View Full Version : Longest Sanskrit Word

Sudas Paijavana
17 July 2013, 03:25 AM
जय श्री राम


Please take some time to read/analyze the longest word in the Sanskrit language:


Yes, the above is apparently the longest word in the Sanskrit language; please take a look at the following transliteration:


The reported translation:

"In it, the distress, caused by thirst, to travellers was alleviated by clusters of rays of the bright eyes of the girls; the rays that were shaming the currents of light, sweet and cold water charged with the strong fragrance of cardamom, clove, saffron, camphor and musk and flowing out of the pitchers (held in) the lotus-like hands of maidens (seated in) the beautiful water-sheds, made of the thick roots of Andropogon Muricatus mixed with marjoram, (and built near) the foot, covered with heaps of couch-like soft sand, of the clusters of newly sprouting mango trees, which constantly darkened the intermediate space of the quarters, and which looked all the more charming on account of the trickling drops of the floral juice, which thus caused the delusion of a row of thick rainy clouds, densely filled with abundant nectar."


The blogger of the link above got help from the following blogger:

Can the Sanskrit linguists of HDF please confirm that the translation above (provided by the first link above) is the correct translation? Please take your time, no rush. I thank all of those that can a thousand-fold dhanyavādā(h)!


जय विश्वेदेवाः

ps - This word is found in Varadambika Parinaya by Tirumalāmbā.

The edition the blogger used was the following:
Suryakanta. 1970. Varadāmbikā Pariṇaya Campū of Tirumalāmbā. Volume 79 of Chowkhamba Sanskrit studies. Varanasi: Caukhambā Saṃskṛta Sīrīj Āphis.

18 July 2013, 06:21 PM
hariḥ oṁ

I would re-evaluate the notion of a 'word' vs. a sentence. Based on specific rules offered by pāṇini-ji, one of the most eminent of all
native sanskrit grammarians, he teaches proper assembly of words . His most notable work is aṣṭādhyāyī , meaning a collection of 8 chapters. The work gives a complete description of the saṃskṛt language, and it offers his formulation of 3,959 rules one can apply.

First , if you have not recognized this, saṃskṛtā is spoken without breaks between words, and is called saṃhitā¹ . There is a philosophical reason for this, and we can leave that idea for another time.

That is why this word śrīmatsiṃhāsaneśvarī looks the way it does - mutiple words in one string - without pause. It is written like this श्रीमत्सिंहासनेश्वरी in saṃskṛtam.
We can apply the rules of saṃdhi¹ (placing together) to this word śrīmatsiṃhāsaneśvarī , found in the laitā sahasranāma or 1,000 ( sahasra ) names (nāma ) of lalitā. First this is a name of name of śrī devī. She is described here as :

śrīmat = the great beautiful , charming , lovely , pleasant , splendid , glorious
siṃha = lion
āsana = seat
īśvarī = (from īśa) ruler; queen, Supreme Being;When we combine the meaning, it says She, the great and pleasant Supreme One, sitting on the lion ( or lion-throne). Many know this symbol as Mother durgā ( some write durgatināśinī) sitting on a lion.

So it looks like one word, but by specific rules it is sewn together from several words. These come together to make up sentences - or in the ṛg ved we would call them mantra-s.

iti śivaṁ


saṃhitā - put together , joined , attached ; placed side-by-side; without break
Applying the rules of saṃdhi
vowel (svara) saṃdhi
śrīmatsiṃhāsaneśvarī = śrīmat + siṃha + āsana + īśvarī
siṃha + āsana = siṃhāsana
What rule was used?When two 'a's come togther long (dīrgha) or short (hrasva ) doesn't matter, then we end up with a long a sound ā. So we can write the rule like this:
a + a = ā
a + ā = ā
ā + a = ā
ā + ā = ā
āsana + īśvarī = āsaneśvarī
What rule was used?
When an 'a' and 'i' come together long (dīrgha) or short (hrasva ) doesn't matter, then we end up with an 'e' So we can write the rule like this:
a + i = e
a + ī = e
ā + ī = e
We now have siṃhāsāsaneśvarī. Now it is time to add śrīmat + siṃha
together and new rules apply - the rules of consonant ( vyañjana) saṃdhi.
The rules for vyañjana saṃdhi. I will only address the rule for this application.
When the final consonant 't' comes in contact with the next sound 's' we end up ( still ) with the 't' and no change occurs.
This applies when a 't' meets with an 's' or 'ṣ'. Yet this rule changes when a 't' meets with the next sound of an 'ś' and will leave this for another example. So the rule can be written like this:
t + s = t
t + ṣ = t

Now if the this 't' where to be this 'ṭ' sound, the rules apply in this fashion:
ṭ + s = ṭ
ṭ + s = ṭ

We now have śrīmat + siṃha = śrīmatsiṃha

And our final completed word śrīmatsiṃhasiṃhāsāsaneśvarī in saṃhitāḥ format.

Sudas Paijavana
18 July 2013, 08:07 PM
Namaste Yajvan-ji,

Thank you for your highly informative explanation.