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.