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Ancient Sanskrit Online

Lesson 10

Karen Thomson and Jonathan Slocum

The world of the poets of the Rigveda was governed by laws of Newtonian orderliness, represented by a group of abstract nouns of complex meaning. One of these, vrat 'holy law, divine commandment', was described in the introduction to Lesson 7. Of similar complexity are dhman 'foundation, just law, precept', related to Greek themis and English doom, and dhrman 'support, fixed order', both of which are found in the Lesson 10 text, together with rt (see below), a word which is repeated in the last two verses, joining them together into one grammatical sentence.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The lesson text is verses 10-20 of an Archaic poem, VIII, 27 (647) which, like the Lesson 4 text, is in the alternating lyric brhat/satobrhat metre. The poem apostrophizes all the gods, beginning in traditional style with Agni: agnr ukth purhitah 'Agni is placed first in holy song' (verse 1). Verses 10-20 are specifically addressed to the gods of Truth and Order, in particular Aryaman, Mitra and Varuna, who are named in the passage. The most important of the network of words describing the abstract concepts that these deities embody is rt, perhaps best translated 'Truth', but also having the sense 'Cosmic Order'. Poetry itself is born from rt: pr brhma etu sdand [sdant] rtsya, v rambhih sasrje sryo gh (VII, 36, 1) 'let prayer go forth from the seat of Truth; the sun despatches singers with his rays (ram (m))'. And through their attention to Truth, and the wisdom that results, mortals become allied with the gods -- an alliance that is the theme of the Lesson 10 text.

sti h vah sajtyam ridaso
dvso sti piyam
pr nah prvasmai suvitya vocata
maks sumnya nvyase

  • sti -- verb; 3rd person singular active present of </as, sti> be -- there is
  • h -- particle; <h> for, because -- because
  • vas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <yym> you (pl.) -- with you
  • sajtym -- noun; nominative singular neuter of <sajty> kinship -- kinship
  • ridasas -- adjective; vocative plural masculine of <ridas> benign -- O benign # The meaning of the epithet remains uncertain.
  • dvsas -- noun; vocative plural masculine of <dev> divine, god -- gods
  • sti -- verb; 3rd person singular active present of </as, sti> be -- there is
  • pyam -- noun; nominative singular neuter of <pya> alliance -- alliance
  • nas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <vaym> we -- us
  • prvasmai -- adjective; dative singular neuter of <prva> former, previous -- of old
  • suvitya -- noun; dative singular neuter of <suvit> well-being -- to well-being
  • pr vocata -- verb; 2nd person plural active simple aorist imperative of </vac> speak + preverb <pr> forth -- admit
  • maks -- adverb; <maks> swiftly, soon -- soon # Always given as maks in the Pada text. Compare Latin mox.
  • sumnya -- noun; dative singular neuter of <sumn> favour, boon -- to favour
  • nvyase -- comparative adjective; dative singular neuter of <nvyms> newer -- newer

id h va pastutim
id vmsya bhaktye
pa vo vivavedaso namasyr m
srksi niym iva

  • id -- adverb; <id> at this moment -- at this moment
  • h -- particle; <h> for, because -- for
  • vas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <yym> you (pl.) -- to you
  • pastutim -- noun; accusative singular feminine of <pastuti> paean of praise -- a paean of praise
  • id -- adverb; <id> at this moment -- this moment
  • vmsya -- noun; genitive singular neuter of <vm> dear, beloved thing -- of weal
  • bhaktye -- noun; dative singular feminine of <bhakt> distribution -- for a share
  • vas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <yym> you (pl.) -- you
  • vivavedasas -- noun; vocative plural masculine of <vivvedas> all-knowing one -- all-knowing ones
  • namasys -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <namasy> honouring -- honouring
  • pa srksi -- verb; 1st person singular middle sigmatic aorist of </srj, srjti> let go + preverb <pa> up to + preverb <> (intensifies or reverses meaning) -- I have sent up
  • nym -- adjective; accusative singular feminine of <nya> inexhaustible -- inexhaustible
  • iva -- particle; <iva> like -- seemingly

d u sy vah savit suprantayo
sthd rdhv vreniyah
n dvipda ctuspdo arthno
viran patayisnvah

  • u -- particle; <u> and, now -- now
  • sys -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <sys, sy, tyt> that -- that
  • vas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <yym> you (pl.) -- of you
  • savit -- noun; nominative singular masculine of <savitr> enlivener, Savitar -- Savitar
  • suprantayas -- adjective; vocative plural masculine of <suprnti> guiding safely -- you sure guides # Compare the feminine noun suprnti 'safe guidance' in the Lesson 8 text.
  • t stht -- verb; 3rd person singular active simple aorist of </sth, tsthati> stand + preverb <t> up -- he has risen
  • rdhvs -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <rdhv> upright, straight -- straight # Often occurs with the verb /sth, as in Homeric st d orthos.
  • vrenyas -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <vrenya> beloved -- beloved
  • dvipdas -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <dvipd> two-footed -- two-footed creatures
  • ctuspdas -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <ctuspad> four-footed -- four-footed creatures
  • arthnas -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <arthn> purposeful -- purposeful
  • n viran -- verb; 3rd person plural middle simple aorist of </vi, vite> enter, come to rest + preverb <n> down -- they have come to rest
  • patayisnvas -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <patayisn> flying -- winged ones

devm-devam vo vase
devm-devam abhstaye
devm-devam huvema vjastaye
grnnto deviy dhiy

  • devm-devam -- iterative compound; <devm-devam> god after god -- god after god
  • vas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <yym> you (pl.) -- you
  • vase -- noun; dative singular neuter of <vas> help -- for aid
  • devm-devam -- iterative compound; <devm-devam> god after god -- god after god
  • abhstaye -- noun; dative singular feminine of <abhsti> being at hand, ready help -- for ready help
  • devm-devam -- iterative compound; <devm-devam> god after god -- god after god
  • huvema -- verb; 1st person plural active optative of </h, hvate> invoke, call upon -- may we call upon
  • vjastaye -- noun; dative singular feminine of <vjasti> lit. strength-winning -- that we may gain strength
  • grnntas -- participle; nominative plural masculine present active participle of </gr, grnti> sing -- singing
  • devy -- adjective; instrumental singular feminine of <dev> divine, goddess -- with divine
  • dhiy -- noun; instrumental singular feminine of <dh> thought -- thought

devso h sm mnave smanyavo
vve skm srtayah
t no ady t aparm tuc t no
bhvantu varivovdah

  • devsas -- noun; nominative plural masculine of <dev> divine, god -- the gods
  • h -- particle; <h> for, because -- for
  • sm -- particle; <sma, sm> indeed -- indeed
  • mnave -- noun; dative singular masculine of <mnu> man, mankind -- with man
  • smanyavas -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <smanyu> of the same mind -- of one mind
  • vve -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <vva> all -- all
  • skm -- preposition; <skm> together -- united
  • srtayas -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <srti> giving together -- giving together
  • t -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <ss, s, tt> that; he, she, it -- as such
  • nas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <vaym> we -- for us
  • ady -- adverb; <ady> on this day, today -- today
  • t -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <ss, s, tt> that; he, she, it -- as such
  • aparm -- adverb; <aparm> in the future -- in future
  • tuc -- noun; dative singular feminine of <tc> offspring -- for offspring
  • t -- particle; <t> then, but -- then
  • nas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <vaym> we -- our
  • bhvantu -- verb; 3rd person plural active imperative of </bh, bhvati> be -- may they be
  • varivovdas -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <varivovd> providers of space -- providers of spacious freedom

pr vah amsmi adruhah
samsth pastutnm
n tm dhrtr varuna mitra mrtiyam
y vo dhmabhyo vidhat

  • vas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <yym> you (pl.) -- to you
  • pr amsmi -- verb; 1st person singular present active of </ams, msati> praise + preverb <pr> forth -- I sing out praises
  • adruhas -- adjective; vocative plural masculine of <adrh> not betraying -- guileless
  • samsth -- preposition; <samsth> in amongst -- in amongst # Takes the genitive.
  • pastutnm -- noun; genitive plural feminine of <pastuti> paean of praise -- paeans of praise
  • n -- particle; <n> not -- not
  • tm -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <ss, s, tt> that; he, she, it -- him
  • dhrts -- noun; nominative singular feminine of <dhrt> injury -- injury # The verb is understood: 'injury will not (befall) him' (see section 38 in Lesson 8).
  • varuna -- noun; vocative singular masculine of <vruna> Varuna -- O Varuna
  • mitra -- noun; vocative singular masculine of <mitr> friend, Mitra -- O Mitra
  • mrtyam -- noun; accusative singular masculine of <mrtya> mortal man -- the mortal
  • ys -- relative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <ys, y, yt> who, which -- who
  • vas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <yym> you (pl.) -- your # The pronoun refers to the trilogy of gods, Mitra, Varuna, and Aryaman (see below).
  • dhmabhyas -- noun; dative plural neuter of <dhman> foundation, just law, precept -- precepts
  • vidhat -- verb; 3rd person singular active simple aorist of </vidh> pay homage to, honour -- he has honoured # The verb takes the dative.

pr s ksyam tirate v mahr so
y vo vrya dati
pr prajbhir jyate dhrmanas pri
ristah srva edhate

  • ss -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <ss, s, tt> that; he, she, it -- the one
  • ksyam -- noun; accusative singular masculine of <ksya> home -- domestic life
  • pr tirate -- verb; 3rd person singular middle present of </tr, tirti> cross + preverb <pr> forth -- he prolongs
  • v -- preverb; <v> apart -- (he is afforded) # The preceding verb tirte is understood with the preverb v in its special sense 'afford, bestow', here with passive sense (see grammar points 38 in Lesson 8, and 48 in this lesson).
  • mahs -- adjective; accusative plural feminine of <mh> great -- fine
  • sas -- noun; accusative plural feminine of <s> refreshment -- refreshments
  • ys -- relative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <ys, y, yt> who, which -- who
  • vas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <yym> you (pl.) -- your
  • vrya -- noun; dative singular masculine of <vra> wish -- according to wish
  • dati -- verb; 3rd person singular middle present of </d, dati> worship -- worships
  • prajbhis -- noun; instrumental plural feminine of <praj> creature, progeny -- in his progeny
  • pr jyate -- verb; 3rd person singular middle present of </j, jyate> be born + preverb <pr> forth -- he is born anew
  • dhrmanas -- noun; ablative singular neuter of <dhrman> support, fixed order -- established order
  • pri -- preposition; <pri> around, out of -- according to
  • ristas -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <rista> unharmed -- unharmed
  • srvas -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <srva> whole, all -- whole
  • edhate -- verb; 3rd person singular middle present of </edh, dhate> thrive -- he thrives

rt s vindate yudhh
sugbhir yti dhvanah
aryam mitr vrunah srtayo
ym tryante sajsasah

  • rt -- preposition; <rt> without -- without # Takes the ablative.
  • ss -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <ss, s, tt> that; he, she, it -- he
  • vindate -- verb; 3rd person singular middle present of </vid, vindti> find -- he achieves his ends
  • yudhs -- noun; ablative singular feminine of <ydh> fighting -- fighting
  • sugbhis -- adjective; instrumental plural neuter of <sug> good passage -- by good paths
  • yti -- verb; 3rd person singular active present of </y, yti> go, travel -- he travels
  • dhvanas -- noun; accusative plural masculine of <dhvan> way -- on his ways
  • aryam -- noun; nominative singular masculine of <aryamn> Aryaman -- Aryaman
  • mitrs -- noun; nominative singular masculine of <mitr> friend, Mitra -- Mitra
  • vrunas -- noun; nominative singular masculine of <vruna> Varuna -- Varuna
  • srtayas -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <srti> giving together -- giving together
  • ym -- relative pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <ys, y, yt> who, which -- whom
  • tryante -- verb; 3rd person plural middle present of </tr> rescue, protect -- they protect
  • sajsasas -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <sajsas> accordant -- joining together

jre cid asmai krnuth nicanam
durg cid susaranm
es cid asmd anih par n s
sredhant v nayatu

  • jre -- noun; locative singular masculine of <jra> plain, flatland -- on flat land # Greek agros, Latin ager.
  • cit -- particle; <cit> even, all -- even
  • asmai -- demonstrative pronoun; dative singular masculine of <aym, iym, idm> this -- for him # Unaccented, like asmt in the third line, as referring back to the subject of the previous verse.
  • krnutha -- verb; 2nd person plural active present of </kr, krnti> do, make -- you make
  • nycanam -- noun; accusative singular of <nycana> downward slope -- a gentle slope
  • durg -- noun; locative singular neuter of <durg> hard way -- on the hard way
  • cit -- particle; <cit> even, all -- even
  • -- preposition; <> from, in -- in
  • susaranm -- noun; accusative singular neuter of <susaran> good passage -- an easy passage
  • es -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <ess, es, ett> this -- this
  • cit -- particle; <cit> even, all -- even
  • asmt -- demonstrative pronoun; ablative singular masculine of <aym, iym, idm> this -- from him
  • anis -- noun; nominative singular feminine of <ani> thunderbolt -- thunderbolt
  • pars -- adverb; <pars> in the distance -- in the distance
  • n -- adverb; <n> now -- now
  • s -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <ss, s, tt> that; he, she, it -- it
  • sredhant -- participle; nominative singular feminine active participle of </sridh, srdhati> slip, fail + privative prefix <a-> (reverses meaning) -- unfailing
  • v nayatu -- verb; 3rd person singular active imperative of </na, nyati> be lost + preverb <v> apart -- let it disappear

yd ady srya udyat
pryaksatr rtm dadh
yn nimrci prabdhi vivavedaso
yd v madhymdine divh

  • yt -- conjunction; <yt> that, when -- when
  • ady -- adverb; <ady> on this day, today -- today
  • srye -- noun; locative singular masculine of <srya> sun -- at the sun's # Locative by attraction.
  • udyat -- participle; locative singular masculine present active participle of </i, ti> go + preverb <t> up -- rising
  • pryaksatrs -- adjective; vocative plural masculine of <priyksatra> ruling benevolently -- O benevolent rulers
  • rtm -- noun; accusative singular neuter of <rt> Truth -- Truth
  • dadh -- verb; 2nd person plural active perfect of </dh, ddhti> place, grant -- you grant
  • yt -- conjunction; <yt> that, when -- when
  • nimrci -- noun; locative singular feminine of <nimrc> setting, sunset -- at sunset
  • prabdhi -- noun; locative singular feminine of <prabdh> wakening -- at wakening
  • vivavedasas -- noun; vocative plural masculine of <vivvedas> all-knowing one -- O all-knowing ones
  • yt -- conjunction; <yt> that, when -- when
  • v -- conjunction; <v> or -- or
  • madhymdine -- noun; locative singular masculine of <madhymdina> midday, middle time -- at the midpoint
  • divs -- noun; genitive singular masculine of <dy, dv> sky, heaven, day -- of the day

yd vbhipitv asur rtm yat
chardr yem v dse
vaym td vo vasavo vivavedasa
pa stheyma mdhya

  • yt -- conjunction; <yt> that, when -- when
  • v -- conjunction; <v> or -- or
  • abhipitv -- noun; locative singular neuter of <abhipitv> homecoming -- at homecoming
  • asurs -- noun; vocative plural masculine of <sura> spiritual lord -- Lords
  • rtm -- noun; accusative singular neuter of <rt> Truth -- of Truth # The accusative here used adverbially, literally 'going according to Truth'.
  • yat -- participle; dative singular masculine present active participle of </i, ti> go -- who follows the path
  • chards -- noun; accusative singular neuter of <chards> protection, shield -- a shield
  • v yem -- verb; 2nd person plural active perfect of </yam, ychati> extend, stretch out + preverb <v> apart -- you proffer
  • dse -- noun; dative singular masculine of <dvms> the one worshipping -- for the worshipper
  • vaym -- personal pronoun; nominative of <vaym> we -- we
  • tt -- adverb; <tt> then -- then
  • vas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <yym> you (pl.) -- of you
  • vasavas -- adjective; vocative plural masculine of <vsu> good, beneficent -- gentle
  • vivavedasas -- noun; vocative plural masculine of <vivvedas> all-knowing one -- all-knowing ones
  • pa stheyma -- verb; 1st person plural active simple aorist optative of </sth, tsthati> stand + preverb <pa> up to -- may we stand closely
  • mdhye -- noun; locative singular neuter of <mdhya> middle -- in the midst # Latin medius, Greek messos.
  • -- preposition; <> from, in -- in

Lesson Text

sti h vah sajtyam ridaso
dvso sti piyam
pr nah prvasmai suvitya vocata
maks sumnya nvyase

id h va pastutim
id vmsya bhaktye
pa vo vivavedaso namasyr m
srksi niym iva

d u sy vah savit suprantayo
sthd rdhv vreniyah
n dvipda ctuspdo arthno
viran patayisnvah

devm-devam vo vase
devm-devam abhstaye
devm-devam huvema vjastaye
grnnto deviy dhiy

devso h sm mnave smanyavo
vve skm srtayah
t no ady t aparm tuc t no
bhvantu varivovdah

pr vah amsmi adruhah
samsth pastutnm
n tm dhrtr varuna mitra mrtiyam
y vo dhmabhyo vidhat

pr s ksyam tirate v mahr so
y vo vrya dati
pr prajbhir jyate dhrmanas pri
ristah srva edhate

rt s vindate yudhh
sugbhir yti dhvanah
aryam mitr vrunah srtayo
ym tryante sajsasah

jre cid asmai krnuth nicanam
durg cid susaranm
es cid asmd anih par n s
sredhant v nayatu

yd ady srya udyat
pryaksatr rtm dadh
yn nimrci prabdhi vivavedaso
yd v madhymdine divh

yd vbhipitv asur rtm yat
chardr yem v dse
vaym td vo vasavo vivavedasa
pa stheyma mdhya

Translation

Because there is kinship with you,
O benign gods -- there is alliance --
Admit us to our well-being of old,
And soon to newer favour.
For at this moment I have sent up to you --
This moment, for a share of weal,
Honouring you, all-knowing ones,
A paean of praise, seemingly inexhaustible.
Now he has risen straight up, you sure guides,
The one beloved of you, that Savitar;
Two-footed, and four-footed creatures,
Purposeful winged ones have come to rest.
May we call upon you, god after god, for aid,
God after god, for ready help,
God after god that we may gain strength,
Singing with divine thought.
For indeed the gods are of one mind with man,
All united, giving together.
As such may they be today for us, then in future for our offspring
Providers of spacious freedom.
I sing out praises to you, guileless ones,
In amongst paeans of praise;
No injury will befall, O Varuna, O Mitra,
The mortal who has honoured your precepts.
The one who worships according to your wish
Prolongs his domestic life, is afforded fine refreshments.
He is born anew in his progeny, according to established order
Unharmed and whole he thrives.
Without fighting he achieves his ends;
He travels on his ways by good paths
Whom Aryaman, Mitra, and Varuna, giving together,
Joining together, protect.
Even on flat land you make a gentle slope for him,
On the hard way an easy passage,
From him even this thunderbolt, now in the distance
Unfailing -- let it disappear.
When today at the sun's rising
O benevolent rulers, you grant Truth,
When at sunset, at wakening, all-knowing ones
Or at the midpoint of the day --
-- Or when at homecoming, Lords, you proffer a shield
For the worshipper who follows the path of Truth;
Then may we stand, gentle, all-knowing ones,
Closely within the midst of you.

Grammar

46. Primary stems in long vowels.
46.1. Primary stems in - and -.

The declension of secondary feminine stems in - was given in Lesson 4 (17.3). There are three important monosyllabic feminine abstract nouns that follow the primary - declension: dh 'thought', bh 'respect, fear' and r 'splendour, glory'. The usual endings are given below, as they would be if made from from dh 'thought'. When the case endings begin with a vowel -- changes to -iy-. Dual forms (nominative/accusative dhiy, instrumental dhbhym, gen/loc dhiys) are rare.

    Singular   Plural
Nom   dhs   dhyas
Acc   dhyam   dhyas
Ins   dhiy   dhbhs
Dat   dhiy   dhbhys
Gen   dhiys   dhnm
Loc       dhs

A number of compounds follow this declension, like the masculine adjectives su-dh 'of good thought' and brahma-pr 'delighting in prayer'.

There are in addition some uncompounded polysyllabic nouns which belong to this declension, and are always accented on the -- or -iy- of the suffix, although in the ancient texts -iy- is consistently changed to y with displacement of the accent. Of this group nad (feminine) 'stream' is of frequent occurrence: it appeared in the Lesson 3 text in the accusative plural nadys (correctly nadyas) and genitive plural nadnm, again in examples 296 and 258 in these two forms, and in example 157 in the nominative plural nadys, (nadyas).

The endings of the primary - stems are parallel to those of the primary - stems. When the case ending begins with a vowel -- changes to -uv-. Many of the words that follow this declension are adjectival compounds, like nominative singular masculine pari-bhs 'being around, encompassing' in the Lesson 2 text, and mayo-bh 'bringing happiness', which occurs in the instrumental singular neuter mayobhv in the Lesson 8 text.

Compounds formed with these primary endings show a tendency to be transferred to more common declensions. The - or - regularly appears in shortened form, the compound then following the declension given in section 3 of Lesson 1. An example of this, the alternative adjective mayobh, occurs in example 325, in the accusative singular neuter mayobh, in section 47.3 of this lesson.

  • pur agnm dhiy dadhe (1, 139, 1) 'with thought I place Agni first' [307]
  • ptir vacasyate dhiyh (IX, 99, 6) 'the lord of thought speaks fluently' (the denominative verb vacasy-, from vcas) [308]
  • dhnm anth [antr] sabardghah, hinvn mnus yug (IX, 12, 7) 'producing clarity of thoughts within, encouraging the generations of men' (The first element of the compound sabar-dgha 'producing clarity' is related to Greek saphs 'clear' and sophos 'wise', Latin sapor 'savour, taste' and sapiens 'judicious') [309]
  • t anym-anym nadym sanisnata (I, 131, 5) 'they win (an intensive form of /san, santi 'win') of you (Indra) stream after stream' (nadyam) [310]
  • td vvam abhibhr [abhibhs] asi (VIII, 89, 6) 'you (Indra) surpass all that' [311]
  • agnm juhv` vacasy, madhuprcam dhanas [dhanass] johavmi (II, 10, 6) 'With fluent tongue, winning wealth, I entreat Agni, shedding sweetness' (properly juhv, from juh (f) 'tongue, call'; the adjective is formed from the denominative verb vacasy- in example 308 above)' [312]
46.2. Primary stems in -.

Secondary stems in -, which form the feminine of masculine/neuter nouns and adjectives in -a as described in section 6 of Lesson 2, are very common. There are in addition a few primary - stems, many of which occur as compounds, like the masculine adjectives dhana-s 'winning wealth' in the last example above, vrata-p 'protecting holy law' in example 243, and pur-j 'born aforetime' in the Lesson 6 text. The forms that are found, if made from the monosyllable j 'child' (m/f), are given below. All oblique cases are rare, and only the nominative/accusative/vocative dual forms, j or ja, occur.

    Singular   Plural
Nom   js   js
Acc   jm   js
Ins   j   jbhis
Dat   j   jbhyas
Gen   js    
Loc       jsu
Voc   js    

As with the stems in - and -, there is a tendency for compounds to be transferred to the secondary declension. The compound praj 'creature', for example, has been assimilated to the secondary - declension throughout, and indeed was used to illustrate that declension in Lesson 2. As a result the primary - stems are uncommon, and have on occasion been differently assigned: the feminine r 'gift', for example, which appears only in the accusative rm in X, 111, 7, the first example below, has been taken to be an irregular form of ray, and in the concluding verse of X, 127, the only poem in the Rigveda addressed to dawn's sister, the goddess of night, I follow Professor Lanman (Noun-inflection, JAOS vol. x, 1880, p. 443) in taking gs to be from a monosyllabic g 'singer', rather than the accusative plural 'cows' (example 316 below). I have also interpreted the word form in this way at its occurrence in VII, 36,1 quoted in the introduction to this lesson.

  • scanta yd ussah sryena, citrm asya ketvo rm avindan (X, 111, 7) 'when the dawns accompanied (imperfect without augment; /sac here takes the instrumental) the sun, his rays discovered a bright gift' [313]
  • sum y yr avrk rtajs, t no avantu pitro hvesu (X, 15, 1) 'may those who have left life, not harming, knowing Truth (rta-j, from /j 'know'), the fathers, may they bring help at our invocations' (quoted in the introduction to Lesson 6) [314]
  • ubh vcau vadati smag [smags] iva, gyatrm ca trastubham cnu rjati (II, 43, 1) 'he speaks both voices, like a harmony (sman)-singer; he commands both sacred song and triple praise' (see example 290 for the last verse of this poem) [315]
  • pa te g ivkaram [gs iva akaram], vrnsv duhitar divah, rtri stmam na jigyse (X, 127, 8) 'I have offered up to you, daughter of heaven, like a singer; accept, O Night, as it were a song of praise to the victor' [316] (see example 242 for verse 5)
47. Aorist System: participles and moods.

The examples below are given to illustrate the forms. Participles and moods made from the reduplicating or sigmatic aorists are clearly aorist forms; when made from the simple aorist the Present System forms are given in parentheses for comparison.

47.1. Aorist participles.
  • abh ym dev ditir grnti, savm devsya savitr jusn (VII, 38, 4) 'to whom goddess Aditi sings, enjoying the encouragement of divine Savitar' (simple aorist middle participle from /jus, juste; compare jusmn) [317]
  • s y v sthd abh dksad [dksat] urvm, par n eti svayr goph (II, 4, 7) 'he (fire), who has spread out, burning up the broad earth, like a beast without a herdsman he goes at will' (sigmatic aorist active participle from /dah, dhati 'burn') [318]
47.2. The aorist imperative.

The first two examples are simple aorist imperative forms without connecting -a-, from verbs whose forms in the Present System belong to the thematic (-a-) conjugation. As the endings are added directly to the root in the Aorist System, they are those of the athematic conjugation (compare the aorist middle participle jusn in example 317 above).

  • devbhir devi adite, ristabharman gahi (Lesson 5 text) 'with gods, O goddess Aditi, unfailing in support, come hither' (from /gam, gchati; compare gacha) [319]
  • utvamsya puruhta bodhi (Lesson 6 text) 'and, O much invoked, observe the most recent one' (from /budh, bdhati; compare bodha) [320]
  • dev-devah suhvo bhtu mhyam (Lesson 8 text) 'may god after god be easily invoked for me' (simple aorist imperative from /bh, bhvati; compare bhavatu) [321]
  • mnma rudhi nvyasah (I, 131, 6) 'listen to the thought of a newer one' (simple aorist imperative from /ru, rnti; compare rnuhi, rnudhi) [322] (=189)
  • avistm dhyo jigrtm pramdhh (IV, 50, 11) 'favour (dual) thoughts, waken abundance' (sigmatic aorist imperative from /av, vati 'favour', and reduplicating aorist imperative from /gr 'wake') [323]
47.3. The aorist subjunctive.

The sigmatic aorist is regularly used to make subjunctive forms.

  • s nah parsad [parsat] ti durgni vv, nvva sndhum duritti agnh (I, 99, 1) 'so will Agni bear us over all hard ways and dangers, as with a boat over a river' (sigmatic aorist subjunctive, from /pr, pparti 'pass' with preverb ti) [324] (=124)
  • vta vtu bhesajm, ambh mayobh no hrd, pr na ymsi trisat (X, 186, 1 ) 'may the wind blow healing hither, kind, bringing happiness to us in the heart, it will prolong our lives' (sigmatic aorist subjunctive, from /tr, tirti 'cross' with preverb pr) [325]
  • pd it [its] d u na citrtamo, mahm bharsad [bharsat] dyumtm ndrahtim (VI, 38, 1) 'the brightest one has drunk from here, now he will carry up our great, splendid appeal to Indra (Indra-call)' (sigmatic aorist subjunctive, from /bhr, bhrati 'bring, bear' with preverb t) [326]
  • ut sy no dv matr, ditir ty gamat (Lesson 5 text) 'and that our thought by day, Aditi will come with help' (simple aorist subjunctive from /gam, gchati; compare gacht) [327]
47.4. The aorist optative.

A rare form of the aorist optative, the precative, adds an -s- before the endings, which when simply consonantal are then lost, as explained in section 18. An example occurred in the Lesson 8 text, repeated below (example 330).

  • tvd uso vysi sryasya ca, sm bhaktna gamemahi (Lesson 4 text) 'at your own brightening, O dawn, and the sun's, may we partake of our share' (simple aorist optative of /gam, gchati; compare gchemahi) [328]
  • tm no dev nu mamsrata krtum (Lesson 7 text) 'may the gods commend that wisdom of ours' (sigmatic aorist optative of /man, mnyate with preverb nu) [329]
  • pr sustut stanyantam ruvntam, ils ptim jaritar nnm ayh (Lesson 8 text) 'may a fine hymn of praise now reach (ays, = ays-t) the roaring thunder-maker, lord of refreshment, O singer' (precative of /am, anti 'reach') [330]
48. The passive.

The passive is formed with the suffix -y-, and the endings of the middle voice. The middle voice, without the suffix, can also be used with passive sense, as in the seventh verse of the lesson text, v tirate, and the last two examples below.

  • idm pitr martm ucyate vcah (I, 114, 6) 'this speech is addressed to the father of the Maruts' (from /vac 'speak') [331] (=187)
  • svdisth dhtr ucthya asyate (I, 110, 1) 'the sweetest thought is sung for praise' (from /ams 'sing praise') [332] (=193)
  • vibhrjamna ussm upsthd, rebhar d eti anumadymnah (VII, 63, 3) 'refulgent, from the lap of dawns (the sun) rises, delighted in by the singers' (passive participle from /mad 'delight in' with preverb nu) [333]
  • ev agnr gtamebhir rtv, vprebhir astosta jtvedh (I, 77, 5) 'so Agni, possessed of Truth, knowing created things, has been praised by the poets, the Gotamas' (sigmatic aorist middle of /stu 'praise') [334]
  • tm devnm bhvanasya grbha, yathvam carati dev esh, ghs d asya rnvire n rpm (X, 168, 4) 'the breath of the gods, the germ of existence, this god goes as he wills, his sounds are heard but his form is not (seen)' (from /ru 'hear', and supplying dadre from /dr 'see') [335] (=259)
48.1. The aorist passive.

This passive is found only in the 3rd person singular. It is formed with the augment, and the suffix -i is added to the verbal root, which is usually strengthened. An example occurred at the beginning of the Lesson 4 text: prty u adari yat, uchnt duhit divh 'now she has been seen (a-dar-i, from /dr 'see, appear'), approaching, shining, the daughter of heaven'. The aorist passive is characteristic of poems of early date.

  • sarji vm sthvir vedhas gh (I, 181, 7) 'a steadfast song has been sent (from /srj) to you, honourable pair' [336]
  • dhyi agnr mnussu viks (III, 5, 3) 'fire has been placed (from /dh) among settlements of men' (the adjective mnus, feminine of mnusa in example 309 above) [337]
  • mtsi pyi te mhah (I, 175, 1) 'rejoice (Indra), your greatness has been drunk (from /p, pbati 'drink')' (for the last verse of this poem, concluding the image, see example 279: '... you were like happiness, like water to a thirsty man') [338]
  • ceti ketr ussah purstt 'the sign of dawn has been seen (from /cit) up ahead' (VII, 67, 2) [339]
  • us [uss] adari rambhir vykt 'dawn has come into view, made bright with rays' (VII, 77, 3) [340]
  • vvam jvm tmaso nr amoci, mhi jytih pitrbhir dattm gt (X, 107, 1) 'all life has been released (from /muc 'make free' with preverb ns 'out') from darkness, the great light given by the fathers has come' [341]
  • iym vm asy mnmana, ndrgn prvystutih, abhrd vrstr ivjani [iva ajani] (VII, 94, 1) 'this praise of old has been produced (from /jan) for you from this one's thought, O Indra and Agni, like rain from the storm-cloud' [342]
49. Primary nominal formation.

The formation of nominal (noun and adjective) stems from verbs in Sanskrit is more regular and clear than in any other Indo-European language. The ancient grammarians therefore set up a body of verbal roots, describing the regular processes by which these roots become nouns and adjectives by means of the addition of suffixes.

The table below gives a sample of three verbal roots, /kr 'do', /jan 'produce', and /man 'think', and the nouns and adjectives that they form by means of four common suffixes: -ana, -as, -tu and -man. The position of the accent often differentiates meaning: for example, kar-an 'active' exists alongside root-accented kr-ana 'deed'. The form that the root takes can vary depending on the suffix, as /kr demonstrates: *kr-an and *kr-as are not possible word forms.

    /kr 'do'   /jan 'produce'   /man 'think'
-ana   kar-an 'active'   jn-ana 'producer'   man-na 'thoughtful'
-as   kr-as 'deed'   jn-as 'race'   mn-as 'understanding'
-tu   kr-tu 'power'   jan-t 'creature'   mn-tu 'arbiter'
-man   kr-man 'deed'   jn-man 'birth'   mn-man 'thought'

Further examples of nouns and adjectives formed with these suffixes, together with four more primary suffixes, are given below.

-ana   crana from /car 'move', bhvana from /bh 'be', vaksna from /vaks 'grow', vacan from /vac 'speak', sacan from /sac 'accompany', sdana from /sad 'sit', hvana from /h 'call upon'
-as   vas from /av 'favour', uss from /vas 'shine', cksas from /caks 'see', pyas from /p 'swell with plenty', vcas from /vac, vdas both from /vid 'find' and /vid 'know', vedhs from /vidh 'honour', rvas from /ru 'hear', sdas from /sad
-tu   akt from /aj 'make bright', gt both from /g 'go' and /g 'sing'
-man   dman from /d 'give', dhrman from /dhr 'hold firm', dhman from /dh 'place', ptman from /pat 'fly', vdman from /vid 'know', sdman from /sad
-ani   carni from /car, vaksni from /vaks
-tra   mntra from /man, vrtr from /vr 'hinder'; with connecting vowel gyatr from /g 'sing', cartra from /car, jantra from /jan
-tha   with connecting vowel uctha from /vac, cartha from /car, vakstha from /vaks, vidtha from /vid, sactha from /sac, stantha from /stan 'thunder', vrtha from /vr 'protect'
-ra   usr from /vas 'shine'; with connecting vowel patar from /pat, madir from /mad 'be pleased'

The addition of secondary suffixes to these nominal stems to form derivative nouns and adjectives was treated in section 17 of Lesson 4 ('Secondary nominal formation'). Among the examples given were the secondary suffixes -a, -ya (-iya), -vant and -mant. Some derivatives made with these secondary suffixes, from nouns given above, are manas from mnas; ravasya from rvas, vidathya from vidtha, sacathya from sactha, (all given with suffixal -y in the ancient texts) and usrya from usr; mnasvant from mnas and dmanvant from dman; krtumant from krtu and gtumnt from gt.

The Lesson 10 text is remarkable for its wealth of adjectives and abstract feminine nouns formed with the primary suffix -ti. The passage contains nine examples: sa-r-t 'giving together' from /r 'grant' and pa-stu-ti 'paean' from /stu 'praise' both occur twice, together with bhak-t 'share' from /bhaj 'share', su-pra-n-ti 'guiding safely' from /n 'lead', abh-s-ti 'ready help' from /as 'be', vja-s-ti 'strength-winning' from san 'win', and dhr-t 'injury' from /dhvr 'injure'.

50. The indological tradition: interpretation of verbal roots and their derivatives in the Rigveda.
50.1. Abstract, not concrete: the example of /grabh.

In the translations of indology the Rigveda often appears an unsophisticated and bizarre text because of the tradition of interpreting verbal roots, together with their nominal derivatives, in a primarily concrete or literal sense. Verbal meaning in the Rigveda is however regularly abstract and metaphorical -- the use of /p 'drink' in I, 175, quoted in example 338 above, is an instance of this: 'rejoice (Indra), your greatness has been drunk... you were like happiness, like water to a thirsty man'. A few illustrations of the abstract use of the verb /grabh, grbhnti 'take (not necessarily with the hand)' are given below.

  • svneva [svna iva] dhro mnas yd grabht (I, 145, 2) 'which the wise man has grasped with his own understanding, so to speak' [343]
  • rymsam dksam mnas jagrbhyt (X, 31, 2) 'let him acquire finer virtue with his mind' [344]
  • prti me stmam ditir jagrbhyt, snm n mt hrdyam suvam (V, 42, 2) 'may Aditi welcome my praise, like a mother a beloved son dear to her heart' (with preverb prti) [345] (=283)
  • dev bhuvan [bhuvat] nved ma rtnm, nmo jagrbhvm [jagrbhvn] abh yj jjosat (IV, 23, 4) 'may the god be cognizant (nvedas) of my Truths, having accepted (perfect active participle) the honour that he enjoys' [346]
50.2. Later specialization of meaning: the example of /p.

Indologists call the language of the Rigveda 'Vedic', a word that is also used to describe the language of later texts which owe their existence to the Rigveda and the need to understand it (see the Series Introduction). The influence of these later texts leads to the continuing 'reading back' of interpretations that are later into Rigvedic contexts. A typical example is /p, pnvate 'swell with plenty, yield abundantly' and its primary derivative pyas 'fruitfulness, plenty'. In the later texts the abstract sense was lost, and the root acquired the specific meaning 'swell with milk'. Despite the varied contexts in which pyas occurs in the Rigveda -- the word is ascribed to rivers, plants and speech for instance (see the first verse of the Lesson 3 text, and examples 88, 98, and 300, and 351 below) -- it continues to be consistently translated 'milk' by indologists, and the rivers in the Lesson 3 text, for example, are understood to be pictured as cows.

  • n stut indra n grnn, sam jaritr nady n ppeh (IV, 16, 21) 'now praised, now lauded, Indra, yield refreshment abundantly for the singer, like streams' [347] (=296)
  • ev agnr gtamebhir rtv, vprebhir astosta jtvedh, s esu dyumnm ppayat s vjam (I, 77, 5) 'so Agni, possessed of Truth, knowing created things, has been praised by the poets, the Gotamas; so will he yield glory and strength abundantly among them' [348] (first two lines = 334)
  • ndra ys te nvyasm, gram mandrm jjanat, cikitvnmanasam dhyam, pratnm rtsya pipysm (VIII, 95, 5) 'who for you, Indra, has produced a newer, pleasing song, a perceptive thought, ancient, productive of Truth' (feminine perfect active participle) [349]
  • pr vt vnti patyanti vidyta, d sadhr jhate pnvate svh (V, 83, 4) 'the winds blow forth, the lightnings fall; the plants shoot up, heaven yields abundance' (with preverb t, quoted in the introduction to Lesson 8) [350]
  • srasvat saptth sndhumt, yh susvyanta sudghh sudhr, abh svna pyas ppynh (VII, 36, 6) 'may they be fertile -- the seventh one Sarasvati, mother of the rivers -- those richly giving forth, flowing well, yielding abundantly with their own plenty (pyas)' [351]

In the last example the compound su-dgha 'richly giving forth', describing the rivers, is formed from a primary nominal derivative of a verb that is similar in meaning to /p, /duh 'produce, give forth' with prefix su-. The same derivative, dgha, occurred at the end of the compound sabar-dgha in example 309 earlier in this lesson: dhnm anth sabardghah, hinvn mnus yug (IX, 12, 7) 'producing clarity of thoughts within, encouraging the generations of men'. Like /p, /duh later became restricted in meaning to the production of milk, so that IX, 12, 7, when quoted in a later text, is 'corrected': the genitive plural dhnm 'of thoughts' is changed to the accusative singular dhenm 'stream of milk', and the ending of the adjective changed to agree with the new noun (SV II,5,1,4,7). In the same way at IX, 108, 8, an Archaic poem, the accusative adjective payo-vrdham 'plentiful' is changed to payo-dham (SV II,6,2,6,2). The sophistication and abstraction of the language of the Rigveda was not understood by the authors of the later Vedic texts, and the continuing use of the word 'Vedic' to include the language of the Rigveda perpetuates important mistranslations in these early poems.

50.3. The assumption of ritual meaning: the example of /aj.

Many words continue to be defined in dictionaries in ways that belong to later texts devoted to the description of ritual practice. A significant example of this is the verb /aj, ankti, to which Monier-Williams gives the primary sense for the Rigveda "to apply an ointment or pigment, smear with oil, anoint", and which Macdonell translates simply as 'anoint'. Most recently (1986) the verb is defined by Manfred Mayrhofer in his dictionary of early Sanskrit "salben, bestreichen, beschmieren", 'anoint, smear with oil'. This later specialization of sense occasions many strange translations of Rigvedic passages, and footnotes attempting to justify them. Geldner in the 1920s commented on his translation of example 356 below in a footnote "Das Loblied ist eine Salbe"; Renou in the 1960s translated example 353 "je vais lancer-avec-onction la parole que voici"; and the most recent translator of the Rigveda, Tatiana Elizarenkova (1999) notes to bhnm ajate in the first example 'they anoint themselves with light as ointment', and to akt vcobhis in example 359 'anointed with sacrificial butter and praised with words'. The later ritual interpretation also causes perplexity about one of the verb's primary derivatives, akt 'twilight ray'. The meaning of /aj in the Rigveda, both with and without preverbs -- see examples 352, 353, 358 and 359 -- is abstract and complex, lying in the region 'cause to appear, reveal, make bright'.

  • et u ty ussah ketm akrata, prve rdhe rjaso bhnm ajate (I, 92, 1) 'now these dawns have shone out, in the eastern half of the dark region they cause brightness to appear' (present middle) [352]
  • pr rdhya mrutya svbhnava, imm vcam anaj parvatacyte (V, 54, 1) 'for the Maruts' troop, self-luminous, moving mountains, I shall reveal this speech' (subjunctive) [353]
  • purog [purogs] agnr devnm, gyatrna sm ajyate (I, 188, 11) 'Agni, herald of the gods, is made bright with sacred song' (passive, with preverb sm) [354]
  • us adari rambhir vykt 'dawn has come into view, made bright with rays' (past participle, with preverb v) (VII, 77, 3) [355] (=340)
  • ndrya arkm juhv` [juhv] sm aje (I, 61, 5) 'for Indra I reveal a song of praise with my tongue' (present middle, with preverb sm) [356]
  • tvst rpni h prabhh, pan vvn samnaj (I, 188, 9) 'for Tvashtar presides over the forms, he has made manifest all the beasts' (perfect middle, with preverb sm, quoted in the introduction to Lesson 8) [357]
  • imm te dhyam pr bhare mah mahm, asy stotr dhisn yt ta [te] naj (I, 102, 1) 'this thought I offer to you, mighty for the mighty, when your power to inspire has been made manifest in this man's song of praise' [358]
  • yc chasyse [yt asyse] dybhir akt [akts] vcobhis, tj [tt] jusasva jaritr ghsi mnma (VI, 5, 6) 'when you (Agni) are praised through the course of days, made manifest with words, then enjoy the voiced (ghsi, compare ghsa in example 335) thought of the singer' (past participle) [359]
  • ddrksanta usso yman aktr, vivsvaty mhi citrm nkam, vve jnanti mahin yd gd, ndrasya krma skrt purni (III, 30, 13) 'they long to see, at the approach of the glimmering light (akt) of dawn, the great bright face of the radiant one; all know when she has come in her glory -- the many deeds of Indra are well done' [360] (=223)