Usages/Meanings of seven अव्ययानि all starting with अ

अव्ययाभ्यासः Study of Indeclinables

usages/meanings of seven अव्ययानि all starting with अ
From “Student’s Guide to Sanskrit Composition” by Shri. V. S. Apte

It seems in old days authors did not much use styles as bullets for paragraphs. But certainly Shri. Apte brings out very beautifully various shades of usage of various indeclinables. It makes a charming study for sure. Shri. V. S. Apte is well-known for his Sanskrit-English dictionary. In the dictionary also he does present various shades of meaning of a word. But as far as indeclinables are concerned, the details in Student’s Guide are more study-worthy and far better illustrated with examples.
1) अङ्गVocative particle – अङ्ग पूजासंबोधनयोः (गणरत्नमहोदधि)

  1. तन्मन्ये क्वचित् अङ्ग भृङ्ग-तरुणेन आस्वादिता मालिनी (गणरत्नमहोदधि) – It seems, eh, the young male of a bee has tasted (kissed) this मालिनी flower.
  2. अङ्ग, कश्चित्कुशली तातः (कादंबरी by बाणभट्ट) – Say, is father somewhat okay ?
  3. अङ्ग विद्वन् माणवकं अध्यापय (गणरत्नमहोदधि) – Please, Sir, teach माणवक Here, it is a respectful request.
  4. Sometimes used with किम् – तृणेन कार्यं भवतीश्वराणां किमङ्ग वाग्-हस्तवता नरेण (पञ्चतन्त्र, तन्त्र-I, story 1) – (Even) Gods need grass. What then of (learned) men having speech and hands ?
  5. I would like to add here – (नेपथ्ये कलकलाटः) सूत्रधारः – अयि, किं मयि विज्ञापन-व्यग्रे एव शब्दः इव श्रूयते ? अङ्ग, पश्यामि | (स्वप्नवासवदत्तम् by भास) (Noise behind the curtain) (Says the compere) Er, what is the noise, when I am telling (you) this ? Let me see.

2) अथ

  • Most commonly an invocation for auspicious commencement. This significance of अथ is explained in this – ॐ-कारश्चाथशब्दश्च द्वावेतौ ब्रह्मणः पुरा । कण्ठं भित्त्वा विनिर्यातौ तस्मान्माङ्गलिकावुभौ ।। ॐ-कार and अथ were the two words (sounds) which came out (first and foremost among all sounds) from Brahma’s mouth. Both these words (sounds) are hence regarded as the auspicious ones.
  • Variety of uses are detailed by the quote – मन्गलानन्तरारंभप्रश्नकार्त्स्न्येष्वथो अथ (अ. = Reference of which book ?)
  • Variety of uses are detailed also by another quote – मङ्गले संशयारंभाधिकारानन्तरेषु च | अन्वादेशे प्रतिज्ञायां प्रश्नसाकल्योरपि || (हे. = Reference of which book ?)
  1. अथातो ब्रह्मजिज्ञासा (शाङ्करभाष्य) – May here begin inquiry into what Brahma is !
  2. Marking the beginning of a new chapter अथ प्रथमोऽध्यायः …. etc. at the beginning of every chapter in श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता.
  3. Implying continuity such as ‘then’ – अथ प्रजानामधिपः प्रभाते वनाय धेनुं मुमोच (रघुवंशे सर्ग-2 श्लोक-1) – Then the king (would) let loose the cow in the morning (to go to) the forest.
    • ‘Then’ as a correlative of ‘if’ न चेन्मुनिकुमारोऽयमथ कोऽस्य व्यपदेशः ? (अभिज्ञानशाकुन्तलम् सर्ग 7) If he is not son (or disciple) of a Muni, what then is his disposition ?
  4. As an interrogative – अथ शक्तोऽसि भोक्तुम् ? (गणरत्नमहोदधि) (So), are you able to eat ? Also as a supplementary to an interrogative – अथ सा किमाख्यस्य राजर्षेः पत्नी ? (अभिज्ञानशाकुन्तलम् सर्ग 7) – So, is she wife of राजर्षी ? of what name ?
  5. As conjunction ‘and’, ‘as well as’ – (1) भीमोऽथार्जुनः (गणरत्नमहोदधि) (2)   गणितमथ कलां कौशिकीं (मृच्छकटिकम्)
  6. With the meaning ‘in case’, ‘in any case’, ‘if’, ‘if granted’, (1) अथ कौतुकमावेदयामि (कादंबरी by बाणभट्ट) (2) अथ मरणमवश्यमेव जन्तोः (वेणीसंहारम्)
  7. With the meaning ‘entirely’, ‘in totality’  साकल्येन यथा – अथ धर्मं व्याख्यास्यामः (गणरत्नमहोदधि)
  8. With doubt संशयेन यथा – शब्दो नित्योऽथानित्यः (गणरत्नमहोदधि)
  9. With किम् it is used for the meaning ‘is that so ?’ e.g. शकारः – चेट प्रवहणमागतम् चेटः – अथ किम् ? (मृच्छकटिकम्)
  10. With वा it is used in the sense of ‘else’, ‘or else’ अथवा
    • अथ वा is also used in the sense ‘why not ?’ e.g. दीर्ये किं न सहस्रधाहमथ वा रामेण किं दुष्करम् ? (उत्तररामचरितम्) Why am I not shattered to thousand pieces ? Or, what is impossible for Rama ?

3) अपि Usages of अपि are summarized in – अपि संभावनाप्रश्नशंकागर्हासमुच्चये । तथायुक्तपदार्थेषु कामचारक्रियासु च ।।

  1. Meaning of संभावना disdain e.g. पातितोऽपि कराघातैः उत्पतत्येव कन्दुकः । (भर्तृहरि-नीतिशतकम् 85)
  2. In asking questions प्रश्न, it comes in the beginning of the sentence e.g. अपि तपो वर्धते ? (अभिज्ञानशाकुन्तलम् सर्ग 1) Is (your) penance prospering ?
  3. With the meaning ‘even’ – e.g. इयमधिकमनोज्ञा वल्कलेनापि तन्वी (अभिज्ञानशाकुन्तलम् सर्ग 1) This girl with beautiful body is charming even when wearing bark-garments.
  4. With the meaning ‘also’, ‘on one’s part’ – e.g.
    1. राजापि मुनिवाक्यमङ्गीकृत्यातिष्ठत् (दशकुमारचरितम् I-1) The king also, on his part, accepted the words of the sage and stayed (quiet).
    2. विष्णुशर्मणापि राजपुत्राः पाठिताः (पञ्चतन्त्रे I) Vishnusharman on his part taught the princes.
    3. अपि सिञ्च अपि स्तुहि (सिद्धान्तकौमुदी) Sprinkle and pray.
    4. अस्ति मे सोदरस्नेहोऽप्येतेषु (अभिज्ञानशाकुन्तलम् सर्ग 1) I also have a sisterly affection for them.
  5. Question expressing doubt or uncertainty – e.g. अपि चोरो भवेत् ? May it be a thief ?
  6. To express hope or expectation – e.g. अपि जीवेत्स ब्राह्मणशिशुः (उत्तररामचरितम् 2) I hope, the Brahmin boy will come to life.
    • When expressing expectation अपि is often followed by नाम – e.g. तदपि नाम रामभद्रः पुनरपीदं वनमलंकुर्यात् (उत्तररामचरितम् 2) Then (I expect that) Rama will again grace this forest.
  7. In the sense of गर्हा censure – धिग्देवदत्तमपि स्तुयाद्वृषलं (सिद्धान्तकौमुदी) fie upon Devadatta; he will even praise a S’udra. (So, culpable he is)
  8. In the sense of पदार्थ an implicit word सर्पिषोऽपि स्यात् (सिद्धान्तकौमुदी)Even a drop of clarified butter.
  9. In the sense of कामचारक्रिया or अन्ववसर्ग permission to do as one likes – (1) अपि स्तुहि (सिद्धान्तकौमुदी) (2) अपि स्तुह्यपि सेधास्मांस्तथ्यमुक्तं नराशन (भट्टिकाव्य 8-92)
  10. After words expressing number अपि has the sense of totality. For example, (1) सर्वैरपि राज्ञां प्रयोजनम् (पञ्चतन्त्र I -1) Kings need all (not excluding even one). (2) चतुर्णामपि वर्णानाम् ‘of all four वर्ण-s’
  11. When joined with interrogative pronouns and their derivatives, it has the sense of ‘any’ and sometimes that of ‘indescribable’ – e.g. (1) कोऽपि हेतुः (उत्तररामचरितम् 6) ‘some (unknown) purpose’ (2) तनस्य किमपि द्रव्यं यो हि यस्य प्रियो जनः (उत्तररामचरितम् 2)
  12. यद्यपि — तथापि are used as correlatives and mean ‘even though, yet’, ‘___ still’, ‘nevertheless’.

4) अयि Usages are explained as – अयि प्रश्नानुनयोस्तथा संबोधनेऽपि च ।  (मे.)

  1. As a gentle address – e.g. अयि विवेकविश्रांतमभिहितम् (मालविकाग्निमित्रम् 1) ‘Friend, you have said something void of judgement’.
  2. When asking a gentle question – e.g. अयि जीवितनाथ जीवसि ? (कुमारसंभवम् IV-3) ‘Lord of my life, art thou alive ?’
  3. When distracted – e.g. सूत्रधारः – अयि, किं मयि विज्ञापन-व्यग्रे एव शब्दः इव श्रूयते ? (स्वप्नवासवदत्तम् by भास) (Noise behind the curtain) (Says the compere) Er, what is the noise, when I am telling (you) this ?

5) अये is principally used

  1. to express surprise, wonder – e.g. (1) अये भगवत्यरुन्धती (उत्तररामचरितम् 5) ‘Oh ! It si the revered Arundhati !’ (2) अये मय्येव भृकुटीधरः संवृत्तः (उत्तररामचरितम् 5) “Um ! Rasing eyebrows at me only”
  2. to express grief, dejection, fear – e.g. अये देवपादपद्मोपजीविनोऽवस्थेयम् (मुद्राराक्षसम्)’Alas, This is the state of a servant and dependent of the lotus feet of His Majesty.

6) अहह Usages are explained by – अहहेत्यद्भुते खेदे परिक्लेशप्रकर्षयोः । (मे.)

  1. To denote joy, or astonishment, amazement अहह महतां निःसीमानश्चरित्रविभूतयः (भर्तृहरि-नीतिशतकम् 35) “Oh, the greatness of the life of the great is indeed infinite !’
  2. To denote grief or excessive torment – e.g. (1) अहह दारुणो वज्रनिघातः (उत्तररामचरितम् 2) “Oh ! It is a terrible bolt from the blue !” (2) अहह कष्टमपण्डितता विधेः (भर्तृहरि III – 35) “Alas, this is indiscretion of providence.”

7) अहो Usages are explained by – अहो विगर्थे शोके च करुणार्थविषादयोः । संबोधने प्रशंसायां विस्मये पादपूरणे ।। (मे.)

  1. It is a vocative particle e.g. अहो राजानः “O Kings !”
  2. Used with adjectives and nouns in the sense of joy ‘Oh !’, ‘Oh how !’ e.g. – (1) अहो मधुरमासां कन्यकानां दर्शनम् (अभिज्ञानशाकुन्तलम् सर्ग 1) ‘Oh how, pleasing sight of beautiful girls !’ (2) अहो सर्वास्ववस्थास्वनवद्यता रूपस्य (मालविकाग्निमित्रम् 2) “Oh, faultlessness of beauty in all states”
  3. Used with adjectives and nouns in the sense of grief or sorrow – e.g. (1) अहो विपाकः (उत्तररामचरितम् 4) “Oh ! This change of state !” (2) अहो उन्मीलन्ति वेदनाः (उत्तररामचरितम् 4) “Oh these pains !”
  4. For surprise caused by meeting someone unexpectedly अहो बकुलावलिका (मालविकाग्निमित्रम् 1) “Oh Bakulaavalikaa !”

So much detailing of usages/meanings of seven अव्ययानि all starting with अ.

शुभमस्तु
-o-O-o-

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5 thoughts on “Usages/Meanings of seven अव्ययानि all starting with अ

  1. So, does it mean that for any word in sanskrit there exist sentences in which that word is an avyaya? For example, in a Sanskrit sentence meaning ‘रामेण is a word derived from राम’, would the word रामेण be an avyaya? In general, in the sentence ‘The word x means —‘, would x be an avyaya? But if it is so, would it not trivialize the meaning of avyaya??? Sorry for a naive question. Thanks.

    • नमस्ते श्रीमन् “मिलिन्द खाडिलकर”-महोदय !
      By my understanding, in Sanskrit words in a sentence would be any one of following categories –

      1. क्रियापदम् अथवा धातुसाधितम्
      2. कर्तृपदम् विशेषणेन सहितं वा न वा
      3. कर्मपदम् विशेषणेन सहितं वा न वा
      4. अव्ययम् विशेषणेन सहितं वा न वा

      “रामेण अभिहता निशाचरचमू” अस्मिन् वाक्ये (1) अभिहता – धातुसाधितम् (2) निशाचरचमू – कर्तृपदम् (3) रामेण – अव्ययमेव !

      कथमिदम् ?

    • Dear Mr. Milind,

      It is so simple that Mr.Abhyankar tries to put the Sanskrit Sentence into the frame work of English, which do not have any division other than phrases, which could easily fit into the frame work SOV pattern of verbs. So put into the Subject takes nominative case, and agrees with the verb, whether transitive or intransitive. In this English pattern, there is no difference in form of the subject either in Active or Passive voice than that the object in the transitive verb becomes the subject in the passive voice. So there is no need of any change in the morphology in English than the change of the word order. In Sanskrit, there is कारक system which could not be explained in the SOV patern, according to which the inflection in Sanskrit takes place according to the सूत्र-s laid down under कारके and independently governing विभक्ति-s as the case endings are called in general.

      Hence, he takes advantage of “विभक्तिप्रतिरूपकाश्च” in the group स्वरादि of स्वरादिनिपातमव्ययम् and extends it to all other कारक-s, which govern specific विभक्ति, like

      २. ३. १ अनभिहिते .
      २. ३. २ कर्मणि द्वितीया
      २. ३. १३ चतुर्थी सम्प्रदाने
      २. ३. १८ कर्तृकरणयोः तृतीया .
      २. ३. २८ अपादाने पञ्चमी .
      २. ३. ३६ सप्तमी अधिकरणे .

      or like these,

      २. ३. ६ अपवर्गे तृतीया .
      २. ३. ७ सप्तमीपञ्चम्यौ कारकमध्ये .
      २. ३. ८ कर्मप्रवचनीययुक्ते द्वितीया .

      and no other विभक्ति-s are used in the sentence. It is the easiest way to consider these as अव्यय-s than learning each of the rules governing विभक्ति-s under कारक system. This seems to be the idea of terming all other words that doesn’t come within his classification given in his reply. So simple and easiest way of learning.

      Thus, in his system,

      रामो राजमणिः सदा विजयते रामं रमेशं भजे, is only the sentence fitting in SOV patern.

      रामेणाभिहता निशाचरचमूः, etc. on the Subject is in the प्रथमा, and all others are अव्यय-s. than the Subject and Verb and participles. (धातुसाधितम्).

      Hope this helps to understand his system.

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