सुबन्ताः

(1) As is obvious, सुबन्ताः is a compound word (सुप् अन्ते यस्य सः सुबन्तः → ते) सुबन्ताः are words which have सुप् at their ending.

(2) सुप् means any one of the suffixes प्रत्यय-s contained in the सूत्रम् –

स्वौजसमौट्छस्टाभ्याम्भिस्-ङेभ्याम्भ्यस्ङसिभ्याम्भ्यस्ङसोसाम्ङ्योस्सुप् (पा. ४-१-२)

(3) This सूत्रम् is again a compound word, containing संधि of many पद-s, (सु च, औ च, जस् च), (अम् च, औट् च, शस् च), (टा च, भ्यां च, भिस् च), (ङे च, भ्यां च, भ्यस् च), (ङसि च, भ्यां च, भ्यस् च), (ङस् च, ओस् च, आं च), (ङि च, ओस् च, सुप् च) |

  • By using the brackets, I have grouped the suffixes in 7 groups of 3 in each group.

(4) सुप्-प्रत्यय-s are affixed to प्रातिपदिक-s, which are defined as – अर्थवदधातुरप्रत्ययः प्रातिपदिकम् (१-२-४५), अर्थवत्-अधातुः-अप्रत्ययः प्रातिपदिकम्, meaning

  • what is अर्थवत्, what is meaningful
  • अधातुः, what is not a धातु
  • अप्रत्ययः, which does not contain a suffix
  • Is called as प्रातिपदिकम्

(5) Root words of all नामानि nouns, सर्वनामानि pronouns and विशेषणानि adjectives are प्रातिपदिकानि, because, they are meaningful, they are NOT धातु-s, being root words, they do not contain any प्रत्यय-s.

(9) By common parlance, what one gets by affixing सुप्-प्रत्यय-s to प्रातिपदिकानि are called as शब्दरूपाणि. However, in Sanskrit grammar they are all पद-s, as defined in the सूत्रम् – सुप्तिङन्तं पदम् (पा. १-४-१४).

(10) The seven groups of सुप्-प्रत्यय-s are related to seven cases विभक्ति-s. Each group has three सुप्-प्रत्यय-s, which are to be affixed according to the number वचनम्, which is detailed in the सूत्रम् – तान्येकवचनद्विवचनबहुवचनान्येकशः (पा. १-४-१०१). तानि एकवचन-द्विवचन-बहुवचनानि एकशः ।

(11) Uses of the seven different cases are also explained in various सूत्र-s. In लघुसिद्धान्तकौमुदी by वरदराज there is a good chapter विभक्त्यर्थाः wherein one finds the following सूत्र-s.

  1. Uses of प्रथमा – प्रातिपदिकार्थलिङ्गपरिमाणवचनमात्रे प्रथमा (२-३-४६)
    1. संबोधने च (२-३-४७)
  2. Uses of कर्तुरीप्सिततमं कर्म (१-४-४९) also कर्मणि द्वितीया (२-३-२) and अकथितं च (१-४-५१)
  3. Uses of तृतीया – स्वतंत्रः कर्ता (१-४-५४); साधकतमं करणम् (१-४-४२); कर्तृकरणयोस्तृतीया (२-३-१८)
  4. Uses of चतुर्थी – कर्मणा यमभिप्रैति स सम्प्रदानम् (१-४-३२); चतुर्थी सम्प्रदाने (२-३-१३); नमस्स्वस्तिस्वाहास्वधालंवषड्योगाश्च (२-३-१६)
  5. Uses of पञ्चमी – ध्रुवमपादायेऽपादानम् (१-४-२४); अपादाने पञ्चमी (२-३-२८)
  6. Uses of षष्ठी – षष्ठी शेषे (२-३-५०)
  7. Uses of सप्तमी – आधारोऽधिकरणम् (१-४-४५); सप्तम्यधिकरणे च (२-३-३६)

(12) Since सुप्-प्रत्यय-s apply to नामानि, सर्वनामानि and विशेषणानि, it will be good to know the rule about how सुबन्त-s of these relate with each other. There is a good verse for the rule.

यल्लिङ्गं यद्वचनं या च विभक्तिर्विशेष्यस्य |

तल्लिङ्गं तद्वचनं सा च विभक्तिर्विशेषणस्यापि ||

(13) Having outlined in the above 12 paras, the basics of सुबन्त-s, we can get into the grammatical processes प्रक्रिया-s of obtaining सुबन्तपदानि from different प्रातिपदिकानि. This will have two main aspects –

  • One would derive an अङ्गम् from the प्रातिपदिकम्. Note, अङ्गम् is defined in a सूत्रम् as यस्मात्प्रत्ययविधिस्तदादि प्रत्ययेऽङ्गम् (१-४-१३)
  • One would also note whether the सुप्-प्रत्यय will also undergo any changes, when it gets affixed to the अङ्गम्.

(14) As is detailed in para (3), the सुप्-प्रत्यय of प्रथमा विभक्ति, एकवचनम् is सु.

  1. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् राम, we have the सुबन्तपदम् रामः
  2. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् वन, we have the सुबन्तपदम् वनम्
  3. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् माला, we have the सुबन्तपदम् माला
  4. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् हरि, we have the सुबन्तपदम् हरिः
  5. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् मति, we have the सुबन्तपदम् मतिः
  6. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् वारि, we have the सुबन्तपदम् वारि
  7. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् नदी, we have the सुबन्तपदम् नदी
  8. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् भानु, we have the सुबन्तपदम् भानुः
  9. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् धेनु, we have the सुबन्तपदम् धेनुः
  10. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् मधु, we have the सुबन्तपदम् मधु
  11. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् भू, we have the सुबन्तपदम् भूः
  12. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् पितृ, we have the सुबन्तपदम् पिता
  13. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् मातृ, we have the सुबन्तपदम् माता
  14. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् कर्तृ (नपुं.), we have the सुबन्तपदम् कर्तृ
  15. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम्  गो, we have the सुबन्तपदम् गौः
  16. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् नौ, we have the सुबन्तपदम् नौः
  17. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् दुह्, we have the सुबन्तपदम् धुक्/धुग्
  18. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् उपानह्, we have the सुबन्तपदम् उपानत्/उपानद्
  19. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् इदम् (पुं.), we have the सुबन्तपदम् अयम्
  20. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् इदम् (स्त्री.), we have the सुबन्तपदम् इयम्
  21. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् इदम् (नपुं.), we have the सुबन्तपदम् इदम्
  22. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् अस्मद्, we have the सुबन्तपदम् अहम्
  23. When it affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् युष्मद्, we have the सुबन्तपदम् त्वम्
  24. When प्रत्ययः जस् affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् चतुर् (पुं.,बहु.), we have the सुबन्तपदम् चत्वारः
  25. When प्रत्ययः जस् affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् चतुर् (स्त्री.बहु.), we have the सुबन्तपदम् चतस्रः
  26. When प्रत्ययः जस् affixes to a प्रातिपदिकम् चतुर् (नपुं.बहु.), we have the सुबन्तपदम् चत्वारि

Items 19 to 23 become really thought-provoking, how the same प्रत्ययः सु lends सुबन्त-s, so very different from each other and quite different from their प्रातिपदिकम्.

  • In items 19 to 21, the सुबन्त-s are different from each other, obviously because gender लिङ्गम् is different.
  • In items 22 and 23, the सुबन्त-s are quite different from the प्रातिपदिकम्, though the सुबन्त-s are independent of gender, rather, त्रिषु लिङ्गेषु समानाः |

Whereas I have listed above 26 items, in a pocket-size book रूपचन्दिका by श्री. ब्रह्मानंद त्रिपाठी published by चौखंबा सुरभारती प्रकाशन, वाराणसी, one gets all सुबन्त-s in all विभक्ति-s and वचन-s for as many as 182 typical प्रातिपदिकानि. Under the tabulations of सुबन्त-s, author lists many other प्रातिपदिकानि, which follow the pattern of each typical प्रातिपदिकम्. Of course, no such list can ever be comprehensive and complete.

Now, in the context of the mention of “.. all सुबन्त-s in all विभक्ति-s and वचन-s ..”, it ought to be noted that

  • There are no संबोधन-सुबन्तानि for सर्वनामानि.
  • There are some प्रातिपदिकानि, which are inherently plural by nature and have only बहुवचन-सुबन्तानि, as exemplified by items 24, 25 and 26.

Looking at all सुबन्तानि of any one प्रातिपदिकम् also, one wonders whether the अङ्गानि also are different, when different सुप्-प्रत्यय-s are to be affixed. There again, if the प्रातिपदिकम् is a pronoun or an adjective, the gender also influences, as shown at items 19 to 21.

And there are some exceptional प्रातिपदिकानि, e.g. पथिन् (meaning मार्गः, path), for which, in its अङ्गानि, its ending न् moves before थ् and becomes पन्थ्

Is this sounding too complex ? Point to be borne in mind is that no grammarian created the language. The प्रातिपदिकानि and their सुबन्तानि were in use, as were compiled by the grammarians. Hats off to the grammarians, that they were able to find their way through the maze and find patterns and derive rules, which explain how all सुबन्तानि of all प्रातिपदिकानि can be certified valid or not valid (if someone commits an error and forms an erroneous सुबन्तम्).

  • We need to respect the hard labor put in by the grammarians and should in turn respect that their labor has structured संस्कृत with zero tolerance, not only for erroneous सुबन्तानि, but for any erroneous पदानि. But errors would happen, especially in Spoken Sanskrit. It is on this point that I am against promotion of Spoken Sanskrit, unless and until one is sure that any Spoken Sanskrit also will be totally free of errors. It is my firm belief, that erroneous Sanskrit is not Sanskrit at all. Then why promote any such Sanskrit, which may not be Sanskrit at all ?

The rules are so set that even if some new प्रातिपदिकम् be formed, its सुबन्तानि can be derived. For example, tube-light is an item of the modern world. There can be a Sanskrit word for it – तेजोदण्डः or तेजोनलिका. Then one can have all सुबन्तानि for these. Even if Sanskrit has zero tolerance for errors, the grammarians have kept it flexible enough to provide formation of new words and their correct सुबन्तानि !

शुभमस्तु !

-o-O-o-

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