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Lesson 11

Simple Sanskrit – Lesson 11

सरलं संस्कृतम् – एकादशः (11) पाठः

Comprehensive study of any धातु would cover studying not only its inflections in all लकार-s, but also studying all its verbal derivatives धातुसाधित-s (also called as कृदन्त-s). These are mainly adjectives or indeclinables. We have seen in Lesson 9, two adjectival धातुसाधित-s, the ppp and app. All adjectives will have 72 inflections by 3 genders (लिङ्ग), 8 cases (विभक्ति) and 3 numbers (वचन).

Indeclinables अव्यय-s are simpler, because there are no inflections. There are three types of indeclinable अव्यय verbal derivatives धातुसाधित-s / कृदन्त-s.

  • त्वान्त अव्यय-s have the meaning “on doing” or “by doing” for example कृत्वा. It is an adverb of time, rather, with a shade of past tense. It is obtained by affixing a suffix त्वा to the धातु such as कृ. So कृत्वा means “on doing” or “by doing”.
    • But there are variations, for example
      • गम् + त्वा = गत्वा meaning “on going” or “by going”
      • लभ् + त्वा = लब्ध्वा meaning “on gaining” or “by gaining”
      • दा + त्वा = दत्वा meaning “on giving” or “by giving”
    • If there is a prefix affixed with the धातु then the suffix to be affixed is य Grammarians call it as ल्यप्. The indeclinable then is called as (ल्यप् + अन्त =) ल्यबन्त For example
      • निर् + गम् + य = निर्गम्य meaning “on going away” or “by going away”
      • उप + लभ् + य = उपलभ्य meaning “on acquiring” or “by acquiring”
      • आ + दा + य = आदाय meaning “on taking” or “by taking” or “on bringing in” or “by bringing in”
      • May it be noted that the adverbial suffix ल्यप् actually adds only a य to the धातु. ल्यप् is only the grammatical name of the suffix.
  • तुमन्त अव्यय-s have the meaning “for doing”. They are adverbs of purpose or reason. For example
    • कर्तुम् (कृ + तुम्) means “for doing”
    • दा + तुम् = दातुम् means “for giving”
    • गम् + तुम् = गन्तुम् means “for going”
    • आ + गम् + तुम् = आगन्तुम् means “for coming”. Note that here the prefix आ does not cause the mode of formation to be different.
    • लभ् + तुम् = लब्धुम् means “for gaining”
  • The third type of धातुसाधित अव्यय is adverb of manner, answering the question “how कथम्?”. The प्रत्यय (suffix) to obtain these verbal derivatives is given the name णमुल्-प्रत्यय The verbal derivative is called as णमुल् कृदन्त or णमुल् धातुसाधित. Its meaning is similar to that of the gerund. For example –
    • गम् → गामम् meaning “going”
    • कृ → कारम् meaning “doing”
    • दा → दायम् meaning “giving”
    • लभ् → लाभम् meaning “gaining”

Adjectival विशेषणात्मक कृदन्त-s are of 10 types, as shown in Table 10-3 below.

Table 11-1

Adjectival कृदन्त-s of आत्मनेपदी धातु “लभ्”

Given below are प्रातिपदिक-s for 3 genders.

They have further inflections by cases (विभक्ति) and 3 numbers (वचन)



meaning or when to be used







ppp “gained”





app “one, who is gaining”





present participle “one in the act of gaining”


valid only for परस्मैपदी धातु-s


valid only for परस्मैपदी धातु-s



can be gained





must be gained or what the aim should be for gaining





should be gained or advisable to gain





one, who facilitates gaining










one, that may be gained





present participle; one, who is in the process of gaining


valid only for आत्मनेपदी धातु-s


May it be noted that the adverbial suffix ल्यप् as explained above, actually adds only a य to the धातु, e.g. आदाय.

The suffix यत् also adds only the suffix य to the धातु.

It is smart of grammarians to give two different names to the two suffixes. One has the name ल्यप् and the other has been given the name यत्.

It can also be seen that the verbal auxiliaries of mood in English grammar, such as may, can, should, must, are made into adjectival derivatives in Sanskrit. Those at 1, 4, 6 and 9 have some sense of passive voice. Those at 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10 have the sense of active voice.

Present participles शतृ-प्रत्यय words of a good number of धातु-s are found in following lines in श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता

नैव किञ्चित्करोमीति युक्तो मन्येत तत्त्ववित्

पश्यन् शृण्वन् स्पृशन् जिघ्रन् अश्नन् गच्छन् स्वपन् श्वसन् ||५-८||

प्रलपन् विसृजन् गृह्णन् उन्मिषन् निमिषन् अपि

इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेषु वर्तन्त इति धारयन् ||५-९||

The meaning is –
One who knows the fundamentals and is hence righteous should consider that he does nothing, even when one is

  • पश्यन् seeing, शृण्वन् hearing, स्पृशन् touching, जिघ्रन् smelling, अश्नन् eating, गच्छन् going about, स्वपन् dreaming, श्वसन् breathing, प्रलपन् talking, विसृजन् forsaking, गृह्णन् taking, उन्मिषन् निमिषन् opening and closing the eyes,
  • इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेषु वर्तन्त इति धारयन् (One is) always regarding that organs are for organic functions,

This is further elaborated in the next verse –

ब्रह्मण्याधाय कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा करोति यः |

लिप्यते न स पापेन पद्मपत्रमिवाम्भसा ||५-१०||

Such person

  • by dedicating all actions to Brahman and
  • by renouncing all attachment
  • is not afflicted by sin
  • just as leaves of lotus are not afflicted by the water.

In the first line of (५-१०) we also have two धातुसाधित अव्यय-s, आधाय meaning “by dedicating” (ल्यबन्त of धातु “आ + धा”) and त्यक्त्वा meaning “by renouncing” (त्वान्त of धातु “त्यज्”).

Let us understand the धातुसाधित-s by examples.

  1. Example of  क्त-type
    1. Profit was earned by the merchant – वणिजेन लाभः लब्धः
  2. Example of क्तवतु-type
    1. Merchant earned profit – वणिजः लाभं लब्धवान्
  3. Example of यत्-type
    1. Merchant can earn profit – वणिजेन लाभः लभ्यः
  4. Example of तव्यत्-type
    1. Merchant should earn profit – वणिजेन लाभः लब्धव्यः
  5. Example of अनीयर्-type
    1. (Advisably) merchant should earn profit – वणिजेन लाभः लम्भनीयः
    2. A shloka using अनीयर्-type धातुसाधित-s of four different धातु-s makes a really good reading – कस्यचित् किमपि नो हरणीयम् | मर्मवाक्यमपि नोच्चरणीयम् | श्रीपतेः पदयुगं स्मरणीयम् | लीलया भवजलं तरणीयम् ||
    3. Its meaning is – Nothing should be snatched of anybody. Sacred (meditational) phrase should not be uttered (i.e. should not be divulged). The pair of feet of the Glorious should be (always) memorized (That is, mind should always be focused at the feet of the Glorious). (Thus) gamely should the waters (i.e. the ocean) of worldly life be swum across.
  6. Example of ण्वुल्-type
    1. Trade is profit-maker – व्यापारः लाभ-लम्भकः
  7. Example of तृच्-type
    1. Merchant is (by nature) profit-earner – वणिजः (स्वभावतः) लाभ-लब्धा
  8. Example of यक्-type
    1. Trade is profit-worthy – लाभः लभ्यमानः व्यापारे
    2. This type is effectively mentioned in श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता –
      1. प्रकृतेः क्रियमाणानि गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः | अहंकार-विमूढात्मा कर्ताहमिति मन्यते ||३-२७||
      2. Its meaning is “All actions and activities happen (are caused) by (inherent) character of (all-pervading) Nature. One misguided by ego considers himself to be the doer.”
  9. Example of शानच्-type
    1. Merchant is earning profit – लाभं लभमानः वणिजः
  10. Example of क्त्वा-type
    1. Merchant becomes wealthy by earning profit – लाभं लब्ध्वा वणिजः धनिकः भवति
  11. Example of तुमुन्-type
    1. Merchant does trading to earn wealth – धनं लब्धुं वणिजस्य व्यापारः
  12. Example of णमुल्-type
    1. How is the trade ? It is gainful. – कथं चलति व्यापारः ? लाभम्

In this lesson, we have covered a good ground of धातुसाधित-s, both adverbial and adjectival.

शुभमस्तु |