Pre-read for Online Sanskrit Session 7 & 8 – 2nd & 3rd August 2014

How to study #Sanskrit grammar today? Well, taking a peep into Panini’s Ashtadhyayi (500 BCE) directly for a novice would be a bad choice. #Panini thoroughly studied #Sanskritgrammar explained by earlier grammarians and wrote more than 4000 sutras (aphorisms) in his #Ashtadhyayi which give the rules in Sanskrit grammar structure. He didn’t explain the rules by giving a commentary nor did he give examples in his book.

Katyayana (350 BCE) found some new vocabularies as time had passed and he added some critical comments while reviewing Panini’s Ashtadhyayi. He wrote a text called ‘Vartika’ to give his thoughts. #Patanjali (around 250-150 BCE) wrote a text called ‘Mahabhashya’ based on Ashtadhyayi and Vartika. This is a good source book on philosophy of grammar. One can get a good idea through these two texts and then go for Ashtadhyayi.

But for a beginner, even this is too tough. When I’m saying tough, I’m not saying learning and understanding Sanskrit language…that’s very simple….I’m talking of understanding the structure of Sanskrit grammar rules. For teachers and beginners, ‘Vyakarana Siddhanta Kaumudi’ by Bhattoji Dixit (17th Cent CE), a scholar from Maharashtra, is the best book. Panini had arranged the sutras in mathematical order in Ashtadhyayi. Bhattoji Dixit rearranged the sutras according to the requirement. In short, he made a pedagogical edition of Panini’s Ashtadhyayi. He went ahead and wrote a commentary called ‘Manorama’ on his own text ‘Siddhanta Kaumudi’. A very good Hindi translation of Manorama is written by Arknath Chaudhary and an English translation is available on the same written by Shirish Chandra Basu and published by Motilal Banarsidass (http://www.amazon.in/The-Siddhanta-Kaumudi-Bhattoji-Dikshita/dp/5518504373). Another interesting book is ‘Panini: a survey of research’ by George Cardona published by Motilal Banarsidass (http://www.amazon.in/Panini-Survey-Research-George-Cardona/dp/8120814940).

Two texts have been written by some scholars that can be used as preliminary books before one takes up Siddhantakaumudi. They are, Laghusiddhantakaumudi and Madhyasiddhantakaumudi. So, if one has to understand Paninian grammar, the order of studying the books would be: Hindi/English translation of Manorama (the commentary of Siddhanta Kaumudi) – Laghusiddhantakaumudi – Madhyasiddhantakaumudi – Siddhantakaumudi – Vartika (by Katyayana) – Panini’s Ashtadhyayi.
Thus, one can learn Ashtadhyayi, the first ever complete text on grammar of any language in the world written 2500 years ago!

Note: Some scholars believe the above mentioned Patanjali is the same as the one who wrote Yoga Sutras while some disagree to this thought.

~ Learnings from ‘Learning Sanskrit Language and Structure: Theory and Application’ a two-week residential camp at Chinmaya International Foundation (CIF) from 16th – 30th June 2014.

Session 7: Link for class on 2nd August: http://www.wiziq.com/online-class/2048247-sanskrit-level-1-session-7

Session 8: Link for class on 3rd August: http://www.wiziq.com/online-class/2048253-sanskrit-level-1-session-8

Classes start at 7:15 pm IST on Saturdays and Sundays

siddhanta kaumudi

Advertisements

Synopsis of Session 6 of online Sanskrit learning class | Yan

यण् सन्धि

yan sandhi

Meaning: When इक् is followed by अच् then in the place of इक् substitute/replace यण् (respectively i.e., as per the categorization of sounds)

इ & य् – तालव्य वर्ण
उ & व् – ओष्ठ्य वर्ण
ऋ & र् – मूर्धन्य वर्ण
ऌ & ल् – दन्त्य वर्ण

इ/ई + अच् = य् + अच्
उ/ ऊ + अच् = व् + अच्
ऋ / ॠ + अच् = र् + अच्
ऌ + अच् = ल् + अच्

Examples:
प्रति + अक्षम् = प्रत्यक्षम् (प् र् अ त् इ + अ क् ष् अ म् = प् र् अ त् य् अ क् ष् अ म्)
अति + उत्तम: = अत्युत्तम: (अ त् इ + उ त् त् अ म् अ अ: = अ त् य् उ त् त् अ म् अ अ:)
पार्वती + अधुना = पार्वत्यधुना (प् आ र् व् अ त् ई + अ ध् उ न् आ = प् आ र् व् अ त् य् अ ध् उ न् आ)
मधु + अरि: = मध्वरि (म् अ ध् उ + अ र् इ अ: = म् अ ध् व् अ र् इ अ:)
मधु + आचार्य: = मध्वाचार्य: (म् अ ध् उ + आ च् आ र् य् अ अ: = म् अ ध् व् आ च् आ र् य् अ अ:)
मातृ + आज्ञा = मात्राज्ञा (म् आ त् ऋ + आ ज् ञ् आ = म् आ त् र् आ ज् ञ् आ)
पितृ + आज्ञा = पित्राज्ञा (प् इ त् ऋ + आ ज् ञ् आ = प् इ त् र् आ ज् ञ् आ)
गुरु आदेश: = गुर्वादेश:
हेतु अर्थम् = हेत्वर्थम्
पितृ औदार्यम् = पित्रौदार्यम्
मातृ उद्यानम् = मात्रुद्यानम्
वधु आसनम् = वध्वासनम्
स्मरामि अहम् = स्मराम्यहम्
प्रति अवदत् = प्रत्यवदत्
इति आदि = इत्यादि
अनु एषणम् = अन्वेषणम्
अनु अय: = अन्वय:
साधु ओदनम् = साध्वोदनम्
पितृ अम्श = पित्रंश
मातृ इच्छा = मात्रिच्छा
सुधी उपास्य = सुध्युपास्य
इति आचरन्ति = इत्याचरन्ति
जननी आह = जनन्याह
वस्त्राणि उत्पादयति = वस्त्राण्युत्पादयति

Link for video recording of the class: http://www.wiziq.com/online-class/2041068-sanskrit-level-1-session-6

Synopsis of Session 5 of online Sanskrit learning class | Vriddhi

वृद्धि सन्धि

vriddhisandhiन + एकः – नैकः (न् अ + ए क् अ अ: = न् ऐ क् अ अ:)

आत्मा + एव – आत्मैव (आ त् म् अ + ए व् अ = आ त् म् व् अ)
एक + एकम् – एकैकम् (ए क् अ + ए क् अ म् = ए क् क् अ म्)
तस्य + ओदनः – तस्यौदन: (त् अ स् य् अ + ओ द् अ न् अ अ: = त् अ स् य् द् अ न् अ अ:)
गङ्गा + ओघः – गङ्गौघः (ग् अ ङ् ग् आ + ओ घ् अ अ: = ग् ङ् ग् घ् अ अ:)
देव + ऐश्वर्यम् – देवैश्वैर्यम् (द् ए व् अ + ऐ श् व् अ र् य् अ म् = द् ए व् श् व् ऐ र् य् म्)

च + एनम् – चैनम् (च् अ + ए न् अ म् = च् न् अ म्)
शास्त्रेण + एकः – शास्त्रेणैकः (श् आ स् त् र् ए ण् अ + ए क् अ: = श् आ स् त् र् ए ण् क् अ अ:)
तव +ऐश्वर्यम् – तवैश्वर्यम् (त् अ व् अ + ऐ श् व् अ र् य् अ म् = त् अ व् श् व् अ र् य् अ म्)
मम + औषधम् – ममौषधम् ( म् अ म् अ + औ ष् अ ध् अ म् = म् अ म् ष् अ ध् अ म्)
कृष्ण + एकत्वम् – कृष्णैकत्वम् (क् ऋ ष् ण् अ + ए क् अ त् व् अ म् = क् ऋ ष् ण् क् अ त् व् अ म्)
वन + औषधम् – वनौषधम् (व् अ न् अ + औ ष् अ ध् अ म् = व् अ न् ष् अ ध् अ म्)

द्वितीया + एकवचनम् – द्वितीयैकवचनम् (द् व् इ त् ई य् आ + ए क् अ व् च् अ न् अ म् = द् व् इ त् ई य् क् अ व् च् अ न् अ म्)
दिव्य + औषधम् – दिव्यौषधम् (द् इ व् य् अ + औ ष् अ ध् अ म् = द् व् इ व् य् ष् अ ध् अ म्)
तत्र + एव – तत्रैव (त् अ त् र् अ + ए व् अ = त् अ त् र् व् अ)
तव + औदार्यम् – तवौदार्यम् (त् अ व् अ + औ द् आ र् य् अ म् = त् अ व् द् आ र् य् अ म्)
मा + एवम् – मैवम् (म् आ + ए व् अ म् = म् व् अ म्)
यदा + एव – यदैव (य् अ द् आ + ए व् अ = य् अ द् व् अ)
राष्ट्र + ऐक्यम् – राष्ट्रैक्यम् (र् आ ष् ट् र् अ + ऐ क् य् अ म् = र् आ ष् ट् र् क् य् अ म्)
परम + औदार्यम् – परमौदार्यम् (प् अ र् अ म् अ + औ द् आ र् य् अ म् = प् अ र् अ म् द् आ र् य् अ म्)

अद्य + एव – अद्यैव (अ द् य् अ + ए व् अ = अ द् य् व् अ)
कृष्ण + औत्कण्ठ्यम् – कृष्णौत्कण्ठ्यम् (क् ऋ ष् ण् अ + औ त् क् अ ण् ठ् य् अ म् = क् ऋ ष् ण् त् क् अ ण् ठ् य् अ म्)
तत्र + एकदा – तत्रैकदा (त् अ त् र् अ + ए क् अ द् आ = त् अ त् र् क् अ द् आ)
तथा + एव – तथैव (त् अ थ् आ + ए व् अ = त् अ थ् व् अ)
परम + औचित्यम् – परमौचित्यम् (प् अ र् अ म् अ + औ च् इ त् य् अ म् = प् अ र् अ म् च् इ त् य् अ म्)
दृष्ट्वा + एतत् – दृष्ट्वैतत् (द् ऋ ष् ट् व् आ + ए त् अ त् अ त् = द् ऋ ष् ट् व् त् अ त् अ त्)
देवता + एकात्म्यम् – देवतैकात्म्यम् (द् ए व् अ त् अ त् आ + ए क् आ त् म् य् अ म् = द् ए व् अ त् अ त् ऐ क् आ त् म् य् अ म्)

Pre-read for Online Sanskrit Session 5 & 6 – 26th & 27th July 2014

Our high-school English teacher, Raman Sir, used to ask us, ‘What came first, English language or grammar’. I remember my friend saying, it was the grammar that must have come first otherwise how could the language get the grammar? On that, our teacher would say, ‘It is the language that came first, then the grammar. Think upon it my boy.’

Same question was discussed by Jha Sir about Paninian grammar. Sanskrit language existed before Panini. So what great work did Panini do? And how could he do it?

Panini must have been a great observer. He has made a minute observation of Sanskrit language. After observing, he started categorising letters and words into different sets and groups. Then he gave various rules for construction of words. He also saw that there are many similar words which are formed by joining suffixes (What we call as suffix in Sanskrit is like a preposition in English which comes before the word in English. But in Sanskrit, suffix comes after the word, like a postposition). He saw that all these words are related to one primary root word. E.g. Marut, marutau, marutah, marutam, maruta, marudabhyaam, marudbhih, marute, marutih, marutoh, marutaam, maruti, marutyu all have come from a root word ‘marut’. So, all these words are nothing but suffixes of singular, dual and plural forms of the ‘Marut’. Thus, he made a table for all these words related to ‘marut’. For any word which is of the form similar to ‘marut’, these other words would be same for that also. Like that he started classifying words and its forms by identifying the root word.

Like this he goes on categorising and giving general rules, special rules, rules for exceptions and dives deep into the structure of Sanskrit language.

The strength of a monument depends on the structure it is built. If an engineer has to teach how to build a monument, he has to show the student its structure. Similarly for language, we need to do the same thing. But today, we are not addressing the structure of Sanskrit or any language. We are just giving some rules without focussing on the overall structure. That is the reason many of us fail to create an interest in language.

Panini’s ashtadhyayi (book of grammar with eight chapters) is not a book of teaching Sanskrit language. It is a manual of describing the structure of Sanskrit language. Ashtadhyayi is a science – a theory of grammar. He took Sanskrit as a case and applied Ashtadhyayi model. We can try take other languages (machine or human) and give it an Ashtadhyayi model to make it more efficient. Thus, Panini left for us the Ashtadhyayi model…something which has a scope for a lot of research even 2500 years later!

~ Learnings from ‘Learning Sanskrit Language and Structure: Theory and
Application’ a two-week residential camp at Chinmaya International Foundation from 16th – 30th June 2014.

Synopsis of Session 4 of online Sanskrit learning class | Savarnadeergha & Guna

सन्धि (sandhi) can be classified mainly into two categories: स्वरसन्धि (svarasandhi) and व्यञ्जनसन्धि (vyañjanasandhi). स्वरसन्धि (svarasandhi) is the rules when two vowels (except विसर्ग – अ:) get joined and व्यञ्जनसन्धि (vyañjanasandhi) is the joining when a consonant is followed by a consonant or a vowel. It also includes the rules when विसर्ग – अ: is followed by a consonant or a vowel.

We shall see the two types of स्वरसन्धि (svarasandhi) – सवर्णदीर्घसन्धि (savarṇadīrghasandhi) and गुणसन्धि (guṇasandhi)

1) सवर्णदीर्घसन्धि (savarṇadīrghasandhi)
सूत्र:
– सवर्णेदीर्घ: (akah savarṇedīrghah)
Here, by the word अक:, Panini refers to a set of sounds {अ, इ, उ, ऋ, ऌ}. The सूत्र: says,
अ/आ + अ/आ = आ
इ/ई + इ/ई = ई
उ/ऊ + उ/ऊ = ऊ
ऋ/ॠ + ऋ/ॠ = ॠ

When अ or आ is followed by अ/आ, both the sounds gets replaced by आ. In the same fashion, for the remaining sounds इ, उ, ऋ they get replaced by the दीर्घ (long vowels) sounds. Since ऌ doesn’t have a दीर्घ, it does not get affected.

savarnadeergha sandhi

Examples:
परम + अर्थ = परमार्थ (प् अ र् अ म् अ + अ र् थ् अ = प् अ र् अ म् आ र् थ् अ)
विद्या + अर्थि = विद्यार्थि (व् इ द् य् आ + अ र् थ् इ = व् इ द् य् आ र् थ् इ)
देव + आलयम् = देवालयम् (द् ए व् अ + आ ल् अ य् अ म् = द् ए व् आ ल् अ य् अ म्)
गङ्गा + आत्मज = गङ्गात्मज (ग् अ ङ् ग् आ + आ त् म् अ ज् अ = ग् अ ङ् ग् आ त् म् अ ज् अ)
मुनि + इन्द्र: = मुनीद्र: (म् उ न् इ + इ न् द्र् अ अ: = म् उ न् ई न् द्र् अ अ:)
मुनि + ईश्वर: = मुनीश्वर: (म् उ न् इ + ई श् व् अ र् अ अ: = म् उ न् ई श् व् अ र् अ अ:)
शची + इन्द्र: = शचीन्द्र: (श् अ च् ई + इ न् द्र् अ अ: = श् अ च् ई न् द्र् अ अ:)
श्री + ईश: = श्रीश: (श् र् ई + ई श् अ अ:= श् र् ई श् अ अ:)
गुरु + उपदेश: = गुरूपदेश: ग् उ र् उ + उ प् अ द् ए श् अ अ: = ग् उ र् ऊ प् अ द् ए श् अ अ:)
गुरु + ऊर्जित: = गुरूर्जित: (ग् उ र् उ + ऊ र् ज् इ त् अ अ: = ग् उ र् ऊ र् ज् इ त् अ:)
वधू + उत्सव: = वधूत्सव: (व् अ ध् ऊ + उ त् स् अ व् अ अ: = व् अ ध् ऊ त् स् अ व् अ:)
वधू + ऊर्जित: = वधूर्जित: (व् अ ध् ऊ + ऊ र् ज् इ त् अ अ: = व् अ ध् ऊ र् ज् इ त् अ:)
पितृ + ऋणम् = पितॄणम् (प् इ त् ऋ + ऋ ण् अ म् = प् इ त् ॠ ण् अ म्)

For a sound अ to be at the end of a word there are two possibilities अ or आ. And for the same sound to be at the beginning of the next word, there are two possibilities. Hence (mathematically put), 2C1 x 2C1 = 4. Thus, there are four possible combinations for each of the three sounds अ, इ, उ and ऋ totaling to 16 possibilities. However, these are just the possibilities. If there exist no words where any of these possibilities won’t occur, then such a word will not exist in the language even though there is a possibility mathematically.

2) गुणसन्धि (guṇasandhi)
सुत्र: आद् गुण: (ād guṇa)

Rules:
अ / आ + इ / ई = ए
अ / आ + उ / ऊ = ओ
अ / आ + ऋ / ॠ = अर्
अ / आ + ऌ = अल्

gunasdandhi
Examples
देव + इन्द्र: = देवेन्द्र: (द् ए व् अ + इ न् द् र् अ अ: = द् ए व् ए न् द् र् अ अ:)
देव + ईश: = देवेश: (द् ए व् अ + ई श् अ अ: = द् ए व् ए श् अ अ:)
महा + इन्द्र: = महेन्द्र: (म् अ ह् आ + इ न् द् र् अ अ: = म् अ ह् ए न् द् र् अ अ:)
महा + ईश्वर: = महेश्वर: (म् अ ह् आ + ई श् व् अ र् अ अ: = म् अ ह् ए श् व् अ र् अ अ:)
हित + उपदेश: = हितोपदेश: (ह् इ त् अ + उ प् अ द् ए श् अ: = ह् इ त् ओ प् अ द् ए श् अ अ:)
सुर्य + ऊर्ज: = सूर्योर्ज: (स् उ र् य् अ + ऊ र् ज् अ अ: = स् ऊ र् य् ओ र् ज् अ अ:)
गीता + उपदेश: = गीतोपदेश: (ग् ई त् आ + उ प् अ द् ए श् अ अ: = ग् ई त् ओ प् अ द् ए श् अ अ:)
महा + ऊर्ज: = महोर्ज: (म् अ ह् आ + ऊ र् ज् अ अ: = म् अ ह् ओ र् ज् अ अ:)
देव + ऋषि: = देवर्षि: (द् ए व् अ + ऋ ष् इ अ अ: = द् ए व् अ र् ष् इ अ अ:)
तव + ऌकार: = तवल्कार: (त् अ व् अ + ऌ क् आ र् अ अ: = त् अ व् अ ल् क् आ र् अ अ:)

Synopsis of Session 3 of online Sanskrit learning class | Sandhis

We discussed the structure of a sentence in Sanskrit with the chart of Subant and Tingant. After which we proceeded to discuss what is a सन्धि Sandhi.

When coming together of two sounds results in something like formation of a third sound, it is called सन्धि. पाणिनि (Panini) in his अष्टाध्यायी (Ashtadhyayi) defines सन्धि in this सूत्र (Sutra) – पर: सन्निकर्ष: संहिता |

संहिता is the terminology used by पाणिनि for सन्धि. In fact, सन्धि is a word that came into usage much later. The meaning of the सूत्र is – The kind of closeness (सन्निकर्ष:) which affects something is called संहिता.

What is पर: in the सूत्र (Sutra)? To understand पर:, let us consider the splitting of a word and the definition of मात्रा (unit of time for the articulation of one syllable).

दधि + अत्र = दध्यत्र
i.e., द् अ ध् इ + अ त् र् अ = द् अ ध् य् अ त् र् अ.

As we can see, इ + अ has resulted in य् + अ. So, when इ is followed by अ, it gets replaced by य. Here we say, that a सन्धि (Sandhi) is taking place. Now, why does this happen?

A vowel by itself or a consonant followed by a vowel is called syllable. A syllable requires a unit of time for its articulation. This unit of time is called मात्रा. The time required to utter the next syllable after uttering the first syllable is half of a मात्रा or अर्धमात्रा. When some syllables come together, the time taken to utter the next syllable is more than अर्धमात्रा. This results in a significant change and such a significant change is called पर:. Like in the case of इ + अ which resulted in य because the time taken from the articulation of इ to the articulation of अ is more than अर्धमात्रा. Hence, a सन्धि has taken place.

It is in such great detail that Panini explains Sandhi.

Link for the online class: http://www.wiziq.com/online-class/2023008-sanskrit-level-1-session-3

~ Learnings from ‘Learning Sanskrit Language and Structure: Theory and Application’ a two-week residential camp at Chinmaya International Foundation from 16th – 30th June 2014.

sandhi jpg

Pre-read for Online Sanskrit Session 3 – 19th July 2014

The structure of Sanskrit language being very strong, there are many rules to remember while constructing a sentence (and more rules in poetry). As in the case of most of the other languages, where we have only two cases – singular and plural, in Sanskrit there is a third case – dual. The genders in Sanskrit are as the same as in other languages – masculine, feminine or neutral. But the way a word gets a gender is totally different from other languages. For example, ‘Vrikshah’ (tree) is a neuter gender in other languages but in Sanskrit it is masculine. This happens because, the rules in Sanskrit grammar gives the gender to a word according to the construction (or form) of the word and not as per the form or nature of the object that the word represents.

Like the other languages, Sanskrit also has first, second and third person. But here the difference is that ‘He’ Prathama Purusha (first person), ‘you’ becomes Madhyama Purusha and ‘I’ becomes Uttama Purusha. In English, prepositions are different words used along with a noun or pronoun. But in Sanskrit, the when the prepositions are to be attached to a noun or pronoun, the noun/pronoun changes its form. So, one has to learn by heart all these forms that a word attains after the respective prepositions are joined. On top of that, these new forms (after the change that has happened after attaching the prepositions) will attain a form according to the construction of the original noun. For example, ‘of Rama’ and ‘of Sita’ will carry different representations of the word ‘of’ in both cases because Rama is masculine gender and Sita is feminine gender. Again, so many different permutations and combinations of words appear in present, past and future tenses.

In short, what happens is that while a person uses Sanskrit language, his brain is very alert because construction of sentences requires a lot of skill. With practice, a person becomes skillful with less effort. There’s a lot of mapping that the brain does while using Sanskrit language and all the mapping is done based on the structure of a word. If put in words of computer programming, for every sentence construction in Sanskrit the brain has to use a lot of ‘if…then…else…and…or’ conditions. And that is why it is considered for coding in computers.

If a child (or even an adult) learns Sanskrit, then
• He has to make use of his brain more. This would naturally result in use of more grey matter.
• Logical skills get developed faster.
• Brain learns to map.
• Mathematical ability goes up because the structure of Sanskrit grammar is mathematical in nature.
• Lot of rules means lot of things to memorise. This will increase memory power.
• Fluency in uttering different sounds which enables a person to learn any other language.
• One starts understanding to go to the verbal root and etymology of a word (in any language) for understanding the meaning of it.
• Lot of insights into computer programming can be derived.
• A computer can understand the structure of a word and not what it means. Since Sanskrit grammar deals with the structure of the word and accordingly the rules are applied in sentence formations, the computer doesn’t have to be programmed to understand the meaning of the word. It just has to understand the word’s structure and the computer can be instructed what operation has to be performed. This, Sanskrit can be one of the most efficient languages for computers.
• Once we have dealt with Sanskrit which has got so many rules, learning any other language becomes very easy.

~ Learnings from ‘Learning Sanskrit Language and Structure: Theory and Application’ a two-week residential camp at Chinmaya International Foundation from 16th – 30th June 2014.

Register for the Online Classes at http://tinyurl.com/ojwaqap

Link for class on 19th July 2014 http://www.wiziq.com/online-class/2023008-sanskrit-level-1-session-3

ācāryāt pādamādatte | Subhashitam

Subhashitam – 3

आचार्यात् पादमादत्ते पादं शिष्य स्वमेधया |
पादं सब्रह्मचारिभ्य: पादं काल क्रमेण च ||

ācāryāt pādamādatte pādaṁ śiṣya svamedhayā
pādaṁ sabrahmacāribhyah pādaṁ kāla krameṇa ca

One gains ¼ of the knowledge from the Acharya (the teacher), ¼ from his own self-study and intellect, ¼ from his classmates and the remaining ¼ is gained as a person becomes matured as time passes.

Audio link: https://soundcloud.com/vinayrnair/acharyat-padamadatte

Pre-read for Online Sanskrit Session 4 – 20th July 2014

Sanskrit grammar is very structured. It is bound by a lot more rules than any other language. What makes Sanskrit very robust is the mathematical nature in its grammar.

The entire grammar is based on rules and they are algebraic in nature. These rules involve recursive and iterative processes which are mathematical in nature. In many contexts, we have to deal with the number of permutations possible with the given number of syllables. Sanskrit grammarians and logicians have to note many observations while constructing sentences. A Sanskrit sentence is looked at as a ‘string’ of objects. Every object is a meaningful word. These words are made up of syllables. While constructing sentences, grammarians need to see what happens when certain units of a string (syllables) come next to each other…what effect they have on each other and what is the result due to the effect. For example, if a+b+c+d+e+f is a string, then a, b, c, d, e and f are its units. Sanskrit grammar rules are such that the form of a unit might change because of the effect of its neighbouring unit. E.g. The unit ‘b’ might undergo a change when in contact with ‘a’ or ‘c’. The structure of a language is its elements plus relationship between the elements. Even the order of alphabets in Sanskrit has got rules and is not random arrangement of letters (as in English). Depending on the sounds, a set of alphabets fall under a certain group.

In short, Sanskrit grammar looks into mathematical aspects like String theory, Group theory, Sets, Functions, Relations, Permutations, Combinations, etc. This beautiful mathematical grouping, classification and structuring of Sanskrit grammar was done by the great grammarian Panini (500 BCE) in his text Ashtadhyayi.

The beauty of the Himalayas cannot be described in words or pictures. One has to go there and stand in front of the mighty mountains to grasp its beauty. In the same way, however hard a person tries to explain the beauty of Sanskrit language, the effort would be futile. To appreciate the beauty and complexity of Sanskrit, one has to learn Sanskrit. And among the famous linguists of all times, it is Panini to whom the world ranks number one for encapsulating a mighty language with a set of mathematical rules.

~ Learnings from ‘Learning Sanskrit Language and Structure: Theory and Application’ a two-week residential camp at Chinmaya International Foundation from 16th – 30th June 2014.

Register for the Online Classes at http://tinyurl.com/ojwaqap

Link for class on 20th July 2014 http://www.wiziq.com/online-class/2023012-sanskrit-level-1-session-4