Learning Sanskrit by a fresh approach – Lesson 10

Learning Sanskrit by a fresh approach – Lesson 10

I would like to take up a couplet, which for grammar of each word is fairly simple. Also, I am calling it as a couplet and not a सुभाषितम्. For the present, I shall request you to first read this lesson through and then say, whether it should be called a सुभाषितम् or not.
इन्द्रो वायुर्यमश्चैव नैर्ऋतो मध्यमस्तथा ।
ईशाश्च कुबेरश्च अग्निर्वरुण एव च ॥

First breaking the conjugations –
इन्द्र: वायु: यम: च एव नैर्ऋतः  मध्यम: तथा ।
ईशान: च कुबेर: च अग्नि: वरुण: एव च ॥

Some preliminary observations –

1. Four times च, twice एव and one तथा – These are all indeclinables.
2. Balance all are nouns, all masuline, singular and in first case.
3. No verb.
4. Does this verse make any sentence at all ? What is this verse then ?
Let us get on with the word-by-word study.
1. इन्द्र: = Indra, said to be the presiding deity of the easterly direction
2. वायु: = wind, one of eight “Vasu”s, one of the five fundamental elements, said to be the presiding deity of  north-westerly direction
3. यम: = Yama, god of death, god of righteousness,

3.1 Yama blessed Kunti with son YudhiShThira, also known as dharma-rAj in recognition of his steadfast righteousness
3.2 Yama is considered to be younger brother of deity Saturn, both considered to be sons of Sun God
3.3 Yama is considered to be the presiding deity of Southern direction. Sleeping with one’s feet towards south is supposed to be disrespectful to Yama and hence is supposed to invite scourge of Yama, which has dreadful consequence of death. Scientifically, it is said sleeping with one’s feet towards south is said to be unhealthy due to adverse effect of earth’s magnetism.

4. च = and, an indeclinable
5. एव = also, an indeclinable
6. नैर्ऋतः = one of eight “Vasu”s, presiding deity of south-westerly direction
7. मध्यम: = the middle one
8. तथा = so also, an indeclinable, often used also as a conjunction connecting with a sub-clause starting with यथा
9. ईशान: = name of Shiva, one of eight “Vasu”s, presiding deity of North-easterly direction.

The convention may have some correlation with the fact that KailAsh mountain and MAnas sarovar, which are supposed to be the abodes of Shiva are in north-east of India.

10. च  see # 4
11. कुबेर: = God of wealth, one of eight “Vasu”s, presiding deity of north direction
12. च = see # 4
13. अग्नि: = fire, one of the five fundamental elements, presiding deity of south-easterly direction, one of eight “Vasu”s
14. वरुण: = God of rains, one of eight “Vasu”s, presiding deity of western direction
15. एव  see # 5
16. च see # 4


Since all nouns are masculine, first case, singular, I thought it okay not to put in any tabulations.

Now let me put in all the names in a 3×3 tabulation, putting in the names at the direction, of which the respective name is the presiding deity. Along side, I shall also put the serial number of the order, in which the names appear in the shloka.
2 वायु: 7 कुबेर: 6 ईशान:
9 वरुण: 5 मध्यम: 1 इन्द्र:
4 नैर्ऋतः 3 यम: 8 अग्नि:

Now look just at the numbers. Numbers in all rows, columns and diagonals sum up to 15.

Wow ! This shloka is a solution to a 3×3 magic square !

This is a solution not just for the numbers from 1 to 9. Take any set of nine successive integers. Put them at places in the order of this shloka. Let us try numbers from 26 to 34

27 32 31
34 30 26
29 28 33
Sums of numbers in all rows, columns and diagonals is now 90, obviously because each number is more by 25 than the numbers 1 to 9. So, total is more by 3×25 i.e. by 75.
I guess, this can be extended to a magic square of 9×9, i.e. for 81 successive integers, first 9 integers to be placed in easterly square of 3×3 in the order of the shloka, next nine numbers to be placed in the north-westerly 3×3 square, not mistaking the order in which the numbers have to be put.

Since this shloka is a solution for a mathematical puzzle, it should now be acceptable, that there is no verb, no sentence. Yet it makes a statement, a very, very positive, powerful a statement !!

If anyone still has doubts of what treasure of knowledge is enshrined in Sanskrit verses, this verse is just a fleeting glimpse !
By the way, I first came across this verse, maybe some forty-odd years back, in a monthly Marathi magazine “AmRut”. I could learn it by heart in just one reading, just because of it being a solution of a mathematical puzzle ! Different people have different interests and the memories also work accordingly, right ?
But this verse should appeal to all people alike, irrespective of age, I guess.

Please go ahead and memorise this verse !

This verse is ascribed to…, whom else…, LeelAvati, daughter of famous mathematician BhAskarAchArya ! 

By the way, this verse is  a solution to odd-numbered (multiples of 3) magic square ! How I wish that there is some श्लोक giving solution to any magic square !

शुभमस्तु |

Learning Sanskrit by a fresh approach – Lesson 8

Learning Sanskrit by a fresh approach – Lesson 8

Here is an interesting सुभाषितम् very onomatopoetically composed. Also it displays the flight of imagination of the poet. He leaves it to the reader to draw the moral.

रात्रिर्गमिष्यति भविष्यति सुप्रभातम् ।
भास्वानुदेष्यति हसिष्यति पंकजश्रीः ।
इत्थं विचारयति कोषगते द्विरेफे ।
हा हन्त हन्त नलिनीं गज उज्जहार ॥

Let us start with our study – phrase by phrase, word by word.

रात्रिर्गमिष्यति = रात्रि: गमिष्यति

रात्रि: = Night
गमिष्यति = will pass


भविष्यति = will be or will become
सुप्रभातम् = good morning

भास्वानुदेष्यति = भास्वान् उदेष्यति

भास्वान् = one who has splendour; sun भाः + वत्
भाः = splendour
त् A Suffix which helps to make a derived noun, meaning “having”. Here भाः + वत् becomes a derived noun, with meaning “having splendour” One common place example is the word भगवान्
उदेष्यति = will rise

हसिष्यति पंकजश्रीः

हसिष्यति = will smile


पंकज = पंके जायते इति पंकजम्

पंक = mud
पंके = in mud

ज = जायते = is born; grows

ज is a sufffix which is used to render a meaning “born of” or “born at” or “is born”

पंकजम् = that which grows in mud = lotus
श्रीः = glory

पंकजश्रीः = पंकजस्य श्रीः, षष्ठी तत्पुरुष समास glory of lotus

इत्थं विचारयति कोषगते द्विरेफे

इत्थं = thus
विचारयति = thinking; विचारयति is masculine, seventh case singular of विचारयन् a present active participle, derived from the causative of the verb वि + चर्

कोषगत: = कोषे गत:, सप्तमी तत्पुरुष समास
कोषे = into the treasure, into the bosom
गत: = gone This is masculine first case singular of the past passive participle of root verb म्
कोषगते = having gone into the treasure


द्विरेफ: = द्वौ रेफौ यस्य सः, बहुव्रीही समास
द्वौ = two
रेफौ = I struggled with the meaning of रेफ One would not find it in a dictionary. It was very kind of Mr. P. G. Kulkarni and Mr. Krishnanad Mankikar to explain that द्विरेफ means a black bee. Sanskrit word which can be found in a dictionary is भ्रमरः As can be seen, this word has two ‘र’-s in it. रेफ means this ‘र’-कार ! So, द्विरेफ means “one, who has two ‘र’-कार-s n its name ! Ooph ! Poetry even in coining a new word !

This phrase इत्थं विचारयति कोषगते द्विरेफे merits special attention. Three words विचारयति कोषगते द्विरेफे are all in seventh case सप्तमी. This style of composition makes the phrase, a sub-clause. The meaning of these words is not to be taken by their meaning in seventh case.

This style of composing a clause is called in Sanskrit grammar as सति सप्तमी. Here

सति suggests locative case of verbal derivative क. व. धा. वि. (= कर्तरी वर्तमानकालवाचकम् धातुसाधितम् विशेषणम्) e.g. विचारयति and

सप्तमी suggests locative case of corresponding subject of that verb, e.g. द्विरेफे

Here we have कोषगते also in सप्तमी because it is the adjective of द्विरेफे.

As a phrase, the meaning becomes, “(as) the black bee had gone into the bosom and was thinking..” or “(as) the bee, which had gone into the bosom, was thinking..”


हा हन्त हन्त नलिनीं गज उज्जहार


हा हन्त हन्त = interjection, mostly to express sadness, or meaning “alas !”
नलिनीं = नलिनीम् Second case singular of नलिनी meaning “lotus”, rather “a full-grown lotus”
गज उज्जहार = गज: उज्जहार

गज: = elephant

उज्जहार = uprooted, This is declension in past tense, third person, singular of root verb उत् +  हृ meaning “to uproot”

The overall meaning becomes –

As the bee, which had gone into the bosom (of a lotus), was thinking…
“..night will pass and good morning will dawn,
sun will rise and glory of (this) lotus will smile..”
Oh God ! an elephant uprooted the lotus !!

Moral ?

Never think that things will work out the way you would like. The bee possibly thought that it will have all the time of passing of night until sunrise and opening of the petals of the lotus, all that time, to enjoy the nectar at the bosom of the lotus to its heart’s content. But alas, an elephant came along and uprooted the lotus itself !!
Man proposes, God disposes !!
Never do over-indulgence; always take risk-factors also into account.
Thanks again to Mr. Kulkarni for adding also an explanation, that “the bee could have bored its way out. But it was more thoughtful not to hurt the lotus. Behaviour of the elephant was rough, not so considerate as of the bee.”
However, I also read a comment, that the elephant uprooted the lotus to offer it to Goddess LakShmee !
Uhmmm …! The poet sets people to start thinking further, right ?

I had another idea also in mind, in taking up this सुभाषितम्. In these four lines we have गमिष्यति, भविष्यति, उदेष्यति, हसिष्यति, विचारयति, गते, उज्जहार all verb-forms – either declensions or participles. Even the suffix ज in पंकज has a derivation from a verb.

Of these गमिष्यति, भविष्यति, उदेष्यति, हसिष्यति are all declensions in future tense, third person, singular of different root verbs म्, भू, त्, स्

विचारयति is masculine, seventh case singular of विचारयन् a present active participle, derived from the causative of the verb वि + चर्

गते is masculine, seventh case, singular of past passive participle गत of root verb म्

उज्जहार is declension in past tense, third person, singular of root verb उत् +  हृ

Verbs in Sanskrit become a subject of interesting, but very comprehensive study. It is possibly no exaggeration to say that Sanskrit owes much of its charm for how one can play around with verbs ! Prominently,

1. A root verb is called as धातु
2. Verbs in Sanskrit are of ten classes called as गण
3. Some verbs may belong to more than one गण-s
4. The patterns of declension are of two types, called as परस्मैपदी  and आत्मनेपदी
5. When a धातु has declension of both patterns परस्मैपदी and  आत्मनेपदी it is called as उभयपदी
6. Declensions of verbs are influenced by tense or mood, person and number
7. There are ten tenses and moods –

(For ease of understanding given below for each type is third person singular form of the verb भू)
the tenses are seven

Present Tense वर्तमाने लट्
Three types of Past Tense भूते

लुङ् called as “Aorist” by grammarians. This is not in common use. Example is अभूत्
लङ् (अनद्यतनः भूतकालः) e.g. अभवत्
लिट् (परोक्षभूतकालः) e.g. बभूव

Three types of Future Tense भविष्यतः

लुट् e.g. भविष्यति
लृट् e.g. भविता
लृङ् e.g. अभविष्यत्

and the moods are three

Imperative Mood वेदे लोट् Imperative mood is for giving an order, e.g. भवतु
Mood typically indicated by “should” in English विधौ लिङ् e.g. भवेत्
Mood of benedictions, benevolent wishes and blessings as indicated by “May God bless you” in English आशिषे लेट् e.g. भूयात्

8. There are three persons – first person (I, we) second person (you), third person (he-she-it, they)
9. Numbers are three – singular, dual, plural
In the dictionary, one will usually find a verb identified as follows –
धातु: गण: पदम् वर्त. तृ. पु. एक. क. भू. धा. वि.
1 म् 1 प. गच्छति गत
2 भू 1 उ. भवति भूत
3 त् + इ 2 उ. उदेति-ते उदेषित
4 स् 1 प. हसति हसित
5 वि + चर् (प्रयोजक) 1 प. विचारयति विचारित
6 त् +  हृ 1 उ. उद्धरति-ते उद्धृत

In the above table

प. = परस्मैपदी
उ. = उभयपदी
वर्त. तृ. पु. एक. = वर्तमाने तृतीय-पुरुषीयम् एकवचनम्

क. भू. धा. वि. = कर्मणि-भूतकालवाचकम् धातुसाधितम् विशेषणम्

There are many adjectival and adverbial derivatives obtained from verbs.
1. Past passive participles such as गत
2. Present active participles such as विचारयन्
3. Adjectives obtained from verbs धातुसाधित विशेषण by using suffixes य तव्य अनीय
4. Infinitive obtained by using suffix तुम्
5. Adverbial derivatives obtained by using suffix त्वा e.g. गत्वा means “upon going”

In Sanskrit, words are formed

1. by declension of nouns, pronouns and adjectives influenced by gender, case and number 

2. by declension of verbal roots influenced by tense or mood. voice, causative, person and number
3. by declension of adjectival derivatives obtained from verbs
And there are of course the
4. indeclinables – among them adverbs, conjunctions and interjections
5. adverbial derivatives obtained from verbs, which also are indeclinables.
For doing word-by-word study we can use five structures to present a study of words of these five types.

For example we can see a presentation of words in this सुभाषितम् in the following manner.

शब्द: शब्दस्य  जाति: मूलशब्द: लिंगम् विभक्ति: वचनम् शब्दार्थ:
रात्रि: सामान्यनाम रात्रि स्त्री. प्रथमा एक. night
शब्द: शब्दस्य  जाति: मूलधातु: गण: पदम् प्रयोजकेन ? प्रयोग: काल: वा अर्थ: वा पुरुष: वचनम् शब्दार्थ:
गमिष्यति क्रियापदम् म् 1 प. कर्तरी लुट्’-भविष्यकाल: तृतीय: एक. will go, will pass
शब्द: शब्दस्य  जाति: शब्दार्थ:
इत्थम् अव्ययम् In this manner, thus
शब्द: शब्दस्य  जाति: मूलशब्द: मूलधातु: गण: पदम् प्रयोजकेन ? प्रयोग: काल: वा अर्थ: वा लिंगम् विभक्ति: वचनम् शब्दार्थ:
विचारयति क. व. धा. वि. विचारयन् वि + चर् 1 प. म् = Yes कर्तरी वर्तमान पु. सप्तमी एक. when thinking

In the table for विचारयति please note क. व. धा. वि.कर्तरी वर्तमानकालवाचकम् धातुसाधितम् विशेषणम्

Wow! We already have structures for four of the five types of words in Sanskrit !
And what a study !
Do not these structures give a very satisfactory and confidant feeling that “well, the सुभाषितम् is really thoroughly understood !” ?
As an exercise, you can compile a study of all the other words !
शुभमस्तु |


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 !

Learning Sanskrit by a Fresh Approach – Lesson 7

Learning Sanskrit by a Fresh Approach – Lesson 7

This time, I would like to take a longish verse.
रामो राजमणिः सदा विजयते रामं रमेशं भजे ।
रामेणाभिहता निशाचरचमू रामाय तस्मै नमः ॥
रामान्नास्ति परायणं परतरं रामस्य दासोऽस्म्यहम् ।
रामे चित्तलयः सदा भवतु मे भो राम मामुद्धर ॥

Before proceeding with exploring the meaning of this verse, some interesting features of this verse –
1. Of course this verse is an ode to Lord RAma. This verse is from a long enough स्तोत्रम् known as श्रीरामरक्षास्तोत्रम्

2. Looking at the poetry of it,

Every line has 19 syllables – exactly 19

Weightages of the 19 syllables in every line are 2-2-2, 1-1-2, 1-2-1, 1-1-2, 2-2-1, 2-2-1, 2

This pattern of weightages makes the verse of a meter called as शार्दूलविक्रीडितम्

This meter is very popular with poets, especially those composing verses to express best wishes to a couple, when the marriage ceremony is being performed, typically when they would have put garlands on each other.

3. In this verse there are two distinct sentences in each line. So, to explore the meaning of this verse, we have to understand just 8 simple sentences. That’s it.

Let us start off by the set methodology of exploring phrase by phrase, word by word.

रामो राजमणिः = राम: राजमणिः

राम: = (Lord) RAma
राजमणिः = राजानाम् मणिः
राजानाम् = of kings
मणिः = jewel
राजानाम् मणिः = jewel among kings

सदा = always

विजयते = is victorious  

रामो राजमणिः सदा विजयते = RAma, the jewel among kings is always victorious

रामं = रामम् = to RAma

रमेशं = रमेशम्

रमेशम् = रमेश: –> तम्  –> रमेशम्
रमेश: = रमायाः ईशः (षष्ठी-तत्पुरुष- समासः)
रमायाः = of RamA रमा is the name of wife of ViShNu
ईशः = Lord
रमायाः ईशः = Lord of RamA, hence ViShNu

भजे = I am devoted to, or I do devotion to.
रामं रमेशं भजे = I do devotion to RAma, (hence) to Ramesha (i.e. to ViShNu)
One may ask, how doing devotion to RAma becomes devotion also to ViShNu. The logic lies in the mythology of incarnations of ViShNu. Among ten incarnations (दशावताराः) of ViShNu, RAma is regarded as the seventh. So, mythologically, ViShNu is the supreme deity, which undertook ten incarnations in the order – मत्स्य, कूर्म, वराह, नृसिंह, वामन, परशुराम, राम, कृष्ण, बुद्ध, कल्कि
When I deliberate on this mythology of दशावताराः to me it appeals to be the theory of evolution of life. When the globe was cooling down, and migratory life form had to emerge, it could have emerged only in the more congenial environment of water and not on the terrains. So first incarnation is मत्स्य, the fish. Next is कूर्म, the turtle, which could move both in water and on ground; yet more in water than on ground. Third वराह the rhino, who loves watery surroundings, but moves on ground of shallow waters. Fourth is नृसिंह, half lion (सिंह), half human (नृ). Fifth वामन, human, rather dimunitive. Sixth परशुराम, human, but rather savage, uncultured. Seventh राम, the ideal human. Eighth कृष्ण, adept at the ways of the world. Ninth बुद्ध, the exalted, self-realised soul. Tenth कल्कि where good and evil coexist.
Associated with this mythology of दशावताराः is also the concept of passage of time, the four Yuga’s – कृत त्रेता द्वापार कलि. Incarnation of RAma is said to belong to कृत-युग Not much detail seems to have been mentioned about त्रेतायुग The incarnation of कृष्ण is said to belong to द्वापारयुग. Present times are of कलियुग, where good and evil coexist, rather times, when good is always challenged by the evil.

Learning Sanskrit is not just for learning a language. It is also a learning of what can be or what should be the cultured way of life. The language is a refined language and its literature speaks of refined life, of cultured life. Knowledge of Sanskrit is hence essential, certainly in कलियुग. It will be the real beacon to meet the challenges of the evil without compromising the refined thoughts and conduct.

भजे is also an interesting word. From भजे we have the noun भजनम्, which has two meanings – (1) a song of devotion (2) to sing a song of devotion.

By this connotation, भजे means not just “I do devotion”, but “I do devotion by singing a song of devotion”.

This word भजे is a declension of the root verb भज् meaning “to do devotion”. From this verb भज् there is another noun, भक्तिः which means “devotion”. One can do devotion in any of nine ways. नवविधा भक्तिः Doing devotion by singing a song of devotion i.e. by भजनम् is one of nine ways नवविधा भक्तिः There is a verse summing up all the nine ways of नवविधा भक्तिः Maybe, we can discuss that verse sometime later.

Presently on to the next phrase.

रामेणाभिहता = रामेण + अभिहता
रामेण = by RAma
अभिहता = consummately killed, destroyed
A little study on both these words –
रामेण = by RAma
It may be noticed that in the first sentence राम: was the subject. So the root word राम was in subjective or nominative case, which is called as first case प्रथमा विभक्तिः.
In the second sentence, the word was “रामम् = to RAma” in object case or accusative case, which is called the second case, द्वितीया विभक्तिः
Here we have it as “रामेण = by RAma” in instrumental case, which is called as the third case, तृतीया विभक्तिः

I guess, you got a good hint of why this verse is chosen for this lesson! Two sentences in each line, each sentence presenting cases first, second, third  etc. of the root word राम, all in perfect order and every line perfectly in शार्दूलविक्रीडितम् meter !

अभिहता = consummately killed, destroyed. The meaning “consummately” comes from the prefix अभि. There is a large number of prefixes, which can be prefixed to different words to get a range of shades of meaning of that word. The prefixes उपसर्गाः or उपपदानि not only help to get a range of shades of meaning, but do it so crisply, just by a prefix. We have that in most languages also, e.g. eject, reject, inject, project, adject(ive), abject

निशाचरचमू = निशाचरचमू:

निशाचरचमू: = निशा + चर + चमू:
निशाचर =  Here we have a suffix चर attached to the word निशा.
The suffix चर is derived from the verb चर meaning “to move, to move about, to roam”. The suffix such as चर lends the meaning of capability to do the action of the meaning of the verb. So suffix चर means capable of roaming.

निशा = night

निशाचर = निशायाम् चरति इति capable of roaming in the night, ghost, nocturnal being. All राक्षसा: of army of रावण had such capability. They were निशाचरा:.

चमू: = army
निशाचरचमू: = निशाचराणाम् चमू: A compound of षष्ठी तत्पुरुष type. Army of nocturnal beings, capable of roaming in the night.

रामेणाभिहता निशाचरचमू: = Army of nocturnal beings was consummately destroyed by RAma.

This sentence is in passive voice. The passive voice is rendered by अभिहता which is a past passive participle from the verb अभि + हन्
This is another speciality of Sanskrit, that participles derived from verbs can do the function of verbs, such that a formal verb need not be visible.

रामाय तस्मै नमः

रामाय = unto RAma. This is declension of राम in the dative case, the fourth case चतुर्थी विभक्तिः

तस्मै = unto that This is declension of a pronoun तत् the indicative pronoun meaning “that”, again in the fourth case. Because this pronoun qualifies the noun राम, both the noun and the qualifying pronoun (or adjective) have to be in the same case, here the fourth case.
नमः = bowing.

रामाय तस्मै नमः = bowing  (I bow) unto that RAma. Here, “that” hints also to that RAma who destroyed army of nocturnal beings.

रामान्नास्ति = रामात् न अस्ति

रामात् = from RAma, than RAma. This is declension of राम in the ablative case, the fifth case पञ्चमी विभक्तिः
न = not. An indeclinable used to render negative.
अस्ति = is

परायणं  = परायणम् = परम् अयम् A compound of type कर्मधारय . In the compounded word न of अयम् becomes ण. Hence परायणम् from परम् अयम्. There are rules for all such minute variations. We shall not go into all that at this stage. It is mentioned here just for information. Our focus shall be in understanding the meaning, than understanding all the grammar.

परम् = the other
अयम् = the action of going, destination, recourse
परतरं = परतरम् Adjective of comparative degree from the root adjective पर. तर is the suffix which renders the comparative degree of an adjective. The superlative degree is rendered by  suffix रामान्नास्ति परायणम् परतरम् = There is no better recourse than RAma.

रामस्य दासो स्म्यहम् = रामस्य दासः अस्मि अहम्

रामस्य = of RAma रामस्य is declension of राम in the sixth i.e. genetive case षष्ठी विभक्ति:
दासः = servent
अस्मि = (I) am
अहम् = I
रामस्य दासः अस्मि अहम् = I am servent of RAma

रामे चित्तलय: सदा भवतु मे

रामे = at RAma. रामे is declension of राम in the seventh i.e. locative case सप्तमी विभक्ति:

चित्तलय: = चित्तस्य लय: A compound of षष्ठी तत्पुरुष type
चित्तस्य = of mind
लय: = resting
सदा = always
भवतु = may be, may stay

मे = for me or of me

रामे चित्तलय: सदा भवतु मे = Resting of my mind may always be at RAma or For me, resting of mind may always be at RAma.

भो राम मामुद्धर = भोः राम माम् उद्धर

भोः = an interjection to back a call “Oh” or “Eh”

राम = address to RAma to mean “Eh RAma” राम as हे राम is declension of राम in  address case संबोधन-विभक्ति:

माम् = to me
उद्धर =  (please) uplift

भो राम मामुद्धर = भोः राम माम् उद्धर = Oh RAma, please uplift me !

RAma, the jewel among kings is always victorious I do devotion to RAma, (hence) to Ramesha (i.e. to ViShNu)
by singing a song of devotion
Army of nocturnal beings was destroyed by RAma I bow unto that RAma
There is no better recourse than RAma I am servent of RAma
Resting of my mind may always be at RAma Oh RAma, please uplift me !

Isn’t that a good prayer ? It brings out all the ardent feelings a devotee would have towards one’s object or idol or deity of devotion.

The prayer does so by employing declensions of the word राम in all eight cases – first to seventh and also the address case !

Actually a noun such as राम will have declensions not only by cases but also by number. In Sanskrit, numbers are three – singular, dual, plural called as एकवचनम् द्विवचनम् बहुवचनम्

Since राम is a masculine noun having अ vowel ending, it would be good to have a look at the declensions of  अ-कारान्त पुल्लिंगी नाम such as बाल meaning “boy”

विभक्ति: एकवचनम् द्विवचनम् बहुवचनम्
प्रथमा बाल: बालौ बाला:
द्वितीया बालम् बालौ बालान्
तृतीया बालेन बालाभ्याम् बालै:
चतुर्थी बाला बालाभ्याम् बालेभ्य:
पञ्चमी बालात् बालाभ्याम् बालेभ्य:
षष्ठी बालस्य बालयो: बालानाम्
सप्तमी बाले बालयो: बालेषु
संबोधन हे बाल हे बालौ हे बाला:

You will notice that all the declensions of राम conform to the patterns of declension of बाल. We have five other words all अ vowel ending, masculine nouns अ-कारान्त पुल्लिंगी नाम in this lesson itself.

Can you find them and list them here ? ______ , ________ , ________ , _______ , _______Pattern of declensions of अ-कारान्त neuter नपुंसकलिंगी nouns are quite similar to those of अ-कारान्त masculine nouns, except in first, second and address cases.

Let us see declensions of अ-कारान्त neuter नपुंसकलिंगी noun बालक meaning “a child”

विभक्ति: एकवचनम् द्विवचनम् बहुवचनम्
प्रथमा बालकम् बालके बालकानि
द्वितीया बालकम् बालके बालकानि
तृतीया बालके बालकाभ्याम् बालकै:
चतुर्थी बालका बालकाभ्याम् बालकेभ्य:
पञ्चमी बालकात् बालकाभ्याम् बालकेभ्य:
षष्ठी बालकस्य बालकयो: बालकानाम्
सप्तमी बालके बालकयो: बालकेषु
संबोधन हे बालक हे बालके हे बालकानि
We also have some अ-कारान्त neuter नपुंसकलिंगी nouns here in this lesson. Let me give out one – वचन meaning “mention, talk, oath”.

Can you find three more and list them here ? ________ , _________ , _________

Corollary to the masculine बाल and neuter बालक there would be the feminine noun बाला, meaning “a girl”. This is of course having vowel ending आ So, it is आकारांत स्त्रीलिंगी नाम. Let us see declensions of this also !

विभक्ति: एकवचनम् द्विवचनम् बहुवचनम्
प्रथमा बाला बाले बाला:
द्वितीया बालाम् बाले बाला:
तृतीया बाया बालाभ्याम् बालाभि:
चतुर्थी बालायै बालाभ्याम् बालाभ्य:
पञ्चमी बालायाः बालाभ्याम् बालाभ्य:
षष्ठी बालायाः बालयो: बालानाम्
सप्तमी बालायाम् बालयो: बालासु
संबोधन हे बाले हे बाले हे बाला:
We also have some आकारांत feminine स्त्रीलिंगी nouns in this lesson.
Can you find three more and list them here ? ________ , _________ , _________
We can have an interesting exercise of composing some simple sentences :-

1. We already have a simple sentence. “I am a servant.” Can you write that again ? _____  ______ ______ |

2. In the same manner you can write “I am a boy.” ______  ______  ______ | “I am a girl.” ______ ________ _______ |

3. Let us use a simple verb वदति (singular) वदतः (dual) वदन्ति (plural) and compose sentences –
1 A boy speaks ______ ______ |
2 Two boys speak ______ ______ |
3 Boys speak ______ ______ |
4 A child speaks ______ ______ |
5 Two children speak ______ ______ |
6 Children speak ______ ______ |
7 A girl speaks ______ ______ |
8 Two girls speak ______ ______ |
9 Girls speak ______ ______ |

Doesn’t it feel great to be able to compose sentences in Sanskrit ?

Before closing,
(a) अ-कारान्त masculine पुल्लिंगी nouns in the lesson were – रमेश, ईश, मत्स्य, कूर्म, वराह, नृसिंह, वामन, परशुराम, राम, कृष्ण, बुद्ध, अभिहत (adjective), निशाचर, राक्षस, दास, परतर (adjective) तत्पुरुष, पुरुष, समास and लय
(b) अ-कारान्त neuter नपुंसकलिंगी nouns in the lesson were – भजन, अभिहत (adjective), परायण, अयन, परतर (adjective), चित्त, वचन
(c) आकारांत feminine स्त्रीलिंगी nouns in this lesson were – रमा, अभिहता (adjective), निशा,
Declensions of all the above nouns and adjectives shall follow the given patterns.
Note, adjectives and pronouns will always have gender, case and number matching with gender, case and number of the noun, which they qualify. Hence they will have declensions accordingly. This rule is also given by a verse !
यल्लिङ्गं यद्वचनम् या च विभक्तिर्विशेष्यस्य
ल्लिङ्गं तद्वचनम् सा च विभक्तिर्विशेषणस्यापि

An example of this rule is in रामाय तस्मै both the pronoun and noun are in masculine, fourth case, singular

शुभमस्तु |


Learning Sanskrit by a Fresh Approach – Lesson 6

Learning Sanskrit by a Fresh Approach – Lesson 6

In previous lessons, the style was to put words from a given glossary into an order. The order in which to put the words was also planned by me. The idea was to get the verse to emerge almost naturally or automatically.
We can now try a different approach of developing the capability of exploring meaning of any new verse.
Let us see how this approach will work. Let us try with this verse –
अयं निजः परो वेति गणना लघुचेतसाम् । उदारचरितानां तु वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् ।
This method also will have a logical system. It will be step by step. Typically,
  1. We shall examine every phrase and every word.
  2. If there are any conjugations, we shall break them, so that we can see every word in its proper understandable form.
  3. If there are any compound words, we shall decipher them.
  4. Finally we shall put them all into a syntax, so that we can write down the full meaning properly.
अयं  = this one
निजः = related to oneself
परो वेति  = परः वा इति

परः = the other
वा = or
इति = like this

गणना = counting, consideration
लघुचेतसाम् =  लघुः चेत: यस्य सः –> ते –> तेषां –>

लघुः = small
चेत: = mind, heart, thinking
यस्य = whose
सः = he–> ते (= they)–> तेषां (= their) –> लघुचेतसाम्

लघुचेतसाम् = of those who have small mind (or heart or thinking)
उदारचरितानां = उदारम् चरितम् यस्य सः –> ते –> तेषां –>

उदारम् = broad-minded
चरितम् = heart, thinking, conduct of life
यस्य = whose
सः = he–> ते (= they)–> तेषां (= their) –> उदारचरितानाम्

उदारचरितानाम् = of those who have broad mind

तु = however
वसुधैव = वसुधा एव

वसुधा = earth
एव = itself

Actually there is a concept why earth is called as वसुधा. It is explained by an aphorism “वसुभि: धार्यते अतः वसुधा”

वसुभि: = by Vasu’s
धार्यते = is taken care of, is protected
अतः = hence

वसुभि: धार्यते अतः वसुधा = (the entity that) Is taken care of, protected by Vasu’s, hence, वसुधा

This will raise a curiosity, “Who are Vasu’s ?”
वसु: = a God of lower cadre, who follows orders of Indra.
They are eight. Their primary job is to be the sentinels at eight directions (अष्ट दिश:) around the earth to protect the earth –

Four major directions (in clockwise order)

East (पूर्वा), South (दक्षिणा), West(पश्चिमा), North(उत्तरा)

Four minor directions (in clockwise order)

South-east(आग्नेय), South-west(नैऋती), North-west(वायव्या), North-east(ईशान्या)

In ShrImad-bhagavad-gItA, bhagavAn krRuShNa proclaims, “among Vasu’s, I am pAvaka वसूनां पावकश्चास्मि

वसूनां पावकश्चास्मि = वसूनां पावक: च अस्मि

वसूनां = Vasus’, or among ‘Vasu’s
पावक: = fire also called as अग्नि: Hence direction to be protected by this Vasu is South-east(आग्नेय). I guess, that the reason for bhagavAn krRuShNa proclaiming, “among Vasu’s, I am pAvaka वसूनां पावकश्चास्मि” may be because among all ‘Vasu’s अग्नि: is one, who has तेज one of the five great fundamental elements (पंचमहाभूतानि) inherent to it.
पंचमहाभूतानि = They are

mother earth (पृथ्वी), which supports all life

water (आप),

light (तेज),

air (वायुः),

sky or space (आकाश) which provides the space for the whole universe.

च = and
अस्मि = (I) am

कुटुम्बकम् । = family
Overall meaning now becomes – “This one mine or not mine” (is) thinking of petty-minded. For the broad-minded, however, (whole) world (is one) family.

This subhAShitam is really the basic approach of Indian polity, since ages. India has never been the aggressor. It has yet been the melting pot for cultures from around the world. Would not the World be a really happier place to live, if all countries adopted such polity ?

Equanimity is of course a challenging thought to make it as one’s nature. It seems that we are all more petty-minded लघुचेतस: than broad-minded उदारचेतस:.

Here is the verse for learning by heart

अयं निजः परो वेति गणना लघुचेतसाम् ।
उदारचरितानां तु वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् ।
When I did this study in 2010, I did not find the source for this श्लोक. Now on 25th November 2015, from a discussion at https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/bvparishat/5KnhD91N83E I find that this श्लोक is from मित्रलाभः part in हितोपदेशः
Before closing, how about some exercises ?

(1) Among so many words, which we came across in these six lessons, there have been many which are unchanging, called as “indeclinables” in grammar. There would be the adverbs, conjunctions, interjections in this list. It would be a good idea to list them at one place, along with their meanings. That would make some unique dictionary of the indeclinables !

(2) We have also come across many nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs. All these words have declensions, as has been explained earlier. Let us make separate lists of nouns, pronouns, adjectives and the verbs.


Learning Sanskrit by a fresh approach – Lesson 5

Learning Sanskrit by a fresh approach
Lesson 5

Glossary 5


No. English Sanskrit in
Sanskrit in
1 good person, gentleman sujanaH सुजनः
2 not na
3 gets into, goes to yAti याति
4 enmity vairam वैरम्
5 other paraH परः
6 good hitam हितम्
7 others’ good para-hitam परहितम्
8 involved, engrossed nirataH निरतः
9* engrossed in good of others para-hita-nirataH परहितनिरतः
10 total loss vinAshaH विनाशः
11 time kAlaH काल:
12* in time of total loss vinAsha-kAle विनाशकाले
13 also api अपि
14 when cut chhede छेदे
15 sandalwood chandana चन्दनम्
16 tree taruH तरुः
17* sandalwood tree chandana-taruH चन्दनतरुः
18 lends fragrance surabhayati सुरभयति
19 mouth mukham मुखम्
20 of axe kuThArasya कुठारस्य

Words सुजनः, न and अपि have been there in previous glossaries.

There are three compound words here – परहितनिरतः विनाशकाले and चन्दनतरुः

(6) and (7) and (8) = (9) पर: and हितम् and निरतः = परहितनिरतः

Let us first look at “पर: and हितम्” The meaning is explained in the glossary that परहितम् = others’ good. So the relationship between the two words “other” and “good” is through the apostrophe. Or if we write it as “good of others”, the relationship is through the preposition “of”. In Sanskrit, the function of this preposition is served by the sixth, genitive case षष्ठी विभक्तिः. Hence we have to connect the two words by sixth case of पर: which is परस्य.

So the explanation of परहितम् = परस्य हितम् A compound word having this type of explanation or deciphering is called as a compound समास of षष्ठी तत्पुरुष समास type.

Then we can look into deciphering परहितनिरतः  considering परहितम् and निरतः as the two parts. Since परहितनिरतः means “engrossed in good of others” the relationship between the two parts “good of others” and “engrossed” is through the preposition “in”.  Function of this preposition is served by seventh locative case. Hence we have to connect the two parts by a declension of परहितम् into seventh case, सप्तमी विभक्तिः which is परहिते. So the explanation of परहितनिरतः becomes परहिते  निरतः A compound word having this type of explanation or deciphering is called as a compound समास of सप्तमी-तत्पुरुष समास type.

(10) + (11) = (12) विनाशः and कालः = विनाशकालः –> विनाशकाले Since means “in time of total loss” means “time of total loss”. Here the two parts “total loss” and “time” have the relationship through the preposition “of”. The function of this preposition is served by the sixth, genitive case षष्ठी विभक्तिः. Hence we have to connect the two words by sixth case of विनाशः which is विनाशस्य. So, the explanation of विनाशकालः is विनाशस्य कालः So, विनाशकालः is again a compound word समास of षष्ठी-तत्पुरुष समास type. विनाशकाले is सप्तमी विभक्तिः of विनाशकालः after its compounding.

Compound words become new words and would have declensions in different cases. This is important. Before deciphering a compound word, we should get to its simplest form, decipher the simplest form, which often is of first case singular प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनम्.

परहितनिरतः was already in प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनम्. So, there was no problem to start off with deciphering straightaway.

(15) + (16) = (17) चन्दनम् and तरुः = चन्दनतरुः This is again in प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनम्. The two parts are चन्दनम् and तरुः Since the meaning of चन्दनतरुः is tree of sandalwood, relationship between the two words चन्दनम् and तरुः is through the preposition “of”. Again we have to connect the two words चन्दनम् and तरुः by sixth, genitive case of चन्दनम् which is चन्दनस्य Hence चन्दनतरुः is again a compound word समास of षष्ठी-तत्पुरुष समास type.

Actually the first word in the glossary सुजनः is also a compound word.  It has two parts सु and जनः The first part सु is a prefix उपपद, which stands for सुष्ठु meaning “good” So सुजनः compounded from सुष्ठु जनः becomes a compound word समासः of उपपद-तत्पुरुषः समासः type.

In the above discussion, we have studied समासाः of three types – षष्ठी-तत्पुरुषः, सप्तमी-तत्पुरुषः and उपपद-तत्पुरुषः Obviously there are all sub-types of the broader category of तत्पुरुष-समासाः.

You will also appreciate from this discussion how deciphering the समासाः helps to get thorough understanding of the meaning.

Now we can proceed to our usual exercise of composing the phrases.

Exercises 4
From the words 1 to 20 in the glossary, compose the following phrases –

No. Phrase Sanskrit in
Sanskrit in
1 good person, not, gets into, enmity __________  __________ ___________ __________  __________  _________
2 engrossed in good of others
__________  ___________  ________ __________  __________  ________
3 in times of total loss, also __________  __________  _________ __________  __________  ________
4 when cut, also, tree of sandalwood __________  __________  _________ __________  __________  ________
5 lends fragrance ________  __________  _________ ________  __________  _________
6 in the mouth, of axe ________  __________  _________ ________  __________  _________

The words सुजनः and न can be conjugated as सुजनो न.

Likewise परहितनिरतः and विनाशकाले can be conjugated as परहितनिरतो विनाशकाले. This pattern of conjugations has been explained earlier.

In phrase (3), you will get the words विनाशकाले and अपि. These can be conjugated to make one word विनाशकालेऽपि The symbol “ऽ” is called as avagrahaH, अवग्रहः standing for अ in अपि.

When you try to utter a word ending in vowel sound ए followed by the next word starting with अ, you will realise that अ tends to become silent.

That is how the rule of conjugation is made – when ए  is followed by अ, the latter vowel अ would become silent. But its presence must be denoted by an avagrahaH अवग्रहः the symbol “ऽ”.

Similarly in phrase (4), छेदे and अपि can be conjugated to make one word छेदेऽपि.

As usual, now you can write down three-three phrases in one line. By that it becomes a good two-line verse, a good saying a सुभाषितम् !!

Here is, how it would read –

सुजनो न याति वैरम् परहितनिरतो विनाशकालेऽपि ।

छेदेऽपि चन्दनतरुः सुरभयति मुखं कुठारस्य ॥

Although we have been having good enough meaning by the phrases in the above tabulation, it would be a good idea to paraphrase the complete meaning in chaste English.

I am sure you will like this good saying सुभाषितम् as well. Learn it by heart.

शुभमस्तु |


Learning Sanskrit by a fresh approach – Lesson 4

Learning Sanskrit by a fresh approach
Lesson 4
Glossary 4
No. English Sanskrit in
Sanskrit in
1 by diligence, by industriousness udyamena उद्यमेन
2 of course, only, thus only hi हि
3 are accomplished siddhyanti सिद्ध्यन्ति
4 tasks, missions kAryANi कार्याणि
5 not na
6 mind manaH मनः
7 by chariots rathaiH रथैः
8* by chariots of mind, by dreams mano-rathaiH मनोरथैः
9 (of) sleeping suptasya सुप्तस्य
10 lion’s sinhasya सिंहस्य
11 enter pravishanti प्रविशन्ति
12 into the mouth mukhe मुखे
13 deer (plural) mRugAH मृगाः

We had the word उद्यम: in Lesson 2. Here it is उद्यमेन. Earlier the meaning of the word उद्यम: was “diligence, industriousness”. Here the meaning for the word उद्यमेन is “by diligence, by industriousness”. So the meaning of the preposition “by” is included in the meaning of this word “उद्यमेन” here. Both the words “उद्यम:” and “उद्यमेन” are declined forms of the root word “उद्यम”. All nouns, pronouns and adjectives have declensions in different cases. Earlier in the glossaries in Lessons 1 and 2 had declensions of root word “देव” as “देव” and “देव:” in Address case संबोधन विभक्तिः and Nominative case प्रथमा विभक्तिः respectively. Here we have declensions in Nominative (called as “first case”प्रथमा विभक्तिः) and instrumental (called as “third case”तृतीया विभक्तिः). Cases are eight, from first प्रथमा to seventh सप्तमी and the address case संबोधन विभक्तिः . Cases second to seventh do the job of different prepositions. The third case does the job of prepositions “by”and “with”.

Words (7) and (8) are also in third (instrumental) case तृतीया विभक्तिः. There also we have the preposition “by”.

Words (9) and (10) are in sixth (genitive, showing ownership) case षष्ठी विभक्तिः which do the job of the preposition “of” or of the apostrophe in word (10).

Word (12) is in seventh (locative) case सप्तमी विभक्तिः, which does the function of prepositions “at”, “in”, “into”, “on”, “upon”, “above”, “below”, “under”. All these prepositions show a location. So, the seventh case सप्तमी विभक्तिः is the locative case.

Nouns, pronouns and adjectives decline also by number – singular एकवचन, dual द्विवचन, plural बहुवचन. We had “cloud rains” (singular एकवचन), “cloud thunders” (singular एकवचन), “gentleman does” (singular एकवचन). In “six exist” there is plural बहुवचन. In “tasks are accomplished” there is plural बहुवचन. Also in “deer enter” there is plural बहुवचन.

Verbs also have declensions, influenced by number. This is so in grammar of all languages, e.g. in English, “I am”, “We are”.

Verbs also decline due to tense. So far we have all sentences in present tense.  Verbs also decline by “person” e.g. “I am” (first person), “He is” (third person). So far we have all sentences in third person.

We shall get to know various declensions of nouns, pronouns, adjectives and also of verbs, as we proceed. I have been thoughtfully selective in taking up the verses, so that, we shall have graded progress. That also merits appreciation, right ?

And all this grammar does not, may not stop us from our learning the verses. It is being mentioned just for information. Let us get on with usual exercises of composing phrases, which help us to understand the meaning.
There is only one conjugation संधि or संहिता in this whole verse. The conjugated phrases are marked by *

(6) + (7) = (8) मनः + रथैः = मनोरथैः

But here the two words have together become one word, a compound word.

14 together (as prefix) sam सम्
15 to be, to sit, to put AsaH आसः
16 put together samAsaH समासः
17 compound word samAsaH समासः
Even a word like समासः a compound word, which is a grammatical term has a derivation. Everything in Sanskrit has a logic and a structure. There is that finesse, the refinement, hence, Sanskrit !
Well, सम् is a prefix. Every prefix has a meaning too ! सम् means together. There is another prefix प्र in प्रविशन्ति. It is all interesting. But it will become digressing from our composing the verse and understanding its meaning.

Exercises 4
From the words 1 to 13 in the glossary, prepare the following phrases –


No. Phrase Sanskrit in
Sanskrit in
1 by diligence, only, are accomplished, tasks, __________  __________ ___________ __________  __________  _________
2 not, by dreams,
__________  ___________  ________ __________  __________  ________
3 not, of course, of sleeping, lion’s __________  __________  _________ __________  __________  ________
4 enter, into mouth, deer __________  __________  _________ __________  __________  ________


In the glossary, you have the word “not” only once. Actually we had this word earlier also. It is repeated here just for convenience. Word (2) has two different meanings and are judiciously put in phrases (1) and (3).

As usual, now you can write down two-two phrases in one line. By that it becomes a good two-line verse, a good saying a सुभाषितम् !!


Here is, how it would read –

udyamena hi siddhyanti kAryANi na mano-rathaiH

na hi suptasya sinhasya pravishanti mukhe mRugAH

उद्यमेन हि सिद्ध्यन्ति कार्याणि न मनोरथैः ।

न हि सुप्तस्य सिंहस्य प्रविशन्ति मुखे मृगाः ॥

In many a सुभाषितम् we shall find this style of

  • a hypothesis and its proof by a commonplace example or
  • an example and a moral therefrom.

Isn’t it all charming how the poets have thought of a right, appropriate example, derived a moral or a proof and put it all in a short, sweet verse !

I am sure you will like this good saying सुभाषितम् as well. Learn it by heart.


शुभमस्तु |