Sanskrit Universe

By Sunil Kumar


3 accents of the vowels(svaras)

udata: high pitch, anudat= low pitch, svarit= combination of pitch.

Active Voice (कर्तृवाच्य / kartRRIvaachya):
We will study “Active Voice”

Study the following statements.

Main Concepts: कर्ता, क्रिया, कर्म, kritrvachya- karma(with an object & without)

Each noun has 7 different cases in addition to a vocative case. The noun form is derived by adding special suffix सुप् (sup) to the root of the word. All such words are also called सुबन्तपद (subantapada) meaning “ending with सुप् (sup)”.

We will learn about classification of nouns and their respective सुप् (sup) suffixes.

In Sanskrit nouns are classified into different categories based on:

  • their gender and,
  • ending alphabet.
  • The ending alphabet can be – अ (a), आ (aa), इ (i), ई (ii), उ (u), ऊ (uu), ऋ (RRi), र् (r), श् (sh), त् (t), इन् (in), ज् (j), न (na), द (da) and ओ (o) etc. A word ending with अ (a) is called अकारान्तः (akaaraantaH) or “ending with a”.
  • Similarly word ending with इ (i) is called इकारान्तः (ikaaraantaH) or “ending with i”, and so on.
  • स्वरान्त:
    • m – अ, इ, ई, उ, ऊ, ऋ, ओ
    • f – आ, इ, ई, उ, ऊ, ऋ
    • n – अ, इ, उ
  • व्यञ्जनान्त:
    • m – च, ज, त, द, अन्, हन्, इन्, श, ष, स
    • f – रेफ़ान्त, व, श्, ष्, स
    • n – न, इन्, अस्, इस्, उस्

The noun form for each category of word is derived by adding pre-defined pattern of सुप् (sup) suffixes to the word root. All other words in that category follow the same pattern.

For example – the word “boy” or बाल (baala) has a form like बालः (baalaH), बालौ (baalau), बालाः (baalaaH) and so on. The word “God” or देव (deva) is of the same category and follows the same pattern as देवः (devaH), देवौ (devau), देवाः (devaaH). In both the cases the suffixes अः (aH), औ (au) and आः (aaH) were added to the root words boy (बाल / baala) and God (देव / deva) to get the derived form.

English संस्कृत / Sanskrit Subject
(कर्ता / kartaa) Verb
(क्रिया / kriyaa) Object
(कर्म / karma)
1. the boy is going बालः गच्छति
baalaH gachchhati the boy
बालः / baalaH going
गच्छति / gachchhati –
2. i am going अहं गच्छामि
aha.n gachchhami i am
अहं / aha.n going
गच्छामि / gachchhami –
3. the boy is reading बालः पठति
baalaH pathati the boy
बालः / baalaH reading
पठति / pathati –
4. i am reading अहं पठामि
aha.n pathaami i am
अहं / aha.n reading
पठामि / pathaami –
5. the boy is going to school बालः विद्यालयम् गच्छति
baalaH vidyaalayam gachchhati the boy
बालः / baalaH going
गच्छति / gachchhati to school
विद्यालयम् / vidyaalayam
6. i am going to school अहं विद्यालम् गच्छामि
aha.n vidyaalayam gachchhami i am
अहं / aha.n going
गच्छामि / gachchhami to school
विद्यालयम् / vidyaalayam
7. the boy is reading the book बालकः पुस्तकम् पठति
baalakaH pustakam paThati the boy
बालकः / baalakaH reading
पठति / pathati the book
पुस्तकम् / pustakam
8. i am reading the book अहं पुस्तकम् पठामि
aha.n pustakam paThaami i am
अहं / aha.n reading
पठामि / pathaami the book
पुस्तकम् / pustakam
These are all examples of Active Voice or कर्तृवाच्य (kartRRivaachya).

Sentence 1 to 4 do not have any “Object” or कर्म (karma) in them. So these are intransitive or अकर्म कर्तृवाच्य (akarmaka kartRRivachya).

Rule 5: In a कर्तृवाच्य (kartRRivaachya) the “Subject” or कर्ता (kartaa) is always in the “nominative case” or प्रथमा विभक्ति (prathamaa vibhakti).

Sentence 5 to 8 have “Object” or कर्म (karma) like विद्यालयम् (vidyaalayam), पुस्तकम् (pustakam) in them. So, these are transitive or सकर्मक कर्तृवाच्य (sakarmaka kartRRivachya).

Rule 6: In a कर्तृवाच्य (kartRRivaachya) the “Object” or कर्म (karma) is always in the “accusative case” or द्वितीया विभक्ति (dvitiiyaa vibhakti).

Question arising on subanta: The answer is it’s a pratyaya(accumulation of latters sometimes a suffix) to a pratipadika; or defined as a noun formed by adding ‘sup’ pratyaya-s to a praatipadikam.

Or the most Borg definition: technical expression for an inflected noun as ending with a case-termination.

Sanskrit essentially an inflected language compared to English and Hindi; with a subject object verb arrangement i.e Balah Vanam Gacchati(SOV).

English and Hindi have elaborate sentences with minimal inflection i.e all the declension/conjugation business of vibhaktis. So Sanskrit fluency depends on the noun, pronoun, adjective, samas etc plus basically understanding the vibhaktis in which every individual unit is arranged.

। and ॥ play different roles in poem and prose. In a poem, like mahAbhArata above, । and ॥ are only used to arrange text in the form of verses so that the verses can be easily memorized. In prose,। is used to mark the end of a sentence (like a full-stop) and ॥ is used to mark the end of a paragraph. So, । and ॥ can be called punctuation marks if you prefer to call them so. But apart from these two, there are no other punctuation marks in Sanskrit.

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