Learning Sanskrit by Verses – न नोननुन्नो नुन्नोनो

Learning Sanskrit by Verses – न नोननुन्नो नुन्नोनो

न नोननुन्नो नुन्नोनो ।

नाना नानानना ननु ।।

नुन्नोऽनुन्नो ननुन्नेनो ।

नानेना नुन्ननुन्ननुत् ।।

पदच्छेदाः पदाभ्यासाः अन्वयार्थाश्च । 

(1) नानानना ननु = नानाननाः ननु 

  • नानाननाः – नाना आननानि येषां ते नानाननाः (अनेकमुखयुक्ताः having many mouths इत्यर्थः) । अत्र संबोधन-बहुवचनम् “हे नानाननाः” Note, having many mouths means speaking variously.
  • नानाननाः Ye, who speak variously, 
  • ननु – अव्ययम् truly 

(2) न नोननुन्नो = न ना ऊननुन्नः 

  • न – अव्ययम् 
  • ना – नृ man पुं. 1/1 
  • ऊननुन्नः – ऊनेन नुन्नः इति ऊननुन्नः (तृतीया-तत्पुरुषः)।
    • ऊनेन ऊन वि. निकृष्ट, नीच 3/1 ऊनेन इति निकृष्टेन नीचेन ।
    • नुन्नः – नुद् इत्यस्य धातोः क्त-विशेषणम् नुन्न । अत्र पुं. 1/1 । विद्धः पराजितः harmed इत्यर्थः। नुद् 6 U. (नुदति-ते, नुत्त or नुन्न, प्रणुदति) 1 To push, push or drive on 
    • ऊननुन्नः = one who has been displaced by a lowly one.
  • न ना ऊननुन्नः = He is not a man, who is harmed by a low man 

(3) नुन्नोनो नाना = नुन्नोनः ना अना 

  • नुन्नोनः – नुन्नः ऊनः येन सः नुन्नोनः 
  • नुन्नोनः = one who has harmed a lowly, weaker person. 
  • ना – नृ man पुं. 1/1 
  • अना – न ना इति अना (नञ्-तत्पुरुषः) । अपुरुषः इत्यर्थः ।
  • ना अना = That man is not a man
  • नुन्नोनः ना अना = That man, who has harmed a lowly, weaker person is not a man

(4) नुन्नोऽनुन्नो न नुन्नेनो = नुन्नः अनुन्नः न नुन्नेनः 

  • नुन्नः – नुद् इत्यस्य धातोः क्त-विशेषणम् नुन्न । अत्र नुन्नः पुं. 1/1 । विद्धः पराजितः harmed इत्यर्थः।
  • अनुन्नः – न नुन्नः इति अनुन्नः (नञ्-तत्पुरुषः) । अविद्धः अपराजितः इत्यर्थः।
  • न – अव्ययम् not
  • नुन्नेनः – नुन्नः इनः यस्य सः नुन्नेनः। 
    • इनः – इन a. 1 Able, strong, powerful, mighty. -2 Bold, determined. -3 Glorious. – इनः 1 A lord, master. लोके भवाञ्जगदिनः कलयावतीर्णः Bhāg.10.70.27.  
  • न नुन्नेनः – one whose master is not harmed. 
  • नुन्नः अनुन्नः न नुन्नेनः – Even if wounded, he is unwounded, if his master is not harmed. 

(4) नानेना नुन्ननुन्ननुत् = न अनेनाः नुन्ननुन्ननुत् 

  • अनेनाः – न एनः यस्य सः अनेनाः (नञ्-बहुव्रीहिः) 
    • एनस् [इ-असुन् नुट् Uṇ.4.197] n. 1 Sin, offence, fault; 
    • अनेनाः – sinless, faultless 
  • न अनेनाः – not sinless, not faultless 
  • नुन्ननुन्ननुत् – 
    • नुन्नः च नुन्नः च इति नुन्ननुन्नः । अतिशयेन नुन्नः इत्यर्थः । 
    • नुन्ननुन्नम् नुदति इति नुन्ननुन्ननुत् = one, who harms one,
    • who is already very much wounded
    • नुत् = नुद् इत्यस्य धातोः शतृ-विशेषणम् नुत् 
  • न अनेनाः नुन्ननुन्ननुत् = one is not sinless, not faultless, if one harms one, who is already very much wounded

Overall Meaning सारांशतः 

नानाननाः = Ye, who speak variously, 

ननु = truly 

ऊननुन्नः ना न = He, who is harmed by a low man, is not a man. नुन्नोनः ना अना = he, who harms (or smarts over) a lowly person is (also) not a man.

ननुन्नेनः = one whose master is not harmed

नुन्नः (अपि) अनुन्नः = even if wounded, is not wounded.

नुन्ननुन्ननुत् = one, who harms one, who is already wounded

अनेनाः न = is not free of guilt. 


न नोननुन्नो नुन्नोनो (८ अक्षराणि) “न्नो नुन्नो” एतेषां मात्राः -१-२ 

नाना नानानना ननु (८ अक्षराणि) “नना न” एतेषां मात्राः १-२-१

नुन्नोऽनुन्नो ननुन्नेनो (८ अक्षराणि) “ननुन्ने” एतेषां मात्राः १-२-२

नानेना नुन्ननुन्ननुत् (८ अक्षराणि) “न्ननुन्न” एतेषां मात्राः १-२-१

प्रथमे पादे अपवादः अन्यथा अनुष्टुभ् छन्दः 

स्वाध्यायाः Notes of self-study  

(१) As is obvious, in the entire श्लोकः there is only one consonant न्, except त् at the end. Such alacrity in composing poetry is possible only in Sanskrit, not in any other language in the world. 

(२) This श्लोकः is १४ (चतुर्दश:) श्लोकः in १५ (पञ्चदशः) सर्गः in किरातार्जुनीयम् by महाकविः भारविः of the fifth century. In किरातार्जुनीयम् there are 1040 श्लोकाः which are in 18 सर्गाः of the महाकाव्यम्. The incident किरातार्जुनीयम् is detailed in महाभारतम् in just 84 श्लोकाः of 39 th एकोनचत्वारिंशोऽध्यायः in कैरातपर्व a part of वनपर्व. To compose a poetry as long as 1040 श्लोकाः based on an incident narrated in the original in just 84 श्लोकाः is itself a matter of poetic genius. That is why भारविः is regarded as a महाकविः.  

Even the 84 श्लोकाः long composition in महाभारतम् itself seems to be long, because the gist of the incident is that 

  1. अर्जुनः had gone hunting and had shot a wild boar. 
  2. When he reached the boar, he found the boar having been hit by two arrows. 
  3. Just when he was wondering about the second arrow, a tribal hunter appeared. 
  4. An argument ensued about the rightful owner of the kill. 
  5. But it was time for अर्जुनः to do his prayer. He took some mud, prepared a शिवलिङ्गम्, offered a flower and bowed with folded hands and eyes closed. 
  6. When he opened his eyes, there was no flower on the शिवलिङ्गम्. 
  7. On looking around, he noticed that the flower had adorned शिव in person, who had come there in the disguise of a tribal hunter.  
  8. शिव was pleased at अर्जुनः not defaulting in his self-adopted routine of prayers, even in the situation of an argument with an adversary. शिव blessed him with पाशुपतास्त्रम्. 

So the incident can be summarised in just 8 sentences. But there are 84 श्लोकाः in महाभारतम् and 1040 श्लोकाः in किरातार्जुनीयम्. 

(३) Certainly, one life is not enough to study what all ancient literature is available in Sanskrit. 

Also it is not that the poetic genius is found only in the Sanskrit literature of ancient past. Recently Prof. Madhav Deshpande posted on his FaceBook page, his 17-stanzas long poem on कल्याणमित्रचरणौ शरणं प्रपद्ये in वसन्ततिलका meter. He had composed that poem, when he was just 20 !  He also composed over the last 2-3 years 1000+ “Krishna” verses in अनुष्टुभ् meter. 

You get into Sanskrit, Sanskrit gets into you. 

(४) Coming to the श्लोक:, which we are studying, if there is to be a rating question “Is the श्लोक: beautiful ?”, I guess, the ratings, the श्लोक: would get, would be in a wide range from “poor” to “best”. First of all, it is not very easy to recite it from memory without any error. The meaning and message, which it wants to convey is very noble and valuable. But does it get conveyed smoothly ? If the purpose of language is to convey a meaningful thought, should not the language be simple and easy to grasp ? But it is granted to poets that they have the liberty to express their thoughts indulging in whatever linguistic jugglery they would choose. निरङ्कुशाः कवयः. 

(५) Words in the श्लोक: are such that their usage in the vast Sanskrit literature seems to be rather rare.  

  • ना as पुं. 1/1 of नृ and its antonym अना
  • इनः i.e. master 
  • नुन्न क्त-कृदन्तम् of नुद्. Note धातुः नुद् has a wide range of meanings, also extended meanings. 
    • In Apte’s dictionary नुद् 6 U. (नुदति-ते, नुत्त or नुन्न, प्रणुदति) 1 To push, push or drive on 
    • Extended meanings can be to displace, to dis-pose, i.e. to remove from position, to disturb, to harm, to wound, to defeat, 
    • In धातुपाठः नुद् णुदँ प्रेरणे (to inspire) तुदादिः, ०६.०००२ उभयपदी, सकर्मकः, अनिट्  
    • नुद् णुदँ प्रेरणे (to inspire, to urge) तुदादिः, ०६.०१६२ परस्मैपदी, सकर्मकः, अनिट्  
  • एनः i.e. guilt  
  • It seems नुत् as शतृ-कृदन्तम् of नुद् is formatted with some liberty from Sanskrit grammar. Should it be नुदत् ? 

() The complete line नुन्नः अनुन्नः ननुन्नेनः brings to mind the anecdote of कर्णः suffering the sting of a bee, but tolerating that suffering, because he did not want sleep of his गुरुः श्रीपरशुरामः to be disturbed. “A person, even if wounded, is not wounded, if his इनः i.e. master is not disturbed.” So, the line is not just hypothetical. There have been many leaders, especially military commanders, such as the Maratha King छत्रपति शिवाजी महाराज or नेताजी सुभाषचन्द्र बोस who enjoyed undeterred faith of their lieutenants and soldiers, readiness to die for the master’s word, “His Master’s Voice (HMV)”. 

(७) It seems that the address phrase नानानना ननु can also be translated by the colloquial idiom, “whatever one may say, the fact remains that …”. 

(८) The phrase ऊननुन्नः ना न “.. one is not a man, if defeated by a lowly person ..” seems to be one with double meaning. The commander can use this to undermine the enemy as being weak and in turn enthuse his army to fight the war with enhanced confidence. But undermining your adversary may not always be a good strategy, as is well depicted in Charlie Chaplin’s film “The Champion”. 

Even in गीता having enumerated to द्रोणाचार्यः the great warriors in both camps, दुर्योधनः is not sure whether his huge army अपर्याप्तम् बलम् is adequate पर्याप्तम् or अपर्याप्तम् to fight against the limited पर्याप्तम् army of पाण्डवाः. His army was larger in the ratio of 11:7. But the strength of an army is not just in numbers. 

The phrase ऊननुन्नः ना न “.. one is not a man, if defeated by a lowly person ..” premises the adversary to be low. Is the premise justified ? The proverbial wisdom is “success is its own reward”. It is the success, which endorses, who is weak, who is strong.   

(९) I have ended up rediscussing many phrases, bringing out more shades of their meanings. Now the श्लोक: becomes more and more appealing, right ? In fact richness of meaning is said to be the specialty of the poetry of महाकविः भारविः. 

(१०) There is a श्लोक: summarising specialties of poetries of four great poets ⇒ 

उपमा कालिदासस्य भारवेरर्थगौरवम् 

दण्डिनः पदलालित्यं माघे सन्ति त्रयो गुणाः 

  • कालिदासः is well known for उपमा similes and metaphors, 
  • भारविः is well known for अर्थगौरवम् richness of meaning 
  • दण्डी is well known for पदलालित्यम् the metrical rhythm, melodiousness  
  • माघः is well known for all three 

(११) The previous श्लोक: भूरिभिर्भारिभिर्भीरा- was from शिशुपालवधः by महाकविः माघः in the 7th or 8th century. शिशुपालवधः is an epic poem of about 1800 highly ornate stanzas in 20 sargas, and is considered one of the पञ्चमहाकाव्यानि. It is also known as the माघकाव्यम् after its author. So, by the study of the two श्लोकौ we have got a glimpse of the poetic genius of महाकविः माघः and महाकविः भारविः.

We also studied श्लोकः “वागर्थाविव संपृक्तौ …” from कुमारसम्भवम् and “नन्वात्मानं बहु विगणयन् …” from मेघदूतम् by महाकविः कालिदासः (See verse #37 and #53 in the playlist “Learning Sanskrit by Verses”.) Note, कुमारसम्भवम् and मेघदूतम् are also two of the पञ्चमहाकाव्यानि. 

Let me see which श्लोक: from the fifth महाकाव्यम् नैषधीयचरितम् by महाकविः हर्षः or which श्लोक: from काव्यादर्शः by महाकविः दण्डी I can study. 

शुभमस्तु !


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