Learning Sanskrit by a fresh approach – Lesson 9

Learning Sanskrit by a fresh approach – Lesson 9

To start practising our structures for different types of words, let me take a simpler सुभाषितम् this time.
This style of understanding words by tabulated structures is yet another style of our learning the सुभाषितानि.
So, better to start with a simpler सुभाषितम्.
न कश्चिदपि जानाति किं कस्य श्वो भविष्यति ।
अतः श्वः करणीयानि कुर्यादद्यैव बुद्धिमान् ॥

We have to of course start with breaking the conjugations.

न कः-चित् अपि जानाति किम् कस्य श्वः भविष्यति ।
अतः श्वः करणीयानि कुर्यात् अद्य एव बुद्धिमान्
1. न
शब्द: शब्दस्य  जाति: शब्दार्थ:
अव्ययम् no, not, (does) not, do not
2. कः-चित् Here चित् is only a suffix which lends a meaning “…….ever” to different declensions of the pronoun किम् as detailed below.
शब्द: शब्दस्य  जाति: मूलशब्द: लिंगम् विभक्ति: वचनम् शब्दार्थ:
कः सर्वनाम किम् पु. प्रथमा एक. who

With this कः-चित् means “who-ever”

3. अपि
शब्द: शब्दस्य  जाति: शब्दार्थ:
अपि अव्ययम् also, even, at all
4. जानाति
शब्द: शब्दस्य  जाति: मूलधातु: गण: पदम् प्रयोजकेन ? प्रयोग: काल: वा अर्थ: वा पुरुष: वचनम् शब्दार्थ:
जानाति क्रियापदम् ज्ञा 9 प.* कर्तरी वर्तमानकाल: तृतीय: एक. knows
* The verb is actually उभयपदी Here, the declension जानाति is परस्मैपदी
5. किम्
शब्द: शब्दस्य  जाति: मूलशब्द: लिंगम् विभक्ति: वचनम् शब्दार्थ:
किम् सर्वनाम किम् नपुं. प्रथमा एक. what
6. कस्य
शब्द: शब्दस्य  जाति: मूलशब्द: लिंगम् विभक्ति: वचनम् शब्दार्थ:
कस्य सर्वनाम किम् पु. षष्ठी एक. whose
7. श्वः
शब्द: शब्दस्य  जाति: शब्दार्थ:
श्वः अव्ययम् tomorrow
8. भविष्यति
शब्द: शब्दस्य  जाति: मूलधातु: गण: पदम् प्रयोजकेन ? प्रयोग: काल: वा अर्थ: वा पुरुष: वचनम् शब्दार्थ:
भविष्यति क्रियापदम् भू 1 प. कर्तरी द्वितीय-भविष्यकाल: तृतीय: एक. will happen
9. अतः
शब्द: शब्दस्य  जाति: शब्दार्थ:
अतः अव्ययम् hence, therefore
10. श्वः already detailed at (7)
11. करणीयानि
शब्द: शब्दस्य  जाति: मूलशब्द: मूलधातु: गण: पदम् प्रयोजकेन ? प्रयोग: काल: वा अर्थ: वा लिंगम् विभक्ति: वचनम् शब्दार्थ:
करणीयानि “अनीय”-प्रत्ययान्तम् धातुसाधितं विशेषणम् करणीयम् कृ 8 उ. NA विध्यर्थः नपुं. प्रथमा बहु. (things) to do
12. कुर्यात्
शब्द: शब्दस्य  जाति: मूलधातु: गण: पदम् प्रयोजकेन ? प्रयोग: काल: वा अर्थ: वा पुरुष: वचनम् शब्दार्थ:
कुर्यात् क्रियापदम् कृ 8 प.* कर्तरी विध्यर्थः तृतीय: एक. should do
* The verb is actually उभयपदी as noted above for करणीयानि. Here, the declension कुर्यात् is परस्मैपदी
13. अद्य
शब्द: शब्दस्य  जाति: शब्दार्थ:
अद्य अव्ययम् today
14. एव
शब्द: शब्दस्य  जाति: शब्दार्थ:
एव अव्ययम् only
15. बुद्धिमान्
शब्द: शब्दस्य  जाति: मूलशब्द: लिंगम् विभक्ति: वचनम् शब्दार्थ:
बुद्धिमान् विशेषणम् बुद्धिमत् पु. प्रथमा एक. (the) intelligent (one)
Note, that बुद्धिमत् is an adjective formed from the noun बुद्धि: by using a suffix मत्. Since बुद्धि: means “intelligence” or “intellect” the suffix मत् lends an adjective meaning “having intellect” or “intelligent”
Let us now put the word-by-word meanings in the same order as they appear in the सुभाषितम्
न कः-चित् अपि जानाति किम् कस्य श्वः भविष्यति ।
अतः श्वः करणीयानि कुर्यात् अद्य एव बुद्धिमान्
No who-ever at all knows what whose tomorrow will happen.
Hence, tomorrow things to do should do today only (the) intelligent (one).
You must have fairly understood what the meaning of this सुभाषितम् is. Yet, to be able to paraphrase the meaning, we must put the words in proper syntax. There is a major difference in the rules of syntax in English and in Sanskrit.
In English, the common syntax is (1) subject (2) verb (3) indirect object (4)direct object (5) adverbs, etc.
In Sanskrit, the verb comes last. But this is not a very hard and fast rule. The methodology of using declensions of nouns, pronouns, adjectives and verbs make every word so self-sufficient and self-standing, that one can relate all words properly to each other, even without putting them in an ordained syntax.
It is this flexibility and freedom from rigid rules of syntax, which has made so much of poetry in Sanskrit possible !
To paraphrase the meaning in English, the meaning becomes –
Nobody at all knows, whose what will happen tomorrow.
Hence the intelligent one should do today only, things to do tomorrow.
One more interesting point !
When detailing the word बुद्धिमान्, although it is an adjective meaning “intelligent”, here it is used as a noun, in fact the subject. Hence when giving the meaning of बुद्धिमान्, I thought it better to add (the) and (one) in parenthesis, to indicate that the word is used as a noun. This is another liberty, which in Sanskrit, poets in particular would freely employ !
Similarly, the word करणीयानि is also adjectival. But here it is used as noun, the object of the verb कुर्यात्
Because Sanskrit is a refined language, every student of Sanskrit would imbibe such refinements of intelligence too !
A hint is enough to the intelligent one ! That seems to be the basic presumption of Sanskrit poets !
Isn’t this सुभाषितम् really simple ?
  1. Seven out of 15 words are indeclinables; words #1, 3, 7, 9, 10, 13, 14.  So, not much detailing of grammar. There again श्वः is repeated.
  2. Three words being declensions of one pronoun किम्
  3. Three verbs जानाति, भविष्यति and कुर्यात् and one verbal derivative करणीयानि
  4. Two words कुर्यात् and करणीयानि from one verb कृ
Message or moral of this सुभाषितम् is already well-known. There will be a proverb in almost every language, I guess. In English, “Don’t put it off tomorrow, what you can do today !” How good do we follow it however ?
Anyway, at least do not put off learning this verse by heart !
शुभमस्तु !
-o-O-o-

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