There has been interest expressed here in Sanskrit language study. How is this language studied? In American universities, this is typically done by the instructor assigning lessons from a book, and then in class answering questions that arise from the students doing these lessons. There is often very little actual instruction given by the instructor. Most of the instruction comes from the book. When this is the case, this is something that can just as well be done online. Then the only real need to pay thousands of dollars for a professor, or more often a graduate student, to do this, is for those who need the credential.
 
We suggest purchasing and using Judith Tyberg's First Lessons in Sanskrit Grammar and Reading, to serve as the instructor. This is available at Amazon for $13.95. Any questions that arise from going through these lessons can be discussed here on this forum. Nancy Reigle will be available for this, as time permits. She started studying this book with the late Judith Tyberg in 1978. This book is highly recommended to start one's studies of Sanskrit with.
 
A detailed listing of what books are available for Sanskrit study can be found in "Sanskrit Language Study: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Materials in English" (attached here, and also at: http://www.easterntradition.org/etri%20bib-sanskrit%20study.pdf). For those who want a more advanced course, there are several options. A couple of these can be used for self-study, but most require an instructor. Among the latter is the Devavanipravesika: An Introduction to the Sanskrit Language, by Robert Goldman and Sally Sutherland Goldman. Nancy studied this book in an exceptional class with the co-author, Sally Sutherland (Goldman), at University of California, Berkeley, and can also reply to questions on its lessons.
 
Whatever book you choose, we wish you well in this difficult but rewarding study.

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Sāṃkhya-Kārikā, verse 3

mūla-prakṛtir avikṛtir mahad-ādyāḥ prakṛti-vikṛtayaḥ sapta |
ṣoḍaśakas tu vikāro na prakṛtir na vikṛtiḥ puruṣaḥ || 3 ||


[without sandhi:


mūla-prakṛtiḥ avikṛtiḥ mahat-ādyāḥ prakṛti-vikṛtayaḥ sapta |
ṣoḍaśakaḥ tu vikāraḥ na prakṛtiḥ na vikṛtiḥ puruṣaḥ || 3 || ]


3. Root substance is not something produced; the Great (principle) and the rest, the seven, are producers and produced. The group of sixteen are products (only); spirit is neither producer nor produced.

mūla-prakṛtiḥ (root substance) avikṛtiḥ [is] (not [something] produced); mahat-ādyāḥ (the Great [principle] and the rest) [are] prakṛti-vikṛtayaḥ (producers and produced) sapta (the seven);
ṣoḍaśakaḥ (the group of sixteen) [are] tu [verse filler] vikāraḥ (products [only]); na (neither) prakṛtiḥ (producer) na (nor) vikṛtiḥ (produced) puruṣaḥ (spirit) [is].

Sāṃkhya-Kārikā, verse 3, Grammatical Analysis

without sandhi:

mūla-prakṛtiḥ avikṛtiḥ mahat-ādyāḥ prakṛti-vikṛtayaḥ sapta |
ṣoḍaśakaḥ tu vikāraḥ na prakṛtiḥ na vikṛtiḥ puruṣaḥ || 3 || 
 
 
mūla-prakṛtiḥ (karmadhāraya compound; noun; feminine nominative or 1st case singular) = root (mūla) substance (prakṛtiḥ). A karmadhāraya is typically an adjective compound in which the first member is an adjective that modifies the second member, which is a noun. Here we have a karmadhāraya in which two nouns are in apposition to each other. It is analyzed as: that substance (prakṛtiḥ) which is the root (mūla).
 
avikṛtiḥ (noun; feminine nominative or 1st case singular) = [is] not [something] produced (not a modification of anything). The "a" preceding "vikṛtiḥ" makes it a negative, "not produced."
 
mahat-ādyāḥ (bahuvrīhi compound; noun; masculine nominative or 1st case plural) = the Great (mahat) [principle] and the rest (ādyāḥ) [are]. This bahuvrīhi or possessive compound is analyzed as,"that whose first is mahat," or "beginning with mahat"; and more idiomatically as "mahat and so on."    
    The commentary tells us that "The Great [principle] (Mahat) is the [principle of] intelligence (buddhi)." "The rest" refers to the [principle of] self-consciousness (ahaṃkāra), and the five subtle elements (tanmātra).  
 
prakṛti-vikṛtayaḥ (dvandva compound; noun; feminine nominative or 1st case plural) = producers (prakṛti) and produced (vikṛti). In this dvandva or conjunctive compound, an "and" is supplied between its two members.
 
sapta (numeral; nominative or 1st case) = the seven.
 
ṣoḍaśakaḥ (noun; masculine nominative or 1st case singular) = the group of sixteen [are].
 
tu (indeclinable) = verse filler or weak emphatic.
 
vikāraḥ (noun; masculine nominative or 1st case singular) = product[s] [only].
 
na (indeclinable) = not, neither.
 
prakṛtiḥ (noun; feminine nominative or 1st case singular) = producer.
 
na (indeclinable) = not, nor.
 
vikṛtiḥ (noun; feminine nominative or 1st case singular) = produced.
 
puruṣaḥ (noun; masculine nominative or 1st case singular) = spirit [is].
 
    Sāṃkhya-Kārikā, verse 3, commentary

Now, what are the particulars of the manifest [vyakta], the unmanifest [avyakta], and the knower [jña]? It is said (verse 3):

“Root substance” [mūla-prakṛti] is primary substance [pradhāna] (superphysical). (It is so called) because of being the root of the seven producers [prakṛti] and produced [vikṛti]. Root substance [mūla-prakṛti] is that substance (or producer) [prakṛti] which is the root. Not something produced [avikṛti], it does not originate from something else. Therefore, substance [prakṛti] is not a product (or modification) [vikāra] of anything.

“The Great (principle) [mahat] and the rest, the seven, are producers and produced.” The Great (principle) [mahat] is the (principle of) intelligence [buddhi]. The (principle of) intelligence [buddhi] and the rest are seven, i.e., the (principle of) intelligence [buddhi], the (principle of) self-consciousness [ahaṃkāra], and the five subtle elements [tanmātra]. These seven are producers and produced. This is as follows: From primary substance [pradhāna], the (principle of) intelligence [buddhi] originates; therefore it is something produced, a product of primary substance [pradhāna]. That same (principle of intelligence) [buddhi] generates the (principle of) self-consciousness [ahaṃkāra]; therefore it is a producer. Again, the (principle of) self-consciousness [ahaṃkāra] originates from the (principle of) intelligence [buddhi], so it is something produced; and it generates the five subtle elements [tanmātra], so it is a producer. The subtle element of sound [śabda] originates from the (principle of) self-consciousness [ahaṃkāra], so it is something produced; from it, ether [ākāśa] originates, so it is a producer. Similarly, the subtle element of touch [sparśa] originates from the (principle of) self-consciousness [ahaṃkāra], so it is something produced; likewise it generates air [vāyu], so it is a producer. The subtle element of smell [gandha] originates from the (principle of) self-consciousness [ahaṃkāra], so it is something produced; likewise it generates earth [pṛthivī], so it is a producer. The subtle element of form [rūpa] originates from the (principle of) self-consciousness [ahaṃkāra], so it is something produced; likewise it generates fire [tejas], so it is a producer. The subtle element of taste [rasa] originates from the (principle of) self-consciousness [ahaṃkāra], so it is something produced; likewise it generates water [ap], so it is a producer. Thus, the Great (principle) [mahat] and the rest, the seven, are producers [prakṛti] and produced [vikṛti].

“The group of sixteen are products [vikāra] (only).” The five sense-faculties [buddhīndriya], the five action-faculties [karmendriya], the eleventh, mind [manas], and the five great elements [mahābhūta]—this sixteenfold group—are produced [vikṛti] only. A product [vikāra] is something produced [vikṛti].

“Spirit [puruṣa] is neither producer [prakṛti] nor produced [vikṛti].”


Nancy,

I would like to ask you some questions on this site. My first question is on the "Texts and Translation Projects"

How do I get it in the proper place?

Thank you,

Harold Walker
Nancy Reigle said:

    Sāṃkhya-Kārikā, verse 3, commentary

Now, what are the particulars of the manifest [vyakta], the unmanifest [avyakta], and the knower [jña]? It is said (verse 3):

“Root substance” [mūla-prakṛti] is primary substance [pradhāna] (superphysical). (It is so called) because of being the root of the seven producers [prakṛti] and produced [vikṛti]. Root substance [mūla-prakṛti] is that substance (or producer) [prakṛti] which is the root. Not something produced [avikṛti], it does not originate from something else. Therefore, substance [prakṛti] is not a product (or modification) [vikāra] of anything.

“The Great (principle) [mahat] and the rest, the seven, are producers and produced.” The Great (principle) [mahat] is the (principle of) intelligence [buddhi]. The (principle of) intelligence [buddhi] and the rest are seven, i.e., the (principle of) intelligence [buddhi], the (principle of) self-consciousness [ahaṃkāra], and the five subtle elements [tanmātra]. These seven are producers and produced. This is as follows: From primary substance [pradhāna], the (principle of) intelligence [buddhi] originates; therefore it is something produced, a product of primary substance [pradhāna]. That same (principle of intelligence) [buddhi] generates the (principle of) self-consciousness [ahaṃkāra]; therefore it is a producer. Again, the (principle of) self-consciousness [ahaṃkāra] originates from the (principle of) intelligence [buddhi], so it is something produced; and it generates the five subtle elements [tanmātra], so it is a producer. The subtle element of sound [śabda] originates from the (principle of) self-consciousness [ahaṃkāra], so it is something produced; from it, ether [ākāśa] originates, so it is a producer. Similarly, the subtle element of touch [sparśa] originates from the (principle of) self-consciousness [ahaṃkāra], so it is something produced; likewise it generates air [vāyu], so it is a producer. The subtle element of smell [gandha] originates from the (principle of) self-consciousness [ahaṃkāra], so it is something produced; likewise it generates earth [pṛthivī], so it is a producer. The subtle element of form [rūpa] originates from the (principle of) self-consciousness [ahaṃkāra], so it is something produced; likewise it generates fire [tejas], so it is a producer. The subtle element of taste [rasa] originates from the (principle of) self-consciousness [ahaṃkāra], so it is something produced; likewise it generates water [ap], so it is a producer. Thus, the Great (principle) [mahat] and the rest, the seven, are producers [prakṛti] and produced [vikṛti].

“The group of sixteen are products [vikāra] (only).” The five sense-faculties [buddhīndriya], the five action-faculties [karmendriya], the eleventh, mind [manas], and the five great elements [mahābhūta]—this sixteenfold group—are produced [vikṛti] only. A product [vikāra] is something produced [vikṛti].

“Spirit [puruṣa] is neither producer [prakṛti] nor produced [vikṛti].”

Harold, I'm not sure if this answers your question, but I located the Texts and Translation Projects by doing a search using the search bar at the top of the page, and then scrolled down to your discussion on Sanskrit Grammar.

Hello Nancy,

Please tell me how nau =naav.  I know when a word ends in au and the next word starts with a, they combine and form u. Also the semi-vowel  v  corresponds to the vowel  u. In the case of the root bhu the u takes guna and changes to av. I do not know where the a that precedes the  v  came from. Please help.

Regarding the Shanti  mantra, Monier Williams lists many definitions for bhunaktu. I cannot see how any of them could be construed as protect. This is very bothersome , as it is hard to believe Sankara would have made a mistake in translation.

I noticed that there  is a mantra at the beginning of the Taittiriyaka Upanashad  that says “May it protect [avatu]me. May it protect [avatu] the teacher. Later at the third Valli is the Saha nau bhunaktu mantra . Perhaps through the ages the two mantras got mixed up and Sankara’s version applies to the first mantra and not he later one. What do you think?

Very best,

Harold



Nancy Reigle said:
Harold, I'm not sure if this answers your question, but I located the Texts and Translation Projects by doing a search using the search bar at the top of the page, and then scrolled down to your discussion on Sanskrit Grammar.
Harold asked: Please tell me how nau = naav.

The answer to this question may lie in the way that the complex vowel "au" (also called a diphthong) is denoted. In the International Transliteration System it is represented by the two English letters "au," but it is really just one letter of the Sanskrit alphabet. This representation "au" does not indicate the two Sanskrit letters a + u.

When we do analyze it, the diphthong "au" is the vṛddhi of the simple vowel u (ā + u or ū). Hence, its sandhi form becomes āv.   

A couple of references in Whitney to the sandhi change of "au" to āv are at paragraphs 131 and 134b. (Note that Whitney denotes "au" as āu, unlike the International Transliteration System. For our immediate purpose here, his method is more clear.)


As for your second question:

The meanings of Sanskrit words are derived from their verb-roots, and traditionally these are given in the Paniniya Dhatupatha. The substance of the Paniniya Dhatupatha is given in an appendix called Dhatukosha in M. R. Kale's book, A Higher Sanskrit Grammar. Here on p. 89 of this appendix we see that for the root bhuj, in its second listing as a class 7 root, its first meaning is pālana, "to protect." So there is traditional warrant for Sankaracarya's interpretation, whether or not any such meaning is recorded in Monier-Williams' Dictionary.

Thank you for the info on Goggle transliteration. You most likly also know Google has a mission statement "To organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful". I recently downloaded and printed Monier Williams "A Practical Grammar of the Sanskrit Language". 407 Pages. http://books.google.com/

Joe Fulton said:

Google has a tool that may be of interest.  It will take an english (or other language) transliteration of a word/phrase and make into the text of another language.  Sanskrit is one of the options.

Google Transliterate

The Sāṃkhya-Kārikā now resumes, continuing with verse 4. This is based on the Har Dutt Sharma edition of the Sanskrit text (posted with the Hindu documents here on this website) and his English translation, with considerable adaptations. 
Sāṃkhya-Kārikā, verse 4

dṛṣṭam anumānam āpta-vacanaṃ ca sarva-pramāṇa-siddhatvāt |
tri-vidhaṃ pramāṇam iṣṭaṃ prameya-siddhiḥ pramāṇād dhi || 4 ||

[without sandhi:

dṛṣṭam anumānam āpta-vacanam ca sarva-pramāṇa-siddhatvāt |
tri-vidham pramāṇam iṣṭam prameya-siddhiḥ pramāṇāt hi || 4 || ]


4. Perception, inference, and trustworthy testimony are held to be the three means of valid knowledge, since all means of valid knowledge are established (as being included in these three). It is through a means of valid knowledge that an object of valid knowledge is established (or ascertained).
 
dṛṣṭam (perception) anumānam (inference) āpta-vacanam (trustworthy testimony) ca (and) sarva- (all) pramāṇa- (means of valid knowledge) siddhatvāt (since/ are established [as being included in these three]) tri-vidham (the three) pramāṇam (means of valid knowledge) iṣṭam (are held to be).
prameya- (an object of valid knowledge) siddhiḥ (is established [or ascertained]) pramāṇāt ([it is] through a means of valid knowledge [that]) hi (weak emphatic).  
 

Regarding the sandhi changes of pramANAd dhi from pramANAnt hi, I see the final hard t changes to soft d then the initial h changes to dh. Generally the final letter changes rather than the initial.  Is there a reason the initial h changed to dh? d and h are both soft letters. Why the change?

In our U.L.T. Sanskrit class we are working at translating and parsing the Katha Upanishad 1.3.13.

Yacched vAG manasI prAjJas tadh yacchej jJAna Atmani /

jJAnam Atmani mahati niyacchet tadh yacchec chAnta Atmani //

From Sankara’s commentary translated by Swami Gambhirananda we have:

“The discriminating man should merge the [organ of] speech into the mind; he should merge that [mind] into the intelligent self; he should merge the intelligent self into the Great Soul; he should merge the Great Soul into the peaceful Self.”

Please help me with yacched.  I think it is, without sandhi, yacchet from root yam, 3rd person optative or potential.

Whitney has root yam as “to reach”; Muller has it as 1. “to stop”, 2. “to feed”; Kale has 1. “to cohabit”, 2. “to check, to offer, to lift up, to go to show,” 3. “to surround”; Monier Williams has “to sustain, to hold up, to support, to be founded on, to raise, to wield,”

Swami Ganbhirananda defines yacchet as “merge”. Swami Krishnanda as “sink” and Muller as “keep down”.

I cannot make any sense out of this, I must have something wrong. Please help!

Using the Bhaktivedanta Veda Base site [vedabase.com/en/synonyms] you can enter a Sanskrit word and if the word is in the Gita or the Srimad Bhagavatam it will give a translation and the verse where the word can be found.

Yacchet- get under control SB 2.1.1

Yacchet- get it rectified SB 2.1.20

Yacchet- subdues SB 4.1.4.

I believe this is really a great research tool. You can see a word in the context that it was originally used. Do you know of any similar sites with other scriptures?

Harold said:
 
"Regarding the sandhi changes of pramANAd dhi from pramANAnt hi, I see the final hard t changes to soft d then the initial h changes to dh. Generally the final letter changes rather than the initial.  Is there a reason the initial h changed to dh? d and h are both soft letters. Why the change?"
 
    After the sandhi rule that you cited (final hard "t" changes to soft "d" before initial soft "h"), there is an additional sandhi rule.
    Before the initial "h":  the "h" usually changes to the soft aspirate corresponding to the final letter of the preceding word. See Whitney, para. #163, 163a.
    Sandhi rules are descriptive of what actually happens in pronunciation. When "d" and "h" come together, it is almost impossible to pronounce the "d" followed by "h" without it sounding like a "ddh". Therefore, sandhi rules prescribe that this be spelled out in writing.
 
-----------------------------
 
Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.3.13:
 
The confusion you mentioned is understandable, for two reasons:
 
First, the widely varying English translations for yacchet that you found.
You are correct, yacchet is from the root yam, and is 3rd person optative singular.
Consulting the Monier-Williams dictionary on this can be confusing, too. For the root yam (class 1, parasmaipada), a host of meanings are given, with the basic meaning we are looking for just over half way through the list: "to hold or keep in, hold back, restrain, check, curb, govern, subdue, control."
V. S. Apte's The Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary lists the root yam (1P) with numbered entries, usually the earlier ones being the most frequently used. His first entry is: "to check, curb, restrain, control, subdue, stop, suppress." He then gives this very verse that you have cited here for its source: Kaṭha [1.3.13].  (His second entry is also a common meaning for this root: 2. "To offer, give, bestow.")
The small dictionary by Vasudeo Govind Apte, The Concise Sanskrit-English Dictionary, has condensed its listing of this root yam to: 1P. To restrain; to give. The noun, yama: m. self-control.    
Among our translations, we found a few that translated yacchet as "should restrain":
 
Radhakrishnan: "should restrain"
Patrick Olivelle: "should curb/control"
E. Roer: "let the wise subdue"
 
This is the same meaning you found at the Bhaktivedanta Veda Base site for two of the entries.  
 
 
Second, Gambhirananda's translation of yacchet as "should merge into" is confusing.   
The source of his translation is Śaṅkara's commentary on this verse. There, Śaṅkara glosses yacchet as: upasaṃharet, which means "should merge, dissolve into."  
Instead of translating yacchet, Gambhirananda here chose to replace it with Śaṅkara's gloss for it, upasaṃharet, "should merge into."
Śaṅkara has chosen to interpret this verse in a yoga-like manner, and has therefore taken yacchet accordingly.
 
The Bhaktivedanta Veda Base site does look like a valuable tool. We do not know of any others. 
Sāṃkhya-Kārikā, verse 4, Grammatical Analysis

without sandhi:


dṛṣṭam anumānam āpta-vacanam ca sarva-pramāṇa-siddhatvāt |
tri-vidham pramāṇam iṣṭam prameya-siddhiḥ pramāṇāt hi || 4 ||
 
 
dṛṣṭam (noun; neuter nominative or 1st case singular) = perception.
 
anumānam (noun; neuter nominative or 1st case singular) = inference.
 
āpta-vacanam (karmadhāraya compound; noun; neuter nominative or 1st case singular) = trustworthy (āpta) testimony (vacanam). This is a karmadhāraya or adjective compound in which the first member (āpta) is an adjective that modifies the second member (vacanam), which is a noun.     
 
ca (indeclinable) = and.
 
sarva-pramāṇa-siddhatvāt (tatpuruṣa compound; neuter ablative or 5th case singular) = since (-āt) all (sarva) means of valid knowledge (pramāṇa) are established (siddhatva) [as being included in these three]. In this tatpuruṣa or case relation compound, the case relation is between two members. The first member is the first two words taken together (sarva-pramāṇa), which form a karmadhāraya or adjective compound. With the second member, siddhatva, we must supply the case relation "of," between siddhatva and sarva-pramāṇa So we have literally, "the being (-tva) established (siddha) of all (sarva) means of valid knowledge (pramāṇa)," more idiomatically as "all means of valid knowledge are established" [as being included in these three].    
 
tri-vidham (bahuvrīhi compound; neuter nominative or 1st case singular) = the three; literally, three kinds. This bahuvrīhi or possessive compound is analyzed as, "that whose kinds are three."
 
pramāṇam (noun; neuter nominative or 1st case singular) = means of valid knowledge.
 
iṣṭam (past passive participle; neuter nominative or 1st case singular) = are held to be; literally, is desired.
 
prameya-siddhiḥ (tatpuruṣa compound; noun; feminine nominative or 1st case singular) = literally, "the establishment (siddhiḥ) of an object of valid knowledge (prameya)," has been translated more idiomatically as "an object of valid knowledge (prameya) is established  (siddhiḥ) [or ascertained]." In this tatpuruṣa or case relation compound, the genitive or 6th case ending, "of," must be supplied for prameya (prameyasya, "of an object of valid knowledge").     
 
pramāṇāt (noun; neuter ablative or 5th case singular) = [it is] through a means of valid knowledge [that].
 
hi (indeclinable) = weak emphatic.

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