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saidevo
28 March 2012, 03:17 AM
The purport of this thread is for us to arrive at a linguistic interpretation of some popular saMskRta shlokas, and learn the linguistic nuances of Sanskrit in the process. Following the Hindu sampradAyam--tradition, we start with a GaNesha shlokam:

[Since I am much less literate in Sanskrit than some members here, I would welcome their feedback at enhancements and corrections to my efforts here.]

shlokaH

शुक्लाम्बरधरं विष्णुम् शशिवर्णं चतुर्भुजम् ।
प्रसन्नवदनं ध्यायेत् सर्व विघ्नोपशान्तये ॥

shuklAmbaradharaM viShNum shashivarNaM chaturbhujam |
prasannavadanaM dhyAyet sarva vighnopashAntaye ||

shAbdika vyAkhyAnam

• shuklAmbaradharaM--shukla ambara dharaM
shukla + ambara becomes shuklAmbara in saMdhi.

The type of saMdhi involved here is svarNa-dhIrgha-saMdhi, which states:
If a simple vowel, short or long, be followed by a similar vowel, short or long, the substitute for them both is a similar long vowel. The vowels involved in this saMdhi are:
अ आ इ ई उ ऊ ऋ ॠ ऌ
a A i I u U Ru RU ~Lu

• dharaM is the second case (accusative) of the word dhara, which means 'having, holding, bearing'. [Note that the first (nominative) case of the word is dhara and not dharaH which has a different meaning--find out the meaning for yourself!]

• viShNum is the second case of viShNuH.
• varNaM is the second case of varNaH.

• shashivarNaM is obviously sashi + varNam, but then the word that denotes the white color of moon or camphor is sashin. Anyone who knows the type of saMdhi involved here might explain it..

• In chaturbhujam, no saMdhi is involved, since the word chatur is gramatically, संख्या विशेषणम्: नित्य बहु-वचनं--saMkhyA visheShaNam: nitya bahu-vachanaM--numerical adjective which is always plural.

• Notice that bhujam is the second case of bhujaH, but it is written as bhujam and not bhujaM (with an anusvAram). This is because the word occurs at the end of a line. The saMdhi involved is anusvAra-saMdhi which states, The end of a word म--ma is changed to anusvAra when followed by a constant.

• prasanna-vadanam has no saMdhi, since the words prasanna and vadanam are visheShaNe--adjectives, which are not inflected.

• It seems the grammar involved in the word dhyAyet is hard to crack. I understand it is derived from the verb ध्यै--dhyai--'to mediate upon' and the meaning of the word dhyAyet is 'should be meditated upon'. members who know better might explain the grammer involved here.

• sarva is a nominative plural meaning "all".

• vighnaH + upashAntaye becomes vighnopashAntaye in saMdhi. The saMdhi involved here is one of visarga-saMdhi.
upashAntaye is the fourth (dative) case inflection of the word upashAntiH. With the inflection it means, "for allaying/allevation".

Finally, let us notice the spaces between word and syllable boundaries in the text of this shlokam. I would like the opinion of members as to why words are conjoined as in prasannavadanaM and why words like dhyAyet and sarva stands by themselves.

devotee
28 March 2012, 07:27 AM
Namaste Saidevoji,

You have started a very informative thread for many of us here. It is better that you are attacking Samdhi in a good way as Samdhi is what makes Sanskrit difficult to understand because in scriptures we find very complex words made using sandhi.

I will try to contribute as per my understanding to the extent possible.





• dharaM is the second case (accusative) of the word dhara, which means 'having, holding, bearing'. [Note that the first (nominative) case of the word is dhara and not dharaH which has a different meaning--find out the meaning for yourself!]


=== Actually, ShuklAmbardharam has been used as qualifier and therefore it follows the case/form of the main noun i.e. Vishnum.


• shashivarNaM is obviously sashi + varNam, but then the word that denotes the white color of moon or camphor is sashin. Anyone who knows the type of saMdhi involved here might explain it..

There is no Sandhi here. It is simply Shashi (moon) + Varnam (color) ==> the color of moon i.e. shining white


• It seems the grammar involved in the word dhyAyet is hard to crack. I understand it is derived from the verb ध्यै--dhyai--'to mediate upon' and the meaning of the word dhyAyet is 'should be meditated upon'. members who know better might explain the grammer involved here.

As far as I remember, DhyAya is a verb itself which has taken the form "DhyAyet" meaning "should be meditated upon". It is like "Bhavet" ===> "should happen" or "PaThet" ==> should be read or should read.


I would like the opinion of members as to why words are conjoined as in prasannavadanaM and why words like dhyAyet and sarva stands by themselves.

Prasannavadanam has been used as a qualifier noun meaning "Who has a smiling face". Prasanna (happy, smiling) is an adjective but it has been used with noun "vadanam" (face), so it becomes a noun in accusative case referring to Vishnu.

Let's see the whole verse. It simply says that Vishnu (who is ShuklAmbardharam, sshashivarnam etc.etc.) should be meditated upon (dhyAyet) for alleviation (upshASntaye) of difficulties (vighna). So, DhyAyet has been used correctly. It is a form of verb and is normally used separately.

Sarva can be attached to vighna but it doesn't make any vIkAr or change in the words on joining together, so it can be used alone or even in sandhi. If joined with Vighna it won't create any vIkAr i.e. change in the joining words. So, we can use Sarva Vighna or even Sarvavighna.

*******

I have contributed purely from my memory and there are chances of some errors. So, may be some other knowledgeable member finds something better.

OM

yajvan
28 March 2012, 02:34 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté


shlokaH
शुक्लाम्बरधरं विष्णुम् शशिवर्णं चतुर्भुजम् ।
प्रसन्नवदनं ध्यायेत् सर्व विघ्नोपशान्तये ॥

shuklAmbaradharaM viShNum shashivarNaM chaturbhujam |
prasannavadanaM dhyAyet sarva vighnopashAntaye ||


The śloka that saidevo offers is quite uplifting ; we find it in the viṣṇu sahasranāmaṁ ( 1,000 names of viṣṇu i.e. sahasranāma) as the invocation ( āvāhanaṃ). If one wished to know more about the meaning of this śloka ( to round out the saṃskṛtam rules saidevo and others offer) consider this HDF post: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=5011


praṇām

saidevo
31 March 2012, 11:45 AM
namaste everyone.

Some more points about this shlokam:

The Sanskrit verbal system comprises conjugations that involve a dhAtu--root, which is modified by the categories of person, number, tense, mode and voice. From what shrI Sarma, a member at Tamilbrahmins forum explains, the grammar behind 'dhyAyet' works out as follows:

• ध्यै--dhyai--'to mediate upon' is the dhAtu of the verbal form 'dhyAyet';

• 'dhyAyet' is a third person--prathama-puruSha, singular--eka-vachana, verb;
• The tense/mode (mood) of the verb is called vidhiling--potential/imperative mood (mode).
• It is in parasmai-pada--active voice (action for a third person).

This means that the phrase 'prasannavadanaM dhyAyet' translates to 'on the blissful, elephant face one should mediate'.

Who is the deity adored in the shlokam: ViShNu or GaNesha? IMO, it is only GaNesha, as explained in this thread:
http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=5011

In addition:
In the itihAsa-purANa tradition, only GaNesha is deemed to be the deity who causes and removes vighnas--hurdles.

It is customary to place the reference to the deity in a shloka adjacent or in the same line where the chief verb is located. Some examples:

• prasannavadanaM dhyAyet--shloka starting with shuklAmbaradharaM viShNuM.

• namAmi vighneshvara pAda pangkajam--shloka starting with gajAnanaM bhUtagaNAdi sevitaM.

• vande viShNum bhavabhayaharaM--shloka starting with shAntAkAraM bhujagashayanaM.

• tatpraNamAmi sadAshiva-linggam--in linggAShTakam.

• AdilakShmI sadA pAlaya mAm--in AShTalakShmI stotram.

• mAthangga-kanyAM manasA smarAmi--in shyAmalA daNDakam.

• gatistvaM gatistvaM tvamekA bhavAnI--bhavAnyAShTakam.

• kRShNam vande jagadgurum--in kRShNAShTakam.

yajvan
01 April 2012, 12:57 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté saidevo (et.al)




• 'dhyAyet' is a third person--prathama-puruSha, singular--eka-vachana, verb;
• The tense/mode (mood) of the verb is called vidhiling--potential/imperative mood (mode).
• It is in parasmai-pada--active voice (action for a third person).

May I make a request for your kind consideration ? We know that saṃskṛtam (sanskrit) is an inflected language i.e. it uses case endings in its sentence structure.

Word endings ( in general) help us understand the subject and object in a sentence or a śloka. In saṃskṛtam there are 7 case endings¹ considered. They are related to verbs and nouns. If we are able to 'crack the code' with these case endings¹ in a simple and direct manner we will be able to advance one's comprehension of this most noble language.
May I then recommend that we do this one case ending at a time... with simple examples of their application ?
That is, the sanskrit name of the case, with the Latin equivalent, and its English counter part.

Many times we co-mingle the Latin equivalant with the sanskrit case name, and for many ( me included) I lose the clarity of the offer and the teaching being applied. My recommedation is to be simple yet do it in a thorough manner so one can retain the knowledge and basic rules. Using a supply of examples will rivet the principle to the practice.


praṇām


words and references

More on cases can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_case (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_case)
7 (some say 8) cases by definition:
1. prathamā - The first sanskrit case is prathamā . It means foremost , first (in time or in a series or in rank) ; it is the first person; the first or nominative case and its terminations. Its Latin equivalent is called the 'nominative'. In English parlance it is called the subject. What question does it answer ? It answers Who or What ? It names the agent or subject of the verb ( action).
1a. sambodhana - recognizing , calling to; the vocative case; This is still aligned to the English termination of subject. It is calling or addressing.
2. dvitīyā - etc.
3. tṛtīyā - etc.
4.caturthī - etc.
5. pañcamī - etc.
6. ṣaṣthī - etc.
7.saptamī - etc.

saidevo
01 April 2012, 01:17 PM
namaste Yajvan and others.

Here are two tools that could be of immense help on the subject of case-endings:
Sanskrit Subanta Generator
http://sanskrit.jnu.ac.in/subanta/generate.jsp#results

Sanskrit verb-form generation
http://sanskrit.jnu.ac.in/tinanta/tinanta.jsp?t=314

Mana
01 April 2012, 02:28 PM
Namaste All,

Thank you for your expounding of this beautiful language, whilst reading and I try to absorb, yet it will be a while before any real progress shows, I am still learning the basic devanagari script and sounds, it is fantastic however, to gimps that which lays ahead.

praNAma

mana