Learning Sanskrit by Fresh Approach – Lesson No. 111

Learning Sanskrit by Fresh Approach – Lesson No. 111
संस्कृतभाषायाः नूतनाध्ययनस्य एकादशाधिकशततमः (११) पाठः ।

In the previous lesson, mention was made of another सुभाषितम् which is a conversation between शिव and पार्वती and starts with कस्त्वं. The सुभाषितम् is as follows –

कस्त्वं शूली मृगय भिषजं नीलकण्ठः प्रियेऽहं
केकामेकां वद, पशुपतिर्नैवदृश्ये विषाणे ।
मुग्धे स्थाणुः, स चरति कथं, जीवितेशः शिवाया
गच्छाटव्यामिति हतवचाः पातु वश्चन्द्रचूडः ।।

संधिविच्छेदान्कृत्वा –

कः त्वं शूली मृगय भिषजं नीलकण्ठः प्रिये अहं
केकाम् एकां वद, पशुपतिः न एव दृश्ये विषाणे ।
मुग्धे स्थाणुः, सः चरति कथं, जीवितेशः शिवायाः
गच्छ अटव्याम् इति हतवचाः पातु वः चन्द्रचूडः ।।

अन्वयेन –

  1. (पार्वती पृच्छति) कः त्वं ? (शिवः उत्तरति) (अहं) शूली (अस्मि) ।
    • पार्वती asks, “Who is that ?” Shiva replies, “I am शूली”.
      • This word शूली has two meanings –
        1. शूली = one who carries शूल, the trident
        2. शूली = one suffering from pain, typically headache
  2. (पार्वती सूचयति) मृगय भिषजं Taking the second meaning of शूली, Parvati suggests, “Go, find a doctor”.
    • मृगय – “मृग्” इति चुरादि (10) आत्मनेपदी धातुः । मृग अन्वेषणे (मृग् = to find, to hunt for)। तस्य लोट्-आज्ञार्थे मध्यमपुरुषे एकवचनम् ।
    • भिषजम् – “भिषज्” (= a physician, a doctor) इति पुंल्लिङ्गि नाम । तस्य द्वितीया विभक्तिः एकवचनम् च ।
  3. (शिवः स्मारयति) प्रिये अहं नीलकण्ठः (अस्मि) । – Shiva reminds, “Oh dear ! I am नीलकण्ठः
    • नीलकण्ठः grammatically means ‘one whose neck is blue’. This again lends two interpretations.
      1. Shiva is known as नीलकण्ठः, because his neck turned blue after consuming the poison, which came out during the churning of the ocean by Gods and demons.
      2. नीलकण्ठः becomes an apt adjective for a peacock
  4. (पार्वती सूचयति) एकां केकाम् वद – Taking the second meaning, Parvati suggests, “Can you please demonstrate one note of the peacock ?’ The note emitted by a peacock is called as केका.
  5. (शिवः स्मारयति) (अहं) पशुपतिः (अस्मि) । – Shiva then reminds, “I am पशुपति”
    • पशुपतिः also has two connotations
      1. Shiva is पशुपति, because he is considered to be the lord of all animal-world
      2. पशुपति also refers to the supreme among four-legged animals, especially as नंदी carrier of Shiva
  6. .(पार्वती आलोचनं करोति) विषाणे दृश्ये न एव । –
    • Considering the second meaning, Parvati observes, “How come I do not see horns (on you) ?”
    • Literally, विषाणे दृश्ये न एव = Horns are not in sight at all.
      • दृश्ये – “दृश्” इति भ्वादि (1) परस्मैपदी धातुः । दृशिर् प्रेक्षणे (दृश् = to see) । तस्मात् नपुम्सकलिङ्गि नाम दृश्य (= sight, what is in sight) । तस्य सप्तमी विभक्तिः एकवचनं च ।
  7. (शिवः स्मारयति) मुग्धे (अहं) स्थाणुः (अस्मि) । –
    • Shiva wonders, “Why is she so confused ?” and reminds saying, “I am स्थाणुः”. But स्थाणुः again has different meanings, two popular ones being
      1. स्थाणु is an epithet of Shiva
      2. स्थाणुः means something, which is rock-solid, a pillar
    • मुग्धे – “मुह्” इति दिवादि (4) तथा रधादि (7) परस्मैपदी धातुः । मुह वैचित्ये (मुह् = to be confused) । तस्मात् भूतकालवाचकं विशेषणम् अत्र स्त्रीलिङ्गी गि “मुग्धा” (= one, who is confused) । तस्य संबोधनप्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनं च
  8. (पार्वती आलोचनं करोति) सः चरति कथं ?
    • Taking the second meaning, Parvati asks, “How then are you moving about ?”
  9. (शिवः स्मारयति) (अहं) शिवायाः जीवितेशः (अस्मि) ।
    • Shiva almost gives out his own name, saying, “I am the very life of शिवा”. But शिवा still has different meanings –
      1. शिवा means Parvati, the spouse of शिव.
      2. शिवा also means a jackal in general, the Sami tree, yellow grass, etc.
  10. (पार्वती सूचयति) अटव्याम् गच्छ
    • Taking the meaning of शिवा as jackal, Parvati suggests, “Go to the jungle”.
  11. इति हतवचाः चन्द्रचूडः वः पातु । – May the Lord चन्द्रचूडः (= who wears the moon on his head), so defeated in the debate, (yet) protect us !!

Notes –

  1. Even when the poet is narrating how Shiva was defeated in the debate by Parvati, finally he prays for protection by Shiva, This seems to be in a vein that the poet as a devotee would consider himself to be a friend of the Godhood and would have the liberty to narrate a funny incident that happened with his friend. Friendship is considered to be one of nine ways of doing devotion to God. Even in श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता अर्जुन pleads, सखेति मत्वा प्रसभं यदुक्तं हे कृष्ण हे यादव हे सखेति (See 11-41)
  2. The meter of this verse is मन्दाक्रान्ता
    • There are 17 syllables in each quarter
    • लक्षणपदम् –  मन्दाक्रान्तांबुधिरसनगैर्मो भनौ तौ गयुग्मम्. Hence गण-s are म, भ, न, त, त, ग, ग.
  3. The verse is beautiful specimen of poetry, focusing on alternate meanings of words.
    • In Shiva calling Parvati as मुग्धें, the poet has resorted to the figure of speech of irony विरोधाभास. It is not Parvati, who is confused. She is provoking Shiva to declare in unambiguous words, who He is.
  4. It is also a good example of a rule in effective communication, that communication should employ words which have clarity of meaning.
  5. By getting Shiva to state, who He is, in so many ways, the poet has also presented various facets of Shiva’s caricature.
  6. All in all, the verse is a good, highly enjoyable specimen of Sanskrit poetry.
  7. This verse also underscores a good precept that Goddesses are also as intelligent and smart as the Gods, if not smarter. Intelligence has no gender-bias. Rightly hence is the diktat in मनुस्मृति – यत्र नार्यस्तु पूज्यन्ते रमन्ते तत्र देवताः । Gods enjoy and bless the place, where women are respected.

शुभमस्तु ।


16 thoughts on “Learning Sanskrit by Fresh Approach – Lesson No. 111

  1. Considering the second meaning, Parvati observes, “How come I do not see horns (on you) ?”
    Literally, विषाणे दृश्ये न एव = Horns are not in sight at all.
    दृश्ये – “दृश्” इति भ्वादि (1) परस्मैपदी धातुः । दृशिर् प्रेक्षणे (दृश् = to see) । तस्मात् नपुम्सकलिङ्गि नाम दृश्य (= sight, what is in sight) । तस्य सप्तमी विभक्तिः एकवचनं च ।

    Good comment, but bad in grammar.

    It simply chides, पशु-s have horns and why they are not visible in their leader पशुपति – a great bull?

    दृश्य means sight, a scene, but it can be that is visible also. विषाणे न दृश्ये – the two horns are not visible (if you are पशुपति – the great bull?).

  2. मुग्धें – “मुह्” इति दिवादि (4) तथा रधादि (7) परस्मैपदी धातुः । मुह वैचित्ये (मुह् = to be confused) । तस्मात् भूतकालवाचकं विशेषणम् अत्र स्त्रीलिङ्गी गि “मुग्धा” (= one, who is confused) । तस्य संबोधनप्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनं च

    Beautiful analysis. But the essence of the poetic use of the word is escaped.

    मुग्धः सुन्दरमूढयोः इति विश्वः । and particularly in addressing the beautiful women,

    स्वीया च मुग्धा मध्या च प्रगल्भेति त्रिधा मता। मुग्धा नववयः कामा रतौ वामाल्पकृद्यथा ।। २७ ।

    It has different connotation in poetry. Generally O darling will convey the idea, than O confused, or fool?

    1. Note the use of स्निग्धां मुग्धाम् –

      नारायणीयम् – Dashaka 81

      स्निग्धां मुग्धां सततमपि तां लालयन् सत्यभामां
      यातो भूय: सह खलु तया याज्ञसेनीविवाहम् ।
      पार्थप्रीत्यै पुनरपि मनागास्थितो हस्तिपुर्यां
      सशक्रप्रस्थं पुरमपि विभो संविधायागतोऽभू: ॥१॥


      1. Thanks Dr. Bhat for a good verse, which also brings out the affectionate aspect of the meaning of मुग्धा.
        The letter स at the beginning of the last line seems to spoil the meter मन्दाक्रान्ता, adding an extra syllable, making total 18 syllables instead of 17. The beginning VarNa is becoming laghu, whereas in all other lines it is Guru.
        Maybe, it is not required also.

  3. सः चरति कथं ?
    Taking the second meaning, Parvati asks, “How then are you moving about ?”

    I think the translation is wrong. How a staff the immovable peg स्थाणु moves? is the literal translation. Or you have to make it स भवान् कथं चरति। how you immobile pillar do move?

  4. ०१०२-१ संध्यां यत्प्रणिपत्य लोकपुरतो बद्धाञ्जलिर्याचसे
    ०१०२-२ धत्से यच्च नदीं विलज्ज शिरसा तन्नाम सोढं मया ।
    ०१०२-३ श्रीर्यातामृतमन्थने यदि हरिं कस्माद्विषं भक्षितं
    ०१०२-४ मा स्त्रीलंपट मां स्पृशेति गदितो गौर्या हरः पातु वः । ।

  5. चन्द्रचूडः वः पातु । – May the Lord protect us !!

    Should it not mean: protect YOU, since वः is the vaikalpika accusative plural of the second-person pronoun (युष्मद्‌)?
    Since the norm is to express the desire that the Lord may protect us, the word न: would look better there : पातु नश्चन्द्रचूडः , not that there is anything wrong with वः , it could be the case of a guru telling his pupils the verse and wishing that the Lord protect them.

      1. Not only good, but correct one. Variable with युष्मान्, वः, since protect needs an accusative case, as पातु is transitive, it should take an object, obviously it is वः।

        though वः can take any of षष्ठी-चतुर्थी-द्वितीया ending in plural for युष्मत्.

        And it need not be any Guru, but it can be the poet himself. There is no entrance for Guru in the context unless wanted for, who wishes well being of his readers by reading the poem.

  6. “In Shiva calling Parvati as मुग्धें ” — Here is a nitpick. While you have written the word ‘mugdhe’ correctly elsewhere, in note #3 the word is inadvertently nasalized and Dr Bhat has cut-pasted the error in a comment; thus it gets repeated here on the post’s webpage.

    And Dr Bhat has remarked that your translation of “स चरति कथं” in मुग्धे स्थाणुः, सः चरति कथं is wrong. I found a paatha-bheda of that line on the net, wherein Shiva’s ‘मुग्धे स्थाणुः’ is countered with ‘न वदति तरु:’ .
    स्थाणुर्मुग्धे न वदति तरुर्जीवितॆशः शिवाया

    – dn

    1. Thanks for another good reading and noting the typo error..

      Not much difference in the context. In both, स्थाणु means

      a stump , stem , trunk , stake , post , pile , pillar (also as symbol of motionlessness) RV. &c. &c.

      N. of shiva (who is supposed to remain as motionless as the trunk of a tree during his austerities) MBh. K‚v. &c. (RTL. 63)

      and not a complete tree, as the word तरु suggests. The motionlessness or inactive state has been metaphorically used in both case, to get the other meaning taunting Shiva.

  7. Here is a query for Abhyankar Kaka or Dr Bhat or any other reader of this blog. Which of the following two is correct : एतद्‌ मम मित्रं (नाम्न:) शिव: OR एष शिव:, मम मित्रम्‌ OR both ? Whichever you choose, there is the somewhat awkward neuter-masculine combo in it.

    These days I hear people use words like सचिवा, पाचिका and I think they are good words. But my dictionary (Deosthali’s) shows सचिव, पाचक to be masculine words only, and Kalidas has indeed used a masculine word to refer to a woman. He doesn’t say गृहिणी **सचिवा** सखी मिथ: ; तत्र ‘सचिव:’ इति पुंलिंग-शब्द: अस्ति, presumably because in K’s day, the word ‘सचिव’ was just masculine. Today secretaries tend to be women, so सचिवा has been a welcome addition to the language.

    Here I see हतवचा: as the masc. nom. sing. of हतवचस्‌ , but वचस्‌ is a neuter word, so why not use its neuter nom. sing. हतवच: ? I am not saying at all that हतवचा: is wrong or uncomfortable or jarring. To me it sounds fine. One could also cite the neuter मित्रम्‌ changing to masculine in a सामान्य-नाम – विश्वामित्र: ; but ‘हतवचस्‌’ is
    just a descriptor/adjective here of Shiva, just as ‘सचिव’ is the description of Indumati.

    1. Simple answer is that the case and gender system is different from English and the difference here is is the compound formation. While मित्रम् can be used as it is fixed in gender, and with relation to meaning, conventionally, मित्रम् – means friend, while in masculine gender it is used to denote मित्रः a Vedic deity, or Sun in general. And it is never used to denote the reverse. In the case of compound, it would be used in masculine to denote the sage विश्वामित्र, and otherwise it would be विश्वमित्रम् the friend for all. This is according to Panini, in the case of मित्र. But it is different in the case of सचिव which is usually in masculine gender, grammatical gender in contrast to the sex based gender of English. Hence गृहिणी सचिवः both both are correct. The grammatical genders are fixed, by their derivation while the sex based gender is also fixed with the sex of the person it is related. In English, there is no gender for neuter nouns, other than common gender.

      But Sanskrit makes use of both the systems, and little complicated for modern usage. They are generally governed by लिङ्गानुशासन in grammar and नामलिङ्गानुशासन like Amarakosha, which traditionally guide the learners. Modern Dictionaries record as they are given in the traditional Lexicons and indicate m/f/n for common genders used as adjectives or otherwise, or the fixed genders governed by Grammar.

      Compounds are also governed by grammatical rules according to the compound formation like other derived words, primary or secondary ones according to their derivation.

      If ignoring these, people use otherwise, it is Spoken Sanskrit and need not be governed by every minute detailed regulations of Grammar. So your question is generally replied. In case any specific query, it can be replied specifically based on Paninian Grammar. I emphasis on Paninian System as I am not well versed with the other post Paninian and pre Paninian Systems. Even Paninian System may not approve of it, the form might have been approved by other Systems.

    2. Here I see हतवचा: as the masc. nom. sing. of हतवचस्‌ , but वचस्‌ is a neuter word, so why not use its neuter nom. sing. हतवच: ?

      Specific reply is that the difference in compound formation between बहुव्रीहि and तत्पुरुष and अव्ययीभाव.

      Now, coming to your question, it is well fitting to mean शिव, who had his reply blocked, हतं वचो यस्य सः – it will take as an adjective, the gender of the noun it qualifies due to the same agreement of gender. हतवचाः in the masculine. It will be the same form in feminine gender also. हतवचाः पार्वती. but in neuter only it will take हतवचः, which is not in agreement with the gender शिव. This is because of its being बहुव्रीहि compound, acting like the adjectival clause in English. But there is no need of agreement of gender. If it were qualifying शिवम् = auspiciousness or welfare, in which the word is used in neuter gender, हतवचः शिवम् will have agreement. but not any meaning apparently.

      In तत्पुरुष compound, it is always governed by the gender of the second(last) word and by itself denote the second member only in this case and not used as an adjective. And it will mean only blocked speech only and will not qualify शिव by itself.

      In other single words also, both sex based gender system and grammatical gender system are used as I have already mentioned. The change or deviation is common in modern spoken form of Sanskrit as I have noticed and hence no need of asking the approval of Grammar.

  8. Thanks, Dr Bhat, for the explanation. By the way, I had made a mistake in my last comment. When I wrote: ‘सामान्य-नाम – विश्वामित्र:’, I meant to say : ‘विशेष-नाम – विश्वामित्र:’ .

    And while I take it that in spoken modern (current) Sanskrit, both sentences below would be correct, I wonder which one (or none or both) is correct according to Paninian Grammar.
    1) एतद्‌ मम मित्रं शिव: [एतद्‌ मम मित्रं (नाम्न:) शिव:]
    2) एष शिव:, मम मित्रम्‌

  9. Both are correct. Only the predicative part changes.

    “This is my friend शिव”. Both may be used to give the same meaning.

    Or in the alternative,

    You can have two dependent clauses.

    1. This is my friend. [He/who is] Shiva.
    2. This is शिव [He/who is] my friend.

    Depends on the intention of the speaker. Even without splitting into clauses/phrase, it means the same thing. I don’t see any difference, than construing the sentence according to the context. The context may change accordingly, and the reply

    It may be a simple introduction, This is my friend Shiva, (then the completion will be – please meet him. According to English circumstances).

    Or a reply to either of the questions:

    Who is this? or Who is your friend? Accordingly, the emphasis may be changed by changing the order.

    Only context decides which should take the emphasis, to decide the meaning, (though equally are grammatically correct sentences). This is in view of the modern languages communication, that we are familiar. In Sanskrit classical, one has to carefully study the order of syntax and some studies are there made, which are meant for linguists only. For our usage, we can follow the convention of daily communication in our familiar languages as Sanskrit grammar does not govern the syntactic order, but only the relations by the case-endings. Like, Go means, a command implies, you go and no other agent or Subject is needed, for I person and II person, no mention of the agent/subject is needed for the completion of the sentences.

    गच्छाटव्याम् – means you go and no other subject is needed. त्वं गच्छ, or गच्छ means the same thing. Similarly, कस्त्वम् itself construes the question, and no other verb is needed. It will be only असि orभवसि only and no other verb or no other forms of these two verbs or any verb of existence. But in the case of III person, it is not so, it may refer to any other person than युष्मद् and युष्मद् and hence a Subject is needed, usually a pronoun or a noun in the प्रथमपुरुष. This makes Sanskrit different from the other language communication systems. In total, the verb governs the Predication part including the Subject.

    Sorry for the lengthy reply as the question is not to be answered within the Paninian frame work. It has a different field dealing with Sentences and Syntax, Nyaya, Mimamsa and in Grammar itself a detailed work वाक्यपदीय as the name itself suggests the subject dealing with the sentences and the words in them by Bhartrhari.

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