Learning Sanskrit in distance learning mode
Towards the end of Lesson 2, there were two “good sayings” द्वे सुभाषिते given for committing to memory. One was
पुस्तकस्था तु या विद्या परहस्तगतं धनम् ।
कार्यकाले समुत्पन्ने न सा विद्या न तद्धनम् ॥
“Knowledge which stays in a book and money which is in hands of another person, that knowledge and that money is neither knowledge nor money, when time for action would arise (when occasion would demand).”
Another one summarising essential qualities for success was –
उद्यमः साहसं धैर्यं बुद्धिः शक्तिः पराक्रमः ।
षडेते यत्र वर्तन्ते तत्र देवः सहायकृत् ॥
To take our study of Sanskrit further, we shall study the words in the first verse.
First, to split the conjugations, there is only one conjugation तद्धनम् in the first verse.
Splitting a conjugation is called as “sandhi-vicCeda” सन्धिविच्छेद ।
तद्धनम् = तत् + धनम्
पुस्तकस्था तु या विद्या परहस्तगतं धनम् ।
कार्यकाले समुत्पन्ने न सा विद्या न तत् धनम् ॥
Let us now study all the words and their meanings in the first verse.
पुस्तकस्था = staying in a book
तु = only
या = which
विद्या = knowledge
परहस्तगतं = in hands of others
धनम् = wealth
कार्यकाले = time for action or time of doing job
समुत्पन्ने = having arisen
न = no
सा = that
विद्या = knowledge
न = no
तत् = that
धनम् = wealth
It can be seen that the the words need to be rearranged into a syntax so that we can understand the meaning of the sentence properly. Rearranging into a syntax is called as “anwaya” अन्वय. Before writing the syntax, it is not known, which word will come first. So, meanings are given without using capital letters. Syntax is also written without using capitals. Anyway, devanaagaree script does not need capitals and hence has no capitals. General impression given is that the English alphabet has only 2 letters. But with the capitals, it becomes 52!!
“which knowledge only staying in a book, wealth in hands of others, time of doing job having arisen, that no knowledge, that no wealth.”
या विद्या तु पुस्तकस्था, धनम् परहस्तगतम्, कार्यकाले समुत्पन्ने, सा न विद्या, तत् न धनम् ।
It can be noticed that there is no verb. The meaning would become clearer, if we introduce the verb, which is implicit. We shall do it first in the syntax in English.
“which knowledge (is) only staying in a book, wealth (is) in hands of others, time of doing job having arisen, that (is) no knowledge, that (is) no wealth.”
There are two indeclinables अव्यये (Note that the word “avyaye” is used here in dual mode, because there are two indeclinables) तु and न.
The two words विद्या and धनम् have been already studied. Lets us now study the other words. Since we have already practiced reading the grammar in Sanskrit, we shall now write all grammar only in Sanskrit.
In the words here, we find a new part of speech, the adjective “visheShaNam” विशेषणम् Note that gender of pronouns and adjectives will vary and shall be the same as of the nouns, which they qualify. Hence the gender shall be stated in the second part of the grammar of each word.
या = यत् इति सर्वनाम । तस्य स्त्रीलिंगे प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनम् च ।
पुस्तकस्था = पुस्तकस्थ इति विशेषणम् । तस्य स्त्रीलिंगे प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनम् च ।
परहस्तगतम् = परहस्तगत इति विशेषणम् । तस्य नपुंसकलिंगे प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनम् च ।
कार्यकाले = कार्यकाल इति पुल्लिंगी सामान्यनाम । तस्य सप्तमी विभक्तिः एकवचनम् च ।
समुत्पन्ने = समुत्पन्न इति विशेषणम् । तस्य नपुंसकलिंगे सप्तमी विभक्तिः एकवचनम् च ।
सा = तत् इति सर्वनाम । तस्य स्त्रीलिंगे प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनम् च ।
In the above words, meanings of पुस्तकस्था, परहस्तगतम्, कार्यकाले are rather longish. This is because there are more than one parts in each word. These are compound words. Compound words is another charming speciality of Sanskrit. As mentioned earlier in Lesson 1 itself, compounding of words helps to make long-winding phrases into single words. Compound words also have to be deciphered. Deciphering compound words is called as “samaasa-vigraha” समासविग्रह ।
We should understand something more about the word समुत्पन्न. It is the past passive participle hence an adjective विशेषणम् It is the past participle, derived from the verb सम् + उत् + पत्. Here सम् and उत् are prefixes attached to the main verb पत् (१ प. पतति, पतित) meaning “to fall”.
Proper understanding of any quotation thus proceeds generally in the following order.
(1) Split the conjugations “sandhi-vicCeda”, सन्धिविच्छेद,
(2) arrange the syntax “anwaya” अन्वय
(3) decipher the compound words “samaasa-vigraha” समासविग्रह,
(4) study the grammar “vyaakaraNam” व्याकरणम् of all words. This will reveal the root words. We can find in the dictionary only the root words.
(5) find the meanings of words, “arthashodha” अर्थशोध
I started with the last step first, to save you the trouble of finding the meanings in a dictionary. But, dictionary-habit is a very, very interesting habit, which should be devoutedly cultivated. There again, if it is a dictionary, such as the one by Shri. Waman Shivram Apte, it makes every study-session, so engrossing a study!!
Let us get back to deciphering the three compound words पुस्तकस्था, परहस्तगतम्, कार्यकाले. What should be deciphered should be primarily the root words.
Root word is पुस्तकस्थ. There are two parts “pade” अत्र द्वे पदे सन्ति। पुस्तक and स्थ
पुस्तक is a common neuter noun, meaning “book”
स्थ is a suffix derived from a verb स्था (१ प. तिष्ठति, स्थित) meaning ” to stay”.
Since a suffix is not a wholesome word, it cannot be found in the dictionary. In deciphering a compund ending with a suffix, the meaning of the suffix has to be explained by all the meaning, which the suffix connotes. पुस्तकस्थ = staying in a book, यत् पुस्तके तिष्ठति तत् ।
The part of a compound such as a suffix, which is not a wholesome word, is called as a sub-part, “upa-pada” उपपद Compounds having one part, which is only a sub-part, are a class by themselves. Class-name of such compounds is “upapada tatpuruSha” उपपद तत्पुरुष
Obviously, compounds are of different classes. We shall study them, one by one, as we proceed.
परहस्तगतम् root word is परहस्तगत. There are three parts पदानि in this word पर + हस्त + गत
To decipher a compound, we have to consider them in pairs. Before deciphering a compound, we have to know the meaning of each word. Let us take the first pair.
पर is an adjective or an adjectival noun, meaning “the other”.
हस्त is a common noun of masculine gender, meaning “hand”
Every pair of words when compounded have a relation between them, relation leading to their together meaning.
This pair परहस्त connotes the meaning “other’s hand”. The relationship is of genitive case, the case, which shows ownership or a relationship of belonging, “hand belonging to the other”. So deciphering of this pair should bring out the genitive case. The deciphering विग्रह is hence stated as परस्य हस्तः = परहस्तः This compound is of the class षष्ठी तत्पुरुष
Since this part of the first pair is well understood, we can take it as one पदम् And we can now proceed to consider the next pair as परहस्त and गत
गत is an adjective, actually a past passive participle, derived from the verb गम् (१ प. गच्छति, गत) meaning “to go”. Hence गत means “gone”.
The relationship between परहस्त and गत is of locative case, the case, which shows location or place. Deciphering the compound should bring out the locative case, “gone into other’s hand”. विग्रह would hence be stated as परहस्ते गतम् This compound is of class सप्तमी तत्पुरुष.
Complete deciphering of the total word परहस्तगतम् is hence परस्य हस्ते गतम् meaning “gone into other’s hand”
कार्यकाले root word is कार्यकाल There are two parts द्वे पदे, कार्य + काल.
कार्य means “action”
काल means “time”
The relationship between कार्य and काल should give the meaning “time for action”. This becomes dative case, the case connoting purpose. विग्रह would hence be stated as कार्याय कालः This compound is of class चतुर्थी तत्पुरुष.
In deciphering the three compound words पुस्तकस्था, परहस्तगतम् and कार्यकाले we came across four classes of समासाः viz. उपपद तत्पुरुष, षष्ठी तत्पुरुष, सप्तमी तत्पुरुष and चतुर्थी तत्पुरुष. Obviously, तत्पुरुष is a main category and this main category has sub-classes.
We shall study all main categories of समासाः and their sub-classes in due course.
For the present, on to the next verse.
First, to split the conjugations, there is only one conjugation षडेते in the second verse.
षडेते = षट् + एते.
उद्यमः साहसं धैर्यं बुद्धिः शक्तिः पराक्रमः ।
षट् एते यत्र वर्तन्ते तत्र देवः सहायकृत् ॥
There is only one compound word सहायकृत् having two parts द्वे पदे, सहाय + कृत्.
Here also कृत् is a suffix derived from the verb कृ (८ उ. करोति – कुरुते, कृत) meaning “to do”.
सहाय = help.
कृत् = doer. सहायकृत् = one who gives help. As mentioned earlier deciphering or explanation of a उपपद तत्पुरुष समास has to be a longish explanation, detailing the meaning of the उपपद. Hence, the deciphering would be stated as सहायम् करोति इति सहायकृत्
We shall see meanings and grammar of all the words.
उद्यमः = industriousness, उद्यम इति पुल्लिंगी सामान्यनाम । तस्य प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनम् च ।
साहसं = adventurousness साहस इति नपुंसकलिंगी सामान्यनाम । तस्य प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनम् च ।
धैर्यं = boldness धैर्य इति नपुंसकलिंगी सामान्यनाम । तस्य प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनम् च ।
बुद्धिः = intelligence बुद्धि इति नपुंसकलिंगी सामान्यनाम । तस्य प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनम् च ।
शक्तिः = strength शक्ति इति नपुंसकलिंगी सामान्यनाम । तस्य प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनम् च ।
पराक्रमः = fighting quality, bravery इति नपुंसकलिंगी सामान्यनाम । तस्य प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनम् च ।
षट् = six संख्यावाचकं विशेषणात्मकं सामान्यनाम । तस्य प्रथमा विभक्तिः बहुवचनम् च ।
एते = these एतद् इति सर्वनाम । तस्य प्रथमा विभक्तिः बहुवचनम् च ।
यत्र = where उभयान्वयी अव्ययम् ।
वर्तन्ते = are वृत् (१ आ. वर्तते, वृत्त) धातुः । तस्य वर्तमानकाले तृतीये पुरुषे बहुवचनम् ।
तत्र = there उभयान्वयी अव्ययम् ।
देवः = God देव इति पुल्लिंगी सामान्यनाम । तस्य प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनम् च ।
सहायकृत् = helpful as already explained above. पूर्वमेव स्पष्टीकृतम् ।
In these two verses, we come across another part of speech, the verbs. These have been detailed as
स्था (१ प. तिष्ठति, स्थित) meaning ” to stay”
Here स्था is the root verb called as dhaatuH धातुः ।
Every root verb is classified in one or more of total ten classes (called as gaNa गण), numbering from 1 to 10. The number in the paranthesis details the gaNa of the dhaatuH. This dhaatuH sthaa धातुः स्था is of class 1, i.e. of prathama-gaNa प्रथमगण.
Declensions of a verb are influenced by tense or mood कालेन अर्थेण वा , person – first, second or third, प्रथमः द्वितीयः वा तृतीयः पुरुषः and numbers – one, two or many एकवचनम्, द्विवचनम् अथवा बहुवचनम्.
For different verbs, the declensions also follow either a parasmaipadee परस्मैपदी pattern or an aatmanepadee आत्मनेपदी pattern or ubhayapadee उभयपदी, i.e. both parasmaipadee and aatmanepadee patterns. The applicable pattern(s) is indicated by letters प. or आ. or उ. For example स्था (१ प.) indicates that the verb is of प्रथमगण and follows parasmaipadee pattern.
For a better understanding of the verb, in the dictionary one also finds
(i) its declension in present tense, third person, singular वर्तमानकाले तृतीयपुरुषे एकवचनम् and
(ii) the past passive participle of the verb कर्मणि भूतकालवाचकं धातुसाधितं विशेषणम्.
So the verb स्था is detailed as स्था (१ प. तिष्ठति, स्थित)
In like manner, other verbs have detailed as –
गम् (१ प. गच्छति, गत) meaning “to go”
सम् + उत् + पद् (४ आ. समुत्पद्यते, समुत्पन्न) meaning “to arise”,
वृत् (१ आ. वर्तते, वृत्त) meaning “to be”
कृ (८ उ. करोति – कुरुते, कृत) meaning “to do”
It can be noted that the word समुत्पन्न is past participle of the verb सम् + उत् + पद् There are two prefixes here. सम् and उत् Without the prefixes the basic root verb is पद् (४ आ. पद्यते, पन्न) meaning “to obtain”.
The prefix सम् usually lends a meaning “comprehensively” and the prefix उत् lends a meaning “upwards”. So, सम् + उत् + पद् would mean comprehensively get upwards, i.e. arise.
By a review of the three lessons, it can be noticed that
(1) We first got acquainted with the alphabet the varNamaalaa वर्णमाला. This helps us to start reading a Sanskrit text.
(2) We have also studies following parts of speech.
(a) nouns नामानि mainly common nouns मुख्यतः सामान्यनामानि We have not yet dealt with proper nouns विशेषनामानि तु न चर्चितानि
(b) pronouns सर्वनामानि
(c) verbs धातवः
(d) indeclinables, अव्ययानि which include adverbs क्रियाविशेषणानि and conjunctions संबंधसूचकानि and interjections उद्गारवाचकानि
(e) adjectives विशेषणानि
We shall certainly see all the types of indeclinables as we proceed.
(3) We have also seen importance of sandhi-vicCeda सन्धिविच्छेदाः, anwaya अन्वयः and samaasa-vigraha समासविग्रहाः as the steps necessary to understand a verse.
(4) We are also building up sizeable diction of Sanskrit words.
To proceed further let us see whether we can make sense of a commonplace conversation of a teacher seeking introduction of students in a new class.
आचार्यः – नमो नमः ।
विद्यार्थिनः – आचार्य वन्दामहे ।
आचार्यः – उपविशन्तु भवन्तः ।
अद्य वयं संस्कृतभाषायां संभाषणं कर्तुं कस्यचित् अभ्यासस्य प्रारंभं कुर्मः ।
यत्कदापि अस्माकं नवागतेन सह मिलनं भविष्यति, तदा यथाविधः वार्तालापः भविष्यति, तस्य अभ्यासं कुर्मः ।
प्रथमतः भवन्तः सर्वे स्वकीयं परिचयं ददन्तु ।
(एकं विद्यार्थिनं प्रति अङ्गुलिनिर्देशं कृत्वा आचार्यः पृच्छति “किं तव नाम ?”)
सर्वैः विद्यार्थिभिः क्रमेण “मम नाम “_ _ _ _ _” अस्ति” एवं परिचयः दातव्यः ।
And as usual, a couple of “good sayings” द्वे सुभाषिते
शरदि न वर्षति गर्जति वर्षति वर्षासु निस्वनो मेघः ।
नीचो वदति न कुरुते न वदति सुजनः करोत्येव ॥
सुजनो न याति वैरं परहितनिरतो विनाशकालेऽपि ।
छेदेऽपि चन्दनतरुः सुरभयति मुखं कुठारस्य ॥
Now for self-study स्वाध्याय,
1. write English translation of the above conversation.
2. Read and commit to memory the two “good sayings” given above. सुभाषिते पठन्तु
3. Split the conjugated words सन्धिविच्छेदान् कुर्वन्तु
4. Try to study grammar of all new words