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). कृदन्त-s are obtained by affixing कृत्-प्रत्यय-s. Note कृत्+अन्त = कृदन्त. That is why, they are called as कृदन्त-s. Number of कृत्-प्रत्यय-s are many, as many as 140 or more. As “Simple Sanskrit” we shall discuss only a select few.

कृदन्त-s are mainly adjectives or indeclinables. We have seen in Lesson 9, two adjectival धातुसाधित-s

  • the Past Passive Participle (ppp) such as स्वीकृतः (= was accepted), विभक्तः (literally, ‘was broken’) also
  • the Past Active Participle (pap) such as गतवान् (masculine, first case, singular) of गतवत्

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. We shall first discuss three common types of indeclinable अव्यय verbal derivatives धातुसाधित-s / कृदन्त-s.

(A-1) क्त्वान्त अव्यय-s – These are obtained by affixing a suffix क्त्वा. It actually affixes only as त्वा. For example when affixed to धातु कृ we would get कृत्वा, meaning “on doing” or “by doing” . It is an adverb of time, rather, with a shade of past tense. Typically when a person does two actions one after another, the suffix क्त्वा / त्वा is affixed to the prior action. For example, “Play after doing homework” = गृहपाठं कृत्वा क्रीड.

Here are क्त्वा-कृदन्त-s of some धातु-s – गम् ⇒ गत्वा, लभ् ⇒ लब्ध्वा, दा ⇒ = दत्वा,

(A-2) 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.

(A-3) 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”

Now we shall discuss some 9 fairly common types of adjectival विशेषणात्मक कृदन्त-s

(B-1) प्रत्यय – क्त Note the grammatical name of the प्रत्यय is क्त. But mostly it affixes as only त. At the beginning of this lesson, we saw examples of “ppp”-s from Lesson 9. What are “ppp”-s in English are क्त-कृदन्त-s. The examples were स्वीकृतः and विभक्तः. It would be good to remember them as the धातु and its basic क्त-कृदन्त, e.g. कृ ⇒ कृत, स्वीकृ ⇒ स्वीकृत, गम् ⇒ गत, भज् ⇒ भक्त, विभज् ⇒ विभक्त, लभ् लब्ध, शुध् ⇒ शुद्ध, भञ्ज् ⇒ भग्न, मुह् ⇒ मुग्ध, also मुह् ⇒ मूढ. In many of these examples the suffix क्त is not clear. So, one may wonder, how भञ्ज् + क्त = भग्न (?). But explanation of this is an advanced consideration of processes प्रक्रिया-s of formatting of words. We need not go into them at the stage of Simple Sanskrit.

It would be helpful to know not just कृ ⇒ कृत but to also know their masculine, feminine and neuter forms at least in प्रथमा एकवचनम्. Then कृ ⇒ कृतः कृता कृतम् This may become more clear शुध् ⇒ शुद्ध ⇒ शुद्धः उच्चारः (clear pronunciation) शुद्धा नदी (clean river) शुद्धं जलम् (clear water)

(B-2) प्रत्यय – क्तवतु – Although the grammatical name of the प्रत्यय is क्तवतु, it affixes only as तवत्. In (B-1) we have seen क्त-प्रत्यय, which affixes only as त. So, क्तवतु-कृदन्त-s are only their extension with वत्. Some examples are कृ ⇒ कृतवत्, स्वीकृ ⇒ स्वीकृतवत्, गम् ⇒ गतवत्, भज् ⇒ भक्तवत्, विभज् ⇒ विभक्तवत्, लभ् लब्धवत्, शुध् ⇒ शुद्धवत्, भञ्ज् ⇒ भग्नवत्, मुह् ⇒ मुग्धवत्, also मुह् ⇒ मूढवत्.

Since English terminologies of क्त-कृदन्त-s and क्तवतु-कृदन्त-s are Past Passive Participles and Past Active Participles, they denote “change of voice”, from passive to active and vice versa. For example

  • The pitcher was broken by him (Passive Voice) – तेन घटः भग्नः
  • He broke the pitcher (Active voice) – सः घटं भग्नवान्

There are some interesting variations, especially with intransitive verbal roots अकर्मक (not having object) धातु-s. For example पत् “to fall” is an intransitive verb. Yet there is its Past Passive Participle पतितः “fallen” सः पतितः He is fallen OR सः पतितवान्. Since Sanskrit advocates brevity, one would rather say सः पतितः and not सः पतितवान्, which is longer.

In Sanskrit intransient verbs having motion as inherent part of the action are taken to be transitive, e.g. गम् “to go” is intransitive But in Sanskrit it is treated as transitive. For example “I went to school” अहं पाठशालां गतवान् masculine (गतवती feminine) (Active voice) The school was gone to by me मया पाठशाला गता (Passive) But it has become colloquial practice and also admissible grammatically to say अहं पाठशालां गतः masculine (गता feminine)

(B-3 and B-4) प्रत्यय-s – शतृ and शानच् – It would be good to discuss these two प्रत्यय-s together, because both of them have identical application, equivalent to the use of gerunds in English. The शतृ-प्रत्यय affixes as त् and the शानच्-प्रत्यय affixes as आन. The reason for there being two प्रत्यय-s for the same application is that शतृ-प्रत्यय affixes to परस्मैपदी धातु-s, whereas शानच्-प्रत्यय affixes to आत्मनेपदी धातु-s. If a धातु is उभयपदी, then it can have both, शतृ-कृदन्त and शानच्-कृदन्त. But since most धातु-s are परस्मैपदी, शतृ-कृदन्त-s are more common with उभयपदी धातु-s also.

Having said, that शतृ- and शानच्-कृदन्त-s are functionally similar to gerunds in English, it should be noted that in English the gerunds are used in different ways – (i) for “continuous”-mode of tenses, e.g. “Cuckoo is singing” (ii) as an adjective “Singing cuckoo is lovable” (iii) as a noun “Singing of cuckoo is sweet”. शतृ- and शानच्-कृदन्त-s are equivalent to (i) and (ii) only.

For examples of शतृ-कृदन्त-s, a whole lot of them are used in two verses in गीता

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,

It would be good to note the धातु-s, from which the above शतृ-कृदन्त-s are obtained. दृश् (To see) ⇒ पश्यन्, श्रु (To hear) ⇒ शृण्वन्, स्पृश् (To touch) ⇒ स्पृशन्, घ्रा (To smell) ⇒ जिघ्रन्, अश् (To eat) ⇒ अश्नन्, गम् (To go) ⇒ गच्छन्, स्वप् (To dream) ⇒ स्वपन्, श्वस् (To breathe) ⇒ श्वसन्, प्रलप् (To lament) ⇒ प्रलपन्, विसृज् (To discharge, to excrete) ⇒ विसृजन्, ग्रह् (To take, to receive) ⇒ गृह्णन्, उन्मिष् (To wake up) ⇒ उन्मिषन्, निमिष् (To retire, to sleep) ⇒ निमिषन्, धृ ( ⇒ धारय To hold, to contend) ⇒ धारयन्

All the above शतृ-कृदन्त-s are masculine, प्रथमा एकवचनम्. The basic शतृ-कृदन्त is with शतृ-प्रत्यय (i.e. त्), i.e. पश्यत्, श्रुण्वत्, स्पृशत् .. etc. A simple trick to remember obtaining शतृ-कृदन्त-s is to consider the वर्तमानकाल (लट्) प्रथमपुरुष बहुवचन forms viz. पश्यन्ति, शृण्वन्ति, स्पृशन्ति … etc. Replace the ending न्ति by त्. For example गम् ⇒ गच्छन्ति ⇒ गच्छत्, कृ ⇒ कुर्वन्ति ⇒ कुर्वत्

Forms in प्रथमा एकवचन in the three genders are masculine पश्यन्, feminine पश्यती, neuter पश्यत्. Note, नपुं. प्रथमा एकवचन is the same as the basic शतृ-कृदन्त.

Since in Passive voice, all धातु-s take आत्मनेपदी-forms, they have only शानच्-कृदन्त-s. For example – कृ (to do) करोति (does) क्रियते (is done) क्रियमाण (being done). दृश् (To see) पश्यति (sees) दृश्यते (is seen) दृश्यमान (being seen)

It is to be noted that शतृ- and शानच्-कृदन्त-s are basically adjectives. They do not have any specific tense. They can be used in any tense, just like the gerunds. For example “I am seeing” पश्यन्नस्मि “I was seeing” पश्यन्नासम्

(B-5) प्रत्यय-s – यत्/ण्यत् Both these suffixes are options of each other. That is why they are to be discussed together. Both affix as य and have identical application. Their names being different is a matter of grammatical technicality, that, by and large, धातु-s with consonant-ending are affixed with यत् and धातु-s with vowel-ending are affixed with ण्यत्. Passive voice is inherent and a sense of the English auxiliary “may”. So, यत्/ण्यत्-कृदन्त-s are useful for translating English sentences having “may”. For example “What may I do ?” मया किं कार्यम् ? Note the English sentence “What may I do ?” is an active voice. In passive voice it would be “What may be done by me ?” Note, मया किं कार्यम् ? has that adoption of passive voice, there being मया “by me”. कार्य is यत्-कृदन्त from धातु कृ.

Although these यत्/ण्यत्-कृदन्त-s are adjectives, they are used as nouns. An interesting example – “May I come with you” (Active voice) “May coming with you be done by me ?” (Passive voice) सहाय्यं मया ? Note, the word सहाय्यम् is (सह + आय्यम्) where आय्य is यत्-कृदन्त from धातु अय् (To go) We can also take that आय्य is यत्-कृदन्त from धातु आय् (आ+अय् = आय् = To come) Colloquial meaning of सहाय्यम् is “help”. But being helpful is going along with the person whom you want to help. That is how सहाय्यम् means “help”.

(B-6) प्रत्यय – तव्यत् This प्रत्यय affixes as तव्य. This has the sense of English auxiliary “must”. It also has passive voice inherent. So “What must I do ?” (Active voice) “What must be done by me ?” (Passive voice) मया किं कर्तव्यम् ? Note कर्तव्य is तव्यत्-कृदन्त from धातु कृ. Colloquially तव्यत्-कृदन्त-s have come to be used as nouns. And as nouns, they get associated with षष्ठी विभक्ति of the doer. “My duties” = मम कर्तव्याणि.

(B-7) प्रत्यय – अनीयर् This प्रत्यय affixes as अनीय. This has the sense of English auxiliary “should”. It also has passive voice inherent. So, “What should I do ?” (Active voice ) “What should be done by me ?” (Passive voice) मया किं करणीयम् ? This प्रत्यय – अनीयर् is very lovable, because it is very useful to give good advice. For example, there is a verse of four lines, containing four अनीयर्-कृदन्त-s, so, four advices, good for anybody to bear in mind and follow. कस्यचित् किमपि नो हरणीयम् / मर्मवाक्यमपि नोच्चरणीयम् / श्रीपतेः पदयुगं स्मरणीयम् / लीलया भवजलं तरणीयम् //

हरणीयम् is अनीयर्-कृदन्त of धातु हृ, उच्चरणीयम् is अनीयर्-कृदन्त of धातु उच्चर् (उत् + चर्),  स्मरणीयम् is अनीयर्-कृदन्त of धातु स्मृ and तरणीयम् is अनीयर्-कृदन्त of धातु तॄ.

कस्यचित् किमपि नो (न + उ) हरणीयम् = Nothing should be snatched of anybody मर्मवाक्यमपि नोच्चरणीयम् (न उच्चरणीयम्) = The sacred syllable should not be divulged श्रीपतेः पदयुगं स्मरणीयम् = The sacred feet of the Almighty should always be remembered लीलया भवजलं तरणीयम् = (With all that, and with His grace) the ocean of life should be swum across merrily.

(B-8) प्रत्यय – तृच् This प्रत्यय affixes as तृ. The तृच्-कृदन्त-s become easier to understand by knowing their forms of masculine first case singular पुं. प्रथमा एकवचनम् e.g. कृ (To do) ⇒ कर्तृ (the doer) ⇒ कर्ता, दा (To give) ⇒ दातृ (the giver) ⇒ दाता, भृ (To take care) ⇒ भर्तृ (caretaker) ⇒ भर्ता (husband) Is it not interesting that in common parlance, the word भर्ता has got the meaning as “husband”, because husband’s major responsibility is to take care of the family ? नी (To carry) ⇒ नेतृ (who carries) ⇒ नेता (leader, because he carries, leads his followers). दृश् (To see) ⇒ द्रष्टृ (who sees) ⇒ द्रष्टा (seer)

Since तृच्-कृदन्त-s are adjectival, they have forms in all genders. For example कर्ता masculine कर्त्री feminine कर्तृ neuter.

(B-9) प्रत्यय – ण्वुल् This प्रत्यय ण्वुल् affixes as अक. It seems that this प्रत्यय ण्वुल् applies to those धातु-s, to which applying तृच् would not work out appropriate. For example लिख् (To write) ⇒ लेखक (who writes) क्षिप् (To throw, to transmit) ⇒ क्षेपक (who or what throws or transmits). Note, what throws or transmits sound is called as ध्वनिक्षेपक.

I have given कृदन्त-s of different धातु-s, primarily to explain those कृदन्त-s by examples. However one can get some commonly used कृदन्त-s of a large number of धातु-s by clicking on कृदन्तपदनिष्पादकः (Kṛdanta-forms generator) at

As mentioned above under (B-5), the प्रत्यय-s यत्/ण्यत् affix as य. Also, as mentioned under (A-2), the प्रत्यय ल्यप् also affixes as य. It is smart of grammarians to give different names to the प्रत्यय-s.

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

Maybe, following tabulation of कृदन्त-s of various धातु-s will be handy. One can keep on building up this list as one keeps coming across them.

A place to look for धातु-s is धातुपाठ a compilation of some 2200-odd धातु-s arranged in alphabetical order at <>. Original धातुपाठ is said to have been compiled by पाणिनिमुनि himself as an appendix to his अष्टाध्यायी.

Another idea can be to start noting all the कृदन्त-s, one would come across, when one would any composition in Sanskrit, say, when chanting गीता.

When saying so, it comes to mind that right in the first line of the first श्लोक of गीता there is the word समवेताः which is पुं. प्रथमा बहुवचन of समवेत. This is क्त-कृदन्त of धातु समवे. Now, even though 2200-odd धातु-s are listed in धातुपाठ, one would not find this धातु समवे in धातुपाठ. The reason is that this धातु समवे is actually सम् + अव + इ i.e. समवे is धातु इ with two उपसर्ग-s सम् and अव prefixed. उपसर्ग-s are 20 and they may be prefixed one or more, also in different order. For example in व्यभिचर् (वि+अभि+चर्) and अभिव्यच् (अभि+वि+अच्) there are two उपसर्ग-s वि and अभि but in different order. धातु-s with उपसर्ग are सोपसर्ग धातु-s. And number of सोपसर्ग धातु-s can be many.

Number of धातु-s become many, also because one would have “derived” आतिदॆशिक धातु-s, derived to connote different effects such as desiderative, causative, frequentative, etc. For example कृ (To do) करोति (does) ⇒ desiderative (wishes to do) चिकीर्षति and then कृ (To do) करोति (does) ⇒ causative (makes do) कारयति. So we would have from धातु कृ many आतिदेशिक धातु-s such चिकीर्ष, कारय. In grammar, one finds mention 12 types of अतिदेश-s.

There will be कृदन्त-s of सोपसर्ग धातु-s and also of आतिदेशिक धातु-s. One may keep compiling table as below, at least for basic धातु-s.

धातुः क्त्वा / ल्यप् तुम् क्त / क्तवतु शतृ (परस्मै) शानच् (आत्मने) यत्/ण्यत् तव्यत् अनीयर् तृच् ण्वुल्
कृ = to do कृत्वा = after doing प्रकृत्य कर्तुम् = for doing कृत = done कुर्वत् = doing कुर्वाण = doing कार्य = what may be done कर्तव्य = what must be done करणीय = what should be done कर्तृ = doer कारक = doer
गम् गत्वा आगम्य गन्तुम् गत गच्छत् NA गम्य गन्तव्य गमनीय गन्तृ गमक
दा दत्त्वा आदाय दातुम् दत्त ददत् ददान देय दातव्य दानीय दातृ दायक
दृश् दृष्ट्वा प्रदर्श्य द्रष्टुम् दृष्ट पश्यत् NA दर्श्य द्रष्टव्य दर्शनीय द्रष्टृ दर्शक
भू भूत्वा प्रभूय भवितुम् भूत भवत् NA भव्य भवितव्य भवनीय भवितृ भावक

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