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24 March 2011, 08:38 PM
hariḥ om̐


We talked a bit about the rules of saṃdhi¹ in another string and by no means have the conversations been comprehensive.
I thought to show a few examples on how words we see or read come into use. This post and others will offer a few examples on
these rules. I always look for imput and corrections on my offers as I am not the final authority on this matter.

When a word or sound is combined with another these rules of saṃdhi are applied. Here's one example. Let's say one writes
chāndogya upaniṣad and these two words wish to be combined as it is found in various saṃskṛtā text.

We look at the two letters at the end of the word, then look for the proper rule: chāndogya upaniṣad :

The rule says when an 'a' is followed by 1 of 5 simple vowels other the 5th being another 'a' ( and another rule applies¹) then
the letters are replaced by guṇa. We will define guṇa in a moment.

So, the rule says it does not matter if this 'a' is long ā (dīrgha) or short a (hrasva).
The rule is written like this:

a ( long or short) + i ( i can be long ī or short i) = e
a + u ( u can be long or short) =o
a + r ( r in saṃskṛtā is a vowel, and can be long or short ) = ar
a + l ( l in saṃskṛtā is a vowel and can be long or short) = alWe apply the rule to chāndogya upaniṣad = a+u = o. This is written as one word chāndogyopaniṣad.

Now what does this guṇa mean? In grammar it means a secondary or auxillary form of a vowel. Pāniṇi-ji¹ the grammarian that
really systemized the rules defines guṇa as the 3 primary vowels a, e and o. Note the rules above that the letters are replaced by
these guṇa vowels a, e and o.

Yet one notes, there are other replacement letters 'ar' and 'al' . This is correct, and these are called vṛddhi ( or increase) .
In both cases guṇa and vṛddhi, the principle is that it strengths the vowel sound, that is the point. In short, the 'strength' comes
by adding a measure (or mātra) to the sound.

I use this rule is to reverse engineer words to understand their root word meanings. Let me offer a unique observation
I have found in the next post.



saṃdhi , some write sandhi - In general, containing a conjunction or transition from one sound to another .
More specifically according to the Monier-Williams Saṃskṛt Dictionary, saṃdhi is a junction of final and initial sounds meeting in words (grammar)
the saṃdhi rule for 'a'

When two 'a's come togther long (dīrgha) or short (hrasva ) doesnt' 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

Pāniṇi-ji's work called Aṣṭādhyāyī, meaning 'eight chapters' laid down about 3,900 rules for all of classical ( vs. vedic) saṃskṛt grammar.

29 March 2011, 02:08 PM
hariḥ oṁ


First , one needs to be aware that saṃskṛtā is spoken without breaks between words called saṃhitā¹. We see this in the veda-s.
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.

Let's understand this 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.

Applying the rules of saṃdhi

vowel (svara) saṃdhi¹
śrīmatsiṃhāsaneśvarī = śrīmat + siṃha + āsana + īśvarī

siṃha + āsana = siṃhāsana
What rule was used?
When two 'a's come together 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

next ... 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.
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

If 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.


saṃhitā - put together , joined , attached ; placed side-by-side; without break