.. संस्कृत व्याकरण ..
Part 1 : shabda-s and vibhakti-s
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There are three basic parts of speech in sanskrit : shabda (nouns/ pronouns/
adjectives/ participles), dhAtu(verbs), and avyaya (indeclinables: prepositions,
conjunctions,adverbs, exclamations etc.)
Here we shall discuss declentions of nouns . The form of a noun used in a
sentence dependes on two things : Its number, (singular,dual or plural) and
its vibhakti . The vibhakti to be used is governed by the role the noun
plays in the sentence , e.g . subject,object, instrument of action etc . Here
is a brief explanation of vibhaktis along with an example :
Explanation of Sanskrit Vibhaktis :
There are eight possible vibhaktis of a word . Of these, six relate to an action
and hence are also ``kAraks. '' The other two (shhashhThi : Possesive
sambodhanaM : denominative ) do not necessarily associate with an action.
The following table lists the vibhaktis and their meanings .
प्रथमा Nominative (performer/subject)
द्वितीया Accusative (object)
तृतीया Instrumental (instrument)
चतुर्थी Dative (for whom the action is performed)
पंचमी Ablative (from where the action is performed)
षष्ठी Possesive (not strictly a vibhakti, denotes posses
सप्तमी Locative (location of the action)
सम्बोधन् Denominative (used to address someone)
The verse below from shriiraamarakshaa is often used as an aid to
explain the vibhaktis . Each line of the verse contains a form of
the word राम in a different vibhakti and in the singular number :
In shloka format:
रामो राजमणिः सदा विजयते रामं रमेशं भजे
रामेणाभिहता निशाचरचमू रामाय तस्मै नमः .
रामान्नास्ति परायणं परतरं रामस्य दासोऽस्म्यहं
रामे चित्तलयः सदा भवतु मे भो राम !मामुद्धर ..
In the sandhii vigraha format is:
रामः राजमणिः सदा विजयते
रामं रमेशं भजे
रामेण अभिहता निशाचरचमू
रामाय तस्मै नमः
रामात् नास्ति परायणं परतरं
रामस्य दासः अस्मि अहं
रामे चित्तलयः सदा भवतु मे
भो राम !मां उद्धर
Explanation (line by line):
rAma (nominative, subject) , the gem among kings is always victorious
I worship rAma (accusative,object) the husband of ramA
The army of demons was slain by rAma (Instrumental, instrument of action)
A salute for that rAma (Dative : one for whom the action is done)
There is no better destination from rAma (Ablative)
I am a servant of rAma (Possesive)
May my mind always rest in rAma (Locative)
O rAmA (Denominative), please uplift me !
As seen above, the vibhakti to be used depends on the role the noun (or
adjective or participle) plays in the sentence . Once
you know the vibhakti you need, and the number, the other information
needed to come up with the correct form of the word are its gender and
the ending syllable . For example all masculine words ending in ``a '')
have identical forms . hence rAma, deva, sUrya etc . have identical declentions,
shashin.h, medhAvin.h etc . have identical declentions; jala, pAnIya, gR^iha,
vana etc . have identical declentions and so on.
Having understood the above, if one has access to declentions of representative
words of each class (where a class is combination of a gender and an ending
syllable) one can easily derive the form one needs.
e.g . if you want to say ``The man is in the house ''.
The subject is man : मनुष्य . Here we would need the nominative
singular of the word मनुष्य . The word is masculine and ends in
the syllable अ Hence it would be declined like देव . The nominative
singular of deva is देवः hence the form of manushhya to be used would be
मनुष्यः . Similarly, gR^iha is a word for house and it has a neuter
gender . Here we would refer to forms of the word वन and the appropriate
form to use would be गृहे .
Thus the sentence in sanskrit would be :
मनुष्यः गृहे अस्ति
As an excercise the reader can now again go through forms of the word deva
and confirm that the correct forms of the word rAma have been used in the
verses written above.
Please see the accompanying document, Nouns and Verbs, file noun.itx/.ps
which has several words and their different forms.
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