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Ancient Sanskrit Online

Lesson 5

Karen Thomson and Jonathan Slocum

The fears of the poets of the Rigveda revolve around darkness, confinement (for which see the second verse of this lesson text) and human ills, all of which they strive to overcome by means of their holy songs. The lesson 4 text concluded with the wish that dawn's light may "shine misfortunes away", and this lesson text is addressed to another goddess of light, jytismatm ditim (I, 136, 3). The meaning of Aditi's name, -diti, is debated. Elsewhere in the text it appears together with its opposite: caksthe ditim dtim ca (V, 62, 8), perhaps 'you two see both freedom and limit', and at VII, 52, 1 as a plural adjective, ditayah syma. Aditi, or the abstraction that she regularly personifies, can also represent everything that is good, even all existence: ditir dyar ditir antriksam, ditir mt s pit s putrh, vve dev ditih pca jn, ditir jtm ditir jnitvam 'Aditi is the heaven, Aditi is the atmosphere, Aditi is mother, father, son; Aditi is all the gods, the five peoples, the born and the yet to be born' (I, 89, 10).

Reading and Textual Analysis

The lesson text is from VIII, 18 (638), a poem of 22 verses addressed to Aditi and her sons, the divine Adityas. The text is verses 4-12, and the metre is usnih, three-line verses of 8, 8, and 12 syllables. The name Aditya is a derivative of Aditi, a patronymic formed according to the pattern described in the last lesson (17.1; the initial A is long). These heavenly princes are svapnajo animis dabdhh (II, 27, 9) 'unsleeping, unblinking, undeceived', qualities that well equip them to watch over and protect mortals: paks vyo ythopri, v asm rma yachata (VIII, 47, 2) 'as birds their wings overhead, stretch out shelter for us'.

devbhir devi adite
ristabharman gahi
smt srbhih purupriye surmabhih

  • devbhis -- noun; instrumental plural masculine of <dev> divine, god -- with gods
  • devi -- noun; vocative singular feminine of <dev> divine, goddess -- O divine
  • adite -- noun; vocative singular feminine of <diti> freedom, Aditi -- Aditi
  • ristabharman -- adjective; vocative singular feminine of <ristabharman> (lit.) of unbroken-support -- unfailing in support
  • gahi -- verb; 2nd person singular active aorist imperative of </gam, gchati> go +preverb <> (intensifies or reverses meaning) -- come hither
  • smt -- preposition; <smt> together with -- together with
  • srbhis -- noun; instrumental plural masculine of <sr> prince -- with the princes
  • purupriye -- adjective; vocative singular feminine of <purupriy> much loved -- O beloved
  • surmabhis -- adjective; instrumental plural masculine of <surman> of good shelter, tutelary -- tutelary

t h putrso diter
vidr dvsmsi ytave
amh cid uruckrayo anehsah

  • t -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <ss, s, tt> that; he, she, it -- they
  • h -- particle; <h> for, because -- for
  • putrsas -- noun; nominative plural masculine of <putr> son -- the sons
  • dites -- noun; genitive singular feminine of <diti> freedom, Aditi -- of Aditi
  • vidr -- verb; 3rd person plural active perfect of </vid, vda> know -- know
  • dvsmsi -- noun; accusative plural neuter of <dvsas> hatred -- enmities
  • ytave -- infinitive; dative infinitive from </yu, yuyti> keep away -- to keep away
  • amhs -- noun; ablative singular of <amh> narrowness, anxiety -- from anxiety # Related to mhas 'trouble', this word only occurs in the ablative, and always in opposition to ur 'spacious(ness)' (here, uru-ckri) or its derivative vrivas 'space, freedom'. Latin angustus 'narrow' and angustiae 'anguish' and German eng 'narrow' and Angst show the same parallel of literal and figurative meaning, which also lies behind the English idioms to be in a tight spot or in dire straits.
  • cit -- particle; <cit> even, all -- all
  • uruckrayas -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <uruckri> (lit.) space-making -- freeing
  • anehsas -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <anehs> incomparable, peerless -- the peerless ones

ditir no dv pam
ditir nktam dvayh
ditih ptu mhasah sadvrdh

  • ditis -- noun; nominative singular feminine of <diti> freedom, Aditi -- Aditi
  • nas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <vaym> we -- our
  • dv -- adverb; <dv> by day -- by day
  • pam -- noun; accusative singular masculine of <pa> cattle -- cattle # Cognate with Latin pecus.
  • ditis -- noun; nominative singular feminine of <diti> freedom, Aditi -- Aditi
  • nktam -- adverb; <nktam> by night -- by night
  • dvays -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <dvayas> not duplicitous, trustworthy -- trustworthy
  • ditis -- noun; nominative singular feminine of <diti> freedom, Aditi -- Aditi
  • ptu -- verb; 3rd person singular active imperative of </p, pti> protect -- may she protect
  • mhasas -- noun; ablative singular neuter of <mhas> trouble -- from trouble
  • sadvrdh -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <sadvrdha> ever-beneficent -- ever beneficent

ut sy no dv matr
ditir tiy gamat
s mtti myas karad pa srdhah

  • ut -- conjunction; <ut> and -- and
  • sy -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <sys, sy, tyt> that -- that # Another demonstrative pronoun derived from ss, s, tt, often used adjectivally with its subject.
  • nas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <vaym> we -- our
  • dv -- adverb; <dv> by day -- by day
  • mats -- noun; nominative singular feminine of <mat> thought -- thought
  • ditis -- noun; nominative singular feminine of <diti> freedom, Aditi -- Aditi
  • ty -- noun; instrumental singular feminine of <t> help -- with help
  • gamat -- verb; 3rd person singular active aorist subjunctive of </gam, gchati> go + preverb <> (intensifies or reverses meaning) -- she will come
  • s -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <ss, s, tt> that; he, she, it -- she
  • mtti -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <mtti> blessed -- blessed
  • myas -- noun; accusative singular neuter of <myas> happiness -- happiness
  • karat -- verb; 3rd person singular active aorist subjunctive of </kr, krnti> do, make -- she will make
  • pa -- preverb; <pa> away -- away # The use of the preverb in the third line here, and in the last lines of the next three verses, is sophisticated. As in the second verse of the third lesson text a verb is understood with the preverb, which is here supplied by the immediately preceding karat. It gives the sense of a repeated verb with contrary sense: Aditi will both 'make happiness', myas karat, and will 'make away with misfortunes', [karat] pa srdhah.
  • srdhas -- noun; accusative plural feminine of <srdh> failure, misfortune -- misfortunes

ut ty davy bhisj
m nah karato avn
yuyuytm it rpo pa srdhah

  • ut -- conjunction; <ut> and -- and # Together with the following pronoun makes a parallel between this and the preceding verse.
  • ty -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative dual masculine of <sys, sy, tyt> that -- those
  • davy -- adjective; nominative dual masculine of <davya> divine -- divine
  • bhisj -- noun; nominative dual masculine of <bhisj> healer -- healers
  • m -- indeclinable; <m> blessing, blessed -- blessing
  • nas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <vaym> we -- for us
  • karatas -- verb; 3rd person dual active aorist subjunctive of </kr, krnti> do, make -- will make
  • avn -- noun; nominative dual masculine of <avn> horseman, Ashvin -- the two horsemen
  • yuyuytm -- verb; 3rd person dual active optative of </yu, yuyti> keep away -- let them keep away
  • its -- adverb; <its> from here -- from here
  • rpas -- noun; accusative singular neuter of <rpas> sickness -- sickness
  • pa -- preverb; <pa> away -- away
  • srdhas -- noun; accusative plural feminine of <srdh> failure, misfortune -- misfortunes

m agnr agnbhih karac
chm nas tapatu sriyah
m vto vtu arap pa srdhah

  • m -- indeclinable; <m> blessing, blessed -- blessing
  • agns -- noun; nominative singular masculine of <agn> fire, Agni -- Agni
  • agnbhis -- noun; instrumental plural masculine of <agn> fire, Agni -- with fires
  • karat -- verb; 3rd person singular active aorist subjunctive of </kr, krnti> do, make -- will make
  • m -- indeclinable; <m> blessing, blessed -- blessing
  • nas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <vaym> we -- us
  • tapatu -- verb; 3rd person singular active imperative of </tap, tpati> heat, warm -- let it warm
  • sryas -- noun; nominative singular masculine of <srya> sun -- the sun
  • m -- indeclinable; <m> blessing, blessed -- blessing
  • vtas -- noun; nominative singular masculine of <vta> wind -- the wind
  • vtu -- verb; 3rd person singular active imperative of </v, vti> blow -- let it blow
  • araps -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <araps> without sickness, wholesome -- wholesome
  • pa -- preverb; <pa> away -- away
  • srdhas -- noun; accusative plural feminine of <srdh> failure, misfortune -- misfortunes

pmvm pa srdham
pa sedhata durmatm
dityso yuytan no mhasah

  • pa -- preverb; <pa> away -- away
  • mvm -- noun; accusative singular feminine of <mv> affliction -- affliction
  • pa -- preverb; <pa> away -- away
  • srdham -- noun; accusative singular feminine of <srdh> failure, misfortune -- misfortune
  • pa sedhata -- verb; 2nd person plural active imperative of </sidh, sdhati> drive away + preverb <pa> away -- drive far away
  • durmatm -- noun; accusative singular feminine of <durmat> bad thought, envy -- envy
  • ditysas -- noun; vocative plural masculine of <dity> of Aditi, son of Aditi -- O sons of Aditi
  • yuytana -- verb; 2nd person plural active imperative of </yu, yuyti> keep away -- keep away # The long final vowel is not uncommon in the Rigveda (see also yuyot in the next verse).
  • nas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <vaym> we -- us
  • mhasas -- noun; ablative singular neuter of <mhas> trouble -- from trouble

yuyt rum asmd m
ditysa utmatim
rdhag dvsah krnuta vivavedasah

  • yuyta -- verb; 2nd person plural active imperative of </yu, yuyti> keep away -- keep away # Note that the poet varies the form of the imperative here, and of the vocative plural in the next verse.
  • rum -- noun; accusative singular feminine of <ru> arrow -- the arrow
  • asmt -- personal pronoun; ablative of <vaym> we -- from us
  • -- preposition; <> from, in -- far # Used following an ablative or locative to intensify the sense.
  • ditysas -- noun; vocative plural masculine of <dity> of Aditi, son of Aditi -- Adityas
  • ut -- conjunction; <ut> and -- and
  • matim -- noun; accusative singular feminine of <mati> lack of thought -- lack of thought
  • rdhak -- adverb; <rdhak> separately, on one side -- on one side
  • dvsas -- noun; accusative neuter singular of <dvsas> hatred -- hatred
  • krnuta -- verb; 2nd person plural active imperative of </kr, krnti> do, make -- set
  • vivavedasas -- noun; vocative plural masculine of <vivvedas> all-knowing one -- all-knowing ones

tt s nah rma yachata
dity yn mmocati
nasvantam cid nasah sudnavah

  • tt -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <ss, s, tt> that; he, she, it -- it
  • s -- particle; <s> well, surely -- surely
  • nas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <vaym> we -- to us
  • rma -- noun; accusative singular neuter of <rman> refuge, shelter -- the refuge
  • yachata -- verb; 2nd person plural active imperative of </yam, ychati> extend, stretch out -- extend
  • ditys -- noun; vocative plural masculine of <dity> of Aditi, son of Aditi -- O sons of Aditi
  • yt -- relative pronoun; nominative singular neuter of <ys, y, yt> who, which -- which
  • mmocati -- verb; 3rd person singular active perfect subjunctive of </muc, mucte> make free -- will free, freeing
  • nasvantam -- noun; accusative singular masculine of <nasvant> possessing sin -- the sinful man
  • cit -- particle; <cit> even, all -- even
  • nasas -- noun; ablative singular neuter of <nas> sin -- from sin
  • sudnavas -- adjective; vocative plural masculine of <sudnu> generous, liberal -- O liberal

Lesson Text

devbhir devi adite
ristabharman gahi
smt srbhih purupriye surmabhih

t h putrso diter
vidr dvsmsi ytave
amh cid uruckrayo anehsah

ditir no dv pam
ditir nktam dvayh
ditih ptu mhasah sadvrdh

ut sy no dv matr
ditir tiy gamat
s mtti myas karad pa srdhah

ut ty davy bhisj
m nah karato avn
yuyuytm it rpo pa srdhah

m agnr agnbhih karac
chm nas tapatu sriyah
m vto vtu arap pa srdhah

pmvm pa srdham
pa sedhata durmatm
dityso yuytan no mhasah

yuyt rum asmd m
ditysa utmatim
rdhag dvsah krnuta vivavedasah

tt s nah rma yachata
dity yn mmocati
nasvantam cid nasah sudnavah

Translation

With gods, O divine Aditi,
Unfailing in support, come hither;
Together with the tutelary princes, O beloved.
For they, the sons of Aditi,
Know to keep enmities away;
Freeing from all anxiety, the peerless ones.
Let Aditi by day, Aditi by night
Trustworthy, guard our cattle --
Aditi, ever beneficent, protect from trouble.
And that our thought by day:
Aditi will come with help.
She will make blessed happiness, banish misfortunes.
And those divine healers,
The two horsemen, will bless us,
Let them keep sickness from here, keep away misfortunes.
Agni will bless with fires,
Let the sun warm a blessing for us;
Let the wholesome wind blow a blessing, blow away misfortunes.
Away affliction, away misfortune,
Drive envy far away.
O sons of Aditi, keep us from trouble.
Keep the arrow far from us,
Adityas, and lack of thought.
Set hatred on one side, all-knowing ones.
Extend it surely to us,
O liberal sons of Aditi,
The refuge freeing even the sinful man from sin.

Grammar

21. Prefixes a-, su- and dus-.

The name Aditi is characterised by the privative prefix a-, Greek a-, which, like English un- or in-, reverses the meaning of the noun or adjective, often a participle, that follows it: in-equality, un-forgiving. It can also be used to turn a noun into an adjective, like English -less: harm-less. Before vowels a- becomes an-. This lesson text contains a number of examples of this formation: an-ehs 'incomparable', -dvayas 'unduplicitous', a-raps 'without sickness, wholesome', -mati 'lack of thought'.

Similar simple nominal compounds are formed with the prefixes su- 'good, well-' and dus- 'bad, ill-', which becomes dur- or dus- according to phonetic rules described in the Series Introduction. Compare Greek eu- in eu-phmos, English euphemism, dus- in dus-mens 'ill-disposed', and Latin dif- in dif-ficilis, English difficult. The prefix su- has appeared a number of times in the lessons: su-mnas 'well-disposed' (the opposite of Greek dus-mens), su-pn 'lovely-handed', and su-mat 'good thought, favour', and is found in this lesson text in su-rman 'of good shelter, tutelary', and su-dnu 'generous'. Occasionally the u is lengthened, as in s-nr, an epithet of dawn in the Lesson 4 text, and s/s also occurs as an independent particle, as in the last verse of this lesson. The opposite of sumat, durmat 'bad thought, envy' also occurs in this passage: pa sedhata durmatm 'drive envy far away'. Such oppositions are frequently juxtaposed in the text, as in example 125 below.

  • ytr suparn [suparns] amrtasya bhgm, nimesam vidthbhisvranti [vidth abhisvranti] (I, 164, 21) 'where the fine-feathered ones unblinkingly sing out praise of wise judgements as a part of immortality' (parn (n) 'feather', and compare the adjective animis 'unblinking' in the introduction to this lesson) [118]
  • satah sd [satas st] ajyata (X, 72, 2; X, 72, 3) 'being was born from non-being' (the prefix a- + ablative of the neuter present active participle of /as 'be') [119]
  • dbhyena ocs (X, 118, 7) '(Agni burns) with flame that is not to be deceived' (the prefix a- + future passive participle, see section 15.3) [120]
  • ristam dustram shah (II, 34, 7) '(give to the bard) unbroken (the prefix a- + past participle of /ri 'harm, break') might, hard to conquer (from /tr, trati 'cross, overcome')' [121]
  • sustutr [...] asmbhis tbhyam asyate (III, 62, 7) 'good praise (stut feminine) through us is proclaimed to you' [122] (=10)
  • yna srya jytis bdhase tmah, [...] pa dusvpnyam suva (X, 37, 4) 'with the light with which, O sun, you banish darkness, drive away the bad dream' (from svpna 'sleep, dream', related to Greek upnos; compare svapnaj 'unsleeping' in the introduction to this lesson) [123]
  • s nah parsad ti durgni vv, nvva [nv iva] sndhum duritti [durit ti] agnh (I, 99, 1) 'so will Agni bear us over all hard ways (dur-g, literally 'bad-going') and dangers (dur-it), as with a boat (na feminine) over a river' [124]
  • durg cin nah sugm krdhi (VIII, 93, 10) 'even in the hard way make a good passage for us' [125]
22. Nouns in -man, -an and -van.

Another important class of abstract nouns, like those in -as discussed in the last lesson, are the neuter nouns in -man, which are similarly accented on the first syllable. A number of these have already been encountered: rman 'refuge, shelter' in examples 11, 16, and in the last verse of the Lesson 2 text; dhrman 'support', also in the Lesson 2 text; krman 'act, deed' in Lesson 3; and mnman 'thought' and brhman 'prayer' in examples 51 and 53. svman 'bringing to life', found only in the locative svmani, also occurred in the Lesson 2 text. rman 'refuge, shelter' appears once more, in a now familiar appeal to the gods, in the last verse of this lesson text: tt s nah rma yachata.

    Singular   Plural
Nom   brhma   brhmni, brhm, brhma
Acc   brhma   brhmni, brhm, brhma
Ins   brhman   brhmabhis
Dat   brhmane   brhmabhyas
Abl   brhmanas   brhmabhyas
Gen   brhmanas   brhmanm
Loc   brhmani, brhman   brhmasu

The alternative locative singular form without ending, brhman 'in prayer', is peculiar to this declension. As usual with neuter nouns dual forms are uncommon: the nominative/accusative would be brhman.

The majority of masculine and feminine words ending in -man are compound adjectives formed from these abstract neuter nouns, as in the two examples in the first verse of this lesson text, feminine rista-bharman 'of unbroken support' (neuter bhrman 'support'), and masculine su-rman 'of good shelter, tutelary'. Many are formed using the three prefixes discussed in the previous grammar section: su-krman 'of good action', a-karmn, su-brhman, -brahman, su-rman, su-mnman, dur-mnman. Compare the formation of su-mnas 'well-disposed' from neuter mnas 'understanding', described in the last lesson (16.1). As with sumnas, the declension of the masculine and feminine forms differs from the neuter singular and plural only in the nominative, accusative, and vocative (the vocative neuter does not occur):

Masculine/Feminine   Singular   Dual   Plural
Nom   sukrm   sukrmn   sukrmnas
Acc   sukrmnam   sukrmn   sukrmanas
Voc   skarman   skarmn   skarmnas

There are also a few uncompounded masculine stems in -man, with accent on the suffix: brahmn 'devout man', jarimn 'old age', and the two related nouns tmn 'breath' and tmn 'nature, self'.

There are many fewer stems in -an, but one important one, rjan 'king'. The endings are the same as the masculine -man endings, except that there is syncopation of the vowel of the suffix in some cases: the written forms of the instrumental, dative, ablative and genitive singular are rj, rje, and rjas, and the accusative and genitive plural rjas and rjm. This sycopation is also sometimes found in masculine stems in -man; the dative singular of jarimn for example is jarimn.

The suffix -van is most frequently used to form masculine compound adjectives, like -rvan 'not granting', deva-yvan 'going to the gods', puro-yvan 'going in front', rt-van 'holy', magh-van 'gracious' (the noun magh 'gift' has a sense of reciprocity, 'gift in return'). There are also a few nominal forms, like dhvan 'way', tharvan 'priest', stvan 'warrior' and grvan 'chief singer, cantor' (see the Series Introduction for the indological translation of this word). When preceded by a vowel, syncopation of the vowel of the suffix may again take place: the accusative plural of dh-van is dhvanas, but of gr-van grvnas. The word maghvan is irregular, contracting --van- to -n-: nominative singular maghv, genitive maghnas. The feminine ending corresponding to masculine -van is is -var, as in the vocative plural rtvars addressed to the streams in the Lesson 3 text. The feminine of maghvan is maghn.

  • rma yachata dvipde ctuspade (X, 37, 11) 'extend protection to the two-footed, to the four-footed' [126]
  • srya tm jgatas tasthsa ca (I, 115, 1) 'the sun, the breath (masculine) of all that moves and stands' [127]
  • ahm rj vrunah (IV, 42, 2) 'I am King Varuna' [128] (=1)
  • ysya brhmni sukrat vthah (VII, 61, 2) 'whose prayers, O very able pair, you may favour' [129] (=53)
  • brahmna [brahmnas] ndram mahyanto arkah (V, 31, 4) 'devout men (note accent and gender) magnifying Indra with eulogies' [130]
  • cijanmana [cijanmanas] ussa cakra (VI, 39, 3) '(Indra) makes the dawns of bright birth (accusative feminine plural compound of ci 'bright' and jnman 'birth')' [131]
  • es grveva [grv iva] jarit ta indra, yarti vcam brhd usnh (V, 36, 4) 'this singer of yours, Indra, like the cantor, sends his voice forth on high, sparing no effort (lit. 'breathing deeply')' [132]
  • mah rjah [rjas] suvasansya dtrn (VI, 51, 4) '(I approach the Adityas,) great kings, givers of good lodging (su-vasan)' [133]
  • yd dha [yt ha] ynti martah, sm ha bruvate dhvan (I, 37, 13) 'when indeed (ha) the storm gods travel, indeed they speak among themselves on the way' (locative singular without ending) [134]
23. The verb: primary and secondary endings.

At the end of Lesson 1 a table was given to show the usual personal endings of the present tense. The same set of endings is used elsewhere. They are attached to derivative conjugations, like causatives (see Lesson 7), and are also the personal endings of the future tense, which is of rare occurrence in the Rigveda. These endings are traditionally known as 'primary'.

There is another important set of personal endings, known as the 'secondary' endings. They are in fact older than the so-called primary endings, and occur in many parts of the Rigvedic verb. These endings are given in tabular form below.

        Active           Middle    
    Singular   Dual   Plural   Singular   Dual   Plural
1   -am   -va   -ma   -i (-e)   -vahi   -mahi
2   -s   -tam   -ta, -tana   -ths   -thm   -dhvam
3   -t   -tm   -an, -ur   -ta   -tm   -anta, -ata

We have already encountered a tense that uses these endings. Compare the table given for the forms of the imperfect in the last lesson (section 18). The secondary endings are also used by the aorist, the other past tense characterised by the prefixed augment a-. In addition they form the usual personal endings of the injunctive and optative moods.

24. The optative mood.

The optative, the mood of wishing, often appears alongside verbs in the imperative and subjunctive moods, as in this lesson text. It adds y or to the verbal stem, and then the secondary endings, as given above. In thematic [I] verbs, where the stem already has a connecting -a-, this -a- combines with -- to form -e-, as in the 1st person plural py-e-ma, from /pa, pyati 'see', in example 139 below.

The optative occurs less frequently than the imperative and the subjunctive, although forms of the verb 'be' are regularly found, in particular syma 'may we be', as in the first line of the first lesson text. Middle forms, with the exception again of the first person plural, an example of which occurred in the last lesson text, gamemahi 'may we go', are uncommon.

    Singular   Dual   Plural
1   sym   [syva]   syma
2   sys   sytam   syta
3   syt   sytm   syr

The optative can be formed in more than one system, but all the examples below are from the Present System.

  • utdnm bhgavantah syma (VII, 41, 4) 'and may we now be fortunate' [135] (=97).
  • n me stot amatv n drhitah, syd [syt] agne n ppy (VIII, 19, 26) 'let not my praiser be lacking in thought (amati-vn), nor ill-placed, Agni, nor in an evil way (pp, feminine, occurs only in this instrumental form) [136]
  • surmano brhath rmani sym (III, 15, 1) 'may I be in the shelter of the lofty tutelary one' [137]
  • yuyuytm it rpo pa srdhah (lesson text) 'let them (dual) keep sickness from here, keep away misfortunes' [138]
  • pyema n sryam uccrantam (VI, 52, 5; X, 59, 4) 'now let us see the sun rising' [139] (=33)
  • kath dema nmas sudnn (V, 41, 16) 'how may we worship (/d, dati 'worship') the generous ones with honour?' [140]
  • t vm ady sumatbhih ubhas pat, vin pr stuvmahi (VIII, 22, 6) 'As such let us praise (middle) you today, twin horsemen, Lords of splendour (bh feminine), with good thoughts' [141]
25. Numerals.

Ways of counting are ancient, and provide clear evidence of the relationships between languages. In Sanskrit ka 'one' was originally a demonstrative pronoun (see below) but numbers 2 to 10 and 100, dv, tr, catr, pca, ss, sapt, ast, nva, da, and atm (Latin centum), have a very familiar appearance. The word usually translated 1000, sahsra, in origin simply means 'a great number'.

ka 'one' follows the pronominal declension described in section 11, declining like y except in the nominative/accusative singular neuter kam, as in the first example below. Confirming its pronominal nature, it also occurs in the plural, with the meaning 'some', as in the second example.

  • td kam, devnm rstham vpusm apayam (V, 62, 1) 'I saw that one, the finest of the marvels of the gods' [142] (=91)
  • rcanta [rcantas] ke mhi sma manvata, tna sryam arocayan (VIII, 29, 10) 'some, praising, conceived the great harmony (sman); with it they caused the sun to shine' [143]

dv 'two' (duo, Latin duo, German zwei), like Greek duo inflects regularly as a dual adjective. The adjective dvayas 'unduplicitous' in the lesson text is a derivative of dv, with the privative prefix a-. dv becomes dvi- in compounds like dvi-pd 'two-footed' in example 126 in section 22, and dvi-jnman 'of double birth', an epithet of Agni.

  • vbhir dv caratah (VIII, 29, 8) 'two move with the birds (v, masculine)' [144]
  • tvm kasya vrtrahann, avit dvyor asi (VI, 45, 5) 'you, O demon-slayer (Indra), are the helper of one, the helper of two' [145]

tr 'three' declines in the plural. In its masculine and neuter forms it follows the declension of ci given in section 3, but it has a different feminine form, already encountered in Lesson 2, tisr, which declines like svsr (see section 8.2) with the exception of the nominative and accusative tisrs.

  • tribhr vratar abh no raksati tmn (Lesson 2 text) 'by his nature he guards us with the three holy laws' [146]
  • prthivs tisr [tisrs] invati (Lesson 2 text) 'he gives motion to the three earths' [147]

The declension of catr 'four' is irregular. The nominative masculine is catvras (compare Latin quattuor, French quatre), and like tr it has a different feminine stem, catasr. Numbers beyond four do not distinguish gender, and usually have no ending in the nominative and accusative.

  • ph grbhs tisrbhir rjm pate, ph catasrbhir vaso (VIII, 60, 9) 'protect, O lord of powers (rj feminine), with three songs, with four songs, O generous one' [148]
  • vve dev ditih pca jn, ditir jtm ditir jnitvam (I, 89, 10, quoted in the introduction to this lesson) 'Aditi is all the gods, the five peoples, the born and the yet to be born' [149]
  • sapt svsro abh sm navante (I, 164, 3) 'seven sisters implore together' [150] (=47)