सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि 1’1’27

On Tuesday Dec. 19, 2017 Dr. Malhar Kulkarni discussed this सूत्रम् – सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि 1’1’27.

This is a संज्ञासूत्रम् related to सर्वनामानि Pronouns. सर्वनाम is the संज्ञा.

There are pronouns in every language. Since it is a grammatical terminology, there would be a definition, which would explain, what a pronoun is. One definition, I get is, “… a pronoun is defined as a word or phrase that may be substituted for a noun or noun phrase, which once replaced, is known as the pronoun’s antecedent.” I am not convinced that every pronoun has an antecedent. Pronouns of first and second person would not have to have antecedents. Only pronouns of third person would have antecedents.

What is the definition of सर्वनामानि in Sanskrit grammar ?

The word सर्वनामानि is a compound word. Deciphering this compound word would explain the concept behind सर्वनामानि and would in turn be its definition. One pattern of deciphering would be सर्वेभ्यः नामानि इति सर्वनामानि (चतुर्थी-तत्पुरुषः) Hence सर्वनामानि are such nouns,

  • which can be applicable to all सर्वेभ्यः
  • also, which can be usable by all i.e. सर्वैः प्रयोक्तव्यानि This aspect is mentioned in त्यदादीनि सर्वैर्नित्यम् (1’2’72)

So, whereas this सूत्रम् सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि 1’1’27 introduces the संज्ञा सर्वनाम, more of its ramifications have to be understood from other सूत्र-s, such as शि सर्वनामस्थानम् (1’1’42) त्यदादीनि सर्वैर्नित्यम् (1’2’72).

This pattern of discussion of this सूत्रम् brings newer thoughts and newer dimensions to “How to study अष्टाध्यायीसूत्राणि ?”. Earlier on 3rd January 2016, I had attended a session by Dr. Nilesh Joshi. And I had compiled a note on a sequential procedure to study सूत्र-s in अष्टाध्यायी.

(1) सूत्रम् → (2) पदच्छेदाः → (3) पदानां विभक्तिवचनविश्लेषणम् → (4) सूत्रवृत्तिः → (5) सूत्रार्थः → (6) व्याख्यानामभ्यासः |

In respect of Step (6) व्याख्यानामभ्यासः I had noted that commentaries on सूत्र-s can be read at http://sanskritdocuments.org/learning_tools/ashtadhyayi/vyakhya/1/1.1.1.htm

This link is a useful tool to read commentaries on any सूत्रम्. One needs to only edit the सूत्र-number in the file address.

But, for one’s own study of any सूत्र, one can and should make one’s own notes, observations and questions.

I had some review of this Methodology, occasioned by a query in April, 2016 by Mr. Kristan Stratos at samskrita@googlegroups.com. That was a good opportunity for me to review/summarize the methodology for Study of a सूत्रम् in अष्टाध्यायी. I detailed it as follows –

For understanding any सूत्रम्, one should follow a sequence –

  1. Write down the सूत्रम् as given → सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि
  2. Do पदच्छेद – सर्व-दीनि सर्व-नामानि
  3. Decipher compound words –  
    1. सर्व आदौ येषांस्तानि सर्वादीनि (बहुव्रीहिः)
    2. सर्वेभ्यः नामानि सर्वनामानि (चतुर्थी-तत्पुरुषः)
  4. Do विभक्ति-वचन case-number analysis of all पद-s – सर्वादीनि (1’3) सर्वनामानि (1’3)
  5. Bring forth any such word(s) or phrase(s) from previous सूत्र (or सूत्र-s), which would be essential for proper interpretation of the given सूत्र. This step called as अनुवृत्ति may be or may not be required or applicable. For this सूत्रम् – सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि no अनुवृत्ति seems necessary.
  6. Paraphrase the सूत्रम् i.e. put it in a proper syntax i.e. write the अन्वय so that the paraphrasing brings forth the meaning. Such paraphrasing is called as वृत्ति. One may do this not necessarily in संस्कृत. Concept of वृत्ति is to bring forth the interpretation. So it can be done in any language.

 Since this सूत्रम् has just two words, both in subject case, paraphrasing of the सूत्रम् is simple – just add the verb and complete the sentence → सर्वादीनि (All those starting with सर्व) are सर्वनामानि (are such type of nouns, which can be used by all, are, what are called as Pronouns in English.)

  1. To reinforce the interpretation, one may compile examples. Actually, for this सूत्रम् सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि, one needs not compile the examples afresh. All सर्वनामानि are already compiled in one place in गणपाठ, which is sort of an Annexure of अष्टाध्यायी. Actually if any सूत्रम् has the word आदि in it, this word आदि is a code-word in अष्टाध्यायी, suggesting that there are many more. All those “many more” are then detailed in गणपाठ. All सर्वनामानि are in सर्वादि-गण in गणपाठ. Note, गण means a collection. सर्वादि-गण means collection of all those, starting with सर्व, i.e. collection of all सर्वनामानि.
  2. Interestingly, in सर्वादि-गण there are as many as 35 सर्वनामानि listed in five sub-groups. Does any other language have so many pronouns ?
    1. सर्व, विश्व, उभ, उभय, डतर, डतम, अन्य, अन्यतर, इतर, त्वत्, त्व, नेम, सम, सिम (sub-group of 14)
    2. पूर्वपरावरदक्षिणोत्तरापराधराणि व्यवस्थायामसंज्ञायाम् This subgroup is a सूत्रम् by itself. A सूत्रम्, which is an integral part of a गण in गणपाठ is called as गणसूत्रम्.
      1. Listed here are पूर्व, पर, अवर, दक्षिण, उत्तर, अपर, अधर (sub-group of 7)
      2. But it is specified here that these words would be pronouns only when व्यवस्थायामसंज्ञायाम्.
    3. स्वमज्ञातिधनाख्यायाम् – This is also a गणसूत्रम्. Identified here is pronoun स्व. But it is specified here that स्व would be a pronoun only when it is ज्ञातिधनाख्यायाम्
    4. अन्तरं बहिर्योगोपसंव्यानयोः – This is also a गणसूत्रम्. Identified here is pronoun अन्तर. But it is specified here that अन्तर would be a pronoun only when it is बहिर्योगोपसंव्यानयोः
    5. त्यद्-तद्-यद्-एतद्-इदम्-अदस्-एक-द्वि-युष्मद्-अस्मद्-भवत्-किम् (sub-group of 12). Actually this subgroup details the त्यद्-गण suggested by the सूत्रम् – त्यदादीनि सर्वैर्नित्यम् (1’2’72).
  3. The गणसूत्र-s of subgroups #2, 3 and 4 cannot be studied in the same methodology as of studying a सूत्रम् in अष्टाध्यायी, because in गणपाठ we do not have any associated सूत्र(s), required for a comprehensive study. But these 3 सूत्र-s are quoted not only in गणपाठ in सिद्धान्तकौमुदी, they are also in अष्टाध्यायी by their specific numbers
    1. पूर्वपरावरदक्षिणोत्तरापराधराणि व्यवस्थायामसंज्ञायाम् 1’1’34
    2. स्वमज्ञातिधनाख्यायाम् 1’1’35
    3. अन्तरं बहिर्योगोपसंव्यानयोः 1’1’36

The सूत्रम् what we are studying is सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि 1’1’27. So there are 9 more सूत्र-s in-between. So, all 10 सूत्र-s from 1’1’27 to 1’1’36 ought to be interrelated. Let me list them all.

1’1’27 सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि (सि.कौ. 213)

1’1’28 विभाषा दिक्-समासे बहुव्रीहौ (सि.कौ. 292)

1’1’29 न बहुव्रीहौ (सि.कौ. 222)

1’1’30 तृतीयासमासे (सि.कौ. 223)

1’1’31 द्वन्द्वे च (सि.कौ. 224)

1’1’32 विभाषा जसि (सि.कौ. 225)

1’1’33 प्रथमचरमतयाल्पार्धकतिपयनेमाश्च (सि.कौ. 226)

1’1’34 पूर्वपरावरदक्षिणोत्तरापराधराणि व्यवस्थायामसंज्ञायाम् (सि.कौ. 218)

1’1’35 स्वमज्ञातिधनाख्यायाम् (सि.कौ. 219)

1’1’36 अन्तरं बहिर्योगोपसंव्यानयोः (सि.कौ. 220)

In the above listing, what are given in parentheses are serial numbers of paras in सिद्धान्तकौमुदी, in which the different सूत्र-s are discussed. All the Paras # 213 to 226 are in अजन्तपुँल्लिङ्गप्रकरणम् in सिद्धान्तकौमुदी. Para # 292 is in अजन्तस्त्रीलिङ्गप्रकरणम्. Also the serial order of the para numbers in सिद्धान्तकौमुदी is different from their numbers in अष्टाध्यायी.

In महाभाष्यम् all these सूत्र-s are discussed in the sixth आह्निकम् and in the sequence as per अष्टाध्यायी.

Common theme or topic of all these 10 सूत्र-s is सर्वनामानि. Having started the study of only one सूत्र, it now transpires that we have to study 10 सूत्र-s. But study of the one सूत्र, with which we started, will become an incomplete study, if we do not study all the ten. This – to study related सूत्र-s together – seems to be one good modification in the method of studying अष्टाध्यायी.

Actually for the study to be as much complete a study as possible, it comes to mind that one should study all other सूत्र-s, which deal with some aspect or the other of all the सर्वनामानि.

On this count Dr. Malhar Kulkarni did discuss that there are three important aspects about सर्वनामानि, which merit a study. These are

  • Word-forms of सर्वनामानि are different in case of चतुर्थी-पञ्चमी-सप्तमी-एकवचनम् and प्रथमा-षष्ठी बहुवचनम्
  • पञ्चम्यास्तसिल् (5’3’7) and सप्तम्यास्त्रल् (5’3’10)
  • अव्ययसर्वनाम्नामकच् प्राक् टेः (5’3’71)

The pronouns युष्मद् and अस्मद् are unique that their word-forms are common in all genders. To be able to locate, compile and study the सूत्र-s related to everyone of the 35-odd pronouns, a Critical Word Index of अष्टाध्यायी would be very good. I posted a query inquiring whether any such Critical Word Index of अष्टाध्यायी has already been compiled. Dr. H. N. Bhat very kindly gave a link to पाणिनीयसूत्रपाठस्य तत्परिशिष्टग्रन्थानां च शब्दकोशाः compiled by पाठक-चित्राव-शास्त्रिणौ way back in 1935. It is mentioned in the preface that they labored on it over 12 years !

There is so much to study ! Let us proceed.

In 1’1’28 and 1’1’32 there is the word विभाषा. In अष्टाध्यायी this word is used in a specific sense, as mentioned in न वेति विभाषा (1’1’44), i.e. “maybe or may not be”. This should help in interpreting these two सूत्र-s.

First of all, we should put in appropriate अनुवृत्ति-s in all these सूत्र-s. This way, we can make some cursory study of all the 10 सूत्र-s.

  1. 1’1’27 सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि
  2. 1’1’28 विभाषा दिक्-समासे बहुव्रीहौ (सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि) = if (i) a pronoun-word is in a compound word and (ii) the compound word is speaking of a direction and (iii) if the compounding is of बहुव्रीहि-type, then the pronoun word may or may not merit treatment as a pronoun
  3. 1’1’29 न बहुव्रीहौ (सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि) = If any of the सर्वनामानि is part of a compound word, (excepting one speaking of a direction) such compound word would not be a सर्वनाम. A बहुव्रीहि-compound word is eminently adjectival. For example
  4. 1’1’30 तृतीयासमासे (सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि ) =
  5. 1’1’31 द्वन्द्वे च (सर्वनामानि )
  6. 1’1’32 विभाषा जसि (सर्वनामानि)
  7. 1’1’33 प्रथमचरमतयाल्पार्धकतिपयनेमाश्च (सर्वनामानि) = The pronouns identified here are प्रथम, चरम, तय, ल्प, र्ध, कतिपय, नेम. It seems that सर्वादिगण has missed out प्रथम, चरम, तय, ल्प, र्ध, कतिपय.
  8. 1’1’34 पूर्वपरावरदक्षिणोत्तरापराधराणि व्यवस्थायामसंज्ञायाम् (सर्वनामानि) = The pronouns identified here are पूर्व, पर, वर, दक्षिण, उत्तर, पर, धर. But these would be pronouns only when they have the context of व्यवस्था and are not nouns.
  9. 1’1’35 स्वमज्ञातिधनाख्यायाम् (सर्वनाम) = स्व would be a pronoun only if it has no context of ज्ञाति, धन, आख्या.
  10. 1’1’36 अन्तरं बहिर्योगोपसंव्यानयोः (सर्वनाम) = अन्तर would be a pronoun only if it has a context of बहिर्योग and उपसंव्यान.

Since there are pronouns in every language, it should be interesting to make a comparative study of pronouns in English and in Sanskrit.

In English pronouns are of 10 types –

  1. Personal Pronouns ⇒ Are subjective (he, she, it, I, we, you, they) and objective (him, her, it, me, us, you, them). Note, objective pronouns are only the द्वितीया (/चतुर्थी) विभक्ति of the subjective personal pronouns.
  2. Interrogative Pronouns ⇒ (who, what, which, whom whose) In Sanskrit these are forms of किम्.
  3. Indefinite Pronouns ⇒ (all, anyone, both, each, anything, everybody, many, no one, some, someone, few, etc)
    1. It seems that at least the word बहु from बहुगणवतुडति सङ्ख्या in सूत्रम् 1’1’22 actually qualify to be an indefinite pronoun.
    2. Also suffixes चित् and चन make the indefinite pronouns when affixed to forms of किम् e.g. कश्चित्, किञ्चित्, काचित्, कश्चन, किञ्चन, काचन.
  4. Relative Pronouns ⇒ E.g. “Is this, what I get ?” Here, “this” and “what” are related, “what” being in the subordinate clause. More impressive example is यः पश्यति स पश्यति (गीता 13’27) He, who sees, sees OR One, who sees, sees.
  5. Possessive Pronouns ⇒(His, hers, its, mine, ours, yours, theirs) In Sanskrit these are by षष्ठी विभक्ति of the subjective personal pronouns.
  6. Reflexive Pronouns ⇒ (Himself, herself, itself, myself, yourself, ourselves, themselves). In Sanskrit the function of the suffix “self” is served by adjectival usage of स्व, e.g. I saw it myself मया स्वेन दृष्टम् or one uses स्वयम् adverbially e.g. स्वयमेवात्मनात्मानं वेत्थ त्वम् (गीता 10’15) i.e. त्वम् आत्मानम् आत्मना स्वयमेव वेत्थ You त्वम् know वेत्थ thyself आत्मानम् by thyself आत्मना automatically (by virtue of your intrinsic faculty) स्वयमेव.  
  7. Intensive Pronouns ⇒ e.g. “You yourself must come.” Note, “you” is a personal pronoun, “yourself” is a reflexive pronoun. Both together becomes intensive pronoun. Above example of स्वयमेवात्मनात्मानं वेत्थ त्वम् is a classic example of very forceful combination of reflexivity and intensity.
  8. Demonstrative Pronouns ⇒ (this, that, these, those, none, neither, such)
  9. Reciprocal Pronouns ⇒ (Each other, each other’s, one another, one another’s)
  10. Distributive Pronouns ⇒ (Each, either, neither)

For this study of pronouns to be comprehensive and complete, one needs to be find which pronoun is detailed in which other सूत्र-s and note the significance of every such detail.

It comes to mind that study up to here may be taken as Part 1 of the study of this subject of सर्वनामानि Pronouns in Sanskrit.

शुभमस्तु !




संज्ञा-s in अष्टाध्यायी

संज्ञा-s in अष्टाध्यायी

On Tuesday Dec. 12, 2017, I attended Dr. Malhar Kulkarni’s व्याख्यानम् on सूत्र-s 1’1’20 to 1’1’23.

I indulged in further deliberation of my own, with a focus on सूत्र-s 1’1’20 and 1’1’22 . This post is loud thinking of that deliberation. The two सूत्र-s are दाधा घ्वदाप् (1’1’20) and तरप्-तमपौ घः (1’1’22). Both of these are  संज्ञासूत्र-s, because सूत्रम् – दाधा घ्वदाप् (1’1’20) defines what all is denoted by the संज्ञा घु.  The other सूत्रम् – तरप्-तमपौ घः (1’1’22) defines what all is denoted by the संज्ञा घः 

As is obvious, संज्ञा घु has many elements encompassed by दाधा excepting of course दाप्. The point is “संज्ञा घु has many elements”. That became the clue for my deliberation and I proceeded to check whether most संज्ञा-s have more-than-one elements. And lo ! That appears to be THE fact !

In mathematics, entity having a number of elements is called a “set”. By that token संज्ञा-s in अष्टाध्यायी seem to be names given to sets. All प्रत्याहार-s are basically sets and they connote names or संज्ञा-s of respective sets. For example, अच् is the name of the set, which has all vowels as its elements; हल् is the name of the set, which has all consonants as its elements. Even the very first सूत्रम् – वृद्धिरादैच् (1’1’1) defines the संज्ञा “वृद्धिः” which has the elements आत् and ऐच्; Actually ऐच् is a sub-set having elements ऐ and औ; आत् is the other sub-set of वृद्धिः, and has only a single element आत्. So वृद्धिः is a “union” of two subsets आत् and ऐच्. 

Set theory in mathematics recognizes even null sets. I wonder, whether अष्टाध्यायी has any संज्ञा, which is a null set !

In सूत्रम् – दाधा घ्वदाप् (1’1’20), exception of दाप् is like intersection of a set to leave an element out. 

I wonder whether relating concepts of set theory can give a good insight into the structure of अष्टाध्यायी. 

I feel like complimenting myself for the deliberation and observation that संज्ञा-s in अष्टाध्यायी are names given to sets. Elements of sets are detailed primarily in two different ways. The सूत्र-s such as वृद्धिरादैच् (1’1’1), दाधा घ्वदाप् (1’1’20), etc. detail their elements in the particular संज्ञासूत्र itself. But elements of some सूत्र-s such as सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि (1’1’27) are better detailed in गणपाठ. In this context it would be interesting to see my post “What is गणपाठ ?“.

The third way of identifying a संज्ञा and detailing its elements is to do that in different सूत्र-s. A good example is the सूत्रम् – सुप्तिङन्तं पदम् (1’4’14). There are two संज्ञा-s included here सुप् and तिङ्. Elements of सुप् are detailed in स्वौजसमौट्-छष्टाभ्याम्-भिस्-ङे-भ्याम्-भ्यस्-ङसि-भ्याम्-भ्यस्-ङसोसाम्-ङि-ओस्-सुप् (4’1’2). Elements of तिङ् are detailed in तिप्-तस्-झि-सिप्-वस्-थ-मिब्-वस्-मस्-ताताम्-झ-थासाथाम्-ध्व-मिड्-वहि-महिङ् (3’4’78). 

Actually सूत्रम् – सुप्तिङन्तं पदम् (1’4’14) is interesting, because it also contains and defines a third संज्ञा viz. पदम्. Whatever is सुबन्त or तिङन्त, i.e. whatever has in its ending सुप् or तिङ्, i.e. whatever has either a सुप् or तिङ् suffix, is a पदम्. And as defined by this सूत्रम् – सुप्तिङन्तं पदम् (1’4’14),  पदम् is a set having two sub-sets सुप् and तिङ्.

  • On a different note, I am a bit concerned of this definition of पदम् as सुप्तिङन्तं पदम्. This is because there are many पद-s, which are neither सुबन्त nor तिङन्त, e. g. क्त्वान्त- or तुमन्त-कृदन्त-s. To my mind, these are also पद-s, because they qualify the सूत्रम् – समर्थः पदविधिः (2’1’1). They are, for sure, समर्थ, meaningful and significant.

Anyway, we can grant that संज्ञा is a terminology of Sanskrit grammar. If so, one wonders what is the terminology in English grammar equivalent to संज्ञा ? In English grammar, among parts of speech, there are nouns and pronouns. Since pronouns are same as सर्वनामानि, one can think that नामानि would correspond with nouns. Since संज्ञा-s are also given names, संज्ञा also seemingly corresponds with ‘noun’. 

Looking at स्वौजसमौट्-छष्टाभ्याम्-भिस्-ङे-भ्याम्-भ्यस्-ङसि-भ्याम्-भ्यस्-ङसोसाम्-ङि-ओस्-सुप् (4’1’2) and तिप्-तस्-झि-सिप्-वस्-थ-मिब्-वस्-मस्-ताताम्-झ-थासाथाम्-ध्व-मिड्-वहि-महिङ् (3’4’78), it can be thought that elements of सुप् and तिङ् enumerated in these सूत्र-s are not संज्ञा-s; they are nouns नामानि of सुप्-प्रत्यय-s and तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s.  I guess, this line of thinking can help distinguish between नामानि and संज्ञा-s. Then we can say that English grammar has nothing equivalent to संज्ञा-s.

That is some loud thinking about संज्ञा-s in अष्टाध्यायी. 

शुभमस्तु !


Comprehensive study of grammar of Sanskrit

What all must be studied for complete study of grammar of Sanskrit ? One general impression is that one should study and then the job is done. But there is a श्लोक

अनधीते महाभाष्ये व्यर्था सा पदमञ्जरी ।
अधीते तु महाभाष्ये व्यर्था सा पदमञ्जरी ॥

Here, the word पदमञ्जरी usually refers to अष्टाध्यायी by पाणिनि.  So, here we have reference to two books – अष्टाध्यायी by पाणिनि and महाभाष्य by पतञ्जलि respectively. Original of the two is अष्टाध्यायी by पाणिनि, though, in this श्लोक more credence is accorded to study of महाभाष्य by पतञ्जलि.

However in his सिद्धान्तकौमुदी, भट्टोजी दीक्षित pays his tributes as मुनित्रयं नमस्कृत्य. This seems to be so, because Sanskrit grammar is itself known as त्रिमुनि-व्याकरणम्. The त्रिमुनि-s are पाणिनि, वररुचि कात्यायन and पतञ्जलि  Contribution of वररुचि कात्यायन is by his वृत्ति-s, which often explain सूत्र-s in अष्टाध्यायी by supplementary सूत्र-s, as if अष्टाध्यायी becomes more complete by the supplementary सूत्र-s in वृत्ति-s of वररुचि कात्यायन. Because of his वृत्ति-s वररुचि कात्यायन is also known as the वार्त्तिक (वृत्तीनां कर्ता).

अष्टाध्यायी is the base both for महाभाष्य by पतञ्जलि and वृत्ति-s of वररुचि कात्यायन. That is why it is said in the above श्लोक, that if one studies महाभाष्य, there is no need to study अष्टाध्यायी separately.

Actually language has two aspects – (1) words and (2) using the words to make a meaningful expression. The second part “using the words to make a meaningful expression” often becomes the exercise of composing a sentence.

From what I have understood, अष्टाध्यायी’s focus is on words, rather on formatting of words. This is so, because in Sanskrit every word to be used in a sentence, rather, for any word to be worthy of use in a sentence, it has to be a formatted word.

Second aspect of Sanskrit is freedom from syntax. In Sanskrit the formatting of words makes the words so much self-same, that they can be placed anywhere, in any sequence or order. Although the word order is most commonly the Subject-Object-Verb (SOV) order, that is not any rigid word order.

Formatting of words is best detailed in अष्टाध्यायी. But study of अष्टाध्यायी should not be understood as study only of the eight chapters, four quarters of each chapter. There are important परिशिष्ट-s, which are part and parcel of अष्टाध्यायी. They are गणपाठः, धातुपाठः, लिङ्गानुशासनम्, उणादिसूत्राणि, फिट्सूत्राणि, पाणिनीया शिक्षा.

Most books on अष्टाध्यायी detail सूत्राणि in the thirty-two quarters in अष्टाध्यायी. But to make the study of Sanskrit grammar complete, one must study also all the परिशिष्ट-s.

One method of study has been as propounded in his सिद्धान्तकौमुदी by भट्टोजी दीक्षित. But सिद्धान्तकौमुदी is said to be a composition of 17th century, just about 400 years old. There certainly have been many studies of अष्टाध्यायी, evidenced by many commentaries, called as वृत्ति-s, some well-known among them being काशिका-वृत्तिः, न्यासः, मनोरमा, बाल-मनोरमा, प्रौढ-मनोरमा, तत्त्व-बोधिनी, etc.

Although Sanskrit offers quite some freedom of syntax, there have been some definite concepts of composing sentences. These are possibly best detailed in वाक्पदीयम् of भर्तृहरि, said to be step brother of राजा विक्रमादित्य of 5th AD.

Another aspect of Sanskrit language, which is considered as part of its grammar is adorned speech, adorned by rhythm or by fancy.

  • Adornment of speech by rhythm is covered in study of prosody छन्दःशास्त्रम्, also called as शब्दालङ्कार.
  • Adornment of speech by fancy is covered in अर्थालङ्कार.

As mentioned earlier, every word to be worthy of use in a sentence needs to be formatted. In formatting there is morphology through different steps called as प्रक्रिया. There have been studies focusing only on the morphological aspects of formatting of words and are available in books such as प्रक्रियासर्वस्वम्.

Actually etymological studies व्युत्पत्तिविचार may be considered as the converse of morphological studies. But etymological studies can go deeper than just the converse of morphological studies. I came across a book व्युत्पत्तिवाद published by राष्ट्रिय संस्कृत संस्थानम् http://www.sanskrit.nic.in/DigitalBook/V/Vyutpattivada_2016.pdf

One more aspect of study of words is study of synonyms and antonyms. Sanskrit has a great old tradition of such study. Two such studies which are monumental, are निघण्टु-निरुक्त by यास्काचार्य and अमरकोश (actual name नामलिङ्गानुशासनम्) by अमरसिंह.

I hope this compilation becomes useful to anyone wanting to undertake comprehensive study of grammar of Sanskrit.

शुभमस्तु !



Are there nouns in Sanskrit ?

The more I think of etymologies of Sanskrit nouns, the more I get to think that there are no nouns in Sanskrit.

But it is the structural requirement of sentences that subject-words, object-words have to be nouns or pronouns.

So what a word is etymologically and what the word is in a sentence are considerations, which have great influence of the context.

The very first sentence, rather the very first श्लोक in गीता would become a good example. Here is its study. 

In the simple looking phrase of just two words धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे the number of permutations of interpretations can be 
  1. considering धर्मक्षेत्रे as adjective of कुरुक्षेत्रे 
  2. considering कुरुक्षेत्रे as adjective of धर्मक्षेत्रे 
  3. considering both धर्मक्षेत्रे and कुरुक्षेत्रे as nouns.
Interesting it then is, that all of these three interpretations will be grammatically valid. 
By mathematics of permutations, there can be a fourth permutation of considering both धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे to be adjectives. That permutation will not be valid, keeping structural requirement of a sentence. 
By similar considerations in this same श्लोक, there are four words, समवेताः युयुत्सवः मामकाः पाण्डवाः All are in प्रथमा, बहुवचनम्. Hence they are all eligible to be subject-words, subjects of the verb अकुर्वत. We can consider number of sentences possible with as many subject-words =>
  1. धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेताः किमकुर्वत
  2. धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे युयुत्सवः किमकुर्वत
  3. धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे मामकाः किमकुर्वत
  4. धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे पाण्डवाः किमकुर्वत
  5. धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेताः युयुत्सवः किमकुर्वत
  6. धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेताः मामकाः किमकुर्वत
  7. धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेताः पाण्डवाः किमकुर्वत
  8. धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे युयुत्सवः मामकाः किमकुर्वत
  9. धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे युयुत्सवः पाण्डवाः किमकुर्वत
  10. धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेताः युयुत्सवः मामकाः किमकुर्वत
  11. धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेताः युयुत्सवः पाण्डवाः किमकुर्वत
  12. धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेताः युयुत्सवः मामकाः पाण्डवाः च किमकुर्वत
It may be noticed that all the 12 permutations as above are valid sentences. 
But study of the first sentence brings forth that, though समवेताः is etymologically an adjective, it is serving the function of subject-word and hence in the sentence, it should be considered to be a noun. Etymologically समवेताः is क्त-कृदन्तम् of धातुः समवे (सम् + अव + इ) hence definitely an adjective.
One can prove that all the four words समवेताः युयुत्सवः मामकाः पाण्डवाः are adjectives by their etymology. For example पाण्डव (पाण्डोः यः सः पाण्डवः) is basically an adjective and qualifies all five पाण्डवाः. To say पाण्डवः युधिष्ठिरः, पाण्डवः भीमः, पाण्डवः अर्जुनः, पाण्डवः नकुलः, पाण्डवः सहदेवः are all valid phrases, where पाण्डवः is an adjective. 
So, what a word is etymologically and what the role of the word is in a sentence are two different things. Possibly one should be finding good discussion on the role of a word in a sentence in वाक्यपदीयम् of भर्तृहरिः. That could be the logic of its title having the word वाक्य not वाक्. It comes to mind that by this viewpoint, study of वाक्यपदीयम् of भर्तृहरिः has its own significance. Probably such significance of वाक्यपदीयम् has not been brought out at all. There is so much talk of study of अष्टाध्यायी, कौमुदी etc., that study of वाक्यपदीयम् hardly ever gets any mention. 
शुभमस्तु !

When would one need सिद्धान्तकौमुदी ?

Ms. Irene Gelstian posted a query, “Please help me understand when should one consult the full version, and when the abridged version is sufficient.” By ‘full version’ she meant सिद्धान्तकौमुदी and by ‘the abridged version’ लघुसिद्धान्तकौमुदी. Here is my deliberation.

Just a look at the contents of the two books also brings out some major differences. For example second chapter in सिद्धान्तकौमुदी is परिभाषाप्रकरणम्. There is no such chapter itself in लघुसिद्धान्तकौमुदी  So, if one wants to understand what परिभाषा is, then one needs to study it only in सिद्धान्तकौमुदी.
As per my understanding, परिभाषाः are premises, which are inherent in the structure of the book.
For example there is  सूत्रम् – विप्रतिषेधे परं कार्यम् (पा. 1-4-2). In the instance of dilemma, go by the latter.
  • An example of dilemma is अच्सन्धिः of इ + इ, say इति इच्छा
  • If one should go by इको यणचि (6-1-77) the संधि should be इत्यिच्छा.
  • But by अकः सवर्णे दीर्घः (6-1-101) the संधि would be इतीच्छा.
  • So we have a dilemma – should इति इच्छा be इत्यिच्छा or इतीच्छा ?
  • विप्रतिषेधे परं कार्यम् resolves the dilemma saying “go by the latter.” Between (6-1-77) and (6-1-101) the latter is (6-1-101). Hence, इतीच्छा only.
  • So विप्रतिषेधे परं कार्यम् is the परिभाषा, the premise behind पाणिनि’s sequencing of the सूत्राणि in अष्टाध्यायी.
  • But this premise विप्रतिषेधे परं कार्यम् does not extend all across. It extends only up to (8-1-74). Its application beyond (8-1-74) is stopped by पूर्वत्रासिद्धम् (8-2-2).
    • For example, what should be संधि of ते अज्ञानम् ?
    • By एचोऽयवायावः (6-1-78) तयज्ञानम्
    • By लोपः शाकल्यस्य (8-3-19) तेऽज्ञानम्
    • Going by विप्रतिषेधे परं कार्यम् it should be only तेऽज्ञानम्. However since application of विप्रतिषेधे परं कार्यम् does not extend beyond (8-1-74), तयज्ञानम् as per एचोऽयवायावः (6-1-78) is also valid.
So, a totally different answer to the query “when should one consult the full version” is, “go by अष्टाध्यायी itself.” Even the full version सिद्धान्तकौमुदी may not explain many such nuances, much less, the short or abridged version लघुसिद्धान्तकौमुदी.
One may get intrigued by the सूत्राणि listed in different chapters, both in लघुसिद्धान्तकौमुदी and सिद्धान्तकौमुदी. For example अच्सन्धिप्रकरणम् in both lists the सूत्रम् – झलां जश्झशि (8-4-53). Prima facie, the वर्ण-s dwelt upon in this सूत्रम् are all हलः. Why then is this सूत्रम् in अच्सन्धिप्रकरणम् at all ?
Having said all this, it seems, first of all, one needs to ask oneself, how deep one wants to go. Looks like, the query seeks clear identification as “लघुसिद्धान्तकौमुदी will take one as much deep, सिद्धान्तकौमुदी that much deeper and for further depth only अष्टाध्यायी itself.” I don’t think any such identification exists.  Particular study on hand will itself dictate which book to refer.
शुभमस्तु !

प्रत्ययाः – नु, नुक्, क्नु

In my study of Sanskrit, it often happens that one search leads to another. I made a guess that the word देहः is from धातुः दिह्. The guess was correct ! Note देहः = दिह्-घञ् So I thought it good, to understand the meaning of देहः by understanding meaning of दिह्. In धातुपाठ, the meaning given is दिहँ उपच॒ये In Apte’s online dictionary, it is “1 To anoint, smear, plaster, spread over.” Wow ! देहः is what anoints; anoints the आत्मा ? Let me leave it at that.

On the page for दिह्, just above, there was the word दिष्णुः. That triggered thought of words ending with नु. Promptly भानुः, धेनुः, विष्णुः came to mind. I searched on these words. I got –

  • भानुः [भा-नु Uṇ.3.32] 1 Light, lustre, brightness.-2 A ray of light
  • धेनुः f. [धयति सुतान्, धीयते वत्सैर्वा, धे-नु इच्च Tv.] 1 A cow, milch-cow
  • विष्णुः [विष् व्यापने नुक् Uṇ.3.39].
  • On the same page as of विष्णुः, I also noticed धृष्णु a. [धृष्-क्नु] 1 Bold, confident, courageous, valiant, powerful (in a good sense).

Even when all these words end in नु/णु, the प्रत्यय-s are different.

  • In भानुः and धेनुः the प्रत्यय is नु Uṇ.3.32
    • In case of धेनुः नु is mentioned to be a प्रत्यय and also इत् (इच्च). I wonder whether that is correct.
  • In विष्णुः it is नुक् Uṇ.3.39
  • In धृष्णु it is क्नु

This is how I landed into this study of प्रत्ययाः – नु, नुक्, क्नु

नु Uṇ.3.32 and नुक् Uṇ.3.39 certainly suggest that these are उणादि suffixes.

  • उणादिसूत्रम् 3’32 (सिद्धान्तकौमुद्यां 319) is दाभाभ्यां नुः || दानुर्दाता | भानुः || In तत्त्वबोधिनी व्याख्या it is further detailed as – डुदाञ् दाने, भा दीप्तौ | ‘दानुर्दातरि विक्रान्तौ’ इति मेदिनी | ‘भानूरश्मिदिवाकरौ’ इत्यमरः |
  • उणादिसूत्रम् 3’34 (सिद्धान्तकौमुद्यां 321) is धेट इच्च || धयति सुतानिति धेनुः || In तत्त्वबोधिनी व्याख्या it is further detailed as – धेट् पाने – अस्मान्नुः स्यादिकारश्चान्तादेशः | ‘धेनुःस्यान्नवसूतिका’ इत्यमरः |
    • It comes to mind that the name of the धातु is धेट्. Here the ending ट् is इत् as per हलन्त्यम् (1-3-3). Hence it has to be dropped off by तस्य लोपः (1-3-9). The phrase इच्च in उणादिसूत्रम् 3’34 means all that.
  • उणादिसूत्रम् 3’39 (सिद्धान्तकौमुद्यां 326) is विषेः किच्च || विष्णुः || In तत्त्वबोधिनी व्याख्या it is further detailed as – विषेः | विष्लृँ व्याप्तौ | अस्माण्णुः स्यात्स च किच्चान्नित् | नित्वादाद्युदात्तत्वम् | विष्णुरिद्धा | ‘विष्णुर्नारायणः कृष्णः’ इत्यमरः |
    • विषेः किच्च clarifies that the उणादिप्रत्यय is to be understood as नुक् of which the ending क् is क्-इत्. Being an इत् it gets dropped off by तस्य लोपः (1-3-9). What affixes is नु only.

In Abhyankar’s Dictionary of Sanskrit Grammar, क्नु is detailed as कृत्-affix नु added to roots त्रस्, गृध्, धृष्, क्षिप् in the sense of habituated etc., as given in पाणिनिसूत्र-s – तच्छीलतद्धर्मतत्साधुकारिषु ३।२।१३४ त्रसिगृधिधृषिक्षिपेः क्नुः ३।२।१४० Hence त्रस्नुः, गृध्नुः || I can see that –

  • तच्छीलम् तद्धर्मः तत्साधुकारः seem to have been together translated by काशिनाथशास्त्री अभ्यंकर as that habit, which is implicit in the meaning of the धातु. Since गृध् means ‘to hanker for’, गृध्नुः means one who is in the habit of hankering. Since त्रस् means ‘to trouble’ त्रस्नुः means one who is in the habit of making trouble. By the way, if one gets troubled and shows it as much, vitiates the whole atmosphere, spreads his troubles and in turn causes trouble. So त्रस्नुः then would mean one who gets troubled and causes trouble.

It is contended that उणादिसूत्राणि were in vogue before पाणिनि. He acknowledged them in उणादयो बहुलम् (3’1’1). Possibly तच्छीलतद्धर्मतत्साधुकारिषु ३।२।१३४ त्रसिगृधिधृषिक्षिपेः क्नुः ३।२।१४० and such सूत्र-s were added to cover त्रस्नुः, गृध्नुः etc., which were not covered in उणादिसूत्राणि. He seems to have thought it good to give a different name to the suffix as क्नु, where also the beginning क् is an इत् as per लशक्वतद्धिते (1-3-8) and it gets dropped off by तस्य लोपः (1-3-9).

Even in भानुः the sun, भानु is one who has तत् शीलम्, तद्धर्मः, तत् साधुकारः of भा i.e. ‘to emit light’. All this revelation, to understand why one name of sun is भानुः, is sheer ecstasy !

In a way, by his सूत्रम् – तच्छीलतद्धर्मतत्साधुकारिषु ३।२।१३४, पाणिनि has given colorful explanation of not only his own क्नु, but also नु, नुक् etc. in उणादिसूत्राणि.

Look at the brevity of the words त्रस्नुः, गृध्नुः etc., compared with the long-winding phrases, one has to use to explain their meanings in English.

They say, success is its own reward. Study of Sanskrit is also that, ‘its own reward’ !

शुभमस्तु !



Another, a Simpler View of अष्टाध्यायी ?

In today’s (5th June 2016) class of Dr. नीलेश जोशी, we started discussion of संहिता-s with the अधिकारसूत्रम् संहितायाम् (6-1-72). I put forth an observation that rules of संहिता are primarily rules of phonetics. I was of course happy that Dr. नीलेश जोशी endorsed my observation. Carrying that thought further, it now comes to mind that instead of thinking that सूत्र-s in अष्टाध्यायी are of six types, अष्टाध्यायी can be viewed in a different perspective, i.e. to check, which important aspects of grammar अष्टाध्यायी dwells on .

  1. One is of course morphology, i.e. पदसिद्धि
  2. Second is phonetics or phonology. उच्चारणम् – Six सूत्र-s come to mind, which detail how each vowel sound can be pronounced in 18 different ways. They are ऊकालोऽझ्रस्वदीर्घप्लुतः (1-2-27) अचश्च (1-2-28) उच्चैरुदात्तः (1-2-29) नीचैरनुदात्तः (1-2-30) समाहारः स्वरितः (1-2-31) मुखनासिकावचनोऽनुनासिकः (1-1-8)
  3. Some rules such as मोऽनुस्वारः (8-3-24) deal with WRITING the nasal sounds by using the अनुस्वार symbol ँ or ँ्.

If this may give an idea that सूत्र-s in अष्टाध्यायी could as well be sorted into these 3 categories, Dr. नीलेश जोशी explained very beautifully how in certain instances, सूत्र-s of morphology and of phonology may have to be taken into consideration together. He explained it by an example sentence, मा छिनत्तु The word मा has two interpretations. मा is द्वितीया-विभक्ति, एकवचनम् of अस्मद्. It is also निषेधात्मकमव्ययम् rather a निपातः having two forms as मा and माङ् as detailed in गणपाठ, both, under स्वरादिनिपातमव्ययम् (1-1-37) and चादयोऽसत्त्वे (1-4-57).

  • If मा is taken to be द्वितीया-विभक्ति, एकवचनम् of अस्मद्, मा छिनत्तु would mean “cut me”
  • If मा is taken to be निषेधात्मकमव्ययम्, which has the संज्ञा माङ् [the ending ङ् to be dropped by हलन्त्यम् (1-3-3) and तस्य लोपः (1-3-9)], then मा छिनत्तु would mean “Do not cut”.
    • Now, if मा is taken to be निषेधात्मकमव्ययम्,  then by its संज्ञा माङ्, and by the rules of phonology viz, [संहितायाम् (6-1-72) छे च (6-1-73) आङ्माङोश्च (6-1-74)], the sentence मा छिनत्तु should rather be written and should certainly be pronounced as माच्छिनत्तु. Note the extra च्.

Hundreds of obeisances to Dr. नीलेश जोशी for explaining this nuance !!!

For the meaning “Do not cut”, to derive and pronounce not as मा छिनत्तु but as माच्छिनत्तु the considerations are both morphological and phonological.

Now at this point of माच्छिनत्तु as a sentence, I am not sure, whether अष्टाध्यायी deals with composing sentences, including the rules of syntax. For example, when अपि is to be used as an interrogative, it should be at the beginning of the sentence. I need to check up whether any सूत्रम् in अष्टाध्यायी covers such aspects of syntax.

  1. In English grammar, sentences may be simple, compound or complex. As such, clauses in a sentence is an important aspect of grammatical analysis. In Sanskrit सति-सप्तमी and सच्छष्ठी are special constructs. There are also the कृत्-प्रत्यय-s तुमुन्, क्त्वा/ल्यप् which put into sequence two actions by the same subject. This aspect of same subject is very much mentioned in अष्टाध्यायी, as in the सूत्र-s समानकर्तृकेषु तुमुन् (3-3-158) समानकर्तृकयोः पूर्वकाले (3-4-21)
  2. It seems that the grammatical aspect of वाक्यम् is better detailed by भर्तृहरी in वाक्यपदीयम्.

I am of course excited to find that this “Another View” is very much endorsed also at a website, http://www.sepo.net/books/english-grammar/essentials-of-english-grammar/  I landed here, when searching for “essential features of grammar”

There is an interesting mention there –

“.. There are four great divisions of Grammar, viz.:

Orthography, Etymology, Syntax, and Prosody.

Orthography treats of letters and the mode of combining them into words.

Etymology treats of the various classes of words and the changes they undergo.

Syntax treats of the connection and arrangement of words in sentences.

Prosody treats of the manner of speaking and reading and the different kinds of verse.

The three first mentioned concern us most. ..”.

Relating this to grammar of Sanskrit in general and to अष्टाध्यायी in particular, it comes to mind, that अष्टाध्यायी is concerned only with two and not even three.  अष्टाध्यायी seems to be concerned only with Orthography and Etymology. Since Syntax is fairly flexible in Sanskrit, अष्टाध्यायी may not be dealing with this. Prosody is of course a different aspect, related to verses and their constructs and of course out of the scope of अष्टाध्यायी.

What is mentioned as Orthography here need not be considered much different from Phonetics or Phonology. May I coin for it a Sanskrit term वर्णव्यवस्था.

Also what is mentioned as Etymology here and what I mentioned as Morphology earlier need also not be considered as different. In Sanskrit, I would term it as पदसिद्धिः.

So for “another view”, I would propose that अष्टाध्यायी be studied by these two aspects (by just these two aspects) of वर्णव्यवस्था and पदसिद्धिः. Would that make study of अष्टाध्यायी as much simpler ?

शुभमस्तु !



संज्ञाः संज्ञासूत्राणि च |

When one thinks of संज्ञा-s and संज्ञासूत्राणि, it comes to mind that संज्ञा-s in अष्टाध्यायी are not just those, which are mentioned in संज्ञासूत्राणि. Rather, in अष्टाध्यायी, one would come across 4/5 distinct types of संज्ञा-s –

Type (1) In अष्टाध्यायी there are many such संज्ञा-s, i.e. words and terms, which were well-prevalent and did not need any explanation or definition. For example पाणिनि uses the term धातु straightaway right in (1-1-4). There is some detailing of it, not really an explanation or definition of it, that too, much later in भूवादयो धातवः (1-3-1) and सनाद्यन्ता धातवः (1-3-32). Thanks to Dr. H. N. Bhat for citing these.

Type (2) He uses as many as 43 प्रत्याहार-s, used as संज्ञा-s. It comes to mind that use of प्रत्याहार as संज्ञा was prevalent before पाणिनि. That must be why he does not explain what a प्रत्याहार is. He uses two such प्रत्याहार-संज्ञा-s straightaway, right in the first सूत्रम् – वृद्धिरादैच् (1-1-1). वृद्धिशब्दः संज्ञा; आदैचः संज्ञिनः [so said in महाभाष्यम् on (1-1-1)]. For संज्ञा-s of both types (1) and (2), the logic seems to be प्रख्यातस्य व्याख्यानेन किम् ? Why should there be elaboration of what is already well-known ?

Type (3) He coins his own संज्ञा-s using इत्-s. I discussed this in a special post on this. See https://grammarofsanskrit.wordpress.com/category/%E0%A4%B8%E0%A4%82%E0%A4%9C%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%9E%E0%A4%95-s-or-%E0%A4%87%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D-s-of-%E0%A4%AA%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A3%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%A8%E0%A4%BF/

Type (4) पाणिनि does explain certain संज्ञा-s however, e.g. in अर्थवदधातुरप्रत्ययः प्रातिपदिकम् (1-2-45) he explains what a प्रातिपदिकम् is. I am left wondering, why प्रातिपदिकम् as a संज्ञा needed such explanation or definition. Was it not a प्रख्यातसंज्ञा ? Did he coin it by himself ? Or, was it not possibly defined as clearly as he did by saying अर्थवदधातुरप्रत्ययः प्रातिपदिकम्.

Type (5) One also comes across संज्ञा-s such as तु in न विभक्तौ तुस्माः (1-3-4) also चुटू (1-3-7). There are actually two संज्ञा-s here, चु and टु. Mr. D. V. N. Sharma, thanks to him, brought to my notice, that there is सूत्रम् – अणुदित्सवर्णस्य चाप्रत्ययः (1-1-69) which explains how these संज्ञा-s connote  sets of consonants of their class, e.g. कु stands for the set of consonants of क्-वर्ग, चु stands for the set of consonants of च्-वर्ग, टु stands for the set of consonants of ट्-वर्ग, तु stands for the set of consonants of त्-वर्ग, पु stands for the set of consonants of प्-वर्ग.  One is left to wonder whether these संज्ञा-s were coined by पाणिनि were prevalent before him.

One also comes across a problem that some संज्ञा-s seem to be coined with vowel-endings, which have nasal pronunciation, but the nasal pronunciation may often be not written in the written texts. For example in (4-1-2) स्वौजसमौट्छष्टाभ्याम्भिस्-ङेभ्याम्भ्यस्ङसिभ्याम्भ्यस्ङसोसाम्ङ्योस्सुप्॥ the first सुप्-प्रत्ययः is सु. Its application can be explained only by considering that it is actually सुँ not सु. Here सुँ has the nasal vowel ending उँ, which gets dropped according to उपदेशेऽजननुनासिक इत् (1-3-2) and तस्य लोपः (1-3-9). One can of course concede that it is difficult or not possible to write the nasal सुँ here, especially when it has a संधि with औ. One needs to take it however, that in the oral tradition, the pronunciation must have been insisted to be nasal. This underscores the importance of oral tradition and the need, that the oral tradition itself needs to be absolutely perfect !!

संज्ञा-s being of 4/5 types as above, one question of natural curiosity is “How many संज्ञा-s does one find in अष्टाध्यायी ? In response to my post on अधिकारसूत्राणि one Mr. सीताराम informed that there are 170 संज्ञासूत्राणि in अष्टाध्यायी. On 23 September 2011, Venetia-Ansell-महोदया had posted her study of some 80 संज्ञासूत्राणि. But, there are so many other संज्ञा-s, apart from those mentioned in संज्ञासूत्राणि.

In response to that post of Venetia-Ansell-महोदया, I had raised a basic question, “What is a संज्ञा ?”. Is it defined in अष्टाध्यायी ? Its first occurrence in अष्टाध्यायी is in पूर्वपरावरदक्षिणोत्तरापराधराणि व्यवस्थायामसंज्ञायाम् ॥ (1-1-34). Here the word संज्ञा is used by its antonym असंज्ञा. Obviously पाणिनि did not think it necessary to explain or define, what a संज्ञा is or what असंज्ञा is.

Actually the word संज्ञा seems to have different meanings in different contexts.

काशिनाथ-शास्त्री-अभ्यंकर-वर्यः compiled a dictionary of Sanskrit grammar. In that, the word संज्ञा is detailed as below –

“…. संज्ञा a technical term, a short wording to convey ample sense; a term to know general nature of things; convention; see also वृद्धिशब्दः संज्ञा; आदेचः संज्ञिनः (so said in महाभाष्यम् on (1-1-1). There are two main divisions of संज्ञा – कृत्रिमसंज्ञा or an artificial term such as टि, घु, or भ, which is merely conventional and अकृत्रिमसंज्ञा which refers to the literal sense conveyed by the word such as अव्यय, सर्वनाम and the like. Some grammar works like चन्द्र avoid purely conventional terms. These संज्ञा-s are necessary for every scientific treatise. In Panini’s grammar, there are the first two chapters, giving and explaining the technical terms whose number exceeds well-nigh hundred. ..”

In श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता also, this word संज्ञा is used in different senses, as in नायका मम सैन्यस्य संज्ञार्थं तान्ब्रवीमि ते (1-7) Here संज्ञार्थं =  for (your) knowledge or information; भूतभावोद्भवकरो विसर्गः कर्मसंज्ञितः (8-3) Here कर्मसंज्ञितः = is called as Karma; द्वन्द्वैर्विमुक्ताः सुखदुःखसंज्ञैः (15-5) Here सुखदुःखसंज्ञैः = as connoted by सुखदुःख.

By parallelism between grammars of English and Sanskrit, one can also think that what is a ‘noun’ in English grammar is संज्ञा in Sanskrit grammar. But in English grammar we have “pronoun”, for which parallel word in Sanskrit grammar is सर्वनाम. As a corollary, one can say that नाम and संज्ञा are synonyms used in Sanskrit grammar.

In Apte’s dictionary, 12 meanings of the word संज्ञा are detailed, many with examples from Sanskrit texts. Appended thereto is also meaning of the compound word संज्ञासूत्रम् –

“… संज्ञा 1 Consciousness, अकरुण पुनः संज्ञाव्याधिं विधाय किमीहसे Māl.9.42; रतिखेदसमुत्पन्ना निद्रा संज्ञाविपर्ययः Ku.6.44. संज्ञा लभ्, आपद् or प्रतिपद् ‘to regain or recover one’s consciousness, come to one’s senses’. -2 Knowledge, understanding; नायका मम सैन्यस्य संज्ञार्थं तान् व्रवीमि ते Bg.1.7; Mb.12.153.63. -3 Intellect, mind; लोकतन्त्रं हि संज्ञाश्च सर्वमन्ने प्रतिष्ठितम् Mb.13.63.5. -4 A hint, sign, token, gesture; मुखापिंतैकाङ्गुलिसंज्ञयैव मा चापलायेति गणान् व्यनैषीत् Ku.3.41; उपलभ्य ततश्च धर्मसंज्ञाम् Bu. Ch.5.21; Bhāg. 6.7.17. -5 A name, designation, an appellation; often at the end of comp. in this sense; द्वन्द्वैर्विमुक्ताः सुखदुःखसंज्ञैः Bg.15.5. -6 (In grammar) Any name or noun having a special meaning, a proper name. -7 The technical name for an affix. -8 The Gāyatrī Mantra; see गायत्री. -9 A track, footstep. -10 Direction. -11 A technical term. -12 N. of the daughter of Viśvakarman and of wife of the sun, and of mother of Yama, Yamī, and the two Aśvins. संज्ञासूत्रम् – any Sūtra which teaches the meaning of a technical term. ..”

From all this discussion, I would say that संज्ञा-s detailed in संज्ञासूत्राणि is but a small subset of the  set संज्ञा-s, which is much vaster.

By the way, there are as many as 7 सूत्राणि, all reading as संज्ञायाम् at (2-1-44), (3-3-109), (3-4-42), (4-1-72), (4-3-117), (6-2-159) and (8-2-11). There are also 18 more सूत्राणि, which start with the word संज्ञायाम्. All these are not संज्ञासूत्राणि. They rather seem to be विधिसूत्राणि, explaining what to do in the instance of a संज्ञा. संज्ञायाम् simply means “in the instance of a संज्ञा”.

There would be a large multitude of सूत्राणि, where one would come across the word संज्ञा. A novice, excited to learn about संज्ञा, should not get over-excited, whenever in any सूत्रम् he would notice the word संज्ञा.

शुभमस्तु !



अधिकारसूत्राणि |

Among methods of learning Sanskrit, there seem to be different schools of thought. Recently I got two books, Parts 1 and 2 of संस्कृत पठन-पाठन की अनुभूत सरलतम विधि by पं. ब्रह्मदत्त जिज्ञासु, published by रामलाल कपूर ट्रस्ट, रेवली, सोनीपत – ३९, हरियाणा. On the cover page itself there is a declaration बिना रटे ६ मासमें अष्टाध्यायी-पद्धतिसे संस्कृत का पठन-पाठन, meaning Learning and Teaching Sanskrit in 6 months by अष्टाध्यायी-method, without any rote. अष्टाध्यायी-method means method of learning based on सूत्र-s in अष्टाध्यायी.

Sanskrit-Grammarians seem to agree on a concept that सूत्र-s in अष्टाध्यायी are of six types – (1) संज्ञासूत्राणि – Terminologies (2) परिभाषासूत्राणि – Meta-Rules (3) अधिकारसूत्राणि – by which topics are declared (4) विधिसूत्राणि – Processes (5) अतिदेशसूत्राणि – Extended logic (6) विशेषसूत्राणि – Special or exceptional instances.

Of these six types, my thoughts on परिभाषाप्रकरणम् have been already compiled.

Another important type is अधिकारसूत्राणि – by which topics are declared. In Part 1-book by पं. ब्रह्मदत्त जिज्ञासु he advocates study of following अधिकारसूत्र-s as essential study.

Before that, it is to be borne in mind that every अधिकारसूत्रम् has a range of its अधिकार i.e. command-range. I calculated these from अष्टाध्यायी-सूत्रपाठः as available in a book अष्टाध्यायी by श्रीगोपालशास्त्री published by चौखम्बा सुरभारती प्रकाशन, वाराणसी.

It is to be borne in mind however that wherever the range includes the सूत्रम् (3-3-1) उणादयो बहुलम् the count of number of सूत्र-s does not include सूत्र-s in उणादि-subset, implicit in this सूत्रम्.

I am excited that I have put the अधिकारसूत्राणि mentioned by पं. ब्रह्मदत्त जिज्ञासु and their command-ranges as calculated in a single diagram. I wonder whether anybody has ever presented a pictorial view of अष्टाध्यायी with the specific context of अधिकारसूत्राणि. Here it is –

अष्टाध्याय्याः अधिकारसूत्राणां चित्रम्

शुभमस्तु !




(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 !