FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH SANSKRIT: LESSON 1

FAMILIARIZE  YOURSELF  WITH SANSKRIT
                                                              LESSON
-1
The idea behind these lessons is to make the reader
familiar with sanskrit in terms of vocabulary, the different forms nouns,
pronouns and adjectives take conforming to the rules of grammar in respect of
             person (1st, 2nd and 3rd
persons)
             number (singular, dual and plural)
             gender (masculine, feminine and neuter)
and the
conjugation of verbs from a vast store house of roots from which verbs are
formed in the various tenses (present, past, future) and moods (commands,
wishes, blessings etc.) in addition to infinitives, causative and other
forms.   
The lessons may
not enable the reader deveop facility in speaking and writing in sanskrit but,
it is hoped, will enable him to understand and enjoy the vast treasure of
writings in Sanskrit at a reasonable level. For this purpose it is not
necessary that one should be able to reproduce from memory the multiplicity of
forms  nouns, pronouns, adjectives and
roots of verbs take, but to recognise the various forms when one sees them in
print.  Coupled with a reasonably good
vocabulary it should be possible to read and understand many texts in Sanskrit
without the help of translations.  Most
of the modern Indian languages have generously drawn words from Sanskrit,  either in their original form or with minor
modifications, especialy in serious works of literature in those languages
(Tamil is an exception in this regard).  Therefore such words will be recognised by
those who have ordinary proficiency in one of those languages.  With the help of a dictionary of Sanskrit
words one can improve one’s vocabulary. 
Reading through these lessons a few times, it is hoped, will familiarise
the reader with the peculiarities of the language which he will be able to
recognise when he sees them used in literary and other works in Sanskrit.
Familiarity with the 
Devanagari script  and high school
level knowledge of English are assumed in the following  lessons. Knowledge of any of the languages of
India which generously use words from Sanskrit will be helpful as indicated
above.    
                                       प्रार्थना (prayer)
                    दिक्कालाद्यनवच्छिन्नानन्तचिन्मात्रमूर्तये 
         स्वानुभूत्यैकलभ्याय नमः शान्ताय तेजसे
Prostrations to that supremely calm effulgence which
is beyond the limitations of time and space, which is infinite, which is of the
form of pure consciousness and which can be attained only by one’s own deepest
experience.  
We  start the study with pronouns for the first,
second and third persons both singular
and plural. Sanskrit has an additional number, dual to indicate two of a
category.  The different  forms taken by these personal pronouns are
given below:
First Person   (both masculine 
& feminine)
Singular  
 
अहं (अहम्)    I       
Dual       आवां (आवाम्)   We two
Plural 
    
वयं (वयम् ) We
Second Person  (both masculine  & feminine)
Singular त्वं  (त्वम्)   
You
Dual   युवां (युवाम्)  
You two
Plural  यूयं (यूयम्)  
 You all
Note:
The forms given within brackets  ending with
म्’  are used generally at the end of a sentence
or when a vowel follows
.
Third
Person (masculine)
Singular सः  He      
Dual    तौ 
They two              
Plural   ते     They
Third
Person (feminine)
Singular  सा    
She
Dual      ते      They
two
Plural    ताः
They
 
Let  us now look at the roots of
some common verbs in sanskrit and see what form these verbs take in relation to
singular, dual and plural subjects in the present tense
Root  क्रीड्  to play 
Third person    
क्रीडति      क्रीडतः      क्रीडन्ति            
                    Second person   क्रीडसि      क्रीडथः      क्रीडथ
                    First
person     
क्रीडामि     क्रीडावः      क्रीडामः          
सः क्रीडति  He plays      
तौ क्रीडतः  They two play     ते क्रीडन्ति  They play 
सा क्रीडति  She plays     
ते क्रीडतः  They two play     ताः क्रीडन्ति They play 
त्वं क्रीडसि  You play      
युवां क्रीडथः You two play     यूयं 
क्रीडथ You
play            
अहं क्रीडामि I play          आवां क्रीडावः We two play    वयं क्रीडामः  We play      
Note
that the form of the verb does not change when the subject is of the feminine
gender as in Hindi and some other Indian languages.  
Some
more roots,  the present tense forms of
which are obtained in the same manner as given above, are listed below:
खाद्  
to eat         
खादति   
खादतः   खादन्ति     etc.
हस्   
to laugh       
हसति    
हसतः   हसन्ति     
etc.
चल्   
to walk        
चलति   
चलतः   चलन्ति     
etc.
भ्रम्   
to wander     
भ्रमति   
भ्रमतः   भ्रमन्ति      etc.
त्यज्  
to abandon    
त्यजति  
त्यजतः  त्यजन्ति     etc.
A few
other roots are
पच्  to cook, रक्ष् to protect,  वस् to
live, reside,
भज्  to worship or serve, जल्प् to prattle, talk –  for these present tense forms are derived in
the same manner.
Exercise:
1. Write out the present tense forms in the third, second and first persons
singular, dual and plural  for the
following roots (as given above for the root
क्रीड् 
to play )
निन्द् 
to blame,
क्रन्द्  to cry, पत् 
to fall, 
व्रज् 
to go,
वह्  to carry कूज् to chirp,
चर् 
to go, to graze,
पठ् to
read, 
धाव् 
to run,
2.  Use 
the above verbs in present tense sentences with personal pronouns  as subjects- 
as given above for the verb
क्रीडति etc.   
 
3. Make
sentences with the following nouns as subjects and verbs formed of any of the
roots given above.
1 बालक
boy,
बालिका girl,  अध्यापकः
teacher,
अध्यापिका female
teacher,
विद्यार्थी
student,
माता  mother 
पिता
father 
गोपः cowherd छात्रः student    
 

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1 Comment on FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH SANSKRIT: LESSON 1

  1. Excellent way of teaching to the beginners