ca, vā, and others
In this lesson, we will learn about many small but common uninflected words. For ease of reference, we will discuss these words in alphabetical order:
अथ एव एवम् इति इव च तु न वा विना सह स्म हि
atha eva evam iti iva ca tu na vā vinā saha sma hi
atha often marks the start of a new topic:
अथ प्रथमो ऽध्यायः
atha prathamo 'dhyāyaḥ
Now begins the first chapter.
eva emphasizes the word before it. It can be translated as “indeed” or “truly,” or sometimes as “only” or “alone”:
राम एव लक्ष्मणस्य भ्राता
rāma eva lakṣmaṇasya bhrātā
Rama truly is Lakshmana's brother.
अहम् एव बलवान्।
aham eva balavān.
I alone am strong.
evam means “thus” or “in that matter”:
स एवम् उवाच।
sa evam uvāca.
Thus did he speak.
स एवं कृत्वा गृहम् अगच्छत्।
sa evaṃ kṛtvā gṛham agacchat.
He, after acting thus, went home.
iti generally marks the end of a quote or topic:
अहम् बलवान् इति बालो मन्यते
aham balavān iti bālo manyate
The boy thinks that he is strong. (interpretation 1)
The boy thinks, “I am strong.” (interpretation 2)
इति प्रथमो ऽध्यायः
iti prathamo 'dhyāyaḥ
So ends the first chapter.
रामो गत इति शृणोति
rāmo gata iti śṛṇoti
He hears that Rama has left. (interpretation 1)
He hears, “Rama has left.” (interpretation 2)
iva means “like” or “as if.” It follows directly after the word it describes. In the examples below, notice how important the case endings are. By using siṃhaḥ in case 1, we describe the case 1 word rāmaḥ. By using mṛgam in case 2, we describe the case 2 word rāvaṇam:
रामः सिंह इव रावणं हन्ति।
rāmaḥ siṃha iva rāvaṇaṃ hanti.
Rama kills Ravana as if he (Rama) were a lion.
रामो मृगम् इव रावणं हन्ति।
rāmo mṛgam iva rāvaṇaṃ hanti.
Rama kills Ravana as if he (Ravana) were a deer.
रामो रावणम् सिंहो मृगम् इव हन्ति।
rāmo rāvaṇam siṃho mṛgam iva hanti.
Rama kills Ravana as a lion would a deer.
ca means “and”:
रामः सीता च गच्छतः।
rāmaḥ sītā ca gacchataḥ.
Rama and Sita go.
रामः सीता गजश् च गच्छन्ति।
rāmaḥ sītā gajaś ca gacchanti.
Rama, Sita, and the elephant go.
tu means “but” or “however”:
रामो वनं गच्छति। दशरथस् तु न वनं गच्छति।
rāmo vanaṃ gacchati. daśarathas tu na vanaṃ gacchati.
Rama goes to the forest. But Dasharatha does not go to the forest.
na means “not”:
रामो न गच्छति।
rāmo na gacchati.
Rama doesn't go.
vā means “or”:
रामः सीता वा गच्छति।
rāmaḥ sītā vā gacchati.
Rama or Sita goes.
रामः सीता गजो वा गच्छति।
rāmaḥ sītā gajo vā gacchati.
Rama, Sita, or the elephant goes.
vinā means “without”:
रामो दशरथेन विना वनं गच्छति।
rāmo daśarathena vinā vanaṃ gacchati.
Rama goes to the forest without Dasharatha.
saha means “with”:
रामः सीतया सह वनं गच्छति।
rāmaḥ sītayā saha vanaṃ gacchati.
Rama goes to the forest with Sita.
sma often means “indeed” or “truly,” but when it follows a present tense verb, it expresses the past tense:
रामो वने निवसति स्म।
rāmo vane nivasati sma.
Rama lived in the forest.
hi means “after all” or “since”:
रामो रावणं हन्ति। रामो हि रावणाद् बलवत्तरः
rāmo rāvaṇaṃ hanti. rāmo hi rāvaṇād balavattaraḥ
Rama kills Ravana. After all, Rama is stronger than Ravana.