It is a matter of great pleasure for me to place before the scholars and Sanskrit lovers,
the work Samskrta Vacovicchittih Pratyayartha Vaicitri ca or The Idioms, Phrases and
Suffixational Subtleties compiled by Mahamahopadhyaya Prof. Pullela Sri Ramachandrudu, an
eminent scholar in Vedanta, Vyakarana and Sahitya known for his contributions to various
fields of Sanskrit learning. He has been associated with the Vidyapeetha for a long time and
member of its various committees, including the Academic Council and the Karya Parishad. He
is also the chairman of the Samskrita Bhasha Prachara Samithi (of Pulla Reddy
Charities, Hyderabad), which is solely dedicated to the propagation of Sanskrit. Thus, he is
actively engaged in both the preservation and propagation of this ancient language. I thank
Prof. Sri Ramachandrudu for having accepted to publish his work with the Vidyapeetha.
This is a unique work, in the sense that it is, perhaps the first dictionary of
Sanskrit idiomatic usages and phrases to have been compiled. It is well known that idioms
add colour to language and variety to expression. Modern languages like English have
produced massive reference works including dictionaries, thesaurus, idiomatic usages and
phrases that have greatly enriched the language. Such works are of great value, since they
allow the speakers to make apt descriptions of ideas and situations. Sanskrit, one of the
richest languages, abounds in many such expressions employed in the literary works, dramas
and to a lesser extent in the shastra works. However, there have not been any reference
works of these special usages in Sanskrit language so far, and hence a desideratum. Indeed,
such a work is long due for Sanskrit.
The book Samskrta Vacovicchittih Pratyayartha Vaicitri ca is a welcome addition to
the existing dictionaries and is obviously different from them. in this book, the words and
the phrases are taken from grammatical works and literary texts. Each work is followed by
its explanation/etymology in Sanskrit and its meaning, in English. Besides the main work,
the appendix contains bhavarthaka sabdas, suffixes of comparative and superlative
degrees, locative absolute constructions (sati saptami), and meanings of certain
avyayas like ca, aha, ehi etc. thus the work incorporates the methodology of the Science of
Etymology, Grammar and Lexicography i.e. Nirukta, Vyakarana and Kosha. I am sure that the
dictionary will be a useful guide to future writers of Sanskrit.
During the last decade of the 20th century, Spoken Sanskrit has gained a lot of
momentum. Dedicated efforts are being made to revive this language and bring it back into
regular usage. It is in this context, the above work attains great importance and
significance as it meets the modern day requirements. The phrases and usages, generally
limited to literary texts, could be made current by making them part and parcel of spoken
Sanskrit. The present work is particularly relevant in this context.
Prof. Sri Ramachandrudu has opened a new line of approach in compiling the
dictionary, which is novel and contemporary in design. The pioneering approach could be a
guide for future workers in the field of Sanskrit dictionary making. The work is the result
of long years of experience, study and sustained labour. No one is better qualified than
Prof. Sri Ramachandrudu to have undertaken this work. The Vidyapeetha takes pride in
publishing this new, novel work in its publication series.
I pray Lord Venkateswara for the long and healthy life of Prof. Sri Ramachandrudu
and hope that his creative pen would further enrich the treasure trove of Sanskrit Learning
for a long time.
I express my heartful thanks to Prof. K.V. Ramakrishnamacharya, for having keen
interest in bringing out this publication and also giving thorough reading to this book.
About the Book
There are some expressions in English which are called idioms or phrases. An idiom is
defined as "a form of expression, construction, phrase etc., peculiar to a language, a
peculiarity of phraseology approved by usage and often having a meaning other than its
grammatical or logical one". English is full of many such idiomatic expressions Many idioms
are formed by adding prepositions to different roots as in 'put in' 'put out' 'put up', 'put
off,' 'put in for' etc., the correct use of which is considered as a mark of perfect
knowledge of English. Such idioms are called prepositional idioms.
In English there is no such classification of words as (word conveying the meaning
directly) (word conveying a secondary meaning) and (word suggesting an implied meaning). The
classification as Rudha, Yaugika and Yogarudha etc., is also not known to the English
grammarians. But are very frequently used in English and are responsible for the high
effectiveness of the expression and beauty in the language. Expressions like 'grass-root
level', 'bottle necks', 'tantalising', 'make it', 'make up,' lose heart', family way' may be
cited as examples, some of there are called phrases. There are many works in English dealing
with idioms and phrases, some of which merely give meanings and some contain etymological
explanations and other particulars. Every language contains such idioms and phrases whether
or not they are noted and explained clearly by the grammarians.
There are thousands of beautiful expressions of such nature in Sanskrit also in
poetical works, dramas and noted in grammatical works. A dictionary of such works is a
desideratum in Sanskrit to help the young writers in this great language. This is a small
effort, perhaps for the first time, in that direction. Therefore, while preparing this small
compilation, I cannot claim either completeness or perfection of this work. It is hoped that
it would inspire some young scholars to make an exhaustive study in preparing works on the
lines of books in English and other languages, which will be of immense use to all the
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