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May 6, 2012 / A

End 2.4

And here we are: the end of book 2.

This is the end of one journey and the beginning of another. Book 1 concerned itself largely with definitions. Book 2, likewise, focused on compounds and the use of cases. But it is with book 3 that I start my journey to the core of the grammar. Chapter 3 starts with the simple word प्रत्ययः “suffix,” the simple element that transforms basic stems and roots into the lithe and powerful words of the Sanskrit language. And as the lotus unfolds when hit by the morning rays, so too might my knowledge bloom when faced with the heart of the Ashtadhyayi.

And just as I prepare to delve further into the text, my surest guide — the translation and commentary of S. D. Joshi — has disappeared entirely. Surprisingly, he resumes with book 6 chapter 4. I hope to meet him on the other side of this grammatical mountain; and let the commentary of Ram Nath Sharma be my guide until then.

क्व सूर्यप्रभवो वंशः क्व चाल्पविषया मतिः ।
What is the race born of the sun to this, my feeble intellect?
तितीर्षुर्दुस्तरं मोहादुडुपेनास्मि सागरम् ॥
Yes, I’m a fool who wants to cross the ocean on a puny raft!

Mnemonics

The mnenomics I discussed at the end of 2.3 worked wonderfully. Where that was not enough, I resorted to my earlier scheme of creating words and sentences out of the first letters of the rules. Thus insig(nia) for the 5 rules discussing base substitution of इ:

2.4.45 इणो गा लुङि
गा is substituted for इ “go” (when an आर्धधातुक suffix follows);
2.4.46 णौ गमिरबोधने
Likewise, गम् when causative, unless the verb means “understand,”
2.4.47 सनि च
and when desiderative, in the same circumstances.
2.4.48 इङश्च
And गम् is substituted for इ “learn (a Vedic text) by heart” in the desiderative,
2.4.49 गाङ्लिटि
and गा is used for this verb in the perfect.

Facts and tidbits

Number of rules

85, for a total of 619.

Shortest rule

2.4.57 वा यौ
(वी is) preferably (substituted for अज् when followed by the आर्धधातुक suffix) यु (a.k.a. अन).
2.4.81 आमः
(लि suffixes are deleted) after आम् (the suffix of the indeclinable part of the periphrastic perfect, e.g. the ईक्षाम् in ईक्षां चक्रे).

Longest rule

2.4.12 विभाषा वृक्षमृगतृणधान्यव्यञ्जनपशुशकुन्यश्ववडवपूर्वापराधरोत्तराणाम्
(A द्वन्द्व compound forms of words meaning) वृक्ष “tree,” मृग “beast,” तृण “grass,” धान्य “grain,” व्यञ्जन “condiment, something for adding flavor to food,” पशु “cattle,” शकुनि “bird,” (and the द्वन्द्व compounds) अश्ववडव “horse and mare,” पूर्वापर “first and last,” and अधरोत्तर “lower and higher,” preferably do not (express a single item collectively). [This discourages समाहारद्वन्द्व.]

Final thoughts

What else is there to say? Now the real work begins.

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