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.