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Second Book of Sanskrit: A Treatise on Grammar

Second Book of Sanskrit: A Treatise on Grammar
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Item Code: NAE773
Author: R.G Bhandakar
Publisher: Keshav Bhikaji Dhawale
Language: Sanskrit Text With English Translation
Edition: 2011
Pages: 307
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 7.0 inch x 5.0 inch
weight of the book: 190 gms
Back of the book

This dictionary differs from all its predecessors in more respects than one. It gives numerous quotations form and references to standard classical works. Grammatical irregularities and syntactic peculiarities have also been noted. Geographical and mythological names standard classical authors Nyayas or maxims Sanskrit prosody and figures of speech are given in the last three appendices.


This Second Book of Sanskrit has been prepared under instructions from Sir A. Grant, Director of Public Instruction. Its plan is nearly the same as that of the First Book, which the student is supposed to have read and mastered. Each lesson consists of four parts 1st, Grammar; 2nd, Sanskrit sentences for translation into English; 3rd, English sentences for translation into Sanskrit — both intended to exercise the student in the rules of Grammar given at the top of the Lesson; and 4th, a Vocabulary.

This and the First Book together contain as much Grammar as is needed for all practical purposes, perhaps more. I have adopted the terminology of the English Grammarians of Sanskrit, but have strictly followed Panini, as explained by Bhattoji Diksita in his Siddhantakaumudi. Most of the rules are mere translations of the Sutras. Besides the terms, Guna, Vrddhi, and a few others, which have been adopted from Native Grammarians by nearly all European writers on the subject, I have found it necessary to appropriate two more, viz., Set and Anit The prejudice against mere Native terms, in deference to which Professor Benfey seems in his smaller Grammar to have discarded even the words Guna and Vrddhi, without substituting any others, is, in my humble opinion, very unreasonable, when it is difficult to frame new words to designate the things which they signify. It is very inconvenient to have to describe the same thing again and again whenever one has occasion to speak of it. It will at the same tune be somewhat difficult for the learner to make out, when a thing is so described in a variety of cases, that it is the same. Words adapted to express a particular meaning are as necessary here as in other affairs of human life. What an amount of inconvenience would it, for instance, entail, if whenever we had to speak of the human race, we were, instead of being allowed to use the word ‘man,’ made to describe man’s physical and ‘rational nature! But I must not elevate an ordinary truism to the rank of a newly-discovered truth.

The general rules of Grammar, and such exceptions as are important, have been given in this book, those of the least importance only being omitted. Such an omission is apt to render a book liable to the charge of inaccuracy. But it is unavoidable in an elementary work, and after nil ill produce little or no practical inconvenience.

There is one point in Sanskrit Grammar, explanation of which I have departed from ordinary usage, though I think I do agree with Panini and his commentators. It is the sense to be attached to the so-called Aorist. The most laborious student of a dead language is not alive to all the nice shades of meaning, which are plain even to the uninstructed when ‘a language is living. Even to a Maha-Pandita in these days the sound of is not at all so disagreeable as that of is to the genuine Maratha peasant. We know of the distinction between the Atmanepada and Parasmaipada only in theory, but that between the arid of the Marathi Habitual Past, of the and of the Future, we feel. We must, therefore, to determine this question about the Aorist, appeal to such Sanskrit works as, we have reason to suppose, must have been written when Sanskrit was a spoken language. The Kavyas, the Nätakas and most of the Puranas will not do for’ our purpose. Such books as the Samhitas of the Vedas, the Brahmanas, or even those portions of the two great Epics which do not hear indications of having been subsequently tampered with must be referred to. To institute such a wide research I have neither had the necessary time nor the necessary means: But the Aitareya Brahmana, which I have read, seems almost to decide the point. In this work, whenever stories are told, the so-called Imperfect or the Perfect is always used, and the Aorist never occurs. On the contrary, when the persons in the story are represented as speaking with one another, they use the Aorist, and the only ‘sense that can be attached to it in these cases is that of’ the ‘English Present Perfect; in other words, it indicate& simply the completion of an action or an action that has just ‘or recently been’ done. The reason why the Aorist Occurs in these cases ‘only is that there is no scope for recent past ‘time in mere narration; and things that have just or recently occurred can come to be spoken of only when persons are talking with each other: The piece given at the end of this book contains passages remarkably illustrating what I say, The story goes “Hariscandra said to Varuna, ‘Let a son be born to me and I will then offer him as a sacrifice to you. Well” said Varuna. Then a son was born to him. Then said Varuna, ‘You have got a son, sacrifice him to me now.’ Then said Hariscandra,’ When a victim becomes ten days old, then he is fit to be sacrificed. Let the boy become ‘ten days old, I will then sacrifice him to you. Well,’ said Varuna. The boy became ten days old. Then said Varuna, ‘He has become ten days old, sacrifice him now to me,” and thus it proceeds. Now in this and the remaining portion of the Khanda the verbs “said” (occurring several times), “was born, became” and others’ that are used by the narrator speaking in his own person are always in the Perfect, while have got has become’, &c., used by Varuna with reference to the boy, are in the Aorist. The latter clearly refer to a time just gone by. In the same manner, in the story of Nabhanedistha, related in the fourteenth khanda of the Fifth Pancika, the verbs, and used by Nabhanedistha, and evidently, from the context, denoting events that have just happened, are in the Aorist, as also used by Rudra. While when the author, in narrating the story speaks of certain things as having taken place, he invariably uses the Imperfect, the event from his point of view having occurred at a remote past time. Similar instances, in which the Aorist on the one hand, and the Imperfect or the Perfect on the other, are used exactly in the same way, occur in 1-23 2-19, 3-33, 4-17, 6-33, 6-34, 7- 27, 7-28, 8-7, 8-23, while narratives, in which the Perfect or the Imperfect only is used, and where there is either no conversation, or when there is, it is only with reference to present or future time, are innumerable, 7-26, and 5-34 may also be consulted.

Preface to the Second edition

The observations made in the Preface to the last edition as to the sense of the Aorist have been confirmed by several passages I have met with in the Samhitas of the Vedas and in Brahmanas other than the Aitareya. But since this is hardly the place for an elaborate essay on the subject, I forbear to make any addition to what I have already said on the subject. I have only re-cast the remarks contained in the Preface on the meaning of the Sutras of Panini bearing on the question.

Preface to the Third edition

Grammar was not an empiric study with Pãnini and the other ancient grammarians of India. Those great sages observed carefully the facts of their language and endeavoured always to connect them together by a law or rule and to bring these laws again under still more general laws. Sanskrit Grammar has thus become a science at their hands, and its study possesses an educational value of the same kind as that of Euclid and not much inferior to it in degree. For, to make a particular form, the mind of the student has to go through a certain process of synthesis. He has to mark the mutual connections of the rules he has learnt, and, in each given case, to find out which of them, from the conditions involved, hold good In that case, and to apply them in regular succession, until he arrives at the form required. A mere unscientific teaching of the forms as such and mixing them up unconnectedly into a list, our grammarians never resorted to, so long as they could trace a resemblance even between two of them, if not more.

Convinced of the utility of this system, I tried in this hook to adhere to Panini so far as was convenient or practicable, and to give his general rules instead of splitting them up into the particular cases they comprehend. In this manner I was also able to compress a great deal of matter into a comparatively small space. But the hook necessarily became difficult, since instead of placing a ready-made form before the student, it gave him only the rules and required him to constitute it for himself. Experience, however, both as a learner and a teacher, has taught me that Sanskrit Grammar learnt according to the latter method is more easily and longer remembered than if learnt empirically. And I maintain that the book, as it was, was not at all difficult, in the hands of a good teacher. But, to meet the views of those who think otherwise, I have, in this edition, increased the number of examples without interfering with the system, and added explanations to show how to derive them and how, generally to apply the rules in particular cases. All this new matter has been printed in small type. I have thus myself done, in a great measure, what I expected teachers to do and what 1, as a teacher, once did. Several other changes and alterations have been made in this edition. Separate vocabularies have been given for the English exercises, the two lessons on the second conjugation have been expanded into four, the number of verses from Bhartrhari has been reduced and the passage from Kadambari removed and another, somewhat shorter and much simpler, from the same work, substituted for it. I have also here and there added a few rules, especially in the lessons on compounds, and given a few more exercises.

I was not so sanguine about the success of this book as of the First. But I am very happy to perceive that this also has met with favour, and that along with the First it has become the means, howsoever humble, of facilitating and promoting the study of the language of the ancient Rsis among their modern descendants.

Preface to the sixth edition

The following are the principal changes and additions made in the present edition:— (1) The first lesson in the previous editions treated of the Potential Mood of the first Group of conjugations. But that Mood having now been transferred to the First Book, the lesson has been taken out. The first lesson now treats of the Irregularities of the 1st. 4th, 6th, and 10th conjugations, to which are attached Sanskrit and English sentences for exercise, with Sanskrit and English vocabularies. (2) The lesson on the Futures and the Conditional, together with the portion treating of the Passive, has been removed from its place after the Aorist and put after the Perfect, in accordance with the practice in our High Schools of teaching it immediately after the latter. (3) MI the Sanskrit into English vocabularies occurring in the body of the book have been collected together into a general Glossary at the end, as also the English into Sanskrit vocabularies. (4) A few verses which could be easily gathered from the Kirtikaumudi, Bhatikavya, and Halayudha’s Kavirahasya have been added to the exercises here and there. It is true that the authors of the last two works are perhaps likely to be considered as having used words not in common use in the extant Sanskrit literature or never used in it at all. It should, however, be borne in mind that the first lived probably in the same century as Bana and before Bhavabhuti, both of whom are recognised as standard authors, and the second about two centuries after; that there must have been a great deal more of Sanskrit literature extant in their time than there is at present; and that, their object being the same as that of this and the First Book, viz., to teach the language, they probably did not use words without having met with instances of their use in the literature existing in their time.


IIrregularities belonging to the 1st, 4th 6th and 10th conjugations1
IIFifth and eighth conjugations present tense13
IVImperative and potential24
VNinth conjugations present and imperative29
VIImperfect and potential36
VIISecond conjugation- present and imperative39
VIIIImperfect and potential50
IXSecond conjugation (Continued) Present and imperative56
XImperfect and potential67
XIThird conjugation71
XIISeventh conjugation81
XVPart 1- First and second futures and conditional110
Part II- passive forms117
XVIDeclensional irregularities121
XVIIIComparative and superlative degrees of adjectives147
XIXCompounds dvandva and Tatpurusa155
XXBahuvirhi and Avyayibhava165
XXIIAorist First second and third varieties178
XXIIISixth and seventh varieties189
XXIVPart I- Fourth and fifth varieties194
Part II- Benedictive mood206
XXVIVerbal derivatives- past, perfect, future and potential participles214
Selection for exercise
From the Aitareya Brahmana222
The three rogues225
The Brahmana and the cobra226
From the Bhartihari's Nitisataka227
From Kadambari232
Glossary Sanskrit in to English234
English into Sanskrit282

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