In the previous lesson, we learned about the abstract verb endings called lakāras. If we use the laṭ-lakāra, which usually implies action in the present tense, we can extend our example prakriyā one more step:

  1. ṇīñ
  2. ṇī1.3.3 halantyam
    1.3.9 tasya lopaḥ
  3. 6.1.65 ṇo naḥ
  4. nī la̐ṭ3.2.123 vartamāne laṭ

Since la̐ṭ is an upadeśa, we can apply rules 1.3.2 (upadeśe'janunāsika it) and 1.3.3 (halantyam) to remove its it sounds:

  1. nī l1.3.2 upadeśe'janunāsika it
    1.3.3 halantyam
    1.3.9 tasya lopaḥ

We could also remove l by 1.3.8 (laśakvataddhite), but this will make it difficult to use rule 3.4.77 later:

  • लस्य। ३.४.७७
    lasya (3.4.77)
    la is replaced by …

So we keep this l and don't apply rule 1.3.8.


  • लस्य। ३.४.७७
    lasya (3.4.77)
    la is replaced by …

  • तिप्तस्झिसिप्थस्थमिप्वस्मस्-तातांझथासाथांध्वमिड्वहिमहिङ्। ३.४.७८
    tiptasjhisipthasthamipvasmas-tātāṃjhathāsāthāṃdhvamiḍvahimahiṅ (3.4.78)
    [the pratyayas] tip, thas, jhi, sip, thas, tha, mip, vas, mas, ta, ātām, jha, thās, āthām, dhvam, iṭ, vahi, and mahiṅ.

The at the end of mahiṅ is present just so we can make a pratyāhāra. If we take the first term and use , we have tiṅ, the set of all verb endings in Sanskrit.

We can also make some minor observations about these tiṅ suffixes:

  • Many of these endings are marked with various it sounds. lets us create the pratyāhāra. p causes vowel changes for certain kinds of verb stems. And the on iṭ is so that we can more easily refer to this specific ending later.

  • We also notice the strange endings jhi and jha. jh has a special role that we will discuss two lessons from now. For the time being, rest assured that these will become the more regular endings nti and nta.

More importantly, however, notice that there are eighteen endings to choose from. It is not obvious which one we should choose for our verb. How do we choose the correct one?

We do so by adding different saṃjñās (designations) to these suffixes. Each of these saṃjñās implies different semantics. Based on the semantics we wish to express, we can then choose the correct suffix.

adhikāra rules

These saṃjñās are defined under the following adhikāra:

  • आ कडारादेका संज्ञा। १.४.१
    ā kaḍārādekā saṃjñā (1.4.1)
    ā kaḍārāt ekā saṃjñā
    Up to the kaḍāra rule (rule 2.2.38), one saṃjñā [is allowed].

And the following paribhāṣā:

  • विप्रतिषेधे परं कार्यम्। १.४.२
    vipratiṣedhe paraṃ kāryam (1.4.2)
    vipratiṣedhe param kāryam
    In matters of conflict, the later [rule] should be applied.

The idea of the first rule is that if one saṃjñā is a subset of another, only one of these two saṃjñās applies. We will see a concrete example of this further below.

puruṣa and vacana

First, we have distinctions of puruṣa (person) and vacana (number):

  • तिङस्त्रीणि त्रीणि प्रथममध्यमोत्तमाः। १.४.१०१
    tiṅastrīṇi trīṇi prathamamadhyamottamāḥ (1.4.101)
    tiṅaḥ trīṇi trīṇi prathama-madhyama-uttamāḥ
    Taken three by three, the tiṅ [suffixes] are called prathama (first), madhyama (middle), and uttama (last).

  • तान्येकवचनद्विवचनबहुवचनान्येकशः। १.४.१०२
    tānyekavacanadvivacanabahuvacanānyekaśaḥ (1.4.102)
    tāni ekavacana-dvivacana-bahuvacanāni ekaśaḥ
    They [i.e. these triples] are called ekavacana (singular), dvivacana (dual), and bahuvacana (plural) when taken one by one.

  • सुपः। १.४.१०३
    supaḥ (1.4.103)
    [ekavacana, dvicana, and bahuvacana also apply for the triples] of sup (i.e. the nominal endings).

  • विभक्तिश्च। १.४.१०४
    vibhaktiśca (1.4.104)
    vibhaktiḥ ca
    And [these triples are each called] vibhakti.

Before we move on, note that rule 1.4.104 is vital. Normally, we would remove the final s and m sounds of all of the tiṅ suffixes by rule 1.3.3 (halantyam). But if these endings are called vibhakti, then rule 1.3.4 (na vibhaktau tusmāḥ) blocks rule 1.3.3 and leaves our endings intact.

Now: what are the semantics of prathama, madhyama, and uttama? They are defined in next few rules:

  • युष्मद्युपपदे समानाधिकरणे स्थानिन्यपि मध्यमः। १.४.१०५
    yuṣmadyupapade samānādhikaraṇe sthāninyapi madhyamaḥ (1.4.105)
    yuṣmadi upapade samāna-adhikaraṇe sthānini api madhyamaḥ
    When yuṣmad (you) is coreferent with the verb, even if implicitly so, madhyama [is used].

  • अस्मद्युत्तमः। १.४.१०७
    asmadyuttamaḥ (1.4.107)
    asmadi uttamaḥ
    When asmad (I, we) [is coreferent with the verb, even if implicitly so,] uttama [is used].

  • शेषे प्रथमः। १.४.१०८
    śeṣe prathamaḥ (1.4.108)
    śeṣe prathamaḥ
    Otherwise, prathama [is used].

And what are the semantics of vacana? These two rules define them:

  • बहुषु बहुवचनम्। १.४.२१
    bahuṣu bahuvacanam (1.4.21)
    bahuṣu bahu-vacanam
    In the sense of many, bahuvacana [is used].

  • द्व्येकयोर्द्विवचनैकवचने। १.४.२२
    dvyekayordvivacanaikavacane (1.4.22)
    dvi-ekayoḥ dvivacana-ekavacane
    In the sense of two or one, dvivacana and ekavacana [are used, respectively].

By choosing a puruṣa, we narrow down eighteen endings to six. By choosing a vacana, we narrow down six endings to two. That leaves us with one last distinction to make:

parasmaipada and ātmanepada

  • लः परस्मैपदम्। १.४.९९
    laḥ parasmaipadam (1.4.99)
    laḥ parasmaipadam
    [The replacements for] laḥ are called parasmaipada.

  • तङानावात्मनेपदम्। १.४.१००
    taṅānāvātmanepadam (1.4.100)
    taṅ-ānau ātmanepadam
    The taṅ suffixes and (the suffix) āna are called ātmanepada.

taṅ is a pratyāhāra formed with the tenth tiṅ suffix ta. By 1.4.1 (ā kaḍārādekā saṃjñā) and 1.4.2 (vipratiṣedhe paraṃ kāryam), the first nine tiṅ suffixes are called parasmaipada and the rest are called ātmanepada.

The terms parasmaipada and ātmanepada refer to a concept that is more complicated than puruṣa or vacana. Since it's hard to convey in a concise way, let's continue our discussion in the next lesson.


In the next lesson, we will discuss parasmaipada and ātmanepada properly and finally choose an ending for our verb.