Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 36

Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 36

सरलं संस्कृतम् – षट्त्रिंशत्तमः (३६) पाठः |

In the previous lesson, there was the example sentence (4b) कर्तरि – रामः गणेशं नैवेद्यं अर्पयति.

This example is different from other examples, because the verb-form अर्पयति is different. This verb form is derived from धातु ऋ. It is the causative form. The धातु ऋ has different meanings as detailed in Apte’s dictionary.

  • ऋ | भ्वा० (१) अनिट् प० | ऋ गतिप्रापणयोः | वर्तमानकाले प्रथमपुरुषे एकवचनेन – ऋच्छति

    • To go, move

    • To raise, tend towards

  • ऋ | जु० (३) अनिट् प० | ऋ- [गतौ] | वर्तमानकाले प्रथमपुरुषे एकवचनेन – इयर्ति

    • (Mostly used in Vedas) To go

    • To move, shake

    • To obtain, acquire, reach, meet with

  • ऋ | स्वा० (५) सेट् प० | ऋ [हिंसायाम्][इत्येके] | वर्तमानकाले प्रथमपुरुषे एकवचनेन – ऋणोति

    • To injure, hurt

In रामः गणेशं नैवेद्यं अर्पयति the meaning of अर्पयति becomes causative in the sense that नैवेद्यं the offering is made to move, made to go, is made to tend towards गणेश.

In this lesson, I plan to discuss causative and other derivations of धातु-s.

In English, causative of a sentence “I do” is “I make (him) do”. As can be seen, causative brings in two changes in the sentence

  • An additional auxiliary verb “make” is used.

  • In causative, I am not the doer. I shall have another person to be the doer. That doer is explained by “him”.

In Sanskrit the causative sense is called as प्रयोजक or णिच्. For example,

  • I do = अहं करोमि

  • I make (him) do = अहं तेन कारयामि

In Sanskrit to make causative, one does not use any auxiliary verb. The धातु itself is changed to its णिच्-form. Also, since I am not the doer. I shall have another person to be the doer. That doer is the instrument or agent for the action to happen. So that doer will be in the instrumental case तृतीया विभक्ति. In the example here, the doer is ‘he’ सः. Its तृतीया विभक्ति is तेन.

What is the process of णिच्-forms of धातु-s ?

The verbal root धातु is inflected with a विकरणम् अय which is also the विकरणम् for धातु-s of दशमगण.

Also in करोमि and कारयामि the धातु is कृ. Of course कृ is क् + ऋ. In the process of णिच्-forms, to be inflected with a विकरणम् अय्, there will be संधि of ऋ + अय. By इको यणचि ऋ will change to र्. Hence क् + र् + अय = क्रय But in कारयामि, there is कारय, which is क् + आ + र् + अय. There is that आ, which is also a part of the process of णिच्-forms.

Instead of going into such complexity of the grammatical processes, for “Simple Sanskrit”, I would strongly recommend that one should take णिच्-form of a धातु as itself a derived धातु ! That would make the whole thing simple.

Once this approach is adopted, it follows logically that the derived धातु will also have रूपाणि in all लकार-s, both in active and passive voice and will have its own कृदन्त-s et al.

As shown by example in previous lesson, i.e. (4b) कर्तरि – रामः गणेशं नैवेद्यं अर्पयति there will also be change of voice of sentences having verb in णिच्-form.

Here is an example with धातु कृ, considering forms in वर्तमानकाले प्रथमपुरुषे एकवचनम् and a couple of कृदन्त-s.

  1. कर्तरि – करोति (=does)

  2. कर्मणि – क्रियते (= is done)

    1. क्त-कृदन्तम् – कृत (adjective in past passive sense, what has been done)

    2. अनीयर्-कृदन्तम् – करणीयम् (adjective in passive voice and in “should” sense, what should be done)

    3. शानच्-कृदन्तम् – क्रियमाण (adjectival gerund, what is done or is being done)

  3. प्रयोजके – कारयति (= makes do)

  4. प्रयोजकस्य कर्मणि – कार्यते (= is made to be done)

    1. क्त-कृदन्तम् – कारित (adjective in past passive sense, what has been obtained done)

    2. अनीयर्-कृदन्तम् – कारणीयम् (adjective in passive voice and in “should” sense, what should be obtained done)

    3. शानच्-कृदन्तम् – कार्यमाण (adjectival gerund, what is obtained done or is being obtained done)

It can be appreciated that various forms as above become easy to understand by considering णिच्-form of a धातु to be a new derived धातु.

This approach of considering a new derived धातु for every different style of usage is useful also for other derived usages such as desiderative, repetitive, etc.

In a book बृहद्धातुरूपावलिः by कृष्णाचार्य (a bookseller by profession, the then proprietor of माधवविलास Book Depot at कुंभकोणम्, केरल) one finds mention of derived usages as –

  1. णिच् (प्रयोजक = causative) करोति → कारयति

  2. सन् (इच्छार्थक = desiderative) करोति → चिकीर्षति (= कर्तुं इच्छति)

  3. यङ् (आवर्तक = repetitive) करोति → चेक्रीयते

  4. यङ्लुक् (= ??) करोति → चर्करीति, चरीकरीति

The last type यङ्लुक् is not found in common usage. I am mentioning, just because it is detailed by कृष्णाचार्य.

In Table 36-1 are compiled वर्तमानकाल, प्रथमपुरुष, एकवचन for णिच् (प्रयोजक = causative) सन् (इच्छार्थक = desiderative) यङ् (आवर्तक = repetitive) forms of धातु कृ,  which is certainly of very common usage and is very interesting by itself.

Table 36-1


धातु कृ


णिच् (प्रयोजक = causative)


इच्छार्थक = desiderative

यङ् (आवर्तक = repetitive)

लटि प्र. पु. ए. व.

करोति, कुरुते




















क्तवतु-कृदन्तम् (पुं)




















As can be seen, words shown in rows 1 and 2 are only representative of hundreds of words that would be obtained in all ten लकार-s, in all 3 पुरुष-s and all 3 वचन-s.

Also words in rows 5 to 11 are again representative of adjectives which can be declined in all 3 लिङ्ग-s, 8 विभक्ति-s and 3 वचन-s.

Furthermore, the धातु-forms and also the adjectives can have उपसर्ग-s. Number of words that one can obtain from any one धातु would be in thousands. One cannot find all of them in any dictionary.

What one should learn is the process of word-formation. Learning Sanskrit is basically learning the processes of word-formation.

Words in Table 36-1 illustrate the causative, desiderative, repetitive forms for धातु कृ. One can and should compile such tables for every other धातु. Many धातु-s have specialties. For example for धातु दा (यच्छति, ददाति-दत्ते) the causative form is दापयति. As we saw in the beginning of this lesson causative of धातु ऋ is अर्पयति.

Such forms may sound to be complicated. But often one may come across usages, which take one into the enchanting realm of philosophical thought.

Just as a specimen one can deliberate unending on the श्लोक –

प्रकृतेः क्रियमाणानि गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः |

अहंकारविमूढात्मा कर्ताहमिति मन्यते ||गीता 3-27||

प्रकृतेः क्रियमाणानि गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः = कर्माणि सर्वशः प्रकृतेः गुणैः क्रियमाणानि = All कर्म-s कर्माणि सर्वशः are caused to be happening due to the inherent characteristics of प्रकृति, (प्रकृतेः गुणैः).

अहंकारविमूढात्मा कर्ताहमिति मन्यते = Person engulfed in false pride अहंकारविमूढात्मा considers, thinks मन्यते, himself to be the doer कर्ताहमिति (अहं कर्ता इति).

Time and tide wait for nobody. It is in the nature of Nature that things, events will keep happening. No one should take credit or pride in the success of any job. Nor should anyone take the blame upon oneself and become frustrated at the failure of any job.

The mention above “… All कर्म-s कर्माणि सर्वशः are caused to be happening due to the inherent characteristics of प्रकृति, (प्रकृतेः गुणैः) ..” may sound a grammatically complicated sentence. But this श्लोक 3-27 is prefaced by –

न हि कश्चित् क्षणमपि जातु तिष्ठत्यकर्मकृत् |

कार्यते ह्यवशः कर्म सर्वः प्रकृतिजैर्गुणैः ||3-5||

Note the verb-form कार्यते. As noted in Table 36-1, it is कर्मणिप्रयोग of प्रयोजक of धातु कृ. So, सर्वः जातु अवशः Nobody does anything all by himself. Nobody has a command that a particular result must obtain. Things are not executed by Nature either. The inherent characteristics of Nature cause things to happen प्रकृतिजैः गुणैः कर्म कार्यते

Isn’t there philosophical subtlety that महर्षि व्यास thought it fit to use कर्मणिप्रयोग of प्रयोजक of धातु कृ ?

One must not shy away from the grammatical niceties. I would call these as grammatical niceties, not grammatical complexities. These are niceties, because they bring such precision and scientific clarity to the philosophical thought !

Grammar is called as the very visible face of Vedas मुखं व्याकरणं स्मृतम् as is detailed in this verse –

छन्दः पादौ तु वेदस्य हस्तौ कल्पोऽथ पठ्यते ।

ज्योतिषामयनं चक्षुर्निरुक्तं श्रोत्रमुच्यते ।।

शिक्षा घ्राणं तु वेदस्य मुखं व्याकरणं स्मृतम् ।

तस्मात्साङ्कमधीत्यैव ब्रह्मलोके महीयते ।।

The word मुखम् has two meanings –

  1. मुखम् = the very visible face

  2. मुखम् = the point of entry for the nourishing food of philosophical thought contained in the Vedas to enter in our body and give energy to mind and body and soul.

व्याकरणम् serves both these functions. Grammar of Sanskrit certainly has all such rich, electrifying potential !

शुभं भवतु !