This study of प्रत्यय-s is prompted by a chat I recently had with Mr. Alexander Zachenuk. He was curious about the significance of प्रत्यय अञ् in the पाणिनि-सूत्रम् प्राणभृज्जातिवयोवचनोद्गात्रादिभ्योऽञ् (अष्टाध्याय्यां 5-1-129). Is not Mr. Alexander Zachenuk a fantastic person doing such inquisitive study there in Russia !
प्रत्ययाः are suffixes. In Sanskrit they are there almost everywhere. It is only because of a प्रत्यय, that a verbal root धातु or a nominal root प्रातिपदिक becomes a word पदम् to be used in a sentence, e.g. the nominal root  देव becomes देवः due to प्रत्यय स् i.e. देव + स् = देवस् = देवः ।
It would not be wrong to say that if one understands प्रत्यय-s, one can be relieved of the rigor of cramming, which is one negative perception, people have about learning Sanskrit, that learning Sanskrit means doing a whole lot of cramming.
Frankly however, to understand प्रत्यय-s and to understand how to apply them, itself becomes a huge task. One may end up feeling that it is better to do the cramming than to understand the प्रत्यय-s and how to apply them. Right in the above example of देवः, even if one would take it that स् is the प्रत्यय in this instance, one may yet wonder how देवस् becomes देवः !
Anyway, for whatever be its usefulness, I am venturing to compile a short study of प्रत्यय-s.
प्रत्यय-s bring about a change व्ययः.

  • In Sanskrit we also have words which do not change, hence the अव्यय-s.
  • So, one would think that अव्यय-s would be words, which do not have प्रत्यय-s.
  • However as was studied when studying अव्यय-s, there are अव्यय-s, which do have प्रत्यय-s.
  • And there are अव्यय-s, which do not have प्रत्यय-s.
  • It is hence important to note that अव्यय is name of style of usage of word(s), and not the name of any such class of words, which do not have प्रत्यय-s.
  • But there are words in Sanskrit, which do not have a प्रत्यय. And most of those words are अव्यय-s, e.g. ॐ, अथ, इति, न, हि, वा, च, etc.
  • My son suggests that a Wenn diagram by set theory would give a clear picture. Maybe, that would be a good mathematical way of studying Sanskrit !

प्रत्यय-s are of following types –

  1. सुप्-प्रत्ययाः – These suffixes make पदानि with लिङ्ग-विभक्ति-वचन-भेदैः Since there are 3 लिङ्ग-s (पुं., नपुं., स्त्री.), 8 विभक्ति-s (प्रथमा …. सप्तमी, संबोधन-प्रथमा) and 3 वचन-s (एक, द्वि, बहु) सुप्-प्रत्यय-s will give
    1. 24 पदानि for a noun,
    2. 72 पदानि for an adjective,
    3. 63 पदानि for a pronoun, since a pronoun would not have संबोधन-प्रथमा विभक्ति.
  2. तिङ्-प्रत्ययाः – These suffixes make पदानि with काल/अर्थ-पुरुष-वचन-भेदैः
    1. Since there are 10 लकार-s (काल/अर्थ) 3 पुरुष-s, and 3 वचन-s, तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s will give 90 पदानि for each verbal root. However for a verb which is उभयपदी, it will have 180 पदानि.
    2. But verbs have passive voice कर्मणि-प्रयोग. In English change of voice is possible only with transitive verbs. But in Sanskrit there can be change of voice even for intransitive verbs. Such change of voice is called as भावे-प्रयोग. So there will be 90 more पदानि in कर्मणि/भावे-प्रयोग.
    3. Verbs are also used in causative प्रयोजक-mode. There can be 90 or 180 पदानि in this mode.
      1. There can be voice-change of the causative mode also !
    4. In सिद्धान्तकौमुदी भट्टोजी दीक्षित possibly summarizes तिङ्-प्रत्ययाः in a chapter तिङ्-प्रत्ययमाला but has more specific chapters on
      1. ण्यन्तप्रक्रिया
      2. सन्नन्तप्रक्रिया
      3. यङ्-अन्तप्रक्रिया
      4. यङ्-लुगन्तप्रक्रिया
      5. नामधातुप्रक्रिया
      6. तिङ्-अन्ते कण्ड्वादयः
  3. कृत्-प्रत्ययाः – These suffixes make पदानि which would be adjectival or adverbial. The following list of types of is obtained from http://www.arshavidyacenter.org/OLD/Samskratam/pratyaya.html
    1. तुमुन् प्रत्यय – कर्तुम् (= for doing)
    2. क्त्वाच् प्रत्यय – कृत्वा (= after doing)
      1. When there is a prefix उपसर्ग before the धातु the कृत्-प्रत्यय to be suffixed is ल्यप् प्रत्यय – आ + गम् + ल्यप् = आगम्य, अधिकृत्य, प्रणम्य
    3. ल्युट् (अन) प्रत्यय – श्वस्+ अन =श्वसन। कृ + अन = करण
    4. क्तवतु प्रत्यय – कृतवत्
    5. क्त प्रत्यय – कृत
    6. अनीयर् प्रत्यय – करणीय
    7. तव्यत् प्रत्यय – कर्तव्य
    8. यत् (ण्यत्) प्रत्यय – कार्य
    9. शतृ प्रत्यय – कुर्वत्
    10. शानच् प्रत्यय – कुर्वाण
    11. क्तिन् प्रत्यय – कृति
    12. घञ्ज् (घञ्) प्रत्यय – पच्+घञ्=पाक:।
    13. खल् प्रत्यय – This suffix has limited usage primarily with verbs prefixed with ईषत्, सु, and दुस्, e.g. सुखेन क्रियते – सुकरम् , दुःखेन क्रियते – दुष्करम् , Thus,  सुपठः, सुवचम्, दुर्वचम्, दुर्घटः, ईषज्जयः, दुर्जयः, सुजयः, सुगमः, दुर्गमः etc. are common usages.
    14. At http://tdil-dc.in/san/skt_gen/generators.htmlfollowing कृत्-प्रत्ययाः are also mentioned.
      1. तृच् – कर्तृ, कर्त्री
      2. यक् – क्रियमाण
      3. णमुल् – कारम्
      4. ण्वुल् (अक) कारक – उद्+‌घट् –> उद्‌घाटक
  4. तद्धित-प्रत्ययाः – In सिद्धान्तकौमुदी भट्टोजी दीक्षित has as  many as 16 chapters on various usages of तद्धित-प्रत्ययाः Following list is obtained from http://www.arshavidyacenter.org/OLD/Samskratam/pratyaya.html
    1. मतुप् प्रत्यय – गुण+मतुप्=गुणवान्,
    2. ठक् प्रत्यय – ठक् and ठञ् affixes are added to naming words ended in अ in order to express different meanings.
      Of these two affixes only ठ remains and by the aphorism “ठस्येक” ठ becomes इक् e.g.
      धर्म+ठक्=धार्मिकः, इतिहास+ठक्=ऐतिहासिकः
    3. इन् प्रत्यय – धन+इन्=धनिन्
    4. त्व प्रत्यय
      1. तल् प्रत्यय
      2. To make impersonal substantives त्व and तल् affixes are used “तस्य भाव स्त्व तलौ”.
        A word is used in singular neuter form when it is added with त्व.
        For example:-लघु+त्व=लघुत्वम् लघोः भाव इति।When added with तल् a word is used in feminine gender.
        Of तल् त remains .As it denotes feminine gender आ is added to it and thus it becomes ता.
        For example:- लघु+तल्=लघुता
    5. अण् प्रत्यय
    6. त्वल् प्रत्यय
    7. मयट् प्रत्यय
    8. I would think that the प्रत्यय अञ् sighted by Mr. Alexander Zachenuk is also a तद्धित-प्रत्यय.
  5. स्त्री-प्रत्ययाः – These help obtain feminine from a masculine noun or adjective, e.g. बाला from बालः In सिद्धान्तकौमुदी भट्टोजी दीक्षित has a special chapter स्त्रीप्रत्ययप्रकरणम् Following list is obtained from http://www.arshavidyacenter.org/OLD/Samskratam/pratyaya.html explanations and examples are obtained from http://sanskrit.jnu.ac.in/elearning/feminine_derivatives.html
    1. टाप् प्रत्यय – अज+टाप्=अजा
    2. डाप् प्रत्यय
    3. चाप् प्रत्यय
    4. ङीप् प्रत्यय – ङीप् “ऋन्नेभ्यो ङीप्”
      (1) The words ended in “ऋ” or “न्” form their feminine by adding “ङीप्” pratyaya.

      In this affix. Here ङ् and प् are elided and ई remains. For example-
      Words ended in ऋ:-

      धातृ धातृ+ङीप् धात्री female bearer, foster mother

      कर्तृ कर्तृ+ङीप् कर्त्री female doer
    5. ङीष् प्रत्यय – Words take ङीष् in the sense of wife when class is implied.
      (जातेरस्त्रीविषयादयोपधात्). For example-
      शुद्र शूद्र+ङीष् शूद्री the wife of a Sudra
      ब्राह्मण ब्राह्मण+ङीष् ब्राह्मणी the wife of a
      गोप गोप्+ङीष् गोपी female cowherd
    6. ऊङ् प्रत्यय
  6. इतरे प्रत्ययाः यथा
    1. विशेषणानां तर-तम-भावार्थाभ्याम्
    2. संख्याशब्दानां मित-तम-आदयः

By the way it would be interesting to get back to the starting or motivating point of this study, the पाणिनि-सूत्रम् sighted by Mr. Alexander Zachenuk प्राणभृज्जातिवयोवचनोद्गात्रादिभ्योऽञ् (अष्टाध्याय्यां 5-1-129)

Commentary on this सूत्रम् at http://sanskritdocuments.org/learning_tools/sarvanisutrani/5.1.128.htm explains

  • प्राणभृज्जातिवाचिभ्यः प्रातिपदिकेभ्यो वयोवचनेभ्य उद्गात्रादिभ्यश्च अञ् प्रत्ययो भवति भावकर्मणोरर्थयोः। यथा –
    • अश्वस्य भावः कर्म वा आश्वम्। औष्ट्रम्।
    • वयोवचनेभ्यः कौमारम्। कैशोरम्।
    • उद्गात्रादिभ्यः औद्गात्रम्। औन्नेत्रम्। उद्गातृ। उन्नेतृ। प्रतिहर्तृ। रथगणक। पक्षिगणक। सुष्ठु। दुष्ठु। अध्वर्यु। वधू। सुभग मन्त्रे। उद्गात्रादिः।
    • How अञ् is the प्रत्यय in getting आश्वम् from अश्व or कौमारम् from कुमार becomes a matter of understanding the rules and procedures for affixing a suffix such as अञ्.
    • It is only from the examples in this commentary that I think, as mentioned at (4-9), that अञ् is a तद्धित-प्रत्यय.
I should put in examples for all the कृत्-प्रत्यय-s as is done for तुमुन् प्रत्यय – कर्तुम् (= for doing), also for all तद्धित-प्रत्यय-s and for all स्त्री-प्रत्यय-s, इतर-प्रत्यय-s.
Basically study of प्रत्यय-s becomes a bird’s eye view study of almost 90 percent or more of Sanskrit grammar – 90+ percent because only aspects such as संधि, समास and अव्यय-s without प्रत्यय-s would not be covered here.

  • I compiled one post on “Overview of Sanskrit Grammar” and one on कथं भवन्ति पदानि ?. It seems this study of प्रत्यय-s becomes another interesting perspective of those notes.

7 thoughts on “प्रत्ययाः – Suffixes

  1. तद्धिताः॥ ४।१।७६. पदच्छेदः॥ तद्धिताः १।३. अर्थः॥ अधिकारोऽयम्। इतः अग्रे आपञ्चमाध्यायपरिसमाप्तेः (५।४।१६०) … तद्धिताः ४।१।७६. अधिकारो ऽयम्। आपञ्चमाध्यायपरिसमाप्तेः यानित ऊर्ध्वम् अनुक्रमिस्यामः तद्धितसंज्ञास्ते भवन्ति।

    Panini has already mentioned in the beginning, of the beginning of the listing of Tadhita suffixes. So he thought it was not necessary until he changes the topic, after 5th Chapter,

    whence after he deals with changes effected by the suffixes listed so far. एकाचो द्वे प्रथमस्य॥ ६।१।१ etc.

    The same with कृत् also, which are prescribed to धातोः । ३. १. ९२। कृदतिङ्॥ ३।१।९३अस्मिन् धात्वधिकारे तिङ् भिन्नाः प्रत्ययाः कृत्संज्ञकाः भवन्ति and does not mention everywhere each suffix is कृत् suffix other than तिङ् suffixes.

    1. I should put in examples for all the कृत्-प्रत्यय-s as is done for तुमुन् प्रत्यय – कर्तुम् (= for doing), also for all तद्धित-प्रत्यय-s and for all स्त्री-प्रत्यय-s, इतर-प्रत्यय-s.
      ————-This will be great.

      This will cover तद्धितप्रत्यय-s from the तद्धिताः॥ ४।१।७६|| up to the end of 5th Chapter ending with निष्प्रवाणिश्च॥ ५।४।१६०|| and not more than that. This portion includes, many स्त्रीप्रत्यय-s from स्त्रियाम् ४।१।३|| and समासान्त्र-pratyaya-s, which escaped in the list above.

      And कृत् – suffixes, are listed from कृदतिङ्॥ ३।१।९३|| up to the end of the 3rd Chapter excepting the तिङ् suffixes and their substitutes. Thus, कृत्प्रत्यय covers 3rd Chapter, 4-5 chapters covered by स्त्री-pratyaya and तद्धितप्रत्यय-s. 3 Chapters out of 8 covered already.


  2. Excellent. I had some doubts in the following shloka:

    राकाचन्द्रसमानकान्तिवदना नीकाधीराजस्तुता
    मूकानामपि कुर्वति सुरधनीनीकाशवाग्वैभम् |

    श्रीकाञ्चीनगरीविहाररसिका शोकापहन्त्री सताम्
    एका पुन्यपरम्परा पशुपतेराकारिणी राजते ||

    As how shokaapahantri = shoka + apanhant.r = shoka + अपहन्तृ how t.r became त्रि now understood that ङीप् is the cause of all the trouble.

    Thank you,

    1. नमस्ते श्रीमन् !
      Your analysis “shoka + अपहन्तृ” is perfect. Its feminine becomes शोकापहन्त्री. For example, कर्तृ –> कर्ता –> कर्त्री
      अभ्यंकरकुलोत्पन्नः श्रीपादः ।
      “श्रीपतेः पदयुगं स्मरणीयम् ।”

      1. May I know the reason for including this: कर्तृ –> कर्ता directly you could have typed कर्तृ + ङीप् = कर्त्री .

      2. नमस्ते चन्द्रशेखर-महोदय !
        कर्तृ-विशेषणात् लिङ्गभेदेन रूपाणि कथं भवन्ति तद्दर्शयितुं मया प्रयत्नः
        कृतः इत्येव ।
        अभ्यंकरकुलोत्पन्नः श्रीपादः ।
        “श्रीपतेः पदयुगं स्मरणीयम् ।”

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