriate at this point, to appraise of some technical aspects of the process of संधि-s.


  1. संधि is also called as संहिता. Interestingly, in श्रीगणपत्यथर्वशीर्षम् there is a मन्त्र “संहिता सन्धिः” I am left wondering of the significance of this मन्त्र in श्रीगणपत्यथर्वशीर्षम्, because, for a student of grammar, these two words of the मन्त्र are just synonyms. But what is the spiritual significance for it to be a मन्त्र in a स्तोत्रम्, an ode to the  deity गणपति / गणेश ?

  2. संधि is a coalescence of two sound-elements,

    1. The sound-element वर्ण at the previous position is called as पूर्ववर्णः

    2. The sound-element वर्ण at the following position is परवर्णः

    3. Coalescence i.e. संधि or संहिता often brings forth a Resultant sound, which is often a change आदेशः

    4. When the resultant sound is only a single sound, it is एकादेशः Most संधि-s result in एकादेश. But there are instances that it would not be so.

    5. The change आदेशः may happen by addition आगम omission लोप or mutation विकार.

  3. Segregating components of a coalesced word is called as पदच्छेद. It is the first step, very much essential, to be able to understand any Sanskrit text. If two elemental sounds would get coalesced in the natural process of pronouncing them, they would get so pronounced very naturally, right ? संधि is a natural process of pronouncing or speaking Sanskrit. Rather, rules of संधि are not really rules, but they are grammatical summary of, what the natural process of coalescence happens during pronunciation.

  4. Since संधि-rules are grammatical summary of, what the natural process of coalescence happens during pronunciation, all the detailing of संधि-rules, becomes a strong evidence to establish that Sanskrit has essentially been a spoken language. This evidence stands to nullify all argument about Sanskrit ever having been a spoken language.

  5. One may ask, “If पदच्छेद is the first step, so very essential, to be able to understand any Sanskrit text, why have I taken it so late in these lessons in “Simple Sanskrit” ? The answer is in the question itself ! Before indulging in पदच्छेद, one needs to know पद-s and how they are formed / obtained. It needed all those 16/17 lessons to discuss that, the पद-s. That discussion is far from complete. But I thought, it is not wiser to postpone discussing संधि-s.

    1. In treatises on grammar, especially in सिद्धान्तकौमुदी by भट्टोजी दीक्षित discussion on संधि-s starts right from chapter 2.

    2. For my lessons of “Simple Sanskrit”,  I have kept the focus to be simple and step by step. Every step is not necessarily a small step. If one can compose 240 sentences from lesson 1 itself, it is not a small step. But it is not a big step either, because all those sentences are just two-word sentences.  Often enthusiasm of people wanting to learn a new language is high-pitched.

      1. Some want to be able to read and understand such philosophical / spiritual text as गीता,

      2. Some want to start conversing, right from word ‘go’.

        1. It is my firm conviction, that wrong or incorrect Sanskrit is not Sanskrit at all.

        2. I keep listening to conversational Sanskrit, only with a pinch of salt. It becomes uncourteous to correct the person at every error, right ?

        3. But if errors are not corrected, whatever Sanskrit is spoken may sound Sanskrit-like, but it would not be Sanskrit.

        4. I for one would never like to be a party to promoting Sanskrit-like Sanskrit.

  6. To start speaking in a new language, the language should be able to tolerate lot of colloquialism. In fact if the language is tolerant of this, it is quite efficient to learn such language, say, in the market-place or in a family. Essentially there should be an overwhelming environment, maybe 24×7, of that language falling on your ears. That is how child learns its mother-tongue. That is how I had learnt Kannada at the place where I did my schooling. That is also how I dare to speak Gujarati and some little bit of Tamil. But I would not dare do that with Sanskrit. I also learnt somewhat German. But I am at quite some unease in conversing in German. I have studied different languages, you see. So, my opinions are from such self-study, deliberations and experience. Protagonists of “Spoken Sanskrit” seem to be going by the argument about how a child learns its mother-tongue, without any bother about the nuances of grammar. To my mind they miss two points –

    1. The language should be tolerant to lot of colloquialism

    2. There should be an overwhelming environment, maybe 24×7, of that language falling on your ears.

    3. Both these aspects do not apply to Sanskrit.

  7. Language-skills are of three types – speak, read, write. By writing skill, I do not mean just the skill of being able to write the script. Writing skill is the flair to express one’s thoughts powerfully. This, generally, is the sequence, in which we learn our mother-tongue. By the way, I know a boy, Raghu, whose mother-tongue was Tamil. After I had attended a few classes to learn Tamil, I had become acquainted with the Tamil script and wrote a short greetings message. I showed it to Raghu and asked him, “Is it correct ?” He surprised me by his reply, “Uncle, I can’t read Tamil !”

  8. Having had that surprise some 15 years back, it surprises me no more. I realize that my own American grandchildren speak Marathi, quite fluently, I would say. But they are struggling to read and write. That would be so, with many, many, many. many children, who can speak their mother-tongue, but cannot read, much less, write. That has now become a great anxiety weighing heavily on the minds of their parents. But  why should the parents be anxious ? What is wrong with being able to only speak, but not be able to read or write ? To my mind, being able to read what is written in a language, connotes getting acquainted with the culture. Yes, every language connotes a culture. Every language has a rich cultural heritage to be carried forth. That cannot be more true for any other language, other than Sanskrit.


See, what they say at webpage of St. James School, London,


Benefits of Sanskrit


An Education In Beauty


The Sanskrit language is full of beauty: beauty of sound, of structure, of script, of poetry and of prose. Such beauty opens the heart.


A Language Of Impeccable Credentials


Sanskrit is highly respected by the academic community. It often forms a point of interest and admiration when students with Sanskrit qualifications are interviewed for university admission. Sanskrit possesses a remarkably fine grammatical structure giving insights into all language learning;


A New View Of The World


Sanskrit literature expresses a refreshing and expansive view of human nature and its role in creation. In this era of unprecedented change and uncertainty, it can be a valuable tool to assess and look afresh at society.


Sanskrit literature embodies a comprehensive map of the human makeup: spiritual, emotional, mental and physical. It presents a new way of understanding our relationship to the rest of creation and lays out guidelines which, if followed, would lead to a productive and happy life.


A Systematic Grammar


The word ‘Sanskrit’ means ‘perfectly constructed’. Study of its grammar brings order to the mind and clarifies the thinking. Sanskrit has an ordered alphabet and grammar system which makes it easy to learn.


At The Root Of European Languages


Sanskrit stands at the root of many eastern and western languages, including English and most other European languages, classical or modern. Its study illuminates their grammar and etymology. Many English words can be shown to derive from forms still extant in Sanskrit.


A Matchless Literature


Sanskrit has one of the richest and most extensive literatures of all languages. It introduces students to vast epics, profound scripture, subtle philosophy, voluminous mythology, exquisite poetry and much else. Sanskrit holds the key to a treasure trove of seminal scriptures, such as the Bhagavad Gita, the depth and quality of which are increasingly being acknowledged around the world.

…. “


I came to dwell on all this, as sort of an introduction to the topic of संधि-s and made mention of पदच्छेद. These are important concepts to be able to read and understand Sanskrit.


As an end-note, my recommendation is, “… does not matter, if you are not able to speak Sanskrit and may also not be able to write Sanskrit. But being able to just read Sanskrit and understand it, of course, with whatever effort is required for understanding, becomes such an enriching experience ! ..”


Everything of Sanskrit becomes an enriching experience. Even grammar, especially सूत्राणि in अष्टाध्यायी will astound you by genius of पाणिनि !! When I read and realized, that the verbal root धातु जन् has the sense of passive voice inherent to it, it came to mind, “What a philosophical thought !” Is it not a fact that we do not take birth (active voice), … we are born (passive voice !) If our being born is itself so much of a passive-voice event, how unintelligent it is to have any ego or selfishness or aspirations in any aspect or at any stage of our life !! Isn’t that some grammar and philosophy together ?



In the course of understanding Sanskrit, you can expect to get such revelations ! If such revelations may even differ from conventional interpretations, DO DARE TO DIFFER ! It needs courage to be able to do that. Apart from, rather, more than courage, it needs clarity and correctness in the thought-process. As is said at St. James School’s webpage, you should expect your learning of Sanskrit to get to you that clarity and correctness in the thought-process. Only by such clarity and correctness, you will realize that you will have much better, much more self-satisfying understanding of even scriptures and all that. It is so much more satisfying to read and understand गीता by oneself than by reading commentaries. One should read and study commentaries also. But one must also get understanding by oneself.

That, I think, should be the objective for learning Sanskrit – self-satisfying understanding of Sanskrit texts !


I have been composing my lessons in Simple Sanskrit to serve as a small step towards that.


शुभं भवतु |




Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 13

सरलं संस्कृतम् – त्रयोदशः (13) पाठः |

Study of a धातु cannot be complete without discussing composing the sentence in passive voice or transforming a sentence given in active voice to its form in passive voice or vice versa.

In English grammar change of voice can be done only if the verb is transitive, i.e. only if there is an object in the sentence. For example a sentence in active voice कर्तरिप्रयोग such as “I read a book” अहं पुस्तकं पठामि would be transformed into passive voice कर्मणिप्रयोग as “A book is read by me”. मया पुस्तकं पठ्यते.

If the verb can have two objects, it can be transformed into passive voice in two different ways. For example, I give him a book. अहं तस्मै पुस्तकं ददामि Note ! धातु दा requires the personal object to be in fourth case, hence तस्मै.

In passive voice it can be (i) “A book is given by me to him.” पुस्तकं मया तस्मै दीयते or (ii) “He is given a book by me”. सः मया पुस्तकं दीयते.

In both the variants, the subject in active voice is ‘I’ अहं. In passive voice it takes the form ‘by me’ मया.

The one object which becomes the subject in passive voice has to be in first case.

  • In transformation (i), the subject is ‘book’ पुस्तकम्.
  • In transformation (ii) the subject is ‘He’ सः.

Change of voice also involves change in the form of the verb. In active voice the verb is ‘give’. In passive voice it has become ‘is given’. The verb in active voice is in present tense, first person singular, because the subject is ‘I’. In passive voice one uses an auxiliary verb ‘to be’. The present tense then applies to the auxiliary verb. The root verb becomes a past passive participle ‘given’.

In Sanskrit, there is no passive participle used. The root verb itself changes its form.

  • In the first example, in active voice the verb is पठामि. In passive voice it is पठ्यते.
  • In the second example, in active voice the verb is ददामि. In passive voice it is दीयते.

As can be seen, both the forms पठ्यते and दीयते are of the style of an आत्मनेपदी धातु.

Also पठ्यते has a य added to the root verb पठ्. This is similar to the विकरण, as it happens to धातु-s of चतुर्थ गण.

Not to be missed also the fact that in active voice the verb is पठामि (वर्तमानकाल, उत्तमपुरुष, एकवचन), because the subject is ‘I’ अहं. In passive voice it is पठ्यते (वर्तमानकाल, प्रथमपुरुष, एकवचन), because the subject is ‘book’ पुस्तकम्.

In the second example also, in active voice the verb is ददामि (वर्तमानकाल, उत्तमपुरुष, एकवचन), because the subject is ‘I’ अहं. In passive voice it is दीयते (वर्तमानकाल, प्रथमपुरुष, एकवचन), because the subject is (i) ‘book’ पुस्तकम् (ii) ‘He’ सः.

If the tense in active voice is past tense, transformation into passive voice can also be done by using क्त-कृदन्त.

For example if the sentence in active voice is in past tense, ‘I read the book’. अहं पुस्तकं अपठम् then in passive voice it can be मया पुस्तकं पठितम्. using क्त-कृदन्त ‘पठित’ of the root verb धातु पठ्

Similarly, for the second example if the sentence in active voice in past tense is ‘I gave him a book’, then in passive voice it can be (i) मया पुस्तकं तस्मै दत्तम्, using क्त-कृदन्त ‘दत्त’ of the धातु दा. (ii) सः मया पुस्तकं दत्तः

Note ! दत्त is an adjective. Hence it is दत्तम् when related to पुस्तकं and दत्तः when related with सः. In English grammar ‘given’ is a participle. So English linguists, writing Sanskrit grammar, gave the name ‘past passive participle’ to क्त-कृदन्त. That is wrong terminology.

In English when transforming active voice sentence ‘I give a book’ into passive voice ‘A book is given by me’, the sentence in passive voice gets a tinge of past tense, suggesting that the action of ‘giving’ is already done. This seems to be so, because the participle ‘given’, required and essential in passive voice, is eminently a ‘past passive participle’.

But in Sanskrit, when अहं पुस्तकं ददामि is in present tense in active voice, in passive voice मया पुस्तकं दीयते is also in present tense.

This is an important point bringing forth how correct Sanskrit grammar is !

Another charming feature of Sanskrit grammar is that ‘change of voice’ can be done even verbs are intransitive अकर्मक. If we have a sentence in active voice ‘I stand’ अहं तिष्ठामि, it is perfectly legitimate to change the voice and say मया स्थीयते. English translation of मया स्थीयते may be something like ‘action of standing is by me.’

This word स्थीयते brings to mind the interesting quote राजहंस तव सैव शुभ्रता चीयते न च न चापचीयते । “Oh swan ! your whiteness remains same, neither is increased nor is diminished”. The context is of a swan whether in clean pure water of the Ganges or in brackish water of Jamuna, as discussed in previous lesson.

Importantly the changed voice of an active voice sentence with intransitive verb is called as भावेप्रयोग and not as कर्मणिप्रयोग. The logic could be that, in change of voice, as in मया स्थीयते, it is the sense of standing which is given significance rather than the action of standing.

Change of voice also applies to causative and other shades and transforms of a धातु. For example,

  • Active voice ‘I do’ अहं करोमि –> passive voice ‘is done by me’ मया क्रियते
  • Causative active voice ‘I get done’ अहं कारयामि –> passive voice ‘is obtained done by me’ मया कार्यते

Note ! Since passive voice verb form is आत्मनेपदी, the present-tense adjectival derivative, the शतृ-कृदन्त in active voice becomes शानच्-कृदन्त in passive voice. For example, in active voice कर्माणि कुर्वन् पुरुषः ‘person doing actions’ —> in passive voice पुरुषेण क्रियमाणानि कर्माणि ‘actions being done by person’

See कुर्वन्नेवेह कर्माणि जिजीविषेत् शतं समाः (ईशावास्योपनिषत्) is in active voice, whereas प्रकृतेः क्रियमाणानि गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः (गीता 3-27) is in passive voice.

Sanskrit provides change of voice not only for sentences, but also for phrases having verbal derivatives. If one would like grammar of a language to be comprehensive and perfect, Sanskrit excels !

Having discussed an example of a verb having two objects द्विकर्मक-धातु, it would be interesting to note the verse which enlists 16 द्विकर्मक-धातु-s. Such verses which contain lists are known as कारिका-s. The कारिका of द्विकर्मक-धातु-s is –

दुह्याच्पच्दण्ड्रुधिप्रच्छि चिब्रूशासुजिमन्थ्-मुषाम् |

कर्मयुक् स्यादकथितं तथा स्यान्नीहृकृष्वहाम् ||

शुभमस्तु !


Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 11

Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 11

सरलं संस्कृतम् – एकादशः (11) पाठः

Comprehensive study of any धातु would cover studying not only its inflections in all लकार-s, but also studying all its verbal derivatives धातुसाधित-s (also called as कृदन्त-s). These are mainly adjectives or indeclinables. We have seen in Lesson 9, two adjectival धातुसाधित-s, the ppp and app. All adjectives will have 72 inflections by 3 genders (लिङ्ग), 8 cases (विभक्ति) and 3 numbers (वचन).

Indeclinables अव्यय-s are simpler, because there are no inflections. There are three types of indeclinable अव्यय verbal derivatives धातुसाधित-s / कृदन्त-s.

  • त्वान्त अव्यय-s have the meaning “on doing” or “by doing” for example कृत्वा. It is an adverb of time, rather, with a shade of past tense. It is obtained by affixing a suffix त्वा to the धातु such as कृ. So कृत्वा means “on doing” or “by doing”.
    • But there are variations, for example
      • गम् + त्वा = गत्वा meaning “on going” or “by going”
      • लभ् + त्वा = लब्ध्वा meaning “on gaining” or “by gaining”
      • दा + त्वा = दत्वा meaning “on giving” or “by giving”
    • If there is a prefix affixed with the धातु then the suffix to be affixed is य Grammarians call it as ल्यप्. The indeclinable then is called as (ल्यप् + अन्त =) ल्यबन्त For example
      • निर् + गम् + य = निर्गम्य meaning “on going away” or “by going away”
      • उप + लभ् + य = उपलभ्य meaning “on acquiring” or “by acquiring”
      • आ + दा + य = आदाय meaning “on taking” or “by taking” or “on bringing in” or “by bringing in”
      • May it be noted that the adverbial suffix ल्यप् actually adds only a य to the धातु. ल्यप् is only the grammatical name of the suffix.
  • तुमन्त अव्यय-s have the meaning “for doing”. They are adverbs of purpose or reason. For example
    • कर्तुम् (कृ + तुम्) means “for doing”
    • दा + तुम् = दातुम् means “for giving”
    • गम् + तुम् = गन्तुम् means “for going”
    • आ + गम् + तुम् = आगन्तुम् means “for coming”. Note that here the prefix आ does not cause the mode of formation to be different.
    • लभ् + तुम् = लब्धुम् means “for gaining”
  • The third type of धातुसाधित अव्यय is adverb of manner, answering the question “how कथम्?”. The प्रत्यय (suffix) to obtain these verbal derivatives is given the name णमुल्-प्रत्यय The verbal derivative is called as णमुल् कृदन्त or णमुल् धातुसाधित. Its meaning is similar to that of the gerund. For example –
    • गम् → गामम् meaning “going”
    • कृ → कारम् meaning “doing”
    • दा → दायम् meaning “giving”
    • लभ् → लाभम् meaning “gaining”

Adjectival विशेषणात्मक कृदन्त-s are of 10 types, as shown in Table 10-3 below.

Table 11-1

Adjectival कृदन्त-s of आत्मनेपदी धातु “लभ्”

Given below are प्रातिपदिक-s for 3 genders.

They have further inflections by cases (विभक्ति) and 3 numbers (वचन)



meaning or when to be used







ppp “gained”





app “one, who is gaining”





present participle “one in the act of gaining”

valid only for परस्मैपदी धातु-s

valid only for परस्मैपदी धातु-s



can be gained





must be gained or what the aim should be for gaining





should be gained or advisable to gain





one, who facilitates gaining










one, that may be gained





present participle; one, who is in the process of gaining


valid only for आत्मनेपदी धातु-s


May it be noted that the adverbial suffix ल्यप् as explained above, actually adds only a य to the धातु, e.g. आदाय.

The suffix यत् also adds only the suffix य to the धातु.

It is smart of grammarians to give two different names to the two suffixes. One has the name ल्यप् and the other has been given the name यत्.

It can also be seen that the verbal auxiliaries of mood in English grammar, such as may, can, should, must, are made into adjectival derivatives in Sanskrit. Those at 1, 4, 6 and 9 have some sense of passive voice. Those at 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10 have the sense of active voice.

Present participles शतृ-प्रत्यय words of a good number of धातु-s are found in following lines in श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता

नैव किञ्चित्करोमीति युक्तो मन्येत तत्त्ववित्

पश्यन् शृण्वन् स्पृशन् जिघ्रन् अश्नन् गच्छन् स्वपन् श्वसन् ||५-८||

प्रलपन् विसृजन् गृह्णन् उन्मिषन् निमिषन् अपि

इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेषु वर्तन्त इति धारयन् ||५-९||

The meaning is –
One who knows the fundamentals and is hence righteous should consider that he does nothing, even when one is

  • पश्यन् seeing, शृण्वन् hearing, स्पृशन् touching, जिघ्रन् smelling, अश्नन् eating, गच्छन् going about, स्वपन् dreaming, श्वसन् breathing, प्रलपन् talking, विसृजन् forsaking, गृह्णन् taking, उन्मिषन् निमिषन् opening and closing the eyes,
  • इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेषु वर्तन्त इति धारयन् (One is) always regarding that organs are for organic functions,

This is further elaborated in the next verse –

ब्रह्मण्याधाय कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा करोति यः |

लिप्यते न स पापेन पद्मपत्रमिवाम्भसा ||५-१०||

Such person

  • by dedicating all actions to Brahman and
  • by renouncing all attachment
  • is not afflicted by sin
  • just as leaves of lotus are not afflicted by the water.

In the first line of (५-१०) we also have two धातुसाधित अव्यय-s, आधाय meaning “by dedicating” (ल्यबन्त of धातु “आ + धा”) and त्यक्त्वा meaning “by renouncing” (त्वान्त of धातु “त्यज्”).

Let us understand the धातुसाधित-s by examples.

  1. Example of  क्त-type
    1. Profit was earned by the merchant – वणिजेन लाभः लब्धः
  2. Example of क्तवतु-type
    1. Merchant earned profit – वणिजः लाभं लब्धवान्
  3. Example of यत्-type
    1. Merchant can earn profit – वणिजेन लाभः लभ्यः
  4. Example of तव्यत्-type
    1. Merchant should earn profit – वणिजेन लाभः लब्धव्यः
  5. Example of अनीयर्-type
    1. (Advisably) merchant should earn profit – वणिजेन लाभः लम्भनीयः
    2. A shloka using अनीयर्-type धातुसाधित-s of four different धातु-s makes a really good reading – कस्यचित् किमपि नो हरणीयम् | मर्मवाक्यमपि नोच्चरणीयम् | श्रीपतेः पदयुगं स्मरणीयम् | लीलया भवजलं तरणीयम् ||
    3. Its meaning is – Nothing should be snatched of anybody. Sacred (meditational) phrase should not be uttered (i.e. should not be divulged). The pair of feet of the Glorious should be (always) memorized (That is, mind should always be focused at the feet of the Glorious). (Thus) gamely should the waters (i.e. the ocean) of worldly life be swum across.
  6. Example of ण्वुल्-type
    1. Trade is profit-maker – व्यापारः लाभ-लम्भकः
  7. Example of तृच्-type
    1. Merchant is (by nature) profit-earner – वणिजः (स्वभावतः) लाभ-लब्धा
  8. Example of यक्-type
    1. Trade is profit-worthy – लाभः लभ्यमानः व्यापारे
    2. This type is effectively mentioned in श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता –
      1. प्रकृतेः क्रियमाणानि गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः | अहंकार-विमूढात्मा कर्ताहमिति मन्यते ||३-२७||
      2. Its meaning is “All actions and activities happen (are caused) by (inherent) character of (all-pervading) Nature. One misguided by ego considers himself to be the doer.”
  9. Example of शानच्-type
    1. Merchant is earning profit – लाभं लभमानः वणिजः
  10. Example of क्त्वा-type
    1. Merchant becomes wealthy by earning profit – लाभं लब्ध्वा वणिजः धनिकः भवति
  11. Example of तुमुन्-type
    1. Merchant does trading to earn wealth – धनं लब्धुं वणिजस्य व्यापारः
  12. Example of णमुल्-type
    1. How is the trade ? It is gainful. – कथं चलति व्यापारः ? लाभम्

In this lesson, we have covered a good ground of धातुसाधित-s, both adverbial and adjectival.

शुभमस्तु |


Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 19

Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 19

सरलं संस्कृतम् – एकोनविंशतितमः पाठः |

As mentioned at the end of previous chapter, we now proceed to discuss study of स्वरसंधि-s, where ending of first component is इ/ई, उ/ऊ, ऋ/ॠ, लृ/ॡ, ए, ऐ, ओ, or औ. and at and beginning of next component is another vowel, including अ, आ.

As can be appreciated this study should be in two parts –

  1. In the first part, study of स्वरसंधि-s, where ending of first component is इ/ई, उ/ऊ, ऋ/ॠ, लृ/ॡ, and at and beginning of next component is another vowel, including अ, आ.
  2. In the second part, study of स्वरसंधि-s, where ending of first component is ए, ऐ, ओ, or औ. and at and beginning of next component is another vowel, including अ, आ.
  3. The logic of these two parts is that vowels ए, ऐ, ओ, or औ are inherently ‘mixed vowels’, since ए = अ/आ + इ/ई, ऐ = अ/आ + ए/ऐ, ओ = अ/आ + उ/ऊ, or औ = अ/आ + ओ/औ. This has been already so understood from गुण-संधि-s and वृद्धि-संधि-s.

In the first part of the study there will be following patterns.

  1. इ/ई as ending of first component followed by अ, आ, उ, ऊ, ऋ, ॠ, लृ, ॡ, ए, ऐ, ओ, औ at the beginning of second component. for example (1) एक + एकम् = एकैकम्, (2) अद्य + एव = अद्यैव
  2. उ/ऊ as ending of first component followed by अ, आ, इ, ई, ऋ, ॠ, लृ, ॡ, ए, ऐ, ओ, औ at the beginning of second component.  अ + ऐ = ऐ for example तव + ऐश्वर्यम् = तवैश्वर्यम्
  3. ऋ/ॠ as ending of first component followed by अ, आ, इ, ई, उ, ऊ, लृ, ॡ, ए, ऐ, ओ, औ at the beginning of second component.  आ + ए = ऐ for example सदा + एव = सदैव
  4. लृ/ॡ as ending of first component followed by अ, आ, इ, ई, उ, ऊ, ऋ, ॠ, ए, ऐ, ओ, औ at the beginning of second component.आ + ऐ = ऐ for example महा + ऐश्वर्यम् = महैश्वर्यम्
  5. It may be noticed that in each set, among options for vowel at the beginning of second component, respective सवर्ण-s are omitted. Hence each set has 12 options for vowel at the beginning of second component.
  6. That makes 24 examples to be developed and understood for each set, since in every set there are two options for the vowel at the end of first component, e.g. इ and ई, the two options for the first set.
  7. So, totally we should have 96 examples and this section thus would cover 96 out of 196 स्वरसंधि-s !

Interestingly a single सूत्र of पाणिनि covers all these 96 ! The सूत्र is इको यणचि (६-१-७७).

  • इको यणचि = इकः (६-१) यण् (१-१) अचि(७-१)
  • It is interesting to see what the numbers stand for !
    • इकः (६-१) means षष्ठी विभक्तिः (६) एकवचनम् (१) of the प्रत्याहार-‘इक्’
      •  प्रत्याहार is the extraction (extracted) code from शिवसूत्राणि
      • ‘इक्’ – from शिवसूत्राणि 1. अइउण् 2. ऋलृक्, ‘इक्’ connotes the vowels starting from इ and going up to the marker क्. Hence इक् = इ, उ, ऋ, लृ Note, here अ from अइउण् is to be omitted, because प्रत्याहार इक् starts from इ.
    • यण् (१-१) means प्रथमा (१) एकवचनम् (१) of the प्रत्याहार-‘यण्’
      • यण् from शिवसूत्राणि 5. हयवरट् 6. लण् means the consonants startng from य and stopping before ण्. Hence यण् means the consonants य, व, र, ल. Note, here also ह from हयवरट् is omitted, because प्रत्याहार यण् starts from य.
    • अचि(७-१) means सप्तमी (७) एकवचनम् (१) of अच्.
      • प्रत्याहार अच् from शिवसूत्राणि 1. अइउण् 2. ऋलृक् 3. एओङ् 4. ऐऔच् means all vowels starting from अ and going up to the marker च्.
      • Because प्रत्याहार अच् connotes all vowels, grammarians call स्वरसंधि-s also by the name अच्-संधि-s !

On the whole इको यणचि = इकः (६-१) यण् (१-१) अचि (७-१) means –

  • इकः (६-१) = of the vowels इ, उ, ऋ, लृ (including their long forms ई, ऊ, ॠ, ॡ)
  • यण् (१-१) = become the consonants य, व, र, ल (respectively). That is
    • of इ, ई, becomes य,
    • of उ, ऊ, becomes व,
    • of ॠ, ऋ, becomes र, and
    • of लृ ॡ becomes ल
  • अचि (७-१) means ‘when followed by (any) vowel (excepting of course सवर्णे-vowels).

As said earlier इको यणचि defines 96 types of स्वरसंधि-s or अच्-संधि-s. Examples will explain. Let us see.

  1. इति + अधिकम् = इत् + ( + अ)धिकम् = इत् + (य् + अ)धिकम् = इत् + य-धिकम् = इत्यधिकम्
    • “इति = this much, अधिकम् = too much”
    • इत्यधिकम् = this much is too much
  2. प्रति + आशा = प्रत् + (इ + आ)शा = प्रत् + (य् + आ)शा = प्रत् + या-शा = प्रत्याशा
    • प्रति = towards/from, आशा = expectation
    • प्रत्याशा = expectation from (somebody)”).
  3. प्रति + उषस् = प्रत् + (इ + उ)षस् = प्रत् + (य् + उ)षस् = प्रत् + यु-षस् = प्रत्युषस्
    • प्रति = every, उषस् = dawn, morning
    • प्रत्युषस् = every dawn, every morning
  4. गति + ऊर्जा = गत् + (इ + ऊ)र्जा = गत् + (य् + ऊ)र्जा = गत् + यू-र्जा = गत्यूर्जा
    • गति = velocity, speed, ऊर्जा = energy
    • गत्यूर्जा = energy of speed, kinetic energy
  5. अगस्ति + ऋषिः = अगस्त् + (इ + ऋ)षिः = अगस्त् + (य् + अर्)षिः = अगस्त् + यर्-षिः = अगस्त्यर्षिः
    1. Note, here इ becomes य् as per इको यणचि. Also ऋ becomes अर् as per आद्गुणः as studied in गुणसन्धि
  6. इति + ॠकारः = इत् + (इ + ॠ)कारः = इत् + (य् + अर्)कारः = इत् + यर्-कारः = इत्यर्कारः
    1. This is an academic example to explain सन्धि of इ + ॠ, whereas there are no words starting from ॠ.
    2. Actually when splitting (doing विच्छेद) इत्यर्कारः can be split in two ways इति + ॠकारः also इति + ऋकारः, both with long ॠ and short ऋ
  7. इति + लृकारः = इत् + (इ + लृ)कारः = इत् + (य् + अल्)कारः = इत् + यल्-कारः = इत्यल्कारः
    1. This also is an academic example to explain सन्धि of इ + लृ, whereas there are no words starting from लृ.
  8. इति + ॡकारः = इत् + (इ + ॡ)कारः = इत् + (य् + अल्)कारः = इत् + यल्-कारः = इत्यल्कारः
    1. Some people contend that there is no vowel as ॡ. If the vowel itself does not exist, this संधि also becomes redundant.
    2. Also this academic example, in the reverse process of संधि-विच्छेद इत्यल्कारः can be split in two ways इति + लृकारः also इति + ॡकारः, both with long लृ and short ॡ.
  9. प्रति + एकम् = प्रत् + (इ + ए)कम् = प्रत् + (य् + ए)कम् = प्रत् + ये-कम् = प्रत्येकम्
  10. इति + ऐच्छत् = इत् + (इ + ऐ)च्छत् = इत् + (य् + ऐ)च्छत् = इत् + यै-च्छत् = इत्यैच्छत्
    • इति = thus ऐच्छत् =wished, इत्यैच्छत् = wished thus
  11. दधि + ओदनम् = दध् + (इ + ओ)दनम् = दध् + (य् + ओ)दनम् = दध् + यो-दनम् = दध्योदनम्
    • दधि = curd ओदनम् = rice, दध्योदनम् = curd-rice
  12. हरि + औदार्यम् = हर् + (इ + औ)दार्यम् = हर् + (य् + औ)दार्यम् = हर् + (यौ)दार्यम् = हर्यौदार्यम्
    1. हर्यौदार्यम् is a compound word, हरि = person named Hari औदार्यम् = philanthropy, large-heartedness. Meaning of हर्यौदार्यम् is philanthropy of Hari. The two parts are connected by the preposition ‘of’
    2. In Sanskrit compound words can be formed just by putting the two words together.
    3. And in the context of संधि, when two words are put together like this, it is compulsory to make their संधि.**
  13. We can have examples of 12 more संधि-s, where ending sound/vowel of first component will be ई. In the process of संधि, just as इ, ई also will be substituted by य्. Just a few examples –
    1. स्त्री + अङ्गम् = स्त्र्यङ्गम् (When joined this becomes a compound word meaning body (or proximity) of a lady)
    2. सुधी + उपास्यः = सुध्युपास्यः (This also becomes a compound word meaning सुधीभिः उपास्यः – सुधीभिः = by those with good mind/intellect उपास्यः = deserving to be approached, adored. Hence सुध्युपास्यः = deserving to be approached (or adored) by wise men.
    3. नदी + ओघः = नद्योघः (This also becomes a compound word meaning ‘the flow of a river’).

We shall continue with examples of संधि-s, where ending sound/vowel of first component will be उ, ऊ, ऋ, ॠ, लृ, ॡ, rather, examples of only first three उ, ऊ, ऋ, since there are no words ending with ॠ, लृ, ॡ-vowels.



Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 18

Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 18

सरलं संस्कृतम् – अष्टादशः पाठः |

Having discussed in previous chapters स्वर-संधि-s, conforming to अकः सवर्णे दीर्घः and  गुण-संधि-s, we now proceed to discuss वृद्धि-संधि-s. As mentioned in previous chapter, वृद्धि-संधि-s cover अ/आ + (ए, ऐ, ओ, or औ).

The pattern is similar to those of गुण-संधि-s. Hence

  1. अ + ए = ऐ for example (1) एक + एकम् = एकैकम्, (2) अद्य + एव = अद्यैव
  2. अ + ऐ = ऐ for example तव + ऐश्वर्यम् = तवैश्वर्यम्
  3. आ + ए = ऐ for example सदा + एव = सदैव
  4. आ + ऐ = ऐ for example महा + ऐश्वर्यम् = महैश्वर्यम्
  5. अ + ओ = औ for example जल + ओघः = जलौघः
  6. अ + औ = औ (1) मङ्गल + औक्षणम् = मङ्गलौक्षणम् (2) तव + औदार्यम् = तवौदार्यम्
  7. आ + ओ = औ for example गङ्गा + ओघः = गङ्गौघः
  8. आ + औ = औ for example तदा + औषधम् = तदौषधम्

For these संधि-s पाणिनि gives a सूत्र – वृद्धिरेचि (६-१-८८)

  • वृद्धिरेचि = वृद्धिः एचि
  • एचि is seventh case singular सप्तमी एकवचनम् of एच्.
  • As usual एच्, from शिवसूत्र-s – एओङ् and ऐऔच् means the vowels ए, ओ, ऐ and औ.
  • Then एचि means when vowels ए, ओ ऐ or औ will coalesce with अ or आ, (note, “with अ or आ” is to be understood), the resultant sound will be a वृद्धि-vowel.
    • वृद्धि-vowels are summarized in very first सूत्र – वृद्धिरादैच् (= वृद्धिः आत् ऐच्) (१-१-१)
    • आत् means आ only and ऐच् means ऐ and औ.
  • Thus the सूत्र – वृद्धिरेचि covers all the 8 permutations of वृद्धि-संधि-s detailed above.

People all over the world and across all times are wonder-struck by the extreme intelligence of पाणिनि in composing the सूत्र-s.

By these studies of अकः सवर्णे दीर्घः, गुण-संधि-s and वृद्धि-संधि-s, we have studied संधि-s with  अ/आ + (अ, आ, इ, ई, उ, ऊ, ऋ, ॠ, लृ, ॡ, ए, ऐ, ओ, or औ), i.e. basically we have studied those स्वरसंधि-s, where ending of first component is अ or आ. (Under अकः सवर्णे दीर्घः we have studied some more.)

Logical next step becomes to study स्वरसंधि-s, where ending of first component is इ/ई, उ/ऊ, ऋ/ॠ, लृ/ॡ, ए, ऐ, ओ, or औ. and at and beginning of next component is another vowel, including अ, आ.

We shall proceed with these in the next chapter.



Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 17

Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 17

सरलं संस्कृतम् – सप्तदशः पाठः |

In the previous chapter we discussed 20 स्वर-संधि-s, conforming to अकः सवर्णे दीर्घः. The next set of स्वरसंधि-s one considers स्वरसंधि-s, where ending of first component is अ or आ and beginning of next component is इ, ई, उ, ऊ, This covers 8 more of the total 196 स्वरसंधि-s. The resultant sounds from these 8 स्वरसंधि-s is ए or ओ.

These are called as गुण स्वर-संधि-s or simply गुण संधि-s. These are better explained with examples in Table 17-1.

Table 17-1
गुण स्वर-संधि-s or गुण-संधि-s
Ending vowel of first component Beginning vowel of second component इ Beginning vowel of second component ई Beginning vowel of second component उ Beginning vowel of second component ऊ

अ + इ = ए
सुर + इन्द्रः = सुरेन्द्रः
अ + ई = ए
गण + ईशः = गणेशः
अ + उ = ओ
सूर्य + उदयः = सूर्योदयः
अ + ऊ = ओ
एक + ऊनः = एकोनः

आ + इ = ए
महा + इन्द्रः = महेन्द्रः
आ + ई = ए
महा + ईशः = महेशः
आ + उ = ओ
महा + उत्सवः = महोत्सवः
आ + ऊ = ओ
गङ्गा + ऊर्मिः = गङ्गोर्मिः
The reason why these are called as गुण स्वर-संधि-s is hidden in first and third of शिवसूत्राणि viz. – (1) अइउण् and (3) एओङ्

In the first सूत्र we have अ, इ and उ. In third सूत्र we have ए and ओ.

Since in शिवसूत्राणि we do not have आ, ई and ऊ explicit, we have to take them as included when we think of the first सूत्र – अइउण्.

पाणिनि gives a सूत्र – अदेङ्गुणः (१-१-२) meaning अत् and एङ् are गुण by nature. Here अत् means अ only and एङ् means ए and ओ. So, vowels अ, ए and ओ are गुण by nature.

Result of अ/आ + इ/ई is गुण i.e. ए. Likewise result of अ/आ +  उ/ऊ is also the other गुण i.e. ओ.

When learning vowels

  • we learn them in the sequence ए, ऐ, ओ, औ.
  • In शिवसूत्राणि, they are
    • ए and ओ together in एओङ् and
    • ऐ and औ together in ऐऔच्.
  • In शिवसूत्राणि, they are arranged by their nature – गुण and वृद्धि. The sequence then matches with the sequence in अइउण्.
    • By the way ऐ and औ are वृद्धि by nature. This is specified by पाणिनि in the very first सूत्र – वृद्धिरादैच् (= वृद्धिः आत् ऐच्)
      • आत् means आ only and ऐच् means ऐ and औ.
      • We shall come to that when discussing वृद्धि-संधि-s.
  • So the सूत्र-s अइउण् and एओङ् together connote the गुण स्वर-संधि-s detailed in Table 15-1.

All these 8 गुण स्वर-संधि-s are summarized by पाणिनि’s सूत्रम्॥ आद्गुणः॥ ६।१।८४.

Important point to be noted is that the resultant sound after mixing of two vowels, as detailed in Table 15-1, is a single sound, which is called as एकादेशः.

In गुण-संधि-s the resultant एकादेश is गुण – ए and ओ. That is why they are called as गुण-संधि-s.

Next let us understand संधि-s of अ/आ with ऋ, ॠ, लृ, or ॡ. These also become another 8 out of 196.

Here also the resultant sound is एकादेशः. This concept of एकादेशः is explained by पाणिनि’s सूत्रम् एकः पूर्वपरयोः॥६।१।८१॥

  1. The एकादेशः for अ/आ + ऋ/ॠ is अर्
  2. The एकादेशः for अ/आ + लृ/ॡ is अल्

Actually in Sanskrit

  • there are few words starting with ऋ e.g.
    • देव + ऋषिः = [देव् + (अ + ऋ) षिः] = देव् + अर्-षिः = देवर्षिः Note (अ + ऋ) = अर्
    • महा + ऋषिः = [मह् + (आ + ऋ) षिः] = मह् + अर्-षिः = महर्षिः Note (आ + ऋ) = अर् not आर्
  • there are no words starting with ॠ, लृ or ॡ. So, occasions for these संधि-s are as good as nil.
    • Text-books of grammar devise some examples just to explain the procedure.

Textbooks on grammar of Sanskrit discuss these संधि-s – अ/आ + ऋ/ॠ, and अ/आ + लृ/ॡ as a part of गुण-संधि-s.

  • The resultant sounds अर् and अल् are not even एकादेश strictly speaking. The resultant sound has a combination of a vowel and a consonant. So it is not just one sound, not really एकः पूर्वपरयोः.
  • However there is some aspect of गुण, since regardless of whether the पूर्व-vowel is अ or आ with  ऋ or ॠ, the result is अर्, where अ is गुण

This is more academic. To learn “Simple Sanskrit”, we need to just understand how गुण-संधि-s happen and how to separate two sounds/words coalesced by गुण-संधि-s.

Of course learning संधि-s always has these two aspects –

  1. How to coalesce i.e. how to combine sounds into a संधि and
  2. How to separate two sounds/words coalesced by संधि. This is known as संधि-विच्छेद.



Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 16

Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 16

सरलं संस्कृतम् – षोडशः पाठः |

In the previous chapter there was an introduction to the topic of संधि-s, also called as संहिता. We shall proceed with स्वरसंधि-s coalescence of vowels. Basically संधि is resultant sound, as happens naturally. When two vowels come in succession, there would be a natural ‘resultant’ sound. For example, मूल + आधार = मूलाधार Here, ending sound of the first word मूल is अ and beginning of second word is आ. So there is a natural ‘resultant’ sound of mixing of two vowels अ + आ = आ.

As such there are 14 vowels. अ, आ, इ, ई, उ, ऊ, ऋ, ॠ, लृ, ॡ, ए, ऐ, ओ, औ. There will be 196 ways of these 14 vowels mixing in each other.

By the way, it may be noted that the vowels आ, ई, ऊ, ॠ, and ॡ are not enlisted in शिवसूत्राणि also known as प्रत्याहारसूत्राणि. Let me quote them again for ease of reference.
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

The vowels आ, ई, ऊ, ॠ, and ॡ are, by one way of thinking, elongated pronunciations दीर्घ उच्चार-s of the short vowels अ, इ, उ, ऋ, and लृ. The short vowels are covered in  the first 3 of  शिवसूत्राणि and by the प्रत्याहार ‘अक्’.

पाणिनि mentions three levels of pronunciation of the vowels – ह्रस्व, दीर्घ and  प्लुत, primarily denoting the time taken in pronunciation. Unit of time of pronunciation is called as मात्रा. So time for ह्रस्व-उच्चार is one मात्रा, that for दीर्घ-उच्चार is two मात्रा-s and time for  प्लुत-उच्चार is three मात्रा-s. Of these, the ह्रस्व and दीर्घ उच्चार-s are relevant for the topic of संधि-s.

अ + आ = आ is one of four permutations of mixing of vowels. The four permutations of mixing of अ and आ are – अ + अ, अ + आ, आ + अ, and आ + आ.

As can be appreciated the vowels अ and आ make one category of vowels. Similarly, other categories are

  • Category 2 – इ and ई
  • Category 3 – उ and ऊ
  • Category 4 – ऋ and ॠ
  • Category 5 – लृ and ॡ.

पाणिनि calls vowels belonging to one and the same category as being सवर्ण स्वर-s. Resultant sound of mixing of vowels of one and the same category will be the elongated sound दीर्घ उच्चार. This is summarized by पाणिनि in one सूत्रम् the aphorism अकः सवर्णे दीर्घः

This aphorism thus becomes the rule for as many as 20 of the 196 permutations of स्वर-संधि-s. This pattern is also known as सवर्ण-दीर्घ-संधि. It is natural and logical, right ? It would be further better if we can compile examples of all these 20 permutations. These are detailed in Tables 1 to 5 below.

Table 16-1

Examples of स्वर-संधि-s by अकः सवर्णे दीर्घः

Resultant sound आ for the combinations अ + अ or अ + आ or आ + अ or आ + आ

अ + अ = आ

अ + आ = आ

आ + अ = आ

आ + आ = आ

कृष्ण + अर्जुन = कृष्णार्जुन

देव + आलय = देवालय

पूजा + अर्चन = पूजार्चन

विद्या + आलय = विद्यालय

Table 16-2

Examples of स्वर-संधि-s by अकः  सवर्णे दीर्घः

Resultant sound ई for the combinations इ + इ or इ + ई or ई + इ or ई + ई

इ + इ = ई

इ + ई = ई

ई + इ = ई

ई + ई = ई

पति + इच्छा = पतीच्छा

कवि + ईश्वर = कवीश्वर

देवी + इच्छा = देवीच्छा

लक्ष्मी + ईश्वर = लक्ष्मीश्वर

Table 16-3

Examples of स्वर-संधि-s by अकः  सवर्णे दीर्घः

Resultant sound ऊ for the combinations उ + उ or उ + ऊ or ऊ + उ or ऊ + ऊ

उ + उ = ऊ

उ + ऊ = ऊ

ऊ + उ = ऊ

ऊ + ऊ = ऊ

सु + उक्त = सूक्त

भानु + ऊर्जा = भानूर्जा

चमू + उन्नति = चमून्नति

चमू + ऊर्ध्व = चमूर्ध्व

Table 16-4

Examples of स्वर-संधि-s by अकः  सवर्णे दीर्घः

Resultant sound ऋ-दीर्घ for the combinations ऋ + ऋ or ऋ + ऋ-दीर्घ or ऋ-दीर्घ + ऋ or ऋ-दीर्घ + ऋ-दीर्घ

ऋ + ऋ = ऋ-दीर्घ

पितृ + ऋण = पितॄण and मातृ + ऋण = मातॄण

ऋ + ऋ-दीर्घ = ऋ-दीर्घ

ऋ-दीर्घ + ऋ = ऋ-दीर्घ

ऋ-दीर्घ + ऋ-दीर्घ = ऋ-दीर्घ

There are hardly any examples of this type. But thanks to Dr. Sampadanand Mishra of Aravindashram Puduchchery for suggesting examples पितृ + ऋण = पितॄण and मातृ + ऋण = मातॄण

Table 16-5

Examples of स्वर-संधि-s by अकः  सवर्णे दीर्घः

Resultant sound लृ-दीर्घ for the combinations लृ + लृ or लृ + लृ-दीर्घ or लृ-दीर्घ + लृ or लृ-दीर्घ + लृ-दीर्घ

लृ + लृ = -दीर्घ

लृ + लृ-दीर्घ = -दीर्घ

लृ + लृ-दीर्घ + = लृ-दीर्घ

लृ-दीर्घ + लृ-दीर्घ = लृ-दीर्घ

There are hardly any examples of this type also.
All these संधि-s qualifying अकः  सवर्णे दीर्घः also qualify conformance to एकः पूर्व-परयोः (पाणिनि-सूत्र 6-1-84) because there is one एकः resultant sound, in place of the two original sounds at पूर्व and पर positions i.e. at the end of first पूर्व component and at the beginning of second पर component.This rule अकः  सवर्णे दीर्घः was also discussed at There were many comments on that post. Here the rule is discussed as a lesson under “Simple Sanskrit”. So, one need not get overawed by the discussions there.This rule अकः  सवर्णे दीर्घः covers 20 out of 196 possible combinations of स्वर-संधि-s, just a little more than 10% of स्वर-संधि-s. Maybe, we shall have to have 10 chapters to cover all the 196 स्वर-संधि-s. No problem, because we are studying “Simple Sanskrit” we shall proceed at an easy pace, not worrying about the number of chapters, it may take.



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 |

Having studied how one verbal root धातु can yield various new प्रत्ययान्त धातु-s, I think it is time to complete all commonly used लकार-s for at least one most-used धातु. As most-used धातु, one which comes to mind is कृ (८ उ). Note, what is detailed in the parantheses here is गण and पद of the धातु, e.g. ८ उ = अष्टमगण, उभयपद.

Actually the गण of a धातु is also given a name from that धातु, which is considered to be foremost (most representative) of the particular गण. Names for गण-s by that consideration 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’,

Before detailing forms of कृ (८ उ) in commonly used लकार-s, the ten 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 = Benedictive 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 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

Three more as below shall now be detailed –
(5) विधिलिङ् = विध्यर्थ = Potential Mood equivalent to “should” in English
(7) आशीर्लिङ् = आशीर्वादार्थ = Benedictive Mood, as in “May God bless you !”
(8) लृट् = द्वितीय-(अथवा स्य)-भविष्यत्काल = Future Tense

Because कृ is उभयपदी धातु, its inflections are tabulated as below –






of कृ




























आशीर्लिङ् of कृ





































of कृ




























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 inflections 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.


Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 12

Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 12

सरलं संस्कृतम् – द्वादशः पाठः |

In the previous chapter I hinted “Comprehensive study” of any धातु. Across the chapters thus far there has been detailing of लट्-वर्तमान, लोट्-आज्ञार्थ, लिट्-भूतकाल and लङ्-भूतकाल inflections of both परस्मैपदी and आत्मनेपदी धातु-s and also the concept of verbal derivatives धातुसाधित both adjectival विशेषण-s and indeclinable अव्यय-s.

However more aspects of a धातु are yet to be studied. There are six more लकार-s to be detailed. In addition, Sanskrit also provides desiderative inflections. For example, root meaning of धातु मुच् is to leave, to release, to renounce. One way to say “He wishes to renounce” is to say सः मोक्तुं इच्छति The desiderative in Sanskrit facilitates this to be more crisp by मोक्तुं इच्छति = मुमुक्षति.

And then there are also the passive voice inflections and causative inflections. To understand the patterns of these inflections, it would help to have some idea of the concept of गण of a धातु. The गण is a pattern of inflections applicable to a धातु. For example in Table 11-1 below, I have given examples of 10 patterns of inflection of diiferent धातु-s belonging to different गण-s.

Table 12-1

No. / गण


Present, Third person, Singular i.e. लट्-वर्तमाने प्रथमपुरुषे एकवचनम्

Passive Voice,

Present, Third person, Singular i.e. कर्मणिप्रयोगे लट्-वर्तमाने प्रथमपुरुषे एकवचनम्


Present, Third person, Singular i.e. प्रयोजकप्रयोगे लट्-वर्तमाने प्रथमपुरुषे एकवचनम्

Passive of Causative प्रयोजकस्य कर्मणिप्रयोगे लट्-वर्तमाने प्रथमपुरुषे एकवचनम्


पठ्  to read, to study






ब्रू  to say, to speak

ब्रवीति ब्रूते





दा to give

ददाति दत्ते





रञ्ज्  to be pleased

रज्जति रज्यते


रञ्जयति -ते, रजयति-ते रञ्ज्यते


चि to collect, to select, to opt for

चिनोति चिनुते


चापयति-ते, चाययति-ते,

चाप्यते, चाय्यते


दिश्  = to show direction

दिशति दिशते





भुञ्ज्  = to consume, to eat

भुनक्ति भुङ्क्ते





कृ   = to do

करोति कुरुते





क्री  = to buy

क्रीणाति क्रीणीते





सूच्  = to suggest

सूचयति सूचयते




It may be noted that –

  1. All inflections in column 4 for Passive Voice, Present, Third person, Singular i.e. कर्मणि लट्-वर्तमान, प्र. पु. एकवचनं are of a pattern similar to that of 4th गण, आत्मनेपद.
    1. I have tried to select the example धातु-s in Column 3 to be उभयपदी. But the passive voice will always be आत्मनेपदी.
  2. All inflections in Column 5 for Causative Present, Third person, Singular i.e. प्रयोजक लट्-वर्तमान, प्र. पु. एकवचनम् are of a pattern similar to 10th गण,
  3. The example चीयते of passive voice of 5th गण, धातु “चि” brings to mind a सुभाषितम् – गाङ्गमम्बु सितमम्बु यामुनं । कज्जलाभमुभयत्र मज्जतः । राजहंस तव सैव शुभ्रता । चीयते न च न चापचीयते ।।
    1. Its meaning is “Hey swan, whether you may swim in the fresh, clear water of the Ganges or in blackish water of Yamuna, your whiteness neither grows nor does it diminish.”
    2. The onomatopoeia in चीयते न च न चापचीयते is charming !
    3. Even the sounds कज्जला and मज्जतः make a good pairing.
    4. The meter of this सुभाषितम् having 11 syllables in each quarter seems to be रथोद्धता. Understanding the meters makes an interesting study by itself. We shall discuss that separately. Such study is called as study of the “Prosody”.
  4. The passive voice and causative practically make a new verbal root धातु, adopted from the main धातु. In Sanskrit grammar they are called as प्रत्ययान्त-धातु-s. Being धातु-s by themselves, they will certainly have inflections in the ten लकार-s and will also have their own कृदन्त-s (i.e. धातुसाधित-s). For example –
    1. कर्मणि भूतकालवाचक क्त-कृदन्त of गम्-धातु is गत
    2. कर्मणि भूतकालवाचक क्त-कृदन्त of प्रयोजक प्रत्ययान्त धातु (from गम्-धातु) is गमित.
    3. The प्रयोजक प्रत्ययान्त धातु from गम्-धातु can be taken to be गमय. This brings to mind the famous verse
      1. असतो मा सद्गमय | मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय | तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय |
      2. Here गमय is Imperative, second person, singular (लोट्-आज्ञार्थ, मध्यम पुरुष, एकवचन) from प्रयोजकप्रत्ययान्त-धातु गमय.
  5. Actually प्रत्ययान्त धातु-s are said to be of four types. Of these, Causals (प्रयोजक-s) and Desideratives (सन्नन्त-s) are mentioned above. Frequentatives (यणन्त-s) and Denominatives (नामधातु-s) are the other two types.
    1. One example of a नामधातु is in a सुभाषितम् –  निरस्तपादपे देशे एरण्डोऽपि द्रुमायते
      1. Here the verb is द्रुमायते. It is from a noun द्रुम meaning a big tree.
      2. Meaning of the सुभाषितम् is …. in a place with no trees, even a castor oil plant is seen as a big tree.
      3. As suggested by Dr. H. N. Bhat in his comment द्रुमायते would mean ‘is seen as a big tree’ with all the characteristics of a big tree.
    2. “to name” is possibly a good example of a नामधातु in English grammar. In Saskrit, it seems, in Sanskrit one can form नामधातु-s almost from every other noun, e.g. for saying ‘a thought is paraphrased (put in words)’ we can say विचारः शब्दायते
    3. Here is an interesting सुभाषितम् – गुणायन्ते दोषा: सुजनवदने, दुर्जनमुखे | गुणा दोषायन्ते, तदिदमपि नो विस्मयपदम् | meaning “in gentleman’s speech faults are also made as virtues; there should be no surprise that in the speech of a vile person, virtues are also faulted (criticized)”. Here नामधातु-s गुणायन्ते and दोषायन्ते are formed from the nouns गुण and दोष respectively.
    4. बुद्बुदायते from the noun बुद्बुद (= bubble). This word-formation is similar to English-style “bubblifies”. In English, it is style; in Sanskrit it is an option, which is grammatically endorsed.
    5. नामधातु-s make a signature statement of Sanskrit language. It exemplifies how Sanskrit-language provides flexibility and adaptibility to every other novelty or new situation. If one can form new words and even verbal roots, the language becomes vibrant and relevant at all times, through all ages, right ?
  6. The concept of “Desiderative” (सन्नन्त-s) is to be able to say “He desires to do”, कर्तुं इच्छति . But Desiderative helps to put it in a single word instead of two – चिकीर्षति With a new verbal root as  चिकीर्ष available, it can have its own inflections in various tenses and moods. One can also say, ‘He desired to do’ अचिकीर्षत् in past tense or चिकीर्षष्यति ‘He will desire to do’ in future tense.
    1. Other examples of Desideratives (सन्नन्त-s) are – पठ् –> पिपठिषति (= पठितुम् इच्छति); ब्रू (वच्) –> विवक्षति (वक्तुं इच्छति); दा –> दित्सति (दातुम् इच्छति) (आत्मनेपदी दित्सते);
    2. There would be rules of grammar, how such new verbal roots can be obtained. I am afraid that going into the rules of grammar may go beyond the concept of ‘Simple Sanskrit’. It would be simpler to find what the verbal roots are for different verbs and remember and use them as such.
    3. Basic idea of these lessons in Simple Sanskrit is not exactly to make student an expert in Sanskrit. But such information as of प्रत्ययान्त धातु-s is being detailed, to give acquaintance with these concepts, so that one can follow and enjoy Sanskrit literature, even if such forms would have been used sometime somewhere.
  1. Examples of Frequentatives (यणन्त-s) would be
    1. Drinks again and again पुन: पुन: पिबति = पेपीयते
      1. This brings to mind the verse quoted as a eulogy to भगवद्गीता, पाराशर्यवचःसरोजममलं गीतार्थगन्धोत्कटं । नानाख्यानककेसरं हरिकथासद्वासनावासितम् । लोके सज्जनषट्पदैरहरहः पेपीयमानं मुदा । भूयाद्भारतपंकजं कलिमलप्रध्वंसि नः श्रेयसे ॥
      2. In this verse भगवद्गीता, a composition of Parashara Vyasa is mentioned as a lotus, from which good people draw the nectar everyday, “drink it everyday’, so, ‘drink again and again’ Hence the word used is पेपीयमानं
      3. By the way पेपीयमानं is obviously the शानच्-कृदन्त of प्रयोजक-प्रत्ययान्त-धातु ‘पेपीय’. The concept of शानच्-कृदन्त has been already detailed in Table 10-3.
  1. Desideratives such as पिपठिषति = पठितुम् इच्छति frequentatives such as पुन: पुन: पिबति = पेपीयते in a way demonstrate how they help make compact concise expressions. Brevity is certainly a charming feature of Sanskrit.

शुभमस्तु |