संख्याशब्दानां तद्धिताः – Words derived from number-words

संख्याशब्दानां तद्धिताः – Words derived from number-words

When thinking of number-words, what comes to mind is that number-words are cardinal or ordinal. Actually, even among these, ordinals seem to be derived from cardinals. For example, द्वि → द्वितीय, त्रि → तृतीय   Whether cardinal or ordinal, they are basically adjectival and hence have forms by all three genders and then by cases and by number लिङ्ग, विभक्ति and वचन. But the forms are similar to forms of pronoun-words. For example for एक masculine singulars in fourth, fifth and seventh cases are एकस्मै, एकस्मात् एकस्मिन्. So in Sanskrit-grammar number-words are numerical, pronominal, adjectives संख्यावाचक-सार्वनामिक-विशेषणानि, cardinal or ordinal मूल्यवाचकानि वा क्रमवाचकानि.   But it comes to mind that to say that number-words are numerical, pronominal, adjectives, is looking only at the tip of an iceberg !   There are adverbials derived from the number-words. Since adverbs are of four types, adverbs of time, place, manner and reason (or purpose), (how, when, why, where), there should be four adverbials derivable from number-words, for example, twice, at two places, dilemmatic, for two reasons द्विवारम्, द्विस्थितम्, द्विधा and / or द्विविधम्, द्व्यर्थम्   It comes to mind that adverbs of manner have different shades as brought forth by the options द्विधा and / or द्विविधम्. Example of द्विधा is in the श्लोकः in कालिदासस्य मालविकाग्निमित्रम् – देवानामिदमामनन्ति मुनयः कान्तं क्रतुं चाक्षुषम् | रुद्रेणेदमुमाकृतव्यतिकरे स्वाङ्गे विभक्तं द्विधा | Or example of त्रि → त्रेधा as in विष्णुः त्रेधा निदधे पदम्   Apte’s dictionary also mentions द्वि → द्वेधा. Its meaning is mentioned as “.. In two parts, In two ways, Twice ..”. So, the word द्वेधा has adverbial shades of both time and manner.   Actually द्विधा or द्वेधा are adverbial. But द्विविधम् is both adverbial and adjectival. As adjectival it would have forms by all three genders and then by cases and by number लिङ्ग, विभक्ति and वचन. One purport of 14th chapter in श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता is to detail that actions would yield three types of results कर्मणस्त्रिविधं फलम् In so saying त्रिविधं is adjectival to फलम्. Sanskrit-translation of “Dilemmatic situation” can be द्विधा मनःस्थितिः   The word Dilemma is a noun. In Sanskrit it would be द्वैधम्. In Apte’s dictionary for “Dilemma” one also gets द्वैधीभावः.   In philosophy, one comes across another famous noun द्वैतम् (meaning ‘duality’) and its antonym अद्वैतम्.   If द्वैतम् means duality, there are two more words duet and duel. Duet is sung by two singers is called as द्वन्द्वगीतम् Duel is one-to-one fight or contest between two, called in Sanskrit as द्वन्द्वम्. Is there  some common etymological link between द्वि and द्वन्द्व ?  And is there some syllabic link between the वर्ण-s i.e. root sounds द् व् in द्वन्द्व द्वि and d, u in words such as duo, duet, duel ?

There are even verbs and verbal derivatives derived from number-words two → double → doubled द्वि → द्वित् (= to double ??) → द्वित्तम्   Another verb is “to couple, to make a pair” In Sanskrit द्वयीकृ ? Or “to become a pair” द्वयीभू ?

From number-words one also has nouns denoting “Group of or collection of so many”. For example, Two → couplet द्वि → द्वयम्, three → triplet त्रि → त्रयम्, four → quadruplet चतुः → चतुष्टयम्. Actually this word चतुष्टयम् was the motivation to study this subject of “संख्याशब्दानां तद्धितानि – Words derived from number-words”. In a small group in Goregaon, we were studying the श्लोकः – काव्येषु नाटकं रम्यं, तत्र रम्या शकुन्तला | तत्रापि च चतुर्थोऽङ्कः, तत्र श्लोकचतुष्टयम् || In this श्लोक, we have both चतुर्थ and चतुष्टयम्. That set up the thought-process.

From the number word one, one has a typical adverbial phrase “one by one” एकैकशः In this word एकैकशः there is the प्रत्ययः (suffix) शः meaning “in such manner”. One good example of the use of this suffix is पश्य मे पार्थ रूपाणि शतशोऽथ सहस्रशः (श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतायाम् ११-५)

One important role of number-words is in compound words of the type द्विगु. In पाणिनि’s अष्टाध्यायी this is mentioned as संख्यापूर्वो द्विगुः॥ २।१।५१. In the word द्विगु itself, there is द्वि. Why not any other number ? One good example of द्विगु is द्विगुणितम् My happiness became multiplied. ममानन्दः द्विगुणितः This brings forth speciality of languages. This phrase ममानन्दः द्विगुणितः ought to be translated as “My happiness became multiplied.” It will be a poor  translation to say “My happiness became doubled.”.   Another interesting compound word of द्विगु-type is दशावधि, शतावधि, सहस्रावधि Tens, Hundreds, Thousands. These words have the second component word अवधि In Apte’s dictionary the word अवधिः is detailed as –

  • अवधिः [अव-धा-कि] 1 Application, attention. -2 Boundary, limit exclusive or inclusive, (in time or space); conclusion, determination; एकैकस्य जगत्त्रयप्रमथनत्राणाव- धिर्योग्यता Mv.1.46; रवितेजसामवधिनाधिवेष्टितम् Ki.12.22. -3 Furthest limit; दृष्ट आह्लादनीयानामवधिः K.124; स्मरशापाव- धिदां सरस्वतीम् Ku.4.43; conclusion; oft. at the end of comp., in the sense of ‘ending with’, ‘as far as’, ’till’; एष ते जीवितावधिः प्रवादः U.1. तत्प्रत्यागमनकालावधयो$पि तावत् ध्रियन्तां प्राणाः K.171; व्याडी रक्षतु मे देहं ततः प्रत्यागमावधि Ks.4.1; स्कन्धः स्यान्मूलाच्छाखावधिस्तरोः Ak. -4 Period of time, time; सर्वे निदाघावधिना प्रमृष्टाः R.16.52; शेषान् मासान् विरहदिवसस्थापितस्यावधेर्वा Me.89; अपि समाप्तः वनवासस्यावधिः Mv.7,2.48; विवाहं मासावधिकमकल्पयत् Dk.54,174; K. 328; Ki.12.17; यदवधि-तदवधि from or ever since, till Bv.2.79; अथ चेदवधिः प्रतीक्ष्यते Ki.2.16. -5 An engage ment, appointment; रमणीयो$वधिर्विधिना विसंवादितः Ś.6. -6 A division, district, department; जनपदतदवध्योश्च P.IV.2.124. -7 A hole, pit. -8 Authority, standard

It was comfortable to detail “संख्याशब्दानां तद्धिताः – Words derived from number-words”, by focusing on द्वि. But the logic should apply to all number-words, right ?   In Apte’s dictionary the word द्वि itself is detailed as below –

  • द्वि num. a. (Nom. du. द्वौ m., द्वे f., द्वे n.) Two, both; सद्यः परस्परतुलामधिरोहतां द्वे R.5.68. (N. B. In comp. द्वा is substituted for द्वि necessarily before दशन्, विंशति and त्रिंशत् and optionally before चत्वारिंशत्, पञ्चाशत्, षष्टि, सप्तति and नवति, द्वि remaining unchanged before अशीति.) [cf. L. duo, bis or bi in comp.; Gr. duo, dis; Zend dva; A. S. twi.] -Comp. -अक्ष a. two-eyed, binocular. द्व्यक्षीं त्र्यक्षीं ललाटाक्षीम् Mb. -अक्षर a. dissyllabic. (-रः) a word of two syllables. -अङ्गुल a. two fingers long. (-लम्) two fingers’ length. -अणुकम् an aggregate or molecule of two atoms, a diad. विषयो द्व्यणुकादिस्तु ब्रह्माण्डान्त उदाहृतः Bhāṣāparichchheda. -अन्तर a. separated by two inter- mediate links. -अर्थ a. 1 having two senses. -2 ambi- guous, equivocal. -3 having two objects in view. ˚कर a. accomplishing two objects; आम्रश्च सिक्तः पितरश्च तृप्ता एका क्रिया द्व्यर्थकरीह लोके Vāyu P. ˚त्वम् the state of having to convey two senses; द्व्यर्थत्वं विप्रतिषिद्धम् MS.7.1.6. -अर्ध a. 1. -अवर a. at least two; द्व्यवरान् भोजयेद् विप्रान् पायसेन यथोचितम् Bhāg.8.16.43. -अशीत a. eighty-second. -अशीतिः f. eighty-two. -अष्टम् copper. ˚सहस्रम् 16. -अहः a period of two days. -आत्मक a. 1 having a double nature. -2 being two. -आत्मकाः m. (pl.) the signs of the zodiac Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. -आमुष्यायणः ‘a son of two persons or fathers’, an adopted son who remains heir to his natural father though adopted by another. -आम्नात a. twice men- tioned. -आहिक a. recurring every day (fever). -ऋचम् (द्वृचम् or द्व्यर्चम्) a collection of two verses or riks. -एकान्तर a. separated by two or by one (degree); द्व्येकान्तरासु जातानां धर्म्यं विद्यादिमं विधिम् Ms.1.7.

As is noted here, the word द्वि changes to द्वा necessarily before दशन्, विंशति and त्रिंशत् and optionally before चत्वारिंशत्, पञ्चाशत्, षष्टि, सप्तति and नवति, द्वि remaining unchanged before अशीति. So, specific number-words have rules of how they would be used when forming other number words. Words such as द्वादश, द्वात्रिंशत् are of course संख्याशब्दानां तद्धिताः – Words derived from number-words.

In English one interesting usage of number-words is with suffixes -ply and -fold. For example, two-ply, three-ply, multi-ply as also two-fold, three-fold, multi-fold. I wonder what would be Sanskrit-equivalents for these.

One interesting numerical prefix in Sanskrit is the indeclinable नाना. A good example is नानाविधानि दिव्यानि नानावर्णाकृतीनि च (श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतायाम् ११-५). Possibly नाना is the best equivalent of “multi-”.

In all the write-up above, I have used the phrase “number-words”. It can be appreciated that number-words संख्याशब्दाः are not numerals अङ्काः. Etymologically the word संख्या is derived from धातु संख्य्

  • संख्य् 2 P. 1 To count, enumerate, calculate, sum up; तावन्त्येव च तत्त्वानि सांख्यैः संख्यायन्ते Ś. B. -2 Ved. To appear along with, be connected with.

And the word अङ्कः is derived from धातु अङ्क्

  • अङ्क 1 A. (अङ्कते) To move in a curve. -1 U. (अङ्कयति-ते अङ्कयितुम्) 1 To mark, stamp

So, numerals अङ्काः are merely marks or symbols placed in different positions to make a number. अङ्काः are 1 to 9 and also zero.

With this study, it also comes to mind that Sanskrit-dictionary should be compiled focusing on basic words; all derived words should be detailed under those basic words. Among basic words, there would be verbal roots धातु-s, unsuffixed indeclinables प्रत्ययविरहितानि अव्ययानि. It seems number-words, especially number-words of numbers one to nine and zero qualify to be considered as basic words.



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